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dajoki

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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: PA
Member since: Wed May 11, 2005, 09:48 PM
Number of posts: 10,313

About Me

I love spending time with my grandchildren and gardening.

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Suddenly Ken Starr doesn't like impeachment so much

Suddenly Ken Starr doesn’t like impeachment so much
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/29/suddenly-ken-starr-doesnt-like-impeachment-so-much/#comments-wrapper

Is there anything Republicans won’t say to make impeachment go away?

They attack the patriotism of decorated veterans. They decry rules that they devised. And they discard long-held principles as though the past never happened.

Comes now Ken Starr, responsible more than any other person on Earth for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, to tell us what a dreadful thing impeachment is.

“It just seems we need to ratchet the conversation down because of the evils of impeachment,” the former independent counsel said during an interview with conservative writer Byron York released on Monday. “Impeachment has become a terrible, terrible thorn in the side of the American democracy and the conduct of American government since Watergate. . . . Let’s at least have a reasoned and deliberate conversation about some lesser kind of response.”

Starr thinks Congress should consider censuring President Trump, and he says Republicans in 1998 should have considered “whether something short of impeachment would be appropriate.”

Now he tells us? He didn’t mention “censure” once in his referral to Congress in 1998 laying out “substantial and credible information that President Clinton committed acts that may constitute grounds for an impeachment,” nor in his November 1998 testimony. Then, Starr argued passionately that Clinton’s actions fit the “high-crime-and-misdemeanor” standard.

Starr wasn’t finished. During this week’s interview, he also absolved Trump of guilt, both for obstruction of justice in the Mueller inquiry and for wrongdoing in the Ukraine quid pro quo, saying Trump’s “intent” was pure. Starr protested that Trump “is being held to a remarkable standard” in which we are “over-criminalizing the conduct of the business of government.”

Seriously? From the man who pushed to impeach a president for lying about oral sex in a civil deposition? Back then, Starr rejected the argument that Clinton’s “intent” in lying was to avoid embarrassment, not to perjure himself.

Starr, still going, suggested this week that impeachment is a plot by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to seize the presidency. A “conflict of interest is that the speaker of the House is guiding this process when she is third in succession,” he argued. “She will do well if she can have the elimination of Donald Trump from office and then Vice President Pence somehow.”
Somehow?

The brazenness of Starr’s historical revision was largely lost amid a profusion of equally outrageous attempts to excuse Trump.

<<snip>>

Bill Barr's alternate universe "investigation" has a goal: Right-wing authoritarian rule

Bill Barr's alternate universe "investigation" has a goal: Right-wing authoritarian rule
Barr's "criminal investigation" of the Russia probe is the fruit of a long-running far-right plan to kill democracy
https://www.salon.com/2019/10/25/bill-barrs-alternate-universe-investigation-has-a-goal-right-wing-authoritarian-rule/

Students of the modern conservative movement often date the recent supercharged radicalization of the Republican Party to the rise of Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution in the early 1990s. It's true that the GOP went seriously off the rails during that period and the craziness has been picking up speed ever since. But in reality, the conservative movement has been radical from its beginnings, starting with the anti-communist crusade after World War II all the way through Goldwater to Reagan, Gingrich and now Trump. Now it has finally shed all trappings of a sophisticated political ideology, culminating in this surreal parody of a presidency in 2019. The conservative "three legged stool" of small government, traditional values and global military leadership has completely disintegrated.

But one aspect of that earlier conservative movement has continued to chug along with its long-term project to transform the U.S. into an undemocratic, quasi-authoritarian plutocracy. That would be the group of far-right lawyers who started the Federalist Society, with the goal of packing the judiciary with true believers, along with a certain group of Reagan-era legal wunderkinds who came to believe that the GOP could dominate the presidency for decades to come. They developed the theory of the "unitary executive," originally advanced by Reagan's odious attorney general Ed Meese ( recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom) which holds that massive, unaccountable power is vested in the president of the United States.

Attorney General William Barr was one of those lawyers, along with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, former appeals court judge Michael Luttig and others who encouraged Barr to take the job, particularly after his famous memo declaring that what any normal person would see as obstruction of justice doesn't apply to the president. (In a nutshell, Barr agrees with former President Richard Nixon, who said, "If the president does it, it's not illegal." )

Barr is described as supremely confident in his beliefs, which is to say that his overweening arrogance is not an act put on someone who is overcompensating to hide insecurity. He believes in this theory and when it became obvious that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not long for the job, Barr and his legal cabal appear to have seen the clueless and corrupt Donald Trump as a perfect instrument to test their theory, and perhaps set legal precedents that would enable future right-wing presidents to use the full power of the presidency to dominate American politics without regard to democratic norms or congressional checks and balances. Indeed, they had been setting the stage for such a man for decades.

It's also obviously the case that Barr, and perhaps his Reaganite cronies as well, are suffering from the malady known as Fox News Brain Rot, the symptoms of which are an extreme susceptibility to absurd right-wing conspiracy theories and an inability to believe anything that contradicts them. (Barr once said that there was more evidence for the bogus Uranium One charges than the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which confirms the diagnosis.)

<<snip>>

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!!!
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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!!
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