Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 25, 2019

The Democrats' Impeachment Attempt Against Trump Is A Huge Mistake

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced that she was opening an impeachment process against President Donald Trump:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.

Instead of running on policy issues the Democrats will (again) try to find vague dirt with which they can tarnish Trump. This is a huge political mistake. It will help Trump to win his reelection.

After two years of falsely accusing Trump of having colluded with Russia they now allege that he colludes with Ukraine. That will make it much more difficult for the Democrats to hide the dirty hands they had in creating Russiagate. Their currently preferred candidate Joe Biden will get damaged:

For the past two years, talk of impeachment had centered around the findings of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections and Mr. Trump’s attempts to derail that inquiry. On Tuesday, Ms. Pelosi, Democrat of California, told her caucus and then the country that new revelations about Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, and his administration’s stonewalling of Congress about them, had finally left the House no choice but to proceed toward a rarely used remedy.
...
At issue are allegations that Mr. Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to open a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son. The conversation is said to be part of a whistle-blower complaint that the Trump administration has withheld from Congress. And it occurred just a few days after Mr. Trump had ordered his staff to freeze more than $391 million in aid to Ukraine.

Trump indeed withheld money from the Ukraine. But the Ukrainian president did not know that when Trump spoke with him:

Mr. Trump did not discuss the delay in the military assistance on the July 25 call with Mr. Zelensky, according to people familiar with the conversation. A Ukrainian official said Mr. Zelensky’s government did not learn of the delay until about one month after the call.

At that time Trump was withholding money from several countries. The money for the Ukraine was released in early September without any known conditions.

The immediate impulse to start an impeachment investigation came from some whistle blower in the intelligence community who claimed that Trump did something nefarious during a phone call with the newly elected President of Ukraine Zelensky.

The White House published a memorandum of the phone call. The call was made on July 25 2019, a day after the final Robert Mueller testimony in Congress. There are two passages which the Democrats will claim are damaging:

President Zelenskyy: [...] I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.. I think you're surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible.

President Zelenskyy: Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page of cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. [...]

Trump wanted Zelensky to look into the Ukrainian influence on the whole Russiagate campaign. There certainly was a lot of it. The three Ukrainian-American Chalupa sisters, Alexandra, Irena and Andrea, worked with the DNC and Ukrainian officials in Washington and Kiev to sabotage the Trump campaign. They are, together with other Ukraine affiliated persons like the Dimitry Alperovich, the CEO of the hacks at Crowd Strike, at the core of Russiagate.

The Mueller investigation closed a day before the phone call. It found that Trump had not colluded with Russia or the alleged Russian influence on the 2016 election. That Trump wants the new Ukrainian leader to investigate what Ukrainian officials did in support of a debunked campaign against him may be a wrong thing to do but it is certainly not criminal.

In another passage Zelensky says that he will soon meet Trump's lawyer Rudi Giuliani who wanted to revive an investigation into the Ukrainian company that hired Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden while vice-president Biden himself was running U.S. foreign policy with regards to Ukraine. Trump then asks for support for Giuliani:

President Zelenskyy: [...] I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr.Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Guliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. [...] We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly. That I can assure you.

The President: Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it ... It sounds horrible to me.

Zelensky then again assures Trump that the incoming prosecutor general will look into the issue.

Trump asks for investigations and Zelensky assures him that those will happen. Trump applied no open pressure. There is of course always implicit pressure any time a U.S. president utters a wish to the president of a country that needs U.S. good will and money to survive.

As for the Biden case it was Joe's Biden big mouth that brought the issues back into light. In January 2018 he gave a talk at the Council of Foreign Relations and explained how he directly threatened (video) to withhold money to blackmail the Ukraine into firing a prosecutor general who was seen as corrupt:

And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.

So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

Biden did that at a time when his son lobbied for the Ukrainian company Burisma who the prosecutor he wanted fired investigated (or maybe blackmailed):

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts — usually more than $166,000 a month — from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia.

The general prosecutor’s official file for the Burisma probe — shared with me by senior Ukrainian officials — shows prosecutors identified Hunter Biden, business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

There is no direct evidence that Joe Biden told the Ukrainians to stop the investigation into Burisma. But it was not difficult for the Ukrainians to figure out that ending the investigation into the company that Joe Biden's son worked for would help them with further requests to him.

How the Democrats want to construct an impeachment out of this is beyond me.

Trump is the president. Foreign policy is his constitutional prerogative. He used his power to ask the Ukraine to open investigations into two issues. He withheld money but not to achieve that. The Ukrainians did not even know at that time that the money was blocked.

Biden used his power as vice-president to ask the Ukraine to fire a prosecutor he didn't like and who (by chance?) was going after the company which enriched his son. He openly withheld money to achieve his aim.

How will the Democrats explain that what Trump did was wrong or even criminal while insisting that what Joe Biden did was normal business?

They can't.

Pelosi knows that there is no case to impeach Trump. That's why she does not have a plan how to do proceed with it:

Although Ms. Pelosi’s announcement was a crucial turning point, it left many unanswered questions about exactly when and how Democrats planned to push forward on impeachment.
...
And Ms. Pelosi said she had directed the chairmen of the six committees that have been investigating Mr. Trump to “proceed under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry.” In a closed-door meeting earlier in the day, she said the panels should put together their best cases on potentially impeachable offenses by the president and send them to the Judiciary Committee, according to two officials familiar with the conversation. That could potentially lay the groundwork for articles of impeachment based on the findings.

Pelosi has nothing. Six committees have investigated Trump issues but so far found nothing to charge him with. Neither did the Mueller investigation find anything damaging. How will combining all those nothing-burgers make an impeachment meal?

Trump should be impeached for his crimes against Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

But the Democrats will surely not touch on those issues. They are committing themselves to political theater that will end without any result. Instead of attacking Trump's policies and proposing better legislation they will pollute the airwaves with noise about 'crimes' that do not exist.

There is no case for impeachment. Even if the House would voted for one the Senate would never act on it. No one wants to see a President Pence.

The Democrats are giving Trump the best campaign aid he could have wished for. Trump will again present himself as the victim of a witch hunt. He will again argue that he is the only one on the side of the people. That he alone stands with them against the bad politicians in Washington DC.  Millions will believe him and support him on this. It will motivate them to vote for him.

Why is it so hard for Democrats to understand this?

Posted by b on September 25, 2019 at 18:03 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Just another HUGE mistake... democrats will do anything to get him re-elected ...

Posted by: DG | Sep 25 2019 18:08 utc | 1

It is likely Biden and son are being investigated in Ukraine and dirt or charges will come from it.
Dems blowing smoke about impeachment to take attention away from what may come out of Ukraine.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 18:18 utc | 2

What seems even more idiotic, is that Pelosi made this announcement BEFORE the transcript was published. Is everyone senile in the Democratic leadership?

Posted by: SteveK9 | Sep 25 2019 18:27 utc | 3

Missing the point. It's not a bug, it's a feature.

Now that Trump has effectively betrayed his base, and - tweets aside - is governing like Hilary Clinton would have, the only way for him to hold on to his base is for them to think that he's being treated unfairly. Make it all about fake impeachment, and nothing about real issues.

Remember, the corporate Democrats and the corporate Republicans are all paid by the same masters, they all read form the same script. This is just theater to distract the proles. It's like professional wrestling without the muscles.

Posted by: TG | Sep 25 2019 18:31 utc | 4

I would like to suggest another reason for this impeachment malstorm at this point. Trump is acting presidential at the UN. He made a very nationalistic speech that I'm sure the MSM would like to erase. See The future does not belong to globalists.

In a continuation of the anti-globalist, sovereign-nations theme, Trump warned against totalitarianism and the erosion of democracy and individual freedoms. “We must always be skeptical of those who want conformity and control,” he told the assembly. “Even in free nations, we see alarming signs and new challenges to liberty.”

Obviously, the MSM needs some very negative news about Trump to breathlessly report instead.

Posted by: TheBAG | Sep 25 2019 18:35 utc | 5

"Projecting"...

Keep in mind that when when we're talking Biden, Pelosi et al we're talking CORPORATE Dems. CORPORATE Dems will do anything, even lose an election, to ensure that there is the least disruption to their corporate funders- they would rather have Trump in office than say Sanders. The Dem's campaign is showing a lot of weakness in their CORPORATE Dem puppets in which case they're afraid of allowing Sanders to rise (working really hard to push up the CORPORATE Wishy-Washy-Warren).

With Gabbard now making it to the next debate the CORPORATE Dems are running scared. Gabbard will be taking someone out, perhaps it'll be either Warren or Biden: maybe "Beto" or "Pete" just to put a stake in the hearts of these clowns (Harris is already fatally wounded- just waiting for her to finally drop).

Posted by: Seer | Sep 25 2019 18:37 utc | 6

fully agree with you b... thanks... the dems are more insane then the repubs and that is saying something..

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2019 18:45 utc | 7


Instead of attacking Trump's policies and proposing better legislation

This is exactly the point. They can't! They are paid by the same 0.1 % as the Republicans. They can only propose to secure the Mexican border by other means (drones! lol), they would continue to deport small children just as Obama did, continue all illegal wars, and try to enrich the ruling class even further. Just like Trump. That's why they got rid of candidates like Gabbard that fast and instead install an old man suffering from dementia.
The Dems cannot attack Trump's policies. They are bound to sing the same song as Trump, just to a different melody. They have the very same masters, and those who pay the bill dictate the music.
It is that simple.

Posted by: Cemi | Sep 25 2019 18:45 utc | 8

Yep, b's 100% correct that there're plenty of grounds on which to impeach the entire upper echelon of TrumpCo that won't ever make it into whatever Articles of Impeachment are generated. The Ukrainian stuff is all political with absolutely no impeachable offense incurred. The Current Oligarchy is behind the strings controlling Pelosi's mouth and teleprompter as Biden won't be nominated, and it can't totally count on Warren's allegiance. Gabbard has already voiced her opposition to Trump's impeachment, arguing that it's better to beat him at the polls. Sanders in contrast, has endorsed impeachment. IMO, Gabbard's approach is best. However, IMO, both Sanders and Gabbard must plan on what to do when the DNC again throws the nomination to someone other than the best candidate to beat Trump as the DNC is wholly owned by the Current Oligarchy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 25 2019 18:48 utc | 9

The true mistake is to try and make sense out of Democrats.

...because Democrats...

Posted by: librul | Sep 25 2019 18:50 utc | 10

A house bill bans using Huawei and ZTE phones; also adds 1 billion in taxpayer paid for equipment to be donated to to USA companies so the USA companies can trash the China made equipment and exchange if for 1 billion in USA and Israel made equipment. I wonder does this mean the USA and Israel cannot compete with the Chinese?
huawei ban

huawei ban

huawei ban
huawei ban

Posted by: snake | Sep 25 2019 18:50 utc | 11

karlof1 - if sanders had any character he would have left the dem party and ran as an independent... at this point the dem party is completely insane..

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2019 18:50 utc | 12

Trump re-election chances just shot up. Not just the Biden collateral damage, but this is a clear reprise of the Russiagate nonsense.
This will re-energize the Trump base - and Trump is going to cry all the way back to the White House saying he's being unfairly prosecuted.
Saker is saying this is a literal reprise, but it is irrelevant if that is true or not.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 25 2019 18:56 utc | 13

snake "USA and Israel cannot compete with the Chinese?"

China leads in 5G, but US is also gearing up for a long war with China, which is perhaps the main reason for banning Huawei comms.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 19:04 utc | 14

"Why is it so hard for Democrats to understand this?"

I think they understand that they need a big distraction, even if it later swirls down the toilet like the previous turd, because Brennan's tit is in the wringer. If Brennan is indicted, then the whole corrupt Russia-hoax starts unraveling. I think the DNC gerontocracy are playing for time with this fiasco out of desperation on several fronts.

Posted by: casey | Sep 25 2019 19:05 utc | 15

Anything is better than trying to run on the real past record here of failure, mediocrity, decay, and decline.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 25 2019 19:14 utc | 16

james @13--

I don't think the issue is Sanders's "character;" if you follow his Twitter, you'll quickly discover he has a fine character, as with this proposal:

"We are going to end homelessness and build millions of new affordable housing units — paid for with a tax on the billionaire class."

Sometimes, I don't think he wants to become POTUS, which has allowed him to get rather radical by US political norms. I also wonder how closely those promoting him pay attention to the DC Circus. Given Pelosi and Co's opposition to a host of Bernie's proposals--particularly Medicare For All--it seems wise to put them into the oppositional camp too, as I have.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 25 2019 19:16 utc | 17

Mistake or not, I'll enjoy the theater, IF, it's on MSM. Personally, I'd like to know if the "whistle blowers" accusations can hold water. It needs to be released.

If this regime has nothing to hide, let your people respect lawful summons to testify. If DJT continues to advise them to ignore 'em, that's obstruction..

P.S. This coming circus will be a massive distraction, and keep relevant issues from the public a little longer, which, the corporatists will love.

Pass the popcorn please....

Posted by: ben | Sep 25 2019 19:19 utc | 18

The Dims seem to be setting new records in Stupid, and, as we all know - you can't fix Stupid. Surely they see that while Trump is an appalling scoundrel elected almost by accident due to the Stupid factor in the Dims prior campaign - Pense is a certifiable Lunatic. Too scary for words.

I think maybe casey # 18 is right. The Dims are running scared because they think something Really wicked this way comes.

On the other hand, it is a nice distraction from the Greta Pet Rock Whinging Society - itself a distraction from, well, reality....

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Sep 25 2019 19:21 utc | 19

I think what's going in the brain trust of the DNC is something like this:

i. Biden is a non-starter with the public. He'll be devoured alive by the Republicans, who only need to bring up his career to expose his mendacity.
ii. Warren might be co-opted, having been a Republican and fiscal conservative up to the mid-90s, but what if she isn't?
iii. Sanders is a non-starter, but with the "people who matter". Rather than having to threaten him with the suspicions around his wife, or go for the JFK solution, they'd rather he didn't even get past the primaries, much less elected.
iv. As a CNN talking head said weeks ago, it's better for the wealthy people the DNC is beholden to that their own candidate loses to Trump if that candidate is Sanders.

So… better to hedge their bets. Start impeachment hearings, give Trump ammunition to destroy Sanders or Warren. That way, the rich win in all scenarios:

a. If Biden wins the nomination, the campaign will be essentially mudslinging from both sides about who is more corrupt. The rich are fine with whoever wins.
b. If Warren gets the nomination and is co-opted, the media will let the impeachment hearings die out, or the House themselves will quickly bury it.
c. If Warren gets the nomination and is not co-opted, or if Sanders get it, the impeachment will suck up all the air of the room, Trump will play the witchhunt card and be re-elected.

Posted by: nil | Sep 25 2019 19:37 utc | 20

And this is the world's "exceptional nation"? God help us all.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Sep 25 2019 19:46 utc | 21

@18 karlof1... i don't doubt sanders is a very fine person with many stellar character traits... but as you point out - it seems like maybe he doesn't want the potus, and as i am trying to point out - anyone who continues to work within a party that for all intensive purposes is being knowingly fun by large corporate interests - and continues to do so - is subject to question... that is what i mean by character... what type of a person would allow this set up to continue on? as you say - maybe he is not interested in winning, in which case it doesn't matter...we could say he is more content to continue on within this dem party, then to be independent of it... i am hoping that tulsi gets more traction inside of it, but am highly doubtful of this as well...

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2019 19:58 utc | 22

If during that phone call, Trump would have said in Biden's style "I expect an indictment of Hunter Biden until next week, otherwise Ukraine won't receive any money any more." the push towards indictment would be understandable. But just mentioning Biden's corruption, for which there are strong indications, can be no basis can hardly be a basis for impeachment. If the new rule was that any contact with foreign governments relating to information that can be relevant in elections, Hillary Clinton should have been disqualified before the election because her team and the DNC worked with Ukraine to get dirt on Manaford (and anything they could find about people around Trump, let alone the Steele dossier for which rumors were also collected abroad).

The behavior of Democrats seems a bit odd. They start impeachment procedures although a majority of Americans is against this (so, despite the polarization, a sizable percentage is against Trump, but wants him to be defeated in elections rather than be impeached, which hardly won't happen anyway when it is tried). I think there are probably mainly two possible reasons. One is that, although a majority of Americans overall is against impeachment, a majority of Democratic voters is currently in favor of impeachment. Obviously, as to many issues, Democrats don't do what a majority of their voters want (they generally don't when their voters want something different from what their donors want), but sometimes, they do what a majority of their voters wants, even if it is rather stupid strategically. A second reason that may be plausible is that Joe Biden is quite influential within the Democratic party, he may have been enraged that someone dared to speak about his corruption and therefore have demanded impeachment.

Perhaps impeachment is also meant to distract from the findings about the origins of Russiagate and FISA abuse that will probably soon come out. But it may still be a bit unwise to choose something that is so closely connected with Biden's corruption (and probably also with the fabrication of Russiagate for which the DNC's Ukraine connections were also used).

An interesting question is what the influence on the primaries will be. Obviously, it will be rather inconvenient for those candidates who are senators (Sanders, Warren, and others that may or may not be in the race at that time) if there are impeachment hearings in the Senate at the same time as primaries. Michael Tracey thinks the impeachment procedure would rather help Elizabeth Warren (who had been demanding impeachment for some time) and Joe Biden, while it would be quite inconvenient for Bernie Sanders because he would primarily want to talk about things like economic inequality and healthcare, and constant headlines about impeachment only hinder this.

But Michael Tracey said this before the contents of the phone call was known, and I think it is fair to say it is rather underwhelming, and impeachment could end in an embarrassment for Democrats. The suspicious profiteering of the Biden family will inevitable constantly be an ubiquitous subject, and even if the media who support the Democrats attempt to frame this in a way that protects Biden, in the end, it can hardly be good for him. Of course, a significant part of the Democratic basis is now completely consumed by conspiratorial thinking (in some online forums, we can see constant claims that Trump has been found guilty of conspiring with Russia and that the Mueller report confirmed this because it did not "exonerate" him) - they will support impeachment without caring on what basis is done. But if they continue with such a weak case, support for impeachment could weaken even among Democratic primary voters, and then fervent impeachment proponents like Elizabeth Warren may not profit from this.

I think Tulsi Gabbard who so far seems to be the only Democrat who clearly spoke out against impeachment proceedings could profit from this - even though a majority of Democrats currently seems to be in favor of impeachment, the percentage of Democrats who oppose impeachment on such dubious grounds and prefer campaigning on real political issues is probably much higher than Gabbard's current rating, and some of those could be motivated to support her. That way, she might move up. At the moment, it seems unlikely that she could win outright, but if she has good results and Sanders is elected, there might be a chance that she is appointed to an important position (e.g. Secretary of State) where she has influence on foreign policy.

If a corporate Democrat who is fully behind impeachment is nominated, the chances in the general election are probably not that great, anyway. Even though polls now show the opposite, I hardly think Biden could win against Trump - not only because of the profiteering of the Biden family from his vice presidency, but mainly because of the clear signs of mental decline. Maybe Sanders can, like with the Russiagate conspiracy theory, nod to the establishment enough that he does not get in trouble, but not invest himself too much in that partisan bickering that he is not damaged too much when it fails.

Posted by: Adrian E. | Sep 25 2019 20:00 utc | 23

B is once again a sane voice that is being drowned out by a chorus of screaming DC morons. The stupidity of those cretins that run the US of A has no limits. It is indeed infinite! Get ready America, the orange haired jackass (with my apologies to that durable, noble beast of burden) will get another four years in the White House thanks to the Democratic Party's leadership. Reason and logic roll-off what passes for their brains like water on a duck's back. The late journalist, critic and cynic H.L. Mencken was once asked why if he so disliked America why then did he remain in it? He replied, "why do men go to zoos?"

Posted by: GeorgeV | Sep 25 2019 20:09 utc | 24

The only way this will help Democrats is that perhaps Biden will vanish from the political scene more expeditiously. I theorize that his current "support" is not related to any particular position but nostalgia and a certain amiability -- that vanishes when you try to understand what (the hell) is he saying. That said, Trump is a master of assorted serious facial expression, can spontaneously coin an insult, for him Biden is a lamb waiting to be roasted.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2019 20:15 utc | 25

There's probably an internal struggle in the Democratic Party between the "democratic socialists" (Sanders, Warren?, Gabbard, AOC etc.) and the liberals (the "establishment": Pelosi, Biden, DNC etc. etc.).

The term "democratic socialism" comes from the early Cold War in the UK, more precisely, in the right-wing of the Labour party at the time (also called "Gaitskellites"). It proposes general welfare state policies in order to best manage the capitalist boom of post-war Britain while, at the same time, embracing the idea of capitalism. Democratic socialists are not really socialists -- but they still represent a radical leftwards turn for the political spectrum of the USA, hence are seen as an existential threat to the American electoral machine.

My guess is the liberal faction of the Democratic Party sees Biden as its last hope of aborting the historical process that brought Trump to power thus reconnecting American recent history with Obama's legacy. It's either that or a permanent transformation of American political landscape for the forseeable future.

The problem is that Biden is probably extremely corrupt and has a lot of skeletons in Ukraine. If said investigation proceeds honestly and quickly in Ukraine, my hypothesis is that Biden will go down and even be arrested (alongside his son). That would permanently damage the liberal faction.

The American people still is rabidly anti-socialist (or "anti-communist", in Cold War terminology that they still use nowadays). However, American capitalism has reached its structural limits and even mild socialistic reforms such as universal healthcare free at the point of use is too much for the country to handle without collapsing. For practical purposes, the American elite must consider democratic socialism (Gaitskellism) as full-fledged socialism simply because they are very fragile -- that's also why dumbed down leftists such as Elizabeth Warren and AOC are disferring such devastating blows to the liberals and are so popular.

At the same time, Trump's reelection would still be bad for the American capitalist class as whole because he is eroding America's image to its allies. This is specially true to its First World allies (Western Europe and Japan). The special case here is Atlanticism, i.e. the ideology that posits the existence of a unified Western Civilization in the North Atlantic that strikes envy to the rest of the world (in Asia and India in particular). Besides, a lot of very powerful American billionaires owe their social status to outsourcing to China, so they prefer a Russophobe in the White House instead of a Sinophobe. The American elite is divided.

Posted by: vk | Sep 25 2019 20:18 utc | 26

james karlof1

That Sanders and Gabbard work within the duopoly is all that needs to be known. One person can only make a difference if there is a party that is independent of the duopoly behind them.
We had one here for a bit. Took the combined efforts of the duopoly and media plus splitting her electorate and then jailing her to bring her down. I didn't agree with some of the policies, but that was the first time in my life I voted as they were not part of the system.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 20:20 utc | 27

While it's true that there is nothing impeachable here (replace the name "Biden" with "Assange" or "Snowden" and imagine if anyone would have even batted an eyelash at this). That said Trump talks too much. I only hope that this was a rookie mistake as it was done a long time ago but he just talks too much. People make too much of too many unguaraded comments. Anyway, as to why the democrats need this instead of talking policy, that's easy. All their large campaign contributors are very much against the ideas of the progressive wing in their party and without the progressive wing their policies are the same as the republicans on every major issue. They think it helps them in the election. Kinda stupid but Schumer, Pelosi, Leahey, Grassley and the rest of the gang will drive the party straight into the ground rather than upset their large campaign contributors because that's the seat of their power and why all their policies are identical to republican policies.

Posted by: Paul Bogdanich | Sep 25 2019 20:20 utc | 28

OMG! Trump and Zelensky talk again, now on TV. The recording snap I have seen shows Trump saying thoughtfully "I hope that you and Putin will get together and sort out your problems. I know that this is what you were planning to do, and it would be a tremendous achievement. Zelensky looks as if he just learned about the death of his beloved babushka.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2019 20:23 utc | 29

The Democratic Party position is only incomprehensible if you assume they actually want to win and govern in the people's interest. They clearly do not. Late empire circumstances dictate that the pseudo-left choice on the ballot cannot actually adopt any positions opposing the elite, so all that is left is identity politics and orange man bad to veil this increasingly obvious and embarrassing scam. Trump will prevail against any non-progressive Democratic candidate running an orange man bad campaign. Book it.

Posted by: sad canuck | Sep 25 2019 20:25 utc | 30

B.'s post and the comments (so far) are a refreshing change of pace from the US mass-media coverage, which as usual treats this as another "bombshell" event to be taken at face value.

Since I try to avoid corporate mass-media infoganda, I can only assume that the Biden video referenced in the post has not gotten much mainstream airplay. As the quoted bit shows, Biden is openly and smugly bragging to an enthusiastic audience about how he successfully gave Ukraine's leaders an ultimatum: either fire the prosecutor who was investigating his crooked son, or lose "a billion dollars" in aid.

Sounds like an, er, quid pro quo, no? Unlike the accusation against Trump, Biden's motives and actions don't have to be hyped, massaged, and spun to create the "impression" of misconduct-- the video speaks for itself.

I've seen alternative-media speculation that the DNC, or some faction within the Democratic Party leadership, actually want this "bombshell" to boomerang back upon Biden and force him to withdraw his candidacy. There are indications that Elizabeth Warren has been moved to the on-deck circle.

I lack expertise and interest in electoral-politics handicapping, but it may be that since the odious Kamala Harris isn't exactly a "hit" with the public, and the charade of Sanders being an "independent" may exclude him from the position of the Democratic Party's 2020 "standard-bearer", Warren is considered "electable".

Warren has issues too, but if Biden drops out for one reason on another, the Dem strategists probably see her as a New! Improved! version of Hillary: a "historic" candidate by identity-politics standards, a reassuringly "safe pair of hands" in contrast to Wild 'n Crazy Trump, and though hardly "charismatic", more personable than Hillary and with less baggage.

Given the Democratic Party leadership's TDS-saturated hysteria and groupthink, it's plausible that the Dems hope that their ongoing assault on Trump's character will prime the public to enthusiastically turn to a reformist "clean as a hound's tooth" schoolmarm type for political salvation.

Posted by: Ort | Sep 25 2019 20:29 utc | 31

"No one wants to see a President Pence."

Theory 1) Perhaps given Trump will not agree to a launch a war with Iran, there are those who do, assuming Pence is the idiot who will agree to starting such a war?

"Biden used his power as vice-president to ask the Ukraine to fire a prosecutor he didn't like.... Pelosi has nothing"

Theory 2) Perhaps the Dems have faced reality after all and know Biden who will lose to Trump. Is this a backhanded way to smear Biden, forcing him to pull out of the race once this inevitably blows up in his face?

Posted by: EtTuBrute | Sep 25 2019 20:30 utc | 32

This is puzzling. I can't see why the thread has been stymied into overshoot
but it has. Never mind, the issue was so important that it is worth doing
our best to scroll sideways on the comments.

I also cannot see why Sanders has shot himself in the foot. Perhaps he
thinks, with all the pressures of the office, it is better left to Trump.

Thank you b, for analyzing the phone call. How can this be seen as an
impeachable issue? It is all very strange indeed, since calling attention
to the situation with Biden's son cannot be in the best interests of the
Democratic party, and yet that is what Pelosi has done.

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain..." Is that it?

Posted by: juliania | Sep 25 2019 20:33 utc | 33

stupidity of those cretins that run the US of A has no limits. It is indeed infinite! Get ready America, the orange haired jackass (with my apologies to that durable, noble beast of burden) <-- GeorgeV | Sep 25 2019 20:09 utc | 33

As anyone with some contact with computing knows (using a laptop should be sufficient), information processing power comes from small size of processing units and their number. In a living mammal, the but has some trillions of bacteria in the gut, and this is the source of ideas for some (they pull them out of their anus), used sparingly it yields a few megacretins, but we use most of them, we can reach teracretins and more. But if we assemble more than 1000 experts, politicians, commentators, bloggers etc., we can get petacrektins. I would need to check calculations, I think that we will not see exacretins.

Also, noble or not, which beasts of burden have sparse orange manes? Baltimore orioles do not count.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2019 20:39 utc | 34

I am not sure I agree with the author. The Ukraine call is definitely a bigger scandal than the Mueller's fishing trip, and it may sway some independents. Much depends on what Trump actually said, how he said it, etc, i.e. the actual phone recording will decide whether Democrats make the right decision to impeach this time.

Posted by: d dan | Sep 25 2019 20:39 utc | 35

@Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 25 2019 19:16 utc | 18

which has allowed him to get rather radical by US political norms

If pointing out the crucial problems the US society faces and adding solutions vis "getting radical by Us political norms", what is radical is not Bernie Sanders discourse, but "US political norms"

Painting him as radical contributes to avoid discussion of those crucial issues by US society.

https://twitter.com/BernieSanders/status/1176915518290182146


According with Ivan Redondo ( in an interview with Pablo Iglesias for the program "Otra Vuelta de Tuerka" ) current chief of staff of President ( in functions ) of Spain, Sánchez, and "spin doctor" ( a la Surkov...) in fashion in Spain now, who so advices the right of the Popular Party, as advices the fake left of PSOE, the past Sanders campaign was the best designed and he points at the merit of having placed many issues on national debate that were long abscent from it and strongly due to do it...

On Ivan Redondo, Basque, formed at private jesuit Deusto University, and then at the US in political communication, presents himself as "respectful of all ideologies", amongst which he thinks "we must reach an agreement"...He assures, at his parents home there is of almost all ideologies ( although I very doubt that there is anyone of the left in his home...but I may be wrong...) and recommends reading the "suspicious", Freud, Nietzsche, Marx..if not for to learn....An interesting guy, no doubt...

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 25 2019 20:42 utc | 36

Sturm und Drangk the Kool-Aid

Elite malfeasance is not a crime if it's bi-partisan or part of covert ops.

But the 'gotcha!' shell game makes for great public entertainment.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2019 20:43 utc | 37

"Trump should be impeached for his crimes against Syria, Venezuela and Yemen" and the Muslim ban, and separating kids from parents at the US-Mexico border, the denial of asylum too.

Impeachment hearings will give Biden cover for his racism, jingoism, and his flailing memory.

Right Biden and son should be prosecuted for corruption by the USA, but that's true of Trump and his adult children too.

Trump stepped over line and invited Ukraine to work against the candidacy of Biden, doesn't matter what Biden foolishly said about the prosector in Ukraine.

Posted by: Jay | Sep 25 2019 20:44 utc | 38

@Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 20:20 utc | 37

One person can only make a difference if there is a party that is independent of the duopoly behind them.

But, is it at all possible in the US, with its current electoral system, present yourself as "independent" for presidential elections, out of the "duopoly"?

The system in Spain ( although not only of Spain...the "system"...) managed to thwart the popular support of even new third political force born out of the "15M Movement" ( kinda Occupy...) Podemos, by using a it of kabuki and political machinations amongst oligarchic powers and monarchy ( and I do not discard also US Embassy, as happened during the NATO referendum... )....Sánchez flew to have dinner with Macron as soon as he won the past presidential elections...the same night!

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 25 2019 20:59 utc | 39

DNC just got scared that their front man Biden's dirt is being on the front page.
ANYTHING to deflect the attention NOW. They dont think about long term fallout anyway.

Beautiful. Now that Trump after some years more and more realizes he is indeed president, we may finally see some of his promises full filled in the coming years. Only question is at what cost. But with Bibi and Bolton out, MBS shaky after Aramco attack, the neocons influence my finally decrease.
Though it may all end out much worse we can imagine. We will see.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Sep 25 2019 21:00 utc | 40

News reports are saying that Pelosi changed her position on impeachment because Democrats representing Trump districts suddenly changed to a pro-impeachment position. Pelosi and Schumer bend over backwards to accommodate these Republicans posing as Democrats, using them as their excuse for not getting anything meaningful done.

When it became obvious to them that Trump was going all out for Biden, their savior, I believed they got spooked, seeing their reelection chances plummet if anyone but Biden got the nomination. So of course Pelosi stepped in, as she always does for corrupt, corporate Democrats, and tried to preempt the Ukraine investigation. It may well backfire.

Democrats will spend the next six months trying to make Trump the issue. Republicans will spend the next six months making Biden's corruption the issue. Because Ukraine is such a swamp of corruption, the facts of the matter will remain murky. Ukrainian politicians are likely to say whatever the person controlling the purse strings wants them to say. Back then, it was Obama/Biden. Now it's Trump … until it becomes obvious that Trump won't control the money.

In the process let's hope that a lot of dirty laundry about how the US conducts foreign policy gets aired. One of the major goals of US foreign policy is to promote US business abroad … and any politician would prefer that his supporters and donors get helped the most … which means that tacit, corrupt quid pro quos are the norm.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 25 2019 21:00 utc | 41

@37 peter au... thanks.. how is it working out in australia since you voted? has the system reverted to another duopoly?

@46 d dan... did you watch the 1 1/2 minute video on biden speaking that b shared up above and i am again sharing in this link here? check it out and let us know what you think..

@49 jay.. i agree it was a mistake on trumps part, but biden is caught in a much more serious bind as i see it.. ultimately this impeachment idea of pelosi's is very dead in the water and will sink biden too.. maybe that is the point?

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2019 21:13 utc | 42

@Posted by: Sasha | Sep 25 2019 20:42 utc | 47

According to Ivan Redondo at that interview, the Sanders campaign in 2016 was the one really counterposed to that of Trump....
Thus, attacking Sanders now could equate campaigning for The Donald...hwen who must be attacked is Biden...

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 25 2019 21:20 utc | 43

Sasha
I do not know enough about the system in Spain to make any comment in that direction.

Re US and an independent president. The two party system or duopoly would take an independent
down immediately using impeachment.
Impeachment is somewhat different to criminal investigation and trial. A claim can be made and
is voted on first by congress. If enough votes it then goes to the senate who vote as to guilty
or not.
For any president to survive, they must have backers in either the congress or senate.


https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/09/open-thread-on-the-effort-to-expel-trump-from-office-through-impeachment.html
"It takes a simple majority (218) for the House of Representatives to pass a bill of
impeachment against any federal official. The Democrats have 232 seats in the present
congress. The Bill (equivalent to an indictment) then is transferred to the US Senate
where the impeached person is tried before the US Senate with the Chief Justice of the
United State presiding.. 2/3 of the senators must vote for conviction for that to occur.
Two presidents have been impeached. None has been convicted."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 21:22 utc | 44

james

Biden is in no trouble. He is/will make the case that the removal of the Ukrainian prosecutor was supported by many people and allies that saw the prosecutor as slow/unwilling to tackle corruption in Ukraine.

This is whole thing is truly a nothing-burger distraction from the fact that we are on the cusp of war.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2019 21:29 utc | 45

When Joe Biden's son, Hunter was appointed to the board of Burisma, the Vice-President's spokesperson described Hunter as just "a private citizen".

In case anyone believes that the Ukrainian company appointed Hunter Biden purely on merit (and not because of who his father is), there are a few things that should be considered:

- Hunter had no previous experience either in eastern Europe or in the gas industry.

- His appointement was made just a few days before his Dad visited Ukraine:

"Company documents in Cyprus show that Joe Biden's son, R. Hunter Biden, became a member of the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, which describes itself as Ukraine's largest private natural gas producer, on April 18."
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/maxseddon/bidens-son-polish-ex-president-quietly-sign-on-to-ukrainian

- Joe Biden gave a speech during his visit, in which he encouraged Ukraine's 'energy security'( to Ukrainian Legislators in Kiev on April 22, 2014).

- The day before that speech (three days after Hunter's appointment), the White House announced that the USA would help with Ukraine's 'energy security' by sending expert teams in the following weeks. The aim was "to help Ukraine meet immediate and longer term energy needs" and “to increase conventional gas production from existing fields to boost domestic energy supply".
https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/21/fact-sheet-us-crisis-support-package-ukraine

The Democrats have made a big mistake by drawing attention to the Bidens' interests in Ukraine.

Posted by: Brendan | Sep 25 2019 21:33 utc | 46

Ukraine is right next to Russia. it’s easy to get them confused.

Posted by: guest | Sep 25 2019 21:35 utc | 47

When Joe Biden's son, Hunter was appointed to the board of Burisma, the Vice-President's spokesperson described Hunter as just "a private citizen".

In case anyone believes that the Ukrainian company appointed Hunter Biden purely on merit (and not because of who his father is), there are a few things that should be considered:

- Hunter had no previous experience either in eastern Europe or in the gas industry.

- His appointement was made just a few days before his Dad visited Ukraine:

"Company documents in Cyprus show that Joe Biden's son, R. Hunter Biden, became a member of the board of directors of Burisma Holdings, which describes itself as Ukraine's largest private natural gas producer, on April 18."
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/maxseddon/bidens-son-polish-ex-president-quietly-sign-on-to-ukrainian

- Joe Biden gave a speech during his visit, in which he encouraged Ukraine's 'energy security'( to Ukrainian Legislators in Kiev on April 22, 2014).

- The day before that speech (three days after Hunter's appointment), the White House announced that the USA would help with Ukraine's 'energy security' by sending expert teams in the following weeks. The aim was "to help Ukraine meet immediate and longer term energy needs" and “to increase conventional gas production from existing fields to boost domestic energy supply".
https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2014/04/21/fact-sheet-us-crisis-support-package-ukraine

The Democratics have made a big mistake by drawing attention to the Bidens' interests in Ukraine.

Posted by: Brendan | Sep 25 2019 21:36 utc | 48

the people at the dnc don't really care about winning, they just have to make sure the dollars keep rolling in, and that people like gabbard and sanders lose. to that end, they try political grandstanding like talking about impeaching trump and keeping russiagate alive.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 25 2019 21:42 utc | 49

Yeah, straight back to the duopoly. Greens always get a few votes but they're no different.
Put a vote on a long shot one time. He had a falling out with his side of the duopoly
and set up a new party. Gained the ballance of power and all roads from both sides of the
duopoly led to his door. Literally he sat back in his chair, big obese clown shirt half
unbuttoned and held court there. In the end the duopoly caved in and gave him the required
permits for to run a rail line from a new coal mine he was kicking of to the coast.
Straight away he was one of the boys again, and those of his party that had been
elected left him and become independents.
Entertaining while it lasted though.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 21:43 utc | 50

from Pelosi statement:
"The president has admitted to asking the president of Ukraine to take actions which would benefit him politically. The actions of the Trump presidency revealed dishonorable facts of betrayal of his oath of office and betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections.'

presidential oath of office: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." It comes from Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.

So:
>It's not clear why a US president asking a foreign president to investigate the actions of an American to cause the firing of a prosecutor is wrong.
>The only way such an investigation could benefit Trump politically is if that American (Biden) had done something wrong.
>So obviously Biden did do something wrong.
>Therefore we must conclude that wrongdoing by Americans in other countries must not be publicized because that might affect elections.
>Americans voters should not be allowed access to information about US politicians acting badly in foreign countries, and any president who requests such information should be impeached.
>The integrity of our elections requires the withholding of some information from voters, when it impacts badly on Democrats.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 25 2019 21:46 utc | 51

Oh the irony of the Democrats building their impeachment case on information from a whistleblower. After the record shattering prosecutions of the Obama Presidency, I didn't think there were any left.
This instance of Biden's oral incontinence is just one reason he's a poor choice. Besides being on the wrong side of history on every issue of importance, according to another whistleblower Edward Snowden, Biden was responsible for EU nations denying him asylum and was the primary reason he ended up in Russia.

Posted by: CD Waller | Sep 25 2019 21:47 utc | 52

Further to my comment @56

Those who thought that timing of the attack on Saudi oil installations had not benefited Netanyahu might want to reconsider.

Netanyahu Tapped By Israel's President To Form Government After Deadlocked Election.

Netanyahu's coalition was given the nod because they have 55 seats to the other side's 54.

There's still some question about whether Netanyahu can form a governing coalition. But Netanyahu now has 42 days to convince his former Defense Minister(!) Lieberman (who heads the Yisrael Beiteinu Party) to join the coalition led by Likud.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

The Countdown to War with Iran has begun?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2019 21:52 utc | 53

I find it impossible to believe the narrative we are being fed that politicians with decades of experience with shrewdness and the swamp of DC under their belts could possibly step on their own dicks this many times in a row by accident. This has the feel of being orchestrated reality TV playing to the Trump victim narrative that barely pushed him over the hump in 2016.

Posted by: sorghum | Sep 25 2019 21:52 utc | 54

And impeachment provides another topic to help avoid discussion of the Empire, its wars, and the financial burden it places on everything. The very sour state of the Empire's economy was mentioned above; in that light, I suggest this excellent if somewhat technical essay, as a multitude at the bar have voiced their approval of the topic: "Are We Approaching the End of Super Imperialism?"

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 25 2019 21:53 utc | 55

sorghum @65

Yup. Well said.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25 2019 21:53 utc | 56

Jackrabbit
I reckon we are going to see Netanyahu but with Lieberman who is worse (more homicidal lunacy) even than nutty, calling some of the shots.
I think it was Lieberman behind the downing of the Russian plane.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 21:56 utc | 57

@56 jr... well, i hear what you are saying and maybe you are correct, but if pelosi is trying to hang trump on a set up of the usa holding money off to ukraine - biden has openly admitted to doing the same thing to get rid of a prosecutor - after he was out of his vp role in office.. but he is referring to his past actions in the video b shared...

yes, i note saudi-usa back to bombing yemen.. the idea of war on iran doesn't ever seem to go away...late october are my astro view on when thing heat up intensely again..

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2019 21:57 utc | 58

he should be impeached
his latest outrage:

'US President Donald Trump has moved to suspend Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's senior officials, relatives, and others who receive financial benefits from entering into the US in Wednesday press release from the White House.

Citing a "political and humanitarian crisis" committed by Caracas, the White House Office of the Press Secretary issued a "suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons who threaten Venezuela's democratic institutions."

The move comes as the latest effort from the Trump administration to oust Venezuela's president. '

https://sputniknews.com/latam/201909261076891443-trump-bars-senior-members-of-maduro-government-families-from-entering-us/?utm_source=https://t.co/NOd6WLNHtH?amp=1&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=9RTM&utm_campaign=URL_shortening">https://t.co/NOd6WLNHtH?amp=1&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=9RTM&utm_campaign=URL_shortening">https://sputniknews.com/latam/201909261076891443-trump-bars-senior-members-of-maduro-government-families-from-entering-us/?utm_source=https://t.co/NOd6WLNHtH?amp=1&utm_medium=short_url&utm_content=9RTM&utm_campaign=URL_shortening

Posted by: brian | Sep 25 2019 22:01 utc | 59

This is my go to site now for real news and evaluation, thanks b. The overall thread here fits my perceptions in many ways except for the elephant in the room and that is the tremendous influence (power) that the Zionist/Neocon/Israeli Fifth column has over US government, political parties, media and foreign governments. Why is this so lightly touched on here or dismissed as “corporate interests”? Is this site vulnerable to those special interests or $$? Or are there so many shills here ready to destroy anyone mentioning it? I guess I will see?

Posted by: John Sanguinetti | Sep 25 2019 22:02 utc | 60

Don Bacon @62--

Bravo!! Your next pint's on me! I merely stated no impeachable offense was committed while you laid out the illogic of it all!

As with Bill Clinton's impeachment, none of the Articles focused on the genuine crimes he committed, and the same will prove true with Trump. Lots of Jonesing for Pence as POTUS, a desire by many D-Partyites since Trump's win. My guess is the election will occur before the trial's resolved in the Senate if it even gets that far.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 25 2019 22:06 utc | 61

After 3 years of the Democrates being totally up their own asses, I've come to the sad conclusion that they must be paid to lose, there's simply no rational explanation for how insane they've behaving, 3 or 4 crazy Democrates shouting at trees is one thing, but there's not one Democrat pointing out how deranged they've been behaving. I can only imagine that their campaign contributors are laughing into their sleeves as they wright one check to the Republicans and then a slightly smaller one for the Democrates.

Posted by: Kadath | Sep 25 2019 22:11 utc | 62

John Sanguinetti
Israel does have strong influence on the US.
I have noticed that many who would like to concentrate on just that aspect in anything that happens,
Try to place all blame on Israel and depict the US as an innocent baby led astray.
It was a conscious choice for the US to side with Israel and unless the yanks can clean up their act,
there will always be an Israel.
In fact there are many Israels behind anything political in the US.
To name them all is just a matter of looking up who puts money into politics, be it sponsorship or
lobbying or has in any way a hold over one or more elected politicians.
You will find that virtually nobody can run for a public office in the US and hope to win without
having a sugar daddy.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 25 2019 22:17 utc | 63

Please, see this excellent interview of The Duran:
"BIDEN SCANDAL EXPLODES: UKRAINE FRACKING, MONEY LAUNDERING, BANK OF CHINA PAYOFFS" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxk9Pnw4tbM

Posted by: Joerg | Sep 25 2019 22:27 utc | 64

It's pronounced "Yuuuge"

Posted by: Jezabeel | Sep 25 2019 22:31 utc | 65

With Gabbard now making it to the next debate the CORPORATE Dems are running scared. Gabbard will be taking someone out, perhaps it'll be either Warren or Biden: maybe "Beto" or "Pete" just to put a stake in the hearts of these clowns (Harris is already fatally wounded- just waiting for her to finally drop).

Posted by: Seer | Sep 25 2019 18:37

Tulsi is making up for all those years wasted in the medical unit and shines in her new job: bomb throwing. One bomb hit Kamala the hanging prosecutor, the most recent "we are not Saudi prostitutes" is even better. I would most sincerely ask people here to contribute to her campaign and see your pennies at work. Of course, if you would rather see debates full of establishment collegiality then you should not do it.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2019 22:43 utc | 66

One of the reasons that I doubt Biden's version of the story stems from my experience in Venezuela. After Chavez took power, Venezuelans told me that he had found that a critical subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA was basically a CIA shop. The names of CIA on the Board of Directors were not just ordinary CIA, but were recognizable figures at the very top. To me this is entirely plausible. Control of oil is critical to US global hegemony. And what better way to control foreign oil than to have trusted American asset sit on the BOD?
This brings us to Hunter Biden's appointment to Ukrainian energy giant Burisma. After the coup in 2014, why wouldn't Biden want a trusted asset on the board of the biggest natural gas producer in Ukraine? IOW it was unpublicized standard operating procedure.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 25 2019 22:48 utc | 67

"For decades there has been a “catch me if you can” quality about Donald Trump, skipping from casino bankruptcies to fraudulent universities to porn actor payoffs."
True---
But that may be coming to a end.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 25 2019 22:57 utc | 68

Thank you Piotr Berman #77, I share that view with you. Tulsi Gabbard is changing the debate and corporate Dems AND Repugs are terrified of a wave.

I see that Bernie's moment is coming where he will have to choose to either step in line as a sheepdog or take a truly independent path. He is unlikely to run again in 4 years and given the vice grip that these corporate Democrat party thugs have on the machine it may well be time for a leader to go on strike against the machine and run as a people's president.

Tulsi is running hard and I dont expect her to break ranks but I do not see her capitulating as a sheep dog either given her profound focus on messages that the USA working and middle class support. They both need to consider their power and risk in taking direct action in this campaign when the watershed moment arises.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 25 2019 23:05 utc | 69

It is funny, The Dems spent 4 years trying to find the stain on the dress for Trump and impeach him for lying about it - and it seems that they have absolutely no other idea how to get into power.
There is an election next year, and still they prefer to shoot themselves in the foot rather than appeal to voters. Step one of course would be to listen to voters - the ones telling them to shut up about impeachment and find a candidate under 65 with electable policies.
In that sense the inevitable departure of Biden is good for the Dems.

Why is it so hard for Democrats to understand this?

Is the key question. Psychiatrists would call it projection. The Dems seem to take everything bad that they get accused of and accuse the oppo early. Thus
The Russia smears on Trump came right after internal research told Hillary that she was vulnerable to corruption charges over Uranium One. (it is to the Trump campaign's great credit that they did not respond to the silly Russia gate charges by Hillary by pointing to the far more serious and credible corruption charges against HRC and the $145 million payment to the Clinton foundation by the guy that was permitted by HRC to sell his Uranium stake to Russia's Rosatom. Rather Trump ignored media chat and stuck to his message to voters - essentially that the Dems had abandoned the working man and that Trump at least listened to them.)

And clear criminal behaviour by Biden with Ukraine is the model to accuse Trump in the Biden coverup (though surely he gets ditched now - the Chinese $1 billion to the hedge fund run by Biden's son + Kerry Step-son + big drugs criminal and murder, Whitey Bulger's nephew is just dynamite - just wait till we get to discussing why Obama never faced down China over trade!!).

Has to be said that with all this media power but no policies the Dems are doing appallingly badly, with much of the blowback from the Mueller inquiry yet to hit them.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Sep 25 2019 23:09 utc | 70

That's a rather macabre balancing act that the creatures in DC are performing. They are certainly a strange lot. I wonder just how badly the faction being represented by the DNC and Democratic Party actually screwed up (on a global/cosmic scale that is). Because, they sure do seem to be stuck in freak out mode. I mean, it is a known fact that Obama, and Biden, were directly responsible for the Kiev coup (I'm sorry, but anyone who believes otherwise really needs a little cognitive adjustment therapy), so that's not really a bombshell. Everyone already knows that Clinton was on point for the Arab Spring and the Libya debacle (to include bumping off a US diplomat), not to mention in on the ground floor of the entire aggression against Syria (and possibly had a finger in the aggression against Yemen). So, these things are in no way able to be considered secrets (even if they do ammount to Nuremberg style war crimes). What else could these ridiculous creatures possibly be afraid of people finding out about, which would prompt them to behave so aggressively towards someone who merely mentions 'maybe looking into somebody's something'?

Posted by: Josh | Sep 25 2019 23:16 utc | 71

Of all the various misdeeds committed by the Trump government over the last few years within US borders and without, the one crime Nancy Pelosi decides to go after Trump over turns out not only a non-crime but it is not even a pale shadow of a more egregious incident in which Joe Biden, while US Vice-President, pressured the Ukrainian government under Porky Pig Poroshenko to sack Viktor Shokin as Prosecutor General for launching an investigation into possibly corrupt activities of Burisma Holdings and in particular of one of its directors who happens to be Joe Biden's son, Hunter.

Incidentally wasn't a major shareholder of Burisma Holdings at one time (if not currently) the notorious Ihor Kolomoisky, governor of Dnepropetrovsk region in mid-2014, about the time that the Malaysia Airlines Boeing passenger jet fell from the sky in a region where Burisma Holdings had been granted a licence to explore and prospect for shale oil?

Incidentally Dmitri Alperovich, CEO of Crowdstrike, the cyber-security company that worked for the DNC during the 2016 Presidential election campaign, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and its Digital Forensics Research Lab where Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat is a non-resident advisor.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 25 2019 23:20 utc | 72

Dims Repugs
Pepsi Pepsi Lite

Hint:
They are both capitalist ideologies.
Reformist politics is so far in the rear view mirror, it will soon disappear.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 25 2019 23:23 utc | 73

God, even the real news network is descending into madness over this Trump impeachment, they just interviewed Elie Mystal & Alexandra Flores-Quilty and they have drunk the cool-aid so hard they are basically convulsing on the floor. According to them investigating Joe Biden's video confession of extortion is a crime but Joe Biden's extortion is perfectly fine. I feel that the Democrats' real problem with Trump is that he ended their corruption financing plan for the future. I would like to add Trump just replaced the Democrats corruption plan with his own, but OOPS, the Democrats haven't provided any evidence of that, instead they spent 3 years trying to prove something that never happened. Millions of dollars, millions of manhours of political discourse and newsmedia coverage, all of it wasted. Those hours could have been used discussing foreign policy, economic policy, healthcare policy, industrial policy, environment policy but nope. Instead the Democrats chased a ghost for 3 years and now the Democrats have just signalled that they will spend the next 6 months trying to impeach Trump for investigating Joe Biden's corruption. The American people have, in effect, been defrauded of their political leadership time, how do the Democrats think this will go over with the American voters in 2020.

Posted by: Kadath | Sep 25 2019 23:32 utc | 74

@ karlof1 66
impeachment provides another topic to help avoid discussion of the Empire, its wars,

Yes, the congress-critters get to enjoy a well-paying job with an annual salary of $174,000 and increase their already high likelihood of getting re-elected if they don't do anything notable that people might not like, but only play politics and sound important on presidential betrayals like (quoting Pelosi) "betrayal of our national security and betrayal of the integrity of our elections."

Dems don't take the A Train, they take the B Trail! . . .sorry, I couldn't resist a corny joke (again)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 25 2019 23:41 utc | 75

emptywheel spin on it.

crowdstrike as benevolent neutral player relaying info....

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2019 23:46 utc | 76

Sorry if this seems OT but could it be part of the rush to impeachment scenario?
I had to hunt this up on the last open thread:

Ukrainian state investigations bureau opens criminal proceedings
against Maidan commander and self-proclaimed slavic aryan Andriy Parubiy -
for organizing the 2014 attack on pro-Russian activists during Odesa riots,
by which 50 of them died while trapped in a burning building.
https://twitter.com/jonathbruns/status/1176117417371721728

Oh, yeah! I hope this is not a farce... The only way Ukraine could anytime
be a normal country again is by making a good housecleaning, and that starts
by eliminating what most stinks....even since here...

Justice for the Odessa martyrs now!
Posted by: Sasha | Sep 23 2019 19:35 utc | 247

Posted by: juliania | Sep 25 2019 23:57 utc | 77

Just wondering who is spying on Trump? Maybe a country which is supposed to be an ally of the US is spying on the US, Trump and other US government officials? Can anyone name that country possibly ...?

It could be payback time for Trump because he fired Bolton! Just a thought ....

Posted by: Maverik | Sep 25 2019 23:58 utc | 78

Someone has mentioned here or elsewhere that the real impeachable crimes were
those which took place when Ukraine was taken over by coup back in the Obama
years - and that to me is indeed where matters might be trending with the
above investigation. Trump's transcripted comments reveal this also.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 26 2019 0:07 utc | 79

Trump is a 6 times bankrupt scammer from Queens, who has a bad habit of lying, among other things.
Might be an ideal position for him ("President"), as the government can't go bankrupt.
Might be an ideal President in the End Stage Capitalism of the current moment.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/live-updates/general-election/real-time-fact-checking-and-analysis-of-the-first-presidential-debate/fact-check-has-trump-declared-bankruptcy-four-or-six-times/

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 26 2019 0:09 utc | 80

I made search "Biden six hours" and a relatively informative hit is from Atlantic Magazine. The author got inter-collegial golden medal for mental calisthenics (if he did not, that's a shame). He provides elaborate explanation of these event:
-------
Biden told the story himself at a Council on Foreign Relations event in 2018:

I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a bitch. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.

To summarize, Biden threatened to withhold aid if the prosecutor wasn’t fired, and he was. Importantly, Biden was not freelancing, but was acting as a representative of President Barack Obama.
-------
If nothing else, compared with Biden in his pre-senile period, Trump is embodiment of tact and soft approach. But how about legality? Humiliating governments of foreign countries and forcing them to abase, at least overtly (I will come to that later), is an essential part of the mission of American Administration (this is how the government is described in USA). But it should be done for the country, not for the family, even as dear as the first-born son. Was there any connection between Biden family and investigations by prosecutors in Ukraine? Well, quote number two:
------
in spring 2014, when Hunter Biden, then–Vice President Joe Biden’s son, took a seat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural-gas company, not long after the fall of Kremlin-tied President Viktor Yanukovych. Burisma’s owner was Mykola Zlochevsky, who’d been a minister in the Yanukovych government. In February 2015, Viktor Shokin became Ukraine’s prosecutor general, and said he would investigate Burisma. [Shokin was the fired prosecutor]
------
Some naive people would think that the article would conclude that Biden should be impeached in those times, like Spiro Agnew, the impeached vice president (this is how Gerald Ford became President, first Agnew was removed, so Congressman Ford became Vice-President Ford, and the Nixon resigned). Naive plebeians!! Read more:
------
But the international community came to view Shokin as too weak on corruption, despite his promises to investigate wrongdoing. [...] In effect, Biden’s pressure to install a tougher prosecutor probably made it more likely, not less, that Burisma would be in the cross hairs. But since then, the Ukrainian government has not produced any evidence of wrongdoing by Burisma, and the current prosecutor general said in May there was none. [The new, tough prosecutors within few months found out, totally impartially, that Burisma is all legit, and strangely enough, $166k/month paid to Hunter Biden's consulting company ended shortly after, so they collected ca. 1 million.]
-------
I read it and I think: is it just the fact that i was born and raised in the same region as Ukraine that I cannot understand how that stuff could be written and published with a straight face? The chief prosecutor was fired on the spot upon the demand of a Very Powerful Person, and the other prosecutors are supposed to touch the matters related to his son? Are they suicidal?

In any case, "tough prosecution of corrupted businesses" are practiced widely in my native region, and the targets are strangely overlapping with the opponents of the government, be it Ukraine, Russia, Poland or Bulgaria. To understand the reason you need to probe the depth of Slavic souls (something like that would never happen in Anglo-Saxonia). Thus the largest surprise of "tough prosecutions in Ukraine" were the actions against one of the fathers of Maidan movement, certain Kolomoysky, who sponsored some volunteer battalions from his private funds. Yet he quarreled with then president Poroshenko and was stripped of his control over national gas distribution (lazy to check details) and his bank, while ingrate volunteers in "his battalions" did not defend him at all. But Fortuna is fickle, now Poroshenko is out and Kolomoysky is the Godfather of the entire Ukraine. The strangest aspect is that after all Bidenian victories in the fight for tough impartial law enforcement in Ukraine, the corruption, the conduct of the top prosecutors etc. were chief topics in the campaign of the current president, while the former campaign on "Faith, Language, Army".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 26 2019 0:18 utc | 81

A lot of yapping in the press about quid pro quo, bad news against Biden in exchange for military funds, but Trump's primary antagonist Rep. Schiff implies that there has been no quid pro quo: "There is no quid pro quo necessary to betray your country or your oath of office. Even though many read this as a quid pro quo, I'm not concerned whether it is a quid pro quo or not.” . . .here.

Then Schiff goes on to tell us that he knows how Ukrainians think, what they understand without being told. "Ukraine understood exactly what was being asked of it. . ." And this is the basis of the impeachment, this amateur psychoanalysis of what Zelensky thinks, based upon....nothing.

The all-knowing Schiff is 1 of 6 key chairs tasked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with presenting evidence for the House's formal impeachment inquiry.

Compare the two individuals:
>Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelensky born 25 January 1978) is a Ukrainian actor, comedian, television writer, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, film director, and politician serving as the 6th President of Ukraine since May 2019. Prior to his political career, he obtained a degree in law and created a production company, Kvartal 95, which produces films, cartoons and TV comedy shows.
>Adam Schiff, born June 22, 1960 (age 59), has a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, was an assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, and then a politician.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 26 2019 0:25 utc | 82

Hint:
The Russian State was founded in the Ukraine:
Rurik dynasty
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rurik_dynasty

"Chernigov, Vladimir-Suzdal, and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, and the founders of the Tsardom of Russia. They ruled until 1610 and the Time of Troubles, following which they were succeeded by the Romanovs. They are one of Europe's oldest royal houses, with numerous existing cadet branches."

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Sep 26 2019 0:26 utc | 83

The Republicans' impeachment of Clinton wasn't a huge mistake, politically speaking. The Republicans' raving for years about Clinton's emails, Benghazi and Clinton Cash, which is the same hysterical treason hunting, wasn't a huge mistake, politically speaking.

The only reason to pretend this will be a huge mistake, politically speaking, is the fixed determination to pretend Trump actually won the election because he's a supergenius. The servility of this Donald-worship is all too plain.

The proper charges, such as malfeasance in the abuse of children in border camps, or nonfeasance in neglect of administrative duties like actually nominating officials, or misfeasance in diverting military funds have great potential to energize opposition, including against Republican senators who vote to acquit. A charge of conduct unbecoming may sound political, but racist abuse of whole groups of the people is a political act which demands a political remedy. The notion that impeachment is a trial for criminal acts is nonsense. A count for violation of the emoluments clause or obstruction of justice can go in too. But basically people who love Trump are cryptofascists who want a dictator. Lack of moral values is an asset for that job, not a liability.

Impeachment matters in the context. As impeachment is pursued, so too should other issues. For example...The idiot law allowing Trump to play war with tariffs should be repealed. An amendment for popular election should be entered now, and campaigns in all fifty states should be vigorously pursued, even to the point of bruiting another constitutional convention. The Federal Reserve should be revisited.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Sep 26 2019 0:30 utc | 84

Best article I've seen on the subject! Thanks.

One minor comment: Trump (and Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Reagan . . . ) should have been impeached not only for international crimes, but also for stealing money from the 99% and giving it to the 1%, for covering up such inside jobs as 9/11 and the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK and hundreds of others, for gradually eroding our liberties, for gradually making a mockery of the justice system, and, above all, for destroying the biosphere--and this is just a partial list.

Posted by: Moti Nissnia | Sep 26 2019 0:39 utc | 85

Peter AU 1 #74, John Sanguinetti #71

Welcome John to our rabbithole. The landscape is well lit down here and one thing is certain, Israel and indeed all the five eyes ARE the empire that surrounds us and much of humanity. The USA commands the game. That's just it some people don't get too obsessed by Israels role, they just see it (and the other of the five eye vassals)slavering willingness to be part of the slaughter of humanity.

BUT the USA commands the game (for now).

One of our barflies 'O' would often remind us of the zionazi threat but he appears to be on leave just now. There are others.

I find it helpful to see the empire as a global collective of oligarchs and thieves across many nations.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 26 2019 1:05 utc | 86

A few of us said when Trump was inaugurated that he needed to investigate Hillary Clinton's law breaking while SoS, and if he didn't he'd come to regret it. Well, we're just a little more than 13 months away from the 2020 election, and now it's too late. One last point. The Current Oligarchy certainly signed off and said go ahead Nancy, as this imbroglio will further fracture the polity such that it can't attain Critical Mass and allows the Current Oligarchy to continue Dividing and Ruling.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 26 2019 1:05 utc | 87

CD Waller @63

"Oh the irony of the Democrats building their impeachment case on information from a whistleblower. After the record shattering prosecutions of the Obama Presidency, I didn't think there were any left.."

the biggest whistleblower in history is sitting in a UK prison right now (Assange), the second biggest (Chelsea Manning) has recently been arrested again, and the other big whistleblower is of course residing in exile in Moscow (Snowden)


a poor record indeed of america paying attention to and rewarding its real whistle-blowers (correct you are about Obama-biden administration, worst in US history for harassing journalists and w-blowers. ever)

the democrats are hypocrites and liars, of course Trump is all that and a knave and war criminal himself, too, but none of the so called forthcoming fake articles of impeachment will have anything to do with the real world we live in - the coups /coup attempts, the starvation sanctions, and the mass murder (poor Yemen particularly) by the trump-pence-bolton-pompeo administration


Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 26 2019 1:14 utc | 88

Forget the upcoming election. At some point, these politicians need to be held to account. Trump, the uber narcissist that he is, is a wrecking ball who blatantly/regularly lies, cheats, and demeans the term 'public servant' to a depth (aka shit hole) we thought was impossible to achieve. The Mueller/Russia story was a nothing burger that I never supported, but this Ukraine business is yet another example of how Trump believes that he is above the law, using his office to benefit himself. I don't care if other Presidents have done the same; at some point enough is enough. And not as a Democrat, Republican or Independent, but as a US citizen who expects politicians to work on our behalf and do so lawfully, and with some level of integrity. Hell, we don't even know what's in his taxes and how his investments shake-out overseas. As far as I'm concerned he could be working numerous "wink wink" deals for his post-Presidential life when his focus will (continue to) be lining his pockets. Politics be damned, enough is enough. Get this charlatan out of here already!

Posted by: Buzz | Sep 26 2019 1:22 utc | 89

@James #87
Crowdstrike founder is Atlantic Council and deeply embedded with the DNC.
Very hard to say that they're "neutral"

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 26 2019 1:22 utc | 90

c1ue
James @87 is proving that this is, indeed, russiagate warmed over. That is why our old friends Marcy (Empty)wheeler and Crowdstrike, both of whom were present at the creation of the original nothingburger are back again dressing up this one. Some people never learn. And some just won't stop trying-so long as the work's well paid.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 26 2019 1:31 utc | 91

sorghum @65

"This has the feel of being orchestrated reality TV playing to the Trump victim narrative that barely pushed him over the hump in 2016."

Trum[p]an Show

Posted by: pogohere | Sep 26 2019 1:42 utc | 92

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Tuesday that the House would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to tarnish a rival for his own political gain.


not one to defend trump against his trade wars and many silly foreign policies but enlisting steele for the russiagate is of course not enlisting foreign (steele) and domestic (comey) power entities to tarnish a rival and avoid crimes for their own political gain in an election, well this is called bluffing and posturing. though it might seem like wrestling, they are trying to clear the air first of biden's fault before this topic comes on his campaign trail.

Posted by: jason | Sep 26 2019 1:48 utc | 93

you guys miss the point.. The he done it, no she done it <=argument is about divide and conquer.. 340,050,000 voters .. except for the exceptional 50,000 voters, half for the Democraps, the other half for the Reputaturds.. means the outcome of the vote looks like this

Reputaturds 140,000,000 votes
Democraps 140,000,000 votes
Exceptionals determine the election outcome.

so 50,000 exceptionals (government employees, wealthy oligarchs, the military industry complex, and the CIA) determine election outcomes.
The reason for impeachment and the Biden Criminality show is to maintain and polarize the 50/50 divided vote so the exceptionals can control the election outcome. Remember Article II, sections [2-5] of the Constitution of the United States of America as amended by amendments 12 and 20, means Americans cannot vote for either President or the Vice President..<=why, because the President and Vice-President are elected by the electoral college, not by popular direct vote of the voters. The entire Presidential campaign is a sham, a multi million dollar show, with its intention to be sure the 50/50 vote cancels all opportunity for the voters to make a change. The 50/50 vote is maintained to be sure the voters for each of the two sides hate the voters and icon candidates that are presented by the other side. This 50/50 division of the voters in USA elections allows the exceptionals to always control election outcomes.

One way to change American election outcomes might be to refuse to accept check the box ballot voting
check the box to vote fore [] Mickey Crimepays (Democrap) or [] Sally OrganizedCrime (Reputaturd) that appears on every ballot,

instead write on the ballet the candidates name. For example you might write on the ballet the following "I nominate and cast my vote for Sue Whodoneit, 2020 Best Brew Lane, Witchville, Florida, 32303 to serve as the next elected President of the United States of America. Write in candidate Mrs Sue Whodoneit gets my vote; I expect all votes she gets to be counted in this election and again I state, this ballot rejects all candidates who names are preprinted on this ballot.

Posted by: snake | Sep 26 2019 1:49 utc | 94

Snake:
1. Check the arithmetic. It is often neglected, but as of now, vote tallies are supposed to add to the total. E.g. if there were 340.05 M votes, and two parties got 140M each, there are 60.05 other votes, a tad too many to be all exceptional.
2. Check your attitude. To you, voting is all about dance, ballet of candidates where you can write the name of your favorite ballerina. Serious people use ballots.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 26 2019 2:52 utc | 95

Trump brought some of this onto himself by kicking Russia into the gutter with sanctions and military moves while sucking up to the Obama/Clinton new Ukraine government with military aid, and no attempt to settle the mess according to Minsk 2. Trump thought his opposition might give him some credit for going against what he believed, and look at the result.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 26 2019 3:46 utc | 96

Don't forget Trump's crimes against Iran on that list!

Wow! What a defense of Trump! Maybe he'll hire you as his lawyer.

Lemme just say this: If Rudy Giuliani is involved doing Trump's dirty work, it's a conspiracy to commit campaign finance violations. Rudy and Trump are two sleazeballs cut from the same cloth.

There can only be an upside here: No more Trump. So just what are you up to with this piece?

Posted by: Circe | Sep 26 2019 3:49 utc | 97

My friend George Eliason has been writing about the CrowdStrike / Ukraine connection for years. I was searching Google for his latest article but found this summary on Reddit from 2018:

Cyberanalyst George Eliason Claims that the “Fancy Bear” Who Hacked the DNC Server is Ukrainian Intelligence – In League with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike

Cyberanalyst George Eliason has written some intriguing blogs recently claiming that the "Fancy Bear" which hacked the DNC server in mid-2016 was in fact a branch of Ukrainian intelligence linked to the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike. I invite you to have a go at one of his recent essays:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/who-is-fancy-bear-and-who-are-they-working-for/

Since I am not very computer savvy and don’t know much about the world of hackers - added to the fact that Eliason's writing is too cute and convoluted - I have difficulty navigating Eliason’s thought. Nonetheless, here is what I can make of Eliasons’ claims, as supported by independent literature:

Russian hacker Konstantin Kozlovsky, in Moscow court filings, has claimed that he did the DNC hack – and can prove it, because he left some specific code on the DNC server.

http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/366696-russian-hacker-claims-he-can-prove-he-hacked-dnc

Kozlovsky states that he did so by order of Dimitry Dokuchaev (formerly of the FSB, and currently in prison in Russia on treason charges) who works with the Russian traitor hacker group Shaltai Boltai.

https://www.newsweek.com/russian-hacker-stealing-clintons-emailshacking-dnc-putinsfsb-745555 (Note that Newsweek's title is an overt lie.)

According to Eliason, Shaltai Boltai works in collaboration with the Ukrainian hacker group RUH8, a group of neo-Nazis (Privat Sektor) who are affiliated with Ukrainian intelligence. And RUH8 is allied with the Atlantic Council and Crowdstrike.

https://off-guardian.org/2018/06/25/who-is-fancy-bear-and-who-are-they-working-for/

Cyberexpert Jeffrey Carr has stated that RUH8 has the X-Agent malware which our intelligence community has erroneously claimed is possessed only by Russian intelligence, and used by "Fancy Bear".

https://medium.com/@jeffreyscarr/the-gru-ukraine-artillery-hack-that-may-never-have-happened-820960bbb02d

Eliason has concluded that RUH8 is Fancy Bear.

This might help explain why Adam Carter has determined that some of the malware found on the DNC server was compiled AFTER Crowdstrike was working on the DNC server – Crowdstrike was in collusion with Fancy Bear (RUH8).

In other words, Crowdstrike likely arranged for a hack by Ukrainian intelligence that they could then attribute to Russia.

As far as I can tell, none of this is pertinent to how Wikileaks obtained their DNC emails, which most likely were leaked.

How curious that our Deep State and the recent Mueller indictment have had nothing to say about Kozlovsky's confession - whom I tend to take seriously because he offers a simple way to confirm his claim. Also interesting that the FBI has shown no interest in looking at the DNC server to check whether Kozlovsky's code is there.

I will ask Adam Carter for his opinion on this.


CrowdStrike is the focus of the Trump - Zelensky conversation. The impeachment crowd in the mainstream media has already twisted this to a "Biden probe". Behind CrowdStrike lie the real issues, Wikileaks and the murder of Seth Rich. No wonder Trump speaks about it so vaguely. How do you pronounce an ellipsis so that it gets recorded in a written transcript of a conversation?

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Sep 26 2019 4:04 utc | 98

Don Bacon @111--

Yeah, much as I said @99.

sanke @106--

Yes, as I wrote above, this act is designed to further factionalize the polity and deter the drive for Social Justice and an initial reversal of Neoliberalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 26 2019 4:16 utc | 99

There is a pattern in all this madness. Whether it is Trump, or Judge Kavanaugh, straw dogs are created by the Democrats in an attempt to bring them down. The curtain is never pulled back to expose their past actions or deeds and use that instead. This attack on Trump will go nowhere as long as he continues to serve the deep state. If Trump wanders too far from the script, he will fall because of trumped up charges over Ukraine or Russia collusion, not Nuremberg type crimes. Stalin show trials, this time not a tragedy but a farce.

Posted by: Tom | Sep 26 2019 4:31 utc | 100

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