Archive for the ‘Impeachment’ Category

Romney 2016: “If Trump is the GOP nominee …”

February 10, 2020

Some dire predictions from our national arbiter of morality.

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At the risk of piling on …

Last week, we flashed back to Romney’s 2016 public diatribe against then nomination candidate Trump.

Click to see a  3-minute video summary  or a transcript of the speech

Of course, he dwelled on Trump’s boorish personal behavior (as if that wasn’t already evident to all) and his choppy business record (with emphasis on the entrepreneurial  failures, e.g. Trump University and the Atlantic City casino).

And, he made a couple of dire predictions.

First, he unequivocally predicted: He will lose to Hillary Clinton.

Hmmm.

I guess his logic was: “I was a better candidate than Trump and I lost, so …”
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And, if Trump does get elected …

(more…)

Romney touted his deep Christian values …

February 6, 2020

But forgot to mention how much he hates Trump.

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Romney’s “guilty” vote should have been expected.

Listening to his near tearful rationalization of his vote, my mind immediately flashed back to his 2016 unforced diatribe against Trump.

Though Romney wasn’t a presidential candidate at the time, he felt it was his moral responsibility to give a speech to call out Trump.

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In a nutshell Romney opined: “Trump is a phony and a fraud lacking the temperament or judgement to be President” and “If his economic plans are implemented America will go into a deep recession.”

He could have stated his deep Christian assessment more simply as: “I hate Trump.”

I thought he was warming to Trump when he groveled for the Secretary of State job.

When Trump rejected him, the die was cast.

Revenge was certain … it just needed an opportunity.

Imagine how frustrating it was for Romney hear Trump recount his many presidential accomplishments during the State of the Union.

Well, Pelosi-Schiff-Nadler provided the opportunity … and Romney took it.

His vote really didn’t matter other than depriving Trump the chance to use the phrase “on a strictly partisan vote”.

It’ll be interesting to see how long his moral courage will be touted by the Dems who previously called him a racist, misogynist, animal abuser and corporate looter.

My bet: He’ll be a quickly fading Dem hero … hours or days … not months or years.

Romney is trying to claim the mantle that Comey forfeited as as America’s self-proclaimed moral arbitrator.

My question to him: When did hate become a Christian value?

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Looks like Dems aimed at Trump but hit Biden…

February 5, 2020

Two charts tell the story.
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Yesterday, as the Dems’ impeachment gambit continued to fizzle towards its inevitable conclusion, Gallup reported that:

President Donald Trump’s job approval rating has risen to 49%, his highest in Gallup polling since he took office in 2017.

His 94% approval rating among Republicans is up 6 percentage points from early January.  His 42% approval rating among independents is up 5 points, over the same timeframe.

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Rather than being a casualty of the Dems’ flailing impeachment attempt, Trump seems to be a beneficiary.

But, what about good old Sleepy Joe Biden?

(more…)

Bottom line: Trump was less guilty than Obama, Clinton and the Bidens.

February 3, 2020

OK, I’m willing to stipulate that Trump pressured Ukraine — by throttling some congressionally approved military aid — to get European nations to step-up with more aid (i.e. burden-sharing) … and to investigate the Bidens.

But, Schiff & Nadler weren’t able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump wanted the investigation to undercut Biden’s presidential campaign — versus legitimately investigating a corrupt act … nor were they able to demonstrate that the check-cutting delay created a security risk for either the U.S. or  Ukraine.

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And, Trump’s transgressions were shown to pale in comparison to those  perpetrated by Obama, Clinton and the Bidens … all of whom skated free.

Let me explain…

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Let’s start with Obama.

To appease the Russians, Obama withdrew support for the Polish missile defense system that was being developed … and ceded the strategically pivotal Crimea peninsula to the Russians by refusing to provide the Ukranians with lethal defensive munitions.

Disclaimer: My ancestry is 1/2 Polish, 1/2 Ukranian … so I take both acts of neglect a bit personally.

I was delighted that during the Schiff investigation the State Department witnesses had to admit that that Trump was providing  Ukraine more substantial military aid than Obama — mostly in the form of Javelin anti-tank missiles … and, that the delay in military aid didn’t have any material impact, e.g. no Javelins were delayed since they were previously funded under a separate program (that some of the House Managers voted AGAINST).

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Then, there’s the  Steele Dossier situation … funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC.

Though going through a couple of laundering channels, they engaged a foreign agent (Steele) to dig up dirt on Trump … by soliciting “information” from Russian sources.

Of course, we all know how that turned out.

Falsified FISA requests opened the door to spying on the Trump campaign.

Any reasonable person might conclude that was engaging foreigners to interfere with a U.S. election, right?

I loved it when House Manager Jefferies stammered through a tortured rationale that said, in essence, that all they did was “purchase some opposition research’ … no harm no foul.

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And finally, the Bidens.

As I’ve argued before, if Burisima had handed Sleepy Joe a suitcase containing a million dollars to get the prosecutor fired, even Chuck Todd would have to admit it was a bribe.

My view: there is insignificant difference between a suitcase full of loot and a million dollar board seat for a family member who lacked any relevant experience or expertise … and who only attend a couple of board-related events.

The latter is just a lightly laundered bribe paid in installments rather than as a direct lump sum.

The Bidens are guilty as sin … and Trump had authority and responsibility to have their corruption investigated.

What I love is that the Biden case is so easy for everyone to understand: son gets a million bucks, dad fires prosecutor. Case closed.

Compare that to the tangled web of suspicions, inferences, and presumptions that the House witnesses provided.

When pressed, all those witnesses denied having any direct evidence of an impeachable crime.

Close that case, too.

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Why the Senate won’t be hearing additional witnesses…

January 31, 2020

OK, it’s coming down to whether or not to call witnesses.

My take: No way.

For many reasons, the GOP will stick together and, by majority vote, the Senate won’t call additional witnesses.

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Here’s my thinking….

(more…)

Re: witnesses … maybe Maxine Waters has the right idea.

January 29, 2020

Punt the ball back to the Congress!
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First, a couple of disclaimers:

  1. I’m neither a lawyer nor a Constitutional scholar.
  2. I think that Maxine Waters is a complete idiot.

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That said, Waters may have inadvertently provided some air cover for the “pivotal 4 moderate GOP Senators” … permitting them to stop wringing their hands … to vote no on witnesses … and to vote for acquittal.

Here’s my rationale…

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First, what’s the “Water’s Doctrine”?

Simply stated, she has stated publicly  that if Trump is acquitted, the Congress will just reload and issue new articles of impeachment.

Brilliant, Maxine.

So what should the Senate do?

Simply stated, the GOP should vote no on additional witnesses (the source of this week’s hand wringing)  … and vote to acquit based on the evidence provided by the Congress.

The underlined words are key.

Based on the evidence Congress turned over to the Senate … Trump  will be acquitted.

Everybody knows that.

If the Congressional majority really believes that more witnesses (Bolton, the Bidens, etc.) are case-breaker for them … then they should reconvene Schiff / Nadler.

Their “Impeachment Version 1.1” could start with the calling of Bolton and other witnesses.  Something they should have done in the first place.

Yeah, Trump will claim executive privilege — with a stronger hand since the issue has been thoroughly hashed out in the Senate “trial” … and Congress will have to appeal to the Courts.

That’s OK … in fact, it’s better than ok because it’s the proper process.

After the court rules, the Congress can proceed accordingly and — if they get the smoking gun that their frantically searching for — they can issue new, more specific articles of impeachment.

Note: Since impeachment is a political process, not a legal process, I don’t think that double jeopardy rules apply.  But again, I’m not a lawyer or Constitutional scholar.

Of course, that won’t happen.

They won’t find a smoking gun … and the clock will likely run out on them.

What’s the downside?

Trump is branded “an impeached president” for life (<= as declared by Pelosi) … but he can boast that he was acquitted.  Win-win.

The “do nothing” Congress can continue doing nothing except chasing its collective tails for the rest of its term … which, incidentally, I think is a good thing.

The Senate can get back to doing its “work of the people” … including, appointing more Federal judges.

Sounds like a perfect solution to me.

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So, how many Americans can ID Ukraine on a map … and, so what?

January 28, 2020

In a previous post, we asked loyal readers: Can you find Ukraine on a map?

If you didn’t take the test then, try sticking a pin in Ukraine now. (Prior post has the answer )

Our bet at the time: The vast majority of Americans can’t find Ukraine on a map … even those in the impeachment brigade.

Well, some political scientists did a survey on the question.

Here’s what they found…

(more…)

Cutting to the chase: the central impeachment questions.…

January 27, 2020

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Cutting to the chase, the Congressional Democrats impeached President Trump on 2 charges:

(1) Abuse of Power – for pressuring the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe & Hunter Biden, and

(2)  Obstruction of Congress – for withholding documents and blocking his aides’ testimony.

In a prior post,  we replayed Prof. Jonathan Turley dismantling the obstruction charge against President Trump.

The essence of his argument:

  • The President has every right to withhold testimony and documents citing “executive privilege”.
  • If Congress disputes the right to executive privilege, it can appeal to the courts.
  • If the courts deny the claim of executive privilege and the President still withholds, then — and only then — is he guilty of obstruction.

Congress did not appeal to the courts and it has no standalone  legal power to deny executive privilege and charge obstruction.

Case closed.

So, what about the other impeachment charge: abuse of power?

This is will emerge as the central issue in the trial, especially given the hornet’s nest poked by the Bolton book draft leaks.

So, let’s dig a little deeper …

(more…)

My favorite split screen … ever!

January 25, 2020

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Below is Adam Schiff seemingly directing our attention to the My Pillow ad on the left.

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My view: An appropriate end to the Dems dog-and-pony show.

It says it all.

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So, how’s the Dem’s impeachment gambit doing?

January 24, 2020

Here are the initial numbers from RCP’s poll-of-polls

Opposition to Trump’s removal is now a plurality … and the gap is widening

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Note that:

  • Support / opposition was a push when the Congressional Dems passed the impeachment articles
  • Opposition turned upward during Pelosi’s slow roll handing the impeachment articles over to the Senate
  • Support for removal turned down as soon as the Dem managers started talking.
  • The Present’s defense hasn’t been presented yet.

Perhaps McConnell should give the Dems even more time to pitch their case.

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Nobody that I know is watching…

January 24, 2020

… and, they’re not alone!

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Apparently, the folks who are watching are the ones who are alone.

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According to a New York Magazine recap….

  • TV ratings for the first two days of the trial, the six news networks covering Trump’s impeachment averaged a little over 11 million viewers combined.
  • Viewership dropped by about 20 percent on on the 2nd day, with a total of 8,858,000 million watching.

To put those numbers in perspective …

  • Approximately 125 million Americans voted in 2016 … so, fewer than 1 in 10 voters say they’re tuning in
  • The 2018 testimony of Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh drew an audience of 20.4 million … about twice the impeachment viewership.

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My key indicator of audience engagement are the head-to-head ratings for Hannity and Maddow.

  • Hannity drew 4,246,000 million viewers on Wednesday night.
  • During the same time slot,  Maddow drew 2.99 million viewers
  • Both Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson both beat Maddow’s ratings with 3.93 million and 3.73 million viewers. respectively.

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My take: Who cares? It’s a partisan political battle and positions are already hardened.  Who wants to watch a bunch of hypocritical politicos repetitiously bloviate for hours on end when the outcome is already determined?

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Nadler’s gift to President Trump…

January 24, 2020

Perhaps the most significant happening during the Dem impeachment managers’ presentations was Cong. Jerry Nadler admonishing Senators.

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During the initial session on Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, Nadler said:

“I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses, an absolutely indefensible vote, obviously a treacherous vote. A subversion of the Constitution, a vote against the United States.”

Obviously it was an attempt to shame (or bully) senators into crossing party lines and voting with the Dems.

But, the antic badly backfired…

(more…)

Reading minds to discern intentions…

January 23, 2020

An opinion piece by Sharyl Attkisson in The Hill titled “Democrats can read minds” crystalized something that’s been bothering me for awhile.

Remember when IG Horowitz outlined 17 (or more) mega-errors in the FBI FISA process.

Though all of the miscues were material and in the direction of securing warrants to surveil Trump campaigners, Horowitz asserted that he didn’t have testimonial or evidential proof (i.e. “smoking guns”) that the “mistakes” were the result of political bias.

Said differently, Horowitz refused to draw a conclusion re: motivation because “I can’t read minds”.

Fair enough.

The current FBI / FISA situation was reminiscent of Comey’s press conference re: Hillary’s transgressions…

(more…)

Here’s why Hunter Biden is a “material witness”…

January 22, 2020

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Yesterday, we replayed Prof. Jonathan Turley dismantling the obstruction charge against President Trump.

The essence of his argument:

  • The President has every right to withhold testimony and documents citing “executive privilege”.
  • If Congress disputes the right to executive privilege, it can appeal to the courts.
  • If the courts deny the claim of executive privilege and the President still withholds, then — and only then — is he guilty of obstruction.

Congress did not appeal to the courts and it has no standalone  legal power to deny executive privilege and charge obstruction.

Case closed.

So, what about the other impeachment charge: abuse of power?

This is where Hunter Biden becomes relevant….

(more…)

Memo to Chuckie Schumer…

January 21, 2020

McConnell has proposed 12-hour days, starting at 1 pm to accommodate Chief Justice Roberts.

Schumer immediately started squawking:

“McConnell’s resolution stipulates that key facts be delivered in the wee hours of the night simply because he doesn’t want the American people to hear them.”

Say, what?

Apparently Chuckie hasn’t heard that DVRs have been on the market since 1999.

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For Sen. Schumer’s benefit:

“DVR” stands for “Digital Video Recorder.” A DVR is basically a VCR that uses a hard drive instead of video tapes. It can be used to record, save, and play back television programs.

So, not to worry, Chuckie.

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P.S. I’ve wondered who besides me is watching in the afternoon.  Aren’t most people working then?

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Flashback: Turley shreds the obstruction charge…

January 21, 2020

Cutting to the chase, the Congressional Democrats impeached President Trump on 2 charges:

(1) Abuse of Power – for pressuring the Ukrainian President to investigate Joe & Hunter Biden, and

(2)  Obstruction of Congress – for withholding documents and blocking his aides’ testimony.

Let’s start with the obstruction charge.

Yes, Trump exercised “executive privilege” by blocking aides from testifying and by withholding documents.  No argument there.

But, the Schiff Team decided against going to the courts for rulings as to whether executive privilege was legal … or whether the testimony and documents should be delivered. Rather, they chose to start shouting “obstruction” and “abuse”..

But…

In his testimony during the impeachment “inquiry”, constitutional scholar Prof. Jonathan Turley told House Democrats that charging President Trump with  obstruction of justice for going to the courts over the subpoena of witnesses rather than surrendering executive privilege is itself an abuse of power.

His punch line: “It’s an abuse of Congressional power!”

click to view Turley’s 5-minute pitch
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Here are the highlights from Turley’s statement… (more…)

About the GAO ruling …

January 20, 2020

Gotta admit that I was initially suckered in by this one:

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I thought “Maybe they’ve got him with this one”.

That is. until the WSJ shredded the GAO opinion, arguing that:

  1. The GAO is not “independent”. It works at the behest of the legislative branch and is beholden to them.
  2. The GAO is not the authoritative word on legal issues. Its opinion are non-binding, are often over-ridden by the courts and are generally ignored.
  3. There are numerous examples  of GAO illegality opinions issued against the Obama administration.  They were routinely ignored by the Congress and the press.
  4. Regardless, the funds were released to the Ukrainians in the fiscal year for which they were authorized. Bottom line: no harm, no foul.

Here are the details….

(more…)

66% want John Bolton to testify … say, what?

January 15, 2020

Dems are touting a recent Quinnipiac University National Poll  that found  66% of Americans want John Bolton to testify at the Senate’s impeachment trial.

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Hmmm.

Call me skeptical on that one.

Here’s why?

(more…)

Reading minds to discern intentions…

December 23, 2019

An opinion piece by Sharyl Attkisson in The Hill titled “Democrats can read minds” crystalized something that’s been bothering me for awhile.

Last week, IG Horowitz outlined 17 (or more) mega-errors in the FBI FISA process.

image

Though all of the miscues were material and in the direction of securing warrants to surveil Trump campaigners, Horowitz asserted that he didn’t have testimonial or evidential proof (i.e. “smoking guns”) that the “mistakes” were the result of political bias.

Said differently, Horowitz refused to draw a conclusion re: motivation because “I can’t read minds”.

Fair enough.

The current FBI / FISA situation was reminiscent of Comey’s press conference re: Hillary’s transgressions…

(more…)

From imminent existential threat to our national security and democracy to …

December 20, 2019

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I’m hopelessly confused …

The “Intelligence Community” IG said that the whistleblower’s hearsay narrative must be considered immediately or the nation would perish.

Nadler & Schiff said that there wasn’t time to let the courts rule on constitutional issues.

Pelosi said that with each tick of the clock our national security and democracy itself were threatened.

The case was proven … uncontested … unanimous among disgruntled state department bureaucrats and Trump-hating law professors.

So, it was a sad, solemn day — Trump had to be impeached along partisan party lines … now!

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Then fast forward to the next morning.

No, we’re not going wheel our articles of impeachment and empty box evidence over to the Senate.

That can wait until after our Christmas break.

Say, what?

This has certainly gone from the sublime to the ridiculous at warp speed.

  • Def’n: A change from something very good or serious to something silly or unimportant.

So, should I fret that the world is crashing … or chill knowing that it was (another) hyperventilation-inducing hoax.

Somebody help me with this….

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“If you’re going to shoot the king, don’t miss”

December 19, 2019

On a party line vote, Dems declare war (and it’s going to be ugly)
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Last night, there was a remarkable split screen on TV that you may have missed  if you were glued to CNN or MSNBC.

On one side of the TV screen was the Congress voting along partisan party lines to impeach President Trump for going 61 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.

On the other side was a shot of Trump holding an arena-jammed “in your face“ rally in Michigan — a battleground election state — both figuratively and, now literally..

  • Note: Specifically, the rally was held in Battle Creek — the home district of former Republican Congressman Justin Amash who is rumored to be a member of the Dems prosecution team for the Senate trial “since he is able to speak to conservatives”

The split screen immediately brought to mind the admonition commonly attributed to Machiavelli:

“If you’re going to shoot the king, don’t miss”.

Even the Dems had to know that there aren’t 67 Senators who will vote to remove Trump based on the Dems constitutionally shaky articles of impeachment and a pile of hearsay dished by a stream of dismayed and defrocked state department shills.

So, why did they do it?

Surely, the couldn’t have thought that Trump would just retreat to a shell and politely watch the process evolve.

Haven’t the Dems read “The Prince”?

It’s going to get ugly.

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For historical accuracy: Though commonly attributed, Machiavelli didn’t really  write those words in “The Prince”.

Here’s the story…..

(more…)

Still again, thanks Chairman Nadler.

December 16, 2019

Polling the public: the nays have it.

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OK, the Judicial Committee voted allong part lines to impeach … and Nadler published a 500 page report defending the decision.

With those acts in the book, there should be a public groundswell for impeachment, right?

Nope.

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According to the RCP poll-of-polls, the lines have crossed and opposition to impeachment / removal now has a plurality:

Now, 46.7% support impeachment … but,  oppose impeachment … 47.3% oppose it.

For the first time, opposition has a plurality.

Nice job Schiff & Nadler!

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Thanks again, Chairman Nadler!

December 13, 2019

A milestone today in the RCP poll-of-polls

Support for impeachment and removal has dropped … opposition has increased … and, for the first time, support / opposition is now dead even.

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Pelosi said no impeachment without bipartisan Congressional support and a groundswell of public support.

Well, looks like it’ll be partisan support and bipartisan opposition in Congress … and by the time the vote is taken next week, a plurality of public opposition to impeachment and removal.

Hmm.

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I guess the Macedonian “content farms” are in the clear, right?

December 11, 2019

The Dems are now arguing that — since the Russians hacked the 2016 election — then it is simply a conspiracy theory to think that the Ukrainians did, too.

Apparently, there can only be one designated “meddler”.

My question: Using the same logic, aren’t the Macedonians innocent, too?

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In case you’ve forgotten about the Macedonians, let’s flash back to one of Hillary’s first book launches…

Remember when HRC perched on a faux-throne at CodeCon and the Javits Center … spilled the beans on why she lost?

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Of course, there are the usual villains: Comey, the Russians, WikiLeaks, deplorables, etc.

But, she’s also starting to turn on her support base: the DNC (bad data, no money, no ground game), mainstream media (for disclosing that she had classified docs on her server), women (both suburban and rural, urbans were ok), and low-information voters (her base !).

My personal favorite: “content farms in Macedonia” … apparently there’s an army of tech savvy social media writers based in Macedonia who turned their cannons on her.

Really?

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Here’s a current list of culprits and ill-wishers …

(more…)

Trump contemptuous of Congress…

December 10, 2019

Just like the vast majority of Americans !

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Here’s a set of stats to keep in mind when you watch or hear about Nadler’s impeachment hearings…

Trump has a 43.7% job approval.

Pelosi is at 37.1% favorability.

And, my favorite: only 26% have a “positive opinion of” Adam Schiff.

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Surprisingly, Schiff low-ball 26% pulls up the Congressional numbers ..

According to the RCP poll-of-polls, only 22% of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing.

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Seems like contempt of Congress is even more widely spread than Trump-hating.

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Thank you, Chairman Nadler!

December 9, 2019

Last week, we posted survey results seeming to indicate that the uptick in impeachment opposition that was increasing during the hearings …  was dissipating during the Congressional Thanksgiving recess.

At the time, I opined: I’m glad that Jerry Nadler is going to restart hearings and start drafting articles of impeachment. For sure, that’ll rally the opposition.

If you’ve been glued to CNN or MSNBC, all you’ve been hearing is how the 3 Trump-hating law professors hit it out of the park with their bombshell testimony … and, surely, support for impeachment would now sky-rocket.

  • Note: I know that’s true b/c I’m a channel switcher.

But, as is usually the case, facts (not opinions), get in the way of the Trump-hating narrative.

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Based on the most recent RCP poll-of-polls, after the Nadler & Eggheads show, opposition to the impeachment inquiry process turned up again … and support for the inquisition dropped.

So, the gap has narrowed … to now be within the polls margin of error.

More hearings this week … that should close the gap even further … and keep impeachment support well below Pelosi’s stated requirement of “compelling public support and bipartisan Congressional approval.”

As a self-proclaimed devout Catholic who prays every day for President Trump, she wasn’t lying, was she?

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‘Ramblings of a basement blogger’ … say, what?

December 5, 2019

OK, maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive, but…

A couple of weeks ago, we posted the sad story of Maria Yovanovitch — who Trump “re-posted” (i.e. fired) from her position as ambassador to Ukraine — and “relegated her” to a teaching gig at Georgetown (at full government rank and pay).

Sensitive-me pointed out that when I got an offer to teach at Georgetown after 2+ decades in corporate and consulting jobs, I considered it an opportunity to change careers and pursue a life dream … I didn’t think that I was being relegated to to some junk heap job.

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Fast forward to yesterday…

(more…)

Thank God, the impeachment hearings are starting up again…

December 2, 2019

There was practically no T-Day chatter among our friends & family re: the impeachment hearings.

It wasn’t out of respect for the holiday, it was pure apathy re: impeachment and the Schiff inquisition.  Vast majority didn’t watch any of the hearings … and, flat out didn’t care.

So, I was surprised when I checked the polls to see how the numbers are moving.

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Bottom line:

According to the RCP poll-of-polls … since Congress went on recess (i.e. no hearings held) … support for the hearings increased a bit … support is up by a point, opposition is down by a point.

Could be that Dem Congressmen were able to rally the cause when they went back home for the recess … or it could just be rounding error … or it could just be that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Presuming the latter, I’m glad that Jerry Nadler is going to restart hearings and start drafting articles of impeachment.

For sure, that’ll rally the opposition.

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So, are the impeachment hearings moving the needle?

November 22, 2019

Short answer: Yes … to Trump’s benefit.
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Let’s ignore the partisan punditry for a moment and take another look at the numbers.

As we’ve posted before, TV ratings for the hearings have been dismal.

That’s no surprise since 60% of voters say that they are less interested in impeachment than are the politicos and the media … since the hearings are generally dull and confusing to most people … and since the hearings are broadcast during the day — when most people are at work.

So, people who do have an interest, resort to their usual partisan sources of news.

OK, so how are the numbers moving?

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Let’s starts with opinions re: the inquiry proceedings themselves…

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According to the RCP poll-of-polls, support for Schiff’s impeachment inquiry has slipped from 51% to 48% … and opposition to the inquisition (err, inquiry) has increased from 42% to about 45%.

So, support has gone from 9% net favorable to 3% net favorable.

Still, support is net favorable … but it’s less than a majority …marginally net favorable … and decreasingly so (i.e. the trend is unfavorable.

What about views on impeachment itself?

(more…)

The question that I’d ask at the impeachment hearings…

November 21, 2019

“What would you say exactly … you do here at Initech?”
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The hearings have been so predictable and dull that — when I’ve been watching — I’ve played the game “What would I ask?”.

Yesterday, I watched some of the testimony of Laura Cooper — the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Ms. Cooper seems like a serious, well-intended government bureaucrat.  I don’t have a beef with her specifically.

But, she prefaced several of her answers with a couple of recurring phrases: “My staff does that; “I’d have to ask my staff”; “that’s outside my purview”; etc.

Her answers flashed me back to a classic scene in the movie Office Space.

It’s only a minute long and worth the time … guaranteed: it’ll change the way you watch the hearings

click to view
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When interviewing a “customer specifications analyst”, a pair of efficiency experts — the Bobs — laser in on the most fundamental question…

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“What would you say exactly … you do here at Initech?”

When watching the hearings, just substitute the words “the US government” for “Initech” and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

All of the witnesses:

  • Seem to have very narrow specialties.
  • The specialties seem to be duplicated in several departments.
  • The specialists in each of the departments seem to spend a lot of time in meetings, on the phone and at dinners … often with each other, honing their groupthink.
  • Nobody seems to have authority to actually do anything other than generate make-work for their staffs.
  • All seem to have locked up government paychecks and benefits for life.

May just be me, but the words “bloat”, “inefficiency” and “ineffectiveness” keep popping in my mind.

Where are the Bobs when you need them?

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CBS tunes out the Schiff Show … resumes regular soap operas.

November 20, 2019

And, public support for impeachment continues to erode.
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Earlier this week, we posted re: the dismal viewership the Dems’ impeachment hearings are getting.

Want an unmistakable indicator?

Well, CBS became the first major network to face reality — that nobody was watching the tedious hearings — and switched back to its usual soap operas, i.e. from one soap opera to another.

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More important, the Pelosi-dreamed groundswell of support for impeachment sure doesn’t seem to be materializing…

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“Reduced to teaching at Georgetown” … say, what?

November 19, 2019

There was a part of Amb. Yovanovitch’s that made my jaw drop.

When the Dem counsel was prying into her firing, he was obviously trying his level best to get her to cry … “how did you feel?”; “what was the impact on your family?”; “can you describe how distraught you were?”, etc.

Boo-hoo …

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In my business career, I was sold twice to new owners … and  “rationalized”, “synergized” and reassigned many times during internal regime changes.

So, I have zero sympathy when a “paying job for life” diplomat gets reassigned when a new sheriff comes to town.

But, that’s not what stopped me in my tracks …

(more…)

So, is the Dem’s impeachment action gaining widespread support?

November 18, 2019

In a word: NO!
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Pundits and politicos on the left are shouting BOMBSHELL! BOMBSHELL!! BOMBSHELL!!!

Those on the right are declaring: “nothingburger”.

So, what’s the answer?

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Let’s look at some numbers…

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“Fan interest” for the televised hearings is pretty low.

Nielsen says that just under 14 million watched the first day of hearings.

That’s down from the 20 million that tuned into the Kavanaugh hearings … and only about 1% of the number of 2016 voters.

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And, what impact are the hearings having on voters?

Well, according to left-leaning FiveThirtyEight, support for impeachment FELL a bit during week one of hearings. (See chart above)

Support for impeachment is now a mere 2 percentage points higher that opposition … but, at 47.7%, it’s less than a majority. 

And, according to RCP, approval for the inquiry process itself slid during the week of hearings … dipping below 50% for the first time in weeks.

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Bottom line: Pelosi said “no impeachment unless there was bipartisan Congressional support and widespread public sentiment.

Doesn’t look like Inquiry will meet those hurdles…

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About the Dems’ groundswell for impeachment…

October 21, 2019

Reuters / IPSOS: Support for impeachment cools.
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Speaker Pelosi has said repeated;y that impeachment requires public support that is broad and deep.

Her dream: Americans would be appalled by Trump’s asking the Ukrainian president to investigate 2016 election meddling and “look into” Hunter Biden’s lucrative set on a Ukrainian energy company’s board  –despite zero experience in energy and no obvious ties to the Ukraine, save for his father’s political influence.

Surely, Adam Schiff’s secret interrogations would uncover a string of “bombshells” that would doom Trump’s presidency, right?

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Well, the groundswell of public support seems to be sputtering…

(more…)

NY Times: Schiff aid advised whistleblower … and tipped Schiff.

October 2, 2019

Big new from today’s New York Times

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Here are my takeaways (with emphasis added):

The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint.

The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump.

The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff.

The early account explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.

The whistle-blower’s decision to offer what amounted to an early warning to the intelligence committee’s Democrats is sure to thrust Mr. Schiff even more forcefully into the center of the controversy.

Note:: Schiff had said publicly (on tape)that neither he nor his staff “have spoken directly to the whistleblower” before the complaint was made public.

Oops.

The entire NYT article is worth reading … especially since it’s from the Trump-adverse New York Times.

Draw your  own conclusions.

Ah, the plot thickens.

============

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About the 2020 Presidential election…

October 2, 2019

Impeachment imbroglio raises some very interesting scenarios.

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Over the weekend, mused about possible outcomes for the Dems impeachment offensive and the impact on the 2020 election.

My current bet:

  • House will approve articles of impeachment on a straight party line vote (regardless of any evidence or legal logic) … a couple of GOP reps jump ship, allowing Pelosi to position the vote as bi-partisan.
  • A majority of Senators will vote to remove Trump from office but the vote won’t be close to the 2/3s threshold that’s needed, so Trump survives.
  • Biden will be toast, so it’ll be Warren versus Trump … and maybe an Indie will jump in.
  • It’ll be Nixon vs. McGovern 2.0 … as pro-Trumpsters come out of the woodwork in droves … and Dem fat cats reject Warren’s brand of socialism.

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But, there are a couple of other interesting “what if” scenarios…

(more…)

Is Wile E. Coyote is alive and well … and working for the Dems?

September 23, 2019

Russiagate, the Mueller fail … and now the Ukrainian whistleblower fiasco bring back memories of legendary cartoon character Wile E. Coyote.

First, some background for younger readers.

Back in the olden days, there was a cartoon series called Looney Tunes.  One of the main characters was a clever, ground-running bird named Road Runner.

Road Runner’s nemesis was a wannabe clever coyote named Wile E. Coyote (get it?).

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Wile E. spent every waking hour crafting devious plots to “get” and eat the Road Runner.

Invariably, the plots failed … and often boomeranged … inflicting deserved pain and anguish on Wile E. Coyote.

For 3 minutes of flashback entertainment, see “Wile E. Coyotes Top 10 Fails”

Looks to me like Wile E. is on the Dems payroll these days.

Evidence: the unraveling of the Ukrainian “bombshell”…

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Using Federal whistleblower statute for cover, an “intelligence officer” files a workplace complaint that President Trump threatened to cut off foreign aid to the Ukraine if the Uke Prez didn’t restart an investigation into corrupt activities by Hunter Biden — Sleepy Joe’s son.

It’s alleged that Hunter’s firm rallied some dough from the Chinese, laundered it, and plopped it into Uke energy companies.

When the Ukes started poking around, then VP Biden stepped in and threatened to pull the plug on a billion dollar loan guarantee for the Ukes unless they called off the investigative dogs who were nipping at Hunter’s heels.  They did.

Want evidence?

In a classic video appearance:

Joe Biden brags about how he threatened to pull $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

The prosecutor, who was fired, was leading a corruption investigation into a company that employed Biden’s son, Hunter.

Trump admits that he told the Uke Prez — in a top-to-top classified phone call — to re-open the probe.

The whistleblower toots to an Inspector General that Trump pulled a no-no and the impeachment lobby rallied to the cause.

But, the case seems to be unraveling.

Some reports say that the alleged incident isn’t even covered by Fed whistleblower statutes, so the process is compromised.

But, Trump offered an illegal quid pro quo … that’s a big deal and needs spotlighting, right?

Well, some folks who were listening in on the call are saying that Trump didn’t offer a quid pro quo or threaten the Uke Prez.

Did you notice the nuance?

That’s what folks who were listening in report.

Turns out that the whistleblower wasn’t even on the call.

He was simply blowing his whistle on the basis of a rumor that he heard.

Say, what?

Oh, and did I mention that the whistleblower is alleged to be a Democratic political hack?

Or, maybe it’s Wile E. Coyote.

I guess we’ll eventually find out.

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“Resisters” now think that it’s not fair to resist … say, what?

December 11, 2018

Forrest Grump: “What goes around, comes around”

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For a couple of years, it’s been in fashion among the established, the elite and the folks on the left to use any method to stymy the Trump agenda.

After all, the end justifies the means, right?

Well now, from Madison,Wisconsin to Paris, France … left-leaning elected officials are being thwarted.

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And, many who were touting the graces of the Resist Movement just a couple of weeks ago are squealing like pigs.

(more…)

In praise of gridlock …

December 10, 2018

And, why I don’t care if Trump gets impeached.

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I had a few very interesting conversations over the past week or two.

They revolved around a couple of linked topics:

1) Buyer’s remose

2) Congressional gridlock

3) Impeachment

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For what it’s worth, here’s how I come out on these topics …

(more…)

Chuck Todd: “Start impeachment now”

August 24, 2018

I agree … but for different reasons.
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Let’s connect a couple of stories today.

Encouraged by the Manafort-Cohen outcomes, Chuck Todd (NBC / MSNBC commentator) ranted that outgoing Speaker Ryan should begin “drawing up impeachment papers now”.

After all, “You now have a president of the United States accused of committing a federal crime.”

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click to view

My first reaction was “echo-chamber over-reaction”.

At first, I shrugged off the idea, but…

(more…)

Dershowitz: “Candidate” Committed No Election Crime

August 23, 2018

I was channel-switching yesterday to get both sides of the Cohen “bombshell”.

Alan Dershowitz provided the clearest (and most succinct) explanation (on MSNBC of all places).

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Click to view … or keep reading

Here’s the essence of Dershowitz’s argument…

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In praise of gridlock …

July 14, 2017

And, why I don’t care if Trump gets impeached.

=========

I had a few very interesting conversations over the past week or two.

They revolved around a couple of linked topics:

1) Buyer’s remose

2) Congressional gridlock

3) Impeachment

image

For what it’s worth, here’s how I come out on these topics …

(more…)