27 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-7-20

  1. Another dead terrorist leader.


    “US Forces Eliminate Leader Of al-Qaeda In Arabian Peninsula”

    “The White House confirmed on Thursday that US forces took out one of the founders and leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Qasim al-Rimi.”

    In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, the White House announced, “At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and a deputy to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.”

    This is the third major terrorist taken out at the direction of President Trump in recent months. The list includes Qasem Soleimani, leader of the Quds force in Iraq and general of the IRGC, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “


  2. “Record-High Optimism on Personal Finances in U.S.”


    “Gallup finds that 59% say they are better off than they were a year ago, as opposed to only 20% who say they are worse off. Those are great numbers–interestingly, we are so divided that political affiliation makes a big difference even on a simple question about one’s own finances–but that isn’t the data point I mean.

    The most striking finding is this one: 74% say they expect to be better off a year from now than they are today, the highest such finding Gallup has ever recorded:”



  3. Time to move on?

    Hardly. Some people need to pay for their crimes, misdeeds, and other traitorous actions first.


    “Not so fast. It’s not time to move on. These Senate investigations will be essential both to uncover House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s intrigue in engineering the whistleblower complaint and to expose the solid reasons Trump had for asking the president of Ukraine to help the U.S. investigate the Bidens.

    Graham said it’s “important” to bring the whistleblower in for questioning to see “if the whistleblower was working with people on Schiff’s staff that wanted to take Trump down.”

    What has already come to light is that on July 26, one day after Trump’s controversial call with the Ukrainian president, Schiff hired a friend of the alleged whistleblower to join his staff. Shortly afterward, Schiff’s staff met with the whistleblower and guided him on how to file a complaint.

    Media outlets have identified the whistleblower as Eric Ciaramella. He doesn’t deny it.

    Fox News’ Laura Ingraham reports that she obtained a series of State Department emails showing Ciaramella met with Ukrainian prosecutors at the White House in January 2016, when he served on the National Security Council as a Ukraine expert. The prosecutors were concerned about Hunter Biden’s lucrative board position on the corrupt energy company Burisma, which was a target of an investigation.

    Ciaramella isn’t an unbiased informant like whistleblowers should be. He was aware of the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine in 2016 and now he has a leading part in the Democrats’ playbook to protect them.

    Graham’s investigation also needs to examine why intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson rated the suspect whistleblower complaint “credible” and sent it to Congress — the trigger required for Schiff to launch an impeachment investigation.

    Whistleblower regulations say that “secondhand or unsubstantiated assertions” are not sufficient, but that’s all Ciaramella could provide. He wasn’t on the July 25 call. Atkinson testified to the intelligence community behind closed doors, and probably offered answers. But Schiff refused to release Atkinson’s testimony, even to the Senators during the trial. A stunning concealment.

    Schiff shuts down any questioning about the whistleblower. Don’t be fooled. That’s Schiff protecting himself. No law shields whistleblowers from a congressional inquiry.

    Weeks ago, Senate Finance Committee staff interviewed an IRS whistleblower who says he heard secondhand that senior Treasury officials meddled in the IRS audit of the president or vice president’s tax returns.

    That IRS whistleblower also lacked firsthand knowledge of misdeeds. Yet House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, a Democrat, used that whistleblower complaint to make his case for the release of Trump’s back taxes. Concocting phony whistleblower complaints is the Democrats’ new weapon of choice. That’s why Graham is right to insist the whistleblower who launched impeachment be grilled in front of the Senate.”


  4. And this is as good a place as any to start.


    “Republicans seek Hunter Biden travel records from Secret Service shortly after Trump acquittal”

    “Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., announced in a letter Wednesday they are seeking “records of Hunter Biden’s travel while he was under U.S. Secret Service protection as they continue to investigate potential conflicts of interest to boost his business ventures in Ukraine and China.”

    The request to U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray was revealed just minutes after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump. It underscored the continuing importance of a matter at the heart of the impeachment proceedings — whether Hunter Biden, who obtained a lucrative role on the board of a Ukrainian company with no relevant experience while his father oversaw Ukraine policy as vice president, deserved the scrutiny Trump suggested in his July 25 call with Ukraine’s new president.

    “We write to request information about whether Hunter Biden used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business, to include his work for Rosemont Seneca and related entities in China and Ukraine,” the senators wrote, referring to the company co-founded by the younger Biden.

    Grassley and Johnson suggested the Secret Service might have information concerning Hunter Biden’s apparent sweetheart deals in those countries, especially concerning his position as one of nine directors at BHR — a private-equity company controlled by Chinese government-backed stakeholders.

    “In December of 2013, one month after Rosemont Seneca’s joint venture with Bohai Capital to form BHR, Hunter Biden reportedly flew aboard Air Force Two with then-Vice President Biden to China,” the senators wrote. “While in China, he helped arrange for Jonathan Li, CEO of Bohai Capital, to ‘shake hands’ with Vice President Biden.”

    “Afterward,” they continued, “Hunter Biden met with Li for reportedly a ‘social meeting.’ After the China trip, BHR’s business license was approved. Then, in 2015, BHR joined with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to acquire Henniges, which was the ‘biggest Chinese investment into U.S. automotive manufacturing assets to date.'”


    They’ve been projecting Democrat crimes unto Trump. Time for them to own it.


  5. Winning rarely gets old. 🙂


    “Trump broke Pelosi. Or maybe she just broke herself.”

    Trying to dislodge a president whose approval ratings have been stuck well below 50 percent for virtually his entire presidency, in an atmosphere of economic effervescence, Democrats would be smart to signal voters that they won’t bring about major policy shifts but will restore decorous behavior.

    Instead, they’re doing the opposite.

    George W. Bush inspired Charles Krauthammer to coin the term “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” President Obama likened his opposition to a “fever.” But no president has ever done what President Trump is doing to his ideological adversaries, which is to cause them to lunge uncontrollably around the political stage like so many kittens chasing the dot made by a laser pointer.

    Behold: Nancy Pelosi, she of the tight self-control and the 32-year run in Congress, threw a hissy fit on live television and ripped up the State of the Union speech. The silky slalom schusser tumbled over her skis and planted her face in the side of the mountain. What she probably thought would look like a gesture of aggression and defiance instead looked more like petulance and frustration. Trump not only gave a great speech, he gave great television, which is far more important. “A master showman at his best,” declared Norah O’Donnell, the CBS Evening News anchor. The effectiveness of the SOTU made Pelosi mad. Trump’s discipline made Pelosi mad. His obliteration of the impeachment drama by not even dignifying it with a mention made Pelosi mad. #PelosiTantrum and #NancytheRipper were top trending topics on Twitter. Democrats think they’re going to rage their way into the White House. Maybe you can try that when the country’s on fire. It isn’t.

    The Democrats cannot go to the voters with a straight face and tell us that the country has lived down to Paul Krugman’s notorious 12:42 a.m. prediction on November 9, 2016: “If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.” Trump has so much winning to boast about, and boasting is not something he’s bad at. Democrats would prefer the Dow Jones Industrial Average had gone the way of the San Francisco 49ers defense and that unemployment stood at 117 percent, but in politics you play the hand you’re dealt. Things are good. People have noticed. “


  6. Own it.


    “How Democrats’ Get-Trump Crusade Has Irreparably Damaged The Nation

    The degrading of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ may prove the most damaging legacy of the Democrats’ charade. No election will be over, ever. No president will be legitimate ever again.”

    “For more than three years, Democrats, Never Trump Republicans, and the left-leaning media proved themselves willing to destroy the country to destroy one man: Donald J. Trump. From foreign affairs to counterintelligence to law enforcement, from domestic governance to congressional oversight to separation of powers, Trump’s enemies manipulated and misused our government powers because Americans dared to elect the wrong leader.

    The Senate’s acquittal yesterday of the president on the two spurious articles of impeachment concluded (for now) the years-long coordinated efforts at a coup. But while Trump escaped the onslaught, the damage inflicted on our country will not be easily abated.

    The FBI’s malfeasance in the launch and handling of Crossfire Hurricane provides the starkest example of damage wrought without regard to the ramifications. Americans no longer trust the world’s premier law enforcement agency because of men like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and Peter Strzok, and women like Lisa Page. They no longer believe in equal justice under the law, or the integrity of sworn affidavits and judicially authorized surveillance.

    Current FBI Director Christopher Wray has promised a clean-up, but that likely won’t be enough either for the public or for the FISA court. And it is the damage in the eyes of the FISA court that risks much more than the faith Americans place in law enforcement agencies—it puts at risk the lives of Americans.

    The FISA courts exist not for political warfare, but to combat terrorism. A FISA court distrustful of the Department of Justice and FBI will demand more, and believe less, and when the target is a terrorist and not a political opponent, the real-world results may mean lost American lives.

    That is, if Congress allows the FISA court to continue. Following the revelations of FISA abuse, some senators are calling for an end to the secret court, instead of instituting reforms to protect against government overreach. Removing the FISA court from the arsenal of anti-terrorism tools would be even more devasting to our country, and if that comes to pass, the fault will rest in hands of Comey’s FBI.”


  7. Here are the laws that Joe Biden broke with respect to his Ukraine Quid Pro Quo:

    15 USC 78 dd-1
    18 USC 201 (b)
    18 USC 201 (c)
    18 USC 1951

    Here are the laws that Pres. Trump broke on his July 25 phone call to Ukraine:





    Liked by 1 person

  8. Another win.


    “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit “threw out a lawsuit by more than 200 Democratic members of Congress that alleged President Trump was improperly profiting from his presidency.”

    The three judges ruled unanimously. They agreed “the lawmakers didn’t have legal standing to proceed with their claims.”

    “In the opinion, the judges said the Democratic lawmakers “couldn’t assert the institutional interests of the House or Senate against the president because the group didn’t constitute a majority in the legislature and couldn’t represent Congress as a whole.”

    The judges also wrote:

    “The Members can, and likely will, continue to use their weighty voices to make their case to the American people, their colleagues in the Congress and the President himself, all of whom are free to engage that argument as they see fit,” the judges wrote. “But we will not—indeed we cannot—participate in this debate.”


    Too bad. 🙂


  9. Oh look….

    The mask slips again.



    “So is this an admission that the entire special counsel probe was a corrupt scheme to set a perjury trap? Er, not really, unless every prosecutor interview, deposition, and testimony is corrupt. This is what prosecutors do — they pin subjects and targets down under oath and try to catch them in contradictions. Those then become leverage for later admissions, plea deals, and yes, perjury and obstruction charges. That in itself is not evil or corrupt — it’s part of the job.

    However, the motivation for that can be evil or corrupt, which is why the framers of our Constitution included the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, among others. They understood — in some cases, by personal experience — that compelling testimony without recourse to silence would inevitably allow corrupt prosecutors to become government persecutors. Those rights force prosecutors to attempt to shame and pressure their subjects and targets into cooperation, one version of which Weissmann just put on display here. What are you afraid of is a schoolground taunt that probably works in more cases than it doesn’t — unless the subject or target has a good attorney.

    What’s notable here is that Weissmann’s complaining about Trump’s refusal to testify in an investigation that found no evidence on its core issue. He also fails to note that the reason Weissmann’s team got to talk to everyone else is that Trump waived executive privilege entirely for their investigation. The reason why Trump didn’t want to testify is that (a) it was becoming clear that Mueller wanted to expand the scope of the probe beyond the unfounded Russia-collusion hypothesis, and (b) that cooperation wasn’t accelerating the end of the probe. (And the House investigations have been even more political and unbalanced.) Small wonder Trump relied on his constitutional rights to protect himself from a fishing expedition, which was precisely why the founders added those protections to the Bill of Rights in the first place.”


  10. From Peggy Noonan (who is no fan of Trump):

    The Democrats’ Unserious Week

    The fiasco in Iowa, the foolishness at the State of the Union—do they realize how bad they look?


    (the photo is priceless if you can get into the link through the paywall)


    … Do they understand what a disaster this was for them? If Mr. Trump wins re-election, if in fact it isn’t close, it will be traceable to this first week in February. …

    … You know what Iowa really tells us? Anything can happen now—anything. Because rigor in politics is waning, the old disciplines are not holding, old responsibilities are being thrown off. It was a failure of competence by people who were just passing through and burnishing their personal brands.

    What a disaster. …

    … And what happened a day later in the House was just as bad.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi shattered tradition, making faces, muttering, shaking her head as the president delivered his State of the Union address. At the end she famously stood, tore the speech up and threw down the pieces.

    “But he didn’t shake her hand.” So what? Her great calling card is she’s the sane one.

    She introduced him rudely, without the usual encomiums. Oh, snap.

    The classy lady was not classy. She forgot she has a higher responsibility than to her base, but—yes, how corny—to her country, the institution, the young who are watching and just getting a sense of how to behave in the world.

    If she was compelled to show symbolic fealty to the “resistance” she should have taken it outside the chamber. That place is where Daniel Webster debated; she occupies the chair of Henry Clay and “Mr. Sam.”

    And she set a template: Now in the future all House Speakers who face presidents from the opposing party at the State of the Union will have to be rude fools. …

    … Some progressive members refused to attend, or walked out during the speech—one said, without irony, that she was “triggered.” Those who came slouched angrily in their seats, looking down, refusing to rise for all the heroes in the balcony. Why do they think that is a good look?

    Those who didn’t come were unprofessional, but it was also a practical failure. They abandoned the field and let the Congress of the United States look like one big, cheering, unified bastion of boisterous Republicans, with a few grim women dressed in white in the corner. That’s what you want America to see? …

    … (Van Jones on CNN had it exactly right: Trump is going for black and Hispanic men, and the Democrats are foolish not to see it.) …

    … Yes it was bread and circuses, and yes it was like a reality TV show. There should be a word for “I know I’m being manipulated but I am moved anyway.” We need that word because it is the essence of our entire media/entertainment/political culture. But if you weren’t moved by the mother of the baby born prematurely and the 100-year-old Tuskegee Airman there’s something wrong with you, and in your attempts to maintain a fair minded detachment you’ve become distanced from your fellow humans. …

    … Republicans in the Reagan era used to say, and think, that we were the Main Street party, not the Wall Street one. In the three decades since, small-town America has fallen apart and Main Street disappeared into broken up, lonely, ex-urban places. Mr. Trump is saying he’s for the people who live there, in Main Street’s diaspora.

    Whatever happens with him, that is the party’s future. Whatever happens with the Democrats they cannot afford another week like this.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Grumpy! They all are 🙂

    Here’s another good piece:



    The State of the Democrats
    The split between progressives and moderates could sink the party in November.

    By Kimberley A. Strassel
    Feb. 6, 2020 6:45 pm ET

    Donald Trump visited Congress this week to declare the state of the union “stronger than ever before.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi concluded the evening by highlighting the state of the Democratic Party: Intensely—perhaps fatally—divided.

    That’s the prism through which to view this week’s headlines: The Iowa debacle, Democrats’ State of the Union theatrics, the president’s impeachment acquittal. Division has coursed through Democratic politics for at least the past four years. The media tries hard to present this split as nothing more than the usual intraparty tension. It’s significantly deeper than that, and Democratic hopes for the 2020 election hinge on it. …

    … This train went off the tracks right after the 2016 Democratic primary contest, as a bitter progressive wing of the party stewed over Bernie Sanders’s defeat. They accused the Democratic establishment of rigging the process for Hillary Clinton—starting with Iowa, where the results were close, and where Mr. Sanders’s supporters outright challenged the legitimacy of Mrs. Clinton’s victory.

    Hoping for peace, and in the name of “transparency,” party officials adopted the wildly complicated system on display Monday. The delayed results continue to be riddled with errors, making the outcome even less credible than in 2016. …

    … The chasm in the party has been on display particularly under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership. It brewed in the bitter spring fights over which wing got its way on how to sanction Rep. Ilhan Omar for anti-Semitic comments; which wing spoke for the party on climate and health care; which wing set its antigun agenda. And most consequentially, which wing won the day on impeachment. Mrs. Pelosi ultimately gave in to threats against her speakership and allowed her firebrands to serve as the face of the party in a weak and doomed impeachment proceeding. …

    … Mrs. Pelosi’s speech-ripping at the State of the Union was designed to energize her Democratic troops after a demoralizing week. That this was necessary is also a consequence of the party’s split. Impeachment was designed to galvanize the base, and it has certainly jazzed some in the “resistance.” Yet there is evidence that it turned off potential Democratic voters. The Iowa caucus turnout numbers were mediocre at best, and an NBC News entrance poll showed a big dip in first-time attendees compared with 2016. …

    … Party leaders are increasingly worried they are headed for a contested convention, where the progressive-establishment battle would reach fever pitch.

    Such a showdown might settle if the differences in the final candidates came down to personality, or style. But that’s not this battle. Democrats are divided by generation, by geography, by cultural sensibilities, and by vastly differing policy agendas. Does the common Democratic desire to beat Mr. Trump overcome all that? Maybe. Based on the state of the Democratic Party right now, it’s far from a sure bet.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice to see the House get back to work for Americans……

    Oh wait, never mind…….


    He’s not exaggerating either.


    “Criminals would be protected from deportation under bill AOC and other House Democrats back”

    “At this moment there is a bill pending in Congress called the New Way Forward Act. It’s received almost no publicity, which is unfortunate as well as revealing.

    The legislation is sponsored by 44 House Democrats, including Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. At roughly 4,400 words, it’s almost exactly as long as the U.S. Constitution.

    Like the Constitution, this legislation is designed to create a whole new country. The bill would entirely remake our immigration system, with the explicit purpose of ensuring that criminals are able to move here, and settle here permanently, with impunity.

    You may think we’re exaggerating for effect. We’re not – not even a little.

    The New Way Forward act is the most radical single piece of legislation we’ve seen proposed in this country. It makes the Green New Deal look like the status quo.

    A document produced by Democrats to promote the bill says: “Convictions … should not lead to deportation.”

    Keep in mind, we’re not talking about convictions for double parking. The bill targets felony convictions – serious crimes that send you to prison for years. A press release from Rep., Jesus Garcia, D-Ill., is explicit about this.

    Garcia brags that the bill will break the “prison to deportation pipeline.” How does the bill do that? Under current U.S. law, legal U.S. immigrants can be deported if they commit an “aggravated felony” or a “crime of moral turpitude” – that is, a vile, depraved act, like molesting a child. Under the New Way Forward Act, “crimes of moral turpitude” are eliminated entirely as a justification for deportation. And the category of “aggravated felony” gets circumscribed too.

    What does that mean?

    Consider this: Under current law, immigrants who commit serious crimes – such as robbery, fraud, or child sexual abuse – must be deported, regardless of the sentence they receive. Other crimes – less severe ones like racketeering – require deportation as long as the perpetrator receives at least a one-year sentence.

    But if this bill passes the House and Senate and is signed into law by the president, there will no longer be any crimes that automatically require deportation. None.

    And one crime – falsifying a passport – will be made immune from deportation, no matter what. Because apparently 9/11 never happened, and we no longer care about fake government documents.

    If you just renewed your driver’s license to comply with the Real ID Act, you must feel like an idiot. Under the proposed legislation, the minimum prison sentence for crimes that still require deportation would rise from one year to five.

    We checked the Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to federal data, crimes like car theft, fraud, and weapons offenses all carry average prison sentences of fewer than five years. And that’s just looking at averages. There are people who commit rape, child abuse and even manslaughter and receive sentences of fewer than five years. Lots of them.

    If the New Way Forward Act becomes law, immigrants who commit those crimes and receive those sentences would remain in the country. They’ll all be eligible for citizenship one day, too.”


    Kill it dead in the Senate.


  13. “trump is going after black and Hispanic men.”
    I don’t recognize that. But it makes sense. Most people vote according to party because they don’t pay that much attention to the politics. But once they have crossed over, it is much easier next time.
    My parents were strict Democrats until Eisenhower. When they voted Republican once, it was no trouble getting them to do it again.


  14. It’s about time!

    Finally, one of these hacks see some consequences for his traitorous acts. 🙂



    “BREAKING: Alexander Vindman Is Escorted Out of the White House and Pearls Are Clutched”

    “This was long overdue, although I understand why the President had to wait.

    Alexander Vindman, perhaps the most insufferable, uselessly smug “witness” in the entire impeachment fiasco was fired from the NSC today and escorted out of the White House.

    Vindman spent most of the time before and during his impeachment testimony fluffing his credentials, lauding his own patriotism, and presenting himself as the arbiter of U.S. policy toward Ukraine. But his complaints really boiled down the fact that he didn’t like the President actually making foreign policy decisions. He offered nothing of value as far as an impeachable offense went and really had no first hand knowledge of anything.

    What Vindman did do was share information with Eric Ciaramella, and likely illegally as it was classified at a very high level. Perhaps a court martial is in his future? I don’t know, but I suspect this isn’t the end of this.

    Pearls are already being clutched.”


    Which just makes it even more enjoyable. 🙂


  15. Another justified firing is coming real soon. 🙂



    “Gordon Sondland recalled as ambassador to EU after impeachment testimony”

    “U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified about President Trump’s Ukraine dealings during the House impeachment hearings, said Friday that he had been recalled from that position.

    “I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately as United States ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said.

    Sondland’s recall follows the dismissal of another impeachment witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was fired earlier Friday by the National Security Council and escorted off of the White House grounds on Friday.”


    Keep going. There’s more need expelling.


  16. Now this says reporting has been inaccurate and Vindman was reassigned, not fired. That actually makes sense as he still active duty military. And his twin brother was also reassigned….

    But Sondland will be fired.


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