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Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Impeachment Statement from Gary Peters

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 Senator Gary Peters

RESPONSES TO STATEMENT FROM SENATOR GARY PETERS:
 
Diane Grove Mienk: You are a disgrace! Making allogations against our good President and presenting them as facts is not, and hopefully never will be the American way! You know that the Bidens dealings are corrupt and self rewarding, yet you and your swamp friends insist on making it look like Trump did this because Joe Biden is running against him. That's just stupid! You will be voted out of office for your corrupt actions and for trying to influence the 2020 elections with your lies here on social media.

Lori LaFave: Absolutely Senator. Only wish your republican colleagues were as honorable. Yeah,




Bret Huntman: Thank you Senator. It is beyond belief that all the evidence is ignored by those in trumps camp and especially...”critical new evidence showing that White House officials were preparing to halt the release of almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine on July 24, the day before the President's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.



Lyle E. Studer III So, do you support the second amendment as well??

 
Judy Peterson Bloodworth: Thank you for taking your oath seriously.


Sandra Scott Karlson: Thank you Senator Peters for standing against the flaunting of our Constitution by trump and those Senators and lawyers who support trump's lawlessness. I, too, hope they would all stand by the Oath of Office they took in the beginning and again as Jurors. Thank you for doing what is right, not what is expedient.


Michael J Morris: The precedent the Democrats just set is very scary... If someone is running for office they can't be investigated of a crime. Quid Pro Joe and company will answer when the President is acquitted of this circus.

Dawn Wolfe Weirauch: Too bad you've voted to confirm Trump's cabinet nominees and you haven't done near enough to stop Trump judges from being confirmed. But, that said, thank you for this. I will of course be voting for you, though I'd prefer an actual progressive.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Impeach

"My dad suggested that the impeachment managers address the talking point that Trump hasn’t committed impeachable offenses thus":

We are not here today to impeach the president for starting the false rumor that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya – called birtherism.

We are not here today to impeach the president for ruining the lives of 5 young black men who were falsely accused (by him) of raping women in Central Park - the Central Park Five.

We are not here today to impeach the president for defrauding students at Trump University.

We are not here today to impeach the president for using Trump (charitable) Foundation for personal gain.

We are not here today to impeach Donald John Trump for being part of a slumlord family that was so horrible Woody Guthrie wrote songs about his dad.

We are not here today to impeach Donald John Trump for violating the emoluments clause by refusing to separate himself from his business interests, cashing in and allowing his children to cash in on the favors world businessmen are willing to give them in trademarks, real estate deals, and other business deals worldwide.

We are not here today to impeach Donald Trump for allowing Don Jr. to shoot an endangered mountain sheep in Mongolia only to have his father’s office “fix” the poaching situation for him with the Mongolian government.

We are not here today to impeach Donald John Trump for defrauding the American Public of over $100 million dollars to visit his own golf club properties spending one in every five days of his presidency.

We are not here to impeach Donald John Trump for putting his children who could not even pass security clearance in charge of things like Middle East Peace while eviscerating the State Department.

We are not here to impeach Donald John Trump to call on our adversaries, like China and Russia to hack the emails of Sec. Clinton and the DNC in broad daylight.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for denigrating the family of a slain Muslim American service member.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for mocking a disabled journalist.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for engaging in sexual assault and then bragging about it on a hot mic.

We are not here for impeaching Donald J Trump for dodging the draft by paying off some slimy doctor that he had bone spurs and have the temerity to call John McCain a loser.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for inciting rally goers to violence.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for calling Nazis very fine people and refugees rapists and murderers.

We are not here to impeach Donald Trump for allowing deadly anti-Semitism and bigotry flourish by signaling acceptance of White Nationalism, saying he is a nationalist, embracing David Duke’s support while denying he knows him- saying virtually nothing to discourage it as people are mowed down in their places of worship, attacked while in public, cemeteries desecrated, homes vandalized.

We are not here to impeach Donald Trump for spending 6 hours of “executive time” a day irresponsibly watching Fox News and tweeting their propaganda at all hours, conducting foreign policy in 280 characters or less. A normal president would read news clips from around the world, stand in front of a microphone to inspire and comfort people after the many tragedies we have endured, and used complex plans with diplomats.

We are not here to impeach Donald Trumps for not helping our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico, humiliating them by throwing them rolls of paper towel in lieu of real aid after a devastating hurricane or threatening Californians that they will get no help for devastating wildfires until basically they rake the leaves there and cutting the forest service budget.

We are not here to impeach Donald John Trump for arbitrarily banning people from Muslim countries from coming here and then dropping the other bigotry shoe by basically ending refugee settlement and referring to the countries from which people with extra melanin in their skin come as “shithole countries”.

We are not here to impeach him for lying about the size of his inaugural crowd size on his first day in office, and then proceeding to lie about everything from the paths of hurricanes to how well he knew all his campaign people from Papadopoulos to Flynn who have been indicted and or convicted of serious crimes.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for running the country like one of his bankrupt casinos with a bunch of unqualified flunkies who are “interim” cabinet members, or “acting this or that”. Acting Chief of Staff, Acting Defense Secretary. Who is our Ambassador to the UN now? Who is the head of the NSA? CIA? Pompeo’s back in for now?

We are not here to impeach Donald Trump for the extrajudicial killing of a foreign general of a country we are not at war with thereby almost starting a war, and when that country retaliated against US military bases by firing rockets at them, causing traumatic brain injury for some service members he said they just had headaches.

We are not here to impeach Donald John Trump for the everlasting national shame and human rights violation of separating refugee children, including infants from their families and leaving them in detention camps where they sleep on concrete with mylar blankets, are not allowed human contact, are not allowed crayons, toothbrushes, soap, babies die alone with no one to hold them, traumatized for life, their emotional growth stunted – families separated forever after the last attempt to escape whatever horror they were fleeing in their home countries – poverty, starvation, gang violence, war. Thousands of those children remaining in what amount to concentration camps to this day.

We are not here to impeach Donald J Trump for packing the federal courts with dozens of judges who have been deemed unqualified to serve on the bench by the American Bar Association.

We are not here to impeach Donald John Trump for threatening our free press and calling journalists the enemy of the people, banning legitimate news outlets from WH Press Briefings for being critical of him, and causing so much disruption the press briefings have basically been suspended because his press secretary can’t explain away the chaos and lies. So no more briefings and people just forget how bad it is.

We are not here to impeach Donald Trump for turning a blind eye to the brutal torture and dismemberment of a Washington Post journalist by the Saudi Regime while giving them big defense contracts – to build US weapons.

We are not here to impeach Donald Trump for threatening and insulting all of our allies while defending and playing footsie with dictators and our enemies from Kim Jong Un to Putin. And in the case of Putin, taking his word that he didn’t interfere with our elections over the word of our own intelligence agencies.

We are not here to impeach Donald Trump for surrounding himself with a criminal element, recently joined by Congressman Chris Collins who was an early supporter and pleaded guilty to to securities fraud, conspiracy and making false statements'. According to ABC news last month, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned since the days when the first-time candidate promised that he would only hire "the best people." That includes a US General, Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort - his former campaign manager. You know, fine people.

What we are here to impeach the president for is the abuse of his august power by trying to intimidate a new and vulnerable Ukrainian president to dig up fake dirt on Trump’s opponent in exchange for aid (otherwise known as quid pro quo) to defend against an invading power and the very country which did interfere with our elections, Russia, and then obstructing Congress. To say nothing about having the Ambassador to Ukraine followed and possibly her safety threatened by his own associates before being dismissed without reason."


"A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth."— ALBERT EINSTEIN

Monday, December 30, 2019

Vladimir, I hope you're listening

Hi Vlad, how's my little buddy?  Do you remember when I asked Russia if it was listening to release Hillary's e mails.  You responded by delivering hacked Democratic e mails.  A perfect response.  So now I want recipacate.  (spelling is my strong suit.)  I want to give you some great advice. 

       Here in America I am going through some things.  Not to worry, the fix is in.  But I thought it might be  a good lesson for you to keep in that KGB brain of yours.  Do you remember how your idol Joseph Stalin had show trials.  The defendants were convicted before the trials ever started.  We have a different system at the moment.  My trial is fixed so that I will be  found innocent  before the trial ever starts.

        We both know that you control the biggest kleptocracy ever created.  How I envy you.  But  imagine if some hot headed pencil necked prosecutor tried to bring you down.  The Russian system always convicts.  We have a better way.
  
         We got the idea from a bunch of Republican state attorneys general.  They filed a lawsuit to abolish Obamacare.  The lawsuit was filed  in Wichita Falls Texas.  Wichita Falls is the 38th most populous city in Texas.  The Wichita Falls federal court has exactly  one judge,  Reed O'Conner.  He is a right wing buddy of John Cornyn and is high on my list for Court Of Appeals appointments.  So the lawsuit gets filed and is joined by 20 Republican attorneys general who would not be able to find Wichita Falls using GPS.  They never have to set foot in Wichita Falls.  They merely sit back and let O'Connor throw out Obamacare.  So the fix was in.  Isn't this legal system great? 

        Now  a crazy lady named Pelosi and her flunky named Shifty have started impeachment proceedings against me. They had hearings in Congress.  I screamed and yelled that there was no due process.  Of course that's a lie, but who cares.   I claimed that I could not call witnesses even though I refused to let any of my people testify.  I claimed  that there was no evidence even though I refused to turn over thousands of documents Shifty had subpoenaed.  I claimed  that they wouldn't let me participate even though they invited my lawyer to participate.  Please take note- this is most important.  If I  tell the same lie over and over, my  MAGA supporters will not only believe it, they will embrace it.  They think that it is a communist plot to call me a liar.

      Now the impeachment goes to the Senate.  My buddy Moscow Mitch runs that place.  He has already announced that he is working in close cooperation with me.  He is trying to figure out whether  to   have a trial, or if he does, whether there will  be any witnesses. I will get back to him on that question. His right hand  man Lindsay Graham has already announced his verdict.  Moscow and Lindsay  will violate an oath at the start of the trial which requires them to be fair and impartial.    Oath, shmoath, I have them in my pocket.  I gave Moscow Mitch's wife a high profile job which helps her  increase her  family fortune.  Lindsay gets to ride on Air Force One all the time and then I give him reduced rates for golf.  The rest of the Republicans in the Senate are so frightened of being at the wrong end of a tweet storm that they will never vote against me.  I have MAGA operatives ready to demonstrate  against them in their home states.

     I am going to come out of this impeachment hoax smelling like a rose.  I have already ordered millions of shirts saying either "impeach Pelosi" or "impeach Schiff".  The ships are on their way here from China.  Some so called ethics experts claim I should not make a profit on the shirts.  No problem.  The importer is owned by my worthless sons.

        Vlad we have been able to get your invasion of Ukraine to be considered an attempt by Ukraine to interfere in American elections.  How can people be so dumb.  Vlad, life is good whether in Russia or America.  Let's get together at that beautiful resort I am building in Russian Crimea.  By the way I could use some Russian financing.  I'm a little short of cash since I am on a limited salary.  Take care my little Bolshevik

                                                              Your pal Donnie.

Friday, December 13, 2019

tRUMP's disgusting speech

There was blockbuster news from this weekend and today.  I will do separate pieces about today's impeachment hearing and today's Justice Department's inspector general's report.  I will restrain myself by  trying to keep the pieces relatively short.  I could write a book.  In addition there was the shooting at the Pensacola naval station by a Saudi. tRUMP publicized the Saudi leader's statement that the Saudis love America.  They certainly proved their love by doing 9/11.  They reinforced their love by officially ordering the murder and dismemberment of an American journalist.  And the Pensacola shooter finalized the love.  And tRUMP continues to suck up to Saudi Arabia.

        For now I will write about tRUMP's disgusting speech to  a group named Israeli- American Council.  This group has historically been slightly right wing leaning, but still has featured  speakers, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  

        The organization took a sharp right turn when Sheldon Adelson infused a huge amount of money in 2013.  I could write pages about Adelson.  He is a particularly disgusting multibillionaire.  The difference between Adelson and tRUMP is that Adelson made billions from his gambling empire.  tRUMP squandered his empire.

          There is no bottom to tRUMP's vileness.  This is what he said to this Jewish organization (close to verbatim).  "  I'm in the real estate business like you.  I know you very well.  You'r not nice people at all, you're brutal killers.  You have no choice you have to vote for me.  If Pocahontas wins she will take 100% of your wealth. You will lose your money in 15 minutes."

         tRUMP went on to say that there are many Jews who do not love Israel enough.  We should get people out of our country in order to increase support  of Israel.

        So take his statement apart.  He resorted to two classic antisemitic tropes.  First, that Jews are evil, guided only by money.  Second, that only good Jews support Israel. This is blatant encouragement that American Jews if they are "good Jews" should have duel loyalty. Like the huge majority of American Jews, I deeply resent that anyone should suggest that my loyalty is  to a country other than my own.  

         He said non supporters of Israel should be out of our country.  This  statement is a poorly  hidden  repeat of his statement that people like Pressley, Tlaib and AOC should go back to the countries they came from.  

       In one short moment tRUMP offended both Jews and Native Americans.  The condemnation  by Jewish and Native American organizations was swift and strong.  I am reminded about the speech tRUMP delivered to AIPAC during his campaign in 2016.  In that speech tRUMP made inappropriate disgusting claims about President Obama.  The next day, in a tearful press conference, the president of AIPAC apologized for tRUMP's statement.  Nothing stops tRUMP.  He went on to give a totally inappropriate speech to a boy scout assembly.   And three years later he does the exact same thing. Chastisement has zero effect on this sociopath.

          Throughout our recent history a huge majority of American Jews have  supported Democrats.  In the past I accepted that there is a minority of Jews who were politically conservatives.  As with other things, tRUMP has turned our country upside down.  tRUMP, by any measure is a despicable human being.  I cannot accept that any Jew could support a bigot who separates children from their parents.  Jews have experienced child separation.  At  the Israeli American speech Jews gave  rousing cheers to tRUMP's patent antisemitism.  How is it possible that they cheer a man who just called them brutal killers?   It is a frightening question.  The answer will be that in 2020 Jews will reject tRUMP by a 2 to 1 ratio.

           I know I am preaching to the choir.  I remain convinced that we should not allow tRUMP's malevolence to go unanswered.  There is a pretty good chance, that I will continue to comment on the traitor.  As always, thanks for listening.

                                                                      Richard

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Warren's M4A financing plan

Elizabeth Warren over the last few weeks has faced questions over how she imagines financing Medicare for All -- and who, in the end, would be better or worse off.  On Friday, she answered those questions by sketching out how much she envisions a new government-run health care system costing and, then, how the government would pay for it.

Here's the thumbnail version of what she proposes: She would hike taxes on corporations and the rich. She would repurpose the money employers and states now spend on their own health insurance programs. She would pull money from elsewhere in the federal budget and, critically, she would control spending throughout the health care industry -- not just for drug makers, but for doctors and hospitals too.

The plan is complex and so it will be a while before analysts figure out exactly what it entails and where all the hidden tradeoffs are. The numbers add up, at least on paper, and she's got some highly respected experts, including former Obama administration officials Don Berwick and Betsey Stevenson, vouching for the feasibility of different plan components.

Still, plenty of experts are already wondering about the provision to keep employers paying for health care -- and whether it can work as Warren intends. Others are questioning her campaign's assumptions of massive new savings from administrative simplification and whether she's accounted appropriately for other variables, like the fact that people who get better health insurance tend to consume a lot more health care.

And then there are the daunting political challenges that any Medicare for All plan, including the original bill from Bernie Sanders, would face. Corporations will fight the new taxes and the health care industry will oppose the new cost controls, arguing, rightly or wrongly, that they will undermine quality and timeliness of treatment, even as the plan eliminates financial barriers to care. That could resonate with a public that, however unhappy about the status quo, also lacks faith in government.

Could Warren's plan work in the real world? Should we judge it as a schematic, or a statement of priorities and values? Is it more or less honest than the typical campaign document -- and how does it compare to what Republicans have put forward? These are all good questions, about which honest people can disagree. 

But at the very least, we can stop asking how Warren would pay for a single-payer health care plan and start asking whether her approach to policy makes sense for the country.

Here's a tweetstorm with some more thoughts:


And then the full story at HuffPost, from Friday, with my colleague Kevin Robillard:

 
Jonathan Cohn 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

IRS (It's Russia Stupid)

  The only possible explanation for Traitor Trump's insane foreign policy is that it is being done to please Russia.  To this day I do not discount the possibility that Russia has him on videotape at the Moscow hotel.  Separately, his real estate empire has been financed by Russia.  Who knows how many 10s of millions or hundreds of millions he owes Russia.  His son admitted that their main source of financing is Russia.  This is separate and apart from the untold millions of  laundered dollars spent by Russians to buy units in his Manhattan and other facilities.

         The thing about tRUMP is that a lot of stuff he does in plain sight.  The perfect example is when during the campaign he asked whether Russia was listening to him.  Then in Helsinki he said he believed Putin rather than his own intelligence agencies.
 
       I could give an exhaustive list of examples of the tRUMP/Russia quagmire.  I will give only the ones that have come up in the last week   The vast majority of commentators discussing the Ukraine scandal hardly mention Russia.  For me, Russia is at the heart of the scandal. Russia is the story, not Ukraine.  The two men who were indicted for illegal campaign violations to the tRUMP campaign did so with laundered Russian money.  It was in Russia'a interest to destabilize Ukraine.  

         There  has been absolutely zero explanation from the White House about why tRUMP personally withheld military funding from Ukraine.  If you realize that withholding the funds was in Putin's interest, then it make sense.

          Pulling U.S. troops away from protecting our allies also makes perfect sense if you look at it through the Russia prism.   The Assad regime would have been defeated if not for Russian military aid.  Assad fought bitterly against the Kurds. By failing to protect the Kurds, tRUMP is helping to support Assad who in turn is supported by Russia.

          Trump was asked if his withdrawal of support for the Kurds will hinder other alliances.  In a total non sequitur tRUMP basically said that we don't need alliances.  He went on to bash NATO with his old canard that NATO has not paid enough money.  He basically said that there is no reason for us to be in NATO.  Let them face Russia by themselves.  This was music to Putin's ear. 

                Moscow Mitch was totally offended by any suggestion that he is not tough on Russia.  He claims that he has opposed Russian influence for his entire career.  Where was Moscow Mitch's outrage when the Mueller report said that the tRUMP campaign encouraged Russian interference in our elections?  Where is  Moscow Mitch now when faced with  the fact that laundered Russian money went into the tRUMP campaign.

             The walls are crumbling.  The former ambassador to Ukraine made a blistering statement about the State Department and tRUMP's hatchet men  who got her fired.  A top adviser to Pompeo has quit in disgust.  tRUMPists are are scrambling to get rid of laundered Russian money.  Unless tRUMP's  S.Ct. decides to reverse well established law his tax returns will be turned over to Congress.   tRUMP has viciously turned on Fox.  If Fox turns or if even a few Republicans grow some, Russia's favorite asset is going down.  As every new breaking story comes out, hope is building. Yesterday more rats left the stinking ship.  

                                                                  Richard

Monday, October 7, 2019

Bizarroworld

The last 24 hours may be the most bizarre in all of tRUMP's presidency.  And that's a very low bar.  The State Department inspector general had an urgent meeting with the house intelligence committee.  It turns out that the urgency was because he was in position of crazy conspiracy documents and he wanted to get them off his hands as  soon as possible.  The documents were in an envelope addressed to Mike Pompeo, attn. Ruth.  The envelope was apparently hand delivered.  The return address said, "White House."  Inside were several  folders which contained documents on Trump Hotel stationary.  How did they come into the possession of Mike Pompeo you may ask?  Rudy Giuliani.  He put together a bunch of junk trying to show that Ukraine interfered in our elections to help Hillary Clinton.  This is, of course, directly opposite of the unanimous conclusion of 17 intelligence agency as well as the exhaustive Mueller investigation.  It is the equivalent of tRUMP suggesting that the DNC might have been hacked  by a 500 pound man sitting on his bed.

           Trump's press conference with the president of Finland could be Exhibit 1 in tRUMP's involuntary confinement hearing.  He was crazed. He turned red in the face.  He did his usual screaming and yelling.  He did his usual name calling. Then he took off on Adam Schiff.  He  said that Schiff could not hold the blank strap of Mike Pompeo.  He said it twice.  After some headscratching, people figured out that tRUMP must have meant jockstrap.  Who knew that jock is a dirty word?  tRUMP's aversion to bad language did not last long since he said that the impeachment investigation is total bullshit.  

       Back to Giuliani.  It turns out that he has visited Manafort several times in prison.  Please recall that Manafort was on the payroll of the corrupt Ukranian government.  Giuliani was probably on two missions.  First, to prove that  Ukraine supported Hillary 
Clinton.  And second, that  Joe and Hunter Biden were criminals.  Both of those theories are nonsense.  And coming from Manefort they have zero credibility.
It is tempting to laugh off these visits.  But  there is a very important  point to be made.  What  is the message that Manafort is receiving when President tRUMP's personal attorney is asking him for something?  The message is obvious.  tRUMP can pardon him if he gives some  dirt.  In my view this is another example of obstruction of justice.

    Then there is Pompeo.  After feigning complete ignorance of tRUMP's conversation with Zelezny, he finally, and  very sheepishly,admitted that he was listening to the conversation.  Pompeo's people are saying that he  recalled the ambassador to  Ukraine because he was worried about her safety.  Unfortunately for Pompeo he was listening to tRUMP say that the ambassador was a very bad person and things were going to happen to her.  As with all of tRUMP's acolytes, Pompeo's reputation for whatever it was worth is now forever sullied.

    And finally today  tRUMP said  that everyone has no doubt that the Bidens are not criminals.  Read that again.   In addition to all of his other unfamiliarity with the English language, tRUMP can't figure out double negatives.   He did exactly the same thing at his press conference with his brother Vladimir.

          This is a very brief rundown of bizarroworld.  I am sure you can give plenty of other examples that I missed from the last 24 hours.  In the world of sanity, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff had a fabulous news conference.  They are so smart and so objective and so patriotic.  I think they are going to prevail and tRUMP is going down.  Before that happens he is going to flail  and attack even more outrageously.  It won't be pretty but he is going down.  Take care all.

                                                                 Richard