Open Thread

Not quite sure how the impeachment thing plays out, now. There are polls which show support for it dropping, others showing that everyone wants Trump gone yesterday…OTOH, the RNC has seven times the money of the DNC. Democrat candidates still can’t draw flies while Trump gets massive, enthusiastic crowds at the drop of a hat.

The Democrat claim that they want a “fair” trial is garbage, of course. What they want is a long series of witnesses called for their side while no one is allowed to even mention Biden’s name. The purpose of Democrat getting witnesses is to have a daily drama – with carefully served up bits on the news – of “the walls are closing in on Trump”. The hope there is that it will eventually cause a break in Trump’s support – though they know that is highly unlikely. Failing that, they just want Trump tied up with impeachment while they sort out which loser gets to face him in November. I highly doubt that McConnell will accommodate the Democrats and even wets like Romney are going to be wary of doing anything which appears to give the Democrats anything.

The real action is now with Barr, anyway: what he does will determine the long-term affect of all this. If he winds up with some toothless report deploring “mistakes”, then he’s been a waste of time…if he brings indictments, then the whole thing could become a catastrophe for the Democrats. Lots of people are saying it is for sure one or the other – but no one actually knows; unlike the Mueller investigation, Barr’s troops are keeping things close to the vest. Which is right and proper…but irritating in we’d all like to know what’s coming.

Rep. Van Drew, who switched to the GOP, says he had to because he was essentially ordered to vote in favor of impeachment. The Democrats claim they didn’t whip votes for it, but I’m pretty confident they promised no money and possible primary challenges to anyone who didn’t toe the line. Van Drew is just trying to save his career, naturally: he’s in a Trump district and this is his chance to stay in office. But it still is astonishing that a person will switch to the minority party…this should have got a lot more play, but the MSM was clearly ordered by the DNC to ignore it.

Meanwhile, Trump and McConnell are remaking the courts – especially the infamous 9th Circuit. Now, before you pop the corks, remember that if the Democrats ever control the White House and Congress again, they will simply change the courts as necessary to either remove them from the equation or remake them as liberal. People forget that the number of Justices and the number of federal courts is set by Congress. They can expand the Supreme Court to 15 and the federal courts to any number they think convenient. They could make, say, a Conservative 9th in charge of Utah and Idaho and just make an entirely new one for CA, WA and OR. Also, the Democrats, back in that much power, wouldn’t have the least compunction against just ignoring the law. It is good that we’re changing the courts because this will allow us to prevail on the legal merits far more often than not…but we can’t go to sleep on this. We have to keep the liberals out of power.

Johnson won big in Britain and now he’s got a chance to remake British politics as much as Trump is remaking ours. The key for both the Tories and the GOP is to wed populism to conservatism…to make the right the party of the people. Brits, by and large, are far more liberal than Americans, of course, so its not a one for one comparison…but your basic Brit still does share many notions with your basic American. We like things fair and square; we like to have our opportunities and to keep our rewards; we like our own countries and don’t really care too much about foreign nations; we like to stand up to international bullies, but we aren’t interested in looking for crusades. We don’t have any problem with giving a poor person a hand, but we don’t like multigenerational welfare families – eventually, you gotta go to work; we’re very tolerant, but tolerance cuts both ways – we’ll tolerate the weirdos, but they have to tolerate us, too. If Trump and Johnson can pull it off, we might be in for a generation of center/right governance in both countries.

California is going after HAM radio operators – and it may just be another example of California’s government being stupid, but I wonder: is it really an effort to shut down a mode of communications the government has no control over? If your long term plan is to set up an oppressive regime – and that is the Left’s long term plan – then you can’t afford to leave the people with an unrestricted means of sharing news.

15 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Amazona December 23, 2019 / 12:00 pm

    Barr said, of the effort to recast the mistakes made by the FBI as just ”’oops” mistakes, …I think there are episodes there that simply cannot be squared with innocent mistakes. And I think people have to come to terms with that.

    He also said, later in his interview with Martha MacCallum, …I think that the one of the problems with what happened was precisely that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors, and it was run and bird dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him (Comey) is simply not true.

    It will be interesting to see just how far up those “executive floors” ago, as Comey’s boss was Barack Obama.

  2. Amazona December 23, 2019 / 12:19 pm

    This has been my perception from the very beginning, and the basis for my observation that Trump’s reference to Crowdstrike in his phone call was the spark that lit the fuse of the impeachment effort. I have been saying all along that I believe there was a decision made at the highest levels of the Left that it would be worth losing the House to Republicans for a couple of election cycles if an impeachment melodrama would successfully divert attention away from the criminality, going all the way into the Oval Office, represented by the DNC/Clinton interaction with Ukraine, Christopher Steele and Crowdstrike.

    WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) argued that House Democrats impeached President Trump to “shield” themselves from the “reckoning that will come” after U.S. Attorney John Durham releases his final report on the establishment of the Russia investigation.

    “Hillary Clinton and the Democrats hired a foreign interest to deal with the Russians to try to bring dirt from Russia back on Donald Trump,” King said, referring to ex-MI6 agent Christopher Steele’s dossier, on Wednesday before the House formally voted to impeach President Trump.

    I think Pelosi tried valiantly to save the House by walking the tightrope presented to her, of creating a media circus sufficient to distract a gullible public and possibly have the corollary benefit of smearing Trump and maybe even swaying the election but with the very real risk of alienating so many voters the party will be crippled for years. We watched her trying to balance the blind howling hatred of the junior mob and the profoundly stupid in the House with her understanding of the downside of what they were trying to do and why they had to make the effort. As much as I despise her, she is smart and canny, and she was caught between the pathological lying and spotlight-mad Adam Schiff, the narcissistic ignorance of the AOC crowd, the racist element represented by Sheila Jackson Lee and her group and the harsh reality that their job was to spin straw into gold and convince the nation that they were acting to preserve the Constitution while blatantly trashing it. It was a thankless and impossible job, and it has crushed her.

    And, more important, these people were always up against seriously smart people like Barr and Durham, backed by an equally canny President Trump, and they have managed to trash the Dem House while making no headway at all in distracting from the real dangers of the efforts, going back several years, to weaponize federal agencies to illegally spy on American political opponents and then to use the legal system to destroy them and anyone who supported them.

    As a side benefit, they have simultaneously energized Republicans in Congress and shown what can happen when they stop playing defense. The Denver Broncos defense has scored a lot of points over the years, but in general it’s hard to win if you insist on always playing defense. I think people like Nunes and his persistent scholarly approach to digging up and then laying out facts, and Jim Jordan and his in-your-face challenges, have been examples to Congressional Republicans, and the Left is now wondering if there are other sleeping giants lurking in the Senate ready to pick up the gauntlet once they have a chance. The Senate has been pretty quiet, letting Lindsey Graham be the spokesperson, but I have a feeling Ted Cruz has been laying out his attack strategy and is eager to be turned loose.

    • Retired Spook December 23, 2019 / 12:40 pm

      As much as I despise her, she is smart and canny

      Shrewd and canny with great political instincts, but I disagree on “smart.” All you have to do is listen to her to realize that she’s not all that intelligent.

      I agree on Cruz. I’ve seen a couple interviews with him in recent days, and I fully expect him to play a major role in any Senate impeachment proceedings.

      • Amazona December 23, 2019 / 7:58 pm

        I know what you mean about Nan coming across as stupid, but I think that is the effect of the incredible stress she has been under. Till the past couple fo years she has seemed to be pretty bright, at least in a political context. And even lately she has been smart enough to know impeachment is a short cut to Democrat misery: She’s just been herded into what she knows is a mistake.

        There are different kinds of smart and you are right, what she is showing us now is a lack of any of them. But that can also be a symptom of her just not being able to find a way to say anything that will make this mess any less messy.

  3. jdge1 December 23, 2019 / 1:15 pm

    ”New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a non-controversial bipartisan bill that would have allowed all federal judges to officiate weddings in the state because some might have been nominated to the bench by President Donald Trump.

    “I cannot in good conscience support legislation that would authorize such actions by federal judges who are appointed by this federal administration,” Cuomo’s veto message stated, the New York Post reported.

    The legislation, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Liz Krueger, passed the state Senate by a 61 to 1 vote. It passed the state Assembly by a 144 to 2 tally. Both the state Senate and Assembly are under Democratic control.”

    TDS anyone?

    • Amazona December 23, 2019 / 8:00 pm

      Now that is just plain stupid. Why disrespect the entire NY statehouse? Why put yourself in the position of having a veto overridden? And on such a brain-dead excuse? What next—disallowing marriages by clergy who represent religions he doesn’t like?

      What a moron. No wonder he is known as Fredo……

      • jdge1 December 23, 2019 / 11:18 pm

        It really is beyond absurd. You can acquire an online certificate showing you’re a minister of an unaffiliated religion simply by filling out a short questionnaire, and then officiate a wedding recognized by NY. That Cuomo has a problem with a federal judge only based on who appointed him or her, without any regards to their qualifications, shows just how unhinged the left really is.

  4. Amazona December 23, 2019 / 7:54 pm

    I think a Senate focus on a Biden, either one of the Bidens, would be a mistake. Let the DOJ deal with them. They can do it better, in more detail, with subpoenas and professional investigators and the objectivity that would not exist in the context of an impeachment trial allegedly sparked by mention of a Biden. Let it go. Getting lured into the cheap thrills of trashing the Bidens would be, I think, like being thrown into the briar patch, benefiting the Dems. They know Joe is toast, and sacrificing him is fine with them, if it contributes to the distraction. And going after the Bidens would spark a hysteria firestorm that would be the distraction the Left wants.

    The real danger to the House in this would be the revealing of the lies, machinations, manipulations and general dishonesty and criminality that let the hearing take place in the first place. I am afraid we will let them taunt us into addressing the wrong things here. The two charges are so subjective that people can argue about them forever and minds will not be changed, and we will be wasting an opportunity if we try. But the hard cold facts of the steps taken by Vindman, Ciaramella, Ciaramella’s friend, Schiff and his staff and Atkinson is a clear path of corruption and criminality from Vindman all the way to the claim Ciaramella was a legitimate whistleblower

    • jdge1 December 24, 2019 / 12:19 am

      Looks like Hunter is in deep doo-doo in more ways than one.

      ” Hunter Biden, he was a no-show at a hearing to determine child support for the baby he insisted wasn’t his, and the judge had ordered him to furnish three years of tax returns. That paternity case keeps coming back to bite him in his behind, because the New York Post reports that, according to court documents filed Monday, Hunter Biden is the subject of multiple criminal investigations related to “fraud, money laundering, and a counterfeiting scheme.”

  5. Amazona December 23, 2019 / 10:45 pm

    It was revealed on Monday that House Democrats are considering adding additional articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Fox News reported.

    I think the president should suggest that all Americans support this, because the last few months have shown us how much better off we are when the Democrats are putting all their energy into silly gamesmanship instead of getting in the way of governing the nation.

    Imagine the heads exploding if he were to point out that the last three months or so have been some of the most productive in recent history, and this is clearly because the adults in Congress and the White House could get work done while the Dems entertained themselves and their lapdog media with their impeachment circus. But there is still a lot to do, so please, Dems, find another excuse to keep this charade going.

  6. jdge1 December 24, 2019 / 9:08 am

    Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and the Lord’s blessing of peace.

  7. Amazona December 24, 2019 / 10:36 am

    emphasis mine: Another btatant effort to shove the demands of the Central Authority down t he throats of people who seem to think they have personal liberty to decided where and how they live:

    Democrats in Virginia may override local zoning to bring high-density housing, including public housing, to every neighborhood statewide — whether residents want it or not.

    “Single-family housing zones would become two-zoned,” Samirah told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Areas that would be impacted most would be the suburbs that have not done their part in helping out.”

    So some Leftist elites (1) identify a problem through their own prism; (2) decide what would solve the problem they have identified; (3) demand that others submit to their concept of how to resolve the problem and “do their part in helping out”; and (4) this is not optional because they are going to use the power of the State to enforce it.

    And, of course, their argument is based on two of the reasons the Left gives for EVERYTHING—–racism and the environment.

    But…..people in Virginia voted in a Democrat state government, and this is what you get. You can’t vote for tyranny and then fret because you get…..tyranny. Perhaps the people of Virginia should demand that before any other neighborhoods be forcibly changed, high-density low-income housing be built next to the homes of those voting for this.

    • Retired Spook December 24, 2019 / 11:03 am

      Since Trump was elected we’ve had several trolls question how, as Christians, we can morally support Trump. From the same site as Amazona’s Virginia housing link is an excellent article by Dennis Prager responding to the pro-impeachment article in Christianity Today.

      • Amazona December 24, 2019 / 12:39 pm

        That IS a good article. There are some things I would add.

        One is that the very core of Christian teaching is based on the concepts of forgiveness, salvation and redemption. The people Christ Himself chose as His closest and most beloved followers were sinners. He preached that any of us can overcome sin, if we so choose, and once we accept Him we are cleansed and saved.

        Yet these pompous, super-pious “Christians” deny that this is possible to Donald Trump. That leads me to the question of why—-do they deny this concept in general, sentencing every sinner to scorn and rejection no matter how he or she may have changed and started to follow a new path? That is, do they simply reject and deny these basic teachings of Christ out of hand, in general? Or do they just deny that this is possible for Donald Trump, or has defined him over the past decade or so?

        I think it is the latter, which is why I have such contempt for these psuedo-Christians who use profoundly un-Christian attitudes to condemn someone by pretending that their condemnation is based on their values and not on bigotry and hatred by actually basing those values ON bigotry and hatred.

        Perhaps they will acknowledge that yes, they suppose this MIGHT be possible even for Trump—but that he has not gone through this process. That, of course, would mean relying on the same tea leaves, the same crystal balls, that guide other haters who have decided that they somehow have the ability to look beyond what is said and done to discern some hidden, secret but overriding motive and that this is what really counts. This is the kind of thing we have seen acted out on the national stage as rabid Dem haters have tried to remove a president based on hidden, unspoken but wholly attributed motives and intentions only they could find and correctly interpret.

        In other words, this so-called “Christian” posturing is really just narcissism. It is really just the assertion that they, somehow, due to some no-doubt inherent superior qualities of intellect or morality, have the ability to sense a deep and underlying truth that overrides the actual words and actions of a man as well as the core concepts of the religion they claim to represent.

        I just finished a very very long and complex book series which ended in some really interesting theology, similar in a way to the allegorical writing of C.S. Lewis, a story in which the deity who was the basis of the religion of most of the characters ended up appearing and acting in a very Christ-like manner, with messages of salvation and redemption. It was kind of a surprise.

        One character is trying to convince another that his past sins do not necessarily define him for the rest of his life, that he has the ability to become a different person. He says:

        Becoming a good man’s easy. Act like one, even if it’s an act. Some say ‘Who you are is what you do’. They’re wrong, but not all wrong. What you do forms who you are. Then who you are forms what you do. It’s a vicious cycle, or a virtuous one, depending. One act doesn’t undo all of who you are, but a thousand acts make you who you are. (Acknowledgement to Brent Weeks.)

        It’s a cheap trick to run through a movie of a man’s life, stop it at some arbitrary point and then use that frame, or a few selected frames, to define him as everything he ever was, everything he is now, and everything he ever will be. It not only defies Christian teaching, it defies free will. But it meets the emotional needs of the narcissistic, who so often are rigidly judgmental.

  8. Retired Spook December 24, 2019 / 6:17 pm

    I can’t think of a better way of saying Merry Christmas to all my friends at Blogs for Victory than with my favorite Christmas Carol.

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