Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 12, 2019

The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Two weeks ago we analyzed the consequences of an impeachment process of President Donal Trump. We found that the Democrats would lose by impeaching him and would therefore likely censure him instead. We were wrong. A week later Pelosi announced that she would  proceed with impeachment.

It was only today that I understood where I was wrong and what had since happened. Let me walk you through it.

The earlier conclusion was based on this table of possible outcomes of an impeachment resolution:

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

  • If the House votes down impeachment Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House holds no vote on the issue Donald Trump wins.
  • If the House votes for censure, Donald Trump will have won on points and the issue will be over.
  • If the House votes for impeachment the case goes to the Senate for trial.

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

  • It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
  • It can open a impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

Looking at the choices it is quite curious why Pelosi took that decision and so far there has been no in-depth explanation for it.

The rather short House Resolution (also here) Pelosi let pass has only two articles of impeachment of Trump. The issues over which he is supposed to be impeached are very limited:

Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia.
They say he then obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said that he did not know that Trump withheld the $400 million for Ukraine when he had the phone call with the president in which Trump asked him to dig into the Burisma/Biden affair. The request itself is legitimate as Biden has lots of dirt in Ukraine. But there was no quid-quo-pro and no bribery, at least not in the phone call the CIA 'whistleblower' and some of the witnesses complained about. Where then is the evidence that Trump abused his power?

The obstruction of Congress accusation is equally weak. Trump had rejected the House subpoenas to his staff because he wanted a judicial review of their legality. They might indeed infringe on certain presidential privileges. The court process would take several months but the Democrats simply do not want to wait that long. So who is really obstructing the legal process in this?

Law professor Jonathan Turley, who is not a Trump fan and had testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, finds both points the Democrats make extremely week:

For three years, the same Democratic leadership told the public that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were proven in the Mueller investigation. None of those crimes are now part of this impeachment.

Why? Because it would have been too easy an impeachment? Hardly.

Instead, the House will go forward on the only two plausible grounds that I outlined in my testimony - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Unlike the other claims, the problem is not with the legal basis for such impeachable offences but the evidentiary record.

This record remains both incomplete and conflicted. The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas rather than build a record to support such charges.
...
This is now the fastest investigation with the thinnest record supporting the narrowest impeachment in modern history.
...
The Democrats just gave Trump the best Christmas gift he could hope for under these two circumstances ...

Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached.

So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution?

The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core.

The House will then vote on it within the next week. The Senate will launch the impeachment trial in January.

Which brings me back to the possible outcomes table:

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

  • It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
  • It can open a impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.

The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous.

But Pelosi still took that way and allowed for only a very weak impeachment resolutions.

That led me to assume that a deal was made that allowed Pelosi to go that way. But there was no sign that such a deal was made.

Only today do we get the confirmation, as open as we will ever get it, that a deal has indeed been made. The Republican led Senate will not dig into the Democrats but will vote against impeachment without using the process to hit at the political enemy:

Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses, a plan that could clash with President Trump’s desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes would damage its political rivals.

Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus.

“I would say I don’t think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.), the chamber’s ­second-ranking Republican, told The Washington Post on Wednesday when asked whether Trump will get the witnesses he wants in an impeachment trial.
...
Most notably, a quick, clean trial is broadly perceived to be the preference of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who wants to minimize political distractions in an election year during which Republicans will be working to protect their slim majority in the chamber.

The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats.

The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi.

The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome.

The narrowness and weakness of the impeachment resolution that can not hurt the president was in exchange for a no-fuzz process in the Senate that will not dig into Biden and will not hurt the Democrats during next year's election.

That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached.

Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations.

Trump will loudly claim that he does not like that the Senate will shut down the issue as soon as possible. He will twitter that the Senate must tear into Biden and other Democrats. He will play deeply disappointed when it does not do that.

But my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents any other dirty deals by him might from come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival.

The question left is if there were additional elements in this deal. What could those be about?

Posted by b on December 12, 2019 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Don't forget Sanders.
Pelosi pulling back from any impeachment attempt would only serve to underscore the pusillanimity of the Democratic leadership.
If the Democrats *must* do an impeachment but would be hurt by a Republican Senate hit back, this deal makes perfect sense.

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 12 2019 18:52 utc | 1

Clearly Trump doesn't care about doling out money to corrupt countries. If he did, he would be stopping aid to Israel where Netanyahu has actually been indicted on multiple counts of corruption.

Posted by: M | Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 2

So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental.

Posted by: rucio | Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 3

Dems will be able to paint swing state republicans that have been trying to distance themselves from Trump as Trump lackeys for their 2020 reelection bids. Saying these GOP senators are perfectly fine with inviting foreign interference into elections.

Posted by: M | Dec 12 2019 19:07 utc | 4

To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump.

Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5

@Ed #5
Trump needs nobody's help getting on TV (Or Twitter).
And a Republican president is good for McConnell, whereas a Democrat would not be. Among other things, it seems highly unlikely that Trump gets re-elected and the Republicans also lose their Senate majority.
A Trump loss, however...

Posted by: c1ue | Dec 12 2019 19:21 utc | 6

thanks b... i go along with your reasoning here.. the problem with it all, is again - no accountability - and more ongoing circus for the public which is getting screwed over 24-7 by the war party ( dems and repubs)...

but i would like to address the 1st reason given for impeachment - "Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia."

if they really got into this, it would open up a huge can of worms for both parties, so they can't go their... pelosi was happy enough to start the process and stupidly figured she could just keep this about trump, but she can't.. she had to make a deal to do that... and the deal is - we won't drag your laundry out, if you don't drag ours out - thus, no accountability in any of it..

i agree with @3 rucio... pelosi is not doing well in all of this.. sometimes a person just gets old and needs to be put out to pasture.. in fact, one could say this about the whole usa political circus.. it is getting very tired and if the usa wasn't such a destructive force on the planet, you would do what they do with old horses here..

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2019 19:29 utc | 7

@c1ue #6

Not sure. McConnell may actually prefer working against a Dem prez than working for a Pub. Especially a Pub loose cannon like Trump. To date, McConnell has a better record in obstructing Dem execut8ve plans than passing GOP proposals.

Bernard makes a lot of sense today. The swamp is on the verge of eating its own and neither Pelosi or McConnell desire that.

Posted by: dbriz | Dec 12 2019 19:29 utc | 8

rucio @3--

Pelosi remains alive only through the deal she made with the Devil decades ago which she continues to honor daily.

This quote from the cited WaPost article is too funny:

"Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus." [my emphasis]

The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today.

Someone wrote that this is the season of pantomime, and to that I must agree. Fantasies and falsehoods peddled as realities all for the purpose of further enriching the few while the many rejoice in their collective gullibility. Please, add another shot of brandy to my eggnog!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 12 2019 19:32 utc | 9

B, you are right that deals have been made, but you are wrong to think Trump is in on it.

He may go along with it, but that does not mean he is arguing from a point of weakness.

Here is the fact:

The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS.

If they look weak towards POTUS, the dems will have signalled their acknowledgment that this whole affair is in fact a distraction.

Therefore, you can see that the Repub decision for an expediated impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump!

It can be inferred that the Repubs are still dreaming of DJT's eventual dethronement and a return to the standard operating procedure of the pre-DJT era.

Thank you for helping me understand it more, b!

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 12 2019 19:33 utc | 10

Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force...

Who knows. They have consultants to tell them how to play the game.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Dec 12 2019 19:35 utc | 11

This deal confirms my long-held hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.

If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode.

Posted by: vk | Dec 12 2019 19:42 utc | 12

On mobile and Unable to link to the

Two articles on Zerohedge citing Wapo and Derskowitz


Wapo: House leadership in panic as moderate Dems are bailing.
Dershowitz: the house impeachment process is unconstitutional, how will Senate proceed?

Posted by: LIkklemore | Dec 12 2019 19:46 utc | 13

vk @ 7 said;"The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode."

Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy.

Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day.

Posted by: ben | Dec 12 2019 19:57 utc | 14

...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals.

I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Dec 12 2019 20:03 utc | 15

I think the best summary that b made was
"
The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome.
"
I don't remember where I read it but both sides were raping Ukraine and that would come out if there was a serious trial.

And yes, I agree that it may save the Biden Dem nomination but I hope not. That to me is still a known unknown that is dependent on what happens to the economy and Dem convention which will be hard to be as crooked as last time.

More circus, Oh boy!!!!/snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 12 2019 20:33 utc | 16

Blast from the not so distant past.


“How can he not talk about the reality that Russia, through cyberwarfare, interfered in our election in 2016, is interfering in democratic elections all over the world, and according to his own CIA director will likely interfere in the 2018 midterm elections that we will be holding?” “How do you not talk about that unless you have a very special relationship with Mr. Putin?”

Who said the above? Rachael Maddow? Hillary Clinton? John Brennan? Why none other than Bernie Sanders!
And did you note that Bernie is being a megaphone for the CIA in this quote?

More and more and more Bernie Russiagate promoting quotes here (and 2018 had only begun!):

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/01/responding-to-bernies-promotion-of-the-new-cold-war/

Posted by: librul | Dec 12 2019 20:38 utc | 17

One thing that may be worrying McConnell is the trade war with China. Are we going to see him and Pelosi working together against Trump on that? Was the sudden approval of the USMCA in the House part of such a deal?

Posted by: rucio | Dec 12 2019 20:41 utc | 18

Most Congresscritters are lawyers. They understand the concept of, "Don't ask a witness the question if you don't already know the answer". With skeletons everywhere threatening to fall out of closets, nobody wants an open-ended process, except maybe Trump.

It's interesting that both the New NAFTA and the War Spending bill were very quietly passed the same week as the impeachment circus. We won't know what new police state measures were added until some time later. I dare not think what new outrage they have come up with.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Dec 12 2019 20:41 utc | 19

I fear b has convinced himself that Trump must have dirt to hide. Yet he has only been in Washington for about 5 years - he has to be the cleanest man in the city. And people have been digging into him for decades.

On the other hand I suspect that attacking the CIA (which is what an impeachment defence would be) is not politically wise for many reasons. Then there really is a ton of Dem dirt to be spread about by Giulani. The Biden stuff was actually published a year or two ago. Stuff on Kerry has barely been mentioned. Uranium One was ignored last election.

The trouble with using Dem dirt before the candidate is chosen is that Dems just switch to the cleanest candidate, while slinging mud at Trump. Trump is so much smarter at getting to what voters want to hear, that there is little point spending too much airtime on muckspreading - just a little targeted dirt at the eventual candidate late on.
The less personal stuff thrown during 2020, the more his ammunition works in November.

The deal, if there is a deal, suits Trump's 2020 campaign enormously. The deal, if there is a deal, is as much between Trump and CIA as McConnell and Peloisi.

Shame to see the CIA get away scott free. But predictable.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Dec 12 2019 20:47 utc | 20

b--
Thanks for this, and for once there may be something that can be added to your analysis.
If the other barflies don't dig it up in the meantime, I recall running across a detailed discussion of Ukraine as part of a corruption mill that both parties--including Lindsay Graham--are up to their necks in.

Whereas it is very likely that not just Hunter but Joe Biden can be brought down, it would come at the expense of a massive draining of a bipartisan Congressional / Senatorial money laundering swamp, with millions, perhaps billions in US tax dollars being recycled back into campaign contributions, etc. Many heads might roll, including several on the Republican side of the Senate chamber.

Although the choice of Ukraine as the hill to fight on seemed to have been chosen in order to cover up Democratic election malfeasance in 2016, it now may be better understood as a game of chicken. If you go after Democrat collusion in the Ukraine, you'll have to be willing to risk the whole bipartisan hawg trough being spilled out...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 12 2019 21:10 utc | 21

Thanks for the article, b.
I would suggest that Pelosis deal is also deeply motivated by fear. Fear that the democratic establishment candidates might get burned during the senate hearings - leaving the gop with candidates like gabbard and yang and increasing the underdogs chances. Especially Binden and Warren could only loose on stand and gain little for their image. after all: biden is still the establishments top choice and this is unlikely to change with this deal..

Posted by: MountainTop | Dec 12 2019 21:11 utc | 22

Today I heard that the Democrats announced they will keep on impeaching Trump for the remainder of the year. Doesn't fit in your scenario.

Posted by: bjd | Dec 12 2019 21:23 utc | 23

I don't think b understands Washington politics--he seems to imagine that there is a coherent Democratic and Republican Party. There are factions within each party that ally with factions within the other party from time to time. Whatever is going on both sides don't want to dig to deep. Limited articles of impeachment, quick vote, and then no trial in the Senate. I can imagine Senators of any party wanting to unravel the startling corruption of the Washington political establishment.

At any rate, the need to go forward with impeachment was not Pelosi's idea but came from certain interests that see the Trump regime as very dangerous to long-term American foreign policy for these reasons: 1) Trump is not a good head of state because he symbolizes for the world all the attributes foreigners don't like about the USA and, most of all, he irritates the hell out of the Europeans who are more conscious of appearances, good grooming, good manners, than the more brutal Americans--Obama was great because he put a good face out there; and 2) Trump thinks he can run foreign and military policy which is not his job as Washington sees it and they want him to get the fuck out of the way so they can further consolidate the Empire.

I would be very, very surprised if there is a trial in the Senate because the one thing everyone has in common in Washington including Congress a hatred of Trump and a trial, conducted properly would be a disaster for both parties which is why I and many here hope for a trial.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Dec 12 2019 21:29 utc | 24

What Mao Cheng Ji @15 said: "I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat.

The problem the establishment has with Trump is not that he is trying to destroy them or even that he opposes them at all. The problem the establishment has with Trump is that the role of President is a delicate one in the great kabuki of American faux democracy, and they feel that Trump is not up to that task. He's a neophyte; a newb. He talks about things that a seasoned political actor who has worked their way up through the ranks instinctively knows must be left unsaid. He casually states bluntly what the rest of the political establishment knows must be deftly spun with weasel words. He doesn't understand that it doesn't matter which of the two corporate parties in the US had a hand in the corruption in Ukraine as that topic is completely off-limits due to it being part of an operation to expand the empire.

That said, perhaps Trump really is trying to "empty the swamp" and is doing it by pretending to blunder. Perhaps he is the bull in the china shop intending to wreck the shop by pretending that he doesn't know any better. Perhaps it is a sophisticated adaptation to politics of the Shaolin "Drunken Boxing" martial arts technique.

If what Trump is accomplishing is intentional then he is playing this game at a higher level than any President ever. It is a stretch to imagine this to be the case, but then it is also difficult to imagine Trump shrinking America's (illegal) footprint in Syria by accident, or pushing the Koreas together equally by accident. These are enormous geopolitical moves that the entire imperial establishment vehemently opposes and that Trump could not possibly just have stumbled into accidentally, even if it looks like he did.

Whether what Trump is doing is intentional of not, I do hope he keeps it up.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 12 2019 22:18 utc | 25

Interesting that the word KAYFABE has been avoided in this discussion.

So many at the moa bar are loath to acknowledge even the possibility that there's something more going on behind the scenes.

LOL.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 12 2019 22:34 utc | 26

"Interesting that the word KAYFABE has been avoided in this discussion."

No, it is interesting that an empire fanboi mentions it immediately after a post in which the concept was included.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 12 2019 22:39 utc | 27

Without a doubt, out of the current crap ... er crop ... of Democrats, Trump would prefer to run against sleepy Joe Biden and thus look to ease Biden's selection by laying off, for the moment.

Would be an ironic mirror of Hillary Clinton's tactic encouraging Trump to run in 2016 thinking he was an easy target. Except that Trump now has more than enough ammo to effectively shred Biden mano-a-mano closer to the election, and so it makes sense to keep his powder dry for now.

Posted by: Trisha | Dec 12 2019 22:51 utc | 28

"Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation..."

This certainly applies to 90% of the Congress and Senate. Whenever I vote, I ask myself this question concerning the candidates: "How much political power must this candidate acquire, before political expediency overrides his/her moral integrity and ethics?". Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, is in my mind proof of the validity of this question. He once contemplated studying theology and proclaims to have Christian values. So, How does he justify his total lack of support to Julian Assuage? Political Expediency, anyone.

More honourable individuals enter politics than retire from it; excluding death.

Posted by: Dick | Dec 12 2019 22:56 utc | 29

jackrabbit.. i think william g has your number, lol... trump is bad, and good at the same time.. that is what us outsiders like about him.. he seems to be unintentionally destroying the empires facade... whether he is destroying the empire, his actions have made it more shaky and as others have noted the cultured europeans think of him just as wg stated - bull in a china shop.. is trump doing this knowingly? personally i doubt it, but i don't see how it works with your constant mantra that this is all kabuki theatre run by the insiders.. no... it seems broken on some obvious levels too... trump has been good in this regard, as bad as he might be in the pr dept... in fact, trump i think he is the kind of leader that some maniac will take out for the cia.. i wouldn't rule that out with trump here..

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2019 23:05 utc | 30

Wm Gruff @25

The problem the establishment has with Trump ...

I dunno. Seems to me that Trump has done a lot of what the establishment wants from a President.

And that's not surprising because Trump is part of the establishment. (We've discussed this ad nauseum at moa.):

The Trumps were/are close to the Clintons
I'll bet their friendship quickly rekindles after Trump leaves the White House - just like the friendship between GW Bush and Michele Obama; John McCain and Amy Klobuchar; and establishment Hillary and progressive Bernie)

He's been political for a long time (though not a politician)
He's talked about how he plays both Parties and he was one of the most prominent of the "Birthers"

His friends and relatives are also wealthy/powerful
Names like: Roy Cohn, Jeffery Epstein, Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Kushners, the McMahons, etc.

He hosted a counter-intelligence asset in his business
Felix Sater was a mole for the Mueller FBI.

He aspires to even more wealth (as always)
He has been a relentless, money-driven social climber for virtually his entire life.


I think the real problem is with how people allow themselves to be manipulated by the "narrative managers" (as Caitlin Johnstone calls propagandists of all stripes) that tell us who we are and what to believe.

=
... perhaps Trump really is trying to "empty the swamp" and is doing it by pretending to blunder. Perhaps .. Perhaps ... playing this game at a higher level

The earnest, "trust in the plan" notion of 11-dimensional chess as been expressed by Presidential apologists of both Obama and Trump. It's a great device for faux populist Presidents.

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

PS I'm not picking on Wm Gruff. He's not the only one that expresses such pro-Trump views.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 12 2019 23:10 utc | 31

I am curious to know if one of the "additional elements" that B suggests exist in the deal might include an entry for The Klintonator to campaign again as a presidential candidate or at least have a role in a future Democrat government in 2021 or 2025 as some sort of Aung-San-Suu-Kyi-eminence-grise role behind whichever Democrat puppet becomes President.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 12 2019 23:16 utc | 32

@james

i think william g has your number, lol

Nah, his pro-Trump bias is clear.

And he's throwing shit against the wall with the "empire fanboi" accusation.

=
[Trump] seems to be unintentionally destroying the empires facade..

AFAIK this view was first expressed by Assad (who said that Trump was more transparently evil) and has been picked up as "proof" that Trump is anti-establishment and thus ... Democracy Works!

Sorry, but the political manipulation and false narratives stemming from the 2016 US Presidential election are too great to trust the result. And the possible motivation to for the Deep State/establishment to install a MAGA nationist is played down or ignored: Russia's newfound willingness to defy the West in 2013-14. The hair-on-fire, reactionary response is was expressed by Kissinger in his 2014 WSJ Op-Ed. Kissinger has since called the treat to the World Order "grave".

I would propose that Trump was supposed to be a shock to a system that has been resting on its laurels. That he is brasher and more belligerent is feature, not a bug.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 12 2019 23:28 utc | 33

Important to note that there's a difference between kabuki theater and kayfabe.

Kabuki is orchestrating appearances.
What happened to the Skripals is kabuki. The extraction of Epstein is kabuki. White Helmets staging a chemical weapons attack is kabuki.

Kayfabe is mock combat.
The battles between the Democrats and Republicans - especially when it gets personal (Trump - Hillary; Trump - Pelosi) are kayfabe. It's soooo riveting to see that people become absorbed in it.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 12 2019 23:36 utc | 34

No point in overthinking this. It seems to me that after a lifetime of observing politicians in action, that the senate has had to agree to a quiet inquiry because many rethug pols as well as dem ones would go down. This would be impossible to avoid since the only consistent occurence of bipartisanship is that which occurs when both halves of the amerikan empire party are 'tickling the peter' (an old Oz crim phrase which refers to the delicate art of safecracking - a peter is a safe).

In this case the peter is the Ukraine, during most of the Oblamblam prezdency the dems had the whitehouse but the rethugs held all of Capitol Hill so rather than separate bent deals between Poroshenko & Biden plus other dems, then other squalid arrangements between Poroshenko & Graham plus other rethugs, it is highly likely that especially on the big jobs, everyone dem & rethug copped a slice.
Picking apart what went down in a way which only incriminated Biden was not possible, so rather than have their number one bagman Lindsay Graham go down with Biden, the rethug senators have agreed on the same sort of compromise here that they make every day with the dems when there is a decent earner up for grabs.

Trump who isn't known for his sensitivity to the needs of anyone/anything other than DJ Trump, did not consider any of this when he made the in his mind quite reasonable call for Biden to be exposed. If he was aware that some of his biggest rethug pains in the arse, eg Lindsay Graham, were also going to be left exposed like a tarantula on a slice of angel food cake (© Raymond Chandler), that would be a plus, not a negative.

The orange zionist's big earner has always been occupied Palestine with, in true wide-boy style, only family members allowed anywhere near the action, making his bagman his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a bloke like Trump who has extensive experience in real estate rorts.

It is real estate, more specifically stolen Palestinian land carved up and turned into settlements, where the Trump gang & the Netanyahu mob, make their dough. So far, no dems required, since they have already copped a fat wedge from the zionist 'charities' to get passage of the bills which give billions a year to the occupiers of Palestine. Doubtless assorted house & senate slimeys also have assorted earns on some contracts, but none will be anything close to the deals Netanyahu & Trump have stitched together. Trump make israeli mugs feel sufficiently secure via recognition of Jerusalem as capital etc, to take out big loans to buy expensive sh1tbox condos on stolen land and Netanyahu handles the selection of & permits for that stolen land.

As far as dems & rethugs alike are concerned, Trump going after Biden was a big no-no, first because in doing so he endangered the gentleman's agreement which has been around for more than 200 years that ensures everyone cops an earn and isn't obstructed or remonstrated with unless they get too greedy.
The other reason is what amerikan pols consider to be a matter of national security and is a big part of the real reason impeachment is still on the table, albeit in this restrictive form. The truth getting out about pols on both sides colluding to enrich themselves is just too much right now, with public confidence in pols at an all time low. A public demand for massive change could result meaning the real thugs in charge, the arseholes who the pols actually work for, would have to try and dream up a way to stay in control, keep the earners happening and restore public confidence in a blatant scam.

A close to impossible task, so dems & rethugs are united in slapping Orangey with a sting, in the hope he won't get above himself again. It won't work, Trump is just too egocentric to be a CEO of billionaire socialism.

They are all c++ts, but nothing will change unless sufficient normal citizens understand and acknowledge this.
For what it is worth (very little IMO unless yer a fan of tweedledum & tweedledee), all that is going to happen is that the senate trial will fail, Trump will win prez 2020, earners for all will continue and Joe/Jo Citizen will remain in the dark. See, same as it ever was.

Posted by: A User | Dec 12 2019 23:37 utc | 35

@ William Gruff # 25 who wrote
"
If what Trump is accomplishing is intentional then he is playing this game at a higher level than any President ever. It is a stretch to imagine this to be the case, but then it is also difficult to imagine Trump shrinking America's (illegal) footprint in Syria by accident, or pushing the Koreas together equally by accident. These are enormous geopolitical moves that the entire imperial establishment vehemently opposes and that Trump could not possibly just have stumbled into accidentally, even if it looks like he did.
"
In the above you clearly write that what is being done in American politics is contradictory to what can be believed on the surface. So we have to ask, cui bono?

Lets start answering that question by identifying who is not benefitting
1. The American public economically...except the top X%
2. The Congress Critters that are being made to look corrupt
3. The Deep State of various branches of government
4. Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations

Now lets share a bit about the international context
1. China is ascendant
2. Russia is stable/ascendant
3. US face of Empire is no longer ascendant
4. The Western world has been tied to fiat money/debt for almost 50 years and private/national debt/inequality is at the highest it has been for a long time.
5. Change is the only constant

I posit that those at the top of our top/bottom Western world are trying to maintain their position of power/control for as long as they can....and longer if possible. I also posit that these folks are the dictatorial cult of global private finance who owe no allegiance to nations, and have shown the ability to manage large swings in perceived public social support (Social Security Insurance in the US and the NHS in the UK are examples).

I see these folks doing two things simultaneously. They are trying to ingratiate themselves into another host (China) while sacrificing America as the bad actor of all the world's problems....not themselves. Trump is the chosen tool for the job because the situation is at a watershed moment and his personality fits the circumstances.

Will the world in transition throw the baby (global private finance) out with the bathwater (America)?

Too soon to tell.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 12 2019 23:39 utc | 36

Trailer Trash #19

"Most Congresscritters are lawyers. They understand the concept of, "Don't ask a witness the question if you don't already know the answer". With skeletons everywhere threatening to fall out of closets, nobody wants an open-ended process, except maybe Trump."

Exactement.
Those who want to find out the truth of the shenanigans our Deep State and "leaders" are up to are the real losers here. Our best opportunity to see the veils ripped back and criminality exposed lay with an impeachment process, one that Trump would have pushed way beyond the "accepted" bipartisan limits.

To me this sounds like a bad deal for Trump, and for "inquiring minds" in the USA. They pulled another fast one.

Will Durham also pull punches?

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 13 2019 0:26 utc | 37

"Trump thinks he can run foreign and military policy which is not his job as Washington sees it and they want him to get the fuck out of the way so they can further consolidate the Empire."

Yup, the problem for the establishment is that Trump actually thinks he is the president! He also thinks if people get in his way or diss, he will burn them. He hasn't yet "gotten" the unspoken, agreed-to limits. Maybe the whole Mueller affair was an attempt to train Trump to accept "restraints."

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 13 2019 0:42 utc | 38

@24 Chris Cosmos

Your thought that Trump being uncouth hinders his likeability is spot on.

The first thing Obama did in his presidency was go to Europe to apologize for us Americans. Of course, the world deserved an apology and still does, but his apology proved to be more about his personality of cowtowing to Europe, because after that, he promptly changed little re: the foreign policy of POTUS GWB.

And it was no regretful gaffe when Hillary infamously spoke about us deplorables.

She legitimately hates the U.S. and its founders vision that large portions of the population should not merely be forgotten for the sake of the coastal elites. She hates the electoral college too. Because why? Because it gives the uncouth a say in the matter. And you can take that to the bank and cash it.

DJT represents a step back and in the right direction to the original intentions of the founders. We are not to be like Europeans, whereas ass-kissing globalists love to swear off their nation and join the great masked-soiree of the anational elites.

You can often get a whiff of the same anti-American sentiment permeating at the bar. Useful idiots to a dreadful and snobbish lot.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 0:43 utc | 39

Calling the rabid disgust most of us feel toward amerika's empire out as being some type of anti-americanism, is exactly the same stunt as those idjits who have been convinced to actually believe anti-zionism is anti-semitism try to pull in here from time to time.
Both are the same blind, emotive attempt to divert those as moronic as themselves away from reality, up a cul-de-sac to fill their heads with cheap jingoistic trash thinking.

Posted by: A User | Dec 13 2019 1:19 utc | 40

Here was that link connecting Ukraine to bipartisan corruption that Lindsay Graham and other pols on both sides may be exposed by if the Senate hears witnesses that Trump may choose to call.

https://theduran.com/wow-oan-stunning-lutsenko-interview-outlines-marie-yovanovitch-perjury-george-kent-impeachment-motive-lindsey-graham-motive-to-bury-investigation/

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 13 2019 1:27 utc | 41

@40 user

Care to comment on the substance of my post?

...

But you prove my point again!

You lay the blame on some kind of weird collective delusion out there that all the evils in the world falls at the feet of some fictitious American empire.

Obviously, you have never heard of this term called "Globalism" and its usurping of the empire epoch of yesteryear. Your post is the perfect example for me to say: "case in point."

Get a clue.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 13 2019 1:28 utc | 42

@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 0:43 utc | 39

The problem is not some random people's opinions, but that the USA's decline is real.

Trump, in my opinion, is just a symbol. In his manner, he's trying to turn back the clock in order to make the empire "fell young again".

Corbyn, in the British fashion, also tried to do the same.

When empires or former empires in denial are in decline, their first instinct is to try to turn back in time. That obviously never works, and often results in catastrophes (e.g. WWI and WWII, both of which were triggered by the British Empire).

On Trump's doctrine in particular, I think the insolvable contradiction lies in the fact that the USA's role in History is to advance capitalism, not itself as a nation. The USA is the nameless country, the empire that claims to fight for abstract values (i.e. capitalism). When the USA was geopolitically successful, it always fought for the expansion and welfare of capitalism, for globalization and not capital controls, for freedom of movement and not restriction.

The USA was built to be the paragon of globalism. For Trump to force it back to traditional imperialism (colonialism) is to go against its own nature. The result can only be its final destruction.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 1:29 utc | 43

Jrabbit @ 34 stated; "Kayfabe is mock combat.
The battles between the Democrats and Republicans - especially when it gets personal (Trump - Hillary; Trump - Pelosi) are kayfabe. It's soooo riveting to see that people become absorbed in it."

!!

Exactly rabbit. Don't understand why folks can't see, it's so friggen obvious. The $ party owns the farm, and 99% of the overseers ( our reps.).

No wonder that "pro-wrestling" is so popular. The morons believe it's real..

Posted by: ben | Dec 13 2019 1:35 utc | 44

Here's some information on Kayfabe;

https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=kayfabe+definition&fr=yfp-t-s&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

Posted by: ben | Dec 13 2019 1:37 utc | 45

@43 vk

I appreciate you willing to engage with me in discussion, vk. I have often been short with you and am thankful you demonstrate good sense in not goading me further on. I'm afraid I lack self-control and can turn nasty.

However, I would want you to consider my thesis consistently peddled here, and reflecting the thesis of Quinn Slobodian in his book, Globalists: The Death of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism. Namely, that most railing here against the American Empire is severely outdated, or, worse, peddled to mislead and obfuscate.

At the very least, vk, prove to me that our adventurism abroad has benefitted, in one or any iota, the average American. Do not say cheap goods or the like, because you know that that has come at the expense of our gutted manufacturing sector.

The Age of Empire was always about acknowledged subjugation. Kipling wrote about white man's burden. It was the privelege of nationals over foreign nationals.

In todays U.S., the opposite is true or at the very least, the piece of the pie given to nationals has been waived in favor of the hoarding of the anationals.

In other words, there is no American Empire, there is only the puppeteering of the American Golem, which will soon be revealed to be even more of a shriveled and empty husk, when it is eventually abandoned, then could have been imagined. When that moment comes, we will all know who the real culprit is and has been for quite some time: it is the age of the anational.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 13 2019 1:55 utc | 46

I believe Russiagate and all the side accusations were merely intended to disrupt and it seemed to work. I fault Trump for giving it too much attention.

The impeachment is pretty much same thing and was wanted by base.

Impeachment running out of steam so will need next hysterical distraction.

Meanwhile Trump is goosing the market as needed.

Meanwhile the wankers could crash the whole lot at will and will if they don't get a good war.

Entertaining like killer clowns with chainsaws.

Posted by: jared | Dec 13 2019 2:00 utc | 47

I was also surprised by the claim that the Senate Republicans would skip the chance to go after House Dems. Some other political elements I can think of, without any coherent conclusion, really

- The FBI investigations, one just ended and one ongoing. With the first investigation officially acknowledging the obvious bulls##t nature of the Russiagate story, Republicans scored big. They are not playing defense any more.
- If they want to go after Biden, they can have their proxies do it now, without getting their own hands dirty. Or they can choose not to and save it.
- Biden's campaign just indicated that he was planning on staying only 1 term if elected, huge signal of non-confidence, but perhaps related.
- Senate Republicans don't like Trump that much, but their political fortunes depend on him. Maybe they like that he is dependent on them to save him. I.e. they could be sure he would sign any legislation put in front of him. Whether Trump's sponsors are different in any significant from McConnell's sponsors is an interesting question.
- McConnell still needs to negotiate with Pelosi over legislation. There are more gifts to corporate sponsors that are not yet finalized.
- Republicans are likely to lose control of the Senate in 2022 (1/3 of the Senate elected every 3 years. By chance, 2022 will have many vulnerable Republicans).
- The Trump Administration, like previous ones, did actually do lots of really reprehensible things.
- Republicans are scared of even the remote possibility of Sanders just as much as Democrats

Posted by: ptb | Dec 13 2019 2:10 utc | 48

@44 ben... maybe in fact a good number of us can actually see this.. it still doesn't make jackrabbits conclusions correct! that is the annoying part here... i am beginning to feel like lozion here, lol... i get tired of the constant repeat or skip in the record!

Posted by: james | Dec 13 2019 2:25 utc | 49

William Gruff @ 25

So, in a nutshell, Trump is the BeerCan Chicken twittering swamp-draining enlightenment, with the House Reps as the bed of coals .. now turning to a ugly shade of ashen grey, whilst the Senate, as the grill cover, closes the vents- nervously trying as they are, to keep the growing plebiscinian anger from going full-on pyroclastic. Do I have that right ?

Posted by: polecat | Dec 13 2019 3:00 utc | 50

I've come around to the idea that this impeachment skirmish in the House is an example of bad faith. The appeals to the sanctity of the Constitution sounded a lot more convincing when Nixon was impeached. There is no way to take the poseurs in 2019 seriously. On their watch the Constitution has been mangled, disfigured, roundly-rogered, and made to stand naked after the humiliation. The covenant that explains the rights that we mutually respect and those protections of law have been largely dismantled. The Patriot Act and the War on Terror were the instruments of its undoing. The lofty words we have heard during the Impeachment Circus are empty ones.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 13 2019 3:23 utc | 51

Below is a Reuters link describing the kabuki around the vote out of House committee.

"U.S. House committee postpones votes on articles of impeachment

The GOP strung out discussion and offering amendments that were never going to be accepted so the Dem chair postponed the full vote until tomorrow and the GOP members are pissed because they wanted to go home early for the weekend......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2019 5:48 utc | 52

The question left is if there were additional elements in this deal. What could those be about?

Most obviously coming to mind would be a guarantee that the dems don't bring any more fake investigations against Trump, for the rest of his presidency.

Posted by: BM | Dec 13 2019 11:04 utc | 53

The Dems don't want further digging in Sleepy Joe's dirty dealings and Hunter will be off the Burisma hook.

Quid pro quo.

Posted by: Peter | Dec 13 2019 12:16 utc | 54

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Dec 13 2019 1:55 utc | 46

This is Marco Rubio's speech at 10 December 2019

“So while it may be true that China is ‘breaking the rules’ or that Chinese companies are engaging in ‘unfair competition’ against the American order, the fundamental challenge will not simply be solved by some future trade agreement… we must respond to the challenge before us is because the industries that China intends to dominate are the very ones that will create the dignified and productive work Americans need for us to remain a strong nation…. American policymakers must pursue policies that make our economy more productive by identifying the critical value of specific industrial sectors and spurring investment in them.”

Sounds very "imperial" to me.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 12:30 utc | 55

@55 vk

Actually, vk, it seems to me Rubio is alluding to nationalist policies of protectionism and domestic investment. Am I missing something there in your link?

Because those are all very anti-globalist policies in my book.

Defending against the global mercantilist aspirations of China is a very responsible course of action for a policymaker.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

Hopefully readers can now clearly see that the bunny persona is disingenuous and is here primarily for spin management.

psychohistorian @36, on the other hand, is quite legit and raises points that are worth discussing.


So we have to ask, cui bono?

Lets start answering that question by identifying who is not benefitting
1. The American public economically...except the top X%
2. The Congress Critters that are being made to look corrupt
3. The Deep State of various branches of government
4. Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations

Point #1 is no big surprise. The elites (including Trump) firmly believe that what is good for them personally is good for everyone. What is good for the lord of the land is good for his serfs, right? There is, however, a caveat to this that I want to touch on later.

Points #2 and #3 are problematic. This is not to claim that psychohistorian is making these points up because the credibility of the Congress Critters is undeniably taking a severe hit. As well the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ("deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen.

So points #2 and #3 are absolutely true, but they are problematic because they conflict with the narrative that the circus we've been watching play out in D.C. since the 2016 elections is all intentional and choreographed by the elites. I don't think anyone here would dispute that the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools? No, these two points by themselves expose the falsity of the notion that what we are witnessing playing out in the imperial capital was the intended outcome of the 2016 elections. Furthermore, damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses.

Point #4 about who is not benefiting, "Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations", is related to the caveat that I mentioned above.

First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits.

The reader should be able to see that not all oligarchs are created equal. While all of the oligarchs share the imperative of maintaining the oligarchy itself and expanding the empire that it operates within, their interests begin to diverge outside of those issues. In particular, finance oligarchs and real estate oligarchs have a natural antagonism. This antagonism also exists between the finance oligarchs and the fixed-capital oligarchs. Current imperial policy strongly favors the finance oligarchs. The other oligarchs are willing to accept that so long as the economy continues to grow in real terms, but that hasn't been happening for years now within the empire. Because of this we are now seeing infighting among the oligarchs, with Trump being on the side of the non-finance underdogs.

Does this mean that the reader should become a fan of Trump? Not if one is prone to latching onto powerful individuals as saviors. If, on the other hand, personal emotional attachment can be kept at the level of rooting for one stranger in a drunken bum fight over the other stranger then it should be perfectly acceptable. It doesn't hurt to cheer the oligarchs on when they fight among themselves.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:23 utc | 57

"Do I have that right?" --polecat @50

That sounds about right!

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:26 utc | 58

@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

The problem is that you don't got to change the rules when they don't fit you anymore. The USA has deprived the rest of the world of "dignity" for 70 years. Now that China is being better than the USA at its own game, it's going to change the game?

Unfortunately to the likes of Rubio, that's not how the real world works, because the real world is not a game.

--//--

Speaking of the USA:

American households see increasingly heavier debt burden

The aggregate household debt balances in the U.S. increased to a record high of $13.95 trillion, or 73 percent of the country’s GDP, in the third quarter of 2019, said a recent report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mortgage balances accounted for 2/3 of the total household debt balances, followed by student loans that took 11 percent of the share. Besides, auto loans and credit card balances also stood at a high level.

Each household in the U.S. carrying at least one form of debt owed an average of $144,100, said a report issued by America’s Debt Help Organization.

For comparison, the American manufacturing sector makes only 12% of its GDP. Manufacturing is so tiny in the USA that we had recession in the sector this year and that didn't moved its GDP growth rate at all.

That's why the USA -- which has been failing in this trade war against China -- will ultimately fail in its Trumpian attempt to revert to isolationism: the empire is now essentially a financial superpower. To maintain your status as a financial superpower, you have to keep yourself economically open, otherwise the financial architecture that sustains the Dollar Standard will crumble (since the USD is fiat money).

If your country wants to be the world's sole superpower in a capitalist world, it has to have two titles/belts: financial and industrial superpower.

In 1946, the USA was both, hence it was the sole capitalist superpower. When Germany and mainly Japan threatened its title as the sole industrial superpower in the 1970s, the USA maneuvered to curb their developments in the Plaza Accord of 1985, which forced both nations to value their respective currencies in relation to the Dollar.

The maneuver was providential, but it worked. Germany and Japan would enter into recession in the early 1990s, to never recover again. However, it came with a cost to the USA: it had to outsource its manufacturing sector to China and content itself in being just to retain the financial champion belt, scattering the industrial champion belt around Asia, thus letting this "title" vacant. It stayed "vacant" for 20 years, until China, thanks to its socialist doctrine, was able to free itself from the commodity cycle and middle income traps to launch itself in the direction of gaining the industrial superpower status.

Posted by: vk | Dec 13 2019 13:41 utc | 59

Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

@William Gruff

Excellent posting thus far. Just one thing to add to your analysis: the non-finance oligarchs are more dependent on the finance oligarchs than the other way around.

Posted by: Cynica | Dec 13 2019 14:23 utc | 61


b's posting says:
"The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi.."

I can't see those two trusting each other on anything. And the Senate Majority Leader, McConnell, appeared on Fixed News last night and insisted that he will defer to Trump's lawyers in all strategic matters, including whether or not to call witnesses. Given that the House Democrats have threatened that if this impeachment doesn't work, they will impeach him again on some other matter; plus Trump's insane craving for vindication; or for the need to produce juicy sound bites for the re-election campaign; or simply to stretch out the process past the Iowa caucuses, it is likely that this impeachment will have a more or less full process, saving the summary treatment for the predictable follow-on impeachments.

Who was it that said "Repeating the same mistake, over and over, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity"?

Posted by: ohm | Dec 13 2019 15:01 utc | 62

This strikes me as a George Zimmerman style impeachment.

Zimmerman's prosecutor purposefully charged him with murder, a case doomed to fail, rather than manslaughter, where it was likely to fail but would have been more damning in the failure -- i.e. more facts would have been brought in and a big mess would have been created.

Pelosi purposefully charges Trump with a very narrow impeachment, which is doomed to fail in the Senate, rather than conducting a months-long investigation that would dig up what Biden was really doing in Ukraine and who he got permission from to operate there. The investigation wouldn't have made impeachment more likely to succeed, it would have just made a bigger mess.

Posted by: J.L.Seagull | Dec 13 2019 15:25 utc | 63

interesting that trump's numbers have risen so spectacularly in the last couple of weeks with this impeachment thing in my view because it puts him (falsely or not) squarely back into the "maverick" role that the Public is ravenous to see, with all its anger and desire to strike back at "the government" which is not doing well by the way (60% country moving in the wrong direction; 17% approval of congress)--so, to me, the question is: Can Donald resist playing his cowboy savior maverick role and pretending to straighten things out or not. Will he "do a deal" because McConnell is so convincing to him and he can pass up a wonderful opportunity to put the Dems on trial for their obvious bullshit in the past three years, including what impetus will be (coming right up) from Durham? I tend to believe the Donald Ego will welcome a Big Fight in The Impeachment Corral much as he once delighted in phony wrestling.

interesting times, at least we could say that

Posted by: joseph k jr | Dec 13 2019 16:09 utc | 64

Deal is as follows:

--Patriot Act renewed
--New NAFTA passed this week
--New massive Defense bill passes
--New Paid Parental Leave for Fed employees(Clinton and Obama ignored this)

--Maybe a budget or at least easy continuing resolutions.

--Jews now nationality??? not too sure, more like the usual Trump stuff like moving embassy.
This stuff all happened in the last week or so after nothing happened for years.

Posted by: Johnny Law | Dec 13 2019 16:42 utc | 65

Everyone is in on the deal. LOL

"Government is the Entertainment Division of the Military-industrial Complex." Frank Zappa

Posted by: Perimetr | Dec 13 2019 17:39 utc | 66

To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump.

Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5

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

The imperialist foreign policy entails "bipartisan consensus", "interagency consensus" etc. Sometimes I think that establishment Democrats are patriots [in their self-image] who prefer a political calamity over the betrayal of that consensus. Trump is an incoherent idiot and he may be attacked in many ways. Should he be attacked for disastrous breach of international agreements, starting with the crown jewel of Obama's tenure, multilateral agreement with Iran? Or for a mockery he made from negotiations with North Korea? Or inflicting misery across the globe with "maximal sanctions" policies, pretty much against everybody*? No, no and no.

As some of the incoherent statements of Trump were "friendly toward Russia" (while he continued Nuland-Boland policies), THAT was selected as the main target. So we are going back to 2016. In 2018 Democrats switched gears for the duration of election campaign focusing on health care, something that Trump monumentally botched, but the imperialist circus is back. Lamentably, the "deplorables" are not impressed and the electorally wobbly Rustbelt may be lost again in 2020 because of this inanities, but the consensus (bipartisan, inter-agency etc.) will be preserved. History will remember the selfless sacrifice of these idiots.

=====
* I read an article in Russia, full of gleeful satisfaction, about Lithuanian dairy producers being hit by a round of Trumpian sanctions, in spite of indefatigable efforts of Lithuanian government to be the most obedient (if often neglected) poodle of USA.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 13 2019 19:12 utc | 67

[Rubio's] Defending against the global mercantilist aspirations of China is a very responsible course of action for a policymaker.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

I wonder if Rubio will stay on this topic for full 15 minutes. It is actually very much against GOP ideology, industrial policy coordinated by the federal government -- is a 5-year plan (as Stalin practiced) next? Or will he revert to plan B, assuring that American families live better than those in the Marxist hell that is Venezuela through sanctions, sabotage etc.? Plan A, actually doing something about USAians having decent jobs, would make the likes of Rubio vomiting and defecating uncontrollably as they couldn't digest it. So my bet is that he will stay with plan B.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 13 2019 19:22 utc | 68

Maybe I am dim, but I have read the transcript of the infamous phone call between Trump and Zelensky several times and I do not understand how it is being interpreted as Trump trying to pressure the Ukrainian president to smear Biden. As I read the transcript, the favour Trump asked was for Ukraine to look into Crowdstrike. It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought, not the main thrust of the conversation.

I'm not American, maybe I am missing something that is culturally obvious to Americans? Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't? Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

Not trying to derail the discussion here, but genuinely puzzled.

Posted by: Lorna MacKay | Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69

Posted by: Lorna MacKay | Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69

"Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't?"

Only the ones that are Trump-Deranged. Everyone else sees what you saw, standard operating procedure among all US elites including of course all presidents and high officials. Both Obama and Sec. of State Hillary made dozens of calls exactly like that.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 13 2019 20:18 utc | 70

Lorna MacKay @ 69

I'll give it a 2-finger shot. The Credentialed 20%ers, along with their center-left-turned-right House masters are furiously clutching their rosery bead (heres hatin on you and your pitiful brethren, Nancy!) .. while the Red Senators are all taking turns hold Satan's pitchfork, hoping they don't get pricked .. or worse!, as the republican mope's support starts to melt away like an iceberg at the equator !!

Posted by: polecat | Dec 13 2019 20:20 utc | 71

As an aside .. all one has to do is read the comments over at the Hedge, to see that many (but not all, by far ..) have, over these past 3+ years, have gone through a phase-change, seeing the blatant bs .. from both legasy parties, without eyes wide shut !

Posted by: polecat | Dec 13 2019 20:29 utc | 72

Both Trump and Zelensky were elected on platforms of peace with Russia. What was in that phone call that got Pelosi onboard with impeachment, after years of taking it off the table?
I doubt very much that it was the claimed statement of Trump asking for help with a corruption investigation. (Which is perfectly legal under a 1998 Treaty signed by Clinton).
Something got that CIA spy running to Adam Schiff, and something got Pelosi to move forward. Did Trump and Zelensky speak of the Forbidden thing, making peace?
Biden was not the front runner until they needed him to be. You would be hard pressed to find an actual Biden supporter. They are telling us this, because otherwise the ridiculous impeachment charge would not make sense. (Not that it makes a whole lot of sense anyway).
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?
Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.
Lorna MacKay at 69, when the media tells you something, it doesn't mean it is true. Of course, the transcript doesn't show anything wrong. The only Americans who are culturally programmed to see anything there are the ones whose brains have been turned to mush by TDS. (Trump Derangement Syndrome).
It's not you, it's us.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Dec 13 2019 20:43 utc | 73

Joseph K @ 64

Agree.

If I had money to put on the impeachment trial in the Senate, it would be on Donald NOT doing a deal to save various butts and FOR going for the Dems' jugualar(s) and let the chips fall where they may on the Repug side.

I just cannot see him acting "statesmanlike" and forgoing seeking vindication after the provocations of the past three years.

Would you? I mean, even normal-size egos have a "Make my day" threshold. I reckon that Trump's threshold was the beginning of the actual impeachment "hearing."

We'll soon see.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 13 2019 20:55 utc | 74

Lorna MacKay @69:

It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought

This is what I have contended. Trump didn't need to mention Biden at all.

Did he do it innocently? Was it an ego-driven mistake?

Maybe.

But Trump has done other things that suggest that he did so as kayfabe. He engaged in a heated campaign with Hillary and promised to have a special prosecutor investigate her if he was elected. But within days of being elected announced that he would not do so (his first broken promise). Was the Hillary-Trump battle really as contentious as it appeared?

Trump invited Nancy Pelosi to a White House meeting days before the vote for Speaker of the House. This gave Pelosi a boost at a time when Democrats were grumbling that she didn't deserve to be Speaker (she had worked closely with GW Bush Administration). Result: Pelosi was elected Speaker.

Lastly, it's strange that Hilllary and Pelosi were adamantly against impeachment wrt Russiagate (the Mueller Report cited possible obstruction of justice), saying that voters should decide in 2020 but approved impeachment for Ukrainegate where the grounds for impeachment are arguably worse. Their refusal to allow impeachment after the Mueller Report was widely seen (by progressives) as the establishment protecting Trump. Impeachment over Ukrainegate conveniently ended such speculation.

Impeachment over Russiagate could have brought unwanted public scrutiny of CIA-MI6 and the Deep State. Instead, AG Wm Barr will make sure things are 'sorted' in a way that safeguards the Deep State. Not surprisingly, he just announced that the FBI acted in "bad faith" - a mild rebuke that almost guarantees that no one will be held accountable.

Some believe that the political disaster that Democrats reap from impeachment will be hung around the neck of the progressives that clamored for impeachment in Spring 2019 (after the Mueller Report). IMO that 'hunch' is likely to prove accurate.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 13 2019 21:40 utc | 75

Paul Damascene #21

Whereas it is very likely that not just Hunter but Joe Biden can be brought down, it would come at the expense of a massive draining of a bipartisan Congressional / Senatorial money laundering swamp, with millions, perhaps billions in US tax dollars being recycled back into campaign contributions, etc. Many heads might roll, including several on the Republican side of the Senate chamber.

Thank you and exactly that.

There has been brief mention of Biden shenanigans in China too but now studiously avoided. Perhaps the same boondoggle there as well or maybe that is the country behind the threat from Biden to Lindsay Graham re going down big time.

They are a bunch of thieving thugs.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 13 2019 21:49 utc | 76

Lorna MacKay #69

Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

I fully agree with you. The Crowdstrike bust would give Trump the material needed to truly unravel the CIA (Brennan) and FBI (Comey/Mueller)saboteurs. These pigs set out to smash Trump and his family, and Presidency. He will no doubt find a way to extract revenge as he is known for that.

Pressing Zelensky on the Crowdstrike element is mighty good politics as it would likely disable the Democrat machinery for many election cycles if the dogs of war are loosed on the DNC internal malevolence.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 13 2019 21:57 utc | 77

continuing @75:

The Agreement to have limited charges (nothing related to Russiagate!) and no calling of witnesses (Bidens are safe) was likely agreed in late Spring 2019 when the kayfabe was arranged.

Also, although there's been much hand-wringing about Joe Biden's electoral prospects, the kayfabe has helped Biden as he now says that Trump focused on him because Trump fears him as a political opponent. This plays into the establishment's main electoral ploy: electability!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 13 2019 22:08 utc | 78

wagelaborer #73

In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?

Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.


Fascinating proposition. The Senate calls no witnesses and votes for impeachment? Unlikely, but I wont dismiss either that or a drawn out trial and votes for impeachment - or not. Strange theatre this stuff.

One thing for sure - if the Senate votes to impeach all hell will break out in the Repugnant party. The USA political serenity has been totally disturbed by Trump's election (or should I say Hillary Clinton's capitulation and not campaign in three key states).

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 13 2019 22:10 utc | 79

Usually your analysis is spot on Moon but I have to disagree with you this time.

Giuliani has come back from the Ukraine grinning like the Cheshire Cat. So now it makes sense why Pelosi and Schiff are rushing impeachment. Pelosi and Schiff wanted to get impeachment done before Giuliani could brief the GOP Senate on his findings. Both Schiff and Pelosi's son are eyeballs deep in Ukrainian corruption. It will be interesting to how Trump and the GOP decide to use Giuliani's information since there may be some Republicans involved in Ukrainian corruption as well. People forget that Giuliani is not just some political hack. He's the AG that busted up the mob so he knows how to investigate Biden, Pelosi, Schiff and anyone else who is involved in Ukrainian corruption.

Posted by: CognitiveDissonance | Dec 14 2019 0:51 utc | 80

well McConnell's response today on the impeachment doesn't look like a mild-mannered deal-making is in the works and IMV the problem with kayfabing here (which could be argued certainly) is that as with the UK population there is a continuing seething discontent in the US that tends to bring down these types of politicians. If Trump is not only a maverick but also in the eyes of his many followers a victim in this scenario then backing down to okay let's close it out here in a deal with McConnell and the rest and calm it all down will not sit well with fans who roar in the ears of Trump, and who just loves to hear those roars . . . I think this notion that politics as usual is happening at this time could be wrong. We could be seeing something like a huge ungovernable fart breaking out of Washington that even the MSM won't be able to ignore.


Posted by: joseph k jr | Dec 14 2019 1:21 utc | 81

I find myself in the unwelcome situation of finding myself thinking about what move I might, as his consigliere, suggest Trump make to keep the pursuing this if / when the Senate bails. Honestly, if both sides of the swamp are so concerned about blowback to them, they may not want to let it get to the Senate, because once that trial is convened I can imagine the Prez going full Trumptard Blowhard and using the bully pulpit to browbeat the Repugnicans into calling one juicy witness after another. The media goes wild, ratings soar. I would be afraid he would dominate that scenario if I had real skin in the game.

So if it doesn't get to the Senate, what next? What sop would the Repugnicans throw him? A movement to impeach Schiff, a reopening of the Hillary server / DNC "hack" given the evidence of political bias and criminal malfeasance I would imagine Durham to dig up on precisely those principals ... ?

What other counterattacks might be available?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 14 2019 1:21 utc | 82

I mean what's increasingly undeniable and laid out like a huge wet spot in the kitchen floor is that the intelligence (sic) agencies cooked up the whole thing in another display of flagrant, confident plotting to throw Trump off the train. Maybe Trump should be thrown off the train I personally see him as incompetent but that is besides the point when the whole fucking governing system is incompetent. Against this Barr et al struggle to do the right thing and are being vilified as scum who don't know which side their patriotism is buttered on. But there is a problem. Look just what happened. Get by the apologies for an incompetent intelligence system (see Taibbi today on this) and we have a monstrous cooked up job from the time Hillary said get me out of this boys, where's my cover, and Crowdstrike said yes. ma'am.

Posted by: joseph k jr | Dec 14 2019 1:31 utc | 83

as matt taibbi notes, it will be especially interesting to watch all the previous cia folks who've been given msm gigs to see how they spin durhams report when it becomes available... i am sure they are going to play nice with that report - NOT...

thanks for the comments here... fascinating as always...

Posted by: james | Dec 14 2019 1:51 utc | 84

joseph k jr @81:

the problem with kayfabing here (which could be argued certainly)

IMO the kayfabing is subtle and originates at the highest levels so its very difficult to detect except with much though (which very few care to do).

backing down to ... calm it all down will not sit well with fans

Trump has said he's OK with either approach but he, personnally, would like to have a trial. That's his nod to fans. They will accept that and move on - as they did when he announced that he wouldn't prosecute Hillary.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 2:18 utc | 85

Paul Damascene @82: So if it doesn't get to the Senate ...

For 3rd time in US history, full House to vote on impeachment of a president

The Democrats have the votes for impeachment. They will not back down now. If they did the disunity would show the weakness of their Party and that could well mean the end of the Party.

So this is definitely going to the Senate. And it appears that the Agreement is to vote down the articles of impeachment without calling witnesses. So the "trial" is essentially over before it begins.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 2:26 utc | 86

@85: though => thought

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 2:27 utc | 87

@james, @joseph k jr, @everyone

At least Taibbi is asking relevant questions:

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi· Dec 10
I don’t understand the disinterest of journalists in this question. If Mifsud isn’t a Russian agent, the “sole predicate” for Crossfire Hurricane was a red herring [Steele dossier], which at minimum is totally stupid.
Not That Joe Zdeb @Kerry_Flanagan · Dec 10
The question of who exactly Joseph Mifsud actually works for is extremely important at this point, and the lack of desire to find out the answer unsettling.

Also:

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi· Dec 10
Remember when Joseph Mifsud was a “Russian agent"?
Of course that 'Russian Agent' story didn't last long but it shows the initial reaction is to cover up.

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

Probable or known CIA Agents whose cover has now been blown (that we know of): Carter Page (formerly?); Joseph Mifsud; Stefan Halper; Eric Ciaramella. Plus the head of MI6 (Rober Hannigan) resigned and the Skripals were disappeared.

All because Hillary needed "insurance" for a race that she was sure to win?? But I'M THE BAD GUY for pointing out the possibility that something else was up?

Naturally, everyone will ignore my comment @75 or claim: nothing to see here. LOL.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 3:08 utc | 88

Fascinating comments. I especially like the sentence from "new" barfly joseph k jr who wrote:

"
We could be seeing something like a huge ungovernable fart breaking out of Washington that even the MSM won't be able to ignore.
"

I read somewhere in the last 24 hours where House Dems are starting to back away from the process and so, Jackrabbit, don't rule out the implausible.

Just remember, fellow barflies, that behind the scenes, our government has passed a huge military laden budget and is arranging to make $500 billion available to the private banking system over the holidays/year end.

Are we entertained now?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 14 2019 3:16 utc | 89

@ 88 jr... what i would like is for you to not think this is all about you ( your last line)! i am happy to engage otherwise...

as for your comment @ 75 and trump mentioning biden... trump shots his mouth off regularly.. you think it is allstar wrestling.. i think it is in his nature to put his foot in his mouth regularly... but yes - talk about crowdstrike bozo trump.. fact is, if this goes to the senate and the senate approves it, this question will get asked, which sort of implies none of it will, as that would be revealing a ton of shit that your knee deep in shit state are not interested in others knowing about..

as for matts questions... you're right.. he is asking questions that people like disobiedent media have been asking for the past 2-3 years!! of course one can get the same from larry johnson over at pats house too..

fact is many of us have been asking these types of questions for some time and the msm is happy to be the ostrich it is for the most part, matt taibbi and a few others excluded..

just say your piece jr and don't make it about you!

Posted by: james | Dec 14 2019 3:21 utc | 90

To fellow barfly Jackrabbit

Remember the 4th of the Hopi precepts

1. Show up
2. Be present
3. Tell the truth
4. Don't own the outcome

We are all bozos on the bus

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 14 2019 3:50 utc | 91

james

I really don't mean to make it about me. My concern is for larger issues - especially my belief that the world is destabilized when democratic controls are circumvented.

Americans don't want war, yet our leadership is headed in that direction.

It's "about me" only in that:

> I think I was earliest to point out the possible set-up of the 2016 US Presidential election.

> I think I'm the only one that has suggested Ukrainegate as motivated by the unwillingness to impeachment over Russiagate.

> Sometimes critics attack me when they find it difficult to debunk my analysis.


AFAIK no one has connected the dots as I have. AFAICT, almost all political pundits and commentators have bought into the "obvious" partisan warfare. Right-leaning people see an "attempted coup", while left-leaning people see a fascist/racist President who cares not about the nation and its security but about himself and his cronys.

There are a few notable exceptions to the willingness to believe what we are told. Caitlin Johnstone has eloquently described how "narrative managers" have created a situation where the Democratic Party fully supports the CIA, FBI, NATO, MIC, and overseas adventurism - as a response to Trump.

These narratives don't just happen. Just as Presidential candidates that HAVE TO WIN don't pull punches. And a MAGA President doesn't call on Russia to publish emails known to contain highly classified information AND hire a campaign manager that worked for pro-Russian Parties in Ukraine for the previous 7+ years. I could go on but I won't belabor the point.

Note: I addressed the possibility that Trump was just mouthing off on the Ukraine call in my comment @75.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 4:27 utc | 92

psychohistorian @91

Thanks psycho. Words to live by.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 14 2019 4:29 utc | 93

Not emphasized enough in the comments, IMO,are the huge stakes, which makes any deal such as the one contemplated here essentially unstable. For Trump, it's existential: if he loses, either by being thrown out of office by the Senate (as a result of a bipartisan Caesar-like conspiracy) or in 2020 election, he'll end up in jail, SDNY will make sure, to be an eternal example to others who might try to pull off what he did in 2016. He has no choice but to go for the jugular. The deep state conspirators, on the other hand, having gotten the taste of the IG report, cannot afford to wait for Durham and Barr to lay out the whole story,and themselves risk jailtime and their home agencies being turned upside down, especially if it becomes a certainty that Trump will have a second term free to settle accounts. A very dangerous window -- potential for things getting physical.

Posted by: russian troll | Dec 14 2019 5:18 utc | 94

@ Posted by: russian troll | Dec 14 2019 5:18 utc | 94 who wrote
"
A very dangerous window -- potential for things getting physical.
"
Correct.

As I try and understand the behind the curtain actors in this circus I keep thinking back to JFK, Lincoln, and Garfield and wonder how Trump is still alive. What comes to me as partial answer is the "deplorables/evangelicals/others" still in his camp who just might riot considerable enough to bring the system down if he is offed at this point. IMO "they" can't get away with a JFK at this evolution in the sequence of events, its past that window of opportunity, if it ever existed.

And those others were killed more because they threatened only US private finance, from what we know.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 14 2019 6:02 utc | 95

Disagree with the premise of this article. Democrats had Mueller and entire deep state intelligence apparatus (including NSA to dig dirt on Trump) They did not find any. This BS “extortion” of Ukraine is peanuts compared to that. Its laughable and no way GOP would agree to let Democrats easy on this one. They had nothing to lose. Democrats gave up weeks ago and were just playing along mailing it in to save face. They knew they had nothing weeks ago. Republicans sure are playing it safe, or maybe its a trap and will destroy Biden once this gets to Senate. I think Republicans just won enough on this one and remember the saying bird in hand is worth more than 100 bitds flying.

Posted by: Comandante | Dec 14 2019 7:29 utc | 96

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

It can decide to not open an impeachment trial by simply voting against impeachment. Trump wins.
It can open a impeachment trial, use it to extensively hurt the Democrats and, in the end, vote against impeachment. Trump wins big time.
Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

If the non-partisan people despise impeachment as an obvious political ploy with zero substance behind it, despise the Democrats for pushing it, and just want it to go away, then by the same token they're likely to despise Republicans for "us[ing] it to extensively hurt the Democrats", an obvious political ploy with zero substance behind it, rather than just voting against it so it's overwith.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 14 2019 7:53 utc | 97

CD @50

"People forget that Giuliani is not just some political hack. He's the AG that busted up the mob so he knows how to investigate Biden, Pelosi, Schiff and anyone else who is involved in Ukrainian corruption."

Absolutely.
Many people here and elsewhere are dumping on Giuliani, or calling out his investigation activities as a priori suspect because they view him as merely a political hack.
They are forgetting how he made his chops.
Trump Deranged and others are trying to sideline Giuliani by editing his actual skill set and CV out of the picture and leaving a thumbnail of a sleazy pol.

Giuliani has his quirks, but dumb he is not.
He knows how to dig in the dirt for dirtier dirt, and how to use it. I so hope we get to see what we the public are paying for with Giuliani!! (I think the public is paying . . .)

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 14 2019 13:08 utc | 98

JR

"It's "about me" only in that:

> I think I was earliest to point out the possible set-up of the 2016 US Presidential election.

> I think I'm the only one that has suggested Ukrainegate as motivated by the unwillingness to impeachment over Russiagate.

> Sometimes critics attack me when they find it difficult to debunk my analysis."

There you go again. You just can't let it go.
Me me me. I'm right I'm right I'm right, and that's why they hate me. Wah wah wah.

Actually, no, *I* was the first, not you, JR ((;-))!!!


Posted by: Really?? | Dec 14 2019 13:17 utc | 99

JR:
Why do you take up valuable vertical space on the thread with those irritating double exclamation points that you insist on adding at the end of each comment already loaded with empty vertical space?

What is the rhetorical point? They read to me like "Gotcha!" or some other kind of snark.

Posted by: Really?? | Dec 14 2019 13:22 utc | 100

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