Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham lead condemnation of foreign policy move that could prove ‘disaster in the making’Donald Trump with Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, in the Cabinet Room on Monday. Lindsey Graham said abandoning the Kurds would be ‘a stain on America’s honour’. Photograph: Carolyn Kaster/APDonald Trump was dangerously isolated on Monday as, in a rare rebuke, some of his most loyal allies revolted against his decision to withdraw US troops from north-eastern Syria.Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell led a chorus of Republicans who, having defended the president on almost every other issue – including over impeachment – decided to draw a line in the sand.“A precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime,” McConnell said. “And it would increase the risk that Isis and other terrorist groups regroup.”He added: “As we learned the hard way during the Obama administration, American interests are best served by American leadership, not by retreat or withdrawal.”The criticism was significant because McConnell is usually at pains not to cross Trump even at his most capricious. Last week the Kentucky senator released a Facebook video promising to stop Democratic-led impeachment in its tracks.Article 1 of the United States constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to initiate impeachment and the Senate the sole power to try impeachments of the president. A president can be impeached if they are judged to have committed "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors" – although the constitution does not specify what “high crimes and misdemeanors” are.The process starts with the House of Representatives passing articles of impeachment. A simple majority of members need to vote in favour of impeachment for it to pass to the next stage. Democrats currently control the house, with 235 representatives.The chief justice of the US supreme court then presides over the proceedings in the Senate, where the president is tried, with senators acting as the jury. For the president to be found guilty two-thirds of senators must vote to convict. Republicans currently control the Senate, with 53 of the 100 senators.Two presidents have previously been impeached, Bill Clinton in 1998, and Andrew Johnson in 1868, though neither was removed from office as a result. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before there was a formal vote to impeach him.Martin BelamThe unusual fracture emerged on Sunday night when, shortly after a phone conversation between Trump and Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the White House announced removal of US troops from the Syria-Turkey border area. “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” it added.Critics of all political stripes have long feared that the move could open the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led fighters in the area. Kurdish groups have fought alongside a small US presence in Syria to drive Islamic State militants from the region.The Republican backlash was rapid and potentially unnerving for a president whose fate is tethered to the party and the assumption that it will acquit him in the Senate if, as widely expected, the Democratic-led House of Representatives votes for impeachment.Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, who has become an outspoken defender (and frequent golf partner) of Trump, did not acquiesce this time. Abandonment of the Kurds would be “a disaster in the making”, he said, and “a stain on America’s honour”.Graham told Fox News: “I hope I’m making myself clear how short-sighted and irresponsible this decision is. I like President Trump. I’ve tried to help him. This, to me, is just unnerving to its core.”Graham wrote on Twitter that if the plan goes ahead, he will introduce a Senate resolution opposing it and seeking reversal of the decision. He added: “We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the US in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate.”Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, whose attempts to defend Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president have provoked mockery, said: “If you make a commitment and somebody is fighting with you, America should keep their word.”Michael McCaul of Texas, the lead Republican on the House foreign affairs committee, also urged the president to reconsider. “The United States should not step aside and allow a Turkish military operation in north-east Syria,” he said. “This move will undermine our ongoing campaign to prevent an Isis resurgence and will ultimately threaten our homeland.“Additionally, the United States needs to stay engaged to prevent further destructive involvement in the region from our adversaries like the Assad regime, Putin and Iran.”Notably, senator Marco Rubio of Florida, reluctant to criticise Trump even when the president suggested that China investigate former vice president and 2020 election rival Joe Biden, was clear , describing the retreat as “a grave mistake that will have implications far beyond Syria”And Nikki Haley, Trump’s former UN ambassador, admonished Trump without mentioning his name. “We must always have the backs of our allies, if we expect them to have our back,” she tweeted. “The Kurds were instrumental in our successful fight against ISIS in Syria. Leaving them to die is a big mistake. TurkeyIsNotOurFriend”Ominously for Trump, even conservative Fox News aired dissent. Host Brian Kilmeade described the pullout as “a disaster”, telling viewers of Fox & Friends: “Abandon our allies? That’s a campaign promise? Abandon the people that got the caliphate destroyed?”Republicans who have contradicted Trump before did so forcefully again. Utah senator Mitt Romney described Trump’s announcement as “a betrayal”, adding: “It says that America is an unreliable ally; it facilitates ISIS resurgence; and it presages another humanitarian disaster.”Romney and Democratic senator Chris Murphy issued a joint statement insisting Trump’s administration “explain to the American people how betraying an ally and ceding influence to terrorists and adversaries is not disastrous for our national security interests”.Democrats also piled in but there was a lone voice of support for the president on Capitol Hill. Republican senator Rand Paul, long a critic of foreign intervention, said: “So many neocons want us to stay in wars all over the Middle East forever. [Trump] is absolutely right to end those wars and bring the troops home.”Trump himself was undeterred by the blowback. Speaking at the White House on Monday, he said he has “great respect” for the prominent Republican critics. And added: “People are extremely thrilled because they say it’s time to bring our people back home. We’re not a police force. They’re policing the area. We’re not a police force. The UK was very thrilled at this decision … many people agree with it very strongly.”
|Cache||How likely is it that a country that has been a participant in one of Trumps extortion attempts will turn tables on Trump and extort him and in return, U. S. Interests or they will reveal more impeachable offenses so as to increase likelihood of his impeachment and conviction? Trump will do anything to stay in power. I imagine this may be the genesis of Trump all of a sudden allowing Erdogan to invade Syria and get rid of his long time nemesis, The Kurds! Or maybe the Russians have again blackmailed Trump. It is all very likely. The sooner he is impeached the better. I am sure the schemes of Trump go way way beyond trying to smear Biden. And now he has left himself and this country vulnerable to being coerced to abandoning allies and long held positions of trust.|
|Cache||I didn’t realize this blog’s comments section was a court of law. Lighten up, Mitch. Traitor Trump is being Impeached in time for Xmas!
One of the darkest refrains of the Trump presidency have been the crowds at his rallies chanting "Lock her up" at the mention of Hillary Clinton's name.
The idea that an American president would threaten to imprison a political rival smacks of authoritarian tactics that have no place in a democracy.
These days, the chants seem rather ironic being that Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives for trying to extort the president of Ukraine. If Trump is removed from office, he may face legal consequences for his actions which could mean jail time.
"The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert had fun with the idea of Trump being locked up on his show Monday night when his guests were former Secretary of State Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea.
At the start of the interview, Colbert asked Clinton about the impeachment inquiry saying, "Is it time to — dare I say — lock him up?"
Then the crowd began chanting "Lock him up" to Clinton's chagrin and then she motioned with her hand to tamp down the chanting.
When the crowed quieted, Clinton said that the impeachment inquiry is "exactly what should be done."
"I believe strongly that this particular incident has had such a huge impact because we've known for a long time that he [Trump] was a corrupt businessman who cheated people, and we've known that he and his campaign asked for aid from Russia, we've known that," said Clinton.
"But to see him in the office of the president putting his own personal and political interest ahead of the national security of our country just pierced through whatever confusion or denial people had. And, at that point, Speaker Pelosi rightly said this is something we have to investigate and that's what's going on."
Colbert admits that Trump's dealings with Ukraine have changed his opinion on impeachment.
"I was never a big 'let's impeach him' fan," Colbert said. "I thought we should go to the ballot box. But when someone is clearly using the office that they're in to subvert the ballot box. To use by corrupt means influence fro other countries to maintain their office, what good is that ballot box at that point?"
Clinton knows about impeachment. Her husband was impeached in 1998 and, as a young lawyer, she worked on the case against Richard Nixon. She believes that Trump's actions are exactly what the framers of the Constitution were defending against.
"To undermine the oath that he took to protect and defend the Constitution and the American people that's what falls right into the definition of an impeachable offense," she said.
Colbert also asked Clinton's thoughts on current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was on the call when President Trump attempted to extort the president of Ukraine.
"How many times when you were Secretary of State did you have to say to Barack Obama 'You can't extort foreign countries'?
"Yeah, that never happened," Clinton laughed.
|Cache||Apparently totally oblivious to irony, Trump is attacking Mitt Romney for criticizing his call with the Ukrainian president and calling for China to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. In fact, he thinks Romney should be impeached for having the temerity to actually criticize him for something. President Trump resumed his attacks on Sen. […]|
If the stimulus plan were a Thanksgiving dinner entree, it would be a Turbaconducken -- the heart attack-inducing dish of roasted chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey, all wrapped in endless slabs of bacon. But according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's fantasyland "fact sheet" released early Thursday afternoon, "there are no earmarks or pet projects" in the final package.
Trust her no further than you could throw a pot-bellied pig. Despite the self-delusional declarations of Pelosi and President Obama that no pet projects exist, Hill staffers spilled the beans on several new set-asides tacked onto the bill.
Thanks to Michigan's Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, General Motors will receive a special tax break worth an estimated $7 billion to cover liabilities incurred when it accepted its $13.4 billion bailout from the Bush administration. The failing automaker has lined up for an addition $4 billion in bailout funds -- at which time they'll no doubt ask for another mega-tax liability waiver. The moochers' cycle never ends.
Then there's Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Railway to Sin City. Appointing yourself a Senate conferee has its perks. Roughly $8 billion in perks.
Reid, you see, needs to stimulate his re-election bid, so he haggled with President Obama to tuck in a teeny, tiny, yes, porky amendment for high-speed rail lines. Reid has his eyes -- and paws -- on a proposed Los Angeles-to-Las Vegas magnetic levitation train. He has already sunk $45 million in previous earmarks into his, yes, pet project. Wasn't it earlier this week that Obama was lecturing companies not to travel to Las Vegas on the taxpayers' dime?
But I digress. Along with these not-earmarks, not-pet projects, there's $2 billion for impeached Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's pet FutureGen near-zero emissions power plant project, $300 million for souped-up "green" golf carts for government workers, $30 million for "smart appliances" and $65 million for digital TV coupons. According to Hill Republicans, money for basic highways and bridges was cut by $1 billion from the House-passed level, but:
-- $9 billion for school construction was added back in (originally cut by the Nelson-Collins "compromise");
-- $5 billion was added to the state fiscal stabilization fund (originally cut by Nelson-Collins), making it a grand total of $53.6 billion;
-- $1 billion was added back for Prevention & Wellness Programs, including STD education; and
-- $2 billion for neighborhood stabilization programs.
As I've reported previously, that "neighborhood stabilization" slush fund money will end up in the pockets of left-wing shakedown artists such as ACORN and the Massachusetts-based Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), led by self-proclaimed "bank terrorist" Bruce Marks. There's an additional $3.25 billion in HUD grants and Community Development Block Grants in the bill that will also inevitably find its way into the coffers of these housing-entitlement lobbying groups.
Another egregious not-earmark earmark that survived untouched: $2 billion for the National Parks Service championed by House Democratic conferee and Appropriations Chairman Rep. David Obey. A report by the GOP minority on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee revealed that Obey's son, Craig, lobbied the panel and advocated for the stimulus plan on behalf of the National Parks Conservation Association.
All told -- and safely assuming the major spending provisions become permanently enshrined -- the final price tag of this government hogzilla of all hogzillas over the next 10 years will be a whopping $3.27 trillion with a capital "T."
Not, ahem, that you care.
|Cache||I wonder if we're going to have to amend the 25th amendment. It doesn't cover what happens when the Prez and Veep are impeached at the same time. Somehow I think Nancy Pelosi taking office as the third in line may be problematic.
If Pence really is dirty, and there's already a prima facie case he is, then they could go the Watergate route and impeach Pence first and appoint a new veep broadly acceptable to Dems and Repubs, if such a thing is possible these days. It pains me to say it, but a fella like Romney may be the best we can do. To the extent a better standard-bearer might actually have a chance against the Dem nominee, Romney would be more formidable than Pence. Another plus to a Pence-first strategy is that it could easily be limited to Unkrainia-mania (not a good name, but we should look for something that doesn't end in -gate).
As to the bigger question, I don't know how limited impeachment should be, but it should err on the side of less, not more. Maybe obstruction and Ukraine-ensky. (In honor of the fact that this will be the second impeachment in a row with a key figure with an "insky" in their last name as principal players.) At least some of Trump's financial corruption could be addressed in legislation -- if Dems have 50 senators, a law requiring the disclosure of tax returns will pass in about a week. They could probably also pass a law that puts teeth in the emoluments clauses by simply outlawing a president earning an outside income while president.
One thing I remember from the aftermath of Watergate is that there was a lot of reform legislation passed after Nixon resigned, but I don't remember too many specifics. Hopefully the same thing will happen again.|
Constitutional principles espoused by our nation’s founders dictate that a president should be impeached if he abuses his public office by soliciting campaign help from a foreign government.
The post The Founders Would Have Impeached Trump for His Ukraine-Related Misconduct appeared first on Center for American Progress.
|Cache||It is unlikely that President Trump will be impeached and convicted before his first (and, I hope, only) term ends, but it would be beneficial to the republic - and Congress must make the attempt.|
“We, of course, don’t know what’s going to happen. ... But what we can tell you is that there are roughly nine scenarios of varying degrees of plausibility that are legally and constitutionally possible. Some of these involve Trump being impeached and some involve him leaving office and possibly, but not necessarily, both of those things. Some involve Nancy Pelosi, Mike Pompeo, or Steve Mnuchin becoming president. In theory, Trump could even be booted from office and then run again for reelection in 2020.”
We're sittin' in the bunker, watching the world go by DUCK! It's that kind of world these days, and 3 Chords & the Truth is here to help you cope with it. Good music helps with everything. When you have a president who, in just one day, called on the Chinese communists to investigate the former vice president of the United States -- a potential electoral opponent of said president -- and then run a network television commercial accusing congressional Democrats of plotting a coup against him . . . well, we need all the help we can get. And that was just a couple of days after he quoted (in a tweet, of course) a right-wing preacher who said there'd be civil war to pay if the Democrats impeached him. Listen to the music, folks. Listen to the music. Listen to the good music and soak in the good cheer -- we're not that far away from killing one another. Like I said, hold on to the good music . . . and the better angels of your nature. We need all the help we can get. The Big Show is fun, yes. It's musically enlightening. It's, on its better days, informative without boring the crap out of you or sounding like a college lecture. (A not good one, that is.) But this here little music program is as serious as a heart attack, too. 3 Chords & the Truth also is, one hopes, a reminder that we're better than the worse of the headlines on the evening news. That we're better than our politics. That we're better than the dysfunctional man-child in Washington who keeps trying to drag us down into the muck -- to pit American brother against American brother, and American sister against American sister. To pit America against the rest of the world. Call the show not just "music for the people," but also "music for we the people." Love your brother and listen to the damn music. Please? 'Cause no one's listening to anything if we've all done one another in. It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.
The deep state Democrats (now a monolithic terrorist network that’s trying to take down America) have a plan in place to install Hillary Clinton as President of the United States before the end of this year.
Full details of the plan are explained in the video below. Here’s the summary of the steps the deep state Democrats hope to achieve:
Step 1) Fake an impeachment of President Trump and whip up media hysteria to gaslight the entire nation into thinking Trump is being impeached when it’s all an act (with no real vote in the House, no legal bearing and no legitimacy).
Step 2) Stage an arrest of President Trump, V.P. Mike Pence and his Cabinet members for CNN’s cameras to create the visual impression that Trump is guilty of something. After all, why is he in handcuffs? (Everything with the Democrats is theater. Everything is staged.)
Step 3) Swear in Nancy Pelosi as the President, since she’s next in line (as Speaker of the House).
Step 4) Nancy Pelosi appoints Hillary Clinton as her Vice President.
Step 5) Nancy Pelosi resigns as President, making the V.P. (now Hillary Clinton) the President.
Step 6) Hillary Clinton then appoints a new Vice President, perhaps John Brennan, to strengthen the deep state spooks in her administration.
From that point on, the mass arrest and executions of all Trump supporters gets authorized by “President Hillary,” and all businesses or individuals who do not worship the authoritarian Clinton police state will be literally imprisoned in gulags or executed by Clinton’s death squads (which already have plenty of experience from Bill Clinton’s Arkansas days).
This is how it can all be accomplished before the end of this year, if the Democrats manage to succeed in their devious plans.
President Donald Trump argued on Sunday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be the one being impeached for engaging in “high crimes” and “even treason.” “Nancy Pelosi knew of all of the many Shifty Adam Schiff lies and massive frauds perpetrated upon Congress and the American people, in the form of a fraudulent speech knowingly…
The post Trump Says Pelosi Also Guilty of Treason, Must ‘Be Immediately Impeached’ appeared first on The Western Journal.
The current whirligig comes 21 years after the last impeachment attempt against a sitting president - Bill Clinton. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Acts of 1990 and 1993 increased taxes and limited government spending. These created a budget surplus and an expanded economy. Bill Clinton survived impeachment challenges because he delivered a Goldilocks economy, an analogy to the Goldilocks and three bears story, where the microwave was serving the porridge for one and all. The economic policies of Bill Clinton, referred to by some as Clintonomics. In proposing a plan to cut the deficit, Clinton submitted a budget and corresponding tax legislation overseeing a very robust economy during his tenure. The US had strong economic growth (around 4 per cent annually) and record job creation (22.7 million).
As luck would have it, it was on this day 21 years earlier that the impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, 42nd president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors", which were subsequently detailed in two articles of impeachment.
Wherever one goes in DC, a city of intrigue in the normal course, there is heightened conversation over President Trump's impeachment process. On Dassehra day back home, tension and suspicion play out in equal parts as the White House blocked EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland's Ukraine deposition to Congress. Trump has refused to allow Sondland's testimony because he thinks it will be a kangaroo court which will take a view on the matter. Calling it strong evidence of obstruction, his rivals have been baying for his blood. Further, the plan not to reveal additional text messages has come as a bigger damper. This came against the backdrop of the subpoena to Trump lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, for Ukraine documents. Democrats have requested information from three Rudy Giuliani associates - Lev Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman who worked with Giuliani; Igor Fruman, a business partner of Parnas; and Semyon "Sam" Kislin, a former aide to Giuliani. Lawmakers are also warning they will subpoena the associates if they do not comply with their requests for documents and depositions.
And as if all this tension wasn't enough, Trump's decision to pull the plug on US forces in Syria blindsided the capital and all its players. Trump's growing aggression is seen typical of his persona as he now goes after ex-insider, veep Joe Biden. While Trump is cognisant of polls, impeachment is not a winner, the dynamic of change is rapidly taking root.
On December 19, 1998, Clinton became the second American president to be impeached (the other being Andrew Johnson who was impeached in 1868), when the House formally adopted the articles of impeachment and forwarded them to the US Senate for adjudication. The trial in the Senate began in January 1999 with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding. On February 12, Clinton was acquitted on both counts as neither received the necessary two-thirds majority vote of the senators present for conviction and removal from office - in this instance 67. On Article One, 45 senators voted to convict while 55 voted for acquittal. On Article Two, 50 senators voted to convict while 50 voted for acquittal. Consequently, Clinton remained in office for the balance of his second term.
As Trump remains surrounded, Democrats were taken by surprise with key witness Sondland being pulled out as they believe that a massive cover up has been initiated. With sands shifting, punters still aver that Trump will survive this catechism.
|Cache||Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Joe Walsh on Sunday called President Donald Trump a "traitor" who should be impeached for his phone call with Ukraine. Read Full Story|
|Cache||Republican presidential candidate and former Rep. Joe Walsh on Sunday called President Donald Trump a “traitor” who should be impeached for his phone call with Ukraine.
Over the weekend, Donald Trump called for Republican Senator Mitt Romney to be impeached after Romney offered one of the most timid criticisms of the President ever. Trump doesn’t seem to understand how impeachment works, as he also called for Pelosi to be impeached for treason. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains what’s happening. Transcript: […]
The post Trump Wants Mitt Romney Impeached For Criticizing Him appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.
Several right wing militia groups are taking Donald Trump’s warning of a civil war if he’s impeached VERY seriously, and one group has posted on their social media account that they are ready to take up arms if the need arises. Trump knew exactly what he was doing with his statement, and this is the […]
The post Armed Militias Taking Trump’s Call For Civil War VERY Seriously appeared first on The Ring of Fire Network.
What Happens When Top Rival American Politicians Compete to Jail Each Other?
It's been more than two years since the Belmont Club article predicting a political showdown after the election of Donald Trump was written. Since then, its scenario of top rival American politicians trying to jail each other has become an actual possibility. "Will impeaching Trump lead to indictments of Obama and Biden over Ukraine?" says an article in the Spectator. Rudy Giuliani asks: 'Shouldn't Biden be investigated over Ukraine if Trump can be impeached over it?' Hillary's in the mix too:
As President Donald Trump's presidency is threatened by an impeachment inquiry, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees, Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, are asking Attorney General William Barr to investigate any ties between Ukraine and Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.
To use a World War II analogy there are torpedoes in the water going in opposite directions at each fleet's battlewagons. If all strike home, a lot of damage will ensue as the different parts of the bureaucracy act against rival leaders. Not surprisingly, the term "civil war" actually began trending on Twitter. CBS News reported: "'Civil War 2' trends on Twitter after Trump quotes speculation that impeachment would spark 'civil war.'"
The very mention of the term is itself an impeachable offense according to Harvard Law professor John Coates. "This tweet is itself an independent basis for impeachment - a sitting president threatening civil war if Congress exercises its constitutionally authorized power." The fact that it was Pastor Robert Jeffress who said the offending words on a TV program -- Trump was merely quoting him -- is of no moment. The impeachment devil who no one professed to believe in has appeared at Nancy Pelosi's prayers.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Saturday that she is heartbroken and prayerful as House Democrats move forward with their impeachment inquiry and that President Donald Trump's actions left her no other choice.
There is frank hostility. "Joe Biden's campaign wrote to executives at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News to 'demand' that Rudy Giuliani not be invited on the air to discuss Ukraine and President Trump because of what they called his misleading comments about the Biden family," according to the New York Times. Giuliani responded indignantly: "Think of the Biden arrogance and entitlement to protection. They believe they own the media and they are demanding that they silence me. They know I have incriminating facts, not hearsay, because they know what they did in selling Joe’s office to a Ukrainian crook."
Politicians could be psyching themselves into the very thing they purport to abhor. If they sincerely want to step back from the brink now's the time. Otherwise, their actions may at some point unleash a runaway train. As a Harvard symposium noted, World War I started by miscalculation.
Dems Target Mike Pompeo
With the whistleblower's complaint coming up short, Dems aim for "corrupt" officials.
In an effort to prop up their “whistleblower’s” false allegations, House Democrats have lashed out at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over his refusal to submit to their subpoena demands. Following Pompeo’s statement that he would not let State Department staff be bullied by Democrats into testifying, three Democrat committee chairmen led by Rep. Adam “B Movie” Schiff cried foul, disingenuously claiming that this was evidence that Pompeo was the one who was “intimidat[ing] witnesses.” They warned, “Any effort to intimidate witnesses or prevent them from talking with Congress — including State Department employees — is illegal and will constitute evidence of obstruction of the impeachment inquiry.”
Naturally, the mainstream media is taking cues from Democrats and is now framing the normal job-related actions of high-ranking White House officials like Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr as somehow being evidence of corruption. For example, Pompeo is alleged to have engaged in misconduct for simply listening to President Donald Trump’s infamous July 25th phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Why would this be wrong? As The Wall Street Journal notes, “Shouldn’t a Secretary of State be on a call to the new President of an important country? U.S. foreign policy is the secretary’s job.”
Why are Democrats playing this vilification game? Because their “smoking gun” whistleblower complaint failed to expose any impeachable offense. In all likelihood the Democrats knew that going in, but with a friendly press they calculated that it would serve to provide just enough of a cover story to justify acting on their long-running impeachment obsession. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and company know they don’t have any actual evidence of a crime, so they’re vilifying anyone near Trump to create the air of corruption around any action. Even innocuous job-related activities can be said to have been done with corrupt motivations to cover up Trump’s crimes. This is an effort to keep the narrative alive through the election.
Trump sees this, which is why he’s calling it what it is: “a coup.” On Tuesday, he asserted, “As I learn more and more each day, I am coming to the conclusion that what is taking place is not an impeachment, it is a COUP, intended to take away the Power of the People, their Vote, their Freedoms, their Second Amendment, Religion, Military, Border Wall, and their God-given rights as a Citizen of The United States of America!” He’s right.
There may be another motive for the Democrats’ vilification of Pompeo and Barr — they don’t want them investigating the origins of the 2016 Russia-collusion hoax. In fact, The Washington Post suggests as much in an article titled, “Democrats’ worst fears about William Barr are proving correct.”
Trump Reshaping Ninth Circuit Will Be Felt for Decades
In May 2016, Donald Trump was close to securing the Republican presidential nomination but needed to shore up his support among skeptical conservatives to have even a remote chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in the general election. In an unexpected but brilliant move, candidate Trump released a list of judges that he promised to choose from in selecting a replacement for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, beloved by conservatives.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had infuriated Democrats by refusing to hold hearings on Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, so the next president would fill that vacancy. Trump’s list had been compiled with heavy input from the conservative Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society. Proving him right, conservatives rallied to Trump’s banner (even if cautiously), based on this promise.
The result has been far better that conservatives could have imagined. As president, Donald Trump has nominated two solid conservatives (an originalist/textualist in Neil Gorsuch, and a conservative institutionalist in Brett Kavanaugh) to the Supreme Court, and recently passed an impressive milestone — more than 150 nominees confirmed to the federal bench. The positive repercussions of this will be felt for decades to come.
Arguably, even more impactful than Trump’s Supreme Court appointments (replacing originalist Scalia with originalist Gorsuch, and moderate Kennedy with conservative Kavanaugh) has been his reshaping of the notorious Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, nicknamed the “Ninth Circus” because of its penchant for ultra-leftist rulings.
A week and a half ago, President Trump nominated Patrick Bumatay and Lawrence VanDyke to fill vacancies on the Ninth Circuit. This was the second time Bumatay has been nominated to that court. Trump nominated Bumatay — a Filipino-American federal prosecutor from San Diego and former counselor to the U.S. attorney general — in October 2018, but after strenuous objections by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, the nomination lapsed without action.
VanDyke is an attorney with the Justice Department’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division, having served previously as the solicitor general of both Nevada and Montana, where he incurred the wrath of Democrats and radical environmentalists for litigating against Obama’s abusive land- and water-use policies.
If these nominees are confirmed, it will make the ninth and tenth Trump-nominated judges confirmed to the Ninth Circuit, meaning Trump will have appointed more than a third (10 of 29) of the judges on that bench.
The long-term benefits are enormous.
First, the Ninth Circuit is the nation’s largest circuit court, with a jurisdiction covering nine states and two island territories (40% of U.S. land mass). Its rulings impact more than 60 million Americans (roughly 20% of the U.S. population).
The importance of placing Trump’s nominees on the Ninth Circuit — judges who understand their proper role is to interpret the law as written, not twist it into what they want it to be — cannot be overstated.
Of the 7,000-8,000 cases appealed to the Supreme Court each year, only about 80 receive plenary review and are heard by the nation’s highest court.
By contrast, the Ninth Circuit last year received nearly 11,000 filings and “terminated” (rendered final judgments on) nearly 12,000 cases. Meaning, no matter how obviously unfair, ludicrous, or unconstitutional a ruling of the Ninth Circuit may be, the ruling stands and applies to 20% of the American population unless it is one of the precious few taken up by the Supreme Court.
Of its cases reviewed by the Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit is reversed a staggering 82% of the time. Yet only a tiny fraction of those cases will ever be reviewed by the Supreme Court, so the lunatic rulings stand in the vast majority of cases.
And the Ninth Circuit judges are well aware of that, and take advantage of it.
Stephen Reinhardt, appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the Ninth Circuit in 1979, served until his death in 2018. Known as one of the most leftist judges in the nation, Reinhardt once said of his high reversal rate at the Supreme Court that he would keep issuing leftist rulings because the Supreme Court “can’t catch ‘em all.” It was Reinhardt’s Ninth Circuit Court that ruled in 2002 that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because of the words “under God,” a ridiculous ruling unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court.
There have been calls over the years to split the Ninth Circuit into two courts, a position supported by most of the members of the Supreme Court. Aside from its far-left rulings, the Ninth is simply too big and unmanageable.
Until then though, it is undeniable that President Trump’s efforts are significantly impacting the structure and leanings of the Ninth Circuit. With a third of its judges now Trump appointees, it greatly improves the odds that a panel of Ninth Circuit judges will include those with a more conservative, originalist philosophy.
Just this year, in what would have previously been unfathomable, the Ninth Circuit handed Trump major victories in a border-wall battle with environmentalists and in upholding his “remain in Mexico” policy of dealing with asylum seekers.
Decades from now we may very well look back and see that Trump’s influence on reshaping the federal judiciary, especially the Ninth Circuit, did more than anything else to save the Constitution and uphold the Rule of Law.
ANTI-NRA U-TURN: "Remember last month when San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a domestic terrorist organization and ordered city employees to 'take every reasonable step to limit' business interactions with the NRA and its supporters?" asks Jim Geraghty of National Review. "... The NRA sued, and lo and behold, San Francisco is backing down, before the suit even went to court." The mayor in a new memo states, "No [municipal] department will take steps to restrict any contractor from doing business with the NRA or to restrict City contracting opportunities for any business that has any relationship with the NRA." Meanwhile, says Geraghty, "The NRA is challenging a similar law passed by the Los Angeles city council that requiring city contractors to disclose any ties they have to the gun-rights group."
DEATH AND TAXES: "Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2018 than they did on the basic necessities of food, clothing and health care combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey. ... The $14,758.11 that the average American consumer unit paid for food, clothing and health care was $3,859.82 less than the $18,617.93 it paid in federal, state and local income taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes and 'other taxes.'" (Terence Jeffrey)
NET-NEUTRALITY REPEAL UPHELD: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Tuesday that the Federal Communications Commission was mostly lawful in its rollback of Obama-era 'net neutrality' guidelines, while offering a glimmer of hope to proponents of the guidelines. In a 2–1 ruling, the court said the FCC had acted lawfully in its decision to stop regulating broadband like a utility or a 'common carrier' such as a phone service. But it said the FCC had exceeded its authority in attempting to block states from passing their own rules in contradiction of the net-neutrality repeal, as California did in 2018." (National Review)
TANTAMOUNT TO A WARREN ENDORSEMENT: "Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in July that an Elizabeth Warren presidency would pose an 'existential' threat to the company, according to over two hours of leaked audio published by The Verge." (National Review)
PRO-LIFE SETBACK: "A federal judge handed an early win to abortion rights activists Tuesday by blocking Georgia's restrictive law from going into effect — but it is only the first step as a lawsuit makes its way through the court system. District Judge Steve C. Jones' ruling stops House Bill 481 from taking effect Jan. 1 while the case plays out. Anti-abortion activists are hoping the case winds up in the U.S. Supreme Court." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
MURDERS DECLINE: "Murder is on the decline in America, according to a new FBI report. The nation's top federal law enforcement agency found that homicides fell by 6 percent in 2018. The decline in homicides is part of a 3 percent drop in the violent crime rate, according to the Uniform Crime Report, the FBI's annual tally of crimes reported to local police departments. The 2018 decline follows several years of slight increases in homicide and violent crime, driven largely by spikes in major cities such as Chicago and Washington, D.C." (The Washington Free Beacon)
FAIRFAX FOLLY: The Daily Caller reports: "A county police department in Virginia announced Tuesday that one of their officers was suspended for turning an illegal alien over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after determining the individual had dodged a deportation hearing. Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. said the officer in question had a 'lapse in judgment' when he called ICE about the illegal alien. ... Fairfax County has a policy that limits the police department's cooperation with ICE." The "lapse in judgment" here is being directed at the wrong person.
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Andrew J. Bacevich
Many of the elites demanding accountability for Ukrainegate were reluctant to do the same for the architects of the Iraq War and the Great Recession.
The post Centrist Elites Want Trump Impeached for Their Own Political Gain appeared first on The Nation.
Trump's exploitation of his position and its authority is precisely what presidents are supposed to be impeached for.