Patterico's Pontifications

12/28/2019

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:38 am



[guest post by Dana]

I’m 7 days into a cold/flu, so the weekend open thread is bare bones.

Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start.

First news item: Joe says no:

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) said Friday that he would not comply with a Senate subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial.

“What are you going to cover?” Biden said when asked about a subpoena in an interview with the Des Moines Register’s executive editor Carol Hunter. “You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump’s) going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time. Not a joke.”

He went on to say it would be part of Trump’s tactic to “take the focus off” himself.

Second news item:Eddie Gallagher’s fellow SEALs had harsh words for platoon leader:

The Navy SEALs who served beside Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher described their platoon leader as “toxic,” “freaking evil” and a “psychopath,” in new video recordings…

The recordings are part of the Navy’s investigation into Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes stemming from a 2017 deployment to Iraq. Gallagher in July was found not guilty of murder and premeditated murder but was convicted of a lesser charge of posing for a photo with an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter’s corpse.

In one of the recordings, Special Operator 1st Class Craig Miller, one of the most experienced SEALs in the group, can be seen weeping.

“The guy is freaking evil,” Miller told investigators.

In a separate interview, Special Operator 1st Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, called Gallagher “toxic.”

The platoon’s medic, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, described Gallagher as the type of person who was “perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving.”

Third news item: Radio legend dies:

Don Imus, the radio personality whose insult humor and savage comedy catapulted him to a long-lasting and controversial career, has died at 79. His three-hour radio program, Imus in the Morning, was widely popular, especially with the over 25-male demographic.

Imus died Friday morning at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, after being hospitalized on Christmas Eve, a representative said.

Imus was loved or hated for his caustic loudmouth. Outspoken in an age of political correctness, his often coarse satire offended sensibilities. Yet his listeners included those whom he often ridiculed. His call-in guests included President Clinton, Dan Rather, Tim Russert, Bill Bradley, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and political analyst Jeff Greenfield, who once remarked, “He’s out there talking the way most of us talk when we’re not in public.”

He sparked national outcry in 2007 when he made derogatory, racist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. CBS Radio and MSNBC then dropped his show.

He rebounded by signing a multiyear contract with the Fox Business Network in 2009 to simulcast Imus in the Morning from 6-9 a.m., with Fox anchors appearing during the program.

Fourth news item: Federal judge says no:

A federal judge on Friday denied an effort to restore 98,000 Georgia voters who were removed from the state’s voter rolls this month because they haven’t participated in elections for more than eight years.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ ruling upholds the cancellation of these inactive voters under Georgia’s “use it or lose it” law, which allows election officials to remove people who didn’t vote or respond to mailed notification letters.

Jones wrote in a 32-page order that the plaintiffs, led by the voting rights group Fair Fight Action, failed to show that the cancellations violated the U.S. Constitution. Jones wrote that the plaintiffs could still ask the Georgia Supreme Court to interpret the state law about inactive voters.

In all, nearly 287,000 registrations were canceled this month because those registered either moved away or stopped participating in elections. An additional 22,000 inactive voters were initially removed but reinstated by the secretary of state’s office because those voters had contacted election officials in early 2012, before the cancellation cut-off date.

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

232 Responses to “Weekend Open Thread”

  1. Off to bed I go.

    Dana (643cd6)

  2. Heal soon, Dana. I am in my second day of the flu. Traveling during the winter often results in picking up something infectious.

    felipe (023cc9)

  3. Get better Dana.
    __

    Ezra Klein
    @ezraklein
    It’s no coincidence that Trump and Boris Johnson are in power at the same time. They both understand how to use lies, offense, and outrageousness to control the conversation. That gets them power, which makes their lies, etc, more newsworthy, which gives them yet more control.
    __ _

    Guy Faux
    @Faux_Guy_
    ·
    Cool story. Now talk about “Journolist”.
    __ _

    Earl of Lemongrab
    @EarI0fLemongrab
    ·
    Maybe we should have a private forum where all left wing journ-o-lists can assemble to determine what they are supposed to report and how they are supposed to think about it….I’m just spitballing here. Do you think it could work though?
    __ _

    Huy Fong
    @Mott5
    ·
    Yeah I remember when the most honest president of all time said that health insurance premiums would decrease and we could all keep our insurance and doctors. When the opposite happened all the “honest media” never once bothered asking him about it.
    __ _

    Robert Noerr
    @NoerrRobert
    ·
    We again see a striking example of the dems, media, intel community, (deep state) accusing others of exactly what they did.

    They are now claiming wanting to investigate Ukrainian interference is “spreading Putins talking points”.
    __

    harkin (d6cfee)

  4. Get well soon, Dana.

    nk (dbc370)

  5. Hope you feel better Dana!

    I was amused to look out my window on Christmas day and see snow on nearby Saddleback Mountain. A white Christmas here in Orange County!

    Of course the much taller (and more distant) San Gabriel Mountains often have snow this time of year, but Saddleback is only a few minutes from where I live in Mission Viejo.

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. Emergenc 1000mg vitamin c

    mg (8cbc69)

  7. RIP I-man

    Listened to him a lot when he was at WFAN and simulcasted.

    You didn’t hear too many radio hosts with a background of uranium miner, railroad brakeman and US Marine.

    He could be totally clueless but compared to all the other morning shows his had a refreshingly higher tendency to call out bulls**t, even though he seemed mesmerized and adoring of those such as John Meacham or Frank Rich spouting off DNC talking points. And the humor on the show was strong and steady.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  8. The item about Don Imus (#3) says he was fired by CBS for his remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. The report conveniently omits that CBS had to pay him a very substantial sum for breach of contract. Don’s contract stipulated that he had to be provocative and edgy and his dismissal over this issue violated his contract.
    Also, as an aside, when this controversy first broke, then NJ Gov. Jon Corzine raced to some sort of event featuring the basketball team. It was so urgent that he instructed his police chauffeur to speed down the GardenState Parkway at 90 MPH (limit is 55) which caused an accident involving the Gov’s SUV and a civilian vehicle. It put Corzine in the hospital for a while. Appearing with aggrieved college B-ball players was so urgent as to risk life and limb of every unwitting motorist on the highway.

    sam glasser (1d6c2e)

  9. @7.”Imus In The Mourning?”

    Not likely.

    A totally bigoted gutter snipe; a lowlife scumbag who aided and accelerated the decline and coarsening discourse on the public airwaves across America conservatives have relentlessly complained about, simply to “entertain” and line his own saddlebags. His estimated worth at time of death, per celebritynetworth.com: $45 million. Dead Don Imus couldn’t buy his way into Heaven but he’ll certainly be a hot ticket entertaining the spirits he gleefully lampooned in Hell; his ‘Dead Dick Nixon’ should get a good laugh from Dead Dick Nixon himself around the eternal campfire with Jerry Falwell’ “Hell-o, I-Moe…”– and good riddens, pork chop; Save a seat for Howard Stern.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  10. Get better quick, Dana. Plenty of fluids, lots of sleep and no booze on New Year’s Eve. You’ll rediscover New Year’s morning in a whole new light!

    ______

    So much for the ‘rule of law’ from a former Veep of the USA: pledges to defy lawfuly issued subpoenas is a prerequisite for running for POTUS, eh? Saves time peeing on the oath of office ahead of time, eh, JoeyBee?

    Idiot.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. Guess those subpoenas to get the White House tapes ‘took the focus off’ “Peace With Honor” for The Big Dick, too, eh JoeyBee?

    Idiot.

    Next time you send a CC payment to a PO box in Delaware, thank Joe Biden; the Big Bank$ $ure thank him.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. Hope you feel better soon, Dana. I recommend an ‘old wife’s’ apothecary. There’s something about those. Whenever you have a cold or flu, try this.

    Mix a shot of whiskey (1 oz.) with a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of lemon juice. You’d be surprised at how effective that drink is, and it tastes good too.

    Gawain's Ghost (b25cd1)

  13. What Don Imus is to DCSCA, Seth McFarlane is to me.

    urbanleftbehind (ded116)

  14. Dead Don Imus couldn’t buy his way into Heaven“

    Ask God if the Sooners have a shot today.

    He really ticked off the perpetually butt hurt.

    You reinforced my opinion of him, both good and bad. Outstanding effort.

    harkin (464071)

  15. Mr Glasser, good post. I fear Justice Kavanaugh may end up in a similar caper as Corzine, due his sincere interest in womens bball.

    urbanleftbehind (ded116)

  16. @14. No, he just lowered the caliber of popular discourse on the public airwaves to a cheap coarseness only a person more comfortable using corncobs than toilet tissue could enjoy.

    Bury him with the bones of Morton Downey, Jr. If you warmed to the I-Man shtick, then conservatives have zero grounds for angst and complaints toward the likes of Kathy Griffin, Amy Schumer or Howard Stern.

    @13. Dead Don Imus makes Sar Silverman sound positively angelic.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  17. @13. Postscript: hence he has found a home- and the target audience– on Fox.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. Can’t the Senate force Biden to testify?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  19. RIP – Sue Lyon
    _

    harkin (464071)

  20. pledges to defy lawfuly issued subpoenas is a prerequisite for running for POTUS, eh?

    Considering the 2nd article of impeachment against Trump (which charges him from blocking testimony relevant to the House’s impeachment inquiry), Joe is undermining an already weak case. Trump used executive privilege; what is Joe claiming?

    Kevin M (19357e)

  21. Can the senate do a early morning raid with AK’s and CNN on bidens house?

    mg (8cbc69)

  22. I would so love to see Joe Biden dragged into the Senate in handcuffs.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  23. leg ironed next to his son

    mg (8cbc69)

  24. Biden is not on trial.

    What information does he have about Trump’s abuses of power and obstruction?

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. The case against Eddie Gallagher was the main front page news story in the New York Times on Friday. It was leaked (against the law actually but the paper doesn’t say so)

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  26. Jpe Biden is hopin to stop a subpoena by saying he will defy one.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  27. The information Biden has is an explanation of what he said in the Q&A period in the January 23, 2018 speech in front of the Council on Foreign Relations. If he told the truth, he shouldn’t have any problems. But he can;’t explain it, because the whole story about a cancellation or threatened cancellation of a press conference where he was going to announce a $1 billion loan guarantee if they didn’t fire the prosecutor is almost certainly made up out of whole cloth.

    Plus what he knew about about his soon working for Burisma. (it’s quite possible that Hunter was brought into Burisma mostly to create an appearance of corrupt backing by the U.S. government.)

    The relevancy would go to whether Trump made a legitimate inquiry, although I don;t know if they could stick to that.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  28. “Biden is not on trial.”

    It’s like the Trump 2020 ads write themselves.

    harkin (464071)

  29. What information does he have about Trump’s abuses of power and obstruction?

    Believe it or not, Trump gets to make a defense, and is not required to bring witnesses who only support the charges.

    He might even claim that he had reasons to pressure Ukraine that involved a pursuit of justice, instead of the corruption charged. The fact that you consider that defense ludicrous does NOT mean that he is not entitled to make it. Questioning the persons that Trump believed were engaging in criminal behavior is central to that defense.

    Jeez, even rapists get more of a day in court than Dave would give Trump.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  30. >>“Biden is not on trial.”

    It’s like the Trump 2020 ads write themselves.

    For a moment I thought that would be a Biden ad.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  31. By the way, Dave, the “obstruction” charge ought to be dismissed outright as it is merely an UNTESTED legal dispute that the House just didn’t want to wait for in the courts.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  32. By the way, Dave, the “obstruction” charge ought to be dismissed outright as it is merely an UNTESTED legal dispute that the House just didn’t want to wait for in the courts.

    Kevin M (19357e) — 12/28/2019 @ 5:04 pm

    The obstruction charge is very strong, given the GOP argued the exact opposite, in the Supreme Court, and it’s black letter law now.

    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/520/681.html

    Dustin (cafb36)

  33. Jeez, even rapists get more of a day in court than Dave would give Trump.

    Awkward phrasing!

    Dustin (cafb36)

  34. Not sure if this is true outside of the northeast, but due to a very wet spring and summer, the leaves stayed green and on the trees way longer than usual. So we had lots of particulate junk in the air this month. The first day of winter was one of the worst days all year of allergies. Woke up and thought I needed to get to Urgent Care, but took a claritin and some sniffle and mostly ok.

    Bugg (ebf485)

  35. Bugg, that’s definitely true in Texas.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  36. @19. Only 73; wonder if she’ll make the TCM ‘death reel’ before New Year’s— Bond’s ‘Domino sugar’-Claudine Auger, passed last week and hasn’t yet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. 33. your cited case is claimed immunity. We are talking about executive privilege. Executive privilege cover the President conversatations with his advisers,as it pertains to him carrying out his constitutional powers. Bill claimed immunity from prosecution, for raping women.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  38. Imus
    The poor mans Trump

    steveg (354706)

  39. 33. your cited case is claimed immunity. We are talking about executive privilege. Executive privilege cover the President conversatations with his advisers,as it pertains to him carrying out his constitutional powers. Bill claimed immunity from prosecution, for raping women.

    iowan2 (9c8856) — 12/28/2019 @ 6:40 pm

    I believe they actually specifically talked about the president having to comply with a subpoena and testify. I base that on these two quotes from my link:

    We assume that the testimony of the President, both for discovery and for use at trial, may be taken at the White House at a time that will accommodate his busy schedule, and that, if a trial is held, there would be no necessity for the President to attend in person, though he could elect to do so. 14 […]

    We unequivocally and emphatically endorsed Marshall’s position when we held that President Nixon was obligated to comply with a subpoena commanding him to produce certain tape recordings of his conversations with his aides. United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974). As we explained, “neither the doctrine of separation of powers, nor the need for confidentiality of high level communications, without more, can sustain an absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.” Id., at 706. 39

    At any rate, the real judge of whether this was impeachable is the House. And Trump was impeached for it, so partisan as that definitely was, it’s a done deal. And the real judge of whether Trump will be convicted is the Senate. If the House vote is any indication, Trump can get away with anything he likes. Though as nk has pointed out, it’s up to 20 GOP senators, and there are probably that many with a grudge.

    And why shouldn’t the president be subject to subpoenas? What’s the point of Trump just ordering everyone to refuse to cooperate with an investigation if not to obstruct justice (again)?

    Tom Daschle and Bill Clinton were wrong. The GOP had every right to compel Clinton to testify (Which of course he did). What’s changed?

    Dustin (cafb36)

  40. Just to repeat, Richard Jewell is an extremely well made film and emotional experience that deserves to be seen before it is gone.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  41. Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) said Friday that he would not comply with a Senate subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial.

    Did he also say whether, if his grandmother had wheels, she would be a shopping cart? In other words, what subpoena would that be? Has he been served with one?

    The #FakeNewsMedia ginning up some non-news while the orange is giving himself carpal tunnel with demented Twitter rants from Mar-a-Lackwit.

    nk (dbc370)

  42. Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt
    @avitalrachel
    ·
    Three Jews stabbed in a synagogue in Monsey tonight. An intruder came into Rabbi Rottenberg’s shul with a machete.

    There are no words to describe the anxiety of this moment.
    _ _

    NY AG James
    @NewYorkStateAG
    I am deeply disturbed by the situation unfolding in Monsey, New York tonight.

    There is zero tolerance for acts of hate of any kind and we will continue to monitor this horrific situation.

    I stand with the Jewish community tonight and every night.
    _ _

    EmmaP
    @EmPaHastings
    ·
    Replying to
    @NewYorkStateAG
    What the heck New York…
    The latest attack occurred Friday when a woman allegedly slapped three females in Brooklyn and later told officers it was because they’re Jewish, police said at a news conference. The woman was released without bail.
    __ _

    Baruch Sandhaus
    @BaruchSandhaus
    ·
    Thank you!! What are we actually going to do about this!? Are we going to continue releasing violent criminals!? Are we going to allow carry permits for those that want to protect themselves.. their families & synagogue

    __ _

    OakEastS☘️
    @Kalm1Kerry
    ·
    Can you imagine all she’s worried about it suing trump. Maybe she should worry about local citizens. As a NYer I am done.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  43. Honestly I have to say this Trump fiasco is so much more bearable now that we can talk about why he was impeached for obstructing justice and trying to bribe another country to screw with our election.

    In the history books this will probably get one of those special half page sections with the pastel background to make sure the short attention span kiddos learn what Trump was all about. Definitely the kind of subject with some easy ‘All of the Above’ questions too.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  44. 40. Dustin (cafb36) — 12/28/2019 @ 7:37 pm

    What’s the point of Trump just ordering everyone to refuse to cooperate with an investigation

    He ordered it but he didn’t enforce the order. Nobody got fired if they complied with a subpoena..

    Former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman pre-emptively went to court and asked it to decide whom he should listen to: Trump or the House Intelligence Committee. Bolton indicated he wold do the same thing if subpoenaed. Mulvaney said he too wanted to join the lawsuit, then Kupperman’s lawyers (who also represented John Bolton) said their interests weren’t identical and he didn’t want to have anything to do with him. Mulvaney then withdrew his petition and said he wold sue on his own, and then Trump told him not to sue, and he didn’t.

    And then The House committee withdrew its subpoena of Kupperman so it wouldn’t get tested in court, with Adam Schiff claiming it would take too much time and Kupperman had a duty to comply with a mere request. I think he was afraid that Kupperman and Bolton might testify and spoil his story.

    Now what was just about totally effective was Trump refusing to supply documents, except for the (volunteered) call records of the two phone calls Donald Trump had with Zelensky. George Kent didn’t even have access to his own notes since he’d turned them over to the State Department for transfer to Congress. (some people who testified did have records – they may have had permanent access to them, or they were more personal like Volker’s collection of text messages, or mabe he trned them over before they could be asked for.)

    One thing Schiff indicated he’d like to get his hands on was the text of the cable Acting Ambassador to Ukraine Blll Taylor sent to the State Department.

    if not to obstruct justice

    There’s other possibilities.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  45. Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) said Friday that he would not comply with a Senate subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial.

    nk (dbc370) — 12/28/2019 @ 8:22 pm

    Did he also say whether, if his grandmother had wheels, she would be a shopping cart? In other words, what subpoena would that be? Has he been served with one?

    The idea is to prevent a subpoena from being issued to him by saying he would defy it. There’s a lot of public opinion involved here.

    Now he said he would not defy a subpoena.

    https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1210946785847468033

    Joe Biden
    @JoeBiden

    I want to clarify something I said yesterday. In my 40 years in public life, I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests.

    9:33 AM · Dec 28, 2019·Twitter Web App

    ——————————

    Joe Biden
    @JoeBiden

    15h
    Replying to @JoeBiden

    But I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial. That is the point I was making yesterday and I reiterate: this impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine.

    ======================

    Joe Biden
    @JoeBiden

    15h

    The subpoenas should go to witnesses with testimony to offer to Trump’s shaking down the Ukraine government — they should go to the White House.

    What do you think are the chances of the Senate agreeing to subpoena witnesses the House managers want to call, but not the ones the president wants to call?

    It will opposed on grounds of irrelevancy – Chief Justice John Roberts will rule, his ruling will be appealed and the Senate as a whole will decide.

    Now some Republican Senators don’t want this thing.

    It can be avoided by making rules that say no witnesses can be called (or on;y specific witnesses – but the Republicans will not want to seem to be unfair to Donald Trump.

    Which could mean that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not forward the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate or name managers.

    This will all have t be worked out in advance. If it can’t be…

    #FakeInpeachment here we come.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  46. He might even claim that he had reasons to pressure Ukraine that involved a pursuit of justice, instead of the corruption charged. The fact that you consider that defense ludicrous does NOT mean that he is not entitled to make it. Questioning the persons that Trump believed were engaging in criminal behavior is central to that defense.

    I see.

    So next time I get a speeding ticket, my defense will be that I was rushing to prevent Donald Trump from committing a rape. I will present no evidence, apart from Trump’s boasts years ago, but I will demand he respond to a subpoena to appear in court and be questioned under oath by my attorney.

    And I will tell you, the judge, and Trump’s lawyers, that the fact they consider my defense ludicrous does NOT mean I am not entitled to make it. Questioning the persons that I believed were engaging in criminal behavior is central to that defense.

    Dave (1bb933)

  47. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/28/nyregion/monsey-synagogue-stabbing-anti-semitic.html

    I don’t believe this is a coincidence. I don’t believe there’s a sudden upsurge in anti-semitism ether. I believe this is a conspiracy. Not so much by a terrorist group as by a criminal group, which might be getting paid money too. Because this is too stupid for someone to think up on their own.

    Maybe some new organized crime group wants to distinguish itself by anti-semitism and attacks on Jews. Perhaps use it as an organizing principle. That will separate out members and non-members. It’s still stupid. It may be that they think accusing blacks of anti-semitism is somewhere authorities do not want to go, because it will inspire sympathy for them, and they’ll be immune from being pursued for their other criminal activities.

    As more is found out it can be figured out better, but I think there’s enough evidence already to say there’s some newly active criminal cum religious group here. More criminal than anything else.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  48. 45. 47.

    The only reason it’s ludicrous is that a lot of people outside Ukraine wanted Viktor Shokin removed as Prosecutor General because he was not pursuing cases and here Joe Biden is accused of being maybe the person most responsible for getting rid of him (and he said so) allegedly for purposes of protecting Burisma (which he didn’t say.)

    What makes it less ludicrous is that Giuliani has an affidavit, never mind its correspondence with the truth:

    https://www.justsecurity.org/66271/timeline-trump-giuliani-bidens-and-ukrainegate

    Sept. 4, 2019 — Shokin provides a new affidavit at the request of lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, who is fighting extradition to the United States on federal bribery and rackateering charges. In the affidavit, Shokin says he “was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors.” The affidavit was then reported on Sept. 26 in The Hill by John Solomon, by then an “opinion contributor.”

    The thing is, nobody else seems to have had impression that he was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings.

    So it would seem pretty basic – just get Joe Biden on record.

    What Joe Biden needs to avoid, though, is being asked what he did do because he can’t say:

    “I was only following Obama’s policy, and that was aimed at removing protection for Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of Burisma who denied he was the owner, and my threat took place on such and such a date and was perfectly proper. Because the only truthful thing he could say was that he made up the whole story.

    As for his son, the truth there probably is, that Burisma used Hunter Biden to create the appearance in Ukraine of being protected by the U.S. government.

    That was the main thing – he was also a compliant board member and possibly had contacts in Delaware with the best lawyers in the field of management retaining control of corporations.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  49. 47.

    So next time I get a speeding ticket, my defense will be that I was rushing to prevent Donald Trump from committing a rape.

    Your not comparing equal actions.
    In your example, it is not within your power to violate laws in your pursuit to protect a person from rape, unless you are present and can step in. Your proper response is to call those we have delegated, that protective power.

    The President of the power exercises his Article II powers. In this case, the President is working from a treaty between the United States and Ukraine to investigate corruption. The President is well within his constitutional power to actively seek that cooperation.
    You can claim the President has anterior motives. At this time no evidence exists to support that claim.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  50. 50. Clarice is not so accurate herself.

    Consider this:

    It showcased a guest who warned that if the Green New Deal wasn’t immediately enacted “people will die.” (Congress didn’t, people didn’t die, except from unsanitary conditions in places like San Francisco where street pooping is creating a public health menace.)

    People die from drug overdoses, but not from smelling bad things – unless maybe they get infected and even then it has to get into the drinking water or the food supply.

    Which is NOT happening in San Francisco.

    By the way, that defense by Rachel Maddow that nothing specific was mentioned is one of the more specious things around. People have trouble remembering what gave them their conclusion but that doesn;t mean they’re wrong.

    About her statement that someone was paid by Russia: Id’ expect some basis for that accusation, although possibly wrong – like maybe she freelanced for RT. What;s the case?

    Gornisht velt helfen (nothing will help) usually means you can’t stop the party in question from being stupid.

    Sammy Finkelman (dec35d)

  51. The President is well within his constitutional power to actively seek that cooperation.

    No, he really can’t seek “favors” by singling out political foes.

    At this time no evidence exists to support that claim.

    We all know Trump said what he said. This was completely political. He didn’t seek an investigation of corruption. He sought a favor against his political opponent, nothing more. And though the Trump talking points are always there, no matter how backwards, they are indeed backwards in this case. The prosecutor Trump claims to be defending is a Putin stooge who wouldn’t stop corruption. The theory he was going to stop this Biden corruption… at this time no evidence exists to support that claim (because it’s ridiculous).

    This is why Trump was impeached. His only defense was to do all in his power to obstruct the investigation, while saying maybe he has absolute power to obstruct anything he wants, and absolute power to refuse subpoenas, and absolute power to deny aid to one of Putin’s enemies. Were this a democrat saying he had absolute power, exhibiting such open corruption, I’m sure there would be a tight group of people pounding the table insisting the opposite is the case. Partisans.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  52. Still a great read every sunday Sammy.

    mg (8cbc69)

  53. Your proper response is to call those we have delegated, that protective power.

    And Trump’s proper response was to instruct the competent agencies to conduct a lawfully predicated and documented investigation. Not to send his personal consigliere to blackmail a foreign government.

    I find it remarkable that when the FBI screws up a couple pages in an otherwise impeccably documented paper trail of thousands, in the course of pursuing a hostile foreign government’s known attempts to tamper with our election, it is supposedly the end of the world.

    Yet here, where not even the slightest pretense was made of following ANY of the proper procedures (for instance by actually opening a legitimate investigation that would leave behind official documentation), we are told that of course there is no accountability whatsoever for trying to corruptly manipulate a foreign government into launching sham investigations of American citizens, for the sole and express purpose of ratf*cking one’s political opponent.

    The President of the power exercises his Article II powers. In this case, the President is working from a treaty between the United States and Ukraine to investigate corruption. The President is well within his constitutional power to actively seek that cooperation.

    LOL

    It was a corrupt sham to manufacture scandal and distract from the cesspool of scandals that Trump wallows in.

    Any intelligent person who claims otherwise lacks even a shred of honesty.

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. Weird. Several of my comments appeared for a bit, then disappeared. It’s happened at least twice.
    Here’s a Ukrainian view of the sketchy sources Giuliani has been using in his quest to find dirt on Biden.

    Giuliani’s three main sources in the documentary are former Ukrainian prosecutor generals Viktor Shokin and Yuri Lutsenko and Ukrainian member of parliament Andriy Derkach. Shokin is the former prosecutor who allegedly died twice without anyone in Ukraine noticing. For anyone who was reporting on Ukraine when Shokin was prosecutor general, Giuliani’s claim that Shokin was an anti-corruption crusader is ridiculous. Civil society groups tried for months to have him removed because of his failure to go after corrupt officials. Then-President Petro Poroshenko fought to keep him because in Ukraine prosecution is politicized, and you want a loyal prosecutor who can bring charges against your enemies that you can use as leverage in political negotiations. What finally stopped the deadlock was Biden threatening to block aid.
    The second prosecutor is Yuriy Lutsenko, known as Ukraine’s first prosecutor general without a law degree. He has a record of making baseless statements to grab headlines and attention; if the backlash in response to his provocative statements starts to get too big, he then rolls them back. This is exactly what happened when he falsely claimed that former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a “do not prosecute” list. Now in the documentary he is making the same claim again.
    Derkach is a member of parliament formerly of the party of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych, who is now in exile in Russia after losing power in a popular uprising five years ago. Derkach, a graduate of the KGB academy in Moscow, is known for peddling conspiracy theories.
    In short, none of these people are credible.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  55. The President of the power exercises his Article II powers. In this case, the President is working from a treaty between the United States and Ukraine to investigate corruption. The President is well within his constitutional power to actively seek that cooperation.

    Is it your position, then, that if Obama in 2016 had “exercised his Article II powers” and explicitly ordered the FBI to electronically surveil Trump and everyone connected with his presidential campaign, under the direction of his personal attorney, and in a manner that left no official documentation behind for scrutiny, on the basis of some risible pretense of suspicion of corruption, that it would have all been legal?

    If the president can “exercise his Article II powers” to gin up a politically expedient, off-the-books foreign investigation of American citizens, surely he can engineer a domestic one as well.

    Dave (1bb933)

  56. The President of the power exercises his Article II powers. In this case, the President is working from a treaty between the United States and Ukraine to investigate corruption. The President is well within his constitutional power to actively
    seek that cooperation.

    The treaty is self-executing, meaning that it doesn’t exempt Trump from federal law. It doesn’t give him license to commit federal crimes.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  57. https://nypost.com/2019/12/28/trump-impeachment-senate-gop-reportedly-unites-behind-a-no-witness-trial/

    “If we go down in the witness path, we’re going to want the whistleblower. We’re going to want Hunter Biden,” McConnell told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade last week. “You can see here that this is the kind of mutual assured destruction episode that will go on for a long time.”

    Only Hunter Biden?

    Maybe the best prediction is a short trial with no witnesses, if you assume that Nancy Pelosi is bluffing about suspending the impeachment for along time. Even to get that, Trump must be brought along and senate Republicans are arguing to him: Why not just take the acquittal?”

    But Trump is running for re-election and doesn’t want the Democrats to argue he got acquitted because of pure political mathematics while the case against him is strong. He wants public opinion to be that the case against him is wrong.

    It is, but he won’t come out looking good with a full exploration of the facts, and he same thing is true for Joe Biden – he didn’t do what Trump accused him of, but he won’t come out looking good with a full exploration of the facts,

    The problem for the Democrats with the whistleblower is:

    1) He lied under oath about ancillary issues (like contact with Congress before he filed his complaint.) This may highly embarrass the Democrats and damage any reputtion they have for honesty and lack of deviousness.

    2. There are inaccuracies in the complaint – and some things that may be accurate to some degree but undermine the popular narrative (for instance you can draw from it that Zelensky had already agreed to “play ball” by the time of the July 25 call – something that is in fact borne out by the transcript of the call)

    The problem here for the simple version of the accusation is: If Ukraine had already agreed then the aid couldn’t have been cut off to pressure them. Now he may imply that some people in the U.S. government were telling Ukraine not to listen to Giuliani. Problem here is that he seems to assert those people were Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker, while in reality it was Bill Taylor. (who told them Ukraine needed to maintain bipartisan support)

    This does get complicated. Ukraine did know the aid was cut off in July, but their American interlocutors did not know that knew until Andrei Yermak raised the issue of the Politico article of August 28.

    Why didn’t they complain? Republican counsel said it was because only the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States knew, and he didn’t inform Kiev because he was appointed by the previous government. Problem with that is that there are indications that they knew. Democratic counsel said they didn’t want Russia to know. Probldm with that explanation is that that could explain why they didn;t complain publicly but not why it wasn’t raised privately, i.e. either “Why are you doing this to us?” or OK, what do we need to do?”
    .
    Real reason probably was that their knowing that the aid was on hold could be interpreted as espionage on the United States, since they had never been officially informed.

    Another thing: Ukraine had no idea why the aid was frozen. The Politico article implied that the Trump Administration might change its whole policy with regards to Russia and Ukraine – that </i? disturbed them.

    3) Possibly deliberate inaccuracies (like saying Giuliani's main source was Lutsenkko and that Trump wanted Zelensky to retain Yuriy Lutsenko as Prosecutor General) were inserted into the whistleblower complaint that did not come from people the whistleblower talked to, but came at the suggestion of his lawyer or committee staff.. And that could also apply to things that are stated more as possibilities. They might not be his genuine best estimate.

    4) The whistleblower could provide leads to other witnesses, who may have a different take on events.

    Sammy Finkelman (da8ac2)

  58. Another thing: Ukraine had no idea why the aid was frozen.

    You mean the people Trump was screwing with were effectively unwilling to speak openly about it, because of Putin/Stalin style politics.

    Obviously they knew what was going on as Trump told them quite plainly this was about helping him get dirt on a specific political opponent.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  59. Dave (1bb933) — 12/29/2019 @ 9:36 am

    Obama in 2016 had “exercised his Article II powers” and explicitly ordered the FBI to electronically surveil Trump and everyone connected with his presidential campaign, under the direction of his personal attorney, and in a manner that left no official documentation behind for scrutiny, on the basis of some risible pretense of suspicion of corruption, that it would have all been legal?

    It really depends on whether it is risible or not, and real or not.

    The articles of Impeachment claim that Trump didn’t want a real investigation – he just wanted an announcement of one. (that’s actually what Gordon Sondland wanted in the first week of September 2019, and he wanted it to unfreeze the aid. He hoped it would work.

    Now this sounds a lot like Harry Reid on October 30, 2016.

    https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Harry_Reid_Letter_to_James_Comey_%28October_30,_2016%29

    In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government – a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity. The public has a right to know this information. I wrote to you months ago calling for this information to he released to the public. There is no danger to American interests from releasing it. And yet, you continue to resist calls to inform the public of this critical information.

    Harry Reid told Comey that he would be violating the Hatch Act if he didn’t announce it because he had announced an investigation into Hillary Clinton – which he had because he had announced back on July he was closing one but said if it was re-opened he would reveal it) Hillary of course had wanted that announcement made back in July.

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid had earlier exercised his Article I powers (influence over appropriations to push the FBI to investigate the Trump campaign back in August 2016:

    https://archive.org/stream/ReidLetterToComey08272016/2016-08-27–Reid%20Letter%20to%20Comey_djvu.txt

    The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount and has led Michael Morrell, the former Acting Central Intelligence Director, to call Trump an “unwitting agent” of Russia and the Kremlin.

    Sammy Finkelman (70818b)

  60. Dustin #33: That case is hardly on point with whether a President may invoke executive privilege. The 2nd impeachment article is about the House not getting witnesses where the President invoked that privilege. In the past these cases have been justicable on a case-by-case basis (e.g. the Watergate tape subpoenas). The House in this case was in too much of a hurry to wait for the courts.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  61. I believe they actually specifically talked about the president having to comply with a subpoena and testify. (#40)

    So the F what?! That has nothing to do with executive privilege. Not only was it a subpoena involving a personal action against the President as an individual, but the tort occurred prior to his election as President.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  62. I was listening to talk radio and Harvey Levin from TMZ was filling in on KFI and was really drilling down on a caller about whether Trump’s claim of rooting out corruption passed the smell test. Levin thought Trump’s claim was simply ludicrous and Levin was nice, but he really pinned the caller into a corner and left him there sobbing.

    I disagreed somewhat because I actually believe that having the sitting VP pimping his derelict son out to foreign parties is moderately bad for the country. Untoward at best and since people generally want something when they pay you $1,000,000 a year it put the appearance that office of the VP and access to the President could be bought for a $1,000,000
    Without the focus on him now, what would Biden have done if he became President? became a fair question to ask.
    Biden left himself out on an island by helping his son (I don’t believe he didn’t know) and Trump cut him off. Biden ‘s hubris left him dangling and gave Trump the thinnest of cover for his attack and it was all Trump needed.

    Here’s what I think about Trumps motivations: Its the Church Lady from SNL “Well, isn’t that convenient”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrAf-O_L-08

    steveg (354706)

  63. So next time I get a speeding ticket, my defense will be that I was rushing to prevent Donald Trump from committing a rape.

    Feel free. I’m not sure that you can subpoena people in a speeding ticket case, but you are of course entitled to call any witness you want, subject to the court’s patience.

    In this case a subpoena, backed by a Senate vote, is legally enforceable. That some consider it a waste of time, or a furtherance of a lousy argument is immaterial. The defense is entitled to bring such arguments as seems helpful to their case.

    Biden’s refusal is no more innocent that Trump’s use of the subpoena.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  64. >>The President is well within his constitutional power to actively seek that cooperation.

    No, he really can’t seek “favors” by singling out political foes.

    And here I agree with Dustin, and the 1st article of impeachment is not dismissable on its face. BUt I may disagree on two points:

    1) That in and of itself, the actions charged, if proved, are sufficient to remove a President from office. That was the real question in the Clinton case; not whether he committed perjury or obstruction — he clearly did at least some of that — but whether he should be removed as a result. The vote is not simply on the charges, it is simultaneously on the penalty. And THAT part of the vote is entirely political.

    2) That it is certain what Trump’s motivations were in his call, and what the actual facts of the situation wrt the Bidens and Ukraine were that led to that request of Ukraine.

    I think that Dustin is at “Guilty, guilty, guilty” where some of us are less certain of the facts, having only heard spin so far.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  65. Another thing: Ukraine had no idea why the aid was frozen.

    Dustin (cafb36) — 12/29/2019 @ 9:46 am

    You mean the people Trump was screwing with were effectively unwilling to speak openly about it, because of Putin/Stalin style politics.

    No, the really had no idea. Nobody had any idea, except possily Mulvaney and Bolton. And I think the reason had nothing to do with investigations, but had to do with Trump thinking there were bad people associated with the Ukrainian government, the same bad people, he was told, who had tried to take him down in 2016 and had been associated with Marie Yovanovich, the ambassador who Pompeo removed and recalled before Trump could attempt to fire her.

    Obviously they knew what was going on as Trump told them quite plainly this was about helping him get dirt on a specific political opponent.

    That is manifestly not the case. Trump wanted to check out specific allegations, and while he was incoherent about 2016, he did describe the allegation in the case of Biden. It was that Joe Biden had caused the firing of a prosecutor to stop an investigation that would have impacted his son Hunter in some way, and had boasted about in a recorded speech.

    That was wrongheaded in several ways, and the problem for Ukraine was telling Donald Trump he was wrong. Zelensky talked about investigating the company.

    Helping him get “dirt” would mean a witch hunt or a fishing expedition. There is not the slightest evidence of anything like that. What you are referring to is Adam Schiff’s misrepresentation.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  66. Basically the entire impeachment charge comes down to “Trump is a petty man, and uses his power to petty purposes.” The outrage is not about how he twisted a foreign leaders arm — Presidents do that ALL the time, and should — but the utter pettiness of his reasons.

    If we are to impeach a President due to his (many) character defects and argue his unsuitability for office, despite the electorate having been aware of that when they voted for him, fine. Do that. It would make a much better case.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  67. Again, if Trump can show a reasonable argument that his call to Ukraine was within bounds, then the entire indictment collapses. It is not a noble act when the people who he charges with the actual wrongdoing to refuse to testify. They are free to take the 5th Amendment, of course.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  68. The Democrats went on a fishing trip for obstruction.
    They started with Sessions, moved to Comey, then Mueller and now executive privilege after figuring out the first three were dry holes.
    A client can ask lawyers about things that he can’t legally do… he is asking their advice as people who know the laws, because he doesn’t. The client may persist by asking what about this? What if we do that? The client can order an attorney to do something and the attorney might say no I won’t do that because it would be obstruction or no, if you do that it will be obstruction.
    To my ear, Trump sounds like a guy in an obstruction minefield who knows nothing about what criminal obstruction is.
    I believe that is why Mueller could not find criminal intent. The FBI and prosecutors know obstruction in and out but they punted to Congress where the standards are politicized.

    If Trump was in private life he could shut up, say and do nothing and let the lawyers handle it. He’s not. He wanted to be President and wasn’t ready for it on the legal side.
    I really disliked Comey, even more, when I heard him pontificate about how they had gotten to Flynn, but that is really on Trump because he didn’t see the “Lawfare” coming his way

    steveg (354706)

  69. The “favors” that Trump wanted from Ukraine were for it:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

    to find out what happened [in 2016] … to get to the bottom of it… to find out about that [Biden causing the firing of a prosecutor to stop an investigation]

    And at the end he said:

    I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I’m sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything.

    This was not a hint to make up stuff. The “get to the bottom of it” refers to 2016 and “good luck with everything refers to the Biden allegation as well. That was very clearly a secondary matter with Trump, although the House Intelligence Committee Chairman and the whistleblower complaint reversed the order and oriority.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)


  70. Mairav Zonszein מרב זונשיין
    @MairavZ
    ·
    Just to be clear, I hold the Trump White House directly responsible for the increasing violent attacks on Orthodox Jewish people in America. It should be clear now that exceptionalizing Jews- whether in a negative or positive light- endangers us and keeps us forever at risk
    __ _

    Integralist Kanye
    @Stonewall_State
    ·
    Siri show me “Trump Derangement Syndrome”
    __ _

    RussiaGate Was 100% Fake SpyGate Is 100% Real
    @drawandstrike
    ·
    You are asserting that Trump has MORE influence over the people committing these violent assaults on Orthodox Jews in the NYC area than, let’s say…Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton?

    These black perpetrators are being inspired by TRUMP?

    Are you **really** sure of that? 🤔
    __ _

    InTheRightColumn
    @TheRightColumn
    ·
    I’m sure he yelled, “This is MAGA country!” right before attacking, too.

    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  71. Trump was actually puzzled by the idea that Joe Biden had openly revealed he’d stopped an investigation. (Biden didn’t say he’s stopped a prosecution since the idea that Viktor Shokin was a real threat to the company Hunter Biden was associated with is spin and false information given to Giuliani by his Ukraianian informants.

    Here is Trump on September 25, the day he released the transcript of the July 25 call:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-president-zelensky-ukraine-bilateral-meeting-new-york-ny

    PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think that somebody, if you look at what he [Joe biden] did, it’s so bad — where his son he goes to China, he walks away with a billion and a half dollars. [not personally] He goes to Ukraine and he walks away with $50,000 a month and a lot of money in addition to that. And the whole thing with the prosecutor in Ukraine.

    And he’s on tape. This isn’t like “maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t.” He’s on tape doing this. I saw this a while ago. I looked at it and I said, “That’s incredible. I’ve never seen anything like that.” Now, either he’s dumb, or he thought he was in a room full of really good friends, or maybe it’s a combination of both, in his case.

    No, it’s that Donald Trump has his facts wrong, and doesn’t listen to what is actually on the recording.

    For what Joe Biden said on January 23, 2018 in the Q&A period of his presentation before the Council on Foreign Relations was:

    https://www.cfr.org/event/foreign-affairs-issue-launch-former-vice-president-joe-biden

    —I think the Donbas has potential to be able to be solved, but it takes two things. One of those things is missing now. And that is I’m desperately concerned about the backsliding on the part of Kiev in terms of corruption. They made—I mean, I’ll give you one concrete example. I was—not I, but it just happened to be that was the assignment I got. I got all the good ones. And so I got Ukraine. And I remember going over, convincing our team, our leaders to—convincing that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

    So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

    Now that story with the threatened or actual cancellation of his participation in a press conference is almost certainly not true, which is why Joe Biden doesn’t want to testify, and why the Ukraianian slanderers picked that out, but in the story, Joe Biden does not say he caused the firing of a prosecutor to stop an investigation.

    The Ukrainian slanderers were I think probably working on behalf of Russia.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  72. Giuliani at least understood that Joe Biden does not say he caused the firing of a prosecutor to stop an investigation. He claimed he hid that from his audience. somebody else probably gave Donald Trump that spin – a background fact that was wrong.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  73. The Partyman
    @PartymanRandy
    ·
    It’s looking like the Hanukkah machete attack will end up being a slightly bigger story than the kosher grocery store massacre.

    But not nearly as big a story as when a couple West Point cadets made circles with their fingers.
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  74. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/simpsons-30-times-fox-comedy-successfully-predicted-future-1140775

    “We’ve inherited quite a budget crunch from President Trump.”

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  75. @harkin @73 Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton have been around for some time and target an older generation and Sharpton is not encouraging hatred now. I think this is somebody new and, at the moment, obscure. I don’t think it is isolated. There have been a bunch of smaller assaults

    https://heavy.com/news/2019/12/thomas-grafton/

    Thirty seven years old, the suspect previously lived in Brooklyn. He has no known social media accounts but seems to be connected to a woman in her 50s with a Faceook page who has worked as anurse.. No criminal record except a driving offense (for which he was probably arrested) but he did have an arrest during the summmer for menacing and reckless endangerment – the charges were adjourned in contemplation of dismissal if he stayed out of trouble. he has either two or several arrests or charges. One for puncutring a police horse

    He lives either with his father or with his mother (confusion here) There is confusion about his name too.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  76. Sammy, you have twisted yourself into a knot 500 ways but the plain facts, devoid of the noise and the spin and the bluster and the bloviating, speak for themselves.

    Nic (896fdf)

  77. @79 (On the trump stuff, not the antisemetic attack stuff.)

    Nic (896fdf)

  78. I wanted to post thsi a week ago and more:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/world/middleeast/syria-medical-criminalization.html

    (Syria declares war on the Hippocratic oath)

    I think they got the idea from Saudi arabia though.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  79. 79. Nic (896fdf) — 12/29/2019 @ 1:00 pm

    Sammy, you have twisted yourself into a knot 500 ways but the plain facts, devoid of the noise and the spin and the bluster and the bloviating, speak for themselves.

    The simple explanation is provably wrong.

    https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/05/13/einstein-simple/

    Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler

    Here is why Trump withheld the aid:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unclassified09.2019.pdf

    …the United States has been very very good to Ukraine. I wouldn’t say that it’s reciprocal necessarily because things are happening [N.B. in 2019 – SF] that are not good but the United States has been very very good to Ukraine…..[later] The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, [in 2016] the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. [Later] …. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.

    Trump doesn’t say more, and presumably wants Giuliani to brief Zelensky or his people on who are the bad people in Ukraine. (the only problem is Giuliani already had)

    Rudy very much knows what’s happening [present tense = 2019 – SF] and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great.

    Trump withheld the aid mainly because he thought there were bad people in the Ukrainian government, some of them being the same people who had done whatever he imagined happened in 2016, and he wanted Zelensky to get rid of them.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  80. #74: It doesn’t matter what the real truth of the matter was, just what Trump believed it was. It would help a lot if he was right, of course, and it will hurt a lot if he told people he was going to “get Biden.”

    I will matter a lot when the trial testimony happens. Not only will the Bidens have to testify, if called, but so will Trump’s people. I’d hate to be the attorney mouthpiece trying to defend “Executive Privilege” in an impeachment trial.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  81. *IT will matter a lot….

    I probably won’t matter much.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  82. @83 The crowdstrike ask, even if he believed that trash rumors, is still a personal favor for personal benefit ask and is still only half the ask. He still isn’t going through proper channels to request an investigation and he is still using extortion for self-benefit.

    Nic (896fdf)

  83. 59. No crime. Stop lying that a crime exists. The House Impeachment lynch mob, failed at finding a crime.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  84. 56. I find it remarkable that when the FBI screws up a couple pages in an otherwise impeccably documented paper trail of thousands, in the course of pursuing a hostile foreign government’s known attempts to tamper with our election, it is supposedly the end of the world.

    You have no intention of debating in good faith. If you spin-off, altering of warrant information as sloppy, that’s an intentional lie.

    Your other post about your hypothetical, of Obama ordering surveillance of the Trump campaign, is no hypothetical, facts publicly available show it to be factually accurate.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  85. 86.He still isn’t going through proper channels to request an investigation and he is still using extortion for self-benefit.

    The President of the United States determines “proper” channels. Not, some dopey Lt Colonel that believes he sets foreign policy, not the President.

    Extortion is a crime. A crime with defined elements. Yet, somehow the smartest lawyers in the US, those working with the House on articles of impeachment, failed to include extortion in those articles. Or maybe you’re just tossing around big words you don’t understand?

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  86. The President of the United States determines “proper” channels. Not, some dopey Lt Colonel that believes he sets foreign policy, not the President.

    We have a Constitution and a set of laws that set out “proper channels.” The president does not have carte blanche to do whatever he wants, and I can’t imagine that any defender of Trump would have typed that first sentence while Obama was president.

    I also can’t imagine any Trump defender thinking it would have been okay for a Democratic president to leave the State Department confused as to what his “foreign policy” actually is, and in the dark about why funding allocated by Congress is being blocked, while the president’s personal lawyer goes around doing shadow foreign policy but then says it isn’t really “foreign policy” but merely client service when he’s caught, while Trump defenders insist that’s all in the national interest etc.

    It’s also pretty funny to see someone describing other people as “dopey” while defending the most cognitively impaired president in anyone’s memory.

    Radegunda (39c35f)

  87. “Obama ordering surveillance of the Trump campaign, is no hypothetical, facts publicly available show it to be factually accurate.’

    What fact shows Obama ordering it?

    Davethulhu (fe4242)

  88. I find it remarkable that when the FBI screws up a couple pages in an otherwise impeccably documented paper trail of thousands, in the course of pursuing a hostile foreign government’s known attempts to tamper with our election, it is supposedly the end of the world.

    Well the Article III judges who review that supposedly minor “screw up” did not think it a small matter at all. Why don’t you review their order, it is 3 1/2 single-spaced pages:

    https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6600-fisa-court-demands-answers-fro/87f1132ddc399b0c99b1/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

    Here is a key couple of sentences:

    The FBI’ s handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the OIG report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above. The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession , and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.

    IF you do not appreciate how serious this misconduct is, then you are either wildly partisan or deaf, dumb and blind. FISA itself is already problematic (a secret court, accepting ex parte applications to bless spying); misleading that court is putting the FBI’s credibility on the line.

    Bored Lawyer (56c962)

  89. @90 Nice country you have there. Too bad if we let something happen to it.

    They didn’t include extortion in the articles of impeachment. However, as a thinking person, I am able to look at a fact pattern and determine what I think has happened. OJ murdered his ex even thought he was never criminally convicted of it.

    You are spending an awful lot of time insulting people. How’s that distraction technique working for you?

    Nic (896fdf)

  90. “ I find it remarkable that when the FBI screws up a couple pages in an otherwise impeccably documented paper trail of thousands…….”

    lol
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  91. A couple headlines from this week that I will just leave here:

    Transgender man gives birth to non-binary partner’s baby with female sperm donor

    Bodybuilder set to marry his sex robot girlfriend ‘despite frequent arguments’
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  92. Transgender man gives birth to non-binary partner’s baby with female sperm donor
    let me see…woman pretending to be a man gives birth to a baby conceived with sperm donated by a man pretending to be a woman….the non-binary partner seems to be a null term in this equation.


    Bodybuilder set to marry his sex robot girlfriend ‘despite frequent arguments’

    Compared to the first headline, that seems so normal it restores my faith in humanity.

    Kishnevi (5ca3cd)

  93. I probably won’t matter much.

    You matter a great deal to us, Mr M.

    Kishnevi (5ca3cd)

  94. Transgender man gives birth to non-binary partner’s baby with female sperm donor

    Bodybuilder set to marry his sex robot girlfriend ‘despite frequent arguments’

    Donald Trump Elected President Of The United States

    nk (dbc370)

  95. The Gelded Age: A History Of The Early 21st Century

    nk (dbc370)

  96. @96 Stop reading tabloids or you’ll start believing Elvis is living in North Dakota, imprisoned by an ex nuclear scientist.

    Nic (896fdf)

  97. “ and argue his unsuitability for office, despite the electorate having been aware of [those] when they voted for him, fine. Do that..”

    – Kevin M

    That is, in fact, what is being done – or did you not understand the euphemisms? I know you did.

    Stop pretending to not understand what is going on. You know damn well what is going on. Take an actual position as to what is going on, and stop school-marming us about it. You insist on having this both ways, but you cannot.

    Leviticus (7fcc89)

  98. 91. We have a Constitution and a set of laws that set out “proper channels.”

    Big talk. Well, except you failed to, you know, cite that portion of the constitution that restricts the Presidents actions in dealing with a foreign relations.

    You also failed to cite these “laws” that congress passed, AND the President signed, that limits the executive branches power in setting foriegn policy.

    So you are all over “it”, as long as we ignore the lack of facts to support your assertions.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  99. There’s a couple of shelves full of books labelled USC and CFR…they limit what POTUS can and can not do.

    And I am sure you think there are some limits on what POTUS can do in foreign affairs. Otherwise he could tweet out “just gave my good friend Kim permission to test his latest missile on Portland. Full of Antifa Democrats, so it’s not like anyone really cares about Portland.”

    Kishnevi (5ca3cd)

  100. “ Stop reading tabloids or you’ll start believing Elvis is living in North Dakota, imprisoned by an ex nuclear scientist.”

    The ‘bat boy’ has him at Area 51, everyone knows that.

    harkin (d6cfee)

  101. If a tabloid can define
    “A woman pretending to be a man gives birth to a baby conceived with sperm donated by a man pretending to be a woman….the non-binary partner seems to be a null term in this equation”[Thank you, Kishnevi]
    As
    “Transgender man gives birth to non-binary partner’s baby with female sperm donor”
    Then
    Why can’t poor Mr. President Trump call his attempted drug deal with Zelensky a “perfect call”?
    And
    Why, illustrating the most controversial aspect of The Bell, should it be a surprise that a certain demographic believes it?

    nk (dbc370)

  102. *The Bell Curve*

    nk (dbc370)

  103. Or The Bell Jar, for that matter.

    nk (dbc370)

  104. 97 – “ let me see…woman pretending to be a man gives birth to a baby conceived with sperm donated by a man pretending to be a woman….the non-binary partner seems to be a null term in this equation.”
    _

    You’re on the same wavelength as Mrs McAfee:

    Janice McAfee
    @theemrsmcafee
    ·
    I got you… a woman pretending to be a man gives birth, with sperm from a man pretending to be a woman, while living with a partner that pretends to be neither.

    Hope that clears things up for you.😉
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  105. But is it Elvis’s Alien Clone Baby?

    nk (dbc370)

  106. In fact, not being completely up to date in my terminology, the term “non binary partner” was a bit confusing. One might say that since it was non binary, it did not compute.

    Kishnevi (5ca3cd)

  107. Switch hitter.

    nk (dbc370)

  108. More like
    Chronic bunter.

    Kishnevi (5ca3cd)

  109. Nobody wants to talk about the orange retweeting the outing of the whistleblower as a third Article of Impeachment? Sophia @Surfermom77 is protected by the Pentagon Papers Case, but government officials are not. For those who want a statutory crime, involving governmental misconduct, here’s one right here.

    nk (dbc370)

  110. but but but Trump has absolute article 2 power to determine who is a real whistleblower so of course and clearly no crime no crime. Besides, ‘member that thing the democrats did?

    Dustin (cafb36)

  111. Nobody wants to talk about the orange retweeting the outing of the whistleblower as a third Article of Impeachment? Sophia @Surfermom77 is protected by the Pentagon Papers Case, but government officials are not. For those who want a statutory crime, involving governmental misconduct, here’s one right here.

    nk (dbc370) — 12/29/2019 @ 9:00 pm

    I can’t tell if you’re joking anymore.

    A partisan operative that coordinated with the party trying to overturn the 2016 election who everyone knows is still a “secret whistleblower?” Food for thought.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  112. I’m serious, and I suggest that the whistleblower’s identity is more confidential than Trump’s tax returns who “everyone knows” is a self-made billionaire with over 500 subsidiary businesses.

    nk (dbc370)

  113. orange man bad sure rattles the squirrels cage

    mg (8cbc69)

  114. ”Nobody wants to talk about the orange retweeting the outing of the whistleblower as a third Article of Impeachment?”
    nk (dbc370) — 12/29/2019 @ 9:00 pm

    You don’t know the person named is the (non)whistleblower. An article of impeachment would confirm the identity and actually out him.

    Otherwise, all the ridiculous contortions the media is going through to justify not publishing his name would be baseless. So, which nonsense are we going with?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  115. Ah, yes, the blackmailers’ standby: “If you go to the police, the whole world will know.” It won’t work here. Lemmee splain why.

    There is conspiracy and attempt. Breaking into the city morgue thinking that it’s a bank is still attempted bank robbery which is a crime. Just like the Ukrainian drug deal gone bad. The orange didn’t get the dirt he wanted on Biden there either.

    nk (dbc370)

  116. John lewis a grate american.

    asset (97695a)

  117. Right after the election can’t wait for Trump to pardon Flynn, Stone and Manafort. We will need the cell space for Obama, Clinton and Comey.

    mg (8cbc69)

  118. No crime. Stop lying that a crime exists.

    I’ll take that as a personal attack, iowan. Don’t be an a$$hole.
    Federal crimes were committed by Donald J. Trump, and that just’s on Ukraine.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  119. It was a mistake for Vice President Biden to refuse to testify before the Senate trial a month ahead. It could be a moment to shine right before the Iowa Caucuses if he needed it. And he hasn’t aided the Democrats’ legitimacy by adding himself to the list of those refusing to testify.

    Speaking of those Administration officials who won’t comply. The Senate is run by a Republican majority. There is no excuse for them or Republican Senators to keep everyone in the dark. Are they afraid that Mitch McConnell might actually allow questioning of a witness with firsthand knowledge?

    Or is it now their position…. “Hearsay. We want only hearsay.”?

    noel (f22371)

  120. 123. Those 8 crimes?

    Campaign finance? Nope lacks elements that define the crime. We already have a DoJ ruling, speciically for this phone call. Fail.

    Missing documents and witnesses. Its called executive privilege. Congress has not attempted to enforce their subpoenas. Judicial review is something available to all citizens, even the President of the United States.

    The Impoundment act?
    The President paused delivery of the aid. Fact. The President was well within his powers, nay, required to assure anti corruption programs were in place and functioning. Yes US agencies had cleared that portion. That does not preclude the President from pausing the aid to double check. It is within his power. The aid was delivered within the legal parameters required by the statute.

    The problem you have with claiming all of these actions meet the standard for a crime, so warrant an impeachment, all Presidents then will be guilty of exactly the same things. Democrats understand. Lower the standard enough to justify going after Orangeman, exposes any person sitting in the Oval office.
    In short, stop claiming a crime has been committed, long after the investigation, has failed to find evidence, elements of that crime exist. Just Stop.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  121. A DOJ ruling is irrelevant, iowan, especially with this lapdog AG. The place to adjudicate this president’s crimes is in the House and Senate, not by the president’s appointee. This is why we have impeachment in the Constitution, because our founders were smart enough to know that a subordinate cannot indict his boss. It takes another branch of government.
    The case has been made. There is enough documentary and testamentary evidence, along with Trump’s and Mulvaney’s own words, to prove that Trump enlisted a foreign power to rig an American election in his favor, and that Trump withheld military aid to secure that foreign power’s cooperation. It’s not only illegal, it’s unpatriotic and un-American.
    The problem with Trump’s violation of the Impoundment Act is that he didn’t notify Congress under law. If he honestly had issues, there were ways to deal with it legally instead of using the aid as a bargaining chip.
    Oh, and you can’t order me “stop claiming a crime has been committed”, and I won’t do it, especially from people like you who resort to personal attacks. This president is a felon, a federal criminal, multiple times over.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  122. Iowan2,

    I give you credit for honestly explaining the situation and properly portraying what is happening in this case. Don’t bother debating people who will continue to dishonestly try and frame the discussion and claim assertion as fact. You have been here long enough to know who is trying to discuss the case and who is purely asserting their own agenda.

    In other news, Jews and Christians keep getting attacked, but not a peep from their representatives.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  123. I’m not surprised that a person like NJ would join iowan in personal attacks. He’s done it before.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  124. I’m not surprised that a person like NJ would join iowan in personal attacks. He’s done it before.

    This sort of reasoning seems rather popular here. Rightly or wrongly, people have a right to say that a comment is irrational or dishonest or, well, even stupid. It’s quite often done in the OP before discussion even has a chance to get heated. When a commenter (commentor?) repeatedly comments in such a manner, to say ‘consider the source’, or something more concise, is not necessarily an ad hominem nor a personal attack (there is a difference). Again, rightly or wrongly. And people have a right to be wrong. It’s what open and honest discussion is about. Heck, to wrongly accuse someone of making personal attacks is itself a personal attack.

    PTw (894877)

  125. Attorney General opinions are binding, on the government, prospectively. If the Attorney General signs a letter that it’s legal to whistle Dixie while strolling past the Mormon Tabernacle on a sunny day in lederhosen and an aloha shirt, then the government cannot prosecuted you for whistling Dixie while strolling past the Mormon Tabernacle on a sunny day in lederhosen and an aloha shirt.

    Retrospectively, they are only an analysis of the exercise of prosecutorial discretion; which discretion is furhter colored both by the pre-existing DOJ policy of not prosecuting sitting Presidents and Barr being Trump’s handmaiden.

    nk (dbc370)

  126. Heck, to wrongly accuse someone of making personal attacks is itself a personal attack.

    Tell me how “stop lying” is not a personal attack, or “dishonestly try and frame the discussion”. You’re on the wrong side of this issue, PT.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  127. Tell me how “stop lying” is not a personal attack, or “dishonestly try and frame the discussion”. You’re on the wrong side of this issue, PT.

    Show me where NJRob, the person whom you conflate with Iowan2, told you to “stop lying”. This is silly. My point is this constant crying about ‘personal attacks’ and ‘ad hominem’ and such comes across as a cheap attempt to derail the general discussion and play the victim card. It’s so wimpy. Note, not saying that you are a wimp. You’re just being wimpy. In that context.

    Look, if someone says you are lying then man up and defend your statement. And if he said you were a liar in general, defend yourself. But don’t cry about it. It’s not healthy.

    PTw (894877)

  128. Impeachment is political. It just is. The one that came the closest to actually removing the President was caused by the President violating a likely unconstitutional law that deserved the treatment it got.

    So, I find the discussion on whether the President violated some law or other by withholding aid from the Ukraine to induce the President of Ukraine to announce an investigation against his likely political opponent beside the point. The better question is whether the action was egregiously improper, and whether Trump was using his foreign policy powers in an improper fashion to influence the 2020 election. A second question is whether this action, if improper, merits removal.

    I find these questions cut to the chase, and do not result in the acrimonious debate we have on this thread.

    Gerald Ford said one thing worth quoting and this is it. “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history. Conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two-thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.”

    The rest is based on whether you feel like Trump’s action was disgraceful, disgusting, or “I’ve seen worse stuff om House of cards”.

    By the way, I would impeach and remove. The Senate does not agree, and no amount of facts is going to make them.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  129. Paul,

    you’ve attacked me and called me names on here repeatedly. Do you want me to link the attacks? You refuse to apologize and break the rules time and time again.

    Go on.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  130. Show me where NJRob, the person whom you conflate with Iowan2, told you to “stop lying”.

    I didn’t conflate, I quoted each, and there are rules here.

    Look, if someone says you are lying then man up and defend your statement.

    That’s not how it works. If you say I’m lying, or if you make any assertion, then it’s on you back it up, PT.

    …you’ve attacked me and called me names on here repeatedly.

    Not in this thread, NJ, and I bring it up here because you’re piling on, which is a cheap thing to do. And I guess you’re just unaware of your previous personal attacks against me on this site, so your whining falls on deaf ears.

    Paul Montagu (280314)

  131. Let’s change the subject to something more pleasant: If the Senate votes remove (20 votes, just 20 little votes), it’s done right then and there. Trump is no longer and Pence “acts as President” even before the Chief Justice swears him in as President.

    What does this mean besides the Secret Service escorting him and his family out of the White House to make room for the new President and his family? Pardon Power All Gone! Trump cannot pardon himself or his confederates and not being the President any more can now be prosecuted! Isn’t that a wonderful thought?

    nk (dbc370)

  132. votes *to* remove
    is no longer *President*

    nk (dbc370)

  133. Nk,

    it’s a fantasy. If you want to watch a movie or read a book go ahead. But it’s not plausible in the real world.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  134. So I won’t quote your remarks then Paul. I’m not piling on anything. I’m stating my opinion and responding to another commenter.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  135. 133. Thank you. That is one of the most succinct analyses I think I’ve ever seen on this subject matter.

    Gryph (08c844)

  136. I “know” that, and you “know” that, NJRob, but does Trump “know” that, or why is he going wild on Twitter? “Crazy Nancy”? “America’s top cop is scum”? Seriously?

    nk (dbc370)

  137. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=92&v=J67MMTqcyAo&feature=emb_logo

    Thank God the parishioners were armed and able to defend themselves rather than just be victims to this monster.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  138. Nk,

    I don’t pay attention to his twitter feed so I don’t know. I’m guess it’s just to control the news and get the media to play ball by focusing on his remarks instead of anything else. If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that he loves attention to the point of narcissism.

    Twitter is a cesspool.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  139. I am having a hard time reconciling these two statements, Appalled:

    The better question is whether the action was egregiously improper, and whether Trump was using his foreign policy powers in an improper fashion to influence the 2020 election.

    and

    Gerald Ford said one thing worth quoting and this is it. “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers to be at a given moment in history.

    It seems Ford thought impeachment is entirely political but the first sentence requires some kind of improper conduct, although it may not rise to the level of a crime. I think the first sentence is right in theory but Ford was viewing it pragmatically.

    Raul (d18ca6)

  140. @133. Good weather report. The problem w/managing Trump always comes back to the same thing: discipline. If Dead Daddy Fred, military school profs, several wives and mistresses, a few NYC mayors, network TeeVee execs, Wall Street bankers and even Merv Griffin couldn’t reign him in– the pipsqueaks in Congress certainly won’t.

    Congress blew any chance of that when they failed to assert authority by establishing guard rails w/this guy and smacking him across the snout through initiating censure proceedings the day after Helsinki. Now it’s too late and he’ll keep soiling the carpet just as he has his whole life. “Impeachment” – partial or full- may sting for a while but won’t hurt for long in this 24/7 media cycle age. W/a strong economy, he’ll be re-elected.

    The country sees this for what it is– the cries of ‘urgency’ evaporated fast now that Nancy is making a political play w/her ‘Big Stall.’ She who hesitates has lost. The Beltway crowd and television punditry may be salivating over a Senate show trial but in the end, all these major parties have done is cheapen the cache of impeachment even more by weaponizing it further [thank you, imbecile Newtie!] Busy Americans are moving on from it PDQ- putting it in the rearview mirror along with the holidays– and 2019.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  141. @144. Ford was right. You could comb though every presidency and create some pretense for ‘impeachment’ proceedings- if you can get the votes. Hell, Nixon liked to mix cottage cheese with ketchup; tapes be damned– that alone merited an article of impeachment!

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  142. Pragmatism is designed to be efficient, effective, economical and provides the greatest good to the greatest number of people. But “the greatest good” is based on opinion and it ignores the concerns of the minority.

    Raul (d18ca6)

  143. Paul,

    They get personal because they have no alternative. I used to bother trying to placate but Trump supporters understand he is evil. They are a reminder for future generations of what can happen when people worship politicians.

    NK, that is indeed a pleasant thought.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  144. NJRob (4d595c) — 12/30/2019 @ 10:32 am
    Thank you for that link, NJRob. Is this incident being covered by the MSM?

    felipe (023cc9)

  145. @149 The link appears to be to CBS evening news’ youtube. CBS news is as MSM as it gets.

    Nic (896fdf)

  146. 126. This president is a felon, a federal criminal, multiple times over.

    Paul Montagu (280314) — 12/30/2019 @ 6:30 am

    See? That’s three lies in one sentence. The poster is a liar by these three examples

    AND, again…if all of these were (we’ll dismiss the ‘crime’ label, but its the left that insists on comparing this to a criminal proceeding) enough to impeach President Donald J Trump. House lawyers would have all of these eight articles, in the articles of impeachment. They don’t have any of them, except obstruction of Congress. Something lots of previous Presidents have done, seeking judicial review.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  147. Paul 123 provided a link that argues Trump has committed crimes and explains which ones and why. It is not a lie to believe Trump has committed crimes.

    DRJ (15874d)

  148. 126. A DOJ ruling is irrelevant, iowan, especially with this lapdog AG.

    Yet another leftist defiling the Rule of Law. Not that I’m surprised. The Dept of Justice opinions carry the weight of law, until court rulings or statutes say other wise.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  149. 152. Paul labeled President Trump a felon. That is a lie. Arguing a person committed a crime does not make them a criminal. We are all innocent, until proven guilty.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  150. This thread is a court of public opinion, not law, iowan. I’ve seen enough evidence to conclude Trump is a multi-offending criminal. That’s not a lie, it’s a well-researched and supported opinion.
    Because of OLC guidelines, it is just a fact that the DOJ cannot make a legal ruling on a president’s criminal acts or indict a sitting president. It’s why they pass it off to a Special Counsel.

    Paul Montagu (f34b5a)

  151. Words have meaning. Your opinion, no matter how highly you think of yourself, is not fact.

    From Blacks Law Dictionary

    CRIMINAL,
    One who has committed a criminal offense; one who has been legally convicted of a crime; one adjudged guilty of crime. Molineux v. Collins. 177 N. Y. 395. 09 N. E. 727, 65 L. R. A. 104.

    Until you get a ruling from a judge. President Trump’s phone call has nothing to do with Campaign Finance law. That is the Ruling from the Department of Justice.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  152. Nic (896fdf) — 12/30/2019 @ 1:56 pm

    Heh! True.

    felipe (023cc9)

  153. 152. Paul labeled President Trump a felon. That is a lie. Arguing a person committed a crime does not make them a criminal. We are all innocent, until proven guilty.

    iowan2 (9c8856) — 12/30/2019 @ 2:51 pm

    We’re presumed innocent by the courts, but we’re not all innocent. Some people are, in fact, in reality, guilty.

    Trump is guilty of sexual assault, for example. He bragged about sexually assaulting a lot of women. It’s just a plain plum fact that Trump is a felon. Calling someone a liar for quoting Trump is a really Trumpy way of defending him.

    Let’s just be honest. Trump is a terrible man and it’s hilarious that he’s been impeached. I am really happy about it.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  154. Impeachment is a political act, Donald Trump has been impeached. For illustrative purposes, two of the articles of impeachment for one of the other two presidents to be impeached, both mild in comparison to what this moron has done and how he has behaved. He’s unfit for office, not just because he’s an unindicted co-conspirator to someone in prison for the crimes committed in conjunction with Trump, the 10 counts of obstruction of justice previously defined, neither of which the DOJ is going to prosecute him for while in office. He’s mentally unfit, morally unfit, just unfit.

    ARTICLE 10.That said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his high office and the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony and courtesies which ought to exist and be maintained between the executive and legislative branches of the Government of the United States, designing and intending to set aside the rightful authorities and powers of Congress, did attempt to bring into disgrace, ridicule, hatred, contempt and reproach, the Congress of the United States, and the several branches thereof, to impair and destroy the regard and respect of all the good people of the United States for the Congress and the legislative power thereof, which all officers of the government ought inviolably to preserve and maintain, and to excite the odium and resentment of all good people of the United States against Congress and the laws by it duly and constitutionally enacted; and in pursuance of his said design and intent, openly and publicly and before divers assemblages of citizens of the United States, convened in divers parts thereof, to meet and receive said Andrew Johnson as the Chief Magistrate of the United States, did, on the eighteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and on divers other days and times, as well before as afterwards, make and declare, with a loud voice, certain intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous harangues, and therein utter loud threats and bitter menaces, as well against Congress as the laws of the United States duly enacted thereby, amid the cries, jeers and laughter of the multitudes then assembled in hearing, which are set forth in the several specifications hereinafter written, in substance and effect, that it to say:

    “Specification First. In this, that at Washington, in the District of Columbia, In the Executive Mansion, to a committee of citizens who called upon the President of the United States, speaking of and concerning the Congress of the United States, heretofore, to wit: On the 18th day of August, in the year of our Lord, 1866, in a loud voice, declare in substance and effect, among other things, that is to say:

    “So far as the Executive Department of the government is concerned, the effort has been made to restore the Union, to heal the breach, to pour oil into the wounds which were consequent upon the struggle, and, to speak in a common phrase, to prepare, as the learned and wise physician would, a plaster healing in character and co-extensive with the wound. We thought and we think that we had partially succeeded, but as the work progresses, as reconstruction seemed to be taking place, and the country was becoming reunited, we found a disturbing and moving element opposing it. In alluding to that element it shall go no further than your Convention, and the distinguished gentleman who has delivered the report of the proceedings, I shall make no reference that I do not believe, and the time and the occasion justify. We have witnessed in one department of the government every endeavor to prevent the restoration of peace, harmony and union. We have seen hanging upon the verge of the government, as it were, a body called or which assumes to be the Congress of the United States, while in fact it is a Congress of only part of the States. We have seen this Congress pretend to be for the Union, when its every step and act tended to perpetuate disunion and make a disruption of States inevitable. We have seen Congress gradually encroach, step by step, upon constitutional rights, and violate day after day, and month after month, fundamental principles of the government. We have seen a Congress that seemed to forget that there was a limit to the sphere and scope of legislation. We have seen a Congress in a minority assume to exercise power which, if allowed to be consummated, would result in despotism or monarchy itself.”

    “Specification Second. In this, that at Cleveland, in the State of Ohio, heretofore to wit: On the third day of September, in the year of our Lord, 1866, before a public assemblage of citizens and others, said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, speaking of and concerning the Congress of the United States, did, in a loud voice, declare in substance and effect, among other things, that is to say:

    “I will tell you what I did do? I called upon your Congress that is trying to break up the government. In conclusion, beside that Congress had taken much pains to poison the constituents against him, what has Congress done? Have they done anything to restore the union of the States? No. On the contrary, they had done everything to prevent it: and because he stood now where he did when the Rebellion commenced, he had been denounced as a traitor, Who had run greater risks or made greater sacrifices than himself? But Congress, factions and domineering, had undertaken to poison the minds of the American people.”

    “Specification Third. In this case, that at St. Louis, in the State of Missouri, heretofore to wit: On the 8th day of September, in the year of our Lord 1866, before a public assemblage of citizens and others, said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, speaking of acts concerning the Congress of the United States, did, in a loud voice, declare in substance and effect, among other things, that is to say:?

    “Go on; perhaps if you had a word or two on the subject of New Orleans you might understand more about it than you do, and if you will go back and ascertain the cause of the riot at New Orleans, perhaps you will not be so prompt in calling out “New Orleans.” If you will take up the riot of New Orleans and trace it back to its source and its immediate cause, you will find out who was responsible for the blood that was shed there. If you will take up the riot at New Orleans and trace it back to the Radical Congress, you will find that the riot at New Orleans was substantially planned. If you will take up the proceedings in their caucuses you will understand that they knew that a convention was to be called which was extinct by its powers having expired; that it was said that the intention was that a new government was to be organized, and on the organization of that government the intention was to enfranchise one portion of the population, called the colored population, and who had been emancipated, and at the same time disfranchise white men. When you design to talk about New Orleans you ought to understand what you are talking about. When you read the speeches that were made, and take up the facts on the Friday and Saturday before that convention sat, you will find that speeches were made incendiary in their character, exciting that portion of the population, the black population, to arm themselves and prepare for the shedding of blood. You will also find that convention did assemble in violation of law, and the intention of that convention was to supersede the organized authorities in the State of Louisiana, which had been organized by the government of the United States, and every man engaged in that rebellion, in the convention, with the intention of superseding and upturning the civil government which had been recognized by the Government of the United States, I say that he was a traitor to the Constitution of the United States, and hence you find that another rebellion was commenced, having its origin in the Radical Congress. So much for the New Orleans riot. And there was the cause and the origin of the blood that was shed, and every drop of blood that was shed is upon their skirts and they are responsible. I could test this thing a little closer, but will not do it here to-night. But when you talk about the causes and consequences that resulted from proceedings of that kind, perhaps, as I have been introduced here and you have provoked questions of this kind, though it does not provoke me, I will tell you a few wholesome things that have been done by this Radical Congress in connection with New Orleans and the extension of the elective franchise. I know that I have been traduced and abused. I know it has come in advance of me here, as elsewhere, that I have attempted to exercise an arbitrary power in resisting laws that were intended to be forced upon the government; that I had exercised that power; that I had abandoned the party that elected me, and that I was a traitor, because I exercised the veto power in attempting, and did arrest for a time, that which was called a “Freedmen’s Bureau” bill. Yes, that I was a traitor. And I have been traduced; I have been slandered; I have been maligned; I have been called Judas Iscariot, and all that. Now, my countrymen, here to-night, it is very easy to indulge in epithets; it is easy to call a man a Judas, and cry out traitor, but when he is called upon to give arguments and facts he is very often found wanting. Judas Iscariot? Judas! There was a Judas, and he was one of the twelve Apostles. O, yes, the twelve Apostles had a Christ, and he never could have had a Judas unless he had twelve Apostles. If I have played the Judas who has been my Christ that I have played the Judas with? Was it Thad. Stevens? Was it Wendell Phillips? Was it Charles Sumner? They are the men that stop and compare themselves with the Savior, and everybody that differs with them in opinion, and tries to stay and arrest their diabolical and nefarious policy is to be denounced as a Judas. Well, let me say to you, if you will stand by me in this action, if you will stand by me in trying to give the people a fair chance, soldiers and citizens, to participate in these office, God be willing, I will kick them out. I will kick them out just as fast as I can. Let me say to you, in concluding, that what I have said is what I intended to say; I was not provoked into this, and care not for their menaces, the taunts and the jeers. I care not for threats, I do not intend to be bullied by enemies, nor overawed by my friends. But, God willing, with your help, I will veto their measures whenever any of them come to me.”

    “Which said utterances, declarations, threats and harangues, highly censurable in any, are peculiarly indecent and unbecoming in the Chief Magistrate of the United States, by means whereof the said Andrew Johnson has brought the high office of the President of the United States into contempt, ridicule and disgrace, to the great scandal of all good citizens, whereby said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did commit, and was then and there guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    ARTICLE 11.That the said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his office and his oath of office, and in disregard of the Constitution and laws of the United States, did, heretofore, to wit: On the 18th day of August, 1866, at the city of Washington, and in the District of Columbia, by public speech, declare and affirm in substance, that the Thirty-ninth Congress of the United States was not a Congress of the United States authorized by the Constitution to exercise legislative power under the same, but on the contrary, was a Congress of only part of the States, thereby denying and intending to deny, that the legislation of said Congress was valid or obligatory upon him, the said Andrew Johnson, except in so far as he saw fit to approve the same, and also thereby denying the power of the said Thirty-ninth Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States. And in pursuance of said declaration, the said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, afterwards, to wit: On the 21st day of February 1868, at the city of Washington, D.C., did, unlawfully and in disregard of the requirements of the Constitution that he should take care that the laws be faithfully executed, attempt to prevent the execution of an act entitled “An act regulating the tenure of certain civil office,” passed March 2, 1867, by unlawfully devising and contriving and attempting to devise and contrive means by which he should prevent Edwin M. Stanton from forthwith resuming the functions of the office of Secretary for the Department of War, notwithstanding the refusal of the Senate to concur in the suspension theretofore made by the said Andrew Johnson of said Edwin M. Stanton from said office of Secretary for the Department of War; and also by further unlawfully devising and contriving, and attempting to devise and contrive means then and there to prevent the execution of an act entitled “An act making appropriations for the support of the army for the fiscal year ending June 30,1868, and for other purposes,” approved March 20, 1867. And also to prevent the execution of an act entitled “An act to provide for the more efficient government of the Rebel States,” passed March 2, 1867. Whereby the said Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, did then, to wit, on the 21st day of February, 1868, at the city of Washington, commit and was guilty of a high misdemeanor in office.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (48e13d)

  155. criminal is:

    criminal
    1) n. a popular term for anyone who has committed a crime, whether convicted of the offense or not. More properly it should apply only to those actually convicted of a crime.

    I agree it is good to be precise in what we say. Does it bother you that Trump is not precise in his speech, iowan2?

    DRJ (15874d)

  156. I agree it is good to be precise in what we say. Does it bother you that Trump is not precise in his speech, iowan2?

    A happy and purposeful life is about managing expectations. I have low expectations of politicians.
    Does it bother you politicians are rarely precise?

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  157. https://twitter.com/johncardillo/status/1211444373143064577

    Supporting Biden would have consequences.

    NJRob (cc1a3b)

  158. At this point in his life I think Trump is incapable of being or becoming precise in his speech.
    I suppose he could practice for untold hours for the rest of his days and make some progress, but whats the payoff in that?

    steveg (354706)

  159. 158. He bragged about sexually assaulting a lot of women

    I think I know the quote you reference…but do you? I think not. Because the quote does not have the meaning you wish it did.

    So, pony up some facts to support your wild accusations.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  160. 126. Paul Montagu (280314) — 12/30/2019 @ 6:30 am

    The problem with Trump’s violation of the Impoundment Act is that he didn’t notify Congress under law.

    It never got to the point of breaking the law.

    (although you could make that alone grounds for impeachment – in fact one person I was speaking to over the weekend must have misunderstood something I said and thought the “obstruction of Congress” count was the secret hold on the military aid. Nothing as sensible sounding as that was passed by the House of Representatives.)

    Trump rescinded his hold before time ran out, and short holds can be done, although 12% of the military aid did not manage to get out the door in time and had to be re-appropriated.

    The State Department aid withheld was not such a big problem because the final steps to approve it – no problem with corruption – had to be certified or something so all Mulvaney had to do was prevent Congress from being notified.

    But the Pentagon had already told Congress that Ukraine met the requirements set by Congress for addressing corruption and that meant therefore that the $250 million in military aid was good to go.

    Mark Sandy, the career official involved in implementing the hold, got concerned about the Impoundment Control act because he wasn’t told how long the hold would last and contacted Pentagon lawyers. He did get the go-ahead from the budget office’s lawyers and ordered a “brief pause” His authority over this was removed. The White House began issuing new short freezes every few days.

    Eventually lawyers came up with the idea that Trump could freeze the aid if he determined that, based on existing circumstances, releasing the money would undermine military or diplomatic efforts. But John Bolton opposed that because he didn’t think it was true.

    If he honestly had issues, there were ways to deal with it legally instead of using the aid as a bargaining chip.

    Oh, he had issues, but they apparently were based on what he was getting, or had gotten, from Rudy Giuliani, or maybe some other confidential source (let’s hope it wasn’t coming from, or being amplified, by Vladimir Putin personally! * ) and he didn’t seem to want to tell anyone in his administration what it was or what it was based on.

    I wouldn’t say the problem was that he wasn’t dealing with it legally the problem was that he wasn’t dealing with it forthrightly.

    It was not intended by him as a bargaining chip. That’s what some of the people in the government thought it was. But Gordon Sondland, who was trying to negotiate a quid pro quo, never heard that from Donald Trump or anybody. And Donald Trump denied it when asked. There’s not the slightest confirmation that he intended it as a bargaining chip, and to say so you have to assume some secret communication with Giuliani or Sondland.

    The whole thing maybe more sense that way, but it doesn’t fit the evidence.

    * Putin (that sis, the Russian government) was a little bit anxious, after Trump released the July 25 Zelensky call, that Trump not release transcripts of his telephone calls with him. You can wonder what Putin thought the relevancy of that might be. Only promises of peace if the U.S. didn’t arm Ukraine more?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  161. @160. It’s nothing to be proud of. Welcome to 1870; gun play in church.

    Jesus wept.

    .. and Putin smiled.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  162. R.I.P. Sue Lyon, star of the original “Lolita”

    Icy (6abb50)

  163. The New York Times today had a long front page story about the Ukraine aid hold, which they say, lasted for 84 days (not just the 55 days from July 18 to September 11 repeatedly cited by Jim Jordan during the House hearings.)

    That would place the start at June 19. (His hostility, or distrust, of the Ukrainian government seems to have begun earlier – about April 24 (maybe that was just Yovanovich) till about May 13.

    The New York Times seems to have found out things that the House Intelligence Committee did not – but in the course of doing so, they undermined the whole allegation in Article I of the House impeachment case, even if they don’t seem to realize it

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/us/politics/trump-ukraine-military-aid.html

    The New York Times found that some key players are now offering a defense that they did not know the diplomatic push for the investigations was playing out at the same time they were implementing the aid freeze — or if they were aware of both channels, they did not connect the two.

    Mr. Mulvaney is said by associates to have stepped out of the room whenever Mr. Trump would talk with Mr. Giuliani to preserve Mr. Trump’s attorney-client privilege, leaving him with limited knowledge about their efforts regarding Ukraine. [that matters on;y of you think it was significant]

    …Backed by a memo saying the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the State Department all wanted the aid released, Mr. Bolton made a personal appeal to Mr. Trump on Aug. 16, but was rebuffed….

    ….On a sunny, late-August day, Mr. Bolton, Mr. Esper and Mr. Pompeo arrayed themselves around the Resolute desk in the Oval Office to present a united front, the leaders of the president’s national security team seeking to convince him face to face that freeing up the money for Ukraine was the right thing to do. One by one they made their case.

    “This is in America’s interest,” Mr. Bolton argued, according to one official briefed on the gathering.

    “This defense relationship, we have gotten some really good benefits from it,” Mr. Esper added, noting that most of the money was being spent on military equipment made in the United States.

    Mr. Trump responded that he did not believe Mr. Zelensky’s promises of reform. He emphasized his view that corruption remained endemic and repeated his position that European nations needed to do more for European defense.

    “Ukraine is a corrupt country,” the president said. “We are pi??ing away our money.”

    The aid remained blocked. On Aug. 31, Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, arranged a call with Mr. Trump. Mr. Johnson had been told [1 or 2] days earlier by Mr. Sondland that the aid would be unblocked only if the Ukrainians gave Mr. Trump the investigations he wanted.

    When Mr. Johnson asked Mr. Trump directly if the aid was contingent on getting a commitment to pursue the investigations, Mr. Johnson later said, Mr. Trump replied, amid a string of expletives, that there was no such demand and he would never do such a thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  164. The New York Times reported today at the end of its long article:

    “I have no doubt about why the president allowed the assistance to go forward,” said Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of New York and the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “He got caught.”

    B But it also reported, earlier in the article, that he got caught on July 18, the day there was abog conference call on Ukraine policy where a budget office official told all that the president had ordered the Ukrainian aid frozen.

    That same day, aides on the House Foreign Affairs Committee received four calls from administration sources warning them about the hold and urging them to look into it.

    So what was Elliot Engel doing all that time??

    Twiddling his thumbs?

    Apparently yes.

    Some people in the administration expected more:

    “I’m just trying to tie up some loose ends,” Mr. Mulvaney wrote. “Did we ever find out about the money for Ukraine and whether we can hold it back?”

    It was June 27, more than a week after Mr. Trump had first asked about putting a hold on security aid to Ukraine, an embattled American ally, and Mr. Mulvaney needed an answer.

    The aide, Robert B. Blair, replied that it would be possible, but not pretty. “Expect Congress to become unhinged” if the White House tried to countermand spending passed by the House and Senate, he wrote in a previously undisclosed email. And, he wrote, it might further fuel the narrative that Mr. Trump was pro-Russia.

    Of course, when they were told on July 18, they weren’t told of a time frame, or that it would last, so might have decided to wait and maybe send a letter or two.

    The aid wasn’t time critical. It wasn’t “vital” as Adam Schiff claimed.

    And it had not been linked with anything else, except a White House meeting by anyone.</i?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  165. 124. noel (f22371) — 12/30/2019 @ 3:46 am

    It was a mistake for Vice President Biden to refuse to testify before the Senate trial a month ahead. It could be a moment to shine right before the Iowa Caucuses if he needed it.

    Not a mistake if he asked to explain what really happened where he claiemd in the speech I quoted at #74:

    …they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired….

    This whole incident, I
    think, is a figment of Joe Biden’s imagination – or somebody else’s imagination maybe.

    As of right now, I don’t think enough Senators want to cross examine him about that. One problem for the Republicans is, it would show up Donald Trump to be wrong in what he said in the July 25 call. Many Republican senators don’t want to expose Donald Trump as having bad judgment. And some Democrats don’t want to expose Joe Biden as a liar.

    And he hasn’t aided the Democrats’ legitimacy by adding himself to the list of those refusing to testify.

    The Wall street Journal wrote in an editorial in today’s paper:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/bidens-subpoena-standard-11577661976

    Donald Trump should keep a thank-you letter to Joe Biden on robo-write.

    More:

    As our friends at the New York Sun note, Mr. Biden’s answer exposes this impeachment as a nakedly political exercise even more than the House Democrats already have. House Democrats raced to impeach Mr. Trump by an artificial end-of-year deadline, but now Speaker Nancy Pelosi withholds the articles of impeachment from the Senate in order to dictate the terms of a trial.

    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer backs up Mrs. Pelosi’s usurpation of the Senate’s power and demands witnesses whom the House, in its haste and partisanship, refused to call. But if the Senate subpoenas Mr. Biden, he doesn’t have to appear.

    And Democrats wonder why they can’t persuade independents and Republicans to take their impeachment seriously?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  166. Colonel Klink @159.

    I see that in the 1868 impeachment they actually quoted Andrew Johnson giving his strongest arguments and gave him his say and said that was what they were against.

    Now that did not happen in the Trump impeachment or else they would have had an article saying something like: (these speeches were delivered actually after or simultaneously with the impeachment but you could find other things:

    That said Donald Trump President of the United States, unmindful of the high duties of his high office and the dignity and proprieties thereof, and of the harmony and courtesies which ought to exist toward people, and the oprinciple of “do unto others what you would have them do unto yourself” and to excite the odium and resentment of all good people of the United States against people who do not deserve it openly and in divers parts thereof, where people went to meet and receive said Andrew Johnson as the Chief Magistrate of the United States, did, on the 19th day of December 2019, in the city of Battle Creek, Michigan, declare and affirm in a public speech that

    https://www.rev.com/blog/donald-trump-michigan-rally-transcript-trump-holds-a-rally-in-battle-creek-during-impeachment

    On no issue have Democrat politicians more thoroughly betrayed the American people than immigration. Every Democrat running for president wants to open the floodgates to unlimited refugees from all around the world, overwhelming your communities and putting our national security at grave risk. My administration has taken bold action to reduce the influx of refugees, and we are making sure local communities like yours have a much greater say about who gets admitted into your own neighborhoods. Some of these stories are so sad. Some of the stories are so sad. When it comes to setting immigration policy, we always remember this sacred truth: our first duty and our one true allegiance is to you, the American people, before anybody else. We must care for our own-

    We must care for our own citizens first Democrat immigration policies are resulting in brutal assaults and wicked murders against innocent Americans. I don’t even know what’s happening. It’s terrible. And we’ve moved out thousands and thousands of MS13 thugs out of our country.

    And we have agreements now with Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. They didn’t use to take them back. If we had a murderer, then we should get them the hell out. We don’t really want them in our prisons and take care of them for 50, 60 years. We want to bring them back. They wouldn’t take them. The planes used to go around and around, don’t land, don’t land. With us, they land. We worked out deals with every one of them. We stopped giving them all the aid. We’re giving them all this money and then they said, “We’re not going to let you land. We’re not going to let you take them back.” I said, “That’s okay. 500 million, we were giving them. I said, now we give them $5 we give them nothing. All of a sudden they said, “We would love to have them back.” We would love it. It’s wonderful to have them back.

    In June, two illegal aliens in Sandusky, Michigan were convicted of sadistically beating and stabbing a woman to death with a kitchen knife. Then, they hid her body in a water drain. A criminal alien with two previous deportations was just arrested in Michigan and convicted of brutally beating and strangling to death, a single mother of five young children. It’s happening all the time.

    Far left politicians support deadly sanctuary cities, which deliberately release dangerous, violent criminal aliens out of the jails and directly onto your streets.

    And that furthermore, n the 22nd day of December 2019, in the city of West Palm Beach, Florida, Donald Trump did declare and affirm in a public speech that:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-turning-point-usa-student-action-summit-west-palm-beach-fl

    The open-borders agenda of the radical left causes profound harm to poor, working-class Americans. Their extreme policies overcrowd schools and hospitals. They drain vital public resources, deplete healthcare dollars, and place enormous burdens on taxpayers of every background. It also brings them to our country. If they didn’t get it, we wouldn’t have millions of people trying to get in.

    By one estimate, illegal immigration costs Americans more than $200 billion every single year. When it comes to setting immigration policy, we always remember this sacred truth: Our first duty and our one true allegiance is to you, the American citizen.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  167. 158. Dustin (cafb36) — 12/30/2019 @ 4:39 pm

    Trump is guilty of sexual assault, for example. He bragged about sexually assaulting a lot of women.

    In the first place Trump did not say he committed sexual assault because he said they let him do (what would otherwise be sexual assault.) In the second place Trump said that he lied. He said it was “locker room talk” which amounts to saying he lied.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  168. iowan2 @89: “Obama ordering surveillance of the Trump campaign, is no hypothetical, facts publicly available show it to be factually accurate.’

    92. Davethulhu (fe4242) — 12/29/2019 @ 4:07 pm

    What fact shows Obama ordering it?

    There’s nothing of course, except the idea all of his subordinates acted at his behest, and you still don;t get it..

    Actually it was Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid who attempted to order surveillance of the Trump campaign:

    https://archive.org/stream/ReidLetterToComey08272016/2016-08-27–Reid%20Letter%20to%20Comey_djvu.txt

    The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our
    free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War
    and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use every resource available to
    investigate this matter thoroughly and in a timely fashion. The American people deserve to have
    a full understanding of the facts from a completed investigation before they vote this November.

    … For example, questions have been raised about whether a
    Trump advisor who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia,
    and who has conflicts of interest due to investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom,
    met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump
    became the presumptive Republican nominee. (The same individual recently broke precedent by
    giving a speech critical of U.S. policy while in Moscow.) Any such meetings should be
    investigated and made a part of the public record. Indeed, the recent staff changes within the
    Trump campaign have made clear that the Trump campaign has employed a number of
    individuals with significant and disturbing ties to Russia and the Kremlin.

    The foregoing – and more – has led me to believe that this matter should be fully
    investigated and the investigation made public.

    The FBI gave him:

    Te FISA warrant on Carter Page. and several other investigative steps:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/02/us/politics/fbi-government-investigator-trump.html

    Investigators scrambled to determine whether Mr. Papadopoulos had any Russian contacts while deciding to scrutinize three additional Trump campaign aides who had concerning ties to Russia: Paul Manafort, its chairman; Michael T. Flynn, who went on to be the president’s first national security adviser; and Mr. Page.

    Secrecy was paramount for the F.B.I. officials because of the sensitivities of investigating campaign advisers during a presidential race. Had the investigation into Trump advisers’ contacts with Russia become public, it could have devastated the Trump campaign.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  169. BS Sammy.

    #1 Not putting up a fight is not the same as consent.

    #2. Saying it’s locker room talk is not the same as saying he lied.

    This is a good time to remember that Trump walked into a beauty pageant contestant dressing room full of half-dressed girls. One of them was 15. Did he have her consent because she “let him do it”?

    This is a good example of how Trump makes smart and good people say bad and stupid things.

    JRH (52aed3)

  170. In the first place Trump did not say he committed sexual assault because he said they let him do (what would otherwise be sexual assault.) In the second place Trump said that he lied. He said it was “locker room talk” which amounts to saying he lied.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea) — 12/30/2019 @ 7:54 pm

    No and no.

    Bragging that women don’t report or stop sexual assault due to your fame and wealth is absolutely sexual assault. Beyond that, Trump’s legal defense to a forcible and brutal rape was that you can’t rape your spouse at that time.

    And Trump’s claim he sexually assaults people was an argument against his interests and is therefore more compelling than Trump’s attempt to distance himself from the comment. Your claim that Trump said he was lying is not reasonable. He plainly did not say that. He simply characterized his admission of sexual assault as ‘locker room talk’ because it wasn’t an appropriate thing to be known for.

    Trump’s a New Yorker

    A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose:

    1. forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire;  or

    2. subjects another person to sexual contact for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire and with intent to degrade or abuse such other person while such other person is a passenger on a bus, train, or subway car operated by any transit agency, authority or company, public or private, whose operation is authorized by New York state or any of its political subdivisions.

    For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching.

    If you ‘grab them by the pussy’ without consent, that is a crime.

    Bear in mind, this isn’t isolated. There are multiple sworn affidavits describing brutal sexual assaults and groping and raping minors both before and after Trump admitted this behavior.

    And that makes sense. Imagine a woman you care about. Some extremely powerful and grandiose politician happens to share an elevator with her. As soon as the doors close, he begins grabbing her. As soon as he gets off the elevator, he accidentally brags that he got away with it while being recorded. Your friend asks you what she should do. Very likely, you tell her to make a police report. Because this is a crime and it’s a horrible and deeply personal form of assault that victims cannot easily heal from. Due to how incredibly difficult it is to prove a lack of consent beyond a reasonable doubt, many sexual assault victims do not file a report. In particular, mob style litigious guys who play the odds and do this to people must be incredibly difficult to accuse. Even when there’s someone confessing that they do it all the time because they get away with it, some will say ‘but prove that happened this time.’

    Some will even do like Iowa.

    Now, I know Iowa is not intentionally making it easier to rape people. He is not intentionally siding with cruelty and evil. In his mind, Trump is a family man who would never… my gosh.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  171. This derailed the discussion of bribing the Ukraine, and I admit my interest in the finer details of that impeachment aren’t all that interesting to me. We all know Trump is a despicable man not fit to shine George W Bush or Barack Obama’s shoes. I wouldn’t trust him in my home. I wouldn’t enjoy a beer with him. He’s lied to a lot of people, scammed a lot of people who wanted an education or a construction contract, and failed to fulfill his word in so many debts and contracts. We all knew this before he was elected.

    It is remarkable that he was elected, but we know how that he had a lot of help from our nation’s mortal enemies. And we have watched Trump betray our friends over and over, with implications in the world that will make America less safe for generations.

    It is insane the defenses this man gets. He copies Madeline Albright’s support of North Korea and we’re told this is a great success even as North Korea keeps advancing its weapons programs and keeps selling weapons to our nation’s mortal enemies. We’ve made a cold enemy out of the Kurds. And what a great few years Russia has had crushing freedom.

    ‘But how come Biden’s son got that job’ and a million other diversions from the basic question: what is Trump? yes, the democrats opened the door to the USA electing this guy, through a history of corruption What what is Trump?

    We all know what he is, and I’m just delighted he’s been impeached. The GOP Senate gets to define their entire career. Are they cowards or are they patriots?

    Now we get to find out!

    Dustin (cafb36)

  172. Our best presidents, like Bush Sr, have the good sense to grope girls without bragging about it on tape.

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  173. 175, JRH (52aed3) — 12/30/2019 @ 8:16 pm

    #1 Not putting up a fight is not the same as consent.

    Trump sated “they let you do it which is consent.

    Trump was lying because women, by and large, wouldn’t let a man do it

    #2. Saying it’s locker room talk is not the same as saying he lied.

    I said it amounts to that. What else do you think he meant by that? The subject matter? How wold that be a defense? This was intended as a defense. Why would you want to say that Trump was not saying he was lying in Access Hollywood tape even if you think he wasn’t lying there? What kind of a defense would it be if the meaning wasn’t that he said he was lying in the tape?

    What do people mean when they say “locker room talk?” Lies, particularly about success in getting women to consent to things. Of course it’s not an outright acknowledgement of lying

    Although in real locker rooms people don’t say things like what Trump said.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/11/sports/what-exactly-is-locker-room-talk-let-an-expert-explain.html

    Saying that was locker room talk was a lie, since anything resembling that wouldn’t likely be said in a locker room, but the meaning of that was that he lied in the tape, just like men lie in a locker room. He means to say it’s not true, not that it is something that is not too private to say.

    This is a good time to remember that Trump walked into a beauty pageant contestant dressing room full of half-dressed girls. One of them was 15. Did he have her consent because she “let him do it”?

    It’s bad, but it’s not the same thing as sexual assault, though. He said he could do it because he was running the pageant. He might hope they wouldn’t realize he was looking at them, but that is something he probably did do, and did for that reason.

    Dustin (cafb36) — 12/30/2019 @ 8:36 pm

    Trump’s claim he sexually assaults people was an argument against his interests

    In that circumstance, it was not against his interests. He was trying to impress Billy Bush, and he didn’t realize he was being recorded.

    Your claim that Trump said he was lying is not reasonable. He plainly did not say that. He simply characterized his admission of sexual assault as ‘locker room talk’ because it wasn’t an appropriate thing to be known for.

    So in an election campaign, he didn’t mind that he was known for making passes at women, using body language only, but only minded that people knew that he spoke about it? he problem is, of course that nearly everyone assumed he was lying: that women did not just let him do that. The Clinton campaign preferred people to think: He did it, but women did not let him do that and consent was the lie; Trump was saying no such things ever happened and the whole boast was a lie.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  174. Dustin (cafb36) — 12/30/2019 @ 8:48 pm

    We all know what he is, and I’m just delighted he’s been impeached. The GOP Senate gets to define their entire career. Are they cowards or are they patriots?

    Well, if they were patriots, they’d call all the witnesses, and let the chips fall where they may.

    Trump would be seen to be innocent of the specific charges against him

    And Joe Biden would be be seen to be innocent of the specific charge Trump has made against him.

    Neither would come out looking very good, and Trump would be looking worse overall.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  175. 178. Trump bragged that strange women (to him) didn’t object, and he didn’t mean out of fear.

    Now, given that we all probably think that that’s not true, in what way is it not true?

    That they did object, or that such incidents didn’t happen?

    And regardless of which way it is not true, didn’t Trump mean, by his assertion that this was “locker room talk” that such incidents didn’t really happen at all?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  176. Praying unarmed is not healthy.

    mg (8cbc69)

  177. A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die
    Starring: Alex Cord, Arthur Kennedy, Robert Ryan
    Director: Franco Giraldi
    MCMLXVIII

    nk (dbc370)

  178. So whether politicians lie or grope women, let’s elect the one who does it the most. Right, Trump guys?

    DRJ (15874d)

  179. Bill Clinton has already served 2 terms.

    mg (8cbc69)

  180. I agree with mg. Why should only the Democrats be allowed to have had a w**re-mongering pimp in the White House?

    nk (dbc370)

  181. laughingly agreeing, nk.

    mg (8cbc69)

  182. Evangelicals often are from denominations that focus on how sinful humans are. Maybe it makes sense that they embrace someone who is honest about his sinfulness (although he doesn’t see it as sinning).

    DRJ (15874d)

  183. Clinton did his groping behind closed doors. How pedestrian.

    DRJ (15874d)

  184. Praying while unarmed and facing in the opposite direction of access and egress even moreso.

    urbanleftbehind (0984b7)

  185. Iranian attempt at deterrence:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/31/world/middleeast/baghdad-protesters-us-embassy.html

    There were protesters, and a smaller group of attackers. The protesters are staging a sitdown outside the compound.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  186. Evangelicals often are from denominations that focus on how sinful humans are. Maybe it makes sense that they embrace someone who is honest about his sinfulness (although he doesn’t see it as sinning).

    Predestination might also explain some of it. The Calvinist sects don’t believe in Free Will. As I understand it, they hold that God determined each person’s character and fate at the beginning of Creation and there’s nothing the Reprobates can do to change it. Damned if they do, damned if they don’t, because they’re not of the Elect.

    nk (dbc370)

  187. Yes. I see those types as the ones who believe God picked Trump and is working through him. Maybe they are the same people.

    DRJ (15874d)

  188. The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. — Proverbs 16:4 (KJV)

    nk (dbc370)

  189. Words have meaning.

    They do, iowan. I linked to the facts about Trump’s crimes, and they were sufficient IMO, and I linked to a thorough analysis that applied the facts to the law. And that’s not even getting to Trump’s obstruction felonies in the Mueller report or to his felony where he directed a scheme to make concealed payments to a pornstar so that his scuzzy extra-marital affair won’t get out before election time.
    It is apparent that adoring Trump loyalists get really angry and lash out with personal when their hero is rightfully called a criminal, or when he pardons soldiers who are rightfully called war criminals, but this isn’t a feelings-based community, no?

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  190. 183. A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die

    Steven H. Scheuer’s Movies on TV and Videocassette 1989-90 says:

    Arthur Kennedy, Alex Cord, Robert Ryan. One of the better Italian oaters. Cord is an outlaw epileptic sought by other outlaws, bounty hunters, territorial lawmen, and the vermin who prey on cripples. (Dir. Franco Giraldi, 103 mins.)

    Oaters?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  191. 195.

    he directed a scheme to make concealed payments to a pornstar so that his scuzzy extra-marital affair won’t get out before election time.

    Michael Cohen did this on his own initiative and told Trump about it later. He probably originally expected the National Enquirer to buy her story too.

    As for the other one, judging by the excerpt from the tape released by Michael Cohen, Trump was afraid that it might get out after the election (or perhaps he was thinking of 2020 so it could still be characterized as a campaign finance violation?)

    https://www.vox.com/2018/7/25/17610856/trump-cohen-tape-karen-mcdougal-explained

    COHEN: … Funding … Yes. Um, and it’s all the stuff.

    TRUMP: Yeah, I was thinking about that.

    COHEN: All the stuff. Because — here, you never know where that company — you never know what he’s —

    TRUMP: Maybe he gets hit by a truck.

    COHEN: Correct.

    Now when is David Packer hypothetically going to be hit by a truck? Before the election, or after the election?

    Anyway the whole thing is not a campaign finance violation from Trump’s point of view, because he had other reasons besides the election to try to get the silence of Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. (and the timing could be explained by that’s when they could get the most money)

    But the National Enquirer didn’t have any other reasons. For them it was an illegal corporate campaign contribution (at least if co-ordinated with the candidate)

    Bailing them out actually made it worse, because it showed co-ordination, and a loan for non-business purposes is also illegal to make.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  192. Horse operas. Shoot-em-ups. Think of Star Wars in the American West in the year 1881, with horses, cowboys, and six-guns instead of TIE fighters, Jedis, and light sabers. Simple plot, lots of gunplay.

    nk (dbc370)

  193. It never got to the point of breaking the law.

    Yeah, it did, Sammy. There was a 45-day period that Trump blew well past. Here’s a piece from someone who knows something about that law, and below is the concluding paragraph. This is a breach of an act of Congress, not a felony, but it’s still a law that he swore under oath–hand on Bible–to uphold.

    OMB might have had the ability to withhold this aid if the White House had provided Congress with a message meeting the ICA’s requirements. But no message appears to have been sent. Furthermore, the aid from both Defense and State was held long past the mandated 45-day period and in apparent contravention of his powers defined by 31 U.S.C § 1512. The president and OMB did ultimately release the $250 million in aid from the Defense Department (on Sept. 11) and the $141 million from the State Department (around the same date). Whether there is some good legal or other explanation for the long delay in releasing the money is a question that lacks a clear answer, and that might remain unanswered indefinitely if Congress cannot get its hands on the requested documents.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  194. Sammy,

    The conversation we’re talking about includes a specific account of how he went after a woman ‘like a b*tch’ and she rejected him. No, Trump’s statement was certainly not that they consent and enjoy being grabbed like that. It’s actually inconceivable that he meant that. He was talking about groping roughly, not some awesome love affair with a groupie.

    Also, this is a man who has had to pay for sex his whole life. He is aware that women are not attracted to his personality or body. As Paul explained, paying for his prostitute with campaign funds actually is something is associates went to jail for (And is a crime).

    Why do you think Trump is so bitter towards women? Fell any sort of way you want about Trump, but don’t feel jealousy. His impulse control, his need to prove himself through sex and ugliness, his relationship with his wives and daughter, and his anger at minorities and women… it’s not coming from a place any of us would want to be.

    It makes me wonder what Putin really has on Trump. If it’s on Epstein’s island. That is what he did… blackmailed rich people. That is how Trump’s been acting, and for some reason, they not only took Epstein out, but the same (Russian) bots that swung the election are really chatty about how Epstein is a democrat scandal. Makes you go hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    Dustin (cafb36)

  195. False, Sammy.
    In Cohen’s admission to the scheme, he stated that it was “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office”. Cohen pled guilty to that felony, so it only stands to reason that the person who directed him is just as guilty, if not more.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  196. @198. Putin will tell you they call that Sunday church services in America… so come to the Dark Side. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  197. Stop pretending to not understand what is going on. You know damn well what is going on. Take an actual position as to what is going on, and stop school-marming us about it. You insist on having this both ways, but you cannot.

    Well, if they can’t say what they mean, then eff ’em. Part of the reason Trump was elected is that he at least spoke in declarative sentences.

    As for having it both ways, it’s because I DON’T HAVE A SIDE HERE, as the case is presented. They charge Trump with something that I do not know if it is 1) true, or 2) worthy of removal if true. The second charge is mere frustration — they charge Trump with using Executive Privilege in situations that they think he shouldn’t have, at the same time that private citizen Joe Biden claims he can ignore impeachment-trial subpoenas.

    I have said several times what I would vote to convict Trump on (incompetence & mis-demeanor). HE is not charged with those and to say that he should be convicted on things he is not charged with is HARDLY the way to defend the Rule of Law.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  198. The official charge against Andrew Johnson was that he fired a cabinet official without leave of Congress, a requirement that Congress had passed previously. The requirement was unconstitutional and was [much] later found to be so.

    The real charge was that he had, to the best of his ability, stymied Reconstruction and prevented the Army from responding forcefully to the original Klan’s terrorism against freedmen. The Klan, like Johnson, was part and parcel of the Democrat Party’s opposition to equal rights for freed slaves.

    And the Democrats won in the end.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  199. The official charge against Andrew Johnson was that he fired a cabinet official without leave of Congress, a requirement that Congress had passed previously. The requirement was unconstitutional and was [much] later found to be so.

    I dunno about that last. The cabinet official was the Secretary of War. The founders’ distrust of a standing army is built into the Constitution, as evidenced by, among other things, the provisions that it can only be funded for two years at a time and Congress shall make its rules and regulations. Even today, with our cyborg Constitution, I would make the argument that, Commander-in-Chief notwithstanding, when Congress creates a department (such as the Department of War) it can make it subject to any rules it pleases, including rules for hiring and firing its personnel all the way up to Secretary.

    nk (dbc370)

  200. “ Oaters?”

    You’ve never heard that term for westerns or rural-themed movies?

    According to OED the first known use was 1946 and was a condensed form of ‘oat opera’ which was from 1937.

    Other words/terms from 1946:

    Arty-Farty (Artsy-Fartsy didn’t make it till 1962)

    Biscotto

    Care Package

    Crypto

    Flack (the press agent, not the anti-aircraft flak)

    Jaycee

    Latino

    Microdot

    Sloshed

    Technophobe

    Wilco
    _

    Lastly, regarding rural-themed movies, one of the most famous headlines ever appeared on the front page of Variety in 1935;

    STICKS NIX HICK FLIX

    http://www.terramedia.co.uk/Chronomedia/years/Sticks_nix_hick_pix.gif
    _

    harkin (d6cfee)

  201. re: Tenure of Office Act

    I agree with nk’s argument, which is essentially the same one made by Justices Holmes and Brandeis in their Myers v. United States dissents, in a case concerning a similar law:

    In a separate dissent, Justice Brandeis wrote that the fundamental case deciding the power of the Supreme Court, Marbury v. Madison, “assumed, as the basis of decision, that the President, acting alone, is powerless to remove an inferior civil officer appointed for a fixed term with the consent of the Senate; and that case was long regarded as so deciding.”

    In a third dissent, Justice Holmes noted that it was within the power of Congress to abolish the position of Postmaster entirely, not to mention to set the position’s pay and duties, and he had no problem believing Congress also ought to be able to set terms of the position’s occupiers.

    (The Tenure of Office Act that Johnson was impeached for violating was never tested in court before it was repealed)

    Dave (1bb933)

  202. Good, he came off like a Jim Jordan-esque Ohiyah boy anyway.

    And Ben Shapiro smiled, then went back to his swipe apps to look for the next Latina victim.

    urbanleftbehind (2b79d1)

  203. who is ben shapiro?

    mg (8cbc69)

  204. 183. 196. 206.

    “ Oaters?”

    harkin (d6cfee) — 12/31/2019 @ 12:02 pm

    You’ve never heard that term for westerns or rural-themed movies?

    No.

    What A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die could be called is a “spaghetti western.” That;s a term I did run across. But probably it’s mostly for movies made years earlier than 1978.

    According to OED the first known use was 1946 and was a condensed form of ‘oat opera’ which was from 1937.

    Then “oat opera” must be a play on the term “soap opera” which was used for radio serials.

    Other words/terms from 1946:

    I think Microdot was used in a Reader’s Digest article in which J. Edgar Hoover gave a completely distorted picture of how it was discovered. It wasn’t discovered. Dusko Popov, the British Double Cross [also called XX or Twenty] agent “TRICYCLE” handed it over to them because it was what he was supposed to use.

    They wouldn’t let him operate, except eventually, with very poor quality intelligence. He had tried to warn J. Edgar Hover about Pearl Harbor – not something he knew for a fact, but deduced from what he was told to spy about plus maybe some hint he got from Johnny Jebsen since he been told the Japanese had wanted information from the Nazis about a British attack on Taranto that destroyed hallf the Italian fleet on the night of November 11-12, 1940.

    FBI agents wrote a letter to the American Historical Review in 1983

    Volume 88, Issue 4
    October 1983

    Research Note Once More: Pearl Harbor, Microdots, and J. Edgar Hoover

    They were defending the FBI and disputing a 1982 article.

    https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article-abstract/87/5/1342/125462?redirectedFrom=fulltext

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  205. 201. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 12/31/2019 @ 9:01 am

    In Cohen’s admission to the scheme, he stated that it was “in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office”. Cohen pled guilty to that felony, so it only stands to reason that the person who directed him is just as guilty, if not more.

    That’s not an admission! That was an attempt to find something to turn state’s evidence about so as to get a reduced sentence. That was a very strained legal theory, which Trump and his lawyers did not agree with.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  206. Here’s the first page of the 1983 Research Note. Yo can see the sart of the letter:

    https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article-abstract/88/4/953/113892?redirectedFrom=fulltext

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  207. Then “oat opera” must be a play on the term “soap opera” which was used for radio serials.

    Or “horse opera”, which may be from the singing cowboys who sang while riding horses. Horses eat oats (and so do does and little lambs eat ivies they say). But who knows how some fishwrap scribe will dream up a new moniker to paste on some thing to make himself seem edgy?

    nk (dbc370)

  208. 200. Dustin (cafb36) — 12/31/2019 @ 8:41 am

    It makes me wonder what Putin really has on Trump. If it’s on Epstein’s island.

    The person who strikes me as similar to Jeffrey Epstein is magician David Copperfield. He also had a private island and was interested in young girls.

    He’s known to have had some association

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2019/07/12/jeffrey-epsteins-dark-faade-finally-cracks/#a14769529cf1

    Spacey, [Woody] Allen and Copperfield, for example, did not respond to Forbes requests for comment about Epstein.

    Dustin:

    That is what he did… blackmailed rich people.

    That was one theory (no examples were ever printed) I think it is more likely he swindled them. To blackmail he would have had to know something, for starters, or set them up. How many times could he do that without something having been printed by this date?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  209. SF: It never got to the point of breaking the law.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 12/31/2019 @ 8:20 am

    Yeah, it did, Sammy. There was a 45-day period that Trump blew well past.

    What the writers of that Lawfare article didn’t know was that there was not one hold, but a series of shorter holds:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/us/politics/trump-ukraine-military-aid.html

    On that same day, [July 25] Mr. Sandy, having received the go-ahead from the budget office’s lawyers, took the first official step to legally impose what they called a “brief pause,” inserting a footnote into the budget document that prohibited the Pentagon from spending any of the aid until Aug. 5

    …In a very unusual step, the White House removed Mr. Sandy’s authority to oversee the aid freeze. The job was handed in late July to Mr. Sandy’s boss, Mr. Duffey, the political appointee, the official ultimately responsible for apportionments but one who had little experience in the nuts and bolts of the budget office process.

    As the debate over the aid continued, disagreements flared. Two budget office staff members left the agency after the summer. Mr. Sandy testified that their departures were related to the aid freeze, a statement disputed by budget office officials….

    …By the second week of August, Mr. Duffey had taken to issuing footnotes every few days to block the Pentagon spending. Office of Management and Budget lawyers approved each one.

    Now, that may not have been really legal. What was going on was that Trump wanted a hold, and his people tried to find ways to do it legally, all the while not knowing how long it would last and hoping he would lift it any day. Some of them even hoped he would lift it after he spoke to Zelensky on July 25 but he didn’t and they had to formalize it in some way. They, probably not Trump, who wasn’t into these kinds of details, wanted it secret because of the obvious political difficulties it would create and because they hoped it would be lifted and nobody would be the wiser. Inmates running the insane asylum is not far from the picture.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  210. Here’s a piece from someone who knows something about that law, and below is the concluding paragraph. This is a breach of an act of Congress, not a felony, but it’s still a law that he swore under oath–hand on Bible–to uphold.

    And it would be a more solidly based in fact grounds for impeachment than what they have now, (which is simply wrong) although there would be a big question if that is worthy of removal.

    From Lawfare:

    Whether there is some good legal or other explanation for the long delay in releasing the money is a question that lacks a clear answer, and that might remain unanswered indefinitely if Congress cannot get its hands on the requested documents.

    The New York Times found out something.

    If it lacks a clear answer, it isn’t clearly illegal, but it certain;y was unprecedented. They don’t do things that way:

    So on July 19, Mr. Duffey proposed an unusual solution: Mr. Sandy should attach a footnote to a routine budget document saying the money was being temporarily withheld.

    Approving such requests is routine; Mr. Sandy processed hundreds each year. But attaching a footnote to block spending that the administration had already notified Congress was ready to go was not. Mr. Sandy said in testimony that he had never done it before in his 12 years at the agency.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  211. Overall, the White House lawyers seem to have concluded that the only thing that mattered was spending the money at the end of the fiscal year. (they had overcome the 45-day limit by splitting the hold up into tiny pieces) but they continued to argue they had more time.

    From the New York Times article:

    On Sept. 10, the day before Mr. Trump changed his mind, a political appointee at the budget office, Michael P. Duffey, wrote a lengthy email to the Pentagon’s top budget official, with whom he had been at odds throughout the summer about how long the agency could withhold the aid.

    He asserted that the Defense Department had the authority to do more to ensure that the aid could be released to Ukraine by the congressionally mandated deadline of the end of that month, suggesting that responsibility for any failure should not rest with the White House.

    Forty-three minutes later, the Pentagon official, Elaine McCusker, hit send on a brief but stinging reply.

    “You can’t be serious,” she wrote. “I am speechless.”

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  212. Sammy, Cohen implicated Trump at his sentencing as well as beforehand. Trump’s scheme was no less felonious than his obstructing justice.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/nyregion/michael-cohen-sentence-trump.html

    Paul Montagu (e72bbe)

  213. HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY!

    nk (dbc370)

  214. I think you and me are operating under a mistaken assumption in discussing deferrals:

    199. Paul Montagu: There was a 45-day period that Trump blew well past. Here’s a piece from someone who knows something about that law, and below is the concluding paragraph. This is a breach of an act of Congress, not a felony, but it’s still a law that he swore under oath–hand on Bible–to uphold.

    218. SF: they had overcome the 45-day limit by splitting the hold up into tiny pieces)

    There’s nothing in the Lawfare article:

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/role-omb-withholding-ukrainian-aid

    That says there’s a 45-day limit on deferrals written in the law.

    What it says about 45 days is that it’s not done in practice:

    As a routine matter, these types of deferrals do not last longer than 45 days.

    Where the 45 days comes from they do not say, but 45 days is also the period of time Congress has to pass a bill approving a president’s recision of an appropriation.

    However, while there’s no limit on time of a deferral (except that of the deferral would last past the end of the fiscal year, always Sept 30, there are limits on the reasons for one. It can more or less only be done in order to request more details about spending, or to reserve money as a insurance in case they would need to spend more on something (related) later.

    That explains why the deferrals were all much shorter than 45 days. The New York Times doesn’t say exactly how long they were, but it says the first one of this kind lasted from (Thursday) July 25 through (Monday) August 5, or 6 or 7 business days, and that after that, they were issued “every few days” – each time probably using a different excuse. In reality, President Trump had made a decision to withhold the aid until further notice, without giving anybody in the government much of an explanation, and his subordinates worked to make it legal. They could also, have arranged for a formal message to Congress, but none of the people in the national security areas of the government, or even his political people, wanted him to do that. They wanted him to lift the hold.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  215. What the writers of that Lawfare article didn’t know was that there was not one hold, but a series of shorter holds

    I don’t see how one long hold or a series of shorter holds makes a differences makes a difference, Sammy. There was a hard date for when the funding was authorized, and the administration blew it off with unprecedented and sketchy legal reasoning. The DDID provides a decent summary.

    ● As early as June, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney worked to execute the freeze for Trump, and a top aide to Mulvaney — Robert Blair — worried it would fuel the narrative that Trump was tacitly aiding Russia.
    ● Internal opposition was more forceful than previously known. The Pentagon pushed for the money for months. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and then-national security adviser John Bolton privately urged Trump to understand that freezing the aid was not in our national interest.
    ● Trump was unmoved, citing Ukraine’s “corruption.” We now know Trump actually wanted Ukraine to announce sham investigations absolving Russia of 2016 electoral sabotage and smearing potential 2020 opponent Joe Biden. The Times report reveals that top Trump officials did not think that ostensibly combating Ukrainian “corruption” (which wasn’t even Trump’s real aim) was in our interests.
    Lawyers at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) worked to develop a far-fetched legal argument that Trump could exercise commander-in-chief authority to override Congress’ appropriation of the aid, to get around the law precluding Trump from freezing it.
    ● Michael Duffey, a political appointee at OMB, tried to get the Pentagon to assume responsibility for getting the aid released, to deflect blame away from the White House for its own role in blocking it. This led a Pentagon official to pronounce herself “speechless.”
    ● Duffey froze the aid with highly unusual bureaucratic tactics, refused to tell Pentagon officials why Trump wanted it withheld and instructed them to keep this “closely held.” (Some of this had already been reported, but in narrative context it becomes far more damning.)

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  216. 219. Of course Michael Cohen implicated Trump – but that was not an admission against interest, but very much the opposite. Among other things, Cohen was begging to testify to Congress so he could stay out of jail longer (his problems were related to his personal fiances, and declarations made in the course of getting bank loans, although if an investigation that included him would not have started, the FBI would never have looked at it.)

    A claim or “admission” by Michael Cohen doesn’t settle the issue. In fact it doesn’t mean anything at all. If and when Cohen said Donald Trump didn’t do something that would mean something, and in fact about some things he did say that.

    He had Clintonite Lanny Davis as his lawyer. Lanny Davis had to retract one or two things he had leaked to the press about what Michael Cohen would say to Congress or in court.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  217. 222. Yes, in addition to the limits for holds not announced to Congress (which were limits on reasons not on time – there must have been at least half a dozen separate deferrals) there was the hard date of September 30.

    The Pentagon had tried to argue that the hold(s) could not extend past August 12 or else they would miss the deadline for getting all the money out the door. The budget office (still controlled by Mulvaney I think) determined that they were bluffing, and they probably were.

    Of course things got worse the closer they got to September 30. Nevertheless, as late as September 10, Michael Duffy at the White House claimed to top Pentagon budget official Elaine McCusker that there was still time to get all the spending out the door if the hold was lifted now, and if they overshot the deadline, it would be their fault. This was probably already after Trump had made a decision to lift the hold. And we don’t know exactly what prompted that but it was probably the controversy brewing in Congress.

    As it is, the hold was lifted the next day, September 11, and the Pentagon only managed to spend 88% of the appropriation. The money wasn’t lost, because Congress transferred the appropriation to the next fiscal year in the continuing resolution.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  218. Right at the beginning, when this started, when OMB needed to make a formal notification to the Pentagon to prevent the money from being released, Robert B. Blair, an aide to Mulvaney, replied to him in an email that

    “Expect Congress to become unhinged” if the White House tried to countermand spending passed by the House and Senate….And, he wrote, it might further fuel the narrative that Mr. Trump was pro-Russia.
    The New York Times wrote that he wildly understated it, but that is not true. Robert Blair expected Congress to become unhinged while the aid was still frozen but in fact the House in fact became unhinged, after it was lifted, because of a false allegation, leaked to he Wall Street Journal, that President Trump had demanded eight times that Ukraine “dig up dirt” on Joe Biden as a condition of receiving the military aid. (this is, in fact, what causd Nancy Pelosi to start off on the impeachment trail)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-defends-conversation-with-ukraine-leader-11568993176

    Trump Repeatedly Pressed Ukraine President to Investigate Biden’s Son

    …President Trump in a July phone call repeatedly pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden’s son, according to people familiar with the matter, urging Volodymyr Zelensky about eight times to work with Rudy Giuliani on a probe that could hamper Mr. Trump’s potential 2020 opponent.

    “He told him that he should work with [Mr. Giuliani] on Biden, and that people in Washington wanted to know” if his lawyer’s assertions that Mr. Biden acted improperly as vice president were true, one of the people said. Mr. Giuliani has suggested Mr. Biden’s pressure on Ukraine to fight corruption had to do with an investigation of a gas company for which his son was a director. A Ukrainian official this year said he had no evidence of wrongdoing by Mr. Biden or his son Hunter Biden.

    Not even (unexpectedly and contrary to the usual way Trump feels about records) the White House releasing the transcript of the July 25 call could not stop Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff from going ahead.

    It couldn’t even stop him from reading out loud an imaginary version of what Trump said on that call.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  219. Michael Duffey, a political appointee at OMB, tried to get the Pentagon to assume responsibility for getting the aid released, to deflect blame away from the White House for its own role in blocking it. This led a Pentagon official to pronounce herself “speechless.”

    Thinking about it, I think was most likely after a decision to release the aid had been reached. Michael Duffy wrote to Elaine McCusker that if the Pentagon missed the September 30 deadline, it would be their fault. The New York Times article could make it sound like the deferral was still going to be continued but the Sept 10 date fro the email exchange is the tell. The article is also a little bit jumbled, as happens with very long articles with them.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  220. 205, nk (dbc370) — 12/31/2019 @ 9:42 am

    when Congress creates a department (such as the Department of War) it can make it subject to any rules it pleases, including rules for hiring and firing its personnel all the way up to Secretary.

    Indeed a lot of people are protected from being fired by Civil Service rules (since 1883)

    Now those people are not people who need to be confirmed by the Senate. I suppose needing Senate confirmation automatically takes people out of the civil service systen, but it is not a necessary condition for not being civil service.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  221. A claim or “admission” by Michael Cohen doesn’t settle the issue.

    Trump secretly reimbursed Cohen the Daniels payoff on an installment plan so as to further conceal Trump’s felony, with at least one of those payments made while Trump was president. It is not believable that Cohen was extorting the money from Trump, so the only valid reason is that Cohen was getting reimbursed in a manner that wouldn’t look like he wasn’t getting reimbursed. The total amount of the installments was proximate to the payoff.

    Paul Montagu (e1b5a7)

  222. 228. Paul Montagu (e1b5a7) — 1/1/2020 @ 3:45 pm

    Trump secretly reimbursed Cohen the Daniels payoff on an installment plan so as to further conceal

    I thought he did it because e didn’t like to spend so much money.

    Trump’s felony, with at least one of those payments made while Trump was president.

    What felony? Falsifying business records by disgsuisng that as legal fees?

    It is not believable that Cohen was extorting the money from Trump,

    We don’t know Trump agreed to reimburse him, but it could have been a specious of extortion. He might even have felt a moral obligation.

    so the only valid reason is that Cohen was getting reimbursed in a manner that wouldn’t look like he wasn’t getting reimbursed. The total amount of the installments was proximate to the payoff.

    They were definitely keeping it a secret.

    Because of the 2020 election?

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)

  223. @179 What the f-. Oh God, it’s the show runner. Do I tell him to stop? I’ll get fired. This is the first gig I’ve gotten in 6 months. I’ll never get hired again. “Difficult to work with.” What do I do? Maybe I’ll say I have to pee. He let go, thank you Jesus.

    “See, they just let you do it.”

    Pretend nothing happened. Pretend nothing happened. Please let me get out of this room before I puke.

    Nic (896fdf)

  224. https://spectator.us/trump-win-again-2020-victor-davis-hanson/

    Victor his the right of it, at least for me:

    It is easy to say that 2020 seems to be replaying 2016, complete with the identical insularity of progressives, as if what should never have happened then certainly cannot now. But this time around there is an even greater sense of anger and need for retribution especially among the most unlikely Trump supporters. It reflects a fed-up payback for three years of nonstop efforts to overthrow an elected president, anger at anti-Trump hysteria and weariness at being lectured. A year is a proverbial long time. The economy could tank. The president might find himself trading missiles with Iran. At 73, a sleep-deprived, hamburger-munching Trump might discover his legendary stamina finally giving out. Still, there is a growing wrath in the country, either ignored, suppressed or undetected by the partisan media. It is a desire for a reckoning with ‘them’. For lots of quiet, ordinary people, 2020 is shaping up as the get-even election — in ways that transcend even Trump himself.

    whembly (51f28e)

  225. 230. What Trump claimed was not that they didn’t complain, but that they didn’t object in any way. Ad there were no exceptions. It can’t be so. In many of the Weinstein etc. cases, while they may not have complained to others, they did to him at the time.

    And this would be especially so if this was done without any preparation of the woman. Trump was lying to Billy Bush.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf6ea)


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