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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Current location: PA
Member since: Wed May 11, 2005, 09:48 PM
Number of posts: 10,659

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I love spending time with my grandchildren and gardening.

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John Roberts comes face to face with the mess he made

John Roberts comes face to face with the mess he made

There is justice in John Roberts being forced to preside silently over the impeachment trial of President Trump, hour after hour, day after tedious day.


Roberts’s captivity is entirely fitting: He is forced to witness, with his own eyes, the mess he and his colleagues on the Supreme Court have made of the U.S. political system. As representatives of all three branches of government attend this unhappy family reunion, the living consequences of the Roberts Court’s decisions, and their corrosive effect on democracy, are plain to see.

Ten years to the day before Trump’s impeachment trial began, the Supreme Court released its Citizens United decision, plunging the country into the era of super PACs and unlimited, unregulated, secret campaign money from billionaires and foreign interests. Citizens United, and the resulting rise of the super PAC, led directly to this impeachment. The two Rudy Giuliani associates engaged in key abuses — the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, the attempts to force Ukraine’s president to announce investigations into Trump’s political opponents — gained access to Trump by funneling money from a Ukrainian oligarch to the president’s super PAC.

The Roberts Court’s decisions led to this moment in indirect ways, as well. The court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County gutted the Voting Rights Act and spurred a new wave of voter suppression. The decision in 2014′s McCutcheon further surrendered campaign finance to the wealthiest. The 2018 Janus decision hobbled the ability of labor unions to counter wealthy donors, while the 2019 Rucho ruling blessed partisan gerrymandering, expanding anti-democratic tendencies.


Now, we are in a crisis of democratic legitimacy: A president who has plainly abused his office and broken the law, a legislature too paralyzed to do anything about it — and a chief justice coming face to face with the system he broke.

Susan Collins Takes Hours to Decide on Lunch Before Ordering Exactly What Mitch McConnell Is Having

Susan Collins Takes Hours to Decide on Lunch Before Ordering Exactly What Mitch McConnell Is Having

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—On the first day of the impeachment trial in the United States Senate, Senator Susan Collins, a Republican of Maine, spent hours trying to decide what she would have for lunch before ultimately ordering exactly what Senator Mitch McConnell was having.

Clutching the Senate takeout menu in her hands, Collins told reporters mid-morning that the decision of what to have for lunch was a matter of serious consideration and that she wanted to review all of the available options before selecting one.

“I’m deeply troubled and concerned about getting this order right,” Collins said. “There are many valid choices on this menu and I don’t want to give any of them short shrift.”

Around 11 A.M., rumors swirled that Collins was leaning toward ordering a quinoa salad, a choice that would have set her apart from the rest of her Republican colleagues in the upper chamber.

By noon, however, Collins emerged from her office to tell reporters that she had ordered the exact same thing that the Senate Majority Leader had chosen, a roast beef sandwich on a roll.

“At the end of the day, there was just not enough evidence that ordering anything else would have been better,” she said.
According to sources, Collins spent the lunch hour eating her sandwich alone at her desk and trying to determine why everyone hates her.

When was the last time a Republican won a presidential election without the help of dirty tricks

Ronald Reagan’s “October Surprise” Plot Was Real After All

A batch of quietly released documents confirms what many have long suspected: Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign worked behind the scenes to delay the release of US hostages in Iran, for the benefit of Reagan’s election campaign. It raises the question: When was the last time a Republican won a presidential election without the help of dirty tricks?


For those counting, that’s now at least four of the last six Republican presidents who have won elections with the assistance of some sort of pre-election skulduggery, including Richard Nixon’s torpedoing of peace in Vietnam, the George W. Bush campaign shenanigans in Florida and the later use of the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” and Donald Trump’s boost from Russia’s hacking of Democratic Party emails (even if that wasn’t coordinated) — not to mention the use of voter suppression that unites them all. And that’s not counting George H. W. Bush getting help from John Major’s government in the UK to beat Bill Clinton in 1992.




Madam Speaker, I Rise in Support of Withholding the Articles

Madam Speaker, I Rise in Support of Withholding the Articles

“Make no mistake, we are not impeaching this president. He is impeaching himself. If you are the president, and you obstruct justice, try to bribe a foreign leader, and threaten national security, you’re going to get impeached. End of story.”
— Susan Davis, D-Calif., Impeachment Debate, House of Representatives, Wednesday, December 18, 2019.

The decision, Madam Speaker, to withhold the Articles of Impeachment is clearly justified by Abuse of Power. However, it is not the president’s abuse of power as articulated in the Articles of Impeachment, but rather Senator Mitch McConnell’s abuse of his power as

Senate Majority Leader that necessitates the course you have rightly undertaken.

Given Leader McConnell’s stark and clear declaration of intent to undermine the objectivity the Constitution envisions in an impeachment trial, you are compelled to safeguard the process by all means at your disposal.

Moreover, you are further empowered by the mandate of public opinion on the matter. By an overwhelming margin, the American people want precisely what you are negotiating for – open, public testimony from administration officials with direct, firsthand knowledge of the events for which the president has been impeached. They are surely entitled to have it.

In addition, unfolding events accelerate the urgency. New evidence of the president’s involvement in the Ukrainian affair now surfaces on an almost daily basis. White House emails newly obtained by Kate Brannen at Just Security illustrate a clear intent on the part of the president personally to withhold Congressionally approved aid from Ukraine as the administration demanded an investigation into former vice president Joseph R. Biden.


Bolton has let it be known that he will testify...But what gives him the right to dictate terms?

Why Aren’t All the President’s Men Testifying?
Their contempt for Congress should be met with a legal and political fusillade.

Why aren’t all the president’s men testifying?

Some of the president’s closest aides, official and unofficial, past and present — Robert Blair, Michael Duffey, Rudy Giuliani, Don McGahn, Mick Mulvaney and Mike Pompeo — invoke a presidential order to refuse to give evidence about delays in Ukraine aid. But government officials like Gordon Sondland, William Taylor, Alexander Vindman and Marie Yovanovitch all ignored such orders and gave valuable testimony. After weeks of tweeting, giving interviews and writing his memoirs, John Bolton has let it be known that he will testify before the Senate, if he is subpoenaed by the Senate. But what gives him the right to dictate terms?

Mr. Bolton’s statement Monday claims that he is trying to “resolve the serious competing issues” between his obligations as a citizen and a former national security official. In fact, those obligations point in the same direction. Like jury duty or paying taxes, testifying under oath about facts we know is not optional; it is a fundamental obligation of citizenship. As a government official, Mr. Bolton held high office under an oath to “support and defend the Constitution.” Testifying at a Senate impeachment trial fulfills that constitutional oath.

Anyone who served in high public office knows that testifying before Congress about matters you worked on in government is part of your solemn public duty. If legislators’ questions impinge upon legitimate concerns about executive or national security privilege, you still must appear, declining to answer only those questions that call for information legally protected from public disclosure.

It does not matter that these witnesses have successfully withheld their testimony until now. The House’s impeachment vote should overrule any ethical or legal objection these witnesses now have to testifying before the Senate. How can senators vote on Mr. Trump’s removal without the testimony of any of his closest advisers? And if Mr. Bolton ends up testifying, don’t the Senate and the public need the others’ testimony to flesh out the full story?


Fri. (1/3): we are cyberattacked

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