Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump

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I am recommending this new title by Neal Katyal and Sam Koppelman. Katyal is a former Acting Solicitor General for the US, and law professors at Georgetown, and you know him as a frequent contributor on various MSNBC shows.


Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump
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Why President Trump has left us with no choice but to remove him from office, as explained by celebrated Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal.

No one is above the law. This belief is as American as freedom of speech and turkey on Thanksgiving—held sacred by Democrats and Republicans alike. But as celebrated Supreme Court lawyer and former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal argues in Impeach, if President Trump is not held accountable for repeatedly asking foreign powers to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, this could very well mark the end of our democracy. To quote President George Washington’s Farewell Address: “Foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.” Impeachment should always be our last resort, explains Katyal, but our founders, our principles, and our Constitution leave us with no choice but to impeach President Trump—before it’s too late.

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179 thoughts on “Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump

  1. The evidence may be clear, but the roadblocks are significant: the Republican party has abandoned any semblances of morality and integrity. They see
    – chances to remove the social aids that provide help to the undesirable members of society (anyone not in the intersection of white, rich, male). The irony is that many of them used those aids themselves on their way up
    – chances to roll back environmental and worker protections, despite how effective they’ve been, because their donors don’t like them
    Most importantly
    – they see that the people who have been the core of the Republican party since the mid 60s, and vocal about it since Reagan, the racists, bigots, homophobes, etc., finally have a strong supporter in the White House, they don’t want to risk crossing that group

    All of that means that you get blatant liars like Nunes (and his instantly debunked “memo”) and others deflecting the discussions that have been held with observations that are asinine but effective with the right. You get them complaining about the hearings and the whistelblower not “being fair” when, in fact, all the guidelines that they themselves put in place were followed. And you get their blatant comments that they don’t care what evidence is presented, they will not vote to oust the nazi lover from the White House.

    It is clear, if you have an IQ that’s numerically higher than the skin that forms on cooling pudding, that Trump is guilty, and it’s even more clear that the rear-end lickers in Congress and the Senate don’t care, and that the uninformed public who support racism, bigotry, etc., will continue to support him.

    When the low-lifes of the country have as much influence as they do now, times are bad.

    1. As a note on how lacking in integrity the modern Republican party is: Mitt Romney is being lauded as “brave” for saying:

      ““I saw no evidence from our intelligence community, nor from the representatives today for the Department of State, that there is any evidence of any kind of that suggests that Ukraine interfered in our elections”

      Brave, heroic, for stating something that’s been known for years? The real story is that there are right-wingers who still deny facts and say the Ukraine was responsible.

    2. Rachel Maddow had a case in point on her show yesterday (Dec. 2). When Don the Con was a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, congressmen Chris Collins (NY) and Duncan Hunter (CA) were the first party officeholders to voice their support for him. Both were soon under indictment, Collins for multiple count of insider trading and Hunter for multiple counts of misappropriating campaign financing monies. Both ran successfully for reelection while under these indictment and both later pled guilty and are likely for some jail time.

      “Lock her up” Trump showed his love of even-handed justice by calling out then Attorney General Jeff Sessions for prosecuting these felons, as if it were a bad thing. You can be sure the current A.G. will not make such a mistake though. He has already refused to even investigate the Russian involvement in the 2016 election and has already written an “objection” to the Inspector General’s conclusion that there is no evidence that there was political bias behind the F.B.I.’s investigation.

  2. Heck, apparently Barr is one of the buffoons who says he doesn’t believe it was the Russians that meddled. Think about that: the AG is willing to lie because the facts go against the presidential line.

    1. What Barr says and what he thinks may or may not be in synch. In any case, Barr was handpicked by Trump to do what he’s doing: protecting Trump first, last, and always. Forget an independent judiciary.

  3. Listening to today’s hearings. Once again: no facts from the right, but a good number of lies and re-hashes of debunked conspiracies. (The favorite lie is that the Democratic politicians aren’t doing any real work when the right has been sitting on many things without acting on them. )
    In a sane world that would demonstrate the lack of defense Trump’s butt-lickers have in this case. In today’s world, their dishonesty will not be noticed by most. There are no words sufficient to describe the scale of the lack of integrity those at the top, the middle, and the working class of the modern right collectively display.

    1. My take on today’s hearings is that they are not very persuasive. I was listening to PBS commentary and even the moderator was talking about the format and how the three law professors called by the democrats were just repeating each others testimony. It appears very biased and even PBS seemed to think that.

      The assumption is that the favor asked by Trump was for personal benefit and to help in the 2020 election. But how do we know that? What if Biden actually used foreign aid to benefit himself in 2016? Can nobody investigate that?

      Isn’t what Biden did exactly the same as what Trump is accused of doing? To pretend that it was all about the future and not the past is a bit silly, at least to me. I see nothing wrong with Trump asking a favor to investigate whether a politician did something wrong in the past, just as I see nothing wrong with a future president asking Ukraine or China if Trump did anything wrong.

      According to the definition the 3 law professors use, even hosting a fund raiser would be an impeachable offense – because how can you not personally benefit by getting cash from people for your reelection? It is just a joke how broad their definition of “bribery” is.

      But it is what it is – a politically biased impeachment supported by only one party. I doubt the democrats will be happy when the same standard they now advocate is applied to future democrat presidents.

      The trial in the Senate will look quite a bit different and will no doubt result in an acquittal.

    2. “My take on the claims that the emperor is not wearing any clothes is that they are not very persuasive. I was listening to the citizens’ commentary and even the mayor was talking about the invisible silk cloth and how the three scientists called by the young lad were just repeating each others testimony. It appears very biased and even the citizens seemed to think that.”

  4. “All her other crimes are well documented ”

    Well no, they aren’t.

    “Defeat ISIS”

    Hasn’t been done — they are still alive and well. He did, with his withdrawal, manage to release a good bunch of them that had been held.

    “out of Iran agreement”
    Which, in the eyes of our intelligence agencies and intelligence agencies around the world, was a success. Since leaving Iran has been ramping up its nuclear research.

    “fixing NATO ”

    Which, to the surprise of nobody, wasn’t broken.

    “no to socialism,”

    We don’t have socialism in the way clowns like you think of it. We have, however, thanks to trump, now paid farmers more money to make up for the harm trump’s needless tariffs have caused than was paid out to auto companies.

    “jobs (including manufacturing)”

    Again, no, no substantial change in jobs especially in manufacturing. We have had several of the plants trump claimed he saved close though. (And note: in spite of his shit-show of a PR session in Texas at the plant that will assemble the new Mac Pro, that is not a new plant: it’s been working for Apple since 2013, was in business before that, and isn’t manufacturing the new computers, it’s simply assembling parts produced overseas.)

    “After the Obama’s attempt to fundamentally change our Country”
    We get it: you folks didn’t like that he had the audacity to be non-white while serving as president.

    “Michelle’s not being proud of our (and her) Country”
    She said (before Barak was elected)”For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change”

    “even though she had affirmative action and a no-show job for 1/3 of a million dollars a year.”

    Racist bullshit not deserving of a response.

    “BLM”

    Gee, what could there possibly be about a movement that points out that for too long African Americans have been treated as less than real citizens and whose goal is to improve the situation for people who don’t have access to money and power.
    Oh yeah — your ignorance, bigotry, and racism.

    “That is right nothing unless you watch Joe Biden demanding Ukraine fire a prosecutor”
    Well, that made it — every comment you made is phrased to make a lie seem like a tease. Go back and read the reports of this — even the Republican report written at the time — that showed there was nothing nefarious there. The US, England, European Union, all lobbied to have the prosecutor in question fired since he was not doing, as he was told to do, any investigation. His replacement — the one Biden elder and others wanted in place — did begin the prosecution.

    I’m amazed at your intense dishonesty and racism. Ignorance and dishonesty like yours have been around for centuries, but it’s thanks to the modern right’s opinion that such things are virtues that you and others feel so secure in publicly airing them.

  5. “What if Biden actually used foreign aid to benefit himself in 2016? Can nobody investigate that?”

    Holy christ, that’s effing stupid even for you.

  6. “My take on today’s hearings is that they are not very persuasive. I was listening to PBS commentary and even the moderator was talking about the format and how the three law professors called by the democrats were just repeating each others testimony.”

    From your past posts here, it is no surprise that you found it “not very persuasive.” What’s the problem? The Constitution is not vague or complex enough for you? Did you expect scholars of the Constitution and its framers to have wildly different ideas about what they thought the Constitution says and meant about bribery, extortion, and interfering with Congressional oversight and investigations?

    The Constitution uses few words but it is clear on impeachment once the framers’ context is made clear. And it is also clear that Trump transgressed it. (He has obviously never read the Constitution; his lack of ability to get anything out of written documents is well known. He also showed this when he tried to get the G7 conference sited in his bedbug-infested, rundown Florida business. When this was pointed out to him as being Constitutionally prohibited, he said that the emolument clause was a fake.)

    Again, not surprising, the Republican mouthpiece said absolutely nothing about the Constitution for as long as I could stand his whining about the supposed persecution of Trump. His warning that the bar for impeachment was being lowered was ridiculous since all other speakers pointed out exactly what Trump did and why that was contrary to the Constitution.

  7. “how the three law professors called by the democrats were just repeating each others testimony.””

    RickA isn’t accustomed to listening to real lawyers.

  8. “The assumption is that the favor asked by Trump was for personal benefit and to help in the 2020 election. But how do we know that?”

    Duh! We know that because Sondland, the million dollar Trump donor rewarded with the ambassadorship to the EU — who was moved by Trump to the Ukraine to oversee Giuliani et al.’s alternate foreign policy channel — testified that he got the clear impression from Trump that all he wanted was the announcement of an investigation; whether there WAS an investigation didn’t matter. The announcement was enough for a smear campaign in the coming election; a real investigation might turn up with the wrong answer from Trump’s point of view.

    We also know from testimony that Trump wanted tampering in the 2016 election by the Ukraine to be investigated, despite the fact that the U.S. intelligence agencies are all convinced that Russia, not Ukraine did it. (Anyone who got there news from Facebook knows that the majority of political opinion there was anti-Hillary. There is only one country that Trump can’t do enough for and that’s Russia. The Ukraine had no reason to be anti-Hillary. Candidate Trump had suggested that Russia should keep what it had taken from Ukraine.)

    It seems clear enough to me when you look at motive and evidence. Trump wanted the announcement so he could smear Joe Biden, his bete noir, with impunity during the election; he wanted an announcement that the rightwing fantasy that it was Ukraine that biased the 2016 election not Russia investigated because it WAS Russia and they helped Trump win the election.

    1. As we know, facts mean nothing to the right.

      I don’t expect the impeachment to go anywhere in the Senate — not, as the resident lying lawyer above claims, because there is no there there, but because, like him, the republicans in the Senate are still butt-hurt that there was a black man in the white house that managed to clean up a good number of the messes the previous republican had created. (Not to clear him completely: he did expand the drone war, continue the asinine ‘war on terror’, and so on.) Those republicans are also intent on rolling back polices that have helped the poor, protected wildlife and natural resources, and in general helped society. Pushing fundamentally racist polices and supporting nazis is simply icing on their cake. They can’t do that if they allow themselves to be held to the rule of law.

      More directly: when you listen to the comments the Republicans tossed out during the hearings, you noticed one thing: nothing was based on fact. Debunked theories about the Ukraine meddling with elections? Check. Debunked stories about the Biden’s beneffiting from the sacking of the first Ukrainian prosecutor? Check. On and on and on, all bullcrap. Lying that the rules weren’t followed in the leadup to these hearings? Yup (note that not only were rules followed, they were the rules the Republicans wrote).

      Was it a waste of time for them? No, because as we’ve seen from a certain poster here there are people in the public with both IQ and integrity low enough to buy into those comments and repeat them.

      No, this won’t go anywhere in the Senate, and it won’t be because the p.o.s. in the White House isn’t guilty, it’ll be because the Republicans running things are ethically and morally bankrupt. Just like a good percentage of their supporters.

  9. “But it is what it is – a politically biased impeachment supported by only one party. ”

    It is supported by only one party because the other party is now completely dependent on a core group of supporters who love Trump for exactly the things that normal people dislike about him: lying without effort about nearly anything and everything, willingness to cheat at anything he does, crudeness of speech and thought, ignorance of nearly everything a president needs to know, mercurial, disdainful of facts and expertise in others, inability to process information, tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way. All of these things have been public knowledge and have come from observations by those who have worked with and for him. Why people find this attractive in a grown man I don’t know but they exist.

    1. a politically biased impeachment supported by only one party.

      Speaking as a foreigner, it seems obvious to me that, in a country with technically a two-party system (1), any measure directed against the executive will likely be supported by only one party.
      (1) yeah, I know, you theoretically have greens and other independants politicians. The day one of them is elected POTUS, governor or some other top position, I’ll admit you have more than two parties.

      Speaking as a scientist, it’s even more obvious. The only possibilities are 0, 1 or 2 parties supporting a given position. Either there is a consensus, or it’s one party against the other.

      tl;dr: “supported by only one party” is not a meaningful argument.

  10. When we see the repeated lies and ignoring of facts that rickA engages in (universally, on any topic) you come away wondering how someone who (presumably) walks upright without using knuckles for balance can say such stupid things in defense of the serial criminal/sexual assaulter in the white house.

    Then you realize that the republican “leadership” do the same thing and it’s clear: scumbags do as scumbags see.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/12/ukraine-trump-gop-revenge.html

    1. It is quite interesting how different people can look at the same thing in different ways.

      Your definition of “facts” and mine are different.

      For example, many democrats say that it is incontrovertible that Trump leveraged foreign aid for personal political gain.

      Except that is not a fact – that is an opinion.

      All we know is Trump asked for two favors – one of which was related to crowdstrike and one of which was related to Biden getting a prosecutor fired.

      Republicans look at these actual facts differently than democrats, because they make different assumptions. Nothing wrong with that – everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

      I do find it interesting that you think that 55% of the population are scumbags (support for impeachment is only at about 45%). That fact should make you think a bit. You are in the minority in your worldview. Hmmmm.

      Democrats are peeling away and it will be interesting to see how many actually vote for each article of impeachment. It will also be interesting to see how democrats split on Ukraine articles of impeachment and Mueller report articles of impeachment (I suspect there will be several added from the Mueller report).

      It is also funny how we disagree – but I don’t call you a liar, while you repeatedly call me a liar. Your argument style is poor – but thats ok. Each to his own. Live and let live. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

  11. “while you repeatedly call me a liar.”

    Stop lying and you won’t be called one. The fact that every post you make (other when you aren’t playing the butt-hurt card because your bullcrap has been named as such) — climate change, this, social issues — is chock full of things that have no relationship to reality is telling.

    1. Poor dean. Perhaps someday you will figure out that just because somebody doesn’t agree with you, they are not automatically a liar. But perhaps not.

      We merely disagree on gun control, climate change and apparently impeachment.

      I have never lied to you or anybody else on this site.

      The fact that you call everybody who disagrees with you a liar is telling.

  12. “For example, many democrats say that it is incontrovertible that Trump leveraged foreign aid for personal political gain.

    Except that is not a fact – that is an opinion.

    All we know is Trump asked for two favors – one of which was related to crowdstrike and one of which was related to Biden getting a prosecutor fired.”

    If this were a sexual harassment matter, the mere fact that Trump was in a position of power relative to the person asked “for a favor though” and made the delivery of important things he was withholding contingent on a positive response from that person would be actionable.
    =

    “. . . one of which was related to Biden getting a prosecutor fired.”

    Well according to a lot of the word salads being tossed around by Trump and other Republicans, it had to do with Hunter Biden as well. More importantly, you are implying that it is a perfectly reasonable opinion that Donald J. Trump, whose every action, proclaims his overweening egotism, was completely unaware of the fact that both the things for which he asked the president of the Ukraine would enhance his chances of winning the 2020 election. He was simply interested in uncovering corruption. Not Russian corruption of course, just corruption that could be pinned on Ukraine and the Bidens. In that case why did he care only for the announcement of investigations and didn’t care whether the investigations were done or not. Sondland testified to that and ignoring it turns the Republican opinion into an attempt at whitewashing something dark and dirty.

    And how does this explain the actions in the Ukraine of Rudy Giuliani and a cast of shady characters, none of whom have any position in the U. S. government. They were acting under Trump’s direction, Trump himself told people “to talk to Rudy.” It’s a funny way to fight corruption to defame and remove an an anti-corruption ambassador while hobnobbing with a number of pro-Russian Ukrainians with ties to Putin.

    But you must know all this, if you have followed the case at all. You are just one of those people I characterized as admiring Trump for things that are not admirable at all.

    1. Yes – I am very aware of all of the assumptions and theories.

      Could you quote the part were Trump mentioned Hunter?

      Could you quote the part were Trump mentioned 2020?

      Could you quote the part were Trump asked for the Ukrainians to make up stuff about Biden to help him in the 2020 election?

      No?

      90% of the material in your post is simply conjecture.

  13. RickA is the perfect example of republican imperviousness to facts that don’t agree with their worldview.

    Lets create a fictional example that demonstrates their defence:

    Witness: I saw the mobster demand the business owner give protection money

    Defence: Where is the recording of this? You’re only speculating that this was the demand, you have no proof of it

    Witness 2: I heard the business owner discussing that the mobster was demanding protection money

    Defence – it’s hearsay, you weren’t witness to the demand

    Witness 3: I heard the mobster say he was going to demand the protection money from the business

    Defence – well you have no proof the mobster ever actually made the demand.

    Witness 4: the mobster had motivation to demand the payment because he wanted to fund a new operation

    Defence – since he didn’t get the payment before being caught this motivation couldn’t possibly have been true.

    RickA would claim that the case against the mobster was just all speculation, despite the existence of 4 independent sources of evidence

    1. I only wish we could somehow require the Republicans to apply the same standards to Trump’s actions as they applied to President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s. If Hillary Clinton’s choice of the server for e-mail storage was a “lock her up” issue, what is Trump’s use of an unsecure cell phone? If President Obama’s lawful executive orders were examples of “tyranny,” what was Trump’s illegal holding up of funds already allocated by the Congress for no declared purpose?* Apparently, the only standard they are willing to apply is: “How does this benefit me?” * If it had been for a good national interest purpose he would have tweeted it out as the “best thing a U.S. president has ever done.”

    2. I only wish we could somehow require the Republicans to apply the same standards to Trump’s actions as they applied to President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s.

      Good luck with that. He wasn’t white and she isn’t a guy.

      If Hillary Clinton’s choice of the server for e-mail storage was a “lock her up” issue, what is Trump’s use of an unsecure cell phone?

      Hey, his phone hasn’t been hacked. (Of course, neither was her server.)

      If President Obama’s lawful executive orders were examples of “tyranny,” what was Trump’s illegal holding up of funds already allocated by the Congress for no declared purpose?

      Already noted. To rickA and the rest of trump’s supporters, the crucial difference is simple: “The current president is white, the `criminal’ president wasn’t.”

  14. “90% of the material in your post is simply conjecture.”

    If you are talking about my post, your math is wrong.

    Trump threatened to call Hunter Biden as a witness for his Senate trial. Trump on his own call transcript said “I want a favor though.” (Which was heard by other people.) The word “though” makes it a condition {in common English) for receiving the foregoing things discussed. Sondland said that Trump didn’t care whether there were any actual investigations, just the announcement was enough. Trump had told a number of people to meet with or check with or ask Rudy, HIS lawyer, not an official of the government.

    “Could you quote the part were Trump asked for the Ukrainians to make up stuff about Biden to help him in the 2020 election?”

    I did not say Trump asked for such a thing in those words. Read my sentence again. It would be understood by any rational adult considering the context. And, since all Trump wanted was an announcement of whom and what was being investigated, there was no real need to stress it in words. But just the request by Trump is in itself sufficient in the case of the military aid because that request had already been approved by the Congress and relevant government departments, and there was no reason other than a personal one for Trump to ask for investigations as conditional for the release of militiary aid.

    Juries aren’t made up of children. Normal adults are well aware that adult’s threats to other adults aren’t always spelled out in explicit strings of words. In this case the word “though” served in lieu of a longer phrase. Some of the listeners to the call understood this even if you don’t And Giuliani had already told a number of people in Ukraine about what investigations Trump wanted {“ask Rudy”) so it was no surprise to the Ukrainian president, who was also aware of the hold that Trump had put on it either then or soon after.

  15. What is amusing to me is how bad a job democrats have done on going after Trump on Ukraine.

    Since bribery is an intent crime, there are only a few people who can provide direct evidence on the issue of Trump’s intent. Trump, Giuliani, Bolton, Pompeo, maybe VP Pence, maybe a couple of others in the Executive branch.

    Why no subpoenas for the testimony of Bolton? Bolton is begging to testify, but won’t without a court order. Why didn’t the house intel committee go to court to enforce the subpoenas they issued to Pompeo and others who didn’t show or were ordered not to show? Sure, there are massive executive privileged problems and the house might lose – but they should have gone to court anyway and tested the matter.

    There is only one reason democrats didn’t go to court – it would take to long. That is why democrats decided not to get the court to order testimony. Only then do you have a real obstruction of justice. But no court action on Ukraine. The election is to close to allow for a court decision, and the inevitable appeals to the Supreme Court – and democrats know it and made the tactical decision to forego the Courts.

    What a joke. The democrats went to court against Nixon. The Republicans went to court against Clinton. The current crop of democrats opted not to go to court on the Ukraine matter. This will turn out to be a big mistake.

    Without knowing what the actual real witnesses have to say about Trump’s intent (actual evidence – not just assumptions), and to pursue impeachment in the absence of this information is just plain stupid.

    That is what is going to make the senate trial so much fun to watch. This will no doubt bite the democrats in the ass.

    The real truth is democrats are pretty certain they cannot beat Trump next year – and their only option is to try to change that dynamic with impeachment. It isn’t going to work. In fact it is going to backfire and it already is.

    The democrats went to court over the Mueller background documents – but it is getting appealed.

    The democrats went to court over Trumps taxes – but it is getting appealed.

    The democrats went to court over emoluments and that will be appealed.

    So the democrats know how long the court takes and isn’t about to wait – the election is just to close to wait (Schiff said they couldn’t even wait for the facts).

    So they made their bed and now they have to lie in it.

    The whole debacle is simply helping Trump because it is so clear that democrats have decided that the only way to win the game is not to play it (ala war games) – i.e. try to prevent Trump from running via impeachment. The democrats look desperate and really really stupid.

    What if the Supreme Court ordered Trump to testify about his intent in withholding the aid – right before the election in 2020. There is no chance of that now, because the democrats are to stupid to proceed in the proper manner (or course there is a very good chance the courts would rule Trump doesn’t have to testify about his intent as to foreign policy – but we will never know now).

    Democrats – the gang that cannot shoot straight. Maybe democrats should buy guns and get to the range and practice shooting. It might help.

    I wonder how many democrats peel off by the house vote on impeachment. 3? or 20? Who knows.

    But it sure is fun to watch.

    1. “Since bribery is an intent crime, there are only a few people who can provide direct evidence on the issue of Trump’s intent. Trump, Giuliani, Bolton, Pompeo, maybe VP Pence, maybe a couple of others in the Executive branch.”

      And all of those have been ordered to stonewall. To most people that is not what an innocent man would do. Once again the so-called “President” puts himself in front of the Constitution and country.
      =

      “There is only one reason democrats didn’t go to court – it would take to long. That is why democrats decided not to get the court to order testimony. Only then do you have a real obstruction of justice.”

      Oh “real obstruction.” Do you have some precedents for that statement? Can you cite any legal precedents or lawyers with expertise in Constitutional matters that believe that it justifies the essentially unlimited breadth of executive privilege claimed by Trump?
      =

      “Why no subpoenas for the testimony of Bolton? Bolton is begging to testify, but won’t without a court order. Why didn’t the house intel committee go to court to enforce the subpoenas they issued to Pompeo and others who didn’t show or were ordered not to show?”

      As you yourself pointed out, Trump appeals everything, time is of the essence in stopping a serial lawbreaker and Trump is depending on the Supreme Court to prove as spineless as the Senate Republicans. By the time the next election comes, the Russians will have fixed it since neither Trump or the Republicans have done anything to stop them. (Funny that. You’d think that Trump, the great corruption fighter, would be all out to keep the Ukrainians he blames for the meddling in the 2016 election from doing it in 2020, but no, he has an open door policy for meddling in elections.)
      =

      “But it sure is fun to watch.”

      Which are you hoping for, a monarchy or an out and out dictatorship, once the chief executive has no recognized legal boundaries

    2. But it sure is fun to watch.

      Why is watching a corrupt President game the system ‘fun’? As opposed to horrifying?

      And why are you endorsing this ongoing assault on the Constitution instead of protesting against it?

      Is wiping your arse on the Constitution part of the ‘American way’ that you constantly endorse here?

  16. “his cell phone wasn’t hacked”

    You really don’t have to hack an unsecured cell phone. It is clear to everyone but Republicans that Russian intelligence agencies and those of whatever other countries are interested in listening in have listened in.

    It is another example of Republican stupidly maintained ignorance that they actually think that to “hack” a server for e-mails (or whatever) you have to physically take it away to some secret lair, so they want to scour the Ukraine for the DNC server, which, apparently, they think is still being kept as an exhibit in a spy museum or something.

  17. his cell phone wasn’t hacked.
    You don’t have to …

    True — perhaps I wasn’t clear in my comment. It’s common for his use of unsecured equipment to be defended by folks like rickA saying what my comment was: he hasn’t been hacked but HRC was.

    And yes, rickA and others do seem to have a hard on over the debunked stories about the Ukraine, Bidens etc — witness the crap earlier implying the whole Biden thing was just to enrich the family.

  18. Fun to watch the way in which RickA’s immortal ‘opinions’ follow the same pattern:

    On climate sensitivity – zillions of climate scientists disagree with Ricky, but he’s sure he’s right and never mind the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    On impeachment, over 600 legal scholars disagree with Ricky, but he’s sure he’s right about that, too.

    The sheer fucking arrogance and exhibition-class bellendery is just breathtaking, really.

    1. We all know better by now than to expect any shred of decency or logical thought from rickA.

      “I’m going to end this as quickly as I can, for the good of the country. When 51 of us say we’ve heard enough, the trial is going to end. The president’s going to be acquitted.” Lindsey Graham

      So he’s saying despite being required to serve as a jury and weigh evidence the decision is already in. Just another sign that the shitstain republicans like rickA don’t really care about the law.

  19. The part the Republicans really aren’t considering is that the reactionary elements of the American left are getting mobilized by this crap. More and more people are realizing that the corporate friendly Democrats are on the side of corruption, obstruction and not reform. All the tools that Trump has made available for Republicans will be available for the coming left wing Democratic party that is going to come to power after the Bidens and Pelosi democrats get wiped out. Not this election cycle, but it will happen. The up and coming populists on the left won’t feel the need to play “nice.” So sure, Trump might win this one, but every one of these so called victories will come back to haunt the Republican party

    1. “Trump might win this one, but every one of these so called victories will come back to haunt the Republican party.”

      Not only that but the Republican Party of recent years is not the party it once was; as people here and elsewhere have pointed out. The current GOP crop found a way via primaries to eliminate the older style Republicans and sooner or later, some group will find a way to get rid of those who represent the current crop (cult-of-personality Trump Republicans and the slightly-older-style Teapartyists).

    1. You can only have fun watching a bunch of self-serving vermin wiping their arses on the Constitution if you are, at least in spirit, of their number.

  20. “So he’s saying despite being required to serve as a jury and weigh evidence the decision is already in.”

    This is tragic but not really surprising is it? The current crop of Republicans has abandoned facts and reason years ago, and via Faux News and Facebook, serving as their propaganda arm*, they have deluded a significant part of the population to slip down their rabbithole with them. * Let’s not forget that Russian propaganda is welcome there too.

    1. I would point out that the founding fathers didn’t want a pure democracy, but rather a representative democracy. That is why it is set up the way it is. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

  21. So they bailed on bribery. Probably a smart move, since they couldn’t make out a case for bribery.

    Abuse of power and obstruction of congress are the only two articles of impeachment.

    The Senate trial will focus on the abuse of power article, as the obstruction article is so weak. Going to court to fight subpoenas and exerting executive privilege is not obstruction of congress.

    I believe the Senate trial will focus on whether it was an abuse of power for Trump to want Ukraine to investigate whether Biden did anything wrong in getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired in 2016. And Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election – the Ukraninan officials who worked with the Clinton campaign to try to dig up dirt on Trump.

    I believe the Senate will find no abuse of power, because of course it is ok to look into whether Biden abused his power by getting the Ukranian prosecuter fired. Just as it was ok to look at whether Trump colluded with Russia (he did not) and whether Trump abused his power in Ukraine (the Senate will find he did not).

    It is not Trump’s fault Biden took action in Ukraine which looks suspicious, because of his son’s board position and Biden also happens to be running for election in 2020. And it will turn out that there was a reason to investigate Ukraine’s role in the 2016 election.

    Unless the ONLY reason Trump wanted Ukraine to do him a favor was interference in the 2020 election, he didn’t abuse his power. I believe the Senate will show Trump had more than one reason to ask Ukraine to do him a favor and so the ONLY reason will not turn out to be an improper one.

    So that will be the grounds for acquittal of Trump.

    The whole impeachment saga should be over by mid-February.

    The real question is what impact will this attempt to remove Trump from office have on the 2020 election. I suspect it will help Trump quite a bit. The FBI lied to the FISA court in order to renew their Carter Page warrant – they were clearly out to get Trump. Trump was right all along – the deep state is trying to overturn the 2016 election. The Ukraine impeachment is just the latest attempt and Trump will run on this and it will work in his favor. Not to mention what Dunlop will find out about how the CIA and other agencies conspired with the FBI to try to take down Trump – that is forthcoming and I am sure will come out before the election.

    The whole impeachment effort, Schiff working with the whistleblower (evidence on this will come out in the trial) will look like more just another in a long list of efforts to wrongly overturn the 2016 election.

    I found it quite interesting in the press conference this morning that Adam Schiff said they couldn’t wait for the courts, because it took 8 months to get their first decision, and it would be appealed and then Trump would claim executive privilege and they would have to start over again. Schiff went on to say they couldn’t let Trump cheat AGAIN.

    What is interesting about that is that Mueller found that Trump didn’t cheat. He didn’t collude with Russia. That was completely refuted.

    This shows the mindset of the democrats – they still think Trump cheated in 2016 and so they have to cheat themselves with this phony impeachment to try to remove Trump from office to prevent Trump from cheating AGAIN – which is a lie and shows how desperate democrats are.

    Democrats are the ones who are cheating and the voters can clearly see that (at least conservatives and independents).

    Trump could win in a landslide based on democrats actions.

    I look forward to watching and seeing what happens.

    It is very entertaining to watch.

    1. “What is interesting about that is that Mueller found that Trump didn’t cheat. He didn’t collude with Russia. That was completely refuted.”

      We’ve heard that argument before, from Trump himself, who is known to lie reflexively about anything and everything. That makes this suspicious in itself. Your use of “collude” is reminiscent of President Clinton’s narrower than usual use of “having sex.”
      =

      “Unless the ONLY reason Trump wanted Ukraine to do him a favor was interference in the 2020 election, he didn’t abuse his power.”

      If he had a reason other than something to hang a smear campaign on, why did he not care if there were actual investigations? You keep ducking that question. You are also just asserting that Vice President Biden’s activities in the Ukraine (let alone his son’s) are somehow of importance in a way or ways other than Trump’s fear of him as a possible rival candidate in 2020. What way or ways? He is now a private citizen so presumably has the same rights as any other.

      And what was his reason for asking for an investigation into the already thoroughly refuted Russian-originated assertion that it was Ukraine that interfered with the 2016 election? Oh right, to please Putin.

      “– the deep state is trying to overturn the 2016 election. ”

      Another conspiracy that has nothing behind it except right-wing fantasy.
      =

      “they [Democrats] still think Trump cheated in 2016 ”

      Well he invited cheating on his behalf and there was Russian interference. What evidence is there that this interference (in the form of lies) did affect the opinions of significant numbers of people enough to swing the election to Trump? Trump and minions certainly did everything they could to block the Muller investigation. Why is he so afraid of investigations headed by anyone not a full-fledged Trump follower if he is innocent of any wrongdoing? He acts like someone with something to hide and he’s been caught in one lie after another in his attempt.

      If that’s what you want in a President just say so.
      =

      “The whole impeachment effort, Schiff working with the whistleblower ”

      Now this crap again. Why is the whistleblower relevant? If you call 911 to report that a house is being broken into and that house has been broken into and multiple witnesses saw various parts of the crime and the perpetrators, what vital difference does it make who called 911? It’s all the witnesses who are important.

  22. What is interesting about that is that Mueller found that Trump didn’t cheat. He didn’t collude with Russia. That was completely refuted.”

    That is an amazingly blatant lie (but it was rickA, and blatantly lying is what he does). Mueller said “If we could have exonerated the President we would have, but we couldn’t.”

    Does anyone still believe rickA is a lawyer?

    1. dean:

      You are getting confused between vol. 1 and vol. 2 of Mueller.

      Trump was completely exonerated of Russian collusion (see Vol. 1).

      You are referring to obstruction in Vol. 2 – which they neither found nor not found, but decided not to decide (so Barr did).

      In fact, Trump didn’t cheat in the 2016 election and Mueller found there was no collusion with Russia. You may want to review the report again and brush up on the details.

    2. Yet Mueller said this in the context of obstruction.
      The implication is that Mueller is exonerating Trump on collusion.
      Otherwise, why specify obstruction, including in a letter to Barr as something on which Mueller will not make a decision?

  23. “In fact, Trump didn’t cheat in the 2016 election and Mueller found there was no collusion with Russia.”

    You apparently don’t know what the word “fact” means. There are no facts on which to based the remainder of your sentence. A lack of evidence is not the same as no evidence. You don’t have any facts that prove Trump didn’t cheat in the 2016 election. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t. It doesn’t matter now. What Trump did say is not in doubt: Crimea staying with Russia would be fine and U. S. sanctions shouldn’t have been levied against Russia for the incursion. That is essentially an open invitation to Putin to weigh in and sure enough, as president, and with the Senate’s invertebrate Republicans he has paid Putin back and more.

    If you want some insight into how friendly Trump feels towards Russia, consider that today he met with the Russian foreign minister and like the previous time, the U. S. press was excluded and the Russian press was admitted. Last time (2017) Trump told that official sensitive secret information that, among other things, led to the U. S. having to clandestinely extract a high-placed intelligence source close to Putin and bring him here. This time, who knows what new American secrets Trump provided to Russia.

    1. Tyvor:

      Your admission that “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t” certainly doesn’t support Schiff’s claim that they need to do impeachment to stop trump from cheating AGAIN. This false narrative is going to lose democrats millions of votes next year.

  24. “The implication is that Mueller is exonerating Trump on collusion.”

    Good god, the lies are becoming even more blatant. Mueller pointed out collusion is not a legat term, but also said “collusion” is not a legal term he did state, on national television, that the report did not find that there was “no collusion”.

    It’s like the two right-wing liars here can’t read — it’s likely they refuse to.

    He also stated that the obstruction of justice issue was put aside because of “issues” about the inability to indict a sitting president. He also clearly stated that his report did not exonerate the president.

    We know the republicans will ignore their legal duty and kill the work the Senate is required to do simply because they’ve been told to ignore the law. They need to keep the racists and bigots, like the two supporters above, happy.

    1. The exact quote from pg. 173 of Vol. 1 is “Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.”

      The point is Trump was found not guilty on criminal conspiracy, i.e. no collusion.

      Your other point above was made with regard to obstruction in Vol. 2.

      Here is the exact quote “Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” (Pg. 2 of Vol. 2).

      As anybody who can read can tell – this is about obstruction and not criminal conspiracy with Russia.

    2. >He also stated that the obstruction of justice issue was put aside because of “issues” about the inability to indict a sitting president.

      That same argument would apply to the first volume of his report, yet this language is only used with regards to obstruction of justice.

      Spare me the semantics about ‘collusion’. The point is Mueller could have said they were withholding judgement based on OLC guidance that the President cannot be indicted, but instead kept quiet.
      On obstruction, they said they would clear if they could but are not doing so.
      The implication is that this is not the case on other crimes.

  25. “Your admission that “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t” certainly doesn’t support Schiff’s claim that they need to do impeachment to stop trump from cheating AGAIN. ”

    My “admission” was, I thought, clearly in the context of “collusion” in the usual common language sense of two or more people conspiring in secret for a fraudulent or illegal purpose. YOU have no evidence that he did not do that and I have no evidence that he did. I went on to say that what he did IN FACT was to express his willingness to accept the results of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and remove the sanctions that the U. S. had put on Russia for that invasion. There was no need for any secret agreement; Putin is not an idiot and could see which candidate would further his interests. And so it has PROVEN to be in Europe and in the Middle East so far.

    Perhaps in the law school you attended, there was no instruction regarding facts as boundaries to argument*, but scientists are trained differently.

    * That would explain a lot about your posts here on diverse subjects.

    1. On obstruction, they said they would clear if they could but are not doing so.
      The implication is that this is not the case on other crimes.

      Well no, but you’ve demonstrated no better ability to read and comprehend than rickA, so that comment is not surprising.

  26. ‘…the deep state is trying to overturn the results of the 2016 election’. Look we all know that RickA is a fool, but that one had me on the floor – literally.

    Trump is a paid-up member of this mythical deep state. His administration is filled with banking fraudsters and corporate cronies. He is beholden to the military-industrial complex.

    As for impeachment, leaving aside Hunter Biden and Ukraine, there are dozens of other reasons to impeach the sexist, misogynistic, narcissistic serial liar. Reading RickA’s pathetic screeds is enough to fill me with nausea.

    1. Yeah, you really have to be low on the iq scale to believe the deep state stuff.
      Wait till ricka and miken begin repeating the lie that the latest report proves there was an intentional attack on Trump by the FBI. They’ll take the lying points from the chief Nazi lover himself and the Republicans who tossed them out today.

      These people truly have no sense of decency or honesty.

  27. Ricky’s a-trollin’ again.

    Mustn’t lose sight of the fact that Russia *did* interfere with the 2016 election (just ask any US intelligence agency – there are so many to pick from) and it did so to help Trump.

    That collusion was not proven is actually secondary to the fact that Trump is Putin’s Presidential pick and when this was investigated, Trump & co. tried to cover it up, hence Muller’s statement:

    Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

    Now Trump has been caught abusing his office and is facing impeachment and once again has tried to obstruct the investigation. Which is as clear an indication of guilt as you could possibly wish for (again).

    This is appalling, yet Ricky and the rest keep backing Putin’s man even as he continues to wipe his arse on the Constitution.

  28. BBD is appalled, and that is his right.

    I am appalled also.

    I am appalled that some people keep saying Trump cheated in the 2016 election, when the 2 year investigation cleared Trump of criminal conspiracy with Russia.

    I am appalled that some people are saying if they don’t impeach Trump he will cheat AGAIN, when Trump never cheated in the first place.

    Remember who cheated. Hillary Clinton cheated. She cheated Bernie during the primary. She cheated Trump by paying for the Steele dossier, which was supposed to be an October surprise, but instead became a 2 year investigation after Trump fairly won the 2016 election (in spite of Hillary cheating). The Steele dossier was garbage bought and paid for by Hillary and the DNC.

    Hillary’s campaign worked with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump during the 2016 election. This information is out there but not widely reported on – but it will come up during the 2020 campaign. Trump has a lot of reasons to investigate what happened with Ukraine during the 2016 election, and Biden getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired is part of that.

    I am appalled that democrats are watering down impeachment so that it will be used against every future president. If Trump can be impeached for asking Ukraine for a favor, to get to the bottom of past actions in Ukraine – why cannot Biden be impeached for his abuse of power of withholding military aid to get the prosecutor fired? If Republicans take over the house and Biden were to win in 2020 (unlikely), you can be sure Republicans will call what Biden did an abuse of power. Given the watered down definition of abuse of power now in place, all future presidents will be impeached for abuse of power.

    So I am appalled to be watching the democrats rip up the constitution while pretending that Trump is the one ripping up the constitution.

    Being appalled is in the eye of the beholder (just like beauty). Everything is relative, I guess.

    I hope the Senate does actually have witnesses and not just a vote. A Senate trial without witnesses for the defense will not be as fun to watch as a simple vote not to convict.

    I want to see the conspiracy between the misnamed whistleblower and the democrats exposed and revealed. I want to see Biden testify about his actions in Ukraine. I want to hear Biden explain why his withholding military aid is any different than Trump withholding military aid.

  29. “when the 2 year investigation cleared Trump of criminal conspiracy with Russia.”

    I am appalled you lie so blatantly. Mueller did no such thing. The fact that you are willing to lie and say ‘rules aren’t being followed’ when the process has proceeded according to the guidelines of investigations past and the guidelines written by republicans is astounding.

    “why cannot Biden be impeached for his abuse of power of withholding military aid to get the prosecutor fired?”

    How effing stupid are you (or do you think people reading your crap might be?) Even the republican investigation of that found nothing. (I do believe one thing: I do believe you’re stupid enough about the government to believe that Biden himself had the power to order the aid be withheld. You are that large an idiot.)

    Remember who cheated. Hillary Clinton cheated. She cheated Bernie during the primary. She cheated Trump by paying for the Steele dossier, which was supposed to be an October surprise, but instead became a 2 year investigation after Trump fairly won the 2016 election (in spite of Hillary cheating). The Steele dossier was garbage bought and paid for by Hillary and the DNC.

    Hillary’s campaign worked with Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump during the 2016 election. This information is out there but not widely reported on – but it will come up during the 2020 campaign. Trump has a lot of reasons to investigate what happened with Ukraine during the 2016 election, and Biden getting a Ukrainian prosecutor fired is part of that.

    I’m also sure you are stupid enough to believe all of that unusbstantiated bullshit.

    That’s what happens when people like you, who are already low on the critical thinking ability scale, repeat lies all the time: you convince yourself that they are true.

    Good lord you are a pathetic excuse for a person.

    1. Biden seemed to think he had the power to withhold the aid, or he wouldn’t have made his threat (which worked).

      You are entitled to your opinion of my intelligence.

      Just as I am entitled to my opinion of your intelligence.

      That doesn’t get us very far – but whatever. Name call all you want – it doesn’t change my opinion in the least. In fact, every time you name call it lowers my opinion of you just a little bit more. I am sure you don’t care about that, just as I don’t care a bit about your opinion of me. So go ahead and lie about me being a liar. I find it amusing.

    2. That doesn’t get us very far – but whatever. Name call all you want – it doesn’t change my opinion in the least.

      Nor does it change the FACTS, which are exactly as I outlined them in my previous comment.

      You are just making a noise.

  30. That doesn’t get us very far – but whatever. Name call all you want – it doesn’t change my opinion in the least.

    No, it doesn’t — and your lies show that you’ve chosen to dismiss the facts.

    1. Here’s another little item that won’t change RickA’s opinion or that of any other Trumpkateer in the least.

      In a discussion about North Korea in which people actually knowledgeable about N K and the situation tried their best to brief the present inhabitant of the White House using satellite images and a scale model of Korea as visual aids rather than the written reports all other presidents managed to read with comprehension. Trump managed to mistake an unlighted N K at night located between the more civilized S K and China for an ocean. Why should a POTUS need to know any geography. (He didn’t know that Kiev was in Ukraine when he talked to Sondland on an unsecrure cell phone.)

      When shown how close to the NK/SK border Seoul South Korea was, Trump demanded that it be moved! Thinking he might be kidding, they queried his order and he repeated it and reportedly said: “See to it.”

      I don’t think that the framers of the Constitution thought that any electorate would ever make such an ignoramus president or they would surely have added that to the description of impeachable offenses. There was a time when a president ordering his people to move the capital city of another country to be moved — a city, moreover, larger than New York City — would have been considered as evidence of unfitness if not insanity.

      This item was, I believe, picked out recently by the Manchester Guardian as particularly noteworthy from a book by Peter Bergen called “Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos”, and was mentioned on The Rachel Maddow Show last night.

      The late Steve Allen in ancient days (1960s?) coined the term “dumbth” as an antonym for intelligence. We have yet to see the limits of “dumbth” in the U. S. but we surely must be getting close with DonT and his admirers.

  31. So RickA, Trump isn’t a sexist, racist, misogynistic bigot? He isn’t avowedly anti-environmental? If you believe this, you are truly dumber than I thought.

    You go on and on about the constitution which as Paul Street correctly observed is something of a joke, and is essentially anti-democratic in giving disproportionate power to sparsely populated states. It is actually conceivable to have a Senate majority representing less than 18% of the population.

    Trump apparently hasn’t read much of the constitution and what he has read bores him. Word has it that aides have given up trying to teach him the various tenets of the constitution because he allegedly nods off to sleep. The only reason that Republicans in the Congress and Senate will never support impeachment is because Trump and his freak show are deflecting public attention away from them as they systematically dismantle government agencies tasked with protecting the environment and safeguarding society. This subterfuge is aimed at eviscerating each and every constraint in pursuit of private profit. Trump and his goon squad are the perfect foil for dismantling government. The political class in America is primarily made up of millionaires whose primary agenda is to maintain the status quo. Again, Trump’s circus is the perfect foil.

    1. Remember that ricka is a tried and true racist and misogynistic, opposed to minorities and women (and the poor, who deserve to be that way) having any chance to have the same opportunities he didm

    2. In that vein, here’s a question for Trump supporters: What in Donald Trump’s entire history in business, personal life, or tenure in the office of President gives any indication at all that he gives any consideration at all to the well-being of any person or persons, or ethical concept other than himself (and, possibly, family members) in the case of the former, and the concept of “me first” in the case of the latter?

      I contend that NOTHING in the life of Donald J. Trump provides the least suggestion that he would have any concern regarding rooting out corruption anywhere, or putting anything, let alone the nation and its Constitution, ahead of his personal desires and personal agenda.

  32. RickA is just a parrot. He repeats what he saw on Fox opinion shows as if they were substantiated facts. Realistically you should be worried not for the fact that he is impervious to logic, but rather that so many other Americans are the same.
    RickA is pretty much typical of roughly 40% of Americans that don’t want any facts to interfere with their imagination of what is real.They accept what Hannity, Jones, etc say without comparing to any sources outside their own circle. When facts assert so strongly they can’t be ignored (such as will happen when large swaths of Florida are under water), they will reverse course and say they were arguing the opposite side all along, and that they were never wrong.
    Many Democrat supporters are the same. They believe different sources, but also don’t question critically. If you believe the NYT for example, Warren is a left wing idealogue that would love to see communism in the USA.

  33. Anonymous:

    I certainly do read a lot of Google News source articles. But I do not get FoxNews. I cut the cord and no longer get CNN, MSNBC, CNBC or FoxNews channels.

    I used to watch all those channels, but haven’t for several years.

    I do agree that my views are shared by millions, just as many democrat views are shared by millions. After all, we are pretty split – almost 50/50.

    I am listening to the voting on Article I of impeachment on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) right now.

    So I like to get my news from both sides of the divide. After all I do like to read and post here, which I consider a pretty liberal/progressive site.

    1. With this broad spectrum of knowledge you say you access, perhaps you can give me some information I’ve never been able to find.

      I have read or heard of NOTHING in the life of Donald J. Trump that provides the least suggestion that he would have any concern regarding rooting out corruption anywhere, or putting anything, let alone the nation and its Constitution, ahead of his personal desires and personal agenda, which for some reason not yet disclosed includes pleasing Vladimir Putin.

      What I see is that he dodged the draft, stiffed his creditors, ran a fake charity, and many of his former associates are in prison for doing things he wanted done. (And that’s not the end of the list but you probably could add to it from your broad perspective.)

    2. So I like to get my news from both sides of the divide. After all I do like to read and post here, which I consider a pretty liberal/progressive site.

      Spare us the hypocrisy please. You like to troll here. In the decade-plus that I have interacted with you, you have learned exactly fuck all. So you aren’t here to osmose other points of view. You enjoy being a rightwing arsehole without the consequences it would bring on your head in the pub.

  34. “the constitution which as Paul Street correctly observed is something of a joke, and is essentially anti-democratic in giving disproportionate power to sparsely populated states. It is actually conceivable to have a Senate majority representing less than 18% of the population. ”

    I don’t know whether this is true or even known, but I doubt that in 1787 there was such disparity in population among the states of the time. I think it is also worth noting that the colonies were founded by different people at different times and for different reasons. It is remarkable that they ever actually came together in a successful enough grouping to win the Revolution and become a nation rather than an array of states like those of what later became the German and Italian nations. The addition of new states in such numbers as to overshadow the original 13 is in many ways an accident of history, again resulting from different people settling them at different times and for different reasons.

    The framers of the Constitution had to deal with the country as it was, not as it became. I don’t see how deleting the Senate would be a solution for having an apparently nearly equal split in the population between those people for Trump and those against him. At least with two houses of Congress, there is a chance of having some check on the whims of any current majority of the general population. What we need is a population which judges things rationally, based on evidence, and that is beyond human control.

    1. Come on bbd, if rickA couldn’t be a hypocrite and liar he wouldn’t be saying anything.

      What a surprise that a right-tending website supports another of trump’s asinine moves. The things being objected to (with no real reason)

      The accounts specified in the letter include funding for international organizations, international peacekeeping, international narcotics control and law enforcement, global health, development assistance, foreign military and assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia.

      Shorter rickA whine: “waaah, people who aren’t rich and white are getting help.”

  35. What we need is a population which judges things rationally, based on evidence, and that is beyond human control.

    As we have just seen over here in the UK, with #MeTooTrump regaining Downing Street.

    It feels like we are living in a sequel to The Lord of the Rings.

    Watch for words such as dystopian and draconian appearing all over the place in articles going forward.

    1. Result was no surprise but it’s a bleak fucking day. What really hurts is that I have to admit that we really are a nation of rightwing xenophobes and forelock-tuggers *still* – in this day and age – eager to be led by an old Etonian.

      Perhaps we do just deserve the government we get.

  36. “Here is an example article for your review:”

    That’s the best the right wing can do? Pathetic. They have good and bad mixed up, probably because of all the Russian propaganda assimilated. It is well known to American intelligence that Putin’s Russia courts “conservatives” who tend to favor “strong leaders” (i.e. despots) and their media and organizations.

    1. Tyvor:

      You said “I have read or heard of NOTHING in the life of Donald J. Trump that provides the least suggestion that he would have any concern regarding rooting out corruption anywhere” and asked me to find information for you.

      I did.

      I gave you one article, which shows that you are wrong in your statement.

      There is clearly SOMETHING in the life of Trump which suggests he would like to root out corruption somewhere.

      You will have to back down from the NOTHING statement to something a bit less strong.

      That is life.

  37. Poor dean is living in denial. He says “And, from above, ricka continues to lie about what the Mueller report says. No surprise there.”

    I QUOTED from the Mueller report, one quote from each volume.

    The quotes back up my assertions that Trump was exonerated from criminal conspiracy with Russia (i.e. no collusion) and that there was no finding either way on obstruction (i.e., no finding but could not be exonerated as to obstruction).

    As usual, dean is wrong.

    1. “The exact quote from pg. 173 of Vol. 1 is ‘Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.’

      The point is Trump was found not guilty on criminal conspiracy, i.e. no collusion.”

      Criminal conspiracy, like rape, is not an easy crime to pin down because it is usually done in secret by a limited number of participants. “Exonerate” is different from “did not establish” or “haven’t enough evidence.”

      Furthermore, since Trump had a coterie of minions around him, there was no reason for him to be personally involved in any conspiring and coordination that went on. There isn’t much coordination needed in an election. Public call and private response or the opposite can both function well during an election.

      There is evidence that Trump was told by a Russian oligarch* that if he ran for president “Russia would help him” and there is also evidence that the Russians mounted a campaign of biasing the 2016 election in Trump’s favor using mis- and disinformation on social media, conservative media, and via the NRA.

      * Oligarchs constitute a pool of former communists now part of Putin’s stratified society and apparatus for governance.

    2. “The quotes back up my assertions that Trump was exonerated from criminal conspiracy with Russia (i.e. no collusion) and that there was no finding either way on obstruction (i.e., no finding but could not be exonerated as to obstruction).”

      No, they don’t. They meet your expectations. I realize you enjoy lying and pretending to be a real lawyer, but you’re just getting to be a sad version of the dishonest troll you’ve always been.

  38. I have no illusions that the Senate Republicans, by and large, have either noble principles or backbones, but it was still a shock to have Moscow Mitch McConnell actually say out loud, brag if you will, that he is coordinating his and by implication Senate Republicans’ strategy and position with the defendant’s legal team.* They don’t even hide their vileness from the public anymore. Presumably they think they have enough of the public enthralled to rule us all for another Trump term and possibly forever as they continue to dismantle any safeguards from dictatorship.

    * Apparently Trump’s legal team includes a former Florida official who received a $25k bribe from Trump’s fake charity for putting the kibosh on the possibility that Florida would join the lawsuit over Trump’s fake university’s scamming of its students.

  39. Tyvor said “Exonerate” is different from “did not establish” or “haven’t enough evidence.”

    A bit of motivated reasoning.

    After the 2 year investigation there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge any crime. That is an exoneration.

    Sometimes there is sufficient evidence to bring a charge, and the defendant is found NOT GUILTY. That is also an exoneration.

    The dictionary defines exoneration as “to clear from accusation or blame”.

    Sorry – Trump was exonerated of collusion, which was shorthand for criminal conspiracy with Russia.

    No court finds anybody innocent – it is always not guilty or guilty, because people are presumed innocent and the burden is on the state to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So Trump couldn’t even be charged, which is as close to innocent as the criminal justice system provides.

    I see a lot of excuses and motivated reasoning in your post – but the fact is that Trump didn’t cheat in the 2016 election. Democrats need to grapple with that. Trump didn’t cheat. He won fair and square. Democrats are losers (in 2016). Get over it.

    1. “Sorry – Trump was exonerated of collusion”

      You are truly the master of the old Reagan tradition of “continue telling a lie until someone finally believes it is true”.

      I’m sure you have some friends, as scummy as you, who believe that comment. Nobody here does.

    2. Ricky’s dragging the discussion of track again…

      If Trump really was innocent of collusion with the Russians, then why did he go to such lengths to obstruct the investigation?

      An innocent man would throw open his doors and invite the investigators in and *prove* his innocence.

      But Trump tried to obstruct. Hence the key Muller finding:

      Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment. The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

      That collusion was not proven is actually secondary to the fact that Trump is Putin’s Presidential pick and when this was investigated, Trump & co. tried to cover it up. Because they knew fucking well that Russia had helped their campaign. Everybody knows it, including all US intelligence agencies. It’s an established matter of fact.

      Now Trump has been caught abusing his office and is facing impeachment and once again has tried to obstruct the investigation. Which is as clear an indication of guilt as you could possibly wish for (again).

    3. Is there such a thing as “unmotivated reasoning.”

      “No court finds anybody innocent – it is always not guilty or guilty, because people are presumed innocent and the burden is on the state to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. So Trump couldn’t even be charged, which is as close to innocent as the criminal justice system provides.”
      =

      I may have inadvertently confused you. I was not talking about courtroom legality in my comments about “exoneration” and “haven’t enough evidence.” It is true that in our judicial system there are just two possible verdicts and the burden of proof is on the prosecution. However, in dictionary terms, the word “exonerate” can mean “prove blameless.” The Mueller Report certainly did no such thing as prove Trump blameless. And, as I said in a previous post, the Roger Stone trial put Trump on the phone. (Stone was yet another of Trump’s campaign and other advisors to end up on the wrong end of a court decision).

      BTW, the American system has only two verdicts but the old Scottish system had three: guilty, not proven, and innocent. I contend that the public generally is more attuned to the Scottish view when, for example, deciding whether to vote for a political candidate or not. Possibly, that could be why even a Faux News poll had impeachment and removal at 50%.

  40. dean:

    We will have to agree to disagree.

    BBD:

    Nobody disputes that Russia interfered. You are moving the goalposts. The dispute is about whether Trump cheated in 2016 by engaging in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. He did not. If you think just because Russia interfered Trump shouldn’t be allowed to run, you better hope no foreign power supports Biden or he will be disqualified also. You cannot allow foreign interference either way.

    There was no finding Trump obstructed during Mueller. Why did he bitch so much – because he thought he was falsely accused. Because he thought is was a witch hunt. Because he thought it was political, and waste of time and money.

    It turns out he was right to fire Comey. He should have fired all the DA’s (maybe he will next time). He should have fired every political appointee and started fresh. Lesson learned.

    Trump threw open the doors during the Mueller investigation, providing all the documents they requested and allowing every official to be interviewed. It didn’t matter – the democrats tried to weaponize the Mueller investigation. That is why he isn’t cooperating on the Ukraine matter.

    The Mueller investigation was the executive branch investigating the executive branch, so executive privilege didn’t come up. Congress, rather than doing its own investigation, get its own documents and depose its own witnesses, and having to deal with executive privilege, tried to subpoena all the documents Mueller looked at during his investigation – trying to do an end run around executive privilege. It didn’t work and it won’t work. The branches are separate and Trump doesn’t answer to Congress, just as Congress doesn’t answer to the Executive branch.

    Now, with Ukraine, Congress did its own investigation and is having to deal with executive privileged. But rather than go to court, democrats are choosing to avoid court. That isn’t going to work either.

    Trump will be acquitted in the Senate trial – which is an official exoneration. Unlike Bill Clinton, who was found to have committed a crime (lying under oath) and lost his law license, Trump hasn’t been accused of any crime. So while the impeachment will go into the history books, there is no practical consequence other than it will help Trump get re-elected. That will go into the history books also. First president to be impeached and then win re-election. Trump will like that.

    Should be interesting and entertaining to watch. I look forward to it.

    1. Nobody disputes that Russia interfered. You are moving the goalposts. The dispute is about whether Trump cheated in 2016 by engaging in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. He did not.

      Actually, the discussion was about impeachment. The goalpost-moving has been entirely done by you to distract from the stark nature of the evidence against Trump.

      There was no finding Trump obstructed during Mueller.

      That is a misrepresentation that borders on a lie. Read the fucking quote. It’s been posted enough times.

    2. “Clinton lost his law license”

      Sort of , but not in the way your cleverly crafted attempt to lie by insiniuation means.

      His icense was suspended in Arkansas, but he was not disbarred.

      He did face the possibility of being barred from arguing in front the U.S. Supreme Court, he resigned before the ruling was handed down.

      “Trump will be acquitted in the Senate trial”

      Yes, because the republicans have been told they don’t need to listen to any evidence and should vote to acquite without doing their job. I think even someone as fundamentally dishonest as you know what would happen to a citizen called to jury duty who showed up and said “I don’t care what the evidence is, I will vote for a not guilty verdict.”

      You have absolutely no scruples, you know that, right?

    3. The branches are separate and Trump doesn’t answer to Congress, just as Congress doesn’t answer to the Executive branch.

      So he’s a dictator then?

      We’ve just had the same problem here in the UK when the Johnson government attempted to shut down Parliament – illegally, as it transpired – in order to force through its own policy on Brexit. Sovereignty in the UK rests with Parliament, not the government. Or at least it has done, for centuries, but the Johnson government is hinting that it will try to change the law to diminish or even remove Parliamentary sovereignty.

      This incredibly worrying trend towards concentration of power in the hands of a leader seems to be a problem on both sides of the Atlantic. It should scare the shit out of anyone who believes in the merits of democracy as opposed to tyranny, which is something I understood to be at the very heart of the Constitution.

    4. BBD:

      I did read the quote. This is the part which you seem to be ignoring.

      “Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

      They did not find that Trump committed obstruction. Nor did they exonerate him of obstruction. It amounts to saying absolutely nothing one way or the other. So they didn’t find Trump obstructed. Period.

    5. “The dispute is about whether Trump cheated in 2016 by engaging in a criminal conspiracy with Russia.”

      That is still a possibility. Just recently, testimony during the Roger Stone trial showed that the Trump campaign was being posted about the emails by Stone talking personally to Trump who then shared his advance knowledge with the rest of his minions.

      I notice that you never deal with the evidence out of Trump’s own mouth, for example when as a candidate he dangled bait for Putin to interfere: “Russia if you’re listening …” And was there any candidate other than Trump in 2016 who in speeches signaled in no uncertain terms his willingness to accept the Russian invasion and occupation of the Crimea as no problem as far as he was concerned and say that the sanctions on Russia imposed by Obama should be lifted? Usually evil plans are hatched and the spoils distributed in secret, Trump avoids that by just saying them out loud and pretending they are “perfect” and people like you just nod and go right along.

    6. It amounts to saying absolutely nothing one way or the other. So they didn’t find Trump obstructed. Period.

      Once again, a misrepresentation bordering on a lie. Let’s go back to Muller:

      Fourth, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.

      That is not a neutral statement ‘saying absolutely nothing one way or the other’.

      Nor is this:

      The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.

      Or this:

      Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

      Which brings us back from your diversionary trolling to the point you are trying to bury.

      The evidence that Trump abused his office and subsequently tried to hide the fact is clear. This is isn’t a political hit job. It is an inquiry which has produced legitimate grounds for impeachment.

    7. Tyvor:

      Well the “Russia if you’re listening …” line was a joke about Hillary’s missing 30,000 emails deleted from her bathroom server. The Russians never found or leaked those deleted Hillary emails. We are still looking for them. They were deleted after a subpoena issued for them also – but that wasn’t considered obstruction of justice (so said Comey – who got fired).

      Neither Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia to hack the DNC server. The Russians did it on their own.

      What about Hillary and the DNC hiring Fusion GPS and Steele to dig up dirt on Trump in other countries? Was that ok – or not? Was that a dirty political trick – or not? Not even dig up dirt – but to make up dirt – which is even worse. That is part of why Hillary lost in 2016 – she is a cheater and everybody knows it.

    8. What about Hillary

      An exercise in whataboutism that ignores a salient point: HC was not the President and did not abuse that office as it appears that Trump has done. Which is why he is being impeached.

    9. BBD:

      Well that is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

      I think what Hillary did in 2016 is the worst thing any politician has done in American politics since Nixon burgled the DNC.

      I expect Trump to take that action and use it to tar and feather the DNC during the 2020 election.

      I expect the impeachment to merely help Trump in 2020 – but we will see.

    10. Well that is your opinion and you are entitled to it.

      Repeat whataboutism and repeat blanking the fact that Trump is being impeached for abusing his office.

      Fun to watch.

  41. “Nobody disputes that Russia interfered. ”

    Except for Trump and the Republican leadership, you lying clown.

    “We will have to agree to disagree.”

    That’s always your out when you’re caught lying and being wrong.

    1. dean:

      No. Trump and the Republican leadership do not deny Russia interfered. They deny they colluded with Russia (i.e. committed a criminal conspiracy with Russia). The Republicans wrote a big report on Russian interference. You should look that up and read it.

      Trump and the Republican leadership deny Trump cheated by colluding with Russia.

    2. I think what Hillary did in 2016 is the worst thing any politician has done in American politics since Nixon burgled the DNC.

      * Worse than Reagan leaving 200+ Marines out to be killed in Beirut?
      * Worse than Reagan breaking the law and authorizing weapons to be sold to terrorists on two different continents?
      * Worse than Regan ordering officials to stand aside so the contra terrorists could ship drugs into the US and sell them to raise money?
      * Worse than Bush and Cheney deliberately misrepresenting intelligence in order to start the war in Iraq?
      * Worse than Bush and Cheney telling forces to stand down at Tora Bora and thereby letting bin Laden escape? Bush had said, after all, that he would get him. Of course, later he decided it wasn’t important.
      * Worse than Obama expanding the worhtless drone attacks that Bush/Cheney had started?
      * Worse than the years of torture the US conducted around the world because
      the chowder heads in office thought it was fine?

      God you are an ass.

      By the way:

      10/20/2014:The State Department sends an official letter to Clinton’s staff requesting “emails related to their government work.” Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, and aide Cheryl Mills oversaw the review of Clinton’s email archives to produce work-related documents to the department.

      12/5/2014: Clinton’s team provides 55,000 pages of emails, or about 30,000 individual emails, to the State Department. Mills tells an employee at Platte River Networks, which managed the server, that Clinton does not need to retain any emails older than 60 days.

      3/4/2015: The Benghazi committee issues a subpoena requiring Clinton to turn over all emails from her private server related to the incident in Libya

      3/25-3/31 2015: The Platte River Networks employee has what he calls an “oh s—” moment, realizing he did not delete Clinton’s email archive, per Mills’ December 2014 request. The employee deletes the email archive using a software called BleachBit.

      3/27/2015 Clinton’s lawyers send a letter to the Benghazi committee saying that the State Department already has the relevant emails, as they were included in the Dec. 5, 2014, turnover.

      FBI Director James Comey said in a July 2016 statement that the FBI investigation “found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

      The FBI found no evidence that the emails were deleted deliberately to avoid the subpoena or other requests.

      You’ve shown you’re nothing more than a conspiracy theory loving bigot when it comes to this. You’re a science denier when it comes to the climate. There doesn’t seem to be any bit of unsupportable crap you aren’t willing to spew.

  42. “Trump and the Republican leadership do not deny Russia interfered.”

    It is hard to believe that in your reading/viewing about the impeachment of the current occupier of the White House, you managed to miss the part about Trump’s (and Giuliani’s) still ongoing effort to substantiate the fantasy spread by the Russian intelligence service that it was Ukraine not Russia who interfered with the 2016 election.

  43. Trump told Kurt Volker, then his special envoy for Ukraine, that the country was full of “terrible people” who “tried to take me down.” And in his July 25 phone call with Zelensky, he suggested that Ukraine had a role in the 2016 election interference.

    Note — this latest line of bullshit of yours immediately puts to bed your crap about “looking all over for evidence”. This stuff just comes from your conspiracy sites and your fever-brained imagination.
    Sep 26, 2016, then candidate trump.

    I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” Trump said at the time. “She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I don’t — maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK? You don’t know who broke into DNC.”

    November 28, 2016, trump:

    “I don’t believe they interfered. That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point.”

    July 7, 2017, after meeting with putin.

    “He said he didn’t meddle,” Trump said. “He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. But I just asked him again, and he said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He did not do what they’re saying he did.”

    “Putin said he did not do what they said he did,” Trump added later. “And, you know, there are those that say, if he did do it, he wouldn’t have gotten caught, all right? Which is a very interesting statement.”

    Trump continued: “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe — I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. But he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ I think he’s very insulted by it, if you want to know the truth. Don’t forget, all he said is he never did that, he didn’t do that. I think he’s very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”

    And, of course, he’s still pushing the crap line about the Ukraine and CrowdStrike and the mythical missing DNC server that you a-holes still harp on about.

    Note: CrowdStrike isn’t a Ukrainian company, and there is no missing server, or even server component. Never was.

    The only good thing about your lies is that they are so blatant — it’s clear there’s nothing behind them.

    1. Well in 2019 Trump said:

      “The Mueller report came out — that’s the Bible.” Planet Earth, May 9, 2019.

      It doesn’t sound like he denies the charges brought against the Russian hackers to me.

      You know it is possible for Russia to interfere by hacking the DNC and also for Ukraine to interfere by working with the DNC during the 2016 election. We know for a fact that Hillary and the DNC hired Fusion who hired Steele who worked with people in Russia and the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump.

      So yes, Russia hacked the DNC. It looks like the DNC also worked with Ukraine to interfere in the 2016 election. No surprise there – the democrats are the only ones caught cheating in 2016.

      Two things can be true at once. Russia interfered. Ukraine interfered.

      But Trump didn’t collude with Russia. That is what the Mueller report showed.

      Did the DNC collude with Ukraine? Maybe.

  44. “Yes – they [Trump & GOP] think Ukraine interfered in addition to Russia interfering.”

    There is no evidence presented in your link of any DNC guilt or, for that matter, any real world effect of the supposed Ukrainian dirt-collector by a private citizen. As Manafort showed, he was quite capable of getting himself sent to prison. I think the total now is six close associates of Trump’s who are now convicted felons. Why, one might ask, does he consistently surround himself with such people? of — kind of a habit with people close to Trump. That’s what happens when you surround yourself with the unprincipled.

    1. Strawman.

      I cited that article for Russia plus Ukraine interference, rather than Ukraine instead of Russia interference, to respond to your point:

      ” to substantiate the fantasy spread by the Russian intelligence service that it was Ukraine not Russia who interfered with the 2016 election.”

      Trump accepts that Russia interfered. It is his Justice department charging the 19 Russians for hacking. He also wants to continue to investigate what role Ukraine played in interfering with the 2016 election (with the DNC). Nothing wrong with that. We need to get to the bottom of that, just as people wanted to get to the bottom of whether Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 election (answer – NO). I am sure it will come up next year during the election.

  45. What fun we are having!

    Just a couple of blokes exchanging political views on a blog.

    Me, sipping on my rum and coke.

    I am taking a bit of a break.

    Talk to you guys tommorrow.

    1. “A recent disclosure form revealed that Clarke took in more than $150,000 in speaking fees, travel reimbursements and gifts in 2015.” 

      The far left sure don’t see a problem when Bill Clinton gets this and the Russians get access to Uranium.

      “And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.”

      According to the left, the conservatives should not publish anything but the commie left is free in the matter.
      “Some of the connections between Uranium One and the Clinton Foundation were unearthed by Peter Schweizer, a former fellow at the right-leaning Hoover Institution and author of the forthcoming book “Clinton Cash.” Mr. Schweizer provided a preview of material in the book to The Times, which scrutinized his information and built upon it with its own reporting.”
      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0

  46. “Strawman.

    I cited that article for Russia plus Ukraine interference, rather than Ukraine instead of Russia interference, to respond to your point:

    ‘to substantiate the fantasy spread by the Russian intelligence service that it was Ukraine not Russia who interfered with the 2016 election.'”
    =

    Red herring
    (1) U.S. intelligence has traced that particular fantasy to the Russians. (2) The article you referenced didn’t provide any evidence that the DNC did anything to solicit Ukrainian intervention or that any Ukrainian actually did anything to influence the election. If there is any testimony given under oath or documentary evidence of any of that, let’s see. Likewise, if Trump or his minions have any evidence for his innocence of what is charged, bring it on. (Although in Trump’s case, his documented history of constant lying might work against him.)

    More importantly, there is a great difference between a governmental official using the powers and prestige of that office (or in Trump’s case arguably illegal actions*) to solicit purely personal favors from a foreign government and a private individual or even an organization doing the same thing. In the case of a President of the U. S., the difference is that there is a clear Constitutional prohibition against it and the power to enforce that prohibition is with the Congress, It is the House of Representatives that has “the sole power of impeachment” of a president. There is no witch hunt to it. No imaginary “executive privilege”outweigh a Constitutional mandate. (That’s why Trump can’t just drain off tax money by executive order to build his ridiculous wall.)

    It is not Trump’s Department of Justice, it is the American people’s Department of Justice and the Attorney General is certainly not supposed to function as if he were the president’s personal defense lawyer.

    1. Good points, meaning to people who can think. Not meaningful to rickA, who seems to think one person deciding to act a certain way is evidence of the innocence of the nazi-lover in chief.

      Carrying on the lie and complete denial of facts about trump is, for some reason, important to rickA, as is the continued spreading of lies about hrc and obama. (Actually, the reasons he continues to accuse them of crimes are easily found: she’s not male and he’s not white.)

  47. “Good points, meaning to people who can think. Not meaningful to rickA . . .”
    =
    As a former geology teacher, especially historical geology — which includes Earth’s age, the fossil record, and evolution — I am no stranger to fact twisting and denial and the upholding of demonstrably false opinions in spite of evidence. The modern Republican Party seems to have become the political party of choice for those kinds of deniers and this overlap in membership has, I think, pushed the operational style of that party even farther from honesty and reality.

  48. When the dust settles on the Trump administration, and the consequences of his criminal activities, his policy and societal damages, and his aid and comfort to foreign nations are all understood, future historians will recognise that the impeachment by the House of Representatives was just and necessary, and that the dismissal by the Senate reflects the corruption with which trump has infected the entire Republican Party.

    Trump may well survive this impeachment, but the previous standing and reputation of the USA, and the legacy of the Republicans and the Trump name, will not.

    Any victory by the GOP will be a Pyrrhic victory. If the GOP really wants to survive they could do worse than to emulate Harry Potter and sacrifice themselves for the greater good, and in the process expunge the corruption that infects them and rise to live another day.

    1. The question is: Once Trump and his complicit Senate Republicans have their way and further smoothed the way to an unfettered American presidency, who will write that history? Does anyone here think a 2nd term Trump — or any modern Republican, will allow a free press or a free publishing environment to continue to exist to balance (to some extent) Faux News and Putin’s dis- and misinformation campaign. I say NO.

      Putin has apparently already made significant inroads with modern American evangelical and other “conservatives”. What are they conserving these days? It’s certainly not the Constitution, the environment, or equal rights for real people (i.e. humans, not corporations).

      Then, if the number of red states gets high enough after a successful Republican triumph in the 2020 election, would a call for a Constitutional Amendment to end the two-term limit for presidents be so surprising? Wasn’t there a recent poll indicating significant support for Trump being president for life?

      I hope someone here can supply good reasons that my fears are groundless.

    2. I agree with dean. I don’t see getting rid of the term limit on presidents is in the cards.

      In fact, I see it more likely that the house and senate could be term limited (say 12 years total for each body), whether consecutive or in total.

      I saw a Tom Steyer commercial advocating for term limits for Congress, so this is out there. I suspect Republicans would be for that also.

      That way, the longest someone could be a politician at the Federal level would be 12 years in the house, 12 years in the Senate and then 8 years as President. Still quite a career. I guess you could then get appointed to the Supreme Court for life.

      Of course, as dean said, any amendment to the constitution is very very difficult, and the politicians would be dead set against term limits.

      Also, I wouldn’t worry about free speech under the Republicans. It is the left that wants to ban speech. Whether on college campuses (safe spaces or banning speakers) or in political races (limit money = limit speech).

  49. would a call for a Constitutional Amendment to end the two-term limit for presidents be so surprising?

    I think it would because (only because) of the fear the leaders on the right would have about how it could be used by a Democratic president. Even if someone tossed the idea out (which I think is so unlikely as to have essentially 0 probability) AND it gained traction at the upper levels, moving an amendment into place is monumentally difficult and I don’t think it would be done.

    I tend to think along the lines of your final sentence — that fears of this are groundless.

    More concerning to me is the continued dismissal of the fact that the Russians worked hard for Trump in the 2016 election and the signs that they will do so again now, especially with the continued blockage of different voting security bills by the right. While I think their opposition is fueled as much by technological ignorance (and, to be honest, technological ignorance is one type of ignorance the right’s politicians do not have a monopoly on) and ties to the companies that make voting machines as anything else.

    1. Lets say the Russia or China or somebody else tried to interfere in 2020. How would that work, now that everybody knows about facebook advertising, fake pages, trolling and so forth? What ad could make you vote for Trump? What ad could make me vote for Bernie or Warren? Not a real concern.

      Not a single vote was electronically changed in 2016 – just hearts and minds with words (some fake trying to manipulate people, but still words).

      I am not worried. Let them place ads. Hell let them take out full page ads in the Wall Street Journal. I don’t see myself or you guys switching to the other party because of some ads or posts (we have managed to resist each other here).

      As BBD said above, we have been posting to each other for 10 years and have not changed our minds one bit during that time.

      So don’t worry – be happy.

  50. “Whether on college campuses (safe spaces or banning speakers)”

    Well no, but that’s another blatant lie for another time.

    1. Your definition of a lie continues to amaze.

      No college has created a safe space where certain speech is banned or where certain people of a certain skin color are not allowed? Or a certain sex? Or a certain party? Really?

      No college has uninvited a speaker? No college has tried to prevent a speaker by charging hundreds of thousands for security? Didn’t Grand Canyon University cancel Ben Shapiro’s planned appearance over “rhetoric”? Really?

  51. RickA is so right wing that he has lost any reasonable notion of what being ‘left’ means. The media have played a major role in this. Rick probably thinks that Obama was left and the Clintons as well. He probably assumes that Sanders is way, way out in uber-Marxism territory. Yet over here in Europe Sanders would be considered as a centrist over even marginally center-right.

    The fact is that both parties are right wing under the current incantation. The Republicans are pushing their kleptocracy towards proto-fascism whereas the Democrats are solidly right wing conservative. Essentially, the liberal class threw its lot in with the corporate state when Reagan came to power (or even before). The challenge now is to move both parties to the left. The Republicans are a lost cause as they are completely hog-tied by the corporate elites. My hope is that the Democrats revitalize themselves as a party that really speaks for the poor, for minorities, for the underprivileged and for the environment. That said, if I was over there I would vote for anyone to replace the current imbecilic, stupid, moronic liar-in-chief and his goon squad.

    1. RickA is so right wing that he has lost any reasonable notion of what being ‘left’ means.

      Yup. When a person is so delusional that he/she brand a movement whose goal is the opposition of nazis, white supremacists, etc., as a terrorist group (as he does, purely because he sees non-whites in it) there is really no chance the person can nurture any decency.

    2. right-wing = intellectual dishonesty…which is a close cousin of plain dishonesty.
      Ask any cult follower why, if Trump’s dealings with the Ukrainian President were so perfect, did he try to block all relevant witnesses from testifying, and watch the mental contortions.

  52. RickA wrote:

    _ “The exact quote from pg. 173 of Vol. 1 is ‘Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that the Campaign coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities.'”

    _ “but the fact is that Trump didn’t cheat in the 2016 election.”

    The key words are “with the Russian government.” In other words, while it’s undeniable that they colluded with Russians (140 contacts), it cannot be proven in a strict legal sense, without interrogating the Russians involved, that they were operating under the orders of Putin.

    Of course, common sense tells you that they were; it’s all part of the disinformation and disruption campaign which was proven to originate from Russia. With Putin’s tight control, I doubt that anything is done without his say-so.

    While Muller is specific about collusion with a foreign government because that is the act which is proscribed by the constitution, the average person who is not a kool-aid drinking cult follower of the corrupt orange monkey will interpret “collusion” in a broader sense:
    _ Team Trump had a hundred plus meetings with the Russians.
    _ They met Russian agents in Trump tower to discuss the release of illegally obtained emails from hacked DNC servers.
    _ Roger Stone, another Trump associate, talks online to Gucifer, who’s a Russian GRU hacker.
    _ They set up back-channel communications with the Russians to try to conceal their collusion.

    Cambridge dictionary
    Collusion; noun: agreement between people to act together secretly or illegally in order to deceive or cheat someone.
    _ Did team Trump act secretly with the Russians? Tick.
    _ Was the purpose to deceive and cheat? Tick.
    _ Is it illegal to seek foreign help for election interference? Tick.

    Conclusion: team Trump colluded with the Russians.
    “But it wasn’t him it was his team”, the cult followers say. Yeah, I’m sure he knew nothing about it, which is why, to keep him at arms length, they met the Russians in Trump tower.

    And then, the orange turd brazenly lies. When asked if there had been contacts between his team and the Russians, Trump replies “no, not at all”.

    But, but… there’s nothing to see there; it’s unfair to investigate our Dear Leader.

    Yale historian lays out 50 reasons to suspect Trump has been corrupted by Russia

    http://flip.it/ZF7EG1

  53. “Not a single vote was electronically changed in 2016 – just hearts and minds with words (some fake trying to manipulate people, but still words).”

    Is your first clause supposed to show that you’ve redefined “election tampering” as being solely a matter of “electronically changing votes”? It seems like it because you follow this with the admission “hearts and minds” were changed “with words” as if that means there was no effective tampering in 2016, or couldn’t be in 2020. You are vastly underestimating how effective lies can be when used by trained propagandists. Even the clumsy lies that Trump in his fractured English tells constantly, repeatedly, and reflexively have played a role in his rise to power because his lies reinforce lies some people already believe and desires they already harbor. Look at how the attitude of the Republican Party towards Russia and its leader has softened. Russia and Putin haven’t changed; Russia is still trying to bite off more of Ukraine and Putin is still the man who murdered his way to power, assassinates his political enemies and critics even in foreign nations, and has let his “anti-terrorist” squads kill dozens, even hundreds, of hostages — including children — in order to kill the terrorists as quickly as possible.

    To his personal and our national shame, Trump has been a big admirer of Putin for years and when the modern GOP hitched their star to Don the Con (two trials have established the truth of that in the cases of his university and his charity), they got infected with that same strongman admiration he displays.

    1. You are vastly underestimating how effective lies can be when used by trained propagandists.

      Conveniently, self-servingly, knowingly underestimating.

  54. “I wouldn’t worry about free speech under the Republicans.”

    I’m sure YOU wouldn’t worry. Do you know of any right-wing dictatorship* in which the head or government or government policies could be freely criticized? Do you think Donald Trump would protect free speech? *Dictatorships are identified by the fact that their heads are above the law and have no constraints on their activities, you know, like the Department of Justice claimed for President Trump.
    =

    ” It is the left that wants to ban speech. Whether on college campuses (safe spaces or banning speakers) or in political races (limit money = limit speech).

    Any civilized society has rules for when and where speech is free and when and where it is not. If you think hard, you can probably even find examples in the law. Different college campuses have different rules. Some are private and can and do have all sorts of rules that other colleges don’t.

    So, if money equates to speech and corporations are people under the law, then to win an election you just need to spend enough money to stifle the competition by buying enough tv and radio time, newspaper space, and rally venues, hiring hecklers, and professional opinion molders working through social media and a plethora of blogs. (If you don’t want to spend that much, work out a deal with the Russians, they have plenty of expertise in tweaking elections.) The Republicans already have a high official lodged in Facebook and Faux News is practically a Republican propaganda organ — owned by a conservative foreigner who doesn’t have to live with the results of any of the political decisions advocated there.

    1. “Faux News is practically a Republican propaganda organ ”

      Practically? You are too generous in this instance.

  55. “I wouldn’t worry about free speech under the Republicans.”

    Yeah, rickA’s ignorant assertions are commonplace but telling (especially his “colleges restricting free speech” bullshit. It’s a safe bet he’s a believer of the “social networks are censoring the free speech of the right” crap too.

    What should be concerning to everyone, right now, is that scumbag Barr’s repeated calls for tech companies to put back doors into operating systems and encrypted messaging systems to make it easier (as if it needs to be any easier) for government to keep track of what you’re doing.

    Admittedly, as soon as the bill for fascists, the patriot act, was passed, by essentially the entire collection of spine-free government people, and “just meta-data” was made available, everyone was screwed. The facts that government surveillance levels have constantly increased, typically past even what the weak laws say they can do, and that there is no effective mechanism to tell government agencies “No, you can’t do that”
    show that the notion of personal privacy is quickly being eroded, by willing buffoons on both sides of the political spectrum.

  56. It is now official: Donald J. Trump has now been impeached and since the Leader of the U. S. Senate has stated in public that he is “not impartial” and that he is going to rush the Senate “trial” through as quickly as possible. I and many other Americans are baffled by that because the members of the Senate, the jury, are supposed to take an oath as jurors that the will be impartial — that exact word, and might well wonder how he can take that oath without lying. By announcing in advance that he isn’t impartial shouldn’t that disqualify him? Or is lying when taking an oath now o.k.?

    It is likely that McConnell is just parroting Trump’s usual “witchhunt”, “fake”, etc. reaction, but is that legal as a response to an actual official vote in the House? And it still leaves the oath problem. Like Trump himself has done, it seems to me that McConnell has unnecessarily dug a big hole for himself and may well fall into it. Polling indicates that even Republicans favor a real trial with witnesses and all the trimmings.

    A former Republican (whose name I didn’t catch) interviewed on tv tonight said that the Republicans now in Congress act more like Trump-led cultists than members of a political party. Loyalty to the man not a party or the country would explain a great deal, or it could just be a case of birds of a feather flocking together to infest the Congress and the White House.

    1. ” I and many other Americans are baffled by that because the members of the Senate, the jury, are supposed to take an oath as jurors that the will be impartial ”

      Expecting a display of ethical behavior from the republican senators is certain to result in disappointment. These are, after all, people who still toss out lies about HRC and her (imaginary) crimes, and that biden “went rogue” on the ukrainian prosecutor. It works though, as we see in the posts by the local moron rickA.

      The oath that McConnell and the rest have to swear to, is

      “I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of (the person on trial), now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws; So help me God.”

      You can bet these scumbags will weasel around on some difference between “impartial juror” and “impartial justice”. Or maybe not — their base doesn’t care whether they act ethically or not.

      The rules also state “”unless otherwise ordered by the Senate” multiple times, which means that if some aspect is determined to be unacceptable all that is needed to change it is a simple majority.

      When Clinton was impeached the two sides sat down and worked out a mutually agreeable set of guidelines for how the trial in the Senate would go. It was accepted and passed with 100% of the vote.

      Chances of the Republicans showing even that much integrity?

    2. Tyvor:

      Yes – it is puzzling why McConnell said he was not impartial. And like you I am curious what he will say to explain how he can take his oath.

      But setting that aside for the moment – I still see Trump getting acquitted, as I think even swearing to give impartial justice, the Senate will acquit.

      The big problem I see with the Abuse of Power article is that, while Democrats keep saying Trump asked for his favors for personal political gain, to interfere with the 2020 election, they actually don’t have any evidence on that point.

      There are a bunch of reasons other than the 2020 election for wanting to investigate what Biden did in 2016 in the Ukraine. One being was it wrong? Did Biden abuse his power? Did he have an improper motive for getting the prosecutor fired. Was he aware that the prosecutor was investigating the very company his son was associated with. And so on. There are so many defenses which were never raised in the House, because the defendant didn’t mount a defense – relying on process complaints instead.

      Ditto for the Crowdstrike server issue. So while I get why democrats assume the worst – have they proven the worst? No, I don’t think so. So it will be easy for Republicans to vote to acquit on the first article of impeachment.

      The second article is even easier to vote against, because of separation of the three branches. It is simply not the case that every Congressional subpoena has to be responded to without court involvement and without being able to assert executive branch privileges. Would democrats agree that Obama should have been impeached for its obstruction of congress in Fast and Furious – I don’t think so. So I see an even easier time acquitting on the 2nd article. So that takes care of the trial and I don’t see Trump being removed.

      I am very interested in the tactic I have read about of not sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate. I wonder how real that is? Does the Senate have to wait for the articles to be formally sent over? Does the Senate and President care if the house impeaches but they choose not to start a trial? Can they wait until after the 2020 election – hoping for a flip in the Senate? Could the Senate take this to court? Can the Senate just hold the trial anyway? The House has the sole power to impeach – which they have done, so aren’t they finished? Lots of interesting constitutional questions of first impression here. Another question – what if the House never sends the articles over to the Senate? Can they do that?

      My guess is the Senate doesn’t have to wait on any formality by the House. What can the House do – sue to stop the Senate from having a trial on their impeachment? If the House chooses not to send over a manager to try the case, I am sure the Senate could argue that is like a default and just vote to acquit. I wonder if the Senate could just ask Justice Roberts to rule on whether the House can wait? After all, he presides over Impeachments of the President. Skip the courts and just go to the presiding Judge. Another interesting constitutional question.

      When I first read about this tactic, my first thought was – Justice delayed is justice denied. I bet Trump campaigns on that. So lots of interesting questions and very entertaining.

      Given the extreme partisanship we are seeing, both by the democrats in the house and now the republicans in the senate, I wonder – could the Senate just wait and time the trial for during the democratic convention? Why not? If the house thinks it can wait, maybe the Senate can wait also?

    3. Yes – it is puzzling why McConnell said he was not impartial.

      No it isn’t. He’s a partisan scumbag who consistently places Party before country. And *anyone* who has publicly stated that they will do this should be disallowed the Senate impeachment vote for prejudice – for flagrantly violating the Constitution which requires impartial judgment in this matter.

      But this won’t happen, and despite the unambiguous evidence that Trump both abused his office and obstructed Congress, the GOP Senate majority will refuse to impeach.

      They are wiping their arses on the Constitution and not even bothering to hide the fact yet you refuse, over and over again, to call it out.

      What the fuck is wrong with you?

    4. BBD asks “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

      Nothing. I simply don’t agree that Trump abused his power or obstructed congress. That is what the Senate will find, and why they will acquit.

      Everybody knew this is what was going to happen in the Senate. I told you this is what was going to happen in the Senate. So nobody should be surprised when Trump gets acquitted. This whole process is a total waste of time, and in the end did nothing but help Trump for 2020.

      Now, belatedly realizing this – Pelosi holds up on sending the articles to the Senate? I thought it was urgent and imperative that Trump be impeached and tried – I guess not. This just makes it look even more political (if that were possible) and helps Trump even more (if that were possible).

      It is the democrats who are fouling the constitution.

    5. Nothing. I simply don’t agree that Trump abused his power or obstructed congress. That is what the Senate will find, and why they will acquit.

      You are simply blanking the evidence, which is – whatever you claim – incontrovertible. The GOP Senate members are betraying their country by defying the Constitutional requirement of impartiality.

      It is the democrats who are fouling the constitution.

      Now that is a lie.

      How many legal and historical contradictions do you need?

      Historians:
      https://medium.com/@historiansonimpeachment/historians-statement-on-the-impeachment-of-president-trump-6e4ed2277b16

      Legal scholars:
      https://medium.com/@legalscholarsonimpeachment/letter-to-congress-from-legal-scholars-6c18b5b6d116

      I repeat: you are simply lying.

      Everybody knew this is what was going to happen in the Senate.

      That doesn’t excuse the unConstitutional disgrace of the GOP. It doesn’t make it all okay.

      What the fuck is wrong with you?

    6. You can bet these scumbags will weasel around on some difference between “impartial juror” and “impartial justice”. Or maybe not — their base doesn’t care whether they act ethically or not.

      While the second part of this is indisputably true, I’m not sure the first part is possible. Impartial jurors are an integral, inseparable part of impartial justice. The latter is impossible without the former. So McConnell and others who have publicly stated that they will not act impartially are behaving unConstitutionally and should – must – be prohibited from further participation in the Senate impeachment process.

    7. This whole process is a total waste of time

      […]

      It is the democrats who are fouling the constitution.

      Rick, Trump is trying to set up a tyranny. He’s claiming he is above the law and can do what the fuck he likes. And instead of defending the Constitution and supporting impeachment, you are backing Trump. When the GOP lickspittles refuse to impeach in spite of overwhelming evidence, Trump will be uncontainable. You and the GOP are in the process of creating King Donald the First of America.

      Are you all insane or what?

      I repeat: what the fuck is wrong with you?

  57. Above rickA stated, stupidly, that my definition of a lie was amazing.

    No, my amazement comes at the fact that rickA is so comfortable to lie about so many things and not have a twinge of remorse. He’s the poster child for how someone can have absolutely zero sense of decency or integrity.

    “It is the democrats who are fouling the constitution.”

    No dickwad, there is no requirement that the articles be sent on as soon as they are passed. Until the Senate votes on how the republicans are going to sham their way out of a fair trial there is no need to send them on.

    There are a bunch of reasons other than the 2020 election for wanting to investigate what Biden did in 2016 in the Ukraine. One being was it wrong? Did Biden abuse his power? Did he have an improper motive for getting the prosecutor fired. Was he aware that the prosecutor was investigating the very company his son was associated with.

    You effing idiot? Do you still think anyone who has paid attention still believes any of that shit? All of it was investigated, by both sides, and nothing came of it. Biden didn’t do anything by himself, the US was working with England and the EU, all agreed the first prosecutor needed to go because he did nothing to start the investigation, and his successor did.

    Don’t ever try to say you read sources and try to get the facts again, because you clearly fucking don’t.

  58. “This whole process is a total waste of time …”

    Really? It wasn’t a waste of time at all. A lot of important things came out about Trump and his minions’ activities that would never have been put before the American people otherwise. And contrary to the usual lying Republican propaganda, the House also managed to pass so many bills on important issues and send them to the Senate that poor Mitch McConnell just had to table them all. So it was the Republican-controlled Senate and not the House that was distracted by the impeachment investigation. Odd, considering that they neglected a major part of their Constitutional job.

    “. . . and in the end did nothing but help Trump for 2020.”

    Will it help Trump in 2020? How? Why? It is likely that the Republican base is impervious to anything resembling facts anyway so there’s no difference there, but Democrats could be energized as never before by the impeachment revelations and the realization that if they can swing the Senate, they can make life difficult for the already unstable Trump even if he manages, with or without Putin’s help, to be reelected. In addition, there the independent voters to be considered. Facts do matter to many people and Trump’s status as Putin’s puppet (or stooge if you prefer) is more obvious now than it was before the Syrian debacle that benefited only Putin and two other dictators. Putin is not as popular with the general population as he is with conservatives. 2018 was not a good year for Republicans and 2020 could well be even worse.

    1. Tyvor:

      If Trump gets more votes in 2020 then he got in 2016 would you agree impeachment helped him?

      I will agree that if Trump gets less votes in 2020 then he got in 2016 that he was hurt by impeachment.

      How about that gentleman’s bet.

  59. BBD says “Now that is a lie.” about my opinion that it is the democrats who are fouling the constitution.

    No BBD, that is my opinion.

    I do not say that the democrats are fouling the constitution to intentionally deceive, but because I wholeheartedly believe it.

    So it cannot be a lie, by definition.

    You and dean need to really consult a dictionary, as neither one of you knows what a lie is.

    You and dean arrogantly presume that any time a person disagrees with you, that a person is lying. Well – that is not how it works.

    I believe what I say and I say what I believe – always have and always will.

    By passing the articles of impeachment the democrats did, they are crapping on the constitution – and that is my honestly held opinion.

    You are free to hold a different opinion.

    1. The impeachment was done according to the rules — the ones the Republicans followed when they impeached Clinton. Your comment that this one “crapped on the constitution” is a flat out lie.

      Your shit-stained weaseling about “opinions” is the same bullcrap you use when you lie what published articles on climate change say.

      So no, it isn’t a difference of opinion. You lied (again). You got caught (again). You toss out the same fake defense (again). You’re still an amoral congenital liar.

    2. No BBD, that is my opinion.

      No, it’s a lie. It is a lie because it directly contradicts the established facts. See links to actual experts reviewing the actual evidence above.

      Opinions that contradict facts the speaker is fully aware of are lies.

      I do not say that the democrats are fouling the constitution to intentionally deceive, but because I wholeheartedly believe it.

      So it cannot be a lie, by definition.

      Or you are mentally ill and incapable of accepting reality. It’s an either / or.

  60. RickA, you apparently cannot even tell your opinions from your lies, so why bother?

    As for Trump getting more votes in 2020 than he did in 2016, who cares? Much of the US population, like the UK population which voted in a cretin like Boris Johnson, is politically illiterate. I cringe when I listen to some of the views of the ‘man and the woman on the street’. Utterly gumbified drivel. Democracy fails when people lose the ability to understand why the hell they are voting for wealthy crooks whose policies ultimately hurt them. When working class people vote for a dirtbag like Donald Trump and his Party, which are shafting them, then it proves Walter Lippmann’s adage that propaganda works and that the dumbing down of the population has been a success.

  61. As an addendum, there are a million other reasons why Trump and his goons need to be booted out.

    Here is a partial list by Paul Street in Truthdig

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/trumps-removal-cant-wait-for-impeachment/

    This is more than enough.

    He demonizes and scapegoats minorities and immigrants. He provides dog-whistle cover for white supremacists. He sparks racist hate crimes with his vicious nativist words. He speaks with disdain about inner-city black communities. He tells police officers not to “be too nice” with suspects.

    He packs the courts with hard-right racists, classists, sexists and eco-exterminists, toxically reshaping the federal judiciary for a generation. He has cultivated and rewarded Christian fascists, one of whom (Mike Pence) is his vice president.

    He calls African nations shithole countries. He told four nonwhite progressive U.S. Congresswomen to “go back to … the crime infested places from which they came.”

    He has absurdly threatened to “end birthright citizenship” (the granting of U.S. citizenship to all persons born on U.S. soil under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment) with an executive order.

    Trump violates international asylum law and separates migrant children from their parents. He indefinitely detains tens of thousands of migrant children and families in for-profit concentration camps.

    He declared a fake national emergency to criminally divert taxpayer dollars to the construction of a nativist border wall that most of the citizenry hates and Congress refused to fund.

    Believing his dotard self “the world’s greatest person,” he promotes an absurd cult of personality, proclaiming himself a “stable genius.” He regularly praises dictators and despots the world over. He absurdly claims that Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution means that “I have the power to do whatever I want as president.”

    Donald Trump attacks basic press freedoms. He demonizes and falsely conflates liberals and leftists. He mocks and disrespects intellectuals and science.

    He absurdly denies climate science and arch-criminally ramps up the eco-exterminist war on livable ecology. He refused to adequately prepare for and respond to the epic climate change-fueled Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. He absurdly blames California’s deadly climate change-driven wildfires on the state’s failure to “sweep the forest floors.”

    He threatened North Korea and Iran with nuclear annihilation. He provided cover for the absolutist Saudi Arabian regime’s murderous vivisection of a dissident journalist. He funds and equips the Saudis’ criminal and catastrophic war on Yemen over Congressional opposition. Last Friday he pardoned three murderous U.S. military war criminals.

    He has turned the U.S. Attorney General into his own personal attorney. He has conducted a corrupt foreign policy on behalf of his own economic and political self-interest. He brazenly violates the Constitution’s emoluments clause while preposterously calling that clause “phony.” He denies and obstructs Congress’ constitutional right and duty to investigate his conduct. He criminally intimidates witnesses and whistleblowers, calling them “traitors.” He describes a constitutionally appropriate inquiry into his immoral and illegal behavior as a “lynching” and a “coup.”

    His far right-wing attorney general, William Barr, argues that his executive powers are essentially unlimited and seeks to undermine the constitutional separation of church and state.

    He wages a relentless Orwellian war on Truth, replete with more than 10,000 documentable false statements since his inauguration.

    He openly flirts with calling for the use of extra-legal political violence on his behalf by his heavily armed backers, suggesting that impeachment could spark “Civil War.” He is the first president in American history to pose a serious threat of refusing to honor a re-election count that doesn’t go his way.

    1. That is a nice list of reasons for you to vote against Trump in 2020. You should also try to get enough people to vote against Trump in enough states to win more electoral votes than Trump does. Then perhaps the new President will govern more in line with your views than Trump does.

      None of the stuff on your list is an impeachable offense, or it would be in the articles of impeachment.

      I would like to say something about this one:

      “He has absurdly threatened to “end birthright citizenship” (the granting of U.S. citizenship to all persons born on U.S. soil under the Constitution’s 14th Amendment) with an executive order.”

      There is a valid legal argument that a pregnant person, sneaking across the border illegally just to give birth in this country does not result in a “natural born person”. The Supreme Court needs to rule on that issue.

      When caught, I would deport the mother and child, and not consider that child a US citizen.

      I would distinguish a person who is here legally and gives birth, such as on a student visa or a visitors visa, because we know when we let a pregnant person visit legally that they might give birth, and we know when we allow a student to study here they might get pregnant and give birth.

      I might also distinguish a person who gets pregnant in the United States, even while here illegally, because presumably the father of the child is a US Citizen (although I could see a situation where that was not the case). A lot of other countries also got rid of birthright citizenship (like France, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand) and certainly in the case of someone who snuck into the country illegally to give birth. So this is certainly no issue over which to impeach Trump.

      I guess the point I would make is that reasonable minds can differ over the issue of natural born citizenship. I think many of the issues you raise are also those over which reasonable minds could differ, and are therefore not per se impeachable offenses.

  62. “I guess the point I would make is that reasonable minds can differ over the issue of natural born citizenship. ”

    I guess the point is that you are just an asshole who doesn’t like the fact that the US has always welcomed immigrants, and that you’ve bought into the entire “immigration crisis” crap that has zero facts behind it.

    1. Your childish name-calling aside, the US does welcome immigrants.

      Legal immigrants.

      The illegal ones are not welcome and should be caught and deported, preferably the very day they illegally cross into the US.

      The goal should be zero illegal immigrants. Then we can set our policy level for how many legal immigrants we want.

      Millions of illegal immigrants crossing the border at will each year is an immigration crisis.

  63. RickA does it again, what a tool you are:

    None of the stuff on your list is an impeachable offense, or it would be in the articles of impeachment.

    Note that Jeffh did not claim that they were impeachable offences, read his words again:

    As an addendum, there are a million other reasons why Trump and his goons need to be booted out.

    Looking down that list one or two would be if enough were not already in the running. Many could give grounds for him being brought before The International Court of Justice and/or The International Court of Human Rights, but one step at a time.

    1. My impression is that most of the list had to do with speech, mainly whining about how rude Trump is. I commented on the substantive one.

  64. “the US does welcome immigrants.”

    Well, not under trump.

    Note: being an ‘illegal’ immigrant is a misdemeanor, hardly the crime you make it, and the crap you and your kind spread about it being a major issue does only one thing: identifies you for the scum you are.

    1. It should be a felony.

      Breaking and entering is a felony.

      In some states, trespassing is a felony.

      I would make it a felony.

      Being here illegally makes them illegal aliens whether they have committed a felony or a misdemeanor.

      The goal should be that nobody gets into the USA unless they are invited and given permission to come here.

  65. RickA makes lame arguments again. I wonder why it isn’t a felony for American forces to illegally invade and occupy sovereign nations? I recall Condeleeza Rice absurdly stating in 2006 that ‘there are too many foreign forces in Iraq’. Of course she was not referring the the US military which in the lexicon of the US government has the divine right to be anywhere and everywhere on Earth irrespective of what the occupied peoples feel. Rice was referring to Iranian forces.

    RickA, you really are a bit of a hypocritical dolt imho.

    1. “The goal should be that nobody gets into the USA unless they are invited and given permission to come here.”

      There it is — rickA’s admission that immigration, any kind, should be shut down and only people invited should be allowed in.

      You seem to be nothing more than a collection of every terrible characteristic a person can demonstrate.

  66. Actually, for an elected leader to call other nations ‘shitholes’ – whilst ignoring the vital role the US has played in creating and maintaining them – is more than enough reason for that person to be forced to step down or to be made to apologize.

    Did Trump even make a hint of an apology?! Does he ever?! The man is a bombastic narcissist. He is a national embarrassment. Yet RickA appears to adore him.

    Go figure.

  67. My impression is that most of the list had to do with speech, mainly whining about how rude Trump is. I commented on the substantive one.

    FFS Rick.

    Actual legal experts, as opposed to lying partisan trolls:

    President Trump’s conduct described in the testimony and evidence clearly constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanour under the Constitution. According to the testimony and to the publicly released memorandum of the July 25, 2019, telephone call between the two presidents, President Trump abused his office by soliciting the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals in order to gain personal political advantage, including in the 2020 presidential election. This act on its own qualifies as an impeachable high crime and misdemeanour.

    Noah Feldman, Harvard Law School

    The president’s serious misconduct, including bribery, soliciting a personal favour from a foreign leader in exchange for his exercise of power, and obstructing justice and Congress are worse than the misconduct of any prior president, including what previous presidents who faced impeachment have done or been accused of doing.

    When we apply our constitutional law to the facts found in the Mueller Report and other public sources, I cannot help but conclude that this president has attacked each of the Constitution’s safeguards against establishing a monarchy in this country. Both the context and gravity of the president’s misconduct are clear: The “favour” he requested from Ukraine’s president was to receive – in exchange for his release of the funds Ukraine desperately needed – Ukraine’s announcement of a criminal investigation of a political rival. The investigation was not the important action for the president; the announcement was because it could then be used in this country to manipulate the public into casting aside the president’s political rival because of concerns about his corruption.

    Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina School of Law

    Wouldn’t you know in your gut that such a president had abused his office, betrayed the national interest and tried to corrupt the electoral process? I believe the evidentiary record shows wrongful acts on that scale here. It shows a president who delayed meeting a foreign leader and providing assistance that Congress and his own advisers agreed served our national interest in promoting democracy and limiting Russian aggression. And it shows a president who did this to strong-arm a foreign leader into smearing one of the president’s opponents in our ongoing election season.

    Based on the evidentiary record, what has happened in the case before you is something that I do not think we have ever seen before: a president who has doubled down on violating his oath to “faithfully execute” the laws and to “protect and defend the Constitution”. The evidence reveals a president who used the powers of his office to demand that a foreign government participate in undermining a competing candidate for the presidency.

    Pamela Karlan, Stanford Law School

    So, RickA, are you a lying troll or a denialist nutter? A / B.

  68. “If Trump gets more votes in 2020 then he got in 2016 would you agree impeachment helped him?”

    Nope, since he and the GOP have done next to nothing to protect our elections from a variety of different kinds of tampering by Putin, I would at least provisionally conclude that Putin helped him again, probably aided by homegrown dirty tricks a la Roger Stone. There’s a pattern here of (1) Trump surrounding himself with low-lifes, many of them now in jail, and (2) Trump and Putin linked together by common objectives, none of which involve net benefit to the U. S.

    Consider the following: It was reported recently that Trump, when asked how he knew the Ukraine was the country that tampered with the 2016 election, replied “Putin told me.” So now we know why the conclusion of the U. S. intelligence agencies has been dismissed by Trump and many current Republicans.

    “The goal should be that nobody gets into the USA unless they are invited and given permission to come here.”

    Oh really, who “invited” you or your ancestors? For many Americans, including me, the answer is no one; they just came. The first general immigration law, i.e., one that had a category of inadmissible aliens, was in 1882, according to Wikipedia.

  69. By passing the articles of impeachment the democrats did, they are crapping on the constitution – and that is my honestly held opinion.

    Again, this is either the nadir of mendacious partisan fuckwittery, or you are a lunatic.

    Out of curiosity, which is it?

  70. RickA says “There are a bunch of reasons other than the 2020 election for wanting to investigate what Biden did in 2016 in the Ukraine”

    Like what?

    “It’s the democrats who are fouling the constitution”

    How are they doing that?

    I can’t believe anyone, let alone a lawyer, would want to have investigations into people without evidence of wrongdoing. Sounds very fascist. But then again fascism IS stongly associated with the far-right mentality. So, again, I would ask RickA , what evidence is there that either Bidens, junior or senior, did anything wrong? Any way you look at it, the proposition that Trump is interested in investigating corruption is so ridiculous it makes you wonder about the people who believe it.

    As usual, in Maggat land reality is the opposite of what they present. Viktor Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor, resigned because he was corrupt and there was international pressure for him to go. Biden’s action in withholding funds _ in contrast to what the orange turd did, where no one (except for a handful of corrupt minions who were in on the bribe) knew why the funds were stopped _ was Obama administration policy and not some personal agenda that he was pursuing.

    Here are some quotes from the Wikipedia article on Shokin, the Ukrainian prosecutor Biden had a role in removing:

    “As Prosecutor General, he was accused of blocking major cases against allies and influential figures and hindering the fight against corruption in Ukraine.”

    “The Obama administration and other governments and non-governmental organizations soon became concerned that Shokin was not adequately pursuing corruption in Ukraine, was protecting the political elite, and was regarded as “an obstacle to anti-corruption efforts”.[24] Among other issues, he was slow-walking the investigation into Zlochevsky and Burisma and using the threat of prosecution to try to solicit bribes from Mr. Zlochevsky and his team – to the extent that Obama officials were considering launching their own criminal investigation into the company for possible money laundering.”

    “Through 2015 and early 2016, domestic and international pressure (including from the IMF, the EU, and the EBRD) built for Shokin to be removed from office. The Obama administration withheld $1 billion in loan guarantees to pressure the Ukrainian government to remove Shokin from office.”

    “Shokin claimed in May 2019 that he had been investigating Burisma Holdings.[21][42][43] However, Vitaly Kasko, who had been Shokin’s deputy overseeing international cooperation before resigning in February 2016 citing corruption in the office, provided documents to Bloomberg News indicating that under Shokin, the investigation into Burisma had been dormant.[44][45] Also, the investigation into Burisma only pertained to events happening before Hunter Biden joined the company.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Shokin

    Here are more debunkings of the arguments that Trump was interested in rooting out corruption in the Ukraine before releasing the funds, and also that he was waiting for the Europeans to increase their contributions.

    AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s Ukraine defense at odds with facts
    https://flip.it/3ij.WO

    1. All of that has been explained to rickA before. He still lies about biden doing something wrong. Best of luck with your explanation to him.

    2. I know that all this has probably been explained to RickA before (as dean wrote) but I appreciate it. I don’t follow politics in the degree and detail that others here do and it is useful to have links such as you’ve given. Until the impeachment, I was resigned to having to wait until the 2020 election to see the present occupant of the White House (and current Putin enabler) out of office and perhaps in a real courtroom at last.

  71. So now we know the Ukrainian aid was held up 90 minutes AFTER the July 25th phone call.

    That is pretty damaging to the abuse of power case.

    The entire narrative was that Trump was using the withheld aid to extort or bribe Ukraine, and now we find out the aid wasn’t withheld during the call, but only after? No wonder nobody knew on the Ukrainian side that the aid was withheld during or before the call – it wasn’t. Oops.

    I guess we will need to find a new call where the subsequently withheld aid was used improperly to obtain the Biden investigation (which never happened).

    To bad the house investigation is over and the articles of impeachment were already voted on. Looks pretty bad for the house. How bad was their investigation? So bad, they won’t even send the articles over to the Senate. Looks like they got their facts wrong. I wonder what else is wrong in their investigation.

    What a joke.

    Obviously this will help Trump in his defense, if there ever is a trial in the Senate. And obviously it helps with the narrative that the democrats are just looking for any reason to try to take down Trump. This helps Trump win reelection.

    So very entertaining. As I predicted.

    1. ” Looks like they got their facts wrong. ”

      Well no, you fucking liar, there is no rule that says the articles need to be sent immediately. The stated intention is the hope that the republicans in the Senate will agree to a reasonably fair process for their work instead of saying, as they have, that they don’t have any intention of holding a fair hearing. They’ve taken their marching orders from the nazi-lover in the white house, he’s told them to acquit him, and that’s what they are going to do.

      I know that, since you are competely lacking in any integrity, you can’t see a lack of integrity in anyone else, so your comments are understandable. Asinine, and nothing that anyone who appreciates law and order would say, but understandable.

    2. “So now we know the Ukrainian aid was held up 90 minutes AFTER the July 25th phone call.

      That is pretty damaging to the abuse of power case.”
      =
      Nonsense: (1) The Ukrainian president mentioned that Ukraine was ready to buy more weapons. Do you think he didn’t know that the money was supposed to be on the way? (2) Giuliani had already been talking up a storm in Ukraine, promising and threatening, and mounting smear campaigns. (3) Other than to put pressure on the Ukrainian president for investigations to benefit him personally and, of course, Russia, there was no reason for Trump to hold up that aid before, during, or after the phone call

      There’s a context of Trump’s selfish and dishonest behavior and motivations throughout his history that you never acknowledge, but that doesn’t make it go away. No wonder so many people of intelligence and principles were sure before the election that Trump was not fit for the office of U. S. president.
      = =

    3. So now we know the Ukrainian aid was held up 90 minutes AFTER the July 25th phone call.

      That is pretty damaging to the abuse of power case.

      That’s beyond desperate.

    4. “So now we know the Ukrainian aid was held up 90 minutes AFTER the July 25th phone call.

      That is pretty damaging to the abuse of power case.”
      =
      Is it really Rick, is it really?

      In addition to my previous comments on this fantasy of yours, e-mails recently pried out of the Trump realm (by FIA) show that the holding up of the money voted by Congress for Ukraine was meant to be kept secret except for those who needed to know about it in order to make it happen. Why the secrecy if it was such a pure and perfect action?

      In addition, that holding up of that money by Trump was probably a violation of the Budget Control Act of 1974, voted by Congress and signed into law by Richard Nixon. This Act limits what the Chief Executive can do about and with Congressionally-appropriated money and REQUIRED that Congress be notified of and that Congress APPROVE any such a hold-up. Do you remember any notification of Congress by Trump or any vote of Congressional approval of Trump’s hold-up? (The term “hold-up” seems very appropriate here.) Whoops, there could even be another impeachable offense to put on the list. That’s being looked into now.

  72. “… perhaps the new President will govern more in line with your views than Trump does.”

    EVERY previous president governed more in line with democratic views than Trump does. However if Trump escapes removal from office, no future president will have the same checks on his/her behavior as pre-Trump presidents had. Then Congress will have lost its ultimate check on a rogue chief executive, turning him/her into a dictator above all laws. That takes us a big step closer to becoming a second Russia: dictator, oligarchs, organized crime, and a general public bought off with promises and consumer goods.

    1. Add the fact that the bastard just okayed an assassination to take attention away from the need about his crimes. His action just raised the danger level for sailors and troops around the world — and the risk of cyber attacks.

      Can you imagine what the scum on the right would be saying if a democratic president had wagged the dog like this

  73. More explanations for Trump’s hit: it’s just come out that Russian state-owned bank VTB underwrote Trump’s loans when nobody else would give him money. Nothing like being in debt to Russian mobsters to guide our country’s actions.

    1. The Mafiya pwned Teh Donald via his failing casinos decades ago. Then once they owned the wretched little man, they laundered their dirty money through Trump’s Florida real estate business and eventually handed the Donald control box to Putin when he asked for it. Because Russia is a gangster state and that’s how it works. This stuff isn’t even a secret, so why it is taking so long for the truth to emerge is actually mystifying to an outside observer (eg. me in the UK).

  74. Few thousand more troops heading to home away from home in the Middle East, thanks to the ass clown who vowed to get us out (and who said Obama was likely to start a war to get re-elected).

    Pompeo: “People not only in Iraq, but in Iran, will view the American action last night as giving them freedom.”

    Apparently the standard bullcrap line “they’ll view us as liberators” was considered too risky.

  75. Customs and Border Patrol has begun detaining, and in some cases, denying, Americans of Iranian descent trying to re-enter the United States at Peace Arch Border Crossing” in Blaine, Washington. Sixty were detained and questioned, had passports confiscated, and were interrogated about their political views and allegiences. More were not allowed to enter because “there was not enough space to detain them”.

    There are reports that the Department of Homeland Security issued a national order to CBP to report and detain anyone with Iranian heritage entering the country who is deemed potentially suspicious or “adversarial”, regardless of citizenship status — which means, in essence, given the current atmosphere are those agencies, anyone with any indication of Iranian heritage.

    No, this administration is perfectly fine. They just happen to worship nazis and their tactics.

    1. And, of course, there is his tweeted threat of committing war crimes by saying

      “We have … targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture

      You’d hope that that is the usual Trumpian bullshit that will never get followed through on, or that the military would say “No” if he wanted to do it, but these are the same assholes who killed Soleimani on (what are now known to be ) bogus reasons, so…

  76. Well now, looky here:

    “Unredacted emails show OMB officials knowingly engaged in conspiracy to hide illegal action by Trump” — Mark Sumner Daily Kos Staff 2020/01/02 • 12:14 269

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/1/2/1909016/-Unredacted-emails-show-OMB-officials-knowingly-engaged-in-conspiracy-to-hide-illegal-action-by-Trump?detail=emaildksp

    Here’s the first paragraph:

    “Unredacted versions of White House memos, obtained by the website Just Security, confirm that the decision to withhold U.S. military assistance from Ukraine came straight from Donald Trump. Those memos show rapidly escalating concern from officials at both the White House and the Pentagon who saw that Trump’s actions in delaying the release of the aide were both illegal and likely to generate a political firestorm. And they demonstrate that by the time Trump called the Ukrainian president, officials at the Office of Management and Budget were actively engaged in disguising the truth and conspiring to deceive both Congress and the public.”

    Now what will the Trump apologists say about that?

  77. Me: “Now what will the Trump apologists say about that?”

    dean: “Well, based on history, rickA will lie. I’m guessing the others will too.”
    =

    I am not unaware of that but I’m hoping for another attempt at a ridiculous counter-explanation that is easily contradicted by the facts. It is important to keep putting old and new lies vs facts in front of the American public to combat their short-attention span and long practice in taking refuge in fantasies when faced with inconvenient or unwelcome truths.

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