The Jury Talks Back

1/27/2020

Trump Should Testify

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:36 am

As I noted last night, the New York Times has summarized key passages of John Bolton’s book in this way:

President Trump told his national security adviser in August that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens, according to an unpublished manuscript by the former adviser, John R. Bolton.

The partisan playbook is to yell “Fake News” and attack the reporter, but that move is already outdated, and the AP has already confirmed it (thanks to Paul Montagu for the link). So that’s Bolton’s story.

Trump denies it:

What we have here is a classic dispute of fact. A trial is a great way to resolve such disputes. Let’s get John Bolton and Donald Trump on the stand in the Senate, under oath and subject to cross-examination. It’s the only way to learn the truth.

1/26/2020

Knock it Off: Media Still Carrying Water For Bill Clinton

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 6:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I realize that there are far more important matters to focus on, but my dander is up… Everone knows that Bill and Hillary Clinton are physically and mentally incapable of staying out of the public eye. They are hardwired to be front and center to promote themselves as they try to fill their seemingly insatiable need for publicity. With that, Hulu will be airing a new four hour documentary series called Hillary on March 6. (Apparently, there is an unbelievable four hours worth of stuff we don’t know about her…) In the documentary, the couple discuss their marriage, including those turbulent times that resulted from Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky’s affair. In a brief report about the series, this headlne from the Daily Beast caught my eye:

Bill Clinton (Sort of) Apologizes to Monica Lewinsky: ‘I Feel Terrible’ That It ‘Defined’ Her

Here is what the DB determines to be a “sort of” apology (which it isn’t) from Bill Clinton:

As he reiterates his remorse and regret again, he surprisingly includes Monica Lewinsky in the list of people to whom he owes amends.

“I feel terrible about the fact that Monica Lewinsky’s life was defined by it, unfairly I think,” he says. “Over the years I watched her trying to get a normal life back again. But you gotta decide how to define normal.”

Oh, boo-hoo, Bill feels terrible. Here’s the thing: If an adult is truly remorseful about having harmed another individual and they really want to take responsibility for their actions, they don’t just stop at feeling terrible. That adult owns it, then apologizes to those who were directly impacted by their actions. (This, of course, does not negate the other party’s responsbility in said matter.) An apology begins with: I apologize or I’m sorry for (fill in the blank) while directly addressing the other party. It does not begin with whining about how terrible one feels. Apologizing is a decision to pro-actively right things as best as they can be righted. It evidences a recognition and ownership of one’s responsibility. It is the natural follow-up to genuinely feeling terrible about what one has done. It can bring both closure and relief to the troubled soul of the offender. And it can bring the same to the receiver of the apology. But to stop at feeling terrible is just another way to continue to indulge prideful arrogance. It is also a way to keep one safely out of arm’s reach from experiencing a transformative humility. Bill Clinton’s comments were absolutely not an apology. They were just more poor-me indulgences and excuses. It annoys me greatly to see the media still carry water for him.

A few years ago Clinton was asked about apologizing directly to Lewinsky:

Clinton was asked by NBC’s Craig Melvin in June if, in light of the “Me Too” movement, the former president felt like he owed Lewinsky an apology.

“No, I do not,” he responded.

“I have never talked to her,” Clinton said. “But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public.

About whether Clinton should apologize to her, Lewinsky said:

what feels more important to me than whether I am owed or deserving of a personal apology is my belief that Bill Clinton should want to apologize. I’m less disappointed by him, and more disappointed for him. He would be a better man for it . . . and we, in turn, a better society.

–Dana

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 111

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:42 am

It is the third Sunday after the Epiphany. Today’s Bach cantata is “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit” (What my God wants, may it always happen):

Today’s Gospel reading is Matthew 4:12-23:

Jesus Begins to Preach

When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

“Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles—
the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.”

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

What my God wills always occurs,
His will is the best,
He is ready to help those
who believe firmly in Him.
He gives aid in need, this righteous God,
and punishes with measure.
Who trusts in God, builds upon Him firmly,
God will never abandon.

. . . .

Thus I walk with encouraged steps,
even when God leads me to my grave.
God has circumscribed my days,
thus, when His hand touches me,
He will drive away the bitterness of death.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

1/25/2020

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

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

I’ll start.

First news item: Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, tech industry developers, and entrepeneurs would like to have a word:

Second news item: President Trump needs to keep his mouth shut about that which he doesn’ know:

A prominent veterans advocacy group is asking President Trump for an apology over his remarks on injuries suffered by U.S. troops stationed at a military base in Iraq that was hit by Iranian airstrikes earlier this month.

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) said Trump “minimized” the injuries the troops suffered after the Pentagon announced that dozens of U.S. troops suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Trump had referred to the injuries as “headaches” and “not very serious” earlier in the week.

“In light of today’s announcement from the defense department that 34 U.S. service members suffered traumatic brain injuries as a result of Iran’s retaliatory strike and President Trump’s remarks which minimized these troops’ injuries, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot stand idle on this matter,” VFW National Commander William “Doc” Schmitz said in a statement. The Pentagon said Friday that 34 service members stationed in Iraq suffered the TBIs after a retaliatory missile strike from Iran in response to the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Tehran’s top general.

What Trump said at the time:

Trump had initially said no service members had been injured. He later said that he “heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report that it’s not very serious”

“I don’t consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen,” he added.

Third news item: President Trump at the March for Life. Good for him:

“Today as president of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you,” Trump said, while also touting the “tremendous turnout” of the crowd.

Trump ticked off a laundry list of actions he’s taken to support abortion opponents since taking office, including restrictions to eligibility for the family planning funding program known as Title X and funding restrictions on nonprofits that support abortion abroad, known as the Mexico City policy.

He also called on Congress to take action to limit abortion late in pregnancy and referenced legislation that Republicans say would protect infants born after attempted abortions.

“The unborn have never had a stronger defender in the White House,” he said. “Young people are the heart of the March for Life and it’s your generation that is making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.”

Fourth news item: Meanwhile, via Planned Parenthood, a little gift to any baby who survives an abortion:

Untitled

Fifth news item: Oh, that’s right, the Senate’s impeachment trial continues this morning:

Have a great weekend.

–Dana

1/23/2020

You Don’t Have to Agree with Everything Adam Schiff Has Ever Said…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:34 pm

…to see that he is dead right here.

I thihnk it is an absolutely fantastic and moving summation. It crushes me to think of people I used to respect, like Senator Mike Lee and Senator Ben Sasse, sitting there listening to Schiff, knowing that every word he says is true, and knowing that they’re going to vote as if it’s all false.

I thought long and hard tonight about whether I still think of men like Mike Lee and Ben Sasse as good men. I have read more than one book by each man. As long as I have heard of them, I have thought of them as good men — among the few good men in Washington. Yet I believe with every fiber of my being that — unlike many of the duller and more partisan swamp creatures in Washington — the two of them know better. They know perfectly well who Donald Trump is. They know what he did was not just wrong but part of a pattern in which he elevates his own personal interests above those of the country. And yet they will support him. They are the best hope for people who still believe there are people capable of standing up for what’s right. And yet, they are going to let those hopeful people down. They are going to cravenly support a man they know does not belong in the Oval Office. A man they know has committed impeachable offenses who should be removed. And they’ll do it to save their political hides. They’ll do it out of fear, of some tweets.

I have tried to be less judgmental of my fellow man. I have. If men this good — or who at least seemed to be this good — act this way, maybe it’s not their fault. Maybe it’s the system. Maybe it’s wrong to judge them.

I can’t see it. I can’t help myself. I can’t approve of it. I can’t.

There comes a time for a man to stand up. If they don’t stand up, all their past words are just that: words. What good are they?

Garry Kasparov explains the stakes:

This is how a system dies. Truly listen to what Schiff says here. If right doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter how good the Constitution is. It doesn’t matter how smart the Founders were. It doesn’t matter how good the past words of Mike Lee or Ben Sasse were.

They had their chance to stand up when it mattered, and unless I am misreading the situation badly, they are not going to do so. They are culpable. The part of me that says not to judge them … I can’t listen to it. It may be a lack of maturity on my part, but that’s who I am, at least at this point in my life. I can’t forgive them.

It’s very, very sad to me.

Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton For Defamation

Filed under: Uncategorized — JVW @ 11:33 am

[guest post by Dana and JVW]

Note from JVW – Dana began drafting this post yesterday but then transferred it over to the Little Aloha Sweetie desk at Patterico’s Pontifications for me to complete.

But of course:

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for allegedly defaming her by suggesting the Hawaii congresswoman is a “Russian asset.”

“Clinton’s false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi’s campaign,” says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The suit claims that Gabbard has suffered “actual damages” of ”$50 million — and counting” from Clinton’s comments.

During the interview to which Gabbard’s suit refers, Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed that Clinton was specifically referring to Tulsi Gabbard:

Hillary Clinton says she believes that the Republicans have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

In a recent interview, Clinton didn’t mention Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii by name, but said she believes one candidate is “the favorite of the Russians.” Asked if the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, “If the nesting doll fits…” He later tweeted that Clinton was referring to the GOP grooming Gabbard, not Russians.

Public figures don’t enjoy the same degree of legal protection against libel and slander that us ordinary private figures do. This creates a pretty high hurdle for a Congresswoman and Presidential candidate who wants to perhaps settle a political score with an opponent. And indeed, Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit sounds more like an earnest op-ed piece than a legitimate tort action [bold emphasis added]:

Plaintiffs Tulsi Gabbard and Tulsi Now, Inc (collectively, “Tulsi”) bring this lawsuit against Defendant Hillary Rodham Clinton (“Clinton”) for defamation. Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain. In October 2019—whether out of personal animus, political enmity, or fear of real change within a political party Clinton and her allies have long dominated —Clinton lied about her perceived rival Tulsi Gabbard. She did so publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent. Tulsi has been harmed by Clinton’s lies—and American democracy has suffered as well. With this action, Tulsi seeks to hold Clinton, and the political elites who enable her, accountable for distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election.

In the Nature of the Case section of the suit, the Gabbard team cites her endorsement of Bernard Sanders four years ago as creating enmity between herself and the First Lady-turned-Senator-turned-Secretary, then accurately characterizes Mrs. Clinton as “a cutthroat politician by any account” (no, no, get it straight: Jeffery Epstein was hanged in his cell). They argue that Mrs. Clinton purposefully and maliciously defamed Rep. Gabbard in order to harm the Hawaiian Congresswoman’s reputation during her Presidential run as payback for four years ago when Rep. Gabbard’s resigned from her DNC post in protest of the advantages being given to the Clinton campaign during the primary at the expense of the Sanders campaign. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages along with costs and an injunction prohibiting further publication or republication of Mrs. Clinton’s statements.

Again, the lawsuit would seem like something of a long-shot, but Little Aloha Sweetie does have her allies. While conceding that her demand for relief “is not likely to succeed,” NRO’s Jim Geraghty points to a section of the suit which argues that Mrs. Clinton’s words carry an implied credibility far beyond that of the average journalist or blogger. He explains:

But Hillary Clinton isn’t just anybody. She was Secretary of State for four years, had the highest security clearance, and had access to all kinds of extremely secret classified information. (And if the 2016 cycle taught us anything, it’s that Clinton is always careful with classified information!) When Hillary Clinton accuses someone of being a Russian agent, it comes with the implication that this isn’t run-of-the-mill fuming or paranoia but a suspicion or accusation based upon something Clinton saw or learned from the U.S. intelligence community.

It is worth considering whether those in high places such as Mrs. Clinton have an extra-special obligation not to make wild accusations about the rest of us. (And yes, Mr. Geraghty does mention those ex-CIA folks who accuse President Trump of treason.) Hillary Clinton is an awful person, and her petty vindictiveness and disregard for any and all norms of propriety will be a major part of her ugly legacy. I (JVW) think that Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit against Google is far more meritorious than this lawsuit, though both of them deal with the same idea of a fetid and corrupt Democrat establishment (including friendly business allies) tipping the scales for the candidates they favor and decidedly against those whom they oppose. The message here should be that if you want to play in the Democrat pigsty, you had better expect to get covered in excrement.

– Dana and JVW

1/22/2020

Impeachment Trial: An Utter Disgrace

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:01 am

The great thing about this headline is that anyone reading this blog can agree with it, albeit from different perspectives.

Perhaps you think it’s an utter disgrace that the Do Nothing Democrats are putting our patriotic president through this ridiculous process over a perfect phone call.

Or, some of you may see it the way I do: as a group of Senators who have bitched and moaned that the impeachment lacks evidence, repeatedly voting 53-47 not to hear more evidence.

I have heard all of the arguments in favor of Trump, and there’s not a single one that doesn’t sound like partisan pablum.

They brought the case without anyone with firsthand knowledge!!1! (Because Trump blocked the testimony of anyone with firsthand knowledge.)

If they thought this stuff was so important they could have gone to the courts!!1! (The same courts where Trump’s lawyers have been arguing that the courts have no business deciding these issues. How many months did they want Democrats to spend in the courts as the election drew closer, and what blame do they put on Trump for issuing a blanket statement that he would cooperate with nothing whatsoever? None.)

Trump had no chance to present witnesses in the House!!1! (Trump sent a letter to the House saying he wouldn’t participate, and if he thought presenting his side through witnesses was important he could do it now.)

They had secret hearings in the House!!1! (Attended by about 100 CongressCritters — and open to, and attended by, puh-lenty of Republicans.)

It’s not the Senate’s job to hear new evidence!!1! (The Senate has always heard new evidence in impeachments. Keep in mind that the precedents for impeachments go beyond those of presidents. And the precedents are clear: the Senate has always heard new evidence. If you don’t believe that, you’re in a bubble.)

You can’t impeach a president for abuse of power!!1! (Whoever is saying that, ask them what they said 20 years ago. In any event, this argument is both horse droppings, and frightening in its implications. Think about it.)

And on and on.

Susan Collins and other people pretending to be “reasonable” are saying, “hey, we’re not shutting down any further evidence! We just want to hear opening statements and answers to questions first!” OK, but they are also voting against issuing subpoenas for documents, which take time to deliver and to get results. Maybe they’ll vote to hear John Bolton in the end — I suspect they will — but they’re not actually interested in the truth.

Actually, if we all wanted the most direct evidence possible, Trump could testify. There’s nothing stopping him — and in my view, nothing stopping House managers from calling him. Just a thought!

The way Republicans have handled this so far, lining up one and all behind the corrupt actions of a corrupt man, solidifies my utter disenchantment with the Republican party. There is not a single one of them left I respect. Not Mike Lee or Mitt Romney, not Ted Cruz or Rand Paul — none of them. (Sure as hell not Donald Trump, who said the other day he doesn’t even care about the debt and nobody does, and it didn’t even seem to merit a post that the President of the United States made such a statement, both because it was obvious he and everybody else feels this way, and also because it is one of 10,000 atrocities he says or does daily.) Then there are the Democrats, who want to run my life like authoritiarians and take all my money.

To hell with all of Washington, D.C.

1/21/2020

Was Trump’s Misconduct Enough To Merit Removal?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

David French tackles the question here:

If I had to sum up the case against Donald Trump in one sentence, it would be this: The available evidence demonstrates that the president of the United States attempted to coerce an allied nation to investigate a self-serving, debunked conspiracy theory and a prominent domestic political rival as a precondition to receiving vital American military aid. If I have another sentence to expand on the claim, I’d add that he attempted to accomplish this scheme by using his private attorney to supplement and circumvent normal diplomatic channels for the purely personal benefit of the president.

[…]

But President Trump’s conduct regarding Ukraine was different [than other presidents]. Here was a president, operating at the absolute apex of his constitutional powers, steering international diplomacy for personal benefit, and not only were there no clear means of constitutional restraint, there was obvious intent to accomplish the scheme well outside the public eye. The scheme was blocked by the unlikely combination of whistleblowing and informal political pressure. Even worse, a defiant administration refuses to admit to any wrongdoing at all—even calling the key piece of evidence against the president a “perfect” call. It was essentially our good fortune (through the courage of the whistleblower) that the American people have access to partial information about the scandal so they can factor it into their electoral calculus.

What’s the constitutional check for misconduct of that kind? Citizens can’t run to court to block this particular abuse of presidential power. We can’t even count on public knowledge for public accountability. The administration is still actively holding back material evidence.

Please read the piece in its entirety before commenting.

–Dana

1/19/2020

RIP Bradley J. Fikes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:47 pm

Via Simon Jester comes awful news of the passing (in November) of a friend of the blog, Bradley J. Fikes:

San Diego Union-Tribune biotech writer and The Daily Aztec alumnus Bradley J. Fikes passed away on Nov. 20.

He passed away due to natural causes while at his home in Grantville, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the newspaper where Fikes worked for over two decades.

He was 61 years old.

Read the story and you’ll get a sense of the type of guy Bradley was:

“I think the first thing people would say about him is his tireless pursuit of the story,” [Union-Tribune feature writer Pam] Kragen said. “He was in the office seven days a week, he just loved what he did. Brad never lost his fire. From the day I met him until the day he died, he was so enthusiastic about reporting on stories. I think he felt like he was delivering a public service, that he was helping educate the public.”

Kragen said Fikes will be best remembered for his kind personality and eccentric way of dressing. He was a favorite in the newsroom, both well loved and well respected by those who knew him.

“He was just a very happy, sweet, outgoing guy,” Kragen said. “I’d say he was the most popular reporter at the paper, everyone knew him and everyone loved him. I would say (he will be remembered for) his personality and his colorful way of dressing.”

. . . .

“Sweetness” was the lesson [Union-Tribune science and technology writer Gary] Robbins felt he learned from Fikes. His even temper and poise were things that stood out to Robbins, at times in contrast to himself.

“When people were mean to him and whatnot he was very even-tempered and I’m not so much like that,” Robbins said. “As I watched the way he treated people if it was a difficult situation and people weren’t being as nice as they should’ve been he would still keep that stiff upper lip, he would smile, he wouldn’t lose his temper. He had poise, he had professionalism, he was a gentleman.”

A lot of people who used to frequent this blog would gather together online in the comments section of a blog run by Cathy Seipp called “Cathy’s World.” I believe my valued guest blogger Dana was originally a denizen of the comment section at Cathy’s World, as were Simon Jester (under another name), Mike K, Gary McVey, Dmac, LYT, and a host of others. And Bradley J. Fikes, who gave me countless stories over the years, such that literally dozens of my posts ended with the word “Thanks to Bradley J. Fikes.”

I met Bradley and Mike K (and a few other folks) at Cathy’s funeral. He seemed like a very nice man, just as he came across on the Internet.

I think you can tell a lot about Bradley J. Fikes (or at least what I thought about him) from a passage I wrote from a 2010 post in which I was seeking evidence about AGW. I decided to demand perfect politeness — a nearly impossible standard — because of the hot-button nature of the topic. And in my demand, you can see that one of the only people I trusted to meet it was Bradley J. Fikes:

This thread will employ the rule of excessive politeness. Nothing even remotely disparaging will be permitted. And I’m not keeping any part of a comment that violates the rule. Your comment that opens: “I’m surprised you would fall for AGW” followed by 10 paragraphs of polite and well researched material gets nuked, entirely. I could end up deleting 90-99 percent of all the comments, leaving only comments by Bradley J. Fikes. I don’t care. This is such a hot-button issue that I’m not putting up with even a milligram of B.S. or invective.

Now that’s unfair to some other long-time commenters who also are and always have been unfailingly polite, but you get the idea. When I thought of politeness online, I thought of a small group of people and he was one of them.

Bradley had a heart attack in 2010 and wrote a PSA to me via email that he allowed me to share with readers. I don’t know if the “natural causes” mentioned in the news story about included heart issues, but either way his advice is good, and worth looking up.

RIP.

Sunday Music: Agnus Dei and Dona Nobis Pacem from Bach’s B Minor Mass

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:59 pm

It is the second Sunday after the Epiphany. Today’s Bach piece is the Agnus Dei and Dona Nobis Pacem from Bach’s Mass in b minor:

Today’s Gospel reading is John 1:29-42:

John Testifies About Jesus

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”

John’s Disciples Follow Jesus

The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”

When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”

They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”

“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”

So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi,
miserere nobis.
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi,
dona nobis pacem.

Which translates as:

Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

1/16/2020

GAO: Trump Administration Violated the Law by Withholding Ukraine Funds

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:46 am

#FAKENEWSBEZOSPOST:

The White House violated federal law in its hold on security aid to Ukraine last year, according to a decision by a congressional watchdog released on Thursday and reviewed by The Washington Post.

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan agency that reports to Congress, found the Trump administration violated a law that governs how the White House disburses money approved by Congress.

The GAO decision comes as the Senate prepares for the impeachment trial of President Trump, a process set to begin Thursday.

“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the decision states. “OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act.”

Saying the withholding was done for a “policy reason” is not really true, but if you read the GAO’s memorandum you see they are just taking OMB at its word.

Meanwhile, a bunch of new documents have emerged from the House Intelligence Committee, suggesting that Rudy Giuliani’s henchmen might have had the Ukranian ambassador they hated so much (because they are corrupt and she opposed corruption) under surveillance. (Cue Twilight Zone music.) The documents also further undermine the Trump administration claim that Giuliani was acting as some sort of official emissary conducting the business of the United States. Quotable, from a letter penned by Giuliani to Zelensky: “Just to be precise, I represent him as a private citizen, not as President of the United States.” Uh, yeah.

So the case is getting stronger and stronger, even as the impartial jurors prepare to disregard all evidence.

1/15/2020

Nancy Pelosi Names Impeachment Managers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:40 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here we go:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday named two House chairmen who led President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry as prosecutors for Trump’s Senate trial…Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who led the probe, and Judiciary Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose committee approved the impeachment articles, as among the managers of the prosecution…Schiff and Nadler will lead the seven member team that includes a diverse selection of lawmakers, particularly those with courtroom experience…include Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Sylvia Garcia of Texas, Val Demings of Florida, Jason Crow of Colorado and Zoe Lofgren of California.

President Trump tweeted this during Pelosi’s announcement:

More from Pelosi:

“Time has been our friend in all of this, because it has yielded incriminating evidence, more truth into the public domain…Earlier, she spoke out about newly-released documents linking Trump directly to his attorney Rudy Giuliani’s political digging in Ukraine, saying they highlighted the need for witness testimony at the impeachment trial…”There can be no full & fair trial in the Senate if Leader McConnell blocks the Senate from hearing witnesses and obtaining documents President Trump is covering up.”…“The President has fought tooth-and-nail to keep thousands of documents away from the public…And no wonder — each time new pieces come out, they show President Trump right at the center of the effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals.”

Interesting note: The documents — part of the evidence turned over to House impeachment investigators by lawyers for Lev Parnas, a Giuliani associate who is awaiting trial on campaign finance charges — include a letter from Giuliani requesting a private meeting with Volodymyr Zelenskiy, then the president-elect of Ukraine, with Trump’s “knowledge and consent.”

The letter, written on Giuliani’s letterhead, was dated May 10, 2018.

–Dana

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