28 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-18-19

  1. And now your starting to get an idea about why Dems are so upset with Giuliani digging for dirt in Ukraine. They know what he’ll find. That’s where the bodies are buried, and not just by the Bidens.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/12/16/ukrainian-oligarch-paid-700000-to-the-husband-of-a-house-judiciary-committee-democrat/

    “Ukrainian Oligarch Paid $700,000 To The Husband Of A House Judiciary Committee Democrat”

    “Robert Powell, the husband of Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., reportedly took $700,000 from a Ukrainian oligarch named Igor Kolomoisky. Mucarsel-Powell sits on the House Judiciary Committee, the committee that drafted two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his alleged abuse of power with regards to Ukraine.

    In 2018, the Daily Beast reported that a number of businesses linked to Kolomoisky hired Powell as an attorney. One of those firms paid Powell at least $700,000 over two years, according to public records.

    The Miami Herald reported Powell was working for companies tied to Kolomoisky for 10 years. Powell made most of his money in the two years leading up to his wife’s election in 2018.

    Kolomoisky has been accused of contract killings and embezzlement in the past. Yet, in 2018 when Mucarsel-Powell was running for her seat, she did not see her husband’s work as relevant to her campaign.

    “Debbie Mucrasel-Powell is running for Congress, not her husband. To imply that Debbie has anything to do with her indirect shareholder of a parent company that once employed her husband is an enormous stretch,” said Michael Hernandez, senior communications advisor for her campaign in 2018.

    While Mucrasel-Powell may have convinced her constituents that her husband’s work is unrelated, it is a clear conflict in the current impeachment of Trump. Mucarsel-Powell voted to impeach Trump.”

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  2. But what are they going to do about it? Complaining is nice and all, but only real penalties will ensure there’s no repeat.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/12/fisa-describes-fbis-handling-of-page-warrant-applications-as-antiethical/

    “FISA Court Describes FBI’s Handling of Carter Page Warrant Applications as “antithetical to the heightened duty of candor”

    “The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.”

    “The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court lashed out at the FBI’s handling of the Carter Page warrant applications, demanding the bureau make changes by January 10.”

    ————

    Click to access MIsc%2019%2002%20191217.pdf

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  3. I recall the name and the Olympic bombings, but not much of the details.

    Yet another instance of the FBI railroading an innocent man. He was an earlier version of Carter Page.

    https://thefederalist.com/2019/12/17/richard-jewell-is-a-story-of-media-and-government-bungling-thats-still-fresh-today/

    “‘Richard Jewell’ Is A Story Of Media And Government Bungling That’s Still Fresh Today

    The film’s message isn’t so much that neither government nor media is to be trusted, but for Americans to ask themselves why they should trust either.”

    “Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial release, “Richard Jewell,” has generated controversy for depicting journalist Kathy Scruggs, who broke that Jewell was the prime suspect in a bombing case, as willing to exchange sex for information.

    It’s unfortunate the controversy has cast such a pall over the film, as it shifts the focus away from the central figure, Jewell, in a story that’s perhaps as relevant now as it was in 1996. Scruggs deserves a fair and honest portrayal, but so did Jewell, who endured more than unsubstantiated allegations, but also public ridicule. Media coverage of Jewell, in fact, went far beyond simply exposing him to the world—it became very personal, a form of public bullying.

    In fact, one of the film’s weaknesses is that it doesn’t delve as deeply into the media’s coverage of Jewell as much as it could’ve. As the 1997 Vanity Fair article by Marie Brenner on which the movie is based notes, Jewell was characterized as a “hapless dummy, a plodding misfit, a Forrest Gump,” even when initially deemed a hero.

    As the film accurately recounts, Jewell had a history of heavy-handedness and taking his job as a security guard perhaps too seriously. Even as a security guard, he considered himself “law enforcement,” although the law effectively defines security guards as little more than uniformed private citizens.

    But the media’s characterizations of him often went too far. Brenner delivers a run-down of the indignity Jewell was subjected to: the New York Post described him as a “a fat, failed former sheriff’s deputy,” Jay Leno wondered aloud “What is it about the Olympic Games that brings out big fat stupid guys?” and referred to Jewell as the “Unadoofus,” a reference to the “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, apprehended earlier that year.

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution piled on, with Dave Kindred comparing Jewell to Wayne Williams, the serial killer implicated in the Atlanta child murders of the early 1980s. Kindred also made remarks about Jewell’s weight and the fact he lived with his mother; the column was so offensive, even Kindred’s AJC colleagues were critical.”

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  4. Trump unbound?

    You mean he hasn’t been all along?

    Yikes. 🙂

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/12/trump-unbound-2.php

    “Today President Trump delivered a blistering six-page letter to Nancy Pelosi, attacking the Democrats’ misconduct dating from the election campaign of 2016 and culminating in the current impeachment farce. The letter is embedded below. When I saw that Trump had delivered such a letter, I assumed it was written by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. Having read the letter, I think it is written in Trump’s own voice. With genuine emotion, he tells Pelosi and the Democrats that “you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are you are declaring open war on American Democracy.”

    This is the president’s conclusion:

    “It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.

    One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again.”

    ————-

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  5. Another promise fulfilled. Thank you Mr. President.

    https://townhall.com/columnists/scottruesterholz/2019/12/17/usmca-fulfills-trumps-promise-to-revamp-us-trade-policy-n2558127

    “USMCA Fulfills Trump’s Promise To Revamp U.S. Trade Policy”

    “After months of Democrat obstruction, which has kept $1 trillion in North American trade in a state of suspended animation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally agreed to pass the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) last week. With House passage likely this week and Senate passage in early January, we are on the precipice of bringing North American trade into the 21st century with a new deal that greatly improves upon NAFTA.

    The USMCA has garnered support from a wide array of interest groups, from the Chamber of Commerce to the AFL-CIO because this deal will protect American workers while enhancing market access for US companies. Amazingly, some Republicans, like Senator Pat Toomey opposeUSMCA, but their criticisms are belied by the facts. Indeed, the key principles of this agreement should serve as the bedrock of all future trade agreements.

    First, NAFTA helped to decimate the US auto industry. Since implementation 25 years ago, imports of Mexican cars quintupled while we lost 10%of our auto manufacturing jobs. Under new “rules of origin,” 75% of every car must be made in North America, up from 62.5% while also eliminating loopholes and workarounds. Further, essentially 40% of each car must be made in Canada or the US due to higher-wage requirements. The result should be $34 billion in new automotive investment and 76,000 new jobs.

    The United States has the largest, most diverse consumer market in the world, one every nation on earth needs to access. Under the Trump Administration, we are finally leveraging access to our market to help US workers. The principle is simple: if you want to sell the product to the US, you also have to build some products here. By applying this principle to the USMCA, we will help revitalize our auto industry. By continuing to apply it to future trade deals, we can be sure that American workers aren’t left behind ever again.

    Second, USMCA protects America’s sovereignty and enhances our comparative advantages. This agreement largely eliminates a NAFTA provision known as Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS). Under ISDS, foreign companies could take the US, Mexican, or Canadian governments to international arbitration rather than go through the local court system. Subjecting US laws to an international arbiter, rather than our court system, was a clear violation of our sovereignty and constitutional structure that will no longer occur.”

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  6. It’s both. Incompetent, and criminal.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/12/17/the_blues_at_st_james_comeys_infirmary_141977.html

    “When your best explanation for humiliating failures is that you were incompetent, not criminal, you are in trouble. When your defense is that underlings are to blame, you can expect them to bite back. That’s the situation facing James Comey, former FBI director. His current story matches Richard Nixon’s lame admission: “mistakes were made.”

    Not that Comey made those mistakes himself, mind you. Mere sloppiness by others, he says. That’s his new story. His old one was that the FBI did everything by the book and that his critics were dishonest partisan hacks. His self-righteous stance went down the garbage disposal last week when Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued his devastating report and then told a Senate committee that Comey was wrong when he said the report vindicated him and the bureau.

    Comey is still drifting down that river in Egypt, denying he failed in his basic duties. Yet he signed surveillance warrants as “truthful and verified” when he knew (or should have known) they were neither. He and senior officials at the Department of Justice used the same misinformation four times to spy on Carter Page, claiming, without evidence, that Page might be a Russian agent.

    Caught in these lies, Comey is reluctantly admitting that he relied on the FBI’s standard procedures for gaining warrants and that underlings may have been careless. They may well have been, but so was Comey. Moreover, it was the director himself who gutted the safeguards designed to prevent overzealous agents from deceiving the court.

    The errors were inexcusable. Comey and DoJ officials told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Page might be a “foreign agent,” without telling them that Page had cooperated with U.S. intelligence for years — and was still doing so. Special Counsel Robert Mueller examined Page and came up empty. The crime here was not Page’s. It was committed by top law-enforcement officers who misrepresented the evidence.

    Once spying on Page and the Trump campaign became public knowledge, Comey and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff claimed it was all perfectly justified. After all, the warrants were approved by the FISA court. What they didn’t say was that the court had been given false and misleading information, while exculpatory evidence was withheld.

    Why did senior FBI and DoJ officials care so much about spying on an unknown minor political figure? Because they expected Carter Page’s email, phone calls, and texts would open a window into the whole Trump campaign, transition, and presidency.”

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  7. More on a story from yesterday…..

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/vox-media-gets-curbed-by-government-regulation-it-once-celebrated

    “More government regulation is always great in theory.

    Then it gets applied to you.

    The website that once proclaimed, “Gig workers’ win in California is a victory for workers everywhere,” is now suffering from that very “victory.” In September, when the California Senate passed a bill that capped freelancers at 35 paid pieces per year, Vox said the regulation would give workers “basic labor protections.”

    Now, Vox Media is laying off hundreds of freelancers thanks to the same law. When California’s Assembly Bill 5 goes into effect next year, hundreds of freelancers will lose their jobs. Because the government will force prolific freelancers to be classified as employees, media companies will lose their flexibility to hire both part- and full-time workers in the way they once had.

    “That new law makes it impossible for us to continue with our current California team site structure because it restricts contractors from producing more than 35 written content ‘submissions’ per year,” Vox Media subsidiary SB Nation announced on Monday. To comply with the new law, SB Nation won’t replace California contractors with contractors from other states, but it will hire employees for just a handful of “newly-created full-time or part-time employee positions.”

    What once seemed like a win for worker protections is actually a huge loss for worker freedom. As my colleague Kaylee McGhee wrote earlier this year, “The bill is just another example of the elitism oozing out of California’s legislature. Politicians like Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, who spearheaded this project, think they know more about journalism than the men and women who have worked in the industry for decades.”

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  8. It’s official folks.

    Saying “Merry Christmas” is just you parroting the Republican narrative.

    Just so you know…… 🙄

    And if you’ll do that, what else will you do?

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  9. And don’t you dare question her on it. 🙂

    ———–

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  10. Our (media) company was always on alert with regard to the ‘gig’ law. I believe media has been given 1 year to try to sort out the freelancer issues? That’s the last I’ve heard, anyway. But we’ve been quite aware that it’ll be a huge hit to our shrinking and struggling business sector.

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  11. It’s all a staged act, and they aren’t even good actors.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/feels-sad-pelosi-wearing-black-on-impeachment-day-to-mark-somber-occasion

    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is wearing black on the day House Democrats plan to impeach President Trump to emphasize that it is a “somber” event.”

    “Some of the speaker’s colleagues told CNN she is wearing black to signal that it is a “somber day” and wants her colleagues to treat it as such. Pelosi said she “feels sad” about impeaching Trump.”

    —-

    “The California Democrat told the rest of the House Democrats that they were to stand united and not “to gloat” while they impeach the president. She said she does not want the caucus to seem like they are cheering the proceedings, according to multiple sources.

    “Don’t cheer, keep it solemn,” a Democrat from a Trump-won district relayed Pelosi’s instruction.”

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  12. Rights?….

    Pfffttt…..

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  13. I read Trump’s letter. He dates the beginning of impeachment talk to a newspaper article 19 minutes after he was sworn in. It was much worse than that.

    Many have said impeachment talk began immediately after he was elected. It was worse than that.

    Today a local radio host quoted an opinion column from April, 2016. At that point Trump was the clear Republican front runner but didn’t have the nomination locked up yet, and most people didn’t think he had much chance against Hillary. Yet the writer felt it necessary to describe what the impeachment process might look like if Trump was elected.

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  14. During the day, I have Elvera sitting in her big chair watching TV. I always have FoxNews on because that is the only thing I can keep without constant changing.
    So?
    She was watching TV. I was in here.
    She came in and said, “I can’t make sense of anything they’re saying on TV”.
    I said, “Nobody else does either”.
    That’s just the way it is. But she perfectly described the situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s amazing isn’t it? 🙂

    Yet today there is much hand wringing and pearl clutching while talking about how they hate to do this, when it’s all they’ve been thinking about and planning since day 1.

    It’s laughable. 🙂

    But they thought it would be easy. They had with Russia, until they didn’t. They had him with Mueller on obstruction for sure.Nope. Now this.

    But it’s fine really. While they dithered, Trump has implemented his agenda, new trade deals better for America. More jobs, record low unemployment in nearly every demographic, and an economy that’s not stagnating. Not to mention his packing the courts with good, strong justices who value the law over activism.

    He deserves 4 more years, and Dems deserve to lose the House and some Senate seat over this. They won’t learn if we don’t teach them.

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  16. But by all means Democrats, please…. continue doing exactly what you’re doing. 🙂

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2019/12/gallup-trump-approval-up-to-45-support-for-impeachment-down-six-points/#more-303611

    “Gallup: Trump Approval Up to 45%, Support for Impeachment Down Six Points

    Independents approval of Trump has gone up since October.”

    —–

    ‘Trump sits at 45%, up six points since October. Not surprisingly, Republicans approve of the president a lot more than Democrats (89% to 8%).

    The Independents have changed:

    Less than half of political independents approve, but the current 42% is up from 34% at the start of the impeachment hearings and matches their highest rating of Trump so far.

    It looks like the impeachment inquiry against Trump has not affected the view of the American people. The economy remains strong, each month brings in more jobs, and unemployment is tied at an all-time low.

    In other words, people care more about their daily lives and the economy.

    Impeachment and Removal
    Gallup also found a drop in support for impeachment and removal of Trump.

    As stated above, the impeachment inquiry began this fall. Since that period, more and more people do not approve of impeaching and removing Trump.”

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  17. Too bad. 🙂

    There’s those silly constitutional rights getting in Democrats’ way again. 🙂

    ———–

    Do it. The left would go out of their minds….. 🙂

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  18. Just a reminder what they really think of us rubes.

    ————-

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  19. _____________________________________________

    House Democrats were set to vote Wednesday evening to impeach Donald Trump but, media high-fives aside, what have they accomplished? They have failed to persuade the country; they have set a new, low standard for impeaching a President; Mr. Trump will be acquitted in the Senate; and Democrats may have helped Mr. Trump win re-election. Congratulations to The Resistance. …

    … How this argument will play out is impossible to predict, but note that Mr. Trump’s approval rating has been improving amid the impeachment debate. Support for impeachment hasn’t increased. Millions of Republicans who dislike Mr. Trump’s character and behavior are nonetheless repelled by the attempt to oust him months before another election.

    Removing Mr. Trump from office outside of an election won’t banish Trumpism or reduce political polarization. Mr. Trump’s voters would see it as an elite coup, and Mr. Trump would not go quietly into exile. A more rational opposition would understand this, accept his victory in 2016, and focus on defeating him at the ballot box. The Ukraine intervention could be part of that electoral indictment.

    Instead Democrats want to overrule the electorate’s vote in 2016 and pre-empt it in 2020. If Mr. Trump wins re-election, the folly of this impeachment will be a major reason.
    _______________________________________________

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  20. Bring it on.

    Remember Dems, you asked for it.

    https://hotair.com/archives/ed-morrissey/2019/12/18/mcconnell-fires-back-lets-adopt-1999-rules-option-dismissal/

    “Remember when the Senate could come to a unanimous, bipartisan approach to rules governing an impeachment trial? Good times, good times. In fact, those were such good times that Mitch McConnell wants to bring them back. Rather than keep having his counterpart Chuck Schumer negotiate via MSNBC, the Senate Majority Leader announced that he’ll simply reinstate the rules package that governed Bill Clinton’s impeachment twenty years ago.

    By the way, that also includes a dismissal option:

    Over the weekend, my colleague the Democratic Leader began asking the Senate to break from precedent, break with the unanimous template from 1999, and begin choreographing the middle of a potential trial before we’ve even heard opening arguments.

    In 1999, all 100 senators agreed on a simple pre-trial resolution that set up a briefing, opening arguments, senators’ questions, and a vote on a motion to dismiss. Senators reserved all other questions, such as witnesses, until the trial was underway. That was the unanimous bipartisan precedent from 1999. Put first things first, lay the bipartisan groundwork, and leave mid-trial questions to the middle of the trial.

    I have hoped, and still hope, that the Democratic Leader and I can sit down and reproduce that unanimous bipartisan agreement this time. His decision to try to angrily negotiate through the press is unfortunate. But no amount of bluster will change the simple fact that we already have a unanimous… bipartisan… precedent. [emphasis in original]

    If 100 senators thought this approach was good enough for President Clinton, it ought to be good enough for President Trump.

    It’s a clever move in two ways. First, it leaves open the witness issue for a later negotiation, but more importantly, this allows McConnell to claim the mantle of tradition and non-partisanship. It will be tough for Schumer to object to using rules that every Democrat supported in the previous impeachment trial, not without making it even more clear that House Democrats didn’t produce a case for removal before rushing it to the Senate.”

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Lots of discussion today about this new law here and how to handle come Jan. 1

    https://nppa.org/news/nppa-files-suit-challenging-new-unconstitutional-california-law

    ____________________________

    NPPA files suit challenging new unconstitutional California law
    By Mickey Osterreicher and Alicia Calzada

    Dec. 17, 2019

    ATHENS, GA – The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) filed a lawsuit today challenging AB5, a California law which discriminates against some visual journalists acting as independent contractors (freelancers) by forcing them to become employees of their clients whether they desire this working relationship or not.

    The lawsuit asserts that the law violates the U.S. Constitution because it penalizes some freelancers while allowing other visual artists (including marketing photographers, fine artists, and graphic artists) to continue to perform as independent contractors, unencumbered by limits on the number of assignments they do. Additionally, AB5 forbids any freelancing by visual journalists who shoot video, a provision that is challenged in the lawsuit as a content-based restriction on speech. For still photojournalists, the bill imposes a limit of 35 “submissions” or assignments per year for any single client, another content-based First Amendment violation. Similar limits are imposed on freelance writers, editors, and newspaper cartoonists. …
    _______________________________

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  22. Comey, Strzok, and Page and his ilk are even more exposed now. He’s quite clear on that.

    ————–

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/12/18/ig-michael-horowitz-found-political-bias-fbi/

    “IG Michael Horowitz Confirms: ‘We Found, Through The Text Messages, Evidence Of People’s Political Bias’ At FBI”

    ““We found through the text messages evidence of people’s political bias, correct,” the inspector general answered.

    Later in the hearing, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley pressed Horowitz to again confirm that he did in fact find evidence that political bias affected the investigations.

    “I think the scope here is what really alarms me,” Hawley stated. “The number of people involved directly involved at the FBI, the repeated decisions to mislead, outright lie to the FISA court, and the total implausibility that the explanations these people offered you, again, maybe they’re incompetent or maybe they had an agenda here.”

    “Was it your conclusion that political bias did not affect any part of the Page investigation, any part of Crossfire Hurricane?”

    “We did not reach that conclusion,” Horowitz responded. “We have been very careful in connection with the FISA for the reasons you mentioned to not reach that conclusion, in part, as we’ve talked about earlier: the alteration of the email, the text messages associated with the individual who did that, and then our inability to explain or understand or get good explanations so we could understand why this all happened.””

    Liked by 1 person

  23. They just couldn’t contain their glee.

    ———-

    Liked by 1 person

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