Getting impeachment into perspective

The lines have been drawn on the question of to impeach or not to impeach. The focus point of this debate is Speaker of the House Nance Pelosi who so far has been able to keep it from consuming the Democratic caucus despite calls from members in both houses not to mention many 2020 Presidential candidates.

In 100 words: Yes, it’s a myth that a failed impeachment will have a lasting impact on the party who brings it. It only took 2 years for the Republicans to get past their Clinton debacle.  But to bring impeachment now will ignite an otherwise disinterested public who wants Congress to look to their needs.  The Mueller report produced no smoking gun but it can be used as a script to attack the unfitness of Trump during the 2020 campaign. Bottomline, Republicans will stick to Trump just as Democrats stuck to Clinton, so let the 2020 election decide.

27 thoughts on “Getting impeachment into perspective

  1. Congressional Democrats’ Lawsuit Examining Trump’s Private Business Can Proceed, Federal Judge Says

    “This sets up a dilemma for the government,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “I think it is going to be fascinating.”

    Ultimately, legal experts say, the question of whether such suits against the president can proceed is destined for the Supreme Court, perhaps as early as this year. Until Mr. Trump took office, the meaning of the Constitution’s emoluments bans had never been litigated.

    The consequences are potentially momentous. If either lawsuit moves ahead, Mr. Trump will be forced to disclose financial details of business operations that he has long fought to keep out of public view. If the Justice Department succeeds in stopping them, the president will be vindicated in his decision not to divorce himself from his business empire while in office.

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  2. @chris:
    Mueller Objected to Barr’s Description of Russia Investigation’s Findings on Trump
    The condensed version: “What the fuck?”

  3. Mueller Objected to Barr’s Description of Russia Investigation’s Findings on Trump

    WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, wrote a letter in late March to Attorney General William P. Barr objecting to his early description of the Russia investigation’s conclusions that appeared to clear President Trump on possible obstruction of justice, according to the Justice Department and three people with direct knowledge of the communication between the two men.

    The letter adds to the growing evidence of a rift between them and is another sign of the anger among the special counsel’s investigators about Mr. Barr’s characterization of their findings, which allowed Mr. Trump to wrongly claim he had been vindicated.

    It was unclear what specific objections Mr. Mueller raised in his letter, though a Justice Department spokeswoman said on Tuesday evening that he “expressed a frustration over the lack of context” in Mr. Barr’s presentation of his findings on obstruction of justice. Mr. Barr defended his descriptions of the investigation’s conclusions in conversations with Mr. Mueller over the days after he sent the letter, according to two people with knowledge of their discussions.

    Mr. Barr, who was scheduled to testify on Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the investigation, has said publicly that he disagrees with some of the legal reasoning in the Mueller report. Senior Democratic lawmakers have invited Mr. Mueller to testify in the coming weeks but have been unable to secure a date for his testimony.

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  4. Workers barely benefited from Trump’s sweeping tax cut, investigation shows
    Big companies drove the 2017 Tax and Jobs Act, but did not commit to any specific wage hikes, the Center for Public Integrity found

    ‘Just 6% spent on workers’

    The tax hike was sold to citizens as a move that would boost the economy, add jobs and hike wages. The president said in one speech that it would bring the average American household “around a $4,000 pay raise”.

    Seizing on that, the Communications Workers of America, a 700,000-member union, asked eight major corporations to sign a pledge to hike worker wages by $4,000 a year if their tax rate was cut to 20%, the initial proposed rate. The companies balked and signed nothing.

    Still, big business got what it wanted.

    The bill signed into law by Trump on 22 December 2017 cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 21%, the largest such rate cut in US history. “The most excited group out there are big CEOs,” said White House economic adviser Gary Cohn as the measure was making its way through Congress in 2017.

    But the fears of ordinary workers in regard to those promised higher wages were realized.

    The bulk of the $150bn the tax cut put into the hands of corporations in 2018 went into shareholder dividends and stock buy-backs, both of which line the pockets of the 10% of Americans who own 84% of the stocks.

    Just 6% of the tax savings was spent on workers, according to Just Capital, a not-for-profit that tracks the Russell 1000 index.

    In the first three months after the bill passed, the average weekly paycheck rose by $6.21. That would be $233 a year.

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  5. Opinion
    Trump’s Anti-Abortion Incitement

    The president’s lies about infanticide could inspire violence.

    Besides their potential to inspire violence, Trump’s words are a cruel insult to parents who have to make agonizing decisions about end-of-life care for babies that are born extremely prematurely, or with serious anomalies. Doctors and mothers don’t choose to “execute” newborns. They are forced to decide, in excruciating situations, when to forgo medical interventions and provide palliative care instead. There are exceedingly rare cases where babies survive an attempted abortion, but federal law already extends the same protection to them due any other infant.

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  6. Trump Sues Banks to Stop Them From Complying With House Subpoenas
    By Maggie Haberman, William K. Rashbaum and David Enrich

    The House’s Intelligence and Financial Services Committees issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, a longtime lender to Mr. Trump’s real estate company, and other financial institutions two weeks ago, seeking a long list of documents and other materials related to Deutsche Bank’s history of lending and providing accounts to Mr. Trump and his family. People with knowledge of the investigation said it related to possible money laundering by people in Russia and Eastern Europe.

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  7. Profitable Giants Like Amazon Pay $0 in Corporate Taxes. Some Voters Are Sick of It.

    AKRON, Ohio — Colin Robertson wonders why he pays federal taxes on the $18,000 a year he makes cleaning carpets, while the tech giant Amazon got a tax rebate.

    His concerns about a tilted economic playing field recently led Mr. Robertson to join the Akron chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. At a gathering this month, as members discussed Karl Marx and corporate greed over chocolate chip cookies, it wasn’t long before talk turned to income inequality and how the government helps the wealthy avoid taxes.

    “One of the benefits of taxation is taking it and using it for the collective good,” said Mr. Robertson, 25, comparing his minimal income to the roughly $150 billion net worth of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and the world’s richest person.

    “He could be taxed at 99.9 percent and still have millions left over,” Mr. Robertson said, “and I’d be homeless.”

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  8. @Beth Bohon: I think the challenge is to remain positive and focuses. By positive I mean we should be doing a happy dance to have such a wide variety of candidates from which we get to choose.

    Remaining “focused” is a whole ‘nuther bag o’ worms. Rather than focusing on a specific issue (other than defeating Trump) we need to identify the major issues that span the political spectrum from the far left of both parties and independents. We have to accept that there are some “centrist” and “slightly conservative” issues that make perfect sense. At the same time we have to embrace the radical issues like the New Green Deal and instead of tossing the baby out with the bathwater, embrace the reality that something has to be done and if we work with open minds we can do the right thing for the future of our kids.

    Great to see your comment! In order to control spam comments the blog requires you to log in for your comments to be immediately available. When you don’t log in, comments sit in the queue until they get approved. If you’re having problems logging in let me know.

  9. Populist economic frustration threatens Trump’s strongest reelection issue, Post-ABC poll finds
    The survey finds broad dissatisfaction with the country’s economic and political systems. Overall, 60 percent of all voters say the country’s economic system mainly benefits those in power, while 72 percent say the same for the nation’s political structures.

    President Trump’s strongest case for reelection remains the country’s healthy economy, but the potency of that issue for him is complicated by a widespread belief that the economy mainly benefits people already in power, a Washington Post-ABC News poll finds.

    The result previews a fresh wave of populism that could reshape yet another presidential campaign with about 18 months to go before voters decide whether to return Trump to the White House.

    This sentiment runs the deepest among Democratic and independent registered voters, but also exists among a significant slice of Republicans. About 8 in 10 Democrats and more than 6 in 10 independents say the country’s economic system gives an advantage to those already in power, while nearly a third of Republicans share that view.

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  10. The Guardian view on the Democratic race: real debate should be welcomed


    The contest for the presidential nomination is wide open, and the political differences are stark

    Whoever eventually takes Mr Trump on must have something better to offer voters. The midterms offered hope and galvanised the will of Democrats, but also showed how far there is to go. In his launch video, Mr Biden essentially promised to restore normality to American politics. Others believe that normality gave rise to the 45th president. They pledge reinvention.

    Read whole article

    The debates will settle the question as to the direction Democratic voters want to go. Do they want to go backwards with Biden or forward with any of the others?

  11. House Democrats Feel Little Pressure From Voters to Impeach Trump

    As House Democrats return this week to Washington after a two-week recess, they will find a Capitol consumed by the report of Mr. Mueller, the special counsel. A private meeting of the House Democratic caucus on Tuesday promises to be heated, as do Senate and House hearings on Wednesday and Thursday with Attorney General William P. Barr.

    But rank-and-file Democrats are not being propelled by their constituents into a headlong confrontation over impeaching the president. In town hall-style meetings and meet-and-greets across the country last week, constituents bemoaned Mr. Trump’s policies, groaned at his refusal to heed congressional subpoenas and fretted over what they saw as an erosion of the rule of law.

    There were few signs of an uprising to demand a quick judgment that the misdeeds laid out in the special counsel’s report constituted the kinds of “high crimes and misdemeanors” worthy of trying to remove the president from office.

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  12. Agreed Chris – The Dems are going to have to find things to bring to the campaign other than Trump bashing. we’re all pretty skilled at that by now. They have to present some solid platform items and positive programs to win people back. Trump trashing will just get his base’s back up and turn to more (if possible) negativity. The second article you referenced is _very_ interesting. I love Joe to pieces. I personally think he is what we need right now. However, I am not blind to the downsides of his campaign. I was surprised by the writer’s “choice” for 2020 as well. It will be interesting to see how this all falls out.

  13. Trump is just one chapter of bad fiction in America’s history, White House press dinner told
    ‘When you chip away at the press, you chip away at our democracy’, Pulitzer-winning historian Ron Chernow tells Trump-free event

    In Washington, Chernow, biographer of founding father Alexander Hamilton and former president Ulysses S Grant, delivered an eloquent and erudite defence of the freedom of the press with some subtle barbs, winning a standing ovation from an audience that quickly forgot any disappointment over the lack of a comedian this year.

    “We now have to fight hard for basic truths that we once took for granted,” said Chernow, who mentioned Trump by name only once in an address that framed the current presidency as just one chapter in America’s epic novel


    Read whole article

  14. Speaking of perspective, it’s a good time to take a bit of the polish of Mayor Pete and expose a few warts just to make him real for Democrats who live for the next great phenomenon to drop from the sky and lead them into the promised land. Pete has much potential but also needs a lot of scrutiny
    Which Way, Pete Buttigieg?
    Can the heartland meritocrat be a traitor to his class?

    Ross Douthat’s article linked below is a sobering look for Buttigieg supporters or wannabe supporters. It’s not a condemnation at all but rather some insights and interesting comparisons you won’t get on cable news.

    Of the many links in the article I found this one on the Mayor’s use of his smarts very timely and mind expanding.

    I still like the guy and am glad he’s in the race if only to be a calming effect on the usual circus antics of candidates in primary races. He can’t run on his credentials forever because they are no different than many of the other Democratic candidates.

    Read whole article (pdf)

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    I found this opinion piece by Kathleen Parker a little later on Biden’s pros and cons. I did not see the ending coming.

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