Momentum is growing to call witnesses to Donald Trump’s impeachment trial after it was revealed his former national security advisor has written a book manuscript saying Trump directly tied military aid to Ukraine to politically-motivated investigations.
The revelations about John Bolton’s forthcoming book have shaken up the Senate impeachment trial, which appeared to be moving toward a speedy acquittal for Trump as early as the end of the week.
An audio recording reviewed by ABC News captured President Donald Trump demanding the ouster of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during a 2018 dinner with a group of associates that included Lev Parnas, the indicted businessman Trump has repeatedly claimed not to know.
“After a day of hobnobbing with billionaires in Davos, President Trump publicly revealed that cuts to earned Medicare and Social Security benefits will be on the table as soon as the end of this year. The cruel irony of this scene cannot be overstated.”
Coupled with the Citizens United ruling (ODT)
“If the president is so confident in his case, if Leader McConnell is so confident the president did nothing wrong, why don’t they want the case to be presented in broad daylight?”
Under the Trump regime, historical amnesia is used as a weapon of (mis)education, politics, and power. The notion that the past is a burden that must be forgotten is a centerpiece of authoritarian regimes, one that allows public memory to wither and the threads of fascism to become normalized. While some critics eschew the comparison of Trump with the Nazi era, it is crucial to recognize the alarming signs in this administration that echo a fascist politics of the past. As Jonathan Freedland points out, “the signs are there, if only we can bear to look.” Rejecting the Trump-Nazi comparison makes it easier to believe that we have nothing to learn from history and to take comfort in the assumption that it cannot happen once again. No democracy can survive without an informed and educated citizenry.
The first thing to understand is that it is not a trade deal. It is Trump backing off his tariffs when he discovered that the tariffs fall on US goods and American consumers, not on China. Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China’s part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase.
The purpose of tariffs is to protect domestic producers from foreign competition by raising the price of imported goods. What Trump, his administration, and the financial press did not understand is that at least half of the US trade deficit with China is the offshored goods produced in China by such corporations as Apple, Nike, and Levi. The offshored production of US global corporations counts as imports when they are brought into the US to be sold to Americans. Thus, the cost of the tariffs were falling on US corporations and US consumers.
Trump ( Donny from Marketing) becomes LESS convincing the more he makes up the story of the Assassination of Gen Soleimani and some 7 others in his entourage who he can’t talk about because he doesn’t even know who they were. When he makes an attempt he’s WRONG (ODT)
Notably absent from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago speech was the rationale he and administration officials had previously used in the days after the killing: that Soleimani posed an “imminent threat” against the United States.
Trump backs his Saudi allies to do this (ODT)
Too Embarrassing. Too Dangerous for the GOP. (ODT)
“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.
Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.”
General Dwight D Eisenhower
Farewell address 1961
All the war party needs is a steady supply of foreign villains (preferably Muslims) who can be occasionally bombed back to the early Islamic age. Americans have largely forgotten George W. Bush’s lurid claims that Iraqi drones of death were poised to shower poisons on the sleeping nation. Even the Soviets never ventured so deep into the sea of absurdity.
The more I listen to his words, the more I like Ike.
Much of the U.S. pressure exerted on Iraq’s government with respect to China has reportedly taken place covertly and behind closed doors, keeping the Trump administration’s concerns over China’s growing ties to Iraq largely out of public view, perhaps over concerns that a public scuffle could exacerbate the U.S.-China “trade war” and endanger efforts to resolve it. Yet, whatever the reasons may be, evidence strongly suggests that the U.S. is equally concerned about China’s presence in Iraq as it is with Iran’s. This is because China has the means and the ability to dramatically undermine not only the U.S.’ control over Iraq’s oil sector but the entire petrodollar system on which the U.S.’ status as both a financial and military superpower directly depends.
Is Trump on his way to becoming America’s Dictator? Mussolini had a Party behind him prepared to tear up Italy’s Constitution. Hitler modelled himself on Mussolini. and both ensured the separation of powers were literally non existant. Interest and Social Darwinism is all that counted reason rationality and science were not required. Sounds like Trump to a tee. GOP has made every effort to take over the courts and fund the police and Military at every opportunity. (ODT)
On Wednesday evening, an associate of Trump’s private lawyer said on national television that Trump knew all about their schemes to push the president of Ukraine into announcing a sham investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
And on Thursday morning, the Government Accountability Office announced that the White House broke the law when it withheld security assistance for Ukraine in that effort to pressure Ukraine into doing Trump’s bidding.
It’s the same thing Republicans have been saying for months, even though the White House only released the Ukraine aid after learning that someone from within the administration had filed a formal whistleblower complaint about the illegal holdup.
Just as we had gotten used to the fact that the president is, in effect, under congressional indictment, just as we had settled into a more or less stable stalemate over when (and if) the Senate will hold an impeachment trial, the president shook the snow globe again, by ordering the assassination of foreign military officials and threatening the destruction of Iran’s cultural sites. Nothing better than the promise of new war crimes to take the world’s attention away from a little thing like extorting a U.S. ally to help oneself get reelected.
There is no celebration in the act of 4 steps backwards which Trump initiated in the first place lying his tits off that tarriffs were an income producing policy. But then when the damage done was hurting moving 2 steps forward again to ease the pain and calling that a win.. That’s what Kim Jong un is an expert at. doing. Threatening, promising and then threatening again gaining regaining inches maybe but losing all respect the nation once had for being trusted. Republicans are doing it for themselves and not the country (ODT)
The US and China have declared an official truce in their two-year long trade war, signing a deal that will see the US reduce some tariffs and China purchase hundreds of billions of dollars worth of American goods and services.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the “phase one” agreement at a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday morning (Thursday morning Australian time).
America and it partners 1) Don’t tell them what you’re doing when committing murder 2) tell them to jump and insist on how high. 3) if they don’t comply turn your backs. (ODT)
Trump launched a reckless criminal act of state terror designed to provoke a war. Iran de-escalated the situation as of Wednesday — refusing to engage in a retaliatory cycle of violent escalation while demonstrating their military capability. Trump responded with a rambling, lifeless, incoherent slurred speech that promised to ratchet up economic sanctions without threatening further violence.
What’s more ludicrous is there is no seperation of powers in the US judicial system (ODT)
A coalition of 29 national advocacy organizations argued Tuesday that “as long as the cloud of impeachment exists, it would be a grave mistake for the Senate to allow the president to continue making lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary.”
“We cannot allow a president who demanded foreign interference in our elections and obstructed Congress to pack our courts with lifetime appointees.”
The Spreading of bullshit is continuous on Murdoch’s Fox “News for Profit” spin channels (ODT)
The flames from the missile that blew up the car carrying Iranian general Qassem Soleimani were barely extinguished when Ari Fleischer — somehow still a thing, despite his years of peddling the early 2000s’ many Iraq War lies as George W. Bush’s press secretary — showed up on quasi-state-television Fox News to predict “this is going to be a catalyst inside Iran where the people celebrate this killing of Soleimani.” He was the first of a string of neocon pundits like John Bolton and Karl Rove who still get invited into your living room via TV even after their 2003 predictions that Iraqis would greet us with rose petals “as liberators” were vaporized in gunpowder and blood.
Trump Administration does what Trump has been doing all his life “Hiding from the Facts” “Refusing to be Judged” (ODT)
The Trump administration blocked Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s top diplomat, from entering the United States, Foreign Policy reported Monday.
Unnamed diplomatic sources who told Foreign Policy about this move by the Trump administration also said it violates a 1947 agreement with the U.N. that the U.S. allow foreign officials into the country for U.N. affairs.
Trump’s foreign policy, from his inaugural address, is “America First”: an aggressive assertion of national self-interest, of nativism and protectionism, of America’s retreat from the commitments and alliances built after World War II, of unilateralism to advance America’s (and Trump’s) priorities above all others. And with respect to the Middle East, to end the “endless wars” that have consumed American troops and treasure for 18 years and counting.
Trump Diplomacy Kill Iraqis and blame Iran. Betray the Kurd and Work for ISIS (ODT)
With the release by JustSecurity.org of unredacted emails on the Ukraine scandal showing that Trump personally (and illegally) withheld congressionally mandated military aid to an ally, the Republican defense of the president is collapsing. Some GOP senators such as Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski seem to be weakening on calling witnesses and subpoenaing records for the Senate trial, and the Democrats only need four Republican senators to ensure a proper proceeding, which would certainly put Trump’s presidency in peril.
It is extremely suspicious that Trump has abruptly begun trafficking in the sanguinary merchandise of all-out war just at this moment when his throne is on the brink of toppling.
My generation was complaining about being screwed over by boomers before most of these young people were born. No one much cares about us — we are much smaller in number than the other generational cohorts — so it never really mattered. But we also can’t claim we did much to stop the bleeding: We didn’t have the power, and I’m sorry to say that most of us didn’t have the will.
Being outside the struggle is a gift, in the sense that it grants some measure of objectivity. I don’t officially have a dog in this fight, but I know who I’m rooting for. Younger generations have been done dirty, and frankly, they are being nicer about it than they had to be. Considering what their elders have dumped on them to deal with, a snarky internet meme is letting the boomers off pretty damn easy.
Trump stock market rally is far outpacing past US presidents,” and he vowed that the “BEST IS YET TO COME!” Trump is making the economy and stock market a key focus on his re-election campaign. He often likes to claim this is the “best” or an “unprecedented” scenario, even when that is not the case.
Pelosi is right there is no point of a Trial if it’s simply a vote. Trump can call his witnesses and have his lawyers which he’s been demanding. Now he wants no witnesses and no Trial and says its Pelosi’s fault. Sorry who else but Trump? (ODT)
They’d made up their minds to acquit the President of the impeachment charges, in the hope that would exonerate him of any wrongdoing, without the need to risk any new evidence coming to the surface.
But the Speaker of the Democrat controlled House had a Joker up her sleeve.
Nancy Pelosi revealed she was breaking with convention by withholding the impeachment articles, until the House and the Senate could agree on procedures for a “fair trial”.
“The Americans are using ISIS as a scarecrow. They are feeding ISIS, encouraging them, protecting (its) leaders, and helping them move from one area to another,” adding:
“The US policy is aimed at investing into terrorism.”
The US FY 2020 war budget includes a provision to impose sanctions on companies involved in helping Syria rebuild its infrastructure, including its energy sector, Muallem stressing:
“All nations that were victimized by this system need to join forces and resist (illegal US) sanctions.”
In mid-December, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused the Trump regime of continuing what ISIS began by “stealing and selling” Syrian oil, adding:
US monied interests make policy in the country. “If they have an interest in occupying the oil wells, stealing and selling them one way or another, then this state and this regime will act in favor of these companies, regardless of international law and regardless of American law.”
There are “thousands” of US forces in Syria, he stressed, including private mercenaries like Blackwater, not hundreds as falsely reported.
Syrian oil is smuggled into Turkey for sale on the black market, the Erdogan regime involved.
The Trump regime wants Damascus deprived of revenues to rebuild the country US, NATO, and Israeli aggression destroyed.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski also said she remained undecided on how she would vote in the president’s Senate impeachment trial, according to KTUU.
Trump regime actions against the country exceed the high crimes of his predecessors, wanting its economy crushed, its people immiserated, including by banning imports of essentials to life and welfare.
Healthcare industry companies were warned not to sell drugs and medical equipment to the country.
Iran’s Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi said Trump regime actions are violations of international humanitarian law.
No nation in world history did more harm to more people over a longer duration than the US, responsible for tens of millions of deaths, vast destruction, torture, along with virtually all other imaginable high crimes and indignities against humanity — blaming victims for its viciousness.
It seems clear that [Attorney General William Barr] will do or enable anything to keep Trump in office. And Trump will do anything to stay there. Suspension of the election, negation of the results, declaration of martial law are not simply fanciful, alarmist or crazy things to throw out there or to contemplate. Members of Congress, governors and state legislators, leaders in civil society, lawyers, law enforcement figures and the military need to be thinking now about how they might respond”