Saturday 19th of September 2020

unbolting bolton...

unbolting bolton...

US President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, has been called to testify next week before House lawmakers in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Politico reported Wednesday afternoon that Bolton, who was fired by Trump last month, was scheduled for a House deposition on November 7, citing "a source familiar with the matter."

Other Trump subordinates, such as Vice President Mike Pence and Trump's personal counsel, Rudy Giuliani, have followed the president's lead in refusing to answer subpoenas issued by a bevy of House committees for documents and testimony concerning their impeachment probe. It's unclear if Bolton, who left the administration amid extensive disagreement on foreign policy issues with the president, will follow suit.

While until this point, depositions in the probe have been performed behind closed doors, House Democrats stand poised to introduce a new resolution on Thursday that will lay the groundwork for a new phase of the inquiry based on public hearings.

Reports have already surfaced that Bolton disagreed with Trump's push for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to open an investigation of former US Vice President Joe Biden, about which the impeachment probe is centered.

Fiona Hill, Trump's former Russia and Eurasia adviser who left her post in late July, told representatives earlier this month that Bolton had told her he was "not part of whatever drug deal Rudy [Giuliani] and [White House Chief of Staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up," in reference to the Ukrainian Biden probe proposal.

An unnamed source told the Washington Post for a Friday story that Bolton had intervened with White House Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in August to stop the restoration of Ukraine's trade privileges, arguing Trump wouldn't approve of the move. Whether or not Trump attempted some sort of "quid pro quo" deal with Ukraine regarding US aid is one of the central questions of the impeachment inquiry, which seeks to determine if Trump broke the law.


Read more:

america's moral bedrock? you're dreaming...

Regardless of the endless roadblocks the president and his axis of allies are trying to throw in front of it, the impeachment inquiry keeps moving forward,” said Stephen Colbert on Tuesday’s Late Show, “and the Republicans keep sinking lower.” Supporters of the president “hit rock bottom awhile ago but, in the last 24 hours, they have gotten out the blasting caps and they are fracking America’s moral bedrock”.

Specifically, several Republicans were blasting the character of Col Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the national security council, who testified before Congress with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in July. Vindman, who served for two decades in the American military and was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Iraq, testified that he immediately raised concerns over the call, in which Trump threatened to cut off military aid to Ukraine unless they investigated his political rival, Joe Biden.

read more:


Meanwhile, Joe Biden does not have a leg to stand on... What he did in Ukraine was "corrupt"... American NEVER had a moral bedrock, apart from opportunism in various accepted corrupted values...

the republicans would be nuts to go with pelosi...


The result showed that Pelosi retains her legendary vote wrangling abilities: the resolution passed 232 votes to 196. Even members from traditionally conservative districts supported the inquiry. Among Democrats, only two members voted against it.

But the result had a nasty sting in its tail. Not one of the 197 House Republicans voted to support the inquiry, denying Pelosi the bipartisan support she claimed was essential to make impeachment worthwhile.

It showed she has successfully united her caucus behind impeachment but remains a long way from convincing Republicans to sign up.

The starkly partisan vote count represents a big change from past impeachment efforts.

In 1974, virtually all House members voted to support the impeachment process into Richard Nixon. That vote passed 410 votes to four.

In the 1998, 31 House Democrats voted to support the impeachment inquiry into Bill Clinton.

Things can change fast in politics, and Democrats are hoping televised hearings will help pry some Republicans away from Trump.

Right now that looks like wishful thinking.


Read more:


While Clinton (Billy) was clearly a sex maniac in the White House, this impeachment procedure is a political witchhunt with no basis except "we" don't like Trump... This is likely to blow up in the face of the Democrats who have no moral legs (and a paucity of policies) to stand on.

a slam-dung...


What else? The media found a way to word-trick Ambassador Sondland’s attorney into saying what his client described in testimony “amounted to” a quid pro quo, possibly thinking they could use a client’s own lawyer’s re-characterization of testimony to impeach.

Again, there are no documents or policy papers to support the claim the policy was aid for investigation.

A slam dunk currently rests on John Bolton, a life-long conservative nearing the end of his public life. They hope he will testify such that the last lines of his biography will be “the man who more than any other individual helped elect Elizabeth Warren.” Sorry, Bolton, like Flynn, Manafort, and Cohen, is not your Fredo.

Unlike with Nixon and Clinton, the House is not building on an existing law enforcement investigation. That was supposed to be Mueller. Instead, the “investigation” is jerry-rigged in real-time consisting of a stage-managed parade of credentialed hostile witnesses interpreting what Trump said. It is like a room full of critics impeaching Bob Dylan out of the Hall of Fame by telling us what his lyrics really mean to him. Opinions are not evidence.


Read more:



Read from top.

did I say that pelosi is madder than trump?


“Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

These are the offenses designated in the Constitution for which presidents may be impeached and removed from office.

Which of these did Trump commit?

According to his accusers in this city, his crime is as follows:

The president imperiled our “national security” by delaying, for his own reasons, a transfer of lethal aid and Javelin missiles to Ukraine—the very weapons President Barack Obama refused to send to Ukraine, lest they widen and lengthen the war in the Donbass.

Now, if Trump imperiled national security by delaying the transfer of the weapons, was not Obama guilty of a greater crime against our national security by denying the weapons to Ukraine altogether?

The essence of Trump’s crime, it is said, was that he demanded a quid pro quo. He passed word to incoming President Volodymyr Zelensky that if he did not hold a press conference to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and son Hunter, he, Zelensky, would not get the arms we had promised, nor the Oval Office meeting that Zelensky requested.

Again, where is the body of the crime?

Did Zelensky hold the press conference Trump demanded? No.

Did Zelensky announce Ukraine was investigating the Bidens? No.

Did Zelensky get the Oval Office meeting? Yes.

Did Zelensky get the U.S. weapons? Yes, $400 million in arms and Javelin missiles.

Where then is the crime? When was it consummated?

Or was this a thought crime, a bluff to get Zelensky to look into how Hunter Biden got a $50,000-a-month seat on the board of the most corrupt company in Ukraine, days after Joe Biden was in Kyiv threatening to block a $1 billion loan guarantee to the regime.

By the way, what was Biden doing approving a $1 billion loan guarantee to Petro Poroshenko’s regime, which was so corrupt that it ferociously fought not to fire a prosecutor whose dismissal all of Europe was demanding?

Should Biden be nominated and elected, a special prosecutor would have to be appointed to investigate this smelly deal, as well as the $1 billion Hunter got for his equity fund from the Chinese after his father visited the Middle Kingdom.

Given last week’s party-line vote in the House, where all but two Democrats voted to proceed with the inquiry, the impeachment of President Donald Trump seems baked in the cake. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s designation of Adam Schiff to head the investigation tells us all we need to know about the sincerity of her pledge to make the inquiry bipartisan.

Suppose Zelensky had agreed to an investigation into how Hunter Biden, with no experience in the energy industry, got his sweetheart deal.

Would that be impeachable for Trump? How so?

Does not the U.S. have a right to put conditions on its foreign aid and to seek guarantees that our money will not be used as graft to grifters?

A few of those listening in on Trump’s phone call with Zelensky have gone public asserting that withholding the arms transfer to Kyiv imperiled our national security.

But if east Ukraine rises up and secedes from Kyiv, as Kyiv itself seceded from the Russian Federation at the end of the Cold War, how does any of that endanger America’s national security? Did not George H.W. Bush himself warn, three decades ago, that a declaration of independence by Ukraine from the Russian Federation would constitute an act of “suicidal nationalism”?

And who does the Constitution charge with making the decisions as to whether military aid goes to Ukraine?

The president, or some NSC staffer who sits on the Ukraine desk?

Since the U.S.-backed overthrow of the pro-Russian regime in Kyiv in 2014, and Vladimir Putin’s counter-seizure of Crimea and support for pro-Russian secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, there has been a debate in the USA over how to deal with this faraway problem.

Obama decided not to send lethal aid or tank-killing Javelin missiles, lest the U.S. arms escalate a war between Russia and Ukraine that Kyiv could not win.

The Republicans argued the issue at their Cleveland convention. Trump’s team won that argument, but lethal aid and Javelin missiles were eventually sent to Kyiv. Now Trump has sent even more weapons.

But again, the authority to make this decision resides in the Oval Office, not in the NSC, not in the CIA, and not with those in the “deep state” who have their own settled view of what U.S. foreign policy should be.

The authority lies with the elected president of the United States.

This impeachment battle will almost surely reach the Senate.

And in the end it will be about what it has been about since the beginning: An attempt by the deep state and its media, bureaucratic and political allies to overturn the democratic verdict of 2016 and to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

The establishment’s coup attempt is now approaching end game.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. T



Read more:






Read from top...

the swamp is coming out to get trump...

On Tuesday, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland revealed for the first time that he had previously communicated to a top Ukrainian official that the Trump administration would likely withhold aid in the absence of its requested probe of former US Vice President Joe Biden.

In four new pages of sworn testimony to Congress released Tuesday but given the day prior, Sondland described how he laid out an understanding of quid pro quo to Andriy Yermak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: US aid to Ukraine could be at risk if Kiev didn't publicly commit to the Trump administration's requested investigation of Biden.

Read more:


if you can’t tell you are being manipulated, you’re being so...

A Note to Progressives: Tell Me How This Ends

The fun house ride of daily shocks and anti-Trump outrages is conditioning us to shut up, don't think, simply react.

By PETER VAN BUREN • November 7, 2019

Dear progressive friends, family, those who have unfriended me in real life and online, deplatformed me, told me I belong to a cult, claimed I’m blind, and everyone who suggested I commit physically impossible acts upon myself:

I can’t tweet this as I’ve been life-banned, and while currently my Facebook is open, I’ve been blocked there before. Places I used to write for won’t look at articles defending the things I defended on their pages three years ago, like free speech, diplomacy with North Korea, and non-intervention in the Middle East. I can’t tell you how many times someone has heard The American Conservative come up alongside my name and sharply ended a conversation. So call this a message in a bottle.

I don’t support Trump. In Ye Olde Days, one could back some of a president’s policies (say free speech, diplomacy with North Korea, and non-intervention in the Middle East) without being lumped in with everything else. You could disagree with what someone said without having to destroy him as a human being, insisting he was mentally ill and should be institutionalized.

Once I could talk about ideas at Thanksgiving, on Fox News and CNN, even over a drink at a bar, without having to swipe the smudge off my face of being called a Nazi. I am not a Nazi. Nazis were those who put the numbers on my great Auntie’s arm. As kids at holiday parties, we’d hide in ignorance behind the couch and dare each other to run out and try to touch them. After Auntie died what for all purposes was a second death, we learned about Nazis. Our times are not her times. I wish you could hear it from her directly but I doubt you’d listen. And if she didn’t outright call Trump a fascist, you’d probably call her one.

That’s why I worry about you. You’ve quit listening. You’ve quit thinking that listening is important. You’ve convinced yourself listening is wrong, instead choosing to call things you don’t want to hear hate speech and dehumanizing those who say them. Nazis don’t deserve to speak so let’s punch them in the head, and everyone you don’t want to listen to is a Nazi. Ban them from social media, take them off TV, keep them out of schools, defund them on YouTube, and peel them off search results. Candidates who touch nerves too directly must be disenfranchised as Russian plants coughing up Putin’s Talking Points. We don’t have to listen to them; in fact, we shouldn’t listen to them.

It would be too ironic in the context of Nazism to use the term ideological purification, but it would work. You blame too much free speech for electing Trump in 2016, so you support wounding democracy to “save” it, welcoming Twitter’s ban on political ads so there’s less chance that a competing idea might sneak through. You loathe Facebook’s contrary stance allowing political ads and demand they fact check them, barely disguised code for censorship given what “facts” have become. Fact checking used to mean verifying that an event took place in April 1860, not June 1944. Now facts are things we choose to agree with, or believe, or not, like whether vaccinations work, or what a politician’s intent was when he said certain words.

It’s no wonder “influencer” is an actual job today, and not “evidencer.” Evidence creates facts. There’s no evidence that Joe Biden did wrong in the Ukraine because no one investigated whether he did and it thus became a checkable fact that “Biden did no wrong.” Facts have become what anonymous sources you want to believe say they are. You filter those anonymous statements through legacy media so by the second iteration they are not anonymous sources who for all you know might be a know-nothing intern overheard in a bar; they are “The Washington Post says.” Testimony is done in secret so only the good parts can be leaked.

With what you hear limited to what you believe, the need to think is a vestigial limb in society’s evolution. Instead of thinking—critically weighing information, asking hard questions instead of ingesting easy answers—you have been conditioned simply to react. The goal is to keep you in a constant state of manipulable outrage.

It is a dangerous thing for us human beings. When I was in Iraq, we were told that life happens in green, yellow, and red. Green is home on the beach. Yellow is watchful. And red is on patrol, loaded and charged. The guy who could never back off red in Iraq had a hard time reaching green later in Ohio. For him, it’s evenings drunk cleaning his guns in the garage. That’s too much of America today except we’re in different garages and some are drinking Yuengling and others white wine.

An experiment. Here are some of the things you have yelled at me about:

  • Kids in cages. This was the summer’s outrage, and claims that the U.S. was operating concentration camps dominated throughout August. There were visits to the border, people drinking from toilets. Congress voted money, and some policy changes took place. One major child center was shut down, but it got little coverage. So did we resolve the problem? Anybody know?
  • Obstruction. As recently as July, Democrats were to impeach Trump for obstruction in connection with Russiagate. Then the story that fueled our outrage for over two full years simply disappeared. And, Stormy Daniels, doing okay? Which Home Depot does Michael Avenatti work at? What about the prosecutions that were said to be forthcoming from the SDNY?
  • Anyone heard from the Kurds lately? Only a week ago, they were going to be consumed by genocide and you demanded American troops put their lives at risk to save them. There were claims to thousands dead in Puerto Rico from the storm; anyone find those bodies yet or are they still just a statistical construct? The Parkland Kids? Around the one-year anniversary of the killings, the media claimed the victims “drove the kind of change that has long eluded gun control activists.” Did that happen?
  • See if you know who these people are: Semyon Kislin, P. Michael McKinley, T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, Fiona Hill, George Kent, Gordon Sondland, Laura Cooper, Marie Yovanovitch, William Taylor, Catherine Croft, Alexander Vindman, Kurt Volkner, Christopher Anderson, Tim Morrison. How many did you correctly identify as witnesses in the Trump impeachment hearings? All of them? Great. Now can you say in a word or two about what each testified to? C’mon, each was a smoking gun, a game changer, or whatever expression Maddow is using to replace “the walls are closing in tick tock” she wore out during Russiagate. And by the way, has anyone heard from the second whistleblower?


If you can’t tell you are being manipulated, you’re being manipulated. We live exhausted, on knife’s edge, neck deep in cynicism, decline, illegitimacy, and distrust.

It seems inevitable that the House will impeach and the Senate will not convict (when you praise one and decry the other, remember, it’s politics, not a trial!), dead-ending the Ukraine outrage. And then we just move on to the 2020 campaign. Or do we cycle through a new impeachment theme as though the earlier ones never happened, the way Russiagate was ditched in favor of Ukraine?

If a Democrat wins in November, do we similarly agree to just forget this whole ugly era of hate speech and Nazis like a drunken hookup? Or do we switch and Republicans open investigations of the Joe Clinton administration? If Trump wins, is it another four years of being told democracy is dying, the Republic is in peril, civil war, every day day-to-day in Code Red until…until what?

Some 16 years ago as a young soldier in Iraq, before he was a hero and way before he was a villain, David Petraeus posed the most important question of the war. Consumed by the combat around him but knowing it would soon enough be over, he asked, “tell me how this ends.” Something was going to come next and Petraeus wasn’t sure anyone was thinking about how to fix things.

So please, tell me how this ends.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People,  Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent.


It will end by Trump winning a second Presidential term... Unless he is removed by whatever ugly means... Thus he would be replaced by Ivanka Trump having to fight it out against the Clinton mafia... Either way, the Democrats have lost the plot a long time ago by trying to remove the loony in the White House, for having had their precious female hypocrite loose it in 2016. All of them, the Democrats and the Republicans can do better, but with personnel such as Warren and Biden, the Dems have nearly no hope. I could be wrong... The only one who could clean Trump is Pete...



Read from top.

"on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth"...

WASHINGTON — Rep. Jim Jordan, an aggressive supporter of President Trump, was appointed to the House Intelligence Committee Friday in advance of the public impeachment hearings.

A more junior member of the committee, Rep. Rick Crawford of Arkansas, will step aside from the panel during impeachment proceedings to make room for Jordan, House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy announced.

“Jim Jordan has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth,” McCarthy said. “His addition will ensure more accountability and transparency in this sham process.”

The public phase of impeachment kicks off with the first open hearing on Wednesday. Jordan (R-Ohio) is the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee and is known for hostile questioning of witnesses and garnering media attention.

The appointment comes as some Republicans have privately questioned whether Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, was prepared to mount a solid defense for Trump on the committee, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Other Republicans viewed the appointment as not a snub to Nunes, but a move to put the best team forward for Trump.



Read more:


Read from top.

a hand grenade flying BACK towards the democrats...

The Republicans' decision to step up scrutiny towards Hillary Clinton, the Bidens and their associates in the Obama administration is a step in the right direction, believes Wall Street analyst Charles Ortel, adding that it could shed light on why then President Obama turned a blind eye to potentially criminal behaviour among prominent politicians.

While the House Democrats are pushing ahead with the Trump impeachment process, the Republicans have targeted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current presidential candidate and ex-Vice President Joe Biden.

On 4 November, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Pompeo asking him to specify how State Department officials under Barack Obama were sanctioned for security violations related to Hillary Clinton's private email server and to provide the names and titles of these officials.


Read more:


Read from top.



FREE ASSANGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a full bowl of bolton...

President Donald Trump’s now-former National Security Advisor John Bolton returned to Twitter promising a “backstory” for his two-month absence, sending Trump critics into a frenzy of hope he might testify in impeachment hearings.

“Glad to be back on Twitter after more than two months. For the backstory, stay tuned,” the verified account with over 770,000 followers tweeted on Friday, for the first time since Bolton’s resignation – or firing, depending on who you ask – on September 10.



Read more:



Read from top.

a bomb with a dud fuse...

A leak of former US national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming White House memoir has been propped up and given a life of its own by the US media, which portrays the details as vital to the impeachment trial against US President Donald Trump. However, the reported details are unlikely to skew the outcome of the proceedings. 

Ted Rall, an award-winning journalist and editorial cartoonist, joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud and Clear on Monday to discuss the mystery surrounding the leaking of the manuscript to media and the potential impact of a Bolton testimony on the impeachment trial.

Rall told hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that it’s not a surprise that an excerpt of Bolton’s book was leaked to the New York Times and became public knowledge following the publishing of an article on Sunday. Even if the former adviser wasn’t behind it, Rall explained that it’s difficult to keep a piece that may contain sought-after information under wraps for a long period of time, considering how many hands it may go through during the production process.


Read more:




Lawyers for Donald Trump opted for a high-risk strategy in the sixth day of the president’s impeachment trial on Monday, avoiding mention of a major new development in the case even as Trump tweeted about it and some Republican senators told reporters that the tide against calling witnesses may have shifted.

On Sunday night, news broke that the former national security adviser John Bolton had written a book undermining the central claim of Trump’s defense, that Trump had never conditioned military aid for Ukraine on an announcement of investigations tied to his political rivals.

In fact, Trump told Bolton in a meeting in August that he did not want to send aid until Ukraine delivered material relating to Joe Biden and to supporters of Hillary Clinton, according to sources cited by the New York Times, which first broke the news.


Read more:




With admirable poise given the explosions around them, President Trump’s lawyers began their second day of defense with a point-by-point dissection of the case against their client.

They calmly focused on the transcript of Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine, with Jay Sekulow saying it involved no “violation of an oath.”

Ken Starr, in a learned but too-long presentation on the history of impeachment, called out Speaker Nancy ­Pelosi’s “runaway House” and said the partisan product she ­produced was “dripping with fundamental process ­violations.”

There was more, and it was all solid stuff that, on any other day, might have been a final nail in the Democrats’ teetering case. Unfortunately for the defense, Monday already had been claimed by John Bolton, and he wasn’t even in the room.

Bolton had instead sent a thunder bolt by authoring “The Room Where It Happened,” a clever book title surely lifted from a scene and song in the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.”

How fitting — and inevitable — that history, politics and theater would collide during the impeachment of Donald Trump.

It was also inevitable that Bolton would come back to haunt Trump. Brutally fired after just 17 months as national security adviser, he is now firing back in sensational fashion.

According to passages leaked to the anti-Trump media, Bolton writes that Trump admitted to him there was a link between the president’s demand for investigations by Ukraine and his pause on releasing military aide.


Read more:


Read from top.