Friday, January 31, 2020

impeachment undercurrents and consequences

An Alabama journalist's impeachment op-ed was in my online Tuscaloosa News feed this morning. I interjected comments in bold.


GARY COSBY JR.: If he is innocent ...

I have not written about the impeachment of Donald Trump or the trial in the Senate. To my mind, it has been pointless. The Democrats were going to do everything they could, including changing the charges until they found something that would fit, to impeach the president. Agreed, and I think the Democrats should have left no stone unturned getting to the bottom of President Trump's allegations about Vice President Joe Biden and his son's dealings in Ukraine.
The Republicans were going to do everything they could to ensure the president was acquitted. It’s just that simple. This has been virtually 100% partisan from the outset. It certainly illustrates the deep divide we are experiencing throughout the nation. Agreed, and I think the Republicans should have left no stone unturned getting to the bottom of what President Trump and and his staff did.
The one thing I have had a problem with since the beginning of this mess has been the White House’s attempts to block witnesses and subpoenaed evidence. If President Trump is innocent, evidence and testimony should clearly illustrate his innocence. I can’t understand why he would even attempt to block anyone from testifying. Consider the legal doctrine "res ipsa loquitur," Latin for "The thing speaks for itself."
He has, from the outset, said to read the transcript of the disputed phone call. If the transcript is faithful, then how can calling witnesses contradict the transcript? I know that part of this is simply the political back and forth between two parties that can’t agree on much of anything. Another part of it is the hatred that President Trump has gone out of his way to generate between himself and the Democrats.
Of course, I can only speculate as to why he has put so much effort into rupturing an already fractious relationship between the two parties, but he has taken a sledgehammer to it. His tweets have relentlessly pounded the Democrats and they have responded with the impeachment. I don't think the tweets had anything to do with the impeachment. I think the Democrats in Congress know the Democratic National Convention (DNC) really screwed up by nominating Hillary Clinton in 2016, and instead of admitting that is why Donald Trump was elected, and instead getting their own very splintered, squabbling house in order, the Democrats in Congress are projecting their party's screw up onto President Trump
And, yes, I am suggesting that this impeachment is a direct response to Donald Trump himself more so than to anything he has or has not done. I am as certain that Trump used leverage against the Ukrainians to accomplish his goal as I am of the sun rising. I am equally certain that every president, Republican and Democrat, has done the same thing, if not for the same reason. You are certain every president before Trump asked Russia and a former Soviet Bloc state to help him get elected?
This impeachment is going to come back to bite whoever the next Democrat is to occupy the White House. As Bugs Bunny used to say when he had been slighted, “This means war!” And it will mean war. You can be absolutely certain that the next time we have a Democratic president and a Republican-controlled House there will be an impeachment attempt. To assume otherwise is na├»ve. I think the impeachment could bite the Democrats in the ass at the polls.
Back to the point, presidents not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is nothing new. We are all familiar with the missing minutes on the Watergate tapes and the lies that were uncovered that actually did topple a presidency. Bill Clinton’s continuing denials of his Oval Office trysts with an intern very nearly caught up with him.
But then, Richard Nixon was guilty, and his guilt was proven by testimony and evidence, but Nixon protested his ignorance and his innocence for a very long time before it was proved otherwise.
I guess being a journalist for all these years has caused me to believe little of what I hear coming from Washington, no matter which party is in the White House. I gave up on hearing the whole truth a long time ago. What I do know is that when someone tries this hard to conceal evidence and prevent testimony, there is usually a good reason for doing so. Res ipsa loquitur.
As much as I don’t like President Trump, I am also not stupid. Removing a president from office leads to instability. In the case of Trump, it could lead to near riots from his constituents, many of whom agree with him that this whole process has been nothing but a witch hunt. There is some truth to that allegation. Electing Trump in 2019 let to instability he made increasingly worse.
Impeaching a president should not be a political game. We should have more respect for the institution and office and for the stability that a president brings to the nation and the world than to bring charges of impeachment unnecessarily. Taking down a president should not be a partisan game. Looks to me Trump is a Russian and a Saudi Arabian asset saying he made America great again.
On the other side of the coin, the president should not fear the process, especially if, as he claims, there is nothing to the charges. Evidence and testimony will certainly show that, and we can quickly get back to the business of being a country. The very idea that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would attempt to block witnesses reeks of a cover-up and cover-ups are almost always worse than the act that is being concealed. Just ask Richard Nixon about that. Looks to me McConnel will go down in history as President Trump's Heinrich Himmler. 
Gary Cosby Jr. is photo editor of The Tuscaloosa News. Readers can email him at

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

the elephant in the elephants' Ukrainegate living room

This former practicing attorney says the elephant in the elephants' Ukrainegate living room is: If President Trump actually is innocent and the God-sent savior of America his MAGAs claim, he would have publicly demanded the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate allow him and all of his inner circle to testify before those tribunals, under oath, regardless of what his lawyers told him.

Below is a Huffington Post article on what a Harvard law professor said about Trump's lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, who represented O.J. Simpson and Jerry Epstein, and was in favor of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton even if no crime was committed, but now says he was wrong back then.

01/29/2020 04:16 am ET Updated 1 hour ago

Harvard Law Professor Warns Senators: Call Witnesses Or Face ‘Dictatorship’

Laurence Tribe described Alan Dershowitz’s legal defense of Donald Trump as “remarkably absurd and extreme and dangerous.”
Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe urged the GOP-controlled Senate to allow witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump ― or risk setting a “terrible” precedent for the country.
On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” Tribe argued the only way to hold a fair trial was for lawmakers to vote to hear from Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton “and other witnesses and the evidence.”
Bolton reportedly confirms the Democrats’ case for impeachment in his forthcoming book “The Room Where It Happened,” in which he writes Trump tied military aid for Ukraine to its announcement of a probe into Joe Biden.
Tribe described the defense argument being made by Trump impeachment lawyer Alan Dershowitz as “remarkably absurd and extreme and dangerous.” 
“Namely, it doesn’t matter if a president uses the vast powers of his office to shake down an ally and help an adversary in order to get dirt on an enemy and corrupt an election,” he said, summarizing Dershowitz’s argument.
Tribe also said senators risked “leaving a message to future generations, to future presidents, that any way they want to abuse the power of their office is just fine because Trump got away with it since the ultimate ruling was, ‘so what? It doesn’t matter.’”
“You will harm not only the country today, but you will leave a lesson for future presidents that will be terrible to the Republic,” he warned GOP senators. “It will not be a constitutional democracy but it will be a dictatorship.
Concluded Tribe:
So I implore you, if you are inclined to vote to acquit this president, don’t do it on the ridiculous basis that abuse of power, because it’s not a statutory crime and is rather open-ended, is not a basis to remove. Don’t do it on that basis. Do it perhaps on the basis that after you’ve heard John Bolton and looked at the evidence, you’re just not convinced.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

God and Jesus are dirty low-down liberal commies?

Everytime I see something on online blasting liberals as commies, I am reminded of Peter's community in Acts of the Apostles, where community members put all they had into a common pot and received back what they needed. Except for one couple, who said they had put in everything they had, but they had not, and when Peter confronted them about it, they dropped dead.

  • Christine Russell I don't consider myself a liberal, I don't consider myself a conservative - I have an independent INTELLIGENT voter that registers as a D as that is how I tend to 'side' and I want a vote for the D nominee. But I have one important thing to say to the Democratic party who will set the rules for the upcoming Democratic Convention. Bernie could have beat Trump if you had not stolen the nomination from the voters and given it to Hillary. States should be required to put their delegates behind in the winner of their state's primary. If you pull that 2016 shit again this Democrat will NO longer support that party - and I am not alone. It absolutely is time for a third party - the People's Party!

  • Sloan Bashinsky I don't belong to a political party but agree the DNC really screwed up in 2016, and I would have voted for Bernie if he was the nominee, not because I'm a liberal, but because I was shown in a dream Bernie was God's candidate in 2016, which I suppose made God a liberal? The Rights, as opposed to the Wrongs?, in the main revere Jesus, who in the Gospels is a strong ally of the poor, the downtrodden, the forgotten; he told a rich young man it was harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it was for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle; and said it is more blessed to give than to receive; and if a man asks for your shirt, offer him also your coat; and:

    Matthew 25:35-40 New International Version (NIV)
    35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Monday, January 27, 2020

Blowjobgate was a flea on an elephant's butt compared to Watergate and Ukrainegate

This former practicing attorney asks: In what American tribunal but the U.S. Congress do the triers of fact not see the evidence and hear the witnesses testify under oath?

Once upon a time a Republican American President did something he ought not to have done, from Wikipedia:
The Watergate scandal was a major federal political scandal in the United States involving the administration of President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1974 that resulted in the end of Nixon's presidency. The scandal stemmed from the June 17, 1972, break-in of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C., by five men and the Nixon administration's subsequent attempts to cover up its involvement in the crime. Soon after the perpetrators were arrested, the press and the Justice Department discovered a connection between cash found on them at the time and a slush fund used by the Nixon re-election campaign committee.[1][2]
Further investigations, along with revelations during subsequent trials of the burglars in January 1973, led the House of Representatives to grant its Judiciary Committee additional investigation authority to probe into "certain matters within its jurisdiction,"[3][4] and the Senate to create a special investigative committee to look into the scandal. The resultant Senate Watergate hearings commenced in May 1973. Broadcast "gavel-to-gavel" nationwide, by PBS, the hearings aroused great public interest.[5] Senators heard testimony that the president had approved plans to cover up administration involvement in the Watergate break-in, and learned of the existence of a voice-activated taping system in the Oval Office.[6][7] Meanwhile, Nixon's administration resisted its probes, which led to a constitutional crisis.[8]
Several major revelations and egregious presidential action against the investigation later in 1973 prompted the House to commence an impeachment process against Nixon in February 1974.[9] On July 24, 1974, while the impeachment process was under way, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in United States v. Nixon that Nixon was obligated to release the Oval Office tapes to government investigators. The tapes revealed that Nixon had conspired to cover up activities that took place after the break-in and had attempted to use federal officials to deflect the investigation.[10][11] Shortly thereafter, the Judiciary Committee approved articles of impeachment against Nixon for obstruction of justiceabuse of power, and contempt of Congress and reported those articles to the House of Representatives.
With his complicity in the cover-up made public and his political support completely eroded, Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974. It is a virtual certainty that, had he not done so, he would have been impeached by the House and removed from office by a trial in the Senate.[12][13] To date, he is the only American president to have resigned from office. On September 8, 1974, Nixon's successor, Gerald Fordpardoned him.

Once upon a later time, a Democrat American President did something he ought not to have done, from Wikipedia:
The impeachment of Bill Clinton was initiated on October 8, 1998, when the United States House of Representatives voted to commence impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States, for "high crimes and misdemeanors". The specific charges against Clinton were lying under oath and obstruction of justice. The charges stemmed from a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Clinton by Paula Jones and from Clinton's testimony denying that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The catalyst for the president's impeachment was the Starr Report, a September 1998 report prepared by Independent Counsel Ken Starr for the House Judiciary Committee.[1]
On December 19, 1998, Clinton became the second American president to be impeached (the first being Andrew Johnson, who was impeached in 1868), when the House formally adopted two articles of impeachment and forwarded them to the United States Senate for adjudication; two other articles were considered, but were rejected.[a] A trial in the Senate began in January 1999, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding. On February 12, Clinton was acquitted on both counts as neither received the necessary two-thirds majority vote of the senators present for conviction and removal from office—in this instance 67. On Article One, 45 senators voted to convict while 55 voted for acquittal. On Article Two, 50 senators voted to convict while 50 voted for acquittal.[3] Clinton remained in office for the remainder of his second term.[4]

Republicans in the U.S. Congress spent a great deal of taxpayer money on Blowjobgate, which was a flea on an elephant's butt compared to Watergate and Ukrainegate. 

This arrived in my email account last night: 

The New York Times

       January 26, 2020

From Wikipedia:
John Robert Bolton (born November 20, 1948) is an American attorney, political commentator, Republican consultant, former diplomat and national security advisor.
Bolton was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006 as a recess appointee by President George W. Bush.[6] He resigned at the end of his recess appointment in December 2006[7][8] because he was unlikely to win confirmation from the Senate, of which the Democratic Party had gained control at the time.[9][10] In later years, Bolton was the U.S. National Security Advisor under the Trump administration from April 2018 to September 2019.