The Senate Trial of Donald Trump

Senate Impeachment Trial Of President Donald Trump Begins
Chief Justice John Roberts.  Ten years ago, he gave us Citizens United.

W.J. Astore

The Senate trial of Donald Trump is a colossal waste of time and energy.  Why?  The result is a foregone conclusion: Trump is not going to be removed from office.  Nevertheless, the mainstream media is obsessed with gavel-to-gavel coverage of what is mostly a non-event.

As my wife said to me yesterday, where is all this energy and outrage from Congress and the media about homeless people living in the streets?  So many of whom are suffering from mental and physical illnesses of various sorts?  Where is the attention to people who can’t afford to pay for their prescription drugs?  What about all the veterans committing suicide?  What about all the corruption that is systemic and endemic across Congress and the Executive branches?  Where’s the attention to that?

The presence of Chief Justice John Roberts in the Senate provides a salutary reminder that a decade ago, the Supreme Court issued its “Citizens United” decision that declared corporations are citizens and that their “speech” in the form of money in politics is protected.

That decision is yet another example of America’s legalized system of political corruption.  Why can’t we get Congress to change that?  Where’s the media coverage of electoral corruption?  The outrage about corporate money in politics?  There isn’t any, since the mainstream media is complicit in the corruption.

To repeat myself: Ten years ago this week, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are citizens.  Except for a few ultra-rich “citizens” like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, that meant corporations had (and have) superhero-like powers, but with none of the humility of Peter Parker (Spiderman), whose gentle Uncle Ben reminded him that, “With great power comes great responsibility.”  Our superhero corporations just want the power, thank you very much, and our government and its three branches willingly bow down and serve them.

Where’s the trial for that offense against the republic?  Bang the gavel, John Roberts.

Bonus Lesson: Democrats!  Want to remove Trump from office?  Nominate a coherent and charismatic candidate for the presidency, have a compelling platform, and inspire people to get off their duffs and vote in November.

51 thoughts on “The Senate Trial of Donald Trump

  1. I believe it was a dictum of the Roman Empire, that what was needed to pacify the populace was “bread and circuses.”

    Our elites appear to be working on a cheaper model. Dispense with the bread and just have a big enough circus.

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  2. WjAstore brings up the most Important problem of Supreme Court “decision” – Corporations are “people”. If true, did they ask their employees? I doubt it. The “Supreme” court was setup to Judge violations of the Constitution. They failed in Roe/vs Wade; It’s a STATE’s rights not theirs; I’m just wondering: “Is the Supreme Court out of touch?”

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  3. I shall repeat as often as necessary, unapologetically, that Trump has merited impeachment and removal from office basically from Day One of his presidency. You can complain all you want about how the Dems, of whom I am certainly not a fan, have handled this case. But if NOTHING was done about his conduct in office, this would set a very bad precedent. This is A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE. Of course we know the trial is “fixed,” thanks to GOP majority in the Senate; that is beyond anyone’s control. And IF the Dems had surrendered to Trump’s criminality and never launched this process, would “our” “hard-working” “representatives” in Congress be diligently pursuing solutions for the issues you raised? I think not! They’d be too busy with the business as usual process of soliciting funds for their next re-election campaign. By the way, I am NOT following real-time coverage of the trial. The conduct of the GOP would occasionally make me laugh out loud, but mostly I would be in danger of smashing to pieces whatever media interface I was using to watch/listen.

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  4. Addendum to my previous comments: Barring the aneurysm I’ve been hoping for actually occurring, we will have President Trump at least until Jan. 20, 2021. (And if he does keel over, President Pence is obviously not something to relish.) Meanwhile, Emperor Trump continues on his merry path of making it easier for polluting corporations to further poison us all. Not acceptable! The impeachment process had to be launched, even though the emperor faces no charge relating to his attacks on our environment. At this point, I think Trump being re-elected is very, very probable. In a nation of so many “ditto-heads,” how is a candidate with some actual integrity, like Bernie, going to attain the presidency? I’m sensing Klobuchar winning over the Dem. Party Establishment, but I’m not going on record with that as a formal prediction!

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    1. Greg: As you know, I was in favor of Trump being impeached based on evidence, as I wrote about here: https://bracingviews.com/2019/09/26/trumps-impeachment/

      Now we have a sham trial in which the result is preordained. I object to that colossal waste of time and resources; instead, our Congress should be acting to help ordinary Americans in ways that matter to their daily lives, as I argue above.

      Meanwhile, the DNC/DCCC types seem determined to block Bernie Sanders by any means, trotting out charges of sexism (Warren), dishonesty (Biden), and now even Hillary to charge, in a remarkable feat of projection, that he is an unlikable political fraud. With “friends” like these … we’ll get four more years of Trump.

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      1. But, sir, the strongest evidence in this trial is Trump’s own public “testimony” about his “perfect phone call”!! The extortion of a foreign government for POTUS’s own benefit IS a rather serious offense!

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  5. greglaxer
    I would tend to agree Trump had to be impeached. We all know the Senate will acquit him. The Reactionary-Right Wing-Evangelical Republicans are in Trump’s pocket. The elected GOP officials know Trump owns the base of the party. Thus, any High Crimes or Misdemeanors are going to be dismissed.

    CNN and MSDNC must be revving up the engine of outrage in to the Red Zone. (I do not watch Cable News but I have in the past so I know their means and methods.) What must frustrate the talking heads at CNN and MSDNC is the lack of interest by most people.

    An article from the Guardian seems to bring the lack of interest into focus.
    Florida’s swing voters shrug off Trump impeachment: ‘I’m not driven by it’ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/23/florida-swing-voters-trump-impeachment-trial

    This will end up like the Mueller Report, something the Democrats can squeal about with high pitched shrieks that the majority of Americans do not care about.

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    1. I ditched cable TV just before Thanksgiving. Relentless price hikes drove me right out of the market. But I’d gotten into the habit of filling evening time, after I’d watched my movie of the night (I’m a tad fanatical for movies!), with some CNN. The GOPers love to deride CNN as a division of the Dem. Party (while loving Fox “News,” of course, which actually gives Trump most of his talking points!). I call BS on that. In my observation, CNN only took a serious anti-Trump slant AFTER Emperor Donald declared the media “the Enemy of the People.”

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  6. I’ve almost completed transcriptions for two recent Jimmy Dore Show videos — both from January 23, 2020 — featuring Michael Tracy reporting live from New Hampshire: (1) Progressives Frustrated With Bernie’s Capitulation Strategy and (2) Tulsi Gabbard: “Legalize ALL Drugs!”. The second of these interviews contains a significant passage germane to this discussion topic:

    Michael Tracy: “I’ve been to many of [Congresswoman Gabbard’s] events. And it’s just amazing to me how – to the extent that journalists do go to her events – they just want to use her as sort of a pretext to weigh in on the broader dynamics that play in the race, right? So, she did an interview a couple of days ago with Politico and all they’re really asking her about is whether she’s worried she might draw votes from Bernie. …”

    “… but at that very same event, Tulsi gave a statement on impeachment, which I also shared with your producer, that is just far and above what anybody else, Republican or Democrat with any stature in the American political landscape has said about impeachment. Meaning that she delved into the adverse consequences of the articles of impeachment that were ratified in terms of the future of American foreign policy.”

    “Because what was done in those impeachment proceedings which I guess is now almost forgotten. But what they did was that the Democrats decided to elevate these national security state functionaries, like Lt. Col Vindman, like George Kent, these names are not that significant because it’s not really important who they are individually, it’s that they are representatives of the permanent security state bureaucracy who were trotted out by the Democrats, and they are denouncing Trump from the standpoint that Trump did not adequately adhere to what was called ‘official U.S. foreign policy.’

    “Now, you can reject Trump’s conduct of foreign policy, you can criticize it. But the idea that he does not have a democratic mandate to enact foreign policy as he sees fit, and if you don’t like it you can vote him out, that’s dangerous, because it means that there is a precedent enshrined for future presidents, whether it’s Bernie or anybody else, where now these sort-of holdovers who have just career jobs within the federal government can say, ‘Oh, look, Bernie is not sufficiently in accordance with what we perceive to be the official U.S. foreign policy of the government.’ And Tulsi is really the only one who has enough discernment, who can give a very really penetrating statement about the ominous implications of that in a town-hall event style gathering. And I don’t see anybody else reporting on it.”

    So much for the transcriptions of the Michael Tracy interviews, as far as I have gotten. However, sometime late in the previous year, I saw a video on the Internet featuring Representative Jerrold Nadler sounding almost exactly the same concerns during the Republicans’ tawdry Fellatio Impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Yet now, as these latest ridiculous — and entirely choreographed — proceedings get underway, Jerry Nadler and his fellow “prosecutor” Adam Schiff have decided to do a Laurel and Harding (“Tom and Jerry”) imitation of Kenneth Starr and his gang of ravenous Republican reprobates [i.e., “unprincipled persons”]. As usual, the ludicrous spectacle of Democrats trying to out-Republican the Republicans — and failing miserably at their own fawning imitation — would disappoint me except that I long ago lost any conception of why the Democratic party even exists. Just the understudy junior varsity for the Republican servants of the Billionaire Donor Class doesn’t qualify in my estimation.

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    1. Sorry for dropping the closing bold-font-for-emphasis HTML tag after “… reporting on it” (the end of the penultimate paragraph). The final paragraph requires no special emphasis.

      Still, it bears repeating that an undistinguished assortment of clerks, CIA spooks, and other bureaucratic employees — including quagmire-war-losing Generals and Admirals — should hardly get to determine U.S. foreign policy among themselves and then insist that elected presidents (however personally repugnant) slavishly adhere to what the careerist hirelings demand. In the present ludicrous instance, this theory makes even less sense (not that it ever made any sense at all).

      You remember, don’t you, fellow Crimestoppers, how the previous U.S. President, nominally a “Democrat” (Barack Obama), refused to supply “military aid” to the Ukraine, reasoning that the Russian Federation would find this extremely provocative and could always further escalate “their” support for Russian-speaking East Ukrainians, no matter what paltry military force the U.S. could supply to the neo-Nazi coup-regime in Kiev. President Obama’s decision not to needlessly stoke the Ukrainian proxy-civil-war so ardently desired by the holdover neocons in the U.S. “Shallow State” (as I prefer to designate these bureaucratic ass-wipes) did not result in his impeachment by the Republicans, even though many of them publicly criticized Obama for his cautious policy.

      Now come the “Democrats” into “control” of the House of Representatives where they manage to find Republican President Trump impeachable for delaying and then delivering the “military aid” that a president of their own party had not delivered at all — and on the basis of a telephone conversation with a published transcript that none of the accusatory low-level minions had even heard first hand themselves. First “Russia-gate.” That didn’t pan out. Then “Ukraine-gate.” That hasn’t worked out too well, either. And now the nadir of low points (pardon the redundancy): the “Gate-gate” impeachment with no gate, no supporting posts, and no hinges.

      Just to make my own position on impeachment as clear as possible, I have no objection to impeaching any and every U.S. President the moment he or she puts his or her hand on a barbaric Bronze Age “scripture,” claiming that his or her authority to govern descends from animistic entities “on high” instead of ascending from the consent of the governed. This shameless religious ritual simply continues the age old “Divine Right of Kings” under another name: “Divine Right of Presidents.” Thus I favor impeaching and removing any such newly elected president for violating the Constitutional Separation of Church and State before even finishing their meaningless promise to “protect and defend” what they have just defiled with their opportunistic animism.

      So, impeach and remove, yes. As often as necessary. But do so for reasons of deep principle and a desire for the preservation of priceless secular institutions like the Separation of Church and State, now hardly even a cursory consideration in the preacher/priest-ridden United States of Ammunition. Then let the righteous reign of “Pastor” Mike Pence begin, courtesy of the “Democratic” party and its vitriolic hatred of Donald J. Trump for cynically seizing on the pain and outrage of the disenfranchised American working class while the former political champion of that class — “Democrats” by formal designation — ineptly fawned upon and followed to defeat a discredited snowflake Medusa whose Ivy League college degrees and unaccomplished “humiliated wife entitlement” career found insufficient sympathy in much of the country.

      This phony impeachment puppet show indicates to me that the corporate Democrats have already thrown in the towel, so to speak. They now only wish to spend the next year blowing billions of dollars on clueless media campaign consultants, serving up a hapless “centrist” quisling for President Trump — the Democrats’ very own “Pied Piper” creation — to ritually disembowel on cable television while exuberantly babbling bombastic bullshit to the delight of his religious cult following.

      Only two events: A Ponzi-Bubble Stock Market Collapse (like 1929 and 2008) or the outbreak of real war-with-casualties (not at all unlikely) might conceivably derail the Trump Re-Election Train. But these events will not depend on the Democratic party and its sacrificial nominee so much as (a) foreigners deciding to dump dollars or (b) aggrieved middle-easterners avenging their murdered countrymen and kinsmen by killing U.S. war-workers and, possibly, travelling government officials. (One of our American “envoys,” for example, just threatened to murder the Iranian general who replaced the Iranian general that we only recently murdered. Oh, shit. …)

      Quite possibly, then, foreign “others” will determine the 2020 U.S. presidential election — by what they choose to do or not do — and not Americans themselves. We will simply and viscerally “react” as ordered by the Transnational Corporate Oligarchy through its Concentrated Corporate Media and KFC-style U.S. Political Management Franchise, what Sheldon Wolin called “Democracy, Incorporated.”

      “Hey, you senators snoring away at the soporific “impeachment” thing. Wake up. Somebody has just said something about someone they say they know who said they overheard something about a phone call that no one actually heard. No. Seriously. Wake up! The fate of the Republic hangs in the balance. Really ….”

      As Jimmy Dore likes to say: “If you push this ‘impeachment’ thing, then you boost the support for Donald Trump. And I don’t vote for Trump boosters.” Me neither.

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      1. Michael, I’m writing a memo to myself, based on your concluding paragraph: “Never, EVER act on principle if it might redound to the tiniest degree in favor of the evil you’re striving to oppose.” Thank you so much for that wisdom, I’m sure my life will improve greatly almost overnight!

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    2. Related to the discussion at hand: just part of another transcription of a Jimmy Dore youtube show (December 21, 2019) featuring an interview with Michael Tracy — this one from before the Democrats in the House stopped stalling and actually delivered their “Particles of Innuendo” (as I like to call these bits of idle gossip) to the Senate for a “trial”. “Trump NOT Legally Impeached Says Dems Own Lawyer”

      [snip]

      Jimmy Dore: “There are lots of Republicans who are Never-Trumpers. There are lots of people from the Bush cabinet who are Never-Trumpers. And its funny that they [the Democrats] can’t find even one of those guys in Congress to go along with them. Not One. Does it kind of blow your mind, Michael, to see people who consider themselves on the Left and opponents to Trump pushing as hard as they are in this impeachment knowing that his poll numbers are up again, his approval rating is up again? It’s just like Bill Clinton. This is helping him. So, what I’m trying to tell people, is that if you consider yourself on the Left or an opponent of Trump and you’re pushing Russia-gate which has propped him up, and now you’re pushing Impeachment which props him up, you’re reckless, and me high on drugs can see through this.”

      “… I just had a conversation with Cenk Uygar in my studio last weekend, Sunday, and I begged him to stop doing things that prop up Trump. I begged him to stop Russia-gating. And I begged him to stop doing impeachment. And he’s not. In fact, they’re out there giving Tulsi a hard time because she’s actually standing up against the establishment. So they’re wittingly, because I told Cenk, so they’re on purpose propping up Donald Trump right now, just to get over an emotional tantrum of making them feel good about Donald Trump. Does it blow your mind to see that happening?

      Michael Tracy: “It doesn’t, Jimmy, mainly because I am now unfortunately resigned to my advice on any of these subjects never being heeded by anybody with any affiliation with the Democratic party, aside from a handful of total miscreants who are ostracized and mocked, including, in a way, Tulsi. So no, it doesn’t surprise me. I almost think that it is wrong to differentiate this impeachment from Russia-gate, in many ways it’s actually a culmination of Russia-gate“.

      I follow UK politics pretty closely, and I don’t know if you followed this most recent election last week, but Jeremy Corbyn got totally decimated. The Labor Party writ large got decimated in some of their long-time strongholds in the North and West in particular …

      Jimmy Dore: “They thought they could double-cross [their usual working-class voters] and they’d still vote for them anyway. Just like Hillary Clinton in Michigan and Wisconsin, they didn’t come out an vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Correct?”

      Michael Tracy: “Right. But they did in 2017. Just two-and-a-half years ago, Jeremy Corbyn triumphed. He outperformed what practically everybody said he was capable of in 2017. And the only major difference between 2017 and 2019 in the UK context was that Jeremy Corbyn capitulated to the demands of the urban elites within the Labor Party and endorsed a second referendum which would have essentially overridden the democratic mandate of Brexit, so all the Brexit-voting constituencies in the UK that have voted Labor, in some cases since they were founded over a hundred years ago, they voted for the Conservative Party.”

      There’s a parallel here, and actually I made this point a couple of days ago, and Trump re-tweeted it, which is sort of weird, but nonetheless I stand by it. Which is that there’s a parallel here in that even though impeachment isn’t actually, technically, the overturning of an election, you’re delusional if you don’t think it’s going to be perceived as such by wide swaths of the electorate. Especially if it’s totally along partisan lines and if there is nothing even approaching a national consensus about its necessity. This is what Tulsi is saying.”

      There are other problems with the logic instilled by these impeachment articles, because they trotted out all these Security State functionaries to say that Trump defied what they called “Official U.S. Foreign Policy” and tried to conduct his own foreign policy. What happens down the line when a President Bernie or a President Whoever decides to buck the National Security State and Policy Bureaucracy for reasons that have nothing to do with Joe Biden? And those same people could say, “We impeached the previous President and he did the same thing that you’re doing.” These things always establish a precedent. But most Democrats and Democrat-adjacent media are so blinkered in their monomaniacal obsession with Trump as a person that they have no perspective, and they have no idea how any of this stuff boomerangs down the line. And am I shocked because they’re not cognizant of that? No, because they’ve totally ignored everything I’ve said about this now going back years.

      Jimmy Dore: “I think they are cognizant of it and they don’t care. I know first hand that one of the biggest Russia-gaters in the country was told, “You know this is propping up Trump” and he said “I don’t care.” So this idea that they are unwittingly propping up Trump I think is bullshit. I think that when Representative Pramila Jayapal went on Democracy Now and they told her, “Trump’s poll numbers are swiftly moving up after this impeachment” and she just ignored it, and said half the country wants him gone so that’s good enough. So, she’s been told, and after you’ve been told that you’re actively helping Trump and you continue to do what helps Trump. What does that make you?

      Michael Tracy: “A witting agent. …”

      Jimmy Dore: “They’re not unwittingly propping up Trump. They are wittingly, on purpose, doing the bidding of Donald Trump. That’s what they said Jill Stein was doing. That’s what they said anybody voting third party was doing. And now here they are doing it and they don’t give a shit, because they are emotional children. It’s amazing. My whole life I grew up thinking that everyone else was better than me. And then, as soon as I stick my toe in the water, I find out they’re not. Nobody in journalism is better than me. Certainly nobody in politics. These are all Mediocres. These are the most mediocre of fucking people with the most transparent of motivations, and a guy like me can see right through them after I smoke a bowl. And they’re all the same. That goes for Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow and Jake Tapper and Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and anybody on the left who is pushing impeachment. You are a witting dupe and idiot. This is not how you oppose Donald Trump. This is how you prop Donald Trump up once again. That’s why this country is in such a shit-show because not only do the people who think they are against Donald Trump ingest the propaganda, but they believe the propaganda and they repeat the propaganda. So, if there is anything we need to oppose right now, it is the Democratic fucking party. And that’s what Tulsi Gabbard is doing. And I say Bravo. Talk about ‘balls of steel.’ These Democrats do not have one iota of the courage that Tulsi Gabbard has.

      What these two not-so-gentle men said. …

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      1. “even though impeachment isn’t actually, technically, the overturning of an election, you’re delusional if you don’t think it’s going to be perceived as such by wide swaths of the electorate”

        And Schiff managed to make sure that wide swath will be even more convinced that is exactly what is intended by the bit in his opening monologue about how we cannot rely on the coming election because it might not be won fairly. Bonus points for further de-legitimatizing the electoral system and the concepts of American democracy and America itself with that one. This is what I find most darkly humorous about the hew and cry claiming Russia (or China, Iran, etc) engaging in nefarious online plots to degrade American democracy – no one could do anywhere near as good a job at that as the DC elites are already doing!

        As for not impeaching setting a bad precedent the US kind of passed that moral event horizon quite a while back. For example, not doing anything about that president who was a lying, torturing, murdering war criminal. I can’t see this farce accomplishing anything beyond increasing the odds of the orange, anamatronic troll-doll being re-elected.

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  7. WJA – I agree with your take on this impeachment. It reminds me a little of how the US government used to prosecute mafiosos for income tax evasion rather than their contract-killings, extortion, and other major crimes (though the analogy breaks-down in that the government was usually able to successfully prosecute & imprison the offenders).

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    1. Precisely, Eddie! Point being, at least Capone DID spend some time in the slammer. He didn’t have Presidential Pardon power and I bet even The Mob couldn’t have arranged a jury more committed to acquittal than the GOP members of the US Senate. And that in itself, IMHO, is a crime!

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  8. The Washington Post sees the point of linking impeachment and the trial to the Roberts Court and Citizens United:

    “Ten years to the day before Trump’s impeachment trial began, the Supreme Court released its Citizens United decision, plunging the country into the era of super PACs and unlimited, unregulated, secret campaign money from billionaires and foreign interests. Citizens United, and the resulting rise of the super PAC, led directly to this impeachment. The two Rudy Giuliani associates engaged in key abuses — the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the attempts to force Ukraine’s president to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents — gained access to Trump by funneling money from a Ukrainian oligarch to the president’s super PAC.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/23/john-roberts-comes-face-face-with-mess-he-made

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    1. And the Dems in US Senate colossally blundered on the Roberts nomination, somehow seeing that member of The Federalist Society (obligatory in recent years for GOP nominees to SCOTUS) as “moderate.” He has surprised the GOP with one or two votes, but basically he’s a solid “Libertarian” on regulation of financial industry, etc. “‘Free market’ good, regulation B-A-D!!”

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  9. How does the “man/woman in the street” feel about Trump’s impeachment and trial?

    My sense is that most people realize Trump is unprincipled, lies/exaggerates a lot, is vulgar and rude and coarse and a bully, and doesn’t play the game by normal rules. His supporters don’t care about Trump’s faults, which in some cases they see as strengths.

    Trump haters just want him gone.

    But the case put together by the Democrats lacks convincing power. OK: Trump pressured Ukraine to smear a political opponent. We know politics is corrupt and corrupting, and we know Trump is a dirty fighter. OK: Trump abused his power. Again, no surprise there; and nothing new in DC politics.

    So I think many Americans are simply shrugging their shoulders as they go about their daily lives, which are demanding enough without following a rather boring circus in DC whose final act is as predictable as it is depressing.

    The Dems chose not to charge Trump on emoluments/profiteering from his office. They chose not to charge him on war crimes/the Iran assassination. Instead, they chose a narrow front of Ukraine that actually works to undermine the campaign of Joe Biden.

    Well, the Dems got their impeachment, but they’re losing the trial.

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    1. The Dems “are losing the trial” only because the jury has been rigged in advance. If a genuinely impartial court could be assembled–perhaps recruited from Mars?–Trump would be gone from office a few days from now. What could be clearer than that? Not, as I have stated ad nauseam, that Pres. Pence is anything to look forward to.

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      1. Come on, Greg. I enjoy a good debate as well as the next guy (when I can even locate one), but since the Democrats in the House rigged the “prosecution” in advance, what outrages you about the Republicans doing the same with their Senate “jury” — if indeed making up one’s mind even constitutes “rigging”? As I have pointed out below and in other comments at considerable length, the two particular articles advanced as the basis of the alleged wrongdoing wouldn’t pass the smell test at an alleged “gas attack” in Syria. Everyone paying the least attention to these phony “articles” knew of them and their provenance and could thus reach a decision about them in no time at all. I assume this also applies to U.S. Senators, almost all of whom have law degrees and/or considerable experience crafting legislation. How does it constitute “rigging” if an adult person can perform the elementary-school arithmetic computation: “1 non-crime + 1 non-crime = 2 non-crimes.” If the House Democrats had come up with at least one real crime, they could have made the political and judicial arithmetic at least a little more challenging. But they did not do that. Their bad. If any “rigging” took place, I would say that the Democrats tried to craft a political pipe bomb for the Republicans but mailed it to their own home address. “Hoist with their own petard,” as the ancients would say.

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        1. Even in a normal criminal trial, especially if the case had a lot of media attention, it would be extremely difficult to have confidence that all the members of the jury enter their duties “without an opinion” in advance as to guilt or innocence. Such are the ways of “our” system of jurisprudence. You will simply prove the distance you have put between yourself and reality if you argue that when Sen. McConnell stated, very publicly, days before the start of the proceedings that he had no intention of being impartial, this was perfectly normal and acceptable. Of course it is TRUE! He indeed had no such intention. Should we give Mitch a medal for honesty? You and the colonel have painted yourselves into a corner. The logical extension of your argument: No POTUS should ever be impeached again because “we all know” it would just be political vendetta on part of the other party. Ergo, Trump and his successors SHOULD be allowed total lawless leeway in how they operate. What a dandy philosophy! Take a bow, boys!

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          1. Bullshit. Now you have resorted to deliberately mis-characterizing what I have said, and Lt. Colonel Astore can speak for himself. Meanwhile:

            Adam Schiff stuns Senate, reveals Russia set to attack U.S. mainland (Video), The Duran Quick Take: Episode 442 (January 24, 2020).

            Oh, yes. “Fight them there so that we don’t have to fight them here.” I heard that horse manure half a century ago about Southeast Asian peasant communists poised to “domino” their way across the world up to my very doorstep in Southern California if I didn’t join the Navy, learn Vietnamese, and deploy half-way-around the world to stop the threatened “invasion.” But back then I heard the horse shit from Republicans. Now I hear it from so-called “Democrats.” How “unfair” of me to remember that.

            Also, according to “prosecutor” Schiff, U.S. elections have no legitimacy, so just voting someone out of office won’t work any longer. This moron doesn’t even seem to realize that — if you follow his “logic” — he has also pronounced his own self illegitimate as a result of an election that could not possibly have transpired “fairly” due to omnipresent “Russian meddling.” You know those Russians. So Omnipotent.

            And you think this kind of certifiable rubbish deserves a “fair” hearing? OK. I’ll give it two seconds. There. Done. Can we go home now?

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          2. Congratulations, Michael, on becoming a member of Team Trump! You continue to parrot his “defense” that he did absolutely nothing wrong with his perfect phone call to Ukraine! And I did not mischaracterize your stance, I took it to its logical conclusion.

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          3. Well, Trump was impeached. On charges that, though serious, are less-than-compelling for removal.

            Of course, we need impeachment as a tool to remove presidents who commit high crimes etc. Clinton’s perjury was insufficient grounds; so too, I’d argue, are the charges brought against Trump.

            Sadly, the trials are obsessively covered by the media. Congress works all hours to look busy and serious. Meanwhile, the homeless die in the streets, millions are without health care, people struggle under debt due to health care and drug costs, education remains underfounded and of poor quality in many cities, water is undrinkable in Flint … where’s the Congressional outrage and the hard work to fix these and similar problems?

            A pox on Dems and Repubs and the whole corrupt system.

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    2. “OK: Trump pressured Ukraine to smear a political opponent. We know politics is corrupt and corrupting, and we know Trump is a dirty fighter. OK: Trump abused his power. Again, no surprise there; and nothing new in DC politics.”

      You lost me with the two “OK”s, Bill, which — I regret to say — amount to classic question-begging. You know: Accepting a conclusion (i.e., political guilt) as “demonstrated” on the basis of the stated premise (i.e., political accusation) alone. No need to take my word for it, but you might want to consider the following two observations by persons knowledgable about the subject.

      (1) “The Question being about a matter of fact, ’tis begging it, to bring as proof for it, an Hypothesis, which is the very thing in dispute. … But he, that would not deceive himself, ought to build his Hypothesis on matter of fact, and make it out by sensible experience, and not presume on matter of fact, because of his Hypothesis, that is, because he supposes it to be so.” — John Locke, An Essay concerning Human Understanding (1689)

      (2) “It is not uncommon to encounter an argument that smuggles the arguer’s position on the claim at issue into the wording of one of the premises. Such an argument may be said to beg the question. Even though the conclusion is clearly not warranted by the evidence, the listener is, in effect, “begged” to accept it anyway. There is the appearance of evidential support, but at least part of the “evidence” is actually a form of the conclusion in disguise. Such arguments violate the acceptability criterion of a good argument — that the premises or assumptions must be acceptable. A premise cannot be acceptable, according to the conditions of unacceptability, if it is no different from that conclusion that it is used to support.” — T. Edward Damer, Attacking Faulty Reasoning: a practical guide to fallacy-free arguments (2001)

      Sorry for reiterating the dialectical point here, but the impeachment proceedings, as launched by the House Democrats, amount to little more than a pathetic illustration of question-begging. In other words: “We Democrats demand that you Republicans accept and affirm the guilt of Republican defendant Donald J. Trump because we House Democrats have the power to allege it and have done so. What we can, we will. I mean, why even have “judges” and “trials” and “juries” — why even have any “laws” — if allegation alone sufficed to prove guilt? As a matter of fact, by agreeing to a “trial” in the Senate, the House Democratic “prosecutors” have accepted that a “verdict” on these matters remains as yet unknown and that any decision reached could therefore refute their accusations with a “not guilty” verdict. For Democratic party accusers to go before a Republican jury and simply beg for vindication of their venal vendetta against a sitting Republican president, smacks of suicidal political stupidity, to put the matter most kindly. But then we have Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler leading the “prosecution.” Tweedle Dumb and Twaddle Dumber: two tendentious twerps who have hardly distinguished themselves with a display of constitutional (let alone legal) acumen. So what else but fall-on-your-face farce would any thinking person expect?

      My only question now, since I still don’t see evidence of any criminality committed — as alleged — in the phone call that no accusing minion from the CIA or State Department basement actually heard: How long will the Republicans in control of the Senate allow this excruciatingly humiliating mockery of “the world’s greatest deliberative body” (in the words of Chief Justice John Roberts) to continue? Sure, the Democratic party accusers look dumber-than-dirt and too-stupid-to-stipulate for even bringing these cheap little “charges” out into public view for a valid vilification, but the Republicans for their part look simply mean and cruel — not at all an unfair characterization of them, normally — for allowing this Democratic party self-gelding to go on much longer. Capons at a cock-fight. How simply awful.

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      1. Mike: those were the charges he was impeached on. A partisan vote, of course. He will be “exonerated,” or not removed, based on another partisan vote.

        And that’s the way the cookie crumbles, as my dad used to say.

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  10. It seems to me the establishment of the “Personhood of Corporations” has been a political scam which marked a way-point in the historic development of this era with staggering implications. In many ways, Trump is the logical outcome of this legal peculiarity.

    The State (in this case, a federated super-state) serves the interests of its ruling class. The quaint idea that it might be some sort of neutral impartial oversight mechanism for social fair play is a naive misconception. As is that other touted idea that there is a shred of difference between them within the GOP-Dem duality. These two too, are agencies of your ruling class and neither care a damn for ordinary people’s needs, rights, survival. Their role is the seduction of the public mind into a faux-reality.

    We have exactly the same sort of bogus political duality in my State, effectively dispossessing the people of any semblance of democratic influence. How can we regain democratic control from such an unbenign situation?

    An alternative view point may help reveal actuality. A class analysis of the movement within either society will quickly show the contradictions which now bring Trump, Johnson, Modi, etc. to power.

    Of course, the validity of any such study will be ridiculed and / or dismissed by those who wish to keep truth hidden from us so they may maintain their hegemony.

    But … … To navigate the coming financial crash, a debt burden provoked economic cataclism, and plan for the inevitable ensuing political chaos, – and even to prepare mentally for it, is a task for immediate effort.

    In the USA, in the UK, in France, Italy, and here in Ireland, the old game is concluding. The old systemic routines are disolving, and the drift – or maybe the gallop to the right shows the same old fascistic brutes stepping up for the neoliberal elites as happened 90 years ago. We must see whats really happening, and prepare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I endorse your perspective. One of the major illusions of the day is that “the Trump Economy” is doing just great. We know that, for the lowest-wage workers and many considering themselves “middle class,” that is simply a ludicrous proposition. Unless working multiple jobs just to stay afloat is desirable! But here in the States, class-consciousness has been (brain-)washed right out of the laboring classes. A heavy price will be paid for that! Interestingly, I watched “Triumph of the Will” last night for first time in a long time. Hitler actually promised the German nation a society “free of class or caste,” all the while working on behalf of their own country’s “1% of the 1%,” crushing organized labor and all opposition.

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  11. I am seeing a process played out in some of the comments that relates to a system in Taoist thought. If you will bear with me, there are five elements that progress from one to another in a cycle: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire, and fire cycles back to earth. In the martial arts that have strong Taoist roots (Tai Chi and Xing I) this progression is seen in movement. My understanding is that this is simply a poetic expression of the laws of physics: Earth is stillness, Metal is splitting and the initiation of movement requires that every action have an opposite reaction, Water is flow, the tendency of an object in motion to remain in motion, Wood is springiness, what happens when a flow meets resistance, and Fire is when the springiness overwhelms the resistance, and then there is stillness (for perhaps only a moment).

    The same process can be observed in human interactions.
    The two parties are at rest with one another. Earth
    Then a point is raised that divides them. Metal
    Each party starts to develop ideas related to that point. Water
    The ideas that of one party are resisted by the other party. Each party puts more energy into their ideas. Wood
    The back and forth of Wood continues and the energy among the parties increases. Wood becoming Fire
    One or both parties expresses their point so forcefully that interaction ends. Fire becoming Earth
    … until the next point is raised.

    One of the Taoist principles is that if one wants to stop the cycle one has to avoid progressing from one element to the next in the cycle. So if we notice that we are in Wood and heading toward Fire, we have to avoid putting more and more energy into our presentation. We can shift back into Water, letting ideas flow more without advocating or resisting them. We can shift back to Metal, introducing other points that may take us onto a different path. If the other does not seem to be open to any change in their position we can shift back to Earth. We are where we are and the other is where they are. We haven’t changed anything, but at least we haven’t had to go through Fire to get there.

    I apologize for nerding out on philosophy, but this way of thinking helps me a lot in my personal life and in my work when working with families. It also relates to intrapersonal conflict such as when someone is struggling to change a habit or an addiction.

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    1. JPA–Very interesting input! I, for one, plan on NOT going back and forth, tit for tat, endlessly on the impeachment issue. I believe I have stated my case as clearly as possible in favor of the process. I’m sure I will soon retire from this particular field of battle, as I prefer to expend my time and energy on productive matters. Thanks for your comments!

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  12. ” … the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” The Federalist Number 51 (February 8, 1788) (Hamilton or Madison).

    When my older son (the 45 year old computer software developer/engineer) visited us here in Taiwan late last year, I performed something of an experiment, asking him what he remembered, if anything, from his senior-year high school civics class. Without hesitation he replied — much to my surprise and gratification — “The Separation of Powers.” I mention this in connection with the present “impeachment” trivialization because the ludicrous “second article” alleging “Obstruction of Congress” amounts to, in fact, a repudiation of the Separation of Powers as this applies to the Executive thwarting the Legislature while simultaneously — and self-righteously — asserting one-half of the Legislature’s power, not just to thwart the Executive, but to thwart the other half of the Legislature as well. Now, of course, the power to thwart or obstruct that the House Democrats wish to assert — but only for themselves — the other branch of the Legislature (i.e., the Senate), not to mention the Executive (President Trump) and the Judicial branches may equally assert for themselves. Let litigation resolve these expected differences.

    Thwart – Thwart – Thwart. Obstruct – Obstruct – Obstruct. See all divisions of the state and federal governments — the Compound Republic — “thwart” and “obstruct” each other, and all by the conscious, considered, and deliberate design of the Founding Southern Slave Owners and Northern Mercantilist Bankers who wished above all things to keep their own wealth and property safe from the grasping hands of the “majority” (meaning the common people). Again, Federalist Number 51 goes into all of this structural self-enfeeblement of government which seeks to prevent concentration of all power into hands other than the Corporatist Oligarchy’s own, causing the super wealthy to fear for the political expropriation of their ill-gotten gains. “Liberty,” in the Founding Capitalist Conception, means “property” which in the Subsidiary U.S. Franchise has its own political party with two right wings, as Gore Vidal once said. So see the two right wings of the single property party pretend to thwart and obstruct each other while doing no such thing. “Corporate Personhood and Unlimited Free Bribery-Speech” have pretty much made a mockery of that whole “Separation of Powers” fantasy.

    And what, anyway, did President Trump “obstruct” that the Democrats in the House find so appallingly objectionable? Jimmy Dore broadcasting on youtube from his garage studio explains [see: Dennis Kucinich Endorses Tulsi Gabbard & Anti-War Fight (January 26, 2020)]:

    [20:17] Jimmy Dore: “[The House Democrats] are impeaching [President Trump] because he put a pause in the flow of bombs into more conflicts. That’s what they’re upset about, that there was a temporary pause in more armaments going for more war, as if the President doesn’t get to decide our foreign policy in the first place.”

    So Hamilton and Madison and Vidal and Dore have pretty much explained what I doubt very seriously anyone will hear from the corporate Democrats (busy trying to out-Republican the Republicans) and their House impeachment manager-prosecutors. A classic demonstration of venality, ignorance, and ineptitude inducing mass narcolepsy in the American electorate. If only a real and significant constitutional difference had anything to do with this shit show.

    Now Impeaching President Trump for supplying weaponry into a foreign civil war of no concern to the American people would make perfect sense. But since the U.S. — and especially former Vice President Joe Biden — fomented and fanned and profited from the Ukrainian civil war in the first place, all to the enrichment of Representative Adam Schiff and his Ukranian oligarch patron, Victor Pinchuk, a billionaire arms dealer who most probably stands to get a cut of this “military aid” that Trump obligingly provided. But shining a spotlight on all that particular Ukrainian channel of Democrat-Republican corruption will have to wait for another comment. …

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    1. Mike, apparently your hatred of the Dems (and I am long on record as finding them no less venal and corrupt than you!) blinds you to the blatant Trump refusal to provide documents or witnesses to the impeachment’s initial “pre-trial” proceedings. That was Obstruction of Justice [Congress, i.e. the right of the House of Reps. to carry out its Constitutional responsibilities]. The American “System,” which really did bring what were, at the time, revolutionary changes in governance, has itself become hopelessly corrupt and beyond the reach of “reform.” Replacing it, however…not so easy!

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      1. I wear glasses, Greg, but that does not make me blind. And as the private investigator (Josh Brolin) in the movie Sin City – A Dame to Kill for told the Femme Fatale (Eva Green) busy manipulating him into killing her rich husband for her: “I was born at night, but not last night.”

        I can see and hear and smell — not to mention read and think — well enough to tell shit from Shinola, or a pile of horse manure laying ten yards in front of me on the sidewalk at high noon on a sunny day. This hard-won skepticism of mine contrasts favorably, I think, with the current crop of cynical but stupid House Democrats — with the exception of Tulsi Gabbard — who would stop and look at a pile of shit on their front porch and say: “Hmmmm. That looks like shit.” [And bending lower for a better look]: “Hmmmm. That smells like shit.” [And bending still lower to sample it with a finger]: “Hmmmm. That tastes like shit. Sure glad I didn’t step in that.”

        I don’t hate the “Dems,” as you call them. They look too lame and pathetic to me: desperately trying to emulate their Republican heroes. I mean, Chicken Chuck Schumer trying out for the part of Mean Mitch McConnell’s understudy in the school play? I can’t even work up enough emotional interest to pity these pious, posturing pretenders. And sure, no doubt Senator Schumer and the other Senate Dems revere the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” and have staunchly refused to prematurely pass judgment upon defendant Trump until they have heard their fellow Democrats from the House flogging hearsay and innuendo until a “witness” who has actually seen something decides to show up and the bureaucratic gossip magically morphs into “evidence” that has somehow eluded three years of intensive investigation. Sure. So many saints in the Senate.

        Anyway, and excuse me for having to point out this relevant fact to you, but the Trump administration some time ago released without quibble or protest the only document having any relevance to this fantastic fraud of an “impeachment,” namely, the transcript of the telephone conversation between President Donald Trump and the then-newly elected President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenski. Having found no “smoking gun” or “mushroom cloud” in that document, President Trump’s Democratic party accusers have resorted to the time-dishonored fishing expedition: demanding more and more documents hoping against hope that something might turn up that could provide actual evidence of wrongdoing. But, as received wisdom admonishes us: “Hope makes a piss-poor substitute for strategy.”

        You remember very well, no doubt, how the Republicans and their own Inspector Javert (Kenneth Starr) began investigating a money losing real estate deal by the Clintons in Arkansas: the “Whitewater” affair. And then — finding nothing amiss — kept demanding more documents and more “witnesses,” until they turned up Paula Jones who told lurid tales of meeting Governor Bill Clinton in a hotel room eleven years previously. That not constituting evidence of anything wrongful to do with President Clinton’s conduct while President, the subpoenas and “leaky” grand-jury inquisitions persisted until “best friend” Linda Tripp turned up with her recorded telephone conversations of Monica Lewinski sharing juicy details of extramarital fellatio in the White House. Then came President Clinton’s confusion about the meaning of the past-tense inflection of the word “is” which led to charges of “perjury.” Then impeachment. Then acquittal and President Clinton finishing out his term of office happily shredding remnants of the New Deal for his best buddy, Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich.

        None of what I have said to this point or in any previous comment constitutes blindness on my part. Just a functioning mind and memory. But don’t take my jaundiced word for any of this. I’ve just spent several hours typing up and saving on my website a youtube video transcript that rather pointedly gets down to the real concerns animating our corrupt Congressional cretins and their Ukrainian oligarch patrons. See: Adam Schiff stuns Senate, reveals Russia set to attack U.S. mainland (Video),
        The Duran Quick Take: Episode 410 (January 24, 2020).

        Yes, I would like to see Donald Trump voted out of office in November, preferably by Tulsi Gabbard and whomever she selects to run with her on the Democratic party ticket. Failing that, however, I can’t see any of the other Democratic party candidates getting my vote if they can’t offer anything more substantial than “not Trump.” That will just produce four more years of Trump. And this impeachment farce only further boosts his popularity. Donald Trump showed in 2016 that to win the Presidency, one first has to clear out the dead-weight “elite” of one’s own party. This means that the Democrats have to clean out the Clintons and Obamas before re-dedicating themselves to the working class whose interests they have betrayed for decades now. Not easy, as you say. Just necessary.

        A blind man could see this who wished to.

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        1. Michael–I have clashed with you before, and I know you can’t stand someone disagreeing with you in “public.” You say “nothing impeachable there,” I say the exact opposite. END OF STORY. I doubt other readers of this website will be entertained if you churn out additional torrents of verbiage trying to demolish my stance. Give us all a break, huh?!?

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          1. I have no problem with anyone disagreeing with me in public, Greg. I enjoy lively and well-reasoned dialectics and look forward to the time when you will produce some. Don’t give up in despair at your inability to command my agreement with your views. You have every right to argue them but you do not have the authority to decide when others must cease and desist from stating their opinions. Reasoned argument does not end when you have decided that you haven’t gotten the better of it. And since you appear to tire easily when confronted with coherent, compound-complex sentences — let alone paragraphs — I’ll stop here. Have a good rest now. And Happy Chinese New Year.

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          2. Michael–My, my, here we go descending into ad hominem attacks! As I anticipated. This will be my last comment to you on this website: You may discover someday that you are NOT the Master of Rhetoric/Polemics and Uber-Wordsmith that you imagine yourself to be. Have a nice life! (Apologies to the editor of Bracing Views.)

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  13. As an aging and fading rock & roll guitarist living out his string in The Netherlands, I freely admit to lacking the eloquence and political acumen of those whose comments precede this one. But I find the interplay is good for the mind and spirit. That said, a handful of observations:

    “Power is the only fact!” Henry II speaking in my favorite Christmas movie, “The Lion in Winter.” The Republicans – and, through them, those who fund them and to whom they are openly & blatantly subservient – hold the real power. What power the Democrats have – a majority in the House – they are either unwilling or, through sheer incompetence, are unable to apply in any meaningful manner. They’ve taken the term “loyal opposition” to new depths.

    How can anyone continue to be outraged by the actions of Trump’s supporters in the Senate and during the impeachment proceedings? I would have thought the saturation point was reached early in the process. Can anyone honestly say they have been surprised by any of it?

    At this late date, who truly believes – like Winston Smith – that “hope lies in the proles”? Two recent Presidential elections have shown your vote doesn’t mean anything if you don’t live in the right state, and in recent months Republicans have been busy getting voters struck from the rolls with little opposition. How can you have any faith in such a system? Answer: you can’t.

    Finally, to those who would go on about “resistance” and “needing a revolution,” I would say take a long, hard look at the American people in this year of grace and then (to use an old Texas expression), “wish in one hand, sh*t in the other, and see which fills up first.”

    (With apologies to WJA, et al, for the crudity.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. butsudanbill–I confess to being so hopelessly old-fashioned–and I reckon now “out of touch” with contemporary political reality–that I still hunger for what I consider justice. Thus, all the criticism in the world of the Democratic Party does not obviate for a nanosecond Trump’s blatant extortion of the Ukraine regime, to which he publicly (boastingly!) admitted. I deem that very worthy of impeachment and removal from office. (Have I mentioned this previously here? Nyuk-nyuk.) “Year of grace”? Actually, this is The Year of the Rat! Back in the ’60s, I was NOT one of those young revolutionaries who felt an actual revolution in this country was “in the air.” And the electorate has moved considerably farther to the right in the intervening decades. Exhibit A: President Donald John Trump. I hear the wind blows in pretty cold off the North Sea in the Nederlands, but if I had the funds I just might ask you for any tips on available properties there!

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      1. Well, part of the reason I’m here is I couldn’t really afford to live in The Home of Bob Seger, Bacon Cheeseburgers & Fried Perch as I get by largely on that so-called”entitlement program” Social Security. It is a cold wind indeed that’s blowing off what used to be called the German Ocean today but it rarely snows here (at least where I live, just outside Rotterdam).
        My Dad once told me my problem was that I’m a dreamer & idealist. I replied I just remember the promise that developments in the 60s held and what this country was supposed to be & stand for, and think of what might have been. And I still hold out hope for better days … but it gets harder every year.

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        1. My feeling is that it’s more than okay to dream, it’s necessary for our survival. And if you’re gonna dream, dream big! As long as your feet stay on the ground MOST of the time. We can try to ignore the ugliest of human behavior going on around us, but “funnily enough,” consequences will find a way to trickle down to us.

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        2. Speaking of being “a dreamer,” here’s Tom Englehardt from latest TomDispatch on subject of Greta Thunberg: “She got involved. She grasped the true nature of a global crisis and responded. She had no way of knowing, or even imagining, that her sole act (sitting outside the Swedish parliament alone with a protest sign on Fridays instead of attending school) would launch a global movement that might, in the end, matter on this beleaguered planet of ours.”

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  14. Perhaps I’m too jaded as an old ‘Madman’, but there’s something just TOO slick behind Greta’s presentation & ‘image’ that disturbs me. The formula*, to us old pros is very close to the ‘Marlboro Man’; too bad the real one died of lung cancer, but there’s humor in ‘Aunt Jemima’ pancake mix. You can check out the boxes on internet from the 1930’s to present day. During the 1960’s, my era, of Black Liberation & Equality, she became a very profitable embarrassment, a black maid serving white people. Artists removed 100lbs. lightened her up, and in stylish clothes, this new glamorous lady could well be acceptable in a mixed race marriage. Because it always tasted great, sales never dived; the brand was saved.
    A strange lead in to Climate Change, but I’ve followed her speeches, exotic travels, and of course Wall Street. Carbon “exchanges” (CO2 only) could be worth Trillion$ on Chicago & City of London exchanges. That nothing’s been said about a Pacific island the size of France made of plastic floats around, smog in cities far more complicated than CO2 gases, and not a word about fracking. These are huge personal concerns of mine.
    Ahmed Chalibi comes to mind. I don’t want to know the persons presented anymore: I want to know their ‘handlers’.
    *It is a ‘formula’, we geezers know. In fact, by August 2016, we old dogs were in horror Billary’s campaign was such a mess. She may be obnoxious, but there’s ways to cover that up with proper advertising. Proof? Bet you of you knew the ‘Marlboro Man’ died of cancer in the middle of a very expensive campaign.

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    1. bmcks–Ms. Thunberg has received flak from so-called leftists for not taking a “perfect” position on this, that or the other issue (Palestine, Putin, whatever). The important thing is that she got the public’s attention!! And inspired millions to come into the streets around the world in September to say to world “leaders” “Get off your asses and DO something!” That’s what matters to me. I am one old geezer who has gone on public record as being willing to fall in behind her leadership as a common footsoldier.

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      1. Fair enough Greglaxer, but I’m still very suspicious of her professional slickness: this is groomed, not naturally brought about. She can also be a nasty little brat, which is uncalled for in a discussion as important and complicated as Global Warming. Her performance at a Swedish interview with registered reporters, was “deplorable”.
        I’ve heard this song & dance before: so have you. In 1991 a 15yo Kuwaiti girl sobbed on international TV as Saddam Heussein was (supposedly) throwing 100’s of Kuwaiti babies on hospital floors – and stealing the incubators. This liar’s name is ‘Nayirah’, ‘handled’ by PR firm Hill & Nolton, servicing Kuwait & her father, Kuwaiti Ambassador to US. She caused 100’s of 1000’s of unnecessary deaths of innocents. No ‘brat’, today she’s a mass murderer in my eyes.
        “Fool me once…” goes the expression.
        Of course you too have a right to your opinion, but keep in mind, if you truly want justice and ending of “fake news”, soundbites won’t do. It takes the best research we can muster.

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        1. bmcks–“Frankly, my dear,” I don’t give a hoot if Greta Thunberg’s activities ARE being managed by a PR firm! What matters is that she has reached people on a very human basis and her “scolding” of the Established Order for doing nothing substantial about the climate crisis is absolutely accurate! Please try to tamp down your cynicism!

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  15. Over the course of the past few weeks, I have spent many hours every day laboriously transcribing youtube video presentations that I felt had something worthwhile to contribute and that I wanted to have available as a ready reference in the future. As these began to accumulate, I tried organizing them into something like an index, which I placed on my website, “The Misfortune Teller” under the “Reference Library” tab of the Main Menu. Since I cannot afford to hire a professional website designer, I have to do all the HTML coding myself, so I apologize in advance for the crude and amateurish appearance of my work. At any rate, as discussions proceed into the foreseeable future, I will quote from this index of transcribed videos and others can read as much of the accompanying material as they wish.

    Anyway, for one example relevant to the present topic of “impeachment,” consider the following excerpt from The Jimmy Dore Show (January 24, 2020), Adam Schiff’s Unhinged Fear Mongering At Impeachment Trial:

    Jimmy Dore: “So, if you remember, before the 2016 election. They were saying that Trump might not honor the results. What if Trump doesn’t honor the results of the election and then he tells his crazy followers to start a civil war? Remember that, Steph? I’m not making that up. And, of course. The election happens. Trump wins. And who doesn’t honor the results? Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. And the establishment media. Isn’t that ironic? The same thing they accuse Trump of going to do, they ended up doing.

    Steph Zamorano: “What’s even more ironic, she needed the help of Jill Stein after that.

    The sheer hypocrisy and shameless opportunism on display in these proceedings would embarrass anyone capable of the least self-reflection. But this quality does not seem much on display in either the House or Senate as presently constituted. But questions of real power and privilege seethe beneath the surface appearances of this puerile puppet show. Nonetheless and in my opinion, it could prove worthwhile — for those who have the time and stomach for it — to analyze the awful venality on display here for whatever lessons such unrelieved ugliness might teach. This I intend to do as the dreary debacle “slouches toward November” where the American jury — in 50 separate incarnations — awaits its chance to pass judgment on the pathetic personages parading about as “representatives” of “the people” — i.e., those corporate “persons” who have all the gold and make all the rules.

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