After the hearing ended last night Senator Lamar Alexander came out and announced he was voting against additional witnesses. So now I get how the wavering senators will claim they should be reelected. Here goes:
Today (after much more noise) the vote on calling more witnesses will happen. All the Democrats along with Collins, Romney and maybe Murkowski will vote yes for more witnesses. If it ends up 50-50 then Justice Roberts will refuse to cast the deciding vote and say he will follow the rules of the senate. A measure not passed is not approved. Thus 50-50 is a loss for more witnesses.
Okay, then comes the second vote to remove from office. Here’s where the trickery will come I think. Collins, Romney and some Democrats like Jones and Manchin will vote not to impeach and remove from office. In this way the Democrats like Jones and Manchin can try and have it both ways. They will tell Democrats I voted to get the witnesses to hear the evidence, but we didn’t win. They will tell the others they did not vote to impeach the President because the evidence wasn’t there. It will be an example of politics at its worst and an example of how dumb they think people are.
Joe Manchin has walked this line for a long time. A Democrat in red state West Virginia, he has proven deft at this. Remember Justice Kavanaugh’s hearing? He was “studying and reflecting” and wouldn’t commit. He waited and waited. Only after Senator Collins speech announcing she was voting for Kavanaugh did he run and say he was too. He wants to be able to tell West Virigians he is supporting the President. But, he won’t do it until he is not the one who’s there when he is really needed. A real profile in courage.
So if I have this right, the vote for witnesses is a no even if it goes 50-50. Then the vote to remove from office fails something like 54-46.
We went through all this for that.
One last point on Senator Alexander. He said in announcing he was a no vote on witnesses that he believes the President did withhold the funds for a while. He said he thought that was wrong, but not impeachable. Our position exactly all along. How much time, pain, division and costs we could have saved if only they would have voted to censure. A reprimand was all this wa,s and it turned into a circus.
Remember your vote in November makes a difference.
Eight hours of questions is all that remains before we get to the witness vote tomorrow, which could end this whole thing. The American Public lost interest at the outset, and ratings show that. The MSM continues to hype it but I think most people are saying “get this over with already”.
Yesterday we saw day one of questions. Who knew that senators would be asking questions of their own side to bolster their argument. So it all seems to come down to this: The House Prosecutors want to call a witness. They want John Bolton. Anything they can do to make the President look bad is the goal. When the defense says if you want Bolton we want the Biden’s, they say no. Their argument is the Biden’s are not pertinent to this and if they want one for one they should take Chief of Staff Mulvaney. He they say, is more relevant to what Bolton has to say. So the Prosecutors want witnesses and want to tell the defense who they should call. Not going to work.
Ask yourself is Hunter Biden tied to this case? After all it started with him and the reasons he got the job. I think a lot of us want to know what went on there.
The other exchange that caught my attention was the defense saying they might call the whistle blower. They think their is a connection between the whistle blower and Schiff’s staff. We have heard these stories and seen the name outed in the press. When Schiff said he didn’t know who the person was and that his staff had not corresponded with him it was a reversal on the staff statement he had made earlier. The MSM didn’t play this up as they would have for someone else. By the way MRC reported this morning that the evening news networks had a 90% positive spin for the prosecution and against the administration last night. Having watched the morning shows today I can tell you that trend continued.
So I come to this conclusion as we head toward tomorrow’s vote: The prosecutors want witnesses, but only the ones they want. The defense wants no witnesses and to end this now. But if they force witnesses then the defense wants to go scorched earth and call them all. I don’t think both sides want that and four more weeks of this. Thus more than 50 senators may want a witness or two, but that can’t be done without opening the door. I am not sure how the 50 line up, but this may well end tomorrow. Romney says he is voting for witnesses, but Garner and Toomey who were question marks came out for no witnesses. So Collins, Murkowski and Alexander are the three that would have to join Romney. I don’t see Alexander doing that as he walks out the door. The pressure on him will be enormous. That leaves the possibility of a 50 -50 vote. Then what? No one is really sure. It may go to Judge Roberts.
Of course there are still three Democrats that may not vote for witnesses. Sen. Jones saw a poll in Alabama that had 70% saying end this now. A vote for witnesses will end his career. He is up for reelection in November. The same for Joe Manchin in West Virginia. The polls in his state want this over. Now he got reelected last year, so he has some leeway, but do you represent your people or not?
Barring any revelations today like the released Bolton tape yesterday showing him praising the Presidents calls with Ukraine before the book this should end tomorrow. But who thought a call that did not contain what they said it did, and funds that did flow within the timeframe, and the “quo” charged never happened would get this far.
We are not going to take your time today. Everything with impeachment points to Friday and can Mitch O’Connell hold his caucus to close this inquiry and tell everyone to move on. It seems pretty certain that Mitt Romney is going to vote to bring in witnesses. Are there three more Republicans? The pressure will be those wavering senators namely Collins, Murkowski and Alexander. If there’s another I am not sure who it would be. Cory Gardner (CO) and Tom Tillis (NC) seem to recognize they can’t be the fourth vote. Alexander (TN) is retiring and he has always marched as he saw fit.
On the other side would any Democrat cross lines and vote no on witnesses? The only possibilities are Doug Jones (Ala), Joe Manchin (W,Va) and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz). Of the three the most likely is Jones, who is running for reelection in red state Alabama. But, would he walk that plank alone and change the outcome? I don’t think so.
Each of these wavering Senators have to take their own survival in upcoming elections into account. Jones, as an example, would help himself in the general election by voting with the President, but he could be beaten in a primary before that. The same for Republicans Gardner and Tillis. A vote against the President could create an immediate primary challenge. Manchin and Sinema have four plus years so they have cover. Collins is in a dilemma no matter what in a divided Maine. It might be safer for her to vote for witnesses and try to ride it out.
I am betting right now there is a big fight Friday for witnesses. But not just witnesses, it will be a fight over who and when. Democrats will want Bolton and no one else. Republicans will want Hunter and the Whistle Blower. So the fight will be not only do we have witnesses, but who they are. That will add pressure to each senator and how far they can go. If this opens to many witnesses, then the trial drags on for a month or more, which would take us through Super Tuesday. So, much is at stake. Buckle up for this one.
You heard all about the President’s defense team’s presentation yesterday. Without the Bolton Book reports the chances of this ending this week were there. That release makes it more likely we argue over witnesses and this goes on. I’m still waiting for one more information drop from those pushing impeachment. Sort of like the Kavanaugh hearing where new reports kept coming out of nowhere.
The question is did the President hold funds to drive an investigation? We have said from the outset we think he did. We have also said since the funds were released within the period designed, and no investigation took place, there is no impeachable offense. If our inclination to think the action occurred, why didn’t they just say “so what” from the outset and argue it’s not impeachable? We don’t know that answer.
Alan Dershowitz addressed the Bolton news in his presentation to the senate last night. He told them that even if everything reported was true it was not an impeachable action.
some interesting other news
Did you see the prosecutor in the Jeffrey Epstein case went after Prince Andrew saying he is not responding despite public announcements he wanted to cooperate? Tough times for the Royal Family.
The President is keeping busy and trying to divert attention. Today he is introducing a Middle East Peace Plan at the White House. This long awaited plan is expected to propose a dramatic remapping of the West Bank while offering Palestinians a pathway to statehood if they meet a set of tests. It will garner news.
Tomorrow as the senate begins to answer written questions and decide whether or not to call more witnesses the White House has a big USMCA ceremony planned.
How important is the Supreme Court in Presidential elections? Another example yesterday: The Court yesterday voted 5-4 to support stricter rules on green cards. This allows the administration to move forward with plans to deny permanent legal status to immigrants who are more likely to make use of public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. In other words, if you are going to end up on public support you are not likely to get a green card.
Hunter Biden settled his court case on child support. Thus he avoids a public trial. This was the case he denied he was the father and then did the DNA test. The plantiff was demanding to see his financials.
No coverage but the FBI is reviewing claims Rep. Ilhan Omar married her brother. FBI agents in Minnesota were handed documents regarding Omar’s 2009 marriage to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a source with knowledge of the event said. There are claims it was an arranged marriage so they could stay in the U.S.
Michael Avenatti’s trial is underway. They are picking the jury in his Nike extoration case.
Finally today we’ve seen hypocrisy on all sides between what people said in the Clinton impeachment and the opposite positions they have today. Here’s an interesting example on just the Ukraine and how vital the support to them is today to some. — but yesterday maybe not so much: From Senator Joni Ernst: “The Democratic House Managers’ hypocrisy is on full display: they’ve spent most of their time lecturing the Senate on aid to Ukraine, yet four of them voted AGAINST legislation that provided the very same aid they’re lecturing us on.” The point was also repeated by Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe who named names and gave examples: In 2018, Reps. Jerry Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Sylvia Garcia and Hakeem Jeffries all voted against that year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which included $250 million in aide for Ukraine. Nadler voted against the NDAA again a year later, and an additional $300 million in aide, according to the White House. Think about that as these four House Impeachment Members talk about how the President put Ukraine in jeopardy.
Our Grandparents or Great Grandparents, grew up in an age where newspapers were still evolving from weekly to daily. They saw that grow from morning papers to afternoon editions that updated the working day.
The next generation went to television and the Nightly News. That was followed by growth of cable TV and then the internet.
The news cycle that once took days to reach people now lasts minutes. We are in the world of instant coverage.
This weekend was one such example. On Saturday we heard the President’s team defend him and for the first time many came to say, “this is over”.
Sunday AM arrived and as the morning news finished came the shocking news of a helicopter crash in California. The mood of the country changed to somber as we learned who was on board and the lives of people we knew so well were lost. It seemed to remind everyone how fragile life is. For the remainder of the day we watched and listened for any new updates or information.
Then by nightfall the NYT changed focus for many. As the nation prepared for day two of the defense of the President, they somehow had gotten a copy of John Bolton’s book planned for release later this year. And behold, they had excerpts of his words on the President and the Ukraine.
So another news cycle begins and will dominate until the Senate Session opens at 1:00 and we see what the President’s presenters have to say. By tonight’s nightly news show who knows that the cycle will be.
We live in a world of instant news and analysis. Sometimes the analysis outstrips the news!
What does the Bolton news mean? It means the Democrats and the anti Trump forces are very well organized. Think about the staged releases. The day before the defense goes the Lev Parnas audio tape breaks. The day after that the Lev Parnas video breaks. The night before the Monday defense the NYT breaks the John Bolton story. You think these releases are by accident or planned? I think there is more to come.
Why? The objective is to win the hearts and minds of the public. So even if you don’t impeach the President, damage him and gain a campaign issue against the senators voting innocent. The Democrats want to win control of the senate this election. By putting the senators on the spot to vote to call witnesses or not they create an election issue. The thought process is, if they vote no witnesses they can say the senator covered up for the President. If they vote witnesses they get to prolong the charges and get more dirt.
So, give credit to the prosecution and their staged management of releases. Expect more to come.
As soon as the early session ended Saturday the Democratic Senators headed right out to Iowa, which is a week from today. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet are back in the senate today.
The Des Moines Register, Iowa’s largest newspaper, endorsed Elizabeth Warren. Interesting what they said: “The outstanding caliber of Democratic candidates makes it difficult to choose just one.” Sounds like the NYT who endorsed two. They added: “Who would make the best president at this point in the country’s history? At a time when the economic deck has become so stacked against working Americans that the gap between rich and poor is the highest in more than 50 years? At a time when a generation of war has stressed military families and sapped the treasury? The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the best leader for these times.”
The latest Iowa poll (from Times/Siena College), has Bernie in the lead with 25%. He is followed by Buttigieg with 18%, VP Biden 17%, Warren 15% and Klobuchar with 8%. Remember the polls have been all over the place.
The President has a big day beyond the hearing. He is meeting (separately) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival, Benny Gantz, at the White House on his proposed middle-east peace plan.
Five cases of the coronavirus virus in the U.S. now. All the The diagnosed patients had recent connections to Wuhan.
An update on NYC and their bail reform. It quotes the new police commissioner: A sharp rise in citywide crime since 2020 began was sparked by New York’s new bail reform laws, which took away a judge’s discretion to hold repeat and possibly violent offenders behind bars, NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said at a press conference. “In the first three weeks of this year, we’re seeing significant spikes in crime. So either we forgot how to police New York City, or there’s a correlation,” Shea told reporters in reference to the new laws. “If you let out individuals that commit a lot of crime, that’s precision policing in reverse and we’re seeing the effects in a very quick time, and that is why we’re so concerned.”
I usually don’t blog and bother you on a Saturday, but with the President’s defense team to begin in a little over an hour, I wanted to share how I would do this.
I would start this morning by reminding the Senators for three days they have heard the same story over and over. How the President pressured the President of Ukraine.
Well let’s start today with a reading of the transcript.
After the transcript is read, I would ask. Does the call transcript tie to what they told you for the past three days? It doesn’t does it? You know what it ties to?
What the past three days tie to is what their leader, Adam Schiff, told the House Committee and America what the transcript said.
Then play the Schiff Transcript video where he made it all up.
Now doesn’t the past three days tie to Schiff’s made up version and not the actual call? He lied. They lied.
Was it the first time? No. Then play videos of Schiff saying there was Russian Collusion. It was “in plain sight.”
Then play Mueller’s words there was” no collusion”. And oh yea, as late as yesterday Schiff stood here and said there was collusion.
What did he base it on? A Dossier known as the Steele Dossier. He said it was real. Well it wasn’t. Play the results of the FBI report.
This from a man who said we must respect the investigative committees and teams.
He came here and said other lies. Play videos.
Senators, if Schiff and Nadler played with the facts and not their made up stories they would not be charging you with “covering up,” but charge themselves for the time, pain and costs they have put this country through based upon their lies.
In fact that’s why the two charges they brought are not tied to anything. Abuse of Power? Who really abused their power here?
These charges are so wrong they should be dismissed in this venue today. Allow me to introduce Alan Dershowitz who will tell you why this whole procedure is unconstitutional and should be ended.
There’s not much to report today. Yesterday was more of the same as when you get 24 hours you will repeat charges. On Saturday we will move to the defense and it will be 24 hours of rebuttal.
The Democrats led by Adam Schiff have done well. They fed their case with all they had and brought emotion to their presentation. Schiff called the President a liar over and over. Now I wonder if in the rebuttal the defense begins attacking Schiff and showing illustrations of his statements and why he can’t be believed. Some drama at least to come.
There may have been a preview of the attack this AM as Rudy Giuliani emerged and announced he is presenting proof of the Biden corruption beginning at noon today. I expect this is all coordinated with the planned defense. Won’t that be something with Iowa only ten days away.
So let’s leave it there today. We have eight more hours of the case against the administration and then we begin the opposite. All leading to a vote as to whether we call more witnesses. If I had to bet right now, I would think this ends before that. We’ll see.
By the way Vice President Joseph R. Biden said Wednesday he won’t agree to appear as a witness before the Senate as part of a testimony swap.
President Trump will address the pro-life rally in person today. He will be the first president to attend event live.
The clicking sound of remotes turning off televisions made stations revert back to some programing. Somewhere along the line some bright intern said, “I don’t think people want to watch 24 hours of the House repeating it’s charges, then 24 more of the President’s team calling them wrong.” So they moved off the wall to wall coverage. A few cable networks stayed with it and we’ll see their ratings today. By the way, FoxNews won the cable coverage on day one.
One of those clicking sounds you heard was my remote. I heard the charges over and over in the House sessions and again here in the senate opening. I want to hear the defense now and get this behind us.
The question remains, what was the crime? Yesterday it sounded like the President was going to steal the 2020 election. To impeach you have to identify what law was broken? The two articles as written, are they impeachable offenses? I don’t think so, unless you want to open a bottle to get future Presidents impeached when the opposition controls the congress. Ukraine got the money within the timeframe it had to be delivered. The transcript doesn’t show the crime they said. There was no quid pro quo. Was there treason? I didn’t see that either. Did he ask the Ukraine President to “do me a favor” as some said? No, the transcript said “do us a favor”. I just don’t see the impeachable offense even if the President held the funds longer than necessary.
As for today, the middle eight hours of the House’s 24, my clicker will be on off most the day again.
First Hillary goes after Bernie in here Hulu special, as reported yesterday, and then Tulsi Gabbard announces a $50 million lawsuit against Hillary for her comments calling her “a Russian asset.” Wow.
All this infighting with the impeachment trial and the primaries getting close. We have: 11 days until the Iowa caucuses 19 days until the N.H. primary 30 days until the NevadaV caucuses 37 days until the S.C. primary 40 days until Super Tuesday
As of this writing the race for Iowa looks wide open with four top tier candidates. As we’ve reported if two different candidates win the first two and then Joe Biden wins in Carolina, this could go on a long time. Now if Biden wins in Iowa and New Hampshire then this race could be over. He has Carolina in the bag, then who is going to stop him? So watch his results in Iowa and NH for a handle on how long this goes.
Here’s a new poll from the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll released yesterday: Sen. Bernard Sanders has taken a small lead. He was the choice of 16% of likely Democratic primary voters, followed by VP Biden at 15%, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 12%, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts at 10%. Sanders has shown gains in most polls the past week, hence you see major attacks on him. Senator Warren suffered declines as she was the one attacked in the weeks before. The one person who seems to hold up despite attacks is Biden. The question remains, though, is his support that motivated to get out and vote in the cold of winter? Eleven days until we find out.
Imagine if you were one of the 100 senators and had to sit quietly in your seat without electronic devices, food or reading materials for 13 hours listening to that. At close to 2AM they release you, just to come back by 1PM today for another day of that – with three or four more weeks of it ahead! Aren’t you glad you have a remote control and can try and find something else?
Then think about this. The outcome was known from the second that Justice Roberts gaveled the session in. The vote on every amendment was as partisan as the House Committee votes. This time 53 – 47 for the Republicans. Every vote went that way. So why did Schumer, Schiff, Nadler and team fill the time allotted them with speeches? (On the amendments the sides get one hour each and the defense used only a small portion each time). I think that Schiff and team were playing to the TV audience, who they knew would tune in and out. By repeating the charges over and over they could reach and sway more people. Maybe they did, we’ll see.
For those of us paying attention from the outset I found it disgusting. The House Team made an issue of witnesses and accused the senators not supporting them of conspiring with the White House on a cover up. Wait a minute, these are the same witnesses you had the chance to call and didn’t. Why is that? Why didn’t you build your case in a deliberate and sure manner? Was your failure to call them “compliance with the White House?” You mean we are going to spend four plus hours hearing you bring amendments to have witnesses now instead of deciding after the prosecution and defense are done? You walked the charges across the hall a week ago and now this is the most important thing in the world? Lucky for them they have a supportive MSM or they would be fried for this.
So day one is done and I suspect with some positive media coverage the House Team will move some who are tuned in to their side. With that knowledge expect more of the same as we start the day today.
Meanwhile the President was in Davos meeting with world leaders in politics and business. He handled himself well and spoke of major deals to come. Then he did a press conference from there and touted his administration’s successes. It was impressive. He opened it for questions and for thirty minutes it was all about impeachment and a 17 year old Time Person of The Year environmentalist. Too bad they couldn’t talk about our leadership and example for the world.
Poor Michael Avenatti. He was transferred from a federal lockup in California to Manhattan’s notorious Metropolitan Correctional Center — where Jeffery Epstein hanged himself. Now get this: Avenatti is in solitary confinement in the same cell that former drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was in. His lawyers told a judge that he wants a transfer from the facility because, as El Chapo complained, it is cold and dangerous. This is the same person some cable stations were touting as the man to beat the President in 2020. Remember the positive coverage he got?
Whoa, Hillary really took off on Bernie didn’t she? In the interview, the reporter noted what Mrs. Clinton said of Sanders: “He was in congress for years. he had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. it’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” That was a wow, but then she added this: “I will say, however, that it’s not only him, it’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women. And I really hope people are paying attention to that because it should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted, [he] seems to really be very much supporting it.”
Not getting much coverage, but the trial of Harvey Weinstein begins today. Poor Harvey could be joining Michael Avenatti soon. The good news for both some states want to allow felons to vote.
We’ve reported here the new laws in NYC and some of the outcomes. Well check this out. A leading candidate for Mayor (DeBlasio cannot run again) is the Borough President of Brooklyn, Eric Adams. This from the NY Post: Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams — the leading fundraiser in the 2021 mayoral race — used Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday to deliver an inflammatory broadside against newcomers from the nation’s heartland. “Go back to Iowa, you go back to Ohio,” he said during a speech. “New York City belongs to the people that was here and made New York City what it is.” Read that again and think if the President or any Republican had uttered such words if you would have heard it all over the MSM. Did you hear this?
And so we begin the weeks of noise, division and charges. All those looking forward to it line up over there. I imagine not many of us are.
I watched the President speech this AM at Davos. Here’s an early observation. He stuck to the script. Discussed at length the powerful accomplishments in the U.S. economy. Invited others to join us. He was very measured and Presidential. He walked outside where the press began bellowing questions. He walked past them. He didn’t stop to answer. Later he did the same. Even later when he was seated and asked a question he answered with one sentence and moved on. If the President has finally gotten the message that he needs to tone it down and let the record speak for him that would serve him so well. Keep an eye on how he tweets now and if this is long lasting. If it is, and he did this past the next election, he would be reelected going away. Can he?
So what happens today in the senate? In case you haven’t been following closely or were drowned out by the cover up charges, here is the schedule: At lunchtime the Democrats and Republicans have their party lunches in the Capitol. About 1 PM Majority Leader McConnell will offer his resolution, which will detail the rules for the Senate’s trial. Each side has an hour for debate. Around 3 PM Chuck Schumer will call the rules unfair and move to amend them. He will demand witnesses and documents at the front end of the trial. This will then be debated for a few hours. Then the senate will vote to proceed as recommended and we will be underway. The next few days will likely be 12 hour sessions as McConnell tries to get this over with. His goal finished and exonerated by the State Of The Union. Pelosi and Schumer want an ongoing trial that day to embarrass the President.
You will hear much about witnesses from the Democrats and MSM and how unfair this is. If you a get a moment watch this tape on how these same outlets reacted to the desire of witnesses in the last impeachment trial. https://t.co/ibHWKLJjfk
some other news
Is the Democratic Party a centrist or center/right party? AOC thinks it is. Here’s some excerpts from her talk yesterday on Martin Luther King Day: At a Martin Luther King Day event Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, derided her party as insufficiently left-wing and too beholden to capitalism. “We don’t have a left party in the United States. The Democratic Party is not a left party,” the freshman congresswoman said to audience applause. “The Democratic Party is a center or a center-conservative party.”
Is Mike Bloomberg having an impact? On ad spending and costs he is: Eight weeks into his campaign,Bloomberg has already spent more money on advertising — $248 million — than most candidates could spend in years. That amount has squeezed TV ad inventory in nearly every state, lowering supply and causing stations to raise ad prices at a time of high demand, as candidates around the country gear up for their primaries. On average in markets around the country, prices for political TV ads have risen by 20 percent since Bloomberg began his campaign.
He’s also creating jobs – in his campaign that is: He has beefed up his staff with more paid employees than the frontrunner, former Vice President Biden. He has hired 800 employees in 30 states since jumping into the race less than two months ago. Remember he has an unconventional strategy of sitting out the first four nominating contests and then sweeping in for the kill on Super Tuesday.
One final stat today: We have read and heard that it has been difficult for the administration to get people approved by congress. Now we have proof. On average, it takes 115 days to confirm a presidential appointee . How does this compare? Well with President Reagan and a Democratic Congress it was 56 days.
In just about 24 hours the impeachment trial kicks off. As I relayed last week, count me on the side not looking forward to the noise, hype, spin and partisanship.
How long will it go? I think longer than originally thought. The Democrats have been united and forceful in making the nation think that they must have witnesses. Their strategic release of “new information” tied to walking the impeachment across to the chambers has provided them the media edge. There has not been a single Democratic senator deviate from their argument, and you have seen five Republicans waiver. (Collins, Murkowski, Romney, Garner and Alexander). It only takes four to vote yes and witnesses are called. Then the fight will be over who. The Democrats want Bolton first, then Pompeo, then the Chief of Staff and more. The Republicans keep saying they want Biden and his son. Don’t bet that they win the vote to get them. You might be surprised at how that goes. Yesterday Jerrold Nadler said he is “100%” against the Bidens being called. Doesn’t it seem like the House Dems are still in control here?
The one chance for a short trial is the argument from Alan Dershowitz: “I’m making what could be the most important argument on the floor of the Senate: namely, that even if everything that is alleged by the House managers is proven or taken as true, they would not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.”
In any case, here we go. Wall to wall coverage to start. Late night trips to Iowa by the four Dem Senators running for President and back for the morning hearing. Watch how the MSM treats them as heroic in their efforts.
The NYT surprised everyone today by endorsing two Democrats in the primary. They wanted to support both factions of the party “center and progressive.” They endorsed Senators Warren and Klobuchar. Remember, the last time they endorsed a Republican was in 1956.
The Supreme Court announced it will take up two legal battles affecting President Trump and his administration. Now look at the issues: One involves the legality of defections by Electoral College members who don’t cast their votes for the presidential candidates and their running mates who won the party vote in their states. Remember after the last election people were pushing electoral college voters to vote for Hillary? Maybe that was impeachment try number one. The other case involves the Trump administration’s decision to expand the exemption for religious organizations, excluding them from providing contraceptives, under the Affordable Care Act. This is another reversal of an Obama era policy.
Speaking of reversals the administration last week reversed the mandated school lunch program (food content). Since it went into place there has been much controversy, as kids have rejected the lunches. The cheering you heard was from the kids, the noise you heard was from the MSM saying the administration didn’t care about health. For the record the kids I spoke to were united in their glee.
Remember all the “Trump doesn’t care” after the Puerto Rico hurricane and his argument that we shipped more there than we did Houston? Did you see this story over the weekend? Puerto Rico fired its emergency director after residents discovered warehouses full of Hurricane Maria supplies. Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced fired the island’s emergency manage hours after a warehouse filled with supplies was discovered. The emergency aid is believed to be from when Hurricane Maria hit the island two years ago, the governor said. “Carlos Acevedo, director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, was dismissed Saturday. The governor appointed Maj. Gen. José J. Reyes, the adjutant general of the Puerto Rico National Guard, to replace him. Earlier on Saturday, numerous pallets of water and other boxes with emergency supplies were found at a warehouse in the earthquake ravaged city of Ponce.”
Put this in the column of – It’s okay until it happens to you: “Bernie Sanders runs into resistance as he looks beyond Warren dispute.” When the head of New Hampshire’s leading foundation for women arrived at a local Women’s March to find she would be sharing the stage with Sen. Bernie Sanders, she backed out. At the same event, a prominent former state senator turned her back when he spoke. After a week-long flare-up with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sanders sought to bolster his support among women on Saturday. But for a number of New Hampshire activists, he only made it worse. Imagine that. Hear this on the MSM?
Here’s an update on a NYC Story we shared last week on “no bail” Left high and dry by the state’s new bail-reform law, the NYPD was forced to ask the feds to help them rein in the Big Apple’s alleged six-time serial bank bandit for good, sources told The Post on Saturday. When prime suspect Gerod Woodberry was arrested in connection to four bank robberies Jan. 9 and then let go, free to allegedly knock over two more — frustrated cops realized they had to call in the cavalry. “We didn’t want him to walk out again and go rob another bank,” one law-enforcement source said. “It’s too bad the politicians don’t feel the same way.” So they asked the federal government to charge him, which they did.
Finally today a number I bet you didn’t hear. Food Stamp participation last year fell 13%. Might be the single biggest drop ever. People are working and not collecting food stamps. Why report good news right?
As we move forward with the impeachment trial we will try and limit redundant information and stick to our thoughts. So here goes:
The slow made for TV walk across the chambers to open the trial will be remembered for one of two things: Step one in the removal of the President. Or step one in his reelection. You will decide this as we proceed. For me, the somber looks on the faces on the seven walking across, a majority who had voted and supported impeachment long before the Ukraine news, was a reminder on how you can fool some of the people all the time.
Here’s the question I want to ask today. What was the crime? People go to jail for crimes right? (Well maybe not in NY anymore as I shared yesterday.) The money for the Ukraine had to be delivered by September 30th. It was delivered on the 12th. How is that a crime? The administration wanted the Bidens investigated right? They weren’t. It was never done. How is that a crime? To be a crime the impacted person or country should know you did it, right? They never knew. So the issue here is not the crime that wasn’t committed, it was they delayed delivering the money because they wanted to do something that didn’t happen. The left (see NYC) doesn’t want to lock people up for real crimes, yet here they are rabid right wing lock them up zealots. I know where I stand, (a censure maybe). You decide where you do.
Thank goodness for investors
The stock market continues to react to the incredible news of the China phase one agreement and the senate passing the USMCA. Luckily for us all they are not relying on the MSM for their news. You see, the USMCA passed the senate yesterday 89-10. The networks news did not cover it at all last night. Can you believe that? The day before the impeachment news led and dwarfed the China agreement coverage. Thank goodness the investment community is paying attention and driving the economy forward.
Give those leading the impeachment and their supporters in the media credit though for a well managed and orchestrated plan. On the day they walk the walk to deliver the charges they have the GAO release a report that the money was held. How many know who GAO is? Here’s the official designation: ” The Government Accountability Office is a legislative branch government agency that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the United States Congress.” Do you see what that says? Congress. Their leaders orchestrated that report to be released on the day they walked the report over. Then they get this sleazy character, Lev Parnas, who is under indictment to go on Rachel Maddow and CNN and say the President was involved, the AG was involved …… This man’s credibility is zero, just check his past and ask yourself this. He was a friend of Rudy Guilani supposedly. What would they do to him if he were to appear as a pro administration witness? What would they do to his character? Now though, they knew they could put him out on selected shows, get the right questions and get those who can be fooled to be fooled. What didn’t they play over and over as they did the President and Barr “knew” comments? This one: he said he never met or spoke to either one. You see it was his judgement, and those of us paying attention already know about his judgement.
I think that’s one reason that Fox News continues to dominate in the ratings. Here’s the latest: “Fox News reigned over the entire cable realm last week in prime-time and throughput the day, besting such non-news competition as TLC, the Hallmark Channel and A& E Network. Fox News continues to dominate its news rivals, as it has done for 18 consecutive years, with a 3.3 million-member audience during the prime-time hours. MSNBC drew 1.7 million and CNN 1.1 million. The Fox Business Network, meanwhile, bested CNBC in rating throughout the day, and also aired the top three programs on business television, according to Nielsen”
It just continues to amaze me that in a TV world where people copy any successful show concept or idea, no other network has moved their coverage to a more balanced approach to gain ratings.
One more rating you might be interested in. CNN’s Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night brought in 7.1 million viewers, a drop from the previous debate in October, which drew 8.3 The all-time record for a cable network debate was the Republican primary debate of Aug. 6, 2015 on Fox when Megyn Kelly famously asked Donald Trump about woman. 24 million viewers.
Yesterday proved to be a day of contrasts. Nancy Pelosi holding a press conference to announce her chosen impeachment team to the senate trial. Across the avenue at that very hour, there was President Trump signing the phase one China agreement surrounded by congressional members and business leaders. The contrast was clear. One more example of why in 2020 you decide what country we will have going forward. There is not much to add today to what we outlined yesterday except this. Pelosi had called the hearings “somber and prayerful.” At that document signing last evening, as she handed out signing pens, and people laughed and joked, then held the pens up to the cameras, it was anything but.
Then last night Lev Parnas, the businessman who was friends with Rudy Guiliani said the “President was fully aware of the effort.” Again we think he was, but in the end they (The Ukraine) did not know it, they got the funds and didn’t do what was being asked. That is not impeachable as I see it. There are actually people committing crimes that are getting away with it (See stories below on NY’s new bail policy) that we should worry about. By the way, when asked if he ever spoke to the President he said “no,” so another “he said” for the hearing.
We need to get this behind us. The country is on a roll and if people want change, the ballot box in November is the place to make it happen.
If congress concentrated on
With all this time consuming impeachment noise I suggest congress concentrate on their job. Like immigration, where we are working with Mexico and others better than Republicans and Democrats. Yes the issue has quieted down but here’s two examples of the time and effort ongoing in today’s WSJ. Imagine if congress did its job instead:
1. A federal judge in Maryland blocked Mr. Trump’s executive ordergiving state and local governments veto power over refugees. The judge said the order “flies in the face of clear congressional intent.”
2. The administration’s “safe third country” agreement with Guatemala is facing a court challenge. The ACLU argues that the U.S. asylum pacts with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras violate federal law. The lead plaitiff is a gay man who says Guatamala turned him away after he was sent there by the U.S.
some news you may have missed
Michael Flynn, the former NSC Advisor, announced he now wants to withdraw his guilty plea. Flynn was the only Trump administration official to face criminal prosecution in special counsel Mueller’s investigation. He had plead guilty to a single charge of making a false statement to the FBI. This comes two weeksbefore he is supposed to face sentencing and doesn’t come as a surprise to many. He switched attorneys about half a year ago and many felt he was set up by Comey and the FBI. This will be an interesting watch.
Here’s one thatgot much coverage when the charge was made, but not so much now: The government’s top border official emphatically refuted the claim that women were told to drink water out of toilets during the summer migrant surge, telling reporters on Tuesday that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s misleading assertion was the result of a language barrier. “It’s absolutely false. It didn’t happen,” said Mark Morgan, acting commissioner at Customs and Border Protection. “There was broken Spanish being spoken.” The claim by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was one of the more explosive of the summer immigration debate. She and other members of Congress had visited some of the border facilities in early June. As you recall there was over crowding as the President fought with congress to act. The congress woman had said detainees insisted they were ordered by agents to drink from toilets. She called it “psychological warfare” against migrants, and it got much coverage. Mr. Morgan said the lawmaker misunderstood the migrant women in the conversation. They were pointing not at the toilet specifically, but at an integrated toilet and drinking fountain system. Both facilities are combined into one unit, though the water is not shared. “So when they were asked where do you get your water, they pointed over to where the combined toilet-water fountain was. They’re integrated in one modular unit but completely separate,” Mr. Morgan said. “Hence the narrative got out there we were forcing them to drink from toilets. Absolutely 100% false.”
You heard the charge back in June, but did you hear the result of the investigation?
Put this one in the absurd column. Not sure what is going on in Virginia but yesterday they voted, in both houses, to pass the Equal Rights Act (ERA). Now follow this: They became the 38th state to ratify the measure, which in theory would be enough support to make the ERA the 28th amendment to the Constitution. Sounds like we have a new amendment right? Well, The Justice Department says the ERA expired decades ago. When Congress first proposed it to the states in 1972, it set a seven-year deadline for ratification. So the deadline passed forty-one years ago. Now Virginia says that doesn’t matter. Okay, how about this: Five states that ratified it in the 1970s have voted to revoke their approval. Does that count? What is going on in Virginia? Forty-one years ago the Governor and House leader had just barely appeared in black face, and the Lt. Governor wasn’t accused of rape yet.
Speaking of 41 years ago, today marks that anniversary for another occasion that we are still paying the price for. The Shan of Iran fled Iran on this day in 1979 and Ayatollah Khomeini came into power. The world has been far less stable since.
what some polls are saying
Here’s some results from a Gallup Poll on self identification:
37% of Americans say they are conservative: 73% of Republicans, 30% of independents, 14% of Democrats, 41% of men and 33% of women. 35% of Americans say they are moderate: 21% of Republicans, 45% of independents, 36% of Democrats, 36% of men and 35% of women. 24% of Americans overall say they are liberal: 4% of Republicans, 21% of independents, 49% of Democrats, 20% of men and 28% of women.
What do you think a poll of the MSM would look like?
Here’s a look at some state data you may find interesting. It’s fromKristin Tate, a policy analyst for The Hill:
“The top 10 most popular governors in the country were Republicans, while eight of the 10 least popular were Democrats. Generally speaking, voters trust Republicans more than they trust Democrats to lead their states,” she said. As to why, she said: “The bottom line is that electing a Republican often means increased growth and lower unemployment. An even stronger rule bears out the opposite when Democrats control the governor’s mansion.” She backs that up with this: “The 23 states with the lowest unemployment, 17 had GOP governors at the helm. Among the 10 states with the strongest GDP growth, 8 had Republican governors. Democratic governors, Ms. Tate writes, were in charge of 8 out of the 10 states with the slowest growth.”
here’s a policy from one state
New York is a sanctuary state and then this year instituted a new no bail policy. Here are some stories in today’s newspaper on these policies:
1. Federal officials blamed Mayor de Blasio for a fatal sex attack on a 92-year-old Queens woman — saying his “sanctuary city” policy kept the accused killer from being held for deportation last year. ICE said it lodged a detainer request with the NYPD for Reeaz Khan, an illegal immigrant from Guyana, on Nov. 27 — the same day he was busted for allegedly attacking his dad during a fight in their South Richmond Hill home. They were denied.
“It was a deadly choice to release a man on an active ICE detainer back onto the streets after his first arrest included assault and weapon charges, and he now faces new charges, including murder,” said Thomas Decker, New York field-office director of enforcement and removal operations for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
2. A Brooklyn judge freed a man without bail following his arrest in a shooting that sparked a reprisal, which ended up wounding three innocent bystanders.
A Criminal Court Judge released Roberto Rivera after his arraignment — even though prosecutors wanted him held on $100,000 bail. Rivera, 26, had allegedly fired two rounds at a vehicle after a conversation with a man and a woman inside it. One of the bullets struck the woman. A short time later, an unidentified man went to the scene of the shooting and opened fire, wounding three. A law-enforcement source familiar with the investigation expressed outrage that Rivera was cut loose with no bail. The suspect is charged with attempted murder, attempted assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
3. A John Dillinger wannabe is on the loose thanks to lax bail laws that set him free despite his arrest for allegedly robbing four Chase branches in Manhattan. Sprung on no bail, Gerod Woodberry promptly robbed a fifth Chase branch, law-enforcement sources reported.
Finally, in the talk about differences between the states. Here’s a study released yesterday on a New York and Florida comparison: “New York’s state and local governments spend nearly twice as much to provide services as Florida — particularly on education and welfare — even though their populations are roughly the same, a new study claims. New York governments spent $348 billion in 2017 compared with $177 billion for their government counterparts in Florida, the report by the libertarian Cato Institute found. New York has about 20 million citizens. Florida has 21 million, having surpassed the Empire State in population several years ago. The analysis, based on census data, said the two states spend roughly the same on services including transportation, police, fire, parks, sewers and trash management. But New York spent $69 billion on K-12 schools in 2017, compared with Florida’s $28 billion. The states have about the same number of kids enrolled — 2.7 million in New York and 2.8 million in Florida, the report said. New York also spent $71 billion on public welfare programs for the needy, compared with Florida’s $28 billion. .Some of the numbers from the study have been disputed. A rep for Gov. Cuomo slammed the report as a ‘ginned-up study’.”
It’s just another Wednesday. Let’s see. – The House is voting to send the impeachment articles over to the senate and may walk them across to the senate today. – The senate is closing in on a final approval for USMCA. – Across Pennsylvania Ave. the President is going to sign phase one of the China agreement. – The Democratic candidates are coming a debate in Iowa, less than three weeks before the caucus. – The President returned to the White House off a rally in Milwaukee, the very city the Democratic convention is to be held. – Baseball is mired in a scandal and managers of the last two (before this year) world series winners were fired this week. So where to begin?
Let’s start with the debate last night. I saw nothing that breaks out one candidate over another. I think a comment Joe Biden made puts the election of 2020 in the right perspective. He said: We can’t afford four more years of Donald Trump, I don’t think our nation can stand eight. It would fundamentally change our nation.
That my friends is the election question of 2020. You will decide what our country is going forward. More of the track we are on or back to where we were? Examples: The candidates last night decried the taking out of Soleimani and wanted to put the Iran nuclear agreement back in place. Do you like the economy and where the nation is, or do you want to take the tariffs off China and go back? Do you think the USMCA was a good idea to replace NAFTA and done well, or could (actually would) they have changed it? Should we rescind the tax cuts? Should we raise the corporate tax back to where it was? Would jobs leave again?
That was the debate I heard. You are the decider.
Though watching Warren and Sanders battle on whether he said a woman could be elected was most entertaining. Did he say it or did she make it up?
Put me down as tired and bored of this. Enough already. Get this over with and let’s move on. We have to put up with three more weeks at least. The MSM will have hysterical headlines. The Schumers of the Democratic Party will cry they have new evidence. The likely roster of impeachment managers will likely include Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler. The Republicans will downplay it all. Noise and more noise. Me? I think the President withheld the funds to pressure them to investigate, but I don’t think that’s close to an impeachable offense. Let’s get this behind us and move on already.
china and the usmca
Two major agreements and potential large impacts on our nation are coming to fruition today. Both were results of this President. Neither would be happening without his raising them and leading the charge. You can make your own judgement on whether these are good or not, because in 2020 you own the future.
Amazing that the managers of the 2017 and 2018 World Series Champions were fired this week because of a scandal. It goes back to their time with Houston in 2017. No player was named in the report, but they did name the new manager of the Mets. (Since he is retired and in management now.) Wouldn’t it be the Mets luck to have to fire him and they didn’t even win!
How bad do you feel for Michael Avenatti who was arrested again last night? He allegedly violated the conditions of his pretrial release. Me neither.
Not much (if any coverage), butthe U.S. trade deficit fell to the lowest level in three years. Tariffs against China triggered a slide in imports in November, helping narrow the gap.
The latest release of coverage of the President is that it remains at 93% negative.
Did you see that Iran’s only (in history) Olympic medal winner defected? Kimia Alizadeh is her name. She is 21 and announced her decision in an Instagram post featuring a photo from the 2016 Summer Games, where she won a bronze medal in taekwondo. She decried the treatment of women in Iran.
Think Mike Bloomberg is the savior of the Democrat Party? He is spending like he is. But do you think taking away the Big Gulp is going to fly across the country? I thought that was an issue for him, then I read this where he said: “I think that California can serve as a great example for the rest of the country. You have led the way on climate change, on fighting gun violence and on criminal justice. And you have, as importantly, welcomed immigrants with open arms because, unlike our president, you understand immigration doesn’t threaten America. Immigration strengthens America.”
If you think California, a state people are leaving, is the example you have your candidate.
Finally, today a message to Apple. Hey Apple, this terrorist killed people and we would like to know if he conspired with others to kill more of our citizens. Give the government access to his phone. I commend your protection of my password and all the others, but when you murder people you kind of lose some protections.
Let’s start today by borrowing this now famous phrase. Throughout the weekend, the Sunday Shows and this AM the media and those opposing the President are asking where’s the proof that Solemani was about to act? Where’s the evidence? Well, here’s my question. What difference does it make? The man was charged as a terrorist by the Obama, Bush and Trump administrations. He was charged as a terrorist by the U.N. and the EU. He had the deaths of over six hundred and the maiming of thousands on his hands. He had just led the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. He was back in Iraq to meet militants to visit and create more chaos. Why do I need to know exactly what he planned in the next 24 or 48 hours? Why do I need to know who exactly who he was going to kill and injure this time? I know the track record and that is all I need to know. I don’t need to know what he is going to do because I know what he has done. My only question is why did it take so long?
On a second front the MSM asked this question about proof over and over. The anti President Democrats asked it too. There was one question they didn’t ask that I wanted to answer. It was this: When the attack on Soleimani happened, you the media, and those quick to criticize the action called this WWIII. You were sure this was it and the President was off his rocker. Well, the Iranians certainly didn’t retaliate as you thought. In fact their people are in the streets protesting against them. Why were you wrong? Not one show asked any single person why they were wrong. They only concentrated on where’s the proof he was going to act? What a sham.
The evidence, by the way, to use another now famous phrase is “in clear sight.” Six hundred dead bodies, thousand maimed and without limbs and a burning embassy. Unlike Schiff’s clear sight evidence this one is.
So now we move on to more hysteria and weeks of impeachment coverage. The MSM will play it up big, but I have a feeling most Americans are tired of it. If the House decides to move the articles tomorrow then expect the trial to begin next week. I watched the (almost) interview of Nancy Pelosi on This Week yesterday and it fell so short. First, she demanding witnesses and George never pushed back that she led this and rushed it through without the same witnesses she wants the senate to call. Hypocrisy at its finest. The end of that interview was disturbing. With a smirk and smile she said this “President will be impeached forever.” It was clear she was proud of the stain on his presidency. It was actually disturbing and gave one the impression that this is what she is most proud of. If she put this country through all this for that she should be impeached.
The next democratic debate is tomorrow night. Tom Steyer, with a strong showing capturing 12% of the vote in a Nevada poll and 15% in a South Carolina. one, has now qualified. It was a result of his heavy media spending and he makes six that will be on stage tomorrow.
The Iowa Caucus is three weeks from tonight. What will happen with the senators sitting in for the impeachment trial will be interesting. With four front runners, two are senators (Sanders and Warren). If they can’t campaign like Joe Biden and Mayor Pete that could hurt them. Nancy’s timing is not ideal here.
President Trump got a double-dose of good news from the border late last week. First, the latest numbers showed illegal immigration continued to drop, as his efforts with Mexico are working. (Remember the tariffs he threatened there?) Second, a federal appeals court ruling allowed him to divert $3.6 billion in Pentagon money toward building his wall. This 5th U.S. Circuit Court ruling reverses a lower judge’s injunction.
By now you know that Iran has accepted responsibility for shooting down that Ukraine airliner. They released this statement: “Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard’s aerospace division,said his unit accepts ‘full responsibility’ for the shootdown. In an address broadcast by state TV, he said that when he learned about the downing of the plane, ‘I wished I was dead.’ “
In light of all that happened this week I thought that this Friday morning I would try to just take a stroll through some thoughts.
Let’s start with a quote and question.
Who do you think said this? “In short, it is a paradoxical truth that the tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut rates now.”
Pause now to think about that. Think person and party.
The answer is it was said by John F. Kennedy in 1962. I bet most of you reading this would have said a Republican name. That’s how much the parties have changed over the years and why you hear so many older voters say I was a JFK Democrat who became a Ronald Reagan Republican. Things and ideas change and some go along with them, while others resist.
Now think about this.
After Osama Bin Laden masterminded the World Trade Center the questions were why didn’t Bill Clinton act when he had the opportunity? He could have prevented all those deaths and mayhem. Why didn’t he? People judged the inaction based upon the events that followed that they could measure that decision by.
Now put that into perspective today and the issues we faced this week. A President acted against a proven and declared world terrorist to prevent future acts. The party out of office is saying the President was wrong to go after General Soleimani. How could he do that? He was wrong. He’s a war monger.
As I’ve outlined numerous times this week we will never know what additional acts Soleimani might have done, or whom the people are who get to live their lives; but you can be sure some would have said “why didn’t Trump take him out when he had the chance.” The problem is people don’t think of what might or would have been, only of what is.
In my opinion the world, or at least the world of my fellow citizens is safer because Soleimani is no more.
Pelosi and impeachment. Who is winning?
IT LOOKS LIKE PELOSI IS READY TO SEND THE IMPEACHMENT ARTICLES OVER FINALLY. SO THE QUESTION IS DID HER DELAY TACTICS FOR THESE WEEKS WORK IN HER FAVOR OR AGAINST?
IN MY OPINION SHE HURT HER ARGUMENT. WHAT WENT FROM “URGENT AND COULDN’T WAIT” TO DELAY AND STALL. NOT GOOD.
NOW THE SENATE WILL FIGHT, BUT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC I THINK IS READY TO PUT THIS BEHIND US. UNLESS A SMOKING GUN ARRIVES ON THE SCENE, THIS IS OVER AND DONE.
AND THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS TO BORROW A PHRASE. THE STOCK MARKET HAS LET IT ROLL OFF AND JUST MOVED FORWARD, WHICH TELLS YOU THE MONEY PEOPLE THINK ALL IS WELL.
In a normal time the end of the crisis with Iran in such a positive manner with no military deaths, additional action planned and a deceased terrorist, the incumbent President would see wide spread support from all and a bump in his popularity. Yet that is not happening here. It just illustrates starkly once again the division of our nation.
We should rejoice here though, that despite all the claims this was the start of WWIII and the President ignited a fire that would engulf all, produced an end result that was far different. Iran believed his red line (don’t harm an American) to the point we were informed four hours in advance of their planned missile attack and where. (Through the Iraqis, who were informed by the Iranians). They announced this was their action and “no further steps” would be taken. They clearly backed down. Thus, in the end the world is rid of a terrorist and many of our fellow citizens will now be able to live their lives as opposed to being added to the 600+ Soleimani had killed already.
In my lifetime John F. Kennedy preached a strong foreign policy (“We will bear any burden…”), Ronald Reagan introduced “Peace through Strength” (“we don’t get into wars because we’re too strong”), and now Donald Trump’s “red line” can be added to those. Iran backed down the day Reagan raised his hand, and did so again this week. Something for all of us to study and understand when it comes to foreign policy.
Let’s hope we can stand as one and let the world know we are united in seeking peace, but are prepared to stand and protect our citizens, soldiers and values. You can judge how the parties do on this and the media covers it.
Though it will be fun now to see what all those who called the attack on Soleimani a designated terrorist an act of war say. As if he was allowed to kill our fellow citizens but not us him. A great example was ex Obama advisor Ben Rhodes. He pushed the foreign policy of the Iran nuclear deal and returning of the billions of dollars. He said this right before Iran backed down: “Everything” about President Trump’s killing of Qassem Soleimani “suggests serious escalation to come.”
In eleven months you get to decide if strength or appeasement is a better foreign policy.
some news updates
The Senate Finance Committee advanced the USMCA, moving it closer to ratification. The vote was a 25-3 vote to support and move this to the full Senate. It could happen in a week and be another accomplishment in this election year, though you may recall Nancy Pelosi claimed this for her team when the House passed it.
The political season and Democratic process to choose a candiate is closing in fast. Consider it is only: 26 days until the Iowa caucuses 34 days until the New Hampshire primary 45 days until the Nevada caucuses 52 days until the South Carolina primary 55 days until Super Tuesday We’ll have a good handle on things by the end of Super Tuesday. I hold out this could be the first brokered convention in memory.
You keep hearing about the President is profiting from his time in the White House. Well here’s a story out yesterday that tells the true story: “Mr. Trump’s personal wealth has declined, in fact, during his service as president. Trump has lost $1 billion in personal wealth since running for president. Some wealthy patrons are steering clear of Trump properties, saying the country club experience is now ruined ‘by metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs.’ “ Plus, remember his company has ceased any international development since the election and won’t do any until he leaves office. So next time you hear someone say “investigate Hunter Biden, are you serious, its the Trump kids profiting”, you can say let’s investigate them all. Chelsea Clinton, too, and see who profited. I would like to know, wouldn’t you?
The Wall Street Journal had this solution to student debt:
As this message prepares to go we await word from President Trump on what and if any action will taken on last nights missile attacks. My gut is the President will back off and give Iran an out. He wants peace and wouldn’t a non action now make all those who called his action against Soleimani WWlll look bad. Wouldn’t a quieter Iran with another terrorist gone be good for the world. Let’s see what he plans.
Yesterday, you can feel the uncertainty all day as Iran made threats and the President promised action back. The media is covering it all with bated breath and the world is awaiting the next act. It’s like we were frozen to see what would happen and when. The stock market lingered in limbo and finally as evening arose we heard of Iran’s move.
The challenge I have given here before was, what would you do if you were Iran? You can throw all the threats you want, but you know now that if you harm innocent Americans this President will act. You know you shot drones out of the sky, attacked ships, sent some rockets into Saudi Arabia oil fields and the U.S.President did nothing. He said he “wanted peace,” but did warn “don’t hurt an American.” You began to think he was like past Presidents and didn’t want a fight. You thought maybe he couldn’t do anything now since he was promising to withdraw and this was an election year. You thought maybe you could take actions that would drive him out quicker. You attacked bases ten times killing others, but not Americans. Nothing happened back. So you went ahead and attacked his embassy. Maybe remind the Americans about the 1979 embassy attack and hasten their departure. Finally, you attacked an eleventh base, but this time you killed Americans. You were confident now you had America on the run.
You were wrong. He attacked with vengeance and killed your most valuable soldier and leader. He meant it about killing his citizens.
Now your dilemma was what to do to show your people and the world you will not cower? What do you do? It was clear to you that you better not attack innocent Americans. What does that leave? That act guaranteed reaction, you knew that now. You can attack military bases and present it as a similar act to killing Soleimani. The world might buy that. You can attack a ship on the high seas in the area and call it a military response to a provocation. The danger is killing too many sailors. They can attack Trump family holdings. Think of their hotels.
That last must have been an interesting option for them. They know half of America are not fans of the President and think (mistakenly) he is profiting big time from being in office. If they can attack his holdings they may have thought that’s their best option. After all, who will support the President starting a war over an attack on his hotel? But, how do you do that without harming civilians and you need to avoid that here. The most inviting option, but not feasible.
Pat Buchanan outlined it clearly today. He wrote: “Trump has a red line. It is not shooting at American drones but shooting at American soldiers, the drawing of American blood. The message the rulers of Iran should have received? If they retaliate for Soleimani by killing American soldiers, diplomats or civilians, using either Iranian troops or proxy militias, Trump will retaliate against Iran itself”.
That left the military option as the best and really only one.
As you listen to the media hype Iran and scare the American people, remember this. If you were them (Iran), your options were and are limited. You have to and better be careful. They know it, and they are not the behemoth the media is making them out to be.
They knew it as Politico reported this: “But in private, even hardliners have said Tehran must strike back but avoid a full-blown conflict. ‘We cannot ignore this aggression easily and have to prevent the US from repeating its rogue behaviour,’ said Hamid-Reza Taraghi, a politician close to Iran’s hardline forces. ‘But our strategy is retaliation in such a way that we do not go to a war.’ …”
And finally on this issue, here’s what former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said this week: “The Democratic leadership and 2020 presidential candidates are the only ones mourning the death of Iranian Gen. Soleimani. I’ll tell you this: You don’t see anyone standing up for Iran. You’re not hearing any of the Gulf members, you’re not hearing China, you’re not hearing Russia. The only ones that are mourning the loss of Soleimani are our Democrat leadership and our Democrat presidential candidates.” I might add that some in the MSM are too, but she hit it right.
The Political corner
The next Democratic debate is next week (Jan. 14). Only five candidates have earned spots on the stage. They are: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Three others have an outside shot to get there, but are not likely. They are: Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang and Cory Booker. They need a big polling surge before Friday’s deadline to qualify. Which is why you have been seeing so many Steyer ads recently.
One thing to watch as the primaries begin to unfold. This could happen because of the rule changes and fractured field. It could be the first time in many of our lifetimes that there is no clear cut candidate when the convention convenes. The rules allow for proportional delegates, and there are no “Super Delegates” in round one. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
John Bolton jolted Washington saying if subpoenaed he would testify. You know what it really means? Likely nothing. Why? Even if McConnell loses control and enough Republicans vote with the Democrats to have witnesses, don’t you think the President will first try to block Bolton by asserting executive privilege? Especially if he thinks the testimony might hurt him? So then we go to court and that could last a long time — much longer than the Senate trial. The optics would be bad, but I doubt we hear from Bolton.
There was a report out of Cincinnati last night that CNN agreed Tuesday to settle a $275 million lawsuit filed by Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann over the network’s coverage of his viral encounter with an elderly Native American activist. You remember how this was falsely reported and the young Sandmann was presented as a racist Trump supporter, when the encounter was created the opposite way. According to The Washington Times, a CNN Spokesperson confirmed a settlement had been reached, but offered no details. Stay tuned to this and remember Sandmann has suites against a number of others.
what is the impact and on whom after the action taken in Baghdad?
The Democratic primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire are a month away. I think Joe Biden is the immediate winner of the instability. He brings the most experience and time on foreign affairs and it is logical to see the benefit to him. Of course his opponents will open up on him if this begins to develop. Remember, he voted for the Iraq war. He was VP for eight years and the early withdrawal led to ISIS forming; and don’t forget former Secretary Gates’ statement (which he reaffirmed this past week) that Joe has been wrong on every major foreign policy issue for the last forty years. But in the short term he should benefit.
Now yesterday Biden told the Des Moines Register this: Iran, he said is now “in the driver’s seat” in the Middle East, pointing to an Iraqi Parliament vote to remove U.S. forces from the country. Umm, I don’t think so Joe. We walk, they are done in months. Unless they want to be Iran East, then yes. Let’s see what they do when we threaten to leave.
He added this: “U.S. military leaders will lose sway in the region and Iran will speed up its efforts to build a nuclear weapon.” He added that Iranian leaders will become more popular in their own country as its citizens rally behind them following the attack. “This is a crisis totally of Donald Trump’s making,” Biden said. Umm, maybe not Joe. I think President Trump inherited Iraq as you did from GW Bush. He has been looking for a way out. He didn’t create General Soleimani. Remember your administration (and Bush before you) labeled him a terrorist. You can’t say he created this, he took the action others wouldn’t. Are you sure the people rioting in the streets will like their government better now? The sanctions are not getting lifted. Their lives won’t improve. Are you sure the world is going to allow Iran to build nuclear weapons? I have a feeling if they start to do that among the 52 sites the President said he has on his list may contain those sites as numbers 1, 2 and 3.
A new CBS poll shows Bernie Sanders gaining ground in Iowa and NH. The poll shows Sanders surging in Iowa and in a first-place tie with former Vice President Biden and Pete Buttigieg in Iowa. Each is at 23%. Sen. Warren came in at 16% and Sen. Klobuchar at 7%. It shows him with a slight edge in New Hampshire. Bernie had 27% and Biden 25% in the NH poll. Sen. Warren, who had led before, had dropped to 18%. Mayor Buttigieg was at 13% and Ms. Klobuchar again at 7%. Here’s an example of the soft support VP Biden has: The poll shows nearly half of his New Hampshire voters (47%) have definitely made up their minds, compared to just 15% of Biden backers.
Democrats are looking for their alternative and haven’t found it yet.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made clear yesterday that she isn’t thrilled to be sharing a political party with VP Biden. New York magazine asked her what her role in Congress would be under a possible Biden administration. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez groaned,“Oh God.” she said, “In any other country, Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America, we are.” And therein lies the Democratic problem.
Remember Jeff Van Drew the former Democratic Congressman who voted no on impeachment and then changed parties? He has an opponent from the Dems this November. Her name is Amy Kennedy and yes she is a Kennedy. She is the wife of Patrick Kennedy, who represented Rhode Island in the House for 16 years and retired in 2011. In her announcement video, she says “too many of our leaders have lost their moral compass. Trump and Van Drew are symptoms of a bigger sickness infecting our country and our politics.”
By the way her cousin Joe Kennedy is running for the Senate, in a Democratic primary, against liberal incumbent Edward Markey. Why? They are still trying to understand that, since Markey is as left as anyone. The most common thought is it’s just a generational thing since Markey is all of 73. Who wins? The polls say 50/50, because Kennedy’s are tough to beat in Massachusetts.
think about this
You hear of all the bad things that are going to happen because the President took out a killer terrorist. You know what no one ever talks about — what could have been. As an example: Today we are energy independent, because we are doing so much to conserve and find new sources. Well without those new sources the immediate impact from the Baghdad action would have at gas$4.00 a gallon. The rise in gas would impact spending and the economy overall. Think about that.. Being self sufficient helped us to go on as we were. Did everyone always support our finding new sources of supply? Of course not. Think about the conversations that would be going on now if the price had risen to $4 and above.
We also don’t know what would have happened if Soleimani had gone about his mission. After all, he wasn’t in Iraq for a vacation. He was coming following the embassy attack there and headed elsewhere. Who’s alive today because he isn’t? What future events did we prevent. There are things that were impacted, but because they didn’t occur no one discusses them. Some only talk about how bad an action is and not what might have been. Something to think about.
The news all weekend and on the Sunday shows was dominated by the actions of the administration against General Soleimani (with some impeachment talk thrown in). Some of the comments had me shaking my head. Here are some of what they said and my thoughts:
The U.S. is a threat to the world. We’re a threat? Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism for 41 years. They began by doing the unthinkable, taking our embassy staff hostage 41 years ago. They have continued by sponsoring car bombings, beheadings and attacks. Recently they shot down our drone, took ships off the high sea, bombed facilities and attacked our embassy in Baghdad. Until the last incident we took no action, showing restraint and saying we wanted peace. Finally we take action and we’re the threat to the world?
Why are we the aggressors to some on the left and in the media? Are we in these countries because we want to take them over? It’s Iran who is coming across to do that, not us. I am reminded of the statement, that we in the U.S. have done more and gone more places to support freedom than any nation in history. We didn’t go to conquer, we went to free those conquered. Once done did we stay to control? No we only asked for ground to bury our dead. That is the only land we ever kept. Visit the grave sites in Europe and tell me we are conquerors.
They said the world is less safe today because of our action. It may be less safe today because we took action yesterday, but it will be safer tomorrow because the man who was causing disruption in it is gone. If we had taken him out over the past twenty years (when Presidents Bush and Obama decided not to) how many of our fellow citizens he caused the deaths of would still be alive? Are they saying we should wait twenty more years and that the hundreds additional to be killed don’t matter? If you have a cancer you cut it out.
They said we have created an “endless contest now”. Really? What do you call the last 41 years since Iran was taken over? It wasn’t a contest because they got away with their terrorism and murder.
They said “no one is saying he wasn’t a bad actor”, but worry about what “might happen”. So your solution is to do nothing? Maybe it was doing nothing all these years that led to this. When would it be right then? Should we wait until your son or daughter is killed to act? I don’t get the logic of letting a person committed and actively acting against you to continue to do so.
If there’s any question this guy was in charge, here’s a note he wrote to General Petraeus: “Dear General Petraeus, you should know that I, Qassem Soleimani, control the policy for Iran with respect to Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza and Afghanistan. And indeed, the ambassador in Baghdad is a Quds Force member. The individual who’s going to replace him is a Quds Force member.”
I heard from Staff Sergeant Robert Bartlett yesterday. He was one of several thousand US soldiers wounded by “explosively made penetrators,” a particularly deadly form of IED, in Iraq. They were designed to kill American troops, and were built and shipped to Iraqi terror groups by Soleimani.
Think about the Sergeant and thousands more wounded, as well as the deaths of our citizens in those countries and tell me if you are against the action taken. The man told you he was doing it. He was Iranian and doing this in Iraq.
Then add this. The man was deemed a terrorist by the Bush and Obama administrations as well as the UN. If you’re not going to act then don’t waste time designating people. You’re just wasting time, money and resources.