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Jingoistic demagogy of law professor Pamela Karlan and her gaffe about Russian invasion

News Nulandgate as origin of Ukrainegate Recommended Links  Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Adam Schiff Witch Hunt FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga UA officials and security services  role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate
Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Fiona Hill as Soros mole in Trump administration House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) Civil war in Ukraine The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Ukraine debt enslavement
Zelensky presidency as Saakashvilli 2.0 Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Brennan elections machinations Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Rick Perry induced Trump blunder Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration
Strzokgate Steele dossier Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Joseph Misfud and MI6 connection to Russiagate FBI contractor Fusion GPS Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Color revolutions Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Rosenstein and appointment of the special prosecutor  Poroshenko presidency 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 Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war 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
  Thanks to Pamela Karlan for so aptly capturing Democratic elites' delusional, Reaganite, jingoistic Cold Warrior mindset in your claim that we need to arm Ukraine "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here" & we remain "that shining city on the hill."

Aaron Mate

Professor Pamela Karlan testimony stroked me as as cheap propaganda. It is completely detached from reality. As author and commentator George Szamuely noted "The students who are paying through the nose at Stanford are really not getting value for money,"  referring to Karlan's teaching role at the prestigious university. "Anyone else would be laughed out of the pub," for making such a statement.

She looks like a mentally disturbed self-righteous and ideologically brainwashed individual. A fanatic or in more political correct language "true beleaver." For me her demeanor reminds the behavior of  members Bolsheviks Cheka who committed horrible crime "in the name of Revolution" after Bolsheviks seized power in 1917; including mass murder of civil population  as depicted in films covering this issue.  The only thing that is missing is a revolver on her back.  Of course, impressions based on appearance are often false, the fact that she couple probably start in  such a role in any film devoted to this period is slightly unsetting.

For most sane experts, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Americans would need to be 'fighting the Russians' on US soil, regardless of US policy in Ukraine. And she is a little bit late with her warning: Russians already emerged on Florida beaches in substantial quantities.

Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan likes to describe herself as a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish" woman (not the she said Jewish, not American.) I think she should be kept of safe distance from students, especially female students.  In any case despite tenure I hope that her career at Standard will suffer after she revealed to the surprised audience that she  wants Ukraine fighting the Russians there so we don’t have to fight them here.

Did Karlan just say we are helping Ukraine fight the Russians there so we don't have to fight them here - YouTube

This is such a level of ignorance and detachment from the reality, that put the question about  her  mental health and whether she abuse narcotics or not.

Irrespective of her legal pedigree, short of foam coming out of her lips this was not a testimony of a legal expert, it’s was biased unhinged testimony of a rabid neocon  live on a nationally televised stage. She probably was perfect witness for Democrats for this particular reason, as she does not care about  facts, she just want Trump to be impeached by lowering impeachment standards and converting impeachment into variant of Moscow trials ( those backward Russian used primitive  "British spy" charge instead of modern and sophisticated "Russian stooge" charge ;-)  Which clearly would be an abuse of Congress power.

Pamela Karlan was ‘totally biased, completely unhinged’ Rep. Zeldin - YouTube

Essentially Karlan wants to convert impeachment  in the vote of non-confidence like exists in Great Britain. (Day 6, Part 8 Collins and Republican counsel question witnesses. Professor Turley essentially wiped the floor with Karlan. He pointed out that  the most alarming feature of her testimony is the level of demonization of the opponent. Here are some comments from the YouTube video listed about, which reflect sentiments of independents. If they truly reflect opinion if independents that  creates a huge problem for DemoRats:

tmpnsane, 5 days ago
Pamela Karlan is not a witness with ANY merit, she is not a scholar nor is she qualified to drive a school bus let alone teach. The hatred and rancor is all the argument she could muster. She is perhaps the most disgraceful and lowliest example of a human bring.
pawpaw pawpaw, 5 days ago
It was a CHEAP SHOT that discredited anything else she had to say.

Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for?

This claim of Professor Karlan was so ridiculous that it nullifies all her testimony.  After such a claim she really looks like a deranged neocons, she is. End of story.

So all other stupidities in her testimony are just a side show. But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks  about promoting democracy. In reality Obama administration smashed fragile constitutional order in Ukraine and installed far right junta, because that what corresponds more to the USA geopolitical interests, democracy be damned. As the result standard of living in Ukraine dropped more then two times, Ukraine became the IMF debt slave and lost territories and several millions of population, who emigrated to Russia (over two millions), Poland and other states. Several hundred were injured and around 50 burned alive in Odessa massacre. Tens of thousand (mostly citizen of Donetsk and Lugansk including mothers with small children, as well as soldiers of Ukrainian army and separatists) were killed in civil war unleashed  with the pressure from Washington (and personally Brennan  who visited Kiev under false name just before start of armed conflict in Donbass) with the explicit goal to weaken Russia.  What she said is amazing in its unmasked neocon article of faith:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here , but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

Unfortunately this her statement is not a joke: the video confirms that this crazy neocon believes that nonsense.

Foreign influence issue

The fundamental question is if a vassal state with the government completely dependent on the USA for survival can be consider as a foreign power. Te assertion that Ukraine was an independent actor (aka "foreign power") is highly suspect. Poroshenko government was completely dependent on US, and in no way would do anything without open covert applicable from Washington.  Of course, their personal preferences lied with Clinton, but in no way they can be viewed as initial of Ukraine interference in the US election. That Obama, the State Department and CIA.

It would crazy for Trump to try to eliminated Biden  as his competitor 
because he is the most desirable for him opponent in 2020 elections

In reality Trump behaviour is legitimate  under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act presuming he suspected criminal activity on the part of the Biden in Ukraine (removal of prosecutor who investigated Burisma, which paid Biden money for lobbing via his son Hunter, which for this purposes was made a member of the board and about which Biden boasted himself).  https://arizonadailyindependent.com/2019/09/25/gosar-calls-for-investigation-of-former-vice-president-biden-for-possible-violation-of-foreign-corrupt-practices-act/

WASHINGTON D.C. – On Wednesday, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar called for an investigation into Vice President Biden’s “potential corruption.” After reviewing the transcript of a phone conversation between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelenskyy, Gosar believes a full investigation by Congress and the Department of Justice is warranted.

On September 25, 2019 the President released a transcript of a phone call between the President and the President of Ukraine. According to Gosar, the transcript establishes that the government of Ukraine fired a prosecutor that was investigating Hunter Biden after Vice-President Biden threatened, in his official capacity as Vice President, to withhold official U.S. foreign aid to Ukraine, if and unless the government of Ukraine did not comply with his demands.

It appears, based on former Vice President Biden’s admission captured on video, that he used his official office as Vice President to coerce a foreign nation to take action that would personally financially benefit his son.

This is the definition of a corrupt practice

— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) September 25, 2019


“I have reviewed the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelenskyy and concluded that the evidence of then Vice President Biden’s potential corruption warrants a full investigation by Congress and the Department of Justice,” said Gosar referring to the call that occurred in July 2019. It appears, based on former Vice President Biden’s admission captured on video, that he used his official office as Vice President to coerce a foreign nation to take action that would personally financially benefit the Vice President’s son. This is the definition of a corrupt practice.”

“Under federal law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq. (“FCPA”), a federal government official cannot assist or intervene to influence a foreign official in their official capacity to take an act that is in violation of their domestic duties “in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.” Thus, using his official office, and using the threat of withholding official U.S. foreign aid to Ukraine, it appears Biden influenced a foreign official to stop executing their official duties which consisted of investigating Hunter Biden, in order to benefit his son Hunter Biden,” continued Gosar in a press release. “This would, if proven by the DOJ, constitute a violation of the FCPA. Accordingly, as there is a prima facie case, I am asking the Fraud Section of the DOJ, through the auspices of the Attorney General, to open an investigation of this matter.”

The government of Ukraine, under duress by Vice President Biden, was coerced into firing the prosecutor, thus completing the corrupt act, according to Gosar.

Gosar argues that if proven true, Biden would have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq.

The act was enacted for the purpose of making it unlawful for certain classes of persons and entities to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Specifically, the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA prohibit the willful use of the mails or any means of instrumentality of interstate commerce corruptly in furtherance of any offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any person, while knowing that all or a portion of such money or thing of value will be offered, given or promised, directly or indirectly, to a foreign official to influence the foreign official in his or her official capacity, induce the foreign official to do or omit to do an act in violation of his or her lawful duty, or to secure any improper advantage in order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for or with, or directing business to, any person.

See also https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/opinion/what-hunter-biden-did-was-legal-and-thats-the-problem.html

Col. Lang wrote an excellent post on 'Who "debunked" the Biden conspiracy theories?' . I would like to suggest a companion post on 'Who defines "the national interests of the United States" '.  Is arming Ukraine in the national interests of the USA?

Moreover there is no reason for Trump to derail Biden; he is definitely an  optimal opponent for Trump. If he wanted to eliminate him he is a complete idiot. Which is another weak hypoesthesia, he actually performed well in 2016 proving that can judge the situation pretty well and see weakness in his opponent better than such sophisticated observers like Putin, who say that before election he thought the Trump overplayed his hand.  ;-)

Her assertion that Trump is influenced by Russia  is not supported by facts

Trump administration behaviour toward Russia was extremely hostile. Partially because of Mueller investigation, partially because of crazy neocons  within his administration (Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, all state department officials who testified are an good illustration of the level of infestation fo Trump administration with neocons) .

I would say that it was as hostile as behaviour of Obama administration.  Actually Obama administration never approved the supply of Javelins to Ukraine. Which would be considered by Russia as a very hostile move and have repercussions. Moreover nobody now know where those Javelins (which are effective not only against tanks, but against low flying helicopters too)  can finally land. But Trump did supplied then to Kiev, further antagonizing Russia (which was the intent).

He also tried to block North Stream II pipeline. another very hostile move which could have repercussion for Trump administration, especially in his reclkess Iran policy. It it is a much higher probability that Russia will not stay neutral and will support Iran in the conflict via Caspian sea.

And Trump administration expelled 60 diplomats, seized several buildings in the USA, bullied Russia several times in Syria: killed Russia mercenaries who fought with Syria forces and this fake "diplomat" Pompeo (and the time  head of CIA, who generally should keep his mouth shut) openly boasted about it.

Great Britain influence on 2016 election is undisputable despite attempt to spine it under the carpet.  Steele dossier, spying of Trump tower,  and attempt to entrap members of Trump team are well documented.

Israel influence via Israel lobby is undisputable too (Adelson by and large financed Trump campaign and Trump as in qui pro quo made several beneficial for Israel steps legitimizing the status of Jerusalem as Israel capital, occupation of Holan Heights, despite UN resolutions by the USA, violating by this acts the international law and presenting the USA as a rogue state. 

The cases where the USA Presidents violated the law are so numerous and gross, that such a minor offence as was done by Trump should probably be ignored. For example Bill Clinton, Bush II and Obama can be considered to be war criminals. Obama for his actions in Libya, Syria and Ukraine. The same is true about key members of his administration and John Brennan.

Obama  administration  also spied on Trump campaign under bogus pretext and launched an unconstitutional coup d'état to depose Trump.


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[Mar 01, 2020] Prof. Pamela Karlan did an excellent job of laying out what the impeachment "inquiry" has been all about

Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

There were two major themes in the House impeachment testimony of Prof. Pamela Karlan of Stanford Law School that bear further discussion.

One of these themes is the extension of what I call "State Feminist" and "State Identity Politics" methods beyond academia into U.S. society and legal structures broadly.
The other theme, which goes to what is supposedly the most "urgent" reason to remove Trump, feeds into the Russia narrative -- and this was underlined again in Schiff's Jan. 22 speech.

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States and NATO have been pressing ever-closer to Russia with high-powered weapons systems, something that presidents since George H. W. Bush have said they would not do. President Trump has distinguished himself from both Democrats and Republicans on this question. In his typically-craven style, Schiff said,

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."

Schiff also quoted Prof. Karlan's statement that the Ukrainians are "fighting the Russians so that we don't have to."

Schiff argued that any inquiry into what Joe and Hunter were doing in Ukraine and with Burisma now has to be set aside, and cannot be a part of the impeachment hearings, not only because it is "completely-debunked conspiracy theory," but also because Russia will "weaponize" the results of any such inquiry and deploy it against presidential candidate Joe Biden.

(Obviously we can note once again the crazy irony of the fact that, apparently, being a presidential candidate -- against Trump, that is, though certainly against Bernie Sanders as well -- is an excellent cover for abusing the Vice-President's office, but being President does not confer enough status to ask about this abuse and corruption.)

As Daniel Lazare writes at AntiWar.com:

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."

"Adam Schiff's Very Scary Warmongering Speech," January 24, 2020; originalantiwar.com

*

To further emphasize, Prof. Pamela Karlan did an excellent job of laying out what the impeachment "inquiry" has been all about:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home. This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here, but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide."

The aforementioned point of no return has arrived when one has to try to explain to Democrats and leftists what is wrong with this reactionary crap -- and finding that one cannot do it. For most Democrats, in fact, there is nothing wrong with the content of this statement; what is incredibly shameful is that leftists do know what is wrong here, but they go along (trail along, that is) with the Democrats because no price is too high to pay for getting rid of Trump -- especially when they are not the people paying the price. Once again, the moving line of bullshit.

An added bit of reactionary garbage here is that Democrats and some who at least call themselves "leftists" are hailing Prof. Karlan as a feminist and Identity-Politics hero, because she is a woman and, apparently, bisexual or lesbian or something. I state this last part a bit glibly because one might wonder how this matters. But of course it does matter if you are using Identity Politics to advance both the agenda of trying to get rid of Trump, and at the same time using the impeachment agenda to put the "procedural" methods of Identity Politics on display, in the hope that contempt for and abrogation of due process can become the way things are done in general, just as they have been done in academia since the "Dear Colleagues" (Title IX) letter of 2011.

Prof. Karlan scored a brilliant point with the IdPol Left with her stunning analysis of the difference between a name and a title: "President Trump can name his son Barron, but he cannot make him a baron." To any ordinary working person Karlan simply demonstrated that it doesn't seem to take much to make one a respected genius-scholar at Yale (from which Karlan has her law degree) and Stanford. I'm sure, though, that Prof. Karlan is so smart that she knows that ordinary, deplorable people are in no position to judge what counts as wisdom in elite institutions.

Of the three constitutional scholars who were brought in to make their case for impeaching President Trump (yes, clearly, their case), the other two besides Karlan were white males -- so why people should listen to them, it's hard to know. The other scholar, Jonathan Turley from George Washington University (sniff), testified that, while he is no fan of Trump, did not vote for him, and champions a "socially liberal agenda" (his term), the case for impeachment was very weak.

Prof. Turley characterized the Democratic case against Trump as "pointillism." As a critical instrument, this seems a good deal more powerful than fomenting confusion between names and titles. (My parents named me "Bill," but they weren't expecting your waiter to bring me to you -- or were they?!) Turley argued that the dots in the Democrats' "painting" are too few and too far apart to really create a coherent picture. This had to be a horrible blow to Adam Schiff, who undoubtedly considers himself to be a veritable Courbet of politics, whereas he'd be doing good to duct tape a banana to a wall somewhere. (See Turley's editorial in the Los Angeles Times, Dec. 9, 2019.)

Note, significantly, that Turley repeatedly called for George W. Bush- administration officials to be prosecuted for war crimes, which is another way that he is out of step with the Democratic impeachers, and almost all of the Republican Party too. Prof. Turley didn't stop with the Bush II administration (that is, the Cheney/Bush administration); in a 2013, editorial, titled "Fire Eric Holder," Turley wrote:

For Obama, there has been no better sin eater than Holder. When the president promised CIA employees early in his first term that they would not be investigated for torture, it was the attorney general who shielded officials from prosecution. When the Obama administration decided it would expand secret and warrantless surveillance, it was Holder who justified it. When the president wanted the authority to kill any American he deemed a threat without charge or trial, it was Holder who went public to announce the "kill list" policy.

Last week, the Justice Department confirmed that it was Holder who personally approved the equally abusive search of Fox News correspondent James Rosen's e-mail and phone records in another story involving leaked classified information. In the 2010 application for a secret warrant, the Obama administration named Rosen as "an aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator" to the leaking of classified materials. The Justice Department even investigated Rosen's parents' telephone number, and Holder was there to justify every attack on the news media."

– USA Today, May 29, 2013.

Prof. Turley is far out of step with the neoconservative/neoliberal compact well-represented by the chummy relationship among the Bushes, Clintons, and Obamas (and nowadays Dick Cheney is more likely to be seen on CNN than Fox), in their anti-Trump coalition.

And let's remember, please let's remember, that during the 2016 campaign Trump did a truly great thing in taking Jeb Bush, G. W. Bush, and their horrible family down for lying the United States into war with Iraq. That is the kind of fire -- that is, the CIA and the "intelligence community" -- that Trump has been playing with since he entered the presidential race, and this is the heart of why he has been under very serious attack since Nov. 9, 2016, and why this impeachment nonsense occurred.

Incidentally, what Prof. Turley politely called "pointillism" is, by other names, death by a thousand cuts, or simply throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. While Turley is out of step with the Democratic Party agenda on impeachment, there is a way in which his criticisms of the "impeachment process" were fairly mild.

In the pointillism/duct-tape banana editorial, Turley says that he "encouraged the Democrats to wait and build a more complete case." This has led to his being pilloried by anti-Trumpers, because he is not fully in lockstep. Turley said that the Democrats have to go beyond their "impressionistic case" and build instead a "realistic case":

As it stands now, with so much in the Democrats' case relying on inference, how one views the impeachment is entirely based on one's view of the president. That is the trouble with impressionistic impeachments: They leave too much in the eye of the beholder."

One would think that, with all of the surveillance capabilities that Adam Schiff apparently has access to, he would have been all set to go photorealist on Trump. That Schiff isn't even remotely a David Hockney of politics tells us two things about the Democratic agenda on impeachment:

that, apparently, they don't really have the goods on Trump (as Turley said, "This would be the first presidential impeachment to go forward with no credible (or at least uncontested) crime at its heart" ); none of this is about removing Trump from office, it is about doing as much damage to Trump as can be done on the way to November 2020. Certainly, neither of these things is any kind of revelation.

What could really be said, though, is that the system has now made a qualitative shift, toward openly declaring feelings, impressions, and unsubstantiated third-hand accounts from interested and shadowy parties, as even more of a substantive basis for important legal findings than what we used to call "evidence."

Donald (and Melania, one assumes) named their kid "Barron," clearly a sign that Trump considers himself a king or emperor figure. Who knows, maybe he does think of himself that way -- though most royal figures are not even remotely as good at connecting with ordinary people through humor as Trump is; then again, neither are most regular comedians these days, infected with TDS as they are.

But this Title IX-style theater of power cannot be what is really going on, not any more than Bill Clinton was impeached for having been orally-serviced in the Oval Office and then "lying about it." For the moment I will leave this scene with the observation that it really does seem like so much regarding the Trump phenomena comes down to whether it is really the case that there is something like the Deep State, with the CIA at its core, with an effective hold on how power operates throughout the system.

*

Lastly, on Identity Politics/Title IX-style power-plays: Okay, I felt bad about the "bisexual or lesbian or whatever" remark; it may be fair in the way I am using it, but it wasn't nice to my lesbian friends, especially. Apparently Karlan's self-description is "snarky bisexual," as reported with great excitement at pinknews.co.uk on Dec. 5 .

They lauded her as having "stole[n] the show at Donald Trump's impeachment hearing with her scathing and quick-witted put-downs." There is no end of women of actual brilliant accomplishments, and I'm sure many of them are lesbian or otherwise non-binary. Some of them are even brilliant legal scholars.

We do nothing but take away from these women (and, yes, men too, a few of whom occasionally do something worthwhile as well) when the Identity Politics path to power and fame is allowed to displace the hard work and creativity that actually makes a contribution to humanity.

[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Karl Malden's Nose , 7 minutes ago link

I didn't know Illinois was part of the deep south. "You backin' them Russians there, boy?"

BigSpruce , 21 minutes ago link

Hes definitely a shooter..but just not that sharp

Shesquirts , 26 minutes ago link

I give the guy credit for being very honest, but damn you dumb as ****.

BigSpruce , 31 minutes ago link

Gives new meaning to the line " As Seen On TV"

[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 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] 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] 'This Lady Needs A Shrink!' Tucker Mocks Prof Karlan's Unhinged Impeachment Testimony

Dec 05, 2019 | www.infowars.com

The Democrats' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday was a dumpster fire.

As Tucker Carlson highlighted on his show Wednesday night, the star of the hearing was Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, who likes to describe herself as a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish" woman :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1jGd0MCOCnY

Carlson mocked her testimony and found some old footage of her pushing the lie of "white male privilege" all the way back in 2006.

"We have to seize back the high ground on patriotism and love of our country because we have more reason than they do to love America," Karlan says in the clip. "The rich, pampered prodigal sanctimonious incurious white, straight sons of the powerful do pretty well everywhere in the world and they always have."

"This lady needs a shrink," Carlson joked. "'The sons of the powerful?' Really? You are a law professor at Stanford and you are lecturing other people how they are powerful? Right."

During her testimony, Karlan also regurgitated old neocon talking points insisting we need to arm the Ukrainians "so we can fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here."

me title=

Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley, who's spent decades studying presidential powers as an academic and legal commentator, said the ongoing impeachment process against President Trump is "woefully inadequate" and would be the first impeachment in history with no established crime. By the way, save money while improving your daily life by ordering the Change Your Life Trifecta Pack during our Cyber Week sales!

"And I think in the Intelligence Committee you heard testimony that it isn't just our national interest in protecting our national elections, it isn't just our national interest to make sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front lines so we can fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here," Karlan said.

Karlan also made a very stupid joke about Barron Trump, got scolded by Melania Trump and chose to come out and apologize:

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me title=

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Karlan was reportedly on Hillary Clinton's list for a potential Supreme Court nomination

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At one point, she even appeared to blame Trump for ruining her thanksgiving:

me title=

Another unearthed video of Karlan showed her saying how she "had to cross the street" when walking by Trump Hotel is Washington DC.

me title=

[Dec 10, 2019] Gutfeld: Impeachment is one big, fat prank being played on you and me - YouTube

The idea that Trump wanted to derail Biden is very weak. Biden is optimal opponent for Trump. He can just wipe floor with him because of his long recoprd in Congress and dirty deals he was involved, including Burisma.
Notable quotes:
"... It's funny because 3 out of 4 of those people screaming "Framers" had frames on.. so is it the framed trying to frame the framers or is it the presidents framers framing the framed..wait a minute!.. uhhmm ..."
"... Professor Karlan I believe has tanked her career ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

The Democrats have orchestrated a phony show trial using your tax dollars and my cable channel.


Harry Ross , 23 hours ago

"Pelosi is like an incoming asteroid." No, that would be her dentures flying across the room when the tequila melts her Polident.

Shaz Dave , 18 hours ago

The take on Schiff is brilliant. He really looks like him

Laura Huston , 13 hours ago

"I see guilty people" Spit out my drink when I heard that the first time.

jim ramsey , 1 day ago

Armageddon on the hill. The four horseman from academia just diminished their institutions reputation. Intellectual equity should not engage in bias.

da don , 21 hours ago

It's funny because 3 out of 4 of those people screaming "Framers" had frames on.. so is it the framed trying to frame the framers or is it the presidents framers framing the framed..wait a minute!.. uhhmm

soylentdean , 1 day ago

The NATO leaders reminded me of feminists who want to be treated as equals, then get mad when you ask then to pick up their share of the dinner check.

little girl lost , 1 day ago

Professor Karlan I believe has tanked her career

Maina Fridman , 18 hours ago

Pamela Karlan looks as what she is- an educated fool!

[Dec 08, 2019] The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

Notable quotes:
"... For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine. ..."
"... But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest? ..."
"... And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest: ..."
"... To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense. ..."
"... It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts. ..."
"... In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities. ..."
"... The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan... ..."
"... I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp. ..."
"... Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution. ..."
"... Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told. ..."
"... Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level. ..."
"... The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet.. ..."
"... The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc. ..."
"... The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed ..."
"... BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already) ..."
"... Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success. ..."
"... Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. ..."
"... This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN. ..."
"... So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction. ..."
"... After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on. ..."
"... It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.) ..."
"... Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative. ..."
"... I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what? ..."
"... Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda. ..."
"... You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them. ..."
"... IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now. ..."
"... it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot! ..."
"... It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense. ..."
"... As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism. ..."
Dec 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During yesterday's impeachment hearing at the House House Judiciary Committee one of the Democrats' witnesses made some rather crazy statements. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, first proved to have bought into neo-conservative delusions about the U.S. role in the world:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' as Mr. Jefferies said, but it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home.

As people in Bolivia and elsewhere can attest the United States does not promote democracy. It promotes rightwing regimes and rogue capitalism. The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:

Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks on the Ukraine and Russia:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here , but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

That was not an joke. From the video it certainly seems that the woman believes that nonsense.

For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.

But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"? Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for? How would that be in Russia's interest?

One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?

And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest:

[U.S. special envoy to Ukraine] Volker started his job at the State Department in 2017 in an unusual part-time arrangement that allowed him to continue consulting at BGR, a powerful lobbying firm that represents Ukraine and the U.S.-based defense firm Raytheon. During his tenure, Volker advocated for the United States to send Raytheon-manufactured antitank Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- a decision that made Raytheon millions of dollars.

The missiles are useless in the conflict . They are kept near the western border of Ukraine under U.S. control. The U.S. fears that Russia would hit back elsewhere should the Javelin reach the frontline in the east and get used against the east-Ukrainians. That Trump shortly held back on some of the money that would have allowed the Ukrainians to buy more of those missiles thus surely made no difference.

To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense.

It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts.

The Democrats are doing themselves no favor by producing delusional and partisan witnesses who repeat Reaganesque claptrap. They only prove that the whole affair is just an unserious show trial.

In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities.

Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?

Posted by b on December 5, 2019 at 15:40 UTC | Permalink


Mischi , Dec 5 2019 15:45 utc | 1

next page " never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.
bevin , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 2
This is the woman that Common Dreams describes as a leading legal scholar. And maybe she is, it would certainly help explain the current state of the US Judiciary and the legal system, which reflects internally the utter contempt for law and custom which characterises US behaviour in international affairs.
DG , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 3
The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan...
Duncan Idaho , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 4
History is not a strong point for the Dims., as it conflicts with ideology. The Repugs just loot and plunder, with little regard for history.
oldhippie , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 5
There is a large cohort of Americans who believe every word the professor spoke. Whatever you and I may think about it the professor's view of the world is normative for the educated class in America.
rednest , Dec 5 2019 16:02 utc | 6
Regarding those food stamps, it is actually just a small rule change lowering the unemployment rate to 6% (from 10%) above which a state can waive the existing work requirement for single, non-disabled recipients aged 18-49. States can still also waive it if they deem that job availability is low.
Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7
Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor karlan may affirm: "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary. Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

Budapest has signaled that it will not support Ukraine's bid to join NATO until Kiev reverses a law that places language restrictions on ethnic Hungarians and other minorities living in the country.

Legislation that limits the use of Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, and other minority languages in Ukraine must be repealed before Hungary backs Ukraine's NATO membership, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

"We ask for no extra rights to Hungarians in Transcarpathia, only those rights they had before," Szijjarto told Hungarian state media at a NATO summit in London. He alleged that 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the region have been "seriously violated" by Ukraine.[.]

In February, Ukraine's parliament ratified amendments to the constitution which made NATO membership a key foreign policy objective. However, a number of hurdles still remain before its membership is likely to be seriously considered. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicted in 2016 that it would be 20-25 years before Ukraine would be able to join NATO and the EU.

Tick Tock , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 8
I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp.

Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 9
Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told.

People must free themselves of partisan affiliations that are just levers used to manipulate them.

The establishment uses Democracy Works! propaganda to give you a false sense of power and security. But the people are an afterthought in US/Western politics. The politicians and their Parties work for the money. Much of that money comes from AIPAC, MIC, and other EMPIRE FIRST organizations that are leading us to WAR.

Lazy Americans must get off the couch and form protest Movements. Movements that the establishment works hard to prevent. This is what it takes: France Paralyzed By Largest General Strike In Decades .

It's messy and inconvenient but power only responds to power.

The stoopid cult-thinking must stop. This is where it leads: Buffalo Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Cover-Up . Why do people cling to a corrupt Catholic Church? It's NOT just a few bad apples!! The pedophilia and cover-ups have been worldwide and reach into the highest levels of the Church.

This Buffalo Bishop, like dozens of other Bishops in the last decades, lied to cover for pedophiles and then used the power of his position to remain in his position. His wasn't for the children or any higher morality but for himself. He will get a nice, peaceful retirement - paid for by the deluded Catholic flock.

!!

vk , Dec 5 2019 16:19 utc | 10
In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it.

The reason for that if very simple: the Democrats agree with Trump on this.It's the same question many ask when studying Roman History for the first time: where were the legions when the Goths invaded? The answer is that the Goths were the legions, there was no invasion.

The same logic applies to the Right-Left political spectrum in modern Western Democracies. "Where are the lefties?" is the modern question the first worlders ask themselves since 2008.

--//--

As for the Pamela Karlan thing, it's an issue I've been commenting on here for some time now, so I won't repeat everything.

I'll just say again that imbecilization is a completely normal historical phenomenon in declining empires: the earlier example we have is the Christianization of the Roman Empire after Marcus Aurelius' death. The rise of Christianity was the messenger of the Crisis of the Third Century, the historic episode which ended the Roman Empire by giving birth to its demented form after the Diocletian Reforms.

Empires tend to have a very plastic conception of truth, that is, they believe they can fabricate reality for the simple reason they are geopolitically dominant.

It's easy to visualize this. The greatest philosopher of the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th Century was a German, not a British. While Hegel wrote his proto-revolutionary works which would pave the way to Karl Marx, in UK we had the likes of Mackinder and Mahan dominating British philosophical thinking. And even then they weren't the dominant intellectual figures: the UK was the land of accountants and economists, not philosophers. The reason for this is that neither Hegel nor Marx had any ships to do gunboat diplomacy in Asia, as the British did.

Empires tend to think and rationalize the world in a much more plastic/practical way than the periphery. As the old saying goes: the stronger side doesn't need to think before it acts.

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11
"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

Bill H , Dec 5 2019 16:32 utc | 12
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it."

Bill Clinton took millions off of welfare support and was applauded for it.

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:37 utc | 13
Scroll down the page @ Steven Cheung {VID} on Twitter to watch this exchange where the RATS are told they are the ones who have abused power. Professor Jonathan Turley, a lawyer's go-to-Constitutional Expert:

"The Record does not establish corruption in this case - no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, no abuse of power."

Trump should include Prof. Turley on his legal team. The RATS have not thought this through to what will unfold in the Senate. A real court trial; No hearsay and no! no! no! "I was made aware" And the Bidens, Schiff, and Pelosi under cross-examination. And the Whistleblower!!!

Year 2025 it is.

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14
I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.
Vonu , Dec 5 2019 16:40 utc | 15
Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level.
Chevrus , Dec 5 2019 16:47 utc | 16
To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

This predates 2003 and stems from the red menace days when it was the communist legions would behave like a set of dominoes and eventually we (USA) would be fighting them in the streets of New York etc. Thus it was imperative that they defeat the commies in French Indo-China despite the fact that they could easily have simply bought the nation by supporting Uncle Ho who had been working for the OSS during WW2. But no, they had to win brownie points with the French by bankrolling their effort to retake the nation and when that didn't work a little "false flag" event employed to keep the ball rolling. I use quotations because while being false, the Tonkin Gulf event wasn't much of a flag.....

At any rate the fact that both Demublicans AND Republocrats are falling back on such antiquated rhetoric is bitterly laughable! It can also be seen as an indicator of just how dumbed down the USAn populace has become. As noted above article, how could anyone think that the RF would plan much less attempt an attack on the continental US?! A closer look at recent history has the US and it's poodles surrounding the RF with missile bases, sanctioning and embargoing the fhaak out it, and generally trying to destroy the nation as a whole with whatever clandestine methods are available. But hey, take a page from the book of Cheney: deny everything and make counter accusations.....

james , Dec 5 2019 16:52 utc | 17
thanks b... propaganda is the usa's education... see your breakdown of the nyt articles... most people don't get this...

The military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet..

james , Dec 5 2019 16:55 utc | 18
wikipedia on pamela karlan.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_S._Karlan

"Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10] She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter when he retired in 2009.[11]

Personal life

Karlan told Politico in 2009, "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd".[12] She has described herself as an example of a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish women".[13] Her partner is writer Viola Canales.[14]

she is not an American women apparently.. she is a Jewish women.. oh well, lol...

Perimetr , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 19
The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc.

Believe me, even here in the red states, you won't find a hell of a lot of faculty members at large universities who are Trump supporters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

Lorenz , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20

What I find absent in most discussions about impeachment of Trump is the 800 pound gorilla - what will happen to the US if against all odds, Trump gets impeached. Could the US survive that cataclysmic event or would it rip the empire apart? What contingency plans does everybody make for that unlikely, but not impossible singularity?
Dave , Dec 5 2019 17:00 utc | 21
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities."

That's why it's called bread and circus. The loot and pillage party's two separate funding arms get their funding and privilege from the same sociopath/psychopaths who operate the mass murder for profit economy we now live in.

They will continue the slaughter until the enforcers within society finally understand they work for criminally insane cultists who will never have enough money, power, and prestige.

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:02 utc | 22
I see that distrust to everything that is good and decent is extended to law professors. Stanford is a short (if sometimes slow) ride from Berkeley that has a more famous professor in its own law school (Wiki):[you know

John Choon Yoo (born July 10, 1967)[4] is a Korean-American attorney, law professor, former government official, and author. Yoo is currently the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.[1] Previously, he served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the Department of Justice, during the George W. Bush administration.

He is best known for his opinions concerning the Geneva Conventions that attempted to legitimize the Bush administration's War on Terror. He also authored the so-called Torture Memos, which provided a legal rationale for so-called [you know what] =====

First, they torture logic... The ignorants who could not tell tollens from a toilet brush would not even know what to twist, hence the need for professors.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 23
@ b who wrote

"The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:"

My only quibble with another great post is the assertion that the US is functional. Functional would mean it had supportive infrastructure but instead we have homeless shitting in the street because they are driven out of the parks to do so and they must be bad people that don't deserve public toilets.

Functional would mean, as Jackrabbit linked to above, and a I i did a few hours ago in the Weekly Open Thread, that there wouldn't be 117 sexually abusive Catholic priests in the Buffalo NY area doing the same thing as Epstein was doing to his clients.

Functional would mean we would not have the blatant hypocrisy Chervus quoted from the posting above

"To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

I agree with Chervus that this is same BS that got us the Iron Curtain with Russia after WWII because they wanted Godless communism instead of global private finance. And also, as I ranted recently in the Open Thread, this gave us the 1950's change to the US Motto to In God We Trust which gets back to the control of the obfuscatory/hypocrisy narrative telling us that the private finance cult are doing God's work and that "competition is good/sharing is bad"

The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 24
Ha! More connections to Stanford: "Ancient Logic: Forerunners of Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like spending 5% of GDP on the military, switching to more expensive energy sources, cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already)

Ant. , Dec 5 2019 17:17 utc | 25
I think it's tragic that that creatures like Karlan are not simply seen as the blatant bigots and Nazi's that they are. You have to be wearing a large set of blinkers not to be able to see that.

Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes). I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success.

The biggest tragedy is that Americans seem to think that the only way to succeed is to tear down any other country that isn't essentially a puppet government, necessarily defining them as 'enemies', and therefore someone/thing that must be hated and destroyed, by any means, fair or foul.

Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. Unless, of course, a quarter of your government tax income is dedicated to supporting an amazingly corrupt Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 17:27 utc | 26
Trump supporters approve of cutting food stamps. The majority of Democratic Party politicians approve of cutting food stamps. Both parties agree times are good and the future is rosy. The only thing they disagree on is foreign policy. The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,) refuses to play by the rules on foreign policy. And he is not justified by success, not in any terms, not in making peace, not in winning, not in anything. The only people who are upset about impeaching Trump are Trump lovers and cranks who think being president is like being elected God and no one but sinners can defy Him.

The Trump supporters were going to turn out for him anyway, barring an economic crisis even they couldn't ignore. Impeachment has no downside so long as it is from the right, and doesn't rile up the rich people. Except the rich donors are leaving the Democratic Party anyway. The strategy for a nicey-nice campaign that leaves enough Trump voters soothed enough to sit it out has one enormous defect: Trump was not elected by the people anyhow.

But the Democratic Party politicians are anti-Communist, which means pro-Fascist, so yes, they do see this as (im)moral principles to die for, though they hope to politically kill for it. Their problem is, Trump is also anti-Communist and pro-Fascist, which everyone knows, which means Trump was merely his office for campaigning. That may be hypocritical and a violation of campaign laws. But in the eyes even of the anti-Communist/pro-Fascist population missiles for Ukrainian fascists with strings or without strings is merely a tactical disagreement. Even worse, the president breaking laws is perceived as strong leadership, smashing the machine, getting rid of those awful politicians and their oppressive government.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:37 utc | 27
This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN.

I don't know why anyone would expect anything different. All system schooling at whatever level boils down to the same two goals:

  1. Instill the basic literacy necessary for a given cog position within the hierarchy.
  2. Instill obedience to authority, including indoctrination into its ideology.

From kindergarten to grad school these are the same; whether one's being trained to pump gas or to assume a high position in the corporate world/government/academia these are the same.

So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction.

That's the American system.

mrr52 , Dec 5 2019 17:42 utc | 28
"One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?"

I assume this question was meant rhetorically. After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on.

For a related, institutionalized, revolting example packaging multiple instances of such delusional thought, see "russias-dead-end-diplomacy-syria" . Have a pail nearby to catch the spew.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:46 utc | 29
steven t johnson 26

"The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,)"

I don't think you ever answered when I asked you last time: Are you saying you think Hillary was so stupid she didn't know about the electoral college, and that it was electoral votes she had to fight for, not popular ones? Because if you're not saying that, then nothing is changed: Trump beat Hillary in the electoral fight they were both trying to win. It's pure nonsense to babble about "technicalities".

And if any significant Democrat faction was saying throughout 2016, and not just after the election, that the election should NOT be about electoral votes, please direct me to where and when they were saying that, because I don't recall ever hearing it. And I think the reason I never heard it was because the Dems were so smugly sure of electoral college victory. And if Hillary had won, we never would've heard a word from you or anyone else about the electoral college.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 17:47 utc | 30
Piotr Berman @24:
it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong while wrecking its economy
It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.)

Why would anyone invest in Ukraine? Sometimes I think Putin was happy for the Western coup to succeed and simply planned to keep the best parts.

!!

casey , Dec 5 2019 17:48 utc | 31
But do they really believe what they (the mid-level elites) say or is it all some kind of theater of the increasingly absurd? I am never clear on who among the narrative managers is sincere and who is simply acting sincere. Are people like this woman or the Bellingcat narrative managers or any of their numerous colleagues in their mid-level narrative management positions occupying their positions simply due to their acting abilities? They seem to be both delusional and ill-informed. When these people get together at their conferences and dinner parties, does the mask come off?
juannie , Dec 5 2019 17:49 utc | 32
Mischi #1
never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

Or as I think it was Einstein that reportedly said: (I paraphrase from memory)

To truly understand the infinite, just contemplate human stupidity.
vk , Dec 5 2019 18:02 utc | 33
Related news (on the subject of "American delusion"):

NATO Is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World. -- Europe without American protection is a continental disaster waiting to happen.

Well, mr. Stephens kind of tells the truth on the headline. But at least he could be more polite.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 18:03 utc | 34
casey @31: When these people get together ... does the mask come off?

I doubt it. They have convinced themselves that they are right and/or are following the wishes of people who are right-thinking. In USA, most people are brainwashed to assume that people with lots of money are right-thinking (as in: they must be doing something right!).

Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

!!

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36
Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
karlof1 , Dec 5 2019 18:31 utc | 38
Upton Sinclair self-published a book in 1922 about education in America entitled Goose Step . Predating the infamous era of the Nazi/Fascist Goose Stepping thugs then armies, I read a preview and found an inexpensive copy. The subject as might be assumed was about the use of school systems to indoctrinate young Americans at all educational levels and nationwide to conform to the views of the rather few wealthy people who sat on interlocking boards that controlled curriculum--sort of like the oligarchic control over media today.

And as we've seen with the study of political-economy, the ability to erase rather recent developments and personages and inserting false doctrines and their priests was done rather easily and with little noted protest. And so it's gone on down through the decades until today--just look at the War Criminals hired by Stanford and other universities for proof of its being an ongoing problem.

That ideological blinders are omnipresent is easily proven by the various defense planning documents referenced here over the last several years, all of which relate to the unilateral, might makes right mindset that's one of the Evil Outlaw US Empire's longstanding traits that predates the 20th Century. Too many will never learn humility and the reality accompanying it until it's enforced. But there's a wiser group residing within the Empire, some of us present at this bar ready to deal with the mess once humpty-dumpty falls from its perch upon which it's currently tottering.

Beibdnn , Dec 5 2019 18:40 utc | 42
I just looked up Pamala Karlan. Apparently there is a story that when she was a baby she was so ugly her parents had to put shutters on her pram. She claims to have a partner? There's no accounting for taste I suppose but even for a U.S. citizen there must be a red line. Somewhere? someone! As to her intellectual prowess, in my limited understanding, intellect depends on the platform it rests upon. Put a Jaguar engine into a Mobility scooter and see how well that performs. Plenty of power but no means of utilising it. Logical mechanisms such as law require as little emotion as possible. People like her just bring the demise of a great nation into action sooner rather than later. I suppose we should be grateful such fools consider Russia an adversary, it's makes predicting what comes next much more clear and succinct action can be instigated. Professor Pamela Karlan. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
james , Dec 5 2019 18:58 utc | 44
@29 russ...steven is making himself look like a fool regularly with that crap.. oh well..

@36 really? yes, indeed.. same faulty logic one would expect from a stanford law prof.. as @22 piotr rightly notes - john yoo, the freak who could make torture in abu graib okay is another one cut from the very same cloth..

i see one of Pamela Karlans comments got the ire of melania trump.. article here..

"The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can't MAKE him a baron." Pamela S. Karlan

"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it." -- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019

Karlan apologized for her remark as the hearing continued late Wednesday. "It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it."

nwwoods , Dec 5 2019 19:19 utc | 45
Universally accepted fact among the devoted is that "America is fighting Russia in the Ukraine", though there are exactly zero confirmed reports of Russian troops in the region in the past five years.
Joost , Dec 5 2019 19:22 utc | 46
Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative.

I remember one student dorm in particular. Someone came in and decided it was too warm. Put the central heating thermostat on "arctic winter", opened all doors and windows while it was freezing outside. Then someone else came in and decided it was cold, closed all doors and windows, put the thermostat on "incinerate". Repeat 24/7. The few times I tried to explain how a thermostat works, I felt like being rubbed out of existence. Only one guy understood that you set a room thermostat at a comfortable level and it would regulate to desired temperature. He was an alcoholic, always stoned up to his eyeballs, not a student except for the 3 or 4 studies he briefly tried and failed, and had given up on life in general. He was also the only one there who questioned things.

!!

Yevgeny , Dec 5 2019 19:36 utc | 51
Why assume that democracy was not always a trick? Pax Romana anyone?

Also there are some pretty nasty comments on here about the confused professor that say a whole lot more about the hangups of the poster.

Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 19:39 utc | 52
I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what?

--------- The food stamp program changes will kill people. As intended. One of the most affected groups will be people who are too sick or otherwise too impaired to work, and maybe unable to even leave their home, but still can't get social support. The system says there is no problem because desperate people can get a free meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the other 363 days a year, go find a dumpster to dive in.

Almost all Social Security Disability applicants are denied on the initial application. There are no interim payments or support of any kind. Many give up, as intended. The rest file appeals and wait years for a hearing before an "administrative law judge", who is not a "real" judge, but just some lawyer with fancy title.

ALJ decisions tend to be rather arbitrary, so a favorable decision depends on which ALJ hears a case. Sure there are more levels to appeal, and many more years of no social support, if an applicant can find a way to survive for years on zero income, all the while being sick with probably no medical care.

Social Security and disability lawyers have colluded to keep lawyers in business. Social Security requires the use of a standard contract that gives the lawyer a fixed percentage of the retroactive benefits. "Retroactive benefits" are the regular monthly benefits that accrue from the officially determined "date of disability". So if it takes three years to get benefits, the lawyer gets a nice chunk of change for a few hours work writing a brief and showing up for the hearing.

The lawyer who signed my contract did nothing to help my case, and he even hired someone else to write the brief and attend the hearing. One wonders if ALJs get some benefit from lawyers to encourage long wait times, since long wait times increase lawyer profits at zero cost.

The US system really is that cruel and barbaric. It would be kinder to take us out back and shoot us, but that's too obvious. Much better to let people die slowly in the shadows so the rest of society doesn't have to see us.

And I'm one of the fortunates who managed to hang on, despite bankruptcy, a civil suit, the disability benefits process (only took six years), and state attempts to revoke Medicaid, all at the same time. I know it sounds melodramatic, made up, or at least exaggerated. That's understandable, because it seems that way to me, too!

About 1000 people a week kill themselves in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Does anyone wonder why, or even notice? The reason for many of these deaths is the lack of social supports. In Uncle Sam Land, social apoptosis is a feature, not a bug.

chet380 , Dec 5 2019 20:07 utc | 54
Did anyone really expect the Dems to appoint unbiased legal scholars to advise them on the finer legal points of the Articles of Impeachment?
Kooshy , Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55
This fucking shining city on the hill, is so f*ing shiny that it's flames is burning the world.
steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:11 utc | 56
Russ@29 forgot the comments where I've reviewed exactly how everybody rejected the Electoral College, holding legitimacy came from winning the real election. Until Gore, every time the EC violated the expectation that it was a technical way of recording the popular vote, there was justified outrage. Bush's camp in 2000 had plans to contest an EC loss, until that shoe turned out to be on the other foot. If Trump had won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, he would no more accept the results. Only liars take refuge in the simplistic legalisms. And only Trump ass-lickers are so contemptible as to pretend Trump was the stable genius who outplayed Clinton in the real game. Trump had no more idea how to win the EC without winning the popular vote than anyone else. Further, by the witless pretended principles of Russ' ilk, a presidential candidate who managed to win faithless electors who ignored even their own states' pluralities* would still be the legitimate president! Every single defender of Trump the one legitimate president is witless and worthless.

But very likely the real objection to the response is the insistence that Trump isn't magically guaranteed re-election because...well, the real reason is slavish devotion to a God named Trump. Even with the advantage of incumbency this time around, with even more support from the wealthy (the people who have really turned away from the Democratic Party to favor political gangsterism,) Trump is likely to lose the election again. If I were in Congress I would offer a compromise, where the Republicans were assured Trump would not be investigated any more, much less impeached, for abolition of the Electoral College. But I think Trump would say no, because he knows deep down he's a loser.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:13 utc | 57
*US politicians rarely win majorities of the electorate. Politicians of all stripes have agreed that non-voting is always to be deemed as "Satisfied" with either choice instead of "Alienated, with no choice." Decent people suspect otherwise.
goldhoarder , Dec 5 2019 20:23 utc | 58
@38 Karloff1 You can still Read the late John Taylor Gatto's The Underground History of American Education online. He did a great job highlighting the history and purpose of copying the Prussian style of education to replace the one room school houses and instill the "martial spirit" in the American public. I have to hand it to the Oligarchs of old too. They were very effective in their implementation.

[malformed/wrong link deleted - b.]

nietzsche1510 , Dec 5 2019 20:31 utc | 60
Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities. They are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda.
Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 20:39 utc | 61
I knew that name sounded familiar...
John Taylor Gatto, former New York City and New York State teacher of the year, stated:

The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders; and John Holt concluded, School is a place where children learn to be stupid . . . Children come to school curious; within a few years most of that curiosity is dead, or at least silent.

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

Jen , Dec 5 2019 21:15 utc | 66
I recall when I was a student at the University of Technology, Sydney, way back in the Mesozoic era (1980s), the economics dept there had a lecturer there with a Harvard University background so the staff made him head of the department. Just because he had a Harvard University PhD. He was hardly a great administrator and the subjects he taught (compared with other lecturers' subjects) were much less structured. Of course this meant the courses he taught were easier on students' time and energy, though if you made use of the opportunity a less structured course gave, you could turn in an end-of-term essay with impressive research equivalent to the level required of a post-grad.

The university also had an exchange program with the University of Oregon, and most of the Oregon students who came to UTS (usually in their second or third year) found the UTS coursework very heavy-going and difficult.

In those days, UTS was only supposed to be a second-tier university in Australia.

ac , Dec 5 2019 21:34 utc | 68
This hearing is a theatre performance (kabuki -- hey, I learned a new word, thanks) and PK's lines are an invocation of the official US myth (the shinning city on the hill, the exceptional, indispensible nation). No one in the room took that seriously or literally (especially PK herself) and IMHO these national myths are not really anything to freak out about - every nation has got its myth, and this is an arrogant one, but compared to a few others it's almost likeable.

Of course it is at odds with historical records and the reality, but all of them are, because, frankly, the truth, being descendants of genocidal, religious nutters and slavers, is apparently very motivational -- in the KSA...

The RU/UK lines are slightly more worrisome, but that's just a matching background for her story - the fluff. She doesn't have to belive it - it's just a performance, an elegant one but meaningless in the end.

A lot of the visitors comment about the deep state, most of the time mentioning three letter agencies. Here comes a piece about a four letters one, acting more or less in the plain sight: OIRA, E.O. 12866

A group of virtually anonymous, unaccountable people wields quite considerable power over both legislative and executive. A very interesting construction...

information_agent , Dec 5 2019 22:08 utc | 70
Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 5 2019 21:03 utc | 65

You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them.

And Goldhoarder, while you may not mind how your posts look, you've managed to damage this comment thread and until b deletes your poorly structured post, we all suffer for it.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 22:31 utc | 71
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 21:51 utc | 72 who seems to disagree with my concept "dysfunctional on purpose" and wants to use decadence instead and wrote: " Surely there must be some functionality to be able to keep the masses dumbed down/brainwashed; it implies some sort of thought out strategy. How do we get the same narrative trotted out in media in exactly the same format from LA to Warsaw, from Lima to Bangalore if it's all so dysfunctional? "

I posit that strategy of "dysfunctional on purpose" is control of the narrative and language and it is purposefully used.

Consider the current seeming understanding of the terms, socialism and capitalism by many of your fellow barflies. Many of our fellow barflies would have one believe that China is socialist and the West is capitalist...exclusively. I and a few others keep trying to point out that both China and the West are, to varying degrees mixed economies, including aspects of both socialism and capitalism

Consider the implicit definition of government if you will. Is government, as compared to dictatorships, not explicitly socialistic? Are not the provision of water, sewage treatment and in many case electricity explicitly socialistic by definition? Is it not dumbing down and brainwashing that many don't understand reality but spout the words and concepts they are fed by those in control of the narrative and media pushing it?

And, not to make too fine a point of it, does all of the West not live under the dictatorship of global private finance at this time? So how much more would I get ignored if I beat that drum as part of my comments here?

Ian2 , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 75
Lorenz | Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20:

IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now.

Also, don't expect the Electoral College to oust Pence after the general election since he's more pro-war; even the electors from Democrat controlled states would support him. IMHO, the US would continue on; business as usual.

However, if the Democrats are crazy enough to follow through, the Republican dominated Senate would reject it. Basically a repeat of what happened to Clinton. In the end, nothing changed.

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 76
James #44

""It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it.""

Ya but . . .as Tucker Carlson spot-on reacted, that comment sure looked as though it had been rehearsed in front of the bathroom mirror. It was sooooo lame!!! I mean, it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot!

It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense.

Never a connection with a child, I'll bet, or she could never have said such a thing. Painful to look at the pinched little face, decent hairdo missing in action, with the rant coming out of the tight little mouth. A pathetic individual.

Ditto Noah Feldman from the Felix Frankfurter Dept of the Harvard Law School: Pure bloviation with skin like a baby's bottom. Better coiffed, actually, than Karlan. Quels types!!!

Jen , Dec 5 2019 23:21 utc | 80
Jackrabbit @ 68:

My comment @ 67 was actually just to highlight the (most undeserved) reputations that places like Harvard and Stanford have among certain faculties in Australian universities. In those days Stanford, Harvard and MIT were the holiest of holy shrines to do business studies / economics degrees. Years later I read a book by someone who actually did do a Stanford MBA and the scales fell from my eyes then. The work was similar to what I'd done as an undergraduate (albeit collapsed in the space of 18 months; I had the luxury of doing part-time and then going full-time as a student).

I should have added that the Harvard PhD guy who taught me comparative economics was a lousy teacher as well as a lousy administrator. I visited his office once and it looked as if a tornado had just hit it. To be fair though, he really wasn't cut out to be a lecturer, he was much better at research and analysis.

Before he became a lecturer, he worked at the CIA as a researcher. He knew next to no German (he was of Polish background) so he was assigned to the section to read East German newspapers. A fellow he knew who could speak and read German but no Bulgarian was assigned to the ... Bulgarian section. That experience must account for my lecturer's sloppy personal style.

But now that you draw my attention to the link, yes you are right that the study was done at Princeton University.

oldhippie , Dec 6 2019 0:18 utc | 87
@81

Why do you assume a technical illiterate could read those instructions? I can't even begin to do anything with that. It is never simple enough for those who have not been initiated.

HTML works by magic. Your instructions do not convince me otherwise.

Better solution is to forgo links altogether if not competent. Or spell out the link and force the really interested to transcribe. Of course no one is going to go to effort of spelling out a link as long as that one above. Which would be a good thing.

Jen , Dec 6 2019 0:27 utc | 88
She's been gone some time now (she died in April 2018) but Karen Dawisha , a so-called expert on Russian and post-Soviet politics who obtained a higher degree at the London School of Economics, was another deluded academic twat who wrote the book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?"

The 1-star, 2-star and 3-star reviews on Amazon.com of the book refer to the tabloid quality of many of the claims in the book, poor sourcing, cherry-picking of facts and the author's inability to write at a level that would attract a readership outside the academic community.

The least we can say for her is that she is no longer in a position to, erm, "advise" the US and UK governments on issues and help formulate policy that would backfire on Washington and London anyway.

ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 98
As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government." American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games. Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage. You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

Gal , Dec 6 2019 2:19 utc | 99
I'd say unbelievable but I know that is only wishful thinking on my part. What's scary is that these people populate the "educational" system which explains why we're as screwed as we are.

[Dec 08, 2019] Karlan, US neocons and "The Russians Are Coming!" scare

Notable quotes:
"... When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that. ..."
"... Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business. ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Here is a congealing conventional wisdom around sending military assistance to Ukraine that is as absurd as can be, and it cropped up again this morning:

"Fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" was extremely stupid when applied to terrorism. It is much more stupid when applied to Russia, and shows how impoverished the FP thinking of even bright, engaged Americans is. My goodness.

-- Justin Logan (@JustinTLogan) December 4, 2019

It is discouraging to see that one of the dumbest talking points from the Bush era has returned. "Fight them there" was always a silly justification for waging unnecessary wars in other countries, and now it is being repurposed to justify the questionable policy of throwing weapons at a conflict in Europe. When it was used in the context of Bush-era wars, it was an attempt to make what were clearly wars of choice seem as though they were unavoidable. When a government needs to defend a bad policy, it will usually claim that they have no choice but to do what they are doing.

When Bush and his allies used this rhetoric, they were trying to spin a war of aggression as an act of self-defense. Now it is part of an even more ludicrous effort to make supplying weapons and other military assistance to Ukraine seem as if it is vitally important to the U.S. Simply put, this is propaganda, and it isn't even very good propaganda at that.

I have written many times why I think it is a mistake to arm Ukraine. It just encourages escalation at worst and the prolongation of the conflict at best. Until recently, the arguments in favor of doing this have not been very compelling, but at least they weren't quite so mindless. Needless to say, Russia's conflict with Ukraine is a local one, and the U.S. doesn't have much at stake in that conflict. Ukrainians aren't fighting Russia and its proxies on our behalf or to prevent them from attacking someone else, but for the sake of their own country.

If Russia hawks insist on providing Ukraine with weapons and other assistance, they should at least be able to acknowledge that this is a peripheral interest of the United States. Exaggerating the importance of this policy to U.S. security just calls attention to how little it matters to U.S. security.

Obviously, we aren't going to be fighting the Russians "here" no matter what happens in this conflict. These are the sorts of irrational claims that we get after decades of irresponsible threat inflation and mistakenly assuming that every conflict in the world is somehow our business.

[Dec 06, 2019] Fighting Russians of Florida beaches

Dec 06, 2019 | twitter.com

Aaron Maté ‏ 3:47 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Thanks to Pamela Karlan for so aptly capturing Democratic elites' delusional, Reaganite, jingoistic Cold Warrior mindset in your claim that we need to arm Ukraine "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here" & we remain "that shining city on the hill."

[Dec 06, 2019] Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor and a Democrat sound indistinguishable from Bush neocons by Rod Dreher

Notable quotes:
"... We have become the shining city on a hill. We have become the nation that leads the world in understanding what democracy is. And one of the things we understand most profoundly is it’s not a real democracy, it’s not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies. And I think you heard testimony — the Intelligence Committee heard testimony about how it isn’t just our national interest in protecting our own elections. It’s not just our national interest in making sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front line so they fight the Russians there and we don’t have to fight them here, but it’s also our national interest in promoting democracy worldwide. ..."
"... This was not the second coming of the Wolfowitz-Cheney-Bolton brigade. This was Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor and Democrat called by her party to testify in this week’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing. ..."
"... Well sir, I’m old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, “We fight the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Seriously, young folks, look it up online. ..."
"... And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger ..."
"... I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014). ..."
"... I'm halfway cheering for Russia in their conflict with Ukraine. That's Russia's sphere of influence, Ukraine has no business in the EU or in NATO. Any sane American government would be courting Russia in the new Cold War ..."
"... Instead we pulled all of the former European countries in the USSR into our sphere of influence. The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR. ..."
Dec 05, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

In the Year of Our Lord 2019, sixteen years after this nation launched the catastrophic Iraq War, the following words were spoken on Capitol Hill this week:

We have become the shining city on a hill. We have become the nation that leads the world in understanding what democracy is. And one of the things we understand most profoundly is it’s not a real democracy, it’s not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies. And I think you heard testimony — the Intelligence Committee heard testimony about how it isn’t just our national interest in protecting our own elections. It’s not just our national interest in making sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front line so they fight the Russians there and we don’t have to fight them here, but it’s also our national interest in promoting democracy worldwide.

This was not the second coming of the Wolfowitz-Cheney-Bolton brigade. This was Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor and Democrat called by her party to testify in this week’s House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.

Well sir, I’m old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, “We fight the terrorists over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” Seriously, young folks, look it up online.

And I’m old enough to remember these lines from President Bush’s second inaugural address, in 2005:

There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America’s vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation’s security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

That didn’t work out too well for us, for Iraq, or for the Middle East.

And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmongerre a> • 9 hours ago • edited

The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq

On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point).

The same thing will happen here. Lesson learned.

SatirevFlesti 7 hours ago
I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014).

NATO should have been moth-balled c. 1992. Instead it is hell-bent on aggressive expansion and antagonizing Russia, for no reason (other than to line the pockets of corrupt US and other officials, "business-men" i.e. oligarchs, etc.).

GoDawgs912 6 hours ago
I'm halfway cheering for Russia in their conflict with Ukraine. That's Russia's sphere of influence, Ukraine has no business in the EU or in NATO. Any sane American government would be courting Russia in the new Cold War that's obviously coming with The Chinese Communist Party.

Instead we pulled all of the former European countries in the USSR into our sphere of influence. The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR.

[Dec 06, 2019] The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem

Notable quotes:
"... For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Delusions Of The Impeachment Witnesses Point To A Larger Problem Mischi , Dec 5 2019 15:45 utc | 1

During yesterday's impeachment hearing at the House House Judiciary Committee one of the Democrats witnesses made some rather crazy statements. Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor, first proved to adhere to neo-conservative delusions about the U.S. role in the world:

America is not just 'the last best hope,' as Mr. Jefferies said, but it's also the shining city on a hill. We can't be the shining city on a hill and promote democracy around the world if we're not promoting it here at home.

As people in Bolivia and elsewhere can attest the United States does not promote democracy. It promotes rightwing regimes and rogue capitalism. The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:

Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence.

But worse than Karlan's pseudo-patriotic propaganda claptrap were her remarks on the Ukraine and Russia:

This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here , but it's in our national interest to promote democracy worldwide.

That was not an joke. From the video it certainly seems that the woman believes that nonsense.

For one the Ukraine is not fighting "the Russians". The Kiev government is fighting against east-Ukrainians who disagree with the Nazi controlled regime which the U.S. installed after it instigated the unconstitutional Maidan coup. Russia supplies the east-Ukrainians and there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.

But aside from that how can anyone truly believe that the Ukraine "fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"?

Is Russia on the verge of invading the United States? Where? How? And most importantly: What for?

How would that be in Russia's interest?

One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?

And how is it in U.S. interest to give the Ukraine U.S. taxpayer money to buy U.S. weapons? The sole motive behind that idea was greed and corruption , not national interest:

[U.S. special envoy to Ukraine] Volker started his job at the State Department in 2017 in an unusual part-time arrangement that allowed him to continue consulting at BGR, a powerful lobbying firm that represents Ukraine and the U.S.-based defense firm Raytheon. During his tenure, Volker advocated for the United States to send Raytheon-manufactured antitank Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- a decision that made Raytheon millions of dollars.

The missiles are useless in the conflict . They are kept near the western border of Ukraine under U.S. control. The U.S. fears that Russia would hit back elsewhere should the Javelin reach the frontline in the east and get used against the east-Ukrainians. That Trump shortly held back on some of the money that would have allowed the Ukrainians to buy more of those missiles thus surely made no difference.

To claim that it hurt U.S. national interests is nonsense.

It is really no wonder that U.S. foreign policy continuously produces chaos when its practitioners get taught by people like Karlan. In the Middle East as well as elsewhere Russian foreign policy runs circles around U.S. attempts to control the outcome. One reason it can do that is the serious lack of knowledge and realism in U.S. foreign policy thinking. It is itself the outcome of an educational crisis. U.S. 'political science' studies implement a mindset that is unable to objectively recognize the facts and fails to respond to them with realistic concepts.

The Democrats are doing themselves no favor by producing delusional and partisan witnesses who repeat Reaganesque claptrap. They only prove that the whole affair is just an unserious show trial.

In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities.

Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?

Posted by b on December 5, 2019 at 15:40 UTC | Permalink

never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

bevin , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 2

This is the woman that Common Dreams describes as a leading legal scholar.
And maybe she is, it would certainly help explain the current state of the US Judiciary and the legal system, which reflects internally the utter contempt for law and custom which characterises US behaviour in international affairs.
DG , Dec 5 2019 15:56 utc | 3
The same bs argument about "not fighting the Russians here" was used a couple of weeks ago by another witness, Tim Morrison. This shows you that the hysteria is bipartisan...
Duncan Idaho , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 4
History is not a strong point for the Dims., as it conflicts with ideology.
The Repugs just loot and plunder, with little regard for history.
oldhippie , Dec 5 2019 16:00 utc | 5
There is a large cohort of Americans who believe every word the professor spoke. Whatever you and I may think about it the professor's view of the world is normative for the educated class in America.
rednest , Dec 5 2019 16:02 utc | 6
Regarding those food stamps, it is actually just a small rule change lowering the unemployment rate to 6% (from 10%) above which a state can waive the existing work requirement for single, non-disabled recipients aged 18-49. States can still also waive it if they deem that job availability is low.
Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:13 utc | 7
Attributed to Mark Twain. Perhaps the learned professor karlan may affirm:

"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

AND
Ukraine wishing to join NATO: well, not so fast for Hungary.
Hungary says it will block Ukraine from joining NATO over controversial language law

Budapest has signaled that it will not support Ukraine's bid to join NATO until Kiev reverses a law that places language restrictions on ethnic Hungarians and other minorities living in the country.
Legislation that limits the use of Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, and other minority languages in Ukraine must be repealed before Hungary backs Ukraine's NATO membership, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said on Wednesday.

"We ask for no extra rights to Hungarians in Transcarpathia, only those rights they had before," Szijjarto told Hungarian state media at a NATO summit in London. He alleged that 150,000 ethnic Hungarians living in the region have been "seriously violated" by Ukraine.[.]

In February, Ukraine's parliament ratified amendments to the constitution which made NATO membership a key foreign policy objective. However, a number of hurdles still remain before its membership is likely to be seriously considered. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker predicted in 2016 that it would be 20-25 years before Ukraine would be able to join NATO and the EU.


Tick Tock , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 8
I don't believe that the so called "Professor's View" is normative for the educated class of Americans. It is the normative view of the Ivy League pseudoeducated individuals that have been placed in leadership positions in the US Goverment and Politics but they are not EDUCATED in any way. Karlan is almost certainly a Jew. She is without a doubt a whore who will do anything for her John as directed by her pimp. Being a brain dead feminist helps her with that role in life. I had an ex wife who fought me post divorce for 10 years trying to destroy me in any way she could. She finally stopped with the Breast Cancer she had for 7 of those years finally killed her. I see the same psychotic, sociopathic and off scall narcissitic behavior in every one of these women in politics and academics today. So don't think that something will get better without a terminal solution.
Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 16:18 utc | 9
Americans are entranced by the kayfabe (mock combat). Just as in wrestling it is designed to look 'real' but just keeps people engrossed in the action, unable to think of what they are NOT being told.

People must free themselves of partisan affiliations that are just levers used to manipulate them.

The establishment uses Democracy Works! propaganda to give you a false sense of power and security. But the people are an afterthought in US/Western politics. The politicians and their Parties work for the money. Much of that money comes from AIPAC, MIC, and other EMPIRE FIRST organizations that are leading us to WAR.

Lazy Americans must get off the couch and form protest Movements. Movements that the establishment works hard to prevent. This is what it takes: France Paralyzed By Largest General Strike In Decades .

It's messy and inconvenient but power only responds to power.

The stoopid cult-thinking must stop. This is where it leads: Buffalo Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse Cover-Up . Why do people cling to a corrupt Catholic Church? It's NOT just a few bad apples!! The pedophilia and cover-ups have been worldwide and reach into the highest levels of the Church.

This Buffalo Bishop, like dozens of other Bishops in the last decades, lied to cover for pedophiles and then used the power of his position to remain in his position. His wasn't for the children or any higher morality but for himself. He will get a nice, peaceful retirement - paid for by the deluded Catholic flock.

!!

vk , Dec 5 2019 16:19 utc | 10
In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it.

The reason for that if very simple: the Democrats agree with Trump on this.

It's the same question many ask when studying Roman History for the first time: where were the legions when the Goths invaded? The answer is that the Goths were the legions, there was no invasion.

The same logic applies to the Right-Left political spectrum in modern Western Democracies. "Where are the lefties?" is the modern question the first worlders ask themselves since 2008.

--//--

As for the Pamela Karlan thing, it's an issue I've been commenting on here for some time now, so I won't repeat everything.

I'll just say again that imbecilization is a completely normal historical phenomenon in declining empires: the earlier example we have is the Christianization of the Roman Empire after Marcus Aurelius' death. The rise of Christianity was the messenger of the Crisis of the Third Century, the historic episode which ended the Roman Empire by giving birth to its demented form after the Diocletian Reforms.

Empires tend to have a very plastic conception of truth, that is, they believe they can fabricate reality for the simple reason they are geopolitically dominant.

It's easy to visualize this. The greatest philosopher of the end of the 18th Century and beginning of the 19th Century was a German, not a British. While Hegel wrote his proto-revolutionary works which would pave the way to Karl Marx, in UK we had the likes of Mackinder and Mahan dominating British philosophical thinking. And even then they weren't the dominant intellectual figures: the UK was the land of accountants and economists, not philosophers. The reason for this is that neither Hegel nor Marx had any ships to do gunboat diplomacy in Asia, as the British did.

Empires tend to think and rationalize the world in a much more plastic/practical way than the periphery. As the old saying goes: the stronger side doesn't need to think before it acts.

Bart Hansen , Dec 5 2019 16:21 utc | 11
"...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

Is this 2019 or 2003?

Bill H , Dec 5 2019 16:32 utc | 12
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it."

Bill Clinton took millions off of welfare support and was applauded for it.

Likklemore , Dec 5 2019 16:37 utc | 13
Scroll down the page @ Steven Cheung {VID} on Twitter to watch this exchange where the RATS are told they are the ones who have abused power.
Professor Jonathan Turley, a lawyer's go-to-Constitutional Expert:

"The Record does not establish corruption in this case - no bribery, no extortion, no obstruction of justice, no abuse of power."

Trump should include Prof. Turley on his legal team.

The RATS have not thought this through to what will unfold in the Senate. A real court trial; No hearsay and no! no! no! "I was made aware"

And the Bidens, Schiff, and Pelosi under cross-examination. And the Whistleblower!!!

Year 2025 it is.

Mischi , Dec 5 2019 16:39 utc | 14
I used to think that stupid was a characteristic of the American right. It took Donald Trump getting elected to see that stupid knows no political borders. Seriously. I thought that education and progressive thinking also led to a clarity of thought. Boy, was I wrong. The most pro-war people in the USA seem to be Democrats. Bizarro world.
Vonu , Dec 5 2019 16:40 utc | 15
Her delusions are a prerequisite for teaching at an academic level.
Chevrus , Dec 5 2019 16:47 utc | 16
To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

This predates 2003 and stems from the red menace days when it was the communist legions would behave like a set of dominoes and eventually we (USA) would be fighting them in the streets of New York etc. Thus it was imperative that they defeat the commies in French Indo-China despite the fact that they could easily have simply bought the nation by supporting Uncle Ho who had been working for the OSS during WW2. But no, they had to win brownie points with the French by bankrolling their effort to retake the nation and when that didn't work a little "false flag" event employed to keep the ball rolling. I use quotations because while being false, the Tonkin Gulf event wasn't much of a flag.....

At any rate the fact that both Demublicans AND Republocrats are falling back on such antiquated rhetoric is bitterly laughable! It can also be seen as an indicator of just how dumbed down the USAn populace has become. As noted above article, how could anyone think that the RF would plan much less attempt an attack on the continental US?! A closer look at recent history has the US and it's poodles surrounding the RF with missile bases, sanctioning and embargoing the fhaak out it, and generally trying to destroy the nation as a whole with whatever clandestine methods are available. But hey ,take a page from the book of Cheney: deny everything and make counter accusations.....

james , Dec 5 2019 16:52 utc | 17
thanks b... propaganda is the usa's education... see your breakdown of the nyt articles... most people don't get this...

the military industrial complex is in the people of usa's interest.. they think they benefit from the rayatheons, lockheed martins, boeings and etc - as they have relatives working at these places... the usa is one sick puppy, and Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor is just further proof of this... sorry if someone else said what i did, as i didn't read the comments yet..

james , Dec 5 2019 16:55 utc | 18
wikipedia on pamela karlan.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_S._Karlan

"Throughout her career, Karlan has been an advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court.[10] She was mentioned as a potential candidate to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter when he retired in 2009.[11]
Personal life

Karlan told Politico in 2009, "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd".[12] She has described herself as an example of a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish women".[13] Her partner is writer Viola Canales.[14]

she is not an american women apparently.. she is a jewish women.. oh well, lol...

Perimetr , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 19
The fact that the "papers of record" have become mouthpieces for the CIA/deep state has played a huge role in the brainwashing of academia and the rise of neoliberalism. The false narratives these "trusted sources" of information have been serving up create a very real Matrix, a false reality that is ingrained into those who rely upon them for their daily "news". Karlan is merely repeating what she accepts as truth, garnered from the NY Times and Wash Post, CNN, NPR, etc.

Believe me, even here in the red states, you won't find a hell of a lot of faculty members at large universities who are Trump supporters.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

Lorenz , Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20
What I find absent in most discussions about impeachment of Trump is the 800 pound gorilla - what will happen to the US if against all odds, Trump gets impeached. Could the US survive that cataclysmic event or would it rip the empire apart?
What contingency plans does everybody make for that unlikely, but not impossible singularity?
Dave , Dec 5 2019 17:00 utc | 21
"In the meantime Trump is eliminating food stamps for some 700,000 recipients and the Democrats are doing nothing about it. Their majority in the House could have used the time it spent on the impeachment circus to prevent that and other obscenities."

That's why it's called bread and circus. The loot and pillage party's two separate funding arms get their funding and privilege from the same sociopath/psychopaths who operate the mass murder for profit economy we now live in.

They will continue the slaughter until the enforcers within society finally understand they work for criminally insane cultists who will never have enough money, power, and prestige.

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:02 utc | 22
I see that distrust to everything that is good and decent is extended to law professors. Stanford is a short (if sometimes slow) ride from Berkeley that has a more famous professor in its own law school (Wiki):[you know

John Choon Yoo (born July 10, 1967)[4] is a Korean-American attorney, law professor, former government official, and author. Yoo is currently the Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.[1] Previously, he served as the Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) of the Department of Justice, during the George W. Bush administration.

He is best known for his opinions concerning the Geneva Conventions that attempted to legitimize the Bush administration's War on Terror. He also authored the so-called Torture Memos, which provided a legal rationale for so-called [you know what]
=====

First, they torture logic... The ignorants who could not tell tollens from a toilet brush would not even know what to twist, hence the need for professors.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 23
@ b who wrote
"
The U.S. is itself not a democracy but a functional oligarchy as a major Harvard study found:
"
My only quibble with another great post is the assertion that the US is functional.

Functional would mean it had supportive infrastructure but instead we have homeless shitting in the street because they are driven out of the parks to do so and they must be bad people that don't deserve public toilets.

Functional would mean, as Jackrabbit linked to above, and a I i did a few hours ago in the Weekly Open Thread, that there wouldn't be 117 sexually abusive Catholic priests in the Buffalo NY area doing the same thing as Epstein was doing to his clients.

Functional would mean we would not have the blatant hypocrisy Chervus quoted from the posting above
"
To "...make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"
"
I agree with Chervus that this is same BS that got us the Iron Curtain with Russia after WWII because they wanted Godless communism instead of global private finance. And also, as I ranted recently in the Open Thread, this gave us the 1950's change to the US Motto to In God We Trust which gets back to the control of the obfuscatory/hypocrisy narrative telling us that the private finance cult are doing God's work and that "competition is good/sharing is bad"

The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed

Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 17:15 utc | 24
Ha! More connections to Stanford:
"Ancient Logic: Forerunners of Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

BTW, it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong (wouldn't we all love to see strong Ukraine?) while wrecking its economy by encouraging policies like

spending 5% of GDP on the military

switching to more expensive energy sources

cutting itself from traditional markets and supplies, replacing with rather worthless "cooperation" agreement with a trading block that is neither particularly interested in trading with Ukraine (Ukraine strongest exports are in surplus within EU) nor inclined to subsidize it (budgets are tights and plenty of recent EU members are in dire needs already)

Ant. , Dec 5 2019 17:17 utc | 25
I think it's tragic that that creatures like Karlan are not simply seen as the blatant bigots and Nazi's that they are. You have to be wearing a large set of blinkers not to be able to see that.

Unfortunately this is endemic in the western world. 'Democracy' seems to consist of dumbing down the population as much as possible, and telling them what they have to think so the self-anointed leaders of society can have their way (both those in front, and behind the scenes).

I'm far from certain this is a recipe for success.

The biggest tragedy is that Americans seem to think that the only way to succeed is to tear down any other country that isn't essentially a puppet government, necessarily defining them as 'enemies', and therefore someone/thing that must be hated and destroyed, by any means, fair or foul.

Russians and Chinese in particular, and BRICS/SCO in general, are showing the way. The countries involved have very different political systems, but they understand that co-operation is much more beneficial than constant conflict. Unless, of course, a quarter of your government tax income is dedicated to supporting an amazingly corrupt Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 17:27 utc | 26
Trump supporters approve of cutting food stamps. The majority of Democratic Party politicians approve of cutting food stamps. Both parties agree times are good and the future is rosy. The only thing they disagree on is foreign policy. The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,) refuses to play by the rules on foreign policy. And he is not justified by success, not in any terms, not in making peace, not in winning, not in anything. The only people who are upset about impeaching Trump are Trump lovers and cranks who think being president is like being elected God and no one but sinners can defy Him.

The Trump supporters were going to turn out for him anyway, barring an economic crisis even they couldn't ignore. Impeachment has no downside so long as it is from the right, and doesn't rile up the rich people. Except the rich donors are leaving the Democratic Party anyway. The strategy for a nicey-nice campaign that leaves enough Trump voters soothed enough to sit it out has one enormous defect: Trump was not elected by the people anyhow.

But the Democratic Party politicians are anti-Communist, which means pro-Fascist, so yes, they do see this as (im)moral principles to die for, though they hope to politically kill for it. Their problem is, Trump is also anti-Communist and pro-Fascist, which everyone knows, which means Trump was merely his office for campaigning. That may be hypocritical and a violation of campaign laws. But in the eyes even of the anti-Communist/pro-Fascist population missiles for Ukrainian fascists with strings or without strings is merely a tactical disagreement. Even worse, the president breaking laws is perceived as strong leadership, smashing the machine, getting rid of those awful politicians and their oppressive government.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:37 utc | 27
This is a typical example of the stupidity and often dementia of most of the highly educated. Especially those in academia, who exist in a funhouse hall of propagandist and ideological mirrors. But it's true of the educated in the general. I personally know plenty of highly educated people who make themselves more stupid and mentally ill by the day by uncritically reading the NYT and watching CNN.

I don't know why anyone would expect anything different. All system schooling at whatever level boils down to the same two goals:

1. Instill the basic literacy necessary for a given cog position within the hierarchy.

2. Instill obedience to authority, including indoctrination into its ideology.

From kindergarten to grad school these are the same; whether one's being trained to pump gas or to assume a high position in the corporate world/government/academia these are the same.

So it's no wonder that an elite Stanford law professor is in practice the exact same stupid, ignorant, deranged yahoo as you could easily find in a trailer park, just with better manners and diction.

That's the American system.

mrr52 , Dec 5 2019 17:42 utc | 28
"One must be seriously disturbed to believe such nonsense. How can it be that Karlan is teaching at an academic level when she has such delusions?"

I assume this question was meant rhetorically. After all, Karlan's Russia comment would receive enthusiastic thumbs up from at least Biden, Obama, W. Clinton, H. Clinton, Rubio, Klobuchar, Pelosi, Warren, Graham, Buttigieg, Romney, the late McCain, Pompeo, Bolton, Mattis...the list goes on and on.

For a related, institutionalized, revolting example packaging multiple instances of such delusional thought, see "russias-dead-end-diplomacy-syria" . Have a pail nearby to catch the spew.

Russ , Dec 5 2019 17:46 utc | 29
steven t johnson 26

"The guy who couldn't even win the election (and merely fluked in on a technicality that undermines all progress since 1788,)"

I don't think you ever answered when I asked you last time:

Are you saying you think Hillary was so stupid she didn't know about the electoral college, and that it was electoral votes she had to fight for, not popular ones?

Because if you're not saying that, then nothing is changed: Trump beat Hillary in the electoral fight they were both trying to win. It's pure nonsense to babble about "technicalities".

And if any significant Democrat faction was saying thruout 2016, and not just after the election, that the election should NOT be about electoral votes, please direct me to where and when they were saying that, because I don't recall ever hearing it. And I think the reason I never heard it was because the Dems were so smugly sure of electoral college victory. And if Hillary had won, we never would've heard a word from you or anyone else about the electoral college.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 17:47 utc | 30
Piotr Berman @24:
it is totally lost on the entirety of Western establishment that you cannot make Ukraine strong while wrecking its economy

It's even worse than that. The economy will never recover while oligarchs have a stranglehold on economic activity and government. And USA's capitalist dementia ensures that will never change. (The West as a whole is headed in the direction of unabashed oligarchic rule.)

Why would anyone invest in Ukraine?

Sometimes I think Putin was happy for the Western coup to succeed and simply planned to keep the best parts.

!!

casey , Dec 5 2019 17:48 utc | 31
But do they really believe what they (the mid-level elites) say or is it all some kind of theater of the increasingly absurd? I am never clear on who among the narrative managers is sincere and who is simply acting sincere. Are people like this woman or the Bellingcat narrative managers or any of their numerous colleagues in their mid-level narrative management positions occupying their positions simply due to their acting abilities? They seem to be both delusional and ill-informed. When these people get together at their conferences and dinner parties, does the mask come off?
juannie , Dec 5 2019 17:49 utc | 32
Mischi #1
never underestimate the stupidity of people. Even professors.

Or as I think it was Einstein that reportedly said: (I paraphrase from memory)

To truly understand the infinite, just contemplate human stupidity.
vk , Dec 5 2019 18:02 utc | 33
Related news (on the subject of "American delusion"):

NATO Is Full of Freeloaders. But It's How We Defend the Free World. -- Europe without American protection is a continental disaster waiting to happen.

Well, mr. Stephens kind of tells the truth on the headline. But at least he could be more polite.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 18:03 utc | 34
casey @31: When these people get together ... does the mask come off?

I doubt it. They have convinced themselves that they are right and/or are following the wishes of people who are right-thinking. In USA, most people are brainwashed to assume that people with lots of money are right-thinking (as in: they must be doing something right!).

Upton Sinclair:

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.

!!

Bemildred , Dec 5 2019 18:18 utc | 35
John Kerry endorses Joe Biden, says he's the one 'who can beat Trump'
Really?? , Dec 5 2019 18:25 utc | 36
Wasn't the "so we won't be fighting them here" meme used also to justify the Iraq invasion and the War on Terror?
john , Dec 5 2019 18:30 utc | 37
Russ says:

Are you saying you think Hillary was so stupid she didn't know about the electoral college, and that it was electoral votes she had to fight for, not popular ones

no, i think what he's saying is that if Cinderella had had a better sense of timing, she would have made it home before her carriage turned back into a pumpkin.

karlof1 , Dec 5 2019 18:31 utc | 38
Upton Sinclair self-published a book in 1922 about education in America entitled Goose Step . Predating the infamous era of the Nazi/Fascist Goose Stepping thugs then armies, I read a preview and found an inexpensive copy. The subject as might be assumed was about the use of school systems to indoctrinate young Americans at all educational levels and nationwide to conform to the views of the rather few wealthy people who sat on interlocking boards that controlled curriculum--sort of like the oligarchic control over media today. And as we've seen with the study of political-economy, the ability to erase rather recent developments and personages and inserting false doctrines and their priests was done rather easily and with little noted protest. And so it's gone on down through the decades until today--just look at the War Criminals hired by Stanford and other universities for proof of its being an ongoing problem.

That ideological blinders are omnipresent is easily proven by the various defense planning documents referenced here over the last several years, all of which relate to the unilateral, might makes right mindset that's one of the Evil Outlaw US Empire's longstanding traits that predates the 20th Century. Too many will never learn humility and the reality accompanying it until it's enforced. But there's a wiser group residing within the Empire, some of us present at this bar ready to deal with the mess once humpty-dumpty falls from its perch upon which it's currently tottering.

Ant. , Dec 5 2019 18:32 utc | 39
@33 vk

'Free World'? What exactly does that mean?

What does 'Freedom' mean?

I 'freely' admit I simply have no idea what people mean when they urgently bleat words like that at me.

To me, freedom applies to an action. You are free to do this, or you are free to do that. Which is, of course, actions that are constrained or allowed by various laws passed by local, state, federal and/or international entities. I would suppose that the amount of freedom you have depends on haw many laws have been passed in your own country to criminalize various activities.

Has anyone done such an analysis, to define which countries have limited their citizens behaviour? Simplistically, which countries have written the most laws?

I'll be willing to bet they are the 'democracies' that are most bellicose about protecting 'freedoms'. Let's face facts, politicians just love to keep passing laws, otherwise they have no reason to exist. I unreasonably think there should be another superior law, that any government should only be able to have so many laws. If they want to have yet another one, take some other law away. Otherwise 'freedoms' are just being chipped away at, constantly.

'Freedom', as a thing unto and onto itself, seems a completely meaningless concept. I keep wondering why politicians aren't asked what they are talking about when they roar about 'freedom' as a general term.

Random Person , Dec 5 2019 18:33 utc | 40
Trump takes it hard when he suffers criticism and mockery by his peers. He would take it pretty hard to get fired from his job too. But after the stages of grief, he might be pretty happy to get of DC and just live as happy a life as he can until he dies.
Josh , Dec 5 2019 18:39 utc | 41
Perhaps, in her native language of various clicks and hisses, her statements made perfect sense. The failing could be that her perfectly reasonable argument could not be correctly translated into human speech.
Beibdnn , Dec 5 2019 18:40 utc | 42
I just looked up Pamala Karlan. Apparently there is a story that when she was a baby she was so ugly her parents had to put shutters on her pram.
She claims to have a partner? There's no accounting for taste I suppose but even for a U.S. citizen there must be a red line. Somewhere? someone!
As to her intellectual prowess, in my limited understanding, intellect depends on the platform it rests upon. Put a Jaguar engine into a Mobility scooter and see how well that performs. Plenty of power but no means of utilising it.
Logical mechanisms such as law require as little emotion as possible. People like her just bring the demise of a great nation into action sooner rather than later.
I suppose we should be grateful such fools consider Russia an adversary, it's makes predicting what comes next much more clear and succinct action can be instigated.
Professor Pamela Karlan. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.
Ant. , Dec 5 2019 18:49 utc | 43
@41 Josh

Ha! Clearly an avatar of our reptilian overlords! Good stuff.

james , Dec 5 2019 18:58 utc | 44
@29 russ...steven is making himself look like a fool regularly with that crap.. oh well..

@36 really? yes, indeed.. same faulty logic one would expect from a stanford law prof.. as @22 piotr rightly notes - john yoo, the freak who could make torture in abu graib okay is another one cut from the very same cloth..

i see one of Pamela Karlans comments got the ire of melania trump.. article here..

"The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can't MAKE him a baron." Pamela S. Karlan

"A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it." -- Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019

Karlan apologized for her remark as the hearing continued late Wednesday. "It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it."

nwwoods , Dec 5 2019 19:19 utc | 45
Universally accepted fact among the devoted is that "America is fighting Russia in the Ukraine", though there are exactly zero confirmed reports of Russian troops in the region in the past five years.
Joost , Dec 5 2019 19:22 utc | 46
Many of the dumbest people I met were university students or graduates. They are thought to absorb information as given, reproduce once, forget. They are not trained to question anything, they follow a narrative. Some even denounced everything they ever learned and became a follower of some religion, which is just another narrative.

I remember one student dorm in particular. Someone came in and decided it was too warm. Put the central heating thermostat on "arctic winter", opened all doors and windows while it was freezing outside. Then someone else came in and decided it was cold, closed all doors and windows, put the thermostat on "incinerate". Repeat 24/7. The few times I tried to explain how a thermostat works, I felt like being rubbed out of existence.
Only one guy understood that you set a room thermostat at a comfortable level and it would regulate to desired temperature. He was an alcoholic, always stoned up to his eyeballs, not a student except for the 3 or 4 studies he briefly tried and failed, and had given up on life in general. He was also the only one there who questioned things.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 19:25 utc | 47
"You're A Damn Liar": Biden Lashes Out At 'Fat' Voter Over Hunter-Burisma Question, Challenges To Push-Up Contest

If this exchange wasn't a set-up then I'll eat my MAGA hat*.

This bubbling "fat guy" comes with FOX News talking points and Joe Biden mops the floor with him. Not only denouncing the question, but insulting the questioner. I like the majestic (IMO pre-arranged) touch: "let him talk". Oh so respectiful - yet seconds later he insults the questioner!! LOL.

Anyone that dares to ask about Hunter Biden after this will be dismissed by Biden who will say that the question's been asked and answered and he's being hounded by Trump partisans.

This exchange reminds me of the set-up between Trump and Acosta at the Presidential New Conference , which we discussed at moa at the time.

* Just kidding. I don't own a MAGA hat.

!!

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 19:26 utc | 48
bubbling => bumbling
Piotr Berman , Dec 5 2019 19:27 utc | 49
I think that getting into looks etc. is self-trolling. PK looks like a typical lady of her age, and commendably, she seems not to gain weight. Kind of reminds me something I found looking for a snide quote:

...and what a nice girl will you find her!
She can pass for forty three
In the dusk, with the light behind her!

I was actually looking for the source of "love can snare you with a single hair",giving romantic chances to those of us who can count scalp hair with a single hand.

james , Dec 5 2019 19:32 utc | 50
@ 49 piotr... i agree with your first statement.. when i read that i thought it was really cheap.. moa commentators are generally better then that..
Yevgeny , Dec 5 2019 19:36 utc | 51
Why assume that democracy was not always a trick? Pax Romana anyone?

Also there are some pretty nasty comments on here about the confused professor that say a whole lot more about the hangups of the poster.

Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 19:39 utc | 52
I've seen Jonathan Turley on TV a number of times. He always seemed to be a person of integrity. One needs to add courage to the list after testifying against impeachment on the presented "evidence". I will be very surprised to see him on PBS or CBS ever again. Their news readers are nearly giddy with excitement about impeachment. They never consider what could happen if Trump is convicted but refuses to leave the White House. Then what?

---------
The food stamp program changes will kill people. As intended. One of the most affected groups will be people who are too sick or otherwise too impaired to work, and maybe unable to even leave their home, but still can't get social support. The system says there is no problem because desperate people can get a free meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. For the other 363 days a year, go find a dumpster to dive in.

Almost all Social Security Disability applicants are denied on the initial application. There are no interim payments or support of any kind. Many give up, as intended. The rest file appeals and wait years for a hearing before an "administrative law judge", who is not a "real" judge, but just some lawyer with fancy title.

ALJ decisions tend to be rather arbitrary, so a favorable decision depends on which ALJ hears a case. Sure there are more levels to appeal, and many more years of no social support, if an applicant can find a way to survive for years on zero income, all the while being sick with probably no medical care.

Social Security and disability lawyers have colluded to keep lawyers in business. Social Security requires the use of a standard contract that gives the lawyer a fixed percentage of the retroactive benefits. "Retroactive benefits" are the regular monthly benefits that accrue from the officially determined "date of disability". So if it takes three years to get benefits, the lawyer gets a nice chunk of change for a few hours work writing a brief and showing up for the hearing.

The lawyer who signed my contract did nothing to help my case, and he even hired someone else to write the brief and attend the hearing. One wonders if ALJs get some benefit from lawyers to encourage long wait times, since long wait times increase lawyer profits at zero cost.

The US system really is that cruel and barbaric. It would be kinder to take us out back and shoot us, but that's too obvious. Much better to let people die slowly in the shadows so the rest of society doesn't have to see us.

And I'm one of the fortunates who managed to hang on, despite bankruptcy, a civil suit, the disability benefits process (only took six years), and state attempts to revoke Medicaid, all at the same time. I know it sounds melodramatic, made up, or at least exaggerated. That's understandable, because it seems that way to me, too!

About 1000 people a week kill themselves in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Does anyone wonder why, or even notice? The reason for many of these deaths is the lack of social supports. In Uncle Sam Land, social apoptosis is a feature, not a bug.

Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 19:51 utc | 53
>What does 'Freedom' mean?
> Posted by: Ant. | Dec 5 2019 18:32 utc | 39

In Uncle Sam Land, "freedom" has two meanings. Rich people are free to do as they like. The rest of us are free to live under a bridge and starve.

We do have one right: The Right To Obey.

The whole society is organized around obedience, and the purpose of public education is to make sure every one obeys. Modern schools are more accurately called "day prisons", with all the cameras, metal detectors, armed police, isolation rooms, etc. I wonder how many people realize that "lockdown" is straight out of the criminal prison system, and is now a regular occurrence for little kids.

chet380 , Dec 5 2019 20:07 utc | 54
Did anyone really expect the Dems to appoint unbiased legal scholars to advise them on the finer legal points of the Articles of Impeachment?
Kooshy , Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55
This fucking shining city on the hill, is so f*ing shiny that it's flames is burning the world.
steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:11 utc | 56
Russ@29 forgot the comments where I've reviewed exactly how everybody rejected the Electoral College, holding legitimacy came from winning the real election. Until Gore, every time the EC violated the expectation that it was a technical way of recording the popular vote, there was justified outrage. Bush's camp in 2000 had plans to contest an EC loss, until that shoe turned out to be on the other foot. If Trump had won the popular vote and lost the Electoral College, he would no more accept the results. Only liars take refuge in the simplistic legalisms. And only Trump ass-lickers are so contemptible as to pretend Trump was the stable genius who outplayed Clinton in the real game. Trump had no more idea how to win the EC without winning the popular vote than anyone else. Further, by the witless pretended principles of Russ' ilk, a presidential candidate who managed to win faithless electors who ignored even their own states' pluralities* would still be the legitimate president! Every single defender of Trump the one legitimate president is witless and worthless.

But very likely the real objection to the response is the insistence that Trump isn't magically guaranteed re-election because...well, the real reason is slavish devotion to a God named Trump. Even with the advantage of incumbency this time around, with even more support from the wealthy (the people who have really turned away from the Democratic Party to favor political gangsterism,) Trump is likely to lose the election again. If I were in Congress I would offer a compromise, where the Republicans were assured Trump would not be investigated any more, much less impeached, for abolition of the Electoral College. But I think Trump would say no, because he knows deep down he's a loser.

steven t johnson , Dec 5 2019 20:13 utc | 57
*US politicians rarely win majorities of the electorate. Politicians of all stripes have agreed that non-voting is always to be deemed as "Satisfied" with either choice instead of "Alienated, with no choice." Decent people suspect otherwise.
goldhoarder , Dec 5 2019 20:23 utc | 58
@38 Karloff1 You can still Read the late John Taylor Gatto's The Underground History of American Education online. He did a great job highlighting the history and purpose of copying the Prussian style of education to replace the one room school houses and instill the "martial spirit" in the American public. I have to hand it to the Oligarchs of old too. They were very effective in their implementation.

https://web.archive.org/web/20130517062832/http://johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm ">http://johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm">https://web.archive.org/web/20130517062832/http://johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

james , Dec 5 2019 20:31 utc | 59
@ steven.. you keep digging a whole for yourself deeper then the last time..
nietzsche1510 , Dec 5 2019 20:31 utc | 60
Karlan type of academics is scattered all over the US universities.they are the Academia´s gatekeepers, watching over & "spotting" of our future leaders. the majority of them are claptraps selling jingoism to our youth in order to fulfill the Judeo-Zionist agenda.
Trailer Trash , Dec 5 2019 20:39 utc | 61
I knew that name sounded familiar...

John Taylor Gatto, former New York City and New York State teacher of the year, stated:

The truth is that schools don't really teach anything except how to obey orders; and John Holt concluded, School is a place where children learn to be stupid . . . Children come to school curious; within a few years most of that curiosity is dead, or at least silent.

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/john_gatto.html

chuteh , Dec 5 2019 20:40 utc | 62
Ant. | Dec 5 2019 18:32 utc | 39

re freedom confusion...

For best results, take it to a dictionary; not a dinky one, but a respected, college-level one that includes data on from what the word derives, i.e. its original meaning by whomever coined the term.

Whatever the results, you are thereby benefited.

At an informal roundtable gathering [at a library Senior Center] the word "education" was questioned and utter blather and mystery and weird interpretations were spouted. Finally someone got out a dictionary and, in short, read the original sense as "to lead out" and it was left to each individual to fill-in the blank "lead-out from what?", or "What do you want be lead-out of?". Calm ensued.

james , Dec 5 2019 20:44 utc | 63
@61 trailer trash.. i read gattos book - Dumbing Us Down...good book! a friend of mine turned me onto it.. it was the reason he raised his 2 sons outside the school system for the most part.. his wife is a university prof and went along with it..
S , Dec 5 2019 20:57 utc | 64
@goldhoarder #58: You really have to spend 10–15 minutes and learn the basics of HTML. It's not that hard. Also, make sure to click the "Preview" button before you click the the "Post" button.
nietzsche1510 , Dec 5 2019 21:03 utc | 65
I have noticed the following: all the Tribe´s spawns speak the same language, I mean all the instruments of their orchestra are tuned to play the same script.
AntiSpin , Dec 5 2019 21:09 utc | 66
Kooshy | Dec 5 2019 20:10 utc | 55

It's really the Sinning City of the Shills

Jen , Dec 5 2019 21:15 utc | 67
I recall when I was a student at the University of Technology, Sydney, way back in the Mesozoic era (1980s), the economics dept there had a lecturer there with a Harvard University background so the staff made him head of the department. Just because he had a Harvard University PhD. He was hardly a great administrator and the subjects he taught (compared with other lecturers' subjects) were much less structured. Of course this meant the courses he taught were easier on students' time and energy, though if you made use of the opportunity a less structured course gave, you could turn in an end-of-term essay with impressive research equivalent to the level required of a post-grad.

The university also had an exchange program with the University of Oregon, and most of the Oregon students who came to UTS (usually in their second or third year) found the UTS coursework very heavy-going and difficult.

In those days, UTS was only supposed to be a second-tier university in Australia.

Jackrabbit , Dec 5 2019 21:24 utc | 68
Jen @67

b misattributes the study to Harvard researchers. It was Princeton.

(check the link b provides)

!!

ac , Dec 5 2019 21:34 utc | 69
This hearing is a theatre performance (kabuki -- hey, I learned a new
word, thanks) and PK's lines are an invocation of the official US myth
(the shinning city on the hill, the exceptional, indispensible
nation). No one in the room took that seriously or literally
(especially PK herself) and IMHO these national myths are not really
anything to freak out about - every nation has got its myth, and this is
an arrogant one, but compared to a few others it's almost likeable.

Of course it is at odds with historical records and the reality, but
all of them are, because, frankly, the truth, being descendants of
genocidal, religious nutters and slavers, is apparently very
motivational -- in the KSA...

The RU/UK lines are slightly more worrisome, but that's just a
matching background for her story - the fluff. She doesn't have to
belive it - it's just a performance, an elegant one but meaningless in the end.

A lot of the visitors comment about the deep state, most of the time
mentioning three letter agencies. Here comes a piece about a four
letters one, acting more or less in the plain sight:
OIRA, E.O. 12866

A group of virtually anonymous, unaccountable people wields quite
considerable power over both legislative and executive. A very
interesting construction...

Formerly T-Bear , Dec 5 2019 21:49 utc | 70
@ goldhoarder | Dec 5 2019 20:23 utc | 58

You pile of shit.

goldhoarder , Dec 5 2019 21:50 utc | 71
John was a wonderful man. He passed away last year.
@S 64
"You really have to spend" No. I don't have to. I don't care if you are happy with how I post.
Lochearn , Dec 5 2019 21:51 utc | 72
@ 23 psychohistorian

"The US is dysfunctional on purpose to keep the masses under control and dumbed down/brainwashed."

This is an interesting statement which seems like a contradiction but is it? Surely there must be some functionality
to be able to keep the masses dumbed down/brainwashed; it implies some sort of thought out strategy.
How do we get the same narrative trotted out in media in exactly the same format from LA to Warsaw,
from Lima to Bangalore if it's all so dysfunctional? Maybe decadence is preferable to dysfunctional
as it implies a level of corruption which is typical of late empires.

But there's a deeper level to the comment. Netflix now gives us some great series on true crime
where police behaviour is scrutinized in depth. We see cops plant evidence and set up victims
for easy prosecution. In other words the cops are portrayed as dysfunctional and corrupt.
Yeah, right. That makes us feel better. It also makes us feel that unlike drama we can make
our own minds up about who is guilty and who is not. How delightfully postmodern.

The system has become so brazen that it can show us truths which sort of reinforce its very self.
When it sets up false flags it can even give us clues and stuff to work on to the extent that
every "terrorist" event that happens is considered by some people as a false flag
when it may not be and everyone who supposedly died has not died when the reality
is there is a mix – some events are false flags some aren't; in some false flag events
people are killed; in others maybe not.

information_agent , Dec 5 2019 22:08 utc | 73
Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Dec 5 2019 21:03 utc | 65

You hit the nail on the head. Karlan's loyalty is to her tribe, not this nation. That's the crux of almost every major problem and injustice we're suffering from in this country, from private prisons to Wall Street looting to endless foreign wars to censorship. There is one group of people behind it with a very bad track record in terms of how they treat their host nations. I wonder when we will finally get our act together and become the 110th country to expel them.

And Goldhoarder, while you may not mind how your posts look, you've managed to damage this comment thread and until b deletes your poorly structured post, we all suffer for it.

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 22:31 utc | 74
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 21:51 utc | 72 who seems to disagree with my concept "dysfunctional on purpose"
and wants to use decadence instead and wrote:
"
Surely there must be some functionality
to be able to keep the masses dumbed down/brainwashed; it implies some sort of thought out strategy.
How do we get the same narrative trotted out in media in exactly the same format from LA to Warsaw,
from Lima to Bangalore if it's all so dysfunctional?
"

I posit that strategy of "dysfunctional on purpose" is control of the narrative and language and it is purposefully used.

Consider the current seeming understanding of the terms, socialism and capitalism by many of your fellow barflies.
Many of our fellow barflies would have one believe that China is socialist and the West is capitalist...exclusively.
I and a few others keep trying to point out that both China and the West are, to varying degrees mixed economies,
including aspects of both socialism and capitalism

Consider the implicit definition of government if you will. Is government, as compared to dictatorships, not explicitly socialistic?
Are not the provision of water, sewage treatment and in many case electricity explicitly socialistic by definition?
Is it not dumbing down and brainwashing that many don't understand reality but spout the words and concepts they are fed
by those in control of the narrative and media pushing it?

And, not to make too fine a point of it, does all of the West not live under the dictatorship of global private finance at this time?
So how much more would I get ignored if I beat that drum as part of my comments here?

Lochearn , Dec 5 2019 22:41 utc | 75
@ psychohistorian:

You confine yourself my first paragraph. What about my second where I consider your comment in another light?

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 22:48 utc | 76
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 22:41 utc | 75 who writes that I did not consider their complete comment

I did focus on the "dysfunctional on purpose" versus the state of decadence you thought was more apt.

You wrote
"
The system has become so brazen that it can show us truths which sort of reinforce its very self.
"
I see this as purposeful again and not a sign of decadence...they are normalizing perfidy..and it is working, unfortunately to their advantage.

Please explain further how I have misrepresented your comment, if indeed I have.

Lochearn , Dec 5 2019 22:56 utc | 77
Okay psychohistorian:

You pretend to know about finance when you know fuck all.

You keep on about private finance like you are hinting at something. Like who? Like what?

Jews? Well as it happened Jews just beat the Anglos.

Jews were also some of the greatest socialists and some of the the most brilliant artists.

Ian2 , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 78
Lorenz | Dec 5 2019 16:56 utc | 20:

IF Trump is removed from office then the war on Lebanon and Iran would be accelerated. Israel will likely go for all the marbles and annex the last remaining Palestinian holdings. Some here believe this couldn't happen but we all live in bizarro world now.

Also, don't expect the Electoral College to oust Pence after the general election since he's more pro-war; even the electors from Democrat controlled states would support him. IMHO, the US would continue on; business as usual.

However, if the Democrats are crazy enough to follow through, the Republican dominated Senate would reject it. Basically a repeat of what happened to Clinton. In the end, nothing changed.

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 23:07 utc | 79
James #44

""It was wrong of me to do that,'' she said, according to the Associated Press. "I do regret it.""

Ya but . . .as Tucker Carlson spot-on reacted, that comment sure looked as though it had been rehearsed in front of the bathroom mirror. It was sooooo lame!!! I mean, it was obvious (on the video) that Karlan really thought she was (wait for it! It's on the way) landing a very clever bon mot!

It is a small thing, yet it speaks volumes about the spirit of this clearly clueless human being (and others of her ilk), and her handlers, who must have cleared this little gotcha for prime time. Been up on the podium too long, bleating to students who can't/don't bleat back! No common sense.

Never a connection with a child, I'll bet, or she could never have said such a thing. Painful to look at the pinched little face, decent hairdo missing in action, with the rant coming out of the tight little mouth. A pathetic individual.

Ditto Noah Feldman from the Felix Frankfurter Dept of the Harvard Law School: Pure bloviation with skin like a baby's bottom. Better coiffed, actually, than Karlan. Quels types!!!

Really?? , Dec 5 2019 23:13 utc | 80
Steve

"Trump had no more idea how to win the EC without winning the popular vote than anyone else. "

You are a mind reader?
This is pure speculation and wishful thinking.
Trump won the 2016 election---not the 2000 one.
Get over it.

S , Dec 5 2019 23:13 utc | 81
@goldhoarder #71: You may not realize it, but in some browsers your comment #58 stretches the page so wide that it makes it very hard to read. This happened because you have used HTML link tags incorrectly or have posted a very long link without wrapping it in HTML link tags ( <a></a> ). Hence my suggestion to you to learn the basics of how HTML tags work. Your reply makes you look disrespectful of other posters. Nothing to be proud of, really. Here's how to post links properly:

1. Type <a href=""></a> . That's "less than" character, then letter "a", then space, then word "href", then "equals" character, then two straight quotes, then "greater than" character, then "less than" character, then forward slash character, then letter "a", then "greater than" character.
2. Place your cursor between the two straight quotes and insert your link, like so: <a href="https://www.craigmurray.org.uk"></a> .
3. Place your cursor between >< characters and insert the title of your link, like so: <a href="https://www.craigmurray.org.uk">Craig Murray's blog</a> .

Alternatively:

1. Copy the example provided above the comment input text field, on the right, under the heading "Allowed HTML Tags": <A HREF="http://www.aclu.org/">Headline (not the URL)</A> .
2. Replace example link http://www.aclu.org/ with your link.
3. Replace example link title Headline (not the URL) with your link title.

The above will result in a nice-looking link: Craig Murray's blog .

psychohistorian , Dec 5 2019 23:16 utc | 82
@ Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 5 2019 22:56 utc | 77 who seems to be accusing me of racism when I have consistently challenged others here to prove
that those that own global private finance are jewish

I suggest you go to a comment I just added to the latest Open Thread and go to the link provided

Perhaps you will learn something and stop misunderstanding my purpose here..I hope so

Jen , Dec 5 2019 23:21 utc | 83
Jackrabbit @ 68:

My comment @ 67 was actually just to highlight the (most undeserved) reputations that places like Harvard and Stanford have among certain faculties in Australian universities. In those days Stanford, Harvard and MIT were the holiest of holy shrines to do business studies / economics degrees. Years later I read a book by someone who actually did do a Stanford MBA and the scales fell from my eyes then. The work was similar to what I'd done as an undergraduate (albeit collapsed in the space of 18 months; I had the luxury of doing part-time and then going full-time as a student).

I should have added that the Harvard PhD guy who taught me comparative economics was a lousy teacher as well as a lousy administrator. I visited his office once and it looked as if a tornado had just hit it. To be fair though, he really wasn't cut out to be a lecturer, he was much better at research and analysis.

Before he became a lecturer, he worked at the CIA as a researcher. He knew next to no German (he was of Polish background) so he was assigned to the section to read East German newspapers. A fellow he knew who could speak and read German but no Bulgarian was assigned to the ... Bulgarian section. That experience must account for my lecturer's sloppy personal style.

But now that you draw my attention to the link, yes you are right that the study was done at Princeton University.

Quentin , Dec 5 2019 23:29 utc | 84
Nice, some asocial nutty or gal has messed up the thread again! It's now unreadable. Was that the intention of the nut job?
b., can't you keep these irritating readers off the range.
vk , Dec 5 2019 23:30 utc | 85
This may be a potential reason why the Democrats are going all in with the impeachment:

Bernie Sanders Pulls Ahead in Crucial Primary (California)

Quentin , Dec 5 2019 23:31 utc | 86
Now I see that the thread is alright in Firefox. @ 84 I was using Safari.
S , Dec 5 2019 23:36 utc | 87
@Formerly T-Bear #70: Please don't swear. Goldhoarder may not realize he/she is breaking the page layout -- the issue only shows up in some browsers. I assume you are using Safari. If yes, then you can fix the problem yourself:

1. Create a new file in TextEdit and copy/paste the following line into it: div.comments-body, div.comment-content { word-break: break-word; }
2. Save the file in your Documents folder under the name custom.css
3. Open Safari > Preferences menu item, click Advanced tab, click Style sheet: drop-down menu, select Other menu item and choose your custom.css file in the file picker.

This will solve the problem once and for all.

The line makes long links and other unbrekable character strings in comments breakable, preventing them from ruining pages.

Tuyzentfloot , Dec 5 2019 23:46 utc | 88
Propagandists are rarely smarter than the group they are trying to influence. Most Propaganda is about reinforcing groupthink and pulling it in a desired direction. But the influencers are with one leg inside the bubble. They are more pushing the bubble from the inside than pulling from the outside.
Formerly T-Bear , Dec 6 2019 0:17 utc | 89
@ S | Dec 5 2019 23:36 utc | 87

Regrets, these incidents keep happening and vast pixels expended trying to make right without effect.
No, I am on Yandex, had changed just because Safari did the same.
My computer programming days used machines containing ferrite cores strung on wires.
Old dogs and new tricks are formula for disaster, given failing eyesight and Benign Idiopathic Tremor.
And not a teenager in sight to supervise the errors.
The irascibility intended to get the attention of irresponsible rascal, as in training a stubborn Missouri Mule story.
Am trusting b to delete entry. Don't go snowflake about sharp language, that is its utility to get attention
and awake the inattentive to their deeds.
Thank you again for trying to right this problem. I cannot see how breaking a link can be accomplished without
undoing the link's function by inserting extraneous line breaking symbols into it and disrupting the continuity a
link requires. I notice a '?' as well as '-' break links with minimal page expansion. Am interested in the mechanics.
Again Thanks!

oldhippie , Dec 6 2019 0:18 utc | 90
@81

Why do you assume a technical illiterate could read those instructions? I can't even begin to do anything with that. It is never simple enough for those who have not been initiated.

HTML works by magic. Your instructions do not convince me otherwise.

Better solution is to forgo links altogether if not competent. Or spell out the link and force the really interested to transcribe. Of course no one is going to go to effort of spelling out a link as long as that one above. Which would be a good thing.

Jen , Dec 6 2019 0:27 utc | 91
She's been gone some time now (she died in April 2018) but Karen Dawisha , a so-called expert on Russian and post-Soviet politics who obtained a higher degree at the London School of Economics, was another deluded academic twat who wrote the book "Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?"

The 1-star, 2-star and 3-star reviews on Amazon.com of the book refer to the tabloid quality of many of the claims in the book, poor sourcing, cherry-picking of facts and the author's inability to write at a level that would attract a readership outside the academic community.

The least we can say for her is that she is no longer in a position to, erm, "advise" the US and UK governments on issues and help formulate policy that would backfire on Washington and London anyway.

Walter , Dec 6 2019 0:30 utc | 92
#90

Yes, I too am nonputercompetent. Simply the title is good, but also tinyurl >'Tiny url, say "dot" then add the tail.

the url for this page is 193 characters.

like this tinyurl[dot]com/wovqbpy

that's 23 characters, only 7 if the prefix is understood.

try it. it brings you back here.

psychohistorian , Dec 6 2019 0:38 utc | 93
@ Posted by: Walter | Dec 6 2019 0:30 utc | 92 who continues to suggest the tinyurl alternative

The problem with tinyurls is that when you mouse over the link you cannot see where it will take you.
This means that some bad person could provide one here and send you to a web site that would compromise your computer

If folks want to provide links here they should know what they are doing and/or use proper HTML formatting
And if they screw up I would appreciate if they take responsibility for doing so and stop linking or otherwise
limit their linking to minimize these sort of page formatting issues....please and thank you

Jackrabbit , Dec 6 2019 0:43 utc | 94
Jackrabbit @47

I think I was wrong about this. The ZH article has a link that doesn't have good audio.

After hearing the whole audio, it sounds genuine.

Biden lost his cool and was insulting. Not sure that it matters to the Democratic faithful though. Many will see the farmer as a Republican proxy and will view the interaction as Biden's being up to taking on Trump.

!!

Maximus , Dec 6 2019 0:43 utc | 95
Oh dear who has buggered the width again?
Really?? , Dec 6 2019 0:52 utc | 96
Piotr #49
"I think that getting into looks etc. is self-trolling. PK looks like a typical lady of her age, and commendably, she seems not to gain weight. "

In general I would agree with you.

("Commendably she seems not to gain weight" is kind of patronizing. She might for all you know be anorectic. Or bulimic. You wouldn't happen to be a male, would you???)

Actually, most people do wear their character on their faces---seeing them "live" is far more revealing than in a still. And most people also read faces and hear speech, and their intuition, honed over decades of adulthood, sends them a gut feeling.

Regarding Karlan, I had the same gut feeling/response as Tucker Carlson. what a pinched, sad little face, producing the the bombastic, self-righteous noises about patriotism and the unacceptable joke about Barron Trump.

Really?? , Dec 6 2019 0:58 utc | 97
#73

"you've managed to damage this comment thread and until b deletes your poorly structured post, we all suffer for it."

How has the comment thread been "damaged"?
How are we all suffering?

Walter , Dec 6 2019 1:11 utc | 98
@ : psychohistorian | Dec 6 2019 0:38 utc | 93

I wish you had explained to this depth previously. I had not realized that defect, or "vulnerability", and I thank you kindly. You are clearly correct. One assumes of others what one knows about one's own character...this, as you have pointed out, makes a tendency to false assumptions - and makes for a fissure in forum such as this... I was wrong. The TURL method does have merit in other contexts though; in cryptography, specifically steganography, I think - but that's opinion. Not deep crypto, just one step past stupid.

I shall be obliged to forgo Patric Fermor's walking stories and toying with translation - in favor of study of what you have provided as tutorial.

Really?? , Dec 6 2019 1:12 utc | 99
"If folks want to provide links here they should know what they are doing and/or use proper HTML formatting"

I wish I were able to understand the instructions.

I guess I will not link.

spudski , Dec 6 2019 1:40 utc | 100
S @81 - Thanks! Rather than being impolite, you have provided clear (I think) instructions for posting links.
ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:14 utc | 101
" previous page As the great wise man, Frank Zappa proclaimed about the USA:

"Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Government."

American politics makes much greater sense (and is a hell of a lot more entertaining) if you understand this truism.

US Presidential Debates and impeachment hearings are a swell occasion for drinking games.

Every time a political hack, media shill, or academic invokes some variant of American Exceptionalism, take a shot of your favorite alcoholic beverage.

You will be drunk within half an hour--guaranteed!

Gal , Dec 6 2019 2:19 utc | 102
I'd say unbelievable but I know that is only wishful thinking on my part. What's scary is that these people populate the "educational" system which explains why we're as screwed as we are.
ak74 , Dec 6 2019 2:21 utc | 103
Correction. The quote should be: "Politics/government is the entertainment division of the Military-Industrial Complex."
james , Dec 6 2019 2:31 utc | 104
for better or worse, the community at moa is a long running one with regular posters who do pick up on the character of others if they stick around long enough.. people do read into people and act accordingly.. thus S's helpful posts are a sign of a thoughtful person..maybe S will change and behave differently in another post, but all things being equal i will willing read a post by S, but i will ignore posts by those who decide to swear at S! if they apologize, i will revise my viewpoint..

@ 79 really? yes, i think her line on trumps son was a rehearsed one... she wasn't really thinking in any of it, other then for the effect... but her bullshite that b directly addressed really speaks to how braindead or brainwashed so called educated people - profs at whatever usa institution - really are.. i don't care how she looks.. it is irrelevant.. it is what she has to say that epitomizes the stupidity epidemic in the usa leaders.. i can only hope some of the ordinary people are not as brainwashed and have less exposure to publications like the nyt, or if they have the exposure, they also have some critical thinking abilities... the verdict is not good given her comments!!! forget about how she looks.. it is immaterial as i see it..

also - learning how t correctly use the html tags is not that hard.. people are reading this page in different mediums and so it appears differently depending on the browser and format one uses..

@100 spudski.. ditto your comment..

juliania , Dec 6 2019 2:33 utc | 105
b's last statement:

"Do the Democrats really believe that their voters will not notice this?"

I think, b, that this merely points out to anyone who cares to think deeply on the subject, that the voters don't matter - I submit that they don't matter to either party, and haven't since electronic machines for entering votes and counting them have been in effect.

What still does matter, however, is the appearance of credible voting procedures - more of a surface situation than anything approaching reality. The meme being 'if it can be done it will be done'.

So, as we approach times of importance such as election day, what must happen is a very 'close' election, so that the losers won't feel too aggrieved because after all they did nearly win. It was a contest. Somehow, last time around things went awry. Whether that was because H's actual vote count was so awful it took all they could do to get her the popular vote, and that wasn't enough. Or maybe somebody was supposed to keep an eye on the Trump score but they dozed off. So a few messy issues there, but ...

...this time they'll get it right.

Circe , Dec 6 2019 3:01 utc | 106
So you care that Trump eliminated food stamps for 700,000 people? Yet, this whole article is about trashing the impeachment, yes, the same impeachment meant to take down a corrupt bastard who has nothing better to do than mess with people on FOOD STAMPS and sign collective punishment sanctions against millions of people in other countries and protect and arm the butcher monarch who provoked famine in Yemen amongst other shet Trump's pulled.

The best and truest line in that hearing came precisely from Pamela Karlan: "The Constitution states that there can be no titles of nobility. So while the president can name his son Barron, he can't MAKE him a baron." Hello--smackdown!

(So he'll never be KING!😂)

Try and prove to me that pompous asshat Trump didn't have royal snobbery in mind when he came up with that name? Too bad his grandfather, who was a draft dodger minus the bone spurs excuse, was in the brothel business and that the pussy-grabbing apple of a son Donald didn't fall far from the tree then rolling straight into the gutter.

Trump can cover his toilet in gold and name his kid after the title baron , but
the only royal that'll appear in Trump's legacy is ROYAL pain in the ass !

I am 200% for the impeachment if only to make Trump suffer the bitter HUMILIATION he so deserves and fears.

Actually he deserves a cell next to one of his jailbird buddies, but impeachment is a good start on the way down...straight to HELL, I hope!

A lot of people sold their soul for Trump. Hope he takes them along with him on the ride down.

Duncan Idaho , Dec 6 2019 3:07 utc | 107
. ..this time they'll get it right.

Lets give the Dims a chance-- Donald is dumb enough to give the Repugs a hard on--
Let's let the Dims grow this disaster a bit higher.
Pepsi, Pepsi Lite

dltravers , Dec 6 2019 3:13 utc | 108
Lorenz @ 20

What I find absent in most discussions about impeachment of Trump is the 800 pound gorilla - what will happen to the US if against all odds, Trump gets impeached. Could the US survive that cataclysmic event or would it rip the empire apart? What contingency plans does everybody make for that unlikely, but not impossible singularity?

Pence becomes President and Nicky Haley become VP, the Republicans get wiped out in the next election cycle and the US spills its blood in Iran for that very fiendish nation in that region driving the bus behind the scenes.

That would be my guess along with another guess, the US populace is so tired of war they will tear the nation apart if they do not get their payoff of free everything. I do believe the democrats will continue to deliver for the war party and not the people when and if they get complete control again. The Trumpers will be very angry as well. A toxic brew of fulminating discontent.

It is a sick ugly mish mash of candidates with the war party working hard to keep one weak nobody off the stage that offers up some slight chance of stirring up some discontent of their policies. It shows that they greatly fear even a small challenge because they know it will not take much to rip their policies to shreds.

psychohistorian , Dec 6 2019 3:36 utc | 109
To all barflies

I have tutored other MoA barflies in my "easy" method of creating proper HTML links and if you know basic copy/paste capabilities and use of a text editor you can learn as well.

If interested, please contact me through the web sight linked by my moniker and at the bottom of each page of the web site is an email link to me.

I am happy to help.

pretzelattack , Dec 6 2019 3:48 utc | 110
there's not "one group of people" behind everything wrong with this country. i keep seeing this anti jewish bias lately. israel has way too much influence, but that is not the be all and end all of problems in this country, or the most important one. you want to blame a group of people, blame billionaires.
ben , Dec 6 2019 4:10 utc | 111
This whole "impeachment theater" is a propaganda showcase to convince the American people that it's "enemies", like Russia, need to be opposed. If it were really about DJT's transgressions, it would showcase the real issues like "obstruction", and "emoluments' violations, not the "Russia did it" BS. Besides, its clear, the KSA and Israel, not to mention other nations, also bought ads on Facebook during the election season.

There's big money in confrontation, peace isn't profitable.

Big $ can buy any number of political "hacks", and they populate both sides of the aisle..

Ma Laoshi , Dec 6 2019 5:26 utc | 112
Well we just saw the foreign policy of Russia&allies "run circles" around Uncle Sam in Bolivia--oh wait... So a bit less triumphalism please. Ms. Karlan doesn't teach her students dispassionate, objective analysis; she indoctrinates them in exceptionalist entitlement and messianic zeal. The potency of that mindset is perpetually underestimated, including by Morales, who allowed compromised, flipped generals to run his army. Now he's reduced to dreaming of a glorious comeback far, far away from power.

Only those sharing the Imperial hive mind need apply for US Govt jobs. It's the same it's ever been under Trump; he just seems "exceptionally" poorly attuned as to which of his appointees is only waiting for an opportune moment to shiv him--because he's incompetent. I really don't think it's any more complicated than this.

Random Person , Dec 6 2019 6:04 utc | 113
This problem with messing up the width of the page has been ongoing and very hassle-some The truth is, it is unreasonable to expect your average commenter to understand the intricacies of html.It is undue hardship to have to take a crash course in html just to contribute to this blog. The problem lies with b and his platform.
Random Person , Dec 6 2019 6:32 utc | 114
And maybe if people didn't read this blog and make comments for a week or two, b might take a hint and get his shit together and fix the technical issue herein.I mean, can you imagine a business running like this? The technical guy would be replaced.
james , Dec 6 2019 6:42 utc | 115
...." the intricacies of html".... really? stick to reading cartoons or cnn/fox then... moa is above your pay grade or you are brain dead.. probably the later..
Russ , Dec 6 2019 6:51 utc | 116
@STJohnson 56

Stevie, you were so busy with personal insults you forgot to give the links I asked for. Links to where anyone ever proclaimed any of that. Like I said, I never heard a single Hillarybot say so until after the election, and I won't believe any ever did till I see proof.

And if the electoral college really is so odious to your Democrats, why didn't they abolish it when they had effective one-party rule in 2009? Just one of so, so many questions about the Democrats which 2009 answered once and for all.

As for Trump defenders, I don't know what they say. I of course reject every elite across the board and despise the office of president as such, because such power, as well as the process required to get there, would automatically turn anyone into an arch-criminal in the unlikely event they weren't already one in the first place. But we see the pathetic contortions of Dembots like you.

Yes, yes, you're "not a Dembot", sure you're not. It's just that, like with a few other not-a-Dembots at this site, everything you say somehow mysteriously ends up implicitly supporting the Democrats. Just a crazy coincidence I guess. Or maybe not: "the people who have really turned away from the Democratic Party to favor political gangsterism."

You say the Democratic Party isn't political gangsterism every bit as much as the Republicans? Gentlemen, we have a Dembot.

Russ , Dec 6 2019 6:53 utc | 117
@Circe 106

So you start out concern-trolling about food stamps and how everyone's being so superficial in talking only about impeachment, then rush immediately to make your entire comment another TDS rant about impeachment, culminating with:

"I am 200% for the impeachment if only to make Trump suffer the bitter HUMILIATION he so deserves and fears."

Well, at least you stopped pretending to be anything but a TDS-riddled Dembot.


As for food stamps, threatening them is a culture war thing Republicans (and many Democrats) like to engage in. But since from the point of view of the system food stamps are really laundered corporate welfare for the food manufacturers and agribusiness, I doubt they'll be going anywhere soon.

The fact that they help lots of people is, from the system's POV, purely a side effect.

Russ , Dec 6 2019 6:56 utc | 118
As for the hyperlink crisis, I admit I don't see what's so hard about learning one small piece of HTML (especially since it's described right there in the comment form), but then I've been using it for many years.

But I'll repeat one helpful hint someone once posted here - if your link has dashes in it, it won't break the screen. Otherwise it might.

Igor Bundy , Dec 6 2019 7:26 utc | 119
These born again satan worshippers actually do believe they are the second coming of his highness lucifer..

They ofcourse get off on the despicable nature of themselves ad the rottenest of humans to grace the earth in recent times.

Norwegian , Dec 6 2019 8:19 utc | 120
there were a few Russian volunteers fighting on their side but no Russian military units entered the Ukraine.
There is at least one American volunteer fighting on the east ukrainian side, so by the logic of this woman the ukrainians are fighting USA.
Circe , Dec 6 2019 8:27 utc | 121
@117 Russ
You should check what they're putting in your porridge. You're seeing Dembots everywhere.

Unlike Nancy Pelosi, I'm proud to say I hate Trump. You like Vampyr Giuliani, Pompeo, Lindsey Graham, Adelson, Nunes, loudmouth Jordan, wise guy Goetz...etc? These are some of the most rabid defenders of Trump. You must like sewer rats, too!

By the way, TDS, stands for Trump Delusion Syndrome and you got it bad.

@12 Ma Laoshi

It's the same it's ever been under Trump; he just seems "exceptionally" poorly attuned

It's the same on steriods.

Trump is extremely manipulative, devious and preys on and exploits every weakness, so anyone smarter than him will immediately recognize these traits and naturally protect themseleves. He invites treachery, because he is not a good person. He's driven solely by an insatiable ego. You forget that his mentor was Roy Cohn. His problem is that he's self-absorbed and obsessed with his image and distracted with all the tweeting and watching t.v. in between doing his hair, tanning, golf and official duties. Melania doesn't figure; they have separate rooms. So not only does he invite treachery but he gives it time and space. Thank goodness for that!

ian , Dec 6 2019 8:57 utc | 122
There's a special kind of stupid that you see with academics.

[Dec 06, 2019] HARPER ANGRY AND SHRILL SCHOLARS NOT WHAT WAS NEEDED

Notable quotes:
"... I was shocked and disappointed that the three "constitutional scholars" called by the Democratic majority were shrill, angry, exaggerated and thoroughly partisan. Their job was not to discuss the evidence against President Trump, but to provide the panel and the American people with clear and dispassionate insight into the minds of the Founders, the history of the three previous impeachment proceedings and how it applies to the current matter. ..."
"... In contrast, Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, at least grasped the danger of partisan hijacking. With no small bit of humor, he noted the angry mood that has infected the nation, joking that even his dog is angry. He focused on the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, arguing it was the closest parallel to the present situation with Donald Trump--precisely because of the heavy partisanship in the current situation. ..."
"... The Founders did not contemplate nor provide for this post WWII expansion of the unelected and equally unresponsive fourth branch of government. We can thank JFK for weaponizing them once he granted government employees the right to unionize. And that is what we saw on display yesterday- weaponized government workers versus the rest of us. ..."
"... Let us recall that during the Cold War, in fact from 1920 to 1991 , Ukraine was part of the USSR. Did this fact damage U.S. national security or the U.S. national interest? Not to any significant degree, as betoken by the fact that the U.S. is widely acknowledged to have won the Cold War, as betoken by the breakup of the USSR. ..."
Dec 05, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Having spent most of Wednesday listening to the "scholars" testifying about the Constitutional standards for impeachment, I came away more convinced than ever that Alexander Hamilton was absolutely right when he warned in Federalist Papers 65 of the danger of the matter of impeachment of a President becoming hostage to partisan passions.

Hamilton wrote:

"A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.

"The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs, speak for themselves. The difficulty of placing it rightly, in a government resting entirely on the basis of periodical elections, will as readily be perceived, when it is considered that the most conspicuous characters in it will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account, can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny."

Hamilton was primarily discussing the role of the Senate as the impartial jury hearing evidence of impeachable crimes following the passage of articles of impeachment by the House of Representatives. But the fundamental issue of partisan fury is really what is at stake.

I expected partisan fury from the Democratic and Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee, but I was shocked and disappointed that the three "constitutional scholars" called by the Democratic majority were shrill, angry, exaggerated and thoroughly partisan. Their job was not to discuss the evidence against President Trump, but to provide the panel and the American people with clear and dispassionate insight into the minds of the Founders, the history of the three previous impeachment proceedings and how it applies to the current matter.

I was most shocked by the shrill and anger from Dr. Karlan of Stanford, who is clearly an accomplished legal scholar, but let her partisan passions color her presentation in a way that only contributed to the sense that the critical issue of presidential impeachment has been thoroughly hijacked--as Hamilton warned--by partisanship, factionalism and ulterior motives.

In contrast, Jonathan Turley of George Washington University, at least grasped the danger of partisan hijacking. With no small bit of humor, he noted the angry mood that has infected the nation, joking that even his dog is angry. He focused on the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson, arguing it was the closest parallel to the present situation with Donald Trump--precisely because of the heavy partisanship in the current situation.

Turley also expressed alarm at the speed with which the impeachment has been carried out and at the lack of consideration of exculpatory evidence. In his tone, he brought a degree of serious scholarship to an otherwise kangaroo process. And to make matters clear, he told the panel that he did not support President Trump, did not vote for him, and is not himself caught up in the passions of partisanship on either side of the aisle. A President should not be impeached over an abrasive personality and a tendency to punch back first and ask questions later. If that was the standard, Donald Trump would be guilty as charged.

The denigrating of the impeachment process into a partisan circus is not what the Founders intended. Hamilton spoke clearly but the Democrats and their constitutional scholars were tone deaf. Very disappointing for our nation.

Posted at 11:40 AM | Permalink


Rick Merlotti , 05 December 2019 at 12:02 PM
Hamilton was perhaps the greatest genius America has produced, with the possible exception of Ben Franklin. They would both be shocked and appalled by these partisan "scholars". Good God, the level of intelligence in this nation has fallen precipitously since those days. Almost as much as our morals.
turcopolier , 05 December 2019 at 12:16 PM
Rick Marlotti

i prefer Jefferson but I take your point.

Factotum , 05 December 2019 at 12:36 PM
Open hearings allow all of us to make up our own minds- about both content and delivery. This was a major fail yesterday. Turley has been warning about the expansive growth of the unelected fourth branch of government even during the Obama era when he was testifying against activist interpretation of express Obamacare terminology.

The Founders did not contemplate nor provide for this post WWII expansion of the unelected and equally unresponsive fourth branch of government. We can thank JFK for weaponizing them once he granted government employees the right to unionize. And that is what we saw on display yesterday- weaponized government workers versus the rest of us.

Where do we go next is the only discussion worthy of having. We should by now have moved well beyond shock and alarm. How do we limit and diminish a weaponized, unelected government workforce, who can over turn every single fundamental precept of our constitutional framework of governance. Suggestions please - we are at a critical juncture.

Action plan: Identify and defang. What say you, Professor Turley?

Keith Harbaugh , 05 December 2019 at 01:27 PM
Some thought/suggestions on the impeachment:

1. Col. Lang wrote an excellent post on 'Who "debunked" the Biden conspiracy theories?' . I would like to suggest a companion post on 'Who defines "the national interests of the United States" '. Motivation: Per the number one story of the 2019-12-04 NYT ,

House Democrats on Tuesday (12-03) asserted that President Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election, releasing an impeachment report that found the president "placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States ."
Leaving aside the obvious politics of this, I repeat the question in the title of my suggested post. The assumption of Dems and most of the MSM seems to be that Ukraine is somehow "vital to the U.S. national security".

Really?

Let us recall that during the Cold War, in fact from 1920 to 1991 , Ukraine was part of the USSR. Did this fact damage U.S. national security or the U.S. national interest? Not to any significant degree, as betoken by the fact that the U.S. is widely acknowledged to have won the Cold War, as betoken by the breakup of the USSR.

So if Ukraine was not essential to U.S. national security when the USSR was a very real and potent threat, why is Ukraine now considered, by so many of the ersatz "elite", now "vital to U.S. ..."? I think that is a question worth justifying and asking.

2. Over and over again, we are told that the request for investigations of Ukraine are purely "for Trump's personal political gain".
Again, really?
Again, citing Col. Lang's excellent post 'Who "debunked" the Biden conspiracy theories?' ,
there are plenty of questions about the U.S./Ukraine connection, and related events in Ukraine, that deserve to be asked and answered.
And not just by the MSM, that has made it more than clear that they are only interested in, and willing to, give one side of the story vis-a-vis Ukraine.
C.f. John Solomon's columns, where he has pointed out many issues warranting investigation,
also the issues Rudy Giuliani keeps raising.

Here is a suggestion:
The left in America has a policy of floating public petitions on various issues, inviting Americans to "sign up" to endorse their favorite points of view.
I think it would be good if a petition could be floated

That would make it clear that Trump's request for investigations was not just
"for his personal political gain",
but something many Americans desire, but that the MSM and Dems have stonewalled,
calling such concerns "debunked conspiracy theories."

akaPatience , 05 December 2019 at 01:48 PM
There aren't enough flags in the world for Nancy Pelosi to surround herself with that can mask the blatant tyranny of her majority's actions in the House of Representatives. I've never witnessed so much intellectual dishonesty, hypocrisy and destruction of democracy as I have since the POTUS' stunning victory in 2016. Leftists point to Clinton's popular vote lead in that election, ignoring that Trump shrewdly campaigned with the Constitutional reality in mind of the role the Electoral College plays in the outcome.

Democrats are driving us perilously close towards another civil war, which leads me to take back everything I ever said about gun control. I would've never dreamed before now that there could come a time when we'd have to take up arms against tyranny in the United States. Tragically, it just may come to that before too long if the corruption, unfairness and abuse continues.

Fred , 05 December 2019 at 03:11 PM
Harper,

I disagree. I believe Dr. Karlan of Stanford and the other two professors, Noah Feldman of Harvard and Michael Gerhardt The University of North Carolina School of Law, have done a great service to the Republic. To wit:
1. They have shown that all three, but especially Dr. Karlan, are, due to their temperament, completely unqualified to be elevated to the Federal Judiciary - at any level.
2. They have shown that Academia, espeically as represented by professors from two elite, private, tax exempt institutions, are peopled by individuals who are both vicious and highly partisan.
3. That these bastions of alleged elite and principled thought, which consume billions in direct and indirect federal subsidies, are both lead by and produce second rate leaders fosued upon conformity to ideology. They are unconcerned with things such as economic influences on political events nor conditions of US citizens in our federal republic. They show more admiration of the conduct of foreign affairs by an institutional bureaucracy loyal to itself and it's interpretation of the Constitution than they do to the powers specificly granted to the elected President therein.

These are great services from the Triumvirate of Academia, for they show that we can safely cut these elite instituion subsidies by the billions; that degrees given by these instituions are of dubious value; and that firms hiring employees educated there my bring the closed minded partisianship and all that entails into the workplace. So thank you Dr. Kaplan, Mr. Feldman and Mr. Gerhadt. You have all done us all a great service.

To Donald J. Trump I reccomned you call Betsy Devos and tell her to double down immediately. Then you need to direct every agency to audit every grant given to every one of these universities to see that they are actually following the law. Since, unlike aid to Ukriane, these dispursements of the taxpayer's money DO come with strings attached.

oldman22 , 05 December 2019 at 03:42 PM
Karlan, at the hearing:

"This is not just about our national interests to protect elections or make sure Ukraine stays strong and fights the Russians so we don't have to fight them here"

smart but not wise

I first became aware of Karlan during Bush v. Gore.
She clerked for Justice Blackmun, who said she wrote the dissent for him in Bowers v, Hardwick. That dissent eventually became law when Bowers was overruled in Lawrence v. Texas.

Stanford is very proud of Karlan:
https://law.stanford.edu/directory/pamela-s-karlan/#slsnav-news

Karlan told Politico in 2009: "It's no secret at all that I'm counted among the LGBT crowd". She has described herself as an example of a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish women".


BrotherJoe , 05 December 2019 at 04:12 PM
I have a question for those knowledgeable about Constitutional law.
If the president is impeached would he be able to use all the facilities of the executive branch to aid in his defence? For example, to use the FBI or Justice dept to investigate his accusers. On the one hand it seems to me that this could be allowed as being a defence of the office of the presidency; on the other hand I could see where it would be considered as using his office for personal "gain".
If this question has been answered in another post I apologize.
Bobo , 05 December 2019 at 05:04 PM
There must be something else going on between now and Christmas for the Democrats to be in such a rush to Impeach the President with no fact based witnesses within their case. Whatever it may be it must be a doozy. Listening to legal scholars yesterday left me thinking, Wow, now I know what the Salem Witch Trials were like with 3/4 stating hang him in many ways and 1/4 offering reasonable advice as he believed there was no case but maybe there will be if they try harder. So it's off to the Senate and that is not a slam dunk.
turcopolier , 05 December 2019 at 07:24 PM
MP

He meant Jewish but did not want to say it.

[Dec 06, 2019] Thanks to Pamela Karlan for so aptly capturing Democratic elites' delusional, Reaganite, jingoistic Cold Warrior mindset

Dec 06, 2019 | twitter.com

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Aaron Maté ‏ 3:47 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Thanks to Pamela Karlan for so aptly capturing Democratic elites' delusional, Reaganite, jingoistic Cold Warrior mindset in your claim that we need to arm Ukraine "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here" & we remain "that shining city on the hill." pic.twitter.com/C78aNThnUk

Aaron Maté ‏ 7:46 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Rep. @ davidcicilline tells Cold War Chris @ chrislhayes that Trump "was really compromising [US] national security" by briefly holding military aid to Ukraine -- aka "the tip of the spear" against Russia. So did Obama compromise national security when he refused to send it at all? pic.twitter.com/b7eAT90hvu

Aaron Maté ‏ 7:50 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Every Democratic lawmaker & pundit making this Cold Warrior claim should be asked this very simple Q: how does (briefly) not sending weapons to Ukraine compromise US national security? And when Obama refused to send them in his 2nd term, did he compromise US national security?

3:55 PM - 4 Dec 2019

This is an excellent example of how liberals are okay with supporting neo-Nazi governments.

Ringuette ‏ 5:16 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Christ. You have no real sense of what you are defending, do you? The liberals you malign are fighting the actual neo-nazis and white supremacists in the Republican Party. In the United States. Right now.

4:32 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Aren't there a lot of Ukrainian Neo-Nazis? And is it possible arming them might be something that in retrospect seems like a regrettable choice?

Muscovy Beast ‏ 5:23 PM - 5 Dec 2019

Correct. The only person who was seriously covering it, before it even entered US news cycles, was Robert Parry from Consortium, who, unfortunately, passed away. He was right about all of it (& was still dismissed). Articles are likely still up. Western coup.

from_kherson ‏ 4:25 PM - 4 Dec 2019

While Democratic elites are salivating over arming Ukraine to fight Russia "so we don't have to fight them here", Ukraine's president is actually trying to bring peace to the country. https://www. unian.info/politics/10768 217-zelensky-on-donbas-peace-talks-in-paris-this-war-must-end.html

Putin Peace (and Potatoes) ‏ 6:05 PM - 4 Dec 2019

The Democrats seem clueless about what's going on in Ukraine and they don't care, which makes me angry. They present themselves as the good guys while they vote for military spending & aid instead of supporting peace.

Ian Wilkie ‏ 3:53 PM - 4 Dec 2019

I've said it before but I'll say it again: Demohawks are the worst kind of hawks. Principally because very few of them have served in the military. My Unit's life expectancy in the Fulda Gap was 72 hours. No US military should be based in Ukraine. Not a US ally. Not even close.

john barnett ‏ 4:31 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Americans seem to only be able to think of anything in terms of a good guy vs a bad guy. while Russia is worse, there are no good guys in Ukraine either. we have no legitimate interest in entangling ourselves in such a cesspool of corruption as Ukraine.

Donald Martell 3:49 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Jesus christ these people have no idea what they're doing

Phil ‏ 4:10 PM - 4 Dec 2019

The Kissinger approach to foreign policy is pretty much this: power must always act regardless of objective, because by creating chaos the powerful remain in power while everyone else scrambles to survive.

Pete LaPlace ‏ 5:32 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Good lord, we're back in the 1950's. pic.twitter.com/InHL0yWHLx

#FreeAssange 5:47 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Oh yes. Why create new propaganda tropes when the old ones still work so well... 😣 😫 😣

Barnaby Tudbubble ‏ 3:51 PM - 4 Dec 2019

"promoting democracy worldwide" & "if we look hypocritical" as they embrace coups everywhere. these people are sickening

Ludmilla ‏ 4:46 PM - 4 Dec 2019

I had to turn it off, coul dnot stand her voice and her pronunciation. So annoying...

Todd Appel ‏ 4:34 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Stanford Law Professor?. Just sickening

Janet Weil ‏ 9:46 PM - 4 Dec 2019

There's one even more sickening at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall (Law School): John "Torture Memo" Yoo. @ codepink protested him there for years.

Daniel 4:03 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Dem leadership today is a hideous beast Who are they expecting this to appeal to? Embarrassing

Phil ‏ 4:09 PM - 4 Dec 2019

billionaires who profit from a world in tatters: that's who they always try to appeal to.

Emma ‏ 4:01 PM - 4 Dec 2019

So what's she saying is we like to use poor countries to do our fighting for us so we (us clever Law Professors) can stay comfortably safe in our ivory towers. She seems nice..

Phil ‏ 4:13 PM - 4 Dec 2019

I'm pretty sure she also thinks law books are used to hit people over the head, not to be read to see if the law is being used as it was written.

Putin Peace (and Potatoes) ‏ 5:19 PM - 4 Dec 2019

She was over the top. And I heard she is their new hero. 🤔 Scary.

Lisa Mojica 5:35 PM - 4 Dec 2019

Continuing to normalize rehabilitate the security state.

benji_schoendorff ‏ 3:59 PM - 4 Dec 2019

The level of Imperial delusion is off the charts with this one. Sadly she's unlikely to be an outlier

Do Not Forget 3:57 PM - 4 Dec 2019

"City on a hill" John Winthrop, "A Model of Christian Charity," 1635; "In 1636, the Pequot War exploded. The Europeans massacred the Native Americans, including women and children. These terror tactics shocked the First Nation people."

Jeff Moore ‏ Dec 4

Christ, this is getting scarier and scarier.

dhanuraashi ‏ 3:54 PM - 4 Dec 2019

"Our strategy is this: We will fight them over there so we do not have to face them in the United States of America." US History is an endless loop. https:// georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/ 2007/08/20070828-2.html

Tim Owen ‏ 4:38 PM - 4 Dec 2019

I half think this whole farce is about reinforcing the false narrative of Russiagate re. Russian perfidy. Just an exercise in further conditioning the public. The level of delusion re. the order and nature of events in Ukraine is staggering.

[Dec 06, 2019] The '80s called! Impeachment witness Karlan mocked for suggesting Ukrainians are helping prevent Russian invasion of US

Notable quotes:
"... Karlan's emphatic doomsday warning produced stunned reaction online, with conservative journalist Jack Posobiec describing the moment as one in which the respected professor went "full neocon." ..."
"... For most level-headed experts, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Americans would need to be 'fighting the Russians' on US soil, regardless of US policy in Ukraine -- but perhaps Karlan just took 'Red Dawn', a 1980s Soviet-invasion movie, a bit too seriously. ..."
"... "No wonder Russia is leary of the US -- this is what is being taught to our children," ..."
"... "Hey, the '80s called and wants its foreign policy back or something," ..."
"... the professor accused Trump of "violating his oath" to defend the Constitution and sacrificing the national interest "for his own private ends" in his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, around which the impeachment hearings are centered. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.rt.com

Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan raised eyebrows online for suggesting during congressional impeachment hearings that the US must keep Ukraine strong "so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here." Yes, you read that right. It seems in Karlan's mind, all that's stopping "the Russians" from invading the US is the Ukrainian army, which must be kept strong to stave off the ultimate disaster. The law professor made the baffling comment during the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Karlan's emphatic doomsday warning produced stunned reaction online, with conservative journalist Jack Posobiec describing the moment as one in which the respected professor went "full neocon."

Professor Karlan just went full neocon and said we need to arm Ukraine to fight the Russians there so we don't have to fight them here. Yes, really. pic.twitter.com/jeMPXgP7kf

-- Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) December 4, 2019

"The students who are paying through the nose at Stanford are really not getting value for money," added author and commentator George Szamuely, referring to Karlan's teaching role at the prestigious university. "Anyone else would be laughed out of the pub," for making such a statement, Szamuely continued.

The statement is so cretinous that one can safely say that only a Stanford law professor could utter it. Anyone else would be laughed out of the pub.

-- George Szamuely (@GeorgeSzamuely) December 4, 2019

For most level-headed experts, it would be difficult to imagine a scenario in which Americans would need to be 'fighting the Russians' on US soil, regardless of US policy in Ukraine -- but perhaps Karlan just took 'Red Dawn', a 1980s Soviet-invasion movie, a bit too seriously.

Some on Twitter also wondered where Karlan had been when the Obama administration was denying military aid to Ukraine -- particularly as she herself worked at the Justice Department during his presidency.

"No wonder Russia is leary of the US -- this is what is being taught to our children," another person said .

"Hey, the '80s called and wants its foreign policy back or something," wrote another.

During her testimony, the professor accused Trump of "violating his oath" to defend the Constitution and sacrificing the national interest "for his own private ends" in his communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, around which the impeachment hearings are centered.

[Dec 06, 2019] 'This Lady Needs A Shrink!' Tucker Mocks Prof Karlan's Unhinged Impeachment Testimony

Dec 06, 2019 | www.prisonplanet.com

Information Liberation
December 5, 2019

The Democrats' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday was a dumpster fire.

As Tucker Carlson highlighted on his show Wednesday night, the star of the hearing was Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan, who likes to describe herself as a "snarky, bisexual, Jewish" woman :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1jGd0MCOCnY

Carlson mocked her testimony and found some old footage of her pushing the lie of "white male privilege" all the way back in 2006.

"We have to seize back the high ground on patriotism and love of our country because we have more reason than they do to love America," Karlan says in the clip. "The rich, pampered prodigal sanctimonious incurious white, straight sons of the powerful do pretty well everywhere in the world and they always have."

"This lady needs a shrink," Carlson joked. "'The sons of the powerful?' Really? You are a law professor at Stanford and you are lecturing other people how they are powerful? Right."

During her testimony, Karlan also regurgitated old neocon talking points insisting we need to arm the Ukrainians "so we can fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here."

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"And I think in the Intelligence Committee you heard testimony that it isn't just our national interest in protecting our national elections, it isn't just our national interest to make sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front lines so we can fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here," Karlan said.

Karlan also made a very stupid joke about Barron Trump, got scolded by Melania Trump and chose to come out and apologize:

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Karlan was reportedly on Hillary Clinton's list for a potential Supreme Court nomination

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At one point, she even appeared to blame Trump for ruining her thanksgiving:

me title=

Another unearthed video of Karlan showed her saying how she "had to cross the street" when walking by Trump Hotel is Washington DC.

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Truly hilarious!

This article was posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019

[Dec 06, 2019] Defeat the Mainstream Media Low-Intellect Dinosaurs Are Behind US Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... There is no longer any doubt. The people who are not elected and don't represent the American people are lunatics. Look at the hubris on display here with Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan. ..."
"... With these low grade sub-standard people like Karlan it really is time to drain the swamp but make certain the drain isn't plugged. Keep in mind too that this impeachment movement against President Trump is being led by Jewish participants including Kaplan who is Jewish. ..."
"... This would make sense considering American Jewish oligarchs are working with Ukrainian Jewish oligarchs. It is pathological as to just how much Jews hate Russia. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | abeldanger.blogspot.com

Ed.'s note:

There is no longer any doubt. The people who are not elected and don't represent the American people are lunatics. Look at the hubris on display here with Stanford law professor Pamela Karlan.

Is it any wonder that today in America university students are confused and compromised . It is probably true to a certain extent that what Kaplan is saying in public is probably to degrade President Trump on Ukraine, however, the Russians are paying very close attention.

These are the kind of "low-intellect dinosaurs" behind U.S. foreign policy calling themselves "professors" who are responsible for "educating" American youth.

With these low grade sub-standard people like Karlan it really is time to drain the swamp but make certain the drain isn't plugged. Keep in mind too that this impeachment movement against President Trump is being led by Jewish participants including Kaplan who is Jewish.

This would make sense considering American Jewish oligarchs are working with Ukrainian Jewish oligarchs. It is pathological as to just how much Jews hate Russia.

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