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Creepy Joe Bulletin, 2019

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[Jun 03, 2020] Dems ratpack of reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, and race hustlers is actually a fifth column for Trump re-election by Fred Reed

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line? ..."
"... Probably the Russians are behind it. ..."
Jul 25, 2019 | www.unz.com

They're going to do it, I tell you: The whole touchy-feely do-gooding ratpack of Microaggression worriers, reparations freaks, weird sexual curiosities, race hustlers, bat.-Antifa psychos, and egalitarian enstupidators of universities. They are going to elect Trump. Again.

Washington, where I shortly will be for a bit, is crazy. It has not the slightest, wan, etiolated idea of what is going on in America. The Democrats are fielding as candidates a roster of middle-school clowns and unflavored tapioca. Are they secretly in Trump's pay? Like Clinton with her "Deplorables" suicide line?

Probably the Russians are behind it.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Notable quotes:
"... If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS. ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,

But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.

The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 31, 2019] A Joe Biden event on Sunday at a New Hampshire Middle School gymnasium was interrupted by two protesters, who assailed 'quid pro Joe' with accusations of being a 'pervert' and making money in Ukraine.

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

psychohistorian , Dec 30 2019 16:16 utc | 51

Below is a ZH link about the latest Biden rally in New Hampshire

"Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

The take away quotes
"
A Joe Biden event on Sunday at a New Hampshire Middle School gymnasium was interrupted by two protesters, who assailed 'quid pro Joe' with accusations of being a 'pervert' and making money in Ukraine.
.................
On the bright side, Joe was able to avoid calling either of them fat or 'damn liars.'
"

I love the smell of speaking truth to power in the morning.

[Dec 31, 2019] Skripals false flag and Russiagate are birds of the feather

Dec 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 29 2019 22:21 utc | 28

@Posted by: sleepy | Dec 29 2019 17:38 utc | 8

Thanks sleeply,
But underlying your comment is an assumption of *logic* in this world. If it ever existed it certainly does not
apply any longer. Look how much mileage the MSM and the anti-Democracy Party got out of the nothingburger Russiagate.
The MSM doesn't even need to smell real blood, they will run with anything to continue the coup.

Anything negative that involves Edward Gallagher between now and election day could be magnified 1 million-fold and
repeated 1000 million times by the MSM and dropped in Trump's lap.

If the CIA/MI6/FBI did attempt to create a sting it need not be as dramatic as the Skripal fakery. What would you dream up if you were tasked by the CIA to propose something? KISS.

[Dec 30, 2019] "Don't Touch Kids You Pervert!": Biden Middle School Gymnasium Rally Melts Down Into Chaos

Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

"How much money did you make in Ukraine?"

[Dec 30, 2019] Because You d Be In Jail! - The Real Reason Democrats Are Pushing Trump Impeachment by Robert Bridge

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the time-honored tradition of Machiavellian statecraft, all of the charges being leveled against Donald Trump to remove him from office – namely, 'abuse of power' and 'obstruction of congress' –are essentially the same things the Democratic Party has been guilty of for nearly half a decade : abusing their powers in a non-stop attack on the executive branch. Is the reason because they desperately need a 'get out of jail free' card?

Due to the non-stop action in Washington of late, few believe that the present state of affairs between the Democrats and Donald Trump are exclusively due to a telephone call between the US leader and the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. That is only scratching the surface of a story that is practically boundless.

Back in April 2016, before Trump had become the Republican presidential nominee, talk of impeachment was already in the air.

"Donald Trump isn't even the Republican nominee yet," wrote Darren Samuelsohn in Politico.

Yet impeachment, he noted, is "already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress."

The timing of Samuelsohn's article is not a little astonishing given what the Department of Justice (DOJ) had discovered just one month earlier.

In March 2016, the DOJ found that "the FBI had been employing outside contractors who had access to raw Section 702 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data, and retained that access after their work for the FBI was completed," as Jeff Carlson reported in The Epoch Times.

That sort of foreign access to sensitive data is highly improper and was the result of "deliberate decision-making," according to the findings of an April 2017 FISA court ruling ( footnote 69 ).

On April 18, 2016, then-National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to terminate all FBI outside-contractor access. Later, on Oct. 21, 2016, the FBI and the DOJ's National Security Division (NSD), and despite they were aware of Rogers's actions, moved ahead anyways with a request for a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The request was approved by the FISA court, which, apparently, was still in the dark about the violations.

On Oct. 26, following approval of the warrant against Page, Rogers went to the FISA court to inform them of the FBI's non-compliance with the rules. Was it just a coincidence that at exactly this time, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter were suddenly calling for Roger's removal? The request was eventually rejected. The next month, in mid-November 2016 Rogers, without first notifying his superiors, flew to New York where he had a private meeting with Trump at Trump Towers.

According to the New York Times, the meeting – the details of which were never publicly divulged, but may be guessed at – "caused consternation at senior levels of the administration."

Democratic obstruction of justice?

Then CIA Director John Brennan, dismayed about a few meetings Trump officials had with the Russians, helped to kick-start the FBI investigation over 'Russian collusion.' Notably, these Trump-Russia meetings occurred in December 2016, as the incoming administration was in the difficult transition period to enter the White House. The Democrats made sure they made that transition as ugly as possible.

Although it is perfectly normal for an incoming government to meet with foreign heads of state at this critical juncture, a meeting at Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Trump's incoming national security adviser and former Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, was portrayed as some kind of cloak and dagger scene borrowed from a John le Carré thriller.

Brennan questioning the motives behind high-level meetings between the Trump team and some Russians is strange given that the lame duck Obama administration was in the process of redialing US-Russia relations back to the Cold War days, all based on the debunked claim that Moscow handed Trump the White House on a silver platter.

In late December 2016, after Trump had already won the election, Obama slapped Russia with punitive sanctions, expelled 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two Russian facilities. Since part of Trump's campaign platform was to mend relations with Moscow, would it not seem logical that the incoming administration would be in damage-control, doing whatever necessary to prevent relations between the world's premier nuclear powers from degrading even more?

So if it wasn't 'Russian collusion' that motivated the Democrats into action, what was it?

From Benghazi to Seth Rich

Here we must pause and remind ourselves about the unenviable situation regarding Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, who was being grilled daily over her use of a private computer to communicate sensitive documents via email. In all likelihood, the incident would have dropped from the radar had it not been for the deadly 2012 Benghazi attacks on a US compound.

In the course of a House Select Committee investigation into the circumstances surrounding the attacks, which resulted in the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US personnel, Clinton handed over some 30,000 emails, while reportedly deleting 32,000 deemed to be of a "personal nature". Those emails remain unaccounted for to this day.

I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015

By March 2015, even the traditionally tepid media was baring its baby fangs, relentlessly pursuing Clinton over the email question. Since Clinton never made a secret of her presidential ambitions, even political allies were piling on. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), for example, said it's time for Clinton "to step up" and explain herself, adding that "silence is going to hurt her."

On July 24, 2015, The New York Times published a front-page story with the headline "Criminal Inquiry Sought in Clinton's Use of Email." Later, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post candidly summed up Clinton's rapidly deteriorating status with elections fast approaching: "Democrats still show no sign they are willing to abandon Clinton. Instead, they seem to be heading into the 2016 election with a deeply flawed candidate schlepping around plenty of baggage -- the details of which are not yet known."

Moving into 2016, things began to look increasingly complicated for the Democratic front-runner. On March 16, 2016, WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive for over 30 thousand emails and attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was Secretary of State. The 50,547-page treasure trove spans the dates from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014.

In May, about one month after Clinton had officially announced her candidacy for the US presidency, the State Department's inspector general released an 83-page report that was highly critical of Clinton's email practices, concluding that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private server.

"At a minimum," the report determined, "Secretary Clinton should have surrendered all emails dealing with Department business before leaving government service and, because she did not do so, she did not comply with the Department's policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act."

The following month brought more bad news for Clinton and her presidential hopes after it was reported that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, had a 30-minute tęte-ŕ-tęte with Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, whose department was leading the Clinton investigations, on the tarmac at Phoenix International Airport. Lynch said Clinton decided to pay her an impromptu visit where the two discussed "his grandchildren and his travels and things like that." Republicans, however, certainly weren't buying the story as the encounter came as the FBI was preparing to file its recommendation to the Justice Department.

The summer of 2016, however, was just heating up.

I take @LorettaLynch & @billclinton at their word that their convo in Phoenix didn't touch on probe. But foolish to create such optics.

-- David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) June 30, 2016
Hack versus Leak?

On the early morning of July 10, Seth Rich, the director of voter expansion for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), was gunned down on the street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, DC. Rich's murder, said to be the result of a botched robbery, bucked the homicide trend in the area for that particular period; murders rates for the first six months of 2016 were down about 50 percent from the same period in the previous year.

In any case, the story gets much stranger. Just five days earlier, on July 5th, the computers at the DNC were compromised, purportedly by an online persona with the moniker "Guccifer 2.0" at the behest of Russian intelligence. This is where the story of "Russian hacking" first gained popularity. Not everyone, however, was buying the explanation.

In July 2017, a group of former U.S. intelligence officers, including NSA specialists, who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) sent a memo to President Trump that challenged a January intelligence assessment that expressed "high confidence" that the Russians had organized an "influence campaign" to harm Hillary Clinton's "electability," as if she wasn't capable of that without Kremlin support.

"Forensic studies of 'Russian hacking' into Democratic National Committee computers last year reveal that on July 5, 2016, data was leaked (not hacked) by a person with physical access to DNC computer," the memo states (The memo's conclusions were based on analyses of metadata provided by the online persona Guccifer 2.0, who took credit for the alleged hack). "Key among the findings of the independent forensic investigations is the conclusion that the DNC data was copied onto a storage device at a speed that far exceeds an Internet capability for a remote hack."

In other words, according to VIPS, the compromise of the DNC computers was the result of an internal leak, not an external hack.

At this point, however, it needs mentioned that the VIPS memo has sparked dissenting views among its members. Several analysts within the group have spoken out against its findings, and that internal debate can be read here . Thus, it would seem there is no 'smoking gun,' as of yet, to prove that the DNC was not hacked by an external entity. At the same time, the murder of Seth Rich continues to remain an unsolved "botched robbery," according to investigators. Meanwhile, the one person who may hold the key to the mystery, Julian Assange, is said to be withering away Belmarsh Prison, a high-security London jail, where he is awaiting a February court hearing that will decide whether he will be extradited to the United States where he 18 charges.

Here is a question to ponder: If you were Julian Assange, and you knew you were going to be extradited to the United States, who would you rather be the sitting president in charge of your fate, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Think twice before answering.

"Because you'd be in jail"

On October 9, 2016, in the second televised presidential debates between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump accused his Democratic opponent of deleting 33,000 emails, while adding that he would get a "special prosecutor and we're going to look into it " To this, Clinton said "it's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country," to which Trump deadpanned, without missing a beat, "because you'd be in jail."

Now if that remark didn't get the attention of high-ranking Democratic officials, perhaps Trump's comments at a Virginia rally days later, when he promised to "drain the swamp," made folks sit up and take notice.

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

At this point the leaks, hacks and everything in between were already coming fast and furious. On October 7, John Podesta, Clinton's presidential campaign manager, had his personal Gmail account hacked, thereby releasing a torrent of inside secrets, including how Donna Brazile, then a CNN commentator, had fed Clinton debate questions. But of course the crimes did not matter to the mendacious media, only the identity of the alleged messenger, which of course was 'Russia.'

By now, the only thing more incredible than the dirt being produced on Clinton was the fact that she was still in the presidential race, and even slated to win by a wide margin. But perhaps her biggest setback came when authorities, investigating Anthony Weiner's abused laptop into illicit text messages he sent to a 15-year-old girl, stumbled upon thousands of email messages from Hillary Clinton.

BREAKING NEWS: @jasoninthehouse : @HillaryClinton email - "Case reopened." pic.twitter.com/feVlU2aNP9

-- Fox News (@FoxNews) October 28, 2016

Now Comey had to backpedal on his conclusion in July that although Clinton was "extremely careless" in her use of her electronic devices, no criminal charges would be forthcoming. He announced an 11th hour investigation, just days before the election. Although Clinton was also cleared in this case, observers never forgave Comey for his actions, arguing they cost Clinton the White House.

Now James Comey is back in the spotlight as one of the main characters in the Barr-Durham investigation, which is examining largely out of the spotlight the origins of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory that dogged the White House for four long years.

In early December, Justice Department's independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, released the 400-page IG report that revealed a long list of omissions, mistakes and inconsistencies in the FBI's applications for FISA warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page. Although the report was damning, both Barr and Durham noted it did not go far enough because Horowitz did not have the access that Durham has to intelligence agency sources, as well as overseas contacts that Barr provided to him.

With AG report due for release in early spring, needless to say some Democrats are very nervous as to its finding. So nervous, in fact, that they might just be willing to go to the extreme of removing a sitting president to avoid its conclusions.

Whatever the verdict, 2020 promises to be one very interesting year.

[Dec 30, 2019] Twitter Scrubs Viral Trump Retweet Of Alleged Hoaxblower s Name

Notable quotes:
"... Twitter blamed a computer glitch after President Trump's retweet of a post containing the name alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella mysteriously disappeared from his timeline. After 'fixing' the issue and restoring the retweet, the user was simply banned from the platform so that nobody could see the tweet, which quickly went viral. ..."
Dec 30, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Twitter blamed a computer glitch after President Trump's retweet of a post containing the name alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella mysteriously disappeared from his timeline. After 'fixing' the issue and restoring the retweet, the user was simply banned from the platform so that nobody could see the tweet, which quickly went viral.

" Rep. Ratliffe suggested Monday that the "whistleblower" Eric Ciaramella committed perjury by making false statements in his written forms filed with the ICIG and that Adam Schiff is hiding evidence of Ciaramella's crimes to protect him from criminal investigations," read the tweet made by by now-banned @surfermom77, which describes herself as living in California and a "100% Trump supporter."

Ciaramella has been outed in several outlets as the 'anonymous' CIA official whose whistleblower complaint over a July 25 phone call between Trump and with his Ukrainian counterpart is at the heart of Congressional impeachment proceedings.

Trump retweeted the post around midnight Friday. By Saturday morning, it was no longer visible in his Twitter feed.

When contacted by The Guardian 's Lois Beckett for explanation, Twitter blamed an "outage with one of our systems."

Some people reported earlier today that someone had deleted the alleged-whistleblower's name-retweet from Trump's timeline. Others of us still see *that tweet* on Trump's timeline. When asked for clarification, Twitter said this: https://t.co/Rftkg3nbus https://t.co/XREAvvxjhf

-- Lois Beckett (@loisbeckett) December 29, 2019

By Sunday morning, the tweet had been restored to Trump's timeline - however hours later the user, @Surfermom77, was banned from the platform .

Running cover for Twitter is the Washington Post , which claims " The account shows some indications of automation , including an unusually high amount of activity and profile pictures featuring stock images from the internet."

Surfermom77 has displayed some hallmarks of a Twitter bot, an automated account. A recent profile picture on the account, for instance, is a stock photo of a woman in business attire that is available for use online.

Surfermom77 has also tweeted far more than typical users, more than 170,000 times since the account was activated in 2013. Surfermom77 has posted, on average, 72 tweets a day, according to Nir Hauser, chief technology officer at VineSight, a technology firm that tracks online misinformation. - WaPo

Meanwhile, Trump retweeted another Ciaramella reference on Thursday, after the @TrumpWarRoom responded to whistleblower attorney Mark Zaid's tweet calling for the resignation of Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) from the Senate Whistleblower Caucus after she made "hostile" comments - after she tweeted in November that "Vindictive Vindman is the "whistleblower's" handler (a reference to impeachment witness Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.

It's pretty simple. The CIA "whistleblower" is not a real whistleblower! https://t.co/z6bjGaFCSH pic.twitter.com/RHhkY1BGei

-- FOLLOW Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 26, 2019

As the Washington Times notes, "This week, it was revealed that conservative organization Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act request in November for the communications of Ciaramella, a 33-year-old CIA analyst who is alleged to be the whistleblower."

"The watchdog group requested conversations between Ciaramella and special counsel Robert Mueller, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and former FBI attorney Lisa Page."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 29, 2019] Note on Washington's bizarre priorities by James Antle

Notable quotes:
"... ...Michael Tracey offered this apt summary of Washington's bizarre priorities: "This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is [a] huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in U.S. history is a forgettable non-issue." ..."
Dec 29, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

[Dec 29, 2019] Lyle J. Goldstein The War in Ukraine Must End

Dec 29, 2019 | scotthorton.org

by Scott | Dec 27, 2019 | Interviews Lyle J. Goldstein talks about the need for Russia and Ukraine to get along better, and in general for Europe to handle more of its military and foreign affairs without the involvement of the U.S. Much has been made in certain American circles of supposed Russian aggression in Crimea and Syria, two major pillars of the narrative that Russia is a dangerous enemy that must be met with strength. But these claims present a very slanted narrative, and are mostly used by those who want to keep the U.S. military involved in policing the entire world.

Discussed on the show:

Lyle J. Goldstein is Research Professor in the China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI) at the United States Naval War College in Newport, RI. He is the author of Meeting China Halfway: How to Defuse the Emerging US-China Rivalry . Follow his work at The National Interest .

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT , by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State , by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com ; Tom Woods' Liberty Classroom ; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott ; Washinton Babylon ; Liberty Under Attack Publications ; Listen and Think Audio ; TheBumperSticker.com ; and LibertyStickers.com .

Donate to the show through Patreon , PayPal , or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

[Dec 29, 2019] Note on Ukrainian tribalism and Mechanisms of Russophobia in Ukraine

Dec 29, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

That makes default identity politics a "double or nothing" bet. If it's political successful, it's dragged further and further towards entrenched minority rule by members of the dominant racial or religous group, and typically towards some form of personal dictatorship. If it's unsuccessful, the divisions it creates risks a reversal of the previous order. Instead of being accepted as one element of a diverse community, the formerly dominant group becomes the object of hostility and derision. The signs of that are certainly evident, particularly in relation to the culture wars around religion.

Alex SL 12.27.19 at 10:32 am

I am not really sure where a formerly dominant group has ever become the object of hostility and derision, except maybe when colonial powers were expulsed? It seems the formerly dominant religions and the "real XYZians" are still treated with instinctive deference everywhere, even in societies that are now officially secular or multi-cultural, and regardless of how terrible their dominance was before it was broken.

Michael 12.27.19 at 3:45 pm (no link)

It's been pointed out more than once (e.g., Wendy Brown https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691136219/regulating-aversion ; Beth Povinelli https://www.dukeupress.edu/the-cunning-of-recognition ; etc.) that the expectation of deference is built into the very idea of acceptance. Whoever is doing the accepting is in effect granting a sort of favor; they are positioned as having the privilege to dispense acceptance. In this way, acceptance and domination are internally linked.

... Domination ends when no group feels entitled to grant acceptance to others.

Ray Vinmad 12.27.19 at 4:01 pm ( 9 )
...It is true that there is now orientation away from tolerance because tolerance depends on dominance.

Another way to look at this is that the more heated battles in identity politics (broadly defined) are occurring now because the dominant group is having difficulty with the shift from noblesse oblige 'granting' of equality to others to the insistence by these others on complete and total equality.

To oversimplify, when people in whatever oppressed identity group come to ask themselves 'why can't I be on a completely equal footing with those who do well/benefit from, etc. the current system?' they tend to lose patience with noblesse oblige, and are unwilling to behave with deference. Deference might seem too much like internalizing one's inferiority or the rightness of someone else's dominance.. This means that the groups are more likely to demand things from others rather than wait to receive them.

These things are necessary for full social equality but there will be a lot of hostility among some within dominant groups, and you're now seeing people commit to whatever version of social hierarchy they think works best for them. They ignore or are blind to whatever versions they'd be screwed by. They tend to make common cause on the naturalness of that social hierarchy, and the importance of social hierarchy generally.

This is one reason why affinities between oppressed identity groups aren't merely strategic. Having recognized the legitimacy of this type of demand for full equality for themselves, people with certain identities are probably more likely to recognize it for others. Certain subcultures within oppressed group develop a set of standard moral responses–and these types of demands for full equality for others will seem par for the course. They'll commit themselves to meeting them even for groups whose political interests aren't clearly aligned with their own. Often though, the political interests are broadly aligned but this process does create moral affinities, and general commitments to egalitarianism that the far right ridicules but which follow logically from a broad commitment for social equality.

Even so, there are fights among groups struggling for different types of social equality. Sometimes they are actually in one another's way or are viewed as competition for resources. Sometimes the concern seems more symbolic and maybe motivated by worries that there isn't enough equality to go around.

The interesting consequence is maybe the only power some people making claims for equality have is the power of moral suasion. They are depending on the broader acceptance of social equality, and the logical extension to themselves. So naturally a backlash tries to undermine their moral standing.

Peter Dorman 12.27.19 at 6:57 pm (no link)
The dynamic JQ describes does occur often, but it is not the whole story. I think two distinctions can help in separating where it works from where it doesn't.

The first is between symbolic and concrete relative positioning. JQ is describing a realm in which hierarchies are matters of symbolic exchange: do I relate to you as my inferior, equal or superior? A lot of social interaction is like this. But there are also concrete hierarchies in which people exercise power over others or gain relative advantage irrespective of how their actions are displayed symbolically. In its pure form, for instance, institutional racism is a hierarchy that is not visible at the individual level but shows up through the structural dynamics of the institutions people are embedded in. I think of the interaction between racial segregation in housing, unequal access to credit and the financing of public schools through local property taxes as an example of this. No single individual has to be racist in outlook or intent for the system as a whole to reproduce generation after generation of extreme injustice.

The second is between zero-sum and positive-sum redistributions. Some inequalities are largely zero-sum, in the sense that the benefits to those on the top are due to the deprivations of those on the bottom. An example is the gender division of labor in housework, where more chores for you means more freedom from them for me and vice versa. The Marxist view of profit works that way too (but not necessarily other views). And then there are inequalities in which the benefits of the better off group don't depend on the deprivation of others, such as the risk of being arbitrarily abused or killed by the police. I'm white and less likely to experience this abuse than someone who isn't, but ending this abuse for them doesn't put me at any greater risk.

I think identity politics has been excessively divisive (more precise: has engendered surplus divisiveness) because of the blurring of these two distinctions. Contests over symbolic status, as JQ points out, have an inherent zero sum aspect, especially as we move to the meta level of who should have the right to award respect in the first place. To some extent, these contests are an unavoidable part of social change, and we just have to roll with them. Unfortunately though, symbolic disputes have tended to crowd out concrete ones, where it is often possible to find (ahem) Pareto improvements.

Meanwhile, there is very little awareness of the difference between zero and positive sum situations, as shown by the tendency to call all relative advantages "privilege". A privilege is an unjust, unearned benefit, typically based on the exclusion of others. (Membership has its privileges because nonmembers don't get them.) Private equity billionaires who profit from exorbitant surprise medical bills that bankrupt ordinary people drip with privilege. But heterosexual couples who benefit from marriage laws did not gain at the expense of non-hetero couples that were excluded, and changing the laws to benefit the latter does not harm the former (except perhaps in the world of symbolic hierarchies).

We are awash in sloppy thinking about difference and hierarchy. (There's a lot more than what I've brought up here.) Why we're in this mess is an interesting question.

MisterMr 12.27.19 at 7:12 pm ( 12 )
I'm not sure that identity politics works this way.
This is the way identity politics would work if it was really a sort of philosophical argument about the merits of this or that identity.
But what I see is more a sort of tribalism, where for example here in Italy many conservative parties (especially the Lega) are big on how Italy is a Christian (catholic) country and Muslim immigrants are going to destroy our culture, but then when the Pope says we should welcome immigrants they say he should mind his own business, that is not what you would expect from a firebrand catholic.
SamChevre 12.28.19 at 1:20 am ( 25 )
the idea of tolerance implies the existence of a dominant group that does the tolerating

I'm not certain this is true; the history of religious tolerance seems to feature many cases where no group was a majority, and "we'll argue but not fight, and the government won't take sides" was designed to be the best available system when everyone was a minority. I'd say a very key feature of US politics since the 1960's is that the elite have been increasingly unwilling to tolerate, or provide equal protection of the law to, those who disagree with them–so principles like "free speech doesn't include malicious falsehoods" or "the government doesn't take sides between conceptions of the good" only last until they would protect a previously-normative group that the elite has turned on.

I also think you are missing a key point in the discussion of deference: a normative identity creates both a Schelling point and some incentive to assimilate, and so builds its own majority; think of "white" identity in the US.

Chetan Murthy 12.28.19 at 3:01 am ( 33 )
likbez @ 19:

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity.

You quote from this guy, and others have written the same thing (e.g. Mark [spit] Lilla). Their argument, simply put, is that "identity politics" is a fracturing of society into smaller groups who don't/won't unite.

Peter T 12.28.19 at 5:50 am ( 38 )
Having/continually constructing/renewing identities is an inescapable part of being human. The issue is: what is to constitute the most salient identity? What bundle of markers are to make up being "American" or "British" or "European"? These things are always contested, but the pace of change is usually slow. We live in a time when the question is unusually prominent, so more heavily contested. If, as Chetan says, lots of groups just want to be "American", then by that want they change "American-ness". If they can't agree on some new definition, then the US fractures.

[Dec 29, 2019] CNN (Shockingly) Calls Out Chuck Schumer Over 1999 Impeachment Hypocrisy Zero Hedge

Dec 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

CNN blasted Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Friday over contradictory stances regarding the role of Senators during an impeachment.

In a recent floor speech , Schumer blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for describing himself as "not an impartial juror" when it comes to Trump's upcoming impeachment trial.

"Let the American people hear it loud and clear, the Republican leader said, proudly, 'I'm not an impartial juror. I'm not impartial about this at all.' That is an astonishing admission of partisanship," said Schumer.

Yet, as CNN 's Andrew Kaczynski and Em Steck note, Schumer said during Bill Clinton's 1998 - 1999 impeachment saga that the Senate was "not like a jury box," and that senators, who are not impartial, had previously formed their opinions heading into the trial .

Schumer had attacked his Senate opponent Al D'Mato for not taking a position on impeachment during their 1998 debate. D'Mato said he would not take a position until "the proof is presented" at the Senate trial – calling it "inappropriate." https://t.co/nPMyvjZE6V pic.twitter.com/tYAc6hkwzd

-- andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) December 27, 2019

In fact, as "KFile" notes, Schumer was elected to the Senate in 1998 on the promise that a vote for him would be a vote not to impeach Clinton .

We have a new story looking at past Chuck Schumer's comments on impeachment. Including repeatedly arguing the Senate was not a jury in 1999 and him campaigning that he would not support impeachment or convicting Clinton in 1998. https://t.co/nPMyvjZE6V https://t.co/LPr1BlfD4O pic.twitter.com/87q7hxKLks

-- andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) December 27, 2019

Speaking on CNN's "Larry King Live" in January 1999, Schumer said the trial in the Senate was not like a jury box.

" We have a pre-opinion ," Schumer said, citing himself and two newly-elected Republican senators who had voted on impeachment in 1998 as members of the House of Representatives who said they would vote in the Senate. " This is not a criminal trial, but this is something that the Founding Fathers decided to put in a body that was susceptible to the whims of politics ."

" So therefore, anybody taking an oath tomorrow can have a pre-opinion; it's not a jury box ," King asked Schumer.

"Many do," Schumer responded. "And then they change. In fact, it's also not like a jury box in the sense that people will call us and lobby us. You don't have jurors called and lobbied and things like that. I mean, it's quite different than a jury. And we're also the judge."

A day later, the Republican National Committee attacked Schumer in a press release for previous comments in the House saying there was no basis for impeachment. - CNN

Then-RNC chairman Jim Nicholson said of Schumer "No self-respecting jury would allow somebody who's already formed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of the accused," adding "but Chuck Schumer has loudly proclaimed that he's pre-judged the case. He's already announced that he's decided the President shouldn't be impeached , much less removed from office."

Schumer responded days later, telling NBC 's "Meet the Press": "The Founding Fathers -- whose wisdom just knocks my socks off every day, it really does -- set this process up to be in the Senate, not at the Supreme Court, not in some judicial body ."

"Every day, for instance, hundreds of people call us up and lobby us on one side and the other. You can't do that with a juror," he added. "The standard is different. It's supposed to be a little bit judicial and a little bit legislative-political. That's how it's been.

Meanwhile, Schumer said in a 1998 Op-Ed that he would be voting to acquit Clinton , and that he'd made up his mind that September.

"My decision will not come as a surprise," Schumer wrote . "I will be voting to acquit the president on both counts. I had to make my decision in September as a member of the Judiciary Committee in the House, and while I was in the middle of the campaign."

Responding to CNN 's recent report (yet failing to explain the 'impartial juror' hypocrisy), Schumer's office said that his statements came after the conclusion of the Starr investigation, "which included testimony from key witnesses including President Clinton, had concluded and been made public for months and as Sen. Schumer was in the anomalous position of having already voted on impeachment in both the House Judiciary Committee and on the House floor."

"As is reflected in these quotes, Schumer believed then and still believes now that all of the facts must be allowed to come out and then a decision can be made -- in stark contrast to the Republicans today in both the House and Senate who have worked to prevent all the facts and evidence from coming out." 43 minutes ago (Edited) CNN is a CIA / Ziocon loudspeaker. I think they are furiously backpedaling and trying to undo the Anti-Trump necromancy of the past few years. Why? because they realize that Orange Donald is really Zion Don, and that MAGA is being served up as a watery bone broth, meanwhile MIGA is prime rib and is being served up on a daily basis from the White House.

[Dec 28, 2019] An American Oligarch's Dirty Tale Of Corruption by William Engdahl

Notable quotes:
"... Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization " big bang ." ..."
"... The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power. ..."
"... Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by William Engdahl via LewRockwell.com,

Rarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good.

The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime .

They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

What the three hacked documents reveal is a degree of behind-the-scene manipulation of the most minute details of the Kiev regime by the New York billionaire.

In the longest memo, dated March 15, 2015 and marked "Confidential" Soros outlines a detailed map of actions for the Ukraine regime. Titled, "A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine," the memo from Soros calls for steps to "restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement." To do the restoring, Soros blithely notes that "General Wesley Clark, Polish General Skrzypczak and a few specialists under the auspices of the Atlantic Council [emphasis added -- f.w.e.] will advise President Poroshenko how to restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement ."

Soros also calls for supplying lethal arms to Ukraine and secretly training Ukrainian army personnel in Romania to avoid direct NATO presence in Ukraine . The Atlantic Council is a leading Washington pro-NATO think tank .

Notably, Wesley Clark is also a business associate of Soros in BNK Petroleum which does business in Poland.

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you ." Now Clark apparently decided to come out of retirement for the chance to go at Russia directly.

Naked asset grab

In his March 2015 memo Soros further writes that Ukrainian President Poroshenko's "first priority must be to regain control of financial markets," which he assures Poroshenko that Soros would be ready to assist in: "I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement."

He also calls on the EU to give Ukraine an annual aid sum of €11 billion via a special EU borrowing facility. Soros proposes in effect using the EU's "AAA" top credit rating to provide a risk insurance for investment into Ukraine.

Whose risk would the EU insure?

Soros details, "I am prepared to invest up to €1 billion in Ukrainian businesses. This is likely to attract the interest of the investment community. As stated above, Ukraine must become an attractive investment destination."

Not to leave any doubt, Soros continues, "The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. "

For anyone familiar with the history of the Soros Open Society Foundations in Eastern Europe and around the world since the late 1980's, will know that his supposedly philanthropic "democracy-building" projects in Poland, Russia, or Ukraine in the 1990's allowed Soros the businessman to literally plunder the former communist countries using Harvard University's "shock therapy" messiah, and Soros associate, Jeffrey Sachs, to convince the post-Soviet governments to privatize and open to a "free market" at once, rather than gradually.

The example of Soros in Liberia is instructive for understanding the seemingly seamless interplay between Soros the shrewd businessman and Soros the philanthropist. In West Africa George Soros backed a former Open Society employee of his, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, giving her international publicity and through his influence, even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for her in 2011, insuring her election as president. Before her presidency she had been well-indoctrinated into the Western free market game, studying economics at Harvard and working for the US-controlled World Bank in Washington and the Rockefeller Citibank in Nairobi. Before becoming Liberia's President, she worked for Soros directly as chair of his Open Society Initiative for West Africa ( OSIWA ).

Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to "protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights ."

Naftogaz the target

The Soros memo makes clear he has his eyes on the Ukrainian state gas and energy monopoly, Naftogaz. He writes, "The centerpiece of economic reforms will be the reorganization of Naftogaz and the introduction of market pricing for all forms of energy, replacing hidden subsidies "

In an earlier letter Soros wrote in December 2014 to both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Soros openly called for his Shock Therapy:

"I want to appeal to you to unite behind the reformers in your government and give your wholehearted support to a radical, 'big bang' type of approach. That is to say, administrative controls would be removed and the economy would move to market prices rapidly rather than gradually Naftogaz needs to be reorganized with a big bang replacing the hidden subsidies "

Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization " big bang ."

The Puppet-Master?

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department . In 2004 just weeks after Soros' International Renaissance Foundation had succeeded in getting Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, Michael McFaul wrote an OpEd for the Washington Post. McFaul, a specialist in organizing color revolutions, who later became US Ambassador to Russia, revealed:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities -- democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. -- but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same .

Soros shapes 'New Ukraine'

Today the CyberBerkut hacked papers show that Soros' IRF money is behind creation of a National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree from Poroshenko which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine's legislature. Soros writes,

"The framework for bringing the various branches of government together has also emerged. The National Reform Council (NRC) brings together the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, the Rada and its committees and civil society. The International Renaissance Foundation which is the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations was the sole financial supporter of the NRC until now "

Soros' NRC in effect is the vehicle to allow the President to override parliamentary debate to push through "reforms," with the declared first priority being privatization of Naftogaz and raising gas prices drastically to Ukrainian industry and households, something the bankrupt country can hardly afford .

In his letter to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk, Soros hints that he played a key role in selection of three key non-Ukrainian ministers -- Natalia Jaresko, an American ex- State Department official as Finance Minister; Aivras Abromavicius of Lithuania as Economics Minister, and a health minister from Georgia. Soros in his December 2014 letter, referring to his proposal for a "big bank" privatization of Naftogaz and price rise, states,

"You are fortunate to have appointed three 'new Ukrainian' ministers and several natives (sic) who are committed to this approach ."

Elsewhere Soros speaks about de facto creating the impression within the EU that the current government of Yatsenyuk is finally cleaning out the notorious corruption that has dominated every Kiev regime since 1991. Creating that temporary reform illusion, he remarks, will convince the EU to cough up the €11 billion annual investment insurance fund. His March 2015 paper says that, "It is essential for the government to produce a visible demonstration (sic) during the next three months in order to change the widely prevailing image of Ukraine as an utterly corrupt country." That he states will open the EU to make the €11 billion insurance guarantee investment fund .

While saying that it is important to show Ukraine as a country that is not corrupt, Soros reveals he has little concern when transparency and proper procedures block his agenda. Talking about his proposals to reform Ukraine's constitution to enable privatizations and other Soros-friendly moves, he complains,

"The process has been slowed down by the insistence of the newly elected Rada on proper procedures and total transparency ."

Soros suggests that he intends to create this "visible demonstration" through his initiatives, such as using the Soros-funded National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine's legislature.

George Soros is also using his new European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank to lobby his Ukraine strategy, with his council members such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff or Joschka Fischer or Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not to mention former ECB head, Jean-Claude Trichet no doubt laying a subtle role.

George Soros, now 84, was born in Hungary as a Jew, George Sorosz. Soros once boasted in a TV interview that he posed during the war as a gentile with forged papers, assisting the Horthy government to seize property of other Hungarian Jews who were being shipped to the Nazi death camps. Soros told the TV moderator, "There was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets–that if I weren't there–of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would."

This is the same morality apparently behind Soros' activities in Ukraine today. It seems again to matter not to him that the Ukrainian government he helped bring to power in February 2014 US coup d'etat is riddled with explicit anti-semites and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor. George Soros is clearly a devotee of "public-private-partnership." Only here the public gets fleeced to enrich private investors like Mr. Soros and friends. Cynically, Soros signs his Ukraine strategy memo, "George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015."


youshallnotkill , 1 minute ago link

Funny how the Soros Open Society Foundations is still operational while the Trump Foundation was closed by court order because it among other things stole from veterans, and Trump was fined $2M for his foundation's maleficence.

Kendle C , 1 hour ago link

I believe the author is wrong about his original name. Wasn't it Gyorgi Schwarz?

Lore , 1 hour ago link

This is amazing -- should be the feature article for the coming week.

Just when you think things couldn't get more corrupt, something like this surfaces, and we're shown new depths of evil.

This guy Soros seems like the devil incarnate.

SummerSausage , 1 hour ago link

And now we learn that our own State Department was filling Soros coffers with our taxpayer money to use against us and destroy our republic.

Whenever Democrats scream about cuts in foreign aid, know that they are squealing because their "cut" of the laundered funds is in jeopardy and they have to answer to Soros for the rest.

Lord Raglan , 3 hours ago link

He's contributed a lot of money to the Dem Party to be so insulated from not only prosecution but from criticism. If and when he gets criticized in a publication or article, he screams "Anti-Semitism!" He's become good at making everything a win-win for himself. Preaches socialism out of one side of his mouth to "virtue signal" to the world and then loots the objects thereof out of the other side of his mouth for the benefit of his alleged foundations. Why we can't prosecute him for interfering in our elections with his stolen money is something hard to understand.

CatInTheHat , 5 hours ago link

Ukraine is *** infested. I would like to know Soros ties to Igor Kolomoisky.

"Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to "protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights ."

Wherever there are wealthy *** Zionist fascist oligarch sociopaths there is trouble...

Both parties support this ****.

[Dec 28, 2019] In many cases of ethnic/cultural nationalism this looks more like a competition for resources with the smoke screen of noble intentions/human rights/past oppression/ humiliations/etc

Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.28.19 at 9:17 am

Peter T 12.28.19 at 5:50 am @38

I'm finding it hard to think of examples where the formerly norm-giving group becomes derided or humiliated.

You can probably try to look at the situation in (now independent) republics of the former USSR. Simplifying previously oppressed group, given a lucky chance, most often strive for dominance and oppression of other groups including and especially former dominant group. This is an eternal damnation of ethno/cultural nationalism.

And not only it (look at Mutual Help and The State in Shantytowns.) In them ethnic comminutes often own protection markets, offer services that hire people and replace the state, pay off gang leaders. they also provide some community support for particular ethnic group, enforce the rules of trade within themselves, etc. In GB the abuse of children by ethnic gangs was sickening ( https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/sep/30/abuse-children-asian-communities )

In many cases of ethnic/cultural nationalism this looks more like a competition for resources with the smoke screen of noble intentions/human rights/past oppression/ humiliations/etc

Or you can look at the language policy in the USA and the actual situation in some areas/institutions of Florida and California and how English speakers feel in those areas/institutions. Or in some areas of Quebec in Canada.

That actually suggests another meaning of famous Randolph Bourne quote " War is the health of the state " (said in the midst of the First World War.) It bring the unity unachievable in peace time or by any other methods, albeit temporarily (from Ch 14. Howard Zinn book A People's History of the United States ):

the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.

In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people; two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that "these people of ours shall be divided into classes." Rather: "We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country."

The supreme fulfillment of that responsibility was taking place in Europe. Ten million were to die on the battlefield; 20 million were to die of hunger and disease related to the war. And no one since that day has been able to show that the war brought any gain for humanity that would be worth one human life. The rhetoric of the socialists, that it was an "imperialist war," now seems moderate and hardly arguable. The advanced capitalist countries of Europe were fighting over boundaries, colonies, spheres of influence; they were competing for Alsace-Lorraine, the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East.

Neo-McCarthyism now serves a somewhat similar purpose in the USA. Among other thing (like absolving Hillary from her fiasco to "deux ex machine" trick instead of real reason -- the crisis and rejection of neoliberalism by the sizable strata of the USA population) it is an attempt to unify the nation after 2016.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I've taken the same tack with President Trump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trish Regan ‏ Dec 23

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

[Dec 25, 2019] Escobar You Say You Want A (Russian) Revolution by Pepe Escobar

Dec 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Pepe Escobar via ConsortiumNews.com,

O nce in a blue moon an indispensable book comes out making a clear case for sanity in what is now a post-MAD world. That's the responsibility carried by " The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs ," by Andrei Martyanov (Clarity Press), arguably the most important book of 2019.

Martyanov is the total package -- and he comes with extra special attributes as a top-flight Russian military analyst, born in Baku in those Back in the U.S.S.R. days, living and working in the U.S., and writing and blogging in English.

Right from the start, Martyanov wastes no time destroying not only Fukuyama's and Huntington's ravings but especially Graham Allison's childish and meaningless Thucydides Trap argument -- as if the power equation between the U.S. and China in the 21stcentury could be easily interpreted in parallel to Athens and Sparta slouching towards the Peloponnesian War over 2,400 years ago. What next? Xi Jinping as the new Genghis Khan?

(By the way, the best current essay on Thucydides is in Italian, by Luciano Canfora (" Tucidide: La Menzogna, La Colpa, L'Esilio" ). No Trap. Martyanov visibly relishes defining the Trap as a "figment of the imagination" of people who "have a very vague understanding of real warfare in the 21st century." No wonder Xi explicitly said the Trap does not exist.)

Martyanov had already detailed in his splendid, previous book, "Losing Military Supremacy: The Myopia of American Strategic Planning," how "American lack of historic experience with continental warfare" ended up "planting the seeds of the ultimate destruction of the American military mythology of the 20thand 21stcenturies which is foundational to the American decline, due to hubris and detachment of reality." Throughout the book, he unceasingly provides solid evidence about the kind of lethality waiting for U.S. forces in a possible, future war against real armies (not the Taliban or Saddam Hussein's), air forces, air defenses and naval power.

Do the Math

One of the key takeaways is the failure of U.S. mathematical models: and readers of the book do need to digest quite a few mathematical equations. The key point is that this failure led the U.S. "on a continuous downward spiral of diminishing military capabilities against the nation [Russia] she thought she defeated in the Cold War."

In the U.S., Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) was introduced by the late Andrew Marshall, a.k.a. Yoda, the former head of Net Assessment at the Pentagon and the de facto inventor of the "pivot to Asia" concept. Yet Martyanov tells us that RMA actually started as MTR (Military-Technological Revolution), introduced by Soviet military theoreticians back in the 1970s.

One of the staples of RMA concerns nations capable of producing land-attack cruise missiles, a.k.a. TLAMs. As it stands, only the U.S., Russia, China and France can do it. And there are only two global systems providing satellite guidance to cruise missiles: the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS. Neither China's BeiDou nor the European Galileo qualify – yet – as global GPS systems.

Then there's Net-Centric Warfare (NCW). The term itself was coined by the late Admiral Arthur Cebrowski in 1998 in an article he co-wrote with John Garstka's titled, "Network-Centric Warfare – Its Origin and Future."

Deploying his mathematical equations, Martyanov soon tells us that "the era of subsonic anti-shipping missiles is over." NATO, that brain-dead organism (copyright Emmanuel Macron) now has to face the supersonic Russian P-800 Onyx and the Kalibr-class M54 in a "highly hostile Electronic Warfare environment." Every developed modern military today applies Net-Centric Warfare (NCW), developed by the Pentagon in the 1990s.

Rendering of a future combat systems network. (soldiersmediacenter/Flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Martyanov mentions in his new book something that I learned on my visit to Donbass in March 2015: how NCW principles, "based on Russia's C4ISR capabilities made available by the Russian military to numerically inferior armed forces of the Donbass Republics (LDNR), were used to devastating effect both at the battles of Ilovaisk and Debaltsevo, when attacking the cumbersome Soviet-era Ukrainian Armed Forces military."

No Escape From the Kinzhal

Martyanov provides ample information on Russia's latest missile – the hypersonic Mach-10 aero-ballistic Kinzhal, recently tested in the Arctic.

Crucially, as he explains, "no existing anti-missile defense in the U.S. Navy is capable of shooting [it] down even in the case of the detection of this missile." Kinzhal has a range of 2,000 km, which leaves its carriers, MiG-31K and TU-22M3M, "invulnerable to the only defense a U.S. Carrier Battle Group, a main pillar of U.S. naval power, can mount – carrier fighter aircraft." These fighters simply don't have the range.

The Kinzhal was one of the weapons announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin's game-changing March 1, 2018 speech at the Federal Assembly. That's the day, Martyanov stresses, when the real RMA arrived, and "changed completely the face of peer-peer warfare, competition and global power balance dramatically."

Top Pentagon officials such as General John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, have admitted on the record there are "no existing countermeasures" against, for instance, the hypersonic, Mach 27 glide vehicle Avangard (which renders anti-ballistic missile systems useless), telling the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee the only way out would be "a nuclear deterrent." There are also no existing counter-measures against anti-shipping missiles such as the Zircon and Kinzhal.

Any military analyst knows very well how the Kinzhal destroyed a land target the size of a Toyota Corolla in Syria after being launched 1,000 km away in adverse weather conditions. The corollary is the stuff of NATO nightmares: NATO's command and control installations in Europe are de facto indefensible.

Martyanov gets straight to the point: "The introduction of hypersonic weapons surely pours some serious cold water on the American obsession with securing the North American continent from retaliatory strikes."

Kh-47M2 Kinzhal; 2018 Moscow Victory Day Parade. (Kremilin via Wikimedia Commons)

Martyanov is thus unforgiving on U.S. policymakers who "lack the necessary tool-kit for grasping the unfolding geostrategic reality in which the real revolution in military affairs had dramatically downgraded the always inflated American military capabilities and continues to redefine U.S. geopolitical status away from its self-declared hegemony."

And it gets worse: "Such weapons ensure a guaranteed retaliation [Martyanov's italics] on the U.S. proper." Even the existing Russian nuclear deterrents – and to a lesser degree Chinese, as paraded recently -- "are capable of overcoming the existing U.S. anti-ballistic systems and destroying the United States," no matter what crude propaganda the Pentagon is peddling.

In February 2019, Moscow announced the completion of tests of a nuclear-powered engine for the Petrel cruise missile. This is a subsonic cruise missile with nuclear propulsion that can remain in air for quite a long time, covering intercontinental distances, and able to attack from the most unexpected directions. Martyanov mischievously characterizes the Petrel as "a vengeance weapon in case some among American decision-makers who may help precipitate a new world war might try to hide from the effects of what they have unleashed in the relative safety of the Southern Hemisphere."

Hybrid War Gone Berserk

A section of the book expands on China's military progress, and the fruits of the Russia-China strategic partnership, such as Beijing buying $3 billion-worth of S-400 Triumph anti-aircraft missiles -- "ideally suited to deal with the exact type of strike assets the United States would use in case of a conventional conflict with China."

Beijing parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic, October 2019. (YouTube screenshot)

Because of the timing, the analysis does not even take into consideration the arsenal presented in early October at the Beijing parade celebrating the 70thanniversary of the People's Republic.

That includes, among other things, the "carrier-killer" DF-21D, designed to hit warships at sea at a range of up to 1,500 km; the intermediate range "Guam Killer" DF-26; the DF-17 hypersonic missile; and the long-range submarine-launched and ship-launched YJ-18A anti-ship cruise missiles. Not to mention the DF-41 ICBM – the backbone of China's nuclear deterrent, capable of reaching the U.S. mainland carrying multiple warheads.

Martyanov could not escape addressing the RAND Corporation, whose reason to exist is to relentlessly push for more money for the Pentagon – blaming Russia for "hybrid war" (an American invention) even as it moans about the U.S.'s incapacity of defeating Russia in each and every war game. RAND's war games pitting the U.S. and allies against Russia and China invariably ended in a "catastrophe" for the "finest fighting force in the world."

Martyanov also addresses the S-500s, capable of reaching AWACS planes and possibly even capable of intercepting hypersonic non-ballistic targets. The S-500 and its latest middle-range state of the art air-defense system S-350 Vityaz will be operational in 2020.

His key takeway: "There is no parity between Russia and the United States in such fields as air-defense, hypersonic weapons and, in general, missile development, to name just a few fields – the United States lags behind in these fields, not just in years but in generations [italics mine]."

All across the Global South, scores of nations are very much aware that the U.S. economic "order" – rather disorder – is on the brink of collapse. In contrast, a cooperative, connected, rule-based, foreign relations between sovereign nations model is being advanced in Eurasia – symbolized by the merging of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the NDB (the BRICS bank).

The key guarantors of the new model are Russia and China. And Beijing and Moscow harbor no illusion whatsoever about the toxic dynamics in Washington. My recent conversations with top analysts in Kazakhstan last month and in Moscow last week once again stressed the futility of negotiating with people described – with overlapping shades of sarcasm – as exceptionalist fanatics. Russia, China and many corners of Eurasia have figured out there are no possible, meaningful deals with a nation bent on breaking every deal.

Indispensable? No: Vulnerable

Martyanov cannot but evoke Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly in February 2019, after the unilateral Washington abandonment of the INF treaty, clearing the way for U.S. deployment of intermediate and close range missiles stationed in Europe and pointed at Russia:

"Russia will be forced to create and deploy those types of weapons against those regions from where we will face a direct threat, but also against those regions hosting the centers where decisions are taken on using those missile systems threatening us."

Translation: American Invulnerability is over – for good.

In the short term, things can always get worse. At his traditional, year-end presser in Moscow, lasting almost four and a half hours, Putin stated that Russia is more than ready to "simply renew the existing New START agreement", which is bound to expire in early 2021: "They [the U.S.] can send us the agreement tomorrow, or we can sign and send it to Washington." And yet, "so far our proposals have been left unanswered. If the New START ceases to exist, nothing in the world will hold back an arms race. I believe this is bad."

"Bad" is quite the euphemism. Martyanov prefers to stress how "most of the American elites, at least for now, still reside in a state of Orwellian cognitive dissonance" even as the real RMA "blew the myth of American conventional invincibility out of the water."

Martyanov is one of the very few analysts – always from different parts of Eurasia -- who have warned about the danger of the U.S. "accidentally stumbling" into a war against Russia, China, or both which is impossible to be won conventionally, "let alone through the nightmare of a global nuclear catastrophe."

Is that enough to instill at least a modicum of sense into those who lord over that massive cash cow, the industrial-military-security complex? Don't count on it.

* * *

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times . His latest book is " 2030 ." Follow him on Facebook .

[Dec 25, 2019] A new incarnation of the fundamental question "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Democrats Debate Whether Trump Has Been Impeached

This is like the debate about the fundamental question "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"
Notable quotes:
"... has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach -- which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted? ..."
Dec 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Alan Dershowitz via The Gatestone Institute,

Speaker Pelosi's unconstitutional decision to delay transmission of the articles of impeachment to the Senate in order to gain partisan advantage raises the following question: has President Trump been impeached, or did the House vote merely represent an authorization or intention to impeach -- which becomes an actual impeachment only when the articles are transmitted? This highly technical constitutional issue is being debated by two of my former Harvard Law School colleagues -- Professors Laurence Tribe and Noah Feldman -- both liberal Democrats who support President Trump's impeachment.

Tribe believes that Trump has been impeached and that it would be perfectly proper to leave it at that : by declining to transmit the articles of impeachment, the Democrats get a win-win. President Trump remains impeached but he gets no opportunity to be tried and acquitted by the Senate. This cynical, partisan ploy is acceptable to Tribe because it brings about the partisan result he prefers: Trump bears forever the stigma of impeachment without having the opportunity to challenge that stigma by a Senate acquittal. Under the Tribe scenario, the House Democrats get to "obstruct" the Senate and "abuse" their power (to borrow terms from the articles of impeachment).

Feldman disagrees with Tribe, arguing -- quite correctly -- that impeachment and a removal trial go together. If a president is impeached, he must be tried. Impeachment, in his view, is not merely a vote; it is the first step in a constitutionally mandated two-step process. He goes so far as to say that if the articles of impeachment are not forwarded to the Senate for trial, there has been no valid impeachment.

[Dec 25, 2019] Professor Stephen Cohen on impeachment

Dec 25, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star December 24, 2019 at 5:20 pm

Cohen on impeachment

https://www.youtube.com/embed/pQK7M7_GMDc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

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

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ggm , December 24, 2019 at 2:06 am

[Dec 24, 2019] The Lies That Are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea's Breakaway by Eric Zuesse

Dec 23, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America's Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that 'justification' is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.

Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by means of coups and invasions against countries that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US; but, if anything at all is clear in international law, it is that Crimea's breaking away from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in 2014 was entirely legitimate, as will be documented here, by exposing the lies that are adduced on the US side, in order to allege that it's not legitimate.

First, however, will be a bit of essential historical background, which is commonly ignored in arguments by the pro-US-regime liars on this matter: From 1783 to 1954, Crimea was part of Russia. Crimea was arbitrarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by the dictator of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, who was a Ukrainian and didn't consult the residents of Crimea about this handover of them to Ukraine. Crimeans were so opposed to being ruled from the foreign-language-speaking and largely pro-Nazi (and anti-Semitic and anti-Russian) Ukrainians to their north, so that as soon as the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the only way that Crimeans would tolerate any continuation of their formal association with Ukraine was by being declared Ukraine's "autonomous republic" (the only one) in Ukraine.

This situation of partial Crimean independence continued until Ukraine was conquered (via coup) by the US regime, in order to be handed over first to the European Union, and then, after the EU would accept Ukraine, to NATO, which military alliance with the US was extremely unpopular in Ukraine until the American conquest and the immediately subsequent takeover of Ukraine by pro-US oligarchs, who were eager to buy more privatized and formerly Soviet state-owned properties, in basically insider deals with the now US-controlled Ukrainian Government.

Those oligarchs' 'news'-media successfully propagandized most Ukrainians to switch from being anti-NATO to pro-NATO. However, right at the time of the coup, Crimeans demonstrated in Kiev against the CIA-organized Maidan demostrations, and on the day of the coup, February 20th, those Crimeans in Kiev were forced by the US-supported nazis to flee there, but the eight buses carrrying them were blocked en-route, and an unknown number of the fleeing Crimeans were killed . Many of the surviving ones were permanently injured .

Crimeans were terrified and some of them wrote to friends in the West regarding the terror and their fears . All of this information is ignored by the proponents of the illegality of Crimea's separation from Ukraine, because, clearly, the basic human rights of Crimeans were then under very palpable and severe threat by the US-imposed forces; and, so, any 'legal' argument for forcing Crimeans to remain Ukrainians was and is fake. But, still, legal arguments for forcing Crimeans to be Ukrainians again are presented; and, so, here is a quick intoroduction to those frauds.

The least politicized of the pro-Western (i.e., pro-US-regime) articles regarding the relevant international laws on this topic concern the cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia, because in the US-and-allied international dictatorship (that is, the countries that are ruled by billionares who are allied with US billionaires), no unanimity exists regarding those two breakaway-movements (Kurds and Catalonians); so, the legal principles aren't such a threat to the US-and-allied lies about Russia. Here are highlights from this article, and I boldface what I consider key statements there:

--

https://www.asil.org/insights/volume/22/issue/1/self-determination-and-secession-under-international-law-cases-kurdistan

"Self-Determination and Secession Under International Law: The Cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia"

ASIL [American Society of International Law] Insights , v. 22, issue 1

Milena Sterio, 5 January 2018

The theory of self-determination, as justifying the secession of a people from its existing mother state as a matter of last resort only, in situations where the people is oppressed or where the mother state's government does not legitimately represent the people's interests, has remained constant throughout the 20th century development of international law. Two United Nations' declarations, in addition to the United Nations Charter itself, have addressed the issue of self-determination.

Both declarations envisioned self-determination leading to secession as a matter of last resort only within the decolonization paradigm: here, both conditions for a right to self-determination were met insofar as colonized peoples were oppressed and their colonial governments did not adequately represent their interests. Both declarations also confirmed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity of existing states, [8] and thus embraced the idea that self-determination could lead to the territorial disruption of existing states only in extreme instances of oppression or colonization .

Peoples who are oppressed or colonized , however, have the right to external self-determination, which they may exercise through secession from their mother state.[9] This view of self-determination was confirmed in 1998, in the Canadian Supreme Court opinion regarding the proposed secession of Quebec from Canada, where the Court held that all peoples are entitled to various modes of internal self-determination, but that only some peoples, such as those subjected to conquest, colonization, and perhaps oppression, may acquire the right to external self-determination through remedial secession.[10] Today, it may be concluded that international law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination, but that the right to external self-determination, exercised through remedial secession, only applies in extreme circumstances, to colonized and severely persecuted peoples.

While international law embraces the principle of self-determination, it does not contain a right of secession.[11] It may be argued that international law merely tolerates secession in instances of external self-determination, where a people is colonized or oppressed (like in the case of Kosovo). In addition, secession is prohibited under international law if the secessionist entity is attempting to separate by violating another fundamental norm of international law, such as the prohibition on the use of force (like in the case of Northern Cyprus).[12] In other instances of attempted secession, where the relevant people is not oppressed, as in Quebec or Scotland, international law is neutral on secession -- it does not support a right to secession nor does it prohibit secession. Instead, the secessionist dispute is left to the realm of domestic law and to political negotiations between the mother state and the secessionist entity.[13]

--

Following are two influential articles reaffirming the US regime's view, that the breakaway was and is illegitimate. In the first , the lie is simply presumed true that the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, during 20-26 February 2014, was a domestic democratic revolution, instead of a foreign-imposed coup. In the second , international law, as was just summarized above here, is simply ignored.

--

#1:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-015-0043-9

Netherlands International Law Review
December 2015, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 329–363| Cite as
"Crimea's Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law"

Simone F. van den Driest [whose 404-page 2013 Ph.D dissertation, at Netherlands' Tilburg University, was "Remedial Secession" ], First Online: 30 November 2015

16k Downloads

Abstract

This article considers the (il)legality of Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine from the perspective of public international law. It examines whether the right to self-determination or an alleged right to (remedial) secession could serve as a legal basis for the separation of the Crimean Peninsula, as the Crimean authorities and the Russian Federation seem to have argued. The article explains that beyond the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination does not encompass a general right to unilateral secession and demonstrates that contemporary international law does not acknowledge a right to remedial secession. With respect to the case of Crimea, it argues that even when assuming that such a right does exist, the threshold in this regard is not met. In the absence of a legal entitlement, the article subsequently turns to the question whether Crimea's unilateral secession was prohibited under international law. It contends that while the principle of territorial integrity discourages unilateral secession, it does not actually prohibit it. Nonetheless, there are situations in which an attempt at unilateral secession is considered to be illegal in view of the circumstances. It is argued that it is precisely this exception that is relevant in the case of Crimea.

[Text now:] The Russian Federation (implicitly) relied on the doctrine of remedial secession, which is seen to encompass a right to unilateral secession in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. [which were unquestionably present] President Putin advanced remedial arguments in his speech of 18 March, contending that
those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives [ ]. [N]aturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress .7
To the same effect, the Russian Federation claimed in the Security Council that there had been 'threats of violence by ultranationalists against the security, lives and legitimate interests of Russians and all Russian-speaking peoples' in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and that 'the issue is one of defending our citizens and compatriots, as well as the most import[ant] human right -- the right to life'.8

The accuracy of these views presented, however, is highly questionable under contemporary international law [and all the rest of the article discusses none of the allegations that Putin asserted there , but only internnational law. Not even once in this article is anything like the word "coup" used in relation to the overthrow of Yanukovych -- the overthrow that had sparked Crimeans to demand restoration to Russia. Instead the article simply assumes that there was no coup whatsoever: "The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, which was initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev, had significant effects in Crimea." That's all. However, that statement was false: It was no "revolution," and it clearly was a coup . Furthermore: even if it had been a "revolution," it was not "initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev -- it was initiated by the Barack Obama Administration in the summer of 2011, and started to be implemented inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013 . The Euromaidan movement started on 21 November 2013 . So, this author is merely assuming that "the Euromaidan movement" wasn't part of a coup-operation by the US regime.]

CONCLUSION

All in all, it should be concluded that the arguments involving an alleged right to self-determination and (remedial) secession as advanced by the Crimean and Russian authorities in attempting to justify the events on the Crimean Peninsula cannot be upheld. On the contrary: Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine clearly was illegal under international law.

#2:

https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/14/1/article-p11.xml

"The Annexation of Crimea and Attempts to Justify It in the Context of International Law"

Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review , 2015-2016, v. 14 [published by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania]

Erika Leonaitė & Dainius Žalimas, both of Vilnius University

it is essential to point out that a coup d'etat and the issues of constitutionality in general are matters of national rather than international law. In terms of international law, importance falls not on the constitutionality of the government, but on its effectiveness, i.e. its capability to efficiently control the territory of the state and to ensure compliance with international commitments. [In other words: any national government that can suppress and crush a secession movement is adhering to international law, according to these writers.] Even where the government is unable to carry out effective control (in political science, the concept of a "failed state" is used to refer to these cases), relations with such a state must be continued based on the principles of sovereign equality, the prohibition of the use of force [the writers mean "use of force" by any foreign govertnment, not "use of force" by the given nation's government in order to suppress and crush any secession movement], respect for territorial integrity, and other fundamental international legal principles; other states are not released from the obligations with respect to this state [in other words: foreign nations must never side with nor support a secession movement within a country. Blatantly false allegations like that are publishable by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.]

--

US President Barack Obama restored in full the Cold War that his predecessor George Herbert Walker Bush had only secretly extended into the future on the American side covertly on 24 February 1990 , and he did this in two main steps. In 2012, he pushed and signed into law the Magnitsky Act which was based on the fraud by Bill Browder, who functioned in coordination with George Soros, another billionaire who leads in ingtensifying America's war against Russia . Then, in June 2011 at the latest, he started the planning for the February 2014 Ukrainian coup .

Furthermore: Part of Obama's plan for taking Ukraine was his plan to grab Russia's main navy base, which is in Crimea, and to transform it into another NATO navy base -- against Russia :

In June 2013 (well before the 'democratic revolution' in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a "Project Description" for "Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine," under the euphemistic title "EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program" . EUCOM is the US European Command -- it is purely military, not "humanitarian," at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other US-made products, that the US regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were US taxpayers supposed to fund this 'humanitarian' operation, by the U.S. military? Eric Zuesse December 23, 2019 | History The Lies That Are Used for Denying the Legitimacy of Crimea's Breakaway Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America's Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that 'justification' is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.

Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by means of coups and invasions against countries that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US; but, if anything at all is clear in international law, it is that Crimea's breaking away from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in 2014 was entirely legitimate, as will be documented here, by exposing the lies that are adduced on the US side, in order to allege that it's not legitimate.

First, however, will be a bit of essential historical background, which is commonly ignored in arguments by the pro-US-regime liars on this matter: From 1783 to 1954, Crimea was part of Russia. Crimea was arbitrarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by the dictator of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, who was a Ukrainian and didn't consult the residents of Crimea about this handover of them to Ukraine. Crimeans were so opposed to being ruled from the foreign-language-speaking and largely pro-Nazi (and anti-Semitic and anti-Russian) Ukrainians to their north, so that as soon as the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the only way that Crimeans would tolerate any continuation of their formal association with Ukraine was by being declared Ukraine's "autonomous republic" (the only one) in Ukraine. This situation of partial Crimean independence continued until Ukraine was conquered (via coup) by the US regime, in order to be handed over first to the European Union, and then, after the EU would accept Ukraine, to NATO, which military alliance with the US was extremely unpopular in Ukraine until the American conquest and the immediately subsequent takeover of Ukraine by pro-US oligarchs, who were eager to buy more privatized and formerly Soviet state-owned properties, in basically insider deals with the now US-controlled Ukrainian Government. Those oligarchs' 'news'-media successfully propagandized most Ukrainians to switch from being anti-NATO to pro-NATO. However, right at the time of the coup, Crimeans demonstrated in Kiev against the CIA-organized Maidan demostrations, and on the day of the coup, February 20th, those Crimeans in Kiev were forced by the US-supported nazis to flee there, but the eight buses carrrying them were blocked en-route, and an unknown number of the fleeing Crimeans were killed . Many of the surviving ones were permanently injured . Crimeans were terrified and some of them wrote to friends in the West regarding the terror and their fears . All of this information is ignored by the proponents of the illegality of Crimea's separation from Ukraine, because, clearly, the basic human rights of Crimeans were then under very palpable and severe threat by the US-imposed forces; and, so, any 'legal' argument for forcing Crimeans to remain Ukrainians was and is fake. But, still, legal arguments for forcing Crimeans to be Ukrainians again are presented; and, so, here is a quick intoroduction to those frauds.

The least politicized of the pro-Western (i.e., pro-US-regime) articles regarding the relevant international laws on this topic concern the cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia, because in the US-and-allied international dictatorship (that is, the countries that are ruled by billionares who are allied with US billionaires), no unanimity exists regarding those two breakaway-movements (Kurds and Catalonians); so, the legal principles aren't such a threat to the US-and-allied lies about Russia. Here are highlights from this article, and I boldface what I consider key statements there:

--

https://www.asil.org/insights/volume/22/issue/1/self-determination-and-secession-under-international-law-cases-kurdistan

"Self-Determination and Secession Under International Law: The Cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia"

ASIL [American Society of International Law] Insights , v. 22, issue 1

Milena Sterio, 5 January 2018

The theory of self-determination, as justifying the secession of a people from its existing mother state as a matter of last resort only, in situations where the people is oppressed or where the mother state's government does not legitimately represent the people's interests, has remained constant throughout the 20th century development of international law. Two United Nations' declarations, in addition to the United Nations Charter itself, have addressed the issue of self-determination.

Both declarations envisioned self-determination leading to secession as a matter of last resort only within the decolonization paradigm: here, both conditions for a right to self-determination were met insofar as colonized peoples were oppressed and their colonial governments did not adequately represent their interests. Both declarations also confirmed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity of existing states, [8] and thus embraced the idea that self-determination could lead to the territorial disruption of existing states only in extreme instances of oppression or colonization .

Peoples who are oppressed or colonized , however, have the right to external self-determination, which they may exercise through secession from their mother state.[9] This view of self-determination was confirmed in 1998, in the Canadian Supreme Court opinion regarding the proposed secession of Quebec from Canada, where the Court held that all peoples are entitled to various modes of internal self-determination, but that only some peoples, such as those subjected to conquest, colonization, and perhaps oppression, may acquire the right to external self-determination through remedial secession.[10] Today, it may be concluded that international law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination, but that the right to external self-determination, exercised through remedial secession, only applies in extreme circumstances, to colonized and severely persecuted peoples.

While international law embraces the principle of self-determination, it does not contain a right of secession.[11] It may be argued that international law merely tolerates secession in instances of external self-determination, where a people is colonized or oppressed (like in the case of Kosovo). In addition, secession is prohibited under international law if the secessionist entity is attempting to separate by violating another fundamental norm of international law, such as the prohibition on the use of force (like in the case of Northern Cyprus).[12] In other instances of attempted secession, where the relevant people is not oppressed, as in Quebec or Scotland, international law is neutral on secession -- it does not support a right to secession nor does it prohibit secession. Instead, the secessionist dispute is left to the realm of domestic law and to political negotiations between the mother state and the secessionist entity.[13]

--

Following are two influential articles reaffirming the US regime's view, that the breakaway was and is illegitimate. In the first , the lie is simply presumed true that the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, during 20-26 February 2014, was a domestic democratic revolution, instead of a foreign-imposed coup. In the second , international law, as was just summarized above here, is simply ignored.

--

#1:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-015-0043-9

Netherlands International Law Review
December 2015, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 329–363| Cite as
"Crimea's Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law"

Simone F. van den Driest [whose 404-page 2013 Ph.D dissertation, at Netherlands' Tilburg University, was "Remedial Secession" ], First Online: 30 November 2015

16k Downloads

Abstract

This article considers the (il)legality of Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine from the perspective of public international law. It examines whether the right to self-determination or an alleged right to (remedial) secession could serve as a legal basis for the separation of the Crimean Peninsula, as the Crimean authorities and the Russian Federation seem to have argued. The article explains that beyond the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination does not encompass a general right to unilateral secession and demonstrates that contemporary international law does not acknowledge a right to remedial secession. With respect to the case of Crimea, it argues that even when assuming that such a right does exist, the threshold in this regard is not met. In the absence of a legal entitlement, the article subsequently turns to the question whether Crimea's unilateral secession was prohibited under international law. It contends that while the principle of territorial integrity discourages unilateral secession, it does not actually prohibit it. Nonetheless, there are situations in which an attempt at unilateral secession is considered to be illegal in view of the circumstances. It is argued that it is precisely this exception that is relevant in the case of Crimea.

[Text now:] The Russian Federation (implicitly) relied on the doctrine of remedial secession, which is seen to encompass a right to unilateral secession in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. [which were unquestionably present] President Putin advanced remedial arguments in his speech of 18 March, contending that
those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives [ ]. [N]aturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress .7
To the same effect, the Russian Federation claimed in the Security Council that there had been 'threats of violence by ultranationalists against the security, lives and legitimate interests of Russians and all Russian-speaking peoples' in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and that 'the issue is one of defending our citizens and compatriots, as well as the most import[ant] human right -- the right to life'.8

The accuracy of these views presented, however, is highly questionable under contemporary international law [and all the rest of the article discusses none of the allegations that Putin asserted there , but only internnational law. Not even once in this article is anything like the word "coup" used in relation to the overthrow of Yanukovych -- the overthrow that had sparked Crimeans to demand restoration to Russia. Instead the article simply assumes that there was no coup whatsoever: "The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, which was initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev, had significant effects in Crimea." That's all. However, that statement was false: It was no "revolution," and it clearly was a coup . Furthermore: even if it had been a "revolution," it was not "initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev -- it was initiated by the Barack Obama Administration in the summer of 2011, and started to be implemented inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013 . The Euromaidan movement started on 21 November 2013 . So, this author is merely assuming that "the Euromaidan movement" wasn't part of a coup-operation by the US regime.]

CONCLUSION

All in all, it should be concluded that the arguments involving an alleged right to self-determination and (remedial) secession as advanced by the Crimean and Russian authorities in attempting to justify the events on the Crimean Peninsula cannot be upheld. On the contrary: Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine clearly was illegal under international law.

#2:

https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/14/1/article-p11.xml

"The Annexation of Crimea and Attempts to Justify It in the Context of International Law"

Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review , 2015-2016, v. 14 [published by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania]

Erika Leonaitė & Dainius Žalimas, both of Vilnius University

it is essential to point out that a coup d'etat and the issues of constitutionality in general are matters of national rather than international law. In terms of international law, importance falls not on the constitutionality of the government, but on its effectiveness, i.e. its capability to efficiently control the territory of the state and to ensure compliance with international commitments. [In other words: any national government that can suppress and crush a secession movement is adhering to international law, according to these writers.] Even where the government is unable to carry out effective control (in political science, the concept of a "failed state" is used to refer to these cases), relations with such a state must be continued based on the principles of sovereign equality, the prohibition of the use of force [the writers mean "use of force" by any foreign govertnment, not "use of force" by the given nation's government in order to suppress and crush any secession movement], respect for territorial integrity, and other fundamental international legal principles; other states are not released from the obligations with respect to this state [in other words: foreign nations must never side with nor support a secession movement within a country. Blatantly false allegations like that are publishable by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.]

--

US President Barack Obama restored in full the Cold War that his predecessor George Herbert Walker Bush had only secretly extended into the future on the American side covertly on 24 February 1990 , and he did this in two main steps. In 2012, he pushed and signed into law the Magnitsky Act which was based on the fraud by Bill Browder, who functioned in coordination with George Soros, another billionaire who leads in ingtensifying America's war against Russia . Then, in June 2011 at the latest, he started the planning for the February 2014 Ukrainian coup .

Furthermore: Part of Obama's plan for taking Ukraine was his plan to grab Russia's main navy base, which is in Crimea, and to transform it into another NATO navy base -- against Russia :

In June 2013 (well before the 'democratic revolution' in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a "Project Description" for "Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine," under the euphemistic title "EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program" . EUCOM is the US European Command -- it is purely military, not "humanitarian," at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other US-made products, that the US regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were US taxpayers supposed to fund this 'humanitarian' operation, by the U.S. military?

© 2010 - 2019 | Strategic Culture Foundation | Republishing is welcomed with reference to Strategic Culture online journal www.strategic-culture.org . The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Crimea's breakaway from Ukraine and rejoining Russia is treated in the US-and-allied world as being justification for the explosive re-emergence in 2014 of America's Cold War NATO alliance as being a restored war against Russia; and, so, whether or not that 'justification' is truthful is the paramount geopolitical issue in our era; and it will therefore be discussed and (via the links here) documented in this article.

Though international law is generally an unenforced mess that is interpretable far more by partisanship than by any clearly applicable principles, the US Government does quite blatantly violate it on a routine basis, by means of coups and invasions against countries that never invaded nor threatened to invade the US; but, if anything at all is clear in international law, it is that Crimea's breaking away from Ukraine and rejoining Russia in 2014 was entirely legitimate, as will be documented here, by exposing the lies that are adduced on the US side, in order to allege that it's not legitimate.

First, however, will be a bit of essential historical background, which is commonly ignored in arguments by the pro-US-regime liars on this matter: From 1783 to 1954, Crimea was part of Russia. Crimea was arbitrarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 by the dictator of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, who was a Ukrainian and didn't consult the residents of Crimea about this handover of them to Ukraine. Crimeans were so opposed to being ruled from the foreign-language-speaking and largely pro-Nazi (and anti-Semitic and anti-Russian) Ukrainians to their north, so that as soon as the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the only way that Crimeans would tolerate any continuation of their formal association with Ukraine was by being declared Ukraine's "autonomous republic" (the only one) in Ukraine. This situation of partial Crimean independence continued until Ukraine was conquered (via coup) by the US regime, in order to be handed over first to the European Union, and then, after the EU would accept Ukraine, to NATO, which military alliance with the US was extremely unpopular in Ukraine until the American conquest and the immediately subsequent takeover of Ukraine by pro-US oligarchs, who were eager to buy more privatized and formerly Soviet state-owned properties, in basically insider deals with the now US-controlled Ukrainian Government. Those oligarchs' 'news'-media successfully propagandized most Ukrainians to switch from being anti-NATO to pro-NATO. However, right at the time of the coup, Crimeans demonstrated in Kiev against the CIA-organized Maidan demostrations, and on the day of the coup, February 20th, those Crimeans in Kiev were forced by the US-supported nazis to flee there, but the eight buses carrrying them were blocked en-route, and an unknown number of the fleeing Crimeans were killed . Many of the surviving ones were permanently injured . Crimeans were terrified and some of them wrote to friends in the West regarding the terror and their fears . All of this information is ignored by the proponents of the illegality of Crimea's separation from Ukraine, because, clearly, the basic human rights of Crimeans were then under very palpable and severe threat by the US-imposed forces; and, so, any 'legal' argument for forcing Crimeans to remain Ukrainians was and is fake. But, still, legal arguments for forcing Crimeans to be Ukrainians again are presented; and, so, here is a quick intoroduction to those frauds.

The least politicized of the pro-Western (i.e., pro-US-regime) articles regarding the relevant international laws on this topic concern the cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia, because in the US-and-allied international dictatorship (that is, the countries that are ruled by billionares who are allied with US billionaires), no unanimity exists regarding those two breakaway-movements (Kurds and Catalonians); so, the legal principles aren't such a threat to the US-and-allied lies about Russia. Here are highlights from this article, and I boldface what I consider key statements there:

--

https://www.asil.org/insights/volume/22/issue/1/self-determination-and-secession-under-international-law-cases-kurdistan

"Self-Determination and Secession Under International Law: The Cases of Kurdistan and Catalonia"

ASIL [American Society of International Law] Insights , v. 22, issue 1

Milena Sterio, 5 January 2018

The theory of self-determination, as justifying the secession of a people from its existing mother state as a matter of last resort only, in situations where the people is oppressed or where the mother state's government does not legitimately represent the people's interests, has remained constant throughout the 20th century development of international law. Two United Nations' declarations, in addition to the United Nations Charter itself, have addressed the issue of self-determination.

Both declarations envisioned self-determination leading to secession as a matter of last resort only within the decolonization paradigm: here, both conditions for a right to self-determination were met insofar as colonized peoples were oppressed and their colonial governments did not adequately represent their interests. Both declarations also confirmed the importance of the principle of territorial integrity of existing states, [8] and thus embraced the idea that self-determination could lead to the territorial disruption of existing states only in extreme instances of oppression or colonization .

Peoples who are oppressed or colonized , however, have the right to external self-determination, which they may exercise through secession from their mother state.[9] This view of self-determination was confirmed in 1998, in the Canadian Supreme Court opinion regarding the proposed secession of Quebec from Canada, where the Court held that all peoples are entitled to various modes of internal self-determination, but that only some peoples, such as those subjected to conquest, colonization, and perhaps oppression, may acquire the right to external self-determination through remedial secession.[10] Today, it may be concluded that international law bestows on all peoples the right to self-determination, but that the right to external self-determination, exercised through remedial secession, only applies in extreme circumstances, to colonized and severely persecuted peoples.

While international law embraces the principle of self-determination, it does not contain a right of secession.[11] It may be argued that international law merely tolerates secession in instances of external self-determination, where a people is colonized or oppressed (like in the case of Kosovo). In addition, secession is prohibited under international law if the secessionist entity is attempting to separate by violating another fundamental norm of international law, such as the prohibition on the use of force (like in the case of Northern Cyprus).[12] In other instances of attempted secession, where the relevant people is not oppressed, as in Quebec or Scotland, international law is neutral on secession -- it does not support a right to secession nor does it prohibit secession. Instead, the secessionist dispute is left to the realm of domestic law and to political negotiations between the mother state and the secessionist entity.[13]

--

Following are two influential articles reaffirming the US regime's view, that the breakaway was and is illegitimate. In the first , the lie is simply presumed true that the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, during 20-26 February 2014, was a domestic democratic revolution, instead of a foreign-imposed coup. In the second , international law, as was just summarized above here, is simply ignored.

--

#1:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40802-015-0043-9

Netherlands International Law Review
December 2015, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 329–363| Cite as
"Crimea's Separation from Ukraine: An Analysis of the Right to Self-Determination and (Remedial) Secession in International Law"

Simone F. van den Driest [whose 404-page 2013 Ph.D dissertation, at Netherlands' Tilburg University, was "Remedial Secession" ], First Online: 30 November 2015

16k Downloads

Abstract

This article considers the (il)legality of Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine from the perspective of public international law. It examines whether the right to self-determination or an alleged right to (remedial) secession could serve as a legal basis for the separation of the Crimean Peninsula, as the Crimean authorities and the Russian Federation seem to have argued. The article explains that beyond the context of decolonization, the right to self-determination does not encompass a general right to unilateral secession and demonstrates that contemporary international law does not acknowledge a right to remedial secession. With respect to the case of Crimea, it argues that even when assuming that such a right does exist, the threshold in this regard is not met. In the absence of a legal entitlement, the article subsequently turns to the question whether Crimea's unilateral secession was prohibited under international law. It contends that while the principle of territorial integrity discourages unilateral secession, it does not actually prohibit it. Nonetheless, there are situations in which an attempt at unilateral secession is considered to be illegal in view of the circumstances. It is argued that it is precisely this exception that is relevant in the case of Crimea.

[Text now:] The Russian Federation (implicitly) relied on the doctrine of remedial secession, which is seen to encompass a right to unilateral secession in case of serious injustices suffered by a people. [which were unquestionably present] President Putin advanced remedial arguments in his speech of 18 March, contending that
those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives [ ]. [N]aturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress .7
To the same effect, the Russian Federation claimed in the Security Council that there had been 'threats of violence by ultranationalists against the security, lives and legitimate interests of Russians and all Russian-speaking peoples' in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine and that 'the issue is one of defending our citizens and compatriots, as well as the most import[ant] human right -- the right to life'.8

The accuracy of these views presented, however, is highly questionable under contemporary international law [and all the rest of the article discusses none of the allegations that Putin asserted there , but only internnational law. Not even once in this article is anything like the word "coup" used in relation to the overthrow of Yanukovych -- the overthrow that had sparked Crimeans to demand restoration to Russia. Instead the article simply assumes that there was no coup whatsoever: "The Ukrainian Revolution of 2014, which was initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev, had significant effects in Crimea." That's all. However, that statement was false: It was no "revolution," and it clearly was a coup . Furthermore: even if it had been a "revolution," it was not "initiated by the Euromaidan movement in the capital of Kiev -- it was initiated by the Barack Obama Administration in the summer of 2011, and started to be implemented inside the US Embassy in Kiev on 1 March 2013 . The Euromaidan movement started on 21 November 2013 . So, this author is merely assuming that "the Euromaidan movement" wasn't part of a coup-operation by the US regime.]

CONCLUSION

All in all, it should be concluded that the arguments involving an alleged right to self-determination and (remedial) secession as advanced by the Crimean and Russian authorities in attempting to justify the events on the Crimean Peninsula cannot be upheld. On the contrary: Crimea's unilateral secession from Ukraine clearly was illegal under international law.

#2:

https://content.sciendo.com/view/journals/lasr/14/1/article-p11.xml

"The Annexation of Crimea and Attempts to Justify It in the Context of International Law"

Lithuanian Annual Strategic Review , 2015-2016, v. 14 [published by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania]

Erika Leonaitė & Dainius Žalimas, both of Vilnius University

it is essential to point out that a coup d'etat and the issues of constitutionality in general are matters of national rather than international law. In terms of international law, importance falls not on the constitutionality of the government, but on its effectiveness, i.e. its capability to efficiently control the territory of the state and to ensure compliance with international commitments. [In other words: any national government that can suppress and crush a secession movement is adhering to international law, according to these writers.] Even where the government is unable to carry out effective control (in political science, the concept of a "failed state" is used to refer to these cases), relations with such a state must be continued based on the principles of sovereign equality, the prohibition of the use of force [the writers mean "use of force" by any foreign govertnment, not "use of force" by the given nation's government in order to suppress and crush any secession movement], respect for territorial integrity, and other fundamental international legal principles; other states are not released from the obligations with respect to this state [in other words: foreign nations must never side with nor support a secession movement within a country. Blatantly false allegations like that are publishable by General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania.]

--

US President Barack Obama restored in full the Cold War that his predecessor George Herbert Walker Bush had only secretly extended into the future on the American side covertly on 24 February 1990 , and he did this in two main steps. In 2012, he pushed and signed into law the Magnitsky Act which was based on the fraud by Bill Browder, who functioned in coordination with George Soros, another billionaire who leads in ingtensifying America's war against Russia . Then, in June 2011 at the latest, he started the planning for the February 2014 Ukrainian coup .

Furthermore: Part of Obama's plan for taking Ukraine was his plan to grab Russia's main navy base, which is in Crimea, and to transform it into another NATO navy base -- against Russia :

In June 2013 (well before the 'democratic revolution' in Ukraine started), NAVFAC, the US Naval Facilities Engineering Command, published on its website, a "Project Description" for "Renovation of School#5, Sevastopol, Ukraine," under the euphemistic title "EUCOM Humanitarian Assistance Program" . EUCOM is the US European Command -- it is purely military, not "humanitarian," at all. The 124-page request for proposals (RFP) showed extensive photos of the existing school, and also of the toilets, floor-boards, and other US-made products, that the US regime was requiring to be used in the renovation (by some American corporation, yet to be determined) of that then-Ukrainian school in Crimea, which at that time was a Ukrainian Government property, not at all American-owned or operated. So: why were US taxpayers supposed to fund this 'humanitarian' operation, by the U.S. military? The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Coup Crimea International Law Russia Ukraine United States Print this article See also September 17, 2019 Crimea and Kashmir Viewed Through a Western Prism of Hypocrisy June 27, 2017 Crimea, Afghanistan and Libya June 3, 2018 How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine March 19, 2019 US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea November 18, 2018 UN Vote on Crimea: Some Thoughts on the Issue December 11, 2019 The 1508 League of Cambrai and BRICS Today: How Not to Repeat History December 10, 2019 Why the Results of the Normandy Four Summit Were Predetermined Almost November 27, 2019 Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate' November 11, 2019 Federations No Longer a Fad December 23, 2019 US Making Outer Space the Next Battle Zone – Karl Grossman December 22, 2019 The Fake Impeachment: Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory December 22, 2019 One and a Half Cheers for Tulsi Gabbard December 21, 2019 We Live in Hysteric Times: What Trump's Impeachment Really Means December 21, 2019 Capra's Battle With the Deep State and Hollywood's Role in the Cold War Era December 18, 2019 Hidden Evidence Regarding Ukrainegate December 16, 2019 The Post-War 'Consensus' is Over – 'Either We Reinvent Bretton Woods, or It Risks Losing Relevance' December 15, 2019 Fires Rage in Canada as Professor Attacks the Myth of Holodomor December 15, 2019 Ukraine Peace Hostage to Washington's Russophobia December 13, 2019 Sore Sports: Russia Barred From Olympics for Thwarting Washington's Geopolitical Game Plan? December 10, 2019 Trade and Peaceful Cooperation Will Beat the Warmongers December 4, 2019 Bolivia's Lithium Is Fair Game in a World Ruled by Spheres of Influence December 1, 2019 Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World November 30, 2019 Will the ICC Prosecute Perpetrators of the 'War on Terror'? November 28, 2019 Bolivian Coup and Indian Wars on Thanksgiving November 15, 2019 Bolivia: More Lessons From a Noble Experiment Gone Awry Also by this author Eric Zuesse American writer and investigative historian Hidden Evidence Regarding Ukrainegate Why America's Founders Would Be Waging War Against Today's America Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate' Americans Usually Support Ethnic Cleansing When Their Government Does Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe See also September 17, 2019 Crimea and Kashmir Viewed Through a Western Prism of Hypocrisy June 27, 2017 Crimea, Afghanistan and Libya June 3, 2018 How and Why the US Government Perpetrated the 2014 Coup in Ukraine March 19, 2019 US Duplicity over Golan Demolishes Posturing on Crimea November 18, 2018 UN Vote on Crimea: Some Thoughts on the Issue December 11, 2019 The 1508 League of Cambrai and BRICS Today: How Not to Repeat History December 10, 2019 Why the Results of the Normandy Four Summit Were Predetermined Almost November 27, 2019 Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate' November 11, 2019 Federations No Longer a Fad December 23, 2019 US Making Outer Space the Next Battle Zone – Karl Grossman December 22, 2019 The Fake Impeachment: Pelosi's Botched Ploy Helps Trump Towards Victory December 22, 2019 One and a Half Cheers for Tulsi Gabbard December 21, 2019 We Live in Hysteric Times: What Trump's Impeachment Really Means December 21, 2019 Capra's Battle With the Deep State and Hollywood's Role in the Cold War Era December 18, 2019 Hidden Evidence Regarding Ukrainegate December 16, 2019 The Post-War 'Consensus' is Over – 'Either We Reinvent Bretton Woods, or It Risks Losing Relevance' December 15, 2019 Fires Rage in Canada as Professor Attacks the Myth of Holodomor December 15, 2019 Ukraine Peace Hostage to Washington's Russophobia December 13, 2019 Sore Sports: Russia Barred From Olympics for Thwarting Washington's Geopolitical Game Plan? December 10, 2019 Trade and Peaceful Cooperation Will Beat the Warmongers December 4, 2019 Bolivia's Lithium Is Fair Game in a World Ruled by Spheres of Influence December 1, 2019 Why a Second American Revolution Is Necessary for the Entire World November 30, 2019 Will the ICC Prosecute Perpetrators of the 'War on Terror'? November 28, 2019 Bolivian Coup and Indian Wars on Thanksgiving November 15, 2019 Bolivia: More Lessons From a Noble Experiment Gone Awry The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. Tags: Coup Crimea International Law Russia Ukraine United States Print this article Sign up for the Strategic Culture Foundation Newsletter Subscribe


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

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

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

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

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

Don't forget, this impeachment is fake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Democratic Party Activist Base Despises Pelosi as much as Clinton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

Similarly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


richard , December 23, 2019 at 6:49 pm

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

dcblogger , December 23, 2019 at 7:02 pm

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

KLG , December 23, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Uh huh.

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

marym , December 23, 2019 at 8:42 pm

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

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

dcblogger , December 23, 2019 at 9:03 pm

thanks

dcrane , December 23, 2019 at 9:11 pm

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

Fred , December 23, 2019 at 7:05 pm

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

Synoia , December 23, 2019 at 8:33 pm

Better to have Homer Simpson's father do Trump.

martell , December 23, 2019 at 8:45 pm

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

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

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

TroyIA , December 23, 2019 at 9:01 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 23, 2019] Making the World Less Safe

Notable quotes:
"... Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. ..."
"... The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion. ..."
"... But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration. ..."
"... Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will " ..."
"... Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack. ..."
"... Asharq al-Awsat ..."
May 21, 2015 | The Unz Review
Currently the United States is assisting Ukraine against Russia by providing some non-lethal military equipment as well as limited training for Kiev's army. It has balked at getting more involved in the conflict, rightly so. With that in mind, I had a meeting with a delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians and government officials a couple of weeks ago. I tried to explain to them why many Americans are wary of helping them by providing lethal, potentially game changing military assistance in what Kiev sees as a struggle to regain control of Crimea and other parts of their country from militias that are clearly linked to Moscow. I argued that while Washington should be sympathetic to Ukraine's aspirations it has no actual horse in the race, that the imperative for bilateral relations with Russia, which is the only nation on earth that can attack and destroy the United States, is that they be stable and that all channels for communication remain open.

I also observed that the negative perception of Washington-driven democracy promotion around the world has been in part shaped by the actual record on interventions since 2001, which has not been positive. Each exercise of the military option has wound up creating new problems, like the mistaken policies in Libya, Iraq and Syria, all of which have produced instability and a surge in terrorism. I noted that the U.S. does not need to bring about a new Cold War by trying to impose democratic norms in Eastern Europe but should instead be doing all in its power to encourage a reasonable rapprochement between Moscow and Kiev. Providing weapons or other military support to Ukraine would only cause the situation to escalate, leading to a new war by proxies in Eastern Europe that could rapidly spread to other regions.

The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now. They inevitably produced the Hitler analogy, citing the example of 1938 and Munich as well as the subsequent partition of Poland in 1939 to make their case. When I asked what the United States would gain by intervening they responded that in return for military assistance, Washington will have a good and democratic friend in Ukraine which will serve as a bulwark against further Russian expansion.

I explained that Russia does not have the economic or military resources to dominate Eastern Europe and its ambitions appear to be limited to establishing a sphere of influence that includes "protection" for some adjacent areas that are traditionally Russian and inhabited by ethnic Russians. Crimea is, unfortunately, one such region that was actually directly governed by Moscow between 1783 and 1954 and it is also militarily vitally important to Moscow as it is the home of the Black Sea Fleet. I did not point that out to excuse Russian behavior but only to suggest that Moscow does have an argument to make, particularly as the United States has been meddling in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine where it has "invested" $5 billion, since the Clinton Administration.

I argued that if resurgent Russian nationalism actually endangered the United States there would be a case to be made for constricting Moscow by creating an alliance of neighbors that would be able to help contain any expansion, but even the hawks in the U.S. Congress are neither prepared nor able to demonstrate a genuine threat. Fear of the expansionistic Soviet Union after 1945 was indeed the original motivation for creating NATO. But the reality is that Russia is only dangerous if the U.S. succeeds in backing it into a corner where it will begin to consider the kind of disruption that was the norm during the Cold War or even some kind of nuclear response or demonstration. If one is focused on U.S. interests globally Russia has actually been a responsible player, helping in the Middle East and also against international terrorism.

So there was little to agree on apart from the fact that the Ukrainians have a right to have a government they choose for themselves and also to defend themselves. And we Americans have in the Ukrainians yet another potential client state that wants our help. In return we would have yet another dependency whose concerns have to be regarded when formulating our foreign policy. One can sympathize with the plight of the Ukrainians but it is not up to Washington to fix the world or to go around promoting democracy as a potential solution to pervasive regional political instability.

Obviously a discussion based on what are essentially conflicting interests will ultimately go nowhere and so it did in this case, but it did raise the issue of why Washington's relationship with Moscow is so troubled, particularly as it need not be so. Regarding Ukraine and associated issues, Washington's approach has been stick-and-carrot with the emphasis on the stick through the imposition of painful sanctions and meaningless though demeaning travel bans. I would think that reversing that formulation to emphasize rewards would actually work better as today's Russia is actually a relatively new nation in terms of its institutions and suffers from insecurity about its place in the world and the respect that it believes it is entitled to receive.

Russia recently celebrated the 70 th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Europe. The celebration was boycotted by the United States and by many Western European nations in protest over Russian interference in Ukraine. I don't know to what extent Obama has any knowledge of recent history, but the Russians were the ones who were most instrumental in the defeat of Nazi Germany, losing 27 million citizens in the process. It would have been respectful for President Obama or Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to Moscow for the commemoration and it would likely have produced a positive result both for Ukraine and also to mitigate the concern that a new Cold War might be developing. But Obama chose to stay home as punishment for Putin, which I think was a bad choice suggesting that he is being strongly influenced by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the other neocons who seem to have retained considerable power in his administration.

And I also would note a couple of other bad choices made during the past several weeks. The Trans-Pacific multilateral trade agreement that is currently working its way through Congress and is being aggressively promoted by the White House might be great for business though it may or may not be good for the American worker, which, based on previous agreements, is a reasonable concern. But what really disturbs me is the Obama explanation of why the pact is important. Obama told a crowd gathered outside the Nike footwear company in Oregon that the deal is necessary because "if we don't write the rules, China will "

Fear of the Yellow Peril might indeed be legitimate but it would be difficult to make the case that an internally troubled China is seeking to dominate the Pacific. If it attempts to do so, it would face strong resistance from the Japanese, Vietnamese, Filipinos and Koreans among others. But what is bothersome to me and probably also to many in the Asian audience is that Obama takes as a given that he will be able to "write the rules." This is American hubris writ large and I am certain that many who are thereby designated to follow Washington's lead are as offended by it as I am. Bad move Barack.

And finally there is Iran as an alleged state sponsor of terrorism. President Obama claims that he is working hard to achieve a peaceful settlement of the alleged threat posed by Iran's nuclear program. But if that is so why does he throw obstacles irrelevant to an agreement out to make the Iranian government more uncomfortable and therefore unwilling or unable to compromise? In an interview with Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat Obama called Tehran a terrorism supporter, stating that "it [Iran] props up the Assad regime in Syria. It supports Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It aids the Houthi rebels in Yemen so countries in the region are rights to be deeply concerned " I understand that the interview was designed to reassure America's friends in the Gulf that the United States shares their concerns and will continue to support them but the timing would appear to be particularly unfortunate.

The handling of Russia, China and Iran all exemplify the essential dysfunction in American foreign policy. The United States should have a mutually respectful relationship with Russia, ought to accept that China is an adversary but not necessarily an enemy unless we make it so and it should also finally realize that an agreement with Iran is within its grasp as long as Washington does not overreach. It is not clear that any of that is well understood and one has to wonder precisely what kind of advice Obama is receiving when fails to understand the importance of Russia, insists on "writing the rules" for Asia, and persists in throwing around the terrorist label. If the past fifteen years have taught us anything it is that the "Washington as the international arbiter model" is not working. Obama should wake up to that reality before Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush arrives on the scene to make everything worse.

Tom Welsh, May 19, 2015 at 7:02 am GMT • 100 Words

All of this misses the point, IMHO. There is really no need to explain that Russia has no plans to conquer Europe, China has no plans to take over the Pacific, etc. Anyone with a little historical knowledge and some common sense can see that plainly. What is happening is that the USA has overweening aspirations to control (and then suck dry) the entire world – and Europe, Russia and China are next on its hit list.

So it naturally accuses those nations of aspiring to what it plans to do. Standard operating procedure.

The Priss Factor, May 19, 2015 at 7:19 am GMT • 100 Words

"The Ukrainians were not buying any of that. Their point of view is that Russia is seeking to revive the Soviet Union and will inevitably turn on the Baltic States and Poland, so it is necessary to stop evil dictator Vladimir Putin now."

I can understand Ukrainian animus against Russia due to history and ethnic tensions.

But that is ridiculous. They can't possibly believe it. I think they're repeating Neocon talking points to persuade American that the fate of the world is at stake.
It's really just a local affair.

And Crimea would still belong to Ukraine if the crazies in Ukraine hadn't conspired with Neocons like Nuland to subvert and overthrow the regime.

[Dec 23, 2019] This is an article about how The Liberal Elites conned the progressive Democrats into supporting their scheme to get Joe Biden elected by stopping Trump from having Biden investigated by impeaching him for it

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Dec 22 2019 10:39 utc | 56

This is an article about how The Liberal Elites conned the progressive Democrats into supporting their scheme to get Joe Biden elected by stopping Trump from having Biden investigated by impeaching him for it, its called Impeachment For Dummies: or How progressives were conned into supporting Joe Biden for President

[Dec 23, 2019] Love but not from the first sight

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

onwisconsinbadger , 35 minutes ago link

In May 2016, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, famously proclaimed that, "If we [Republicans] nominate Trump, we will get destroyed and we will deserve it." Since then, Graham has become one of President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders, making Graham the target of critics who paint him as a hypocrite for repeatedly contradicting his previously expressed stances.

In 2015, for example, Graham called Donald Trump a "race-baiting xenophobic bigot," but by 2018 he was claiming that he had "never heard [Trump] make a single racist statement." And in 1999, during impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton (a Democrat), Graham asserted that an impeachable offense "doesn't even have to be a crime," but then in 2019 Graham challenged those calling for the impeachment of Trump to "show me something that is a crime"

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

Dec 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 23, 2019 | www.wnd.com

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

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

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

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

TRENDING: Biden confirms he'll sacrifice thousands of blue-collar jobs for greener economy if needed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She doubled down on Monday, Fox News reported.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Dec 22 2019 4:41 utc | 40

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

An excerpt;


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


ben , Dec 22 2019 4:44 utc | 41

Bio on Bruce Fein;

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

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

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

[Dec 23, 2019] Durham Is Scrutinizing Ex-C.I.A. Director's Role in Russian Interference Findings - The New York Times

Please note that NYT was a part of coupe d'état against Trump...
Will Brannan and Comey be arrested for stage coup d'état ?
Dec 23, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

John H. Durham, the United States attorney leading the investigation, has requested Mr. Brennan's emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A., according to a person briefed on his inquiry. He wants to learn what Mr. Brennan told other officials, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.'s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.

... ... ...

Mr. Durham is also examining whether Mr. Brennan privately contradicted his public comments, including May 2017 testimony to Congress , about both the dossier and about any debate among the intelligence agencies over their conclusions on Russia's interference, the people said.

... ... ..

"The president bore the burden of probably one of the greatest conspiracy theories -- baseless conspiracy theories -- in American political history," Mr. Barr told Fox News. He has long expressed skepticism that the F.B.I. had enough information to begin its inquiry in 2016, publicly criticizing an inspector general report released last week that affirmed that the bureau did.

Mr. Barr has long been interested in the conclusion about Mr. Putin ordering intervention on Mr. Trump's behalf, perhaps the intelligence report's most explosive assertion. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. reported high confidence in the conclusion, while the N.S.A., which conducts electronic surveillance, had a moderate degree of confidence.

... ... ...

Critics of the intelligence assessment, like Representative Chris Stewart, Republican of Utah, said the C.I.A.'s sourcing failed to justify the high level of confidence about Moscow's intervention on behalf of Mr. Trump.

"I don't agree with the conclusion, particularly that it's such a high level of confidence," Mr. Stewart said, citing raw intelligence that he said he reviewed.

"I just think there should've been allowances made for some of the ambiguity in that and especially for those who didn't also share in the conclusion that it was a high degree of confidence," he added.

Mr. Durham's investigators also want to know more about the discussions that prompted intelligence community leaders to include Mr. Steele's allegations in the appendix of their assessment.

Mr. Brennan has repeatedly said, including in his 2017 congressional testimony, that the C.I.A. did not rely on the dossier when it helped develop the assessment, and the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has also testified before lawmakers that the same was true for the intelligence agencies more broadly. But Mr. Trump's allies have long asked pointed questions about the dossier, including how it was used in the intelligence agency's assessment.

Some C.I.A. analysts and officials insisted that the dossier be left out of the assessment, while some F.B.I. leaders wanted to include it and bristled at its relegation to the appendix. Their disagreements were captured in the highly anticipated report released last week by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, examining aspects of the F.B.I.'s Russia investigation.

Mr. Steele's information "was a topic of significant discussion within the F.B.I. and with the other agencies participating in drafting" the declassified intelligence assessment about Russia interference, Mr. Horowitz wrote. The F.B.I. shared Mr. Steele's information with the team of officials from multiple agencies drafting the assessment.

Mr. Comey also briefed Mr. Brennan and other top Obama administration intelligence officials including the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, and Mr. Clapper about the bureau's efforts to assess the information in the dossier, Mr. Comey told the inspector general. He said that analysts had found it to be "credible on its face."

... ... ...

Andrew G. McCabe, then the deputy director of the F.B.I., pushed back, according to the inspector general report, accusing the intelligence chiefs of trying to minimize Mr. Steele's information.

Ultimately the two sides compromised by placing Mr. Steele's material in the appendix. After BuzzFeed News published the dossier in January 2017, days after the intelligence assessment about Russia's election sabotage was released, Mr. Comey complained to Mr. Clapper about his decision to publicly state that the intelligence community "has not made any judgment" about the document's reliability.

Mr. Comey said that the F.B.I. had concluded that Mr. Steele was reliable, according to the inspector general report. Mr. Clapper ignored Mr. Comey, the report said.

[Dec 23, 2019] Impeachment For Dummies: or How progressives were conned into supporting Joe Biden for President

Dec 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Dec 22 2019 20:08 utc | 37

"AOC and the squad were doing backflips while being played for suckers! They happily gave up their golden opportunity to remove their biggest obstacle to getting a progressive in the White House. For what? To make Trump look kinda bad? Not even real bad. Just KINDA BAD!??!"

"Did they think they could get Trump removed? I mean, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?!
They had a once in a lifetime chance to have Trump remove Joe Biden FOR them! THEIR MAIN COMPETITION AND A 100% NEOCON NEOLIBERAL NIGHTMARE would not be leading in the polls and on his way to the oval office right now!

But noooooooooooooooooo!"

From: Impeachment For Dummies: or How progressives were conned into supporting Joe Biden for President


juliania , Dec 22 2019 20:10 utc | 38

psychohistorian - here's the opening screed on the Caitlin site:

"It's been a bad last 24 hours for the war propagandists.

WikiLeaks has published multiple documents providing further details on the coverup within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) of its own investigators' findings which contradicted the official story we were all given about an alleged chlorine gas attack in Douma, Syria last year. The alleged chemical weapons incident was blamed on the Syrian government by the US and its allies, who launched airstrikes against Syria several days later. Subsequent evidence indicating that there was insufficient reason to conclude the chlorine gas attack ever happened was repressed by the OPCW, reportedly at the urging of US government officials.

The new publications by WikiLeaks add new detail to this still-unfolding scandal, providing more evidence to further invalidate attempts by establishment Syria narrative managers to spin it all as an empty conspiracy theory. The OPCW has no business hiding any information from the public which casts doubt on the official narrative about an incident which was used to justify an act of war on a sovereign nation..."

I'm having a different problem - went to the Intercept for one of b's last links and got a pageful moneyraiser that wasn't removable, tried to come back here and it kept me in limbo so I had to go off and come back on. Same thing happened with the Caitlin - I can try linking to more of it if you wish.

uncle tungsten , Dec 22 2019 21:34 utc | 49
Kali #37

Thank you for that discovery. Brilliant and lucidly stated as always from Pam Ho.

CONNED.

Joe Biden needs to be prosecuted. But Barr and company don't wish to see their leader challenged by a viable candidate from the Dems. So will they just drag this dead donkey around all the way to the election? My guess is that Joe will buckle under the constant outing of his gross thievery in Ukraine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Transcript:

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

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

[cross talk]

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

Trish Regan : They should be watching you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Bannon: Thank you for having me, Trish.

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

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


Obi-jonKenobi , 2 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

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

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

Md4 , 2 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

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

Idleproc , 3 hours ago link

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

[Dec 22, 2019] Ukraine games and the Democrats. There is much in this article I have not heard before. Many very specific and therefore potentially testable allegations.

Dec 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dave , Dec 21 2019 23:43 utc | 28

Re: Ukraine games and the Democrats. There is much in this article I have not heard before. Many very specific and therefore potentially testable allegations.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/plundering-ukraine-corrupt-american-democrats

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It just takes a very long time."

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

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

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

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

yesterday

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

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

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

Cass Sunstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 22, 2019] Autopsy of the Minsk agreements

Notable quotes:
"... Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"? ..."
"... I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic. ..."
"... What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing? ..."
"... I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine. ..."
Dec 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

The recent Paris summit and the few days following the summit have brought a lot of clarity about the future of the Minsk Agreements. Short version: Kiev has officially rejected them (by rejecting both the sequence of steps and several crucial steps). For those interested, let's look a little further.

First, what just happened

First, here are the key excerpts from the Paris Conference and from statements made by "Ze" and his superior, Arsen Avakov right after their return to Kiev:

Paris Conference statement: source

The Minsk agreements (Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014, Minsk Memorandum of 19 September 2014 and the Minsk Package of Measures of 12 February 2015) continue to be the basis of the work of the Normandy format whose member states are committed to their full implementation ( ) The sides express interest in agreeing within the Normandy format (N4) and the Trilateral Contact Group on all the legal aspects of the Special Order of Local Self-Government – special status – of Certain Areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions – as outlined in the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements from 2015 – in order to ensure its functioning on a permanent basis .They consider it necessary to incorporate the "Steinmeier formula" into the Ukrainian legislation, in accordance with the version agreed upon within the N4 and the Trilateral Contact Group.

President 'Ze' statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation) source

" The most difficult question is the question of the transfer of the border control to Ukraine. It's very funny, because its our border and the transfer of the control to us. But, it's a weak sport, the Achilles' heel of the Minsk Agreement." "It's what was signed by us, unfortunately. We can discuss this for a very long time. Possibly, the conditions were as such." "But we signed that we will get the control over our border only after the elections on the temporarily occupied territories." "We dedicated a very long time to this question, we discussed it in details, we have a very different positions with the president of Russia ." "But this is the Minsk position, we have to understand this. I only like one thing, that we started talking about this. We agreed that we will continue talking about this in details and with the different variations during our next meeting." "This is also a victory, because we will have a meeting in four months."

Q. What do you think, is it possible to change the Minsk Agreement? source

" This will be very difficult to do, but we have to do it. We have to change it . First, we have to understand that it's been over four years since the Minsk Agreement was signed. Everything changes in our life. We have to understand that it wasn't my team that signed the Minsk Agreement, but we as a power have to fulfill the conditions that our power at the time agreed back then. But? I am sure that some things we will be able to change. We will be changing them." "Because the transfer of the Ukraine's border after our control only after the elections, – it's not our position. I said about this don't know how many times, but this is the final decision ."

Arsen Avakov's statement on Ukrainian TV: (unofficial, in-house, translation):

" The philosophy of the border control the part of the border that we don't have control over is 408 kilometers. It's not that easy to take it over, to equip it, even to get there across the enemy territories. It's a procedure. As a compromise, we offered the following scheme: we will start taking the border under our control stating with the New Year, little by little, reducing the length of the border that is not controlled by us, and a day before the local election we will close the border, we will close this bottleneck. And this way will get the control over the border. Why isn't this a good compromise? Considering, that at the same time according to the Steinmeier Formula, they have to disarm all the illegal armed formations of this pseudo-state DNR. This is how we see the compromise."

In other words, both the official President and real President of the Ukraine agree: the Ukraine will not implement the Minsk Agreements as written, made law by the UNSC and clarified by the so-called Steinmeier Formula.

Ukrainian propagandists on Russian TV (yes, Urkonazi and hardline nationalist propagandists do get air time on Russian TV on a daily basis – for an explanation why, see here and here ) went into damage control mode and explained it all away by saying " these are only words, what matters is what Zelenskii signed in Paris ". They are wrong. First of all, statements made in their official capacity by the President or the Minister of Internal Affairs do represent OFFICIAL policy statements. Second, this explanation completely overlooks the reason why Ze and Avakov said these things. That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Urkonazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0.

So in the behind-the-scenes (but very real) struggle between the Zionist camp (Kolomoiskii and Zelenskii) and the Urkonazi camp (Avakov and Poroshenko), the latter have successfully taken control of the former and now the chances for saving a unitary Ukraine are down to, maybe not quite zero, but to something like 0.0000001% (I leave that one under the heading "never say never" and because I have been wrong in the past).

So what happens next?

That is the interesting question. In theory, the Normandy Four will meet again in 4 months. But that assumes that some progress was made. Well, it is possible that in a few sections of the line of contact there will be an OSCE supervised withdrawal of forces. But, let's be honest here, the people have seen many, many such promised withdrawals, and they all turned out to be fake. Either the Ukronazis return to the neutral zone (claiming huge victories over the (sic) "Russian armed force"), or they resume bombing civilians, or they never even bother to change position. Any withdrawal is a good thing if it can save a single life! But no amount of withdrawals will settle anything in this conflict.

Second, there are A LOT of Ukrainian politicians who now say that the citizens of the LDNR have to "return" to Russia if they don't like the Urkonazi coup or its ideology. They either don't realize, or don't care, that there are very few Russian volunteers in Novorussia and that the vast majority of the men and women who compose the LDNR forces are locals. These locals, by the way, get the Ukie message loud and clear: you better get away while you can, because when we show up you will all be prosecuted for terrorism and aiding terrorists, that is ALSO something the Urkonazis like to repeat day after day. By the way, while in Banderastan all Russian TV channels are censored, and while they also try to censor the Russian language Internet, in Novorussia all the Ukrainian (and Russian) TV stations are freely available. So as soon as some Nazi freak comes out and says something crazy like "we will create filtration camps" (aka concentration camps) this news is instantly repeated all over Novorussia, which only strengthens the resolve of the people of the LDNR to fight to their death rather than accept a Nazi occupation..

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested. Whatever the case may be, it's now over, we are back to square one.

The most likely scenario is a "slow freezing" of the conflict meaning now that Kiev has officially and overtly rejected the Minsk Agreements, there will be some minor, pretend-negotiations, maybe, but that fundamentally the conflict will be frozen.

That will be the last nail in the coffin of the pro-EU, pro-NATO so-called "Independent Ukraine", since the most important condition to try to salvage the Ukrainian economy, namely peace, is now gone. Furthermore, the political climate in the Ukraine will further deteriorate (the hated Nazi minority + an even worse economic crisis are a perfect recipe for disaster).

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement. That means that the LDNR will separate from the rump-Ukraine and, on time, rejoin Russia. Good bye Banderites and Urkonazis!

The rump-Ukraine will eventually break-up further: Crimea truly was the "jewel of the Black Sea" and its future appears to be extremely bright while the Donbass was the biggest source of raw materials, energy, industry, high-tech, etc. etc. etc.). What is left of the Ukraine is either poor and under-developed (the West) or needs to reopen economic ties with Russia (the South).

Besides, Zelenskii and his party are now trying to rush a new law through the Rada which will allow the sale of Ukrainian land to private interests (aka foreign interests + a local frontman). As a result, there is now a new "maidan" brewing, pitting Iulia Timoshenko and other nationalist leaders against Zelenskii and his party. This could become a major crisis very fast, especially now that is appears that Zelenskii will also renege on this promise to call for a national referendum on the issue of the sale/privatization of land .

As for the Russians, they already realize that Ze is a joke, unsurprisingly so since he is a comic by trade, and that the Ukrainians are "not agreement capable". They will treat him like they did Poroshenko in the last years: completely ignore him and not even take his telephone calls. Right now, there is just a tiny bit of good will left in Moscow, but it is drying up so fast that it will soon totally disappear. Besides, the Russians really don't care that much anymore: the sanctions turned out to be a blessing, time is on Russia's side, the Ukronazis are destroying their own state and, finally, the important stuff for Russia is happening in Asia, not the West.

The Europeans will take a long time to come to terms with two simple facts:

Russia was never a party to this conflict (if she had, it would have been over long ago). The Ukronazis are the ones who won't implement the Minsk Agreements

This means that the politicians who were behind the EU's backing of the Euromaidan (Merkel) will have to go before their successors can say that, oops, we got our colors confused, and white is actually black and black turned out to be white. That's okay, politicians are pretty good at that. The honeymoon between Kiev and Warsaw on the one hand and Berlin on the other will soon end as bad times are ahead.

Macron looks much better, and he will probably pursue his efforts to restore semi-normal relations with Russia, for France's sake first, but also eventually the rest of the EU. The Poles and the Balts will accuse him of "treason" and he will just ignore them.

As for Trump, he will most likely make small steps towards Russia, but most of his energy will be directed either inwards (impeachment) or outwards (Israel), but not towards the Ukrainian conflict. Good.

Conclusion

It's over. Crimea and the Donbass are gone forever, the first is de jure , the latter merely de facto . The rump-Ukraine is completely unconformable (barring some kind of coup followed by a government of national unity supported Moscow – I consider this hypothesis as highly unlikely).

If you live in the West, don't expect your national media to report on any of this. They will be the LAST ones to actually admit it (journos have a longer shelf life than politicians, it is harder for them to make a 180).

PS: to get a feeling for the kind of silly stunts the "Ze team" is now busying itself with, just check this one: they actually tried to falsify the Ukrainian version of the Paris Communique. For details, see Scott's report here: https://thesaker.is/kiev-attempted-to-change-the-letter-and-meaning-of-paris-summit-communique/ . If the Ukraine was a Kindergarten, then "Ze" would be a perfect classroom teacher or visiting entertainer. But for a country fighting for its survival, such stunts are a very, very bad sign indeed!

(*rump-Ukraine: In broad terms, a "rump" state is what remains of a state when a portion is carved away. Expanding on the "butcher" metaphor, the rump is what is left when the higher-value cuts such as rib roast and loin have been removed.)


Oscar Peterson , says: December 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm GMT

I said it many times, Zelenskii's ONLY chance was to crackdown on the Nazis as soon as he was elected. He either did not have the courage to do so, or his U.S. bosses told him to leave them unmolested.

Are the security forces loyal to him to the extent that he could realistically counted on them to carry out a crackdown on the "Nazis"?

For the Novorussians, it's now clear: the rump-Ukraine* does not want them, nor will Kiev ever agree to the Minsk Agreement.

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here -- that they are better off simply cutting bait on the east and letting Russia deal with the headache of the Donbass's antiquated infrastructure? And that a truncated Ukraine would at least be mostly free of internal pro-Russian sentiment?

I am sympathetic to a lot of what Putin has felt it necessary to do, but I must say, I don't buy the incessant use of the term "Ukronazi." Sounds propagandistic.

bob sykes , says: December 18, 2019 at 11:48 pm GMT
What about the Ukrainian people? A large majority of them voted for some sort of reconciliation with the separatists and Russia. They did so twice: once for Zelenskii, and once again for his party. Does that count for nothing?
Felix Keverich , says: December 19, 2019 at 12:51 am GMT
@Oscar Peterson

So what is the Ukrainian thinking here

I think the plan is to wait until Russia collapses from Western sanctions, and then invade Crimea and Donbass. They didn't give up on the territory by any means, which is why I don't think that any ceasefire in Donbass will hold. It is going to remain a slow-burning conflict, the regime will continue to complain about "Russian invasion" and international investors will continue to avoid the Ukraine.

Anonymous [176] Disclaimer , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:21 am GMT
"Russia collapses from Western sanctions" If that is the plan, then Russia has already won. And, of course, she has.
vot tak , says: December 19, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
"That reason is very simple: Ze caved in to the Ukronazis, completely. He now uses EXACTLY the same rhetoric as Poroshenko did, in spite of the fact that the only reason he was elected is that he presented himself as the ultimate anti-Poroshenko. Now all we see is Poroshenko 2.0."

This is interesting. It implies z actually meant what he said in order to gain votes to get elected. In fact, he is very similar to trump in this respect. Lied about desiring an end to the conflict (conflicts in the case of trump), but once in office continued the aggressive policies (and expanded them in the case of trump). Actually, if one considers poroshenko as the ukraine version of obama/clinton and zelinsky as trump, it looks like the ukrainian regime is following in the footsteps of the american regime.

Tsar Nicholas , says: December 21, 2019 at 1:09 pm GMT
It's not just Minsk that has been abandoned by the Kiev junta. Kiev itself has been abandoned by the EU, which now looks to Nordstream-2 for its energy supplies from Russia, thus bypassing the thieves in Ukraine. Even sanctions from the Supreme Sanctioner in DC is not going to persuade the Germans to shiver in the winter.

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

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Geo , December 21, 2019 at 6:09 pm

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

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

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

Carey , December 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm

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

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

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

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

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

[Dec 22, 2019] We Live In Hysteric Times What Trump's Impeachment Really Means by James George Jatras

Uneven, but pretty biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... It is noteworthy that not a single House Republican dared or even cared to question Schiff's framing of the issue, which was bolstered by witnesses from the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic establishment, including Trump's appointees. ..."
"... Nor is any Republican Senator likely to point out the inconvenient truth that we have no defense treaty with Ukraine, which thus is not really our "ally." ..."
"... The sole retort from Trump's establishment defenders : He released the aid to Ukraine, including the Javelin missiles Obama denied them! He's every bit the warmonger you want him to be! So there! ..."
"... Senate Demaggotic Leader Chuck Schumer gave the game away when he demanded that the World Greatest Deliberative Body receive testimony from cashiered National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney but not from the man at the center of the whole Ukraine "drug deal" (as Bolton described it): Rudy Giuliani. ..."
Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

"America is a corpse being consumed by maggots. Liberals are rooting for the maggots. Conservatives are rooting for the corpse."

- @Vendee_Rising

For a century and a half American political life has been the exclusive preserve of the duopoly of Democrats and Republicans, also known as the Evil Party and the Stupid Party . (If something is both Evil and Stupid, we call that "Bipartisan.") But the familiar Evil-Stupid dichotomy doesn't even begin to describe the descent into national dysfunction and galloping irrationality that characterizes the Trump impeachment hysteria.

Media chatter now centers on the nuts-and-bolts questions of "what's next?" Will House Speaker Nancy Pelosi send the articles of impeachment over to the Senate? (Yes. Even one of the legal "scholars" enrolled in the impeachment lynch mob avers that Trump isn't actually impeached until the Senate receives the articles .) Who will be the trial managers? (Who cares.) Will there be a "real trial," with witnesses? (It hardly matters.) Will Trump be removed? (Unlikely unless some bolt from the blue flips 20 GOP Senators.) Will impeachment be the Democrats' albatross going into November 2020? (Most polls show independents are turned off, but there's still almost a year to go.)

None of these questions, which are meaningful only in a mental universe of the Evils and the Stupids shadowboxing over a partisan allocation of political spoils, touch upon the grim – and occasionally sardonic – symptoms of America's seemingly unstoppable terminal slide.

With Trump's impeachment it's time to say goodbye to yesteryear's Team Evil and Team Stupid. Say hello in 2020 to Team Maggot and Team Corpse!

Even though Trump has not turned out to be the transformative and restorative president that many of his supporters might have hoped for, he certainly will be (assuming he survives impeachment, which he probably will) the lesser of evils in November 2020 compared to whoever ends up as the Maggot Party nominee. Worse from his opponents' point of view, he remains a toxic avatar of the old America they thought would be well and truly laid to rest for ever and ever, amen, when Hillary Clinton came into her kingdom. That having misfired in 2016, partisans of that legacy America's marginalization, displacement, and eventual extinction can't breathe easy while Trump remains in office lest he, however unlikely in view of his failures of performance, serve as a catalyst for revival of the historic American nation facing loss of its birthright : an organic, uncontrived, living ethnos characterized by European, mainly British origin (a/k/a, "white"); Christian, mainly Protestant; and English-speaking, as augmented by members of other groups who have totally or partially assimilated to it. The certified victim classes standing on the threshold of the permanent, total power that eluded them three years ago are haunted by the knowledge that there's still lots of them Muricans in red MAGA hats rallying to Trump out there in Flyover Country .

In short, Democrats hate Trump not so much for what he's done (which, contrary to what his passionate supporters think based on his Tweets, isn't much) but as an expression of an amorphous dread that by some mysterious populist alchemy he might still breathe life back into the Corpse Party's deplorable base.

With that in mind, here are a few things to note as we cruise on into Bizarro World :

" What do you mean 'we,' white man? "

As the impeachment spectacle unfolded in the House, one could not fail to be touched by the hushed, heartfelt reverence with which Democrat after Democrat cited the sage words of the Founding Fathers: Madison especially, but also Jefferson and Washington. No doubt they can hardly wait for this spectacle to be over so they can go back to denouncing the Founders as dead, racist, Christian, patriarchal, " Anglo ," and (presumably) heterosexual slaveholders in wigs and knee-breeches whose memory should be expunged from the historical record . It's instructive to glance at the members of the House Judiciary Committee who – solemnly, reluctantly, and prayerfully, they assure us! – voted out articles of impeachment in the name of "the American people." But which "people" might that be? Of the 23 Democrats who voted, only four even arguably fit the heritage American, male profile of the Founding Fathers. The " gender balance " (as it's ungrammatically called nowadays) on the voting majority side of the Committee is 12-11. That's not quite up to Barack Obama's exhortation that "every nation on earth" should be "run by women ," but it's progress in that direction! (Just imagine how much more serene the world would be if all countries were ruled by peaceniks like Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Condi Rice, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Michèle Flournoy, Evelyn Farkas, etc., plus a bevy of Deep State Democrats now installed in Congress .) By contrast, the 17 Republicans on the Committee have approximately the same demographic composition they'd have had in 1950 – and aside from the inclusion of two women, that of the First Congress seated in 1789.

In short, in the Congressional Maggot Caucus the approaching Dictatorship of Victims defined by race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, religion, migratory status, etc., is already becoming a reality, and they voted to get rid of Trump. Members of the Corpse Caucus defending him still belong demographically and morally to the declining legacy America, though they'd never, ever admit it. Impeachment is thus more than just the latest iteration of the years-long anti-constitutional coup to overturn a presidential election, though it is that too . Even more fundamentally, it's a coup against the people whose identity, traditions, and values the Constitution was intended to ensure for themselves and their posterity.

Foreign interference in our deMOCKracy.

Even more absurd than Democrats' presumption in lip-synching the venerable principles of an American constitutional tradition they despise almost as much as they loathe the ethnos that ordained and established it is their feigned horror – horror! – that Trump's phone chat with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelensky realized the Founders' worst fears of foreign influence over American domestic politics. Leaving aside the fact that Ukraine under Zelensky's predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, did try to queer the 2016 election in favor of Hillary, and that Hunter and Joe Biden are crooks, the Maggoteers' ability to maintain a straight face of shocked indignation smack in the middle of a souk, a flea market, a bazaar where both domestic and foreign interests buy, sell, and trade favors like vintage baseball cards is nothing less than heroic.

While the bipartisan leadership has not yet taken up the helpful suggestion that barcodes be affixed to legislators' foreheads so that interested persons and organizations can conveniently scan prices and self-checkout , they have provided a helpful guide to what are called " Congressional Member Organizations (CMOs )," also called coalitions, study groups, task forces, or working groups. Memberships in many but not all CMOs serve as virtual barcodes for potential (mostly legal) campaign donors, including, in the case of "friends of" this or that foreign country, contributions from ethnic compatriots who are US citizens, or at least are supposed to be. Here's a partial selection:

Argentina Caucus, Armenian Issues Caucus, Azerbaijan Caucus, Bangladesh Caucus, Bosnia Caucus, Brazil Caucus, Cambodia Caucus, Central America Caucus, Colombia Caucus, Congressional Caucus on Bulgaria, Croatian Caucus, Czech Caucus, Ethiopian-American Caucus, Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka, EU Caucus, Friends of Australia Caucus, Friends of Denmark Caucus, Friends of Egypt Caucus, Friends of Finland Caucus, Friends of Ireland Caucus, Friends of Liechtenstein Caucus, Friends of New Zealand Caucus, Friends of Norway Caucus, Friends of Scotland Caucus, Friends of Spain Caucus, Friends of Sweden Caucus, Friends of the Dominican Republic Caucus, Friends of Wales Caucus, Georgia Caucus, Hellenic Caucus, Hellenic Israel Alliance Caucus, House Baltic Caucus, Hungarian Caucus, India and Indian Americans Caucus, Iraq Caucus, Israel Allies Caucus, Israel Victory Caucus, Kingdom of Netherlands Caucus, Korea Caucus, Kyrgyzstan Caucus, Macedonia and Macedonian-American Caucus, Moldova Caucus, Mongolia Caucus, Montenegro Caucus, Morocco Caucus, Nigeria Caucus, Pakistan Caucus, Peru Caucus, Poland Caucus, Portuguese Caucus, Qatari-American Strategic Relationships Caucus, Republican Israel Caucus, Romania Caucus, Serbian Caucus, Slovak Caucus, Sri Lanka Caucus, Taiwan Caucus, UK Caucus, Ukraine Caucus, U.S.-Bermuda Friendship Caucus, U.S.-China Working Group, U.S.-Japan Caucus, U.S.-Kazakhstan Caucus, U.S.-Lebanon Friendship Caucus, U.S.-Philippines Friendship Caucus, U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish American, Uzbekistan Caucus, Venezuela Democracy Caucus

Recalling Your Working Boy 's years at the State Department – where there still exists no "American Interests Section" – the reader can search the above in vain for anything that looks remotely like "Friends of the United States of America."

Russia! Russia! Russia!

In fact, the Democrats' core impeachment narrative – Russia bad, Ukraine good – is itself an example to which American policy is in the grip of foreign antipathies and attachments against which the Father of Our Country warned us in his 1796 farewell address :

"[N]othing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest."

In his closing statement before the impeachment vote House Judiciary Chairmaggot Adam "Captain Ahab" Schiff , in his frenzied hunt for the Great Orange Whale , provided a textbook example of what Washington feared:

"[W]e should care about our allies. We should care about Ukraine. We should care about a country struggling to be free and a Democracy. We used to care about Democracy. We used to care about our allies. We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. We used to. I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to. 'Why should we care about Ukraine?' But of course it's about more than Ukraine. It's about us. It's about our national security. Their fight is our fight. Their defense is our defense. When Russia remakes the map of Europe for the first time since World War II by dint of military force [ JGJ : Well, there was Kosovo, but never mind ] and Ukraine fights back, it is our fight too."

Indeed, one wonders how hysterical Democrats missed accusing Trump outright of treason , which actually is specified as grounds for impeachment in Article II, Section 4 . After all, as described by Schiff, didn't Trump's actions constitute (under Article III, Section 3 ) "adhering" to our evil enemies the Russians, and "giving them aid and comfort"? It's an open and shut case of a capital crime – and the House Majority Whip is ready to get the rope ! (Really, how did the Democrats miss this? Maybe GOP stupidity has migrated to the other side of the aisle )

It is noteworthy that not a single House Republican dared or even cared to question Schiff's framing of the issue, which was bolstered by witnesses from the permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic establishment, including Trump's appointees.

Nor is any Republican Senator likely to point out the inconvenient truth that we have no defense treaty with Ukraine, which thus is not really our "ally." Partisanship is the variable; Russophobia is the constant. The sole retort from Trump's establishment defenders : He released the aid to Ukraine, including the Javelin missiles Obama denied them! He's every bit the warmonger you want him to be! So there!

Thus, even with Trump's almost (at this point) certain survival of a Senate impeachment trial, the relevant foreign inveterate antipathies and passionate attachments will remain entrenched. (Not just in the case of Ukraine/Russia but with respect to the rest of the world our habitual hatreds and fondnesses remain firmly in place and are unlikely to change for the balance of Trump's presidency, if ever. Trump's Korea initiative is on life support. Israel/Iran is a flashpoint that could explode at any time : "Israel, even less than the US, cannot take casualties. A couple of bull's eyes, a lot of Israelis go back to Brooklyn. The 82 million people in Iran have no place else to go.")

Senate Demaggotic Leader Chuck Schumer gave the game away when he demanded that the World Greatest Deliberative Body receive testimony from cashiered National Security Adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney but not from the man at the center of the whole Ukraine "drug deal" (as Bolton described it): Rudy Giuliani. Why wouldn't the assembled Maggotrats jump at the chance to grill him under oath? Because he'd dole out the real dirt on Ukraine and its legendary corruption that would make a Nigerian prince blush. For the same reason, Corpsublicans won't want to hear from him either, any more than they're interested in whether the "sub-sources" of the Steele Dossier – whose identity the US Justice Department knows and who were available to the IG's investigators – really had anything to do with the Russian government . We wouldn't want to debunk all that yammering about " fake Kremlin dirt ," would we.

Meanwhile, back in what remains of America, regardless of how impeachment turns out, the lines of irreconcilable division deepen . Whether or not Trump is reelected (the politics look good for him, the demographics don't ) he will eventually be gone, whether in 2020, 2021, or 2025. He will almost certainly be the last Republican president, depending on when Texas goes the way of Virginia . One way or the other, we'll soon see whether the corpse has any fight left in it .

[Dec 22, 2019] Dirty Nancy

Dec 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

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

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

But...what did Nancy say then?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Danny , December 21, 2019 at 9:38 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darthbobber , December 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm

Right now, it's Schrodinger's impeachment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hepativore , December 21, 2019 at 6:49 pm

Happy winter Solstice, everyone!

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

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

[Dec 22, 2019] The impeachment reflects the level of panic in the part of the establishment reposible for Russiagate, as it is unlear how Barr will play this game and who will be hurt

Impeachment if a counterattack of Russiagater against Barr investigation...
Dec 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

rtb61 , 2 hours ago link

The impeachment, what it means, panic in the establishment, as justice continues to creep ever closer, biting at their heels. They can feel the heat of the reformation is closing in on them, real justice, real trials and real convictions. They have good reason to fear and panic, the deep state is apparently quite shallow at the end of the day, those seeking justice for outweighing the corrupt political appointees and their falsely promoted minions and they will pursue the shadow government for the chaos, loss of life, loss of wealth and for the coming collapse as a result of shallow pathetic insatiable greed.

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

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

ScouseJohnny -> WTobiasJr , 19 Dec 2019 07:16

No. You have nailed it.

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

He'll romp home in November 2020.

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

So, what will be the result?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Truthdotcom -> Upjors , 19 Dec 2019 08:59

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smacht , 19 Dec 2019 09:04

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.cnn.com

... ... ...

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

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

[Dec 21, 2019] To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin there are going to be three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and the impeachment of a US President when the House is held by a different party

Dec 21, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

KedarB , 19 Dec 2019 08:42

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin there are going to be three things in life that are certain. Death, taxes and the impeachment of a US President when the House is held by a different party. American politics is going to get a whole lot nastier now than what it has been.

This Punch and Judy show has achieved nothing. The House impeached him and the Senate won't convict him. Trump now will be playing the victim card. Come November the key thing that will matter is the economy. If it as successful as it is now then he will get a second term. If it is in a recession then advantage Democratic candidate.

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other events are breaking Trump's way.

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

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

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

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

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

And all 17 went against Team Trump.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The cards appear to be falling Trump's way.

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4) 'You view democracy as your enemy!'

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

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

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Peter Smithhhh , 18 minutes ago link

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

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

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

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

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

Truthdotcom -> Upjors , 19 Dec 2019 08:59

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

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Adriana Pena 2 days ago

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

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

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

Kent TheSnark 4 days ago

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

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

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

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

Dec 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Raygiles 2 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Nebojsa Malic
Source: RT

[Dec 21, 2019] America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil.

Notable quotes:
"... Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy. ..."
"... America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla. ..."
"... Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Idealistic Realist , Apr 27, 2019 1:24:45 PM | link

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

American foreign policy is not a failure. To comfort themselves, observers often say that our leaders -- presidents, advisors, generals -- don't know what they're doing. They do know. Their agenda just isn't what we like to imagine it is.

To quote Michael Parenti: "US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. It has performed brilliantly and steadily in the service of those who own most of the world and who want to own all of it."

The vision of our leaders as bunglers, while more accurate than the image of them as valiant public servants, is less accurate and more rose-tinted than the closest approximation of the truth, which is that they are servants of their class interest. That is why we go to war.

Those who buy the elite class's foreign policy BS, about the Emmanuel Goldsteins they conjure up every three years, are fools. Obviously Hussein and Milošević were bad; but "government bad" does not mean we must invade. Wars occur for economic, not humanitarian, reasons.

  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and Michelle Obama.
  • Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, was said to have boiled political prisoners to death, massacred hundreds of prisoners, and made torture an institution. This is him with John Kerry.
  • Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has been involved in the assassination of political opponents, perpetrated obvious election fraud, and had his term extended until 2034. This is him with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy.

America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla.

Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never.

Mike Gravel

[Dec 21, 2019] Time to Terminate Washington's Defense Welfare

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While I admire America's democratic society, I hate how America brought wars and chaos to the world in guise of "freedom and liberation". ..."
"... Was it necessary to bomb civilians of Ossetia for Georgia to get rid of Russia? Was it necessary to provoke a coup d'état against fully legitimate and democratically elected government in Ukraine? Life isn't fair indeed : not only they will never enter in NATO (even less EU) and no one will protect them, but they can say farewell to the land they lost. People in Georgia and Ukraine are less and less gullible and Pro Russians sentiment is gaining ground btw. Ask yourself why ? ..."
"... Sphere of influence, the same reason why Cuba and Venezuela will pay for their insolence against the hegemon. The world is never a fair place. ..."
Sep 01, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

opaw , August 30, 2017 8:29 PM

While I admire America's democratic society, I hate how America brought wars and chaos to the world in guise of "freedom and liberation".

I hate how America exploit the weak. president moon should offer an olive branch to fatty Kim by sending back the thaad to America and pulling out American base and troops. he should convince fatty Kim that should he really like to proliferate his nuclear missile development as deterrence, aim it only to America and America only. there is no need for Koreans to kill fellow Koreans.

Try Harder , August 31, 2017 2:45 AM

Very good idea, after having pushed Ukraine and Georgia to a war lost in advance, lets hope US will abandon South Korea and Japan because they were helpless in demilitarizing one of the poorest countries in the world....

Try Harder Guest , August 31, 2017 4:16 PM

Was it necessary to bomb civilians of Ossetia for Georgia to get rid of Russia? Was it necessary to provoke a coup d'état against fully legitimate and democratically elected government in Ukraine? Life isn't fair indeed : not only they will never enter in NATO (even less EU) and no one will protect them, but they can say farewell to the land they lost. People in Georgia and Ukraine are less and less gullible and Pro Russians sentiment is gaining ground btw. Ask yourself why ?

Zsari Maxim Guest , August 31, 2017 11:50 AM

Sphere of influence, the same reason why Cuba and Venezuela will pay for their insolence against the hegemon. The world is never a fair place.

Thomas Fung , August 31, 2017 5:04 PM

In this person's opinion, the article raises a good point with regards to US defense subsidies. However, its examples are dissimilar. Japan spends approximately 1% of its GDP on defense; South Korea spends roughly 2.5% of its GDP defense.

In fact, it seems to this person that a better example of US Defense Welfare would be direct subsidies granted to the state of Israel.

[Dec 21, 2019] Since the turn of the century, the US has dumped trillions of dollars into wars

Notable quotes:
"... It is understandable why so many are angry at the leaders of America's institutions, including businesses, schools and governments," Dimon, 61, summarized. "This can understandably lead to disenchantment with trade, globalization and even our free enterprise system, which for so many people seems not to have worked. ..."
Apr 06, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
im1dc, April 05, 2017 at 10:16 AM
"Dimon Warns 'Something Is Wrong' With the U.S."

Do you agree with Jamie Dimon assessment of the USA?

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-04/dimon-still-optimistic-warns-something-is-wrong-with-u-s

"Dimon Warns 'Something Is Wrong' With the U.S."

by Laura J Keller...April 4, 2017

"JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon has two big pronouncements as the Trump administration starts reshaping the government: "The United States of America is truly an exceptional country," and "it is clear that something is wrong."

Dimon, leader of world's most valuable bank and a counselor to the new president, used his 45-page annual letter to shareholders on Tuesday to list ways America is stronger than ever -- before jumping into a much longer list of self-inflicted problems that he said was "upsetting" to write.

Here's the start: Since the turn of the century, the U.S. has dumped trillions of dollars into wars, piled huge debt onto students, forced legions of foreigners to leave after getting advanced degrees, driven millions of Americans out of the workplace with felonies for sometimes minor offenses and hobbled the housing market with hastily crafted layers of rules.

Dimon, who sits on Donald Trump's business forum aimed at boosting job growth, is renowned for his optimism and has been voicing support this year for parts of the president's business agenda. In February, Dimon predicted the U.S. would have a bright economic future if the new administration carries out plans to overhaul taxes, rein in rules and boost infrastructure investment. In an interview last month, he credited Trump with boosting consumer and business confidence in growth, and reawakening "animal spirits."

But on Tuesday, reasons for concern kept coming. Labor market participation is low, Dimon wrote. Inner-city schools are failing poor kids. High schools and vocational schools aren't providing skills to get decent jobs. Infrastructure planning and spending is so anemic that the U.S. hasn't built a major airport in more than 20 years. Corporate taxes are so onerous it's driving capital and brains overseas. Regulation is excessive.

" It is understandable why so many are angry at the leaders of America's institutions, including businesses, schools and governments," Dimon, 61, summarized. "This can understandably lead to disenchantment with trade, globalization and even our free enterprise system, which for so many people seems not to have worked. "...

pgl -> im1dc... , April 05, 2017 at 10:16 AM
I meant my last comment to be a reply. No - there is a lot that Dimon said that I cannot agree with.
pgl , April 05, 2017 at 10:49 AM
"Inner-city schools are failing poor kids. High schools and vocational schools aren't providing skills to get decent jobs. Infrastructure planning and spending is so anemic that the U.S. hasn't built a major airport in more than 20 years. Corporate taxes are so onerous it's driving capital and brains overseas. Regulation is excessive."

Let's unpack his list. The 4th (last) sentence is his hope that his bank can back to the unregulated regime that brought us the Great Recession. His 3rd sentence is a call for more tax cuts for the rich.

We may like his first 2 sentences here but who is going to pay for this? Not Jamie Dimon. See sentence #3.

DrDick -> pgl... , April 05, 2017 at 11:18 AM
He also seems to falsely imply that the people associated with capital actually have functioning brains.

[Dec 21, 2019] The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya. ..."
"... Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed. ..."
"... Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. ..."
"... We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.

Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.

Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya

After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.

In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.

Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.

Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .

Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.

Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone

It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.

Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.

Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.

The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.

Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.

Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela

A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.

Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.

The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.

The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.

The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.

Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.

'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine

The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.

The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.

Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.

The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.

Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.

The war will become wilder

The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.

Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.

We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.

[Dec 21, 2019] Do you think this is leverage, to not send us something we'd rather not do?

Dec 21, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

And Ms. Pelosi believes that Mr. Trump is so eager for the public vindication of a Senate acquittal that he will put pressure on the majority leader to make it happen even if it means offering some concessions to Mr. Schumer.

For now, however, Mr. McConnell -- and many other Senate Republicans -- seem unmoved by the House posture. He spent much of Thursday gleefully ridiculing Democrats' negotiating tactics.

"Do you think this is leverage, to not send us something we'd rather not do?" he asked reporters this week as he cracked a broad smile outside the Senate chamber, in a departure from his usual dour expression.

[Dec 21, 2019] Trump Impeachment Ukrainegate Hidden Evidence by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... Three billion dollars of USAID money sent to Ukraine over 3 years is not accounted for, no documents, no audits. The Clinton Foundation has received $10 million in donations of $500K and up from Ukraine this century. Igor Pasternak had a fundraiser in Washington for Adam Schiff; $1000/plate- guest, $2500/plate-sponsor. Ukranians and US taxpayers should like to know where did our dollars go, and who else in addition to the Bidens are at the trough. ..."
"... So the documents were released three weeks ago? Giuliani had the evidence in JANUARY? So the Quid Pro Quo kerfuffle was manufactured thereafter? ..."
"... So the QPQ is actually by Dems' trying to stop prosecution of Biden and above? Clinton and Obama? Which is why the impeachment bs? Or is it to stop the prosecution of the chiefs of the 3 letter agencies in their manufacturing of Russiagate? And their 5+1 eyed cohorts? In a conspiracy against the potus? Now just fit in Syria, White Helmets and Skripals and all the dots join up. ..."
Dec 20, 2019 | off-guardian.org

On November 22nd, a 100-page Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) data-dump was made by the U.S. Department of State, to the Democratic-Party-aligned nonprofit "American Oversight," which had been founded in March 2017 by liberals (really by some of the main billionaires who fund the Democratic Party ) after the 2016 Democratic electoral defeat (by Republican billionaires ).

The now Republican-headed U.S. State Department made it as difficult as possible to report the contents of this dump; Most especially by providing only a photographic image of each page, making it impossible to search on most systems; and also impossible to Copy/Paste any quotations.

Consequently, on November 23rd, I made a pdf copy of that document to the Web Archive (the first of probably many that will become posted there), in order to be able to link here to something that will come onscreen less sluggishly for any interested reader who will want to see the document.

I am herewith pasting below what I consider to be the most important extended passage in the document, so as to make that passage especially available online. I have manually transcribed the photos, in order that any portion of this important passage (pages 61-66) can now be easily found and cited by other reporters.

This way, at least that passage might become more widely disseminated to the public -- which it should be, because the information there contradicts many of the 'news'-reports about Ukrainegate, or the impeachment case against Trump. (Some excerpts from this extended passage were reported on November 25th by the great non-mainstream news-site Zero Hedge, and that was entirely accurate.)

In this passage, President Trump's lawyer Rudolphe Giuliani, on January 23, 25, and 26, of 2019, took a deposition from Viktor Shokin, whom Joe Biden had forced to be fired on 29 March 2016 as Ukraine's Prosecutor General, and also a deposition from Yuriy Lutsenko, who replaced Shokin and thereby freed-up from the Obama Administration in 2016 a one-billion-dollar donation ('loan guarantees' to the then-and-now bankrupt Government of Ukraine) from America's taxpayers, to fund the then just-recently-installed-by-Obama anti-Russian Government of Ukraine, for it to stay afloat just a while longer.

Here is that passage (pages 61-66):

Shokin/Lutsenko Notes – U.S. Department of State

Shokin – January 23, 2019, 445 Park Avenue New York, NY 10022:

On January 23, 2019, a telephone interview with Mr. Viktor Shokin the former General Prosecutor of Ukraine was conducted. Present in the New York location were: Rudolph Giuliani, Mr. Igor Fruman, Mr. Lev Parnas and Mr. George Boyle.

The conversation was conducted through the use of two (2) interpreters one (1) in Ukraine and one (1) Lev Parnas in New York. The sum and substance of the conversation are as follows:

Mr. Shokin stated that he was appointed to the position of General Prosecutor of Ukraine from 2015 until April of 2016 when he was removed at the request of Mr. Joseph Biden the Vice President of the United States. Mr. Shokin was a Deputy Prosecutor prior to becoming the General Prosecutor. He became involved in a case against Mr. Mykola Zlochevsky the former Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine.

The case was opened as a result of Mr. Zlochevsky giving himself/company permits to drill for gas and oil in Ukraine. Mr. Zlochevsky is also the owner of Burisma Holdings, which is a corporation registered in Cyprus. Mr. Shokin stated that there are documents that list five (5) criminal cases in which Mr. Zlochevsky is listed, with the main case being for issuing illegal gas exploration permits. The following complaints are in the criminal case.

Mr. Zlochevsky was laundering money Obtained assets by corrupt acts bribery Mr. Zlochevsky removed approximately twenty three million U.S. dollars out of Ukraine without permission While seated as the Minister he approved two addition[al] entities to receive permits for gas exploration Mr. Zlochevsky was the owner of two secret companies that were part of Burisma Holdings and gave those companies permits which made it possible for him to profit while he was the sitting Minister

The above cases were closed after Mr. Zlochevsky was dismissed from the Ministry.

Mr. Shokin further stated that there were several Burisma board appointees [that] were made in 2014 as follows:

Hunter Biden son of Vice President Joseph Biden Joseph Blade former CIA employee assigned to Anti-Terrorist Unit Aleksander Kwasnieski former President of Poland Devon Archer roommate to Christopher Heinz the step-son of Mr. John Kerry United States Secretary of State

Mr. Shokin stated that these appointments were made by Mr. Zlochevsky in order to protect himself. Mr. Zlochevsky left Ukraine while the above-mentioned cases were open.

Mr. Shokin stated that the investigations stopped out of fear of the United States. Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015 the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which, according to Mr. Shokin, implied to do nothing. On or about September 2015, Mr. Pyatt gave a speech in Odessa where he stated that the cases were not investigated correctly and that Mr. Shokin may be corrupt.

Mr. Shokin stated that in 2014 Mr. Zlochevsky was in the UK and that the twenty three million dollars were frozen in the UK in the BNP Bank. Mr. Shokin stated that false documents were prepared and the money was released so Mr. S[sp]lochevski before Mr. Shokin took office. That release of the money made Mr. Shokin look into the above cases again.

Mr. Shokin stated that there were several articles written about bribes being taken during the investigation of the cases. The bribes were an effort to have the cases closed. On April [actually 29 March ] of 2016 Mr. Shokin was dismissed as the General Prosecutor of Ukraine [and both the U.S. and its stooge the EU celebrated his firing -- the EU aquiesced in the U.S. regime's Ukrainian coup ]. In November of 2016 the cases were closed by the current Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.

Mr. Shokin further stated that on February of 2016 warrants were placed on the accounts of multiple people in Ukraine. There were requests for information on Hunter Biden to which nothing was received. It is believed that Hunter Biden receives a salary, commission, plus one million dollars. Mr. Shokin stated he was warned to stop by Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko told Mr. Shokin not to investigate Burisma as it was not in the interest of Joe and/or Hunter Biden. Mr. Shokin was called into Mr. Poroshenko's office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.

Mr. Shokin stated that on or around April of 2016 Mr. Petro Poroshenko called him and told him he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden. Mr. Biden told Mr. Poroshenko that he had evidence that Mr. Shokin was corrupt and needed to be fired. Mr. Shokin was dismissed in April of 2016 and the U.S. aid was delivered within one and one half months.

On a different point, Mr. Shokin believes the current [U.S.] Ambassador Marie L. Yovanovitch denied his visa to travel to the U.S. Mr. Shokin stated that she is close to Mr. Biden. Mr. Shokin also stated that there were leaks by a person named Reshenko of the Ukrainian State Secret Service about the Manafort Black Book. Mr. Shokin stated that there is possible deceit in the Manafort Black Book.

End of interview.

*

Yuriy Lutsenko January 25, 2019, 445 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022:

On January 25, 2019, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko the current Prosecutor General of Ukraine was present at 445 Park Av e, New York, NY. He was present to speak about corruption in Ukraine. He was accomapnied by Glib Zagoriy, Gyunduz Mamedov, Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman. Also present were Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and George Boyle.

Mr. Lutsenko stated that he is currently the Prosecutor General for Ukraine. He was the Minister of Interior from 2007 to 2010. He further stated that he was placed in jail for two and one half years as a political prisoner.

Mr. Lutsenko stated that his office has the following units under his purview:

Police Department Fiscals Secret Service Investigative Department

Mr. Lutsenko stated that his office has recovered several billion dollars and has had two thousand six hundred thirty-seven [2,637] verdicts of corruption. Mr. Lutsenko went on to explain that there is a unit called Specialized Anticorruption Prosecutors Office (SAP) which has under its purview National Anticorruption Bureau Ukraine (NABU) which investigates corruption cases that involve public figures from Mayors upward. He stated that the current U.S. Ambassador protects SAP and NABU.

He feels they are good organizations but have terrible leadership. His office has absolutely no control over SAP or NABU and can't even ask what they are working on, however they fall under his 'control'.

He further state[s] that he believes Mr. Viktor Shokin, the former Prosecutor General, is honest.

Mr. Lutsenko went on to say that he began looking at the same case Mr. Shokin was looking at (mentioned above) and he believes Hunter Biden receives millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma. He produced a document from Latvia that showed several million dollars that were distributed out of Burisma's account.

The record showed two (2) companies and four (4) individuals receiving approximately sixteen million dollars in disbursements, as follows [the breakdown is shown].

Mr. Lutsenko feels that the total disbursements can be as high as $100,000,000.

Ambassador Pyatt gave a speech on September 25, 2015 in Odessa against the Prosecutor Generals' Office.
Yuriy Lutsenko Continued:

On January 26, 2019, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, the current Prosecutor General of Ukraine, was present at 445 Park ave., New York, NY. [His second day of testimony contained only one specific mention which was not vague and which had not been indicated previously by Shokin: A "system was set up in order to remove money from the Ukraine, have it laundered, and then collect the laundered money.

These companies were all headed by one Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Lutsenko stated that about twenty (20) to forty (40) of these companies were shell companies. He further stated that there were twenty-three (23) companies located offshore, and that two of them had approximately seven billion dollars that were placed in the Templeton Fund. The system ran similar to a 'pyramid' scheme and all of the beneficiaries were pro-Russian [which was undefined but presumably meant associated with the pre-coup Ukrainian Government].

For background and context in order to interpret those depositions, it might be helpful to see my recent "Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate'" .

Zlochevsky is actually the decoy, but the real person who has majority-ownership of Burisma, after Zlochevsky sold to him most of his shares in 2011, is the key Ukrainian billionaire who had backed Obama's February 2014 coup, Ihor Kolomoysky. And Kolomoysky is now far more interested in recovering a few billions from his bankrupt PrivatBank, Ukraine's largest bank, than in trying to extract the relative pittance that might still be entailed in Burisma (which probably isn't much, now that no established fracking company has found it to be worth developing).

Apparently, Trump hasn't yet decided whether to continue the Obama-installed regime in Ukraine or else to expose it and to go after both Obama and Kolomoysky, and to abandon the cover-story of Biden and Zlochevsky. If he does decide to go after the principals in the case, then he'll have to expose whom were the actual principals, and whom were merely their agents.

Thus far, in the American press, all of the attention has been only on actual agents, no principals. Given the way in which Trump's State Department buried the release of that data-dump, Trump has not been particularly eager to get the real story out there. Nor, of course, are the Democratic Party billionaires whose "American Oversight" has likewise done nothing to facilitate the exposure of the actual historical narrative in this case.

Also of interest in the document are (p.79):

Dec 7, 2015: Biden-Poroshenko meeting in Kiev

Dec. 9, 2015 : Hunter Biden and business partner Devon Archer meet at State Department regarding Burisma Holdings prosecution. [But no online record is provided, no documentation here, of what was said.]

Feb. 11, 16, 19, 2016 : VP Biden holds series of phone calls with President Poroshenko to check on status of pending items from their December 2015 meeting. Removal of general prosecutor raised again. [But, again, no online record is provided. No evidence is provided of any mention of replacing the prosecutor.]

March 15, 2016: Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland demands Ukraine "appoint and confirm a new, clean Prosecutor General, who is committed to rebuilding the integrity of the PGO, and investigate, indict and successfully prosecute corruption and asset recovery cases -- including locking up dirty personnel in the PGO itself." She offers no proof that special prosecutor's [General Prosecutor's] office is corrupt.

March 22, 2016: VP Joe Biden engages in a phone call from Washington DC with Ukrainian President Poroshenko about U.S. loan guarantees [there is actually no indication in the official readout regarding any "loan guarantees"].

It is believed in this call that Biden renews his demands that the president fire Prosecutor General Shokin, but this time Biden warns Ukraine risk[s] losing the next $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees [and, yet again, Pompeo's State Department falsifies, because the official readout says nothing of the sort].

[The only useful information that's provided there is that seven days before Shokin was fired, Biden did phone Poroshenko, and that Pompeo's State Department isn't to be trusted in anything it asserts, because it misrepresents here what that readout says. Therefore, the "Dec. 9, 2015" entry also isn't to be trusted, since no accompanying documentation is provided for its allegation.]

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Arby ,

I thought that the Republicans and Democrats decided to, essentially, kill the impeachment (hoax) in order to protect the entire political class. I mean, Really, the contest between Republicans is phony so that development is not surprising. Also, according to Alexander Mercouris (who wants to see Trump re-elected!), both Shokin and Lutsenko (who doesn't have a lawyer background) were doing dirty work on behalf of their respective oligarch patrons. That's Ukraine now and peviously.

It does seem that there's a lot of dislike for Trump by the Dems and many Repubs but there's an even stronger dislike by those enemies of Trum, together with the rest of the political class, of democracy. And there's a culture of criminalit and impunity which members of the American political share or the exposure of Russiagate would have seen a chastening of the Democratic Party et al instead of a doubling down on whatever lies might help remove Trump. Neither is Trump chastened by his brush with the tainting of his crown as he signs laws that codify the lie that peaceful protest and honest criticism of Israel is antisemitism.

Antonym ,

Imagine the confidence the Democrats still have today that with "Ukrainegate" they can criminalize sitting president Trump instead of their own much more guilty opposition leaders: US deep state is almost 50 rooted with many appointees in all power branches.

ttshasta ,

Three billion dollars of USAID money sent to Ukraine over 3 years is not accounted for, no documents, no audits. The Clinton Foundation has received $10 million in donations of $500K and up from Ukraine this century. Igor Pasternak had a fundraiser in Washington for Adam Schiff; $1000/plate- guest, $2500/plate-sponsor. Ukranians and US taxpayers should like to know where did our dollars go, and who else in addition to the Bidens are at the trough.

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/plundering-ukraine-corrupt-american-democrats

paul ,

Ukraine is not quite the most corrupt country on the planet, but it gives Afghanistan and Somalia some pretty stiff competition.

Many tens of billions have been poured into the country by the US and EU taxpayer, via the IMF, CIA, NED, and similar organisations. It has promptly vanished into thin air. There is nothing to show for it. Ukraine is a Big Black Hole. It is now just a CIA/ NATO playground in the grand scheme of things to install an openly Fascist Regime in Kiev to encircle and destabilise Russia.

The main players in Ukraine are Levantine oligarchs like Kolomoisky and his ilk, who have stolen everything that wasn't nailed down in Ukraine since independence. And everything that was nailed down. Just like Russia in the 1990s. They were joined by a whole host of all the usual suspects, dual/ triple national Jews with a visceral hatred of Russia. The Nulands, the Vindmans, the Ioanovitches and all the rest. Ukraine has been a happy hunting ground for these people. There has been a virtually unlimited bonanza of western taxpayers' money to divvy up between them. Together with a few goy stooges like the Bidens, who were also allowed to wet their beaks. There was enough to go around, after all.

No wonder they hate Trump so much for spoiling the party. Over to Schiff, Nadler, Cohen, Cohen and Cohen. Reacting with all the fury of a dog that has had its bone taken away.

Dungroanin ,

So the documents were released three weeks ago? Giuliani had the evidence in JANUARY? So the Quid Pro Quo kerfuffle was manufactured thereafter?

So the QPQ is actually by Dems' trying to stop prosecution of Biden and above? Clinton and Obama? Which is why the impeachment bs? Or is it to stop the prosecution of the chiefs of the 3 letter agencies in their manufacturing of Russiagate? And their 5+1 eyed cohorts? In a conspiracy against the potus? Now just fit in Syria, White Helmets and Skripals and all the dots join up.

It can lead to the immediate collapse of the new bozo house of cards and clear the swamp in one Herculean flushing! You may even be able to save Assange from martyrdom in the British dungeon.

What's it to be Me Zuesse?

George Cornell ,

Thanks for this. It is surely complex and after all why shouldn't Miss Vicki decide who should lead the Ukraine. And why should anyone begrudge the right of an exemplar sovereign state to deep six a prosecutor who went after criminal corruption? But even the incognoscenti can appreciate that Hunter Biden, the cokeheaded nitwit who was shoehorned into the Navy, by his fathers' friends, was unable to forgo the coke till his urine got tested. His length of service could be measured in hours or days (how long does it take to get the urine test results) as he was immediately dishonourably discharged. Further, that he could not possibly provide service to Burisma that was not corrupt, simply because he had no demonstrable expertise in their affairs. Unless Biden Jr's expertise in marital infidelity, fathering children out of wedlock with strippers, and spending his marital income on lap dancers and drugs (according to his ex-wife) dovetailed with Burisma's undeclared interests.

It was reported in the NYT that Bidens presence on the Burisma board gave it respectability. Of course it must have, although presumably by error, Burisma was left out of any of the lists of most admired companies. Perhaps these were compiled before Jr. was taken on board, so to speak. Ukrainians can hold their heads high, such an incredible coup it was to have Biden Jr. grace their country. And he picked the Ukraine over the horde of other countries which must relentlessly vie for his services, whatever they might be. Just his accepting their cheques is surely enough.

It is not difficult to appreciate how the Democratic Party leapt at the chance to show the American public how those big meanie Republicans have wagged their tongues so uncharitably against the upstanding and virtuous seed of the loins of their leading 77 yr. old presidential candidate. After all, boys will be boys. Say what you like about the Dems but you can't deny their canny shrewdness and ability to sniff out talent.

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

Dec 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gdpbull7 hours ago

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

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

Dec 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That could be Abuse of Power.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But, that's not what happened.

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

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

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

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

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

Trump made the phone call public immediately.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But in asserting this as an offence Congress seeks to place the Legislative Branch as superior to the Executive in matters of law enforcement and implementation.

That's a clear violation of the separation of powers. It may suck that the guy holding the Office of the Presidency is someone you don't like or not willing to turn a blind eye to corruption, but doing his job is not a 'high crime or misdemeanor.'

The second article is even worse. Because asserts the power to subpoena members of the Executive branch under the impeachment inquiry into the first article. And since Congress has sole authority over impeachment, no judicial review of its subpoena power can be made.

This is fully unconstitutional since it subverts the power of the Judicial branch to settle disputes between the Executive and Legislative branches as established by the Constitution.

Pelosi and company are broadening the definition of 'the sole power of impeachment' to say that whatever Congress deems as worthy of an impeachment inquiry is therefore law and the other branches have no say in the matter.

This is patent nonsense and wholly tyrannical.

Rod Rosenstein and Andrew Weismann tried to use an equally broad interpretation of 'obstruction of justice' to include future harm to continue the special council's investigation into Trump's alleged collusion with Russia.

Moreover it renders the concept of judicial review as laid down in Marbury vs. Madison null and void. Congress cannot just make up laws and crimes out of whole cloth and then unilaterally declare them constitutional under the rubric of impeachment.

The Supreme Court has the right to strike down bills Congress passes as unconstitutional.

This drives a massive wedge through the separation of powers in a blatant power grab by Pelosi and the Democratic House majority to protect themselves from Trump's investigations into their crimes surrounding events in Ukraine.

When viewed dispassionately, Obstruction of Congress is not a crime but rather a function of each of the other two branches of government. It's no better when the President hides behind Executive Orders to legislate unconstitutionally.

And it's even worse when the Supreme Court makes up laws from the bench rather than kick the ball back to Congress and start the process all over again.

That's what the whole three co-equal branches of government is supposed to mean.

Now, in practice I don't believe the three branches are equal, as the Judicial branch routinely oversteps its authority. But in this case if it does not step in immediately and defend itself from this Congress then the basic fabric of our government unravels overnight.

That the second impeachment article is directly dependent on the flawed (or non-existent) logic of the first impeachment article renders the whole thing simply laughable on the face of it.

I'm no legal scholar so when I can see how ridiculous these articles are then you know this has nothing to do with the law but everything to do with power.

And the reality is, as I discussed in my latest podcast , what this impeachment is really about is distracting and covering up the multiple layers of corruption in U.S. foreign and domestic policy stretching back decades. Many of the tendrils emanating from the events surrounding the FISA warrants improperly granted connect directly to the Clintons, Jeffrey Epstein, William Browder and the rape of Russia in the post-Soviet 90's.

We're talking an entire generation or more of U.S. officials and politicians implicated in some of the worst crimes of the past thirty years.

The stakes for these people are existential. This is why they are willing to risk a full-blown constitutional crisis and civil war to remove Trump from office.

They know he's angry at them now. This is personal as well as philosophical. Trump is a patriot, a narcissist and a gangster. That's a powerful combination of traits.

The polls are shifting his way on this as the average person knows this impeachment is pathetic. They are tired of the Democrats' games the same way British voters are over the arguments against Brexit.

So the old adage about killing the king come to mind. If Pelosi et.al. miss here, the retribution from Trump will be biblical.

The damage to the society is too great to argue irrelevancies. No one outside of the Beltway Bubble and the Crazies of the Resistance cares about what Trump did here. It's too arcane and most people are against giving a shithole like Ukraine taxpayer money in the first place.

The whole thing is a giant pile of loser turds steaming up the room and impeding getting any work done.

In the end We'll know if Trump has his ducks in a row in how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plays his cards versus Pelosi. If McConnell pussy-foots around and gives Pelosi anything on how the trial in the Senate is conducted then the fix is in and Trump is done.

But, if McConnell shuts this down then what comes next will be a righteous smackdown of Trump's political opponents that will make the phone call with Zelensky look like a routine call to Dominos' for a double pepperoni.

Either way, this coup attempt by Pelosi is now open warfare. There will be casualties.

* * *

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BugMan , 6 minutes ago link

Time for military tribunals

John Durham Is Investigating Former CIA Director John Brennan's Role in 2016 Election Interference and His LIES TO CONGRESS! (Video)

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/breaking-big-john-durham-is-investigating-former-cia-directors-role-in-russia-collusion-hoax-and-his-lies-to-congress-video/

Obama the most corrupt President in our history

wdg , 28 minutes ago link

The inescapable truth is that Trump has 1) not delivered on his 2016 promises, and 2) has surrounded himself with some of the vilest NeoCon scum on the planet. If he was a true patriot, as he claimed during the 2016 election campaign, why would he not honor his promises and surround himself with certifiable gangsters? It raises an important question. Is trump controlled opposition who was installed as president to undermine and neutralize true conservatives and patriots? His actions and deeds since becoming president would support this interpretation.

If true, then the Democratic Party impeachment is little more than kabuki theater that provides cover for Trump while ensuring his election in 2020 when all hell breaks loose as the bubble or fake economy built on debt and counterfeit money crashes.

Patriotic and true conservative Americans according to this scenario are being setup up as the fall guys to take the blame for the Greater Depression instead of the real culprits which are the Fed and banksters on Wall Street.

Trump appears to be playing the role of Hoover who during the 1930s Great Depression paved the way for Roosevelt and the Marxist New Deal which was imposed on an unsuspecting American people struggling to survive during a depression created for them by the Fed. The words of Franklin Roosevelt speak for themselves.

"In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

wdg , 15 minutes ago link

He won't be removed from office but the brainwashed Trumpeteers and satanic "Christian" Zionists will be riled enough to elect him in 2020...all part of the grand plan.

https://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/3963/Trumps-Abominable-Reprehensible-And-Downright-Tyrannical-Executive-Order.aspx

Trump's Abominable, Reprehensible And Downright Tyrannical Executive Order

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019

Download free computerized mp3 audio file of this column

I'll make this column short and to the point.

Trump's executive order -- deceptively called "An Executive Order on Combating Anti-Semitism" -- issued this past week, will empower the federal Department of Education to withhold funding to college campuses that do not squash anti-Israel rhetoric. In other words, it is now official government policy to deny college students and faculty members their Natural and constitutional right to criticize -- especially and primarily if they criticize any and all things Israel. This will also doubtless include speech that supports Palestinian rights.

Trump also declared that the religion of Judaism is a nationality or ethnicity and is beyond criticism. Can you imagine the outcry if he had declared Christianity to be a nationality?

Plus, by issuing this Executive Order, Donald Trump has made every Christian and non-*** in the United States a second-class citizen. But don't expect Robert Jeffress and his gaggle of Christian Zionists to figure that out.

I have said repeatedly that Donald Trump is America's first Zionist president. And Trump's actions continue to prove that statement true.

pmc , 27 minutes ago link

As I wrote in another article this impeachment circus may very well be a Zionist ploy to keep people thinking Trump is anti deep state, like the QAnon psyop.

He may be anti globalist but not deep state. Well in any case if the Dems don't send the impeachment to the Senate then this is just a mock trial for appearances sake only. And the fact Pelosi balked yesterday strengthens that possibility!

udopia , 28 minutes ago link

The Constitution is itself a farce and a mask for the exercise of power. How does one interpret "general welfare"? To whom do you petition for the transgressions of "rights"? Is it not a branch of the same government? We are not in the same situation as the colonists of the 13 colonies. The enemy is not separated by an ocean. The political decline and conflict questioned in this article is a result of the economic decline worldwide. Prepare for what comes after the USA and don't dwell on legal trivialities within.

ExposeThem511 , 12 minutes ago link

There are very few Christians, in truth. Professing to be Christian means nothing if you don't believe every word from the mouth of Yahweh. The judeo-christian churches are the great apostasy.

beepbop , 30 minutes ago link

There will be casualties.

Hahahaha!

Here are the casualties.

Trump...

1. Concocted an illegal coup d'etat in Bolivia (and Pelosi returned the favor - lol)

2. Kidnapped a Huawei executive and an Iranian scientist

3. Set Hong Kong on fire

4. Stole an Iranian tanker

5. Stole a Venezuelan ship full of foods

6. Stole the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights for the FAKE HEBREWS

7. Kept all illegal wars in the Middle East going for APARTHEID Israhell

8. Faked Epstein's death who's now living comfortably in Apartheid Israhell

9. Loved the Swamp so much he failed to drain it

10. Loved the Deep State so much he failed to dismantle it

[Dec 20, 2019] Here is why Tulsi voted as she did

Dec 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Tulsi voted present and here is why she did that.

"I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing," she said. "I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country."

A censure would "send a strong message to this president and future presidents that their abuses of power will not go unchecked, while leaving the question of removing Trump from office to the voters to decide," Gabbard said.

[Dec 20, 2019] Following Pelosi logic the President can just ignore the Senate trial. Nobody can't force him to show up, right?

Dec 20, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

So, if the President wanted to, he could be impeached by the house over and over again without that helping the Senate to find any illegal, and therefore convictable behavior for the President?

May be if the house impeach him three times and never send the impeachment articles to the Senate, the dear President would faint. May be then the doctors would finally decide that he is incapable of fulling his duties in the White House and declare him officially so sicko that he gets forced to stay in bed. /sad snark attempt.

[Dec 20, 2019] Imperial Tool Pelosi Falsely Links Russia to Ukrainegate by Stephen Lendman

The fact that the 'whistleblower' is a CIA officer who has since returned to active duty at the agency isn't lost on Mr. Trump's supporters.
"The CIA was the central protagonist in Russiagate. The origins of the New Cold War are found in Bill Clinton's first term, when administration neo-cons looted, plundered and moved NATO against a prostrate Russia in contradiction to explicit guarantees not to do so made by the George H.W. Bush administration. Vladimir Putin's apparent crime was to oust the Clintonites from Russia and restore Russian sovereignty." CounterPunch.org
"Russiagate was a declaration of war by the 'intelligence community' against a duly elected President. As argued below, the CIA's motive is to move its own foreign policy agenda forward without even the illusion of democratic consent." CounterPunch.org
Notable quotes:
"... Actions in the Washington cesspool never surprise -- by members of both right wing of the US war party. They represent the greatest threat to world peace and ordinary people everywhere at home and abroad. Pro-war, pro-business, pro-Wall Street, anti-progressive Speaker Pelosi is part of the problem, never part of the solution. ..."
Sep 29, 2019 | stephenlendman.org

by Stephen Lendman ( stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman )

Actions in the Washington cesspool never surprise -- by members of both right wing of the US war party. They represent the greatest threat to world peace and ordinary people everywhere at home and abroad. Pro-war, pro-business, pro-Wall Street, anti-progressive Speaker Pelosi is part of the problem, never part of the solution.

Her long disturbing congressional record shows she exclusively serves wealth and power interests at the expense of the vast majority of Americans she disdains, proving it time and again.

Her deplorable voting record speaks for itself, backing:

  1. the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Blily Act repeal of Glass-Steagall, permitting some of the most egregious financial abuses in the modern era;
  2. the September 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), permitting endless wars of aggression in multiple theaters, raging endlessly;
  3. annual National Defense Authorization Acts and US wars of aggression;
  4. Obama's neoliberal harshness, continuing under Trump, along with tax cuts for the rich, benefitting her and her husband enormously, without admitting it;
  5. increasingly unaffordable marketplace medicine, ripping off consumers for profit, leaving millions uninsured, most Americans way underinsured;
  6. the USA Patriot Act, Anti-Terrorism Act and other police state law;
  7. the 9/11 whitewash Commission Recommendation Act;
  8. the FISA Amendments Act -- permitting warrantless spying post-9/11, Big Brother watching everyone;
  9. NAFTA and other anti-consumer/corporate coup d'etat trade bills;
  10. the repressive US gulag prison system, the world's largest by far; incarcerating millions by federal, state, and local authorities, it includes global torture prisons;
  11. unapologetic support for Israeli apartheid viciousness;
  12. fierce opposition to Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, and other nonbelligerent sovereign states threatening no one;
  13. the Russiagate witch hunt and Ukrainegate scams.

Calling exploitive/predatory "free market (capitalism) our greatest asset" shows her contempt for equity and justice.

Her support for the military, industrial, security, media complex is all about backing endless wars of aggression against invented enemies. No real ones exist.

Pelosi represents what belligerent, plutocratic, oligarchic, increasingly totalitarian rule is all about, notably contemptuous of nations on the US target list for regime change -- Russia, China and Iran topping the list.

On Friday, she falsely accused Russia of involvement in Ukrainegate, a failed Russiagate scam spinoff with no legitimacy, supported by undemocratic Dems and their echo-chamber media.

Repeating the long ago debunked Russian US election meddling Big Lie that won't die, she falsely accused Moscow of "ha(ving) a hand in this."

Referring to the Ukrainegate scam, she offered no evidence backing her accusation because none exists.

During a Friday press conference on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Sergey Lavrov slammed Pelosi's Big Lie, saying:

"Russia's been accused of all the deadly sins, and then some. It's paranoia, and I think it's obvious to everyone."

It's unacceptable anti-Russia hate-mongering, what goes on endlessly, Cold War 2.0 raging.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the following on her facebook page:

"Speaker of the lower house of Congress Nancy Pelosi believes that Russia is involved in the scandal over July telephone conversation between us and Ukraine Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Zelensky."

"This (baseless) assumption was made on Friday Pelosi (not) explaining what it means, and without providing evidence of her words."

"Considering that it was Nancy Pelosi who caused the 'Scandal around the telephone conversation between the presidents of the United States and Ukraine,' then, according to the speaker's logic, Russia attached the hand to her."

What's going on is continuation of the most shameful political chapter in US history, ongoing since Trump took office, along with railroading Richard Nixon.

Both episodes represent McCarthyism on steroids – supported by establishment media, furious about Trump's triumph over Hillary, targeting him largely for the wrong reasons, ignoring plenty of right ones.

Mueller's probe ended with a whimper, not the bang Dems wanted, Ukrainegate their second bite of the apple to try discrediting Trump for political advantage ahead of November 2020 elections.

That's what Russiagate and Ukrainegate are all about.

These actions by undemocratic Dems and their media press agents are further clear proof that Washington's deeply corrupted political system to its rotten core is far too debauched to fix.

VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org ( Home – Stephen Lendman ). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net .

[Dec 20, 2019] House-Senate Impeachment Impasse Would Mean Trump Wasn't Impeached At All Harvard Law Prof

If impeachment trial in the House was conducted due to "eminent danger" pretext, this disqualifies the whole trial.
In Selate Republicans just wait, Pelosi will fall into her own mousetrap.
Dec 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

While Nancy Pelosi threatens to withhold articles of impeachment passed Wednesday night by the House, Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman says that President Trump isn't technically impeached until the House actually transmits the articles to the Senate. Feldman, who testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment proceedings earlier this month, argues in a Bloomberg Op-Ed that the framers' definition of impeachment "assumed that impeachment was a process, not just a House vote," and that " Strictly speaking, "impeachment" occurred – and occurs -- when the articles of impeachment are presented to the Senate for trial. And at that point, the Senate is obliged by the Constitution to hold a trial ."

If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn't actually impeached the president . If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn't truly impeached at all.

That's because "impeachment" under the Constitution means the House sending its approved articles of to the Senate, with House managers standing up in the Senate and saying the president is impeached.

As for the headlines we saw after the House vote saying, "TRUMP IMPEACHED," those are a media shorthand, not a technically correct legal statement . So far, the House has voted to impeach (future tense) Trump. He isn't impeached (past tense) until the articles go to the Senate and the House members deliver the message . -Noah Feldman

Pelosi, meanwhile, won't transmit the articles until the Senate holds what she considers a "fair" trial.

Roughly modeled after England's impeachment procedures, the framers in Article I of the constitution gave the House "the sole power of impeachment," while giving the Senate "the sole power to try all impeachments."

Article II outlines says the president "shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

There's more:

But we can say with some confidence that only the Senate is empowered to judge the fairness of its own trial – that's what the "sole power to try all impeachments" means.

If the House votes to "impeach" but doesn't send the articles to the Senate or send impeachment managers there to carry its message, it hasn't directly violated the text of the Constitution. But the House would be acting against the implicit logic of the Constitution's description of impeachment.

A president who has been genuinely impeached must constitutionally have the opportunity to defend himself before the Senate . That's built into the constitutional logic of impeachment, which demands a trial before removal.

To be sure, if the House just never sends its articles of impeachment to the Senate, there can be no trial there . That's what the "sole power to impeach" means.

In closing, Feldman says " if the House never sends the articles, then Trump could say with strong justification that he was never actually impeached ," adding "And that's probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send."


GreatUncle , 7 minutes ago link

"the Senate is obliged by the Constitution to hold a trial."

Until then it is all ******** and then any in this can then be put on the stand and made to testify under oath.

For sure Schiff and Pelosi should be called.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy , 12 minutes ago link

In times past the Senate would have guarded its power against the House. I'm guessing the Democrat Senators thinks party is more important than all that.

truthalwayswinsout , 19 minutes ago link

This pansy has no standing about anything related to impeachment.

He has not made any academic studies on the topic nor did he even take the time to prepare for his biased and totally ridiculous testimony in the "impeachment."

It is all part of our lesson from this event.

Schiff is a graduate of Harvard. And this pansy teaches at Harvard.

The lesson to take away from all this is never ever hire anyone from Harvard nor to believe anything from them because they are not educated they are indoctrinated.

DJ the Tax Man , 29 minutes ago link

The Dem's Ultimate goal

Think about it people CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, all in lock step with the Democratic Party no objective reporting at all anymore. These national media outlets and the Democratic Party continue to publish and propagate false and fake new stories and never retract them or admit it was all pure fiction.

Why, we have to ask why? Because they deem the American public not smart enough to think for themselves. If the truth does not fit the pre-determined narrative it is buried or covered-up by the national media. Their position is you will think do and say as we tell you, since you're just not smart enough to think for yourself or decide for yourself on how you want to live your own lives. We know what's best for you. The self-appointed Elite and the Dems on both Coasts deem all of us in the flyover states not smart enough to vote for a President, You're just not smart enough to raise your children and teach your kids as you deem fit, you should not be allowed to worship as you desire or own guns, you're just not smart enough to control and manage your retirement savings. They desire to eliminate the Electoral College so your vote is eliminated. Trump scares the hell out of them because they see their money pot being taken away from them and their ill-conceived control over our Country slipping away. They have looted and pillaged this country for decades and built a lavish lifestyle using your hard earned tax dollars. The area around Washington DC is not the richest area in America by accident.

What have the Democrat party done for the citizens of the US the last 3 years or the last 20 years for that matter. Do you think their impeachment push and the attacks for the last 3 years are because they have the American people's best interest at heart? Think again. They care absolutely nothing about the American people and have one goal and one goal only and that is to control every single aspect of your life. They will try and seize every bit of your retirement savings through taxes and fees for their own enrichment. They will sell out America at every turn only to enrich themselves. If they ever regain power they will unleash unimaginable carnage on America and you are all regardless of your political party Fodder for their fire.

A vote for any Democrat is a vote for your own and our Country's demise.

[Dec 20, 2019] Letter from President Donald J. Trump to the Speaker of the House of Representatives

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense -- it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power. ..."
"... You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars. You know this because Biden bragged about it on video. Biden openly stated: "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars' I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a bitch. He got fired." Even Joe Biden admitted just days ago in an interview with NPR that it "looked bad." Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did. ..."
"... This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party. But because of this colossal injustice, our party is more united than it has ever been before. History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade. Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution. ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.whitehouse.gov

Law & Justice

Issued on: December 17, 2019


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Madam Speaker:

I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade being pursued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives. This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history.

The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever. You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!

By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy. You dare to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme -- yet your spiteful actions display unfettered contempt for America's founding and your egregious conduct threatens to destroy that which our Founders pledged their very lives to build. Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying "I pray for the President," when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!

Your first claim, "Abuse of Power," is a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention of your imagination. You know that I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine. I then had a second conversation that has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and fraudulently misrepresented. Fortunately, there was a transcript of the conversation taken, and you know from the transcript (which was immediately made available) that the paragraph in question was perfect. I said to President Zelensky: "I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it." I said do us a favor, not me , and our country , not a campaign. I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States. Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America's interests first, just as I did with President Zelensky.

You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense -- it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power.

You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars. You know this because Biden bragged about it on video. Biden openly stated: "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars' I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money.' Well, son of a bitch. He got fired." Even Joe Biden admitted just days ago in an interview with NPR that it "looked bad." Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did.

President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong, and that there was No Pressure. He further emphasized that it was a "good phone call," that "I don't feel pressure," and explicitly stressed that "nobody pushed me." The Ukrainian Foreign Minister stated very clearly: "I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance." He also said there was "No Pressure." Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a supporter of Ukraine who met privately with President Zelensky, has said: "At no time during this meeting was there any mention by Zelensky or any Ukrainian that they were feeling pressure to do anything in return for the military aid." Many meetings have been held between representatives of Ukraine and our country. Never once did Ukraine complain about pressure being applied -- not once! Ambassador Sondland testified that I told him: "No quid pro quo. I want nothing. I want nothing. I want President Zelensky to do the right thing, do what he ran on."

The second claim, so-called "Obstruction of Congress," is preposterous and dangerous. House Democrats are trying to impeach the duly elected President of the United States for asserting Constitutionally based privileges that have been asserted on a bipartisan basis by administrations of both political parties throughout our Nation's history. Under that standard, every American president would have been impeached many times over. As liberal law professor Jonathan Turley warned when addressing Congressional Democrats: "I can't emphasize this enough if you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor out of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It's your abuse of power. You're doing precisely what you're criticizing the President for doing."

Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening. Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. You have developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it! You are unwilling and unable to accept the verdict issued at the ballot box during the great Election of 2016. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!

Speaker Pelosi, you admitted just last week at a public forum that your party's impeachment effort has been going on for "two and a half years," long before you ever heard about a phone call with Ukraine. Nineteen minutes after I took the oath of office, the Washington Post published a story headlined, "The Campaign to Impeach President Trump Has Begun." Less than three months after my inauguration, Representative Maxine Waters stated, "I'm going to fight every day until he's impeached." House Democrats introduced the first impeachment resolution against me within months of my inauguration, for what will be regarded as one of our country's best decisions, the firing of James Comey (see Inspector General Reports) -- who the world now knows is one of the dirtiest cops our Nation has ever seen. A ranting and raving Congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, declared just hours after she was sworn into office, "We're gonna go in there and we're gonna impeach the motherf****r." Representative Al Green said in May, "I'm concerned that if we don't impeach this president, he will get re-elected." Again, you and your allies said, and did, all of these things long before you ever heard of President Zelensky or anything related to Ukraine. As you know very well, this impeachment drive has nothing to do with Ukraine, or the totally appropriate conversation I had with its new president. It only has to do with your attempt to undo the election of 2016 and steal the election of 2020!

Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day, even going so far as to fraudulently make up, out of thin air, my conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine and read this fantasy language to Congress as though it were said by me. His shameless lies and deceptions, dating all the way back to the Russia Hoax, is one of the main reasons we are here today.

You and your party are desperate to distract from America's extraordinary economy, incredible jobs boom, record stock market, soaring confidence, and flourishing citizens. Your party simply cannot compete with our record: 7 million new jobs; the lowest-ever unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans; a rebuilt military; a completely reformed VA with Choice and Accountability for our great veterans; more than 170 new federal judges and two Supreme Court Justices; historic tax and regulation cuts; the elimination of the individual mandate; the first decline in prescription drug prices in half a century; the first new branch of the United States Military since 1947, the Space Force; strong protection of the Second Amendment; criminal justice reform; a defeated ISIS caliphate and the killing of the world's number one terrorist leader, al-Baghdadi; the replacement of the disastrous NAFTA trade deal with the wonderful USMCA (Mexico and Canada); a breakthrough Phase One trade deal with China; massive new trade deals with Japan and South Korea; withdrawal from the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal; cancellation of the unfair and costly Paris Climate Accord; becoming the world's top energy producer; recognition of Israel's capital, opening the American Embassy in Jerusalem, and recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights; a colossal reduction in illegal border crossings, the ending of Catch-and-Release, and the building of the Southern Border Wall -- and that is just the beginning, there is so much more. You cannot defend your extreme policies -- open borders, mass migration, high crime, crippling taxes, socialized healthcare, destruction of American energy, late-term taxpayer-funded abortion, elimination of the Second Amendment, radical far-left theories of law and justice, and constant partisan obstruction of both common sense and common good.

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

After three years of unfair and unwarranted investigations, 45 million dollars spent, 18 angry Democrat prosecutors, the entire force of the FBI, headed by leadership now proven to be totally incompetent and corrupt, you have found NOTHING! Few people in high position could have endured or passed this test. You do not know, nor do you care, the great damage and hurt you have inflicted upon wonderful and loving members of my family. You conducted a fake investigation upon the democratically elected President of the United States, and you are doing it yet again.

There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period of time, and yet done so much for the success of America and its citizens. But instead of putting our country first, you have decided to disgrace our country still further. You completely failed with the Mueller report because there was nothing to find, so you decided to take the next hoax that came along, the phone call with Ukraine -- even though it was a perfect call. And by the way, when I speak to foreign countries, there are many people, with permission, listening to the call on both sides of the conversation.

You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain.

Before the Impeachment Hoax, it was the Russian Witch Hunt. Against all evidence, and regardless of the truth, you and your deputies claimed that my campaign colluded with the Russians -- a grave, malicious, and slanderous lie, a falsehood like no other. You forced our Nation through turmoil and torment over a wholly fabricated story, illegally purchased from a foreign spy by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in order to assault our democracy. Yet, when the monstrous lie was debunked and this Democrat conspiracy dissolved into dust, you did not apologize. You did not recant. You did not ask to be forgiven. You showed no remorse, no capacity for self-reflection. Instead, you pursued your next libelous and vicious crusade -- you engineered an attempt to frame and defame an innocent person. All of this was motivated by personal political calculation. Your Speakership and your party are held hostage by your most deranged and radical representatives of the far left. Each one of your members lives in fear of a socialist primary challenger -- this is what is driving impeachment. Look at Congressman Nadler's challenger. Look at yourself and others. Do not take our country down with your party.

If you truly cared about freedom and liberty for our Nation, then you would be devoting your vast investigative resources to exposing the full truth concerning the FBI's horrifying abuses of power before, during, and after the 2016 election -- including the use of spies against my campaign, the submission of false evidence to a FISA court, and the concealment of exculpatory evidence in order to frame the innocent. The FBI has great and honorable people, but the leadership was inept and corrupt. I would think that you would personally be appalled by these revelations, because in your press conference the day you announced impeachment, you tied the impeachment effort directly to the completely discredited Russia Hoax, declaring twice that "all roads lead to Putin," when you know that is an abject lie. I have been far tougher on Russia than President Obama ever even thought to be.

Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment -- against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle -- is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America's Constitutional order. Our Founders feared the tribalization of partisan politics, and you are bringing their worst fears to life.

Worse still, I have been deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process from the beginning of this impeachment scam right up until the present. I have been denied the most fundamental rights afforded by the Constitution, including the right to present evidence, to have my own counsel present, to confront accusers, and to call and cross-examine witnesses, like the so-called whistleblower who started this entire hoax with a false report of the phone call that bears no relationship to the actual phone call that was made. Once I presented the transcribed call, which surprised and shocked the fraudsters (they never thought that such evidence would be presented), the so-called whistleblower, and the second whistleblower, disappeared because they got caught, their report was a fraud, and they were no longer going to be made available to us. In other words, once the phone call was made public, your whole plot blew up, but that didn't stop you from continuing.

More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.

You and others on your committees have long said impeachment must be bipartisan -- it is not. You said it was very divisive -- it certainly is, even far more than you ever thought possible -- and it will only get worse!

This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party. But because of this colossal injustice, our party is more united than it has ever been before. History will judge you harshly as you proceed with this impeachment charade. Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution.

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

I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.

There is far too much that needs to be done to improve the lives of our citizens. It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.

One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again.

Sincerely yours,

DONALD J. TRUMP
President of the United States of America

cc: United States Senate
United States House of Representatives

[Dec 20, 2019] Sen. Mitch McConnell great speech in which he slams Dem impeachment on Senate floor

Highly recommended!
Dec 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jenna Bronson , 5 hours ago

Historic speech from McConnell. He nailed exactly what makes the ideology of the Democrats antithetical to the very principles that founded this nation.

William Burnam , 8 hours ago

"...[to] insure domestic tranquility..." THIS is in the preamble to the Constitution the Dems claim to support. Someone please tell us all how they are supporting this. I'll wait.

Trey Tex , 4 hours ago

Senator McConnell's FINEST HOUR. A great speech that will live forever in the annals of history itself. Our Founding Fathers would be so proud of you. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and protecting our Republic Senator McConnell. God Bless you sir.

The Backwoods Mechanic , 4 hours ago

I'm independent and I'll say this, I'll never vote for a Democrat again because of this

J Barron459 , 7 hours ago div class="comment-renderer-t

ext-content expanded"> I've never heard a more brilliant or eloquent summary and analysis of the Impeachment case. Sloppy, hurried, careless without regard for due process, the Democrats in 12 weeks have committed an abuse of their constitutional authority and to the spirit of historical precedent regarding impeachment as a weapon to use just because you don't like the President. This group of democrats have done serious damage to our government.

Rocky Mountain Ras , 8 hours ago

Brilliant, historical, factual, and brutal. Thank you Mitch, well said.

[Dec 20, 2019] Democrats' impeachment drive is centered on claims that Trump has been insufficiently aggressive in fighting a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine

DemoRats became the second War party. Which means two parties merged on this issue forming Uniparty, like in the USSR.
Feeding and care MIC is No.1 task for both. Ordinary Americans well being does matter much for either party. New generation of Americans is punished with crushing debt and low paying jobs. They do not care that people over 50 who lost their jobs are essentially thrown out like a garbage.
Counting dollars they got from MIC and Wall Street they are oblivious to the growing danger of converting the USA and Russia territories into radioactive desert. That does not bather them one bit. They have shelters, You don't. Vote accordingly. .
Dec 20, 2019 | www.wsws.org

... ... ...

But all of these fundamental democratic issues have been excluded from the Democrats' impeachment drive, which is centered on claims that Trump has been insufficiently aggressive in fighting a proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

"In the end, this impeachment is the first over a question of whether the president is selling out American national security," writes David Sanger in the New York Times. "While Ukraine is the proximate event, how the president has dealt with Mr. Putin is the overarching theme."

Sanger concludes, "the argument about Ukraine, the ostensible reason for the president's impeachment, was not really about Ukraine at all. It was about Russia."

But it was House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff -- the pivotal figure in the impeachment drive -- who left no question about the central demand of the Democratic Party for an escalation of the US conflict with Russia.

"Ukraine is fighting our fight against the Russians, against their expansionism. That's our fight, too." Schiff said. "We used to stand up to Putin and Russia. I know the party of Ronald Reagan used to."

"That's why we support Ukraine with the military aid that we have," Schiff continued. "The President may not care about it, but we do. We care about our defense, we care about the defense of our allies, and we darn well care about our constitution."

Nowhere has anyone explained why Ukraine's war with Russia should be "our fight, too," or why the failure to fight this war to the Democrats' satisfaction constitutes an impeachable offense.

The Democrats' attempt to remove Trump aims to legitimize an intense escalation of the US conflict with Russia, a policy for which there exists no support among the mass of the population.

The Democratic Party is aware of the broad popular hatred of the Trump administration. But what this party of the rich and affluent fears far more than Trump's reelection is a mass mobilization to remove him, which would inevitably challenge their own wealth and the capitalist system.

In the terms defined by the Democrats, the impeachment has no democratic or legitimate content. The complete remoteness from and indifference to any popular sentiment or demands gives it the character of a palace coup. The innumerable claims by various Democrats that their impeachment constitutes a defense of democracy are both unconvincing and untrue.

Even as they have moved ahead with their impeachment drive, the Democrats have worked with Trump to expand the military, gut congressional restrictions on the use of military force, and expand his immigration crackdown. On Tuesday, they approved the largest military budget in US history, and on Thursday, the day after the impeachment, they plan to pass USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement), a trade war measure targeting China.

As the impeachment votes were being cast, Trump was in Battle Creek, Michigan, making a violent, demagogic and fascistic appeal to his supporters. Trump echoed the letter he had earlier sent to the House of Representatives in which he accused the Speaker of the House of "declaring open war on American Democracy."

But in excluding all democratic issues that would succeed in mobilizing the population against Trump, the Democrats have actually played into the hands of the President, who has sought to mobilize his fascistic base on the grounds that he is a victim of a "deep state" plot.

The central lie peddled by Trump is to equate the Democrats' efforts to remove him -- together with those of the intelligence agencies and media -- with socialism. This is his label for any form of popular opposition to his administration. In the traditions of fascism, Trump falsely presents himself as the victim of a conspiracy between the "elites," socialists and communists.

Whatever the outcome of the impeachment crisis, it will see a dangerous further movement of American politics to the right. If the Democrats fail to remove Trump -- as seems likely -- it will strengthen him. If they somehow succeed in orchestrating Trump's removal, it would be seen as illegitimate by broad sections of the population, and would virtually guarantee an escalation of military conflict with Russia.

Whatever its outcome, the impeachment must be seen in context of the greatest crisis of American capitalism since the Civil War. In their own way, both parties represent the twin imperatives of American imperialism under conditions of social crisis and the loss of its global hegemony.

The Democrats embody the drive to war; the Republicans, in the form of Trump, embody the move toward fascistic and authoritarian forms of rule.

The fight against Trump can only unfold on the basis of a social and political struggle rooted in the working class. The essential prerequisite for the emergence of such a movement is a total and unequivocal break with the Democratic and Republican parties. The attitude of the working class to this impeachment must be, amending Shakespeare, "A plague on both political parties."

Patrick Martin and Andre Damon

[Dec 20, 2019] Sen. Mitch McConnell great speach in which he slams Dem impeachment on Senate floor

Dec 20, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jenna Bronson , 5 hours ago

Historic speech from McConnell. He nailed exactly what makes the ideology of the Democrats antithetical to the very principles that founded this nation.

William Burnam , 8 hours ago

"...[to] insure domestic tranquility..." THIS is in the preamble to the Constitution the Dems claim to support. Someone please tell us all how they are supporting this. I'll wait.

Trey Tex , 4 hours ago

Senator McConnell's FINEST HOUR. A great speech that will live forever in the annals of history itself. Our Founding Fathers would be so proud of you. Thank you for stepping up to the plate and protecting our Republic Senator McConnell. God Bless you sir.

[Dec 19, 2019] Senate hearings give impression that the whole sordid, nasty conspiracy seems on the verge of being exposed, maybe as high as Obama himself, although he is just a puppet himself

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

evilempire , Dec 18 2019 22:32 utc | 28

If anyone was watching The Horowitz hearing in the senate today it would be hard to conclude that RussiaGate and Ukrainegate will not have serious consequences going forward.

The whole sordid, nasty conspiracy seems on the verge of being exposed, maybe as high as Obama himself, although he is just a puppet himself, and indictments are sure to follow. I don't see how anyone could think that this will not be catastrophic for the democratic party.

[Dec 19, 2019] America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people. - strife delivery

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

All pretense of our country being a representative democracy @snoopydawg
is gone. Our two party uniparty government has completely turned its back on serving the needs of the vast majority of the people of this country, and of the wider world. Profit sits at the head of our government. The monikers "Fascist" and "Totalitarian" are apt descriptors of the direction of our current trajectory. A dystopian future surely awaits us on this beautiful, fragile and life sustaining planet that we are trashing with such abandon.

Other than that, things are going quite nicely. Nancy is wearing her power pants and fools are applauding.

[Dec 19, 2019] "I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

It still amazes me... that people actually think impeachment accomplishes anything other than diverting attention from the Dems giving Trump everything he wants.

Kayfabe.

Impeachment without conviction means next to nothing.

The Senate will not convict. Trumps chances of being re-elected are continuing to improve as Democratic Party insiders work overtime to see to it that Bernie Sanders has to fight the Republican Party, a MSM that either dismisses or ignores his candidacy, AND the Democratic Party which has, once again, stacked the deck against him.

[Dec 19, 2019] The truth is never as interesting as wild speculation

Dec 19, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

WoodsDweller on Wed, 12/18/2019 - 9:30pm

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/12/trump-has-joined-the-losers-of-presiden...

... Never-Trump conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin released a scorching assessment ... "Even Trump knows he will be lumped in with the 'losers' in the presidential history rankings such as Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson," wrote Rubin. "Impeachment will define his presidency, dwarfing any other foreign or domestic action. No wonder he rages against a speaker he is powerless to stop. His worst nightmare is to be humiliated, and if not now, history certainly will regard him as a pitiful, damaged man utterly unfit for the role he won through a series of improbable events ... Just as Watergate figures ... were lionized as defenders of the Constitution, so too will Pelosi and House Democrats ... be among those admired for their lucidity, intellect and character. ... For every clownish, contemptible, screeching and dishonest House Republican, there is a sober, admirable, restrained and honest Democrat.
"No letter, no tweet, no Fox News spin can repair the reputations of Trump enablers," Rubin wrote. The right-wing media that cheered them on will, like outlets that rooted for Jim Crow and demonized Freedom Riders, be shunned by decent, freedom-loving people who reaffirm objective reality. The Republican Party will be known not as the Party of Lincoln but the Party of Trump, a quisling party that lost its bearings and its soul to defend an unhinged narcissist.

[Dec 19, 2019] The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Artful Dodger , Dec 19 2019 8:00 utc | 86

The Trump Card was and is a masterstroke of scripting live, non-stop, divisive, politically paralytic distraction while the US oligarchy goes all-tard-in for private power.

Russ , Dec 19 2019 7:30 utc | 85

Since the whole impeachment farce already has been a political loser for the idiot Democrats, they'd have to be doubly stupid to double down on political stupidity by obstructing the transmission to the Senate, when most Americans just want this crap to be over with.

Meanwhile the Senate Republicans, once they get the charges, would be stupid to do anything but vote them down immediately. Otherwise they'll become complicit in the odious circus and rightly incur their share of the political blame.

[Dec 19, 2019] Tucker Impeachment is a terrible idea for the country

So from now on the party which hold the House can start impeachment process on false premises the day the President from other party was elected. As simple as that.
That open a huge can to worms for future Presidents,
Notable quotes:
"... Let me explain something. This will set a precedent for house of reps to come. When we have a liberal president and a republican house we will do the same and impeach him for nothing because this just shows that if you own the house you can impeach him for nothing and that isn't good for the future ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Ken Stanaford , 19 hours ago

This is truly an abomination!! This statement from a recent proud Dem of many years. NOT ANYMORE!! Remember this forever America! Remember in 2020!

Tim , 19 hours ago

Raskin is a creepy creepy dude.

LOWLiFE , 20 hours ago

I don't know anything about politics but i know that impeaching a president with radical fans might not be the smartest move for a country that's all ready divided , just my opinion.

willam sassard , 18 hours ago

The claim its a danger to our constitution when they have no pronlem with infringing our 2nd Amendment, 1st Amendment and pledge to do away with the elctorial college... Hypocrisy

Gusty , 19 hours ago

Let me explain something. This will set a precedent for house of reps to come. When we have a liberal president and a republican house we will do the same and impeach him for nothing because this just shows that if you own the house you can impeach him for nothing and that isn't good for the future

William Murphey , 11 hours ago

Trump is doing a great job,and doing every thing he promises. The only high crime was defying Dems authority.He has become a clear and present danger to their chances of ever winning another election.