Mitt Romney and His Oath

At the start of the impeachment trial in the Senate, each Senator took an oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts:

“Do you solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump, president of the United States, now pending, you will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws, so help you god? “

I’m going to argue every Democratic Senator, plus Mittens, violated that oath.

During the impeachment trial, the Democrats made an argument that witnesses were absolutely needed to for the Senate to have all the evidence needed to conduct a fair trial.  To that end, the Senate voted on the issue of calling witnesses:

“The final tally was 51 votes against the motion, and 49 in favor.

The vote dashed Democrats’ hopes of hearing testimony from former Trump national security advisor John Bolton, and it shifted the weeks-long trial into its final stages.

Two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Utah’s Mitt Romney, broke with their party in order to join Democrats in voting to admit additional evidence, but the majority, 51 Republicans, did not.

Democrats had needed at least four GOP senators to vote with them, and they fell short of that threshold by two votes. “

So every Democratic Senator plus Susan Collins and Mitt Romney voted to include witnesses because they regarded witnesses as vital to determine what happened.  As an aside, I would have preferred witnesses myself.  Considering how absurd this impeachment was, it would have benefited the country to have an impeachment trial in which everyone involved, from the whistleblower, to Adam Schiff, to Nancy Pelosi and the Bidens, testify under oath.  Heh, it could have been an amusing couple of months!

So what happened at the conclusion of the trial?

“On Feb. 5, the Senate voted 52-48 to acquit Trump on the abuse of power impeachment article and voted 53-47 to acquit Trump on the obstruction of Congress impeachment article. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was the only senator who broke with his party, voting to convict Trump on abuse of power. “

So every Democrat, plus “Pierre Delecto,” after arguing that they didn’t have enough evidence and they needed more, decided to say, eh fuck it, and vote guilty anyway.  That seems a pretty clear violation of their oath to do “impartial justice.”  Justice was never on the menu.

 

 

The Turnout Election

As a “Demography is Destiny” type of guy, my default view is that the 2020 election should be a cakewalk for the Democrats.  All Democrats have to do is not be crazy…but that seems like a high bar.

Katie Pavlich reports at Townhall on President Trump’s New Jersey rally from last Tuesday and the statistics gathered by the Trump campaign are interesting.

The analysis of the most important states don’t look good for the President but the data gathered by Brad Parscale at this most recent (and other) Trump rallies is encouraging.  This is going to be a turnout election, one in which the Democrats won’t be caught sleeping again like they were in 2016.  For Trump to win he needs not only to get everyone who voted for him previously, but also to add a lot more new voters. It’s easy to get voters like me to show up at the polls; I’m engaged and will be voting rain or shine, but most Americans are not engaged, or even registered to vote.  Getting those people to the polls is a big ask, but absolutely necessary if Trump is going to have any chance of winning.

And then there is the part of Parscale’s tweet that goes back to the first thing I mentioned in this post, not being crazy.  26.3% of the attendees of Trump’s New Jersey rally were Democrats. If the Democrats are really serious in purging every non-woke Democrat out of the party, they can’t win.  Of course we are early in the primary season now, where crazy is a premium; but for how long?  The longer the Democrats remain crazy the better Trump’s chances are.

Iran with Egg on its Face

What a difference a week makes!  Since I last wrote about the drone killing of Quds Force commander General Soleimani, we’ve gone through press hysterics unmatched since Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to the Supreme Court.  The draft and World War III trended on twitter as the media primed up young people to be very afraid that the cost of their student loans was conscription into Trump’s war machine.  Even the creaky anti-war movement, in a coma since the election of President Obama, roused from its slumber to beclown itself in cities across the world.

Instead, the entire crisis played out in Trump’s favor.  Iran fired Ballistic missiles at two US bases in Iraq, with no US casualties; then declared their revenge over. Meanwhile scores of Iranians were killed in a bizarre stampede at Soleimani’s funeral and Iran Air Defense, using a SA-15 air defense system, shot down a Ukrainian jet liner, killing more Iranians as well as people all over the world, but no Americans.  So while the world is trying to get answers from Iran as to what happened, Trump is back on the golf course, crisis over.

The only hanging chad over the Trump response is the claim that there were imminent attacks against four other embassies in the area, a claim that was apparently not made during the classified briefing to Congress.  That is the sole issue that the MSM was left with to tangle with Trump administration officials on the Sunday morning talk shows.  After promising World War III, if that’s all you got, then it’s hard to see how this issue isn’t a victory for Trump.

Personally I think the “imminent threat” claim was just something Trump ad-libbed during the Laura Ingraham interview.  But I have to admit I don’t really care about it, because an “imminent threat” isn’t a necessity for taking out a terrorist.  We didn’t need an “imminent threat” to take out al-Baghdadi or Bin Ladin; they were terrorists who had an ample list of charges against the US for terrorism, and so did Soleimani.

With Suleimani, a Trump Gambit in the Middle East

The killing of Quds Force commander Qassim Suleimani by a US drone has lit a fire not only with the Iranians, but with their allies in the United States; the Democrats and their mouthpieces in the media.  I’ve had a lot of fun this weekend arguing this issue on social media, with the left clearly painting this as Trump’s attempt to plunge us into World War III.  For me, when it comes to terrorists, I like the idea that if you hit us, we hit you back.  But I guess that might not be a very progressive view of dealing with state sponsored terror.  The progressive view is to send pallets of cash to terrorist regimes, because nothing says “that’ll teach you” like paying off terrorists.But part of the natural backlash of such a move was this:

Iraqi parliament calls for US troops to be expelled

The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution Sunday calling for the government to expel foreign troops from the country in the wake of an U.S. airstrike that killed a top Iranian general, raising questions about the future of the allied mission that has successfully fought the “Islamic State,” or ISIS, in recent years.       

The resolution asks Iraq’s government to cancel the request for assistance from the U.S.-led coalition operating in the country against the “Islamic State,” which once controlled large swathes of Iraq and Syria before allied intervention.

“The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read.

“The Iraqi government must work to end the presence of any foreign troops on Iraqi soil and prohibit them from using its land, airspace or water for any reason.”

Given a majority Shia population, this is not much of surprise.  There are a lot of Iranian sympathizers inside Iraq and they hold considerable political power.  This is one of those unintended consequences that has the establishment and the neo-con Never Trumpers screaming at the top of their lungs, “stupid Trump is getting us kicked out of Iraq!  Arrgghh  Acck!”

Or is it unintended?

I don’t claim to know Trump’s mind on this, but killing a terrorist who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans while at the same time being forced to leave Iraq sounds like a win/win for Team Trump.  They want out of the Middle East and have been engaging in a struggle with the permanent government that wants to maintain and expand our military presence there. Now it’s possible they will be given no choice in the matter.  We have to respect the wishes of a sovereign state right?

Assuming that’s what Iraq wishes.  It’s unclear whether this is a show put on by the Iraq government for domestic consumption or if they’re really serious.  Maybe they think this gives them a position to bargain for more money, more aid, or more something else.  If so, they might be surprised that Trump might well simply bow to Iraq’s public wishes and withdraw American troops, and the protection they provide, fulfilling another campaign promise as a consequence.

 

Predictions for 2020

I had a pretty good prediction run for 2019 so hopefully I can continue that; however it’s an election year so everything should be extra crazy.  So with that in mind, I present my 2020 predictions.

Reparations will be on the Democratic Platform

After several of the Democratic Presidential candidates came out in support of reparations, it’s hard to imagine that this year reparations wouldn’t finally make the platform somehow.

There will be an independent never-Trump candidate in the race

I don’t know how well-funded he or she would be, but for the purpose of sapping GOP votes from Trump to throw the election to the Democrats, there will be an effort to promote someone to give the several hundred never-Trumpers some voting alternative.

Joe Biden will not be the Democratic Nominee.

I’ve been saying it for months, in spite of his rather constant lead near the top of the polls, but the issue is that ultimately, it’s not the gaffes, but the fact that the gaffes will look more and more like dementia rather than “that’s just Joe.”  I think the Democrats would prefer a crazed socialist to an obviously mentally failing “moderate.”

There will be an additional impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives this year to consider new impeachment charges.

This of course, is the action of a crazed opposition, but that’s where we are, so I’m confident the House will consider new charges for impeachment.

There will be a Supreme Court vacancy this year.

Even though the Supreme Court prediction burned me last year, I guess I’m a moth driven to the flame on this, so I’m going to say that either due to retirement or death or disablement, there will be an opening.

There will be some sort of Brexit this year.

Democrats will retain control of the House.

Republicans will retain control of the Senate.

 

 

You may notice that I didn’t make a prediction on who wins the Presidency.  In 2016 I held off until August…and got it wrong.  My prediction on what makes the difference in the race is that this will be a turn out election; whoever gets their people to the polls in high enough numbers will win, and as of now, Democrats tend to dominate the ground game.

 

Also, a not quite prediction:

I wouldn’t really say this is a prediction, both because it’s outside the one year window of this post and because at this point it’s more guess than prediction, but this could move up to a full blown prediction in the future (but that’s just a prediction).

Notre Dame, when rebuilt, will have some sort of Islamic imagery included.

 

2019 Predictions Wrap Up

I had a fairly substantial improvement in the predictions biz success rate this year so let me take a moment to brag:

Whoohoo!

Now to my predictions!

Mueller’s Investigation will not show any collusion between Trump or the Trump campaign and Russia to “hack” the election.

Easy win.  The charge was absurd to begin with, so the only uncertainty was when the report would be released, not what it would say.  So the much awaited “Mueller Time” turned out to be a big goose egg for the Democrats and media.  Not that it mattered.  They still believe Trump is a Russkie spy anyway.

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on articles of impeachment this year.

This was getting a little down to the wire, but the Judiciary committee finally voted on impeachment. Of course, even if they hadn’t I might have taken the credit for this anyway since the House did hold an “impeachment inquiry” then of course a full vote in the House.  But I still win even with my very specific prediction.  I must have powers!

Sorry Bill Maher, but no recession by the end of this year.

Not just Maher, but multiple economists all generated “reports” stating that the economy had topped out and would begin sliding into recession or that Trump’s crazy trade policy would push us into recession; in any case, the economy would be in recession in time for the 2020 election.  This sounded like a lot of wishful thinking, and considering some of the sources (I’m looking at you Mark Zandi!) I figured this was a hope, not a data driven prediction.

No Brexit.

In spite of that “hard date” of October 31, 2019, I had a suspicion that with a government jam packed with remainers, it would be next to impossible to push Brexit through this year, and on that I was correct.  Of course, the recent British elections have cleared that logjam, so next year may be a different story.

President Trump will have another Supreme Court nomination to make by the end of the year

This was my choke point.  I thought that Clarence Thomas might see the opportunity to resign and get a strict constructionist, a much younger one, to replace him.  Instead, Thomas is having the time of his life and shows no sign of leaving.  RBG is apparently much sicker than was known this time last year but I saw a Thomas graceful exit as more likely than Ruth Bader Ginsberg being carried out.

So that gives me an 80% success rate this year.  Let’s see if I can maintain that level of success next year!

With a short impeachment trial, more GOP sabotage of Trump

I almost popped out of my chair when I saw these headlines:

U.S. Senate leader McConnell raises possibility of quick impeachment trial

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell raised the prospect on Tuesday of a short Senate impeachment trial for President Donald Trump in which no witnesses would be called.

Unless McConnell’s goal is to damage Trump’s re-election chances, that’s one of the dumbest things he could do.

While Trump has repeatedly called the House Democrats’ impeachment investigation a “witch hunt,” he also has called for a trial with witnesses testifying.

In a tweet on Dec. 5, he wrote: “We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify.” He was referring to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, Biden, his son Hunter and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, all Democrats.

Last week, Trump dispatched his top White House lawyers to attend a lunch with Senate Republicans to discuss the possible impeachment trial.

White House legislative liaison Eric Ueland told reporters after that meeting that in order for Trump to make an effective case to the Senate, “We need both a full trial and the opportunity to call witnesses,” pointing to the Senate chamber.

This guy gets it.

McConnell unfortunately does not. Either a short Senate trial, or a motion to dismiss, will make it look like the fix was in and instead of giving Trump a chance to make his case, it will make him look guilty as hell, saved only by slavish Trumpies in the Senate.  Of course, there are no Trumpies in the Senate, slavish or otherwise. So that makes McConnell’s statement all the more confusing.  Does McConnell actually want to taint Trump and damage his re-election chances?

Senator Lindsey Graham is also another one who wants to end this quickly.  Version 1.0 has been trying to masquerade as Graham version 2.0.  It didn’t work.  He wants to let the managers present their case, then vote.  No witnesses called.

“My goal is to end this as soon as possible for the good of the country because I think it’s a danger to the presidency to legitimize this,” Graham stated.

“Does that mean no witnesses at all?” Hemmer asked.

“I don’t need any witnesses at all. I am ready to go,” Graham replied, adding that the issue of Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine can be addressed outside of impeachment hearings.

No it can’t.  Nothing will be addressed, ever if it’s not addressed during the impeachment trial.  That’s the necessity of having a trial in the Senate for as long as it takes to pick apart this fake frame job.  If that means calling every single witness who was called in during the House hearings, and pick apart exactly what they think the President did that was impeachable, including Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, so be it.  Sure there is a fun aspect to this too.  The prospect of getting Hunter under oath and finding out exactly how much his father knew is tantalizing, as well as getting Adam Schiff under oath and pick apart the timeline of his contact with the whistleblower, and scheduling it during the Iowa caucuses would be high political art.

However the Senate GOP establishment types who want to give the House Democrats a pass on this snow job raises my alarm bells.  Is the goal to harm Trump by not giving him a chance to expose this fraudulent impeachment, or are they trying to hide something else?  I don’t know, but this is yet another reminder that the goals of GOP office holders and GOP voters don’t always, or even most of the time, line up.