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dajoki

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: PA
Member since: Wed May 11, 2005, 10:48 PM
Number of posts: 10,568

About Me

I love spending time with my grandchildren and gardening.

Journal Archives

You can't impeach me -- because I quit.

A shame Trump canceled his subscription. Here’s a perfect impeachment defense.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/25/shame-trump-canceled-his-subscription-heres-perfect-impeachment-defense/

<<snip>>

Republicans have been complaining that the White House lacks a consistent message on impeachment. The main defense — about the secrecy of the process — will become irrelevant when proceedings become public next month. “It’s hard,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham complained on Fox News. “‘It’s like you’re fighting a ghost, you’re fighting against the air.”

Or maybe it’s that there is no good defense.

Really, the problem is the White House has too many messages — and none of them very good. Consider some of the lines Trump and his allies have tried in recent days:

The call was perfect.

The emoluments clause is phony.

Adam Schiff is a corrupt liar.

Adam Schiff is the whistleblower’s secret informant.

Bill Taylor is part of a coordinated smear campaign by radical unelected bureaucrats.

Democrats are an angry pack of rabid hyenas.

What are Democrats hiding in their Soviet-style star chamber?

Human scum!

It’s a coup!

No, it’s a lynching!

No, it’s a witch hunt!

<<snip>>

Trump’s solution to the stream of bad news: He ordered the White House to cancel its subscriptions to those two newspapers.

That’s too bad, because Trump and his aides now won’t be able to read this coherent, straight-from-the-soul message I have developed for him, guaranteed to put an end to impeachment:

I am in way over my head.

I have no idea what’s legal or illegal.

My staff is incompetent.

I wasn’t supposed to win the election.

You can’t impeach me — because I quit.

D.C. Press Whitewashes Its Role in 2016 Email Fiasco after State Department Exonerates Clinton

D.C. Press Whitewashes Its Role in 2016 Email Fiasco after State Department Exonerates Clinton
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/87072

Page 16 and 649 words. That’s how The New York Times treated the recent news that a years-long State Department investigation concluded there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information via emails sent to and from Hillary Clinton's private server while she was secretary of state. The Times covered that story regarding a seminal event from the 2016 campaign by publishing a single, brief article buried deep inside its A-section last Saturday. It was almost like the Times newsroom was telling readers, “Nothing to see here, folks.”

The Times was hardly alone in aggressively downplaying the State Department's conclusion. Most of the press treated the latest Clinton absolution as nothing more than a passing footnote, giving the news little or no coverage (the word "emails," for instance, was never mentioned on Sunday's Meet the Press, or ABC’s This Week. Recall however, that during the final stretch before the 2016 campaign, the Times famously crammed three separate Clinton email stories onto its front page on the same day, signaling to readers that the story had reached epic, blockbuster proportions.

Today the topic, and the clearing of Clinton, is of little concern to the New York daily that likely churned out hundreds of thousands of words on the email topic in 2015 and 2016. Indeed, when the email story first broke in March 2015, the Beltway media's response resembled barely controlled hysteria. For example, Times columnist Frank Bruni wondered if the revelation meant Clinton had a secret political “death wish.”

Just as important today is how the press is washing its hands of the media malpractice from 2016 and pretending news outlets played no role in helping the GOP market its email smear campaign for 18 months. That campaign consisted of phony Republican allegations that have now been relegated to the trashcan of history.

But before the trash gets taken out, it’s worth reflecting on what happened, especially as the 2020 campaign season ramps up and the GOP readies its next round of smear campaigns. The sustained attacks that will only work if the Beltway press signs on as a co-sponsor, the way it did with the bogus email charade in 2016.

<<snip>>

Basically, the Clinton emails became the new Whitewater—a "scandal" in search of a crime. Here’s the dirty secret about what fuels Clinton scandal coverage, and what has always fueled the wayward pursuit: journalists were invested. And when it comes to the email story, they’ve been deeply invested since March 2015. For the press, the hollow “scandal” allowed them to harp on Clinton’s supposed untrustworthiness. It also allowed them to show Republicans that they were putting the Democratic nominee under a microscope and prove they don’t have a "liberal media bias."

For the record, the fact that the entire email "scandal" was bogus was fairly evident in real time. (See this Newsweek piece,https://www.newsweek.com/hillary-clinton-emailgate-312784 from March 2015.) It's just that most of the press opted to play dumb on an epic scale regarding the story because the press liked the email story. The press liked that it was hurting Clinton, whom everyone assumed would defeat Trump. Harassing her with endless email coverage was a way to make sure her historic victory didn't taste very sweet, and that she limped across the finish line. Part of that sprang from a never-ending attempt to criminalize the Clintons. In the end, the relentlessly incendiary email coverage helped get Trump elected.

Yet rather than addressing that gaping, stunning failure in its 2016 coverage, the news media have opted to quietly move on.

Nothing to see here, folks.

"I don't like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!"

So is this the way our military leaders feel? They just don't like Democrats and they are not afraid to shout it out loud at some type of formal function, imagine how they speak in private. They seem to be forgetting the decades of repub nonsense that brought us to this point and are willing to disparage an entire political party without giving it a second thought. It appears that these generals would prefer any other repub over any Democrat despite their illiberal behavior. Something is very wrong here!!!
---
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/trump-mcraven-syria-military.html?te=1&nl=david-leonhardt&emc=edit_ty_20191018?campaign_id=39&instance_id=13189&segment_id=18021&user_id=ca02b127fa17b8d676fde27e367a12bb®i_id=89651072

These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”

Those words echoed with me throughout the week. It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great. We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council. We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys. We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.

U.S. military spokesman referred questions to the Syrian and Russian governments

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/syria-says-government-soldiers-enter-manbij-after-us-troops-withdraw/2019/10/15/d494405a-eeb8-11e9-bb7e-d2026ee0c199_story.html

U.S. military spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III declined to say on Tuesday whether Syrian troops had entered Manbij, referring questions about Syrian troop positions, as well as reports that Russian soldiers had entered Manbij, to the Syrian and Russian governments.

A Trump-Appointed Judge Is Running Interference His Financial Records

A Trump-Appointed Judge Is Running Interference for the President on His Financial Records
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/trump-subpoena-mazars-neomi-rao.html

One of Donald Trump’s most controversial judicial nominees unleashed a bizarre and embarrassing dissent on Friday that seeks to shield the president from congressional oversight while flouting Supreme Court precedent

The author of Friday’s dissent, Neomi Rao, was Trump’s choice to fill Brett Kavanaugh’s old seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Her opinion marks a lawless effort to insert the judiciary into the House of Representatives’ investigations into Trump, limiting lawmakers’ ability to access potentially incriminating evidence. It also implies that federal courts could stop the House from impeaching Trump. In short, Rao is running interference for the president who put her on the bench

-snip-

This would mean that, at times when oversight and legislation are most urgent, such as to prevent executive branch overreach or to keep officials’ behavior within ethical boundaries going forward, Congress would be legislatively hamstrung unless it were to pull the impeachment trigger. And if Congress chooses not to pursue impeachment, or if impeachment is unavailable because Congress believes the alleged misconduct falls short of a high crime or misdemeanor, then there can be no investigation of—and thus no viable legislative check on—the President at all. A proposition that so strips Congress of its power to legislate would enforce only the Executive’s arrogation of power, not the separation of powers.

But there is another, even more disturbing aspect of Rao’s dissent. She wrote, ominously, that “it is unnecessary here to determine the scope of impeachable offenses.” Unnecessary here? It isn’t just unnecessary—it’s impermissible, because the federal judiciary has no constitutional authority to determine “the scope of impeachable offenses.” The Supreme Court has ruled that the Constitution assigns the power of impeachment to the House exclusively, denying the judiciary the ability to meddle in impeachment proceedings. Rao seemed to reject that precedent, instead suggesting that courts can “determine the scope of impeachable offenses” and, by extension, quash an impeachment on the grounds that the charges are not “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Rao’s claim would allow the judiciary not only to scrap articles of impeachment, but to hobble all House investigations of the president. Remember, under her topsy-turvy analysis, the House can only scrutinize the president if it invokes the power of impeachment. But the courts cannot honor that invocation unless the charges fall within “the scope of impeachable offenses.” Courts could therefore review the House’s allegations, conclude that they are not “impeachable offenses,” and effectively shut down the House’s probe

won't comply with impeachment inquiry; Ordered Not to Speak in Impeachment Inquiry

How much "executive privilege" is there anyway? Can I use it if I just happen to say the illegitimate one's name? That seems what they are now saying.
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Florida businessmen with Giuliani, Ukraine ties won’t comply with impeachment inquiry
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article235876792.html?action=click&module=STYLN_trump_suite&variant=1_trump_suite&state=default&pgtype=Article®ion=body&context=guide

“While we have engaged with counsels for these witnesses, they have so far refused to agree to testify or turn over relevant documents. If they continue to fail to comply, they will be served with subpoenas in short order,” an official working on the impeachment inquiry said.

Dowd sent the House Intelligence Committee an email on Oct. 3 detailing his objections to the request for documents and depositions. In the email, which was released on Monday, Dowd said getting up to speed on Parnas and Fruman’s legal situation “will take some time” and that their discussions with Rudy Giuliani regarding Trump would be covered by “attorney-client, attorney work and other privileges.” Dowd began representing Parnas and Fruman last week.

He also called the request for documents “overly broad and unduly burdensome,” saying he has reached the “inescapable conclusion that the Democratic Committee members’ intent is to harass, intimidate and embarrass my clients.”

Witness in Trump-Ukraine Matter Ordered Not to Speak in Impeachment Inquiry
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/us/politics/sondland-trump-ukraine-impeach.html

We asked our colleague Charlie Savage what was at stake here: “It was predictable that the Trump administration would balk at turning over the subpoenaed documents related to the Ukraine matter — including many internal White House communications that any administration would see as covered by executive privilege,” he told us. “But the subpoena will likely also allow the House, if it chooses, to link an impeachment article about obstruction directly to the Ukraine scandal.”

Does anyone actually think...

that illegitimate and the rest of his cabal really believe any of the crap they are peddling? I don't!! They know what happened in 2016, they know that illegitimate conspired with russia, among others, they also know that there has been a massive cover-up going on and is continuing. It is being reported as if they are genuinely trying to find some nonexistent facts. The press must do a much better job in undermining all this BS!!

Donald Trump was impeachable the day he took office

Donald Trump was impeachable the day he took office: Two and a half years later, we're finally there
From the first day, Donald Trump has been an unhappy president. Because he knew he was engaging in treason
https://www.salon.com/2019/09/28/donald-trump-was-impeachable-the-day-he-took-office-two-and-a-half-years-later-were-finally-there/

On Jan. 20, 2017, immediately after giving his inaugural address, Donald J. Trump and his wife Melania, who had just become the First Lady, climbed the steps of the Capitol and made their way to their places on the dais of the congressional luncheon traditionally given to the newly inaugurated president of the United States. It is usually a joyous occasion, especially for the new president. His long campaign is finally over. He has completed the transition. Some of his cabinet secretaries have already testified at their confirmation hearings, as Jeff Sessions, the nominee for attorney general, had already done. Later in the day, the new president would make the drive along Pennsylvania Avenue, take up residence in the White House and officially occupy the Oval Office, signifying the power and prestige of having been elected president of the United States.

A few moments after the new president and his first lady took their seats, the cameras found them sitting behind a row of flowers looking like they had just been told of a death in the family. Both of their mouths were downturned, their eyes were downcast, and Trump had his arms crossed like a child who had been told to finish eating his peas. I wondered that day what could have made the new president of the United States and his wife look so unhappy at such a joyous occasion, and now we know the answer. He knew this day was coming.

He knew things we didn’t know on that day about what he had done to get elected. He knew about the meeting in Trump Tower held by his own son and son-in-law and campaign manager and several Russians who had come offering “dirt” on his opponent, Hillary Clinton. He knew that people from his own campaign had met with a Russian national and given him polling data from Midwestern states that were being closely contested. He knew that elements of the Russian government were involved in supporting his campaign by placing ads on social media platforms in the ve4ry Midwestern states covered by the polling data they had been given. He knew that emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee by Russian intelligence operatives had been released to divert attention from the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape. And he knew that during the transition, the man who would become his national security adviser had met with the Russian ambassador and spoken with him by phone immediately after President Obama had imposed sanctions on Russia for interfering in our elections, assuring him that the Russians had nothing to worry about because Trump would lift the sanctions when he became president.

Trump was impeachable after his own inauguration, and on the day he asked James Comey to shut down the investigation of Michael Flynn, his national security adviser, who was accused of having lied about his conversation with the Russian ambassador about lifting the sanctions on Russia. He was impeachable on the day he fired Comey as FBI director, after Comey had revealed that Trump and his campaign had been the subjects of a criminal and counterintelligence investigation for more than nine months. He was impeachable a few days later, when he admitted on national television that he had fired Comey in an attempt to stop the Russia investigation. He was impeachable on the day after he fired Comey and told the Russian ambassador and foreign minister that by firing Comey, the “pressure” of the Russia investigation had been lifted.

Donald Trump has been impeachable again and again and again because he has committed multiple impeachable offenses, many of them spelled out in detail in the report made by former special counsel Robert Mueller, the unredacted version of which we still haven’t seen. Trump himself has known this all along. That is why we almost never see him with a smile on his face, and when we do see him smiling, it’s so obviously not a genuine smile of happiness but rather the kind of self-satisfied expression he has on his face at his rallies in response to adulation from his fans, which he drinks in but realizes somewhere deep inside he doesn’t deserve. Donald Trump has been a deeply unhappy man the entire time he’s been president of the United States, because he knows that he doesn’t belong there. The fact that he will now be impeached is merely one more unhappy occurrence in a presidency that has been as clearly unsatisfying for the man who occupies the Oval Office as it was unearned

-snip-

NRA Was 'Foreign Asset' To Russia Ahead of 2016, New Senate Report Reveals

NRA Was 'Foreign Asset' To Russia Ahead of 2016, New Senate Report Reveals
https://www.npr.org/2019/09/27/764879242/nra-was-foreign-asset-to-russia-ahead-of-2016-new-senate-report-reveals?sc=tw

The National Rifle Association acted as a "foreign asset" for Russia in the period leading up to the 2016 election, according to a new investigation unveiled Friday by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon.

Drawing on contemporaneous emails and private interviews, an 18-month probe by the Senate Finance Committee's Democratic staff found that the NRA underwrote political access for Russian nationals Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin more than previously known — even though the two had declared their ties to the Kremlin.

The report, available here, also describes how closely the gun rights group was involved with organizing a 2015 visit by some of its leaders to Moscow.
https://apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=6432520-The-NRA-Russia-How-a-Tax-Exempt-Organization

Then-NRA vice president Pete Brownell, who would later become NRA president, was enticed to visit Russia with the promise of personal business opportunities — and the NRA covered a portion of the trip's costs.

The conclusions of the Senate investigation could have legal implications for the NRA, Wyden says.

Tax-exempt organizations are barred from using funds for the personal benefit of its officials, or for actions significantly outside their stated missions. The revelations in the Senate report raise questions about whether the NRA could face civil penalties or the loss of its tax-exempt status.

Attorneys general in the state of New York and the District of Columbia are also conducting separate probes into alleged wrongdoing at the gun rights organization. These probes have a broader scope than the Senate report, which focuses on Russia.

Kremlin links were clear

The 77-page Senate report centers on Butina — a convicted Russian agent now in federal prison — and Torshin, a former Russian government official who is now sanctioned by the United States.
The report indicates that top NRA officials were aware of Butina and Torshin's links with the Kremlin even as they sought to work more closely together under the banner of gun rights.

In an email later circulated to two senior NRA staff members, Butina wrote that a purpose of the 2015 Moscow trip was that "many powerful figures in the Kremlin are counting on Torshin to prove his American connections" by showing he could bring prominent NRA officials to Russia.

At another point, Butina suggested to participants on the 2015 NRA trip to Russia that she might be able to set up a meeting between them and President Vladimir Putin, referring to him as "Russia's highest leader."

<<snip>>

Ukraine Reacts: Trump's Call Is Putin's Victory

Ukraine Reacts: Trump’s Call Is Putin’s Victory
For disappointed Ukrainian democracy activists, Trump’s demands of Zelensky have made Washington the moral equivalent of the Kremlin.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/09/26/ukraine-reacts-putin-is-loving-this/

For years, Ukrainian anti-corruption activists like Daria Kaleniuk looked to the United States for support in her country’s fight against graft and fake news. The Moscow-backed takeover of Crimea and eastern Ukraine was ground zero for Russian disinformation that spread across the world. Corruption was so pervasive in Ukraine that voters opted for a comedian with no political experience, Volodymyr Zelensky, who defeated the incumbent president by nearly 50 percent in elections last spring.

But the release of a July 25 memo detailing a conversation between U.S. President Donald Trump and Zelensky has, for many Ukrainians, turned the United States from a model of good governance and truth into a dispiriting example of the very kind of corruption and disinformation they are battling.

“We have faced intimidation and manipulation in Ukraine for quite a long time. Now this is happening at the highest possible level of the United States, where the personal lawyer of the president of the United States is carrying out speculation and manipulation,” said Kaleniuk, the executive director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Kyiv-based watchdog group. “Usually the United States [was] the key [ally] of Ukrainian civil society to stop political pressure into law enforcement investigations. But I am reading the transcript where the president of the United States is doing the contrary than what we were encouraged to do.”

The chief beneficiary of this behavior will be the Kremlin, say Ukrainian activists and Western officials involved with Ukraine. They believe Trump is playing into the hands of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has engaged in a yearslong disinformation war to portray the United States and European Union as weak as a way of laying claim to Crimea and political domination of Ukraine. Trump’s casual comment to Zelensky, during their meeting at the U.N. General Assembly gathering on Wednesday, that “I really hope that you and President Putin can get together and solve your problem” also reinforced the Kremlin line.

“Oh, Putin is loving this. It makes the Americans look unreliable and strengthens the hand of the Russians and the pro-Russians in the east,” said Alex Crowther of the National Defense University. “By withholding aid, you are injecting instability into an already unstable situation and strengthening the Russians.”

For Kaleniuk, the anti-corruption activist, the episode has rendered America the moral equivalent of Russia in its willingness to traffic in the sort of disinformation and political interference she has taken aim at for years. “The key root of corruption is impunity, and impunity is possible when politicians or oligarchs or anyone else dictate to law enforcement agencies whom they have to investigate and whom they don’t have to investigate,” Kaleniuk said.

Perhaps what stands out most to Ukrainians is the sheer outrageousness of the false information that Trump is pushing, which rivals that of the Kremlin.

<<snip>>
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