Democrats Evidence Grows: The Democrats seemed excited by all the hearsay, opinions not to mention second and third hand “observations” folks have shared during their secret Soviet style show trial hearings. Kind of reminds me of that old song from high school…
Heard it from a friend who…
Heard it from a friend, who…
Heard it from another!
Professional staff and appointees opinions, observations, concerns and disagreements over public policy and/or how that policy is implemented is NOTHING more than “their opinion” as to their thought process. The bottom line is, staff are to give the President their best advice and then the President decides how, why and when to implement any policy. The President is the elected person with the power and ultimate decision making authority.
Having a difference of opinion, policy or tactics is NOT an impeachable offense. The Democrats are wasting unknown amounts of taxpayers dollars, ignoring important issues of the day and being more partisan than anytime I can remember.
This is purely a partisan effort, passed by all but two Democrats, for political calculus that impeaching the President would hurt his re-election chances. Speaker Pelosi originally said any impeachment MUST be bipartisan…as it always has been. Remember, the House resolution authorizing an inquiry into Richard Nixon passed 410-4, and the resolution offered by a Republican-controlled House against Bill Clinton passed 258-176, with 31 Democrats in support. This is partisan politics at its worst! Stop the madness…let’s get back to governing!
Atlantic Council’s Global risks 2035 update: A very interesting geopolitical analysis of some of the challenges the world faces. As they write in their paper:
“In the absence of a “new normal” emerging to replace the Western-led liberal order, new possible alternatives must be considered. Scenarios serve multiple functions. They can be predictive, but more often they help clarify the direction of current trends, the ways they could morph, in this case, into a new global order. By helping leaders anticipate possible futures, scenarios can help decision makers take action to avoid the worst outcomes. An endless number of possible variations could be anticipated. The three scenarios described in this report—A World Restored, Descent into Chaos, and A New Bipolarity—are written to show the stark differences among alternative futures, all of which are possible consequences of current trends.”
If you find this interesting, I would highly recommend reading two books who assumptions and potential scenarios I actually find more realistic: “The Accidental SuperPower” written during the Obama Administration and then the sequel “The Absent SuperPower,” written during the Trump election. They discuss how geography and demography, taking energy/oil into consideration, shapes the future of the world.
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Weekly News Update Summary:
Warren agrees Medicare-for-All could result in two million jobs lost
She has also failed to answer whether middle-class taxes would increase under her plan during this month’s Democratic debate in Ohio and has side-stepped similar questions on the campaign trail.
Calling Pelosi and Schiff’s bluff
Democrats have been trying to suggest they have the goods on Trump. But the fact is, none of the witnesses they have called so far have any firsthand knowledge of presidential wrongdoing.
Polls show support for impeachment weaker in key battleground states New polls from several 2020 battlegrounds show more people oppose than support using impeachment to remove President Trump from office, a potential danger sign for Democrats.
Impeachment? No. Call It a Partisan Effort to Remove the President
Ever since President Donald Trump assumed office, he’s been on double-secret probation. And, as expected, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday voted to continue their heretofore-held-in-secret probe of his actions.
Where the authority for such a probe, as executed, comes is not clear. There are no “little-known codicils” in the U.S. Constitution giving the speaker of the house unlimited power to preserve order in times she regards as a national emergency, like when Hillary Clinton fails to win and election. What is actually occurring is a naked grab for political power, driven by partisan donors and activists applying pressure to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to drive Trump from office.
Yet rather than take the lead herself, Pelosi has assigned the responsibility for getting the job done to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. The California Democrat is the right man for it, not because he’s a seasoned legislator and expert on the inner workings of the constitutional process but because he’s a “sneaky little” leaker comfortable with letting the ends justify the means.
Retired General Don Bacon, a Republican congressman from Nebraska, put it well when he tweeted Wednesday, “How can I make a judgment on the impeachment investigation if we don’t know what’s being said in these hearings? Adam Schiff’s secret investigation hasn’t released a single deposition statement. This is an unfair process not designed to get at the truth. #NoDueProcess for @POTUS.”
Defining Impeachment Down
Democrats on Thursday finally held a vote on their impeachment inquiry against President Trump, but the resolution and the party-line vote already foretell the likely outcome. This is a partisan impeachment driven mainly by hatred of Mr. Trump that, barring new facts, will fail in the Senate and have to be settled by the voters next November.
“It’s a sad day because nobody comes to Congress to impeach a President of the United States. No one,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday. This is insincere even by the standards of Congress. Democrats have wanted to impeach Mr. Trump since Inauguration Day in 2017. Her resolution of inquiry is merely a formality on the superhighway to a foregone conclusion. The one political virtue of Thursday’s vote is that at least the House had to go on record. This meant Members in swing districts could no longer hide, and all but two House Democrats supported the resolution in the 232-196 vote. The exceptions were New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew and Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson, whose district was carried by Mr. Trump by 31 points.
Due process and impeachment
After three years of teeth-gnashing about the “shredding of norms,” much of Washington has decided that “process complaints” are invalid. We’ve joined other Beltway media in worrying about President Trump’s regular disregard for the normal way of doing things, but unlike some of our colleagues, we also worry when the Democrats just make up the rules as they go along.
Democrats are increasingly revealing their impeachment efforts as simply a partisan assault aimed at weakening Trump ahead of the 2020 elections. In approving its ground rules for impeachment, Democrats dashed all hopes they would engage in a serious effort, with due process, to investigate Trump’s wrongdoing.
The most obvious sign of Democrats’ unseriousness is the man they put in charge of the investigation.
The House Democratic caucus has 233 members. In a group that large, many members will be role-players. Some members are serious policymakers. Some are mostly communicators. Some are deal-makers. Adam Schiff’s value to his party is his willingness to be a partisan attack dog who is willing to baldly speak untruths to the television cameras.
It is normal and expected for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have Schiff play a role. But to put Schiff in charge of the impeachment process reveals what sort of thing the Democrats are up to — and finding the truth is not the main goal.
Ken Starr: Trump Impeachment Frenzy ‘Wildly Over-Criminalizing the Conduct of the Business of Government’
Former U.S. Solicitor General Ken Starr, who headed the impeachment efforts against President Clinton, said on a podcast Monday that the impeachment frenzy surrounding President Trump stems from “creative” efforts and holds Trump “to a remarkable standard.”
“He did nothing that sounds in the nature of a corrupt bargain,” Starr said. “. . . There were 17 people on the phone, including the Secretary of State, so the president was so open, and shall I say transparent, about it that that goes to his intent. There was no corrupt bargain, or attempt to achieve a corrupt bargain.”
Discussing the situation with Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, Starr said that while the president may have been imprudent in bringing up Joe Biden, “a potential opponent,” Trump’s concern was “information about election past, not election future.” Starr said that the much-discussed Ukrainian military aid, which was part of a “quid-pro-quo” with the Ukrainians for investigating Hunter Biden, was delivered by its legally-required end of the fiscal year, making the case even more speculative.
Did Trump Abuse His Power with Ukraine?
The centerpiece of the Democrats’ push to impeach Donald Trump is the charge that he abused the power of the presidency by using U.S. aid to Ukraine as leverage to secure Ukrainian cooperation in investigations of political opponents. Do they have a case? Ultimately, that depends on the evidence. But first we should be clear on what is, and isn’t, a legitimate use of presidential power.
As I’ve detailed before, the Founding Fathers gave us an open-ended definition of impeachable “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” that covers a variety of abuses of official power, including conduct that is not criminal. But they also recognized that impeachment is a political remedy, and abuse of office is the most political of all grounds for impeachment. If impeachment and removal come up for a vote, politics will be foremost in the minds of every legislator in both parties. So, set aside for a moment the final question — what abuses should result in a president’s removal from office — and ask, first, if he has abused the powers of the presidency.
Foreign Influence and Double Standards
Democrats want to impeach Donald Trump for inviting Ukraine to investigate 2020 election rival Joe Biden. But then why are they opposed to investigating whether Democrats used Russian disinformation to get the FBI to investigate Donald Trump in 2016?
That’s the double standard now on gaudy public display over multiple news reports that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the origins of the Russian fiasco of 2016 has become a criminal probe. Attorney General William Barr this year appointed Mr. Durham, a highly regarded and veteran prosecutor, to examine this part of the Russia tale that special counsel Robert Mueller chose to ignore.
Yet you’d now think, judging from the political reaction, that Mr. Durham was Rudy Giuliani. “These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge,” said a joint statement from Democratic impeachment investigators Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff.
“If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election,” the statement added, “the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”
Trump’s Businessman’s Approach to Foreign Policy Is Paying Off
The deep state/foreign policy establishment, not to mention most of Congress, has been in a dither the past few days about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria.
How could the president trust Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist thug who famously said: “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off”?
Well, who’s to say that Trump does? As is the president’s bent, he’s using his businessman’s approach to foreign policy, applying economic pressure (tariffs, etc.) to control the likes of Erdogan.
Trump lifts tariffs in return for a ceasefire, making clear that he can reapply—even significantly extend—them if necessary. So far, it seems to be working. He can be polite, even complimentary, to the Turkish leader in public. What he thinks in private is best left there.
And now, we have that “permanent” ceasefire on the Syria border. How long it will hold is anybody’s guess. This is the Middle East. But, after decades, at least a new approach is being tried. American personnel are under less threat; some of our men and women are coming home or are being taken out of harm’s way. Less of our wealth is being spent on endless wars with no visible conclusion.
A very interesting read…Global risks 2035 update: Decline or new renaissance?
- The unipolar world of the 1990s, when the United States was the world’s sole superpower, is definitively over and will no longer be a realistic option for any president.
- An absolute United States’ decline is not inevitable, but an open conflict with China increases those risks considerably.
- A deep economic reversal in China could trigger a widespread economic meltdown that leads to a worst-case scenario of slower growth and a return to protectionism and political destabilization.
Our conclusion in 2016’s Global Risks 2035 was that state-on-state conflict posed a bigger threat than terrorism. In the two years since, the post-Cold War order has continued to unravel without a “new normal” emerging. If anything, with de-globalization underway, conflict among the great powers looms even larger than when Global Risks 2035 was written in mid-2016.
We must recognize that the old historical rhythm that laid the foundations of the Western liberal order has come to an end. The world now faces momentous challenges with climate change, the return of state-on-state conflict and an end to social cohesion with increasing levels of inequality. Without a political, intellectual and, some say, spiritual renaissance that addresses and deals with the big existential tests facing humanity we will not be able to move together into the future.
With so much of the analysis of Global Risks 2035 still on target, this update focuses on key changes since 2016 and the alternative worlds that appear to be emerging from the fraying of the old normal.
In the absence of a “new normal” emerging to replace the Western-led liberal order, new possible alternatives must be considered. Scenarios serve multiple functions. They can be predictive, but more often they help clarify the direction of current trends, the ways they could morph, in this case, into a new global order. By helping leaders anticipate possible futures, scenarios can help decision makers take action to avoid the worst outcomes. An endless number of possible variations could be anticipated. The three scenarios described in this report—A World Restored, Descent into Chaos, and A New Bipolarity—are written to show the stark differences among alternative futures, all of which are possible consequences of current trends.
This Impeachment Subverts the Constitution
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed committees investigating President Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry,” but the House has never authorized such an inquiry. Democrats have been seeking to impeach Mr. Trump since the party took control of the House, though it isn’t clear for what offense. Lawmakers and commentators have suggested various possibilities, but none amount to an impeachable offense. The effort is akin to a constitutionally proscribed bill of attainder—a legislative effort to punish a disfavored person. The Senate should treat it accordingly.
The impeachment power is quasi-judicial and differs fundamentally from Congress’s legislative authority. The Constitution assigns “the sole power of impeachment” to the House—the full chamber, which acts by majority vote, not by a press conference called by the Speaker. Once the House begins an impeachment inquiry, it may refer the matter to a committee to gather evidence with the aid of subpoenas. Such a process ensures the House’s political accountability, which is the key check on the use of impeachment power.
The House has followed this process every time it has tried to impeach a president. Andrew Johnson’s 1868 impeachment was predicated on formal House authorization, which passed 126-47. In 1974 the Judiciary Committee determined it needed authorization from the full House to begin an inquiry into Richard Nixon’s impeachment, which came by a 410-4 vote. The House followed the same procedure with Bill Clinton in 1998, approving a resolution 258-176, after receiving independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report.
8 Ways the Mueller Witchhunt and Lying Schiff’s Sham Impeachment Are Identical, Corrupt and Unconstitutional
The Mueller Witchhunt and Lying Adam Schiff’s impeachment hearings of President Trump held in the basement of the Capital are very similar in numerous ways.
Ultimately the Democrats, their Deep State and elites behind these events are destroying the country and the US Constitution.
This past weekend attorney David Rivkin and professor Elizabeth Price Foley wrote an eloquent piece in the Wall Street Journal outlining how the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry is unconstitutional. They wrote –
“House Democrats have discarded the Constitution, tradition and basic fairness merely because they hate Mr. Trump. Because the House has not properly begun impeachment proceedings, the president has no obligation to cooperate. The courts also should not enforce any purportedly impeachment-related document requests from the House. (A federal district judge held Friday that the Judiciary Committee is engaged in an impeachment inquiry and therefore must see grand-jury materials from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, but that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal.) And the House cannot cure this problem simply by voting on articles of impeachment at the end of a flawed process.”
Sens. Grassley, Johnson Demand Intelligence Inspector General Investigate Leaks
Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin sent a letter to the intelligence community inspector general Wednesday demanding the government watchdog agency confirm investigations into highly classified leaks.
The letter, addressed to ICIG Michael Atkinson, calls out the inspector general for refusing to acknowledge whether there were any investigations into numerous leaks spilling from U.S. intelligence agencies.
“As we have made clear in previous letters to you, since President Donald Trump’s election there have been a number of leaks of highly sensitive information,” the senators wrote. “These leaks are seemingly perpetrated to achieve partisan political ends at the expense of national security.”
Giuliani-Style ‘Shadow’ Diplomacy: Par for the Course for U.S. Presidents
Rudolph Giuliani didn’t hide the fact that he was investigating whether Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential race. Yet most media have treated Giuliani’s efforts as sneaky and suspect because he acted at the personal behest of the president and not as an official representative of the bureaucracy. The New York Times, for example, claimed Giuliani was conducting “a shadow foreign policy campaign.”
In fact, presidents since George Washington have turned to individuals without formal government positions to pursue foreign policy interests and objectives. Private citizens, often acting as special envoys, have helped negotiate issues ranging from trade to war. While critics deride such efforts as “back-door,” “secret,” or “shadow” undertakings, many presidents have found it useful to dispatch people they trust, who can think and operate outside the constraints of official channels in handling delicate matters.
Private representatives were essential in the early days of the republic in part because the federal government was small. During his first year in office, President Washington wrote to one of the Founders most responsible for penning the Constitution, Gouverneur Morris, who was on business in France. The president said he needed to know the “sentiments and intentions of the court of London” toward “a treaty of commerce.” Washington was looking for someone who could act with subtlety: “It appears to me most expedient to have these inquiries made informally, by a private agent.” Washington told Morris he looked forward to “the result of your agency.”
Clear-Eyed Engagement: America’s New China Policy
“America is reaching out our hand to China,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a major address this week. “And we hope that, soon, Beijing will reach back, this time with deeds, not words, and with renewed respect for America.”
n the inaugural Frederic V. Malek Memorial Lecture at the Wilson Center, Vice President Mike Pence boiled down President Trump’s necessary revolution in U.S.-China relations to three words: “clear-eyed engagement.”
In this welcome address, Pence outlined a holistic policy based upon a realistic assessment of the nature and deeds of the Chinese regime. He declared defunct the decades of ideological, illusory, and—yes, venal—policy hopes that characterized the Washington foreign policy elite.
No longer will America and its leaders hope that economic engagement alone will transform Communist China’s authoritarian state into a free and open society that respects private property, the rule of law, and international rules of commerce. Instead, as the President’s 2017 National Security Strategy articulated, the United States now recognizes China as a strategic and economic rival.
To stress the point to the political, bureaucratic, and corporate elites who comprised the pro-Communist China lobby and ginned up the past failed policy, the vice president pointedly noted that President Trump’s “clear-eyed vision of the U.S.-China relationship” had the approval of the majority of Americans and, in a rare instance these days, bipartisan congressional support. In sum, for this pro-communist China lobby, reversing the new course will be damn near impossible, which is a damn good thing.
ISIL chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed in Syria, confirms Trump
US President Donald Trump has confirmed the death of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a military operation in Syria’s northwest Idlib province.
“Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice,” Trump announced at the White House on Sunday. “Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead.”
Trump said the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) died after running into a dead-end tunnel in the village of Barisha and ignited an explosive vest during the raid, killing himself along with three of his children.
“He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone,” Trump said. “He died like a dog, he died like a coward.”
Re-election runway: What U.S. airports can tell us about Trump’s 2020 chances
When protesters swarmed major airports like Dallas-Fort Worth, JFK and San Francisco International in January 2017 to decry President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from predominantly Muslim countries, it presaged the contentiousness that has come to define his first term.
But it also highlighted an emerging electoral trend: the growing chasm between highly multicultural metro areas with direct links to other continents, and the rest of the country that lacks such connections.
America’s political divide is often characterized as urban vs. rural. But truly rural areas are a relatively small slice of the electorate: In 2016, only 14 percent of all voters cast ballots in counties defined by the Census Bureau as nonmetropolitan.
Instead, the most significant divide in 2020 could be between the large, diverse metro areas that make up the majority of the vote on America’s coasts, and the smaller, less diverse metro areas that are not as likely to have reaped the benefits of a globalized economy.
And Democrats’ ability to defeat Trump in the Electoral College depends on whether they can hold their ground in the metro areas served by airports that don’t have a lot of international flights — but had a runway long enough to land Trump’s Boeing 757 for a rally in 2016.
Why the Democratic superdelegate whispers are starting again
Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are holding steady, Bernie Sanders is bouncing back from his heart attack and Pete Buttigieg is springing to life in Iowa.
After months of consolidation, there are signs the top tier of the Democratic presidential primary may be expanding, leaving Democrats to confront the prospect of a lasting, multi-candidate contest that could drag on long into next year.
“I think it will be a brokered convention,” said former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who said he came to that view within the past month, after seeing “Warren’s rise, and Sanders staying where he’s always been … and, I think, Biden’s steadiness.”
Richardson’s outlook remains a minority view. But it highlights the implications of a field still stacked with a handful of highly organized, well-funded candidates — and a race that remains unsettled in ways that could prevent any one candidate from seizing insurmountable momentum from the first four nominating states.
Saturday marked 100 days until the Iowa caucuses, and still three candidates — Biden, Warren and Sanders — are polling above 15 percent in national surveys. Buttigieg, meanwhile, hit 10 percent in the latest Quinnipiac Poll — and 13 percent in Iowa, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll. And Amy Klobuchar, who is suddenly drawing new interest, on Thursday became the ninth candidate to qualify for the November debate.
Russian Soldiers Forced to Serve Motherland Through ‘Bribery, Blackmail and Extortion’
Russia’s military top brass are forcing junior officers to serve in the armed services against their will, often long after they apply for dismissal, the investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Monday.
Russian law makes it “nearly impossible” to resign from the army without a compelling reason, lawyers say.
“This issue affects everyone [in the military], but it’s true that it’s most difficult for lieutenants” to successfully quit the military, Novaya Gazeta quoted an unnamed lawyer who represents servicemen of various ages as saying.
Testimonials from the customers of a legal firm that offers servicemen help in terminating their contracts shed light on the range of tactics that officers use to threaten their juniors. At least four lieutenants said their higher-ups threatened them with jail time. Two warrant officers said they were warned with potential violence by “bandits.” A captain was unable to obtain a discharge for 22 years, according to the firm’s testimonials.
Trump right to support popular vote
It didn’t make a lot of news when it happened, but President Donald Trump recently renewed his support for changing the way America elects the president.
At a rally in Texas he once again supported using the national popular vote. This stance isn’t new. It’s something that Trump has repeatedly iterated over the years, before and during his presidency.
To be clear, Trump didn’t propose abolishing the Electoral College and removing the important, constitutional role of states in the election of president. While others, particularly Democrats, float that idea, it isn’t practical. It’s also not something that Republicans could support.
Instead, the solution is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. This adopts a popular vote in a way that respects the Constitution by fully preserving the Electoral College. Instead, it changes the method states use to award their electors.
Currently, the electors of most states are chosen by what’s called the winner-take-all method — a method that wasn’t selected by the Founding Fathers and neither debated nor discussed at the constitutional convention. Awarding electors by the popular vote under the compact is fully consistent with the Constitution, which delegates the sole and exclusive authority for choosing the method of selecting a state’s electoral votes to state legislatures.
Rand Paul’s Case for Ending America’s Wars
Four years ago, the media were talking about a “Libertarian Moment.”
I had high hopes!
Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) ran for president, promising to “take our country back from special interests.” But his campaign never took off.
He “shouldn’t even be on the stage,” said Donald Trump at a Republican presidential debate.
Paul quit his presidential campaign after doing poorly in Iowa.
In my new video, Paul reflects on that, saying, “Either the people aren’t ready or perhaps the people in the Republican primary aren’t ready.”
But Paul says, “We may be winning the hearts and minds of people who aren’t in Washington.”
4 Reasons Socialism Is More Popular Among Americans Than Ever Before
Why socialism now? At a time when the American economy under Trump seems to be chugging along at a nice clip, why are so many hankering for an alternative?
The newfound openness of large numbers of Americans to socialism is, by now, a well-documented phenomenon. According to a Gallup poll from earlier this year, 43 percent of Americans now believe that some form of socialism would be good thing, in contrast to 51 percent who are still against it. A Harris poll found that four in 10 Americans prefer socialism to capitalism.
The trend is particularly apparent in the young: Another Gallup poll showed that, as recently as 2010, 68 percent of people between 18 and 29 approved of capitalism, with only 51 percent approving of socialism, whereas in 2018, while the percentage among this age group favoring socialism was unchanged at 51 percent, those in favor of capitalism had dropped precipitously to 45 percent. The same poll showed that among Democrats, the popularity of socialism now stands at 57 percent, while capitalism is only at 47 percent, a marked departure from 2010 when the two were tied at 53 percent.
The question is why socialism now? At a time when the American economy under President Trump seems to be chugging along at a nice clip, why are so many hankering for an alternative?