Open Thread on the effort to expel Trump from office through impeachment.

Peaceable kingdom

It takes a simple majority (218) for the House of Representatives to pass a bill of impeachment against any federal official.  The Democrats have 232 seats in the present congress.  The Bill (equivalent to an indictment) then is transferred to the US Senate where the impeached person is tried before the US Senate with the Chief Justice of the United State presiding.. 2/3 of the senators must vote for conviction for that to occur.  Two presidents have been impeached.  None has been convicted.

This thread will be open for a long time.  pl

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111 Responses to Open Thread on the effort to expel Trump from office through impeachment.

  1. Avatar Jack says:

    Sir
    I don’t believe Nancy has the votes. Any Democrat from a Red leaning district would have to make a calculation if being associated with the “Resistance” would play well in 2020. Tulsi Gabbard from Bright Blue Hawaii will not be voting to impeach.
    Unlike Lars, I believe that if the House votes to impeach that McConnell will get the Senate trial going and there will be a vote, which will not have the requisite margin to convict. Many Democrat senators will be in the camp that votes against conviction.
    I’m willing to bet that Trump will use this impeachment as a badge of honor and successfully use it in his re-election campaign against the Democrats likely winning both the House and Senate for his second term. You don’t have to agree with his personality or many of his policies but even a NeverTrumper should admit that his political skill with enough of the electorate is superior to Nancy & Chuck and their media hypemeisters.

  2. Avatar Tom Wonacott says:

    It’s clear that Trump was trying to dig up dirt on his primary political opponent (at the moment) for the 2020 election – Joe Biden. He pressured the newly elected President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and may have threatened to withhold military aid. If this is all true, then the House will vote to impeach. The Senate is a different story. The Republicans will likely stand with the President – unless the political costs become too great.

  3. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Tom Wonacutt
    These are mere assertions. You have no proof that any of that is true and it is denied by Lezinsky. You merely want to overthrow the constitutional order here in service of the globalist revolution.

  4. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Jack,
    I agree that there are not going to be enough votes for the reason you state. The Democrats are going to have egg all over their faces, again. How many times can a party come off as giant losers and still attract voters? I think this may be the end of the road for their party as it currently exists.
    Additionally, this definitely puts a fork in Biden. After all, he bragged about doing exactly what they are accusing of Trump of doing. He could have flown under the radar with that, but the impeachment proceedings shines a big bright spotlight on it all. I can’t tell if he was sacrificed or they’re just too stupid and crazed to understand what they’re doing to him.
    IMO, the public’s perception will extend beyond Biden to become a general sense of hypocrisy and corruption among Democrats (an accurate perception). Americans don’t like that kind of unfairness. Also, many Americans are sick and tired of Democrats viciously slandering and misusing Constitutional processes to attack anyone they don’t like (think Kavanaugh).
    This will also energize Trump’s base to donate and vote.
    I see interesting nuances in the transcript that are favorable to Trump – like The Ukrainian Prez having a favorable relationship with Trump (contra to what Democrats say about no one liking him), the agreement that Merkel and Euros stink and that Trump is helping the Ukraine defend against Russia + some positives concerning Russian sanctions (again contra the Democrat memes). These items will be subtly absorbed by anyone interested enough to read it. Some fence sitters may be swayed toward Trump as an effective FP front man.
    On the facts, Democrats can infer the most sinister of motives on Trump’s part as they are wont to do, but the legal definition just isn’t there.
    This is what happens when you allow a 28 year old coffee house waitress and some 85 IQ racist America haters to steal leadership of the party from a speaker of the house that should have been sent off to pasture a term or two ago. The Democrats are no longer serious adults and they should be destroyed for the good of the country. Inshallah.

  5. Avatar Factotum says:

    Using the scenario you set out TW, why didn’t they impeach Obama for the same “crimes”? What set of values applies to one case of “election interference” that can not be claimed against the IG findings of Obama election interference.

  6. Avatar Lars says:

    The good news is that the process is constitutional. Anyone who think they can see the outcome in their crystal ball will probably eat a lot of broken glass. When Nixon was facing a similar situation, he had the support of his party. At the end of the inquiry, he had lost it. How this turns out, nobody knows at this time, although some will not believe that either.

  7. Avatar Vegetius says:

    The left reeks of corruption, paranoia, and fear. Now is the time to turn up the pressure, force them ever further left, and provoke a stampede of working white people from the party.
    With these folks we liquidate the clownshow that is Conservative Inc, jettison the last half-century of failed finance capitalism, and effect a coalition that is socially conservative, economically populist, and deeply nationalist. A third way, if you will.

  8. Avatar Factotum says:

    Tom W:
    1. Nothing is clear about these alleged Democrat claims
    2. The dirt on Biden’s son was in plain sight, no digging needed
    3. Biden’s son is not a candidate for president
    4. Zelenskiy said he never felt any pressure
    5. None of what you claim to build your case has any element of truth
    6. How healthy for this country is a strict party line impeachment vote
    7. Senate will stand with America; and not any one person, if asked to vote on this matter.

  9. Avatar oldman22 says:

    So the allegation is that Biden threatened to terminate USA aid to the Ukraine government, which was/is attacking Eastern Ukraine in violation of the Minsk agreement.
    Am I the only person who thinks it was wrong to aid the Ukraine government in the first place?

  10. Avatar Chris Peters says:

    I find it an amusing coincidence that “Lezinsky” is one mere letter away from “Lewinsky.”
    In my mind the outcome of any impeachment effort by overzealous dems will have a similar outcome. Failure to convict in the Senate. As an added bonus, similar to the massive losses Newt Gingrich and co. suffered in the 1998 midterms (after the impeachment hearings began) this will work in Trump’s favor.

  11. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Hearing the craven Democrats on the news right now, “If the President asked for a favor, then ,naturally, he’d have to pay it back someday…to a foreign country’s leader!!!”
    What a collection of dopes. The US is giving the Ukraine how much in aid? I’d say that quid is already paid in spades – and it’s a quid that these same morons approved.
    Sheesh. They must really think we’re stupid. They can’t even deliver good BS.

  12. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Lars
    They’ve been at it since even before the last election. They’ve thrown everything at it including the totality of law enforcement, intelligence and even foreign intelligence. They’ve used FISA surveillance, spies, honey traps, congressional committees, a special counsel and everything the media could throw at it.
    What do you think the Democrats in the House can find now in the next few months that two-thirds of the Senate would consider so egregious that they would vote to convict? Remember that as we get closer to the election an argument that will get a lot of momentum is – let the people decide.
    As a betting man myself I’ll take whatever odds the bookies are willing to provide that Trump will not be convicted by the Senate.

  13. Avatar Factotum says:

    Lars, didn’t the Nixon impeachment case start with a verified crime, a trail of money, self-damaging tapes, as well as a mysterious 17 minute recording gap? What elements are similar in your case against Trump. How much longer do we have to wait to get a similar string of culpable evidence against Trump? Lies and rumors about Nixon swirled for years, yet there was an actual criminal break-in (police reports- court trials) that started the final unraveling, years later.

  14. Avatar JohnH says:

    Impeachments are less about facts and criminality and more about political power. And I think Democrats got spooked when it became apparent that Trump was about to take down that last great hope of the Democratic establishment at a time when Biden seems like anything but a sure bet.
    Will it work? If anything, this shenanigan promises to connect Biden with corruption, rightly or wrongly. My guess is that he’s toast.
    That means that the Democrats will have to bet on Elizabeth Warren’s drawing power and the advent of a recession, which the impeachment may well trigger.

  15. Avatar Factotum says:

    When US “aid” comes back as $650,000 a year compensation for a dear son, one can appreciate the temptation for a person of weak character. But can’t we say that about much of our “foregin aid” – targeted quid pro quo – mainly to support the Democrat defense industry union workers. No wonder Seattle and the state of Washington runs so liberal.

  16. Avatar Factotum says:

    Working government-employee union people (aka “working families”) will stick with the Democrat party. Other non-union and private industry union working people have already left.

  17. Avatar ISL says:

    Here is my (wishful) SWAG – Biden support collapses, Tulsi knee caps Warren in the next debate, Harris is already collapsing, and picks up enough of the dis-illusioned Biden/Harris supporters to start being taken seriously by the media. And then she has a good chance.
    Her comment on not being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is the type of winning argument none of the other Dems could or would make. From what I have seen, the media has a hard time destroying her.
    Makes me argue for gun control for the dems (as a safety measure) so that maybe then they will stop shooting themselves in the foot..

  18. Avatar Fred says:

    Tom,
    Military aid, once voted by Congress is sacrosanct and can not be delayed or denied for any reason, it’s right there in amendment zero section zzz of the constitution.

  19. Avatar Fred says:

    Lars,
    There are zero similarities. Nixon did not deny military aid to a foreign country. The bad news, Obama’s spying on Trump was illegal and the left is desperate to cover it up. It looks like it is still going on.

  20. Avatar Fred says:

    The National Endowment for Democracy allegedly spent billions in Ukraine prior to the color revolution. Who received that money and what did it get spent on? How much came back as donations to politically connected NGOs, companies or individuals?

  21. Avatar catherine says:

    THE USA! OF THE PARTIES, BY THE PARTIES, FOR THE PARTIES !!
    My little voice says I am so tired of them I don’t want to watch their circus any more. I want to go the farm, sit on the grass under the oak tree, maybe pick some grapes and feed apples and sugar cubes to my old horse.

  22. Avatar VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    I really did try to write a coherent post, gave up, and then read “The Coup Has Begun – The Empire Strikes Back Everywhere”. Tom Luongo did it for me:
    https://tomluongo.me/2019/09/24/coup-begun-empire-strikes-back-everywhere

  23. Avatar r whitman says:

    This impeachment affair will be great entertainment for the next 6 months or a year. It will be my soap opera. It is absolutely meaningless as to who wins.

  24. Avatar turcopolier says:

    r whitman
    You won’t think so if Sanders or Warren wins.

  25. Avatar Jim Ticehurst says:

    I Suspect that A.G. Barr will Rock The House Soon..

  26. Avatar akaPatience says:

    On another blog (www.theconservativetreehouse.com), the theory has been put forth that Trump’s inquiry about Crowdstrike in his conversation with Zelensky is what REALLY has the Democrats spooked. I’d be interested in reading what Larry Johnson has to say about this because so much of the Russian hoax was based on Crowdstrike’s assertion that Russia hacked the DNC server rather than, say, Seth Rich having been Wikileaks’ source.
    Anyway, it’s an intriguing theory.

  27. Avatar BC_ACE says:

    What if:
    – The Democrats craft through some article of impeachment in Congress and use their majority there to get it passed.
    – They time this so that the vote in the Senate will only occur after the 2020 election.
    – They then appeal to the populace at large in the Senate races. “Vote a Democrat into the Senate in your state, and we will impeach Trump right after the election”.
    That way, they only have to get the votes in enough Senate races, and impeachment is guaranteed, regardless the actual charges. Instead of logic, they appeal to the innate brute hatred of the unwashed masses. It will be an uphill battle for the GOP to resist, given the populist nature of the ‘revolt’.
    Full disclosure: As a Canuck, I don’t have a dog in this race. But I do have fun watching all the action south of our border. As if Monsieur Blackface wasn’t enough fun …

  28. Avatar Factotum says:

    So Harris best benefits from Ukraine-gate? Why am I not surprised. Now link her to the leaked whistleblower-gate and the circle will not be broken – she is getting campaign advice from Team Clinton, is she not? If anyone knows where the Biden bones are buried, it is Clinton.

  29. Avatar Factotum says:

    Coincidence is not causation; but the Crowdstrike conspriacy kefluffle claimed DNC payments to Crowdstrike were made coincidentally with the deaths of Rich and later his good friend who had tried to serva a subpoena on DNC Chair Wasserpoodle. Yes, let’s hear more from LJ.

  30. Avatar Factotum says:

    BC-ACE, does this make it a given the Democrats have already concluded Trump will win in 2020, just so they can later impeach him? Then why not go with their most expendable Democrat for the DNC nomination. Reminds me of the Clinton impeachment – charges crossed two administration – but Clinton got elected for the second term regardless, voters knowing full well what they were willing to buy into.

  31. Avatar Factotum says:

    PS, what was really creepy was Monsieur Blackface putting his outstretched black hand on the young lady’s chest, copping a feel as they used to say. He should have gone dressed as VP Biden.

  32. Avatar Paco says:

    Interesting typo indeed, from Zelensky whose root is green to Lezinsky whose root is one of those verbs with multiple meanings, the main one being to stick or poke something in, like your nose.
    A few examples:
    лезть в драку: be spoiling for a fight
    это не лезет ни в какие ворота: this is an outrage
    лезть на стену: climb up the wall, go into a frenzy
    лезть во что либо: to meddle
    лезть из кожи вон: to bend over backwards
    лезть не в свое дело: to pry, poke one’s nose into other people’s affairs
    не лезть за словом в карман: not to be at a loss for a word
    The list could be endless, and curiously, all of them apply to the surreal state of politics in the good ol’ USA, what an amazing spectacle. I hope you guys figure it out and common sense prevails, but that commodity seems to be unavailable in your great free market system.

  33. akaPatience,
    I think that everyone seriously interested in getting to the bottom of ‘Russiagate’ should read the piece to which you refer – ‘sundance’ at his best. The link is at
    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/09/25/its-not-about-biden-deep-state-response-to-ukraine-call-now-makes-sense-trump-questioned-crowdstrike/
    An issue which is not raised, however, is precisely what Trump is suggesting.
    The key paragraph reads:
    ‘I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people … The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it’s very important that you do it if that’s possible.’
    What, if anything, is meant by the apparent suggestion that Ukraine has ‘the server’?
    What, if anything, is meant by the linking of ‘CrowdStrike’ to ‘one of your wealthy people’? To whom might the reference be?
    The ‘phone call reads as though part of its purpose was, as it were, to put a boot behind Zelenskiy – note the sentence ‘I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people.’
    It would seem virtually certain that more detailed questions have already been raised with elements in the Ukrainian authorities who have in the past been sceptical of the wisdom of too close an alliance with the Hillary Clinton camp.
    While it is possible that Trump is simply woffling, it seems to me rather more likely that more precise lines of inquiry are being pursued by people who have much more grasp of the detail than he is likely to have been able to acquire.
    The question which Fred raised, about how much of the NED money came back to sympathetic people in the United States (also perhaps other places, including Britain), also urgently needs investigation. Let us hope that people in Ukraine who can see what a hole they are now in are prepared to help pursue it.

  34. Avatar rjj says:

    If they do proceed with impeachment it will be BBUK-BBUK-BBUK-BBUK [bin Biden + Ukraine + kickbacks] 24/7 for a year. Should also be work for Victoria Nuland as one of the media influencers/expert opinionators.

  35. Avatar johnklis56@gmail.com says:

    …most notably Loopy Joe threatened to withhold $billions unless the investigation into Burisma gas was fired…to protect his crack-head son.

  36. Avatar johnklis56@gmail.com says:

    Proof? Biden’s son had ZERO experience in gas/natural resources yet got $50,000 a month…how’s that anywhere near kosher?

  37. Avatar johnklis56@gmail.com says:

    Beg to differ…DoD does their best to box all presidents into their way of doing business; Obama had no pretexts about putting up resistance whereas Trump is still resisting best he can it seems…holding enemies close (neocons) to appear to be in their camp but refusing to pull the trigger when demanded of him.

  38. Avatar johnklis56@gmail.com says:

    …nothing! Ukraine is a black hole sucking every kopek up it possibly can. The list of corrupt officials is backed up by lists of corrupt officials salivating at the chance to enrich themselves. The country is irredeemably corrupt (I have been there many times…my wife is from the Donbass)

  39. Avatar Lars says:

    The irony is that Biden may not be the Democratic candidate and now since Trump has dragged Mike Pence into this mess, we may end up with President Pelosi, which would be the ultimate irony.
    I think the cultists need to accept that their golden calf is not all that bright and it will become even more evident as we move forward.

  40. Avatar David Solomon says:

    Jim Ticehurst, I wonder what you mean by “Rock The House Soon”? I have been wondering of late, if Barr might well end up being the one that brings Trump down? Is that what you meant?

  41. Avatar David Solomon says:

    Somehow, I cannot see very many people voting for Pelosi.

  42. Avatar srw says:

    opinion snip-it from USA Today which I concur with:
    Clinton impeachment is no guide to possible Trump impeachment.
    Here’s a blast from the past. Newt Gingrich, the Georgia hothead who as House speaker spearheaded the impeachment drive against President Bill Clinton in 1998, has been making the TV rounds with his insight on what’s going to happen now. As if Clinton’s situation then and Trump’s are the same:
    ►Clinton was in the middle of a second term, presiding over a rip-roaring economy that grew 4.4% in 1998 and 4.8% in 1999. Trump’s economy has slowed to 2.0% growth.
    ►Clinton had a balanced budget. On Trump’s watch, the budget deficit has soared — up 27% for the first 10 months of this fiscal year alone — and is now back in trillion dollar land in the first 11 months. Usually, this happens only during a recession. Trump doesn’t call himself the “king of debt” for nothing, you know.
    ►Clinton had approval ratings in the 60s and was always working to expand his base — he was what Lyndon Johnson called a big-tent politician, he wanted everyone. But approval of Trump — a popular vote loser — has never budged beyond the mid-40s in Gallup polls, and he has done nothing to expand his base. Trump said he wanted to be a president of all Americans? With the exception of women, blacks, Hispanics, millennials, the better educated and those in urban and suburban areas, he has nailed it.
    My take: this impeachment effort has a lot more going for it than than Clinton’s blow job impeachment.

  43. Avatar Fred says:

    johnklis56,
    So Ukranians got lots of money and stuffed it in coffee cans out back, not a dime was spent on anything that would result in an American receiving a red cent. How much was Hunter Biden making a year from Ukraine? I’ll assume your having been to this paradise of corruption was not for anything remunerative.

  44. Avatar Diana C says:

    I feel the same way as you are feeling.
    We have raised up an entire generation of people who haven’t grown in knowledge, maturity, or common sense. There seems to be no one who can be considered wise in any position of power.
    I was more than ready to retire when I did retire from teaching in a large public high school. I knew at that time that we were raising immature, self-centered brats to take over the reins of power some day. The small group of intelligent, mature, honest students were ignored by their peers and by the faculty to a large extent.
    Our hope is in the hearts and minds of the parents who are homeschooling their children or sending them to charter schools or good private schools.
    I can watch only a few minutes of television coverage of Congress. The behavior there is quite pathetic. Even the thought of a Beto or a Mayor Pete running for the highest elected position in the land puts me into such cognitive dissonance, I have to sit on my balcony and read several of my daily Devotionals in order to remember that God is in control and not some crazy clown. He is teaching us something by enduring this craziness. I hope that we can all soon learn what we need to learn to keep our Constitution and our Nation safe.

  45. Avatar akaPatience says:

    Sue Gordon, former assistant to DNI Dan Coates, and both recently squeezed out, is rumored to be the “whistleblower”. She’s former CIA so maybe some veterans here are familiar with her.

  46. Avatar ISL says:

    Sorry, I meant Tulsi benefits from the Harris and Biden collapses.

  47. Avatar Fred says:

    srw,
    ‘big-tent politician,’ why did the Red Hen cross the road? To yell at the MAGA hat wearing American and make sure that person never came back to their restaurant.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/06/26/red-hen-protests-sarah-huckabee-sanders-visit-lexington/736830002/
    “rip-roaring economy” Didn’t Clinton sign NAFTA, the thing that created a giant sucking sound as millions of middle class jobs left for foreign lands? Just the reverse of what those “better educated” people in Urban areas told us would happen.
    “popular vote” Trump won the popular vote in Michigan, where ‘better educated’ urban elites had been outsourcing middle class jobs for years and creating a separate wage scale for equal work. Congratulations millionaire GM CEO Mary Berra ($21.9 million ain’t chump change) and former GM lobbyist and now Congresswoman Deborah Dingell (as an aside I wonder if she will repudiate her marriage to a man who was a life member of the designated terrorist organization, the NRA?)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debbie_Dingell
    He won a number of other states with electors voting in the electoral college as required by the Constitution. Hilary’s better educated urban and suburban staff didn’t know that was needed to win the election. Just what do they teach in polisci courses since it can’t be basic government structure?
    What’s your take on Jeffrey Epstein and his connections to democratic politicians, or do those instances of abuse matter as little as President Clintons ‘presidential’ conduct with an intern?

  48. Avatar BC_ACE says:

    You’re right … put Bernie in the driver’s seat and then pull the impeachment trigger after Trump’s sworn in. I didn’t say it was a perfect plan, but it’s really handy to have in your back pocket. And, it would allow them to impeach a civilian Trump just as quickly as an elected one, if I understand the mechanism well enough.
    However, it would also be enough to get the Democrats control of the Senate, which would really hamper a 2nd term Trump. It would eliminate any more Trumpian Supreme Court nominees without having to resort to Blasey Ford et. al. rape fantasies.

  49. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    I do not think Trump is “woffling” and I agree more precise lines of inquiry are likely underway. What interests me is whether the mentions of Crowdstrike and the DNC server were deliberate trigger words inserted to elicit exactly the response we have now seen. This may explain the nonsense about Ukraine having the server – Trump went a little off script.
    My suspicion is that Trump already knows a good deal more than people assume about the coup plot and that this may be part of an effort to flush out the perpetrators. The whistleblower letter, whose greater part is given over to “Circumstances leading up to the 25 July Presidential phone call”, reads like pure Deep State narrative framing – perhaps Brennan himself wrote it.

  50. Avatar Christian J Chuba says:

    Abuse of power
    After reading the memo / transcript of phone call, Trump was using his office to try to get dirt on a political opponent before a pending election. I see this as abuse of power but he will not be removed from office.
    1. Rudy Guiliani has not served Trump well. Biden isn’t the only one who’s lost his fastball. This guy is behind this idea of going after the Bidens and he’s going on talk shows and he’s the lawyer who is supposed keep Trump out of these messes. Live by the celebrity, die by the celebrity.
    2. Had Trump waited until after the election, or even the Democratic primary after a Biden loss, then not a problem. It’s that he did this before the election with Biden a viable candidate. Now he has to show what vital national security issue was served by singling out the Bidens.
    BTW I’m persuadable, just how I see it.

  51. Avatar Rick Merlotti says:

    It’s almost as if Nancy prefers creating gridlock instead of governing in the interest of advancing the general welfare of the people! This shows you how desperate the elite are to get rid Trump – because he is an outsider and is against the Globalist agenda. Not in a very coherent way mind you. He has a lot of problems. But the financial system is about to blow again and the elite need a malleable toady in the WH. An independant Prez might say F the banks or F your new war when the shit hits the fan, and they can’t have that.

  52. Avatar akaPatience says:

    Why should Biden’s candidacy shield him from law enforcement scrutiny of committing alleged wrongdoing? It certainly didn’t shield Trump and his campaign in 2016.

  53. Avatar akaPatience says:

    This is a kind of war in which partisanship is only one aspect. We are being battle tested. A leave is understandable but don’t give up the fight!

  54. Avatar prawnik says:

    Of course if Obama were credibly accused of doing the same thing, Team D would be insisting that this was all normal, legitimate above-board behavior, and that anyone who says otherwise is a racist.
    Facts, truth, law, justice – none of them matter to Team D or Team R. They care about power.

  55. Avatar Lars says:

    She is the third one in succession, should #1 and #2 be unable to serve. She would not be elected to that position. But it is just speculation at this point and the impeachment process will no doubt have some unforeseen consequences.

  56. Avatar Factotum says:

    Russians spent millions in Ukraine too every year, renting the port of Sebastopol for their Russian fleet – was visiting shortly before the Crimea annexation and Ukrainians were asking where did all that “rent” money from Russia go. Russia did them a favor taking over the port for themselves and re-establishing their long historic claim to the Crimea. Unfunded millions of direct Ukranian corruption in a win-win operation for all concerned.

  57. Avatar Factotum says:

    We called it the “self-esteem” movement remember? Pendulum swung too far and became entitled brattiness. Law of unintended consequences any time a government agency tries to social engineer anything. Including our climate.

  58. Avatar Factotum says:

    Lars is suggesting both Trump and Pence will be impeached, due to their alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, leaving Speaker of the House next in succession.

  59. Avatar Factotum says:

    The budget expansion is primarily due to failure to reform entitlements – that blame belongs entirely to the Democrats, not Trump. Democrats won in 2018 screaming Trump is going to take away your Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. Simply because Trump knew all these programs needed serious reform if they were to survive. The increasing federal debt blame rests solely on the Democrats; not Trump. Support reform ofl these exploding entitlements if you want budget reform. If you don’t, then keep blaming Trump.

  60. Avatar Factotum says:

    Chuba, I think you need to widen your media sources if this is how you see it because nothing in the transcript ,that you claim to have read supports, your conclusions. Guiilanii serves as a ham-handed distraction sometimes, and that can be a good thing considering the red meat the MSM keeps tossing out.

  61. Avatar Eric Newhill says:

    Exactly, Patience.
    Biden, being very entitled and not too bright, publicly bragged about participating in corruption. Someone needed to investigate. I don’t even see how what Trump can be characterized as digging up dirt on a political opponent. Biden displayed the dirt on himself of his own volition.
    But yeah, is the rule now that no one can be criminally investigated as long as they’re running for office? …unless the candidate is Trump, of course.

  62. Avatar Factotum says:

    Ever think even the voters prefer gridlock – governments who govern least, govern best. DeToquville observed this inherent American contrariness way back when too . Don’t under-value gridlock. But let’s not go so far as to support open borders which are also a consequence of our current gridlock.
    Gridlock does lead eventually to a re-setting of the clock, when we collectively declare we are mad as hell and not going to take this any longer. Self-inflicted gridlock is a good response to the growing Democrat demands we” all come together as a nation” which is their way of saying my way or the high way.
    As a noble experiment in representative government, we do have to listen to the wisdom of crowds – who are happy with gridlock right now. Why is that? Indeed – not necessarily an automtically bad thing.

  63. Barbara Ann,
    I agree with almost all of this.
    However, I think one should be cautious about assuming that Trump went ‘off script’ in his reference to the servers. Certainly, it is easy to assume that his claims were ‘nonsense’ – and they may very well be.
    It is worth looking closely at what the ‘whistleblower’ says.
    So, ‘White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call’, are credited with having made clear that, among other things, Trump pressured Zelensky to:
    ‘assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) (3) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike, which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016’.
    The footnote to which the (3) refers reads:
    ‘I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine. (See, for example, his comments to Fox News on 20 July: “And Ukraine. Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn’t take this server? Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So, how come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC?”)
    As it happens – and the piece by ‘sundance’ produces an excellent review of the evidence – we now know that the FBI not only failed to inspect the servers, but never even got a final version of the report from CrowdStrike.
    There are those, including some members of this ‘Committee of Correspondence’, who regard this as acceptable behaviour, conformable with old English notions of the ‘rule of law’. I don’t. It is a betrayal of everything I used to think the ‘Anglos’ stood for, in the Cold War.
    That said, I must make a ‘mea culpa’. I am kicking myself that I failed to ask the obvious question, months ago: what became of the servers?
    If they still exist, it should be possible for an examination to be done by competent – and impartial – people. If they have been destroyed, then it should be possible to ascertain when, and by whom – and ask them what excuses they can provide.
    There is I think reason to suspect that Trump’s people have received information suggesting that they were put into Ukrainian hands. (Of course, one needs to be cautious: this could also be disinformation.)
    But the question of what became of the servers is obviously now an absolutely critical one.
    Meanwhile, there is another indication that very interesting things are happening, in relation to ‘Ukrainegate.’
    On 23 September, ‘Bloomberg’ published a report headlined: ‘Trump-Friendly Lawyers Join Legal Team of Ukraine’s Firtash’.
    (See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-09-23/trump-friendly-lawyers-join-legal-team-of-ukraine-s-firtash .)
    It opened:
    ‘Dmitry Firtash, a wealthy Ukrainian and onetime business partner of Paul Manafort who is facing extradition to the U.S. on corruption charges, has hired a legal team with close ties to President Donald Trump.
    ‘The lawyers retained by Firtash are Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, according to representatives for Firtash and for the attorneys.
    ‘The husband-and-wife team were vocal critics of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and have voiced support for Trump in the news media and in frequent appearances as legal commentators on Fox News.’
    This, in turn, needs to be read against the background of a piece in ‘The Hill’ by John Solomon, entitled ‘How Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann’s offer to an oligarch could boomerang on DOJ’.
    (See https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/454185-how-mueller-deputy-andrew-weissmanns-offer-to-an-oligarch-could-boomerang .)
    These are too complex matters to go into here, but the direction in which Hill’s piece points is towards the conclusion that Weissman, and also Lisa Page, were attempting to get Firtash, not so much to ‘sing’, as to ‘compose’ – to hark back to the distinction that Judge T.S. Ellis III made, in relation to the case against Manafort.
    The Solomon article appeared on 22 July, two days after Trump raised the Ukrainian connection in relation to the servers, very obliquely, to ‘Fox’.
    Coincidence? Quite possibly, but I would not be 100% certain of it.

  64. Avatar David Solomon says:

    Ah, I had forgotten that Lars. Thanks for the reminder.

  65. Avatar Dave Schuler says:

    To prove abuse of power there must be some proof of corrupt intent. That one benefits is insufficient. One must produce more direct evidence. IMO it is unlikely that evidence will be forthcoming.
    If your claim is that the Democrats will impeach based on evidence that doesn’t prove legal abuse of power, that could be true but it is unlikely to persuade many Senate Republicans and the subsequent trial in the Senate would be likely to fail.
    The question then becomes whether a weak and hasty impeachment benefits Democrats or not. I’m thinking not.

  66. Avatar Dave Schuler says:

    I don’t think so. I think that Speaker Pelosi is under enormous pressure from her own caucus and her choice is between keeping her job or doing what’s best for the party. Naturally, she will do what’s necessary to keep her job.

  67. Avatar Fred says:

    akaPatience,
    That is rather dubious since she retired from federal service in August. You should read the actual whistleblower transcript. It is pretty obvious that by transfering the transcripts to what can best be described as a “secure server” the neocons can no longer leak them to the press. In addition the potential list of primary leakers serving in the White House just got reduced to “about a dozen or so”. (Page 3 paragraph 6).
    Congradulations are in order for smoking out some more deep state actors and highlighting the corruption that is endemic in the swamp. Now if Trump makes a deal with Iran to denuclearize is that beneficial to his reelection chances and thus an impeachable offense, just like when Obama negotiated that first deal? That was impeachable, right guys? How about all those speechs that got Barak that Nobel Prize and the money that came with it, did that violate this new Stasi Standard of conduct being put out by the left?

  68. Avatar Dabbler says:

    A suggestion for a different lens to observe the spectacle: Consider Trump as though he were an officer in the military rather than the civilian commander in chief, and view the process as a (perhaps shambling) effort to determine whether or not his conduct warrants discharge before the completion of his term of service. This rough analogy may provide some clarity in viewing the facts, allegations, etc.
    Note: I did not serve, but I did take an excellent course in military law taught by Joseph Warren Bishop when he visited our lowly state law school one summer quarter.

  69. Avatar walrus says:

    David Habakkuk is right, as is the Sundance article. This is about crowdstrike and the entire Russiagate frame up.
    I think we are indeed in a slow motion coup by what I call “the respectable tendency”. This includes the Western intelligence community which is now functioning exactly like the Praetorian Guard.
    Given the intelligence community’s surveillance capabilities, I now think Trump will be impeached, tried and convicted in the Senate because the IC is in a position to blackmail every single Senator, Congressman and Supreme Court judge if necessary. Likewise all future political candidates.
    If Trump is not impeached and is re elected, he will have an opportunity to clean the stables which must be done. If it isn’t done, you have not only lost your Republic, but considering what is happening in Britain right now, we have lost the Western democracies to an emerging technocratic dictatorship………for the good of the planet of course.

  70. Avatar jonst says:

    personally fred, I could, as a lawyer, come up with a dozen reasons why a bureaucracy that actually has to transfer the aid could come with excuses, legitimate ones, why the aid might be ‘delayed’. Further, I believe given time and staff I could come up with, literally, hundreds of examples where aid was ‘delayed’. And ‘negotiations’ took place, understandings were reach, and miracle of miracles, the aid was released and delivered.

  71. Avatar jonst says:

    No. not by a long shot.

  72. Avatar MP98 says:

    The Democrat-media party is definitely throwing Biden over the side.
    He’s too old, too white, too male and here’s the funny part – “moderate.”
    A pig just flew past my window wearing a banner saying that Biden is a moderate.

  73. Avatar jonst says:

    I predict this entire matter will outrun DC’s control. Passions on both sides will dictate events. Trump with be impeached, and if the GOP thinks it can safely jettison Trump, to get to Pence, they will. I don’t think the GOP, as presently constituted, would survive such betrayal. But I think some might be willing to test my opinion.
    I think this could be the Habsburg Crown Prince moment. And event quickly overtaken by events and passions on both sides. And at the end of the matter, an ending I think long in the future, we will marvel over what set it off. This is a very, very, dangerous game about to be played.

  74. Avatar blue peacock says:

    Similar to the polls during the last election, it ain’t done until the fat lady sings. If Ms. Pelosi is so confident she should call a vote of the full House.

  75. Avatar Mark Logan says:

    I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked it there is no impeachment vote. This is about getting access to much of the things Trump is stonewalling on. Making it an impeachment investigation greases the skids in the courts, which are the only entity in government with a theoretical power to overcome executive branch directives.
    Globalist agenda? I don’t think the dems are desperately clinging to globalism, they simply smell blood in the water. When the Rs were hounding Clinton over an affair with an intern was that to fight globalism? It was to highlight a flaw of character. I suspect Nancy won’t allow this to proceed to a vote. It’s just a bigger and better shovel.

  76. Avatar blue peacock says:

    David
    While Trump may have an interest in getting to the bottom of Crowdstrike and the Ukrainian role in the election interference, it seems from the call to Zelinsky that Trump has again delegated this to Barr. That’s so far not got him anywhere and if that is any indication will not get him to where he needs it to be.

  77. Avatar blue peacock says:

    “…perhaps Brennan himself wrote it.”
    That seems like what it was as the whistleblower is a CIA analyst with no direct knowledge and has hired a partisan attorney.
    The only reason that they can continue to pull more of these hoaxes is that the entire Deep State entourage remain free to do just that. It doesn’t look like the Trump administration is going after them in any meaningful way. Why isn’t Trump using the same tools that they used against him – FISA surveillance, grand juries, special counsel, etc? What’s good for the goose should also be good for the gander.

  78. Avatar srw says:

    Same old GOP crap I heard from Reagan, Bush II, and Trump. Big tax cuts (mainly helping the well off) will lead to more tax revenue later. Laffer curve and all that bs. Budget deficits go up and GOP blames entitlement programs. Will they never learn?

  79. Avatar Fred says:

    jonst,
    I don’t think Mr. T is felling down in the dumps but I’m sure some James Hodgkinson type, or a civil servant like America’s finest professionals at MCC NYC, are ready to spring into action any time they are triggered. It sure explains the latest rush to disarm the deplorables.

  80. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    Spot on Fred. If soliciting from a foreign national a thing of value which may affect an election (and what wouldn’t at some level?) is impeachable, it seems US foreign policy had better cease forthwith.

  81. Avatar Diana C says:

    I don’t live and work around the Swamp. I’m out here in Colorado. The Denver/Boulder corridor is Blue, but most of the rest of Colorado is more red. I’m not hearing very many people, Democrat or Republican, pushing for impeachment. I think we just want a government that works as it was designed to work.
    It just seems to me the House is filled with young people who would rather be featured on the news for supporting some sort of controversy rather than to be out of the spotlight but doing the work they were sent to Washington to do.
    They have work to do but prefer to be distracted with one supposed “crisis” after another, hoping to make a name for themselves on Tee Vee.
    On another note, I like the Edward Hicks “Peaceable Kingdom” copy at the beginning of the posting. I have a nice copy of a different one of his many “Peaceable Kingdom” paintings framed and hanging above a nice copy of Strutt’s “A Little Child Shall Lead them” painting in my bedroom. What a nice hope people had for this continent when it was first settled by Europeans. Too bad it has turned out the way it has in our current political climate.
    Based on the feeling I’m getting around me here, Trump may be impeached by those who prefer do dramatic productions rather than doing their jobs, but he will not be convicted. We taxpayers pay a huge pile of money for dramatic productions on the part of our elected representatives. Their performances are usually pretty unconvincing. None of them are worth the time spent on watching them or the upset stomachs and headaches we get if we do choose to watch.

  82. Avatar BrotherJoe says:

    Maybe we can let Sibel Edmonds testify in open session of ALL she heard about 9/11 in her role as FBI translator.

  83. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Brother Joe
    Is this yet another 9/11 the CIA did it thing?

  84. Avatar turcopolier says:

    SRW
    How would you change policy and law? Be specific.

  85. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Mark Logan
    The hard left marxist globalists like the squad have led the “blood in the water” crowd into a hysterical frontal charge to impeachment.

  86. Avatar Jack says:

    Sir
    Rep. Al Green: “I’m Concerned If We Don’t Impeach This President, He Will Get Re-Elected”
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/06/al_green_im_concerned_if_we_dont_impeach_this_president_he_will_get_re-elected.html
    Heck, forget about voters, we know better. It’s all for their good. No different than the EU – when voters reject, make them vote correctly the next time or have parliament do it. Same story with Brexit. The arrogance of power.

  87. Avatar Factotum says:

    jonst, I think you need a warm cup of Ovomaltine.. You sound very stressed out by your own interpretation of events. In fact Pence is a warm cup of Ovomaltine. So your proffered scenario simply does not sound in fact. Plus reports that Warren is scaring top business Democrats who will defect to Trump if she is nominated. Context, everything in full context. Keeps things balanced.

  88. Avatar Factotum says:

    I recall Larry Johnson blew open the Crowdstrike ruse shortly after it was reported during the Obama years. Time to revisit that old post. What did we learn then and why are still floundering over it today.

  89. Avatar Factotum says:

    Pelosi’s condition when accepting the Speaker position after 2018, was she would hold this for only two years, since there was active opposition against her back then. She will be gone shortly, on her own terms.
    Pelosi is running out the clock right now – doesn’t matter to her if she goes for impeachment or not. Except she is too much of a political animal to completely disregard her instincts, which still say no on impeachment.
    Unless Pelosi intended to back on her 2018 promise – two years as Speaker only and then gone.

  90. Avatar David Solomon says:

    Colonel Lang, I found this podcast on the National Review of interest. I wonder if anyone else would find it of interest and if so, if they would like to comment on it.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/podcasts/the-editors/episode-166-all-about-impeachment/

  91. Avatar Fred says:

    jonst,
    the miracle of bureaucracy!

  92. Avatar Fred says:

    David,
    Though it may appear irrelevant I think we also need to be cognizant of all the money that went into places like Haiti after Aristide was forced to leave and after the earth quake. Did it really need to take more than a decade for “peace keeping” by the UN to come to an end and just why is the UN still there? “Develop the national police”? 15 years is a close to a career’s worth of time. The Clinton Global Inititative is still there. The global “government stabilzation” NGO business seems to be a very profitable non-tax paying and unaccountable one. Haitians fought a long bloody war with both the Revolutionary France and Napoleon to earn freedom and independence; even the US left in less time than the UN and the NGOs. To paraphrase that great Squad member, Ilhan Omar, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby.” or so it seems.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Mission_for_Justice_Support_in_Haiti

  93. Avatar srw says:

    Social Security can be strengthened by eliminating or adjusting the cut off for Social Security tax. Here are several proposals:
    Social Security payroll taxes only apply to wages under $132,900 in 2019, effectively giving high-wage earners a lower tax rate. Modifying or eliminating this cap would strengthen the program and redress the impact of growing income inequality on the program’s finances.
    Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Peter Defazio reintroduced their bill from 2018 that applies the payroll tax to income above $250,000, including unearned income. Under this proposal, earnings under the current cap of $132,900 would still be subject to the payroll tax, but there would be no payroll tax on earnings above the cap until earnings reach $250,000.
    Another recent proposal comes from Rep. John Larson, the Social Security 2100 Act, making earnings in excess of $400,000 subject to payroll taxes.
    Sen. Patty Murray’s proposal, introduced in the 115th Congress, would impose a surtax of 2.0 percent on employers and employees if the employee’s earnings are above $400,000, and a surtax of 4.0 percent if an individual with earnings above that threshold is self-employed.
    CEPR economist Dean Baker writes that, over time, Social Security benefits have been shrinking, relative to earnings. “This reduction in benefits has not been widely noted because it takes the form of an increase in the age at which workers can receive their full benefits,” says Baker.
    Medicare is a different animal and can only be fixed by fixing the huge medical costs for the whole country. Other countries have got a handle on medical costs and I don’t know why we can’t learn something from them.

  94. Avatar Jack says:

    “…he will have an opportunity to clean the stables…”
    Why does Trump have to wait to do this? He’s had many months to do just that. He could start by declassification but he’s outsourced that to Barr now and was previously dissuaded by Rosenstein after stating he would do it.
    I’m not convinced he’ll clean the stables even if he’s re-elected as he’s not done it when it would appear that there’s no better time than now.

  95. Avatar Jack says:

    David
    What is the Ukraine connection with Crowdstrike and the IC assertion that Russia hacked the DNC servers? Why do you think Trump is bringing up Ukraine and the servers?

  96. Avatar Factotum says:

    Countries with lower health care costs don’t have the medical malpractice feeding frenzy as we have to put up with in the US – Doctors in the US, along with their professional risk managers practice defensive medicine, not for the patients benefit, but to do everything they can to avoid being on the wrong end of often specious malpractice claims.
    The patient may be dying regardless, but the doctors know they have to deal with the patients families after the fact. If one of family members starts threatening they will call in a lawyer if the doctor does not do everything to save mom or dad, you can watch the “health care” costs skyrocket. Just talk to your local bioethics committee members if you doubt this one.
    This leads to the biggest problem we have in the US which is we refuse to define “health care”- go ahead try and define it. It utterly lacks objective precision, which is necessary if you are to project or maintain costs.
    Other countries accept rationing (limited resources) and elimination of futility of treatment (death panels) is part of their more cost efficient systems. In the US, we over-treat the worried well, mainly with high cost drugs, and treat the last six months of life as the last chance free for all to make up any hospital operating deficits. You won’t find that approach to “health care” in other countries. Again, talk to members of your local hospital bioethics committee to see the other side of “health care”.
    Plus government health care benefits paid by taxpayers for public sector employees, has also been a huge driver of cost increases. Shortly after Hilary Care hit the scene a few decades ago, public agencies saw huge increases in their group health insurance costs- un-related to any other economic factor.
    Only conclusion is those group plan insurance companies thought they were seeing the beginning of the end for their industries and charged anything they could …while they could.
    Hilarycare died its death, but the insurance companies quickly learned they could get away with charging public tax payer funded group plans anything they wanted without protest, because the fatal combination of public employee unions and spending OPM kept elected officials from protesting.
    In summary – why US health care costs are so much higher
    1. Medical malpractice threats
    2. Treating the worried well, and over treating the last six months of life
    3. Elected officials spending OPM on public sector union-bargained health benefit demands – no cost controls used against the group insurance providers
    4. Inability to accept rationing or futility of treatment limits

  97. Avatar jonst says:

    frig the ovomaltine, whatever the heck that is. Lets just say we respectfully disagree on the level of anger building, on both sides, in this Nation. I repeat, I would not be surprised to see events spiraling out of control of the Borg. In any event, I wish you the best of luck trying to “keep things in balance”. A lot of people may soon find they are riding tigers..and angry tigers at this. It will be interesting to watch them try and dismount.

  98. Avatar jonst says:

    Having reviewed the rumorblower complaint…and seeing the, alleged, ties to ‘National Security’ types in the WH, does anybody else on the Committee think of the name John Bolton? Maybe this is his good by gift.

  99. Avatar Factotum says:

    The one person behind the curtain still pulling the strings, that to date has escaped mention. (From the net):
    …..”Obama wants to reverse the 2016 election by any means necessary. This week he decided to roll with impeachment. His post-presidential sedition is unprecedented and unAmerican.
    Hillary merely refuses to accept defeat.
    Pelosi wanders the House aimlessly.
    Obama seeks to undermine the presidency and the nation herself.
    And so we have this constant turmoil, this political drama, and this constant talk of impeachment. His true believers are worn out because Obama overlooked Rule 8 of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:
    “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”….”

  100. Avatar prawnik says:

    A House vote is much easier to determine in advance than an election. For one thing, you’ve got a much smaller set of voters to canvas. Here’s another:
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/27/politics/house-democrats-impeachment/index.html
    Note that I am not saying that Trump should or should not be ipmeached, only that Team D has the votes to do so. Anyway, we’ll find out soon enough.

  101. Avatar prawnik says:

    No.
    Nobody will put it terms more stark than I will. Obama and Biden deserve to be in the dock at a Nuremberg style tribunal, and not only for Ukraine.

  102. Avatar prawnik says:

    Unfortunately, no matter what happens to Trump, no major political party will dare run a candidate that the IC doesn’t approve of.
    They are too entrenched and too risk adverse.

  103. blue peacock, Jack
    In matters like these, particularly when, as often, one comes across material that appears puzzling, I have found it prudent to try to avoid premature judgement.
    I do not think one can infer anything from the fact that Trump suggested to Zelinsky that he is delegating the investigation to Barr. In this kind of conversation, which, if prudent, he would have every reason to think would probably not remain confidential, he could have been expected to say this.
    The transcript, in itself, seems to me compatible with the hypothesis that Trump was shooting off his mouth, without either having any kind of calculated strategy, or anything very much to support the curious claims about the server.
    Equally, however, it is compatible with the hypothesis that others who already know much more about the coup plot, and in particular the ‘Ukrainegate’ aspect, than they have seen fit to make public, are burrowing away behind the scenes.
    Likewise, it is hardly beyond the bounds of possibility that Trump carefully calculated what he was saying, in the expectation and perhaps indeed hope that something like the sequence of events we have seen would result.
    In turn, this brings one back to the – rather important – question of how far the covert and semi-covert transnational networks involved in ‘Russiagate’, about whom, partly through a range of legal actions, we have been beginning to get a much clearer view, have prompted the development of countervailing networks.
    As I have suggested before, I think the various suits filed by Ty Clevenger and Steven S. Biss on behalf of Ed Butowsky are an absolutely central part of the drama now unfolding. And I think it is material that Biss has also acted for Devin Nunes, in a range of cases, and on behalf of Lokhova, in her case against Halper and various MSM figures.
    There are complexities, and ambiguities here, and much remains unclear to me – again, it seems to me important to keep an open mind.
    And also, clearly, both Clevenger and perhaps even more Biss have given some ‘hostages to fortune.’
    That said, it is my very strong view that with Butowsky, what you see is what you get.
    The way he has been portrayed in the MSM as a manipulative disinformation peddler, on the basis of the most ludicrously tendentious use of evidence, seems to me to prove the precise opposite of what it is intended to do.
    Reading through the recent legal filings, as far as I have had time to do, the conclusion seems inescapable. His critics are, largely, cheap crooks, attempting to use their access to power and money to suppress the dissent of an honest man.
    And again, although I think that the history of Lokhova is much more complicated than people realise, the elements of hysteria which are patently visible in her statements are quite clearly related to the central fact that her claims that she was framed by Halper, with the connivance of Professor Andrew, who she had thought her friend, are true.
    One should never say never, but if in an – honest – court proceeding, it can be demonstrated that the accounts Butowsky has produced of the information he was given, by, among others, Ellen Ratner and Seymour Hersh, about the life and death of Seth Rich, and the cover-ups practised about both, is dishonest, I am prepared to eat my favourite broad-brimmed brown fedora hat.
    As to the question Jack raised about Ukraine.
    This is too big a subject to do more than touch on at this point – and all the more so, as it brings up larger issues.
    Perceptions of Ukraine are intimately involved with what seems to me to have been a curious kind of ‘Bolshevisation’ of liberalism in the wake of the revelation of the dead end into which the actual Bolsheviks had led Russia.
    More recently, I have come to think it might be appropriate to talk of a ‘Disneyfication’ of liberalism.
    I am still in the midst of the – disheartening – process of going through the – clearly highly selective, if abundant – mass of materials relating to Bruce and Nellie Ohr which have been declassified.
    That these people have ended up as utterly mendacious is apparent.
    What needs to be better understood is how this started out, in a determination to see the complex and refractory realities of Ukraine in terms of a simple ‘good guys’ versus ‘bad guys’ polarity.
    A lot here still baffles me. In the lead-up to the (U.S.) Presidential election, I attempted to have what might be termed an old-fashioned cynical British conversation with old friends, in which I would argue that Trump was, as it were, the lesser evil, as against Hillary Clinton.
    However, I then realised that for most of them, not only did he have, as it were, two horns and a tail, but Hillary was, as it were, St. Hillary.
    Attempting to argue any part of the case against her, including among other things her appalling neglect of elementary security precautions, simply produced various kinds of hysterical denial.
    Reading the material from the Ohrs, I increasingly think something similar happened with Yulia Tymoshenko.

  104. Avatar srw says:

    I will agree with your #2,3,and 4 points but medical malpractice cost have been going down for the past 15 or so years. Here is some data on that:
    Medical Malpractice: Myths and Realities
    http://truecostofhealthcare.org/malpractice/
    A really good source for medical malpractice claims data is the National Practitioner Data Bank which posts data on all paid medical malpractice claims since 1991. A summary of the data for the U.S. as well as for each individual state is here. As the following graphs show, the number of paid medical malpractice claims has been dropping since 2001 and the total amount paid on these claims has been dropping since 2003.
    In fact, the total amount spent in the U.S. for medical malpractice (including the amount spent by hospitals as well as legal costs) was estimated to be about $10 billion in 2010. We can assume it’s less than that now, since these costs have been dropping. But even if it’s the same amount, $10 billion is only about 1/3rd of one percent of the more than $3 trillion total spent on health care in the US in 2016. That’s hardly a huge factor.

  105. Avatar Barbara Ann says:

    What needs to be better understood is how this started out, in a determination to see the complex and refractory realities of Ukraine in terms of a simple ‘good guys’ versus ‘bad guys’ polarity.

    David Habakkuk
    Hasn’t the media narrative for America’s foreign policy (& much else) been Manichean since at least the days of cowboy heroes and villains in white and black hats? Russia evil = Ukraine good.
    ‘Disneyfication’ of liberalism is brilliant.

  106. Avatar different clue says:

    Well, if the Dems nominate one of their mainstream cans of catfood, Trump WILL win the next election.
    If some combination of Warren and/or Sanders and/or Gabbard were to get nominated for P and VP candidate, Trump MIGHT lose the election.
    But the word has already gone forth from Purina Central that neither Warren nor Sanders nor Gabbard will be permitted to win the nomination. Never Ever.
    So given what the DemParty plans to nominate, I can understand why Green is concerned. Not that I sympathize. I do not sympathize with Al Green.

  107. Avatar different clue says:

    Why would Obama care at this point? Wouldn’t the Obamas be happy living in their Grand Mansion on Martha’s Vineyard counting their money? Their beautiful beautiful money? All those big Tubmans . . .

  108. Avatar Jim Ticehurst says:

    David..No..Not more effort to Destroy President Trump any more Through The Corrupt Neo Con Sysytem We Had..Thats all Been EXPOSED..Brought in the Light..and We all hear the Squeeling from those folks..I am conginced That A.G. Barr and Mr. Durham are Patriots…Determined to Protect Our Constitution..and have a Very Clear Awareness of How Corrupt Our System had become after all The Exposures that came out of The Clintion DNC/Neo Con Money Infiltration with The Exposures Connected to The Steele Dossier…Fusion GPS Players and Backers… I believe that A.G. Barr will Go for The Head of the Snake..and Step on the Tail..and it will Happen Soon..Its TIME and we all know it…This has become the Final Example of Where Corruption Can Lead to in Our Government.. Of Replacing Our Constitution and Government with a Foreign Ideology..that grew out of the 1930a..abd Survived the Official Purges of the Communist and Nazi..and forced them underground and Disquised..The Chicago Professor Leo .. Strauss ,,Frankfurt School (embracing The “Marxist Humanist”)Theology and Teachings..It Surviced..Morfed..and Transformed its way Into..The Hands of Powerful People..Enabled by Billionaires..Transforming Government..Positions of Power..Influence..Establishing All Domestic and Foreign Policys..and. .The Whole Body of That Frankenstein..has been built for a Long Time…AND The Lsdst “Operation” was Put on the Head..Go to Bed..Hook up all The Connections..Turn on The Power…and We would HAVE a New World Order of The FOURTH RICH….. Every one was Geared Up Ready to Go..Let The Money Flow…Opps …Sorry Joe..Looks Like Hillary didn’t get elected after All..So…David..and All..Yes..Lets see..Some Real Exposure..that will Indeed Rock The House..and a lot of Senators too.. We are NOT a Nation..Built on Sands…Our Founders Knew Better….

  109. Avatar Paul Merrell says:

    I suspect that Republicans in the Senate will use the opportunity to put Joe Biden on trial, if he’s still in the running, rather than Trump.

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