Last week, in an exclusive interview on “Justice with Judge Jeanine” Vice President Mike Pence responded to the House Intelligence Committee’s 300-page impeachment report, which listed the Vice President among other senior officials as “either knowledgeable of or active participants in an effort to extract from a foreign nation the personal political benefits sought by the president.”
He told host Jeanine Pirro, that he doesn’t believe “it’s a foregone conclusion” that House Democrats will secure enough votes to pass articles of impeachment.
The report also blames Pence for failing to produce “a single document” requested by panels and blocking the release of part of a transcript of his September 18 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Witnesses that actually testified before the Democratic committee actually testified that the subject of investigations never came up either before, during, or after my meeting with President Zelensky in Poland,” Pence told Pirro. “What did we talk about was what President Trump asked me to ask about.”
“When he asked me to go to Poland to represent him, he’d already scheduled a meeting with President Zelensky. And, the president sat me down and said, ‘Look, we are reviewing this aid, but I wanna know what he’s doing about corruption.’ President Zelensky was literally elected in a landslide and the parliamentary election for his party was a landslide on an anti-corruption agenda,” Pence explained. “And, the president said to me: ‘Find out what he’s doing on that — in a sense, you know — check him out, see what you make of him on that.”
Last Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced that Democrats would proceed with articles of impeachment against President Trump, declaring that the president’s conduct “leaves us no choice but to act.”
But, when Pirro asked, “Will the president be impeached?”
The VP responded, “I don’t yet know what’s going to happen in the House. I know that Speaker Pelosi has announced articles of impeachment, but I have to tell you — I served in the Congress for 12 years and I don’t think it’s a forgone conclusion… that the Democrats will be able to get the votes to pass articles of impeachment.”
The Latest From the Impeachment Hearings
However, Vice President Pence’s comments came before Monday’s contentious Judiciary Committee hearings where lawyers from both parties sparred in blunt terms over whether President Trump indeed abused his power in dealings with Ukraine — while committee members clashed repeatedly over a process, Republicans decried as a “rubber stamp.”
The hearing — which consisted of lawyers for both parties essentially making their closing arguments, including by showing video clips of key statements from witnesses, Trump and others — comes as the committee is expected to vote in the coming days on articles of impeachment against Trump.
The hearing sets off a pivotal week as Democrats march toward a full House vote expected by Christmas. In drafting the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is facing a legal and political challenge of balancing the views of her majority while hitting the constitution’s bar of “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Trump and his allies acknowledge he will likely be impeached in the Democratic-controlled House, but they also expect acquittal next year in the Senate, where Republicans have the majority. A vote to convict requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate, where Republicans hold 53 of 100 seats. Regardless of what happens in the lower chamber, it is unlikely that any Republican senators would cross party lines and vote to remove Trump from office.
An ex-marine, who is running for Congress has called former NFL pro, — a national disgrace.
Jeremy Staat, who also played in 31 NFL games across four seasons, wrote to supporters in a recent fundraising email that Kaepernick is a “national disgrace and I’m tired of seeing him celebrated like he’s a hero.”
Last week, Staat – who served in Iraq and is now running for Congress in California – told “Fox & Friends that “[Kaepernick] knew what he was getting into when he decided to kneel and now he’s going to go ahead and capitalize” on his decision. He accused the former NFL quarterback of “essentially extorting the black community and using Nike as his little shiny horse, if you will, to ride in on.”
Staat’s comments came after Kaepernick spoke the week prior to the “Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony” also known as “Unthanksgiving,” on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco. The event is intended to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Native Americans occupying the famous island, which previously served as the site of a federal prison. The protest, which began on November 20, 1969, lasted 19 months.
Kaepernick tweeted on Thanksgiving Day, “Spent the morning at the Indigenous People’s Sunrise Ceremony on the 50 year anniversary of the Occupation of Alcatraz. The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people. Thank you to my Indigenous family, I’m with you today and always.”
Kaepernick started a national firestorm when he decided to kneel during the national anthem before NFL games to raise awareness about perceived social injustices across the U.S. He accused NFL owners in a grievance of blackballing him from the league because of the anthem protest, but the two sides settled earlier this year. He has not played since 2016.
Staat, who is running for Congress as a Republican in California’s 8th district, said that he is tired of veterans being treated as second-class citizens and that instead of attacking law enforcement like Kaepernick, he wants to be part of the solution by helping President Trump in Congress.
“If you want to be part of the solution, go out and find ways to make the problem better. Don’t go out and attack individuals who are just doing their jobs,” he said, adding that he wants to reform the V.A. but is not going to “attack” doctors and nurses at V.A. hospitals.
Staat played alongside the late Pat Tillman at Arizona State before playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1998 to 2000. The former defensive end joined the Marine Corps in 2006 and deployed to Iraq the following year.
If you are among those that have had this strange feeling that your smartphone knows your every move, and is sharing it with the world, you are not paranoid – you are absolutely right.
According to recent reporting by CNBC, Google Maps does indeed track everywhere you go.
Google Maps is designed to automatically keep a detailed log of everywhere you go, whether you’re walking, driving or even flying anywhere in the world. It’s wildly detailed down to the minute, and can show where you were at any moment in time. However, according to Todd Haselton, tech reporter for NBC News, the good news is, you can disable this functionality.
According to Haselton, Google began rolling out a feature that lets you automatically delete your saved location date either every 18 months or every 3 months. Anything older than that is automatically deleted, so Google won’t know about those stops you made “on the other side of the tracks” last year.
Oddly, it’s not where Google normally puts this setting, on your Google Account page. Instead, you need to dig through your settings in Google Maps. Haselton says here is what you need to do to make where you are, or were, your own business again.
- Open Google Maps on iPhone or Android.
- Tap the menu bar on the top-left of the app.
- Choose “Your Timeline.”
- Tap the three dots on the top-right of the screen.
- Choose “Settings and privacy.”
- Select “Automatically delete location history.”
- Change the setting from “Keep until I delete manually” to “Keep for 18 months” or “Keep for 3 months.”
Haselton recommends forcing Google to delete after every 3 months. There isn’t much reason to hold on to your history for much longer than that, though you can select 18 months if you disagree.
Now, if I can just figure out a way to get Facebook to stop reading my mind, and sending me ads to things I was only just thinking about buying!
Military experts have compared the relative military might of Great Britain and Iran, and in a potential conflict between the two, unfortunately, the UK does not match up very well!
The once impressive military of the UK, is a shadow of its former self, so says the British newspaper The Daily Express. An editorial in the paper said, “A comparison of the UK and Iran’s military strength shows Britain falling behind when it comes to manpower, land and naval strength and petroleum resources.” The paper made this surprising proclamation, after Iran seized a British tanker in the Persian Gulf, in retaliation for Britain seizing an Iranian tanker at Gibraltar.
According to the article, Britain ranks eighth on the “Global Firepower Index,” while Iran comes in not far behind in 14th place (the U.S. comes in first place, Israel 17th). Indeed, GlobalFirepower.com lists Iran as being stronger than Britain in several categories: 873,000 military personnel to Britain’s 233,000, 1,634 Iranian tanks to 331 British vehicles and 386 Iranian naval vessels to 76 British (Britain is credited with more airpower, with 811 military aircraft to 509 Iranian). Iran has more oil, but weaker finances.
What About Nukes?
But, you may say that none of this matters, because Britain is a true nuclear power. Despite the statistics that put the numbers close on the firepower index, Britain and Iran are really not in the same league at all, when it comes to nukes. First and foremost, while Iran may or may not be developing nuclear weapons, Britain most certainly has them. And not some jury-rigged “physics package” assembled in an underground bunker, but four Vanguard-class nuclear submarines, each armed with 16 Trident thermonuclear-armed ballistic missiles. That’s enough atomic firepower to send Russia and China back to the Middle Ages, let alone Iran.
But, as you know, having nukes, and using nukes, are two entirely different animals. Britain wouldn’t use nukes against Iran for political reasons, and Iran would be committing suicide to use them against Britain or anyone else. Which leaves the more immediate prospect of a limited conflict in the Persian Gulf, most likely a reprise of the 1980s “Tanker War,” in which Iran will attack or seize oil tankers in retaliation for economic sanctions, while Britain (and the U.S., and possibly Europe) will attempt to stop them.
In that kind of conflict, with Britain’s naval resources “a shadow of what they once were,” and cut off from supply lines, Iran’s greater numbers of smaller attack vessels and missile torpedo boats would likely win the day. Currently, Britain has only a single destroyer, and a frigate, as convoy escorts in the Persian Gulf.
But here is where numerical comparisons of military strength really fail. If Iran were to invade Britain, there would be no question of which party is stronger. However, in the Persian Gulf, British forces are operating 3,000 miles from the UK. Even with access to bases belonging to Iran’s hostile Arab neighbors, the British would still be operating in Iran’s home waters, where all the tools of coastal guerrilla warfare – mines, small boat attacks – would be available to Tehran.
So hypothetically, who would win in an open conflict between Britain and Iran? Ruling out the US getting involved, which it most certainly would, the answer all depends on the circumstances.
While billionaire superheroes like Tony Stark’s Iron Man, are unabashed capitalists, it seems that the Hulk wants to smash capitalism. Or at least that’s the feeling of Mark Ruffalo who portrayed the “Jade Giant” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The “Avengers: Endgame” and “Dark Waters” actor, who has been an outspoken critic of America’s economic and capitalist structure in the past, took to Twitter recently to share an article and ask for the country to consider getting rid of capitalism.
“It’s time for an economic revolution,” Ruffalo wrote. “Capitalism today is failing us, killing us, and robbing from our children’s future.”
The tweet was accompanied by a Nov. 21 op-ed from Time entitled, “How America’s Elites Lost Their Grip,” in which writer Anand Giridharadas lays out the case that Americans are increasingly in support of gutting the country’s capitalist economy in favor of a new system. The writer credits the rise of people like 2020 presidential hopefuls, democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for not only calling capitalism into question but making its removal seem more and more viable since 2016.
Although that “system” which he maligns, seems to be doing very well by Ruffalo. Ruffalo made $6 million for his role in “Avengers: Infinity War” and is worth an estimated $30 million.
The actor previously lent his support in the 2016 presidential election to Sanders before he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton. Speaking on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” in November, Ruffalo admitted that the years since, have only strengthened his support for Bernie.
“For me, I started with Bernie on this trip and… when I think about it, what I see is, he led then and now he’s leading now,” the actor explained. “He was never another party, he never had different views about these things. The rest of the United States has finally caught up to what this cat has been doing already for his entire career. And you know that when he gets into office, he is going to be fighting for us!”
In October, the “Hulk” actor took to Twitter to call for democratic socialism once again, writing, “Democratic Socialism says it’s a moral wrong that 57% of income is going to the top 1%. Universal health care. Medical & family paid leave.”
Donald Trump’s personal attorney and former NYC mayor, Rudy Giuliani appeared to threaten to sue Fox News host Steve Hilton, for branding him as part of “the swamp.”
During the most recent broadcast of his “Next Revolution” Fox News show, Hilton, a frequent Trump supporter, confessed, “There’s a swamp going on with the commercial interest of Rudy Giuliani… He’s going around trying to make business deals out of the Ukraine situation, at the same time as acting for his client, President Trump. He’s trying to make money off his relationship with President Trump.”
Hilton then went on to call the former New York City mayor “toxic” and an “unethical disaster.”
In response, Giuliani tweeted that he was “outraged” by Hilton’s remarks, adding in another post, “Lawyers tell me @SteveHiltonx is a wild card and I should sue him for libel. He recklessly disregarded the truth!”
The former mayor who has been at the center of the Ukraine controversy, also tweeted, “I have not taken a penny for representing my friend, President Trump. I am outraged that @SteveHiltonx reported that I was trying to pursue private business deals in Ukraine to ‘enrich’ myself when in reality I have made ZERO in Ukraine! Very lazy reporting!”
Giuliani has also said in recent interviews, that since representing Trump, he has “considered and turned down all deals in Ukraine, even those not presenting a conflict.”
But, none of that spared the former mayor from Hilton’s unbridled rant.
“This week, we learn more disturbing details about Rudy’s role. It turns out that the former mayor’s own personal business interests are wrapped up in all of this,” he said. “To put it simply, he’s been trying to enrich himself on the back of his relationship with President Trump. And you know what, I’m just fed up with the lot of them.”
Hilton said Giuliani “was a great mayor and a great leader, but he’s turned into an unmitigated, and now it seems, unethical disaster.”
He also accused Giuliani’s associates of “taking advantage of the president to do dodgy deals in the world’s shadiest places.”
To which Giuliani tweeted in response, “If it wasn’t for me, @SteveHiltonx wouldn’t even be covering Burisma. He sure didn’t cover it for the THREE YEARS it was in front of his face. He should apologize for his maliciousness and thank me for the story!”
California Sen. Kamala Harris has announced that she is withdrawing from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Harris has had to call it quits after failing to capitalize on early enthusiasm for her campaign and watching her poll numbers collapse.
“In good faith, I can’t tell you, my supporters and volunteers, that I have a path forward if I don’t believe I do,” Harris wrote in an email to supporters. “So, to you my supporters, it is with deep regret — but also with deep gratitude — that I am suspending my campaign today.”
An aide said Harris informed staff Tuesday she is ending her White House bid.
Harris entered the race in January as a top contender and had a breakout moment in the first debate thanks to a memorable clash with then-frontrunner Joe Biden over his record on desegregation busing.
But she’s struggled to break out in subsequent debates and has seen her poll numbers plunge in recent months. In November, Harris dramatically cut her staff in New Hampshire, the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House, to focus on Iowa.
The Harris campaign was also hemorrhaging money, spending more than what was coming in, amid tough media coverage about the campaign’s struggles.
She is the first “big name” candidates to drop out of the crowded 2020 primary field, two months before the lead-off Iowa caucuses. Her exit follows the withdrawal of former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, another Democrat who entered the race to great fanfare, but later struggled.
Campaigning in Iowa on Tuesday, Former VP Joe Biden said of Harris, “I have mixed emotions about it because she is really a solid, solid person. And loaded with talent.”
Many believe that Harris’ decision was made not only because she was no longer a viable candidate for POTUS, but any future political career for her would be in jeopardy, if she remained in the race, and lost big – which seemed likely — in the California primary, her home state.
Congressional Democrats have now released their scathing nine-point impeachment report, which accuses President Trump of abusing his office for partisan advantage in the Ukraine scandal, and of then seeking to obstruct the probe of his misdeeds.
The landmark report says the Intelligence Committee’s investigation determined that President Trump used $391 million in aid to Ukraine and a White House visit for its president, as leverage to force the embattled nation to announce “unfounded” investigations into Joe Biden and his son, as well as a conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
The 300-page report comes less than 24 hours before the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin taking up the case with its first formal impeachment hearing Wednesday morning. The report is expected to be transmitted to that committee following an evening vote and would form the basis for any articles of impeachment to be drafted.
“President Trump’s scheme subverted U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine and undermined our national security in favor of two politically motivated investigations that would help his presidential reelection campaign,” the report said.
It said the inquiry “uncovered a months-long effort by President Trump to use the powers of his office to solicit foreign interference on his behalf in the 2020 election.”
White House Dismisses Report
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham swiftly hit back in a statement slamming the nature of the Intelligence Committee’s inquiry and claiming it failed to prove any wrongdoing on Trump’s part.
“At the end of a one-sided sham process, Chairman Schiff and the Democrats utterly failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump,” Grisham said. “This report reflects nothing more than their frustrations. Chairman Schiff’s report reads like the ramblings of a basement blogger straining to prove something when there is evidence of nothing.”
The Intelligence Committee, led by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., conducted extensive interviews with witnesses connected to the Trump administration’s relationship with Ukraine after an anonymous whistleblower filed a complaint alleging that during a July 25 phone call, Trump tried to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to help Rudy Giuliani investigate Democratic activities in 2016, as well as former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
That phone call was at the center of the report, which said that “The President engaged in this course of conduct for the benefit of his own presidential reelection, to harm the election prospects of a political rival, and to influence our nation’s upcoming presidential election to his advantage,” the report said. “In doing so, the President placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States, sought to undermine the integrity of the U.S. presidential election process, and endangered U.S. national security.”
Trump has denied wrongdoing and said his call with Zelensky was “perfect,” while maintaining there was no such quid pro quo tying aid to investigations. One key witness, E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, alleged a clear quid pro quo involving a White House meeting and a “potential quid pro quo” involving the aid — but also acknowledged he never heard those conditions from Trump directly.
Zelensky has also denied there was any pressure put on him or any talk of a quid pro quo between the two leaders, but he did recently criticize the decision to delay the aid.
Meanwhile, Republicans drafted a report of their own, which rejected most, if not all of the claims, made by the Democratic majority.
“The evidence presented does not prove any of these Democrat allegations, and none of the Democrats’ witnesses testified to having evidence of bribery, extortion, or any high crime or misdemeanor,” the GOP report said.
With the Intelligence Committee’s report in their hands, the Judiciary Committee is next going to call constitutional law experts to testify regarding the relevant legal principles involved in impeachment, before determining whether or not to approve articles of impeachment, which would then go to the full House for a vote.
If the House should vote to impeach, the Senate would hold a trial, where a two-thirds majority would be needed to convict.
“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.”