Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Americans are either bored or angry with the nonsense from the House

On impeachment, Trina slid this over to me.  It is a column by Liz Peek:

Here’s what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has done by undertaking a reckless and partisan drive to impeach the president: absolutely guaranteed that anyone who voted for Donald Trump in 2016will vote for him again next year. Guaranteed, as a result, that Trump will be reelected.

Across the United States, tens of millions of Americans are furious that Donald Trump, a man they respect, has been bullied and bloodied by hate-filled, crazed political antagonists who mock him,lie shamelessly about his policies, obstruct his every move and, most disgusting of all, savagely demean his wife and children.

Those same Americans are also furious that we have wasted three years pursuing fake accusations of collusion with Russia and now Ukrainian skullduggery; they wonder what might have been accomplished over these past three years if not for the constant undermining of Mr. Trump and his administration.

Ms. Peek, you may remember, from Marlo Thomas' WOW website.  She was the economics columnist.  This is another columnist,  Jim Geraghty (NATIONAL REVIEW) and Brad e-mailed asking I could note this:

On paper, the speaker of the House and chairmen of the relevant committees announcing they will impeach the president should feel like a historic moment and a rarely equaled disgrace for the presidency. This day should feel momentous, grim, and solemn. Inthis presidency, it feels like “Tuesday.”

On paper, the impeachment hearings did everything House Democrats wanted them to do. While some of the key testimony was second-hand, the witnesses painted an ugly picture of the administration and president, focused on farfetched tales of a lost serverand obsessed with the Bidens and not seeming to give a fig about what the military aid meant to Ukraine. The major television networks covered the hearings live. The objections of House Republicans were largely ridiculed by the media. The GOP was unable tointroduce witnesses to interrupt the Democrats’ narrative or divert attention to the Bidens or other topics.

And yet the polling is about where it was at the start of October. As of this writing, in the FiveThirtyEight aggregation, 47.1 percent support removing the president, and 44 percent don’t support removal. That’s not good for the White House, but that’s nowhere near where Democrats wanted it to be. There’s nothingresembling the bipartisan consensus that Democrats had previously called a prerequisite for moving forward with the removal of a president. In fact, impeachment could well be hurting Democrats’ chances in key swing states. A recent survey found removal is opposed by 50.8 percent of voters in Michigan, 52.2 percent of voters in Pennsylvania, and 57.9 percent of voters in Wisconsin. Whether or not you think the hearings were persuasive, the evidence suggests they didn’t persuade many people who didn’t already support impeachment.

They keep pushing impeachment and the public is still not embracing it.  And let me note this on a witness this week at the Committee hearing:

The top lawyer for Judiciary and Intelligence Committee Republicans testified Monday that there was a “legitimate basis” for President Trump to ask Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky to launch a public investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine.

During impeachment inquiry testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee, minority counsel Steve Castor tried to turn the tables on the Democrat-led investigation into whether President Trump tried to pressure his Ukrainian colleague into investigating a political rival by withholding aid and a White House meeting by arguing that there were real concerns about the former vice president’s son’s involvement with the Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma Holdings.

“Hunter Biden was reportedly receiving $50,000 to $83,000 a month for compensation for his role on the Burisma board,” Castor said of the former vice president’s son.

Castor questioned why a person who doesn’t have a history with Ukraine and doesn’t speak either Ukrainian or Russian would have a senior role on the company’s board.

“At the time that Hunter Biden joined Burisma’s board, his father, former Vice President Biden, was the Obama Administration’s point person for Ukraine.”

Castor speculated that the only reason Hunter Biden was on the Burisma board was because his father was the vice president at the time, and leading the Obama administration’s efforts in Ukraine.

“Hunter Biden was not qualified to serve on the board,” Castro said. “There is a legitimate basis for President Trump to have a concern about Hunter Biden’s role on the Burisma board.”

I agree.  And if President Trump truly suspected wrong doing, he was compelled to follow up. 

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, December 10, 2019.  Joe Biden and his Mini-Me Tiny Pete continue their campaigns but neither has anything to say about the months long protests in Iraq.

Starting in the US with the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination where Joe Biden continues to get propped up by the media.

One example of whoring for Joe?   and

It was mid-month December 2007.  Hillary Clinton was the front runner in the national polls.  As for South Carolina?  CNN put her at 42% to Barack's 34%, SURVEY USA put her at 44% to Barack's 40%, CBS NEWS put her at 34% to Barack's 35%.

January 26, the vote finally took place -- no ranked choice voting options, by the way.

And all the polls that had Hillary with a lead or within 1% of Barack?


Hillary only got 26.5% of the vote.  55.4% of it went to Barack.

Get it?

South Carolina will decide after Iowa.  After New Hampshire.  The results of both states prior will cast all the candidates in a certain light.  Should Joe lose Iowa, he will be seen as a loser.  Should he lose both Iowa and New Hampshire, he will be the ultimate loser.

He's already losing in terms of his disgraced son Hunter Biden who, when he's not sending strippers off to buy dildos to use on him or when he's not using illegal drugs, likes to take jobs he's completely unqualified for but gets anyway because his last name is Biden.

Eric Levitz (NEW YORK MAGAZINE) notes Joe's rude attack on the Iowa voter last week:

But this much is beyond dispute: By taking the job at Burisma, Hunter exploited his father’s public power for private gain in a manner that undermined U.S. interests, according to several Obama-administration officials. The State Department’s George Kent testified last month that Hunter’s role at Burisma risked creating “the perception of a conflict of interest” that could undermine America’s standing when it pushed for anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine. Kent says he raised this concern with the vice-president’s staff in 2015. Another Obama-administration official, Amos Hochstein, says he raised the issue with Joe Biden himself that same year.

[. . .]

The Democratic front-runner did not politely tell the man that — while his concerns about corruption were valid — he had actually been badly misinformed. Biden did not patiently explain how Hunter’s conduct differs from that of the Trump children or how he would differ from Trump in his handling of potential conflicts of interest as president. Instead, Biden called the voter a “damn liar,” challenged him to a push-up contest, and appeared to implicitly mock his potential constituent for being overweight. In between these Trump-esque displays of strained machismo, Biden made the patently false claim that “no one has said my son did anything wrong.” In truth, not only have many, many people said Hunter Biden was wrong to take the job at Burisma, Hunter is himself one of those people.

Josh Max (NY DAILY NEWS) adds:

Instead of answering the question, Biden first attacks the questioner with “You’re a damned liar, man,” a huge provocation which, in different parts of America, would result in an immediate physical confrontation. Biden then goes after the guy’s weight. He looks the man up and down and says, regarding the man’s statement that “I see it on the TV…that’s all I got to do is watch it.”
“I know you do. That’s why you’re...I’m not sedentary,” Biden says. “I get up and...”
It's the same response that many bigger people have to put up with when someone doesn't have the brains to stay with what the problem is, and goes right for the fat. Or the skin color. Or the age. Or the person's masculinity or perceived lack thereof. It's the sign of a small mind and a weak fighter.

Indeed.  Back to Eric Levitz:

But the fact that Biden still can’t answer reasonable questions about his candidacy’s chief liability is completely disqualifying. To nominate him despite that fact would be akin to employing a waiter who takes offense at being asked, “What are tonight’s dinner specials?” As the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer, reciting polite, polished talking points about Hunter and Burisma will be a core responsibility of Biden’s job. And by all appearances, he is unable or unwilling to do that.

LZ Granderson (CNN) points out that the incident was part of a pattern with Joe:

A one-off is easy to ignore but these lapses are not a rare occurrence for Biden. I was at the Human Rights Campaign's LGBTQ town hall event in October when the 77-year-old went drifting into some bizarre verbiage about "gay bathhouses" and "round-the-clock sex."
Back in August, Biden said "poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids," which is precisely the kind of well-intended racist sentiment that would have sent liberals into a frenzy had a Republican said it. He called 54-year-old Kamala Harris "kid." Just imagine what the headlines would look like if Trump had done the same. 

From Joe Biden to his Mini-Me Tiny Pete.

This means that Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg want to pass an agenda Republicans would vote for. just so you know

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign is everything wrong with politics in America today. The gaslighting, deception, corporate influence, white male privilege, lack of expertise, and no real experience. Pete’s campaign has it all. It’s one giant f**k you to the American people.

Ryan Cooper (THE WEEK) writes of Tiny Pete:

The McKinsey Mayor has a plan: Copy the most successful Democratic politician of the last generation. If an inexperienced but inspiring young black man from Chicago could become president, why not an even less experienced, even younger gay man from Indiana? John McCormick reports for the Wall Street Journal reports that "it is Mr. Buttigieg among the top-tier candidates who is trying the hardest to mimic the former president’s campaign style."
There are just two problems. Pete Buttigieg is running a radically different campaign in a radically different time. Where the party's center of gravity was decidedly moderate in 2008, today it is deeply fissured between moderates and a resurgent left. Thus where the Obama campaign could plausibly both promise optimistic, sweeping change and run on moderate policies, the Buttigieg campaign is going straight for moderates by cynically blasting quality leftist policy like Medicare-for-all and tuition-free college with conservative rhetoric.
Despite his smiling persona, Buttigieg, like Amy Klobuchar, is all about falsely telling the American people what they can't have. Call it the audacity of nope.
Over the past few weeks Buttigieg has started several policy fights with the left. He attacked Elizabeth Warren over her support for Medicare-for-all, demanding to know how she would raise taxes to pay for it — despite the fact that he has still not fully costed out his own plans, which would certainly require at least several hundred billion per year in new taxes (though the campaign has said repealing Trump's corporate tax cut might pay for his health-care agenda). More importantly, Buttigieg failed to mention that his own plan would be more expensive on net than Medicare-for-all, because it would not have the same leverage over prices and would preserve much of the current duplicative and wasteful structure.

Most recently, Buttigieg has attacked Medicare with tendentious libertarian ideology about choice. "You’re not free if you don’t have health care," he said in a recent stump speech, "but you should have the freedom to choose whether you want it." By this view, non-universal Medicare increases choice and is hence better — but elides the fact that it would foreclose the choice of a complete system which covers everyone from cradle to grave, without exception. As usual, libertarian choice rhetoric obscures more than it reveals.

Has Tiny Pete commented on the protests in Iraq?  The corruption in the system the US set up?  He got paid for being part of that system with McKinsey.

All eyes should be on tonight. Massive protests are said to take place this evening as thousands have arrived in Tahrir Square from other provinces. Security has been tightened across the city and demonstrators have been warned not to enter the Green Zone. Pray for Iraq.

NOW, The situation from Tahrir Square

Thousands of protesters mainly from across 's southern provinces have been streaming into Baghdad's Tahrir Square since yesterday in response to calls for a mass rally in the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, December 10.
  • December 10 also marks the two year anniversary since Iraq's victory over ISIL. Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi commemorated the day by declaring it a public holiday.
    In anticipation of the mass protests, the US Embassy in Iraq reiterated directives to US citizens to avoid traveling to Iraq/protest zones, adding that demonstrations are expected to increase in size from today.

    The protests continue in Iraq.

    Munqith Dagher (WASHINGTON POST) offers:

    Iraq’s recent demonstrations are among the bloodiest protests in its modern history. Nearly 500 Iraqis have been killed and over 17,000 injured in the protests during the past two months, according to reliable estimates. But the protests in Baghdad and southern Shiite provinces should not come as a surprise. The Shiite-dominated government has not provided for the basic needs of its constituents. But what do those participating actually think about the protests?
    In an attempt to get a better understanding of these protests’ dynamics and how protesters’ grievances can be addressed, my research group (Al Mustakilla) conducted a face-to-face poll of around 1,250 interviews with protesters in Baghdad and all main cities in the south of Iraq from Nov. 24 through Dec. 1. While there was no way to do a random probability representative sample, we targeted those participating in the protests with a purposive sample.
    One of the most powerful findings of the survey was the overwhelming importance to protesters of the need to feel significant. In a nationwide poll conducted earlier this year, 3 of 4 respondents said they felt their lives had lost all meaning, while 80 percent said they felt depressed at least one time during the previous six months.
    But participating in these demonstrations appears to have changed those feelings. Almost 94 percent of the protesters said that these demonstrations made them feel like an important person. Almost the same percentage said that participation in these protests made them feel as if they had a voice in the future of Iraq. And 97 percent mentioned that going to protests made them more proud of being Iraqis.

    It took polling for someone to grasp that standing up for yourself increases your self-worth?

    The Committee to Protect Journalism issued the following:

    Beirut, December 9, 2019 -- Iraqi authorities should conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the abduction of journalist Zaid Mohammed al-Khafaji, secure his release, and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
    On December 6, unidentified individuals abducted al-Khafaji, a freelance photographer, from his home in Baghdad and took him to an unknown location, according to news reports. Al-Khafaji was abducted when he returned home after covering protests in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, according to those reports.

    Protests have taken place throughout Iraq since October over a lack of basic services, unemployment, and government corruption, and have seen hundreds killed, according to news reports.

    “Covering the ongoing protests in Iraq is becoming a highly risky affair that is costing local journalists dearly,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Representative Ignacio Miguel Delgado. “Iraqi authorities must step up their efforts to protect journalists; they should get started by investigating the abduction of Zaid Mohammed al-Khafaji.”

    CCTV footage posted to the news website Irfaa Sawtak shows al-Khafaji arriving home by taxi, and two men can be seen exiting a nearby car, dragging al-Khafaji to their car, and driving away.

    Al-Khafaji’s brother, Ali, told CPJ via messaging app today that he had not heard from al-Khafaji or his captors since the abduction.

    At least two other journalists, Mohammad Qahtan al-Shamari and Shojaa Fares al-Khafaji, have been abducted since the protests broke out in Baghdad, according to CPJ reporting. Both were later released, according to CPJ reporting and news reports.

    Also on December 6, an unidentified individual shot Ahmed Muhana al-Lami, a photographer, in the back while he was covering protests in Baghdad’s Al-Khilani Square, according to a hospital document that has been shared on social media and an interview with the paramedic who treated al-Lami’s wounds, which was posted to social media. Al-Lami was transferred to Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Baghdad, where he died of his wounds shortly afterwards, according to a statement by his employer.

    Al-Lami worked as a photographer and camera operator for the Media Directorate of the Popular Mobilization Units, a state-sponsored group consisting of 40 mostly Shia militias, according to the statement from his employer. He covered the Iraqi government’s military campaign to retake control of territory held by the militant group Islamic State between 2015 and 2017, and had been covering the protests in Baghdad since they broke out in October, according to that statement and his posts on social media.
    Initial news reports and the statement from al-Lami’s employer claimed that the journalist was stabbed, but the paramedic said al-Lami had a gunshot wound near his spine, and said there was no evidence of stab wounds.

    At least 14 people were killed in Baghdad on December 6 when unidentified gunmen in cars fired on protesters, according to news reports.

    The following sites updated: