One of the evergreen characterizations of our two major political parties is that Democrats represent the poor and Republicans represent the rich. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren lead in the demonization of people with wealth – with the rest of the Democrat presidential field serving as the “MeToo” chorus (not to be confused with the Democrat feminist #MeTooMovement).
While they castigate people with wealth, virtually all the Democrat presidential contenders ARE people of wealth. When they condemn those contemptible “millionaires and billionaires,” they fail to admit that they are among them.
The latest billionaire to throw his David Shilling hat in the presidential ring is Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has a net worth of $52 billion dollars. He will not take any donations but rely on spending potentially billions of dollars on his own campaign. To become the 46th President of the United States, Bloomberg would actually spend more money than all the 45 previous Presidents combined!
His closest competitor – at least in money – is businessman Tom Steyer, who is worth $1.6 billion – and who has already spent tens of millions of dollars on name-recognition ads (fronting as impeachment ads) before announcing his candidacy.
But money is not everything. Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney is the third richest Democrat in the race – worth more than $200 million. Despite his wealth, he is in that “below one percent” category.
Another barely relatively unnoticed candidate – outside of Colorado, where he is the United States senator – is Michael Bennet. He is worth $15 million.
The next richest person in the race has some ‘splaining to do. It is Elizabeth Warren with a net worth of $12 million. While she chagrins the influence of money in politics, she has not been shy on using her wampum as fuel for her own political career. Interestingly, Warren’s “wealth tax” would not apply to people with her level of wealth. Surprise! Surprise!
Following Warren is former Vice President Joe Biden, with a fortune of more than $9 million dollars. That one is particularly interesting because he often talks about his humble beginnings. At the age of 29, Biden was elected to the United States Senate (turning 30 – the legal minimum age – before the swearing in.) He was never a businessman, a big-time actor – never invented anything – so how did he get so damned rich from public service? Hmmmm. I am reminded of what President Harry Truman famously said: “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.”
Another candidate who promotes her alleged “humble beginnings” and a life of public service is California Senator Kamala Harris. She is worth $6 million. Humble beginning … life of PUBLIC service … and $6 million. What was that Harry Truman said?
Then there is the folksy home-spun Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. No one seems to hate the rich more than socialist hypocrite Sanders. Another story of the humblest of beginnings and a life in public service – and a $2.5 million nest egg. Bernie is a variation on Robin Hood since he wants to take from the billionaires and give it to millionaires, like him.
The “poor” millionaires – $2 million or less – include Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar ($2M), New Jersey Senator Cory Booker ($1.5M) and businessman Andrew Yang ($1M).
A couple of candidates fall short of membership in the Millionaires’ Club. That includes Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard ($500K) and at the bottom of the list is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg ($100K). If the examples above are indicative, Buttigieg has a bright future in Democrat politics – which should make him one of the millionaires in the near future.
Keep in mind that all these candidates are richer than these estimates. The reporting requirement a not all that stringent, Also, does the figure include spousal wealth? Some assets may be undervalued. Regardless, they are all much richer than the people they hope to serve.
The wealth disparity between these candidates and their impoverished supporters is wide and growing. I have always maintained that any political party that depends on poor people as their power base has no incentive to make them rich. We see this in virtually every Democrat-run major city in which segregated and impoverished voters live in the economic status quo generation after generation. That does not happen by accident.
It is interesting that so many of these candidates would destroy America’s capitalistic economic system — denying we the people the same opportunities that gave them their fabulous wealth.
So, there ‘tis.
“We will destroy you,” those are the defiant words used by the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, who in a recent speech, threatened to destroy the United States and its Middle Eastern allies.
Speaking to tens of thousands of people holding signs with anti-U.S. slogans in Tehran’s Revolution Square, Gen. Hossein Salami accused the U.S., Britain, Saudi Arabia and Israel, of instigating the violent protests that erupted earlier this month after the announcement of massive fuel price hikes.
“We have shown restraint. … We have shown patience toward the hostile moves of America, the Zionist regime (Israel) and Saudi Arabia against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said. “If you cross our red line, we will destroy you. We will not leave any move unanswered.”
The protests against the fuel price hikes and a concurrent slash in government subsidies have further divided many Iranians and their religious regime. The country has seen an economic decline since the U.S. restored sanctions after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal negotiated during the Obama administration.
Many have complained of the inability to obtain jobs, travel abroad and soaring food prices and astronomical rises in the cost of living. Some Iranians have seen their once middle-class lifestyle reduced to day-to-day struggles to stay afloat.
At least 143 people have been killed since Nov. 15, according to Amnesty International. The human rights group accused Iranian security forces of using firearms against unarmed protesters from rooftops and helicopters.
“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the treatment of unarmed protesters has been by the Iranian authorities and reveals their appalling assault on human life,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Some demonstrators have accused the government of torturing those who’ve been arrested and detained.
Iran cut off Internet access for several days to quell the unrest, making it difficult for groups to ascertain the extent of the violence on the ground. Authorities said banks and government offices have been set on fire and more than 1,000 people have been arrested.
Protesters are outraged by the way President Hassan Rouhani’s administration handled the fuel price hike. Despite the more than 50% hike in prices, gas in Iran remains some of the cheapest in the world, with the hike bringing it to about the equivalent of 50 cents per gallon, up from what was about 20 cents.
The Iranian president promised that the hike in fuel prices would be used to fund new subsidies for poor families, none of which has yet to come to fruition.
As for Gen. Hossein Salami’s threats to the US and our allies – they are nothing but a bunch of baloney!
Shocking testimony in a Florida court claims that US Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar is a foreign agent on a Qatari payroll!
The English edition of Al Arabiya, the newspaper of the Arab world, says it got hold of an October 23 deposition by Alan Bender, a Kuwait-born businessman from Canada, testifying in a case against the Qatari emir’s brother. According to Bender, he met with three top Qatari officials, including the Emir for Security Affairs’ secretary, and was told that Omar is “the crown jewel” among US politicians recruited by Qatar.
The three allegedly claimed that Ilhan owed her current position to the Qatari money bankrolling her campaign. In his testimony, Al Arabiya reports that, the businessman said that Omar made use of her position within the US House of Representatives to recruit other politicians.
She also supposedly shared sensitive information with Qatar, which in turn was relayed to Iran.
According to his sworn deposition, the three officials told him, “If it wasn’t for our cash, Ilhan Omar would be just another black Somali refugee in America collecting welfare and serving tables on weekends.”
Bender testified that the officials asked him to recruit American politicians and journalists as Qatari assets and that when he objected, was told that several prominent figures were already on the payroll, including Omar.
Qatar “recruited Ilhan Omar from even way before she thought about becoming a government official… They groomed her and arranged the foundation, the grounds, for her to get into politics way before she even showed interest. They convinced her,” Bender added.
In response to the reports that surfaced in the Saudi owned Al Arabiya, a spokesperson for Omar released this statement, “The latest, outlandishly absurd story from a Saudi-funded media outlet is of course false and only the latest in that trend,” the statement said. “The only people Rep. Omar represents in Washington are the people of Minnesota’s 5th District. She will continue to speak out against human rights violations around the world – whether it is war crimes in Yemen or the caging of children at our border – regardless of who commits them.”
One of the things that endangers our traditional freedoms in America is the growing influence, power and even claimed authority of unelected bureaucrats – mostly provided with essentially lifetime appointments from civil service laws. Bureaucratic decision-making is the infrastructure of authoritarians. America was founded on the ability of we the people to establish our own policies through the power of ELECTED officials.
The case of Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher is yet another example. Gallagher was accused by military prosecutors of murder and posing with an enemy corpse. He was acquitted of murder but convicted of violating military rules against such picture-taking.
Having lost the major charge, Navy officials decided to reduce Gallagher’s rank. When President Trump reversed that order, Navy officials sought to take away Gallagher’s Trident Pin – the badge of a Navy Seal.
Trump’s intervention was enormously popular with the rank-and-file members of then military, but apparently not with some in the more senior ranks – especially those who were pursuing punishment for Gallagher.
As could be expected the anti-Trump media sided against the Commander-in-Chief and the many soldiers in the field – and with the small cadre of senior officers seeking to punish Gallagher further. The claim was that Trump was violating military rules and policies.
As a result of the controversy, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired by Defense Secretary Mark Esper for “lack of candor” in the Gallagher case – specifically proposing to the White House that Gallagher be allowed to keep his Trident Pin. This was contrary to Esper’s public position that the Trident Pin review should go forward internally.
In a logic that only makes sense in Washington, Esper advised the White House that Gallagher would most certainly be allowed to keep the pin after the review. So, Spencer wanted Gallagher to keep the pin. Esper wanted Gallagher to keep the Pin. Trump wanted Gallagher to keep the pin. So Esper fires Spencer and the press blames Trump for the entire mess.
The anti-Trump press jumped on the case as yet another indication that the President goes off on his own agenda rather than follow established (read that “establishment”) policies. Just as all those State Department employees placed their procedures over the rightful powers of a President, the press is proffering for the power of bureaucrats over a duly elected President. You will recall that the “regular procedures” in the Ukrainian case were bureaucratic policies and the “irregular procedures” were those established by the President.
To overly dramatize the Gallagher situation, the elitist establishment press grossly exaggerated the severity of Gallagher’s only offense – posing with a dead enemy. They call it a most serious charge and a grave (no pun intended) offense. I can see where it should be discouraged, but I personally would rank the offense as comparable to a speeding ticket.
The former spokesperson for the Washington establishment (first Department of Defense and then State), Admiral John Kirby showed up on morning television to claim that this is yet another example of an abuse of power by Trump – claiming, without a scintilla of evidence, that Trump made his decision to help himself politically. In the spirit that good policy is good politics, that may be true. But Kirby’s failure to respect the military chain-of-command – upon which Trump sits at the top – in favor of the supremacy of bureaucratic policies shows that the Admiral is one of those Washington establishment authoritarians.
Like it or not, Trump IS the Commander-in-Chief and it is his right and authority to set the policies and make specific decisions regarding the military. In fact, in the chain-of-command, it is common for a senior officer to countermand orders or decisions of junior officers. Trump violated NO rules or policies because the Constitution gives the President the power to set rules and make policies – and make ad hoc decisions based on his own policies. The Trump “policy” is to side with the boots on the ground rather than the brass in the Pentagon when the two come into conflict.
The idea that bureaucratic established policies and procedures take precedence over decision-making by elected officials is dangerous to the health of the Republic. The inalienable rights of we the people are being eroded across the federal government by an elitist authoritarian concept of governance. It is a political cancer that has been growing on the body politic – and if unchecked will end America’s great experiment in democracy.
So, there ‘tis.
Being the greatest military power in the world is what apparently most world powers strive to be. This is especially true when considering the United States of America. I guess the motto is win or go home. This country has been doing quite a bit of winning. Most of these wins go unnoticed by the general public. This is because a lot of victories are won covertly. Of course, transparency is not exactly what I would expect from a government. A team can’t let an opposing team get a hold of its playbook. Some of the decisions made by government and military officials are above the pay grade of the average individual. The government can’t expose all. Take it from an Army veteran. But, to what extent should a nation go to be and remain at the top of the pile?
Our government and military have come under fire for its involvement with Nazi war criminals. These men were recruited by the United States under the top-secret program called Operation Paperclip. There were a total of 1600 scientists and engineers that were covertly brought over to the United States via Operation Paperclip to help the U.S. win the arms race. These Nazi scientists were responsible for and carried out some of the most horrific and heinous war crimes in history. Eugenics was one of the tools used to get rid of unwanted groups of people. Most people feel that eugenics started in Germany. This is not true. Eugenics actually started in America and was spearheaded by Margaret Sanger. She was also the progenitor of Planned Parenthood.
Granted, the U.S. was desperately working on keeping a few steps ahead of the now-debunked Soviet Union. Anything to stay ahead of a rival nuclear power. But, at what cost? Instead of the U.S. making sure that these Nazi war criminals were prosecuted for their atrocious and inhumane attack on humanity, they were suited to be recruited. That’s right. The very same scientist that worked to exterminate an entire ethnic group (Jews) were given asylum in the United States of America.
In the spring of 1945, the U.S. Navy “received in custody” the inventor of the Hs 293 missile. His name was Herbert A. Wagner. Wagner was an Austrian that worked in the field of aerodynamics. The Hs 293 missile is also known as the Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb. Werner Von Braun created the United States V2 Rocket. Werner was the leading aerospace engineer in Nazi Germany.
After WWII, Schreiber testified in the Nuremberg Trials against Herman Goering. He also worked for the CIA and therefore shielded from being prosecuted for is medical atrocities that he himself committed. Is this how justice works? It didn’t work for John Gotti but it did work for Sammy “The Bull” Gravano. During the reign of the Nazi’s, he introduced lethal phenol injections to effectively exterminate so-called trouble makers. Schreiber conducted savage experiments. One such experiment included cutting open the legs of women imprisoned at Ravensbrueck and purposely infecting them with gangrene. Afterwhich, they were given bone transplants. This would usually end in a slow and agonizing death. Walter later reemigrated to Argentina.
Our government and military have been dealing in black ops or clandestine operations all across the world. These programs go on without the knowledge outside of the knowledge of the general public. Was the fear of the Bear so extreme that the U.S. is justified in its acts? Are there no holds barred when protecting a nation’s sovereignty? These are definitely some points that we may need to evaluate further when thinking of the future of America.
America seems to be consumed … CONSUMED … by politics. It has spilled over into every phase of American life. If you want to get away from political references and implications forget about sports. The NFL cleaves on patriotism. The NBA on foreign policy.
Forget about enjoying a few laughs. The predominant subject of jokesters is politics. Forget about the movies. More and more of them are politically based or incorporate obvious political messaging. Same for television shows. If you are interested in news around the world, forget about our so-called news industry. They broadcast in bright colors of blue and red.
No wonder it is so difficult to find a topic of discussion as we sit around the Thanksgiving table with family members of differing viewpoints. So firm are our staked positions that we cannot even engage in civil intelligent conversation.
Well, at least we can play games. Or can we?
Uno has just released the latest version of their game that has no red or blue backed cards. They have been replaced with a purple card. The Uno company proudly notes that this change is to take politics OUT of the game. In fact, they put politics into the game.
Who ever played Uno and thought that the red and blue represented political affiliation? Uno’s decision is like the bikini bathing suit. It draws attention to that which it alleges to conceal. To change something that was never viewed as political by making it political – even in the name of avoidance, it brings politics into the game. Who will ever play with that sans red and blue deck and not consciously or subconsciously think of our political divisions?
Now, if we were to take up Uno’s thinking, I can already hear Senator Bernie Sanders demanding the replacement of that iconic cute little millionaire representing Monopoly. Hell, Sanders would probably want to ban the entire game as being a promoter of capitalism.
Perhaps Sanders would enjoy a game in which Big Brother owns everything – and if you do not pay up you are sent to prison to be tortured and brainwashed — and have no way to get out, free or otherwise.
My favorite holiday is Christmas. In my more than seven decades of celebrating, I have never thought of that red-garbed Santa Claus as a Republican. Franky, in the way he gives away goodies to keep we kiddies happy, there is a better argument that he is a Democrat. Still, I cannot see a blue Santa.
Are colors really always about politics? if our tradition is dressing newborn babies light red (pink) if they are girls and blue if they are boys, why are proportionately more women Democrats and more men Republicans?
The point is that every time we see the colors red or blue, we DO NOT think of politics – and hopefully we will continue in that tradition. The makers of Uno have now taken away a bit of our ability to do that. Whenever I see the new purple Uno game, I will be reminded of politics and the current divisions that make that reminder unpleasant. Thanks Uno.
So, there ‘tis.
While I have often wondered why so many black voters maintain allegiance to the Democratic Party in view of their long history – to this day – of oppression of black citizens. First it was slavery, then segregation and now the remnants of de facto racism in our major Democrat-run cities today.
The race card is still being dishonestly played against Republicans by the hypocritical Democrats, but that is not the focus of this commentary. It appears that the race card does NOT play well in Democrats intramural presidential politics.
I am referring to the efforts by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and California Senator Kamala Harris to play the race card to win over black voters. In recent debates and speeches, Booker and Harris have argued that THEY – more than any other candidate – can unite the party by keeping black voters in line.
To fight President Trump in the 2020 General Election, black candidates will have the best chance to bring out the black vote. They refer to it as the “Obama coalition.” That has a certain superficial – albeit it specious – logic.
The assumption is that black voters will always set aside all other issues to vote for a black candidate. They will always vote race over issues – such as gun control, abortion, women’s’ rights, gay rights, employment, education, foreign policy, criminal justice, etc.
The strategy of Booker and Harris is a call to vote race … period. That race-baiting does not seem to be working in this election cycle. There are a lot of black voters in the Democrat coalition. That is for sure. But they seem to have more interests than skin color when it comes to politics – maybe more than ever.
That old white guy name Biden seems to be getting a lot of black votes – so far more than any other candidate in the field. He is getting more black votes than Booker and Harris. So is Bernie Sanders. Even Elizabeth Warren is starting to pull in a significant number of black voters.
The two most prominent black candidates – Booker and Harris – are not getting a lot of support from the brothers and sisters. No matter how many times Booker calls for black unity behind his campaign, he still languishes between 2 and 3 percent in the polls. And Harris’ call for black unity in her campaign has not prevented her being Whack-A-Moled into single digits.
There are even some indications that – despite Democrat state of denial — Trump may exceed his 2016 eight percent black vote. Too early to know, but there are signs of disenchantment with Democrat leadership in our segregated inner cities. As one black community leader said in Chicago. “it would be a mistake to think that Trump would be unwelcomed in the ‘hood.”
This may come as a shock to the Booker/Harris types, but those folks in the inner cities are not monolithic political drones. Skin color is not the number one political issue – not even number two … three … four … or …
So, There ‘tis.
Despite the self-righteous speechmaking of House Intelligence Committee Chair, Adam Schiff insisting that the anonymity of the whistleblower is statutorily protected, apparently he may be dead wrong.
During the ongoing hearings of the impeachment inquiry, Schiff has repeatedly stated that the Ukraine whistleblower has “a statutory right to anonymity” and blocked Republican questions about him.
The problem with that is, many legal experts say that the committee chairman is incorrect in that assessment. Several legal experts have come forward to say that no such specific legal requirement to shield the whistleblower’s identity from the public, exists.
The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act establishes rules for whistleblowers to report on waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption in a lawful manner, and it, along with presidential directives, provides legal protections against reprisals and punishment. Anonymity, however, is not one of those guarantees.
“There is no language in the statute as written — or amended — that gives a whistleblower from the intelligence community the statutory right to anonymity,” Cully Stimson, a former Pentagon official and the head of the Heritage Foundation’s National Security Law Program, told the press. “That’s separate and distinct from whether Congress wants to make the decision to not provide the name — that’s at the discretion of the chairman.”
Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who received the whistleblower’s original complaint in August, has said he must keep the whistleblower’s name secret, but it does not appear this legal prohibition extends to President Trump, his allies, or anyone else. Atkinson said his review of the whistleblower’s allegations related to a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “identified some indicia of bias of an arguable political bias on the part of the complainant in favor of a rival political candidate.”
He wrote, “Such evidence did not change my determination that the complaint relating to the urgent concern appears credible.”
Speaking to the Washington Examiner, Arthur Rizer, a former Army officer and current DOJ prosecutor, said he doubts the law guarantees whistleblower anonymity.
“I am pretty sure on its plain reading only the individual who receives the complaint has a ‘statutory obligation’ to keep anonymity — and, I think, even then, there are circumstances where the veil of anonymity can be pierced.”
Rizer went on to say, “So, as a starting point, the chairman’s comment is vague and overbroad — and legally speaking, that makes him wrong.”
Schiff has constantly shut down Republican efforts to subpoena the whistleblower and cut off GOP witness questioning that could unearth evidence about the whistleblower’s identity, saying he won’t allow efforts to “exact political retribution against the whistleblower“ or “out” the person.
Democrats, who were expecting the other shoe to drop during U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland’s testimony today, may have heard it fall, but it never really hit the floor.
While it is true that Sondland did provide stunning testimony to Congress affirming a “quid pro quo” for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to secure a meeting and phone call with President Trump, he denied having any direct evidence that those conditions were directly tied to holding back critical security aid, nor that they came directly from the president.
Referring to what he labeled a “potential quid pro quo” involving U.S. military aid to Ukraine and investigations desired by President Trump, Sondland testified that he had never heard that link from the president himself.
One of the key witnesses in the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry against Trump, Sondland claimed he kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo aware of what was going on and said he specifically told Vice President Pence he “had concerns” the military aid to Ukraine “had become tied” to investigations — though a Pence aide denied it. And he repeatedly lambasted Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s leading role in the administration’s Ukraine dealings.
“Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland testified in opening remarks. “It was no secret.”
Taken in their entirety, Sondland’s statements Wednesday are likely to fuel the narratives of both parties. He was seen as a wild card going into the hearing, given he has offered testimony that conflicted with others’ and recently amended his statements to acknowledge he did talk to Ukraine about investigations after initially indicating otherwise.
Sondland made clear that he merely presumed the aid was linked to investigations, at one point referring to this as a “guess,” while repeatedly stating that, “I never heard from President Trump that aid was conditioned on an announcement” of investigations.
He said he never personally heard Trump discuss any kind of preconditions. Instead, he clearly pinned the effort to extract the conditions from Ukraine on Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
“Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and others that President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election,” Sondland said in his written opening testimony, referring to Energy Secretary Rick Perry and U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker.
Burisma, the second-largest energy company in Ukraine, had hired Hunter Biden, the then-vice president’s son, for a $50,000 per month position on its board.
“Mr. Giuliani expressed those requests directly to the Ukrainians. Mr. Giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. We all understood that these pre-requisites for the White House call and White House meeting reflected President Trump’s desires and requirements,” said Sondland.
He tried to now distance himself from the former New York mayor, saying, “If I had known of all of Mr. Giuliani’s dealings or of his associations with individuals now under criminal indictment, I would not have acquiesced to his participation,” Sondland said. “Still, given what we knew at the time, what we were asked to do did not appear to be wrong.”
After waiting and planning for the better part of three years, Democrats are now in a bit of a hurry to get President Trump impeached. They had hoped to get it accomplished before Thanksgiving, but that deadline is no longer an option.
They now hope to have it out of the six “inquiry committees” and into the Judiciary Committee – where it should have been in the first place. And yes, there are technically six committees serving as impeachment inquiry committees – although the House Intelligence Committee, with California Congressman Adam Schiff chairing, seems to have all the action. If the others are doing anything, it is the best kept secret in Washington.
Democrats had hoped to have the whole damn impeachment thing – Articles of Impeachment and trial in the Senate – done before we get into the 2020 election year. They well understand that if the process drags on into 2020, it will consume media and public attention to the detriment of all those presidential campaigns.
Just a few weeks ago, all those east coast establishment media outlets were giving Democrat presidential candidates enormous airtime. Candidates with less than 5 percent support were being interviewed as if they were contenders. Debate coverage was characterized by pre-debate presentations by Democrat leaders and post-debate butt-kissing analysis. A seemingly endless series of so-called “town hall meetings” were essentially infomercials.
Now that the impeachment process has gone public, the Democrat presidential candidates have disappeared from the news. Impeachment specials have replaced those town hall meetings.
Democrats are committed to a rush-to-judgement — largely because they have already arrived at their judgment. They are so concerned about accelerating the process that they will forego hearing from the most critical witnesses to their case – folks like former White House Intelligence Advisor John Bolton.
If subpoenaed, Bolton will rely on the federal courts to decide if he must testify or if he comes under presidential executive privilege. That could take a few months, and it is not at all certain that Democrats could win that case. So, Schiff has decided to ignore hearing from key witnesses. And why not? They have already reached their verdict.
If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is politically savvy – and he seems to be – he will not pick-up on the Democrats need to speed the process along. Instead, he will proloooong the process into January … February … March.
Just as we already know the outcome of the impeachment process in the House, we can be pretty sure that Trump will be found not guilty by the Senate. But while the Senate trial is going on, EVERY senator is obligated to sit silently as jurors. No questions from them. No speeches. They would even be admonished not to make any prejudicial public statements.
For politicians running for President of the United States, that would have the same effect of tying them up, gagging them and tossing them into the back of a pick-up truck.
Of course, it would only involve the senator-candidates. That would include Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar. Imagine … all the while Biden and Buttigieg are out there campaigning, the quintet would be sitting silently in the Senate chamber day after day … after day.
Of course, it is only a qualified benefit for the other candidates since they will be denied significant media coverage as the trial dominates the news. In a sense, they will also be silenced by the trial as those all-important state primaries come and go.
One way to prolong the trial – and provide Trump with a real defense – would be to allow both sides to call new witnesses – such as Hunter Biden and the whistleblower. During the Clinton trial, both sides agreed to NOT call additional witnesses, but to base their verdict on the Articles of Impeachment as presented by the House.
There is no reason that McConnell would follow that practice. It might have made sense back then because the House conducted the Clinton impeachment much more fairly. The Pelosi-Schiff rules are creating a very one-sided case. The House has blocked crucial witnesses. The other side needs to be heard and the Senate trial is the only option.
This will also be a way to put the House process on trial. The prospective Senate trial is something that should never have happened – and Senate Republicans should make sure that the American people understand that.
So, there ‘tis.