Impeachment and Davos

Senator Cruz pretty much summed up the impeachment effort yesterday when he said (on Twitter)

If you have the facts, you bang the facts.
If you have the law, you bang the law.
If you don’t have either, you bang the table.

Today, we’ve seen a whole lot of table banging. pic.twitter.com/ez6HZtvu7y

In a wide ranging (but mostly economic) speech on Tuesday, at Davos, in what Rush Limbaugh said was one of his finest speeches (I agree), President Trump summed up the first three years of his presidency. Well worth your time, and I note that the audience was doing a very good job of sitting on their hands. Tells you how right the President is. Enjoy

The Toledo Rally

If you didn’t see the Trump/ Pence rally the other night here it is.

One of his best, hitting all the targets that need hitting, hard an in the X ring.

Battles for Freedom

OK, people, I just can’t resist this one, from the Army-Navy game

From Clarice Feldman in American Thinker.

The Supreme Court agreed this week to hear the president’s appeals of three cases on congressional and state oversight of the commander in chief.

There is no doubt in my mind that both the legislative and judicial branches of our government have overreached in trying to hamstring the president and these three cases should prove a benchmark on how far this nonsense will be allowed to continue. As Judge Neomi Rao argued in her dissent from a decision for a rehearing below: “The Constitution and our historical practice draw a sharp line between the legislative and judicial powers of Congress. By upholding this subpoena, the panel opinion has shifted the balance of power between Congress and the President and allowed a congressional committee to circumvent the careful process of impeachment.”[…]

Oversight and Reform Committee’s subpoenas of Trump’s personal and corporate financial records and the House financial and Intelligence Committee’s subpoena of two banks Trump dealt with, again seeking a broad range of his financial records. It is clear to me that the intent is to cherry-pick and publicize from these records to smear the president.

Yep, there is no legislative purpose whatsoever here, and that is the only reason that Congres has the power of subpoena. It’s a witch hunt turning into a coup or a cold civil war.

Doubtless because their leading candidate Joe Biden is actually guilty of bribery and quid pro quo, Adam Schiff’s House Intelligence Committee ditched those charges in its articles of impeachment which now charge only obstruction of Congress and abuse of power, charges as vague as they are unconstitutional.

Both are so vague and open ended that they could be applied in partisan fashion by a majority of the House against almost any president from the opposing party. Both are precisely what the Framers had rejected at their Constitutional Convention. Both raise the “greatest danger,” in the words of Alexander Hamilton, that the decision to impeach will be based on the “comparative strength of parties,” rather than on “innocence or guilt.”

That danger is now coming to pass, as House Democrats seek for the first time in American history to impeach a president without having at least some bipartisan support in Congress. Nor can they find any support in the words of the Constitution, or in the history of its adoption. A majority of the House is simply making it up as they go along in the process, thus placing themselves not only above the law but above the Constitution.

In doing this, they follow the view of Representative Maxine Waters who infamously declared that, when it comes to impeachment, “there is no law.” From her view, shared by some others, the criteria for impeaching a president is whatever a majority of the House says it is, regardless of what the Constitution mandates. This reductionistic and lawless view confuses what a majority of the House could get away with, if there is no judicial review, and what the mandated duty of all House members is, which is to support, defend, and apply the Constitution as written, not as it can be stretched to fit the actions of an opposition or controversial president.

If the House votes to impeach President Trump on grounds not authorized by the Constitution, its action, in the words of Hamilton, is void. As he put it in the Federalist Papers, “no legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.” If this is indeed the case, then the Senate will be confronted with a constitutional dilemma, if and when it will receive a void and invalid impeachment. It will have to decide whether to proceed with a trial of charges that are unconstitutional and therefore are void.

Also true, and also very likely to blow up in the Democrats’ faces.

Melanie Phillips credits the British working class for a victory which Boris credits to “literally everyone from Woking to Workington. From Kensington, I’m proud to say, to Clwyd South. From Surrey Heath to Sedgefield. From Wimbleton to Wolverhampton.”

Melanie explains:

The stakes in this election were enormous, not just for Britain but for the world. Labour is led by the most far-left leadership in its history, supporting terrorists abroad and incubating virulent antisemitism at home.[snip]

It was defeated by a seismic shift which may just have redrawn the British political landscape for ever.[snip]

The white working class, those blue-collar workers who had been tribal Labour supporters for generations, voted en masse for the Conservatives for the first time ever.[snip]

Because the British working-class is deeply, passionately patriotic and attached to democracy. They are the very best of Britain. Time and again they have saved the country in its wars against tyranny by putting their lives on the line to defend what it stands for: their historic culture, institutions and values.

That’s why in the 2016 referendum they voted en masse for Brexit. [snip]

It’s hard to exaggerate the anger by the Brexit-voting working-class at what they saw as an anti-democratic coup by Remainer Labour MPs who were determined to stop Brexit and spit in the eye of democracy.

These working-class voters also believe in hard work, responsibility and their own human dignity. They feel patronised and demeaned by welfare dependency, and have absolutely no time for the metropolitan liberals’ social agenda.

They are repelled by identity politics and victim culture, and are deeply worried by Muslim immigration and behaviour. Having watched with dismay the emergence of effectively segregated Muslim areas within their towns, they have been enraged by the way the allegation of “Islamophobia” has all but silenced concerns about outrages such as the Muslim rape and grooming gangs that have abused thousands of white girls, or the attempt to Islamise a number of schools.

So in this election, just as when they voted for Brexit in 2016, the working- class has risen up in revolt against the liberal universalists who control both their party and British culture.

(An often-seen Facebook meme echoes this sentiment: “They send our sons to Afghanistan and theirs to the Ukraine.”)

Read both articles, they are spot on.

So, for us, now what? Joe Herring in American Thinker has an idea.

He explains the reasoning behind his idea clearly and accurately, then this.

This episode has revealed a virus that threatens to kill us all unless destroyed.  There are numerous ideologies that are antithetical to liberty, utterly incompatible with a Constitutional Republic, and chief of these is socialism (and its associated collectivist, state-worshiping siblings).

The lure of unfettered power brings on a particular madness in those who fail to inoculate themselves against it.  Socialism relies on this madness to gain and expand power.  Indeed, it cannot exist without it.  It brutally enforces restrictions on contrary speech, lest its adherents develop a natural resistance to the madness.

The Democrat party have succumbed to the madness and, now fully insane, will brook no opposition to their aim of absolute power with which they will rid the world of selfish individuality and replace it with ordered utopia.  None of this is acceptable under our form of government.

Understand this: socialism requires the overthrow of our government, the very definition of a grave, prosecutable offense under 18 U.S. Code §2385.[*]

It’s time to arrest, prosecute, and imprison those involved in this coup at all levels, regardless of party.  Their punishments must be severe, crushing, and public if we hope to deter any further adventurism by the thousands of would-be Napoleons of the Deep State bureaucracy.

It’s time to reform the civil service code to facilitate the immediate removal of any member of government engaged in the abuse of his position by commission or omission.

He too is, I think correct. It is time and past time to end this charade.

75 years ago a prayer was written by Monsignor Francis O’Neill, chaplain of Third United States Army, as it entered into the Battle of the Bulge. It was written at LT GEN Patton’s request.

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend.  Grant us fair weather for Battle.  Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations.  Amen.

As the British and American people once again enter battle to save our liberty, it is good to remember those brave men and women who came before us. The story of the prayer is here.

*18 U.S. Code §2385:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

An interesting sidelight, 18 U.S. Code §2385 was passed in 1948, by the Truman Administration and amended in 1956 (by the Eisenhower Administration), 1962 (by the Kennedy Administration), and in 1994 (by the Clinton Administration).

Of Elections and Counter Revolutions

Tomorrow Britain votes in a general election, the prime contenders are Boris Johnson of the (not) Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn of the CPSU Labour Party. What’s going to happen is anybody’s guess. There are several smaller parties including The Brexit Party that ran the table in the European elections, but has recently waned, although they might pick up a seat or so, there is the UnLiberal Not Democrats who will take remainer votes (maybe) from Labour. UKIP has a few candidates and an outstanding Manifesto, which means little since they’ll be very lucky to get one seat, and more, including The Monster Raving Loony Party which is a good description of this election.

The best write up I’ve seen is this, from Law and Liberty The best ad I’ve seen is this new one from the Conservatives.

Pretty cute, and just a bit Trumpian. That’s important, Britain is fighting the same revolution we are, against their own deep state and the politicians embedded in it. So we’ll see. Not least if Boris can break free from his own swamp background.


Then there is Washington, where the House has gone not so much extra-constitutional as downright anti-constitutional. Well, we know how that plays in Peoria, don’t we? Christopher Knight in American Thinker is good on this.

When I consider Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Jerry Nadler maneuvering for impeachment of President Donald Trump, it is with some dark bewilderment. They have no idea what disaster they are courting for themselves and their allies. It will not end well for them. […]

Since the summer of 2015 the hardliners of the Deep State have gazed at Trump with derision, then desperation, and now total destruction in mind. To them the American people simply aren’t meant for a loosening of control and regaining oversight of their own government. Trump’s message resonated with those same American people as had nothing in recent memory. Democracy came to Eastern Europe by ballots and not bullets. So too did American citizenry in flyover country begin to revolt against their elitist masters.

It wasn’t part of “the plan” and perhaps for the first time ever, the Deep State shuddered in fear. The revolution was not only televised, it was splayed across Facebook and Twitter. But if not Trump himself, someone else would have inevitably threatened the entrenched political and media complex. The peril would come. It was only a matter of when. […]

Who among the faces of this “glorious revolution” will win the White House in 2020? It may be the most lackluster field of candidates in modern history. Which alone indicates to me that Trump would be too smart than to level unethical sabotage against any political opponent: Joseph Biden will never be as formidable as even George McGovern. And Adam Schiff as the one who will go down in legend as the man who toppled the President? Oh please….

In short, it’s pretty much all over, but the executions err trials. What could rekindle the whole mess? You know as well as I, and I think Barr and Durham know it as well. If that happens, the half a billion privately owned arms held by the foresight of the founder’s might make an appearance. Not to be wished, it is a doomsday alternative, but it is more likely than at any time since 1865.

IG’s, Impeachment, and Defending the Realm

And so, today, we’re supposed to see the long-anticipated Inspector General report. That’s all to the good, even if, in a properly run country, it should have been a year ago. But a properly run country has little to do with Washington for reasons we have often discussed.

So don’t get your hopes up, the IG has very limited scope and even more limited powers, if they weren’t, I suspect he would not exist. But it is a continuation. Mueller’s report should have been a cold shower, this should be another. The real justice starts (maybe) with Barr. Maybe it starts on November 3, 2020, or maybe it never starts. Who knows?

Clarice Feldman has a good summary at American Thinker which you should read.

The week ended with the President trumping a low pair — congressmen Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler — when White House Counsel Pat Cipollone responded to Congressman Nadler’s demand that the Judiciary Committee be informed if the White House intended to participate in the second act of the impeachment clown show. The letter in sum says, “go right to impeachment so we can have a real trial in the Senate”:

Which over at Ace’s, where they speak American, no doubt elicited the comment “LOLGF”, as it should. It also means, “See you in November, sucker, after the American people fire you.” And that will happen to some, maybe quite a few of these swamp sucking scum. Clarice continues:

Mollie Hemingway who, like me, doesn’t believe the President will be impeached, notes the likely witness list in a Senate hearing, which, unlike the House hearings, operates like a real trial with due process protections.

Among those she thinks would certainly be subpoenaed: Adam Schiff, Eric Ciaramella and his lawyer Mark Zaid, Schiff staffers, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, and Democratic members of Schiff’s Permanent Select Committee on Investigations.

She indicates the trial will have access to extensive declassified materials (declassified by the President) including transcripts of those that Schiff’s committee questioned in closed-door hearings which he has refused to release (probably because they support the President).

A re-examination, this time by hostile questioners, of the parade before Schiff’s committee and a subpoenaing of many of the upper levels of the Obama administration.

Did Nadler’s hearing this week, add a single thing to the Schiff hearings? No, says Hemingway, who very accurately described them:

Of his three witnesses, one was an Elizabeth Warren donor who previously said she couldn’t stand to walk on the same sidewalk as the Trump hotel. Another witness previously said Democrats didn’t even need evidence of crimes committed by the president in order to impeach him. And their third and final witness previously helped run Dianne Feinstein’s anti-Brett Kavanaugh smear operation in 2018.

To those skeptical that any of the wrongdoers at high level will be jailed, she reminds us of other consequences they’d face: lost clearances, extensive legal fees, and vastly diminished reputations.

The end result: an acquittal and ”a massive election victory for Trump.”

First and maybe most important, follow Clarice’s link to Mollie Hemingway, she is amongst, if not the, best journalist in Washington.

Each day this farcical pretense continues the President’s popularity and war chest grows.

It doesn’t take a lot of deep political thought to see where this is headed. Even if the Democrats in the House vote to impeach — and it still isn’t a given that they’ll have the votes — the Senate will never convict.

The president, however, may end up with a campaign war chest the likes of which no incumbent has ever seen.
Impeach him, and he shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.

In short, the House Democratic Caucus has voluntarily become The Committee to Reelect the President.

A palate cleanser, a real patriot on what is important in government. Ann Widdecombe, of the Brexit Party, on Defense of the Realm. Enjoy.

NATO at 70, Uncivil Serpents, and Doing the Right Thing

So, this week looks like it will be about foreign affairs – until something changes, I reckon. But that’s where we start.

The North Atlantic signatories are meeting today and tomorrow in Britain. There is a lot of noise, between the president’s concern about European funding, which is certainly justified, French (which has not been a military member since the 1960s) carping about this and that. Macron is only staying for one day, he has other problems. There is a general strike coming in France on 5 December, that will pretty much shut the joint down. Not to mention the shouting matches between Macron and Erdoğan of Turkey.

In a sense, this looks to me like an alliance looking for a purpose. 70 years ago when it was formed under US and UK leadership it clearly was a counterpoint to the USSR and the Warsaw Pact. That war ended 30 years ago, and it seems to me that NATO doesn’t have a real mission anymore. It’s protected by deep state practitioners in all the allied countries, a fair number of whom seem to have not gotten the memo that the cold war is over.

Rule 5 is the heart of the whole thing. It is the provision that an attack on one is an attack on all, and lead to the American assertion (in the bad old days) that America’s eastern border was the Elbe River. That was good sense and admirable clarity. But now what? Some vague line in the middle of Ukraine, the Turkish, Syrian border. Really? Do we want to commit American boys and girls to fight for those things?

In many ways, Europe for the United States, and perhaps for Russia as well, has become a backwater, and its stultifying economy and penchant for internecine dispute and internal imperialism strengthens that notion. So the real question is Quo Vadis.

More here and here.

So in the middle of an election campaign, this is the team that Boris Johnson will attempt to harness this week. Good luck with that, he’ll need a barge load, I suspect.

When we talk about the deep state, we are referring to the same thing as the cousins call the Civil Service (actually most of my friends refer to them as uncivil serpents, for cause). It happens in all bureaucracies, people get aligned with something and no matter what the politicians do, there they stand.

One of the worst cases was in Neville Chamberlin’s tenure in Downing Street. Adrian Phillips wrote the book on Sir Horace Wilson. He published an excerpt on History News Network this weekend, and it looks fascinating. A paragraph or so:

In 1941, as his time in office drew to a close, the head of the British Civil Service, Sir Horace Wilson, sat down to write an account of the government policy with which he had been most closely associated. It was also the defining policy of Neville Chamberlain, the Prime Minister whom Wilson had served as his closest adviser throughout his time in office. It had brought Chamberlain immense prestige, but this had been followed very shortly afterwards by near-universal criticism. Under the title ‘Munich, 1938’, Wilson gave his version of the events leading up to the Munich conference of 30 September 1938, which had prevented – or, as proved to be the case, delayed – the outbreak of another world war at the cost of the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia. By then the word ‘appeasement’ had acquired a thoroughly derogatory meaning. Chamberlain had died in 1940, leaving Wilson to defend their joint reputation. Both men had been driven by the highest of motivations: the desire to prevent war. Both had been completely convinced that their policy was the correct one at the time and neither ever admitted afterwards that they might have been wrong.

The book has joined my list, which you’ll not be surprised, is long, but this looks very good. It also appears to bear on much of what we have talked about today.

Churchill apparently never said that “Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.”  But it’s a fair bet that he thought it pretty often, and pretty often it is true. But we do most often get around to doing the right thing.

As we did with the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. It’s not something we can credibly go to war about, as I said back on 15 June, this is likely to be a replay of Hungary in 1956, where we simply cannot physically support our friends.

But we eventually found a way, that will hurt China if they suppress the Hong Kongers without a direct military challenge. But look again at the picture that accompanied the article in June (pretty close to the beginning of the protests). Who are they looking to for help? Right, the British, after all, Hong Kong is a former Crown Colony. But that soon changes as the Hong Kongers realized that Britain wasn’t going to be there for them, and so the flags changed, from flags with the Union Flag, or the Union Flag itself, to the American flag. That change was important, for the US does have a habit of as John Kennedy said.

 We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

  Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

And so we found a way, a no doubt an imperfect way, but the American people first, and then the US government moved to align ourselves once again with freedom, and against tyranny.

The sad part is that Britain should have been on the rampart with us, but was MIA when it counted, whether they were too preoccupied with Brexit, or too in hock to their Chinese paymasters (as some say), or still another reason, doesn’t really matter. When it mattered, they, like Achille, were skulking in their tent. A sad commentary.

What wasn’t sad all, was that these polite protestors, brought out their flags, and even the new poster of our President, and sang our National Anthem by way of saying “Thank You”. I’d trade our leftists for these brave people anytime. What great Americans they’d make!

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