Another conservative lawyer group says ‘impeachment is legitimate’

A group of sixteen prominent conservative and libertarian lawyers who formed a group called “Check and Balances” are adding their voice for the rule of law.  In an article by William Cumming in USA Today called “Conservative lawyers: Impeachment is ‘legitimate,’ a group led by George Conway, released a statement which included the following:

“‘We believe the acts revealed publicly over the past several weeks are fundamentally incompatible with the president’s oath of office, his duties as commander in chief, and his constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ They added Trump’s acts formed ‘a legitimate basis for an expeditious impeachment investigation.'”

This announcement is on top of the one reported in the Huffington Post by “Republicans for the Rule of Law.” Per the Huffington Post, “‘Republicans in Congress must condemn this behavior without reservation,’ Chris Truax, a legal adviser for Republicans for the Rule of Law, said in a statement to HuffPost. He continued:
‘It is no longer about whether Republicans believe President Trump or whether they support his policies. It’s about whether they support his admitted abuse of power and his efforts to secure a foreign government’s help in an American election.’”

It is not just Democrats and an increasing number of Independents. A recent survey by The Washington Post and ABC News noted 28% of Republicans support the impeachment proceedings with 18% of Republicans supporting removal of Donald Trump as president.

As other ambassadors testify building on the courage of ousted Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony under oath, Republican legislators will have a tough decision. It should not be understated that Yovanovitch testified under oath knowing the president is a vindictive person. So, when Trump and his toadies continue to discredit this well-thought-of diplomat who served six presidents, remember it is a crime to lie under oath to Congress.

If that were not enough, two arrests of Rudy Guiliani’s associates were made last week. In addition to campaign finance violations, they also tried to help build a false narrative to oust Yovanovitch. Interesting.

 

On the downhill side of hump day

Tomorrow, the infamous Mueller report will be released in redacted form. Of course, the AG has called a press conference, so there are no guarantees. I would not be surprised by anything at this point. I do see a scared President.

What I find interesting is Giuliani and crowd are preparing a rebuttal, yet we have been told they had not see the report. I did not believe this for one bit, but I find it odd that you can write a rebuttal to a report you have not seen.

What I also find interesting is how someone can tout the summary conclusions that the AG offered and then denigrate the underlying report. This was akin to Trump saying Michael Cohen lied to Congress, except when he was bragging on Trump.

Herman Cain said he will keep his hat in the race for the Federal Reserve Board. This is giving the GOP Senate leaders heartburn as they see him as unqualified and unfit based on past issues. They have a right to be concerned, in my opinion.

Mayor Pete has some sound advice for his fellow Democrat Presidential candidates – do not make this about Trump bashing. I agree. Mayor Pete has impressed every where he has gone for interviews.

Speaking of impressing, Bernie impressed the Town Hall attendees on Fox. Dems need to do more of this, as their message is overall better than the current President and GOP. It is not perfect and needs to move to the center more, but talking about healthcare, job training, climate change, e.g. is much better than a border wall. By the way, the President, who feels Fox is his network, has fumed twice for Fox hosting Bernie. I find this amusing.

Finally, I was quite tickled when the President started criticizing Bernie’s taxes that he released. The response should be simple – “Mr. President, you are welcome to do this as I realized my tax returns. Where are yours? What are you hiding?”

Stuck in the mud

The week moves forward, yet two big democratic countries are stuck in the mud. That seems to be as good a metaphor as any to define how political leaders can become the problem rather than solving it.

Across the pond, Parliament firmly knows what they don’t want, but does not know what they can achieve given a hard-bargaining EU. Brexit was sold on faulty data and now the British are headed to a departure without agreement – a hard Brexit. The other option that will likely unfold is another Brexit vote, since politicians seemingly cannot work together. That would lead to a remain vote, in my view as the younger folks would turn out.

In the US, we are coming up on four weeks of a shutdown. Ironically. Republican leaders did not want this, but their boss reneged on a deal and they are forced to go along. What I find interesting that is not getting any play, is the reversal of roles. Previously, it is the boss of the federal government who wants to keep workers working. In this instance, the boss is not going to bat for his employees. Why is that not discussed more? There is a deal to be had, but negotiating with someone who does not use good faith bargaining is not fruitful.

Speaking of less than good faith dealing, the President’s attorney Rudy Guiliani said yesterday that people in the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia, but the President did not. Next, he lied to the astonished interviewer saying the he nor the President ever said no one on the campaign did. That is obviously disproven by multiple instances of full and adamant denial. It is similar to Trump and Giuliani saying the President had no knowledge of hush payments to Stormy Daniela, only to change that position multiple times.

Stuck in the mud. Brexit, the US shutdown and now the US President. His deception keeps pulling him back into the quagmire. Unfortunately, he is dragging the GOP, America and the rest of the world with him.

 

 

 

 

Stories floating in the air

Between the US President and his three prominent spokes people, Sean Hannity, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders and Rudy Guiliani, there are numerous stories about what happened, what was said, what was tweeted, etc. floating around in the air. The mercurial President lives news cycle to news cycle, having the attention span of a child. So, he is prone to say or tweet something that changes a bad news paradigm. The truth is less relevant. Which is germane, as he tells stories like a child. “But, mom what about Joey or Susie. They did it too.”

Trump changes his stories so much, to me the stories are floating around in the air like comic strip bubbles. So, it is truly hard to keep track of his lies. He simply wears people out that they get numb to his prolific lying. He denied it then and denies it now, but of course he was aware about payoffs to women to keep them quiet about his many indiscretions. He, of course, knows about those indiscretions which he also denies. We just need to believe he was giving them money to keep them quiet about something that he said did not happen.

And, he of course, knew everything about Junior’s meeting with the Russians in a building that Trump owns about getting dirt on someone. Throwing dirt is Trump’s modus operandi. I was tickled to see how Sanders defended Trump who has been accused of using animal terms or lack of intellectual prowess to denigrate his African-American critics as racist tactics. Her defense is Trump is an equal opportunity attacker of critics, not using those precise words. In other words, he is jerk to people of all races.

Guiliani says now Trump never talked to James Comey about Michael Flynn. Really? I guess next he will say Flynn never talked to the Russians about a back channel or eliminating the sanctions. Or, Flynn never lied to Mike Pence about so doing, which was the stated reason he was fired. I am still trying to figure out what this doppelganger did with the old Rudy. Rudy used to be well thought of, now he is a barking dog that has a hard time keeping track of the floating stories.

At that might be the best analogy. Trump lies and changes stories so much, it is hard for him and his spokespeople to keep track of the floating stories. To me, that is sad to say about the President of our country. He lies so much, he cannot remember when he has lied and what he said earlier.

To be frank, I do not mind people being more conservative than I am on certain issues (I am actually fiscally conservative, but socially progressive). What I do mind is that conservative people try to rationalize this President, when it is quite apparent that he lies more than he tells the truth. I do mind when they accept as facts whatever Trump says, when he admits to not liking to do homework to know the facts. But, this belief in less than accurate news is precedes Trump, which is a key reason he was able to win them over.

So, my advice is to stick with good news sources. They are the ones that print retractions when they get it wrong and admit to it. Also, start from the following basis point. Do not believe a word the President says and take with a large grain of salt anything anyone on his team says. You will be more right than wrong if you do. As Omarosa said, “in Trump world, everyone lies.” That may be the truest thing she ever said, and she would know.

 

A few puzzling questions in the summer of 2018

A few years back, there was a wonderfully nostalgic movie called “The Summer of ’42.” It was about a friendship between a  teen boy who befriended an older woman (played by Jennifer O’Neill) whose husband was a soldier fighting in WWII. Using the nostalgia of this movie and summer season, let me ask a few puzzling questions.

After witnessing Richard Nixon’s criminal actions and cover-up of Watergate, why is it difficult for some people to believe that the current President may be equally corrupt?

Having seen politicians get caught lying why do so many still do it? When you dig your own hole, at some point you need to stop digging. It amazes me how politicians forget that things are recorded.

Do you remember how embarassed we were that a senior KKK member named David Duke ran for office? Now, there are at least seven White supremacists running for office.

Do you remember when significant numbers of Senators and Congresspeople served in rhe military? That has waned, but we have a chance to remedy that this fall. These folks know what duty and service mean, as opposed to false bravado. There is an old saying of beware of the quiet guy. The trash talker should  be ignored.

Do you remember the quote that I paraphrase as it is better to let people think you are a fool, than to open your mouth (or Twitter account) and remove all doubt? Just because you think it, does not mean you should say it.

Do you remember when people thought so highly of the Mayor of New York as he brought people together after 9/11? What happened to that guy? Now, he has a doppelgänger parading around spewing utter nonsense to defend a man who would throw him under the bus if he had to.

Our name is our most important asset. We should protect and have people remember it well. Being truthful, honorable and accountable are vital. Barking like a dog at people who disagree with you is not a good path forward.

 

Monday memorables

“Monday, Monday” sang the Mamas and the Papas. Here are a few memorable items from the news of the day, but I will stop short and let you draw your own conclusions.

Vladimir Putin was sworn into a new six year term, but decided to commemerate it by having protesters arrested, including his most vocal critic who opposes his leader for life mission.

Poland decided to loosen laws on remembering the holocaust in the manner it should be remembered. Yesterday it was announced there has been increased vandalism of the Auschwitz Museum.

Closer to home, convicted coal miner executive Don Blankenship may win the Republican primary for US Senate. Just to remind people, Blankenship was convicted and very lightly sentenced of safety violations that led to the death of 29 violations.

Our friend Gronda reports that Congressman Devin Nunes is in danger of losing his seat in the fall. His home town paper has vilified him for his unethical and highly political behavior. It was so egregious, Senator Richard Burr of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligebce Committee asked Speaker Paul Ryan to not allow the release of the Nunes’ memo as his Committee did not agree with its findings and criticized Nunes for slandering a fellow Senator.

Rudy Guiliani has decided to be a legal spokesperson for Donald Trump while still learning the facts, per him and Trump. A sensible question to ask would be then why are you talking? Yet, I don’t think his boss knows the facts he wants to tell for the best story. This is a key reason he threw Guiliani under the bus on Friday. And, then came Sunday. Truth be told, he and Trump are two peas in a pod – neither knows when to shut up and both have a limited relationship with the truth. Anorher question I pose is will Guiliani last the week?

Closing with a feel good story, there will be a Royal wedding which includes a divorced, multiracial American. Less than 100 years ago, a future king abdicated his right to the throne because he wanted to marry a divorced American. Times have changed for the better and the two appear to be much in love and a lovely couple. Cheers.