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Death by Drone: an Immoderate Proposal

January 12, 2020

When 62-year-old Iranian General Qassem Soleimani stepped off a plane in Baghdad on January 3, he probably wasn’t expecting to be blasted into the hereafter. But that’s the nature of surprise attacks: they’re quick, unexpected and often lethal. 

The longtime leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its clandestine QUDS fighting force had no time to gather his thoughts, reflect on his brilliantly wicked career and utter a final prayer to Allah before the angels whisked him to Paradise – or wherever they whisk terrorist kingpins for the remainder of eternity.

President Trump was quick to take credit for the drone strike heard ’round the world. “Last night, at my direction, the United States military successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani,” our chieftain announced. “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”

We still don’t know exactly how “imminent and sinister” Soleimani’s plans might have been, because the Trump administration has been deliberately vague on the subject. But according to Reuters, there was enough evidence of future mischief to justify stopping the Iranian general in his tracks. 

Retired General David Petraeus opined that the assassination of Soleimani was a bigger deal than our targeted takedowns of Osama bin Laden and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The latter two terrorists were diminished figures on the run; Soleimani was still in his prime, orchestrating sneak attacks throughout the Middle East. Yes, he had fought against ISIS – no doubt because the would-be Caliphate posed a threat to Iran’s hegemony over the region. But he and his proxy fighters were also responsible for the deaths of at least 600 Americans along with innumerable Syrians and Iraqis. 

Few U.S. and international leaders shed tears over Soleimani’s demise. It was the manner of his departure that elicited whoops of outrage from Trump’s opposition. Freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, a vocal member of the four-woman “Squad” driving the Democrats ever leftward, tweeted: “We are outraged the president would assassinate a foreign official, possibly setting off another war without Congressional authorization and has zero plan to deal with the consequences.”

The second half of Omar’s tweet actually makes sense: Trump, reckless and most likely clueless as ever, could have triggered all-out war with Iran over his drone strike on Soleimani. (Remember Archduke Franz Ferdinand and World War I?)

Pouring gasoline on the fire, Trump even threatened strikes against 52 historic cultural sites if Iran retaliated against Americans – most likely a strategic bluff, but a wanton and unforgivable crime if carried out. We’re supposed to be better than ISIS and the Taliban, after all.

It’s the first half of Omar’s tweet – the outrage over assassinating a foreign official – that stopped me cold. Many of her Democratic colleagues echoed her anger, and I was left to ponder exactly what they were protesting. Trump couldn’t have announced his plans to Congress without risking a fatal leak, especially with the Squad in attendance. 

No, the outraged Democrats were falling back on our official taboo against taking out enemy leaders. Executive Order 12333, signed by President Reagan in 1981, clearly states: “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” 

Similar to earlier rules endorsed by Presidents Ford and Carter, the anti-assassination order was relaxed in 1998 to make an exception for terrorists. “But Soleimani was a state official,” the Democrats chanted almost in unison. Yes, but he was also a terrorist. That made him fair game.

I thought about our peculiar reluctance to terminate state officials who instigate war and terror. We think nothing of sending innocent young men by the thousands (or, in the case of the two World Wars, millions) to kill or be killed by other innocent young men. We might express a modicum of regret over the women and children who get in the way – collateral damage, we call it. 

But when it comes to taking out the actual perpetrators of war – the gloating autocrats, the bloodthirsty generals, the fanatics with fancy titles who rouse their followers to spill blood in the name of God or country – we’re curiously averse to harming a hair on their overinflated heads. 

Could it be that we simply have less regard for ordinary citizens than we do for rulers? That we place a cheaper value on their lives? That we dismiss them as expendable pawns in the great chess games between rival nations? 

If I were a raving leftist, I’d have to conclude that the ruling class invents rules to protect its own. But I’m not a leftist, and I’ve still arrived at the same conclusion. 

Let me make a modest but blatantly immoderate proposal. Instead of shipping young people off to fight and die in wars not of their own making, I say we start targeting the warmongers themselves. Drone technology makes it easy to Soleimanize any despot or warlord who disrupts the peace or brutalizes his own people. 

Imagine if we had been able to dispatch Hitler in 1939 or the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Think of the countless lives saved and the misery averted by a well-aimed missile dropped from a hovering drone. One evil life abruptly terminated could have salvaged the lives and happiness of millions.

But what about a fair trial, you might ask. Shouldn’t we have captured General Soleimani and given him the right to defend himself? I’d answer by asking another question: how many ordinary soldiers are given a fair trial before they’re executed by enemy gunfire?

Of course, we have to think about the consequences of tactical assassination. Archduke Franz Ferdinand still looms large in our historical memory. But if drone attacks can eliminate world-class leaders who preach war and inflict misery, maybe those leaders would think twice before they fulfilled their ambitions on the bodies of young soldiers and innocent civilians.


Rick Bayan is founder-editor of The New Moderate. His three grimly humorous essay collections are available in e-book form on Amazon for just $2.99 each.

 

1,307 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2020 10:40 pm

    Rick, excellent! Agree completely! The one thing I would ask is if a country is designated a terrorist country that allows our military to remove terrorist that kill American military personnel and that individual is a military general, is that really an assassination?

    I always defined assassination as a political execution. Soleimani has never been identified as an Iranian politician, but as a military general.

    I must also comment I was surprised as to your point of view on this issue. Thanks for addressing the issue without the “anti-Trump” positions that have been posted in the previous article comment section over and over. I would have taken the position that you would have been closer to those opposed to the actions taken.

    • January 13, 2020 9:42 pm

      Thanks, Ron. I’m not fond of Trump, as you probably know, but unlike most of the “never Trumpers” I don’t go out of my way to condemn his every move. He took a calculated risk with the extermination of Soleimani (OK, maybe a crazy risk), but it worked out. Iran retaliated only mildly, and a ruthless warrior is no longer a threat. We should be entitled to eradicate world-class villains, although there’s always a danger in killing villains regarded as heroes in some quarters.

      I think the murder of any public figure by strangers (as opposed to acquaintances) qualifies as an assassination. You could say John Lennon was assassinated. As I wrote this piece, I was really struck by how the system seems to hold the lives of despots in higher regard than the lives of innocent military men, who are regarded as expendable.

      • John Say permalink
        January 13, 2020 11:13 pm

        What is clear is that your decision is not driven by nonsense like “orange man bad”

        I have an overall more favorable opinion of Trump than you do, one that is frankly improving as he is president longer.
        But I think he is wrong on many things. Just wrong on less things than Bush or Obama.

        Further though I argued against many of Obama’s policies, I have not been joking that after his election i prayed that everything I knew to be true was wrong.
        I wanted obama to succeed as president – for the sake of the nation, for the sake of my children.

        If Socialism lite really and truly can deliver a better life for all of us – then “Bring it on”.

        I do not know a single person who is “ideological” that is not sure that following their ideology will produce the best results, and knows that the facts support their ideology – whatever it is.

        Ideology is not the problem. Being wrong is.

        Trump is “less wrong” than his predecessors.

        With respect to Killing Soliemani. I am almost as non-interventionist as Tulsi Gabbard.
        But I would have taken out Soliemani under the same circumstances in a heartbeat.
        But I would also have gotten out of all this mideast fighting 3 years ago (or more).
        Nor was it “crazy”. i get very tired of it when we take everything Trump does and pretend it is highly unusual. Trump’s tweets are sometimes crazy, his words are crazy, but his actual actions as president are pretty mundane.

        6 months ago which US president to you know that would have said “no I am not going to attack Iran, because they took out a US drone” or because they attacked some Saudi Oil Fields. Either Bush or Obama would have destroyed something in Iran.

        If you asked people like Bolton, Trump is responsible for the attacks on US soldiers and the embassy, because he did not nuke Iran into oblivion 6 months ago.
        Trump’s rhetoric is sometimes crazy, his actions aren’t. Specifically in terms of the use of military power his actions are pretty tame. He is the first president in a long time that has not invaded something.

        Again I am pretty “anti-war”. But I would have retaliated for the missile attacks by destroying part of Iran’s missile capability. Of course I would also be saying screw you and leaving Iraq now that they have asked.

        i liked Bush – I was not so hot on his policies, I liked Obama, his policies were no better.
        I do not like Trump much. But he is a better president than either.

        I do not need to like him. We all need him to do the job better than the last two.
        And he is.

        Perfect – far from it. But I can live with better than the last two.

  2. January 13, 2020 12:15 am

    Rick, I agree as well. A terrific and well reasoned piece. I kept waiting for the inevitable disagreement-in-part to show up, so I could disagree in part…but it never did. I agreed with everything.

    Oh, well, I could quibble with the “reckless and clueless” description of Trump. I really could say something like, well, it’s inconceivable that a reckless and clueless man could have succeeded so spectacularly in so many endeavors as Trump has.

    But I won’t 😉

    • January 13, 2020 10:32 pm

      Glad you didn’t. 😉 Thanks, Priscilla; I’m afraid my “immoderate proposal” could inflame hatreds and cause even more bloodshed, at least in the short term. But if enough despots and warmongers get themselves whacked by drone strikes, eventually others like them will show more restraint when it comes to unleashing “the dogs of war.” (Maybe they could unleash some Chihuahuas.)

  3. TDP permalink
    January 13, 2020 2:31 am

    Well written article.

  4. Lee Voorhees permalink
    January 13, 2020 5:14 am

    Spot on! I recall a professor say that all wars are a result of three G’s. Gold,God and Glory.

    • January 13, 2020 10:46 pm

      Thanks, Lee. It struck me how willing we are to sacrifice young men just entering the prime of life because of those three G’s.

  5. John Say permalink
    January 13, 2020 9:03 am

    To a large extent what you propose is already reality.

    In the Sixties the US (and USSR) had reached a point at which we had or were working on single weapons that could destroy a state or small country. 200+Megaton weapons.

    It suddenly made no sense to develop even more powerful weapons. The US deliberately started to target the Soviet missile silos themselves. At first with nuclear weapons, but as we were increasingly able to improve our accuracy with smaller and smaller and more precise weapons – some nuclear some not. This has been the trajectory of US weapons development ever since. Today an F15 can drop a cluster bomb that will disperse hundreds of “bomblets” each with some inteligence that will either find a target – a tank, a APC or will harmlessly disable themselves. We have sniper rifles that can not merely kill from 2 miles away but can kill APC’s or jeeps. We have a phalanx system that can shoot down incoming missles. We ha patriot and THAAD that can protect a fleet or a country from ICBM attacks.

    US military development over the past 70 years has focused on more precision, LESS destructive and better targeted weapons.

    We have gone from trying to kill enemy soldiers to targeting their support, to targeting command and control.

    In the vietnam war we killed over 1M north vietnamese and viet cong.

    I GWII we killed a few thousand Iraqi’s – an an enormous part of the Iraqi military leadership.

    Drones of all sizes are an increasingly large part of US strategy. The Military is not effective against Terrorists. Drones are. Drones provide a combination of surveillance capabilities, and targeted lethality. They are also more expendable. Earlier this year Iran took our a US Drone. We were apoplectic. This was an act of war. Yet we did not go to war. No american was killed when our Drone was destroyed.

    While I am talking about weapons, the important issue is strategy. Starting in the 60’s we shifted from mass destruction to accuracy and precision. Ultimately regardless of whether it is drones, MIRV’s Cruise missles, Long Range Sniper riffles, …..

    The objective is to take out small but important rather than large targets.

  6. John Say permalink
    January 13, 2020 9:16 am

    US Strategy has been to take out the “Command and Control” of any enemy since atleast the 80’s.

    Command and Control means many things – communications equipment, but large among those is the military leadership of the enemy.

    No enemy can fight for long it its generals are gone.

    In the revolutionary war the colonists used hunting rifles which were slower to load and fire but had much longer range both as standoff weapons – shooting at british lines from 300 yards away and then running off to reload before the british soldiers got into range, and also to take out British officers. The british thought this “ungentlemanly”.

    In WWII the life expectancy of a US junior officer – a leutenant or a captain in the european theater was months. Both sides targeted the officers. Take out the leaders and the soldiers have been neutralized.

  7. John Say permalink
    January 13, 2020 9:30 am

    The US was not and is not “going to war” against Iran, unless we choose to do so.

    For all of Iran’s bluster, the KNOW that they can not survive a War with the US.

    There has been much talk of the US talking out the Iranian Nuclear program, or its ICBM’s or its navy, and these would likely be targets in a conflict with Iran.

    But at the top of the US target list – as with the 2003 Iraq War, would be the Irainian military leadership, as well as pasts of their civilian leadership. These would be decimated quickly and after that Iran’s ability to utlize in any coordinated fashion whatever military assets it has would be gone.

    Iran knows this. And it knows that we can do this to it.

    Iran has ALWAYS been playing a game. Needling the US, trying to extend its own power in the Gulf, trying to appear to stand up to the US without becoming sufficient a threat that the US would actually go to war.

    Iran does not want a war with the US – but it does want to confront the US to the extent possible short of war.

    The danger in the past couple of weeks was that Iran might – deliberately or accidentally do something that angered enough ordinary americans that they would support a war with Iran.

    Even that is highly unlikely. The US has the ability to respond to any Iranian act with something more destructive AND STOP.

    That AND STOP is the most fundimental aspect of everything that has been occuring.

  8. John Say permalink
    January 13, 2020 10:28 am

    Trump orders the Killing of Soliemani in response to Irainian sponsored Hezbollah terroist miliitias killing an americans and attacking and burning the US Embassy, and Iran’s response kills hundreds of innocent people in a Ukrainian airliner.

    Democrats blame Trump. But the Iranian people are blaming their leaders.

    Democrats worry that Trump may drag us into a war with Iran.
    Iranian leaders worry that they have lost power in their own country.

    Unfortunately I doubt this is the straw that will break the Iranian regime.
    But that day is likely coming SOONER as a consequence of Trump’s actions rather than later.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-crash/iran-protesters-take-to-the-streets-in-third-day-of-demos-over-plane-idUSKBN1ZC0P1

  9. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    January 13, 2020 10:56 am

    As to “assassinations” using high technology, a general is not a politician, he is a soldier. This one (I don’t want to bother with learning to spell his name) was engaged in an underground war against us. From the Iranian point of view, they don’t like us or our presence in their region and why should they? They have their own natural point of view about our presence there. In any case, I shed no tears over the dead general. Sure, I’d rather kill the generals than the privates, who wouldn’t, it makes sense.

    Was this action wise? Time will tell, by which I mean years and decades, not the immediate news cycle. It is hard not to suspect a connection between this action and domestic events, but the consequences of this action will come in intermittent reactions to it on a much longer time scale than the daily political warfare.

    The real important judgement by history of all of the parts of trumps foreign policy will be made based on its consequences over decades, from his relationships with pulin, little kim, and China to NATO and our allies.

    This is an enormously complex web and no man can predict the unintended and unforeseen consequences of trump shaking the established order up in a way that goes against most of the previous ideas of both conservatives and liberals. Its a giant shake up. Give us 2 decades and we may have a pretty good idea of the rough outline of its long-term consequences. Will he be seen as an idiot savant or a destructive bumbler? Will some of his foreign policy have catastrophic consequences and other parts be a big success and will history be able to weigh the one against the other?

    Anybody who says they have the answer today on what the full set of consequences will be that result from trumps foreign policy actions and principles in the fullness of time is just flapping his gums.

    Oh, I know, no one here is interested in the long term view, that of decades of slow consequences acreting as a result of trump’s foreign policies. Just give everyone their daily political spin so we can throw the daily crap at each other. Bleh, well, carry on.

    • Jay permalink
      January 13, 2020 11:55 am

      👍👍👍

    • January 13, 2020 1:06 pm

      Roby, good comments. I agree with your comments and especially the one concerning long term consequences.

      However, where you say “Oh, I know, no one here is interested in the long term view, that of decades of slow consequences acreting as a result of trump’s foreign policies “, I have to take exception.

      I have been clear that I am a “long term” person. Trade policies, debt and deficits, war.

      As for Trump, it is hard to tell. We know the disastrous outcome of Bushes Iraq war. We are witnessing the disastrous consequences of Obamas decision to return $1.7 billion to Iran. With Trump who lies multiple times a day, who knows what he is thinking. We do know what he is doing and only time will tell.

      Right now my daily fix of Trumps policies is being fed favorable decisions. What happens in 10 years+ may show a different outcome.

      • Vermonta permalink
        January 14, 2020 9:14 am

        My apologies Ron. But I also have a bone to pick with you. A week or so back you made a degrading comment about pit bulls and rottweilers, you compared the daily shitfest here to the character of these Noble animals. I have a pitbull, she has been with me for 12 of her 13 years. A more charming good-hearted creature would be hard to find. I take her with me on my hikes, everyone we meet falls in love with her. Nor is she an exception to the pit bull rule, the vast majority of pit bulls I meet are sweet people living souls.

        Now, really, what did pit bulls ever do to deserve such a slander as you put on them here?

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 10:35 am

        I had not noticed.
        I have had dogs my whole life – many dogs, mostly larger dogs.
        Usually several at one time. Further my relatives all have dogs – atleast the good ones,
        and most of my friends.
        I have never had a pit bull, but I have been close to many wonderful pit bulls.

        I can not imagine life without a dog.

        I wonder about people who do not have a dog.
        They certainly have less joy in their lives.

      • January 14, 2020 11:39 am

        Well, a debate that is worth while!😁

        Absolutely nothing about pit bulls are bad if they are raised correctly! Just like any dog. Me daughter has a pit bull that is 6-7 years old and is a complete baby.

        But you also have to agree that in play, such as tug of war ( politically incorrect name for a game today) there is few dogs with the strength and determination to “win”.

        And that was my point. Dave and Jay will not let anything go. They are like my daughters pit bull in a tug of war. Will not let go until the other end is loose and even then holds on until they are convinced they have “won”.

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 2:05 pm

        If the image of two pit bulls tugging at a rope floats you boat – fine. I can live with that.

        I am having fun.

        As to “wining” – there isn’t anything to “win”.

        Jay does not make arguments, he sprays fallacies, almost entirely ad hominem.
        You do not “win” against that, you just expose it for what it is.

        Regardless, The left has spent decades claiming the moral high ground.
        That was wrong, and I do not intend to allow that.

        Is there anyone here short of Jay who thinks the treatment of Carter Page has been moral ?

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        January 14, 2020 11:50 am

        Well, Dave and I have found multiple important things to agree on in one day, not only has hell frozen but the planet Mars is now measurably heating.

        Dogs are one of the great keys to a happy life. I have had and loved many. Mostly large to huge, but also one longhaired dachshund, also very much beloved. Never would I marry a woman who would not let the dog sleep in our bed.

        I must have ten thousand pictures of Grendel the pit bull. I have taken very good care of her. Other than some grey on the muzzle she has not changed in years, just as energetic. I tell people she is 13 and no one believes me till I point out her grey muzzle. I am as proud of that as anything about my life. I was given to her when she was 1 and I have lived up to the job.

        May I be the person my dog thinks I am.

      • January 14, 2020 1:10 pm

        Roby, we also have had many dogs. Just lost one of 15 years this past spring due to oral cancer. Golden retriever mix.

        My wife had a newfoundland and he left us 4 yrs ago, so she got another male, now 3 yrs old. There is one word you dont use around him. “No! ” that is like telling a teenage boy no! Newfees are suppose to be laid back, lovers. This one is anything but that. Put an overactive small dog that runs around your feet, jumping.on your legs and put that in a 150 lb body.

        He is now becoming an adult and not acting like an adolescent brat. But getting from the overgrown puppy to this point has been interesting work for my wife. Doggy training did nothing for him. Mind of his own. Guess dogs do take on the personality of their owner!😉

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 2:28 pm

        I suspect we agree on far more than we disagree on.
        That is true of most people.
        Even where we disagree – so long and neither of us is trying to use force against the other, it is easy to disagree.

        Our current Dog – Hannah is a chocolate Lab. She is a mistaken attempt to repeat the past.
        Our first Chocolate Lab. was Brennan, and she inspired us to adopt our children. We have had many wonderful dogs throughout our lives. The dogs we have had have all been the ones we needed at the time.
        Nikki our fierce warrior queen was my wife’s protector for years after her assault, and galadriel – the dober ditz was the reminder we needed that there was still joy in life when everything arround us seemed grey and joyless. But Brennan was pure childish joy and brought us our kids, and we lost her too soon. Hannah is old and blind and demented, she has more than a little gray on her muzzle. She has most of the wonderful traits of Labs, but is the most nuerotic dog we have ever had. But she still jumps onto our bed each night and says “snuggle and rub my belly, and everything will be alright” because that is who labs are.

        Some of our dogs have been excellent judges of peoples character and others have been horrid. But I have always worried about people who did not like dogs.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        January 14, 2020 1:51 pm

        My wife came to me in combination with a Great Pyrenees, also about 150 pounds. He believed that he was a General and in charge of all visitors and UPS deliveries, and many other things. Fortunately, he could run pretty fast, for about 10 feet and then was out of gas and just stood and barked.

        In my early time with him he bit me once when I reached for his food dish. He got a nice solid tap on the head with a baseball bat, a fine lecture, was thrown out of the house overnight (we live the in woods so he was not about to wander) and after that we got along famously and knew our roles. Dogs are pack animals, they will take the No. 1 or the No. 2 spot in the pecking order equally naturally, whichever one you choose to let them assume. I’ve never wanted to be No 2, so that is their role.

      • January 14, 2020 4:19 pm

        Well this pact animal was going to be #1 come hell or high water. My wife would wear heavy coats since his ” grabbing” arms and jumping on you was his “fun” time, he thought he was playing with his pack. For 18 months she would wrestle him to the ground or floor and lay on him until he stopped squirming.

        His dominance came from his father as he was the lead dog from the breeder we purchased him from. She was well known for producing off spring that became show dogs, but this one had way too much testosterone even after neutering.

        Like I said, he has the personality of his owner and thats not me!

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 4:55 pm

        I have never had a conflict with a dog over who was the boss since I was a child.
        As an adult the only times i have ever been bitten by a dog was in separating two dogs who were fighting.

        Most of the dogs I have had were very low in dominance. But my wife and my first dog together – Nikki, who we took in as a stray, who had lived wild for a year before we got her, was the most dominant dog I have ever encountered in my life – though not with humans.
        We likened her to Eowyn – the slayer of the lord of the Nazgul. she expected every living non-human in existance to grasp her dominance – or they were dead.

        I was constantly scooping her up into my arms – because with all 4 feet off the ground, whatever creature had failed to show sufficient respect was safe, and she never ever challenged me or other humans.
        But she killed a neighbors dog when it forced its way into our yard. She escaped occasionally, and I remember chasing her through the neighborhood – where she chased a german shepard twice her size onto the roof of its own dog house.

        In the park one time she broke free of my wife draggy Galadriel (ladrie) our other dog spinning and rolling off balance behind her as she chased after a young Shepard that had dared to bark at her. I went running after and was bit by the shepard as I separated them.

        She was only 65lbs, but she went for the jugular. She let toddlers crawl all over her and abuse her, but she was my wifes defender after her assault going with her almost everywhere, and she knew her job was to keep my wife safe. And she was always safe when Nikki was arround.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        January 14, 2020 1:55 pm

        And, I am sorry your dog just passed. I cry like a baby every time we put an animal to sleep, there is no stopping it, and I do not even want to think about age finally catching Grendel, I will be gutted.

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 5:00 pm

        I have been tearing up all over constantly just thinking about the dogs that I have had to put down. It is never every easy. It shouldn’t be.

      • January 14, 2020 5:14 pm

        The issue I am having now is my age and getting another dog, even with my wife having one. What I fear most is something happening to my wife and i before the dog and then it ends up as an aged rescue. I see that too many times and that is also upsetting.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        January 14, 2020 6:18 pm

        “For 18 months she would wrestle him to the ground or floor and lay on him until he stopped squirming.”

        Forget about the dog, that is an impressive wife you have there. Must be an interesting home.

      • January 15, 2020 10:51 am

        Ah, I love my dogs to distraction! I have two small dogs (20 and 30 pounds) and they are now 13 and 15, very elderly as canines go. So, I am already dreading the the inevitable loss, although, as of now, they are both relatively healthy, and smaller dogs often live into their late teens.

        I once listened to a radio talk show, on which the host asked listeners to answer the question ” If your house were burning down, and you and your famility had safely escaped, woud you go back into the house to rescue your dog or cat.

        About 75% of the listeners said yes.

      • Jay permalink
        January 17, 2020 5:33 pm

        Unanimous. We all are dog lovers.

        We have two: Jake a 6 year old Giant Rat Terrier (meaning he’s 35lbs); Sasha a three year old Border Terrier (20 lbs). My wife trains Sasha to compete in obedience events – and Sasha has won multiple AKA trophies after only 1-1/2 years training. She bosses around bigger Jake who nevertheless gallantly leaves her dinner scraps in his dish. He’s our second GRT – the first made it to age 14. Rat Terriers large or small are smart, agile, athletic and affectionate.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:01 pm

        Can we agree not to go towards my breed is better than yours ?

        All dogs are different. All truly are man (and woman’s) best friend.

        I have had dogs in my life from the time I was 4 until today, and I will until I die.
        I can not imagine living without a dog. Most of my life we have had multiple dogs.
        And will likely again when we lose Hannah.

        We will probably go back to rescue dogs after Hannah, as it is easier to allow each dog to have its own character and expectations and not be compared so much to the prior dog of the same breed.

        But that is my choice.

      • Jay permalink
        January 18, 2020 7:23 pm

        Why would you wrongly jump to the assumption I was suggesting my dogs are better than any other dogs?

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:44 pm

        “Why would you wrongly jump to the assumption I was suggesting my dogs are better than any other dogs?”

        No explanation is necessary.

    • John Say permalink
      January 13, 2020 5:36 pm

      Amazing, pretty much nothing I disagree with.

      I would note, that you are correct that only the future will answer many questions.

      But Trump, congress, voters, have to act in the present.

      Whether it is Obama or Trump trying to decide whether to kill Bin Laden, or Soliemani.
      Or commit US troops to Syria or Libya, the decision must be made today, and neither have crystal balls that will show them accurately what the consequences intended or otherwise will be 20, 50 years from now.

      Many factors have Forked up the mideast – but the wests bizarre carving up of the ottoman empire at the end of WWI has had negative consequences that are with us more than a century later.

      Despite our lack of crystal balls – the opinion of each of us, has an impact – even if small on the decisions being made.

      Not one of us can say with absolute certainty – and even history may never be able to do so, that Obama’s or Trump’s handling of Iran was better.

      We can not know what the future would have been had Chamberlain not sacrificed Czechoslovakia for a piece of paper from Hitler. We only know how bad what did happen was.

      There are incredibly few people shedding tears for Soliemani.
      But nearly all of us regardless of our position on the political spectrumn are worried about what might come next.

      Each US president since Clinton and probably for a long time to come faces something prior president never faced. Smaller beligerant nations that either have or are near to having weapons of mass destruction.

      We started a multitrillion dollar war over false assertions that Iraq had nuclear weapons.
      North Korea has had nuclear weapons since Clinton and will have nuclear ICBM’s when they inevitiably solve engineering problems. Iran may or may not have nuclear weapons, but absent regime change they certainly will, and the too eventually will likely have nuclear ballistic missiles.

      This is scary, and it is difficult. It is what anyone we elect president must deal with

      • Vermonta permalink
        January 14, 2020 9:26 am

        Probably the most sensible thing you have ever posted here, I completely agree with your opinion, mine is exactly the same. Ice skates are being distributed in hell as we speak.

        I can add that we will also never know what the world would have been like had we not fought the communists in Korea and Vietnam. Would stalinist cancer have won out across the globe, or would the infection have contained itself and died out on its own? We will never know whether our choices were the worst possible or whether our tragic bloody wars averted an even more terrible future world.

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 10:51 am

        We can not perfectly predict what would have happened had we done something different, but we are more accurately able to assess the effect of changes on the past than the future.

        I have recomended this before – but there is a serious on pbs/bbc “the commanding heights – the battle for the world economy” that is excellent. There is also a book – which is less pleasureable, but chock full of data – i.e. the series tells a compelling story, while the book provides the backup.

        From the early 20th century to the present many countries tried communism/socialism in many forms. And many countries went with freedom. Thje data from that tells an overwhelmingly uniform story. Bigger government in ANY FORM leads to slower rates of improvement.

        Communism was not defeated by our military forces. It was defeated by its failure to deliver the higher standard of living of the west.

        There are many reasons – one of those is Price’s law – which applies to almost everything that involves humans. And it is true in all systems – free market or socialist.

        https://dariusforoux.com/prices-law/

        The creation of value is unequally distributed. If the incentives are not sufficient for the few who are the most productive – all of us suffer, badly.

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 11:20 am

        With respect to vietnam – I recently finished Ken Burn’s series on vietnam.

        I lived through most of vietnam, as I beleive you did. But I had little familiarity with the early events – I knew of the french defeat at Dien Bin Pheu.

        Anyway the series excellent and it made me feel much better about the world today.

        What I was reminded:

        The government has been lying to us about pretty much everything, pretty much forever.
        Whether it is the pentagon papers or the afghan papers. or Iraqi yellow cake or the vincense, or …. We should not trust any government – and not our own. We should not trust it when republicans are in power, or when democrats are in power.

        We are far far far less racist today than in the past. The racist David Dukes of today are barely worse than ordinary people in the 50’s and 60’s.

        We have been far more divided in the past than today. Despite fears and threats – the national guard are not killing students on campus, bombings are not happening twice a week. we have not burned down our cities. In short whatever our divisions today – we were far more bitterly divided then than now.

        I found burn’s series simulataneously disturbing – so many more bad things that I did not know, and at the same time uplifting – the world is so much better today – in most every way,

        We got past, Johnson and Nixon, we will get past Bush, Obama and Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 11:31 am

        In a prior posts you describe the improvement in your life and attitude from being away from politics for a long time as tremendously positive.

        I would suggest that maybe it is not so much putting politics behind you as separating yourself from the constant harangue that the sky is falling, that this moment is the worst that has ever been.

        I might have linked this before. I am not sure that I accept that “gratitude” is the key to everything. But attitude is. If you see the world as going to hell – you will not be happy.
        Nor will anyone arround you.

        Further, I can not change you, or Jay, or Ron. I can not change anyone else in the world.
        The only thing I can change to make the world better is myself.
        And before any of us go off to fix all that is wrong with the world.
        We should start with “the man in the mirror”

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        January 14, 2020 12:51 pm

        Gratitude IS the key to life. I am entirely grateful that I was born when, where, and to which parents I was born. I am grateful to my kids, my wives (yes I know how that sounds) and my friends as well. I’ve been blessed. My life has NOT been easy at many times, not at all, there has been lots of pain. But it has been a paradise compared to what most people in most times and most places have had to cope with. I never forget that and I always bring it to the top of my thoughts when I am in a rough patch.

        Every intelligent person who is convinced that life has short changed them should sit down and read some history books till they see the error in their thoughts.

        Its another area on which you and I agree Dave. Its nice to have this break in the clouds today.

        As to the areas where we disagree, Oh boy, there are plenty! I have learned not to debate those with you.

      • January 14, 2020 1:24 pm

        Roby, sorry to butt in, but just want to make two comments.
        1. Looking at history and learning about the past is being removed from everyday life and education.
        2. People are being convinced they have been short changed by politicians and activist who blame the rich for most every negative aspect in ones life. One can tie most everyones thinking of a short changed life today on someone else.

        Reading history to find your not so bad off is a thing of the past. History!😡

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 4:09 pm

        I look out my window at clouds and walked to the mailbox through grey skies and drizzel.

        All the talk of dogs is both wonderful and bittersweet. All the good and the bad in my life has been intertwined with dogs. Hannah follows as I go for the mail reminding me that not tomorrow, not next week, but too soon I will lose her. She is 13 and with no serious problems , but a month, a year, two maybe, not a decade and i will have to decide if her eyes are asking for another day or for me to let go. And reminding me, that there are fewer dogs left in the rest of my life than there have been.

        I have had a wonderful life, but not without some horrible times. There is always some who have had worse, but I have spent my time in hell.

        Ultimately it is irrelevant whether life has “short changed you” – it will not make it up to you.
        Whatever bad life has inflicted on you, the rest of your life is your choice. If you chose to be a victim – you are chosing to sacrifice whatever you might make of the rest of your life.

        If you want to make your life better – there are always lots of people who will help. But there is no one else who can do it besides you. Almost no one will help you if you do not help yourself.

        As to our disagreements.

        During the debate on the Clinton effort to nationalize Healthcare, someone – I think it Was Boyden Gray said:

        “A funny thing about things that can not continue as they are – they don’t. ”

        The collapse of the USSR was inevitable.
        The global trend away from socialism was too.

        If i am right about all the wrong directions we are headed – sooner or later they will reverse.
        The only question is the extent of the damage they cause before hand.

        I do not want to move to Trump, or economic growth or anything controversial.

        Except to note that – right or left, whatever we are doing wrong, might continue longer than it should, but will not continue forever. We will either fix it on our own, or it will fail and force us to.

      • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
        January 14, 2020 1:37 pm

        Butting in? Would that everyone here had such a politer attitude toward conversations!

        I am not so sure there ever really Was any golden age where many people knew history past what they were forced to sit through in school. If there was such a golden age of knowledge about history in America, it probably lasted for a few years in the 50s, before that nearly everyone was working like a dog and had little little time for leisure and much after that TV took over leisure time. Rising levels of people going to college after WWII would perhaps have affected that, if they were required to take such classes and the classes were any good. But no one other than an actual history major has time in college to truly read a large volume of books on the subject, more than barely scratching the surface takes quite a lot of time and a passion for the subject. As well, one soon forgets the details if they do not have a practical tie to one’s life.

        An interest in history, I would bet, comes most of all from the cultural level of one’s parents.

        The average person has probably never been very likely to read in any detail about the past.

      • John Say permalink
        January 14, 2020 4:39 pm

        More agreement. There was no past golden age.

        i think there is pretty solid data that US education has declined over the past 40 years – as its cost has risen. Oddly though be inumerable standards we are behind much of the developed world, we STILL produce more entrepeneurs, more nobel winners, more progress per capita than anywhere else in the world – so we are still doing something right.

        I think that the education I got in the 60’s and 70’s was mostly superior to that my kids got and certainly what they would have gotten in ordinary public schools.
        But my education was not from some golden age.

        If you want to have a discussion of education – what is right about it, what is wrong, what we should change, what we should keep. I would be interested in that discussion.
        I think it is likely we might agree on alot, but even if we did not. The further we are from politics the less likely the issues are to devolve to insults and slander.

        So long as our discussion is confined to “facts, logic, reason” – so long as we need not insult each other or resort to other fallacies, civil discussion even disagreement is possible, even the norm.

        You know that I argue agressively. I expect the same from others. I see debate as a furnace in which arguments are tested.

        “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”
        John Stuart Mills.

        Truth is tested in fire.

        I do not often revise my positions as a result of an argument – not because I am pig headed and stuborn and unwilling to cede when I lose. But because I have argued most issues for decades, and long ago repaired any errors, or threw out bad positions based on the past argument of others.

        And that is how things should be. Experience, exposure to many ideas and arguments should result in wisdom from experience as we age. We should be found wrong less often as we age or we have done a poor job of learning.

      • January 14, 2020 7:33 pm

        The residents of hell could go ice skating today. I’m heartened by the amicable conversation between the two of you. Leave it to our canine friends to bring you together! Seriously, there’s so much wisdom in this thread that I’ll have to reread it at my leisure.

        I loved a dog once, with all my heart, when I was a boy. I don’t think I ever fully recovered from his death. We’ve had other good dogs since, but they belonged to my parents.

        I’ve never had a dog of my own as an adult; I switched to low-maintenance cats long ago. They’re beautiful, sweet and charming, but they can’t really measure up to a good dog in terms of the joy they bring to a household.

      • January 14, 2020 8:24 pm

        Time for a rescue pup Rick!

      • John Say permalink
        January 15, 2020 12:15 am

        The death of every dog is difficult for anyone who loves dogs. I have had to deal with way too many dogs dying. In the early 21st century almost every dog in my extended family died from complications due to lime disease. Now they have a vaccine.

        I am highly allergic to SOME cats. We allowed my son (20) to have a cat, when a rescue became available and I did not seem to be allergic to it. But for some reason this cat behaves more like a dog than a cat. and despite its supposed to be my sons cat, it has attached itself to me.

        but there is nothing quite like a Lab jumping into your bed at the end of the day, sticking it paws in the air and looking at you as if to say – “rub my belly, it will make everything better”.
        And it does. If a dog loves you – it loves you no matter what.

      • John Say permalink
        January 15, 2020 12:27 am

        One of my never ending themes is that overall the world is better today than yesterday.

        Many of the things we fight over here are important. But they are NOT the end of the world.

        Our government takes up far too much space in our head and consumes far to much of our wealth. But despite that it is NOT all that big a part of our lives.

        As Adam Smith noted:

        “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel, or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.”

        Our world is pretty good. Even in Adam Smith’s day, and it has improved hundreds of times over since then.

        Even the things that Ron and i care about – like the debt and deficits, might inflict some pain at some point – but they will not kills us. They will not drive us back to the stone age.

        Whether you think “Orange man bad” or you are one your a MAGA all the way, the world did not end with Trump’s election, and it will not end if he does or does not get re-elected.

        We are doing some things wrong and some things right, but we are STILL overall at the best moment in human history to date – except tomorow.

        We have the highest standard of living ever, the least racism, sexism, homophobia, … ever
        And tomorow will be better.

        Tomorow might be slightly less better if we make the wrong choices – but it still will be better.

        Anyone telling you the world is coming to an end- for whatever reason is either lying or decieved.

  10. January 13, 2020 11:57 am

    Excellent, Roby.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    January 13, 2020 4:55 pm

    Not being an extremely political person, I understood your reasoning and agree with it. We must understand that Trump could be viewed from Iran’s ideology as a “terrorist” to them and use like methods to eradicate him. I would not believe they would do that and bring the wrath of the world against them, but some extremist might attempt it.
    Once again, your opinions were well stated and easily understood.

    • John Say permalink
      January 13, 2020 7:18 pm

      “We must understand that Trump could be viewed from Iran’s ideology as a “terrorist” to them and use like methods to eradicate him. ”

      We must always understand how others think.

      But that does NOT mean we should be confused into believing that their thoughts are reasonable.

      The absence of absolute truth does not mean that anything anyone says or beleives is true.

      Ultimately as even with physics and science – we do not have to have absolutes, to establish that many things are absolutely false, and to determine that there are only a few possible arrangements of what is possibly true that work.

  12. John Say permalink
    January 14, 2020 2:42 pm

    I have been as saddened by the loss of my dogs, as by the death of my parents.

    Worse, as a dog fails, the choices are ultimately yours. Nothing has been harder as they have declined than trying to decide when they look at you if they are saying that the pain and suffering are to great and it is time to let go, or if they are pleading for another day or week.

    I am sorry for your losses.

    • vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
      January 14, 2020 9:28 pm

      And I am sorry for yours Dave. Apparently our humanity is showing its best side when it comes to the things we love, with pets being near or at the top. Perhaps when world or any political leaders get together they should bring their dogs along and find common ground that way.

      • January 14, 2020 10:29 pm

        Roby, bringing dogs to political gatherings would probably not work. To Islamist, dogs are Najis, or unclean and unable to be cleaned. In China, they eat them, right? Who wants their pet to end up the main course? And Lil Kim uses them for executions, so unless he works a deal with the S.S. to get rid of Trump, he wont be bringing his.

      • John Say permalink
        January 15, 2020 12:33 am

        As painful as some parts of dealing with dogs is, I do not regret any of it.

        ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
        Alfred Lord Tennyson

        True of pets too. Some times sad but never something to regret.

        I would prefer our leaders stayed home and played with their dogs and left us and the world alone.

      • January 15, 2020 10:56 am

        “I would prefer our leaders stayed home and played with their dogs and left us and the world alone.”

        A platform that most of us could support…

  13. January 14, 2020 4:35 pm

    Could not find a healthcare link on Ricks subject to open a new discussion, so its here. Nothing about taking out Soleimani.

    Bloomberg has a ton of ads running in N.C. Most cover healthcare for the most part, hos people need healthcare and states ” freedom to choose” when it comes to child birth.

    I tried to find a good place to send him a comment and like all politicians, they dont want to hear from voters. The only place to comment was someplace that ends up asking for donations.

    All I wanted to say was freedom to choose if one buys healthcare is just as important for some as freedom to abort a baby is for some women.

    If women can choose, then anyone should be able to decide to buy insurance or not and for those that want to, buying into Medicare at the current costs should be an.option. For those under a certain income level, subsidies would help buy it. But no one should be forced to buy a private companies service or product that was part of PPACA.

    • January 15, 2020 10:40 am

      Agree 100%, Ron.

      For the progressive left, “choice” is very narrowly defined as the freedom to abort.

  14. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    January 15, 2020 12:25 pm

    Lets see if this works:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/EMW1K7gvPmQtY8jZ6

  15. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    January 15, 2020 12:26 pm

    It appears to work so I will try a few more:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/up9yXkVvfaSvxCK36

  16. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    January 15, 2020 12:28 pm

    I’ll try a video clip:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/xA8SrMTi9nMtiUED8

  17. vermontadowhatiwanta permalink
    January 15, 2020 12:32 pm

    These are from last summer. Last one I promise.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/m1uBPsAfKww2MAas9

    • January 15, 2020 7:56 pm

      Thanks for posting those, Roby. Great looking dog! ❤

      • Vermonta permalink
        January 15, 2020 9:54 pm

        Thanks Priscilla. It’s a lot easier to get pictures of her looking like a monster than a sweetheart. But she is a sweetheart.

  18. January 15, 2020 8:16 pm

    I think I could live another 30 years and still be amazed at what people know and dont know. Tonight while watching Jeopardy where little known and useless facts result in contestants winning alot of money, they answered questions about far away geography, science from Einsteins theories to formulas and other subjects including political congressional members. They answered even a useless question about Jouquin Castro and Loui Gohmert being from Texas

    But then they showed a picture of Adam Schiff, described his position and district and complete silence.

    How does anyone avoid any news, social media or osmosis about Adam Schiff over the past couple years, especially people who know more facts than most.

    And what does that say for the rest of voters when those more informed about everything than an average person has no idea who brought about the impeachment of the president. And Joepardy is only filmed a few weeks in advance.

    • January 16, 2020 12:36 pm

      I guess there are a lot of people not paying attention to the impeachment…

      • January 16, 2020 1:05 pm

        Thats what I was watching! How do people know all the poop like these contestants and not have a clue on who this idiot is? And they vote!

  19. John Say permalink
    January 17, 2020 11:57 am

    To the extent congress is unable to come together to change our imigration policy, I expect that the President will enforce that law as it currently it.

    The law and the courts allow the border patrol to briefly stop people within 100 miles of a US board to inquire about their resident status.

    I am not sure if I agree with that. But that is “the law”.

    It does not grant them any more power than that. Pretty much everything in this video clip is actual abuse of power. This needs to be stopped. Whether it is trump or Obama, or whoever responsible.

    Law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to detain someone. They must have probable cause to search there person, their papers or their property.

    I do not support Comey or Mueller engaging in lawless investigations – and I want to see them prosecuted for misuse of power under color of authority.

    But the 4th amendment and individual liberty are not limited to presidents.

    When officers have stopped you and verified legal residence to the standard allowed by the courts – which is low, any further action to detain or question you unsupported by an expressable probable cause is illegal. It is itself a criminal abuse of power.

    We are oddly debating exactly that with this impeachment.

    I the case of border checkpoints – they are being detained – that is what not being “free to leave” means. The officers involved no that, that is the standard the courts have establed that determines whether you probable cause is necescary – a search and seizure, anything more than a brief stop and limited questions goes beyond an investigation, which only requires reasonable suspicion but does not empower searches or seizures – detention is a seizure. removing someone from their car by force is a seizure. Wiretapping is a search. All of those require probable cause.

    Starting an investigation is neither a search nor a seizure, it only requires reasonable suspicion. Should those investigating wish to conduct a search or seizure – THEN they need probable cause.

    We are in an odd world. The president can not ask for an investigation of someone who openly extorted a foreign country likely for personal gain, but border patrol agents can seize you and your car and search you without probable cause without even reasonable suspicion.

  20. January 17, 2020 12:22 pm

    For some reason I cant play video, but know the issue.

    I have said this before. If our elected congressional representatives would actually do some constructive work cor the country and stop working just to get their party in the white house, maybe some common sense immigration policies would be legislated. When we have one party almost wanting to ignore laws and another almost to the point of wide spread rights violations, what we have will never be fixed.

    • John Say permalink
      January 17, 2020 2:48 pm

      It appears that Youtube has blocked the video.

      So now they are blocking video by John Stossel – libertarian, that though it does not name Trump is pretty negative about one part of our governments border law enforcement that is interfering with the lives of anyone living withing 100 miles of the border.

      I guess the video was “disturbing” – video of CBP agents behaving arrogantly and breaking peoples car windows and then tasing them because the produced identification and refused to answer other questions when they were pulled over at a border patrol checkpoint 70 miles from the border. Traveling from home to work and never getting withing 50 miles of the border.

      • January 17, 2020 3:15 pm

        The biggest problem in the country today and growing is the massive divide between the few on the progressive left and the few on the conservative right that molds the agenda of their parties, all while the large moderate population results in the sounds of crickets and frogs and nothing more. And then the only time anything is heard is when they have to hold their noses when voting because of the stench of the candidates.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:21 pm

        I am going to use centrist rather than moderate.

        I do not care if you are on the right, left or center of the political spectrum.

        If you are using force to infringe on the rights of others – you are wrong.

  21. Raymond Halyard permalink
    January 17, 2020 1:13 pm

    The rise of China is the ultimate, existential long-term threat to the American way of life – even more than Global Warming and increasing economic inequality. Most US politicians prefer Free Trade with China for the short-term convenience, but this will be disastrous in the long run. Only trump, with all his warts,sees the problem and is trying to do something. For this reason Trump must be reelected!

    • January 17, 2020 2:53 pm

      Raymond, I agree and have been one of the few here that has supported Trumps “fair” trade
      (as opposed to free trade) and agree with the reelection. But how can anyone convince him to stop uncovering his warts every time he tweets something daily or makes public appearances. This week two significant trade deals concluded and he helped the Democrats keep impeachment the top story.

      I think he needs to shut up about impeachment, concentrate on his positives and reduce the coverage impeachment is getting. Every time he opens his mouth about impeachment he is playing into the democrats game plan.

      • Jay permalink
        January 17, 2020 6:06 pm

        Define significant.
        So far all he’s done is patch tires he flattened.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 7:56 pm

        Trump has neither been as great or as bade on Trade as either side claims.

        I do not think his spats with Mexico, Europe, Canada or Japan are great wins.
        nor are they great losses.

        While I think some of the claims of some of the sources you cited are laughably off.
        I do not doubt that Trump’s “protectionist” measures have cost US jobs. But those losses are small and dwarfed by other gains.

        I do not think these Trade wars were wise.

        But they are all about more than Trade. Alot of what Trump is doing is sending the world a message. Quite often Trade and defense go hand in hand in Trump discussions.
        Everyone in NATO agreed decades ago to spend 2% of GDP on defense. US Defense spending is about 4% of GDP now, and 40% of the defense spending of the entire rest of the world.

        Trump wants and gets spending increase from countries all over Europe and Asia.
        In some cases by shaming, in others because these countries are welcoming US confrontation of China – economically and militarily.

        Under Obama the South China sea was China’s private lake. Now US warships traverse it regularly to re-assert that it is international waters. Countries like Tiawan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and India are joining the US to challenge China’s regoinal dominance.

        Trump’s beligerance towards China has agrevated capital flight in China, Agrevated China’s debt issued AND agrevated the departure of business from China – some returning to the US, and other fleeing to other countries with cheap labor. This was going to happen anyway – Trump does nto get credit for that, but it is happening sooner because of Trump,
        Whether it is the Tiawanese or a re-emerging Japanese Navy or an increasingly western facing Vietnam, or … Trump has increased the challenges that China faces – both internally and externally in a way that Obama did not.

        From a pure Trade perspective Trump’s trade actions with China – though not as bad as claimed, are not defensible. But they function on more levels than Just Trade.

        You repeatedly tell us all that the US must Confront Russia. But the Russian military is rusting in place. The Kirov was the flagship of the Russian Submarie force – hopefully we know what happened to it. That was NOT during Trumps watch, but the point is that it has not been replaced. The US has had two generations of nuclear Subs since that. Further we reduced our Nuclear Boomers by treaty, but we did not retire them – many have been converted to non-nuclear attack subs. They are suplanting a role that used to be performed by Destroyers and Cruisers.

        Russia has one Aircraft Carrier – BEFORE the recent 1.5B fire that has left it a carcas, it was not able to travel under its own stream. China has 4 Aircraft carriers – all equal or superior to the Russians and all actually in service. Most of the old Russian airforce is rotting through lack of mantanence. Russia has only produced one new combat aircraft in something like 4 decades and there is talk of dropping that because they can not afford it, and it is not exporting well. China has produced several new generations of military aircraft.
        While they are significantly short of US aircraft in overall abilities – they are numerous and they are improving Russian military development of almost all kinds appears dead.

        My point is – who is the real threat ? Our DoD thinks that the US military needs to restructure and redepoly to be more China facing, that Russia or mideast forcused.
        That is not a new choice, it has been in progress for atleast a decade.

        As i noted in another post – it is also a significant factor in many of the internicien powerplays that are often presenting themselves as conflicts involving Trump.

        The US strategic focus is shifting from Russia and the mideast to Asia.
        That entirely changes the balance of power among various elites in washington.

        The fact that the Trump campaign was accused of colluding with Russia, the constant claims that X is a Russian asset are no accident. These are more than efforts to “get Trump”, these are efforts to continue to prop up Russia as the great boogey man.
        Whether we are talking of Strzok, or Ciareillo we are talking about Russian and eastern european experts seeking to retain relevance. in a US foreign policy that is increasingly asia focused.

        The US Government – Starting BEFORE Trump, increasingly sees Russia as NOT the threat it once was, and is relying more and more on European countries to Check Russia.

        BTW we are also increasingly not seeing the Mideast as as signifcant and ALSO expecting more of Europe there.

        Trump guaranteed European Natural Gas supplies from the US’s now world leading production of fossil fuels. This was deliberate – it greatly strengthens the European’s ability to confront Russia. Without US natural Gas, Europe depends on Russa and the Mideast.
        The US no longer does. Trump is expecting Europe – not the US to prevent Russian adventurism. The Russian economy is 1/10 that of Europe. There is no reason that Europe can not keep Russian in Check without the US. Europe not the US depends on mideastern oil. if any nations are going to shed the blood of their soldiers to secure their oil supply in the mideast that increasingly needs to be the Europeans. Further China is the great power today seeking mideastern oil – not the US China has an economy about the size of ours with energy demands nearly ours, but only has coal within its borders.

        WWII with Japan started because the US choked Japanese Energy access.

        If you are on the Russian Desk in CIA, NSA, State … Or on the eastern Eurpean desks – like Ukraine, or on mideastern desks your significance to US policy is WANING as US foreign policy and threat assessment shifts to Asia.

        Alot of the ranting in washington about Russia, Russian agression, Russian Assets, Russian influence, is an effort buy those losing significant to delay the inevitable.

      • Jay permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:40 pm

        He’s a despicable clown, Dave.
        You wouldn’t rent him a property you owned unless he paid for it upfront, in American currency.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 9:58 pm

        A thousand times over – insults are not arguments.
        Calling anyone some name does not make it true.

        If you make a moral claim about another – you had better be right because you have bet your integrity against theirs, and the burden of proof is on you.

        Doubly so because you have little or no integrity left.

        Trump would have no problem passing the background check I apply to prospects.

        He has income in excess of 3 times the rent. He has no outstanding evicitions in the past 5 years. He has not been convicted of a crime recently or a violent crime ever.

        I do not think he is likely to rent my apartments.
        But I would rent to him if he did.

        I would further note, that I rent to democrats, republicans, libertarians, moderates, communists, fascists.

        I could care less about their politics. I care if they will pay their rent and will not cost me in other ways.

        You on the other hand have an established reputation for false moral allegations.
        Knowing that I would not rent to you.

        You would be trouble.
        When you rent from me. I expect that you know what you are doing, that you are an adult.
        I have not twisted anyone’s arm. They have the same opportunity to check me out as I have to check them out. They also had the oportunity to check out the apartment, and talk to other tenants if they want.

        You are the type of person who would likely do most of that.
        Rent the apartment and THEN when everything was not perfect cause me all kinds of trouble and claim you were promised things you were not.

        You seem exactly like the tenants who when they sign the lease than me profusely and tell me how wonderful the apartment is. and when they are behind on their rent and facing eviction are telling the district magistrate I am a slum lord.

        You are someone who when things do not go your way resorts to insulting people.

        I am guessing a bit. Obviously you are not one of my tenants.
        But there is not a change in hell I would rent to you.

        I do not rent to people who have “crim-in-falsi in their past. I do not rent to people who lie on their applications.

        Integrity matters. Possibly more than anything else.

      • January 17, 2020 8:05 pm

        USMCA…”Democratic Congressman Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the leader of the House Ways and Means Committee, heralded the deal as “transformative,” and said the agreement is a “triumph for organized labor” and “for workers everywhere across America.””

        As for the China deal, its a beginning to fairer trade. But going any further with you about this is not worth the time as those blinded by Trump hate cant be debated with using anything but facts after the fact. And that will not be known for some time.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:24 pm

        If the fact were known or knowable at this moment – that would not make your ability to persuade half the country any greater.

        No one on the left, and no one with TDS gives a damn about facts or truth or morality.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 7:00 pm

        Ron, Trump is not going to “shut up” about impeachment – becuse it is a winning issue for him.

        I understand that when he talks about it – or many other things – it ticks you off.

        But politically it works for him. He is now about 50% in Rasmussen. And at or near peak in all other favor ability polls. He is above where Obama was at this time.

        Impeachment is raising massive amounts of money for Trump. And he is both using t on himself AND to hold the Senate and Retake the house.

        It is still way out on the election, but apparently the GOP is targeting something like 90 House members in seats that they think are potentially winable.
        While The GOP has had a larger than normal number of retirements it also has since Impeachment started seen a big spike in quality recruitments to challenge democratic representatives. Further there are a record number of highly qualified GOP women running in 2020.

        It is near certain he will do better among blacks and hispanics than he or any other republican has in a long time.

        Way too many people see 2019 as a bad year for the GOP – to some extent in the house it was. But it came very close to being a GOP sweep in the Senate, and several states like FL and OH were very red. Further In FL there was a significant shift in the black vote AGAINST democrats – even though a black democrat was running for governor.

        I do not want to say everything Trump is doing is driven by shrewd calculations about the election. But you MUST after 2016 credit Trump for knowing how to win elections.

        Democrats are now shooting themselves. Most Democratic Big Money has made it clear – if Biden is not the candidate they will sit out the election. Warren and Sanders have finally gotten the knives out and are flaying each other. And key Sanders constituencies are claiming that if Sanders is not the nominee they are sitting out the election.

        So pick whatever democrat you want – how do you expect them to beat Trump ?

        I do not like the way Trump talks either. Except that his language is less polished he talks the same way as democrats – all insults and slurs.

        But I think he speaks the way the people who vote for him identify with.
        And that is not you or I.

      • Jay permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:06 pm

        He hasn’t risen appreciably in the polls for a year and a half – the impeachment isn’t going to change anything. It will only harden core voters on both sides. But the ‘swing’ voters (independents etc) want witnesses to testify, notably Bolton (71%) and they won’t be happy if GOP doesn’t allow it.

        https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/president_trump_job_approval-6179.html

        (Swing voter info today at Newsweek)

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:59 pm

        I guess i read the same graphs you do quite differently.

        Trumps approval was BELOW Obama’s at the same time in his term from Election day through to the begining of his 2nd year. It was pretty much the same as Obama’s through his 2nd year. It has been slightly higher than Obama’s through his 3rd year and now into the start of the 4th.

        Obama was re-elected.
        Obama did not face impeachment in his 3rd year.

        Despite being just about the most lawless president ever.
        https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/top-10-ways-obama-violated-constitution-during-presidency

        Who knows maybe your crystal ball is better than mine.
        Maybe doubling down on stupid over and over will eventually pay off.
        Maybe they will find pictures of Trump on Lolita Island naked with a 13year old – though if pictures are found I would bet on Bill Clinton rather than Donald Trump.

        As more and more people beleive Epstein was murdered, the conspiracists are near certain it was Hillary.

        But Turmp goes into his last year with a higher approval rating that Obama, a stronger economy and the probability of growing successes as the election approaches.
        Facing increasingly wounded opponents who look weaker by the day.

        I want Santa Clause to testify – but that is not happening.

        There are extremely serious problems getting Bolton to testify.
        As even Derschowitz pointed out – exactly what you want Bolton to testify to – exchanges that he had over foreign policy with the president are precisely what is near absolutely covered by executive priviledge.

        You will not get Bolton to testify without Trump’s permission or a long drawn out court fight you will likely loose.

        That does not mean Bolton will not testify. It means that to get Bolton to testify, you are going to have to give Trump something he wants. You are going to have to agree to Trump’s slate of witnesses.

        Do polls show the same level of interest in Trump’s witnesses ? I do not know.
        It does not matter. Nearly all the people who want to hear from Bolton are not going to object to Trump’s witnesses.

        What you do not have is any compelling case or argument to have ONLY the witnesses you want.

        And frankly you have an incredibly weak argument for that.

        Even today nothing prevents the house from going to court to get Bolton or anyone else they want to testify to do so – if they can get the courts permission.

        Or from negotiating with Trump to waive privilege.

        I would bet that Trump would give permission to have Bolton testify publicly, if the house also called the Whistlblower, Schiff, Hunter, and Joe and allowed republicans in the house and the presidents lawyers the same rights to question them as democrats have had of their witnesses.

        Except for the fact that the Senate should not be bullied into cleaning up the mess the house made, it is not relevant WHERE these witnesses testify – though it is relevant HOW their testimony is conducted.

        Neither Joe Biden nor Hunter Biden have to testify to anything that they have not already said publicly to completely tank impeachment.

        All that is necescary is for people to see and hear Hunter and Joe and NOT walk away saying there is nothing here. You know that will not happen.

        Anyone not suffering from TDS who listens to the Biden clip would naturally respond – “there should be an investigation”

        And that is the actual burden Trump must meet.

        You can rant about 10,000 possible illegitimate motives that Trump might have.

        His actions are legitimate if there is ONE legitimate reason.

        It is never abuse of power to do what the constitution permits you to do, just because you might politically benefit from doing so.

        Bolton can testify to Trump blackmailing Zelensky to get an investigation.
        While I do not expect that. If you think Bolton is going to be your John Dean you are likely to be highly disappointed. Bolton is likely to say unflattering things about Trump. Bolton is arrogant and he lost a battle of ego’s with Trump, Bolton will likely be out for revenge.
        But do not confuse his desire to have possibly the brightest spotlight in modern history on him for a few mintutes to his either knowing something that – logic dictates is improbable or are you betting he dislikes Trump enough he will lie for you ?
        Bolton is not going to lie, and he is not going to give you what you want. Though he will likely be critical of Trump’s foreign policy. Further if Trump’s attornies are not total idiots – and Sekelow has 16 victories in the Supreme Court, they are going to lead Bolton down the path to fry himself. Arogant people make lousy witnesses.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 9:18 pm

        You are constantly deluded by an important thing that polls are poor at measuring.

        How important something is.

        Just about every progressive program that ever was has super majority popular support – often 80%.
        And that changes to 80% opposition if the same policy has a cost to the voter of as little as $100/year.

        Do people want to hear from Bolton ? Sure. The question is how will they vote over that.
        If there are NO witnesses – it likely will not effect their vote.
        The desire is trivial to address.

        NO ONE (except possibly the courts) is stopping Bolton from testifying in the House.

        It may not reach peoples consciousness, but the house botched this, and their expectation that the senate will fix it is proof of that.

        My xtal ball says NO witnesses. Why ?

        All the senators of BOTH parties want this out of the way FAST. Dragging this out is NOT good for senators – not republicans not democrats.

        It is highly unlikely the House is getting witnesses without Trump also getting witnesses.
        Trump holds all the aces. To get Bolton (or any of the other witrnesses the D’s want) Trump must waive privildge or the court has to resolve the question of Priviledge.
        That will take alot of time – even highly expedited – and Senators do not want to be in the middle of and impeachment trial for months waiting for this to get kicked through the courts.
        Where there are pretty good odds Trump will win, or Bolton’s testimony will be narrowed to the point of being useless.

        You still do not seem to get that Trump wins in a protracted process. The impeachment is boosting his fund raising and energizing his base accross the county. And dragging this out is demoralizing Democrats.

        Trump likely wants this to drag out.

        In the alternate Trump wants his own witnesses. Trump has repeatedly demanded lots of witnesses. Trump may be holding up Bolton. but he is not the obstacle to witnesses.

        You are confusing Bolton with John Dean. He is not. He is Trump’s leverage.

        Neither McConnell nor any of the rest of the senate wants Trump to drag in 6 or 7 witnesses.
        And I am sure that for every witness the House wants – Trump will demand two.

        Trump is served by dragging this out. He is also served by lots of witnesses.
        He is served if the trial is exciting – which it will not be.
        He is served if it is dull and boring – which it will be.
        He is served if people hang on Bolton’s every word – if they also listen to Hunter.
        He is served if no one tunes in at all.

        Just about the only winning scenario you have is magic happens, Bolton testifies, he does his best john Dean, and the Senate refuses to allow any Trump witnesses.

        And arguably even that serves Trump if he is acquitted – which is near certain.
        He would get a big boost from getting acquitted in a Senate Trial that appeared unfair to him.

        You really have only two viable choices – No witnesses or lots of witnesses.
        You lose both.
        And despite the political gamesmanship – even democratic senators want short.
        Pelosi caved for a reason – Senate democrats were getting angry.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 9:26 pm

        I know that was a while ago – but Wasn;’t Clinton psychophant Sandy Berger convicted of mishandling classified documents – gee isn’t there a pattern here ? And Gen. Pertreaus for having classified documents in his home – kind of like on a bathroom mail server.
        Except less dangerous.

        I do not know if there are charges or an investigation going on – but we pretty much know that Rep. Omar committed immigration fraud.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 7:09 pm

        We are all guessing at how the impeachment Trial goes.

        Interesting Rand Paul just “threatened” the rest of republicans Senators.
        He said that if there is a vote to allow the democrats to have witnesses, then he is going to require a vote to allow Trump to have witnesses.

        If Collins and other moderates vote yes to hear from democrats witnesses – they will not alienate moderates who might vote for them. But if they vote no to witness for Trump – they are unlikely to get re-elected. You can not piss on your base.

        Further if Both the house managers and Trump call witnesses, this will drag on forever.

        I think that McConnell (and I) want a short swift Trial. The right thing to do is to kick this back to the House. To say NO! to witnesses, to say you have not brought an impeachable offense. Not to bother even looking at the house record. Just as the House gets to decide what an impeachable offense is so does the Senate. The best choice for the country is for the Senate to say, we are not impeaching without an actual crime. this is not about Trump it is about the future.

        The house is free to continue their investigations. They are free to call more witnesses if the courts will allow them.

        It is not the Senates job to fix a mess created by the house. This is also the easiest out for all the assorted Senators – both democrats and republicans. If this grows to involve witnesses it will drag on longer and it will be politically harmful for exveryone – but probably more so for democrats.

      • Raymond Halyard permalink
        January 19, 2020 4:09 am

        Ron, it would be nice if Trump would constrain his tweeting and hyperbole but it ain’t going to happen. Either he is re-elected and continues to keep and increase his China Tariffs or he is defeated and the Left goes back to Free Trade and China continues her Rise to World Hegemony unconstrained. Trump, you’re our only hope!

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 2:01 pm

        “It would be nice if”…

        There is not a single president in my life time I have agreed with 100%. There is probably not a single person I have agreed with 100%.

        I will never get the perfect president.

        This is true not merely of politics but everything.

        I have lots of choices in life.
        The fact that I do not have exactly the choices I wish I had does not make me unfree.

        I do not have the perfect home, job, dog, food, ….

        But I chose each of these from those choices that are available to me – that is freedom.
        And where my choices were not as I wished and that was important – I changed the choices.

        Regardless, I do not get perfect choices.

        In Nov. 2020 we will get to chose between Trump and some democrat – Biden, Warren, Sanders, …

        We take into account the merits and flaws of each and vote.

        Trump has lots of flaws. In Nov. 2020 you get to weigh his flaws and assets against those of the democrat and choose.

        You will not get the perfect choice – ever.
        But you will get to chose.

    • John Say permalink
      January 17, 2020 8:29 pm

      Hidden in the political nonsense of the moment, the department of Defense – starting years before Trump was elected has been shifting its focus away from Russia and the Mideast to Asia and specifically China.

      Elements of this shift have surfaced in the current political mess and Trump gets some focus – as if the idea that the shift in focus to China and asia is drive purely by Trump – though it predates him significantly, even if it is still true that Trump has more publicly made that shift prominent.

      Alot of the “deep state” gamesmenship has little to do with Trump and alot to do with long term shifts in priorities, and the atendant shifts in power in washington that result.

      Our government is divided by more than left right, or neo-cons vs. doves.
      Paraded in front of the house on impeachment was a bevy of the foreign policy establishment whose power is tied to the significance of Russia as a threat to the US. Or to the mideast as a threat, or both.

      Russia has the worlds largest stockpile of nuclear weapons and ICBM’s so long as that is true they will remain a significant threat. But the cold war strategy of diminishing the USSR economically was extremely successful. Russia is a shadow of the former USSR, and economically inconsequential. Today Russian GDP is 1/10th that of China or the EU or the US. They are increasingly unable to maintain their military. There only remaining Aircraft carrier is a burnt out Hulk, While India and China have growing navies.
      Russia does not have the economic might to maintain its preeminent position as the greatest US adversary.

      But myriads within the US government – in state, in DoD etc have their lives, and their power tied to the importance of either Russia or the mideast as a threat.

      Within State, Dod, CIA, NSA, and the FBI, almost all our resources, and almost all the power and money affilated with those are tied to Either Russia or the Mideast or both.

      Not Asia, not China.

  22. John Say permalink
    January 17, 2020 3:10 pm

    Apparently the political outrage of the moment is the tiff between Sanders and Warren because Warren Alleges that Sanders told her privately that a womand can not get elected president.

    Sanders denies having said this.

    But I ask “so what” ?

    I do not think this ought to be true, and I do not think it is true.

    But Sanders is not alleged to have said “women are inferior and will not make a good president”.

    He is alleged to have said a woman can not get elected.

    MAYBE that reflects some opinion on his part that a woman SHOULD not be elected.
    More likely it reflects a view that there are just too many misogynists out there.

    Despite the fact that the country elected Barack Obama twice, there are still plenty of people on the left claiming that we live in the most racist moment in US history.

    How is the claim that the country is too mysoginst to elect a woman somehow a character flaw on Sanders part ?

    I am not trying to take sides in this spat.
    I am not a fan of either. I am just observing.

    those on the left have no argument beyond “identity politics”.
    I watched Dave Rubin interviewing a swedish libertarian and observing that this was inevitable – not specific to Warren, that the left ultimately has nowhere to go except to turn on itself.

    I am constantly comparing the progressive left to that of the USSR and Communist China.

    It is inherent that any ideology that raises equality rather than freedom to a principle, will ultimately devolve to slurring its own. Fxation over equality leads to elevating victimization to virtue, Dividing us all into victims and oppresors, If you are not a victim you must be an oppressor.

    Prominant Sanders spokes people have asserted that if Sanders is not the democratic nominee they are sitting out the election.

    • January 17, 2020 4:42 pm

      The problem is not tha a woman can not get elected president, he misspoke. It is that the current women running for president can not get elected. but he can not say that because he would be attacking his own positions if he said Warren can not get elected since they are two peas in the same pod. So now he has to deny ever saying it.

      But hell, what difference does it make if he lies about what he said or did not say. Trump lies multiple times a day and his followers don’t care, so why expect something different from the left.

      Anyone who expects their politicians to tell the truth are living in a dream world anyway.

      • John Say permalink
        January 17, 2020 8:18 pm

        I do not know what he actually said. Nor do I care much.

        One of my points is that no matter what he said unless it is quite different from anything alleged, it is NOT a reflection of personal mysoginism it is a judgement – that may or may not be accurate of societal mysogyny.

        IT is also a very interesting example of the Crossed Signals of progressivism.

        Sanders: Liz, you are a woman and you can not be president, because you are a victim of societal misogyny.

        Warren: Bernie, your recognition of my victim status and societal mysogyny makes you a mysoginyst and victimizer.

        Sanders is either right, or the nation is not so mysoginist as the left (and Warren) claim.

        When of the problems with “identity politics” cult of victimhood, is that if broad societal mysognyny is real – Warren can not be president. and if it is not, she can not be the victim she claims to be.

        I also found it very interesting that CNN particularly and much of the left presumes as fact that Bernie is lying and Liz is not. AND at the same time, Liz came away the loser and Bernie the winner.

        I do not care so much that Bernie may being lying.

        As to why it matters ?

        The conclusion that a woman can not be president because of the misogyny of OTHERS, is not inherently misogyny on the part of the person making the statement.

        This is just another example where the left conflates a conclusion about facts, with bad motives.

        I think YOU are right – Warren can not get elected President.
        If Bernie said this I think he is wrong – SOME women can get elected president.

        But whether Bernie is right or wrong, the statement is NOT a moral failing. It is either factually correct, or incorrect,
        There is no direct connection between being right or wrong about facts with moral error.

  23. Jay permalink
    January 17, 2020 8:26 pm

    The beat goes on, Ron. Dishonest politicians everywhere.

    “Former Rep Chris Collins, R-NY (the first House member to endorse Trump in 2016) has been sentenced to 26 months in prison for insider trading charges. Judge Vernon Broderick fined Collins $200,000 and a year of supervised probation upon his release. Judge Broderick said, “you had a duty and you betrayed that duty.””

    The second House member to endorse Trump was Duncan Hunter Jr., another admitted crook. Hmmmmm. Is there a pattern here? Why are so many Trump supporters (and lawyers) in jail, or facing jail? Do jail birds of a feather flock together?

    Are you sure you’re in favor of re-electing him?

    • John Say permalink
      January 17, 2020 9:26 pm

      And yet maxine waters is still free ?
      BTW there are plenty of cases against politicians of both parties.

      And Somehow Sen. Menedez got off after taking bribes for years and years.

    • John Say permalink
      January 17, 2020 9:32 pm

      I also find it interesting that in this “insider trading Scheme”. Collins informed others of the insider information – that enabled them to avoid losses of almost 768,000.

      But he did not sell his own shares – he was the largest single investor and he lost millions in his “insider trading scheme”.

      Still a crime. But I have alot more sympathy for someone who breaks the rules to help others, but allows himself to be screwed.

    • John Say permalink
      January 17, 2020 9:33 pm

      Obama was relelected despite his connections to Ayers, Blogovitch, and Rezko.

    • January 18, 2020 12:30 am

      Depends on who runs against him. There are a few red lines I will not cross. Right now I dont see any Democrat running that I will vote for. Dont even see a good Libertarian.

  24. Jay permalink
    January 17, 2020 8:36 pm

    Alan Dershowitz, the little prick (I speak from personal knowledge) announced today “Abuse of power, even if proved, is not an impeachable offense.”

    Why doesn’t he just say outright, Trump can’t be impeached for any reason as long as GOP controls the Senate.

    • John Say permalink
      January 17, 2020 9:45 pm

      “Alan Dershowitz, the little prick (I speak from personal knowledge)”

      Really ?

      You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

      I have no idea what Derschowitz said – and I do not trust you to represent anything accurately based on your past history of many misrepresentations.

      Regardless, the constitution does not subject the house or senate to any review regarding impeachment.

      Therefore what is impeachable is whatever the house and Senate decide.

      Of course if they decide badly – the voters get the final say.

      It is however correct that our founders explicitly argument AGAINST this kind of impeachment – and never has anything so baseless been attempted before.

      I would however state this differently.

      No action of a president that is constitutionally within his power is ever improper.
      i.e it is not “illegal” – regardless of your guess or even actual knowledge of his motives.

      Your guess as to bad motives does not make a constitutional use of power into an abuse.

      We already know that congress has not in the past considered blackmailing foreign govenrments by witholding military aide unconstitutional.

      We know that because Biden overtly did that, and we know he did because he publicly bragged about it.

      So either the act you THINK Trump commited was constitutional, or you are hypocritical.

      Interestingly what you most seem to fail to grasp is that there is no circumstance in which Biden;’s threat is legitimate, and Trump’s is not. But there are many instances in which Trump’s is legitimate and Biden is not.

    • January 18, 2020 12:35 am

      Would be very interesting debate between Dershowitz and Judge Napoltano.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 2:09 am

        I like Napolitano but he is not even close to Derschowitz’s legal chops.

      • January 18, 2020 9:34 am

        There are far too many lawyers in the country, and that has turned out to be a negative influence, not only on the rule of law, but on common sense.

        It’s one thing to argue an alleged violation of law based on the words and intent of the law itself, it’s another to construct an argument, whether for the prosecution or the defense, that is specifically designed to skirt the law, in order to get a politically or socially driven outcome. We see this every day in the kinds of cases that make news. Procedural technicalities often determine outcomes that fly in the face of the wording and intent of the law, and, in the case of Napolitano, who did a 180 on Trump, after Trump refused to consider him for a Supreme Court seat, in the face of the wording and intent of the Constirution.

        Lawyers and judges, as well as congressmen, should follow the law in order to determine where it leads, not pursue a predetermined outcome and search the law in order to find a way around existing law.

        James Madison was clear in his belief that presidential impeachment was solely for the purpose of high crimes and misdemeanors, not the exercise of foreign policy or lawful executive privilege.

        Dershowitz has been clear that the House failed to follow Constitutional law in this case, and recommends dismissal. Napolitano is looking for a predetermined outcome, based on his personal hatred of an individual president,and wants to see his removal.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 10:16 am

        There are too many lawyers – litterally. The internet has taken away the bread and butter of many firms large and small, the simple wills and contracts and lots and lots of basic work that people did not used to do for themselves, and lawyers were often able to charge significantly for.

        That problem will eventually clear itself.

        The fundimental problem with law started with progressives more that a century ago.

        The law was developed – from the times of Hamurabi, and Moses, through Rome to England the Magna Carte and the development of common law as a means to protect the rights of individuals.

        But starting toward the end of the 19th century it slowly became coopted as a means to advance the political goals of the earliest “class warriors”

        There is no such thing as “social justice” all rights are individual. Classes are just individuals in association. There are no black rights, or gay rights, or women’s rights – there are just the rights of individuals.

        Instead progressiveness has subordinated the individual to the class.

        The entire legal construct of a “protected class” is nonsense that nor merely violates the fundimental premise of thousands of years of legal evolution, it is antithetical to what separates humans from other animals, as well as undermining the fundimental basis of human social relations.

        To advance this class warfare nonsense, progressives have for over a century destroyed the logical foundations of law.

        Law is about morality – negative morality ONLY – “Thou shalt not”,
        Positive morality is near infinite and its judgement must be enforced outside the law.
        The foundation of morality is freedom.

        The law is understood narrowly – because everyone must know what they can and can not do clearly.

        The law itself must not only be interpretted narrowly, it must be narrow – because we are all obligated to know the constraints on our behavior.

        The law must rest on clear moral principles – universal concepts of right and wrong – which have their foundation in individual liberty – because again we are all obligated to know and follow the law – yet almost none of us have read it.

        The law is not and can not be the written codification of what some of us, many of us, even the majority of us think is right or wrong, it must rest on what nearly all of us think is right or wrong. Again we are all obligated to know and follow the law, though almost none of us have read it.

        We are judged and punished according to a written text that only a tiny portion of us are familiar with, that today even the judges and lawyers do not know all of.

        None of us have the opportunity to reference our state, or US codes before we decide how we will act. We act based on our common shared understanding of morality.

        It is the obligation of government and courts and judges and lawyers and legislators to conform our law to that near universally shared morality because that is what each of us know.

        The basic standard we are subject to is “knowing right from wrong” .
        That is what is universally understood as right and wrong,.
        Not what Jay or I or Ron or Priscilla determine is right or wrong.

        Kant’s catagorical imperative is the core of Law
        “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.”

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 10:45 am

        Fundimentally, Derschowitz is wrong about what is and is not impeachable.

        While Derschowitz is correct about the intentions of our founders – there is lots and lots of historical evidence that what is happening now is precisely what our founders wanted to avoid.

        But there is a reason that originalism is often called “textualism”.
        It is the words of the authors as understood by the people of the time that matter – that is something that we can usually establish with a high degree of accuracy, and it is always something we are free to change. To the extent that we can not divine the meaning of the law or constitution without going beyond those words, the next reference is natural law and natural rights – not the intent of the authors. Because the foundation of law and constitution is the protection of individual rights.

        Our founders did not beleive they had constructed the perfect constitution. They expected us to change it as we found it flawed.

        In the case of impeachment the critical flaw is there is no oversight, no appeal beyond the voters. We can argue what high crimes and misdemeanors means – and I think Derschowitz is absolutely right about both what it means and what our founders intended.

        He is right about what “ought” to be the requirements for impeachment.
        But there is no check on the house, except the Senate and the voters and no check on the Senate except the house and the voters.

        Derschowitz is on the wrong side of Hume’s Guilotine, you can not reason from what “ought” to what “is” – this is an extremely common error of the left.

        Our founders left no appeal to the supreme court or some other body to determine if by law and constitution the alleged acts constituted and impeachable offense.

        I would further note that by fixating on the wrong thing Derschowitz misses the most fundimental flaw in this faux impeachment.

        That is that the failure of due process, the star chamber approach is really what is wrong with it.

        The Senate makes a huge mistake in actually holding a trial. What they should do is return this to the house.

        Much is made of the fact that the Senators are jurors – but they are more than that – they are also the judges.

        That means THEY function not only as a jury but as a judge.
        That means they rule not merely on the facts, but also the law.

        There is no appeal to the supreme court. There is no other party beyond the voters who will determine the law regarding impeachment.

        The proper response of the senate is to rule on the LAW first.

        That is where Derschowitz’s argument has weight.

        The Senate is Free to tell the house:

        You have not forwarded an impeachable offense and we will not consider it.

        Or,
        You have not established a prima fascia case – investigation is the duty of the house not the senate. If your case is insufficient and you need more witnesses – go back to the house and take their testimony. The Senate is the trial court and the law requires a prosecutor bring his case fully formed to trial. Investigations are conducted by prosecutors, and law enforcement and grand juries not judges and petit juries.

        Or
        You have not followed due process, and we are returning this mess to you and will not accept articles of impeachment that were produced from a star chamber.

        One of the most fundimentally stupid portions of all the house arguments, such as that over witnesses, is that the issue is NOT witnesses. It is entirely about the house controlling the senate. Nothing precluded the house from getting any witnesses testimony that does not equally preclude the senate. The real argument is not about witnesses.
        It is about getting the Senate to try to clean up a mess than the house made.

        I like Derschowitz, I like Napalitano I do not like McConnell, ultimately I do not like Trump either.

        But what is right and wrong is not determined by who I like or dislike.
        In this instance McConnell is right.

        It is very important for the Senate to throw this back at the House on essentially a legal basis not a factual basis.

        If the Senate does not establish what is and is not impeachable, and what is and is not due process, then only the voters are left as a check and absent the anhilation of the democratic party in November we will see that become common in the future.

      • January 18, 2020 12:13 pm

        I agree with you on this, Dave. The House, and Pelosi in particular, is behaving in a rogue manner. My honest belief is that this will ultimately destroy constitutional order (if it’s not already destroyed). If voters continue to elect leftists who want to transform our republic into a socialist shithole, that’s what we’re going to end up with in a relatively short time, maybe a generation.

      • January 18, 2020 2:57 pm

        Priscilla, pelosi is a shrewd politician. She waited to allow the house to impeach. She looked at the calendar and decided at what date would it be wise to send the articles to the senate. She knows Sanders, Warren and the other senators running had little chance of defeating Trump. She knows that Biden is the “swamp democrats” best chance of defeating Trump. Even though he is a leftest, he is less so than the other major candidates.So after reviewing alk the calendar days congress is in session, she made her decision based on keeping Warren and Sanders in D.C during the Iowa caucus process and possibly New Hampshire, leaving the campaigning to Biden

        The only thing she can’t control is the weather.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 9:04 pm

        I do not think Pelosi is shrewd. I think she is stupid and is presiding over the destruction of the democratic party.

        Sanders voters have announced that if he is not nominated they are sitting the election out.

        Democrats are as angry with each other as they are with republicans – possibly more so.

        The Sanders Warren feud is stupid political theater.
        It appears to have hurt warren, but it does not help Biden.

        Neither Warren nor Sanders can win – they will be obliterated by Trump.

        And Biden can not lose ANY of their voters, and Sanders/Warren voters are highly unenthusiastic about Biden.

        There is not a democratic candidate that can actually unite democrats – much less attract moderates.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 9:00 pm

        Just to be clear, I think what is going on is very very very stupid on the part of the democrats.

        It likely will bight them in the ass in the 2020 election, but even if it does not it will bite them in the ass in the future.

        The senate through away the rules under Reid, beleiving somehow they would be in power forever.

        McConnell has screwed them taking advantage of the changes they made.

        Pelosi has run the most hyperpartisan lawless house ever.

        I am increasingly expecting that democrats are losing the house in 2020.

        There are purportedly 90 democratic seats that are in districts that are not out of reach for republicans in 2020. I beleive Republicans need to pick up 18 to win the house.

        I would have said they would get close but fail in June. Today I think a red wave is possible in the house.

        There are LOTS of qualified FEMALE republicans running in 2020.

      • Jay permalink
        January 18, 2020 6:58 pm

        Aside from an instinctual knee-jerk reaction to fault anyone who recognizes Trump for the asshole he is, what proof do you have Napolitano‘s opinion is based on scorned lover syndrome?

        Dozens of former conservative Republicans of note have voiced opinions matching Napolitano’s – none have been denied or wanted Trump patronage. They are the ‘woke’ ones who quickly recognized the dangers a mentally morally unstable pompous moron as president presented to the nation. Why do you assume the Judge hasn’t come to his senses, like so many other savvy conservatives?

        Back when Trump first started primary campaigning, from your own early Trump reservations, I thought you too would soon become a never-trumper. Alas, Trump Cult Fever consumed you, dizzying your judgement; alack, my sorrow seeing you dissolve in Trump befuddlement like the Wicked Witch puddling in Wizard of Oz is saddening. Thank goodness salving Irish Whiskey awaits…

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:41 pm

        No dozens of credible conservatives have NOT backed Napalitano.

        Napolitano is a nice guy, he is a libertarian not a conservative.
        But he is neither an intellectual. legal or constutional giant.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:43 pm

        The wonderful descriptive adjectives you use are only appropriate in two places – fiction or defamation.

        They are not a legitimate part of argument or legal discussion.

        Insulting people and calling them names is not argument, it is just a reflection that you have no argument.

      • January 19, 2020 9:28 am

        “Napolitano told friends in 2017 that President Donald Trump has told him he was considering Napolitano for a United States Supreme Court appointment should there be a second vacancy.[4] Ultimately, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was chosen instead.” from Wikipedia

        “People familiar with the president’s thinking dismissed the idea that Napolitano is being considered for a Supreme Court nomination. “The president already has a list of highly qualified contenders for future SCOTUS openings, and Judge Napolitano is not on it,” said a person close to the White House.” from Politico

        There is a belief that Napolitano turned on Trump, because he thought Trump lied to him about the SCOTUS appointment. I’m not sure if he did or not, but Napolitano’s transformation into a never-Trumper was very abrupt, and seemed to coincide with reports that he expected an appointment So, who knows?

        Hope you enjoyed that Irish Whiskey.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 2:10 pm

        I like Napolitano. He was a NJ Superior court judge.

        I would consider him for a federal judge. I would NOT consider him for a federal appelate judge. I would never consider him for the supreme court.

        He is NOT an impressive legal scholar or analyst.

        While he has a strong libertarian bent, he does not have the intellectual foundations required for federal appelate work.

        It is not necescary to aggree with someone entirely to like them.
        Nor is it necescary to agree with someone 100% to strongly support them.

        I have not been impressed by Kavanaugh. I have been highly impressed by Gorsuch.

        But Gorsuch has been wrong on several major decisions where Kavanaugh is right.

        I have the same relationship to Thomas. He is by far the most libertarian member of the court. Many of his dissents have been amazing. At the same time he has been absolutely completely totally and stupidly wrong about alot of things.

    • Jay permalink
      January 18, 2020 4:08 pm

      “ You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

      Have you no sense of attribution, sir?

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 9:05 pm

        I owe you nothing Joe.

  25. John Say permalink
    January 18, 2020 11:17 am

    This is the normal trreatment that Whistleblowers get in the Federal government.

    They are retaliated against, fired or forced to resign, often blacklisted from future jobs,
    publicly vilified, and what did Mr. Moyer do ?

    Reported FIRST HAND waste and Fraud in the federal government – precisely what the WB statute protects.
    Yet here an Obama appointed IG who is clearly a toady of the department she is supposed to be investigating, is actively involved in punishing rather than protecting the WB.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/01/17/a_tale_of_two_whistleblowers_one_protected_one_not_142183.html

    • John Say permalink
      January 18, 2020 11:22 am

      Jay, this is the kind of garbage that results from your nonsense that we can presume right and wrong based on the who rather than the facts.

      We end up with government that decides what is true based on who they are affiliated with, rather than the facts.

      I do not know Moyer. It does appear the claim that his books leaked Classified information is a spurious effort at retaliation, given that it was published while he was an academic and did not have a clearance.

      Moyer might well be a bad person – though I suspect that is not the case.
      He may be a wife beater, a theif, ….

      The fundimental question regards the facts of his allegations.

  26. John Say permalink
    January 18, 2020 11:55 am

    Turley excellent as nearly always.

    The point – and an important one, is that if the Senate allows itself to be used to fix the shoddy job done by the House, it will find itself in the future constantly doing so.

    Turley’s suggestion that The senate set a trial schedule sounds excellent. That is what normally occurs in an ordinary Trial. The court determines the time the trial will take and each side is given half that time.

    The Senate could say – the Trial will take 3 or 4 weeks, House managers can present there evidence as they wish – witnesses, arguments, whatever, They have two weeks to make and rest their case – after which the President has two weeks for his.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/477818-how-the-house-destroyed-its-own-case-for-the-trump-impeachment

    • Jay permalink
      January 18, 2020 4:24 pm

      “ fix the shoddy job done by the House”

      Fix your brain – the Senate/Trump refused to allow witnesses to testify and refused to turn over requested evidence. Why do you continue to ignore that? Because you don’t want more negative evidence to come out? If Bolton or others had information that would exonerate Trump, you think Trump/Senate would have suppressed it? What part of DUH don’t you understand?

      And point to any impeachment that announced a fixed time in which it would be conducted.

      • January 18, 2020 5:32 pm

        Jay, again your TDS is getting in your way of clear and logical thinking.
        1. The constitution says nothing about executive privilege.
        2. Almost every president has claimed executive privilege, even though it was not identified as such until the Eisenhower administration.
        3. Few decisions by the courts have come to conclusion on EP since most all cases are considered more of a political argument than constitutional or legal arguements.
        4. Any president is going to receive information from the office of Attorney General and other legal experts to resist most any request from congress which contains communications between staff, advisors and the president.
        5. Once the door is opened by any president to freely share executive communucations, it cant be closed. Just the mere fact that an advisor many communicate something that is found to be illegal and never acted on could become a noose around a future presidents reelection neck.

        Getting back to your “complaint”. If witnesses are important, then congress should have subpoened those witnesses, let Trump claim EP, gone to court and obtained a ruling. They have not done that, so for me, the House prosecutors go to the senate with what they have developed in the house and let the chips fall where they may.

        This is not like a civil trial where some information is taken to the grand jury that says there is enough evidence for a trial. Impeachment develops the info, the house creates articles based on that evidence and the house presents that evidence to the senate trial. The house had Nixon and Clinton by the gonads and no live witnesses ever appeared before the senate. Yes Nixon resigned, but no one was going to testify.

      • Jay permalink
        January 18, 2020 5:46 pm

        There is a lot of disagreement with your impeachment reasoning, Ron. Here’s one:

        https://www.lawfareblog.com/senate-impeachment-trial-call-witnesses-or-concede-facts

      • January 18, 2020 6:37 pm

        That is the dang problem. Congress does not want the responsibility. All they want to do is bitch like 2 year olds when things don’t go their way and take credit for things that go good.

        They need to take this crap to court, stay there for years if they have to to get a final ruling, SCOTUS if they have to and find out where their responsibility begins and their bitching ends.

        Right now everyone has an opinion, none of them have legal standing and depending if your a democrat or republican, TDS or Trump supporter or any one of many political thinkers, everyone has a different opinion.

        I will never change yours, you will never change mine. And that is where the political parties are. To hell with what is good for the country, just give the parties something to piss and moan about so they have something they can run on where they don;t have to commit to anything.

        It took Obama over three years of fighting the fast and furious stuff and once he left office and Issa left office, any legislation Issa introduced based on fast and furious died in congress,

        Pelosi and the Democrats have done a terrible job of this impeachment crap and now she is using every trick in the book to get Biden all the help she can give him by making sure his opponents are stuck in Washington during the opening primaries. Even a blind man can see her play book clearly. She had nothing in her hearings, so she is using this to support Biden and cover trump with as much negative press as possible, Had she wanted a true impeachment, they would have demanded witnesses in the house and gone to court to get them.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:38 pm

        This is not helping Biden.

        Though honestly Democrats are in deep shit.

        Biden has only not died in the primary because the alternatives are worse.

        The democratic debates thus far have pretty much made sure – no democrat will get elected.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:23 pm

        Your citing lawfare ?

        i.e. Warfare by legal means ?

        These people are not credible. They have been trying to warp the law for years.

        Regardless the argument is nonsenes – the burden of proof is ALWAYS on the moving party, not the defendent.

        That is why, the defendent has a near absolute right to have relevant witnesses in civil and criminal cases.

        You seem to think that McConnell is trying to protect Trump – that is a ludicrously stupid claim. If McConnell allows the house to call NEW witnesses, he is going to tie up the Senate forever. Almost no one – not republicans not democrats wants that.
        If the house calls witnesses – Trump is going to call a raft of witnesses – and Trump has more of a right to witnesses than Schiff.
        Trump is itching to call lots of witnesses.

        What you are facing is McConnell telling Trump – if the house has no witnesses and you have no witnesses we can get to the inevitable outcome in a few days.

        If there are lots of witnesses the senate is bogged down for weeks.

        And just to be clear – that is not that strong an argument.
        Trump wants this circus probably more than Schiff does.
        Hell Trump wants to call Schiff.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:31 pm

        And your “lawfare” buddies doe not seem to understand what a Trial is.

        It is NOT an investigation.

        In both civil and criminal trials all the witnesses have been interviewed, usually deposed BEFORE the trial. The moving party must be able to present evidence the day the trial starts sufficient to allow the court to proceed to the first witness.

        Most every proceeding – criminal or civil faces a motion to dismiss as the first thing.

        to survive a motion to dismiss the moving party must show, by the evidence it already has that it can establish all the elements required by the law to make its case.

        In addition to surviving a motion to dismiss it must survive often multiple motions in liminee,
        Motions to limit the evidence it is allowed to present. As an example evidence from an illegal search is barred.
        Then as each witness is called either party must survive motions to bar or limit their testimony, Hearsay is not permitted. Statements of opinion are not allowed except from acknowledge experts who survive the dalbert test.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:35 pm

        It is this kind of crap that irritates us about the left.

        The fact that you can find someone to say that the sun will not rise tomorow does NOT mean it is an actual point of contention.

        We do have an issue – because the left has so poluted the courts that way too many judges will listen to and even follow nonsense that never would have been allowed to get argued decades ago. Forcing the supreme court to bitch slap the lower courts for stupidity repeatedly.

        regardless this article is IYI nonsense – intellectual yet idiot.

        Are you blind to the fact that both Turley and Deschowitz are prominent DEMOCRATS, LIBERALS. They are among the best legal scholars on the LEFT.
        And they are telling you this is all BS.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:04 pm

        You are correct that executive priviledge is not found anywhere in the constitution.

        But guess what else is not found anywhere in the constitution ?
        The congresses oversight power.

        There is no explicit constitutional authority for the president to refuse a congressional supbpeona.
        There is no explicit constitutional authority for congress to subpeona anyone.

        Both power exist essentially as part of the necescary and proper clause.

        “The Supreme Court confirmed the legitimacy of this doctrine in United States v. Nixon in the context of a subpoena emanating from the judiciary, instead of emanating from Congress.[3] The Court held that there is a qualified privilege, which once invoked, creates a presumption of privilege, and the party seeking the documents must then make a “sufficient showing” that the “presidential material” is “essential to the justice of the case”. Chief Justice Warren Burger further stated that executive privilege would most effectively apply when the oversight of the executive would impair that branch’s national security concerns.[3] ”

        SCOTUS has never ruled on executive priviledge in the context of a congressional subpeona, but the presumption is that the court will give congress LESS power than a subpeona from a court in a criminal case.

        Neither congress nor the president has in the past been willing to fight a congressional subpeona all the way to the supreme court.

        The executive does not want to see a broad ruling against executive priviledge, and the congress does not want to see a broad ruling in favor of it.

        Almost always something is worked out before getting to SCOTUS.

        Congress gets less than it wants, and the president give more than he wants.

      • January 18, 2020 10:46 pm

        “Congress gets less than it wants, and the president give more than he wants.”

        you also made my point!

        But congress gets everything it wants. No responsibility and ability to bitch when they play the game and appear to be losing.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 11:29 pm

        When I said Congress gets less than it wants – I meant from the courts.

        Your comment is correct, but it has nothing to do with the law or constitution.

      • January 19, 2020 12:56 am

        Dave, What I keep saying matches somewhat with your comments.

        if anyone is unhappy with the way things are handled by congress, create a law to fix the problem.

        Jay complains just like the democrats that say Trump is putting a road block in their dog and pony show.

        Republicans complained they could not get info on Fast and Furious. That Obama was putting a road block in their efforts to deligitimize the administration. At least Darrell Issa introduced legislation that past the house, but died in the senate.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 1:53 pm

        I do not want to appear glib about the difficulty in changing the law or worse the constitution,
        That is difficult – it is supposed to be. Obama had to break all the rule to cram PPACA through and SCOTUS had to rewrite the rules, and after it was law, Obama had to act outside the law to continue to keep it propped up.

        It is supposed to be hard to make law, to change law, to change the constitution.
        And it should be hard to sustain new laws.

        As much as change is incredibly important for the future – change in government should be excrutiatingly difficult.

        This is also part of my opposition to this faux moderate compromise culture.

        I am generally opposed to things that make changing the law or creating new law easier.

        We do need to change the law at times. but it needs to be slow changes, and usually quite small changes. We really should never want radical change involving people with guns.

        The actual rule of law means that government enforces all the laws, with the least discretion possible. purpotedly bad laws, purportedly good laws alike.
        The enforcement of bad laws provokes the opposition that results in their change.
        But we must enforce them to get there.
        Bad laws that are enforced with discretion are dangerous – the excercise of discretion in government is power, it is the power to punish enemies and reward freinds.
        Government should not have that power.

        So all laws must be enforced even bad ones to have the rule of law.

        Next laws must be understood narrowly.
        IF a law is too narrow – it is always possible for the legislature to rewrite the law.
        But if a law is understood too broadly – no one can know what is legal or what is not.
        Law enforcement can not know, the people can not know, the courts can not be sure.

        Laws must correspond to near universal constructs of morality – negative morality – thou shalt not.

        Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

        John Adams

        This is NOT some endorsement of specific religion. But it is fundimental.

        We assert that ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
        That assertion rests on the foundation that all of us share a fundimental understanding of morality, or right and wrong.

        There are two critical facets to that.
        The first is that law outside those moral foundations is inherently lawless. People do not obey the law because it is law. Most people do not even know what the law is. But they know what is right and wrong.

        The law must reflect our intrinsic understanding of right and wrong – it can not drive it.
        The law can not be used to CHANGE morality, to encourage what one group thinks is good . It must reflect what nearly all of us intuitively think is good.

        Conversely as our understanding of right and wrong change – the law must change – slowly.
        In areas such as race, gender, sexual orientation, our understanding of right and wrong is changing – and the law is changing to reflect that.
        But the change in our concepts of right and wrong must come first.

        Further, Adam’s remarks point to the failure of arrangements without moral foundations.
        There are many many reasons that socialism and communism do not work.
        But one major one is that communism and socialism have little moral foundation – they are actively hostile to religion and sometimes morality.

        If you undermine peoples moral foundations – if you undermine their intuitive understanding of right and wrong, you make them ungovernable.

        While positive morality – duty has little place in government, because a government sufficiently powerful to enforce “thou shalt” is all encompassing, the proscription of negative morality – the enforcement of thou shalt not is as Adams notes a requirement to be able to govern.

        Men do NOT abide by the law, they abide by their intuitive concepts of right and wrong.
        Undermine those and men are ungovernable.

      • January 19, 2020 4:31 pm

        One of the real problems is we have too many laws that presidents can have staff dig up from years ago and then issue E.O’s . For instance, the fair labor act was passed in 1938. Based on Obama administration interpretations, he issued an E.O. that covered salaried employees in 2014.

        Right now, presidents can ” make law” without congress because too many loop holes exist in existing kaws to allow this crap to happen.

        You can bet the next democrat president will be Obama on steroids with EO’s, from environmental issues to wage issues.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:15 pm

        There are no grand juries in civil trials.

        In all court proceedings – civil or criminal the moving party – the prosecution of plantif, is going to face a motion to dismiss at the very start of the proceeding.

        That motion would be perfectly approriate here.
        A motion to dismiss is granted when the evidence provided to the court by the moving party does not ALREADY establish every element of the crime if that evidence is unrebutted in trial.

        The plantiff or prosecutor must ALWAYS come to court able to provide evidence of every element of their case in cheif. If they can not there case is dismissed.

        There are complexitites in trying to apply the criminal civil model to a senate trial.

        At some point in criminal and civil cases jeophary applies, that means that if the plantif of prosecutor fails, they can not return to court later with the same claim.

        But there is no such thing as jeophardy in impeachment.

        It is perfectly proper for the Senate to say to the house managers – if your case needs more withnesses, then we are dismissing.

        You are free to come back after you have had those witnesses testify.

        The house can impeach on a daily basis, and the senate can dismiss until the house brings them something worth procedding on.

        This entire fight is NOT about witnesses – if the courts allow Bolton to testify – he is going to testify somewhere sometime.

        This is about controlling the Senate proceeding. McConnell is almost certainly NOT going to allow Pelosi to dictate how the Senate is run.

      • Jay permalink
        January 18, 2020 6:02 pm

        As to Exec privilege in an impeachment investigation, a federal judge ruled it didn’t apply to Clinton aides called to testify in the Lewinsky scandal.

        You probably remember Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr refuted exec privilege for Clinton, arguing “absolutely no one is above the law” and evidence “must be turned over” to prosecutors if it is relevant to an investigation.

        Now he’s going to argue the opposite as Trump’s lawyer to the same requests.

      • January 18, 2020 6:41 pm

        You just made my point! Not only are there people who argue on either side of the coin because no firm ruling has ever been made and especially ruled on by SCOTUS, we have people arguing out of both sides of their mouths based on who is paying them.

        Do you not agree that some clarification is required?

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:49 pm

        There are plenty of times lower courts have found against executive priviledge and plenty they have found for it.

        A claim of executive priviledge regarding Lewinsky would have failed because the courts standards to support executive priviledge are either a national security matter – communications between National Security Advisor Bolton and President Trump regarding military aide to the Ukraine meet all the requirements for priviledge.
        Or critical to the functioning of the administration.
        Communications between Clinton and aides regarding Lewinsky do not come close to meeting either.

        Regardless, Starr went to COURT to get that testimony and prevailed.
        The house did not.
        The COURT decided, not Starr as IC, not the house.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 8:53 pm

        House democrats have alleged NO violation of the law.

        Trump is not above actual law.
        Whether he is required to comply with the demands of the house is a question for the courts.
        Who get to decide what the actual law is and whether it is the house or the president who must comply.

        The final authority on the law is the courts – ultimately SCOTUS – not Pelosi or the house democrats.

        BTW this is all like 6th grade civics.

        What is disturbing is that our education is so poor that most of the country is completely clueless. That is a fault of our public education – not the people.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 9:07 pm

        Arguments over executive priviledge will be made in the courts, not the senate.
        The senate has no more right to call whatever witnesses it wishes than the house.
        It will not be Trump’s legal team arguing in court – it will be the white house counsel.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 7:27 pm

        Since the founding of the country disputes over what the executive must share with congress are settled by the courts.

        And only the clueless beleive that congress always gets what they want.

        Why did Trump not give the house what they wanted ? Why didn;t Rosenstein, Obama, Older ?….

        I will support a broad oversight authority for congress. I will give them more than the courts currently allow, I will agree to change the law if necescary.

        But I will not support this nonsense that ANY branch of government is free to do whatever it pleases.

        We have courts specifically to determine what the executive must give the house.

        The house refused to make use of the courts. In a recent case before the courts brought by an administration member seeking the courts permission to testify despite assertions of executive priviledge.

        The DC courts found for Trump, They might have found for him regardless, but the court found quickly and easily for Trump and made it clear that the decision was quick and easy – because the house was not even present in court.

        If you want something from the president and you do not even bother to show up in court

        The problem is YOURS.

        Yes, The house did a shoddy Job.

        My Guess is that if the house had pressed its case – it would have gotten MOST of the documents it asked for and most of the witness.

        I suspect that they would have been Denied Bolton and his aide, as well as Mulvaney or severly restructed in what they could ask – because there is a long history of the courts accepting claims of executive priviledge for white house staff and testimony of their conversations with the president.

        If you do not like that – change the law, or the constitution. Maybe I will join you.

        But it is NEVER illegal for the president to defy congress until the courts say it is.

        The president does not rule congress, he directs the executive.
        Congress does not rule the executive, they pass laws, allocate funds and conduct oversite.

        And the courts – not Nancy Pelosi sort out the desputes.

        If Trump or ANY PRESIDENT – refuses to follow a FINAL court order – of any kind.
        I will join you in demanding the removal.
        I will join you even if I beleive the courts decision was WRONG.

        But the house did not go to court.

        BTW why do you beleive that Trump is going to give the Senate witnesses or documents that he refused to give the house ?

        The Senate has no more power to demand witnesses or documents than the house.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 7:42 pm

        We have listend to this nonsense from you for 3 years – that whatever it is that is just outside your reach at the moment will prove to be the “bombshell” that will prove whatever idiotic thing you are fixated on.

        First it is highly unlikely that Bolton will testify to anything except that Trump’s forien policy is not hawkish enough for him. Boulton is NOT going to be your “John Dean”

        But lets presume that magically Bolton gives you something.
        What is it that you think he is going to say ?
        That but for the WB Trump would have held the money indefinitely ?
        That he has first hand knowledge that Trump said – Open investigations into 2016 corruption or you do not get the money ?

        The odds of your getting those are just about zero.

        But EVEN IF YOU DID – you still do not have enough.

        Numerous people – including Derschowitz have noted that GAO (an office of congress) is wrong. The house does NOT control foreign policy.
        That any interpretation of the alw or constitution that makes Trump’s acts improper makes those of Biden and Obama and Clinton Criminal.

        The so called “iran deal” is a treaty without the approval of congress.
        It spent money that the house and senate did not authorize.

        You are trying to push water up a hill with a seive.

        Your own most egregious claim is that Trump did something that you do not like that presidents are constitutionally permitted to do.

        If you got all the evidence you want – the best you will get is – Trump did something you do not like that he was allowed to do.

        It is likely that the courts would treat the houses requests for witnesses and documents seriously in the context of impeachment. But absent an actual allegation of a crime, you are still likely to lose in court against Executive privilege.

        Your are not only on the wrong side of this legally, but you are going to lose congress if you keep it up.

        BTW it is likely Not Trump precluding witnesses in the Senate – it is McConnell (and many senators, and so long as they do not have to publicly vote that way likely many democrats.

        Trump wants witnesses. Unlike The House – he is actually entitled to them.

        The prosecution is required to bring its case to the court fully formed – or risk immediate dismissal.

        You do not get into court with a sham case begging the courts to start the trial while you investigate in the court room.

      • John Say permalink
        January 18, 2020 7:53 pm

        You seem to think that following the law in a prosecution is optional.

        If the house wants certain witnesses and documents – if it can persuade the courts – it will get those. If it can not – the Senate will not get them either.

        The only obstacle between the house managers and the witnesses they want – is the house itself and the courts.

        Go to court and see if you can get the witnesses and documents you want.

        No one is stopping you.

        What is being opposed is making the Senate into a circus, and impeachment into a joke.

        You say that someone is afraid of what these witness will say.
        But if you thought they were important – why didn’t the house go to court to get them ?

        If the houses case is strong enough to impeach without them, then why are these witnesses needed now ?

        Democrats in the house had the power to decide when they thought their case was strong enough to bring to the Senate. And they did so.
        If the House is having second thoughts – ask the senate for a delay – they are going to give it to you – because the house can always impeach twice – and go to the courts and get your witnesses and documents if you can.

        But quit wasting the nations and the senates time on political game playing.

        “And point to any impeachment that announced a fixed time in which it would be conducted.”

        All of them. In every prior impeachment the senate set the rules that the house managers had to follow.

        The senate has NEVER given the house managers carte blanche to consume as much senate time as they wished.

        The senate always controls its own time – just as the house does.

        BTW it is the left that keeps insisting that the Impreachment trial is like a normal criminal or civil trial. It is pretty routine for the court to tell the parties how much time they have to make their case.

      • January 19, 2020 9:37 am

        “Kenneth Starr refuted exec privilege for Clinton, arguing “absolutely no one is above the law” and evidence “must be turned over” to prosecutors if it is relevant to an investigation.

        Now he’s going to argue the opposite as Trump’s lawyer to the same requests.”

        Yes, Jay, and the WH has said that his role is to define and differentiate the appropriate uses of executive privilege.

        Clinton was trying to invoke it to protect his private personal behavior in the Oval Office, i.e. having a sexual relationship with an intern. This is not protected by executive privilege.

        Trump is protecting private conversations with his advisors, involving classified information and foreign affairs. There is very ample precedent for him to do so, going back to George Washington.

        So, Starr’s argument should be very relevant and not contradictory.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 2:39 pm

        Trump has not been accused by the house of violating the law.

        Starr is not making contradictory arguments.

        Starr was engaged in an actual criminal investigation.
        Further in the Clinton impeachment that Clinton committed crimes was absolutely beyond any doubt. He had perjured himself multiple times. He had successfully suborned perjury, and he had obstructed justice. Further he did all these things – not in the context of thwarting Starr’s IC investigation. but in the context of a civil case alleging sexual harrassment.

        I think SCOTUS made a huge mistake allowing that case to proceed while Clinton was president. But they did.

        Clinton fought Starr and congress tooth an nail over access to documents and witnesses.
        Each of these contests went to court. Mostly the courts decided in Starr’s favor.
        If there had been no underlying crime it is unlikely Starr would have prevailed as much.

        Starr never alleged misconduct on the part of Clinton for fighting him every step of the way, for demanding that the court hear every objection and obstacle that Clinton could raise.

        The house rejected every article of impeachment that was based on political conflicts with congress or excercising legal rights.

        The giant problem with the Clinton impeachment was that no presidential actions were involved. All Clinton’s misconduct was that of Bill Clinton, not the president.
        The impeachment was based on the expectation that one who is criminal in their personal conduct can not be expected to be trustworthy in their official conduct.
        This was particularly true of perjury.

        Conversely the entire impeachment of Trump is about politics. it is about the constitutional roles and powers of the president and the house.

        There is no underlying crime alleged.

        There are two core disputes in this impeachment – both are fundimentally constitutional disputes, not crimes.

        The first is that the constitution delagate all foreign policy except declarations of war and treaties to the president, BUT it places control of the purse primarily with the house.

        There is an obvious constitutional conflict there.

        So the question is constitutionally how much independent control of funding in the area of foreign policy does the president and the house have.

        That is the main question.
        There are complications because the funds in question were delivered as required by congress and when required by congress. While they were delayed – relative to how quickly they could theoretically be delivered, they were still provided when they were required to be.
        Further, the law regarding these funds REQUIRED that the president assure congress that Ukrainian corruption was addressed before delivering the funds.
        One of the things John Solomon has reported on recently which is likely to come up in impeachment. is that while Zelensky ran on a strong anticorruption platform, ukraine is one of the most corrupt nations in the world – and Zelensky himself had ties to several corrupt oligarches and politicians some of whom are still in his administration.
        There are myriads of queries in state, and intelligence questioning whether Zelensky was “the real deal” regarding thwarting ukrainian corruption.
        There is legitimate reason for State, DoD OMB to question Zelensky’s committment to fighting corruption.

        Solomon also noted one other factor – with two facets.

        Ukrainian prosecutors re-opened the Burisma case in Febriary 2019 – before Zelensky was elected, and 6 months before the Trump phone call. That investigation has continued and expanded since and is ongoing at the moment.

        Essentially Trump asked Zelensky for something Zelensky was already doing.

        There can be no QPQ. It is not possible.

        The other question that arises from this is why Trump was not told that the Burisma investigation was already taking place.

        There is lots more on Ukraine that the press has failed to pay much attention to.
        Solomon noted that Most of his reporting on Ukraine is actually confirmed by the testimony of the witnesses that appeared in the house impeachment investigation.

        Solomon said that Ukraine is going the way of Trump Russia. The narative being sold is false. The evidence to establish that already exists, and that some of that is likely to reach public attention during the impeachment trial, but all of it will likely come out eventually.

        Ukraine will prove to be another democrat/deep state witch hunt. With nearly all the same players.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 2:52 pm

        Sorry I forget the 2nd article of impeachment – that is about a pure power struggle between the executive and the congress.

        This nonsense that Trump’s refusal to provide witnesses and documents is meaningful is trying to elevate the normal relationship between congress and the executive to a high crime or misdemeanor.

        Starr did not claim Clinton’s court battles were obstruction of abuse of power.
        He claimed that Clinton’s efforts to suborn perjury were.

        Starr’s arguments in court were NOT that Clinton;’s taking him to court constituted a crime.
        His argument was that he was investigating a crime, and that took precidence over executive priviledge. MOSTLY the courts agreed.
        But the mere act of opposing Starr in court was NOT abuse of power.
        Nor would Starr allege that.

        The 2nd article is a common leftist fallacy.
        Jay prays it constantly here – it is pretty much universal to Jay’s comments.

        You can not reason from “I beleive you are wrong about a fact, a law, or a choice” to “your disagreement with me is a crime or moral failure”

        False moral accusations are a moral failure, and sometimes a crime. Disagrements over fact, law, of a decision, are not inherently moral failures or crimes – not even if you are wrong.

        Trump is free to fight congress over documents and witnesses all the way to the supreme court. He violates no law, nor fails morally – until he loses in the supreme court AND still refuses to do as order.

        This is exactly the same stupidity as Jay’s:
        I disagree with Trump, you agree, therfore you are immoral.

        Even if jay was right about the facts, the law or the decision – which is almost never the case.
        factual error, legal error poor choices are not inherently moral failures.

  27. January 18, 2020 6:27 pm

    This is frightening, but exactly the kind of thing that the left has done in the past. Governor Blackface Northam declared a state of emergency, in advance of a peaceful protest, and Antifa has announced that they will be there to “protect” against the protesters, just like they did in Charlottesville, and caused the death of a young woman. I thought it was odd that Northam declared an emergency….

    In addition to this post, check out the Facebook page of Virginia state senator Amanda Chase, a Republican who has realized the set up. (You’ll need to follow her, in order to read all of her posts, but you can unfollow right after), but here is one:

    “Sadly, I am posting this, knowing that the Governor of Virginia has declared a State of Emergency in our state.

    I want you to be aware of how we are being set up.

    Does the Patriot Act ring a bell?

    Does the National Defense Authorization Act ring a bell?

    If people show up wearing any kind of uniform, patch or other symbol on their clothing signifying they belong to a militia and something goes wrong, you could/will be held as a domestic terrorist.

    If anyone steps out of line, all it takes is one person, it may even be a government plant….if that plant does anything to disrupt the rally, you could/will be arrested as a domestic terrorist.

    The Governor, using the media has already set the stage for this to happen.
    He has already laid the groundwork to make the entire movement look like insurrection.

    It will be used to put the rest of the nation on notice of what will happen to you, if you resist.”

    Look at the chain link fencing plan. If violence breaks out, there will be very little chance of escape. And if Antifa is there, violence will break out.

    Just like Charlottesville.
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/01/18/beware-virginia-a-remarkable-confluence-of-events/#more-181209

    • John Say permalink
      January 18, 2020 7:13 pm

      As I recall the protestors have nothing to do with the groups at Charollettesville.
      These are people protesting the new VA Gun laws.

      Aparently there are 5 counties in VA that want to change to being part of W Va as part of these new laws.

      The protestors are all aware they are being set up.

      You can say what you will about the demonstrators at Charlottesville, but they followed the law, they got a permit, while they came prepared to defend themselves, they did not initiate the violence. The Charlottesville Police and the State law enforcement “stood down” allowing the protestors to be attacked by Antifa and counter protestors who did not have a permit.

      To be clear I am not opposed to counter protestors – but if you were in front of the barricades – you are a violent criminal not a counter protestor.

      Then after making these groups run the guantlet of counter protestors, the goveronr canceled the event before it started – leaving all the marchers trapped in the square surrounded by voilent counter protestors, and having to run the guantlet again to get out – this time with even less police protection that before.

      And somehow the media and the left fixated on the fact that some paranoid 20 something lost his cool in the midst of state sponsored chaos and got lost and ran his car through a gaggle of counter protestors who were throwing things at him, and some woman had a heart attack and so he was charged with murder.

      This time – we have pro gun groups, not alt-right groups.
      And they are not allowed to wear helmets or bring sheilds – like the right to self defense has been obliterated in this country.

      At Charlottesville the only group that kept things from completely going to hell was the NY Militia – not an alt-right group, who MOSTLY kept the counter protestors from the protestors.

      Otherwise there would have been far more injuries.

      VA seems intend on assuring that if you protest their unconstitutional laws – you get the crap beat out of you.

      But whats new – we see this in Seattle and California and Boston and Especially Oregon.

      Andrew Ngo a reporter whose crime was publishing photo’s of Antifa doing bad things hospitalized with a severe concussion by several of these thugs – who were caught on multiple cameras and have long ago been identified.
      Portland Police are “investigating” but no charges have been filed yet – and the attack is more than a year old, and like the whistleblower everyone knows who did it.

      Our left leaders do not have any concept of law and order.

      Constitutional rights, like freedom of assembly, free speech, or the right to bear arms only exist for those whose political views they like.

  28. Jay permalink
    January 18, 2020 7:05 pm

    The writers of this new book want to thank Trump for his free recommendation, which just propelled it to Number One on NY Times Non Fiction: “A Very Stable Genius,” by the Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, is among the most closely observed accounts of Donald J. Trump’s time in office to date.

    • John Say permalink
      January 18, 2020 11:27 pm

      Are you recomending the book ? Have you read it ?

      Or are you just engaged in another Trump bash where you know nothing about what you are commenting except that either Trump bashed someone or someone bashed Trump ?

      If you have read the book – please tell us about it.

      I have recomended a variety of things here. I have recomended books, web sites, editorials. movies.

      I have read, watched, … every single one.

      I do not play games with hear say.

      How about you ?

    • January 19, 2020 9:32 pm

      Actually, I’m looking forward to the Peter Schweizer book that is #1 on Amazon, pre-release: “Profiles in Corruption ~ Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite”

      Not one anonymous quote, and more than 80 pages of endnotes and source attributions.

      Joe and baby boy Hunter Biden have starring roles. I don’t think Jay will like it. It’s real journalism, not bitchy gossip.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 11:54 pm

        I do not know Schweitzer.

        But one of the Things John Solomon noted recently is there is vast amounts of damning information out there – most of it gets reported briefly once by one outlet. While these lunatic conspiracy theories of the left get repeated over and over.

        One of the things that Solomon noted was that almost everything he reported about assorted issues in Ukraine was confirmed by the house impeachment investigation. It is just not getting reported.

        Someone has produced a list of about 20 possible Trump witnesses – that would be absolutely damning. Some of these are people who either testified – purportedly against Trump in the house, or people identified by the tesitmony in the house as having knowledge of Biden, Obama, DNC political corruption in Ukraine.

        There were MULTIPLE investigations by the Ukrainians that VP Biden or the US Embassy in Ukraine shutdown. There is a dispute over whether Yavonovitch produced a list of people not to be investigated for the Ukrainians, or the Ukrainians brought a list to her for her approval.
        There is no debate over whether numerous people were protected from investigation by the US Embassy – and this was one of the reason that Gulliani want Yovanovitch fired.

        Aparently Biden’s Cheif of Staff has first hand knowledge that Biden was informed of the investigations into his Son BEFORE Shokin was fired. There are also numerous witnesses in the State Department and FBI who can confirm that the VP’s office was warned repeatedly BEFORE Shokin was fired of Hunters trading influence in the Ukraine.

        We know that Hunter’s compatriot did NOT get into Burisma, and Warned Hunter not to – because Ukraine was just too corrupt.

  29. January 19, 2020 9:38 am

    This is one time that I have been impressed by Trump’s restrained response. In 2019 alone, Iran seized U.S. ships in the Strait of Hormuz. Then they shot down a U.S. drone which they claimed entered their airspace but all the data reinforced the U.S. claim that the drone was in international space. At that time the U.S. considered air strikes against Iranian facilities, but Trump rescinded the orders. I feel quite certain that Reagan would have bombed those facilities in retribution for the downing of the drone. I was very concerned that our failure to respond in that manner would lead to even greater transgressions by Iran. I thought Trump possibly derelict in his duties for not executing those bombings. But Trump despite his bellicose personality is a man who dreads war. Still he had to do something. Rather than choosing to kill several people with bombings, he chose to focus upon one man. Morally I am not opposed to Soleimani’s assassination. The man orchestrated a multitude of American deaths. I just don’t know that it served as a sufficient deterrent against Iran’s aggressions. To the world the assassination of Soleimani looked liked a very arbitrary action and one which violated international law (but it didn’t because the man was a terrorist). Perhaps if Trump had done a much better job explaining to the American people that Iran had committed a multitude of offenses against the U.S. and that Soleimani was the man who plotted these offenses, then it would have appeared to be a just and very restrained response rather than one unrelated to Iran’s attacks upon the U.S.but Trump rescinded the orders. I feel quite certain that Reagan would have bombed those facilities in retribution for the downing of the drone. I was very concerned that our failure to respond in that manner would lead to even greater transgressions by Iran. I thought Trump possibly derelict in his duties for not executing those bombings. But Trump despite his bellicose personality is a man who dreads war. Still he had to do something. Rather than choosing to kill several people with bombings, he chose to focus upon one man. Morally I am not opposed to Soleimani’s assassination. The man orchestrated a multitude of American deaths. I just don’t know that it served as a sufficient deterrent against Iran’s aggressions. To the world the assassination of Soleimani looked liked a very arbitrary action and one which violated international law (but it didn’t because the man was a terrorist). Perhaps if Trump had done a much better job explaining to the American people that Iran had committed a multitude of offenses against the U.S. and that Soleimani was the man who plotted these offenses, then it would have appeared to be a just and very restrained response rather than one unrelated to Iran’s attacks upon the U.S.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 12:35 pm

      Reagan withdrew us forces from Lebanon after the Marine Baracks bombing.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 1:26 pm

      The media is no more trustworthy in reporting on the rest of the world than the US.

      There is little doubt that Trump frustrates many world leaders – Trump is prepared to throw his weight arround, and as a consequence usually gets what he wants from them without having to actually do so.

      Most of the rest of the world has sufficient problems of their own, that Trump is NOT their focus.

      Trump shifted US foreign policy from multilateralism to unilateral, and to focusing on the interests of the US That has thus far proven successful. It is far easier to negotiate separate one on one deals that one large deal with multiple participants.

      In foreign policy – as with many many other things – look at the facts rather than paying attention tot he press.

      The press tells us we are the most racist, mysoginist bitterly divided we have ever been in US history. They tell us this is the most dangerous time, that we are on the verge of recession. That the russians are all powerful and interfering with us in everything.

      But reality is different. The economy – while not stellar is the best it has been in 20 years. There are no real signs of a US recession – though the global economy is weaker – and Trump is taking advantage of that.

      I keep pushing watching Ken Burns Vietnam on Netflix.
      Because it exposes the fact that we are not the most bitterly divided we have been, we were far more divided in the 60’s we were rioting and killing each other in the streets.

      The world is not unified against us, other nations have far too many problems of their own – to the extent foreign leaders grumble about Trump it is because he has been open about the fact that they need us more than we need them. The Obama US apology tour is over. He is pushing other nations to help themselves. At the same time he is providing US assistance strategically. Backstoping European Natural gas supplies was brilliant. It disempowers russia politically and it makes it clear that mideastern oil is a European interest and problem more than an american one.

      China is not the next great boogey monster, But she is our most serious political and military rival. The Russian economy is about 1/10 that of China, the Russian economy is about 1/10 that of Europe. The Chinese military is more significant that Russias – and growing. Russia’s military is rusting in place.

      While we should be careful not to give Trump too much credit – the refocus of US policy towards China and Asia and away from Russian and the mideast has been more than a decade in the works, and alot of it was advanced quietly under Obama, Trump has made that shift publicly clear and been willing to more publicly confront china. Trump is more actively building alies and strengthening allies in Asia. Further he is not repeating the mistakes the US made int he mideast and Europe. Trump is expecting and empowering Asian nations to defend themselves.

      If we could turn off the talking heads, and quit getting sidetrack by those in government who either hate Trump, are clinging to their power domain, or are opposed to Trump’s policy shifts or trying to hold back or slow inevitable policy shifts.

      The shift of US focus from Eastern Europe and the mideast to Asia radically changes entrenched power within the US government.

      It should not be surprising that all efforts to destroy Trump come from those parts of the US government focused on eastern europe or the mideast.

      These people have had the most power in government – republican or democrat for 50+ years. They shift away from Eastern Europe and the mideast substantially diminish their influence.

      Russia is portrayed as the great boogey man – not merely to take out Trump, but to stall the shift in political influence from the Russia desk to the China Desk.

      Trump tanking the Iran deal and shifting back to Iran as an enemy rather than a friend – puts a significant faction in US mideast foreign policy against Trump.

      We have all seen that from the moment of his election the US military and state department have agressively worked Trump to back away from diminishing the US role in the mideast.
      Thus far they have been successful at that. HOWEVER Trump continues to talk about reducing our role in the mideast, so they have delayed, not stopped that action.

      These conflicts are big deals. Gen. Flynn was in conflict with these people while serving in the Obama administration, and you are blind if you fail to grasp that Flynn was targeted possibly more so than Trump because he was seeking to end stupid policy decisions regarding the mideast. and US intelligence gathering, and particularly the use of US intelligence sources for political purposes.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 1:28 pm

      it is not hard to “explain” to the american people that Iran is a threat. Ordinary americans have understood that since Khomeni’s followers took over the US embassy in Iran in the late 70’s.

    • Jay permalink
      January 19, 2020 4:08 pm

      “ Rather than choosing to kill several people with bombings, he chose to focus upon one man”

      For accuracy, I believe 9 people were killed in the drone attack, including civilian limo drivers.

      • January 19, 2020 4:38 pm

        BOO HOO😭😭😭😭. I really am upset with the loss of 9 rag heads when it probably save many more American lives.

        Jay, your priorities are totally screwed when you value someone driving a human butcher over an American mi!itary life!

      • Jay permalink
        January 19, 2020 5:13 pm

        I didn’t make any judgements about the deaths, Ron – I just corrected the posted incorrect statement one person was killed.

        I agree those killed were mostly enemy terrorist personnel, and good riddance to them: but if two Bagdad citizen limo drivers were casualties as well, I wouldn’t gloat about that and call them ragheads. Have you stopped taking your Alzheimer’s meds? Angry outbursts are symptomatic.

        You’re sounding more and more Trump-like each week, no wonder you’re thinking of voting for him.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 6:06 pm

        I do not know one way or the other about the limo drivers.

        I doubt you do other.

        Were these the Baghdad equivalent of Uber drivers ?

        Or were they the personal drivers for terrorsists ?

        I do not know, Ron does not, I doubt you do.

        I would prefer we keep civilian casualties down.

        But the US fire bombed Dresden and Tokyo. and nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki

        So lets not pretend we do not often kill innocents in violent conflicts.

      • January 19, 2020 11:31 pm

        Jay, are you really going to believe the drivers in Soleimani’s caravan were just Bagdad citizens and had no other ties to Soleimani? There is no way someone this important to Iran would be using anyone other than fully vetted individuals that supported the Iranian government 100%.

        I am not off my meds. Just identify the amount of hate you have for Trump and place that same amount in me toward middle east extreme Islamist that have that same amount of hate for America.

        One does not have to suffer from Alzheimer’s or other mental disease to have extreme dislikes for some others. You should realize that!

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 6:02 pm

        Lets call them what they are – terrorists, NOT Rag heads.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 6:01 pm

        Most of the others killed were also on the list of legitimate targets – they were terrorist militia leaders. Many were responsible for killing the US contractor that this drone strike was retaliation for

        Regardless, are you finally to the point where you are prepared to accept maybe this was not a disasterous choice ?

      • Jay permalink
        January 19, 2020 9:21 pm

        We don’t yet know if it was a disastrous choice. We do know that short term Trump got really lucky when the Iranians shot down the airliner – until then anger and accusations of his inept war-like stupidity had suffused world media; that quickly changed with new cluck-bait of dead Canadians and anti government rioting in Iran.

        We do know this- Iran has resumed their nuke programs. Trump accelerated the process. They’ll soon produce those weapons. Along with history tagging him with Impeachment, proliferating North Korean and Iranian nuclear armament will be part of his disreputable legacy.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 11:21 pm

        In Jay world Trump is incredibly lucky – pretty much all the time.

        In the real world no one is that lucky.

        “We do know this- Iran has resumed their nuke programs.”
        Yes, they did that While Obama was president. In fact they never stopped.

        Why should you expect that they would have stopped when there was no requirement for verification ?

        I do not know what will happen with either Iran or North Korea.

        But what we do know, is that Clinton, Obama and Bush failed.
        We do know that North Korea and Iran have proceeded MORE SLOWLY then they would otherwise – because they are once again under greater public (and private scrutiny)

        I expect that there will likely be a deal with North Korea – but probably not until after the election. There will be a deal because Kim Un wants and needs one. Because particularly for North Korea Nuclear Weapons are a means to an end. NK can not ever hope to use them without being obliterated. Further they give NK very little leverage as they are isolated from the world.

        Iran is more complicated. There is a powerful political incentive for Iran to seek Nuclear weapons. Iran is not nearly as isolated as NK and much more fanatical, in a region that is more fanatical.

        Iran is unlikely to abandon Nukes until the regime changes.
        Predicting when that will occur is difficult, predicting that it will occur is not.

        Regardless Obama delayed the date at which the Iranian people retake their country, Trump has advanced it.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 11:37 pm

        NK has had nuclear bombs since the Clinton administration. They likely have or are very close to having Hydrogen Bombs. They also have ICBM’s. Bombs require planes or missles to deliver them. Planes are ineffective without air superiority.

        They are short in 3 major areas.
        Range – they can probably get as far as quam today.
        Accuracy. Absent a satelite guidance system they have great difficulty hitting a target long range.
        Re-entry. This is the worst of their problems and we are fairly certain the North Koreans are not even close. It is one of the most difficult problems of ICBM’s and it is nearly impossible to solve without lots of testing. No ICBM with nuclear warheads has any value if it burns up on re-entry.

        NK will solve all these problems in time, but they have been substantially delayed.

        And delays pose a different problem. That is the advance of US ABM systems.

        We first saw a primative ABM system in GWI with the use of the Patriot ABM’s.
        Today Israel has Iron Dome, and is about to deploy a laser based system that is better and cheaper. The US has 6 systems – including AEGIS, THAAD, GMD, Patriot II, Air based systems and soon Satellite based systems.

        The entire purpose of all the sabre rattling and negotiations with NK and Iran is to still or slow them down long enough for the ABM development curve to get significantly ahead.

        ABM development was stalled under Obama. Possibly the worst mistake of his presidency.
        That empowered Russia, and incentivized Iran and NK.

        Iran is substantially behind NK. And they are moving much slower. It is unlikely they will ever be a threat to Israel, nor to the rest of the mideast so long as the US can maintain sufficient ABM advantage.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 5:22 pm

      More misrepresentation.

      Parnas appeared in a picture with Trump ONCE – myriads of people appear in pictures with the president – ANY president.

      Do we need to go through all the crooks who have been pictured with Hillary or Obama ?
      Or how about Terrorists ?

      How about this guy ?

      https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2020/01/02/barack-obama-hosted-the-leader-of-the-baghdad-embassy-attack-at-the-white-house-n2558860

      Parnas appears to be cooperating with the SDNY, accept that he does not have anything consequential to provide.

      He is charged with a pretty much non-crime – the same one Rossie ODonnell “committed” and Trump Pardoned D’Souza of – the only person EVER before (or until Parnas, since) actually prosecuted for this. Parnas is BTW entitled to a presumption of innocence – especially for such a ludicrous charge. The FEC found that Clinton received $65M in donations exceeding the individual limit – NO ONE was prosecuted – NO ONE!

      Parnas was used by an assortment of people to get introductions to others in Ukraine.

      Whoopy Ding!! Crime of the century. He is a known associate of a number of Russian and Ukrainian Oligarches and a number of russian and ukrainian politicians.

      If you think that is so bad that Attny Gulliani should not use him – then clearly the US AG SDNY should not either.

      Rather than fixate on what some talking heads say – actually go listen to Parnas.

      He goes from X absolutely Knew, to X had to know, to X probably knew to I never actually talked to X repeatedly – accross multiople subjects and multiple people.

      So in the end you have a shady character – charged with a non-crime who has connected a few people to a few other people, who has nothing consequential to add to anything.

      If you beleive Parnas has something of value to say – have the house managers call him as a witness – either in the house or the senate. No one is invoking executive priviledge.

      Regardless at its core the entire Parnas thing is an effort to create a false narative that Rudy Gulliani’s actions as Trump’s personal lawyer somehow are official acts of the president.

      EVERYONE KNOWS that Gulliani was and is investigating the misconduct of the Bidens and democrats in Ukraine. And unless you are a brain dead twit, you know that he is perfectly free to do so. He can do so on his own, he can do so as the presidents lawyer, he can do so at the direction of Donald Trump. He can claim to be acting at the direction of the president (he has been clear that he has explicitly told everyone he has talked to that he is acting as Donald Trumps lawyer, not as a representative of the president) He can ask for the assistance of the state department or foreign countries.
      At the end of the day he is NOT the president, he is NOT part of government, he is an inedepent actor with no government authority. And presidents since Washington have used private parties and lawyers in exactly that capacity.

      And they have done so because they are a very effective tool – they have great freedom, and at the same time anything they do can be repudiated.

      President Clinton did EXACTLY this in using President Carter to negotiate with North Korea.
      Carter struck a deal, and Clinton repudiated it.

      It Former President Carter does not constitute an official representative of the US then there is no way in hell that Rudy Guilliani does.

      And thus far you do not even have Lev Parnas on a real crime. You have a guy that is being played by politically motivated US attorney’s who has been flipped but has nothing useful to contribute.

      Where have we heard that all before.

      But if you want to bet the farm on Parnas – go for it.
      Its not like you have any credibility left.

      BTW you keep trying to tie Parnas to Trump etc.

      But right now it is YOU who are vouching for him.
      It is YOU that are trying to claim he is somehow credible.

      Trump has never vouched for Parnas, Gulliani has not, No one you are after has.
      Trump has never met him besides the photo.
      Gulliani used him to get introductions. He did not vouch for him. More the other way arround.

      But you are claiming that someone trying to save his own skin from a clearly political hatchet job prosecution who cant say three sentences without contradicting himself.

      YOU are claiming that SOMETIMES he is credible.

      Parnas is the posterboy for everything wrong with this impeachment.

      Lots and lots of people testifying that they know exactly what was going on, who when pressed either have actual knowledge of NOTHING, or what knowledge they do have totally contradicts the “spin”.

      As has been demonstrated by both Mueller and Horowitz – YOU have no capacity to evalutate facts. But that is unfortunately not so great an insult as it should be.
      You have that in common with the media and almost the entire democratic party.

      But hey – go ahead – bet your integrity on Parnas.

      • Jay permalink
        January 19, 2020 9:29 pm

        “ Parnas appeared in a picture with Trump ONCE“

        If I can post multiple photos of Parnas in different settings with Trump will you agree to stop posting for a week?

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 11:42 pm

        If you can actually do something – do it.
        Don’t talk about it.

        Regardless, you were wrong about Trump/Russia, you were wrong about Mueller, you were wrong about horrowitz and the Trump/Russia investigation. You were wrong about Carter Page,

        You owe us all atleast 10 years of silence.

      • Jay permalink
        January 20, 2020 9:57 am

        Can’t admit you were wrong.
        You and Donnie, two of a kind.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 12:55 pm

        “Can’t admit you were wrong.
        You and Donnie, two of a kind.”

        About what ? You are the one who claims you can prove something.
        Go ahead. I am not holding my breath.

        As I noted, you have made many many claims that have proven false.

        Why should now be different ?

        No, I am unlikely to ever believe something that you say without proof.
        That is the price you pay for throwing away your own integrity.

      • Jay permalink
        January 21, 2020 2:57 pm

        If I post several photos showing Trump and Parnas together in different locations, will you:

        1. Say you were wrong to claim there’s only one photo of them.
        2. Apologize for being an asshole about it?

        I know you already know you were wrong. You did the same Google search I did and have seen the other photos. I know you don’t have the decency to admit it.

        Talk about faux integrity …

      • John Say permalink
        January 21, 2020 10:26 pm

        Why are you trying to negotiate your own posts ?

        This is as much nonsense as Pelosi trying to control the trial in the house.

        No! I am not going to negotiate your posts with you.

        You can either prove what you claim – or you can’t.

        No I am not going to appologize to an asshole and a liar for questioning subsequent posts.

        You burned your integrity, I didn’t.

        You the one who has spent 3 years selling obviously false garbage and in many instances continuing to sell nonsense AFTER either Mueller and/or Horowitz has proved you wrong.

        To the extent that you get a tiny pass for defaming public figures – both the courts and public discourse give more latitude to slandering public figures.

        Trump is a public figure – but Carter Page is not. Nor are the other posters here, nor half the US population are “public figures”, yet you routinely slander them all.

        And you think that anyone owes you an apology ?

        What nonsense “Joe”. Have you no shame ?

        obviously not.

        As to your claims.

        The burden of proof – even if you did not have an established reputation for defamation, error, and misrepresentation would be one you.

        Further you are selling stuff from sources with the same horrible credibility as you.

        Why am I to beleive you this time ? You have been wrong so often in the past.
        Why am I to beleive Parnas ? On issue after issue he has been wrong. Further, he contradicts himself on most every issue within a few minutes usually without prompting.
        Why should we beleive Rachel Maddow – though I am personal shocked at the hypocracy of other news shows that were only slightly less into improbable debunked tin foil hat conspiracy theories ragging on Maddow – pot meet kettle.

        If you have actual evidence to support anything – provide it. It might buy back a tiny bit of the credibility and integrity you have squandered.

        But no one on the planet owes you an apology.

        And you have a long long way to go before I am not going to assume ANYTHING you claim is false. YOU did that to your self. Fixing it is your responsibility.

        It is not being an “asshole” to doubt peoplke with a long track record not just of error, but misrepresentation, and defamaition.

        Put up – or based on past experience the presumption is you are lying.

        And just to be clear – you would have to be correct thousands of times – uninterrupted to regain much of your credibility and integrity.

        I do not trust you on this. But even should you somehow be able to prove you are right about one thing – you are owed no apology.

        Credibility requires being correct most of the time.
        Integrity requires NEVER making false accusations.

        You can’t fix either by proving correct ONCE.
        You have a long way to go to credibility or integrity.

        And you did that to yourself.
        Don’t bitch at me for not trusting you. That is your fault.

      • John Say permalink
        January 21, 2020 10:36 pm

        “I know you already know you were wrong. You did the same Google search I did and have seen the other photos. I know you don’t have the decency to admit it.”

        A few years ago – yes, I would have googled any challenge that I made to anything you post first. I still do, when I question Priscilla or Ron, or even most of the time Robby.

        With respect to your posts post Horrowitz. Nope. I assume that whatever it is you claim, its false. I do not check it.

        There is no reason to. YOU burned your reputation. No one else did.

        Your the one still trying to claim Carter Page is a Russian asset.
        While I lost any confidence in you long before that, that was a really big deal.
        That is pretty much unforgivable.

        And once again you are back professing Omniscience.

        i have not bothered to google your claims about Parnas Pictures – no major news agregator has posted a story on this. But there have been plenty of stories about Crap that Schiff has been selling that proved false, that ultimately traced back to Parnas – such as the faux Vienna trip of Nunes. Or the faux whitehouse Hannakuh meeting.

        So once again you are lying. Stupid lying – like Parnas. Making claims that you can not possibly prove. “You know what I have done ?” Really ?

        How many fingers am I holding up ?

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 1:32 am

      You said you could prove these things Parnas claims.

      Parnas is the source of the Claim that Devin Nunes went to Viena to meet Shokin.
      Yet the only house member who has met with potential witnesses prior to testimony has been Schiff – wbho has been caught on multiple occasions – which he lied about.

      I am not sure what would be wrong With Nunes meeting with Shokin – though lying as Schiff did about it would be a problem.

      But the bigger problem is that Parnas is lying. Nunes was not in Vienna, his passport does not have him ever entering Austria during the entire year much less December of 2018.
      Nunes did go to Libya and Malta at those times and was extensively covered throughout the trip by the media.

      I guess you are free to beleive that Devin Nunes is James Bond with multiple passports and capable of amazing spycraft. As you seemed to believe was true of numberous members of the Trump campaign.

      But absent Nunes having a Daniel Craig alter ego capable of slipping the media spiriting to vienna interviewing Shokin, and getting back without being noticed – or shot down by the Austrian airforce, Except in the alternate reality of Devin Nunes super Spy – Parnas is lying.

      • Jay permalink
        January 21, 2020 2:59 pm

        “ You said you could prove these things Parnas claims”

        Babbling faux claims again. Paste where I made that explicit statement.

      • January 21, 2020 5:28 pm

        Jay, fill me in. I have beeen turning off the news qhen “Trump”, ” inpeachment” or any buzz words about the political fight is mentioned.
        1. Who is this guy?
        2. Was he key to the impeachment articles?
        3. How does he connect to Trump?
        4. Why is what he has to say an issue now when the Democrats have the articles filed with the senate?

      • Jay permalink
        January 21, 2020 6:42 pm

        Ron. Google his name. You’ll find all the info you need.

        As to impeachment – do you want to know the full story, or only the parts of the story Trump & GOP want you to know?

      • January 21, 2020 9:47 pm

        “As to impeachment – do you want to know the full story, or only the parts of the story Trump & GOP want you to know?”

        Jay, I am not totally checked out. After reading about this guy, its like all the other crap being tossed around in D.C. A story in the Times says that the other two people at the meeting that Parnes is suggesting Quid Pro Quo— Fruman and the aide to Zelensky — say the conversation didn’t happen, as Parnas is alleging it happened.

        So we have a liar that the democrats want to use as a witness against a liar in the liars impeachment trial.

        Now do you still wonder why I’m checked out?
        One is a non stop liar with policies I support almost 100%.
        Democrats with candidates that hide their lies with policies I oppose almost 100%.
        So how should I vote?
        For a liar that supports government the way I do,
        Or for a party that will stick this country with “Obamacare on Steroids” and every other program that will screw it up for years to come?

        I know you cant really answer this because you live in the Socialist Commonwealth of California, so you are.immune to government controls and regulation. I just want that contained behind the state lines of the west coast.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:09 pm

        Trump exagerates alot – but for the most part he is not a liar. Certainly not in comparison to say Schiff.

        Trump has alot of character flaws and he tosses off insults way too easily, but that became commonplace on the left long before Trump.

        I did not vote for him in 2016 and it is unlikely I would vote for him in 2020.

        But I would have voted against this faux impeachment every single step of the way.

        Even if I though Trump was a bad president, you do not impeachment over policy differences.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 1:22 am

        Jay,

        It does not matter what “story” you want or find.

        While much of the claims regarding Parnas have been proven false – we are repeating all the same nonsense of Trump/Russia – even with the same Players – Rachel Maddow, Adam Schiff, and Parnas playing Micheal Cohen.

        As with the Russia nonsense – even if all these false claims were true – it is irrelevant.

        Lets just say as Jay alleges – that Parnas was close to Trump and that he and Guilliani and Trump all conspired together to “get dirt” on the Biden’s in Ukraine.

        That is the private acts of private parties. It is no different from Hillary having Mark Elias of Perkins Coi pay Steele to get Russians to provide bogus dirt about Trump.

        It might smell fishy but it is not a crime.

        We actually know for a fact that Guilliani was digging for dirt in the Ukraine – and he is BEGGING to testify about it.

        We know that Gulliani had Parnas’s help.

        All this is legal. Further it is not an act of the president. There is no use of federal power involved.

        The only route to an impeachable offense is through the phone call to Zelensky.

        And for that to be a problem requires that the request for investigations not be supported by reasonable suspicion – actually even that is not true, a request does not require reasonable suspicion even. But a demand, an effort to coerce would require reasonable suspicion.

        And that exists.

        Parnas is useful – to TRUMP, because once again it is a case of Democrats (and Jay) jumping the shark – and trying to cobble together something and failing.

        Nunes did not go to Vienna – even though he quite legitimately could have.

        There was no Hannakuh Whitehouse meeting – even though there would have been nothing wrong if there was.

        And Jay still has only the one picture of Trump with Parnas that everyone knew about, and lots of other pictures – many of which do not have Parnas, and none of which have both Parnas and Trump do not change anything.

        There are probably pictures of Parnas with Schiff and Durbin and ….

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 1:23 am

        Go found out anything you want about Parnas. Even the super spun democrat version that is demonstrably false, amounts to nothing.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 12:47 am

        Lev Parnas is a “fixer” in the Ukraine.
        He is a US Citizen born in Ukraine who has lots and lots of connections – many of them shady – but then pretty much everything in Ukraine is Shady – even Zelensky who was elected on a “drain the swamp” campaign has several shady characters in his administration.

        Regardless, Parnas knows lots of people in the Ukraine.

        And many people have used him to get introductions to a variety of sources.
        Probably many democrats.

        Joe DiGenova, Victoria Toenig, John Solomon, and Rudy Guilliani have used Parnas to arrange introductions to alot of different people in the Ukriane.

        Parnas is NOT the source of any evidence, he is NOT like Steele’s contact in the GRU.
        Parnas is the person who introduced various people investigating in the Ukraine to the actual sources.

        Independently Parnas as a US citizen has been involved in connecting political donors to candidates.

        In that context, it is alleged that he helped some donors exceed the FEC limits for individual donations. This is a violation of the law. It has occured on a fairly massive scale as part of every campaign since the law was passed. Hillary had according to FEC records more than 65M in donations that were from people who contributed more than they were legally allowed to. There is also a criminal statue – the sentence is usually a fine. In all of US history ONE PERSON has gone to jail for violating this law – Dinesh D’Souza – and Trump pardoned him.

        D’Souza was jailed because he produced a movie that pissed off Obama.
        Not because he exceeded the maximum donation.

        Briefly Parnas had Dowd for a lawyer – Dowd almost certainly would have made this go away.
        But someone persuaded Parnas to hire another lawyer – Parnas has gone through two lawyers since and is now represented by Bondy who seems to be trying to present a Micheal Cohen type of defense. Going public with lots and lots of salacious and heavily spun and often false allegations that are not crimes in the hope of god only knows what.

        He and his lawyers are their own worst enemies.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 1:09 am

        How does Parnas fit in ?

        To anyone Sane – he does not.

        Parnas is to some extent part of what Gulliani was/is doing in Ukraine.

        The democrats argument is that ALL of this is somehow illegitimate and criminal.

        It is not. Neither Parnas, nor Guilliani are part of the federal government.

        Parnas met Trump once and they did not talk.

        But even if they had – Parnas is a private citizen – just like Guilliani.

        While Guilliani claims he was careful to make sure that everyone he talked to know he was acting as Trump’s personal lawyer NOT a part of the federal government.

        Even that is irrelevant to impeachment. You can not impeach the president for the legal actions of private citizens. Not even if they do so in suport of him.

        There is zero difference between Guiliani and Mark Rich of Perkins Coi.

        There is nothing illegal with private people seeking political dirt on others.

        There is also nothing wrong with those in power seeking investigations where there is reasonable suspicion of a crime.

        The narrow window where there is real abuse of power is using government power to investigate absent reasonable suspicion.

        When nixon asked the FBI and the IRS to investigate those on his enemies list – he did not start with reasonable suspicion of a crime.

        We have the same fundimental issue with CrossFire huricane.

        Though because we went beyond a mere investigation into warrants subpeona’s and spying – and those activities require meeting a higher standard – probable cause.

        Horowitz found that the Crossfire Huricane investigation met the low burden of “reasonable suspicion”.
        That burden was initially (barely) met by George Papadoulis’s remarks to Andrew Downer.

        However Horowitz found that the FBI investigation of that quickly lead nowhere and reasonable suspicion died, but the FBI managed to continue using the Steele Dossier as a foundation. But neither the Steele Dossier nor the Papadopolis remarks ever met probable cause. Further by mid January 2017 the FBI near that the primary source claimed the entire dossier was gossip.

        The FBI had the basis to start an investigation. But by Jan 2017 they no longer had that.
        YET, during that time they not only investigated – they spied and they sought and received multiple warrants and they did so by lying to the FISA court.

        That is what an actual crime looks like

        Trump asked Ukraine to investigate a long list of things including the Biden’s
        Those request meet the reasonable suspicion standard.

        That should have been the end of this.

        Democrats keep saying Biden is irrelevant and Bolton is critical.

        But if anything the opposite is true.

        Demcrats do not want you to listen to VP Biden’s remarks regarding his extortion of Ukraine to fire Shokin and Hunter Biden’s remarks because it is crystal clear there is more than reasonable suspicion.

        And so long as there is NOTHING Bolton or anyone else can testify to has any meaning.

        Every single other allegation of House democrats can be true – so long as reasonable suspicion exists – and it clearly does, this impeachment is dead.

        The Parnas nonsense is an effort to obfuscate. Parnas is a shady guy.
        The US charges against him are inconsequential.

        But that is irrelevant. Whether he is mother Therasa or Jack the Ripper,
        He is being painted as dirty with the hope that the dirt will rub off on anyone who he has been photographed with.

        I would note that one of the goals of this entire mess is to thwart Trump’s efforts to investigate the corrupt nonsense that was going on in the Ukraine.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 12:32 am

        So now you are saying that when you assert something or when you present evidence of a person who has a reputation for false statements, that you are not claiming it is true ?

        All your posts are fictional ?

        Either Parnas is credible or he is not.

        Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

        Applies to Parnas,
        Applies to Jay

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 1:38 am

      Parnas claims to have met Trump, Furman, Gulliani in the whitehouse on Hanukkah

      OPf course the whitehouse keeps visitors records and this meeting did not take place, and Trump, Furman and Guiliani deny it.

      Further if someone this meeting did take place and the records were destroyed and Guilliani, Trump and Furman were lying – is the entire whitehouse staff covering up too ?

      You think that of the thousands of people in the whitehouse atleast several dozen would have seen Parnas and atleast one of them would have leaked that.

      Hell with the leaks from deep state nut jobs in the whitehouse, you would figure such a leak even if it was not true.

      You claimed that you could prove all this stuff.

      So Far Parnas seems alot like Micheal Cohen. Somebody whose idea of a good defense is to make stupid stuff that is easily disproved up.

      Regardless, Your actually following Rachel Maddow ? Really ?

      You Go For it Joe!

      • John Say permalink
        January 21, 2020 11:29 pm

        You promised multiple pictures of Lev Parnas with Trump.

        You have one pretty standard picture of Trump with Parnas that has been public forever.
        You have an article that shows that Picture twice.

        You have only one other picture with Donald Trump in it – and that appears to be a standard political post card. My sister has one of those signed by Richard Nixon – she never met Nixon and it was written by a staffer and signed by a machine – in the 70’s. It is the 21st century now.

        As to the other pictures – we all know Gulliani was dragging Parnas and Furman arround.

        You have proven That Parnas was photographed once – sometimes twice, with lots of other people who are NOT Donald Trump, you have not actually established that he knows any of them.

        My kids have a picture of themselves with Barack Obama – do you think he knows who they are ? Would he know if there were two pictures ?

        Some of your pictures it does not appear to me even have Parnas in them. But i am not going to try to guess is parnas lost weight, gained weight, or grew hair between pictures.

        Regardless, you said there were MANY pictures of Trump with Parnas.

        I count ONE.

        Finding 1000 pictures of Parnas with 1000 different politicians does not prove a relationship with ANY of them.

  30. Jay permalink
    January 19, 2020 4:44 pm

    Trump’s lawyers filed a 6 pg answer yesterday to the Dems Impeachment brief.

    Quick synopsis: “Abuse of power & obstruction of Congress are not crimes, let alone impeachable offenses.”

    This is a defense of congressional jury nullification. You don’t dispute the charges happened; you play to the jury’s political prejudices that the offenses charged don’t mean a shit.

    This explains hiring Dershowitz and Star – lawyers who in the past have specialized in representing guilty celebrities like OJ and Epstein. They’ll be in familiar slimeball territory with Prez Pussy Cruncher.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 5:42 pm

      Jay,

      Impeachment is political. This one more so than any other.

      Look at the core of this ?
      Biden did exactly what you allege trump did – even more egregiously – and bragged about it.

      You say that Biden did not do so for “personal” reasons – clearly Biden has an insurmountable personal conflict – but lets ignore that, it is STILL for political reasons.
      Hillary planted the Burisma Story in the NYT to keep Biden out of the 2016 race.
      Biden tried to kill the Busima story – if not for personal – then for political reasons.

      There is absolutely zero dispute anymore that Shokin was going after Burisma, and that Hunter was along that path. Maybe VP Biden did not know that – though that makes him pretty stupid since he had oversight of the joint FBI/Nabu task force.

      There is this claim that Biden was fighting corruption by getting Shokin fired.
      But theis is neither the first nor only instance where the US tanked a Ukrainian prosecution for highly suspicious reasons.

      Even YOUR house witnesses have testified to that.

      If Trump’s actions were impeachable – Bidens many times over.

      Or what of Obama ? Congress allocated the same defense aide to Ukraine during Obama’s presidency. Obama repeatedly delayed it – why didn’t house republicans impeach ?
      Obama unilaterally gutted the lethal portions of the aide and substituted humanitarian aide – which was not what congress authorized.

      Are you saying that Trump can not be impeached if only he had sent blankets to Ukraine ?

      Anyway – you chose to go forward with this circus.

      Enjoy the fallout.

      There is no crime alleged here. PERIOD.

      Is this an effort at Jury Nullification ? Possibly. Though you do not seem to grasp what Jury nullification is.

      It is not an admission of guilt. It is a challenge to the nature of the prosecution.
      It is an assertion that what is alleged either is not a crime – as in this case, or should not be a crime.

      Jury Nullification has a long proud tradition in the US there are inumeroable famous instances where colonial juries nullified Crown prosecutions.

      The fundimental purpose of a jury is to take control of government – from the judges and courts and proseutors and put it back in the hands of the people.

      Every Judge tells the jury they must follow the law no matter what – and yet there is absolutely nothing that the judge can do if they jury does not.

      Even though on paper the juries decide facts and judges decide law.
      No conclusion a jury reaches – even on the law, is within the reach of the judge or the government

      I have no doubt Trump’s lawyers have responded

      THIS IS NONSENSE

      BECAUSE IT IS.

      But keep betting on shooting the moon, on that hail mary pass.

      • Jay permalink
        January 20, 2020 10:15 am

        ‘ Biden did exactly what you allege trump did – even more egregiously – and bragged about it.“

        You got the last part correct but as usual fucked up the first part.

        Biden didn’t use his influence as VP to undermine a US political opponent, dumb dumb. He helped get rid of a corrupt prosecutor after the consensus of multiple US allies was that he should be removed.

        And he didn’t undermine and remove the US Ambassador with the assistance of shady Russian operatives in the process.

        And bragging about it shows he wasn’t lying about it, or covering it up with dumb denials.

        It’s chilly outside today in most of the US. Don’t forget to wear your MAGA hat to keep your brain from numbing further.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 4:12 pm

        This is the guy who started and owns half of Burisma.

        This post notes the myriads of investigations of him and Burisma.

        Does this sound like someone Hunter Biden should get into bed with ?
        His Buddy, Kerry’s son did not think so.

        Does this sound like someone that Biden should thwart being investigated ?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykola_Zlochevsky#Biography

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 4:20 pm

        So how is it that Biden getting a prosecutor who was investigating burisma as well as Biden – how exactly is it that, that STOPS Corruption ?

        You keep telling me that Shokin was corrupt. Yet, the only evidence is that he was meticulously investigating Corruption.

        Shokin has no Oligarch Friends, he has no golden parachute. He has been living on less per year since losing his job than Hunter Biden made in a month at Burisima.

        The History of US corruption fighting in Ukraine is one where Biden and the US Embassy in Ukraine THWARTED investigation into corruption REPEATEDLY.

        I am still trying to get a handle on how this makes the slightest sense as anti-corruption efforts to you ?

        Look at the history of investigations into Burisma. Almost every step of the way all kinds of political and outside influence is used to sidetrack the investigations.

        Usually outside influence by the US.

        Grow up Jay. The US was part of the problem in the Ukraine.
        Biden, the DNC, The Atlantic Council, Sorros

        All the people participating in the effort to impeach Trump, are tied to the corruption in the Ukraine.

        It is entirely possible that firing an actually corrupt prosecutor is fighting corruption.

        But the pattern in the Ukraine is that prosecutors are fired constantly – not because they are corrupt, but because they are fighting corruption. And those claiming they are firing them to fight corruption are LYING, they are doing so to protect themselves, not to fight corruption.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 4:32 pm

        “Biden didn’t use his influence as VP to undermine a US political opponent”

        Pres. Thomas Jefferson ordered his AG to prosecute Aaron Burr a political rival for Treason, and supervised that Trial daily.

        It is hard to think of a more politically motivated action of a president.
        What is alleged regarding Trump does not come close to that.
        Yet, there was no effort to impeach Jefferson and Burr was easily Acquitted.

        It is inside the presidents power to demand investigations and even prosecutions where reasonable suspicion exists. Burr did not commit Treason as noted he was easily acquitted.
        But though weak there was sufficient case that Jefferson was acting within his constitutional powers.

        Motives that you do not like, do not change a legal act into an illegal one. That is ludicrous.
        Burr was not immune from prosecution because he was a political rival. Nor is Joe Biden.
        What is Dumb, is that you do not understand that.

        The impeachment of Trump is a claim that no president can ever ask for an investigation of a political rival under any circumstances, and that political rivals of the president are immune from investigation and prosecution.

        If that were true – The FBI could never have oppened the Crossfire Huricane Investigation.

        You can not have it both ways.
        That is called hypocracy

        Biden did more than use his influence. He used the actual power of the US government.
        He did not say “I would like you to cooperate with AG Barr” as Trump did.
        He said YOU WILL DO AS I SAY OR YOU WILL NOT GET WHAT CONGRESS GAVE YOU – PERIOD.

        That is the Act. Crimes are Acts.

        What you are trying to argue about is motives. Most (but not all) Crimes have motives.
        Most (but not all) acts have motives. Some motives are good, some are not.
        But Acts are crimes not their motives.
        We like to disscern motives because it makes it easier to beleive someone did the Act when we know they had motive.

        In the Real World we KNOW Biden committed the ACT – there is no doubt at all.
        There is lots of doubt that Trump committed the alleged act.
        In fact it is more likely that not that he did not.

        One of the reasons we need to be careful about motives, is we can almost never know them.
        We do not know why Biden threatened Ukraine.

        You say it was not for political gain. That is not even close to clear.
        There was an obvious political game going on between Biden and Hillary at the time.
        It is pretty easy to beleive that Bidens actions were motivated by Politics.

        Further you completely duck the possibility of a personal motive.
        We know that Biden Knew Shokin was investigating Burisma.
        We know that Biden knew his son was involved in Burisma.
        It is so trivial to argue that his motive was to protect his son that the rules of ethics REQUIRED Biden to recuse himself from any official involvement that could intersect with the actions of his son. That requirement exists REGARDLESS of whether there are proven crimes. The requirement that Biden remove himself from actions in countries were his son’s private acts MIGHT be an issue, does not require crimes or investigations.

        The Fact that Biden violated rules of ethics ALONE creates reasonable suspicion of a Crime.

        But His son is not the only issue here. We know that Biden interceded to stop investigations in Ukraine more than once. We know that the US State department did so repeatedly.
        We do not know who created the “do not prosecute” list – the US embassy claims the Ukrainians created the list and reviewed it with the US, the Ukrainians claim the US ambassador created it. Regardless we KNOW from the testimony in the house that this list did exist, and that it names US persons, Businesses and organizations or people affiliated with those that Ukraine was not to investigate.

        That is really really troubling to me. That is pretty much NOT what our government should be doing.

        “He helped get rid of a corrupt prosecutor”
        The only claims that Shokin was corrupt came from the US or US Affiliates and was based on claims made by the FBI Task force that Biden directed. To this day there remains no evidence that Shokin was corrupt.

        Further even if Shokin actually was corrupt – Biden can not ask that he be removed.
        Shokin was investigating Biden’s son – Biden is ethically and legally barred.

        “after the consensus of multiple US allies”
        Nope – only the IMF at the request of the US.

        To this date there is no evidence of corruption of any kind involving Shokin.
        He is affiliated with no oligarch. He is not wealthy. He is not living in oppulence.
        He has no connections.

        “And he didn’t undermine and remove the US Ambassador with the assistance of shady Russian operatives in the process.”

        I am sure I can find instances of Biden or Obama removing ambassadors.
        All ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president.

        Yavonovitch could be removed for no reason.
        She testified that she was at odds with the foreign policy of the president and that she attempted to thwart it – that alone is sufficient reason.
        There is lots and lots of evidence that she was heavily involved in preventing Ukraine from investigating Corruption.

        Parnas BTW is an american born in Ukraine – he is not russian.

        I am still trying to sort out this Ukraine is all about Russian disinformation, nonesense.

        Almost all the players are Ukrainian. We are dealing with the most corrupt country in the western world.

        Even Zelensky who was elected on a platform to fight corruption has LOTS of ties to corrupt oligarchs. One of the things that has been reported – but not very loudly, is that there is no good reason for Trump to have trusted that Even Zelensky was not corrupt.
        There are some dubious members of his cabinet.

        When Sonderland asked Trump what he wanted from Zelensky – Sonderland said Trump shouted back that he wanted him to keep his campaign promises.

        Selensky promised to clean up corruption in Ukraine.

        For all what you claim were Biden’s efforts to do so – and make no mistake Biden was the head of the US task force on Corruption in the Ukraine – things got WORSE as a consequence of Biden’s actions.

        Maybe Biden is just really bad at fighting corruption. Maybe he is corrupt.

        Looking at Joe Biden’s past history everywhere that Joe Biden went politically – his family profited from his public service. They MIGHT have done so legally – though we are justified in having questions, but it is crystal clear that Biden has been using his political influence for the benefit of his family for all of his public carreer.

        ‘”And bragging about it shows he wasn’t lying about it, or covering it up with dumb denials.”:
        And yet thatr is not the standard you use with Trump.

        “It’s chilly outside today in most of the US.”

        It is, I will be wearing my Global Warming long underwear.

        For the record. I do not have a MAGA hat.

        I am just not so stupid as to make false allegations against others.

        I will be happy to discuss the long list of Trump policies I disagree on.
        I will even be happy to vote democrat – if you give me a candidate that is better rather than worse. Joe Biden is not it, and the rest are worse. Tulsi would be a very good choice – if foreign policy and the military was the only part of being president. Unfortunately too many of her demoestic policies (not all though) are too far left.

        As to Joe – he promises to bring back the Obama Era – “No Thank you, Please”.
        We do not need Obama 2.0.

        I will put up with 4 more years of Trump’s flaws rather than 4 months of a return to Obama.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 5:55 pm

      My wife is a defense attorney, The vast majority of her clients are guilty.

      You are not personally worthy to like her or Dershowitz;s shoes.

      Those who defend the people most scorned are the ones who deserve our greatest respect.

      Dershowitz clerked for the supreme court. He was personally heavily involved in some of the most important civil liberties cases in US history.

      First they came for the Communists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Communist

      Then they came for the Socialists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Socialist

      Then they came for the trade unionists
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a trade unionist

      Then they came for the Jews
      And I did not speak out
      Because I was not a Jew

      Then they came for me
      And there was no one left
      To speak out for me

      Another very famous defense attorney – Gerry Spence, who successfully defended Randy Weaver, was asked to represent Terry Nichols and declined.

      He later wrote that was the worst mistake of his life.

      That justice does not exist unless the worst of us, the most hated still get the very best possible defense.

      The most rights any of us have are the least rights we allow those we hate the most.

      Your attacks on Derschowitz speak to your own poor character.

      Derschowitz is NOT a Trump fan. He voted against him, he opposes most of his policies.
      He is likely to lose most of his friends over defending Trump. He teaches at Harvard whose snowflake culture was driven out lawyers for far less serious offenses that defending Trump.

      Derschowitz is a hero. For defending exactly the people you slime him for.

      I pretty much loath Epstein – but I am proud of Derschowitz for defending him.

      You are engaged in the very evil act of painting one of the best things that people do as bad.

      • Jay permalink
        January 19, 2020 9:00 pm

        “ My wife is a defense attorney, The vast majority of her clients are guilty.”

        Is your wife a public defender, obligated to defend whatever clients are assigned to her, or does she seek to represent high profile criminals for money and publicity? That’s the Dersh, or Douche-a-witz as we called him in his teen age years. $$$$$ and publicity ( and possibly access to underage girls) appear to get his lawyerly juices flowing- as his friendship with billionaire statutory rapist of numerous underage girls Jeffrey Epstein suggests.

        Unless an independent lawyer is forced to take a case, as often happens at a Judge’s whim in the US (or a matter of procedure in England), lawyers can tell prospective clients to go fuck themselves if they think them morally repugnant. Lawyers who are themselves morally repugnant often end up as mob lawyers, or representing shady business men and politicians (Michael Cohen ring a bell?).

        Dersh – like a once-fresh veggie salad – has turned rancid with age. That’s been his progression. Offering legal theories with profound assurance of belief in one decade, then professing contradictory opinions in following decades. For instance his opinion on impeachment on a Larry King interview in 1998: “It certainly doesn’t have to be a crime if you have somebody who completely corrupts the office of president and who abuses trust and who poses great danger to our liberty.”

        He’s flip flopped from that 180 degrees. Someone whose legal opinions are that contrary to previous views expressed, without reasoned explanation for the change, can only be considered a bullshitter without credibility.

        A perfect match for Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 10:44 pm

        You really are an idiot.

        Do you think that my wife – or most any lawyer works as a public defender – because they can not get other work ?

        They do it because it is a calling. The pay is crap, the work is hard, and because of idiots like you entirely thankless.

        They do it because it is important work and someone must do it.

        Try reading this. Or if reading is too hard for you – there is a movie staring Henry Fonda.

        Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.
        Bryan Stevenson

        You should thank god that is true, and that there are people like my wife and Bryan Stevenson and F Lee Bailey and Alan Derschowitz, hope you never need them, and be thankful that you too are not the worst things you have ever done or said.

      • Jay permalink
        January 20, 2020 1:25 pm

        Oh shove it.
        I didn’t disparage PDs – I just pointed out most of their clients ARE guilty; PDs have to defend those assigned to them – they don’t get to make the moral judgement of who to defend or when to decline.

        Nor did I disparage PDs for defending those guilty as charged- that’s their duty in our legal system. The clients they represent guilty or not are those who can’t afford to hire legal representation. And if course they deserve representation.

        But I DID point out there are lawyers who swarm around corrupt clients like bees to honey, whose duty isn’t to defend the innocent but to exonerate the guilty, for fortune and fame. By and large the lawyer profession produces more of those shysters than saints. We see this historical preconception from Shakespeare’s “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” to W.C. Fields’ “The only thing a lawyer won’t question is the legitimacy of his mother.” This tendency toward lawyerly moral corruption helps explain the parallel corruption of politicians – so many of them have law degrees.

        And I wasn’t casting negative aspersions at your wife’s integrity or motivation – again you unreasonably jumped to a wrong assumption like you did with my dogs comment. You asserted she defended people who are mostly guilty; I ASKED if she might be a PD, as that would explain why. You knee-jerked that as derogatory. I’ve had past friends who were public defenders; over time they both became heavy drinker (stress reactions). It’s a tough line of work. And if that’s what yourwife does I applaud her conscientious dedication but keep track of the whiskey cabinet (no, I’m not calling her an alcoholic; that’s joking). I’ll also recommend the current Netflix film “A Fall From Grace” – a woman-centered legal courtroom melodrama about a public defender’s involvement with an accused murderer (kind of a rambling convoluted plot, but with many PD points of view).

        BTW Just a guess, I may be wrong, but is your wife a Never Trumper?

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 4:48 pm

        You continue to be clueless.

        You clearly know absolutely nothing about public defenders.

        As with any job – especially government jobs, there are a few people who are there because they can’t get a better job. But the vast majority of Public defenders are their by CHOICE.
        While some are better than others. These are still nearly all people who CHOOSE to defend the people at the very bottom.

        They are not to be excused from defending the guilty because they are forced to.
        They might not “choose” their clients – though my wife actually does. She is the head of the appellate unit and she gets to assign all the appeals among 6 other attorney’s. She gets the tough cases. Because she assigns them to herself.

        Public Defenders CHOOSE to be Public Defenders.

        Further, you can not get assigned to death penatly cases unless you voluntarily seek out additional education and certification. Every single attorney – public defender or private who represents a client facing death penalty charges MUST be death penalty certified – a voluntary process.

        Inside the PD’s office the Cheif or a supervisor assigns cases. Among the most difficult cases are the sexual assaults – particularly those involving children or teens.
        Many PD’s will not take “sex crimes”.

        My wife who was herself violently Sexually assaulted in 1983, has just about all the sex crimes appeals in the PD’s office. it would be trivial for her to assign them to someone else.

        Not only does she represent sex offenders, but she has a stellar record for a PD – on occasions she has won. That is really really rare.

        As I have noted she has two clients on the national “exhonerated” list.
        These are people who were ultimately – usually by DNA found to be actually innocent after they were convicted.

        But the vast majority of her clients are guilty. They all still get the best defense she can provide.

        Private Criminal defense lawyers are no different. Absolutely they like money. And celebrity clients – guilty or innocent can pay their legal bills.

        But there is no private criminal defense attorney who would not be far richer had they gone into another area of law. No one who does criminal defense, do so for the money, even if SOMETIMES there is money in it.

        You can make far more in mass torts than in criminal law, and far more still in corporate defense.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 5:08 pm

        Jay,

        Quit before you dig yourself in deeper.

        You made a stupid claim. Let go, and move on.

        You do not understand any of this at all.
        Yes, you have disparaged PD’s as well as private criminal defense lawyers.

        I have no idea about your netflix movie. but I know personally just about every criminal defense attorney in my county – both PDs and private attorney’s.
        Many of them go back and forth between the PD’s office and private defense work,
        Much of the private defense work is what is called “conflicts consel” – where the PD’s office can not represent a client because they in the past represented a person who is now a witness against the defendant. Or because they are representing a co-defendant.
        I beleive about 1/4 of the “public defense” in my country is conflict work.

        Conflicts counsels are private lawyers who agree to take the cases the courts assign them for fixed fees. They too like PD’s have a choice to be a Conflicts counsel or not. But once they agree to take the work, they do not get to choose their clients.

        But no matter what EVERYONE in criminal defense has CHOOSEN to represent criminals.
        Each of them have CHOSEN to represent guilty clients. often horribly guilty clients.

        Beyond those defense attorney’s in my county I have lessor connections to their peers accross the state. Especially in appellate work.

        I have met and in some cases am friends with some of the best criminal defense lawyers in my state. These are not people you have heard of. But inside the state criminal defense bar these are legends. Almost none of them are “public Defenders” Most are like Alan Derschowitz – they are law professors who also take criminal cases. They take high profile “celebrity” cases as well as others. Almost none of them are wealthy.
        They typically take high profile cases to pay for all the other work they do – often pro bono.

        Past the state I periodically meet some of the best lawyers in the nation – mostly in criminal defense.

        I have met, talked to, and had long debates with Prof. Tribe – long before he suffered from TDS. I greatly respect much of his life’s work. Some of the work that Derschiwitz is citing in defense of Trump comes from Tribe’s tome on constitutional law – which I have read.

        I have never met Derschowitz. But I have met Bryan Stevenson. And i am very familar with his work. Here is a man who has radically improved death penalty law in the US at a time where the court was so conservative no one beleived that was possible.

        It is no longer possible to impose the death penalty on Jueveniles because of Stevenson.
        It is no longer possible to sentence a juvenile to life without the possibility of parole because of stevenson.

        These are victories that he obtained with Scalia, and Roberts and Alito, and Thomas, and Kennedy on the court

        Stevenson is also responsible for deecisions that ultimately found numerous death row inmates INNOCENT.

        If you want a good movie about the lawyers who represent criminals try “Just Mercy”
        it is in theaters now.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 5:36 pm

        “But I DID point out there are lawyers who swarm around corrupt clients like bees to honey, whose duty isn’t to defend the innocent but to exonerate the guilty, for fortune and fame. By and large the lawyer profession produces more of those shysters than saints.”
        There are always a few crooks – Micheal Avannatti comes to kind.

        But no, there are not more shysters than saints. At the top of the profession and the bottom there are some crooks. Derschowitz is not one of those. Even Tribe who has been totally consumed with TDS is still an incredibly decent person. Of the people pushing the left’s perspective on constitutional law he is about the very best – when he is not consumed by TDS.

        Regardless, the pinnacle of criminal law – whether it is professors with private practices like Derschowitz and Tribe or purely criminal defense lawyers – the high profile people like F Lee Bailey, or Cochrane, or Gerry Spence – these are not “shysters”.

        Actually bother to learn something about criminal law and the people who pracitce it.
        There are many books about F Lee Bailley or Louis Nizer, or many of the other very high profile Criminal attorney;s of their era. Some are flamboyant. Some are well off – though not nearly so well off as mass torts or corporate defense attorney’s. Many like hob nobbing with celebrities. But few are “shysters”.

        There are actually far more crooks and incompetents (as with most everything) in the lower tiers. No wealthy person – guilty or innocent is going to hire an attorney who is not both excellent and trustworthy.

        In the criminal justice the more serious problem is the lawyers who barely passed the bar who are doing criminal defense because it is the only work they can get, who take money from the families of defendants and promise that they are better than the PD’s – which most of them are not, who do a crappy job of representing them, and often leave them penniless and without a good record for appeal. Worse still a disproportionate portion of the actually innocent flock to these lawyers.

        But even these do not make up either the majority of lawyers or the majority of bad lawyers.

        Regardless, I am not going to defend the entire profession – overall lawyers are no more nor less competent than any other profession. I would not hire most of those in my own professions – either in architecture or computer programming. But few are crooks.
        And almost none of those at the pinnacle of any profession or field.

        You have never seemed to get this – there are many skills needed to succeed. Being driven is one, Sometimes ruthlessness is another. But real corruption, lying misrepresentation, are very rare among the successful.

        In a free market, no one MUST do business with someone else. We engage in exchange with those we trust the most. If you establish a track record of untrustworthyness, people quit doing business with you. Put simply you only need get caught in a few consequential lies and no one will do business with you.

        And you are completely incognizant of that.

        As a landlord, my tenants almost universally have bad credit. That is the part of the market I am in. I know that. I do not trust them. I have low expectations of them. I know that they do not take their leases seriously, that they will get behind on their rents, and they will leave in the middle of the night without notice when they think I am getting ready to evict them.

        I know all of this. I do background checks and I try to filter out those who are dangerous and those who will fail quickest. I try to get the best of the worst so to speak. I am sort of in the 2nd (or 3rd) chance business. Some of my tenants get their act together and move on to better jobs, and apartments, and …

        But my tenants also pay higher than normal rents – because the local apartment complexes will not rent to them. My business model is designed to assume my tenants will miss about one months rent per year.

        This is how credit and trust work in the real world – when you do not keep your committments, you end up paying more and getting less from people who do not trust you and who structure their business to deal with those who have a poor record for trustwortnhyness.

        A failure to keep committments lands you in one of my apartments – not Trump tower.
        But you do not understand that.

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 10:57 pm

        My wife graduated from UofP law school Cum Laude. She clerked for a federal judge – about 1000 of the best law school graduates each year get federal clerkships. She very nearly got a clerkship with a Supreme court feeder judge – about 30 law school graduates a year manage that.

        She made 80K/year as a 2nd year intern 20 years ago. As a top UofP graduate she could have made double that then. Had she taken any of the opportunities available to UofP graduates she could be making 500K/year by now easily.

        She CHOSE to be a public defender. Most public defenders CHOOSE to represent those the rest of us leave behind.

        Whether you are Alan Derschowitz of a first year public defender in podunk county, this is a calling not a job.

        Teachers make more than public defenders. a police officer can make more than a public defender.

        People do not become public defenders for the money.

        UofP law School Grads do not ever have to take jobs like public defender.

        The people who do criminal defense – whether public defenders or private criminal lawyers mostly do it because it is a calling, bot because they have to.

        My wife is one of the top criminal appellate lawyers in my state.

        If she wanted to do something else – she could easily.

        No one Has to defend criminals, No one is obligated to do so. No one does it for money.

        They do it because it is important and needs to be done.

    • John Say permalink
      January 19, 2020 5:59 pm

      F. Lee Bailley – one of the most famous and best defense attorney’s of all time also defended OJ. As did Johnny Cochrane.

      Are you going to slime every defense attorney who has defended a high profile client of a client accused of a heinous crime ?

      Is the attorney who defended Jeffrey Dauhmer unfit to be human ?
      Or the Bundy’s – who BTW won ?
      Or Timothy McVeigh ?

      Or the lawyer who defended William Calley ?

      Or …..

      Hopefully you will never need a good defense attorney

      You certainly do not deserve one.

      • Jay permalink
        January 19, 2020 9:06 pm

        But dhlii-say, asserting I don’t deserve a good lawyer contradicts your long winded defense of lawyers defending everyone.

        You do see the dim witted contradiction of that remark, right?

      • John Say permalink
        January 19, 2020 11:09 pm

        “But dhlii-say, asserting I don’t deserve a good lawyer contradicts your long winded defense of lawyers defending everyone.

        You do see the dim witted contradiction of that remark, right?”

        What I see is your failure at reading comprehension and logic.

        You do not get a defense lawyer because you deserve one.

        Justice demands it.

        Epstein does not deserve a lawyer, McVeigh did not deserve a lawyer. Dauhmer did not deserve a lawyer, You do not deserve a lawyer.

        Justice requires that no matter how undeserving the defendant is we do not trust the prosecutor, the judge and the jury,

        “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.”
        JS Mill.

        Justice requires that no matter how sure you are that you know the truth, what is right, that the best possible advocate for the alternative do everything in their ability to destroy your case. It is only when they are empowered to do so and fail that we can have some confidence that we know the truth.

        That is also why the impeachment in the house was a farce.

        It is easy to make any case you want – if no one is permitted to refute it.

      • Jay permalink
        January 20, 2020 1:30 pm

        “ That is also why the impeachment in the house was a farce.”

        By that simpleminded perspective all grand jury hearings are farces.

        As to the rest of your gobble-gook: ZZZZZZZZZZZZ

      • January 20, 2020 1:31 pm

        In fairness, Jay, that IS what Dave meant. You misunderstood his comment.

        Our justice system is supposed to be for everyone, not just the elite, not just those who bow to the elite. “Innocent until proven guilty” is the bedrock of criminal justice in America and due process demands that legal representation be afforded to all.

        Being “deserving” of that representation has nothing to do with it, and you wouldn’t want a system like that. At least, I hope you wouldn’t…

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 6:01 pm

        I am not going to talk about my wifes clients – beyond that few of them “deserve” the legal representation they get – though few “deserve” the sentences they get too.
        Overcharging is endemic in our system.

        Regardless, the presumption of innocense is an individual right, but the requirment to counsel is a requirement that our system imposes on itself. It is not an entitlement

        It is a necescity if a system is to do justice. It is there as an obstacle to the corruption of the prosecution and the state, not as an entitlement of the defendant.

        This is part of the reason that the defendants guilt – even if actually known to the defense counsel is irrelevant. While the duty of a criminal defence lawyer is to their client. The moral obligation is justice – and justice requires that the prosecutor prove their case facing the best opposition possible.

        “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

        Mills is writing about argument – but his remarks are applicable to criminal defendants.
        No matter how good the prosecutions case or argument appears to be, you can not tell its actual strength until it is subject to the counter argument, scrutiny, cross examination of a fierce and determined opponent.

        Truth is what we find in the forge after all the dross has burned away.

      • January 20, 2020 1:36 pm

        “That’s the Dersh, or Douche-a-witz as we called him in his teen age years. ”

        By the way, Jay. Alan Dershowitz is 81 years old. You say you knew him as a teenager?

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 6:08 pm

        It is people like Alan Derschowitz, Johnathan Turley. David Rubin. Steve Pinker, Johnathan Haidt, … that are why the left is doomed.

        I have been offended for a long time that liberal – a label than most accurately belongs to libertarians has been coopted by the left.

        But things have gotten worse – even the left liberalism from my childhood or before is dead.

        Alan Derschowitz and the others I mentioned and many more remain “liberals” or atleast civil libertarians.

        But the modern left is progressive, it is ILLIBERAL, and that is what is wrong with it.

        Jay is not particulalry “ideological”, but at the same time he is drowning in the illiberalism of modern progressives. He may not grasp it. but the only difference between the arguments he makes and those of marxists, communists, fascists, and other totalitarians is scope.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 6:16 pm

        Priscilla,

        it is just another lie Jay has sprayed out thoughtlessly.

        I am sure that Jay was hanging arround Yeshiva High school in the early 50’s.

      • Jay permalink
        January 21, 2020 4:17 pm

        dhlii, you just called me a liar…

        In an earlier post you called me an idiot…

        What happened to your MANY MANY MANY sanctimonious assertions about inappropriate Ad hominem attacks? I predicted early on when Trump was campaigning he was lowering standards of discourse, and inevitably that would suffuse the nation at large. If it was acceptable for the President to replace civility with insult, pundits, politicians, the people at large would adopt the same behaviors. And here you are, devolving into Trump-like obnoxiousness as well, as I predicted.

        BTW – you don’t know shit from shinola about the student population of Yeshiva High School in the 1950s. It wasn’t a public neighborhood high school. It was a private school for Orthodox Jewish boys. Few of them lived in the Washington Heights neighborhood where it was located – they came by bus or subway from all over Manhattan, and from the Bronx and Brooklyn too. What makes you think I’d have to hang around the school to cross paths Dershowitz?

      • John Say permalink
        January 21, 2020 11:03 pm

        “dhlii, you just called me a liar…:”

        That is correct, that among other things is the name we give people who make false moral accusations of others.

        “In an earlier post you called me an idiot…”
        Normally I would ask for the quote and context as I am usually careful to insult ideas and/or the groups of people who hold those ideas rather than specific individuals.

        But if I have slipped and directly insulted you – I do not care. You can not get through a sentence without insulting half the planet. You have absolutely zero credibility complaining that anyone has insulted you.

        Regardless, what is it that you would call someone who claims as facts things that are at first highly improbable, and then sticks to them long after they have been proven false ?

        “What happened to your MANY MANY MANY sanctimonious assertions about inappropriate Ad hominem attacks?”

        So in Jay world the rest of us must be polite and respectful to liars and assholes ?

        “I predicted early on when Trump was campaigning he was lowering standards of discourse”

        At TNM YOU have lowered the standard of discourse.

        Yes, I am sometimes responding to you in kind.

        Just as Trump is responding the the left in kind.

        While I may not be “proud” of that. i am not embarrassed by it.

        You have zero interest in facts, logic reason.
        Your discourse – though worse since Trump’s election has pretty much always been snark and insults.

        So what – in Jay world everyone else is required to be polite but not you ?

        I would normally rush to offer that I will be happy to cease insulting you if you would cease posting insults.

        But we are far beyond that being possible. You have lied, not just about public figures, but about ordinary people you do not know, and about most of the other posters here.

        You do not get a pass for that. There is no do-over.

        You have lost integrity and credibility, You do not get to negotiate those back.
        You have to earn them back, and it takes a really really long time.

        ” If it was acceptable for the President to replace civility with insult, pundits, politicians, ”

        Long before Trump took the public stage – you, and the left had adopted the politics of insult.
        While that is not exclusively the domain of the left.
        It is no accident that Alinsky was on the left and the left has been following his “rules for radicals” for most of my lifetime – actually since before alinsky.

        Pew’d data on the current political divide show that though it has moved arround over time, the recent polarization started in 2008 with Obama, not Trump.

        Though the use of insult as politics substantially predates that.

        Name a consequential person at odds with the left over anything that has not been called a nazi, a racist ?

        Tulsi Gabbard – a democrat is being called a Russia Asset.
        Warren is now calling Sanders a mysoginist, for a remark that he may not have made, that is at worst bad analysis and at best evidence of the sexism of the electorate not Sanders himself.

        Denis Prager, David Rubin, both Jews are constantly called nazi’s and racists.
        Rubin still considers himself a liberal.

        You, the left, and unfortunately most democrats are calling more than half the country racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, hateful, hating haters.

        Are you surprised that they are angry with you and are increasingly strongly supporting someone who is standing up and tossing insults Back ?

        You can like or dislike Trump’s style – but he is not the cause – YOU are.

        You are not entitled to slander half the planet and then scream “ad hominem” when you get back a small part of what you dish out.

      • John Say permalink
        January 21, 2020 11:16 pm

        “BTW – you don’t know shit from shinola about the student population of Yeshiva High School in the 1950s.”

        Absolutely correct. There is the most miniscule of possibilities that you are both old enough and from the right place and culture to have known Derschowitz as a teen.

        I am fully prepared to take my chances on that.

        Just to be clear – I have not presumed that you attended Yashiva, or any of the other nonsense you seem to think I have assumed.

        What I have assumed – with the odds heavily in my favor – but you can prove me wrong, is that “Jay” at an age sufficient to make such a judgement was old enough to have both encountered Teenage Dershowitz to sufficient extent to have formed your slanderous judgement.

        Please enlighten us all – how and where is it that the young or not even born yet Jay, encountered the teenage Orthodox Jew Alan Dershowitz in the early 50’s in order form this slanderous judgement ?

        You have claimed first hand experience.

        Regardless, we are talking about more noxious comments from you.

        Remember the part where you have burned your credibility and integrity ?

        Why is it I am supposed to presume that you are truthful ?

        When dealing with an outlandish claim by someone I do not know – I am likely to check it out before jumping to conclusions.

        But you have made so many false accusations – the presumption is you are lying – again.

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 1:38 am

      And they filed a 171 page brief today.

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 1:43 am

      If the police arrest you and charge you for eating a donut, and you are drug before the court and asked to defend yourself, is it jury nullification to ask the Judge to end this farce because even though you did not eat a donut at the alleged time and place – eating a donut is not a crime ?

      Carrying the metaphor further eating a donut for political advantage is not a crime either.

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 1:50 am

      The house democrats impeachment attempts to make Trump’s actions into a crime – purportedly because they were motivated by seeking political advantage against an opposing political candidate.

      I can ask you whether Trump could have legitimately investigated Joe Biden had Biden NOT run for president ?

      But I do not need to ask house democrats – the alleged offense is NOT asking for an investigation where there is no reasonable suspicion. It is investigating a political opponent.

      Not only is that absurd, but it would mean that anyone committing a crime could run for president to avoid being investigated.

      Or that no one running for president can ever be investigated.

      Yet, we know that Obama did just exactly that – investigated a candidate running for president.

      It is not Trump or Biden’s candidacy that is relevant. That is just a reason for heightened scrutiny. it is the presence or absence of reasonable suspicion.

  31. John Say permalink
    January 20, 2020 5:49 pm

    Grand Juries are not conducted as the house impeachment was. Further the house is not the equivalent to a grand jury.

    But if you wish to actually follow that model – it is law enforcement, grand juries, and prosecutors who conduct investigations.

    Petiti Juries – which by your model is what the senate is, do not conduct investigations.
    They require that the results of the grand jury investigation is sufficiently strong a case to survive a motion for summary judgement – which this would not.
    It is incredibly rare that a petit jury – a trial jury hears witnesses that have not previous either testified to the grand jury or been interviewed by the prosecutor. Further a failure of the prosecutor to provide the testimony they have received from witnesses as well as access to those witnesses for questioning by the defense, is grounds to throw out a case.

    Judges do not allow prosecutors to present witnesses speculatively.

    In the clinton impeachment the house managers wanted witnesses that had already been questioned by Starr or the house, who had testimony on the record and who they were able to tell the Senate what they were going to say.

    The current house managers have no such thing. They do not even have the ability to establish that as a matter of law they will be permitted to subpeona the witnesses they want.

    Prosecutors have broad freedom only to call rebutal witnesses and those only to rebut testimony presented by the defense, not to expand their case in cheif.

    If you wish to use the grand jury model – this impeachment should be kicked back to the house as insufficient. The very demand for witnesses that have never testified demonstrates that. The house is seeking to waste the time of the senate as well as to make their own crappy process look good by polluting that of the Senate.

    All that precludes the house from calling whatever witnesses they want – in the house, is securing the permission of the courts. That is it.

    If the house is a grand jury – then by impeaching it is claiming its investigation is done and there is a case to bring to the senate that is sufficient to persuade the senate petit jury to convict.

    The demand for NEW witnesses, unheard witnesses is an admission of failure and a plea for the Senate to fix the houses mistakes.

    • January 20, 2020 6:21 pm

      Dave, this is more for Jay, but want to keep it on the same tread.

      Pelosi and house members know they have a weak case. So that is why they want witnesses, including new ones rhat were not part of the articles development.

      If they get that, then Trump gets to provide his witnesses, including Hunter and Joe Biden. Pelosi does not want that because that would turn this into the cirus it already is, but more people would see that.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 8:27 pm

        First – like the house the senate gets to make its own impeachment rules.

        The constitution provides absolutely no oversight over either chamber beyond the other chamber and the voters.

        So no matter what I say, or Lawrence Tribe says, or Alan Derschowitz says or Jay says, the only actual rules are those the senate chooses.

        When we talk about the process, we are either talking about what WOULD occur in an actual criminal or civil trial or what we think SHOULD occur.

        I absolutely agree with Alan Derschowitz that this is a farce that will cause serious harm in the future. This goes beyond Trump. The best possible resolution is to dismiss this as lacking a proper foundation without witnesses of any kind.
        To return it to the house with the clear message:
        Do not return without a crime, and do not ask for witnesses that you have not already had testify. The Senate is NOT there to fix the defects of the Houses case.

        That is What SHOULD happen. That is what Derschowitz is arguing.
        That is what the constitution says, that is what has been tradition.
        But no matter what constraints the constitution placed on impeachment, it provided no mechanism to enforc them – aside from voters. Without enforment definitions and constraints are meaningless. This was a mistake by our founders, one we should but likely will not address. But our founders were not infalible and neither is the constitution.
        It is not some sacred document. But it is the rules governing the powers of government.
        It is the law that all other law is subordinate to.
        If we do not like it, then we change it – or we live according to it.

        In some areas I have advocated that we should change the constitution – this would be one.
        But MOSTLY, I advocate that we follow the constitution as written. Not because it is biblically inerant dogma. Divinely inspired, but because it is our highest law, and we must obey it as written or CHANGE IT.

      • John Say permalink
        January 20, 2020 8:55 pm

        If we are going to follow the “due process” model that we do in all other such matters – the prosecutors do not have the right to any witnesses they wish. But the defense has the right to any witnesses relevant to its defense – even if there are no prosecution witnesses.

        Due process – the norms in the courts. Requires that the defense has access to any witness the prosecution intends to call and that it is informed of their testimony BEFORE the trial, and that it can question or depose them under oath BEFORE TRIAL.

        The defense also has the right to limit the prosecutions case in whatever ways the law allows. That includes precluding hearsay, and precluding priviledged witnesses.
        Spouses can not be required to testify against each other, counselors and priests usually can not be required to testify, lawyers can not be required to testify against their clients, and the advisors to the president are not typically permitted to testify against the president (executive priviledge is much broader than that, but that will do, here).
        Where there is questions about whether a privildge applies or whether the priviledge is defeated in the particular context – and generally priviledge does not apply when there is a crime involved and the conversation is about actions in furtherance of that crime or to coverup that crime – GENERALLY, not absolutely. The house has not alleged a crime, and absent an allegation of a crime they are unlikely to persuade the courts to override priviledge.

        I would personally like to hear Bolton. As apparently would Don Trump Jr. who has said – bring on the witnesses ALL of the witnesses.

        But if we are following due process – none of the house requested witnesses can testify.
        They are all subject to priviledge, no crime has been alleged – much less one they are complicit in, and absent SCOTUS ruling to breach priviledge they can not testify.

        Further due process generally bars prosecutors from calling witnesses without establishing BEFORE what they are going to contribute.

        Nadler and others have claimed that Hunter Biden is not relevant. That is stupidly not true.
        But he has one point – neither Bolton, nor any of these others are relevant without knowing what they are going to testify to – and the house does not. It is guessing, hoping.
        It is betting that Not only is Trump hiding Something by asserting priviledge but that what he is hiding is relevant. Both are possible, neitehr is established. Neitehr tells us what these people will say. BTW this is the standard for a witness at trial. It is not the standard for a witness to a grand jury.

        Prosecutors are free to waste the time of grand juries on fishing expeditions, they are not free to go on fishing expeditions at trial. In a normal trial the prosecutor would be asked for an offer of proof that the witness was relevant – basically the prosecutor telling the judge and the defense what the witness is going to say. But no one knows what these witnesses are going to say and therefore they would not make it to court. A prosecutor who failed to deliver on an offer of proof or whose witness failed to testify as expected could be held in contempt by the court. But we do not have that in this case.

        No one is precluding the house from litigating the testimony of any of these witnesses, and if the win having them testify in the house and if they say something relevant impeaching again. In which instance the Senate could choose to hear them – or more likely just read their testimony in the house.

        But subject to relevance the defence is generally entitled to whatever witnesses it wants.

        Contra nadler Everyone Trump wishes to call is relevant. Hunter Biden need not testify to anything more than what he has said in public to the media – and that would be enough to dismiss. Biden’s admitted conduct in Ukraine is sufficiently suspicious to warrant investigation. And that is the ONLY standard Trump must meet to request one.

        There is no law or standard that says you can not investigate political opponents. or act to your political advantage.

        The actual standard is that you can not do for political or personal reasons what you can not do for legitimate reasons.

        If you have 10,000 bad reasons for doing something and only one legally sufficient reason – you may do it.

        The standard to initiate an investigation is reasonable suspicion – that is the only standard.

        We are highly dubious when there are clearly political motives involved.
        Further when there are personal interests – such as with Biden – that does not preclude the investigation, but it does preclude personal involvement. Obama could have issued the threat Biden did, But Biden could not.
        There are no personal issues involving Trump – only political ones.

        Joe Biden and Hunter Biden are not immune from investigation because they are running for president.

        The above is how things SHOULD be – if we followed due process,
        Of course if we did that – the process in the house would have been different, because among other things the house is not a grand jury and the senate is not a petite jury and trial court, and this is not a criminal trial.

        But it is the precedent for the future. What the house has down – barring getting bitch slapped by the Senate and the public will become the norm – for future democrats and republicans.

        What the senate does will become the future norm too.

        I am all for reducing the power of the president – but this is not how to do that.

  32. John Say permalink
    January 20, 2020 6:22 pm

    This is a left critique of Joe Biden’s corruption.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/20/joe-biden-corruption-donald-trump

  33. John Say permalink
    January 20, 2020 6:24 pm

    Here is a pretty good critique of Trump’s Tarriffs from the right.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/01/trade-policy-tariffs-peter-navarro-examining-claims-they-helped-economy/

  34. John Say permalink
    January 20, 2020 6:52 pm

    A plurality now oppose Impeachment.
    Contra Jay – that is a 4pt swing in Trumps favor among those opposes since early October, and a 2pt swing in Trump’s favor from those supporting impeachment since October for a 6 pt total swing.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/public_approval_of_the_impeachment_and_removal_of_president_trump-6957.html

  35. John Say permalink
    January 20, 2020 6:58 pm

    Trump and his family got rich entirely before they entered politics. If anything becoming president has cost the Trump’s money.

    The Biden’s conversely have all gotten rich because Joe Biden was in politics.

    We here from Jay daily about political corruption and how Trump is profiting from the presidency – despite the fact that the data clearly show the opposite.

    Whether Joe Biden has actually committed a crime is an open question. It is entirely possible that nothing he has done that has enriched his family and himself was illegal.

    But it contrasts badly with the Trump’s who we are repeatedly told to villify because of their wealth – earned in free exchange not at the public trough.

    https://nypost.com/2020/01/18/how-five-members-of-joe-bidens-family-got-rich-through-his-connections/

  36. John Say permalink
    January 20, 2020 8:01 pm

    What if they held a gun rally in Virginia, and every body panniced and 23,000 people showed up with guns – avoiding the Govenors designated Gun Free Zones, and few counter protestors should up. Would there be violence ?

    Nope, Amazingly 23,000 people with guns and one arrest – of a counter protestor for wearing a mask in public.

    Militia’s all over the place. AR-15’s all over – and not one fired.

    What the Gun control Nazi’s do not seem to get is THEY are the danger, THEY are the source of violence.

    What happened in Richmond today is what would have happened in Charlottesville had the police done their jobs, or had counter protestors not showed up and broken through police barriers to harras the legitimate protestors.

    All of the people at Charlottesville were not “nice people”, but many of them were.
    More importantly – whether they were KKK members or Nazi’s or Proud Boys, whatever they beleived, however reprehensible their values were, so long as they did so without violence they are free to speak as they wish – even speak hatefully.

    Counter protestors too are free to speak as they please – even shouting obscentities and hate speach. What they are not free to do is initiate violence.

    What is missed in Charlotesville is that regardless of the actions of a scared paranoid young adult off his meds – James Fielding. the violence was initiated by the left.

    I do not care what who says. I do not care who has what values or motives.
    What you are not free to do is initiare force against others.

    Today we saw that the militias and gun nuts and even some “hate groups” are perfectly capable of being peaceful so long as they are not physically attacked.

    https://apnews.com/2c997c92fa7acd394f7cbb89882d9b5b

  37. John Say permalink
    January 21, 2020 12:07 am

    You can not fix the world, if your own life is a mess.

    Jay, your arguments about Trump’s character flaws would be far more compelling, if they were not coming from yourself and others whose character is so flawed and who in all honestly are so contemptuous of character – except when you can use it as a cudgel to pummel those you loath.

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 12:31 am

      To address character further – Schiff has argued, Nadler has argued, and YOU have argued that Republicans including Trump have claimed that Ukraine rather than Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

      We can debate the extent of Russian interferance – it was small. We can debate whether Russia was involved in Wikileaks, We can debate whether what Russia did had any effect or should be of concern. But I am not aware of anyone who has claimed Russia did nothing.

      When Schiff, Nadler and the Democratic impeachment brief claim otherwise they LIE.

      If this were an actual court of law – there would be legal and ethical consequences. But it is not.
      But the claim is still a lie.
      No one has claimed Russians did nothing.
      No one has claimed that what is attributed to Russia was actually been done by Ukraine.
      The only place such nonsense appears is within the arguments of democrats.
      I am not even aware of anyone who thinks that the Ukrianian actions were more significant than those of Russia.

      What is relevant regarding Ukrianian interference is that unlike Russian interference – Americans did “collude” – atleast in some of it.

      My concerns about Trump’s character prevented me from voting for him in 2016.
      But greater character and other concerns precluded voting for clinton.

      I have little interest in a claims of Trump’s impossibly bad character from people who voted for Clinton. I do not condemn their vote, But claiming that it was about character is the ultimate in hypocracy.

      Donald Trump may lose a contest of character to a person picked a random from the phone book. But his character is still head and shoulders above either of the Clintons.

      Donald Trump is not the best president we have ever had by a long shot, but he is the best in the 21st century, and possibly the best Since Reagan.

      It would be nice if choices – like those resting on character were absolute – that we just did not elect someone who did not have impecable character.
      But if that were the case no one currently running for president could get elected.

      Regardless, if you want to make claims about the bad character of another – you had damn well better be prepared to defend your own.

      You do not do that by lying and misrepresenting.

      Especially not stupidly.

      This nonsensical claim is not just that Donald Trump beleives the election interference by the russians was actually by the Ukrainians – Jay, the media, the Left and the house democrat impeachment managers are ascribing that position to pretty much all republicans.

      In what world is it good character to lie about 1/3 of the country to their faces, and expect them to beleive you ?

      Yet, you do that all the time.

      The strategy of the left on most everything can be summed up by a stupid childhood taunt.

      “Frack you and everyone who looks like you”.

      Do you think that is a winning argument ?

      This is the problem that occurs when you transform every difference of oppinion into an insult or a moral failure.

      I beleive Jay has finally conceded that only time will tell if Killing Soliemani was a wise or bad choice.

      We can debate the wisdom of the choice. We can present facts pro and con.
      We can provide arguments that are better for one position than the other.

      But we can not at this time and possibly ever establish with certainty that it was stupid, or fill in whatever moral or character flaw you wish.

      When you jump from facts, logic, reason, to insults you have not merely condemned your target – but absolutely everyone who is not 100% convinced that your position is undeniably right.

      What is most surprising is that it is taking so much time for everyone to turn on you, or for you to turn on yourselves. But that is slowly happening.

      • Jay permalink
        January 21, 2020 6:47 pm

        Blah blah blah.

      • John Say permalink
        January 21, 2020 10:02 pm

        Insults are not arguments.

  38. Jay permalink
    January 21, 2020 7:08 pm

    JonathanTurley one of the Republican witnesses in the House impeachment hearing:

    “The White House is arguing that you cannot impeach a president without a crime. It is a view that is at odds with history and the purpose of the Constitution.”

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 11:40 pm

      Word parsing.

      As has been noted many times – there is also an excellent article by Ilya Somin in Reason on this.

      The house can impeach for any reason they want – the only check on house impeachment is the Senate. The Senate can accept, reject, remove or acquit for any reason it wishes.

      The only check on the Senate is the voters.

      There is no appeal to the supreme court of the validity of articles of impeachment.

      The only legal authority with a final word on house articles of impeachment is the Senate.

      And there is no appeal from the Senate.

      The house can absolutely impeach for any reason at all.

      The Senate can return the articles of impeachment to the house for any reason at all – including that they do not allege a crime.

      The president is arguing that the Senate should either do that or should acquit because there is no crime.

      There is nothing even slightly wrong with that argument.

      Just as the house is free to argue they can impeach for spitballs.

      But the final decision as to what constitutes grounds for trial – us the view of 51 Senators, and for removal is the view of 67 senators.

      Oddly I beleive that one of the examples Dershowitz used exposes the flaw in his own argument. If Putin invaded Alaska and Trump did nothing – that would NOT be a crime.
      But it likely would result in impeachment and the public would accept that.

      But THIS garbage does not.

      The fact that there is no crime alleged does NOT bar impeachment, it also does not require the Senate to proceed.

      It is perfectly valid to argue the Senate should not proceed without a crime.

      That is NOT absolute – there is nothing about impeachment that is absolute.
      But that is an excelent rule of thumb.

  39. Jay permalink
    January 21, 2020 7:12 pm

    The GOP is voting not to subpoena State Department documents relevant to impeachment.

    If you subpoena documents, you might get them.

    If you get documents, you might read them.

    If you read documents, you might learn things.

    If you learn things, you might have to do something, like impeach.

    Oh… now I get it. Party over principal.

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 11:48 pm

      “If you subpoena documents, you might get them.”

      A trial is not about what you MIGHT prove, it is about what you CAN prove.

      If a prosecutor comes into court and says to the judge at the start of the Trial – I do not have the evidence I need to make my case, please let me do more investigation – the court will throw out the case – possibly with predjudice.

      The Senate is holding a trial. Not an investigation, they are NOT like a grand jury.

      I am not sure exactly how the Senate is handling this.

      Frankly I think they should tell the house managers that either they are prepared to proceed with what they have, and that they can call the same witnesses they have already deposed – so long as they are not presenting hearsay. And they can use whatever documents they already have, or they can go home.

      The house is free to continue the investigation as long as they want. They are free to get whatever documents and witnesses they want – before their own committees.

      They are not free to come to the senate with a half baked case and beg to waste the senates time in the hope they can fix it.

      What they MIGHT learn is irrelevant.

      Courts require offers of proof to allow you to proceed.
      That is what you CAN prove NOW.

    • John Say permalink
      January 21, 2020 11:50 pm

      “Oh… now I get it. Party over principal.”

      That is right – democrats brought a weak partisan impeachment. they have no case and now they are begging the Senate to fix the mess they made.

      That is their job.

      Neither Pelosi nor the house managers control the Senate.

      They did not follow their own rules. They do not get to make new rules for the Senate.

  40. Jay permalink
    January 21, 2020 7:17 pm

    Nunes has been laying low all week.
    Wonder if this has something to do with it:

    “ An aide to Rep. Devin Nunes exchanged dozens of text messages with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas about a search for information on former Vice President Joe Biden from Ukrainian prosecutors,” wrote Sophia Bollag of The Sacramento Bee. “The exchanges include repeated references by Nunes aide Derek Harvey and Parnas to Biden. Parnas allegedly helped carry out President Donald Trump’s campaign to pressure the Ukrainian government for investigations that would benefit Trump’s re-election.”

    https://www.fresnobee.com/opinion/article239465588.html#storylink=cpy

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 12:02 am

      Given that so much of this reporting proves to be crap – I am not going to presume this to be true – though the information in the article itself is a bit different from your claim.

      But lets assume it is true.

      The Ukriane is corrupt – that is a given.

      There is much more than reasonable suspicion regarding Hunter and Joe Biden’s actions in the Ukraine.
      There are also many other suspicious things involving the Ukraine.

      I am not even slightly surprised that many people might be investigating.

      I absolutely WANT THEM TO.

      What I do find extremely disturbing is that the very people who are claiming that investigating political rivals is improper – impeachable and can not be done under any circumstances are up to their necks in investigating political rivals.

      How exactly is it that it is Wrong for Trump to ask Ukraine to Investigate Biden,
      and yet OK for Schiff to investigate Nunes ?

      Regardless, Democrats have absolutely Jumped the Shark here.

      This is stupid and desparate.

      Republicans control the Senate – Sen. Graham – who you hate, has asserted that the Senate is NOT going to subpeona Adam Schiff.

      The more House democrats investigate republicans members of congress and their staff’s the more likely it is that Senate Republicans start investigating Democratic Senators and Congressmen.

      This is a huge mistake.

      And God forbid that come November republicans take the house back.

      You really really should stop doing things you can not undo.

      Thus far democrats have changed the rules repeatedly and it has ALWAYS bit them in the ass. This time is not likely to be different.

  41. Jay permalink
    January 21, 2020 7:38 pm

    “It’s not the role of the House to do the Senate’s job. Under our Constitution, “[t]he Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” That means introducing documents, presenting evidence, and calling witnesses.”
    Justin Amish

    Those who don’t want to KNOW the truth are worse than those who want to HIDE the truth…

    • Jay permalink
      January 21, 2020 7:40 pm

      “Silence becomes a kind of crime when it operates as a cover or an encouragement to the guilty.”
      —Thomas Paine

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 12:22 am

        “Silence becomes a kind of crime when it operates as a cover or an encouragement to the guilty.”
        —Thomas Paine

        Go back to the house and finish your investigation.

        Meanwhile quit your own dubious efforts to thwart every investigation you do not like.

        Exactly how is it that you have the balls to impeach Trump for investigating a political rival when that is what you are doing ?

        Exactly how is it that you have the balls to demand evidence while you are actively using every means at your disposal including impeachment to THWART investigation ?

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 12:15 am

      Jay,

      We already know the truth – if every thing that democrats allege is true – Trump should not be impeached.

      I am actually annoyed at Rep. Jordan who keeps saying
      There was no QPQ, the Ukrainins did not know that money was witheld, there was no investigation there was no announcement of an investigation and the money was released by teh end of the year.

      All those things appear to be true.

      But they are facts – and though the burden to establish the facts rests with the investigators, and contra Amash who should know better Trials are NOT places where investigators continue to investigate. They are where prosecutors present the results of their investigations. The purpose of witnesses is to introduce the evidence the prosecutors already have in the form that courts admit. Courts are NOT investigative bodies.

      But this impeachment does not hinge on those facts – which is why they are irrelevant and why no documents or witnesses are necescary.

      The CORE democratic allegation is that political opponents are immune from investigation.

      You must accept that as being true to impeach. That is not a question of fact.

      No one contests that Trump sought to have the Bidens investigated.

      There are questions regarding the amount of effort Trump put into getting an investigation of the Biden’s. And What Jordan correctly points out is that Trump did not “pressure” the Ukrinians to investigate.

      But he did ask.

      If asking is legitimate – Trump can not be impeached, and there is no need for witnesses.

      Whatever you think Bolton or whoever is going to testify to is unimportant.

      We do not investigate non-crimes – no matter how much we might “want to know”.

      But if the house managers do not like that – if they are desparate to know more – they have the oportunity to do as they please with only the courts – not the senate to impede them – in the house.

      • January 22, 2020 9:29 am

        Just a side note on Amash: I never liked him, even when he was posing as a member of the “freedom caucus” and claiming that he was a libertarian. I do not believe that he is a true libertarian.

        He’s basically nothing more than an attention seeker, and after Trump was elected, he became a victim of terminal TDS, so much so that the freedom caucus had to throw him out.

        Now that he’s left the party, he’s still an attention seeker, a useful idiot for the Democrats.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:56 pm

        I like Amash. I like him alot. On most things I fully agree with him.

        But not this.

        I think he is very libertarian.

        Though I think he has difficulty distinguishing between how things are and how they should be.

        We SHOULD have a far less powerful government – the president AND congress should be less powerful.

        That is not what we have. When we shift from legislation to impeachment, what matters is the rules we HAVE not those we should.

        I am not in favor of disempowering the presidency, by empowering congress.

        I want a less powerful government – not a different branch in charge.

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 12:19 am

      What Trump is it that is being hidden that is relevant ?

      There is reasonable suspicion to investigate lots of things that occured in Ukraine – especially involving americans.

      The harder democrats try to thwart those investigations – the more we should investigate – isn;t that your argument ?

      While this claim the Senate must give the House what it wants is nonsense.

      Graham has vowed to dig into Ukraine – why isn;t Schiff subpeoning his texts ?

      What is wrong with Nunes looking into Ukraine ? I though investigations and document requests were required – what is it that democrats are hiding ?

      Isn’t that your argument ?

  42. Jay permalink
    January 21, 2020 7:45 pm

    The GOP President Bullshitter is at it again:

    “ WASHINGTON (AP) — On a rarefied world stage in the Swiss Alps, President Donald Trump cited accomplishments on clean air that aren’t real, a level of economic progress he hasn’t achieved and a blue-collar boom yet to be seen.

    His preening performance at the Davos economic conference was rife with distortion.”

    https://apnews.com/66e93c782beccc4d3efbaaf7a4eb094a

    • January 21, 2020 10:42 pm

      Who said having witnesses testify amounted to “political theater.” on January 29, 1999 “It seems to me that no good case has been made for witnesses.” A few days later he said, “I wonder if the House managers aren’t a little more interested in political theater than in actually getting to the bottom of the facts.”

      Wow! And now this person writes to McConnell where he demands witnesses against Trump “We believe this proposal will allow for a trial in which all of the facts can be considered fully and fairly, and in which final votes can be taken within a reasonable period of time, without any unnecessary delay. Conducting the trial according to this plan will also allow the public to have confidence in the process and will demonstrate that the Senate can put aside partisan concerns and fulfill its constitutional duty.”

      Answer for $200. Chuck Shumer.

      Well since Americans are about as smart today as in 1999. He believed that Clintons impeachment was political theater, so now he should apply that same standard to the current impeachment. What’s goog for the goose is good for the gander!

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:24 pm

        The fundimental issue is NOT “witnesses” it is whether the Senate will allow the House Managers to use the Senate as a platform to continue investigating.

        This is a Trial not an investigations – if the house has witnesses that it KNOWS will testify to make its case – within reason it should be free to call them.

        I would have done the rules different from McConnell. I would have said – the Senate will sit 12 hours a day until this is complete. The House has the first 5 12 hour days.
        It can present its case as it wishes – subject to the rules of evidence – i.e. witnesses will not be permitted to offer hearsay.

        If you want Bolton and Trump is asserting executive priviledge and you have not gotten the courts to overrule that claim – oh, well, your problem. You have 5 days to make your case.

        On day 6 the defense starts – same deal – 5 days. Witnesses, no witnesses, your choice.
        But we are not delaying to allow you to litiate to compel the witnesses you want.

        BTW this is often how ordinary trials go.

        The house could have had its ducks lined up. It could have completed its investigation – the houses failures are its own problems.

        As has been noted – nothing precludes the house from going to court to get witnesses and bringing this back in a month or three.

        But the house should not be allowed to waste the Senates time because the house did not do its job.

        This is not about Trump. it is about fundimental failure.

        The House managers beleive they could better make their case with certain testimony – maybe that it True. Just as likely their case would get worse rather than better.

        But no court in this country would allow a prosecutor to waste its time as the prosecutor called an assortment of people that it had not already interviewed or deposed in the HOPE they would make its case.

        Real prosecutors get sanctioned if the try to do that.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:32 pm

        There is plenty of clip trading that can be done over this. Graham was a house manager in 1999 and much of what he said then atleast appears to contradict what he is saying now.

        But I would note the question was quite different in 1999.

        The question then was – Should the senators read depositions of Clinton, Lewinsky, ….
        Or should the be able to look them in the eye as they testify.

        The question was NOT what will the witnesses say, but will the evidence be better judged by reading it or by listening to it.

        Today the House managers have no idea what their requested witnesses will say.

        They are not seeking to prove their case, they are not claiming that Bolton will be credible – they do not even know what Bolton will say.

        The issue of witnesses was less charged in 1999 too. Because Monica Lewinsky was 20 and no one knew how she would come off in person. It was not what she would say – but how she would say it. Though the house managers wanted lewinsky it was NOT the hill they wanted to die on – because she could backfire.

        Bolton could easily backfire on the House – He is a hail mary pass.

      • January 22, 2020 5:18 pm

        Of course there is clip trading. That is because both the Clinton impeachment and the Trump impeachment IS BULL SHIT and not a crime!

        It is ALL POLITICAL THEATER TO GET THEIR CANDIDATE ELECTED!

        Why can’t you get that through your head?

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:27 pm

        Ultimately the outcome of the Clinton impeachment is about right.
        Though as a Senator I would have voted to remove.

        MOSTLY Clinton’s actions that Starr was investigating – even if criminal and proveable would not have been impeachable. Prosecute after the end of his term. SCOTUS should have tolled the time on the Jones case and required it to go forward after the presidency.
        But it did not.

        But lying under oath subborning perjury and soliciting the destruction of evidence are “high Crimes” – the fact that they were not official presidential acts was Clinton’s defense.
        It was a good one BUT those things are still “high crimes” they cur right at the foundation of the rule of law and of the presidents oath to enforce the law.

      • January 22, 2020 10:57 pm

        So you are saying the two articles against Clinton were from Paula Jones and not from the !ewinski affair?

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 3:09 am

        “So you are saying the two articles against Clinton were from Paula Jones and not from the !ewinski affair?”

        The lawyers from the Jones case in discovery and depositions asked Clinton about other women, and he lied under oath. I beleive he was specifically asked about Lewinsky – as well as many other women that there were rumours regarding.

        As I recall, sometime long AFTER that deposition, Lewinsky confided in Linda Tripp.
        And that is what brought the fact that Clinton had lied to the attention of the Independent Counsel. Clinton was then brought before a grandjury – and lied again.

        Clitnon then told Lewisnky that she could make this all go away by getting rid of all gigtes from him and filing an affidavit that nothing happened – with the aide of Vernon Jordan she did.

        At that point Starr grabbed lewinsky, Her apartment was searched, and the blue dress with Clinton DNA was found.

        So Starr had Clinton for lying in the Paula Jones deposition, Lying to the Grand Jury, gettting Lewinsky to destroy evidence and getting Lewinsky to file a false deposition.

        SCOTUS never should have allowed the Jones case to go forward.

        I am sympathetic to Jones – and after he was out of office she should have taken Clinton to the cleaners.

        But from the moment SCOTUS allowed this to go forward, Bill Clinton’s mistakes – his Crimes were his own. They were not forced. Nor are any excusable. He knew what he was doing and he knew how serious it was.

        Just because Congressional Republicans were gunning for him, does not excuse his Crimes.

        It is my understanding that Starr has said that all the other stuff he was investigating kept leading to Hillary, not Bill It is not that Whitewater etc did not lead to Crimes, it is not that there was nothing to find or investigate. it is that Starr felt that Hillary was not a legitimate target for his investigation. He was not going to try to send the First Lady to jail.

      • Jay permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:52 pm

        But Ron- witnesses WERE CALLED in the Clinton Senate impeachment trial, including Lewinsky. As were witnesses called to testify in all previous presidential impeachment’s, and dozens of other federal impeachment trials.

        And why didn’t you mention in non-partisan fashion McConnell supported calling witnesses in the Clinton impeachment? Maybe you wouldn’t be as bored watching it on cable if Bolton and Parness were called to testify; I bet you’d be glued to the screen if Stormy testified – l know I would.

        https://www.newsweek.com/resurfaced-video-shows-mitch-mcconnell-supporting-witnesses-bill-clinton-impeachment-trial-i-1483335

      • January 22, 2020 5:28 pm

        I dont give a flying F what is said or who is called to say it. This is no different than Newt Gingrich impeaching Clinton for a blow job in the white house and trying to cover it up.

        There is no crime, there is no treason. There is no taking a bribe. There is no high crimes. nor are there misdemeanors The house failed to find that and now they want to continue investigating. The senate holds a trial based on house information in the articles, NOTHING MORE!!!!!!

        Its all about weakening Trump for the election. Mueller was unable to do it, so Pelosi stepped in and called her lap dog from California that got elected because the GOP representative from that district supported impeaching Clinton. Schiff ran on not impeaching for political reasons and look at him now..

        You and I will never ever agree on the rile of government and how government should act. You believer whatever government wants to do is fine because government is good and fair. I believe government for the most part is corrupt and those in leadership have only one thing in mind. Power.

        Power brings attention. Power bring wealth. Power distroys!!!!!

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:45 pm

        As noted before – this fight is NOT over witnesses. Witnesses are normal in trials.

        Continued INVESTIGATION is not.

        Prosecutors are NOT pretty much ever allowed to call witnesses if they can not tell the court what evidence they are GOING to give.

        That means they have already testified to a grand jury or been interviewed on the record.

        I have zero problems with allowing the House to call any of the witnesses they deposed in the house – with the provisos that normal procedures are followed – the president’s lawyers are provided with unredacted transcripts of their full testimony and inadmissible assertions are not permitted – such as hearsay, and there is a right to full cross examination and rebutal.

        But house democrats are not trying to call those – like lewinsky who had already been deposed and where the prosecutor can make an offer of proof as to what will be testified to.

        If The house wants Bolton – go to court to enforce your subpeona.
        depose him in the house and then if there is anything there – you can have him testify in the senate.

        That is how trials operate.

        Trials are NOT fishing expeditions. The house is throwing a hail mary, the senate should not allow themselves to be used.

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 12:28 am

      US emmissions have been dropping precipitously as fracking has made natural gas cheaper and more readily available.

      This started under Obama – no thanks to Obama who fought Fracking tooth and nail.
      It continues to the present.

  43. January 22, 2020 9:20 am

    “[To embrace the possibilities of tomorrow, we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse. They are the heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune-tellers — and I have them and you have them, and we all have them, and they want to see us do badly, but we don’t let that happen. They predicted an overpopulation crisis in the 1960s, mass starvation in the ’70s, and an end of oil in the 1990s. These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform, and control every aspect of our lives.”

    ~ from Donald Trump’s speech at Davos.

    While cable news fpcused obsessively on the bloviating Adam Schiff and his minions at the impeachment trilal, Trump gave one of the best speeches of his presidency, if not the best, at the World Economic Summit.

    ” We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country, or eradicate our liberty. America will always be the proud, strong, and unyielding bastion of freedom.
    In America, we understand what the pessimists refuse to see: that a growing and vibrant market economy focused on the future lifts the human spirit and excites creativity strong enough to overcome any challenge — any challenge by far.”

    Much of what passes for “news ” these days is simply distraction from the things that the media would prefer we not hear, because it might help Trump.

    In any case, it was an excellent speech. It focused on every country focuing on the needs of its own people, instead of a global order. Probably went over like a lead balloon at Davos, which is primarily a globalist summit….

    • January 22, 2020 11:47 am

      Priscilla, if the cable stations are wasting time on the impeachment, advertisers will ask for a refund. I tried watching part of it and lasted all of 15 minutes, part in the afternoon and part late night. This is worse than listening to congressional members standing in front of empty chairs, with one or two filled with staff members, acting as though they are addressing the chamber membership.

      Only those like Jay that live to hear TDS will watch this circus. Its worse than watching crab grass grow!

      • Jay permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:08 pm

        I haven’t watched and won’t watch any of it: GOP announced before their show trialthey’re going to exonerate him; with that certain crappy ending already established, why waste the time.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:49 pm

        This is YOU show trial, not theirs. All the republicans in the senate have better things to do and would do them but for your insistence on pushing garbage.

        There is no immunity from investigation confered on a candidate for alleged past bad acts confered by running for office.

        The ONLY question is whther there is reasonable suspicion of misconduct – and their clearly was. This should have died before it started.

        This is a gigantic hail marry.
        Hoping that just maybe it will damage Trump or some republicans senators and NOT damage biden or democrats,
        It is an effort to thwart the investigation of democratic misconduct in Ukraine.

        That is all. and it is a flop.

        The GOP is not exonerating Trump – democrats had not at any time from start to this moment had a case.

        There is no crime. Absolutely the house is free to say – impeachment does not require a crime.
        Just as absolutely the Senate is free to say – and we will not bother to hold a trial unless you charge a crime.

      • January 22, 2020 4:51 pm

        Jay, the founding fathers were clear in their thinking about impeachment. They were not in favor of this to happen and made it clear that it was to be used for the worst of crimes. Treason, taking a bribe and other HIGH crimes and misdemeanors.

        Clintons blow job and subsequents lies and manipulations never reached that level. Trumps issues that the democrats have caused to result in an impeachment does not come close to a high crime. In fact the IS NO CRIME!

        Everyone says that the president can be impeached for whatever congress says so. That is total BULL SHIT!

        They were clear. In the federalist papers they were clear. Someone can not be removed because you dont like them, you find them morally repugnant ,they are incompetent or any other host of reasons the opposing party doe not like them.

        The level to achieve impeachment was made high by the founders. Our congresses since the 90’s have lowered that bar where it is now becoming a tool for reelection. Each and every president going forward will face impeachment criteria much lower than ever expected by the founders.

        You say this country is screwed if Trump goes another 4 years. I say it is already screwed anytime the house happens to be of a different party than the president. If Joe Biden get elected and somehow the house flips during his term to the GOP, don’t you think the GOP is going to return the impeachment favor? I think he has as much to worry about as does Trump in that regard.

        And yes, the GOP will not vote to remove, just as the democrats did not vote to remove Clinton. The senate at least is a little less political than the house, thank god!

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:18 pm

        Ron, do not conflate CAN with SHOULD.

        Democrats CAN do this.
        But it is stupid, and dangerous.
        As you note this is NOT what they wanted.

        The Senate dissmissing without hearing it is the BEST response – that makes clear that the House should not do something just because it can.

        But the constitution provides no check on the house besides the senate and no check on both besides voters. The absences of a check – means that “High Crimes and msdemeanors” means whatever those in congress thinks it means.

        I would have no problem changing the constitution.

        It would be pretty simple to add an amendment that said Articles of impeachment can be reviewed by the Supreme court for constitutional compliance.

        Something that simple would now mean that “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” would be subject to constitutional and legal review. It would no longer mean whatever the congress says it means.

        If that were the case the arguments of Turley and Derschowitz would automatically be correct.

        This is NOT what our founders intended. It is exactly the opposite of what they intended.

        No one tried to impeach Jefferson – a founder when he actually did what democrats are claiming Trump is doing and ordered the US AG to prosecute a political rival (who was acquitted) of Treason. That was a blatantly political act.

      • January 22, 2020 10:50 pm

        I never said what they should do or what is smart to do. What I tried to point out was the founding fathers had their clear understanding what they thought should be impeachable offenses. The Clinton and Trump BS is political. Heck, I think even the Jackson impeachment was political. There were real crimes with Nixon. There were none with Clinton or Trump

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 2:56 am

        Was Clinton Political – yup.

        Did Clinton commit a “high crime” yup.
        Regardless, whatever problems the Clinton impeachment had – this is completely different.
        If Trump actually lied under oath, if Trump got others to lie under oath, if Trump asked others to destroy evidence – even under circumstances where he was being politically targeted and where there was no crime. I would support impeaching Trump.

        Is this what our founders wanted “nope”.

        But it is unfortunately what the constitution they created allows.

        The constitutionally afforded remedy is for the Senate to treat this as unseriously as they possibly can – they should have dismissed out of hand.

        The more seriously this is taken the more certain it will happen again – soon.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:52 pm

        All trials start with a presumption of innocence.

        If the house does not have evidence to overcome that – and we all know the evidence the house has – your observation that this is a waste of time is correct.

        YOU are wasting everyone’s time.

      • Jay permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:12 pm

        The GOP Senators are not all in the chamber, listening to testimony? Isn’t full attendance required by the rules the Republicans instituted?

      • January 22, 2020 5:02 pm

        No According to Heritage Guide to the Constitution “The Constitution fastens the responsibility of trying impeachments upon the Senate. Yet some Senators have doubted whether they have the requisite competence to try impeachments. Rule XI was adopted as a response to poor attendance and preparation by Senators in impeachment trials in the early twentieth century. Yet even in the 1980s, some Senators claimed that they had not bothered to prepare before voting, and such proceedings diverted their energies away from legislative business of greater concern to their constituents. Others argued the proceedings restored their confidence in the Senate’s institutional competence to conduct them. In any event, the Framers of the Constitution vested that task in the Senate and nowhere else.

        The last question is the continuing debate over how effective impeachment is as a remedy for executive or judicial misconduct. After the acquittal of President Clinton, some commentators have wondered whether impeachment is a meaningful option for dealing with a popular President’s misconduct. Some believe that Clinton’s acquittal strengthened the presidency because it makes it less likely future Presidents will face serious impeachment attempts for private misconduct. Others think Clinton’s acquittal reflects an appropriate compromise that was consistent with the structure: he had been impeached by the House and therefore disgraced for his misconduct but not removed from office. Validation of these competing views must await future impeachment trials.”

        Rule XI is the requirement of 2/3rds majority. The GOP did not address this in the curent rule making as it was already there.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:20 pm

        Almost no one is in the chamber – almost no one ever is. Senate proceedings are broadcast in the halls and to senators offices.

        In attendance means – actually in the senate listening, not in the Senate Chamber.

        None of this is new. Nor is it unique to the Senate – the house works the same.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 4:39 pm

        From what I can find – no regular network showing normal programming has take a hit from the impeachment hearings, and of the channels covering impeachment – Fox is dominating the ratings.

        This is NOT compelling. People do not care.

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 4:34 pm

      The clips sounded very good.

    • Jay permalink
      January 22, 2020 4:59 pm

      Great Davos peach: I wonder who wrote it for Trump? And who read it to him, explaining what it meant?

      Did you hear his improvised speech to reporters later, when he admitted he had suppressed House impeachment evidence ?

      https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/trump-impeachment-evidence-we-have-all-the-material-they-dont-941140/

      • Jay permalink
        January 22, 2020 5:40 pm

        And Priscilla- at Davos today Trump, the man who knows more about everything than anyone, clarified something I had been mistaken about of my entire life: the inventor of the wheel.

        Trump on copyright: “We have to protect Thomas Edison—we have to protect all of these people that came up with originally the light bulb, and the wheel, and all of these things…”

        Good thing I nerves appeared on jeopardy and got a question about that!

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:56 pm

        Trump is wrong – not about the inventor of the wheel – you can not parse that sentence to get the conclusion you are reaching.

        Trump is wrong because copyrights are not patents, and because intelectual property is a bad idea.

        Ideas are not property.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:53 pm

        Of Course Trump has everything – he is the president. The house is after his records.

        Go to court and get them. Courts sort this out. Not the house, not the president.

        But democrats have screwed themselves – by not alleging a crime – they have weakened their claims in court – it is unlikely you get Bolton especially or anyone where there is a national security issue without demonstrating to the court probable cause of a crime – that is what it takes to breach priviledge in a national security area.

        Some of these other witnesses and documents – they would probably get.
        In the context of impeachemnt it takes 3 months to get through to SCOTUS.

        Oct, Nov. Dec.

        It is january. This F’up is on the House.

        Recently the courts said FU to the house subpeona of Bolton’s aide – not on the merits, but because the house dropped their claim and did not show up in court.

        It is pretty hypocritical to demand a witness that you had an easy oportunity to get.

  44. Jay permalink
    January 22, 2020 4:31 pm

    But the beat goes on:

    “The Trump administration secretly approved the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi without informing Congress.

    One transfer was signed off 16 days after the journalist was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October and a second came in February.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trump-sold-nuclear-tech-to-saudis-in-secret-after-khashoggi-killing-9q39glhwc

    Humm. Has Trump secretly transferred any nuke tech to Russia?
    As commander in creepiness, can he do that without congressional approval?
    If it’s not against the law, according to GOPers it wouldn’t be impeachable. Wonder what Trump’s quid-pro-quo would be on that ‘perfect’ call with Putin?

    • January 22, 2020 5:15 pm

      Why are you digging up shit from 2017 that congress has already investigated? There were 123 agreements that congress has already reviewed.

      • Jay permalink
        January 22, 2020 6:03 pm

        I hadn’t seen that ‘shit’ story until now.
        And it was first in the news on 06/04/19
        And Congress obviously didn’t review those two agreement in 2017 because one occurred in Oct 2018 and the other in Feb 2019 – and neither came to light for two months later.

        So I don’t know what 123 agreements you’re talking about.

      • January 22, 2020 7:05 pm

        Google ” Trump sells nuclear arms tosaudi Arabia”. I think its the armcintrol.com or something like that article that references ov e r 120 investigations.

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 8:01 pm

      The largest most powerful nuclear weapon ever created is Russian.

      They do not need US nuclear secrets.

      Reagan gave the Russians the secrets to stealth – because it would bankrupt them trying to beat it.

  45. Jay permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:03 pm

    And for laughs, some Rudy buffoonery:

    Giuliani on Lev Parnas’s exclusive description, to Reuters, of a meeting with a Venezuelan under criminal investigation.

    “Lev Parnas has no right to be talking about that meeting,” Giuliani said. “It was a confidential meeting – if it did happen.”

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 8:17 pm

      There is alot of missing information on this.

      The story running – which we do not know whether is True is that Guilliani asked for leniency from the DOJ for a client who claims to have been providing assistance to Venezuellan opposition.

      Lev Parnas is asking for Lieneicy for whatever it is he thinks he is doing.

      Asking for leiniency in return for something that government values is not unusual.

      It would be a lawyers job to do so.

      But we do not know any of this for sure regardless.

      But presuming that the Parnas claim is true – so what ?

      I have zero problem with Guilliani asking for leiniency for one of his clients – for any reason.

      It appears DOJ did not take Gulliani up. But lets say it did.

      Lets say that Guilliani asked the Obama DOJ for leinecy for a client working to topple Maduro.

      I would say “make the deal”

      Though there are lots of questions here – including how Parnas became aware of information that is priviledged.

      The big question is whether Guilliani’s client actually assisted in toppling Maduro.

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 8:19 pm

      OMG Guilliani did …. what lawyers do, and tried to get a deal for his client.

      Jail him NOW!!!!!!!!

      OMG Guilliani helped someone seeking to help topple Maduro.

      Death Penalty!!!!!!

      * more than one “!” is a heavy sarcasm warning.

  46. John Say permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:07 pm

    Biden aparently snapped at a reporter today over questions about Sanders.

    Biden is not holding up well to mostly softball questioning. That might get him the Democratic nomination, but he is not going to get to Nov. 2020 without having to answer lots of tough questions. And come off like Trump only angrier is not going to play well.

    • Jay permalink
      January 22, 2020 6:10 pm

      More twisted misinformation from Trumpville.

      Social media commentary today was filled with positive Biden information about his character and “presidential’ temperament, including this rave review of his appearance on Morning Joe:

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:59 pm

        Many reporters – on the left, have noted that Biden is fumbling softballs, and doing really badly on tough questions.

        You can beleive whatever you want, but eventually he is going to face tough questions.

        One of the purposes of a primary is to vet candidates. Biden is being protected, by democrats and the media. They will not be able to do that forever.

      • Jay permalink
        January 23, 2020 9:28 am

        Fumbling questions?

        I bet he can answer the reason he’s visiting at the USS Arizona during a Pearl Harbor memorial tour … and doesn’t flummox assertions the Continental Army took over the airports from the British and got control of the air 125 years prior to airplanes… and doesn’t mispronounce General of the Army Douglas MacArthur‘s name three times when talking to US Army soldiers… or use quotes from Mussolini claiming they’re his own…

        Interesting how you double-standard ignore Trump’s constant fumbling to criticize a few from Biden.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 1:26 pm

        I am not talking about “fumbling” in the sense of

        Is he mentally competent. Yes, there are questions regarding Biden as well as Sanders and Trump.

        Every politician who handles lots of questions “fumbles’ some and if they are older – we get a spate of doubts about their competence.

        I am talking about – getting angry about being asked tough questions – especially by constituents rather than reporters.

        I am talking about not having good answers to tough questions that HE KNOWS are going to be asked.

        Getting angry because he is asked about Hunter and Burisma played OK for a day or too.
        We are passed that. If Biden wants to be president – he needs to answer those questions, and he needs answers that voters will buy.

        He is not doing that.

        This is not about his competence. This is about his unwillingness to answer hard questions.

      • January 23, 2020 9:17 am

        I have no doubt that Biden is a very credible witness to the effects of loss and grief. He has experienced significant losses. Most people have great personal sympathy for him.

        But that does not make him qualified to be president. He has always been considered a good politician and a “nice guy.”

        But it is very clear from his campaign events, debates and interviews, that he is not mentally sharp, that he has some serious health concerns, and, most importantly, that he has allowed members of his family, not just Hunter, to trade on the family name, to get multimillion dollar deals from companies that otherwise would not have had anything to do with them. That is blatant corruption.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 1:20 pm

        Jay has demanded here, day after day that Trump provide explanations for his entire families financial dealings – despite the fact that those are private.

        He has further made claims of public corruption – because Trump businesses sometimes deliver service to the US government.

        And he has made further claims of public corruption because Trump business sometimes deliver services to foreign governments or lobbyists.

        The first demand is crap. None of us are entitled to know whatever we want about others.

        Jay is wrong in any claim that the Trump familiy can not do business with the federal government or with foreign governments or with those lobbying government.

        But he is correct that processes need to exist to protect us from corruption in those instances, and that whenever there is a nexus between public service and private action there needs to be scrutiny.

        Those questions are proper – whether they involve Trump or Biden.

        We can debate whether Trump inordinately profits from his business entanglements with government. But there is no debate that they are NOT the foundation of his success.

        Conversely it appears that the success of the Biden familiy is inextricably linked to Joe Biden’s public services.

        The Trumps do not appear to have profited ever by selling influence – they have sold goods and services.

        The Bidens do not appear to have sold anything except influence.

        There is no absolute proof that the Biden’s are corrupt. there is a great deal of reason to be asking tough questions and to require answers.

        Joe Biden is failing miserably at that.

        It is NOT going to get better between now and Nov. – if he makes it that far.

        No one debates the sacrife the Biden family has made with their Son Beau

        But Hunter and Brother Bill are not Beau

      • January 23, 2020 4:44 pm

        Dave, your summary on Jay’s positions are spot on. So relate that to my many comments about communication and how it impacts voters.

        The left wing media bangs on those points daily. Those following the news talk with others and convince the listeners that those “facts” are correct. When they are not communicating this, Trump is because he is defending himself against incorrect facts, but he leads credence to them because that is in the fore front and not the positives.

        I have a hard time not believing his approval ratings would not be 3-5 points higher inconsistently if all of his tweets and comments were on the positives and he ignored the negatives, or at least just said a couple times a week that he was not worried about the lack of action by the democrats and his attention was on all the good things taking place and expanding those as much as possible.

        With his communication style, he is going to take his 60+ minutes of State of the Union speech time on fake news and impeachment hoax.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 7:49 pm

        I am loath to address hypotheticals.

        If fewer of Trump’s comments were negative – fewer would make the news period.

        Trump has very few opportunities to speak uncorrelated or edited.
        The state of the Union. and to attendees at Trump rallies.
        In all other cases while he controls his words, He has no control over which portion of what he says is reported. If Trump speaks for 20 Minutes the media gets to decide which 30s of that is on the news.

        This is not unique to Trump – it is true of everyone. It is why the political biases of the media are relevant, and why “gotcha” journalism is inherently evil. Asking tough questions is fine. But the objective is to get to THE truth – not YOUR truth. The story of Trump should not be what Trump wants us to hear. But it should also NOT be what one ideology wants us to hear.

        You say Trump’s approval would be better if he was less negative – did that work of Romney or McCaine ?

        I think Trump learned long before running for president that controversy would get him attention.

        He has been attacked brutally, relentlessly his entire life.
        He has learned to thrive in controversy.

        Directly addressing your premise – in some hypothetical world that does not exist Trump’s approval ratings would likely be 20pts higher – if everyone eschewed defamation and focussed on actual argument and actual fact based criticism.

        But that is not the real world.

        The left and Trump adopted Alinsky’s tactics – BECAUSE THEY WORK.
        It has been nearly impossible for republicans to get elected – because alinsky’s tactics work.

        As I noted in another post – in what rational world who the best educated people, the elites beleive by super majorities that socialsim – the worst political/economic system was superior to free markets – the best one ?

        In the real world today – well educated intelligent people beleive utter nonsense.
        This is not “science”.

        But it is the world as it is, it is how things work.

        The radical left has moved from marxist class warfare on to identity politics – which is a permutation of the same thing – only now opressed and oppressor are not determined solely by wealth and class, but by a wide variety of victim statuses.

        The rich oppress the poor, whites oppress blacks, Straights oppress gays, and everybody oppresses Trans people and on and on.

        Combine this politics of oppression with Alinsky’s tactics and that is an effective recipe for defeating classical liberalism (or pretty much anything).

        But it has several deep flaws. It is inherently unstable and unsustainable.

        While you can build a majority by selling oppression to large collections of minorities – especially in an extremely diverse population.

        The success of modern progressivism bears several flaws that destablize it.

        The first is at the very same time as you are building a majority by cobbling together every single group that you can all oppressed. You are also concurrently building a majority of all the different “oppressors” that you are attacking. The easiest example is muslims.
        While they are clearly an oppressed minority in the US, they are also enormous oppressors, they oppress women, they oppress gays, they oppress pretty much every minority that the progressive majority is made of.

        The next related flaw is that you inherently end up with a hierachy of oppression. Status is not based on accomplishment but on the number and importance of victimhood boxes you can check. Truth and credibility is defined by oppression status – not any form of merit. Inherently the high status oppressed oppress the lower status oppressed.

        Alinsky’s tactics are not inherently limited to one ideology. Republicans and moderate democrats have aschewed them for a long time as illegitimate. Alinsky’s rules for radicals tell you how to win political power. They do NOT tell you anything about the correct way to use political power. While Alinsky is from the 60’s many of his rules evolved over centuries.

        Trump absolutely positively has adopted many of Alinsky’s tactics. It is a major part of why he was elected – and it is completely at odds with your wishes.

        If Trump spoke like Romney – he would never have been elected.

        Though I would note that Trump uses a twist on Alinsky.

        The left has used Alinsky’s metthods successfuly – but in doing so it has created an actual majority of people who are the targets of the left.
        Half the country is white.
        A differnet half is male.
        90% of the country is straight.
        ….

        If you presume all or nearly all whites are evil racists,
        all or nearly all males are evil sexists
        all or nearly all straights are homophobic.

        If you shout racist, sexist homophobic hateful, hating hater at everyone who disagrees with you you have alienated much more than half the country. And you have SILENCED most of them, and you have made them long for someone who will stand up for them and put you in your place – who will call you the hateful hating hater.

        Those blue collar working class democrats are not voting for Trump because he is quiet presidential, ….
        Further they do not identify with Trump – because he can claim as Biden can to share their background. Trump is about as far from a blue collar factory worker as you can get. He was born with a silver spoon and he has gold and platinum plated it. That is not how he connects with blue collar democrats.
        To a small extent he connects because he talks like a longshoreman. Which is a bridge.
        But the big reason Trump is “one of them” is because he SPEAKS FOR THEM.
        He says FUCK YOU to the people who call him/them racist.

        Ron there is absolutely no way he can appeal to those blue collar working class democrats that while not the core or his support are the difference between winning OH, PA, WI, MN and losing them and still be “presidential”. Their loyalty to him is based primarily on his speaking like and for them.

        Every single time the press, the left, democrats call Trump “racist” for saying the very things these blue collar democrats have said or have been silenced for saying, they lock these voters to Trump.

        Trump won the election by finding and appealing to a very large block of mostly democrat voters who felt they were being ingnored even abused by progressive democrats who controlled the party and speaking directly to them, and more importantly speaking FOR them and AS them.

        Trump alienated many Neo-cons, moderates, libertarians, fiscal conservatives moderates and evangelicals – but he won this block.

        Trump’s big trick was winning the primary – where all those other groups were more important and dangerous adversaries and Trump had to win SOME of them.

        In the general election the vast majority of “republicans” were going to vote republican as always. Trump could afford to lose 15% of evangelicals in Alabama – because there was no way they voted for Clinton.

        But he got about 2.5M voters who had previously voted democrat in the swing states and he got them at the expense of votes in states than any republican would win NO MATTER WHAT.

        Trump is NEVER EVER going to turn on these voters – he is toast if he does.

        That actually requires him to continue the same counter Alinsky insurgency that won him the election.

        In the meantime he has GAINED large numbers of republicans who were tepid about him before.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 1:31 pm

        Trump answers hard questions all the time. There is not a president EVER who takes so many questions as Trump.

        The whitehouse has pretty much ended formal press briefings, and shifted almost entirely to press questtions of Trump at various events, speaches, etc.

        Trump takes questions almost every time he gets onto Marine one. Almost every time he takes a podium to sign a bill or to announce something.

        Everyday we get the stories of whatever Trump has said recently BECAUSE he is taking press questions all the time.

        The press is at war with Trump, and Trump has decided to directly confront them and to use them, rather than as most presidents have done with hostile press to avoid them.

        This is a part of the crap about Trump you complain about.

  47. Jay permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:10 pm

    And Ron, I know you’re concerned about Dems taking the White House and bankrupting us with huge medical health care expenses (tho only the two progressives are in favor of that) but do you depend at all on your social security benefits? Because Trump is threatening to slash SS in his next term:

    “Trump tells CNBC that he’s pondering taking the axe to Medicare and Social Security because it’s “the easiest of all things” for him to cut.”

    • January 22, 2020 5:44 pm

      No I am not dependent on SS and have not been since retirement. I planned well in advance. Built my own 3800 sq ft home for $60K from 1980 to 1986. Moved in in 86. Paid it off by 2000. Never bought a new car after 1978, always 2-3 year old models and drove them until they had 200-250K. Put 15%-20% of income into retirement funds while working and increased that after paying off the house. Since 1990 returns on investments have totaled around 15% (I avoided 2008 as I moved 1/2 into fixed income before the crash and then went back before the gains began again) Wife did not work as she was taking kids back and forth to private catholic schools until late 90’s.

      But, I am looking at ways to protect the retirement funds I have because I believe we will have a 25%-35% decline in the markets should one of the current democrats running, including Bloomberg, gets elected. That still puts markets above where they were before Trump took office. If that happens, then I would be dependent on SS for some of my income. And I think protecting what I have now within the next 6 months is prudent investing given my thought on market conditions.

      Now that does not mean I am not getting SS. Just not dependent on it for survival.

    • January 22, 2020 5:53 pm

      So he is going to do this all by himself. Congress will have nothing to say about it?

      And you trust government?
      Why?
      You like E.O’s?
      Why?
      You support a congress that will not do its job?
      Why?

      But I have supported privatization of Social Security from the beginning when that was discussed. And that comes from my distrust of government because I know that government will not protect whatever small amount I have in there and they will not provide 15% returns like I have received in the last 30 years.

      Glad you trust government.
      Did you plan well or are you/ will you be dependent on S.S.
      Sorry in advance for your plight if you did n’t

      • Jay permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:17 pm

        No I don’t depend on SS – But I like the big chunk of health insurance Part B subsidizes.

        And I like my property tax federal write off that the GOP is threatening to eliminate. And I’d like to see prescription drug prices reduced, which doesn’t attract GOP backing.

        If Bernie or Warren are the Nominee, I’d vote for a Moderate Republican if any were running on a sensible platform. . Too bad the GOP shut down the nominating process, stopping reasonable people from entering the race.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 8:27 pm

        The 2018 Tax cut is a move towards eliminating all personal deductions except the standard deduction and lowering and flattening the tax rates.

        I am 100% for that. State and local taxes of all kinds SHOULD NOT be deductable from personal taxes.

        Conversely no business should be taxed until the income is trasnfered to a person, and then it should be taxed as income for that person.

        Property tax deductions subsidize property taxes – that is a bad thing.

        As to whatever medicare or other benefits you are fixated on – government never should have taken the money from you.

        Lower Taxes and pay for your own choices.

      • January 22, 2020 10:43 pm

        I can almost write a book on why the government is responsible for high medical costs, high rug cost, ridiculous billing formats for docs and hospitals. And what is not due to government, suppliers are to blame.

        But I dont have the time, and word press would freeze up indefinitely if I posted that.

        Lets just say those entitlements were totally messed up until Medicare advantage came along. Please explain how “Medicare” would go broke in the early 2030’s before Advantage and now private payers are selling Advantage plans, offering the same Medicare benefits plus part d drugs, over the counter drugs and medical supplies, gym memberships, vision care and glasses and dental care all while making a profit on those plans? How can the private sector do it with no restrictions on who buys into the plans while the government is screwing up their part of the subscribers?

        But let one politician say three words, “reduced Medicare costs” and all political hell breaks loose, even if the benefits are better.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 11:12 pm

        No one is stopping anyone from Running for President as a republican – I think your buddy Joe Walsh is.

        But it is rare for anyone of the party of the president to primary the president. I can not think of it happening in my lifetime.

        As a practical matter – Trump IS a moderate. Much of what I do not like about him is because of that.

        His positions on Trade – are Not Free Market, they are pretty much the same as what used to be blue dog or union democrat positions.

        He is not as conservative as Cruz, he is not as libertarain as Paul.

        He has talked about killing PPACA – but he wants to replace it with some Trump branded version – that is not conservative.

        He is more non-interventionist than most republicans – and even than most democrats except Gabbard.

        There are lots of ways he is rolling back the socialist lite policies of Obama – but that does not make him some extremist.

        On most issues that are big for Social conservatives – he keeps his mouth shut.

        He has an openly gay Ambassador he strongly supports, He may have pardoned more black people than Obama.

        How Jay is Trump some kind of extremist ?

        While he spends too much on defense – he is NOT a neo-con.

    • John Say permalink
      January 22, 2020 8:05 pm

      Can you actually provide the Trump quote, not what someone says someone says Trump said ?

      Regardless, SS is getting cut one way or the other – it is unsustainable.
      The longer we wait the worse it will be.

  48. John Say permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:10 pm

    Tulsi Gabbard is suing Hillary Clinton for defamation.

    It is really really hard for a politician to win a defamation case and I doubt Gabbard will prevail.

    But Clinton’s statements were repugnant. Far worse than anything ever attributed to Trump.

    Clinton’s remarks – are just like those of all the left.

    Everyone they do not like – which is almost everyone, is a hateful hating hater – and now apparently a russian asset.

    • Jay permalink
      January 22, 2020 5:25 pm

      Blah fucking blah.

      Listen to the interview cited in Tulsi’s lawsuit.

      Clinton never mentioned Gabbard during the remarks quoted.

      She did explicitly say Jill Stein was a Russian asset… where’s Jill’s lawsuit? Nowhere. Because calling someone an asset of a foreign government isn’t defamation.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:33 pm

        I do not think Gabbard is going to win her defamation suit, and I do not think that she should.

        But lets cut the nonsense – If you really want to pretend that Clinton was no fingering Gabbard – she sure as hell defamed someone.

        You bemoan Trump’s accusations – many of which are arguably correct or at worst exagerations.

        Still one place I would join in criticizing Trump is DO NOT make accusations you can not prove.

        But that admonition applies to Trump, Pelosi, Schiff Schumer, Nadler, … too.
        And it applies to you.

        Regardless oblique references to Russian assets with winks and nods is far worse than any remarks Trump is alleged to have made.

        You seem to like defending people who defame others.

        I can say that Clinton will likely win the lawsuit.

        But I can not say with a straight face that Clinton was not lying about gabbard.
        Everyone knew who she meant.

        Just as everyone knbows who you mean in your attempts and disingenous obliquity

  49. John Say permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:17 pm

    So here in the midst of the impeachment we have more LIES by Schiff.

    Schiff Claimed that a Parnas Text to Gulliani was an effort to arrange a meeting between Guilliani and Zelensky.

    But reporters at Politico obtained the unredacted text message – it is crystal clear that Mr. Z, is Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma.

    I do not care if Gulliani was trying to talk to Zelensky or Zlochevsky.

    But Schiff clearly lied about who Parnas was trying to setup a meeting with.

    It also completely changes the perspective on Parnas.

    It is far easier to understand Why Guilliani would associate with and Use Parnas to get introductions to Zlochevsky than to Zelensky.

    Intorductions to shady characters are typically through shady characters.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/21/schiff-parnas-trump-evidence-101832

  50. John Say permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:23 pm

    So here we have the WhistleBlower and another Obama WH aide who subsequently moved to Schiff’s staff and is a key person on the impeachment plotting to remove Trump BEFORE he even took office.

    Right, there is no conspiracy here, no coup attempt, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/01/22/whistleblower_was_overheard_in_17_discussing_with_ally_how_to_remove_trump_121701.html

  51. John Say permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:25 pm

    The whistleblower’s candor is also being called into question. It turns out that the CIA operative failed to report his contacts with Schiff’s office to the intelligence community’s inspector general who fielded his whistleblower complaint. He withheld the information both in interviews with the inspector general, Michael Atkinson, and in writing, according to impeachment committee investigators. The whistleblower form he filled out required him to disclose whether he had “contacted other entities” — including “members of Congress.” But he left that section blank on the disclosure form he signed.

    • Jay permalink
      January 22, 2020 5:26 pm

      ZZZZZZZZ.
      SNORE.
      YAWN!

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 7:38 pm

        Someone – probably many people, are lying about one of the most serious (according to you) things in the 21st century – and that you think is not worth looking into ?

        As noted further in the article misrepresenations to the IG – and the WB absolutely misrepresented his contacts with members of congress and their staff, ar punishable by up to 10years in prison.

        We are impeaching the president for a non-crime. While the WB committed an actual crime.

        This is much worse than is alleged regarding Flynn.

        Aparently lying is OK in Jay world as long as it is democrats doing the lying.

    • Jay permalink
      January 22, 2020 7:28 pm

      Or perhaps Schiff didn’t mislead Atkinson.
      And perhaps the transcript is secret because it contains classified info.
      And perhaps the investigator story is merely a rumor.
      And perhaps the investigator is misleading the actual facts.
      And perhaps there is no actual story, but a story about a story.

      • John Say permalink
        January 22, 2020 11:31 pm

        “Or perhaps Schiff didn’t mislead Atkinson.”
        The claim is not that Schiff mislead Atkinson but that the Whistleblower LIED to Atkinson,
        It is also claimed that was revealed in Atkinson’s testimony.

        “And perhaps the transcript is secret because it contains classified info.”
        The classification authority in the US government resides with the president and the executive NOT Congress. Though he has done so, Schiff does not get to decide what is and is not classified.

        The SCIF in the capital is there so that when the executive branch testifies to classified information the execitive branch can request that the classified portions of the testimony are conducted in the SCIF. Non-classified testimony is not taken in the SCIF.
        Even closed door testimony that is not classified is not taken in the SCIF.

        This is the first time ever that a SCIF has been used this way.

        If Atkinson’s testimony contains classified material – that is handled by the house submitting the testimony to the IC IG, CIA, FBI, DOJ for review and THEY decide what must be redacted. AGAIN the house has no independent authority to decide what is classified.

        What they have is the authority to review for oversight purposes classified material.

        The story that has been leaked here – which I beleive has been confirmed by atleast one congressmen who was in the SCIF – and before you start railing, The LAW is that anything that is made public can be commented on. When I received my classified document handling Training it was made clear to me I could never use a classified source in a public setting. But I was always free to talk about public information – even if it was the same information as I had read in a classified document.

        If I read in a classified document about the AEGIS radar, and then read the same information in Defense weekly – I can say whatever I want using the information in defense weekly, even though I read exactly the same thing in a classified document.

        “And perhaps the investigator story is merely a rumor.”
        Perhaps – the entire Russia Collusion nonsense was a stupid rumor – including hundreds of stories and leaks.

        But there are parts of this story that are KNOW True. Not all of it, but many parts.
        And regardless of what you say the ENITE transcript of Atkinson’s testimony has not be released. Every other witnesses testimony has now been made public – some with redactions. NONE of Atkinson’s has been, are you saying every word of Atkinson’s testimony is classified ?

        “And perhaps the investigator is misleading the actual facts.
        And perhaps there is no actual story, but a story about a story.”

        Perhaps, but it only requeires a few of your perhaps’s to be false and the entire mess crumbles.

        Since Trump was elected experience teaches that leaks that are disparaging to Trump prove ultimately false or over stated substantially. While leaks that favor Trump have near universally proven True.

        This MIGHT be one of the exceptions – are you prepared to bet on that ?

        And as has been addressed before – credibility and integrity matter.

        Wise people choose the sources they beleive based on their past track record,
        Past accuracy is very important, but even more so is past integrity.
        The media is all sometimes going to get the story wrong – how they deal with error matters.
        Further it matters whether an outlet reports straight news – really, or whether its purported straight news is laced with political viewpoints or worse accusations that later prove false.

        When you lie about a person – you lose not only credibility, but integrity.

        Ultimately we will find out the truth.

  52. John Say permalink
    January 22, 2020 5:26 pm

    The investigators say that details about how the whistleblower consulted with Schiff’s staff and perhaps misled Atkinson about those interactions are contained in the transcript of a closed-door briefing Atkinson gave to the House Intelligence Committee last October. However, Schiff has sealed the transcript from public view. It is the only impeachment witness transcript out of 18 that he has not released.

    Schiff has classified the document “Secret,” preventing Republicans who attended the Atkinson briefing from quoting from it.

    • January 23, 2020 9:00 am

      Is he legally permitted to do that? That is, to hold a ‘Star Chamber’ hearing, and then refuse to release the testimony to other members of Congress, the executive branch, and the public.

      Not that the Democrats care what is legal or not.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 12:51 pm

        “Is he legally permitted to do that? That is, to hold a ‘Star Chamber’ hearing, and then refuse to release the testimony to other members of Congress, the executive branch, and the public.

        Not that the Democrats care what is legal or not.”

        Is he permitted to do that ? – no.

        It is a violation of the house rule – but democrats enforce their own rules, so that is going nowhere.

        It is also not a crime – fundimentally the house “governs itself” – just as the senate does.
        For matters that are purely internal there is no review, no appeal.

        I do not think as an example that the GOP can “go to court” to get the transcripts released.

        Technically a SCIF is run by and maintained by the Executive Branch.
        The Executive could refuse to provide an FSO in the future.

        But they are not going to remove the SCIF because the democrats are misusing it, because there will still be a need for the house to hear classified testimony and review classified documents.

        The remedy for this is to drag Atkinson into another forum and question him their.
        That would also possibly provide standing for an outsider to demand the transcripts, as they would be then relevant to whether Atkinson was telling the truth in a different hearing.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 1:06 pm

        An awful lot of this is power stuggles and has nothing to do with the law.

        The House subpeona’s lots of records including OMB records.
        There was also an FOIA request for OMB Records.

        At Trump’s orders OMB refused to comply with the House Subpeona, and the house did not go to court.

        But the FOIA request did result in a court order and OMB is releasing the records pertaining to the FOIA request.

        I am surprised this has not been sprayed on the news – because there is alot in those records about OMB putting a hold on the Ukraine Funds. I would think we would be hearing lots of democrats going “see, proof!” Not that they prove anything except that there was a temporary hold by OMB.

        But more importantly OMB complied with a court order.
        This completely undermines this “obstruction of congress” nonsense.

        The house can have anything it demands of the executive – when the Courts decide that it can.

        Neither the house nor the Senate have carte blanche.

        But the courts DO usually grant the house and senate most or all of what they want.

        Executive privilidge is not in the constitution, but neither is any house right to subpeona or congressional oversight. Both exist because they are “nscescary and proper” to the execution of other government powers.

        So ALWAYS desputes between the congress and the executive must be sorted out by the courts.

        I am strongly in favor of BROAD oversight of the executive by congress.
        But NOT by bypassing the courts.

        This faux impeachment is what we get when congressional powers are not subject to court review.

        We get this nonsensical claim that Trump is a lawless authoritarian.

        No President (except possibly Lincoln) has defied a court order.

        Plenty of presidents have engaged in acts that are unconstitutional or “illegal”.
        I think the recent GAO report was WRONG on the law – but even if it was right – it also noted numerous instances where Obama Bush Clinton did the same thing.

        But everyone complied if they were challenged and the courts found against their actions.

        It is when THAT stops happening that we have a very serious problem.
        Before that we have differences of policy. We do not have real lawlessness of totalitarianism.

        Absent an actual crime there is not “high crime or misdemeanor” without defiance of the courts as well as congress.

  53. January 23, 2020 10:31 am

    My paper made my day! They have the most hilarious headline this morning. Still laughing!😂😂

    ” DEMS APPEAL FOR GOP HELP”
    😂😂😂😂😂😂

  54. Jay permalink
    January 23, 2020 2:40 pm

    One again Jonah puts Trump in proper perspective.
    History will confirm his assessments here:

    👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/01/trump-impeachment-presidents-failure-to-be-presidential-hurts-nation/

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 2:52 pm

      If the current conditions of americans is “paying” – “please sir, can i have more”

      Absolutely this faux impeachment would not occur if Trump were more presidential.
      It also would not occur if Democrats were not bat shit crazy and accusing everyone who disagrees with them over anything of being hateful hating haters.

      Increasingly no one gives a shit about washington – that is a GOOD thing.

      Congress is doing nothing, that is GOOD. About the only thing that Congress does at all for the past 3 years is the Senate confirms judges.

      Wether the current economy is a “Trump economy” is easy to answer – the GOP house did ONE thing. It passed a good but not excellent Tax reform. The Senate has done ONE thing – it is flooding the courts with young well qualified federalist judges.

      Everything else of consequences that has happened – bad or good in the past three years that has not been done privately or by markets has been done by Trump.

      Good or bad – Trump.

      Some of it is bad, most of it is good.

      If the price we must pay for government to stay out of things is the partisan bitterness in washington – then bring on partisan bitterness.

      The goal is NOT for all of us to “get along”. The Goal is NOT for the president to be presidential.

      The goal is freedom and prosperity – and those thrive when government is gridlocked and bitterly partisan, and are harmed when it is not.

      So bring on the WWE president. If that is what it takes to shutdown the governments infringement on our freedom and prosperity.

  55. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 3:16 pm

    Biden is now claiming once again that he will not testify in this impeachment farce.

    And he is right it is a farce, just wrong about why.

    He is also delusional. Everytime the Democrats talk about thwarting Trump’s requested witnesses they destroy their own case for witnesses.

    Should the D’s witnesses testify ? Probably – though not in the Senate. The house should have brought its case WITH those witnesses testimony. It should have gone to court, Whether Bolton etc, should testify should have been answered by the courts.

    Conversely only someone clueless thinks the president does not get witnesses.

    The Biden’s are obvious – and obviously relevant. The questioning should be limited to those questions relevant to Ukraine.

    Did Joe Biden know that Shokin was investigating Burisma ?
    That Shokin was scheduled to interview Hunter the day aftrer he was fired ?

    Did Joe know of Hunter’s involvement with Burisma ?
    What was Joe’s participation in firing other prosecutors ?
    What was Joe’s participation in blocking other investigations by Ukraine ?
    What was Joe’s involvement in the FBI/Nabu task force investigating Corruption in UKraine ?

    What was the evidence that Biden had that Shokin was corrupt that he relied on to demand his firing ?

    What Role did Joe play in getting Hunter his job with Burisma ?
    Did Hunter ever talk to Joe about his work at Burisma ?

    Did Hunter ever ask for anything from Joe with regard to Burisma ?

    Questions like that are OBVIOUSLY Relevant.

    As To Hunter:

    How did he get the directorship at Burisma ?
    Who told him there was an opertunity ?

    What did he do to earn 83K/month ?

    Did he talk to his father about Burisma ?
    Did he talk to people at the state department ?

    What was his involvement in the investigation of Burisma ?

    Questions like these are relevant.

    I think there are also lots of questions for Adam Schiff. But i am somewhat reluctant to have the Senate call representatives without their consent as witnesses (and visa versa)
    Though I think there needs to be a DOJ investigation into tbhis and that Schiff should be interviewed in that.

    But the WB is absolutely a witness.

    It is increasingly evident that Eric Ciariemello is highly political and has been out to “get Trump” from before his inaugruation.

    His participation and knowledge of early leaks fromt he whitehouse is definitely on the list of questions for him.
    What did he means when before the inauguration he said he would “get Trump” ?
    Who did he conspire with ?
    What did they plan ?

    It appears Ciariemello had no first hand knowledge related to the WB allegation. So who were his sources ? Why were those sources free to talk to him about whatis clearly a classified matter. What is Ciramiello’s “need to know”, who approved his request for classified information from these sources ? The fact is proper proceducres were not followed – a person who wants to know classified information and a person who has that information do not on their own get to decide to share. The determination of whether the two parties have the appropriate classifications and need to know are adjudicated by an FSO – so who was the FSO ?

    Why did Ciariemello lie to the IC IG about his prior contacts with the house ?
    Lying to a federal investigator is a crime.

    What first hand knowledge does Ciariemello have of anything ?

    What was Ciariemello’s involvement in the Ukraine ? What was his involvement in getting Shokin Fired ?
    What was his knowledge of Hunter Biden’s involvement ?
    Of Burisma ?
    Of Shokin’s corruption ?

    The core premise of Ciariemello’s WVB complaint is that Trump’s request to investigate Biden is improper – how does he know that ? How is it that Ciarmiello knows that there is not reasonable cause to investigate Biden ?

    Why does Ciariemello beleive that he knows more then the president whether an investigation is warranted ?

    • Jay permalink
      January 23, 2020 4:41 pm

      “ As To Hunter:

      How did he get the directorship at Burisma ?
      Who told him there was an opertunity ?

      What did he do to earn 83K/month ?

      Did he talk to his father about Burisma ?
      Did he talk to people at the state department ?

      What was his involvement in the investigation of Burisma ?”

      —————-

      Everyone of those questions have been asked and answered in numerous news stories and media commentary. Take your partisan head out of your uniformed butt and search them out.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 6:04 pm

        “Everyone of those questions have been asked and answered in numerous news stories and media commentary. Take your partisan head out of your uniformed butt and search them out.”

        1). The media is not the courts,
        2). After the past three years you are going to claim something in the media is credible ?
        3). No court on the planet has ever ruled that a news story constitutes evidence or deprives a defendant the right to demand they answers in court under oath.

        But finally and most damningly – No Jay – few if any of those questions have EVER been answered by the media.

        With cites from these news stories you claim exist

        Even Hunter Biden is unable to explain his own qualifications to be a director at Burisma.

        Please show me in his CV how he is qualified ?

        Please tell me how he got the job ?

        Please tell me what it is that Hunter did for Burisma ?
        Hunter has stated publicly that his father KNEW he was working for Burisma.
        His father has PUBLICLY denied that.

        That alone is a really good reason to question them both – what is the truth ?

        What actual evidence exists that Shokin was corrupt ?

        Independently – what is the Evidence that Biden knew of an relied on ?

        These and MANY MANY other questions have rarely been asked and NEVER answered

        Not in the press and most certainly NOT under oath in court.

        What you have just done is demonstrate EXACTLY why an investigation is necescary.

  56. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 3:18 pm

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain – there is no deep state conspiracy here.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/01/22/whistleblower_was_overheard_in_17_discussing_with_ally_how_to_remove_trump_121701.html

    • Jay permalink
      January 23, 2020 4:50 pm

      Then why is Trump refusing to turn over relevant documents and threatening to evoke exec privilege to prevent witnesses from testifying?

      When are you going to take off your dunce cap?

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 8:00 pm

        “Then why is Trump refusing to turn over relevant documents and threatening to evoke exec privilege to prevent witnesses from testifying?”

        If you spend your life guessing why others act as they do – you will be wrong nearly all the time.

        Why is not what matters. It is nearly always unknowable.
        What matters is whether the actions are legitimate or not.

        But as you want guesses as to why – my guess is that Trump is playing games wiuth house democrats. He gave them the opportunity to cooperate, to work together when they were elected, and in stead they choose to go to war with him.

        Trump 100% cooperated with Mueller. You and I fought here over whether Mueller could get these records or that. Mueller went after lots of records that he had no right to.

        Trump never fought a single effort of Mueller to get witnesses or documents – even when he had solid grounds to do so.

        Clinton conversely fought Starr to the supreme court on everything.

        But Trump had exactly the opposite stratgey with house democrats.

        Everything for legitimate investigation, NOTHING for real partisan hacks.
        Trump has made house democrats fight tooth and nail for bread crumbs.
        And they have shit all over themselves doing so.

        That is my guess as to “why”

        As I noted before, Trump has complied with every court order. The recent OMB document dump was not even contested as I understand.

        A court ordered FOIA request has been answered with information Trump refused to provide to the House democrats. trump did not take this to an apeals court.

        Trump does nto appear to be hiding anything at all.
        What he appears to be doing is making life as difficult as possible for house democrats – who betrayed their voters when they promised to work together not to work to impeach.

        That a guess.
        But any claim to know why anyone does anythign is ALWAYS a guess.

  57. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 3:39 pm

    It is nonsense like this that makes us question the intelligence of those on the left and discount their claims that they are somehow the advocates of science and data.

    Does capitalism and increased economic freedom CAUSE poverty reduction ?
    To the extent that anything in social science or economics is provably causal – that is.

    Even the left think tank brookings found that conclusion inescapable.

    And yet 70% of democrats think capitalism is evil and socialism is good.

    Free markets have done in 50 years what has never ever occured in human history – raised the majority of the worlds people from subsistance poverty to “middle class”.

    Conversely Socialism has predominately driven nations from the middle class to poverty.
    Often accompanied by massive amounts of bloodshed.

    And yet the highly educated white progressive elites near universally denounce free markets and advocate for socialism ?

    Why if they are so wrong on something so obvious, should they be beleived on ANYTHING ELSE ?

    Why should smart people who beleive socialism is superior to free markets be considered credible when they talk about Climate ? Race ? Gender ? Immigration ?

    Pretty much anything else ?

    Why is it unsurprising that the same people who beleive Socialism is good and capitalism is bad, who beleive that the world is going to end as a consequence of global warming in a few years, who beleive that sex is not biologically binary, who beleive that you can have open borders and an entitlement state – that these same people beleive that Trump colluded with Russia and that the Russians significantly and successfully altered the outcome of the US election ?
    Why is it not surprising that they people want to impeach Trump for asking for an investigation of a political rival – without any consideration of whether an investigation was warranted ?

    These people are IYI – intellectual yet idiots.

    We are all free to beleive whatever we wish. But we are judged on what we beleive.
    You can beleive that capitalism is imperfect. But if you beleive that a system that has ALWAYS failed, is superior to one that has ALWAYS succeeded Phenomenally beeter than anything else ever tried – then you are an idiot, you are incapable of critical thinking and your views should not be trusted on anything.

    There is room for capable thinkers to debate the extent to which Capitalism needs oversight, the precise degree of freedom optimal in trade.
    But anyone that beleives that central planning is superior to free markets does not live in the real world.

    https://issuesinsights.com/2020/01/23/heres-a-tipping-point-the-left-wants-you-to-ignore/

  58. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 4:09 pm

    If 73% of democrats favor socialism over capaitalism and college professors favor democrats 95:1 does that not strongly suggest that an incredible proprtion of college professors beleive in MULTIPE falacies.

    Socialism is not merely inferior to captialism. it is inferior to pretty much every other scheme of governance – monarchy, theocracy, mercantilism. …..
    Most other arrangement perform poorly compared to schemes with greater human freedom.
    But no other system has consistently driven those under it TOWARDS greater poverty.

    Capitalism’s imperfecations may be grounds for legitimate discussion, but no other system of any kind – not just socialism has come close to performing as well.
    Not monarchy, not theocracy, not mercantilism, ….

    So we have a environment – our ivory towers, with purpoertedly the best and the brightest of all of us, who very close to unviersally beleive in the superiority of the worst system ever conceived over the best system ever conceived.

    Why are these people to be trusted about ANYTHING ?

    Even on issues where I might agree with those on the left, it is legitimate to question my own agreement. The odds of those who are so wrong about so much also being wrong about the few areas you agree are extremely high.

    https://jonathanturley.org/2020/01/23/study-professors-donate-to-democrats-over-republicans-by-a-951-ratio/

  59. Jay permalink
    January 23, 2020 4:46 pm

    More conservative sensible Americans speaking out:

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 5:05 pm

      The problem is that Mr. Mayo’s views are only “sensible” in your view because they agree with your own.

      How supportive are you of the democrats who have said impeachment is a huge mistake and a distraction from what democrats need to do ?

      How supportive have you been of Tulsi Gabbard ?

      You appear to think it is ok to call anyone you disagree with a “russian asset”.

      I do not know Mr. Mayo – though I am skeptical that his post means what you claim.

      Like Mr. Mayo, I do not support many things Republicans have done under Trump – specifically tarrifs and spending increases – but there are a number of other areas.

      But my disagreement with Trump over spending or taxes, or not getting out of the mideast fast enough, is not equivalent to support for impeachment.

      Increasingly in elections from local through federal, I am voting the incumbents of either party our and where possible voting libertarian. My increasing reluctance to support republicans is not the same as supporting democrats.

      You have paraded a number of people – Will, Goldberg, Amash, Sen. Lee and Paul and others who have criticised either specific policies or Trump – or Trump generally.

      These are people I respect – I frequently agree with them.
      Though I do not agree with anyone on everything – and neither do you.

      Though you seem to think that if i respect, Lee or Paul or Goldberg or Will I must be lockstep with each – even thought they are not lockstep with each other.

      You celebrate republican disent, but you smear any democrat disent

  60. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 4:51 pm

    “the right to offer the testimony of witnesses and to compel their attendance, if necessary, is in plain terms the right to present the defense, the right to present the defendant’s version of the facts . . . Just as an accused has the right to confront the prosecution’s witnesses for the purpose of challenging their testimony, he has the right to present his own witnesses to establish a defense.”
    Washington V Texas 1967

    Let’s be clear – the Trump defense team has an absolute right to any witnesses that bolster its defense.

    Trump has repeatedly asserted that his call was “perfect” that there was nothing wrong with it.

    Any judgement on the legitimacy of that call MUST be a judgement on the legitimacy of requesting an investigation of the Biden’s.

    You can not claim it was improper for Trump to request an investigation of the Biden’s while depriving Trump of the defense of claiming that it was legitimate to investigate the Biden’s.

    Trump has NEVER claimed he did not request an investigation of the Biden’s – he has been completely open from start to finish that though there were many elements to the Call – investigating the Biden’s absolutely was one of those.

    Nor has Trump EVER backed down from the claim that the Biden’s ought to be investigated.

    That is quite clearly the defense Trump has chosen. And it is his ABSOLUTE right to present it.

    There is only one means the Senate can deny Trump the right to call the Biden’s – and that is to dismiss the impeachment FIRST.

    We have listened repeatedly as democrats demand witnesses – but only their own.

    There is no actual prosecution right to whatever witnesses they please.
    Proscution witnesses must meet a much higher standard than defense witnesses.
    Any defense witness that contributes to the defense that the defendent is making is permitted – that is our law. The prosecution is required to establish what the prosecutions witnesses will testify to before they are called and they will be barred if the prosecutors can not establish what will be testified to. The only burdern on the defense is that a witness will refute the prosecution or reinforce the affirmative defense.

    • Jay permalink
      January 23, 2020 5:12 pm

      Zzzzzzz. Blagggggg. Yuckkkkk.
      Bloviating defines irrelevances.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 8:01 pm

        “Zzzzzzz. Blagggggg. Yuckkkkk.
        Bloviating defines irrelevances.”

        So the Supreme Court is bloviating irrelevances ?

  61. Jay permalink
    January 23, 2020 5:03 pm

    Let’s be clear: If anyone still believes Trump didn’t try to intimidate a foreign power to help with his re-election campaign, they’re either dumb as dirt, or dirty with complicity in the extortive ploy.

    If anyone is dense enough to believe Trump hasn’t been engaged in covering that up with lies and obstruction of documentary evidence and witness testimony, they need a Scarlet T emblazoned on their forehead

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 5:24 pm

      Your oppinion is clear. But the facts are not.
      However the law is clear – and you are on the wrong side of it.

      There is no actual evidence that Trump even attempted to intmidate foreign leaders.

      There is also no actual evidence this had anything to do with the election.

      Both of those claims are unproven assertions.

      But your more fundimental problem is that they are not merely lacking evidence,
      They are lacking relevance.

      It is legitimate to ask for investigations where there is reasonable suspicion.

      The entirety of foreign relations is carrots and sticks. Anything we want from any foriegn country is accomplished by threats or inducements.

      Even if you proved that Trump threatened or induced Ukraine – all you have proven is that he engaged in foreign policy. We have no other power over foreign governments. We can not get the courts to order Zelensky to do something. There is no enforceable taw we can invoke to compel.

      Intimidation and inducement are the means of conducting foreign policy.

      They are not crimes, they are not unusual.

      Biden’s threat to withold money from Ukraine – which is PROVEN, is not inherently illegitimate.

      The legitimacy of Biden’s actions rests on the same foundation as the legitimacy of Trump’s actions – whether there was a legitimate justification for the action that was within the legitimate powers of the executive.
      Though with Biden there is a very real independent ethical problem.
      The involvement of Biden’s son in Ukraine – and worse with what Shokin was investigating barred Biden from acting. It did not Bar the US from acting, but it explicitly barred Biden from acting. Biden’s threat was unethical – EVEN if Shokin’s purported corruption was a legitimate basis.

      • Jay permalink
        January 23, 2020 6:02 pm

        “ There is no actual evidence that Trump even attempted to intmidate foreign leaders”

        This is perhaps the dumbest block-headed remark I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing from you.

        https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/lk012320dapr.jpg?resize=807×807

      • January 23, 2020 6:57 pm

        And this is evidence?

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 8:53 pm

        It is almost as good of evidence as this.

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 8:47 pm

        Can you cite a single witness who has testified that either directly to Zelensky in their hearing or by directing them Trump made a demand of Zelensky ?

        The house interviewed dozens of witnesses – and the very best you have is hearsay.
        That is not evidence.

        Hearsay has a different name for ordinary people – it is called Gossip.
        Gossip is not evidence.

        Cartoons are not evidence.

        Cite actual evidence ?

        You can’t. Even Sonderland who claimed there was pressure, when asked said – Trump never directed him to presure Zelensky and he never hear Trump tell Zelensky.

        All that and even if you actually managed to get “intimidation” what you would have proven was “foreign policy”.

        All foreign policy is threats and inducements.

        It is not threats and inducement that are improper, it is whether what they are for is justified.

        In this entire mess the ONLY question that matters is

        Was there reasonable suspicion to justify asking for an investigation.

        If there was not – then Trump abused his power.
        If there was he did not.

        Before Day one of the house hearings we already knew there was reasonable suspicion.

        You have wasted another 6 months on a snipe hunt.

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 5:34 pm

      Biden did not threaten Ukraine with the loss of $1B in funds if they did not investigate Shokin – the person investigating his son. He threatened if they did not FIRE Shokin.

      The standard for investigation is reasonable suspicion. What is the standard at which Biden’s demand to FIRE shokin is legitmate use of power rather than an abuse ?

      Trump’s actions in Ukraine – whether those that are proven or those that are alleged without evidence are not inherently illegitimate.

      They are legitimate or not based on sufficient justification.

      The standard for justifation of an investigation request is reasonable suspicion.
      What is the standard for a demand to fire someone ?

      While we can establish that Trump had reasonable suspicion without Either Biden’s testimony, there is zero doubt that their testimony would make that required suspicion clear.

      Conversely Biden would be required to support the claims that he was justified in firing Shokin. We hear constantly that Shokin was corrupt – that would be a plausable justificatiom. Yet there has not been any actual evidence that Shokin was corrupt ever provided.
      When evidence is demanded – we are told there was some “consensus” Shokin was corrupt.

      There is a consensus among democrats that Socialism is better than Free Markets – but as a matter of evidence that concensus is false. Assertions are not evidence.

      We are not merely entitled to evidence that Shokin was corrupt, but also to evidence that Biden himself had EVIDENCE that Shokin was corrupt.

      And that is why the Biden’s must testify.

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 5:56 pm

      There is zero debate that Trump is refusing – and has ordered the administration to refuse to cooperate in anyway with Congresses efforts to impeach him.

      That is an overly broad assertion of executive power, It is near certain that the House would have prevailed in court over some demands to get documents and witnesses.
      Though not likely all.

      It is NOT evident in anyway that Trump is engaged in a coverup.

      OMB released as required documents regarding their involvment in the hold on Ukraine as a result of a court order and an FOIA request.

      Whether you like it or not – the EVIDENCE, is not of a “coverup” but of a political pissing contest between the house democrats and Trump.

      One that whether you like it or Not Trump is winning.

      No president (except possibly Lincoln) has EVER defied a court order.

      Do you have some proof that if SCOTUS ordered Bolton to testify that Trump would (or could) prohibit that ?

      When House democrats ran in 2018 – they ran on a moderate platform of cooperating with Trump, of being moderate of finding a middle ground.
      None of the moderate democrats that delivered the house to democrats ran on a platform of investigation and impeachment.

      I doubt Trump was happy with the Democratic house victory.
      Regardless he offered to work with democrats on issues like infrastucture, Trade, Immigration, the dreamers.

      Instead Pelosi shut the government down over Wall funding.

      Schumer struck a deal with Trump trading wall funding for the Dreamers.
      And then renigged.

      House democrats then held absolutely disasterous hearing on immigration, the Mueller report, White Supremecy, …. where well prepared witnesses made clear the democrats were engaged in political buffoonery.

      Cohen made it clear that as much as he desparately wanted to give Nadler the damning indictment of Trump Nadler begged for, that Cohen was not going to lie to congress AGAIN to do so, and that he could not testify to what Nadler wanted – because it would be lying.

      Mueller inherently failed Nadler and democrats in the same way. There was no “there there” in any of this.

      Though Mueller should have put the last nails in this mess, House democrats “persisted” – until Horowitz put the final nails in Trump/Russia collusion – not only did it never happen, but the investigation itself was corrupt and by Trump’s innauguration baseless.

      House democrats have completely failed at their campaign promise to compromise with Trump.

      Instead they have been openly hostile chasing sham claims.

      While WB Ciarmiello’s bitter political hatred of Trump does not answer whether his complaint is valid. It does inform us that from Before the 2018 elections there was an organized effort – involving House democrats and many in the “deep state” to Get trump.

      A coup attempt. And that the people pushing faux impeachment are the cop leaders.

      The courts may ultimately rule that Trump must provide much of what the house has requested. Though that will never happen if the house does not ask the court to do so.

      But that does not alter the fact that the spitball contest between house democrats and Trump is political not constitutional, it is absolutely “obstruction of the house”. It is not obstruction of justice.

      As a matter of law – you can not obstruct injustice.

  62. Jay permalink
    January 23, 2020 5:14 pm

    The American people by ever growing numbers WANT TO HEAR from witnesses at the GOP impeachment farce:

    polls *this week* on support for calling new witnesses:

    Monmouth –– 80%
    Reuters –– 72%
    CNN –– 69%
    AP/NORC –– 68%

    • January 23, 2020 6:54 pm

      Jay, I also would like to hear witnesses, sworn in under penalty of law, and only if every individual subpoenaed by the parties agree to testify. Each party gets x number of witnesses that are limited to 4-6 hours for direct and then the same hours for cross examination.

      If someone would not testify, what would be the penalry?

      But a witness agreement wont happen.
      https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2020/01/22/joe-biden-osage-iowa-says-he-would-not-entertain-swap-require-him-testify-trump-impeachment-trial/4547144002/

      • John Say permalink
        January 23, 2020 8:39 pm

        Witnesses do not get to decide if they testify.

        I am not personally opposed to Bolton or any of the rest of the contested witnesses testifying.

        But I am very much opposed to allowing the democrats the oportunity to corrupt the process further.

        I think the Senate has a simple choice.

        The house managers can call any witness they interviewed during the impeachment hearings. If there is a witness they want that was not previously heard the Senate will allow the House to withdraw the articles of impeachment go back to the house. litigate if needed to get those witnesses and if after they have testified in the house they wish to try again in the senate, they are free to do so.

        Alternatively they can proceed – using their existing witnesses, and whatever witnesses Trump wishes to call.

        Or an entirely different alternative – The house managers can have any witnesses they want – that the courts will allow, They will be give 4 days for witnesses starting monday. Trump’s team will be allowed to cross examine each withness, At the end of 4 days – Trump gets 4 days for his witnesses under the same terms.

        The house is NOT entitled to any delay.
        The house is NOT entitled to unlimited time or unlimited witnesses.
        They are not entitled to hearsay
        They are not entitled to try to get the Senate to leverage Trump into waiving privilidege.

        The other thing I would note – that Graham has noted, is that The impeachment will be over soon. But investigations will not.

        Hunter Biden and most of the witnesses Trump wants are with near certainty being called by Graham’s committee in the Senate.

        Absolutely nothing prevents house democrats from going through the process to bring Bolton to testify in the house – if they can.

        The actual truth of the vast majority of this will ultimately come out – and most of it fairly soon.

        Democrats goal is not to get everything out to the light of day.
        It is to prevent a narravtive sufficient to remove Trump BEFORE everything comes out.

        Durham is plodding along.

        I keep saying Republicans like Jordan to quit saying Trump got no investigation.
        The Ukraine re-opened the Burisma investigation in Feb 2019 and are quietly and vigorously persuing it. Trump is likely to get the annoucements he purportedly wanted before the election – at a much more damaging time than August 2019.

        Jay says there is nothing their regarding the WB – well there is more damaging information each week. And the IC IG wil be questioned in the Senate. Schiff can keep the house transcript secret forever. He can not keep the facts secret.

        Slowly the Ukraine story is leaking out.

        Biden still does nto have answers.

        Of course Biden does nto want to testify – he can’t.

        His testimony will destroy impeachment – and all he has to do is answer the same way he has done to the press to do that.

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 8:13 pm

      And for many of them – the witnesses they want to hear from are Eric Ciariemello, Adam Schiff, Joe Biden, Hunter Biden. …

      These are all witnesses that not only can be called, but must be called unless this mess is dismissed.

      House democrats were free to call any additional witnesses they wanted months ago.
      Trump was not. This is the very first oportunity that Trump has received to put on a defense.

      We all know that what you want is a star chamber show trial were defendants are gagged and unable to defend themselves.

      Pelosi, Schiff and Nadler have had 5 months to make their case with witnesses – and they have failed.

      Do you really think that anything will change that ?

      Trump has had NONE.

      BTW Nadler has already conceded – If the only way that democrats get Bolton is to allow Trump Witnesses – then Nadler does not want witnesses.

      This was a losing battle from the start.

      None of those polled that desparately want Bolton to testify will actually be harmed if he does not – and they will know it.

      They will be free to press democrats to subpeona him to the house and to go to court to enforce that subpeona.

      I doubt that democrats will do that.

      Regardless, the impediment to the witnesses democrats want – is democrats and the courts.
      and the law.

      The impeditment to the witnesses Trump wants is democrats.

      In a fair trial in the Senate – democrats would be free to present in person the admissible testimony or anyone they had questioned in the investigation.
      Trump would be free to call any witness relevant to his defense.

      I will support you at this very moment to allow democrats to call as witnesses ANYONE who testified in the house.

      You claimed their testimony was sufficient to make your case – well present it.
      And now it will be subject to real cross examination, and it will be limited to admissible testimony not speculation and hearsay.

    • John Say permalink
      January 23, 2020 8:20 pm

      I will go further – you want Bolton or whoever.

      Go to court. Do whatever it takes, get him into the house, have him testify in your kangaroo court where due process is non-existant.
      Then – if he has had anything worthwhile to say – you can have him testify in the Senate.

      You had 5 months to make that happen. The longest it has ever taken from request to SCOTUS decision on testimony or documents in an impeachment has been 3 months.

      The fact that you have about 3 days left instead of 5 months is because YOU failed.

      The bad news is you get all the do overs you want.

      IN THE HOUSE.

      The Senate should not let you waste their time with this garbage.

      The never should have agreed to hear this.

      Bring your case or stay home.

      If you can not make your case with the evidence you have at hand – a trial is NOT the continuation of an investigation.

      No court in the country would let you start a case if proceeding required witnesses that you have never interfiewed – and in this case had not even subpeonad.

      This is a political game – and the law and the facts and the power are against you.

      And no matter what you claim polls say – YOU are going to be blamed for failure.

  63. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 8:55 pm

    Given that we have adopted political cartoons as evidence.

  64. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 8:56 pm

  65. January 23, 2020 10:22 pm

    Speculation, what if’s. crystal balls, who knows.

    But this does make me wonder when he has been overseas the last few days, he has China and USMCA trade get finalized and looking at his twitter page most is about anything but impeachment when paging down a couple pages, his polling numbers are going up.

    Lets just say being more positive and less confrontational seems to have not been a detriment to him this past week..

    https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_brian_joondeph/potus_popping_in_the_polls?fbclid=IwAR1t43SD6Ro4hDJi0l0dvKuuNC6_gdrpqEXWL81h7oRfAjBtOk58ZfpE8rM

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 12:55 pm

      The article is interesting and I do not want to entirely discount polls.

      Most of the time when I talk about polls it is to refute the claims of others.

      I think polls are fundamentally flawed.

      If you want to know what really matters to people what their true choices and values are you must get answers from an arrangement where the costs of those choices is factored in.

      Support for many progressive programs is overwhelming – but it swings as much as 80% – if even a small personal cost is added to those programs.

      If you want people to make good choices – they must have “skin in the game”.
      This is a fundimental reason why government can not regulate markets.
      Government regulators – outside experts have no “skin in the game”.

      Global Warming is a beautiful example – assuming absolutely every claims of warmists scientists is true (there is alot of malthusian doom and gloom nonsense that makes the press that no science in the world supports), Factoring the real costs both of reversing CO2 emissions and of not doing so, and using discount rates in the normal ranges – i.e. the amount of time necescary to get a viable payback, No credible economist has ever found that the costs of allowing warming were higher than those of stopping it – it is not even close.

      If global warming will kill people – so will radically cutting CO2.

      But my point is not specifically about CO2, it is about making choices without personally being impacted by the cost of those decisions.

      One of the reasons that universal healthcare and medicare fail – is that consumers are disconnected from costs. That NEVER works. Most European nations with Universal systems require consumers to pay about 1/3 of the cost of their routine healthcare.
      IF they do not – demand spike and costs explode.

      Most studies have found that medicare driven demand increases are the single most important factor in rising healthcare costs up since the advent of medicare.

      Those areas of healthcare that are outside the domain of insurance have had DECLINES in costs. Sex re-assignment surgery – as ALL Cosmetic surgey has declined radically in price – in both real and nominal dollars, as has lasik.

      Not only must human decision making be explicitly welded to costs to be good, but that link is also critical to driving costs down. The market knowledge that fewer people buy as the cost rises and more as it declines – is More important than competition in driving prices down.

      The wealthiest people in the world – do not sell diamonds and rolls roices to the uber rich.
      They sell toilet paper and mops to the working class.

      Whatever product you make – even if you have a complete monopoly on it, you can still profit MORE if you can make it cheaper and sell it cheaper because the market increases exponentially with declining costs

      This is also true of polls and voting. And it is what is wrong with much of what government does. Because it divorces the people who have to pay for the benefits government delivers from those making decisions about those benefits – choices are made with inadequate information.

      • January 24, 2020 3:54 pm

        Dave “Most studies have found that medicare driven demand increases are the single most important factor in rising healthcare costs up since the advent of medicare.”

        That is true, but one must look at the underlying causes of that happening And these are not listed in any way based on impact.

        1.In many states like North Carolina, the government has certificate of need laws. This requires each provider to prove there is additional demand in an area to warrant another million dollar + service and if they can not provide that data, they can not get that certificate. When that certificate is not authorized, medicare and Medicaid patients can not use that service, along with some private payers that may follow government ruies. So that limits competition and allows providers to charge whatever. In addition, when equipment manufacturers of machines like MRI’s and CT Scanners are limited to the number they can sell, they cost of those machines are higher, thus raising costs.
        2. CMS requires providers to bill by line item. That means each drug, each supply, each procedure, room, operating room usage, etc has to be billed on the patients bill. So you go in for open heart and your doctor uses specific supplies and orders specific test, your bill comes out $50,000. Mine uses different procedures, different test, etc, mine comes out $60,000. So there is no way a provider can provide you and I an actual cost due to government billing requirements. When that happens, we can not pick a hospital with the lower costs because the hospitals can not assure us that they are the lowest cost. Government regulations for healthcare placed on the auto industry would result in 10 page invoices for cars since the steering wheel would be listed, engine, brakes, tires, etc would all be listed, No way a hospital can bill you “open Heart Surgery $50,000” and that your invoice.
        3. Medicare and Medicaid for years paid “medicare/caid costs” Most hospitals had 40%-50% of their patients covered by those programs. So when doctors wanted the newest and greatest medical services, why not offer it. Medicare is going to cover 50% of all the new cast, and by golly we have expects in the healthcare filed that gives us “tips” on shifting that cost over to Medicare. We get that training once or twice a year in seminars. So from 1978 to the late 90’s there was no incentive to reduce costs.
        4. Medicare paying costs for those patients shifted the “profit” part of the equation over to private payers, thus raising their costs.
        5. And there are other issues, but the rising life expectancy, the new medical treatments available that cost a fortune that were not available 20-40 years ago that now prolong life, but you died back then, has significantly increased costs. My uncle died in the mid 90’s from heart attacks. The medical treatments today that would save his life were not widely available then. In fact JAMA reported in 2018 that 25% of medical spending is made in the last 12 months of individuals lives. That is a huge number, especially considering that most all of that is for Medicare and only growing.

      • John Say permalink
        January 24, 2020 6:42 pm

        The “underlying cause” is trivial – it is the laws of supply and demand.

        If you reduce the cost to a consumer for a service without decreasing the actual cost, while leaving the decision to consume in the hands of the consumer – you will spike demand beyond supply and drive prices up.

        This is basic economics dating back to Adam Smith.

        It even has a name “moral hazzard”.
        Though it appears in many markets, it is especially prevalent in insurance.

        It is always a danger when the person who pays for a service and the person who consumes it are not the same.

      • John Say permalink
        January 24, 2020 6:47 pm

        The other items you cite such as Certificate of need laws are ADDITIONAL stupid actions by government that drive up prices.

        Medicare simply by virtue of the fact that it has radically increased the consumption of healthcare has increased the cost of healthcare and that ALONE is the single largest factor in rising US healthcare prices.

        I do not disagree with your other claims. They too drive costs up.
        But you could elimiate every one of them and still get much of the cost increases we have seen.

        There is no other known means of allocating resources separate from free markets that transforms scarcity into abundance and lowers prices. NONE,

        They are plenty of schemes that increase costs – anything that constrains free markets increases costs.

  66. John Say permalink
    January 23, 2020 10:39 pm

  67. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 11:31 am

    Vitamin B1:

    • Jay permalink
      January 24, 2020 12:12 pm

      And this per Trump’s snide remark about injured troop headaches:

      – 34 US troops diagnosed with concussions or TBIs;
      – 8 sent to Germany now in the US for more treatment;
      – 9 sent to Germany still being treated there;
      – 1 sent to Kuwait and then back to Iraq;
      – 16 diagnosed in Iraq, returned to duty there.

      • John Say permalink
        January 24, 2020 1:22 pm

        Your link has nothing to do with your claim.

        If you are at the pentagon and in a meeting with Trump then I am hard pressed to call you a hero.

        These are not people who have lead actual troops under fire. These are people who do the same thing as people playing war games on the internet – except with real people and real weapons. And thus far they have not done very well.

        Before you lionize those like Mattis – you should actually know the policies they advocate.

        Before you demand they should be listened to – you should know what they are saying – not about Trump, but about how the US should act militarily in the world.

        When you endorse the Pentagon over Trump – you take personal ownership of THEIR policies – and you should know what those are first.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 1:17 pm

      Please read Mattis’s book – he outlines his view of US power and the military and the future.

      He is not nuts. He is articulate and his views are well thought out.

      But his idea about the role of the US and our military in the rest of the world is radically different from that of not just Trump – but 90% of americans.

      Mattis wants a strong military – and he wants to use it. He wants US troops deployed as they are in Afghanistan – but to conflicts throughout the world – for decades.

      He quite litterally sees the US as the policmen of the world – he beleives that is a good thing and that it is the duty of this country, and that it is a wise route to prosperity.

      I do not agree with Mattis, but that does not mean he does not have a credible and well argued position. It is likely that he is accurate on the benefits and costs of his policies.

      But his polices will result in american soldiers by the thousands dying every year in foreign fights that are not our own.

      That Trump and Mattis are not on the same page shoudl not surprise anyone.

      I would further note that Trump is at odds with our military LEADERS, Not the military itself.
      Not the soldiers Trump is favored 2:1 by ordinary soldiers – but disfavored almost 2:1 by officers.

      I would further note that nearly all our current military leaders are NOT “heros”.

      Please name a single member of the current top brass in the military that has WON a military conflict ? There is no doubt that our ordinary soldiers can defeat any force that goes toe-to-toe with them. We have even had some success at slightly higher operational levels.

      Grenada was inconsequential – but still a victory. As was panama. Gulf War I was consequential and victorious. As was the actual initial military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. But neither – nor anything else since has resulted in “victory”

      Nor has the Balkans, Somalia, Libya, Nigeria, …..

      But if you are going to claim these are heros deserving of our tremendous respect that would also apply to Gen. Flynn and Gen. Petreus – who have strongly supported Trump’s military policies.

      Regardless, the modern top military is only distinguishable from those during vietnam by using computers and powerpoints rather than slide rules.

      Respect is due to those who succeed – our soldiers have succeeded – their commanders have failed.

      Inarguably – we would be out of afghanistan 2 years ago had Trump not taken the advice of the people you are calling heros.

      They made promises – and THEY failed to deliver – and Soldiers have died. And they want to continue the same disasterous policies – forever – that is litterally what Mattis’s book argues – that Afghanistan and Iraq are not failures, but are successes – that we should be prepared to do the same – staying for decades and spending trillions of dollars.

      I do not have a problem with Trump going to DoD and tearing them a new asshole.

      These are not Hero’s.

  68. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 11:33 am

    Vitamin B2:

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 4:54 pm

      When Biden was VP – the VA was a mess – it is still far from perfect, but after multiple presidents have promised improvements – Trump has actually delivered.

      Primarily by allowing vets to get private healthcare if the VA could not meet their needs in a reasonable time frame.

      Obama/Biden promised to bring vest home from these pointless foreign escapades.
      Yet by the end of Obama’s term US forces were fighting in MORE pointless wars thant when he was inaugurated.

      Trump’s popularity among grunts rather than officers is unmatched – 2:1

      I think the actual soldiers – as opposed to desk jockies no who gives a shit about them.

      Trump was not in the military – one of Few US presidents who was not.
      Despite his bluster. Trump is the most reluctant president to put US soldiers in harms way of any president since Reagan. He seems to take seriously the interests of the actual soldiers.

      Further unlike many of their own officers – who seem more interesed in their carreers, Trump seems to value the lives of US Servicemen and is not callously wasting them.

      These are things that matter.

      Oddly we have nearly seen a reversal of the parties on this issue.

      While Republicans have and remain advocates of a strong military and though both parties seem content to buy our brass ever more toys, Inarguably Republicans spend more an the military than democrats.

      But just about every 2016 GOP presidential candidate (Sen. Graham excepted) ran on a platform of getting us the hell out of conflicts that had no consequential US Interest.

      Despite the fact that Obama ran on the same platform – promising to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq and to shutdown Gitmo in 90 days.

      8 years latter we were in MORE conflicts – not less.

      Trump is going FAR TO SLOW but he does appear to ge getting us the hell out

      Given a choice betweeen Biden’s record and Trump’s record regarding our military – there is a very clear choice.

      You can buy what Biden says – the same things he said in 2008, Or you can buy what he did.

      You have the same choice with Trump.

      Jay – If you want to tell me that Trump LIED with respect to ending our involvement in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan – I will agree!!! He promissed we would be out of all those places long ago. And we are not. The primary reason we are not is he actually gave “the generals” – the people you say he should be listening to, a chance. They failed, and Trump is angry. So am I. He should not have given them a chance – they had 16 years of chances, they did not need more. But he did, and he shouldn’t have and I am angry with him over that.

      But there is good reason to beleive that Trump will get us out – if not as fast as he promissed.

      Biden has a 8 year record of FAILURE to deliver on that same promise. Of ESCALATING our conflicts.

      There is no reason at all to beleive Biden.

      But we already know that in Jay world – you only look at words and not actions not facts. not reality

      If our soldiers were the determinative issue – I would vote for Gabbard in a heart beat.
      I beleive she is far less willing to waste the lives of US Soldiers in pointless conflicts.
      I would take her on that over Trump.

      But there is not another – republican or Democrat I would take over Trump on not wasting the lives of our soldiers.

      And there is not a member of the top Brass I would trust more than the politicians – of either party, and that is bad.

      Go read the Afghan papers. It is Vietnam all over again.

      Our leaders in the defense department are not heros, they are liars.


      But again – you do not seem to know what a real lie is.

  69. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 11:48 am

    Question: if President ‘Truthful’ doesn’t know ‘this guy Parnes’ how does he show up in so many venues so close to Trump? Does Parnes have a Secret Service ‘Visit President’ pass?

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/recording-appears-capture-trump-private-dinner-ukraine-ambassador/story?id=68506437

    • Jay permalink
      January 24, 2020 12:02 pm

      How many other grifting lowlifes like Parnas were/are allowed to get this close to the president?

      How many other lies from grifting lowlifes did Trump believe and then incorporate when making official decisions?

      How many assholes continue to defend this kind of crap?

    • Jay permalink
      January 24, 2020 12:08 pm

      ‘Reminder: this is a campaign finance story. Parnas and Fruman’s political contributions—including an illegally laundered $325,000 to a Trump super PAC—bought them their access, which they used to push for Yovanovitch’s removal. #NoSecretSpending #FixtheFEC’

      • John Say permalink
        January 24, 2020 6:57 pm

        The FEC can not be fixed.

        Just abolish it.

        All the FEC does is creat lots of fake crimes like this.

        You continue to say money laundering when you wish to slur uses of money that you do not like. ‘

        Contributing to a political campaign is not “money laundering”.

        It is not your business of mine who contributes how much to who.

        I get to choose what I do with my money. If I want to burn it, spend it on caviar, drugs, or presidentical candidates of my preference – that is entirely my business.

        And you have absolutely no right to interfere.

        Calling what I have done with my own money by some dirty sounding name does not change the fact that it is my money – not yours and you have no legitimate voice in what I do with it.

        Whether I contribute it to Trump or Sanders – it is not your business.

        After I have given my money to someone else – you have no business deciding what THEY can do with that money – how they spend it.

        If I want to spend money to Remove Yavonovitch – that is my business.

        Though I can not make any sense out of your nonsense claims.

        Trump asked Yavonovitch to leave Ukraine – she was actually already beyond her normal term. Further she was an obama apointee.

        Trump removing Yavonovitch required ZERO federal or private dollars.
        It merely required Trump to say – you serve at the pleasure of the president and I want someone else.

        So you are selling an obviously BUNK story.

      • John Say permalink
        January 24, 2020 7:13 pm

        If this is a story of campaign finance – then it is a story of the stupidity of government meddling in free speach and the political process.

        The power of goernment comes from the people – not government. The legitimacy of the covernment comes from the people, not the government.

        Government has incredibly little authority over the political process – almost entirely confined to voting itself and even there confined purely to enforcing the constitutional criteria for voting. NOTHING ELSE

        Those in government has ZERO business at all making decisions of any kind regarding elections.

        You do not put the fox in charge of the hen house. Government regulation of elections is absolutely the most dangerous thing that government does.

        As the PV film of the Sanders surrogate talking about violent revolution if Sanders is not elected – when Government puts its thumb on the scales of elections – the only remedy is violent revolution.

        It is governments job to assure that only those constitutionally allowed to vote can vote, and that votes are accurately counted.

        THAT IS ALL. Anything beyond that is actually meddling in the political process.
        Government is barred from deciding who will be the next government.

        The impeachment of Nixon was specifically about Government trying to control who would be the next government.

        The criminal aspect of Crossfire Huricane is the same. The illegitimacy of Mueller and the faux impeachment are Both about Government trying to put its fingers on the scales of the next election.

        Even the bogus claims about Trump – are a claim that the power of Trump as President was used to influence an election.

        All the things you want – are unconstitutional efforts to influence the outcome of an election.
        What you keep trying to call law is lawless.

        I beleive Donald Trump put 200M of his own money into 2016. That is prefectly legal.
        I beleive Blumeberg and Steyer are seeking to put the same or even more into their own elections – also legal.

        Bloomberg has just run a massive add blitz which you are touting – all paid for himself.

        A big man with a massive amount of money clearly trying to influence the election.
        Exactly what you claim shoudl be illegal – but it is not, and hypocrtically you are chearing him own.

        Dumping millions into a campaign is OK – if and only if if favors those you like or harms those you do not.

        That is EXACTLY what we do not want. The only control you have over an election – is that of your won actions – your own votes, your own political contributions.

        You are NOT entitled to control over that of others. Not their vote, not their voice, not their contributions,

        I would further ask you – Bloomberg is spending millions. You are touting the results of that spending.

        Is Bloomberg buying manhole covers ? Is he buying Yacht’s ?

        No. He is using money to SPEAK. but because he is saying things you like – your OK with that.

        Only you do not get to decide who can speak or what they can say.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 6:21 pm

      Thousands of people show up at assorted republican fund raisers.

      We went through this same nonsense with Obama, and pictures of him with terrorists.

      But there was a real difference – Obama actually worked together with these people.
      There was no denying they :”knew each other”.

      Regardless, as I noted My sister has lots of photos of Nixon – some of them signed. She has his autograph. She even has a real autograph – not machine signed. She has a note from Rose Mary Woods about getting that autograph.

      But she never met Nixon or Woods.

      I would imagine Trump is photgraphed witrh hundreds of people every day – as was Obama.

      I do not actually give a damn if Trump knew Parnas.

      I do not give a damn if Trump and Gulliani and Parnas and Furman ACTUALY ploted to “Make Up” Dirt on Biden.
      Nothing that involved Guiliani, Parnas, Furman, etc. is at all relevant.
      Because anything that Trump does through private actors is private – it is not a use of government power.

      Trump can plot with Guiliani to spray completely bogus crap about Biden – just as Hillary used Elias to work with Simpson and Steele to manufacture dirt on Trump.

      You are free to not like it and to vote against it, but it is not illegal. It is not even the business of government or law enforcement.

      The problem with the “russia hoax” was not Clinton or Elias, or Simpson, or Steele, or Downer. So long as those actions did not intersect with the FBI, State or CIA those actions were legal. And even to the extent they intersected – out side of lhying to investigators and congress the malfeasance in the Trump/Russia Hoax was not the conduct of private actors.

      The entire abuse of power under color of law and violation of rights took place inside of government.

      There is no difference with respect to the law between the actions of Steele, Simpson, Nellie Ohr, Downer, Elias and Clinton than the actions of Trump, with respect to Guiliani, and Parnas and Furman.

      To the extent that the government had a basis to investigate Clinton. Elias, Simpson and Steele, it is only in the context of determining the misconduct of GOVERNMENT officials in response.

      Further government – FBI, DOJ, CIA, State ARE free to and even SHOULD accept allegations from private sources – even those that are politically biased – whether that is Guilliani or Steele.

      But it is required to view those allegations skeptically and MORE IMPORT, to verify as much as possible before relying on them.

      Gulliani can make whatever allegations he wishes regarding Biden or the Ukraine.
      There is no constraint on that – he is a private actor. There is no crime involved.

      To the extent that DOJ or FBI chose to investigate those allegations – they must verify them before using them.

      The same is True of Clinton/Steele.

      You keep trying to pretend that Trump has done something wrong – because he has done something you do not like.

      While I am absolutely adamant that Clintons conduct regarding her bathtub email server is a crime.

      I have also consistently from the beginning asserted that the conduct of Clinton, Elias, Simpson, and Steele (shor to lying to congress or the FBI) was LEGAL.

      That does not change because we are not discussing Guiliani, Parnas, Furman.

      Nadler’s Senate remarks regarding Guiliani etc are wrong, and they would be inadmissible in court.

      The entire Ukraine vector From Trump through Guiliiani is not a matter for government, the FBI, DOJ, or the house. There actions can not be legitimately investigated, there is no allegation of an actual crime. And there is no abuse of power – Guiliani is not a member of the federal government and Trump can not by whatever directions he gives Guiliani abuse power as there is no excercise of executive power.

      To find abuse of power – you must find an act by Trump AS PRESIDENT, directing action of the US government. You can not abuse power without USING government power.

      There is a reason that House Democrats have wasted time slandering Guliiani, but are not calling him to testify.

      Nothing Trump told Guillani can be an abuse of power.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 6:25 pm

      If Parnas visited the president – there are logs recording that.
      Those can be obtained via subpeona or FOIA request and whitehouse vistors logs are generally publicly available after the fact. The presidents future schedule is classified, But his past is not.

      BTW, while the SS must vet visitors to the president. Records regarding visitors – beyond determining if they are a threat tot he president’s life, are kept by the whitehouse not the secret service.

      The SS is for security, they are not the whitehouse secretaries.
      Further SS will be classified. While WH vistors logs are not.

  70. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 11:52 am

    Isn’t witness tampering/threatening jurors in a trial illegal?

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 7:24 pm

      Listen to Nadler and Schiff – every word out of their mouths in this is a threat.

      I doubt the story you are touting is true – I am highly dubious of all these stories that tell us what is being said – without quoting anyone.
      Who is “team Trump” ? and what is it they actually said ?

      Neither you nor the media are credible on this.

      Not that it matters.

      Witness or jury tampering requires a threat to do something you can not legitimately do.

      If Trump is litterally going to put a senators head on a pike – that would be jury tampering.

      If that is a political threat it is no different from Democrats claiming that the sky will fall or of voters – either supporting the president or opposing him claiming that they will vote FOR or against candidates based on their vote.

      I would further note – that the moment you said Impeachment does not require a crime – you trashed all your jury nonsense.

      When Impeachment and trial is purely a political process – criminal laws do not apply, even the concepts do not apply.

      This is no different from any other vote. Pelosi whipped votes in the house. Schumer is whipping votes in the Senate – so are Republicans – none of this is new.

      BTW during the clinton impeachment Senate Democratic leaders Actively coordinated with Clinton and also worked hard to twist the arms of democratic senators.

      Lets not pretend that you suddenly discovered that politics is political.

      That whoring goes on in the whore house.

      That said = I do not actually beleive your story. If there was truth to it – we would have real verifiable quotes.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 7:28 pm

      The concequence of getting caught in lots of big lies – for you and the media – is that no one beleives you.

      A couple of years ago – I would have checked the assertions you (or NYT made). Actually I probably would have accepted factual representations from CBS, CNN, NYT, …

      Today ? I assume they are false. I am not bothering to verify them.

      When you have been caught lying constantly – no one listens to what you say anymore.

    • John Say permalink
      January 26, 2020 12:55 pm

      “I know of no Republican senator who has been threatened in any way by anyone in the administration,” said Susan Collins of Maine, whose vote might be in play. Another, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, said Schiff “lost me” with the comment.

      So more lies from Schiff and the left.

      Democrats attributing to Trump what they do themselves.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 11:43 am

      This claim originated with Schiff.

      When he presented it TWICE there was audible shock from Senators – specifically by republican senators like Collins and other “moderates”.

      It Trump is actually threatening GOP senators – it is near certain to drive them AWAY from him. Trump has very little to threaten a Republican Senator with. At best he can assure that a democrat wins their seat in the next election.

      Within the house and senate those with the actual ability to threaten members are the minority and majority leaders. Who control committee asignments and other political largess.

      No doubt McConnell works with Trump. But he has shown zero relictance to go his own way when he is at odds with Trump He just does nto go YOUR way.

      I am not a fan of McConnell at all. But the claim that he is a mere Trump apartich is ludicrous.
      McConnell has been strong arming Senators to get his way for as long as he has lead republicans – just as Pelosi, and Schumer and Reid and ….

      BTW NYT – found Schiff’s head on a pike Claim to be fraudulent.

  71. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 3:39 pm

    Lindsey Graham’s bizarre explanation for why Trump shouldn’t be removed from office: Trump didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.

    “If he thought he was doing something wrong, he would probably shut up about it,”

    That’s an interesting twist on the mental incompetence defense: dysfunctional sociopaths take notice.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 7:47 pm

      Go listen to the whole clip.

      You are misrepresenting it.

      I was actually going to post on Grahama remarks – because they were excellent.
      He made several points that are often ignored and Graham is actually the perfect person to make them.

      Graham stated the Aide was NOT released because of the WB complaint – that BTW is where Graham said Trump does not beleive he did anything wrong – I will get to that further.
      But Trump did not give a crap about th WB complaint. It did not influence him.
      What did influence Trump was getting a phone call from BOTH Sen. Graham and Sen Portman who told Trump they would be voting with democrats to order the funds released.
      Trump realized that he did not have the votes to continue to hold the funds so the next day he released them.

      The Timeline of events validates Graham’s claim NOT the House claim that the WB made him do it.

      Graham asserted that Trump likely would have continued to hold Ukraine funds but for the fact that he would lose in the Senate and a fight over Ukraine funding that put him at odds with lots of republicans would weaken his ability to win on other issues like the Border wall – which he won hugely in the recent Budget fight.

      But Graham went further. He noted that He and Trump are at odds over Foreign aide.
      That Graham heavily supports aide to Ukraine, and many many other places.
      Graham is a hawk and a neo-con. Graham openly stated that he and Trump DISAGREE on foreign aide. But that Trump won the GOP nomination and he did not. That as president Trump has cut foreign aide – military and otherwise all over the place.

      Graham said read the transcript – Trump told Zelensky to get more aide from the EU – he neighbors. That Ukraine was half the world away from the US, but right on the doorstep of the EU.

      That Trump has been actively trying to get out of Nigeria – and that Graham and other republicans (and democrats) have thwarted that.

      That there is no evidence at all that Trump withheld Aide to the Ukraine to get an investigation of Biden. But that he had several reasons for doing so that are completely consistent with his actions elsewhere as president.
      That he has been trying to cut foreign aide everywhere.
      That Zelensky ran on a “drain the swamp” platform – but has several corrupt oligarchs in powerful positions in his government.
      That Trump does not think that Ukraine is consequential. That he thinks spending money on Ukraine is sending it down a rathole.

      Graham pointed out that in his and Portmans phone call with Trump – neither Biden nor the call to Zelensky came up. Trump argued for holding or cutting aide. He argued about getting the EU to chip in – no mention at all of Biden.

      Of course Trump did not think he did anything wrong – because he didn’t.

      You have manufactured entirely a narative about Trump’s actions.

      Things go to hell when you try to mid read others.
      You want to disagree with Graham’s conclusions about Trump’s motives – fine.
      But there is more reason to beleive Graham is correct than to beleive you are.
      And more importantly there is no reason in the world to beleive that ANYONE knows what Trumps ” reasons” were.

      This is why – motives for legal acts are irrelevant.

      You keep putting the carte before the horse.

      You need to prove the act was bad, and you can not do that by guessing at motives.

  72. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 4:05 pm

    And this is what happens when you talk out of both sides of your mouth:

    “The House has filed a letter with the Appeals Court arguing that Trump’s impeachment lawyers have completely contradicted their arguments in the McGahn case.”

    The DOJ continues to fight House subpoenas of witnesses saying it has no right to do so; but now Trump’s impeachment lawyers are criticizing the House for not taking people to court for fighting subpoenas.

    Trump Admin to Congress: You need to litigate your subpoenas in court. That’s what courts are for.

    Trump Admin to Courts: You can’t adjudicate these subpoenas. That’s not what courts are for.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 7:51 pm

      You have the most bizzare deffintion of contradiction in the world.

      The argument in the McGahn case and the Trump impeachment lawyers is THE SAME.

      In the McGahn Case Trump expects THE COURTS to decide the house has no right to McGahns testimoney.

      In the impeachment case Trump is saying not only does’nt the house have the right to this testimoney – but they have so little confidence in their own claims they are unwilling to take them to court.

      The contradiction is of the houses position Not Trump’s.

      Logic is clearly not your forte.

  73. Jay permalink
    January 24, 2020 7:57 pm

    Who is the bigly-biggest dickhead?

    Nixon tried to hide 18 minutes of evidence — Trump Is hiding ALL he can of it.
    Tricky Dick had enough moral balance to resign.
    Dicky Donald is too morally unbalanced to give a shit his conduct.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 9:23 pm

      Nixon did not face impeachment for erasing 18min of tape.

      He faced impeachment for directing aides to collect political funds to pay for the silence of the watergate burglars.

      For actively engaging in the coverup of a crime after the fact.

      The watergate burglary was a REAL crime. arranging to pay witnesses to keep silent about a REAL CRIME is also a crime.

      There is BTW much more involved in Watergate if you ever bother to look into it – or if you are old enough to remember – the tape erasure was disturbing, but it was not dispositive.

      You can beleive the tape was deliberately erased – though Rose Mary Wood testified that she did so accidentally – and I do not actually beleive Woods would lie for Nixon – but I know you have no problem accusing people of lying. Regardless, Woods had 35 years to recant and never did.

      I do not think Nixon’s conduct was all that unusal – we know alot about LBJ and Nixon was a saint in comparison. By most any criteria for abuse of power – LBJ is top of the list.
      The man stuffed ballot boxes.

      That said – MOSTLY, Nixon’s actions were outside of government. Nixon wanted to use the FBI and IRS against political enemies – but he failed, and John Mitchell formed the Plumbers – an OUTSIDE group to do what Nixon could not get government agencies to do for him.
      The problem with the Plumbers was they broke the law – they burglarized the DNC and Elsburg’s psychiatrist. And then they got caught.

      Well The Obama administration actually DID what Nixon wanted.

      While we do not have a link between Obama and Louis Lerner – LL’s actions were criminal. She litterally used the IRS against Obama’s enemies – aside from the use of the IRS to target Tea Party groups, we also KNOW that she arranged audits and harrassment of groups she deemed hostile to Obama and we know that a number of tax returns of Obama enemies were leaked to the press during his term and these all flowed through LL.

      We know she forwarded them to DOJ and the WH. We do not know how they got to the press yet.

      We know that Obama used the FBI to spy on journalists. The FBI has actually admitted this in court. We know that the CIA spied on Senators.

      Admiral Rogers essentially confirmed that the Mass Surveilance that Snowden exposed was being used highly improperly by private NSA contractors.
      There is an uncorroborated claim that the DNC hack had nothing to do with getting DNC emails. it was because the DNC was getting information from Private NSA contracotrs to use for political purposes and some foreign power found out about this and hacked the DNC to get this NSA data. This explains why the DNC refused to allow the FBI to look at their servers.

      We also know that afte rRogers shut down NSA access for private contractors, that Obama authorized significantly more people to access raw intelligence data AND to request unmasking – the number of people with access to raw intelligence and the number of unmasking requests increased exponentially until the end of the Obama administration.
      No one has ever provided an explanation for these.

      Powers claims that she did not make the thousands of requests attributed to her – and there is reason to beleive she is telling the truth – but someone did, and though very disturbing if powers it is inarguably criminal if it was not powers.

      And then we have what Horowitz found.

      Not since watergate has the power of government been used against political opponents on such flimsy grounds. Obama’s FBI did exactly what Nixon begged the FBI to do, but they refused. And while Horowitz found that – just barely they had sufficient basis to start – that the investigation RELENTLESSLY undercut itself from day one. That the day after the investigation started there was LESS reason to beleive that there was anything to investigate and that this worsened until just before the inauguration when there was nothing left to investigate and the investigation should have been shut down.

      And shortly after that – with no new evidence – Rosenstien appointed Mueller to investigate something that all those in the investigation already knew was a fraud.

      You really do not understand – Horrowitz proved that the Mueller investigation was an abuse of power.

    • John Say permalink
      January 24, 2020 9:37 pm

      You say Trump is hiding things ?

      He gave Mueller everything he asked for. Trump never fought a single Mueller document request or Subpeona, he never asserted executive privildge with Mueller even though numerous instances he clearly had the power to do so. Trump never took Mueller to court over anything.

      He pissed and moaned, he insulted Mueller – and we now know deservedly. He decried the partisan witch hunt.

      But he gave him whatever he wanted.

      In fact through the entire mess the only stonewalling was from Rosenstein and the FBI – who you would have thought would do what Trump asked. Trump ordered all of this declassiefied – and STILL it has not been.

      More recently Trump has responded to FOIA requests for material that the House has subpeona’d.

      Aparently it is beyond you, but this fight is not about hiding anything – it is about saying screw you to the house.

      The 2nd article of impeachment is essentially a contempt of the house claim.

      That one is absolutely completely true. Trump has enormous contempt for those in the house playing this nonsense impeachment game – deservedly so.

      Absolutely Trump is refusing to cooperate with them. And I would even agree that he is asserting priviledge that he is mostly not going to win in court.

      But it is not about hiding anything it is a political power game between Trump and the house.

      Democrats won the house by promising bipartisanship and as a result of dozens of moderate dems who said they would work with Trump. That is what people wanted .

      But the wingnuts in the democratic party took over. Increasingly I think it is likely that the house flips back in 2020. You can not measure how democrats will do in 2020 by looking at blue districts. Absolutely the deep blue seats are never flippling. Nadler, Schiff and Pelosi are unlikely to pay a price for their stupidity, and malfeasance – but democrats elected in pink districts are likely to pay.

      This is not about hiding anything. This is about hard ball politics between Trump and house democrats.

  74. John Say permalink
    January 24, 2020 8:17 pm

    “Trump Admin to Courts: You can’t adjudicate these subpoenas. That’s not what courts are for.”

    That is not what Trump has argued. He has made a constituional claim of executive priviledge.

    BTW though that is not what Trump argued – it is a legitimate argument – and one of the more famous early supreme court cases run pretty much like that.

    You are literally dealing with one of the most significant supreme court cases ever Marbury Vs. Madison.
    In marbury the supreme court decided that it was the final authority on the constitution (and that the constitution was the binding law of the land)

    Even the decision that something is outside the scope of the courts – and SCOTUS has in many instances decided that something is constitutionally outside its scope, is still a supreme court decision.

    If Trump is arguing what you claim – he is arguing that:
    Congress does nto have the power to issue (or enforce) these supeona’s, and that the court must decide that it too has no role in adjudicating this conflict.

    I suspect that argument will not be a winner. But there is atleast on landmark case prior to the civil war where SCOTUS decided exactly that.

    Regardless, there is no contradiction.

    If what you represent as being argued is correct – and you are not a trustworthy source.

    Trump is arguing that in this instance neither the house nor the court has the power to enforce the subpeona’s.

    That is not contradicted by saying the house must go to court.
    It is just Trump’s expectation that the court will say the house can not enforce its subpeona, and we do not have the authority to order that.

    I think that argument is unlikely to prevail. I also think it is unlikely that Trump’s legal team made that argument – but it is a bad argument not a self contradictory one.

    But what the house is purportedly responding IS self contradictory.

    Logic really is not your forte.

  75. John Say permalink
    January 24, 2020 9:49 pm

    Nadler misrepresented the Johnson impeachment – but somehow that is appropriate.

    The consensus of history is that Johnson was a poor president, but that his impeachment was purely political and a huge mistake.

    My expectation is that the Trump impeachment will play worse in history.

    Trump will be re-elected. The impeachment will be viewed as an attempt to thwart that.
    In the Johnson impeachment there was a manufactured crime from an unconstitutional law.
    In the Trump impeachment there is no crime at all.

    Read the Johnson articles of impeachment – they sound exactly like what the house is offering. Johnson aparently talked much like Trump does and like trump he responded to verbal slings and arrows of his enemies with verbal slings and arrows of his own.
    And was impeached for that.

    Regardless, Johnson was far less popular than Trump he was not removed from office because a few senators broke ranks from their party and said – they could not in good conscience impeach Johnson no matter how much they disagreed or even hated him.

    https://jonathanturley.org/2020/01/24/nadler-and-the-johnson-fallacy/#more-151726

  76. John Say permalink
    January 24, 2020 10:02 pm

    Here is Dinesh D’Souza demonstrating that there is little difference btween Fascism and modern progressivism. That not only are the roots of facsism socialist but that short of the fascination of 1930’s fascists with nationalism they are otherwise indistinguishable from modern progressives.

    D’Souza is the only person ever convicted of the Crime Lev Parnas is being investigated for, and D’Souza was properly pardoned by Trump.

    D’Souzas real crime was making movies about Obama that Obama did not like.

    The prosecution of D’Souza for a crime no one has ever been prosecuted for is an abuse of power – for PERSONAL and political gain.

    Yet no one was calling for Obama’s impeachment.

  77. John Say permalink
    January 24, 2020 10:06 pm

  78. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:30 am

  79. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:40 am

  80. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:49 am

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
    CS Lewis

  81. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:53 am

    “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves ; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

    ― Thomas Jefferson,

  82. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 9:46 am

    Obvious. Correct.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 11:57 am

      It is obvious that neither you nor Joe live in the real world.

      The same people who were telling us it is obvious that Trump colluded with Russia are telling us all kinds of other things that are obvious.

      In fact there is only one thing that is OBVIOUS – that is that there is good reason to investigate the Bidens.

      I linked the clip to “the Hills” “The Rising” that is supposed to be one of those left right debate shows with millenial hosts. Except I have not been able to figure out for sure which is “the right” or more accurately BOTH are fairly left. Yet BOTH understood perfectly clearly that The Biden’s were fair game for investigation.

      Anyone with a clue should grasp that is where this ends.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 12:10 pm

      If Joe Biden decided not to run for President – would it have been legitimate for Trump to ask for an investigation ? Of Course it would.

      If it was President Obama asking for an investigation of a drug addicted member of McCains or Romney’s family who had followed them arround during the bush administration and made millions everywhere they went with no skills. And McCain or Romney in some official capacity had demanded a prosecutor investigating their son be fired – would Obama asking for an investigation be justified ?

      If you flipped the parties, not only would there be no impeachment, there would not even be complaints about the investigation.

      Adam Schiff made an impassioned closing – it was emotionally appealling, it even plagferized John Adams.

      His closing argument was essentially

      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

      John Adams

      The problem is that Adam Schiff is obviously NOT a moral person.

      He peppered his close with appeals to “truth”. Yet, the problem is that Schiff, and Walsh and you OBVIOUSLY have no idea what Truth is.

      We do not detemine facts by beleif. We determine them by evidence.

      But it is clear that YOU do.

      Schiff is the modern Joe McCarthy – seeing Russian Assets in all his political enemies.

  83. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 9:52 am

    He was right – but too dumb to heed his own words.

    “If we nominate Trump, we will get destroyed…….and we will deserve it.”
    Lindsey Graham 5/3/16

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 12:18 pm

      By what measure are we not better off in 2020 than in 2016 ?

      All that appears to be “destroyed” are the dreams of political domination and control of the left.

      A decade ago, demographics was destiny, we were purportedly on the cusp of complete political dominance by the left. The Financial crisis gave democrats dominating control of the entire federal government. After eight years of progressive democratic rule republicans had retaken the entire federal government, including Trump defeating Hillary Clinton as president something that even today few of us can understand how that happened.

  84. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 9:59 am

    President Mafioso Speaks:

    “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.”

    Question: how did someone Trump says he doesn’t know get close enough to secretly record him?

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 12:20 pm

      You have a problem with firing Yavonovitch ?

  85. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 11:05 am

    Dignified Donnie at it again:
    (Would his hidden taxes show income from Murdoch)?

    “Our case against lyin’, cheatin’, liddle’ Adam “Shifty” Schiff, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, Nervous Nancy Pelosi, their leader, dumb as a rock AOC, & the entire Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrat Party, starts today at 10:00 A.M. on @FoxNews, @OANN or Fake News @CNN or Fake News MSDNC!’

    Your Perfect leader – destroying presidential decorum forevermore.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 12:43 pm

      Trump is not the first politician to adopt Alinsky’s tactics.

      BTW – you are likely aware that Cheif Justice Roberts admonished both sides for slandersous remarks during the impeachment trial a few days ago.

      But you are likely not aware of the back story.

      Sen. Collins was listening to Rep. Nadler slander the entire Republican Senate Caucus repeatedly and sent a note to Roberts saying that this had to stop.

      You still do not understand that when you insult people – you lose them forever. Nadler’s attacks on the Senate made it crystal clear that the House Managers were not making any effort to persuade Republicans, They were just trying to use the Senate Trial as a political platform.

      The ratings for this are in the tank. I know of almost no one who has watched it.

      Purportedly both Collin’s and Romney are fed up and angry – with the house performance.

  86. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 11:21 am

    Today’s best observation: “How can any Republican’s head end up on a pike if it’s already stuck up Trump’s ass?”

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 12:58 pm

      Jay,

      You continue to fail to grasp that you the left, democrats have lied so much – you are the boy who cried wolf.

      Maybe the audio recording – is Parnas Recording Trump from a seat at Trump’s right elbow.
      Maybe it proves that Trump conspired with Parnas to get rid of Yavonovitch.

      Maybe Trump has threatened Republican Senators.

      But SO MUCH of what has been reported has proved false – you have immunized Trump if you ever manage to find actual proof of something. Again YOU have done that.
      You have beg and pleaded and demanded and frothed and foamed and threated to get us to beleive so many things that were lies.

      That almost no one beleives you.

      There is no pee tape, Cohen did not go to Prague, Page is not a Russian Asset, Trump was spied on, Biden did extort Ukraine. Trump did not start a nucler war with North Korea, or Iran, He did grudgingly provide lethal military aide to Ukraine – which Obama did not. He has cut US aide to many foreign countries. There has not been a recession, the economy is frowning faster than under Obama, unemployement has continued to decline, U/kraine is corrupt and did interfere in the 2016 election, and on and on and on.

      You have either been flat out wrong about claims or where there was even a germ of truth – the actual truth was quite different than you claimed.

      When you lie ONCE about another person – you does so at the cost of your own integrity.
      When you do so over and over – you will not be beleived even if for once you are truthful about everything.

      I do not know and do not care about this alleged recording.
      There is an infinitely long list of things I do not know about it.

      If you, and the media had been honest and truthful in the past, I would take it a bit more seriously.

      But given the past 3 years – I am not even prepared to accept on faith that it is Trump or recorded by Parnas, not that those things being true would change much.

      But the track record of the left, the press, democrats and you is so poor.

      You took offense at Trump saying “lyin Adam Schiff” – Why ?

      Schiff has been caught in so many lies. I can not say no one beleives him anymore – obviously many people do. But no one whose judgement I would respect believes schiff.

      So no I am not offended that Trump called schiff a liar.

  87. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 12:36 pm

    We know nothing about this recording – except that if we accept all the claims about it – it still poses no problem.

    All we know for certain is that someone recorded someone else who appears to be Trump asking for what appears to be the ouster of Yavonovitch.

    I do not care if this is Trump and Parnas was eating from Trump’s plate at the time.
    It would change nothing.

    But in terms of what YOU think ?

    We do not know this is Trump,.
    We do not know that Parnas recorded it.
    We do not know where Parnas was at the time he recorded it.

    As you asked we do not know if Parnas was close or not, or how he got close.

    You are asking everyone else to disprove an assertion that has little meaning and is itself weak – more inuendo than fact. ‘

    You continue to fail to grasp what is evidence and fact and truth.

  88. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:09 pm

    Lastest WP poll has Impeachment underwater by 6pts.
    The RCP average has it underwater by 1.1pts and dropping rapidly.

    And the Whitehouse has not even started to present its case.

    I doubt anyone will listen to Trump’s defense team. They do not need to.
    The house managers failed.

    As has been true for the past 3 years the Trump outrage is “all hat no cattle”.

    As several Senators have noted – the purported evidence that the house has brought is a collection of oppinions not facts.

    Wishing things to be true does not make it so.
    Hating someone does not make them evil.
    Calling someone a liar does not make them a liar – but without proof it does make you one.

    • Jay permalink
      January 25, 2020 3:09 pm

      Get a brain.

      It was established with certainty weeks ago the GOP wouldn’t convict.

      The purpose for Dems going forward with the Senate trial has already proved successful – to convince the public Trump is a shit-head underserving of the office. And rising poll numbers have verified that. Check out the 538 site. It shows both Democratic and Independent support for his removal solidifying since October at higher percents. GOP numbers have stayed the same: only 11% wanting him out. But Dems & Independent voters against Trump far outnumber those in favor of keeping him. That of course can change if either Warren or Sanders are his presidential opponent.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 5:04 pm

        Of course it was – democrats have never made a case.

        Schiff and Nadler and the house managers have near certain lost every single republican senator – including Romney and Collins.

        Why ?

        Because they have actually reviewed the evidence – and there i nothing but hearsay and oppinions.

        Because they have spent the last week being insulted by you, the media and the house democrats.

        And you still have not grasped that “holier than thou” coming from known liars really plays badly.

        The burden of proof is always on those making the allegation.

        If you allege a lie, if you allege a conspiracy – you must prove it.

        The standard of proof is higher in some venues than others.
        To start an investigation – the standard of proof is reasonable suspicion.
        To get a warrant the standard is supposed to be probable cause.
        To get a criminal conviction the standard is beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Whatever the standard for impeachment – you have not met it.

        This is Trump/Russia delusion II. Nadler and Schiff even tried to incorporate some of the Trump/Russia nonsense.

        When is it you grasp doubling down on lies does not work.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 5:09 pm

        “Voter opposition to the impeachment inquiry is at its highest point since Morning Consult and POLITICO began tracking the issue,” Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president, said. “A key driver for this shift appears to be independents. Today, 47 percent of independents oppose the impeachment inquiry, compared to 37 percent who said the same one week ago.”

        The shift has been entirely those independents you claim still favor impeachment.

        BTW pay attention – if GOP support has been constant – and the polls have shifted 6pts towards Trump. Either independents shifted or Democrats shifted or both.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 5:17 pm

        “But Dems & Independent voters against Trump far outnumber those in favor of keeping him.”

        Just are GOP and independent voter in favor of Trump far outnumber those in favor of removing.

        BTW you are blurring polls. There has consistently been a 3-4 % difference between the numbers favoring the house impeaching and the numbers favoring the senate removal.

        I do not beleive there has ever been a majority favoring removal in any agregate of polls

        Last – if your choice to remove varies based on who the democrat is – something is wrong with you.

        Republicans have argued this is about democrats inability to win elections – if there really are polls that cite different results on impeachment depending on who Trump’s opponent is – that proves that claim.

        That of course can change if either Warren or Sanders are his presidential opponent.

  89. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:36 pm

    Typical Reactions to Whistleblowing:
    (With thanks to Ron Hall)

    An anonymous caller just reported a murder had been committed, described the killer and the car he was driving. (Later all confirmed)

    Democrats: Find that car & the murderer!

    Republicans: Yeah, but is the anonymous caller a Democrat?

    dhlii: Define confirmed?

    Priscilla: Was the murderer speeding in the getaway car?

    Ron: Wasn’t the victim a confirmed progressive advocating expanding Obamacare?

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 4:25 pm

      Democrats: Whatever happened its Trumps fault – or Racists.

      Jay: Everything is Trump’s fault.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 4:33 pm

      How Seriously did democrats take the VA whislteblower ?

      A week or two ago I gave you a list of the NAMES of over 50 “whistleblowers”.

      These are people who actually risked their carreers and in some cases their lives to make corruption, and waste public.

      Gen. Flynn is a bona-fide Whistleblower – and your heros framed him for a crime he did not commit to prevent him from enacting real reforms.

      In a world where ethics mattered Andrew McCabe would have recused himself from anything involving Flynn after Flynn provided a work and character reference for an SAC alleging Sexual Harrasment by McCabe.

      BTW what happened to her ?

      People in the FBI who have lied about even manufacturer and tampered with evidence are still there. The agents who framed Ted Stevens are still there and were never disciplined.

      But the agent who reported McCabe for sexual harrasment who Flynn says was exemplary when working for him – She was fired and can not get a job in law enforcement.

      And for opposing Obama’s Iran policy and providing a reference for an agent filing sexual harrassment charges against Flynn – Flynn was entrapped by McCabe and then the evidence was altered to charge him with crimes he did not committ.

      This is YOUR Idea how to treat a whistleblower ?

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 4:36 pm

      Your post is evidence you do not live in the real world.

      It is also evidence that you do not know any of us 1/10 as well as you think you do.

      I do not pretend to know you very well. I have no idea what goes on in your head – and I would not pretend to.

      I have lost any conception of your positions on policies – because for the past three years the only thing that has mattered to you is Orange Man Bad.

      But you do not know me, you do not know Ron, You do not know ordinary republicans.

      I do not even think you know yourself.

  90. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 1:51 pm

    ‘Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain’
    There is no reason to be suspicious of corruption in the Ukraine or the actions of the Bidens – there are no facts. Do not go looking into this. Beleive what we say without question. Do not investigate – that would serve Trump.

    https://johnsolomonreports.com/joe-bidens-conspiracy-theory-memo-to-u-s-media-doesnt-match-the-facts/

    Are the Biden’s corrupt ? i do not know. But if you doubt there is a reason to investigate, then I doubt your grasp of the real world.

    But we have this increasingly.

    The country is divided. we not merely disagree, we live in alternate universes with completely different facts.

    But there is a real world, and real facts against which we can test what each of of beleives to be true.

    None of us are correct always about everything – but some perspectives are much more prone to error than others.

    It should be pretty self evident today that one perspective has been consistently wrong about nearly everything – whether it is “climate change” or “Trump/Russia Collusion” or that “Biden corruption in the Ukraine was Debunked”. Or that anyone had thoroughly investigated it and found nothing.

  91. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 2:13 pm

    Trump Family Rectitude In Action:

    Donald and Ivanka Trump Involved in Inauguration’s Inflated Payments to Family Business.

    “Members of the Trump family were aware of and involved in the negotiation of this unconscionable contract,” the District of Columbia’s attorney general wrote in the suit.

    “In the civil complaint, Attorney General Karl Racine charged the Trump inaugural committee and the Trump Organization with using around $1 million of charitable funds to improperly enrich the Trump family.”

    I’m shocked, I tell you! Astounded! Could our honest truth-telling Prez be guilty of misusing charitable funds, subverting for the Trump family’s private benefit. Say it ain’t so Trumpanzees!

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 4:47 pm

      Not the DC AG’s business.

      The inauguration is private. It is run by a private entity.

      what it spends for what is not your business.

      You continue to spray this nonsense that you are somehow entitled to decide what others can buy or sell and what they may pay.

      I have no idea regarding any of what occurred in the inauguration – and I do not care.

      I did not contribute, nor did I provide services.

      I have no basis to challenge what was paid to who for what.

      Nor do you. Nor does the DC AG.

      It is not your business.

      The fact that the DC AG is exploring this demonstrates the problem.

      Do you understand that the problem in the Ukraine with Burisma is NOT that Hunter Biden was paid a fortune to do nothing ?

      The problem is that he was likely hired to buy influence with Joe Biden,
      and worse that there is atleast the APPEAREANCE that he succeeded.

      You have spent 3 years trying to find some example where the Trump family business somehow altered US policy. You have not found a single instance yet.

      But we may not KNOW that Biden acted because of his Son’s involvement in Burisima – yet.
      But we have excellent reasons to be suspicious – and we know that Biden was required to recuse himself and did not.

      We have the appearance of corruption. Which is the requirement to investigate.

      What private parties chose to pay other private parties for goods or services is not even the appearance of corruption.

      I do not care if the inaugual committee bought cocaine for participlants – so long as no force was involved and the exchange was volutnary.

      Making free choices that you do not like – is still voluntary.

  92. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 2:21 pm

    Republican Impeachment Defense;

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EPJJ5ASXkAUrJ7a?format=jpg&name=medium

  93. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 2:49 pm

    I finally found out why the GOP under Trump has cancelled presidential primary elections in multiple states to prevent opponents from appearing on the ballot.

    Trump’s tariff war has seriously reduced the number of steel pikes available for him to impale critical competitors.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 4:58 pm

      “Orange man bad”

      We got it.

      Depending on the state mid dec was the deadline to file to run in a primary. The deadlines were the same regardless of party. The requirements to be on the ballot in a primary was the same regardless of party.

      If you want to change the law to make it easier to get on the ballot – I am for that.

      Most states have laws that require enormous numbers of signatures to get on the ballot if you are not endorsed by one of the two parites. I completely oppose that.

      But the law is the same for democrats and republicans.

  94. John Say permalink
    January 25, 2020 3:07 pm

    I have a problem with this editorial. I think it accurately describes the world as it is, but not as I want it to be.

    In a why it explains why Trump won, and Romney and McCain lost, and why Trump is so hated by the left.

    It echo’s some of what I have said here.

    It also echo’s the differences between Jay and I.

    Are we engaged in a contest of ideas ? Or are we engaged in a bitter conflict of people over power ?

    I prefer Trump as president to Clinton or Biden or Warren or Sanders or …. because of ideas, values, principles. Trump does not even come close to reflecting my values or principles, but he is closer than the alternatives.

    But Trump is not fighting a war of ideas. Jay constantly and correctly notes that Trump fights by spraying ad hominem. Exactly as Jay does, Exactly as the left, and the media does.

    On issue after issue everything is about insult and slur – everything is about people not ideas.

    Jay is fixated on the abc/parnas recording. Jay asserts Trump is close to Parnas, I assert but Trump can fire Yavonovith or whoever he wants and she clearly was trying to impliment her own foreign policy.

    I am using Jay as a straw man for the left, democrats, the media. If Jay wants to take issue with that fine, though the shoe fits.

    The fundimental point is that half this country makes all arguments about PEOPLE.
    Climate changes is real – because lots of people agree. Those who disagree are bad people.
    Our political battles are fights with people – racists, sexists, mysoginists. hateful, hating haters. The left attacks people – not just the far left but everyone from moderates through the democratic party to Jay

    Trump attacks people.

    Trump has very successfully made the conflict him vs. all the major people on the left.
    They have made it personal, as they always do, and Trump has reveled in attacking them personally in return.

    Ron laments the complete loss of dignity in the presidency. And in a utopian sense I agree.

    Btu we have seen over and over again – that if you come to the conflict armed with ideas, and your opponent comes armed with insults – they are likely to win.

    That is not pretty, but it is reality.

    Schiff to pick an example has for years been attacking PERSONALLY. He picked a personal feud with Nunes, He has made himself the Joe McCarthy of the left. He has attacked Trump as a person relentlessly.

    Had he been right – he would be a hero. But he has not been right about anything.

    He showed up at the Senate and delivered an impassioned speach about Truth- with two glaring problems. He did not bring the truth, and his exhortation to republican senators to follower their better natures betray an unconscious presumption of their moral inferiority.

    Schiff who as caught daily in new lies is presuming moral superiority over others, and begging them to aspire to be as moral as he is ?

    The same argument that Jay makes here everyday.

    In jay world we skip facts, logic reasons – even oppinions and ideas.

    There are only good people and bad people. The good people – agree with him. The bad people disagree. Even agreement and disagreement are not about ideas – Jay does not care about imimgration, taxes, trade, war, it is not important what view is in debate – only whether you have been labeled one of the good people or the bad people.

    4 years ago, I could probably guess at Jay’s positions on issues.
    Today I know nothing of Jay’s values or principles – the only one discernable is that Trump is evil, anything he does is wrong, and anyone who does not join imediately in denouncing Trump is evil too.

    Everything is ad hominem. Nothing else matters.

    https://amgreatness.com/2020/01/22/when-will-conservatives-understand-that-its-not-a-contest-of-ideas/

    • Jay permalink
      January 25, 2020 7:26 pm

      “ Climate changes is real – because lots of people agree.”

      LOTS of scientific people, perhaps as many as 90% of those qualified to give an opinion agree. Yes, there are some qualified people who think otherwise. As there were some qualified people living in the past who insisted the earth was flat. They, and you, are qualified to have wrong opinions. Like your hair brained opinion regular medical visits don’t improve health and longevity.

      BTW, once again you’ve misstated/ignored my positions on immigration taxes war etc which I have stated CLEARLY on this blog many times. Your brain must be clogged to make as inaccurate a statement as that. I suggest a scrubbing with the Amazon toilet cleaner shown below.

      • January 25, 2020 9:19 pm

        So you agree with the leftists in American that tells China, the #1 polluter, go ahead, increase your crap into the air until 2035 or there abouts, continue to make your cheap ass crap costing USA jobs, then reduce your output to current levels in 2050, all while America regulates industries now to the point of increasing our products costs to Americans, requires products that no one wants, like small cars resulting in trucks becoming a top selling vehicles and costing jobs in America?

        How does that improve the global warming issue when we reduce 1 particle from going into the air, while China increases 2 for the next 20+ yrs?

        My position in this is consistent with my trade policy. Fair agreement. Not free agreement! If the USA accounts for 20% of total global pollution and China accounts for 35%, then apply the reduction targets based on output. For every 1000 tons of output reduction, the USA reduces 200 tons, China reduces 350 tons, etc. No more of this Obama Paris agreement B.S where we reduce and they go on their merry way! And no output per capita crap because cheap shit from China increasing output is not a result of milluons out in the rural lands of China that dont even have plumbing.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 10:57 pm

        I do not make my choices based on what leftists say.

        While the odds are extraordinarily high that if those on the left say something – it is wrong, unfortunately leftism is not an inherently accurate lie detector.

        Rising standard of living requires that those in jobs that can be done better or at lower costs by others lose them AND find other work.

        I absolutely belive that what the Chinese produce at lower cost, comes at a tremendous loss of american jobs.

        But a job is neither a right, nor irreplaceable. I have lost many jobs through my life.
        I have had to start over at 45 from a job, a career that I thought would occupy my entire life.

        Jobs are not merely replaceable, there is no limit to the productive uses of human labor.

        In a strong economy – and moving less skilled work elsewhere makes the economy stronger there are always more jobs than people.

        The chinese should be free to create energy as they wish. As they become more prosperous they will (and are) demanding a cleaner environment. But in all history EVERYWHERE we climb Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We do not improve hygene until we can provide food and shetler,. We do not improve our safety, our health, or environment until we have become prosperous enough to do so.

        The worst polution in the world today – is that in the homes of countries with the highest poverty where food is cooked by burning dung, or wood.

        The US need not regulate industries – they and consumers will do that for themselves – and have.

        I do not give a shit about global warming – most of it is a larger fraud than Trump/Russia collusion. over any period longer than 40 years there has been no warming trend that is distinguishable from that of the prior 250 years.

        Further on net a warmer world is a more prosperous one.

        And no I do not want to inflict the same stupidity on China that we have been idiotic enough to inflict on ourselves.

      • January 25, 2020 11:58 pm

        I understand your positions, and again dont agree based on many different reasons.

        I know you think other countries can screw over us without recourse. If we are stupid enough to put controls on ourselves and give others free access to our markets without cost, fine. That is much more Libertarian than I am willing to go.

        I will not accept stupidity like the Paris accords when countries like China are much smarter than our leaders and take advantage of that stupidity. In these cases the stupidity is called politics of elections. They look long term (China reducing in 2050 maybe), we reduce to have a political win next election.

        Yes, private industries will change with changing demand. But in cases like mileage standards that required smaller, lighter cars that proved to be less safe compared to larger ones, families shifted and created a huge market for four door pick up trucks. In this area, most all that is found in parking lots is pickup trucks and larger SUV’s, all which give much less gas mileage than the cars that were eliminated. Buick is basically a SUV GM line and Ford has eliminated all cars except the muscle car Mustang.

        We can be stupid, or we can be smart.But in doing so,I want equality in anything we do with other nations. I am tired of Europe and others expecting us to defend every other free nation costing us American lives and dollars as well as countries like China taking advantage of our passed leaders stupidity

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:23 am

        Foreign countries can not “screw us” in trade.

        There is no right to buy a product or service and no right to sell one.

        The US govenrment itself buys very little from foreign countries and sells very little.

        All trade is between free individuals and companies – atleas tin the US.

        If you wish to lobby Walmart customers to buy american – be my guest.
        But anything you do through government is force, coercion a restriction on liberty.

        It is no different than Bloomberg’s restrictions on big soda’s – it is government taking choices from americans.

        That is wrong – if it is taking away the choice to buy Chinese goods, or to sell to china.

        That is wrong if it is taking away the right to buy the soda you want.

        that is wrong if it is taking away the right to buy or sell drugs,
        That is wrong if it is taking away the right to buy or sell sex.

        You want to persuade me not to buy from China – fine,. Not to drink sugary soda’s – fine, not to buy or sell drugs – fine, not to buy or sell sex – fine.

        I am persuadable. But the choice is MINE not yours.
        But beyond you and me – it is also the people who can not afford the american goods you want them to buy – or if they can and do, because they have had to pay more, there are other things they can not by.

        You say that some american loses their job – because I buy a cheap light bulb from China.
        Maybe, but because I paid less for the light bulb I can do something else. – like take my kids tot he movies.

        Everytime you force me to make the choice you want me to – the one you think is more beneficial. You not merely take away the cheaper product from china, but the choice to spend the savings on something else I want that I could not otherwise afford.

        No matter what – I always have LESS freedom and choices your way.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:26 am

        Who among us has never owned a Mustang ?

        I wish I had own a 64 mustang. I did own two Mustang II’s.

        Regardless, Ford is making Mustangs – I guess people want them.

        Isnt that the point ?

        Don;t we want Ford or other US companies to figure out how to make something people want ?

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:31 am

        “I am tired of Europe and others expecting us to defend every other free nation costing us American lives and dollars”

        Completely different problem.

        The US should not be subsidizing the defense of the world.

        You bitched about Trade with China – but the same stupid trade laws you love are what drives our drug prices up.

        Allow americans to buy drugs from out of the country and watch drug prices drop.

        Not because other nations produce drugs more cheaply – most drugs are produced in the US, But because of protectionist drug laws – both in the US or other countries.

        If americans could buy imported drugs – we could buy the drugs made in the US but sold elsewhere cheaper. Our prices would go down, those of the rest of the world would go up.

        Free markets work.

      • Jay permalink
        January 26, 2020 11:31 am

        From what I wrote why did you defensively jump to conclude I’m not in favor of all the nations contributing to the problem pay a fair proportion of the money needed to TRY and correct it?

        BTW, I thinks it’s too late to do anything now to stop what’s going to be a world wide disaster. What’s needed now is serious planning to deal with the consequences:

        “ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard… And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall…’”

      • January 26, 2020 12:05 pm

        “From what I wrote why did you defensively jump to conclude I’m not in favor of all the nations contributing to the problem pay a fair proportion of the money needed to TRY and correct it?”

        Jay, please! Where and when have you ever said we need to support getting out of the Paris Accords and renegotiate with the worlds largest polluters?

        I can only ever recall your emotional responses to Trump withdrawing from this and never saying that is a good move ” but we now need to negotiate and require China to do its fair share of reduction”.

        And this is not about money! It is about China doing things like conversion of coal powered plants to nat. gas. It is about doing some of the things California did years ago to clean up the air so it does not burn your eyes, burn your lungs and look like fog on smoggy days.

        When one debates from facts and not emotions, then others respond much differently.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:27 pm

        In the past 3+ years I can not think of a single instance ever where Jay’s immediate reaction to anything Trump did or said was not “Orange Man Bad”.

        Jay is so consistent in this that all I have to do is know that Trump said or dis something and I will know there is a Jay post coming that will tell us it is stupid.

        But it goes past that – We will almost never get and argument as to WHY it is stupid, and if we do it will be shallow, But we will almost always get a post with some other – usuually neocon telling us THAT Trump is stupid.

        We get ad hominem and appeals to authority. Not arguments.

        Even on issues I might agree Trump is wrong – no actual arguments.

        Calling Trump and evil, Stupid racist liar in 10,000 ways is not an argument.
        Calling anyone who agrees or supports him evil, stupid racist, …. is even more stupid.

      • Jay permalink
        January 26, 2020 2:04 pm

        “ Jay, please! Where and when have you ever said we need to support getting out of the Paris Accords and renegotiate with the worlds largest polluters?”

        I never said we should GET OUT of the accord unless China does more.

        I said I agree with you THEY SHOULD DO MORE.

        And are you suggesting Trump got out to renegotiate China’s share of costs? If you think that you really have slipped into cult-swamp thinking. He doesn’t believe climate change is a real danger, and constantly belittles it, as he did at Davos, warning it’s a plot hatched by ‘radical socialists to destroy our economy, wreck our country, eradicate our liberty.”

        The divisive dunce believes radical socialists are behind climate change worry, but the Russians weren’t behind the 2016 info hacks. If you’ve drifted into that mind-set my best wishes to you as you sail away into the Trumpanzee sunset

      • January 26, 2020 2:36 pm

        Jay, please read your response to me about Paris Accords, unequal requirements on countries and my position. You will see I was not addressing Trump and his views, but your extreme hatred for Trump resulted in an emotional response on how bad Trump and his thinking is.

        I have been consistent in my thinking about agreements to reduce CO2output, well before Trump ever came on the scene. I do not remember you ever saying how unfair to America Obamas agreeing to this brain fart was. Because you have not. Not until Trump derailed it! And now it is a good start.

        You can keep railing about Trump all you want. Trump is not the desease. Trump is the resulting impact of the disease. As long as the leftest keep screwing America and allowing China to run rough shod over us, the disease will only get worse.

        Do you really think Trump would have EVER been elected had Obama not forced people to buy private company services ( PPACA) if they did not want or need it, forced people to buy pick up trucks because of his mileage standards eliminating larger cars, forced farmers to pay fines because farm land collected irrigation water and rain water because they plowed land that has been plowed for decades, but now are “wetlands” and basically opened the borders with little regard to sound immigration policies? And I could list many more extreme left government force that resulted in the Trump backlash.

        Its your party that created the Trump phenomena. Had a centrist, true moderate run, not the chosen bitch nor Bernie “commie” Sanders, we would be talking about a democrat running for the 4th consecutive term, not Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 4:55 pm

        “He doesn’t believe climate change is a real danger, and constantly belittles it, as he did at Davos, warning it’s a plot hatched by ‘radical socialists to destroy our economy, wreck our country, eradicate our liberty.””

        Amazing something actually true you have said about Trump,

        Further proof he is not an IYI.

        BTW the later claim that “it’s a plot hatched by ‘radical socialists to destroy our economy, wreck our country, eradicate our liberty.””

        Is openly true. If you have read any of the significant figures and CAGW they make no secret of this.

        Academia and certain areas of the sciences – including climate are completely taken over by socialists – and quite often Marxists or equally radical groups.

        Many of the “scientist/Politicans” that are part of the UN leadership on Climate are extremely open on these things. I suspect you would have no problems finding precisely the hair brained things you think Trump falsely beleives being openly proclaimed at Davos.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 5:08 pm

        When the leading figures – including scientists in CAGW are openly radical socialists and marxist – it is “divicve Dunces” that do not beleive them.

        AOC is pretty tame for Climate Change advocates – still there is very little Climate in the “Green New Deal” and lots and lots of scoialism.

        Here is another example – they are pretty trivial to find.

        or
        MICHAEL MANN: If humanity does act in time to substantially reduce emissions, it has to radically challenge and reform the three major institutions that have achieved such success over the last century. The first one is capitalism – though only because this is now the dominant mode of production in the world.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 5:09 pm

        Holthaus declares: “If you are wondering what you can do about climate change: The world’s top scientists just gave rigorous backing to systematically dismantle capitalism as a key require to maintaining civilization and a habitable planet. I mean, if you are looking for something to do.”

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 5:13 pm

        Senior IPCC official Ottmar Edenhofer has openly said, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute … the world’s wealth.”

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 5:35 pm

        Are you actually going to argue that the leading lights of climate change are not socialist and often marxist ? that they are not quite open in their admissions that their lcimate objectives are inseparable from their socialist objectives ?

        The socialism of warmists is not even a point of significant contention between warmists and skeptics.

        It is impossible to separate climate change policies from the central planning they require.

        Are there even a handful of scientists – is there One scientist advocating free markets as the means to fight climate change ?

        Futher warmists have linked – either as intrinsic requirements or just as further adcvocacy socialist and marxist policies to their climate agenda.

        Fighting climate change requires reducing CO2m, reducing fossil fuels, but it also requires reducing energy consumption, fracking, consumption – of pretty much everything – meat, plastics, milk, it requires population control and figthing income equality.

        Whether there is a real scientific foundation or not, climate change policies are or rapidly become socialist – even marxist policies, and no excuses are made.

        Trump is not claiming there is some secret socialist climate cabal.

        Climate socialism is no secret. It is open and overt.

        The only “secrets” are the extent to which the Russians are funding green groups and anti-fracking groups.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:38 pm

        There will be no disaster, and there is no need for central planning to address that non-disaster.

        Climate change and all this malthusian nonsense has NEVER had anything to do with science or climate or actual disaster – all this malthusian garbage is just an effort to scare us into central planning.

        Population control has been debunked decades ago – yet now Greta and the climate Nazi’s have adopted that. Go watch “One Child Nation” on Amazon – you can see how well that has worked in China.

        Global population will peak on its own at about 11B in a few decades – it is after that we are in trouble. Declining population cause serious problems already in Japan, and much of Europe.

        Regardless the data is pretty conclusive – throughout human history through the present more people has always been BETTER, not worse.

        BTW CAGW is not about “population control” it is about CONTROL.

        But Government is incredibly bad at controlling anything. And those probles increase exponentially with scale and diversity.

        Please identify a single future climate prediction by the IPCC – not some nonsense on the news. that:

        Has come true.
        Would have serious negative impacts.

        The odds slightly favor the earth being slightly warmer in 2100, but it is very nearly as possible for it to be significantly colder – and that would actually be bad.

        Thus far More CO2 has contributed to the higher growth rates of plant life accross the world – which has been a good thing.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 11:44 pm

        “LOTS of scientific people, perhaps as many as 90% of those qualified to give an opinion agree. Yes, there are some qualified people who think otherwise.”

        You make my point. Science – facts, truth, are not determined by concensus.

        “As there were some qualified people living in the past who insisted the earth was flat. ”
        The correctness or error of a scientific (or any other) claim is not determined by consensus.

        In pretty much every single scientific discovery the majority was initially and often for a long time opposed.

        See Gallelio – or myriads of historical examples.

        Or dozens and dozens right now – Psychology is being turned on its head, because a successful attack on they accepted science of “priming” by a non-scientist using facts, utlimately resulted in questions about and the failure to reproduce of presumed psychological gospel that was 60 years old.

        In Physic one physicist waged a 50 year effort to challenge the accepted science of crystalography. He now has a nobel for work he did 50 years ago. But the only reason that physics reversed – was because the established science would have thwarted any further advances in semiconductors a decade ago. Other phsyicists started looking at other approaches and past work – because they had no where else to go.

        I would further note that there is not a single malthusian claim – science based or otherwise EVER that has ever proven true. There are some fundimental reasons for that. The over simplified version being if life were that fragile it would not exist.

        90% of scientists are on the wrong side of science. That is not rare, and as with Galleleo – religion is at the core.

        “They, and you, are qualified to have wrong opinions. Like your hair brained opinion regular medical visits don’t improve health and longevity.

        Calling a fact and opinion does not make it so. There are numerous studies – I beleive it was Brooking who did the huge 50 years study, but more recently we have the Oregon study that was triggered by a fluke in Obama Care and resulted in a large scale RCT – the gold standard of science study.

        The fact that you think something is hair brained does not alter whether it is true or no.

        “BTW, once again you’ve misstated/ignored my positions on immigration taxes war etc ”
        I have said next to nothing about any of YOU oppinions – beyond that you near universally oppose Trump.

        “which I have stated CLEARLY on this blog many times.”
        Years ago – maybe, though I doubt that.

        I doubt there is a person on this blog who could say anything about your positiions – except – that whatever Trump says – you despise. That is what you have made CLEAR/

      • January 27, 2020 10:06 am

        “Do you really think Trump would have EVER been elected had Obama not forced people to buy private company services ( PPACA) if they did not want or need it, forced people to buy pick up trucks because of his mileage standards eliminating larger cars, forced farmers to pay fines because farm land collected irrigation water and rain water because they plowed land that has been plowed for decades, but now are “wetlands” and basically opened the borders with little regard to sound immigration policies? And I could list many more extreme left government force that resulted in the Trump backlash.”

        Yes, this is absolutely true. Obama spent 8 years “transforming” this country into something that the majority of Americans never wanted it to be. And Republicans, even after they gained control of the House and the Senate, did not stop him ~ they slowed him down a bit, kept him from making a SCOTUS pick as a lame duck, but that was about it.

        Jay will insist that the majority wanted Obama’s changes because “Hillary won the popular vote.” But, as I have said in the past, her entire popular vote “victory” was based on the votes she received from California and four out of five of the boroughs of NYC (Staten Island being the outlier for Trump).

        Populism rises when people believe that their leaders are ignoring them and their concerns. It’s very obvious that a plain-spoken charismatic candidate like Trump, as well as a supposed anti-establishment socialist like Bernie, have captured the support of the majority of Americans.

        Jay does not accept the fact that Trump’s pro- America policies and anti-PC rhetoric are the reasons why he is so widely supported, and not that he is racist xenophobic white supremacist.

      • January 27, 2020 11:54 am

        https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/27/politics/democrats-bernie-sanders/index.html

        This is another indication that support your comments and mine. Dave keeps harping on moderation being bad, that compromise is bad. Trump did not get elected because politicians worked for the American people. Sanders is not surging with the left because politicians are working for the American people.

        When inaction on issues like immigration, healthcare reimbursement, debt, and other key issues continues, it creates voids that “populist” candidates can fill. Bernie would not be surging if moderates created a plan to help those that need help with paying healthcare bills. Trump would not have surged in 2015-16 had there been immigration reforms. And other key issues can be listed.

        I do not believe in force by government, but I do support government intervention when needed. We have healthcare coverage issues in this country. We have people that do not have insurance due to some reason, but when they dont have coverage, they forgo buying drugs, seeking services and end up in Emergency Rooms. They creates hospital cost that go to bad debt, thus increasing bills for those patients that pay bills. There are reports that close to 25% of net patient revenues are written off and nationally this is almost $100 billion per year. That means each paying patient or their insurance will have 25% of each bill just to cover anothers bad debt.

        That is why I support a Medicare buy -in for anyone, with premiums based on privately calculated actuarial costs, and subsidies based on income levels, no lifetime limits and deductibles and co-insurances based on current medicare rates. The way this is paid for is through “TRUE” taxes and not some bastardized penalty if you dont buy insurance.

        But we both know this will never happen since congress will never pass any bill with “increased taxes”.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 5:00 pm

        I have not said Moderation or compromise are bad.

        I have said NEITHER is black and white.

        Compromise is a value at best, not a principle, and moderation is the same.

        Values are subordinate to principles and often even to other values.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 5:11 pm

        Government is not there to persuade. It is not an alternate vendor in the free market.

        EVERYTHING Government does is FORCE.

        Absolutely I “beleive” in government force. That is the sole purpose to government.

        But just because someone WANTS to use force, does not mean they are allowed to.

        Government must be limited, because the use of force is rarely justified.

        The fundimental question is NOT whether whatever you wish to do through govenrment is a good idea. It is whether you are permitted to accomplish it by force.

        If you do not need force – then you do not need government and the debate is at an end.
        Government may not intervene unless force is necescary.
        If it is not – then you do not need government.

        As to your healthcare examples – we have means of dealing with ‘moral hazzard” which is what you are really addressing without force.

        You addressed ER’s.

        Medicare only covers about 90% of the real costs of the services it requires provided.
        Medicaid is closer to 70%. These too are huge subsidies to government from private healthcare.

        If you think otherwise – then allow all hospitals, and doctors and the health care industry as a while to decide on their own whether they will take medicare or medicaid patients.

        See how long medicare lasts.

        As to your medicare proposal – all you are saying is I support allowing anyone to buy medicare – it and only iff medicare costs the same as private insurance.

      • January 27, 2020 5:45 pm

        ” Medicare only covers about 90% of the real costs of the services it requires provided.
        Medicaid is closer to 70%. These too are huge subsidies to government from private healthcare.”

        Dave if you believe this, you have your head up your rear. When I left the healthcare system in 2008 Medicare paid less than 80% of actual cost of providing care and Medicaid paid about 70% of actual costs.

        It doesnt look like much has changed.
        https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/medicaid-medicare-reimbursement-57.8b-below-hospital-costs

        And just to drive the point COSTS equals cost for staff, cost for supplies and other costs. Cost is not what it costs patients on their bill. In manufacturing, it is costs of goods sold.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 7:06 pm

        I was citing medicare and medicaid off the top of my head and being generous.

        If you say 80% rather than 90 – just makes my argument better.

        Further if medicare does not pay 100% of its cost AND profit – it will continuously drive up healthcare costs – forever.

        Frankly even if it did pay costs and profits just do to the way government payment systems work – it will drive up costs – forever.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 5:14 pm

        No I do not support raising taxes of any kind anywhere at all.

        Cut spending, cut spending, cut spending, then cut taxes some more.

      • Jay permalink
        January 27, 2020 12:05 pm

        I don’t think Trump is a racist xenophobic white supremacist, and never used those terms to express my revulsion for him. You’re mouthing Trump Cultist lingo like a good Donnie Zombie should.

        I KNOW he is an unprincipled liar, an unstable narcissistic fool, an undereducated ignoramus, a destructive divisive liability to democratic governance. Those judgements of Trump are just a few expressed recently by known and respected Conservatives.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 5:28 pm

        “I don’t think Trump is a racist xenophobic white supremacist, and never used those terms to express my revulsion for him.”

        No, you just think he and anyone else who does not agree with you is fouled toilet paper.

        I have played a drum beat over racist, sexist, homophbic slurs.
        If you wish to claim that you have never pushed those specific slurs – I am not sure that is credible – but I do not care.

        It is not important the specific slurs that you are using.
        Two things are relevant – the first is slurrs are not arguments.
        We can not settle a dispute over issues or facts by lobbing “liar, narcisist” grenades any more than using “raxist, xenophobe” grenades.

        The second is while the burdern of proof is not inherently on someone asserting a fact, it is ALWAYS on those attacking another persons character – which you do all the time.

        As to your specific claims:

        “unprincipled liar” – the evidence is that Trump lies significantly less than the average politician. That should not be surprising. You do not survive in business if you are not trusted.

        “unstable” – in terms of policy and personal shifts in policy, Trump is very stable. Based on his platform he is very predictable – obama (and Biden) were not.

        ” narcissistic” probably – all politicians are.

        “fool” – you do not succeed privately (or politically) as he has if you are a fool.

        “an undereducated” – If Trump had very nearly flunked out of Wharton, he would still be over educated not under educated.

        “ignoramus,” Redundant with fool and still wrong.

        “destructive” what has been destroyed ?

        “divisive” – our divisions predate Trump – both as a nation and even here at TNM/

        “liability to democratic governance.” – we are not a democracy. Specifically in governance we are not a democracy.

        “Those judgements of Trump are just a few expressed recently by known and respected Conservatives.”

        If conservative are parroting progressives – we are in deep shit.

      • Jay permalink
        January 27, 2020 7:47 pm

        “ unprincipled liar” – the evidence is that Trump lies significantly less than the average politician.”

        Cultist Nincompoop fever at work.
        You are a laugh a second.
        You should try stand up comedy as a hobby.

      • John Say permalink
        January 28, 2020 11:15 am

        Insults still are not arguments.

        There is no measure of “lying” by politicians that will not rank Schiff, Clinton, Obama, far above Trump.

      • Jay permalink
        January 28, 2020 3:45 pm

        “ Insults still are not arguments.”

        Tell it to Tweety-Trump.

      • John Say permalink
        January 28, 2020 11:10 pm

        An economy over 1.8% is an argument.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 4:13 pm

        A mythical “majority” can “want” anything. They are not entitled to have whatever they want.

        If the majority voted for human sacrifice – are those who oppose if compelled to sit back and watch, or to have our throats slit ?

        I can hear Jay grousing – “that’s just stupid” – maybe it is. But where exactly is the boundry ?

        Who would have bet that 8% of germans would have voted for Hitler ?

        Or that well educated civilized Germans would either participate in or turn a blind eye to the extermination of millions ?

        We do not get to depend on “that will never happen” as the bulwark against egregious violations of our rights.

        We define the limits of government – that is the purpose of the constitution, and we impliment things like “due process” and “checks and balances” as the means of making it really hard for “the majority” to infringe on our rights.

        The majority is not entitled to whatever it wants – just because it is the majority.

      • January 27, 2020 5:25 pm

        Dave, I am missing your point as it applies to Trump election. Knowing you dont speculate in what ifs, you might have a thought on Priscilla’s and my thinking that elections of populist candidates can be a result of government that moves way too far to the left or right, thus the popularity of Trump .

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 7:17 pm

        I am not on the “populism” band wagon.

        Absolutely Trump is a “populist” but so is Sanders.
        Pure populists do not often win elections.

        I noted lots of reasons for Trump’s victory ALL mattered.
        Yes, the populism mattered – they appeal to deplorables mattered, the appeal to working classes mattered, lots and lots and lots of things mattered.

        No single thing – including populism was decisive.

        Trumps specific policies were very important.

        The PC backlash was important. If The left abandoned the PC culture Trump would have a harder time getting re-elected. I have said repeatedly if Democrats want to win, they need to figure out why they lost and Fix it.

        Trump’s Alinskyite strategy will fail BADLY if Democrats abandoned it first.

        You and Jay are right that Trump puts people off with it – especially in the middle.
        But democrats have been doing it for decades and that lets Trump get away with it.
        AND The democrats ad hominem creates Trump voters.

        I think it may be too late for D’s to regain the voters Trump stole from them.
        But republicans will have to continue some parts of Trumpism after Trump is goen – or those voters will sit on their hands.

        This reads like a shotgun – but that is because there is no single critical factor.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 4:43 pm

        Trump was elected for many reasons. High among those the policies he promised.
        Also important as backlash against the left for shifting on half the country,
        Whether it is Jay’s fouled toilet paper remark or clintons basket of deplorables. or the constant everyone who disagrees with me is a racist. mysoginist, hateful, hating hater.

        Russian Social media adds had no effect.

        The DNC emails probably had a significant effect – as did Comey’s letter to congress on the Wiener Laptop.

        But so did the access Hollywood tape.

        Whoever did it – the DNC emails were LIKELY obtained illegally – like the pentagon Papers, the Afghan papers and myriads of other leaked documents.

        We do not seek to encourage illegal acts – but the damage that each of these did – the significant influence they had on the public – is nOT because of how they were obtained, but the truth they tell us.

        No matter who purloined the DNC emails – Clinton, Podesta, Brazille and other democrats WROTE THEM.

        The emails were damaging because they pulled democrats pants down in public and exposed them as hypocrites.

        Contra to Jay’s beleif I am NOT opposed to Bolton etc. testifying.

        I am opposed to ANYONE testifying against Trump in the Senate that has not testified first in the house – the same constraint DOES NOT apply to Trump.

        I am opposed to the admission of hearsay.

        I also beleive that if the house wants a witness they need to go to court to get that witness.
        In fact I beleive Congress should ALWAYS have to go to court to get ANY witness that does not testify voluntarily. That does not mean I think congress should not be permitted witnesses – I think the court should grant most subpeona’s of the executive branch.

        With caveats – without addressing all the details – due process needs guaranteed – neitehr the house or Senate are exempt from due process requirements of the constitution.

        We did not see anything close to due process in the house. While the house gets to make its own rules – and though it is stupid for it to do so, it can screw the minority. It can not violate due process.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 4:56 pm

        “Jay does not accept the fact that Trump’s pro- America policies and anti-PC rhetoric are the reasons why he is so widely supported, and not that he is racist xenophobic white supremacist.”

        If Jay is free to “not accept” Trump as president – then we live an a different form of government – almost anarcho-capitalist, where each of us can choose to opt out of the current government. Personally I find that government apealing. But I doubt Jay really does.

        Jay does not want voluntary government – he wants the government of his choice imposed on all by force – and he wants that even if he can not win the election by following the rules.

        The house managers talked alot about we must remove Trump because otherwise he will cheat ?

        How ? Will he put guns to the head of votes as they go into the ballot ?

        We are told that voters might be lied to ? Doen’t that happen every day from the most prestigious news outlets in the country – Washington Post, New York times ?

        The way we deal with lies – in politics and elsewhere is by exposing them.

        I beleive it is beyond dispute that probably 90% of what is said by the left is a lie. Even if demonstrably true, that does not give me a right to censor or silence the left.

        You can argue the other side is lying – you can not censor them.

        Voters get to check the boxes on their ballots that the please – even if there is near universal agreement the politicians of the other side are liars.

        So how is it that Trump is going to cheat ?

        There is nothing that Trump is alleged to have done that is any different from this hyperpartisan impeachment.

        If democrats can not persuade republicans that there is merit to their claims. Then democrats are doing exactly what they accuse Trump of – using their power to harm an opposing candidate for political reasons.

        That is a “crime” that gets judged at the ballot box – not the floor of the senate.

      • January 27, 2020 1:22 pm

        Jay, you clearly hate the president, and you have frequently posted tweets, cartoons, articles, etc. that you apparently believe to be persuasive in “proving” that your hate and revulsion for Trump are the correct and mainstream opinion, and that the only reason that anyone supports him is that they are Trump cultists. That is a weak and unsupportable opinion.

        Trump won the presidency fair and square, and he has, for the most part, succeeded at rolling back many of the Obama era policies, and creating a booming economy, by cutting taxes and removing unnecessry regulations. He replaced NAFTA with a deal much more beneficial to the US, and is in the process of trying to do the same with China and Europe.

        You are very good at swatting away any serious argument that Trump has been successful because he has been able to tap into the frustration and anger of the middle class, which was in the process of being gutted by both parties, over the last 30 years. Immigration and trade, in particular, are issues on which he drew a clear line between the establishment position of both parties and his position.

        It’s easy to call him a “narcissistic fool” and assume that his success has been a lucky accident. Easy, but totally wrong.

    • Jay permalink
      January 25, 2020 7:45 pm

      “ Trump has very successfully made the conflict him vs. all the major people on the left.”

      And once again you’ve conveniently and obtusely ignored the huge list of MAJOR Republican-Conservatives who have become Never-Trumpers during his divisive tenure – many of whom you’ve admitted you admired in the past.

      It’s sad, really, that you’ve aligned yourself with someone as morally tainted as Trump. Do you not hear those scathing criticisms of Trump’s character from those same voices you once admired?

      Trump is a corruptive presence. Your continuing defense of him as president has corroded your own judgmental equilibrium. That scarlet T is indelible.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 11:21 pm

        And you ignore my entire point – the conflict is one of people, not ideas.

        No conflict can have a side that is virtuous, and one that is evil – without ideas.

        You entirely refuse to ever discuss issues, You presume that those you call immoral are so because you have called them that.

        Adam Schiff’s words – atleast some of them were poigniant plagerism of John Adams. But they had no import coming from Schiff – because you can not meaningfully speak of truth or morality without defining it – and living it. Schiff does neither.

        I have no idea what occurred today as Trump’s team made its case – I do not care.
        Schiff, Nadler, etc, had their fair chance to make their case this week – and they failed.
        I expect Trump’s defense will be good, but I would have hped that had demanded a directed verdict. Right and wrong are determined by facts and acts, not rhetorical flourish.

        We all love the stories where some hero saves the day at a moment that things seem to be going to hell with some impassioned speach. Btu we forget that words without real truth grounded in facts have no power.

        You keep making claims about morality – and yet you are entirely clueless about morality.

        In what moral universe is someone who has incontrovertably violated ethics, absolutely violated exactly the laws the GAO claims Trump did – if congressionally allocated funding is sacred and can not be withheld – then how is Biden’s incontrovertable threat to withhold it legal ? Any hope that Biden’s actions are not both immoral and illegal depends on an understanding that specific facts determine whether an action is legal or ethical.

        It is not ethical for anyone in government to participate in decision making that might benefit them of their family – that is actually law. Yet the same exact decisions are legal and ethical if made by another.

        There is no absolute bar to asking for investigations of political rivals – otherwise XFH and the SC were a crime.

        The legality and ethics of ALL investigations does not rest on the political status of the target,
        There is no difference between this pretence that Biden is immune and a presumption that whites are immune or the rich are immune.
        An investigation of ANYONE is legitimate if there is reasonable suspicion and illegitimate if there is not – or as Horrowitz exposed, when reasonable suspicion is lost.

        You are the one selling moral nonsense.

        The Trump/Russia collusion nonsense was implausible from the start. It is no more plausible than a claim that Hillary would collude with Russia for pantsuits. Almost no one takes unbeleiveable risks – particularly without the skills to get away with them for gains they can easily secure for themselves without risk.

        But you, the left – and yes – some neocons, who the democrats can take back with my blessing have spent 3 years wasting time pushing stones uphill, and wondering why they roll back on you.

        You do not know what morality it – that is self evident from your abysmal missuse of the words.

        Trump is no paragon of morality – but he stands head and shoulders about you, the left, the media – and those neo cons you are fixated on.

      • John Say permalink
        January 25, 2020 11:26 pm

        “Trump is a corruptive presence. ”

        Typical left nonsense.

        Corruption comes from within, not without.

        Trump did not make you lie about him, carter page or anything else.
        You made those choices on your own.
        Maybe at first they were honest – if stupid errors, but when they changed to accusations – they become moral failures. When you make a false moral claim about another – the immoral person is YOU.

        Trump did not make you. You do those things yourself.

        You are ALWAYS responsible fort the moral choices YOU make – not someone else.

    • Jay permalink
      January 25, 2020 7:13 pm

      That’s my post

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 10:38 pm

      Yes, it demonstrates that a great deal of people have no grip on reality. that they have allowed personal hatred to overcome facts and reason.

      The people who buy this are likely the same people who would inflict recession poverty, joblessness, despair on the nation rather than allow Trump to remain president a moment longer.

      I beleive ferverntly as I do in the primacy of individual liberty. It is beyond debate that it delivers the highest standard of living to all. But if that we not so, if socialism actually worked I would not wish to inflict deprivation on people to punish them because my principles did not work.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 10:39 pm

      The significance is that the wrong group of people are being called hateful, hating haters.

      • Jay permalink
        January 26, 2020 11:16 am

        You’re still clueless.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:40 pm

        “You’re still clueless.”

        What have you been right about in the past few years ?
        There must have been something ?

        Regardless, if you have a doubt where the modern font of hate comes from – read your own posts.

  95. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 8:22 pm

    But but but. Trump doesn’t know Parnes

    • Jay permalink
      January 25, 2020 8:26 pm

      Here’s a Synopsis of what is allegedly said

      https://apnews.com/b8f3620a62c633658199f1fe85fe4647

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:09 am

        Why do I need a synopsis ? I have ears.

        What I hear is about 5-10 words by someone who MIGHT be Parnas, who seems to be pretty far from the conversation.

        Almost everything being said is by Trump, most of the rest is by others.

        I do not think there are more that 2 clauses by someone sounding like Parnas and both are clipped on either end so they are disjoint from the prior conversation.

        Maybe Trump was at Dinner with Parnas – and several others. Maybe not, this does not prove much of anything.

        But what is it you are trying to prove ?

        If you had Trump asking Parnas to get dirt on the Bidens from Ukraine – you still would not have anything.

        Instead you have a recording of Trump saying the Ukraines are great fighters, and some discussions about oil in the Ukraine and that Yavonovich was a lousy ambassador.

        Where is your illegal conspiracy ?

        You seem to be under the delusion that if you have a sureptitious recording of innocuous comments that it proves something.

        In this instance it does not even prove a relationship between the parties.

    • Jay permalink
      January 25, 2020 8:29 pm

      Ukraine has oil?
      Ha Ha Ha.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 12:12 am

        Oh, god! in April 2018 Trump did not know Ukraine had oil. Impeach now!

        I would further note this is April of 2018 – that is almost 2 years ago.

        You do not seem to understand that there is almost nothing you can get from Lev Parnas – he is a private actor.

        If you had Trump asking him to get dirt on Biden – all you would have is Trump has his own Christopher Steele.

        Impeach Now!!!

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 11:52 pm

      So you edit 42 minutes down to 2:20 and this means What ?

      Your source is Bondy – who has thus far done a really bad job defending Parnas.

      LEts assume that somehow this recording has value in Parnas defense.
      It has none now. Now prosecutor will offer any deal based on evidence now in the public domain – if it is evidence.

      You are asking us to assume that it is Trump on the tape – though that sounds likely.
      As well as parnas – the first tape certainly did not sound like him.

      We know nothing of how this was edited or recorded – Project Vertitas always provides the originals.

      And what is it you think this proves ?

      If your goals is to prove Trump knows Parnas:
      This is not sufficient.
      If true – so what ?

      Even if you had Trump directing Parnas to take action in the Ukraine, that would not change anything.

      More fizzle.

      • Jay permalink
        January 26, 2020 4:54 pm

        ‘ If your goals is to prove Trump knows Parnas:
        This is not sufficient.“

        It’s sufficient enough to prove Trump repeatedly LIED saying he didn’t know him, giving the untruthful impression he didn’t know him at all.

        More tapes are on the way, per Parnas lawyer. And videos.

        Numerous photos of Trump & Parnas in different venues over years are on the web. To suggest they have only the casual relationship of a celebrity to an autograph seeker is pure bullshit.

        And you’re pathetic for not admitting you were wrong INSISTING they only appeared together in a single photo.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 6:34 pm

        “It’s sufficient enough to prove Trump repeatedly LIED saying he didn’t know him, giving the untruthful impression he didn’t know him at all.”

        No it is not. It is POSSIBLE that with better evidence you MIGHT prove that Trump knew Parnas better than he claims.

        What you have so far creates a “reasonable suspicion” that Trump knows Parnas better than he has claimed not proof.

        I do not want to fixate on this – because I honestly do not care.

        But all these clips are heavily edited – by their own admission and obviously.

        They show someone that sounds like Trump saying non-controversial things that sound like what Trump would say.

        You have not proven they actually are Trump – but I will take that as likely because they do sound like Trump, and though faking that is pretty trivial today, I do not think it is likely.

        In something like 4min of total provided clips there is a few seconds – two utterances by someone who sounds like Parnas. I am not even prepared to accept that it IS parnas. Most of the speaking is by Trump, the remainder is almost entirely by people who are NOT Parnas.

        The clips are heavily edited. The few remarks of someone who sounds like Parnas do not fit properly into the flow – i.e. they are edited before and after. The person who sounds like Parnas may or may not be part of the conversation. It sound a bit like someone at a different table or at a large table with Trump but far away.

        Finally – I would not discount the possibility these are fake. We have had so much fake stuff about Trump. But I would bet they are not fake – they are just edited to make a minor figure appear more significant in a long exchange.

        But everything is speculation – not proof.

        you MIGHT be right.

        But this is not PROOF.

        If there was a crime – this would be sufficient to investigate – but there is no crime. so it means little or nothing.

        “More tapes are on the way, per Parnas lawyer. And videos.”
        We shall see for whatever it is worth.

        “Numerous photos of Trump & Parnas in different venues over years are on the web.”
        You keep saying that – you still have produced only one. Photos of Parnas with Sessions are not photo’s of Parnas with Trump.

        What you have proved is Parnas got photographed with lots of famous people

        “To suggest they have only the casual relationship of a celebrity to an autograph seeker is pure bullshit.”

        I do not know what the truth is – but the “evidence” you have produced – is most consistent with what you discount – someone seeking a record of being in the presence of celebrities.

        “And you’re pathetic for not admitting you were wrong INSISTING they only appeared together in a single photo.”

        What i have said – is that thus far there is only one photo with Donald Trump and Parnas.

        Thus far that remains the case. Lots of photo’s of Parnas with different people is not lots of photos of Parnas with Trump.

        In point of fact there does not appear to be anyone he was photographed with more than once. That is pretty much exactly what you would except out of someone seeking to be photographed with celebrities. We will not likely get those – but I would gues Parnass has photos with people like Schumer and Pelosi too.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 11:57 pm

      If you want to impeach – what you need is pretty close to exactly the fake Selensky Call Schiff did.

      You need evidence of Trump saying – give me dirt on Biden or you do not get the aide – I do not care if it is true or not, make it up if you need to.

      To overcome the fact that there is already reasonable suspicion regarding Biden and the Urkaine – you have to go beyond Trump asking for an investigation. you have to go beyond threats and quid pro quos, You need Trump to ask Zelensky to make things up (or to do something else that is actual obstruction – like fire a prosecutor or end an investigation)

      Anything less is foreign policy.

    • John Say permalink
      January 25, 2020 11:58 pm

      I would suggest that the reasons that tapes like these fizzle – is because you are so intent on getting Trump you do not see them for the nothing burgers they are.

  96. Jay permalink
    January 25, 2020 9:06 pm

    Yo, Trumpies – are you in favor of all satanic pregnancies being aborted?

    • John Say permalink
      January 26, 2020 12:41 am

      You aparently have never listened to an evangelical.

      You were selling Billy Graham’s grandaughter a while ago – have you even listend to Billy Graham ?

      While the music of Elvis, and Johnny cash is slightly tamer – you should listen to some of that too.

      There are parts of this that are nonsense – I am not a big fan of Televangelists.
      But they are as rational is the “scientists” you cite selling the religion of Global Warming.

      How is this woman doing anything different from Greta Thunberg ?

      Religion is an absolutely inherent trait of humanity.
      Try Viktor Franky’s “Man’s Search for meaning”.

      Atheism in humans does not exist. If you eliminate other religions humans will make anything they can into religion – veganism. climate science, ….
      And they will do so to the same degree of crazy.

      Approximately 35% of the US identifies as evangelical – and THEY VOTE.

      • Jay permalink
        January 26, 2020 2:25 pm

        You didn’t answer the question.

        Are you in favor of all satanic pregnancies being aborted by prayer?

        If so, that assumes you believe many women are carrying satanic fetuses.
        And you believe Christian prayer can kill them in the womb.

        And if Evangelicals believe the majority of satanic fetuses are in Lefty bellies is that political slur violating the separation of church from state?

        (That’s a snide slur, tho you’re probably deaf to ironic ridicule)

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 4:39 pm

        Are you serious ?

        Absolutely – I am entirely in favor of prayer as a tool to end Satanic pregnancies, Global Warming. and any other mythical nonsense.
        I am in favor of Prayer to prevent the Planet from turning into a giant mushroom with octopus tenticals.

        I do not care what evangelicals what to pray for.
        I do not care what Greta Thunberg wants to prayer for.

        Pray for whatever you want. Maybe I will join you.

        But I will oppose you when you start using force.

    • John Say permalink
      January 26, 2020 12:42 am

      You want to smear another group of people ?

  97. John Say permalink
    January 26, 2020 4:49 pm

    Your post is a beautiful example of much or what is wrong with your logical abilities.

    First you seem to conclude because the remark about satanic pregnancies is irrational that it is relevant to anything.

    I do not care what people beleive – even if it is ludicrously stupid.

    I care what they do. Particularly when they use power – force.

    Is this person using force ?

    If not then I can ignore her or laugh at her.

    In logic once you have a set of premises that are absurd but that you accept as true – you can prove anything.

    You can reason from “all satanic pregnancies being aborted by prayer” to anything at all.

    That does not reflect values – that is a reflection of the fact that once you have a false premise you can prove anything.

    Everything that follows is just absurdity.

    I understand that the rest of your remarks are ironic nonsense.

    BTW there is no constitutional doctrine of “separation of church and state”.

    That would be ludicrous and a violation of free speach.

    What we have is the “establishment clause” – that precludes government from meddling in religion – NOT religion from meddling in government. There is separation of state from church, not separation of church from state.

  98. Jay permalink
    January 26, 2020 4:55 pm

    Fox News Poll:

    “Among independents, more say Trump should be removed by a 19-point margin (53-34 percent).”

    • January 26, 2020 5:44 pm

      If that is what they believe, then they will have their say in November to do just that.It will only take a handful of voters in the grand scheme of votes to make that happen.

      Right now RCP polls (Sunday Jan 26) indicate that will happen come November. Fox News polling, anything but left wing liberal biased polling has Biden by 9, Sanders by 6, Warren by 5 and Buttigieg by 4.

      If something that big happens with Biden or Sanders, you can bet money that the coattails will take down the GOP senators in Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado and maybe one or two others, shifting complete control back to the democrats so they can go on their government force crusade.

      The only question I have is how accurate Fox polling is and where those voters are polled.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 6:50 pm

        It is not how accurate Fox news polling is. It is how accurate the specific days poll is.
        The RCP Trend line has never had a majority supporting impeachment and has not had impeach ahead of Retain since mid Dec.

        The Trend favors Trump.

    • John Say permalink
      January 26, 2020 6:45 pm

      First – remember the point about credibility ?

      I am really not interested in claims by you – provide links.

      Beyond that – I do not know if there is such a fox poll or you are again disembling. but assuming there is it is one of many.

      The trend is away for impeachment and away from removal.
      That trend is almost excludively with independents – as neither Republicans nor democrats have moved much.

      But I really do not care to fight over it.

      If you want to beleive the sun will not rise tomorow – your mistaken beleif causes me no harm.

  99. Jay permalink
    January 26, 2020 7:06 pm

    Breaking: NYT:

    “WASHINGTON — President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton“

    Now you know why Trump/GOP/and assholes in general don’t want to call him as a witness.

    Trump is excretion. Those who back him are fouled toilet paper.

    • Jay permalink
      January 26, 2020 7:19 pm

      The NYT article says Bolton book was submitted to WH for prepublication review, and TeamTrump may have tried to delay its publication.

      If so, that’s obstruction.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 8:25 pm

        Ah! So all this is about a book.

        You think political books are truth ?

        People in the intelligence community must submit anything they want published about their government service for review, and they are constantly barred from publishing. It usually takes years to get something approved to publish.

        that is just how things are – if you do not like that – change the rules.

        Comey is the first FBI director ever to publish a book. Normally they wait years before speaking about there service.

        I do not think a National Security advisor has ever written a book.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 8:28 pm

        Clinton just released a movie about the 2016 campaign – it casts her as a super hero, and Sanders are Darth Vader.

        Do you think Clinton’s movie is the truth ?

        If Bolton is publishing a book – it is going to say whatever Bolton’s editors think will sell the most copies.

      • Jay permalink
        January 27, 2020 1:08 am

        “ If Bolton is publishing a book – it is going to say whatever Bolton’s editors think will sell the most copies.”

        So, Bolton is going to agree to lie if the editors tell him to?
        Have you gone completely nuts?
        Take a nap, you need a long one.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 9:14 am

        I have no idea about Bolton’s integrity.

        But I do not have any doubt in the world that the way Bolton will spin things in a book that will make him far more money the more controversial it is and particularly the more appealing to democrats it is.

        Outright lie ? Probably not. Spin heavily – so that both the large number of neo-con that are his natural audience as well as people like you who would otherwise never buy a book by John Bolton might buy it ? Absolutely.

        Further We remain several levels removed From Bolton.

        We have an NYT story – based on parts of a book manuscript leaked to them – probably by someone at the publisher.

        We have Your spin on top of the Reporters Spin, on top of the leakers Spin, on top of the editors spin, on top of the possible ghost writers spin, on tope of Bolton’s spin.

        We do not have an actual published book, and we do not have Bolton confirming that the words are his and accurately reflect events. It is not even likely that the reporter got Bolton’s actual words.

        Even if Bolton was heavily involved in this – and either wrote the words leaked to the reporter or something resembling those words.

        Do I think Bolton would lie in a published book – probably not ?

        Do I think that Bolton would allow a misperception to be created as to what might eventually appear in a book ? Absolutely.

        Regardless – if you want Bolton’s testimony – GO TO COURT AND GET IT.

        You keep constantly trying to short circuit the process.

        Personally – I do not care what Bolton says – if he actually testifies as that Ukraine Aide was conditioned on investigations into the Biden’s – I would not impeach over that.

        There is way more than enough to strongly insist on Ukraine cooperation in a variety of investigations many of which involve the Biden’s.

        And that is the only criteria that matters. The fact that Trump might have been motivated by political interests is a reason to make certain that there is the reasonable suspicion necescary to justify an investigation. But so long as the reasonable suspicion requirement is met – Trump’s motives do not matter.

        https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-ukraine-scandal-timeline-democrats-and-their-media-allies-dont-want-america-to-see/

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 9:44 am

        The Senate should essentially do the equivalent of a court dismissing without prejudice.

        They should tell the House that the Senate has no problems with witnesses – but that the Senate is not in Impeachment an investigative body. That the responsibility for conducting an impeachment investigation is with the house.

        That the house is free to continue this if it wishes. But it is not free to demand the Senate fix a botched investigation by the House.

        The house would be free to continue this, to drop it, to go to court to get witnesses, to do …

        I would personally like to hear from Bolton, though I strongly suspect the courts are not going to allow him to testify without a credible allegation of a crime.

        The House has a better chance getting Mulvaney and some of the other requested witnesses testimony,.

        Regardless the courts are going to have to resolve alot of competing claims – many of which on both sides have merit.

        The houses oversight responsibility – is NOT enumerated in the constitution – it is am implied power.

        Executive prividege is not in the constitution – it too is implied.

        In this instance they are in conflict.

        Though courts have not supported broad claims of executive priviledge – but they have routinely supported narrow ones.

        Anything involving national security is going to skew heavily in the presidents favor.
        Direct communications with immediate advisors is also going to skew heavily in his favor.

        The further away from National Security and the further away from ranking administration members direct communications with the president the weaker claims of priviledge will be.

        Credible allegations of a crime are very likely to overcome priviledge – Trump’s communications directly with Bolton are likely completely off limits – absent a credible allegation of a crime.

        One of the most serious weaknesses of the faux impeachment is the absence of a crime.

        You can scream to the heavens that you can impeach without a crime – and that is true.
        But you probably can not get the courts to waive priviledge without a crime.

        You keep spining and spining what has you beleive occurred.
        But so long as reasonable suspicion exists to justify Trump’s request for an investigation you do not have anything close to a crime.

        So long as reasonable suspicion regarding the assorted misconduct in the Ukraine in 2016 and before exists – you are engaging in exactly the same politically motivated use of government power as you are accusing Trump of. you are essentially saying that political candidates can not be investigated. And because you wish to deligitimize the work of Guiliani and Solomon and … you are claiming not merely that Trump and government can not investigate political candidates, but that no one can – not private citizens not reporters.

    • Jay permalink
      January 26, 2020 7:40 pm

      The article reports Trump told Bolton that frozen military aid to Ukraine was directly linked to his demand for the political investigations he wanted. That’s why GOP flunkies won’t call him as witness. It CONFIRMS the whistleblower, and other confirming evidence of Trump’s ‘do us a favor’ intention.

      That’s why Trump stopped him from testifying at the House hearings.

      These who are not demanding his testimony are bottom feeding slime suckers who don’t give a Skunk’s ass about about anything but their own partisan positions.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 8:36 pm

        Once upon a time – we could Trust stories from the NYT.

        Today – not so much.

        Now that you have revealed this is based on a purported book deal, it makes more sense.

        It is even plausible as part of a Bolton manuscript – that does not make it true.

        Honestly – do you think St. James Comey’s book is “truth” ?

        If this story is what you claim – it means nothing.

        Regardless. I have never been opposed to Bolton testifying. I have told you repeatedly – GO TO COURT. nothing is stopping you.

        BTW this also explains the Bolton teasers. he is building hype for a book.

        Every leak regarding Bolton will drive the sales of that book. Whether Bolton testifies or not – the value of the book skyrockets the more the conflict over Bolton’s testimony rises.

        If Bolton testifies – good for sales. If there is a legal fight – good for sales. The more Bolton is talked about – good for sales.

        I do not think there is a chance in hell Bolton will be your John Dean.
        But I have zero doubt that he will push to inflame controversey about him to raise sales of a book that does not require facts states as under oath.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 8:40 pm

        When is the last time a national security advisor testified to congress without the express permission fo the president and terms negotiated with congress probably over months before hand ?

        Most legal analyst have said that the one case Trump is most likely to win in the courts is blocking Boulton and his aide.

        But you do what you want.

        Drag this out another month or two or three.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 8:46 pm

        Next – can we get to just plain hearsay – rather than quintuple hearsay with multiple spin cycles.

        Do you have what Bolton says trump says ?

        Not what you say, nyt says bolton’s manuscript says boulton says trump says ?

        Not that any of this matters – Biden should be investigated.

        Almost as much as sliming Trump, the purpose of impeachment is to obstruct any investigation of Biden.

        You have spent days fawning over Parnas. I think Parnas is mostly inconsequential.
        But if Parnas was a close freind of Trump coordinating an investigation of the Bidens with Guiliani and Trump – you still have nothing.

        If Trump actually told Zelensky no investigation no aide – you have nothing.

        The legitimacy of the request for investigation rests on reasonable suspicion regarding Biden – which exists. Not anything else.

      • John Say permalink
        January 26, 2020 8:54 pm

        I do not think that the Senate is going to call Bolton.

        I do not think that will occur because the house failed to make a case and the senators are tired of this nonsense.

        But there is no chance that the Senate calls Bolton without also calling Hunter and Joe and the WB and possibly Schiff.

        You keep painting Trump as opposed to witnesses, but for Trump everything is a negotiation.

        Trump has been pretty consistent – he wants witnesses – his witnesses.

        Democrats – house and Senate have made it clear – there will be no trade of Biden for Bolton.

        The one’s hiding are D’s.

        And we can pretty much guess what the Biden’s testimoney will be. All they have to do is confirm what they have said publicly.

        But go for it – have witnesses – tie up the Senate through super Tuesday.

        Trump will be the big winner.

    • John Say permalink
      January 26, 2020 8:21 pm

      “Trump is excretion. Those who back him are fouled toilet paper.”

      Tells the entire story. You do not care about the truth.

      You are about nothing but hatred.

      Trump won the election for a reason – he read a change that everyone else missed.

      He tapped into a very large black of voters who felt they were being ignored, and he spoke for them He read growing political dissatisfaction with things as they, and he responded to it.

      Even if you successfully get rid of Trump – those things remain true. It is possible that your immediate actions will amplify them. It is also possible that they stall things for a bit.

      What is not possible is that the reverse the swing of the pendulum.

      Trump rode a wave of anti-PC discontent to election – that discontent is still there – if anything it is larger, and if you destroy trump it will be larger still.

      To those like Ron would would prefer a Kaisich or Romeny – they do not and can not speak for that, Trump is not going to be followed by a Kasich or a Romney.

      If you want to get past Trump – you have to let it play out.

      But you can not do that. There is a reason Trump’s core is so strong – because you hate them and they know it. Because they have known that you and those like you think they are fouled toilet paper. And they have known that for years before you wrote the words.

      These are not people who are going to vote for a Kaisich or Romney.

      But you just do not get it. You did not lose the elections because of Russian interference.

      You fixate on the DNC hacking. I think the case it was the russians is weak.

      But so what. The Hacking did not tank Clinton. The email investigation did not tank clinton so called russian interference did not tank clinton – the Truth tanked clinton.

      But that seems to be a problem for you.

      I do not know why you give a shit what Trump may or may not have said to Bolton, or whether he knows Parnas or not. Those things are not relevant.

      Biden has nothing to worry about from an investigation into Ukraine – if there is nothing there as you say. If the claims of corruption are “debunked” they would die quickly and natturally

      Nadler and Schiff claimed thagt we must impeach because otherwise Trump would cheat – How ? By exposing Biden’s corrption ? If the entire Biden family made millions off of Biden’s government power – even if that was done legally – that the american people are entitled to know – not Trump’s tax returns. If Hillary was engaged in all kinds of dirty tricks to fork over Sanders – that we are entitled to know – Whether Ukrainians or Russian’s or Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails – who knows maybe it was Tulsi Gabbard. Regardless, the emails only damaged Clinton because they told the truth about her.

      If Trump tried to investigate Biden – without reasonable suspicion, I would have a major problem with that. But former US Vice Presidents are not immune from investigation for illegal conduct – and there are ethics laws requiring Biden to recuse himself from issues involving family – those are not criminal laws – but they are laws.

      But in the end – it is not Clinton’s bathroom email server, it is not the DNC hack, it is the swing of the pendulum that doomed Clinton.

      Ron is shocked that Trump won the GOP primary. And that was shocking.
      Clinton was ecstatic – she thought Trump was the easist republican to beat.

      Do you think Cruz or Rubio or Bush would have had trouble beating Clinton ?

      Clinton lost – because we were weary of 16 straight years of socialism light, and low growth – except in government. Because alot of us were tired of being called “fouled toilet paper” by democrats and people like Jay.

      The only thing of consequence that has changed since 2016 is that we now know that the prior 16 years were NOT the new normal, they were not the best we could do in the 21st century.

      We now know that Bush and Obama were poor presidents who failed at delivering prosperity. that is beyond any doubt right now.

      None of the reasons Trump was elected have gone away. But many reasons for voting against him have.

      And give a choice between your nonsense about tax returns and emoluments and the clear political corruption of the Biden’s – whose only outstanding question is – was that legal corruption or was it actually illegal. Given a choice between a 1.8% economy and a 3% economy – you can pick as you please, but you do not get to tell the rest of us we can not pick as we please.

      I would finally note – if asking Ukraine to investigate Biden was corrupt – then why isn’t the house investigated Trump corrupt ? How is it different ? In both cases there are strong political motives.

  100. John Say permalink
    January 26, 2020 7:49 pm

    1). NYT How many of these breaking “leaks” have proven true in the past several years ?

    2). Assuming this transcript actually exists – lets see it rather than some reporters spin on what it purportedly says. Thus far the actual words of anything real have been radically different from those reported.

    3). So what – as I have said over and over – there is reasonable suspicion regarding the bidens.

    I do not actually beleive this story – your credibility and that of NYT is that bad.

    I do not beleive that if there is any truth at all to it – that anything that might have actually been said bears more than passing resemblance to what is reported will be small. We have seen that over and over.

    Mostly this appears to be another bit of Fake news delivered at a time calculated to try to force Bolton and others to testify.

    What are you going to do, if it succeeds and Bolton disowns the story ?

    But lets assume for the sake of argument it is 100% true. Biden is not immune from investigation. There has never been anything here.

    Mostly this sounds like a desparate leak by the deep state. We have seen lots of those.

    I am not worried. Even if true – it is of no consequence.

    But if it is not true – which is reasonably likely – we have you, the left, the media – once again selling desparate lies.

    But who knows. Maybe this one is not a lie.

  101. Jay permalink
    January 26, 2020 8:33 pm

    At this point anyone who doesn’t agree Trump was trying to solicit foreign interference to undermine Biden in an upcoming election has their head up their ass… Yo, Trump apologists, can you hear me with your ears buried in there?

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:05 am

      You seem to think that spin is a substitute for truth.
      And that your guesses regarding intentions constitute facts.

      Forget Trump entirely – unless you are a complete dolt – it should be self evident to you that there is plenty of basis to investigate Biden and his family – going well beyond Ukraine.

      It is entirely possible that such an investigation might never be able to PROVE criminal conduct, but it has already established corruption.

      Ine of your CORE problems is that you are not merely pretending that Trump may not ask for an investigation of Ukraine. But that NO ONE may do so. That Ukraine is entirely off limits.

      That Reporters like Vogel and Solomon. Schweizer are barred from digging into corruption in Ukraine (or elsewhere) if it involves Biden or if it involves democrats.

      That Guiliani or any other private citizen is barred from digging into Biden, the Ukraine or democrats,

      And that Trump as president may not ask that clearly suspicious activities get investigated.

      As best as i can tell your argument really devolves to those you do not like – can not investigate those you do – because of a presumed political motive.

      If political motives are a bar to investigation then pretty much every investigation of government of any kind over the history of this country is barred.

      Grow up, get a clue. Politics – like Bolton’s book deal is a factor in weighing the credibility of what is being reported. But no one on the planet is immune from investigation because politics might be a part of the basis for doing so.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:21 am

      So to be clear – in Jay world – Biden and other democrats can not be investigated ?

      Not by Vogel, or Solomon, or Schweizer – reporters – because if a reporter would investigate Biden they are a political hack ?

      Not by Guiliani – with or without the aide of Parnas and Furman.

      Not by any part of the US government.

      No one is permitted to look into any possibly criminal or corrupt activities in the Ukraine ?

      I will absolutely give you – Guiliani’s actions are politically motivated. The only distinction between what Guiliani did and what Mark Elias, Glenn Simpson, and Christopher Steele did is that Guilliani’s allegations might prove True.

      Regardless, you can attache whatever significance or lack thereof you wish to Guiliani, he still poses a fundimental logical challenge to this entire faux impeachment.

      Guiliani’s actions are clearly politically motivated and except to the looniest on the left clearly legal.

      Political motivations are NOT CRIMES. They are not even immoral.

      What is immoral is the use of government power without justification REGARDLESS of your motives.

      It does not matter if your motives are pure by every possible standard – if your use of force is not justified – it is abuse of power, criminal and inherently immoral.

      Conversely if your use of power is justified – you can be Hitler, you can have the most vile of motives – it is still not immoral, criminal or abuse of power.

      Your guesses – even if correct about the motives of others do not alter whether an act is legitimate or not.

      Speculation about motives is a legitimate basis for inquiry,, it is NOT a basis for conclusions.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:30 am

      If the Ukrainians decided to investigate the Biden’s entirely on their own – would that be legitimate in your view ?

      Guess what ? Except for a few brief periods from 2010 through the present Burisma and the Biden’s have been under near constant investigation by Ukraine.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:33 am

      Here is a story covering a speach in Sept. 2015 by the US ambassador to Ukraine demanding that the Ukraine investigate Zlochevskiy and Burisima.

      https://www.rferl.org/a/us-ambassador-upbraids-ukraine-over-corruption-efforts/27271294.html

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:38 am

      In June 2015 the UK Serious Fraud Office seized 23M in Burisma assets in the UK as part of a corruption investigation.

      https://www.sfo.gov.uk/cases/ukraine-money-laundering-investigation/

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:41 am

      In 2015 the Ukraine Prosecutor Puts Zlochevshy on Ukraines most Wanted list.

      https://www.kyivpost.com/article/content/reform-watch/prosecutors-put-zlochevsky-multimillionaire-ex-ecology-minister-on-wanted-list-377719.html

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:47 am

      March 2019 – Ukraine opens ANOTHER investigation into Burisma.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:49 am

      May 2019 Sgtatement by Ukraine Embassy that Chalupa of the DNC sought and received aide from the Ukrainian government in diggiing up dirt on Manafort.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:50 am

      May 2019 NABU confirms that Burisma remains under active investigation.

      https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/sytnyk-nabu-has-not-closed-cases-related-to-zlochevsky.html

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 8:57 am

      In the links I just provided – I omitted atleast a dozen links of contacts between Hunter Biden and various US Government officials Mostly at the State Department, Actively lobbying FOR Burisima and against investigations.

      In addition to that there are lots of links confirming the involvment and significant payment to inumerable prominent democrats, democratic lobbying groups, and law firms in lobbying for Burisma with the US Government.

      There are also documented about 1/2 a dozen phone calls to Ukrainian President porschenko from VP Biden – particularly during late 2015 and early 2016.

      But we do not have transcripts of any of those phone calls.

      Jay – Grow up. There is plenty to investigate.

  102. Jay permalink
    January 27, 2020 9:39 am

    The lying liar can’t help but lie:

    • Jay permalink
      January 27, 2020 9:45 am

      And Bolton is another GOP lump of shit for refusing to truthfully testify at House request.

    • John Say permalink
      January 27, 2020 10:02 am

      Or maybe it is the House Intelligence Committee that is lying ?

      Or maybe you have just gone totally completely nuts and want to paint every disagreement as a lie ?

      Did the house subpeona Bolton ?

      I have no idea if they “asked” him to testify – nor do you. I do not know if they phoned him, or his lawyers.

      What I do know is that the NSA or former NSA can not testify before congress without the permission of the president or an order of the court.

      Trump had PUBLICLY asserted a broad claim of executive priviledge that Bolton and the entire House was aware of.

      One of Bolton’s aides was also “asked” to testify. He WANTED to testify. He went to court on his own to get permission to testify. The house failed to show up for the hearing, and the court ruled that there was nothing for it to decide – he could not testify.

      From the start of this to the end, the house has failed to issue subpeona’s for most witnesses. The majority appeared without the consent of the whitehouse which is improper and more than sufficient grounds to terminate them. They appeared without whitehouse counsel or from their own departments) – which is also completely improper.

      But that should not surprise as pretty much no due process of any kind was followed by the house.

      And you want to quible over the distinction between asked and subpeona’d in a tweet ?

      • Jay permalink
        January 27, 2020 2:17 pm

        “ What I do know is that the NSA or former NSA can not testify before congress without the permission of the president or an order of the court.”

        More cookie-cutter nonsense

        Tillerson the previous Sec of State willingly testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee without presidential permission or court order.

      • John Say permalink
        January 27, 2020 5:41 pm

        The Secretary of State is not the NSA.

        Regardless, you are wrong both in fact and law.

        All exceutive power vests in the president. That includes the power to determine who can testify in congress absent a court order.

        The possibility that Trump did not sign a permission slip for each person who has testified in congress does not mean they were unilaterally free to do so on their own.

        Even in recent instances – where almost all the house witnessed defied an order by the president regarding cooperating with the house – the fact they did testify does NOT mean they were allowed to.

        It may wait until after the election – but I expect disciplinary measures against every one of them.

        Regardless the fact that something has happened does not make it legal.

        I would note that the vast majority of the executive has fully complied with Trumps directive.
        Even Bolton and his aide – both of whom are not currently part of government – because executive priviledge does not end when you leave government, you are no more free to violate priviledge after leaving government than to leak top secret material.
        A lawyer who is fired, disbarred, or stops practicing still has a duty to protect the priviledged communications of his client for the rest of his life.

        This is all the state of the law.

        While I do not think that Bolton will prove a useful witness to the House – it is inarguable that he is not chomping to testify. But he is also not stupid. He knows – unlike you that it is illegal.
        Even out of office – he would risk never getting a security clearance again or even the remote possibility of criminal sanctions.

        Bolton’s assistent went to court and asked the court for permission to testify when the House asked him.

        The house did not show up and the court said NO.