The Impeachment Shoe Dropping

At the beginning of the year I made my annual list of predictions, and included by prediction of impeachment for some time this year, “The House Judiciary Committee will vote on articles of impeachment this year. I’m not going to guess whether there will be enough votes to bring the issue to the floor of the House, but the Judiciary Committee will for sure be voting on it.  It’s too tempting to leave that candy in the pantry.” Of course, we already had a vote on impeachment back in July so this isn’t all that new.

Apparently that candy looked really good, and as the number of Democrats who were in favor of impeachment slowly rose throughout the year, it became apparent that eventually Nancy Pelosi would have to either go along or get left behind. She decided that she would rather drive the train than get run over by it, and so announced an impeachment inquiry, a made up thing that has no constitutional or legal basis.  However it does announce the official beginning of the Impeachment Bowl, “play ball!”

This trigger, the outrage over the President’s call to the Ukrainian President, hasn’t caused such uproar since…a few weeks ago during the Scottish Airport scandal, when Trump was allegedly directing military flights to his resort.  That scandal turned out to be fake as I suspect this one will be, although the difference is that the impeachment machinery of investigations will remain. After all, Pelosi announced her inquiry yesterday before either the whistleblower’s complaint or the contents of the phone call transcripts were known.  So it didn’t matter what the actual accusation was or what the content of the transcripts were, impeachment ho!

Reading the transcript, I was surprised at how banal it was, not at all the snarling Trump threatening the President of Ukraine to bring him Oppo research on Biden or no aid, as I had been prepped by MSNBC to expect.  So…no quid pro quo for military aid.  Like every other fake crisis about Trump over the past two and a half years; a nothingburger.

Meanwhile, three Democratic Senators wrote a letter to Ukraine’s prosecutor urging him to reopen investigations involved with the Mueller probe and of course, good old Sleepy Joe himself successfully got the investigation of the company Burisma shut down.  As Marc Thiessen noted in The Washington Post:

“And then there is Joe Biden. In 2016, the then-vice president threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine if the government did not fire the country’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. According to the New York Times, “Among those who had a stake in the outcome was Hunter Biden … who at the time was on the board of an energy company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who had been in the sights of the fired prosecutor general.” The Post reports that it is “unclear how seriously Shokin — who was under fire by U.S. and European officials for not taking a more aggressive posture toward corruption overall — was scrutinizing Burisma when he was forced out.” But what is clear is that Biden bragged about getting him fired, declaring last year: “I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b—-. He got fired.””

Well there is some quid pro quo right there! It would be hilarious if the Democratic Congress, in attempting to smear Trump with yet still more nonsense, actually drops a ton of crap on Joe Biden.  Then again, maybe that’s their plan after all…

Syria Backtrack

I was as shocked as anyone that President Obama did an about face on firing his phallic symbol-like missiles in Assad’s general direction.  Although I had previously called the administration amateurish, they managed to redefine the word amateur down.

First we’re going to attack, then we’re going to get Congressional approval, but don’t worry, that doesn’t matter, since Obama states he still has the authority to attack anyway, and will, regardless of the vote.

Huh?

Although there are conspiracy theories that the rebels, not the Assad government, actually used chemical weapons as a false flag to trick the US into intervening, I prefer to consider such theories ridiculous until proven otherwise.   As far as figuring out a position on what to do in Syria, I’m just taking the administration’s word that the intelligence is good, and that Assad is the culprit.

However that doesn’t give guidance on how the US should react.

I would really like to support the President in this.  Politics stops at the water’s edge and all that’ however Obama has managed to make it as difficult as possible to support a policy in which the publically stated goals are to accomplish nothing.  They’re not to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons, cripple the regime, or do anything of any military significance. It’s a military mission with no military objectives, and frankly, not even political ones.

Syria isn’t a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, so in a technical sense, they didn’t actually violate “International law.”  The administration is well aware of that since they use terminology “International Norms,” which means things that the international community, such as it is, doesn’t like.  Although no one in the international community feels their norms were violated enough to actually do something about it.

Obama should have just fired his missiles last week without all of the foreplay and advanced warning.  We would have already been on to another issue by now with the feeling that we had sort of accomplished something.  Instead, there was the desperate pleading for international support, an embarrassing House of Commons vote, and now an upcoming Congressional vote that’s likely to be even more embarrassing.

And how will Congress vote?  Very unconventionally apparently.  Noted warmonger Rep. Nancy Pelosi, after wresting with the issue with her 5 year old grandson, is on board to attack Syria. And John McCain, between Smartphone games of poker, is always up for another bombing.  How will the rest of the Congress vote?  It’s not as easy to predict.  Although I can guess how a certain young Illinois lawmaker would have voted:

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now let me be clear–I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity.

He’s a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

But the 2002 edition of Barrack Obama was quite a bit different from the current model.

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