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U.S. Politics: Dirt From Ukrainians, Bombs for Iranians, Shut Down Your Brainiums...

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6 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Let's break this down.  There are 53 Senate Republicans.  So far one of them, Romney, has spoken out about the most recent Trump-Ukraine allegations and asked for a release of the whistleblower complaint (which is more important than the transcript).  One of them, Richard Burr, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (who is most likely retiring in 2022), has refused to comment until he has further information. 

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins and Cory Gardner, are running in states where there are political incentives to distance themselves from the President.

We don't have all the facts yet.  We don't know what representations Giuliani made to the Ukrainians.  We don't know what other instances the whistleblower cited in his complaint apart from this call.  

But the most recent revelations in the Washington Post and the New York Times that Trump personally ordered a delay of the release of Ukraine funding, while simultaneously raising no less than eight times the issue of Hunter Biden's involvement with Burisima is devastating for Trump even amongst his fellow Republican politicians. 

History is often about tipping points.  If the Trump administration stalls (as I expect), the House needs to issue and seek enforcement of a subpoena to obtain copies of the transcript of the call and whistleblower complaint.  I expect they will obtain both documents, eventually, through the courts, if they are not leaked before then.  And then, well we shall see.  

The President is popular in his party, but so was Nixon.  When bad facts came out and continued to come out, even loyal supporters like George HW Bush turned against him in order to ensure their future political survival.  The Republican congressional delegation is not full of true believers in Trump.  It's full of careerists.  

When was George H. W. Bush ever a “loyal supporter” of Trump?

ETA

Sorry you ment Nixon.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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Sounds like the die might be cast on impeachment. Heard on the news that two thirds of House Democrats are on board now, including a growing number from Trump districts. That number will only grow as Trump et al. levy these BS attacks on Biden while trying to justify obvious corruption.

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Mitch McConnell blinked on Election Security. In addition to celebrating, Democrats should learn from this. (Note: this is an editorial, and as always with such pieces, should be taken with a grain of salt.)

Quote

For more than a year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went eyeball to eyeball against those demanding the United States protect its elections from ongoing Russian tampering. Repeatedly, McConnell blocked all meaningful attempts to fortify U.S. defenses, and when critics pointed out that he was making things easier for the Kremlin, he howled about “modern-day McCarthyism.”

But the pressure did not recede, and on Thursday, McConnell strode onto the Senate floor and surrendered. “I’m proud,” he said, that a forthcoming spending bill “will include a bipartisan amendment providing another $250 million for the administration and security of their elections. . . . I am proud to have helped develop this amendment and to co-sponsor it in committee.”

When a journalist observed that McConnell had made the reversal “under fire,” McConnell’s communications director, David Popp, replied on Twitter: “He’s not under fire from anyone. He pounced at the opportunity to seize the moment and help secure this important funding.”

Right. Like a drowning man pounces on a life raft.

In August 2018, McConnell led the Senate GOP in blocking a proposal to spend $250 million on election security — the same amount he’s now “proud” to support. In July, he was still resistant to further legislation, claiming the “absence” of election problems.

The amount McConnell finally allowed, even combined with the $380 million approved in early 2018, is a fraction of the more than $2 billion needed. McConnell also continues to block related efforts to fortify U.S. defenses, such as requiring paper-ballot backup, post-election audits and campaigns to tell the FBI about offers of foreign assistance.

Still, after exhausting all other possibilities, he finally did the right thing. He did it because he was forced.

There is a lesson in this for Democrats and others seeking to counter the worst abuses of the Trump age. McConnell may leap to appease President Trump, but ultimately he will succumb to political pressure. McConnell speaks one language: cold, ruthless power.

Legislation providing funds to care for 9/11 victims followed a similar pattern. McConnell had long been the main obstacle to providing help for stricken first responders. In late 2015, a bipartisan agreement on renewing the program was ready to go when McConnell rejected it, leaving the deal “in tatters,” The Post’s Mike DeBonis reported at the time. Under pressure from comedian Jon Stewart and others, McConnell eventually accepted a temporary renewal.

This year, with the program again expiring, advocates again tried for a permanent renewal — and McConnell, again, declined to commit to action, apparently seeking to do some horse trading. But under enormous pressure from Stewart, 9/11 heroes and Democrats, McConnell in June relented and allowed a permanent renewal to be enacted.

McConnell’s behavior on Trump’s border wall fits the pattern, too. Schumer and Pelosi late last year offered $1.3 billion for border security, but McConnell, trying to honor Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall, indicated he would only go along with what the president wanted. Against McConnell’s wishes, Trump invited a 34-day government shutdown over the matter. Republicans faced intense pressure to end the shutdown, and in the end, McConnell and his fellow Republicans agreed to something much like the Democrats’ original offer.

The other thing they should do in response, I'd say, is to go over everything with a fine tooth comb and make sure McConnell isn't going to pervert the spirit of bills like this or intentionally botch the execution of it. But it is a good reminder that no matter how rigid and immoveable Republicans like McConnell seem, constant, prolonged pressure can still get them to bend.

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59 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

History is often about tipping points.  If the Trump administration stalls (as I expect), the House needs to issue and seek enforcement of a subpoena to obtain copies of the transcript of the call and whistleblower complaint.  I expect they will obtain both documents, eventually, through the courts, if they are not leaked before then.  And then, well we shall see.  

The President is popular in his party, but so was Nixon.  When bad facts came out and continued to come out, even loyal supporters like George HW Bush turned against him in order to ensure their future political survival.  The Republican congressional delegation is not full of true believers in Trump.  It's full of careerists.  

I don't find the Nixon comparison very compelling.  If Nixon had Fox News and the right wing outrage machine defending him 24/7, he would have survived.  Trump is already claiming that Biden did the same thing when the US withheld military aid from Ukraine in 2014 to try and get them to remove prosecutor Shokin.  It's a total bullshit false equivalency, as you can read a WaPo FactChecker go over here:

Quote

The current prosecutor general of Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, was quoted in a May 16 report, also by Bloomberg, saying “he had no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son.” 

“Hunter Biden did not violate any Ukrainian laws — at least as of now, we do not see any wrongdoing,”

...[quoting the NYT] “Some of his former associates, moreover, said Mr. Biden never did anything to deter other Obama administration officials who were pushing for the United States to support criminal investigations by Ukrainian and British authorities — and potentially to start its own investigation — into Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, for possible money laundering and abuse of office."

But the facts don't matter to Republicans.  Trump will throw enough shit in the air that everybody ends up getting covered in it, and Trump supporters will just claim that "this is just how politicians act."  I find the idea that this story is going to spiral into Trump's impeachment and removal to be very, very far-fetched.  Impeached?  Maybe - all they need to do is convince Nancy Pelosi.  Removed?  Now you're talking about convincing people like Sen. Daines and Sen. Sullivan.  I'm not counting on it. 

EDIT: forgot the quote.

Edited by Maithanet

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Get real.  He's already called for Biden's execution!  And he is now referring to the election as the day I took over the United States.

Anyone who believes in anything but the bedbug should be saying right now the hell with impeachment, put him in the loony bin, St. Elizabeth's, or if it is shut down, another highest security government prison, say --Guantánamo.  Pence can join him.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Paladin of Ice said:

Mitch McConnell blinked on Election Security. In addition to celebrating, Democrats should learn from this. (Note: this is an editorial, and as always with such pieces, should be taken with a grain of salt.)

The other thing they should do in response, I'd say, is to go over everything with a fine tooth comb and make sure McConnell isn't going to pervert the spirit of bills like this or intentionally botch the execution of it. But it is a good reminder that no matter how rigid and immoveable Republicans like McConnell seem, constant, prolonged pressure can still get them to bend.

I'm fairly certain that the moniker #MoscowMitch is not going away anytime soon. It's the sort of catchy branding that any opposition would love to be handed to them. So that will continue a lot of the pressure that he is receiving.

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9 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I don't find the Nixon comparison very compelling.  If Nixon had Fox News and the right wing outrage machine defending him 24/7, he would have survived.  

But the facts don't matter to Republicans.  Trump will throw enough shit in the air that everybody ends up getting covered in it, and Trump supporters will just claim that "this is just how politicians act."  I find the idea that this story is going to spiral into Trump's impeachment and removal to be very, very far-fetched.  Impeached?  Maybe - all they need to do is convince Nancy Pelosi.  Removed?  Now you're talking about convincing people like Sen. Daines and Sen. Sullivan.  I'm not counting on it. 

EDIT: forgot the quote.

1. Nixon had plenty of supporters, including amongst the press.  He won 60.7% of the vote, and carried 49 states in 1972.  I accept Fox News is a new phenomenon, and the right wing machine is much more fact-resistant.  It is not however immune. 

2.  It is a low percentage probability right now that Trump will be removed from office.  But's the wrong question.  The right question is what constitutional remedy is there against persistent abuses of power and criminal conduct by a President? And the sole answer is impeachment.  And by the way, politically, impeachment is the one sure-fire way to ensure that the American people understand Trump's criminal conduct. 

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1 minute ago, Gaston de Foix said:

And by the way, politically, impeachment is the one sure-fire way to ensure that the American people understand Trump's criminal conduct. 

This is astonishingly optimistic.  Voters who get their news from the right wing bubble will absolutely not "understand Trump's criminal conduct", they will instead continue to believe that Trump is the subject of a witch hunt because Democrats just can't get over the 2016 election result. 

I can't find the article right now, but I read recently that when Trump supporters were exposed to the actual facts of the Mueller report, many of them were indeed quite troubled by Trump's actions.  The problem was that they were totally unaware of Mueller's actual conclusions because they get all their news filtered through Fox News.  I don't see why impeachment proceedings would require people to start getting educated, it seems a lot more likely it'll be the Mueller Report all over again.

I don't want to give the impression I'm necessarily anti-impeachment.  I'm more impeachment agnostic, because I can see advantages and drawbacks to either approach.  But if Democrats do impeach, they are going to have to work really hard to win the PR war to ensure that they don't lose the anti-Trump independents who voted Democratic in 2018, but polls show do not favor impeachment at this time.  And I have very little faith in Democrats winning PR wars. 

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There are many signs that right-wing populism, or trumpism, or ethno-nationalism, or neo-fascism... Whatever you may want to call these similar movements, will not die out with any given generation.

Quote

You gotta fight for it, put in the work, win the public argument,

ripp, PoI--

agreed as to both.  i didn't mean to suggest a quietism that simply assumes one's enlightened progressive vision will inevitably carry the day irrespective of the effort involved. the point was rather that the argument is to be won despite the far right getting riled up.  they're always riled up, so one must make plans without that as a factor. i certainly didn't mean to propose an alternative between winning the public argument vs. letting the public argument unfold in abstract hegelian fashion.  the alternative i had in mind is that we have a democratic process to handle fascists--as opposed to simply going full metal stalinist and shooting them all.  the alternatives are only active variants of engagement.

 

Quote

Um, so you didn't catch your slip up just now.    You just admitted that you're the one with no chance of ever changing, because it was stated automatically that you'll still be of the same opinion once the rest of humanity dies of gluten.  You're already looking forward to the senility division of this neverending bitchfit.   You know, for the last two years, you guys are the ones who've lost it and demonstrated this 'always riled up' demeanor.   The trump voters are much more likely to have resumed normal life.   And the Trump voters did change their minds.  They stopped voting blue in those battleground states and got him elected.   If the trump voters are 'accursed' it's a curse your ilk has imposed on America by refusing to accept the election and move on with your lives.  It's churlish.   

MoO--

i see neither a defect on my end nor the need for the scurrilous and irrelevant argumentum ad hominem, as the alleged admission is manifest only in the febrile fascist imaginary. 

the trump voters with whom i am familiar have certainly not calmed down but remain always already enraged about immigrants, various racial and religious groups, various sets of political beliefs, various categories of employment, and so on.  they were chanting in NSDAP-styled unison to deport four sitting members of congress; they angrily defend children in cages; they deface temples and shoot up schools and night clubs; they assassinate counter-protesters, burn churches, blow up federal buildings, and send pipe bombs through the mails. their violent anger is their identity and their politics.  they can't even assess an obama speech without saying that they could kill him; they can't discuss migrant laborers without referring, as in rwanda, to vermin. 

i doubt the allegation that trump voters changed from voting democratic is relevant to my point that trump voters are not subject to being persuaded.  they are currently in a cult of personality, immune to factual or legal argument; they have a set of nebulous policy preferences that are divorced from the real. 

my point about their being the 'accursed share' deploys a term of art from the philosophy of bataille; you should read his treatise and then come back here when you are adequately informed in order to revise and resubmit your ill-considered and unwarranted contribution, as quoted hereinabove, with a bit less vitriol and cynicism, a bit more patience and good faith--as the opinion to which you glibly responded has nothing to do with accepting the election vel non--that red herring is common among trump voters who seek to distract from the points being made against their position and return thereby all debates back to an alleged failure to accept the election.  we can accept the results of the election, or not--and nevertheless argue that the president is unfit for office, that the president is a criminal under national or international law, or anything else warranted by the relevant facts and applicable law.  this is how legal and political debates work, contrary to trump-voters' angered personal invective that entirely substitutes in for critical assessment and reasoned debate.

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Nothing's changed, they are still a fucking basket of loony deplorables, only I guess candidates can't get elected if they state it. Doesn't make it any less true.

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1 hour ago, Gaston de Foix said:

1. Nixon had plenty of supporters, including amongst the press.  He won 60.7% of the vote, and carried 49 states in 1972.  I accept Fox News is a new phenomenon, and the right wing machine is much more fact-resistant.  It is not however immune. 

2.  It is a low percentage probability right now that Trump will be removed from office.  But's the wrong question.  The right question is what constitutional remedy is there against persistent abuses of power and criminal conduct by a President? And the sole answer is impeachment.  And by the way, politically, impeachment is the one sure-fire way to ensure that the American people understand Trump's criminal conduct. 

So many have been saying this for so damned long!  But this really does seem to be a moment for understanding that this is what impeachment proceedings mean is spiking hard.

Though really he should just be tried as sponsoring, supporting and fomenting, state terrorism against our own state and put into Guantánamo -- let it be good for something, at least!  Plus, it would give his baskets of deplorables a distraction as they scheme and squabble endlessly on how to break him out . . . .  :rolleyes:

Edited by Zorral

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"Impeachment Fervor Starts Spreading To The Senate"
Several Senate Democrats, including Minority Whip Dick Durbin, said Tuesday they support beginning impeachment proceedings against Trump

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/impeachment-trump-senate-democrats_n_5d8a3438e4b0d26946552532

 

Quote

 

What prompted the move toward impeachment among Senate Democrats, who are more reticent on the matter compared to their House colleagues, is news that Trump apparently asked the head of Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his family. The Trump administration reportedly withheld a promised $250 million worth of military assistance from Ukraine a week prior to the president’s call with the Ukrainian leader.

“To use America’s global credibility as a casino token, to be cashed in for personal political gain, is an intolerable abuse of power and totally anathema to the rule of law,” Murphy said in a statement.

Schatz said he supports accelerating the impeachment process “so that no future president of either party believes that it is possible, practicable, or wise to defy the law, Congress’ constitutional role, and the American people.”

Blumenthal called on the House Select Committee to begin proceedings, saying he “reached this decision with sadness, but also anger, after the President has repeatedly broken laws and betrayed his oath of office.”

“His seeking corrupt assistance from a foreign leader for personal political gain crosses the line,” Blumenthal said.

In her own call for impeachment proceedings, Smith noted that “such an inquiry ― which is different from removal from office ― is serious,” but said “my job as Senator is to uphold the Constitution and the rule of law, and I must fulfill my responsibility to listen to all the evidence.”

Democrats plan to continue to pressure their Republican colleagues on the Ukraine matter. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is expected to try to pass a resolution on the floor Tuesday calling on the Trump administration to release an “urgent” whistleblower complaint pertaining to the president’s conduct with Ukraine. The administration is blocking Congress from viewing the complaint, although the law requires that Congress be allowed to see it.

Republicans, however, are expected to block the request. Most GOP senators pointedly avoided criticizing Trump on Monday, saying they could not comment without more information. Some downplayed the story entirely.

 

 

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53 minutes ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

Trump says that California will have to investigate Joe Biden or he will withhold any federal aid to the state. 

https://news.yahoo.com/epa-threatens-california-highway-funds-140545969.html?bcmt=1

Trump has to go.  But I don’t see anything in that article tying Trump’s BS with California to California investigating Biden.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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24 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Trump has to go.  But I don’t see anything in that article tying Trump’s BS with California to California investigating Biden.

I can always count on you to miss sarcasm.

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Really hope a buncha firms have already put polls in the field to see if the Ukraine story and/or this Dem push has significantly shifted public opinion.  Could be.  Me want data now! 

And while my strategic objections/worries haven't vanished overnight, this is personally pretty exciting both as a political junkie and since obviously I would have voted to impeach and convict on January 20, 2017 - with justification.  I'd be a lot more excited if I wasn't dealing with this damn cold.

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23 minutes ago, DMC said:

Really hope a buncha firms have already put polls in the field to see if the Ukraine story and/or this Dem push has significantly shifted public opinion.  Could be.  Me want data now! 

And while my strategic objections/worries haven't vanished overnight, this is personally pretty exciting both as a political junkie and since obviously I would have voted to impeach and convict on January 20, 2017 - with justification.  I'd be a lot more excited if I wasn't dealing with this damn cold.

I'm calling this a disaster in the making, polls unseen.

Sincerely disappointed in Pelosi for holding strong so long only to give in to temptation now. Another four months and it all goes on autopilot. Now the Fox News fuckers get to pour some gasoline on their base all for the sake of making liberals feel like they're doing something.

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