The Games Being Played While The Nation Suffers

Let me begin by pointing out the 51 Senators that voted against paid sick leave….

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/19/here-are-51-republican-senators-who-just-voted-against-expanding-paid-sick-leave-all

https://www.newsweek.com/8-senate-republicans-vote-against-paid-sick-leave-coronavirus-over-concerns-about-costs-businesses-1493103

COWARDS!

In case you missed it…….”Senate Republicans are using the COVID-19 pandemic to cut corporate taxes again and stop you from getting paid sick leave.”

Heartless,” “cruel,” and “appalling” were just some of the adjectives progressive critics and analysts used late Thursday to describe the Senate GOP’s newly unveiled trillion-dollar economic stimulus package which—by design—would completely deny direct cash payments to the poorest Americans while cutting taxes for corporations, dishing out tens of billions in bailout funds to major industries, and restricting paid leave benefits that were just signed into law this week.

“The Senate GOP package is an utter disgrace,” tweeted Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. “It gives free money to corporations, ignores the health crisis, and does nothing to keep people working or help the unemployed. The labor movement will oppose this Main St. bailout of Wall St. with everything we have.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/20/utter-disgrace-gop-stimulus-plan-would-cut-taxes-corporations-while-denying-benefits

These cowards ought to be shamed everywhere….they are using this emergency to try and make their donors more wealthy….and make NO mistake….anyone that sided with these toads is a COWARD!

Something that I have covered before……profit taking (senators) and price gouging (Big Pharma)…..

As the number of global COVID-19 cases soared past 254,000 and the death toll topped 10,000 on Friday, concerns persisted—particularly in the United States—about healthcare costs related to the ongoing outbreak, limited testing and protective medical supplies, and how corporations may try to cash in on the public health crisis.

The Intercept‘s Naomi Klein, author of the 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, warned earlier this week in a video about “coronavirus capitalism” that the U.S. and other governments are “exploiting” the COVID-19 pandemic “to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/20/coronavirus-cases-mount-so-do-concerns-about-price-gouging-and-corporate

One final note……I feel that this response by the president is still getting everything all wrong…..

Donald Trump has consistently been failing the country in dealing with the coronavirus. Due to Trump’s failed public health response, even Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin acknowledges that we are facing the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. This is in addition to the prospect of tens of millions of people getting the coronavirus and hundreds of thousands, or even millions, dying.

It is encouraging that the Trump administration is now taking steps to respond to the economic damage, but from what has been disclosed, its plan is poorly designed. First and foremost, we have heard no discussion of the federal government taking a direct role in providing the resources needed to deal with the crisis.

This would mean, for example, having the Army Corps of Engineers establish emergency hospital facilities to house the large number of patients needing care. It would also mean increasing the supply of ventilators and other medical equipment, with the government prepared to work directly with factories here and elsewhere to remove obstacles to ramping up production. Apparently, Trump has told the governors to find such equipment on their own.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/03/19/trump-stimulus-plan-still-getting-everything-wrong

This illustrates just how ill-prepared the government is to deal with this pandemic and it also shows just how unimportant the people are to the Senate.

Americans deserve better than they are getting from these slugs.

Let’s not leave the slugs in the corporations out of the fray……many businesses are starting to beg the government to bail them out…..and yet some CEOs are getting bonuses……you heard that right!

While us peasants have to tighten our belts too survive….CEOs are still getting their massive perks.

Goldman Sachs gave CEO David Solomon a 20% raise to a head-spinning  $27.5 million in assets and cash for his work last year, the company revealed.

The news comes as the Trump administration weighs massive industry bailouts amid the coronavirus crisis — and triggers memories of the Wall Street bailout, which included $10 billion for Goldman Sachs.

Solomon’s compensation for 2019 includes $2 million in salary, more than $15 million in stock and a $7.7 million cash bonus, the company reported Friday.

Former company CEO Lloyd Blankfein took in a record $41 million in compensation in 2008. (Blackfein said last month that he might vote for Donald Trump if Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) became the Democratic presidential nominee.) Solomon is the second-highest paid CEO in company history.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/david-solomon-goldman-sach-20-pay-raise_n_5e76b864c5b63c3b6491cbd8

I have NO use for these d/bags……there should be NO bailout until these a/holes put some skin in the game…..after all they can write off any losses on their taxes……these should be prepared that is what they tell us mere mortals all the time….I say SCREW them let them go the way of the Dodo….maybe then we will get businesses that are truly part of the society.

Time for a change!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Update:  Remember that plan for cash?  Well it is being held up by the very people that have made massive stock trades just before this pandemic hit….

Negotiations between Congress and the White House teetered Sunday over a nearly $2 trillion economic rescue package as the coronavirus crisis deepened, per the AP. As President Trump took to the podium in the White House briefing room and promised to help Americans who feel afraid and isolated as the pandemic spreads, the Senate voted against advancing the rescue package. But negotiations continued on Capitol Hill. At the otherwise emptied out Capitol, the draft aid bill was declared insufficient by Democrats, who argued it was tilted toward corporations and did too little to help workers and health care providers. The setback sent Republicans back to the negotiating table. “Americans don’t need to see us haggling endlessly,” warned Senate Majority Leader McConnell on the Senate floor. He sought passage of the package by Monday.

But Democrats say the largely GOP-led effort does not go far enough to provide health care and unemployment aid for Americans, and fails to put restraints on a proposed $500 billion “slush fund” for corporations. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the draft package “significantly cut back our hospitals, our cities, our states, our medical workers and so many others needed in this crisis.” The package would include relief checks to Americans, possibly two separate ones for a total of $2,000. Trump predicted the two sides would reach agreement soon. “To me it’s not very complicated: We have to help the worker. We have to save the companies,” Trump said. “We’re enduring a great national trial and we will prove that we can meet the moment. We’re at war.”

More games being played with citizen’s lives.

An inept president…..and a bunch of cowards in Congress…..can this government get any more pathetic?  The answer is YES!

Senate Impeachment Trial–Final Day

Mercifully It’s Over!

Finally this Greek comedy has mercifully come to an end…at least in the US Senate…..but we will see and hear more in the coming days until the writers get cramps and move on.

The final vote….and the vote was no surprise….

President Trump has been acquitted on both articles of impeachment and will not be removed from office, USA Today reports. The vote for the first article, abuse of power, was 52-48, CNN reports. All 47 Democratic senators voted to convict, the Wall Street Journal reports. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney also voted to convict, breaking with his fellow Republicans, a decision he had announced on the Senate floor before the vote Wednesday, the AP reports. Romney said Trump’s actions were “perhaps the most abusive and destructive violation of oath of office that I can imagine.” He’s the only senator in US history who has ever voted to convict a president from his own party during an impeachment trial. Romney did not, however, vote with Democrats on the second article, obstruction of Congress; the vote on that charge was 53-47.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts declared, per the Guardian: “The Senate having tried Donald John Trump, President of the United States, upon two Articles of Impeachment exhibited against him by the House of Representatives, and two-thirds of the Senators present not having found him guilty of the charges contained therein: it is, therefore, ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles.” Before the trial officially adjourned, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell presented Roberts with a golden gavel to thank him for presiding over the trial. “We typically award this to new senators after about 100 hours in the chair, but we can all believe that the chief justice has put in his due and then some,” he said. The Senate is now in recess until next week

The only thing this accomplishes is the rapid deterioration of our political system into chaos of corruption and greed…..well done GOP…..they have NEVER cared about the nation or the Constitution except when it is a slogan/prop for voters…..

The GOP can NO longer claim the mantle of fiscal responsibility or to champion the Constitution.

Not to worry the president will have to go before the cameras and doing his Reality TV thing on this acquittal…..

President Trump celebrated acquittal in his impeachment trial Wednesday by suggesting that he could remain president for more than 90,000 years—long beyond the limits set by both the human lifespan and the US Constitution. Trump tweeted a video based on a Time magazine cover from last year that shows campaign signs up to “Trump 2048,” the Hill reports. The video, which the president has shared before, shows the sign number ticking upward until it reaches “Trump 90,000,” followed by “Trump 4EVA.” Trump allies including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, meanwhile, tweeted about Trump being “acquitted for life,” the Week reports.

In another tweet, Trump slammed “failed presidential candidate” Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican senator to vote for conviction—and the only senator to vote against his party in any of the three presidential impeachment trials in US history. Had Romney “devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,” said Trump, who also tweeted a video that claimed Romney was a “secret Democrat asset.” The president said he would make a statement at noon Thursday from the White House to “discuss our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax!”

It is over!

Trump will forever be an impeached president like Clinton…..on the other hand he was acquitted of the “crimes” like Clinton.

Now the story should be…..will there be  price for the Senators vote?

The Congress will take a week off to recover from having to work days on end…..their wallets are slimmer since the donors have been otherwise distracted.

Now the work of the country needs to be handled….like that will happen.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Mitch, You Devil

This post is about the Senate’s majority leader. Mitch McConnell…..his actions during the impeachment trial of Trump leaves lots to desire…but that is for a future post (maybe)……

I have said on numerous occasions and posts that the GOP is excellent at politics….and for that I tip my hat….respect for their tactics…..and Mitch has shown just how masterful he can be as well…..

It’s not a sure thing, but the smart money says the Senate is poised to acquit President Trump of impeachment charges without calling witnesses. That became clear after GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander, whose vote was said to be in question, announced that he did not want to hear new testimony. At CNN, Chris Cillizza points out this means the trial might be wrapped up before Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 4, and he gives Mitch McConnell all the credit for orchestrating this political feat. This outcome “was unthinkable 10 days ago and is a testament to McConnell’s skills as a persuader and vote-counting virtuoso,” he writes. Cillizza recounts the strategy, beginning with McConnell’s “power play” move to go ahead with the trial with no guarantees on witnesses.

As the trial progressed, McConnell kept a low profile, but Cillizza likens him to a duck—placid on the surface but paddling furiously below water. He persuaded enough GOP senators, especially vulnerable ones, that allowing witnesses would prolong the trial and cause more them harm in the long run. And then there was the Alexander factor. The Tennessee senator is a longtime friend of McConnell’s. At Mediaite, John Ziegler thinks the whole will-he-or-won’t-he drama was a McConnell charade believed by gullible reporters. “It was always clear that McConnell was setting Alexander up for the role of the guy who, after careful and considerable contemplation, decided that it was somehow in the best interest of the country for Trump’s impeachment trial to be the first in history to not have witnesses.” But there was never any chance Alexander would vote otherwise, he adds. Read Ziegler’s full column here, and Cillizza’s full column here.

This whole Senatorial affair has been brilliantly played….my hat is off to Mitch.

But it is a cesspool of nonsense masquerading as a “fair trial”….that stated…..well done Mitch!

Then there is the Supreme Court thing in this trial…..

The Senate vote Friday against permitting more testimony or documents in the impeachment trial did more than put President Trump on the fast track to acquittal, Nancy Pelosi says; it forced John Roberts into a bad place. “It is a sad day for America to see Senator McConnell humiliate the Chief Justice of the United States into presiding over a vote which rejected our nation’s judicial norms, precedents and institutions which uphold the Constitution and the rule of law,” she tweeted on Saturday. The 51 votes against witnesses all came from Republicans, NBC reports, including Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. Had the Senate vote been 50-50, Roberts could have stepped in to break the tie. The chief justice ruled that out Friday, saying, “I think it would be inappropriate.”

Two other senators alluded to the awkwardness for Roberts. In announcing Friday that she was voting against witnesses, Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, said she didn’t want to “drag the Supreme Court into the fray.” The day before, Democrat Elizabeth Warren asked about the effect of the trial on the judiciary, per the Hill, saying that many Americans lack faith in their government. “Does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?” she asked.

I have said many many times….”Dems have great ideas but suck at politics”….and this whole impeachment thing has proved my point.

One last note about Mitch….recently the Dems have started calling him “Moscow Mitch”….a title I thought was a bit childish….but now with more information it may well be a good call….

McConnell recently voted to drop sanctions against Russian aluminum company RusAl which is still owned by one of Vladimir Putin’s sanctioned oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska. His action directly benefits one of the GOP leader’s major donors, whose fortune comes from Russian oil.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC run by Sen. McConnell’s former Chief of Staff, received a total of $3,500,000 ($2,500,000 in 2016 and $1,000,000 in 2017) via Access Industries and a subsidiary. Len Blavatnik is a Russian oligarch with US and UK citizenship who owns Access Industries and donated to Sen. McConnell’s 2016 Senate campaign vehicles.

Blavatnik’s Access Industries made many of its billions from Putin’s decisions about its Russian oil partnership. He is also a long-term business partner of Kremlin-linked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska at RuSal, in which he is a major investor, as well as Viktor Vekselberg, who is entangled with Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen through his U.S. family office Columbus Nova.

View at Medium.com

It all comes down to where his loyalties lie…..money can be a powerful motivator…..and buys a lot of loyalty…..no matter the party.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 11

We are getting damn close to the final chapter…..the vote will bring this portion of the Greek comedy to a close…..

Last month I wrote that there should be a censure instead of a impeachment…. https://lobotero.com/2020/01/13/would-a-censure-be-better/  ……..no one was listening….will guess what is being floated before the official vote?

It’s time for closing arguments in President Trump’s impeachment trial. Both sides are getting two hours apiece in the Senate on Monday, but the ultimate vote—an expected acquittal—won’t take place until Wednesday, reports USA Today. The reason? So senators can make speeches on the Senate floor before casting their votes. Coverage:

  • For the defense: “You understand the arguments that we’ve been making, and at the end of the day, the key conclusion, we believe the only conclusion based on the evidence and based on the articles of impeachment themselves and the Constitution, is that you must vote to acquit the President,” said White House counsel Pat Cipollone, per CNN. He reiterated a common accusation from the defense team, that Democrats are trying to overturn the 2016 election results.
  • Schiff’s plea: In his own closing argument, House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff said senators had a duty to act. “I do not ask you to convict him because truth or right or decency matters nothing to him, but because we have proven our case, and it matters to you,” he said. “Truth matters to you. Right matters to you. You are decent. He is not who you are.”
  • Censure? With acquittal all but a certainty, Democratic Sen. Chris Van Hollen suggested Monday that Trump should at least be censured for his dealings with Ukraine, reports the Washington Post. “If they were serious about punishing misconduct and they don’t want to vote to impeach and remove, at the very least, at the very least, they should have enough respect for the system to introduce a resolution of censure after Wednesday,” he said of Republicans. Fellow Democrat Michael Bennet voiced a similar sentiment. Some GOP senators, including Lamar Alexander, have said Trump’s actions were inappropriate but not impeachable.
  • Maybe not: The chances of censure? “Zero,” said GOP Sen. Mike Braun. Even some Democrats weren’t thrilled. “What he did was an impeachable offense,” said Sen. Jon Tester. “A slap on the wrist doesn’t do any good.”
  • Done deal? By the count of Politico, 34 senators have indicated they will vote for acquittal, meaning Democrats face a “mathematical impossibility” in convicting Trump.
  • Those speeches: Senators aren’t allowed to speak during impeachment trials, so this week’s speeches required a parliamentary workaround. The Hill explains: After closing arguments, the Senate will adjourn as a court to allow for the speeches. When they’re done, the Senate will reconvene as a court at 4pm ET Wednesday, and the vote will then take place.

Soon all the whining, bitching and ranting will be over….and then what?

Why bother with a Wednesday vote?

We already know the outcome…..why waste valuable time on stupidity?

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day Of Rest

The Senate decided to take a break from the rigors of doing nothing and give the Senators the weekend to run back for their infusion of corporate cash from the masters they serve.

With that said I have a couple of thoughts…..

One, I agree with mot of the so-called conservs that it is a sham…..I mean a trial with no witnesses….now that is something many criminal has desired in the past…..maybe now they will get their wants.

The House made their case….like the outcome or not….it was based on facts and evidence and witnesses….like them or not……but the defense has been something out of a Greek comedy.

The Senate impeachment trial playing out in Washington, D.C., is a history-making event, not just because it is only the third time that the Senate has ever been asked to formally consider removing a president, but also because it showcases, in stunning terms, the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party. It would be laughable, if it weren’t so tragic, to watch defenders of President Donald Trump tying themselves into knots in attempting to prove his innocence. They are forced to resort to constant contradictions of their own past statements—and of one another—at every turn, because there is no other way to defend Trump’s actions.

Chief among the embarrassing discrepancies on display is how Trump’s backers approached the 1999 impeachment of President Bill Clinton compared with their handling of Trump’s trial today. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who may be the single most powerful enabler of Trump’s impunity with his assurances of being in lockstep with the White House, said this about the president during a closed-door testimony at Clinton’s Senate impeachment trial:

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/31/trumps-impeachment-defense-incoherent-design

This opens the door for an unscrupulous politician to rape and pillage the nation….you know kinda like those third world politicians that you condemn.

I know they won’t but the GOP needs to be reminded of their actions this year and the blind eye they turn to corruption and criminal activity.

But I know if anyone can spin this into something positive and vote getting it is the toads in the GOP.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 10

Did this silly drama end on Friday?

Well the answer is…NO IT DID NOT!

The Senate is taking the weekend off from President Trump’s impeachment trial. After voting Friday against hearing from witnesses, Democrats and Republicans came to a deal about how the next five days will go. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced four amendments to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s resolution for how to end the trial, all having to do with subpoenaing witnesses; all were quickly voted down. Sources say Schumer could have dragged things out, but agreed not to if McConnell agreed to schedule the final vote for after Trump’s State of the Union address, which is coming up Tuesday. (But sources also tell Politico Trump’s lawyers asked for more time to prepare their closing arguments.) Then, per CNN, the Senate voted 53-47 to approve McConnell’s resolution laying out the schedule for the rest of the trial, and the trial was adjourned for the night.

Per McConnell’s resolution, the trial will resume Monday at 11am Eastern for up to four hours of closing arguments; House managers and Trump’s lawyers will get two hours each. Then it will be adjourned again until Wednesday at 4pm Eastern when a final vote on the articles of impeachment will be held (and Trump will almost certainly be acquitted). Between the adjournment Monday and the vote Wednesday, senators will be allowed to make floor speeches on the trial. Senate Majority Whip John Thune explained to CNN that Democrats planned to use “any number of dilatory tactics” to ensure the trial extended beyond the SOTU anyway, essentially forcing McConnell to cut the deal and spare senators late nights and weekend sessions. Sources say McConnell called Trump and got his approval for the timing. Also happening Monday? The Iowa caucuses, 2020’s first primary election; the schedule gives the four Senate Democrats running for president time to campaign.

So I have the weekend off from the madness and the utter silliness.

But the best thing all day was the vote on witness to be heard or not…..I mean it prtoves that this is a sham and a waste of time…..I mean why have witnesses to a crime during a trial…..

The Senate will not call witnesses to the impeachment trial. Senators rejected the measure 51-49 on Friday, with the GOP’s Mitt Romney and Susan Collins the only Republicans to vote with Democrats. The outcome had effectively been sealed earlier Friday when GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she would vote against calling witnesses, reports NBC News. Coupled with Lamar Alexander’s same announcement Thursday night, that gave Mitch McConnell the votes he needed to block additional witnesses such as John Bolton. But will the trial be wrapped up in the wee hours of Friday as some have speculated? Maybe not. Coverage:

  • Next week? Politico reports that GOP senators and aides are warning that the trial might extend into next week after all. The proceedings could go on until Wednesday, meaning they would not be over before Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday and the Iowa caucuses on Monday. This would allow for lengthy closing arguments from both sides, as well as speeches from senators from the chamber’s floor.
  • More from Bolton: The New York Times has more details from the former national security adviser’s upcoming memoir that relates to the impeachment trial. Bolton writes that Trump asked him for help pressuring Ukraine to investigate politico foes two months before the president’s famous phone call with Ukraine’s president. This would mark the earliest known such effort by Trump. Bolton asserts that Trump asked him to make sure Ukraine’s president met with Rudy Giuliani.
  • And more: Bolton also wrote that top White House aides including chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Giuliani, and White House counsel Pat Cipollone (who is defending Trump in the trial) were in the room at the time. Giuliani called the claim “categorically untrue.”
  • Trump denies: “I never instructed John Bolton to set up a meeting for Rudy Giuliani, one of the greatest corruption fighters in America and by far the greatest mayor in the history of N.Y.C., to meet with President Zelensky,” Trump said in a statement. “That meeting never happened.”
  • Murkowski elaborates: “The House chose to send articles of impeachment that are rushed and flawed,” said the Alaska senator in a statement. “I carefully considered the need for additional witnesses and documents, to cure the shortcomings of its process, but ultimately decided that I will vote against considering motions to subpoena,” Murkowski said in a statement.
  • Alexander elaborates: On Friday, Alexander explained his thinking on Trump’s behavior, saying it was inappropriate but not impeachable. “It seemed to me that the president did it, he did what he was accused of,” Alexander said, per the Washington Post. “There’s a difference between inappropriate conduct, which that clearly is, and treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors. … I think there’s a big gap between this conduct and impeachable conduct.”
  • Dershowitz: Trump attorney Alan Dershowitz has become a “lightning rod” for criticism, per the Hill, but Dershowitz tells the outlet his role on the defense team has been limited. “I did not participate in strategic decisions or tactical decisions about witnesses or anything like that,” he said. “I just delivered my constitutional argument and made myself available to answer questions.” His argument: That Trump should not be impeached because he did not commit a crime.

This is a textbook trial all right…..I will be used to show how to get away with a crime by a president……I hope the GOP remembers that they did this to the country and its people.

Maybe the voters will finally show some intelligence and get these corrupt slugs out of government.

We will see…..more to come next week…..

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Senate Impeachment Trial–Day 9

Before I get the guts of the day’s doings there is something I want to pass on……

This trial is a work of absurdity…why? Some jurors have stated without hearing evidence that the accused is not guilty….that flies into the face of our so-called fair and balanced judicial system.

I am not alone in seeing the absurdity…….

President Trump is on trial.

As in a real trial, charges have been asserted: the House alleges high crimes and misdemeanors. A judge presides: Chief Justice John Roberts sits in his fine black robe at the head of the chamber. There are prosecutors (the House impeachment managers) and defense counsel (Trump’s “A-team” of lawyers).

And pursuant to our Constitution, the jurors—the members of the Senate—have sworn an oath to render “impartial justice” at the end of the trial.

So, it looks like a trial. Except that in my 40 years as a lawyer, I’ve never seen a trial that corruptly flouted the basic requirements for fairness as brazenly as this one.

In a real trial, any juror who admitted conspiring with the defendant would be unceremoniously ejected from the jury. Yet Republican Senate leader and sworn-to-be-impartial juror Mitch McConnell openly proclaims on television, “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with White House counsel.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/01/29/senates-make-believe-trial-donald-trump

Day 9 is in the bag…….what amazing stuff has transpired (you realize that is sarcasm, right?)

Question and answer portion continues…….

Let’s go the analysis shall we?

After a dinner break, senators have resumed their final round of questions in President Trump’s impeachment trial, a session expected to last into Thursday night. (Read highlights from the first round.) That will set the stage for Friday’s much-anticipated vote on whether to call witnesses such as former national security adviser John Bolton. Ongoing coverage:

  • Rand Paul: For the second straight day, Rand Paul submitted a question that named the person believed to be the whistleblower in the Ukraine controversy, and for the second straight day, Chief Justice John Roberts refused to admit it. “The presiding officer declines to read the question as submitted,” said Roberts, per CNN. Paul said afterward that his submitted question made no reference to a whistleblower and read it aloud to reporters. The Hill, however, notes that it did include the name that has been reported in conservative media as the whistleblower. Paul said Roberts had no right to block the question.
  • Paul’s explanation: “My question today is about whether or not individuals who were holdovers from the Obama National Security Council and Democrat partisans conspired with Schiff staffers to plot impeaching the President before there were formal House impeachment proceedings,” he tweeted. CNN reports he walked out of the impeachment trial to talk to reporters after Roberts blocked his question. On Wednesday, after his first question was rejected, a reporter for Roll Call said Paul was visibly angry during a break in the trial. “I don’t want to have to stand up to try and fight for recognition,” Paul said loudly, according to Niels Lesniewski. “If I have to fight for recognition, I will.”
  • The question gets asked, sort of: Later in the day, GOP Sen. Ron Johnson submitted a question the Guardian says was “clearly based off” Paul’s rejected question, only this one did not include a name. Roberts read the question, which had to do with a right-wing claim that the whistleblower schemed with Democratic staffers of House intelligence committee members in an attempt to take down the president. CNN notes the question was about lead Democratic impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s staffer who used to work at the NSC, and that Schiff was “really mad” when it was asked.
  • Is it actually illegal to out the whistleblower? Short answer: It’s complicated. CNN explains all the ins and outs here.
  • Who is the whistleblower? Schiff said at one point, before Johnson’s question, “I can’t tell you who the whistleblower is because I don’t know, but I can tell you who it should be. It should be every one of us. Everyone one of us should be willing to blow the whistle on misconduct.”
  • Awkwardness for Roberts: The chief justice read a question from Sen. Elizabeth Warren that he might have been tempted to answer. The Democrat asked whether “the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution.” The GOP side of the Senate began buzzing, per the Washington Post, while Democrats showed no emotion. After a pause, Schiff deflected from Roberts, saying it’s Congress that’s taking the hit. “It reflects adversely on us,” Schiff said.
  • Trump’s slam: In a tweet Thursday, the president went after Schiff. “His District is in terrible shape,” wrote Trump. “He is a corrupt pol who only dreams of the Impeachment Hoax. In my opinion he is mentally deranged!”
  • More Schiff: Another one of Schiff’s notable answers of the day came when he was asked why some aid freezes are OK, but the Ukraine aid freeze is not. “No one has suggested you can’t condition aid, but I would hope that we would all agree that you can’t condition aid for a corrupt purpose, to try to get a foreign power to cheat in your election,” he said.
  • Tie-breaker? A big question in regard to witnesses is whether Roberts would break the tie if the vote is 50-50. On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi said he should do so, per the Post. She also said that if the trial does not allow witnesses or new documents, it will be a sham and thus any acquittal will be meaningless. Trump, she said, will be “impeached forever.”
  • A DoJ comment makes waves: In an unrelated trial related to the 2020 census, a Department of Justice lawyer said in federal court Thursday that the House can use its impeachment powers to enforce subpoenas. Schiff mentioned the comment at the impeachment trial a few hours later, saying it was “in the category of ‘you can’t make this stuff up.'” CNN explains more here.
  • General mood: CNN describes the senators as “lackadaisical” on Q&A day 2, noting that some were not present when the session got started and some wandered in late.
  • Dershowitz circles back to Wednesday: On day 1 of Q&A, Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz offered what the AP calls a “stunning defense” of Trump’s aid freeze, arguing that a president can’t be impeached for something he does in the interest of getting himself re-elected, if he believes that re-election is in the public interest. That sparked quite an outcry, with critics saying it sets a dangerous precedent, but Dershowitz tweeted two dozen times Thursday on the matter. The first one: “Taking advantage of the fact most of their viewers didn’t actually hear the senate Q and A, CNN, MSNBC and some other media willfully distorted my answers.”

Sorry but to me this day was more about the game than the trial….the questions were for their persons time on camera than the evidence…..and then there is Rand Paul…..if there was ever a “media whore” it is this slug.

Not to worry there is more to come…..the fun is not over yet.

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”