An indication that Homeland Security is ramping up their security apparatus was revealed yesterday as scores of Iranian-American citizens returning from trips to Canada for additional scrutiny about their political views and allegiances. Some were denied entry.
Iraq would apparently rather face the simultaneous threats of Iran and a potential resurgence of Isis than the presence of an unpredictable and impulsive US military. One possibility is that Iraq might become an Iranian proxy state.
As they are lied to by the bellicose Trump administration the American people should look at a map. Iran is huge. It has enormous resources. This is why they are able to so easily project their power at various pressure points around the Middle East. It will worsen now as Iran's resolve against the US strengthens. Where a few days ago there was a politically divided and factionalized Iran, the US now faces a politically united Iran with a clear and common enemy, and with the possibility that it may unite with Iraq. Both are predominantly Shiite.
quote:I. Whensoever the Senate shall receive notice from the House of Representatives that managers are appointed on their part to conduct an impeachment against any person and are directed to carry articles of impeachment to the Senate, the Secretary of the Senate shall immediately inform the House of Representatives that the Senate is ready to receive the managers for the purpose of exhibiting such articles of impeachment, agreeably to such notice.
This article speaks of managers appointed by the House carrying the articles of impeachment to the Senate so that they may be presented. If Hawley's resolution passes it will violate Senate rules. They need to first amend the Senate rules for impeachment trials so the first article reads like this:
quote:I. Whensoever the House passes articles of impeachment, the Senate shall inform the House of Representative that the Senate will begin the trial at a time of it's choosing irregardless of the appointment of managers by the House of Representatives or the delivery and exhibition of the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
The second article is problematic for Mitch McConnell's expressed desire to either dismiss the articles or run a trial with no witnesses or documents, i.e., no evidence, because this article requires the House managers to be introduced, after which they will present the articles. This isn't possible until House managers have been appointed, which I presume Pelosi will not do until such time is she is satisfied the Senate will carry out a trial that history will judge as legitimate and genuine.
quote:II. When the managers of an impeachment shall be introduced at the bar of the Senate and shall signify that they are ready to exhibit articles of impeachment against any person, the Presiding Officer of the Senate shall direct the Sergeant at Arms to make proclamation, who shall, after making proclamation, repeat the following words, viz: ‘‘All persons are commanded to keep silence, on pain of imprisonment, while the House of Representatives is exhibiting to the Senate of the United States articles of impeachment against ——— ———’’; after which the articles shall be exhibited, and then the Presiding Officer of the Senate shall inform the managers that the Senate will take proper order on the subject of the impeachment, of which due notice shall be given to the House of Representatives.
I think the third article is the one Hawley must be thinking of, and he has interpreted it incorrectly. It refers to the Senate considering the articles promptly, not to the House delivering them promptly:
quote:III. Upon such articles being presented to the Senate, the Senate shall, at 1 o’clock afternoon of the day (Sunday excepted) following such presentation, or sooner if ordered by the Senate, proceed to the consideration of such articles and shall continue in session from day to day (Sundays excepted) after the trial shall commence (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate) until final judgment shall be rendered, and so much longer as may, in its judgment, be needful. Before proceeding to the consideration of the articles of impeachment, the Presiding Officer shall administer the oath hereinafter provided to the members of the Senate then present and to the other members of the Senate as they shall appear, whose duty it shall be to take the same.
I think Hawley and the rest of the Senate should accept the rules for what they say, not for what he wishes they said. If they would like to amend the rules that is within their prerogative, but if it results in a sham trial then history is unlikely to judge them kindly.
I agree with everything you say but have a comment on this:
As I suspected would happen from the jump, Trump has been acquitted. I attribute this mostly to the lackluster allegations and sloppy job legitimizing a case against him. I thought the Articles of Impeachment were very shoddy and very weak.
I assume you mean that had Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani and Perry testified that there would have been at least the possibility that twenty Republicans would vote for conviction. I'd like to think so, but congressional Republicans are solidly unswerving in their support for Trump. The justification most gave for their acquittal vote is transparently ludicrous, that any action the president believes is in the national interest is not impeachable. More thoughtful Republicans said they believed what Trump did wrong but not impeachable, perhaps deserving of censure, though no censure proposal has been put forward as yet.
Perhaps the testimony of those individuals would have pried away a few more Republicans than just Romney, but twenty? I don't know.
After more than a year McGahn's challenge to the subpoena to appear before the House is still wending its way through the courts. Subpoenas of Mulvaney, Pompeo, Giuliani and Perry would have suffered the same fate and continued the House impeachment hearings on into the summer and beyond the election.
But I wish the House had subpoenaed them and just let the process drag out through the election summer. It would have kept this important issue before the public's attention.
Can you say Noriega redux? Why is Trump adding to the history the US's misbehavior and misadventures in Central and South America? Doesn't he have enough to worry about at home? Or was this just all he could think of to grab the news cycle on a day when the US is going to pass China to take the world lead in number of coronavirus infections.
Reid: What did you do with that time that you bought? The argument is that you bought yourself some time. You didn't use it to prepare hospitals. You didn't use it to ramp up testing. Right now, nearly 20 million people are unemployed.
Trump: You're so disgraceful. It's so disgraceful the way you say that….
Reid: Tens of thousands of Americans are dead. How is … this rant supposed to make people feel confident in an unprecedented crisis?… What did your administration do in February for the time that your travel ban bought you?
Trump: A lot.
Trump: A lot, and in fact, we'll give you a list…. We did a lot. Look, look, you know you're a fake.
In this exchange Collins is CNN White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins:
Collins: You said when someone is president of the United States, their authority is total. That is not true. Who told you that?
Trump: You know what we're going to do? We're going to write up papers on this.
Collins: Has any governor agreed that you have the authority to decide when their states …
Trump: I haven't asked anybody because. … You know why? Because I don't have to ….
Collins: But who told you the president has the total authority?
Nice to see some reporters actually challenging Trump in real time in front of the cameras instead of in a later report.
It is apparently in human nature when seeing some qualities they like to ignore dishonesty, duplicity, cruelty and inhumanity. This is an except from a WWII diary by a Nazi-supporting citizen of the Netherlands as the Nazis occupied her country as published in the NYT in The Lost Diaries of War. The Nazis invaded the Netherlands on May 10, 1940:
quote:May 15, 1940
The [Dutch] air defense people ordered us to build barricades in the street in front of our house. Everyone had to help loosen tiles, stack them and take out all kinds of junk. I even saw parts of bed frames in the street. It was just ridiculous, absolutely laughable; it looked as if it’d been done by children. Later, we heard that citizens weren’t even allowed to do this. Anyway, what were these barricades to the Germans? They would easily push everything aside with their powerful vehicles. Now they are proper soldiers; not like our boys, who couldn’t control their nerves and just kept shooting at random.
The way the Germans acted was so proper, so magnificent, so disciplined; they command nothing but respect. The locals could learn a lot from the Germans. Just look at them marching by, on foot or on horseback or with their guns, looking so beautiful, so healthy, and with such cheerful faces; they’re big and sturdy and very neat, making you think, inadvertently, some army the Dutch have! The people here are so rude and impolite, while the Germans are so proper and polite! It’s easy to see the difference. This is the Netherlands, how dare they fight such a powerful, strong people? No wonder they had to give up fighting after four days, the difference was too great.
And what about our officers — well, not all of them, of course — stirrers and rabble-rousers. I’ve always been one for the military and considered them our protectors, but I’ve had more than enough of them. I have no respect for them anymore. They have really frightened me. When I think of everything that’s happened, I feel so embittered. I would love to let them have it. I’m livid, my heart is on fire. But Nat. Socialism says we’re not to repay evil with evil! How is this possible if you harbor feelings of revenge for all the humiliation we’ve had to endure? It’s nearly impossible, yet we must.
We need to rebuild, that’s what’s required of us. The fact that there are still people who support the Queen is incomprehensible to us; a queen who has fled her country because she feared for her life, who has abandoned her people in need; who has let her soldiers bleed to death and sought refuge herself! Surely, a mother doesn’t abandon her child? The Germans wouldn’t have harmed her; they are much too honorable for that.
Just as many people saw in Hitler qualities that clearly were not there, so today do many people see in Trump qualities that are just as clearly absent.
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None of these cover our situation. We're just standard "work for a salary with federal taxes automatically deducted, sell a little ESPP stock, and file our tax return on time every year" type of people. The only thing out of the ordinary is that we usually end up owing a small amount of money every year instead of getting a refund.
Trump is constantly oscillating between fighting the virus and reopening the country, and these two simple points explain why:
If the country reopens more people will get sick and more people will die, hurting Trump's reelection chances.
If the country does not reopen the economy will tank, hurting Trump's reelection chances.
And so we see the Trump Jekyll and Hyde. By day at his coronavirus press conferences he mouths platitudes that sometimes don't contradict known facts or his own administration's policies. By night he foments resurrection against Democratic governors who have closed businesses and imposed personal distancing and facial covering guidelines.
Underpinning it all is the issue of testing. Broad and expansive testing is the key to reopening the country, but Trump is inexplicably deaf to it. He has it within his grasp to be the hero by using the Federal Defense Act to mobilize the country to produce test kits and PPE, train personnel, and build analysis facilities, but he won't do it, likely because the voices whispering in his ear (Jared Kushner, Rudy Giuliani, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro, etc., not a health or economic expert in the bunch) are telling him to reopen the country (because it would be popular with his base) but have no idea how to safely do this.
We're in this position because of human nature. People naturally look to what other people are doing and saying in order to know what to do and say themselves. They are not accustomed to digging down into the facts, and their eyes glaze over when listening to someone who does. Only when facts become painfully obvious do they make a difference.
One would think that the current pandemic is a fact that is painfully obvious, but demonstrations across the country tell us that is not the case. Rural conservatives in Michigan can see the news coming out of urban areas like New York City and their own urban area in Detroit and still conclude that the coronavirus will somehow stay bottled up in cities and dense suburbs and never come out into rural areas and bite them. Dr. Fauci tells them they're wrong and why they're wrong, but their response is a thoughtful and carefully considered, "Fire Fauci!"
Here's the latest bar graph of daily coronavirus cases:
In the absence of effective PPE reopening Florida beaches is wrong, and reopening non-essential businesses is wrong. Around here almost no grocery store workers are wearing PPE, but in a most welcome announcement that will hopefully be broadly influential Walmart has announced that beginning Monday (tomorrow) all their employees will be required to wear facial coverings.
Samantha Bee has a weekly half-hour comedy show, and this past Wednesday she had a brief interview of Elizabeth Warren. Warren emphasized testing. On one of last Sunday morning's political shows Biden listed testing first among his priorities.
It isn't any mystery. It's testing, stupid. Hopefully our loutish president will figure this out before he kills us all.
Re: placing the graduating West Point class in harms way.
Trump has decided that instead of the VP giving a virtual graduation speech to the class il Donaldo will address the class in person. He has instructed that 1000 grads be brought back to West Point, given covid-19 tests and then quarantined in separate rooms for 14 days before being herded to the ceremony.
I'd guestimate the probability that one or more of the cadets who pass the initial covid-19 test come down with it during their 14-day quarantine at around 50/50. Those cadets simply won't attend, and of course none who provide services (meals, janitorial, etc.) will attend, but what about all the other military brass would who normally attend a West Point graduation? What about the crew of civilians necessary to put on an event of this size? Drivers? Parking attendants? Ushers? Will they quarantine too?
Is there nothing this president won't sacrifice for his vanity?
quote:All countries are constantly oscillating between fighting the virus and reopening the country, and these two simple points explain why:
If the country reopens more people will get sick and more people will die, killing many people.
If the country does not reopen the economy will tank, many will go without money/food and an increase in things like riots/theft, killing many people.
I was making a different point. Of course all countries and their leaders are wrestling with these opposing concerns. I was offering them as the explanation for why Trump's behavior, as opposed to that of other countrys' leaders, is schizophrenic. He isn't balancing these concerns like other leaders. He's bouncing back and forth between them.
When Trump talks he lies. If you could bet money on each Trump sentence on whether it was true, false or misleading you could make a fortune just betting mindlessly on "not true." Now we know his new press secretary lies too.
This Wuhan lab thing is blowing up in the news media, but it's just another Trump distraction. He wants to be at the top of the news cycle every day, and this is how he does it. If it gains a little traction like this Wuhan lab thing seems to be doing then he just keeps pushing it until one day it just melts away and disappears like so many other Trump lies.
By reporting all these lies, often multiple times for each outlet, the news media is acting as a Trump propaganda arm. This realization has been gradually dawning on the news media over the past few months, and they try to counter it with fact checking, but as they say, a lie can circle the globe three times before the truth puts its shoes on. Trump is much more effective at spreading lies than the news media is at correcting them.
It won't happen, but we need the news media to only report the verifiably true things that the Trump administration says. They can continue reporting on what the Trump administration does - not on what they say they do, but on what they actually verifiably do.
When, for example, Kushner goes before the cameras and touts the administration's accomplishments in battling the coronavirus they should carry only the portions that are true, and for the rest they can just say that Kushner said a bunch of things that were contrary to known facts or were unverifiable. There's no need to correct the same lies in detail day after day.
Just quoting lies to correct them spreads them. It's the genius of Trump that he has coopted the entire news media to spread his message of lies.
Basically, they're doing whatever Trump feels like doing at any particular moment. Planning? Strategizing? Organizing? What's that?
If he planned, strategized, organized, then absolutely refused to take into consideration any new information or changes in statistics, you'd heap praise on him for that?
Planning, strategizing and organizing while changing course as circumstances require is what competent management would do. It is not what Trump is doing. He can't do course corrections because he has no set course to begin with. He does whatever he thinks is necessary for winning the news cycle, not what's good for the country.
If Trump was competent and effective and doing what was good for the country then we'd have effective medical supply, testing and contact tracing strategies, but we don't. If we could perform millions of tests per day and do intensive contact tracing then we could reopen the country safely in just a few weeks, but we don't so we can't. Trump has resolutely refused to follow the advice of medical experts in these areas.
Several times, including just recently, ABC"s David Muir proclaimed that "PRESIDENT TRUMP REVERSES COURSE". Just like your USA Today headline uses the term "reversal" - it's an egregious lie. All he did was delay an action until a later date based on new information.
Reverses course on what in particular? Only if you describe what you're talking about can it be discussed.
These news outlets do this to mislead casual swing voters, trying to imply that Trump flails about, doing 180's based on whims.
And Trump's reason for the switch? Because the task force is popular. Not because this effort chaired by Mike Pence is doing essential work leading and coordinating the virus response effort (or would if Trump would let them) but that it's popular. Everyone else thinks the task force should continue in operation because of the important work it is doing.
Trump only liked the task force as long as it provided him daily TV opportunities to spread propaganda, lies and misinformation. The embarrassments he created for himself grew more and more severe, finally culminating in his bleach/disinfectant/light comments that forced him to cease the daily circus, the circus being Trump, not the other people who spoke. Once the task force ceased providing him a daily propaganda opportunity, he lost interest. Of course he wanted to cancel it, because he doesn't care about the country, only what gets him before the cameras.
As long as the swing voters aren't paying much attention, it works for them. But when those who ARE paying attention take note of this and point it out to others, then it tends to cancel out any gains the crooked news media made.
It isn't clear what you're talking about.
Polls taken of news media approval tend to bear this out. It's like when Trump stopped travel from China back in January, and was immediately called a xenophobe, racist, bigot, etc. by many Democrats and their puppets in the news media.
You're repeating a false complaint manufactured by Trump and being a willing dupe in the bargain. If you really think this true then try to track down news articles from right after Trump's January 31 announcement of the China travel restrictions that report what you're claiming. You'll have a hard time doing it because they don't exist.
Now those same people have REVERSED COURSE, (proper use of the term) and say Trump didn't act soon enough to slow or stop the spread of the virus. A LOT of swing voters noticed that course reversal.
This is another false Trump manufactured complaint. Is there anything he says that you won't buy? Again, if you think it true then track down the news reports about it.