076 – DON’T BE AFRAID OF OPENING IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS – JUST DON’T DO IT FIRST THING (An Editorial)

The great debate right now within the Democratic Party is whether or not to begin impeachment hearings.  That is particularly true now in light of the overwhelming obstruction evidence documented in the Mueller Report.

I specifically used the word “documented” because 95% of it was hardly “uncovered” by Mueller.  We have all seen most of it unfold day by day over the course of Trump’s Presidency.

The political decision by the Democrats is essentially whether or not to press ahead with impeachment hearings given the absolute knowledge that any impeachment articles forwarded to the Senate would receive virtually no Republican support and therefore would never approach the 75% support needed for conviction.

My feeling is this.  Do NOT open impeachment hearings until AFTER other hearings are completed.

All of the really damning information in Watergate came out during the Senate Watergate Hearings.  The Impeachment Hearings were basically a formality to bring those charges up to the Senate for a vote.

Let that be the model.

It is one thing to read in Mueller’s Report that Trump asked McGahn to do “some crazy shit” (like fire Mueller), and that McGahn refused.

  • Hearing McGahn say that on national TV in front of the House is an entirely different animal, and would quite literally be viewed by millions of people.

It is another thing for Trump to tell Corey Lewandowski, who was not even an administration official at the time, to tell then AG Jeff Sessions to “unrecuse” himself from the Russia investigation, and then to order the OSC (Office of the Special Counsel) to change their mandate to include the investigation of only “future” foreign influence in our elections.

Not even Lewandowski coul stomach doing that, nor could Rick Dearbourn who Corey tried to pass this off to.

Again, it is one thing to read that (if anyone really HAS read the whole thing) in the Mueller report, or to hear it reported by your favorite news outlet.

  • It is much, much different to hear Lewandowski and Dearbourn testify to that in front of the House on national TV.

Those are just a few of the specific instances of Obstruction that were detailed in the Mueller report.  Click on either of the following links to see a list of all of the instances of possible instruction that are detailed in Mueller’s report.

https://apnews.com/e0d125d737be4a21a81bec3d9f1dffd8

https://www.al.com/news/2019/04/the-10-possible-instances-of-obstruction-of-justice-in-the-mueller-report.html

 

By continuing with hearings, but not yet beginning impeachment hearings, it first at least opens up the possibility that there might even be a few more Alexander Butterfields (of Nixon tape fame) out there who might surprise us with new information we may not already know.

But even if we don’t learn anything new at all, once these clowns have fessed up in a very public setting to that which they testified to the FBI under penalty of perjury, then Articles of Impeachment can be voted on and sent to the Senate.

Those Articles will certainly fail in the Senate.  But you will then have all of the Republican House and Senate members on the voting record as having said, “Nope, what Trump did does not rise to the level of High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

THEN HANG THAT VOTE AROUND EACH REPUBLICAN’S NECK LIKE THE ALBATROSS THAT IT TRULY IS.

 

During the 2020 elections, let all Republicans seeking re-election constantly have to defend why they believe all of that repetitive and reprehensible behavior is not disqualifying to holding the office of President.

Oh, and THAT isn’t disqualifying, But Bill Clinton’s sexual relationship in the Oval Office and his single, under oath lie about it, WAS disqualifying? 

 

Even setting aside the apples to oranges comparison, if you find Clinton’s behavior disqualifying, then how in the Hell can what Trump has done NOT be disqualifying?

None of that will be intended for Trump’s base.  They have proven time and again that they could not care less what Trump has done or what type of despicable human being he clearly is.  To them, it is all about Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and about supposedly sticking it to every political norm, even if they must know by now that it has cost them personally in so many ways.

There is a significant middle ground out there who held their noses and voted for Trump hoping against hope that he at least would be better than the specter of Hillary.

HOWS THAT BEEN WORKING OUT FOR YOU?

 

There is no way that those same people would make that same mistake again under any circumstances, but particularly not since the hated Hillary will no longer be the alternative.

 

076 - Dont be afraid of impeachment hearings - the Mueller ReportTHE FULL MUELLER REPORT

If you have not read the initial redacted Mueller Report, and would like to read all or part of it, here is a link to an easily accessible PDF version of it.

https://cdn.cnn.com/cnn/2019/images/04/18/mueller-report-searchable.pdf

 

075 – Romney is Self-serving Once Again

Yet again, Mitt Romney self-servingly misses the entire point.

Jeez, I’m almost nostalgic for Orrin Hatch.   Naaah.  At least Romney seems to avoid the cameras, whereas Hatch was almost as nauseatingly omnipresent as McConnell and Graham.

That said, there has been little to indicate `any ideological difference at all between Romney and Hatch.  Romney has voted with the President almost all of the time and has generally remained silent regarding any condemnation of Trump.

I will only grudgingly give Romney the benefit of the doubt that he is in fact able to read, because he said that he did read the Mueller report.  Still, he persists in occasionally trying to make himself look like some sort of maverick.

His latest example is his statement on Twitter today …

075 - Romney Self-Serving Once Again - romney quote

Hooray.  Romney Twittered that he is “sickened at the extent of the pervasiveness of the dishonesty and misdirection”.   Seriously Mitt, did you really need the Mueller report to open your eyes to that?

But he just can’t help himself.  He also says that it is good news that Trump was “not charged … with having obstructed justice”.

That is where my question of Romney’s ability to read comes into play.  He obviously either did not read any of the Mueller report or he read some of it and relied upon William Barr and Fox News to fill him in on the rest of it.

First, according to that maddening DOJ directive, which Mueller was reluctantly following, Mueller COULD NOT charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

Second, Mueller says specifically in his report that “actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred.”

Third, the report concludes “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 Mueller report then goes on to identify ten, specific instances where Trump may have obstructed justice.  The report also states in multiple instances that “substantial evidence” exists that obstruction may have occurred.

How in the Hell can any sentient human being read any of this report and come away with the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to support at the very least possible  obstruction of justice?

074 – IGNORE THE HYPE, JUST PLEASE WATCH THIS INTERVIEW WITH PETE BUTTIGIEG (An Editorial)

You likely may only know, as did I before this interview, the Cliff Notes’ version of Mayor Pete that has managed to make national news. If you know who he is at all, you probably only know him as the young, gay Mayor of South Bend Indiana.

I strongly recommend that you watch this entire, 27 minute interview that Pete Buttigieg did with Rachel Maddow this past Monday night.

I believe that he has raised the bar for the other candidates.

This interview will give you a much better idea of what makes him tick and, I believe, why he should be taken seriously as a candidate for the Presidency.  Buttigieg enlisted in the Naval Reserve at the age of 26 after graduating from Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.  He served eight years, including a stint in Afghanistan.  He came out as a gay man at age 33 before he ran for re-election as Mayor of South Bend.  He won re-election and received 80% of the votes in doing so.

It is way too early to make any decision as to whom to endorse as the Democratic candidate to take on Trump in 2020.  But I now really look forward to the Democratic debates and to not only hear what the candidates have to say, but to also see how they relate to one another.

Buttigieg certainly appears to be the real thing.  I believe that he is beginning to lay down a significant and serious gauntlet for the other candidates.

 

Wikipedia summary of Pete Buttigieg’s life and career …

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

073 – TIGER SHOULD REFUSE THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM (An Editorial)

To be clear, I like Tiger Woods and I have followed him since before he turned pro. I was friends with a man who was Tiger’s primary caddy when he played in amateur tournaments in the Midwest. That guy was even the one who introduced Tiger to Michael Jordan.

 

I watched Tiger play two tournaments as an amateur and then I got tickets to watch him play each of his four rounds in the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1996 which was his first professional tournament.

 

I was extremely disappointed in Tiger when his extramarital infidelity was exposed in 2009. However, I have stayed a fan of his through all of that, and I have held out hope for his return through all of the back problems, surgeries and prescription drug addictions that followed. No one could be happier than me that he won yesterday’s Master’s tournament to complete a truly historic comeback.

 

All that said, I hope that he gives a great deal of thought into whether or not to accept the Medal of Freedom that Trump has announced he plans to give Tiger. That would be a questionable thing for any President to do, but a typically egotistical, callous and insensitive thing for Trump to do.

 

For Trump, who is an adulterer and who has expressed his complete disregard for the personal dignity of women, to give that medal to Tiger, given his past, is ludicrous. Trump is completely grandstanding because Tiger has not distanced himself from Trump, as have many other athletes. This isn’t about Tiger. It is about Trump putting on a show that he is supposedly not the racist and misogynist that he is and always will be.

 

While Tiger’s athletic accomplishments certainly place him in the same category with previous athletic recipients of the Medal of Freedom, such as Arnold Palmer, Stan Musial, Bill Russell, Muhammed Ali, Hank Aaron and even Babe Ruth, I think it would be totally appropriate for Tiger to respectfully turn down receipt of this medal.

 

The disgusting visual of Trump, who has never acknowledged any sexual misconduct ever, giving that award to someone whose marriage and career were almost ruined because of his own extremely public misconduct, should be avoided at all cost.

 

To refuse the medal would send a very strong message confirming that Tiger knows what he did was wrong, and that he knows that accepting it from Trump would be even worse.

 

To accept the medal from Trump, of all people, would be to willingly allow Trump to use Tiger for his own personal benefit, as is the case with everything the man ever does.

QUICK QUIPS: NUCLEAR STUPIDITY

While I believe that when Harry Reid first did this, the situation was different because Obama’s nominees were not coming solely from some ultra-left wing group (Exhibit “A” – Merrick Garland), in the end it was as wrong for Reid to do it then as it is for McConnell to do it again now.

The Republicans were simply giving Obama the huge middle finger on everything.  Garland’s nomination is clear evidence of that.  Whereas now, the united Democratic opposition to Trump’s nominees is as much a testament to the absurdity, and far extreme, of virtually every one of his nominations.  You can largely thank the Federalist Society for that.

As a completely logical (at least from McConnell’s twisted viewpoint) progression from his decision to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court justices, the decision to also now do so for Federal judges should come as no surprise.

If left unchanged, what this leaves us with is a Federal judiciary which will fast become almost obscenely partisan.  There will be absolutely no incentive for either Party to nominate someone who at least ostensibly has a record that includes some penchant for moderation.

If you are before a Federal judge in any location in this country, you should be able to receive the same, impartial adjudication of your case. That is increasingly not true and it sure won’t get any better now.

McConnell knows that both the Senate’s and Trump’s days are very likely numbered with the looming 2020 election.  Doing this now will allow the Republicans to pack as many of their hand-picked, ultra-conservatives into the Federal judiciary as they possibly can between now and Jan 20, 2021.

So what should be the Democratic response if and when they gain complete control in 2021?

I believe that these actions by McConnell have forced the Democratic hand, at least for the next hopefully Democratic controlled term from 2021-2024.  The only way to counteract the damage that has been done during Trump’s first term is to continue this “nuclear” option and to nominate and confirm as many moderate to Progressive judges as possible while they can.  That most certainly applies to the Supreme Court.

However, before Democratic control ends, I strongly believe that the Democratic majority should then author and pass binding legislation that will make the 60 vote majority in the Senate (i.e. the “filibuster”) permanent.  I could see even increasing that to 61 or 62.  That would prevent this from being done again, by either party, in the future.

If that will ever be done, it would have to be the Democrats to do it.  Do you think that in any reality, the Republicans would ever place that limit on themselves?  Their idea of an ideal Supreme Court is quite obviously nine Neil Gorsuch’s or nine Clarence Thomas’s.  I don’t think even they could stomach nine Brett Kavanaugh’s however.  🙂

If a Party cannot garner at least some support from the opposition party, then those judges should never be allowed to sit on the Federal bench.  Exhibits “B” – Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

We can never again allow judges to be hand-picked from a list developed by some ultra-right or ultra-left wing group, such as the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) or the Federalist Society.