The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Please use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


The End of Public Anonymity Is Close


Rogan Joshing


  1. bruce wilder

    Has anyone watched the House Managers make their case against Trump?

    I have seen only bits and pieces as I have seen some of the live coverage.

    It surprised me that Schiff made so much of his case on the basis of a conviction that U.S. foreign policy has to support uncritically pro-western Ukrainian factions against an unaccountably hostile and aggressive Russia, which is definitionally the enemy of the U.S.

    Going after Trump on an issue where Biden is in the crosshairs always seemed an odd strategy for Democratic pols, but if the senior partner in the anti-Trump coalition is the Deep State, determined to keep control of U.S. foreign policy, then it raises the question of how exactly Trump is a threat to that foreign policy. Isn’t he belligerent enough?

    Schiff seems remarkably ill-informed about Ukraine and Russia, but if he seems merely addled by ignorance, he turns for testimony in support to people who are expert but tendentitious.

    What are the Republicans coming back with? Telling the truth is never an option with them.

    I am confused by the whole spectacle.


    Has anyone watched the House Managers make their case against Trump?

    I’ve been watching bits and pieces of it. Nadler’s speech yesterday was par excellence. The Dems, as loathsome as they can be and have been, have done an excellent job with this. Trump is guilty beyond the shadow of a doubt and should be removed from office. If the Senate Republicans refuse to uphold, and adhere to, the Constitution, they are directly complicit in any and all of his criminality. Let’s not forget, it’s the Republicans who wanted to impeach Trump even before he was elected. How soon they forget. How easily they are corrupted.


    It’s clear the Senate Republicans will announce to the world that America is truly not a democratic republic and that the Constitution is worth less than toilet paper and vote to not impeach Trump. Considering Trump means it when he says the Constitution gives him the right to do anything he pleases, and considering the recent assassination of General Soleimani, I wouldn’t put it past Trump to order a drone strike on an abortion clinic during his second term. Think how it would rile up his base and we know the Dems are defenseless against him should this impeachment gambit fail and it’s going to fail.

    Here’s Trump at the pro-life march yesterday. Look how his handmaidens lust after him imploring, with their eyes, him to allow them to carry his children so he can spread his seed far and wide.

  4. At this point I have to believe that Trump’s remaining base solely consists of people who are constitutionally incapable of admitting that they’ve been played for a fool. Suckered, wool pulled over their eyes, led down a primrose path, sold a bag full of magic beans.

  5. ven

    Superb talk by Michael Hudson on finance capitalism, the return towards feudalism and the state of “democracy”. “I don’t see any way out . . . “

  6. Ché Pasa

    This will undoubtedly be the final presidential impeachment. It’s been shown to be an inapplicable remedy to presidential misfeasance and malfeasance. Impeachment will never be utilized against a president again. Other remedies, however, will still be available.


    Let’s not forget, the State Department rushed Yovanovitch out of Ukraine because it had evidence her physical security was at risk. The national security state has this evidence. It has evidence that Trump and his goons were conspiring to execute Yovanovitch. I will share what I texted my wife with you. If the NSA and the FBI can see it without my permission you should be able to see it too with my permission. The potential execution of Yovanovitch is the bigger story and crime. The deep state is protecting Trump. How can that be considering Trump has consistently decried the deep state? The only feasible and logical answer is, Trump is the deep state too or there’s been a Trump coup within the deep state.


    Ché Pasa, exactly. The Constitution is so full of holes at this point, it may as well be Swiss cheese. This latest impeachment gambit has removed the veneer of legitimacy and that is all that was left of the Constitution. If all legal means are blocked from removing a rogue tyrant from office, illegal means is the only option remaining.

    Meanwhile, the incomparable Jon Voight has asked us to pray for Trump during this “impeachment crisis.” I have it on good word their God will answer their prayers.

  9. highrpm

    pls don’t label me a trumper….having prefaced that, where is obstruction of congress a criminal act? and why give joie biden a free pass on doing favors to his children? (as much as i find the personage of dershowitz unappealing, at least the guy’s a reputed constitutional lawyer.)

  10. Chuck Mire

    Listen to President Trump order an ambassador fired while dining with key players in the Ukraine affair, including Lev Parnas, *whom he’s denied knowing*:

    Lev Parnas’ Full Video of Trump Telling Associates To “Get Rid Of” Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch:

    A lawyer for Lev Parnas released a video that captures President Donald Trump telling associates in 2018 that he wanted Marie Yovanovitch, the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, removed from her post. The relevant bit begins around 42 minutes in.

  11. “Take ’em out” is rarely, if ever, a euphemism for “fired.” Trump put a hit out on an American ambassador. I don’t ever want to hear about Benghazi, the spectacularly successfull coverup into the highest halls of congress of Romney and Retards’ spectacularly failed attempt to stage a hostage-taking and October Surprise rescue that resulted in the deaths of an American diplomat and three servicemembers abroad, again. Trump put a hit out on an American ambassador.

  12. Hugh

    Dershowitz: “at least the guy’s a reputed constitutional lawyer”

    Not to mention a frequent flyer on Jeffrey Epstein’s Lolita Express.

    highrpm, I would direct you to the discussion in Impeachment from the Annotated Constitution, Article II, Section 4, pp. 649-650:

    “The Convention came to its choice of words describing the grounds for impeachment after much deliberation, but the phrasing derived directly from the English practice. On June 2, 1787, the framers adopted a provision that the executive should “be removable on impeachment & conviction of mal-practice or neglect of duty. The Committee of Detail reported as grounds “Treason (or) Bribery or Corruption.” And the Committee of Eleven reduced the phrase to “Treason, or bribery.” On September 8, Mason objected to this limitation, observing that the term did not encompass all the conduct that should be grounds for removal; he therefore proposed to add “or maladministration” following “bribery.” Upon Madison’s objection that “[s]o vague a term will be equivalent to a tenure during pleasure of the Senate,” Mason suggested “other high crimes & misdemeanors,” which was adopted without further recorded debate.

    “The phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the context of impeachments has an ancient English history, first turning up in the impeachment of the Earl of Suffolk in 1388. Treason is defined in the Constitution. Bribery is not, but it had a clear common law meaning and is now well covered by statute. “High crimes and misdemeanors,” however, is an undefined and indefinite phrase, which, in England, had comprehended conduct not constituting indictable offenses. Use of the word “other” to link “high crimes and misdemeanors” with “treason” and “bribery” is arguably indicative of the types and seriousness of conduct encompassed by “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Similarly, the word “high” apparently carried with it a restrictive meaning.

    “Debate prior to adoption of the phrase and comments thereafter in the ratifying conventions were to the effect that the President (all the debate was in terms of the President) should be removable by impeachment for commissions or omissions in office which were not criminally cognizable. And in the First Congress’s “removal” debate, Madison maintained that the wanton dismissal of meritorious officers would be an act of maladministration which would render the President subject to impeachment. Other comments, especially in the ratifying conventions, tend toward a limitation of the term to criminal, perhaps gross criminal, behavior. The scope of the power has been the subject of continuing debate.”

    If the Framers had wanted to say a violation of law, they could have done so. But not all crimes are covered by law. And at the time of the Framing, this was especially true, seeing as no laws had yet been formally written. Also as I have said before, “when criminals write the laws, they can make crime legal, but they cannot make it not crime.” As the citation above shows, crime and more particularly High Crimes convey the sense rather of “serious wrongdoing,” and the Framers while setting the bar high left it open-ended.

    This is further amplified and clarified by a brilliant little article here:

    It explores the misunderstanding of the word “misdemeanors.” Most people assume it refers to “lesser crimes.” But this creates a non-sense. The Framers meant to set a high standard for impeaching a President, but this is vitiated if we take their words to mean serious and not so serious crimes. At the time of the Framing, “misdemeanor” was a synonym for “misconduct.” This sustains and re-enforces the Framers intent to set a high threshold for impeachment. And it also blows up Alan Dershowitz’s argument.


    Thank you Hugh for pointing to the applicable part of the Constitution to help explain to highrpm what should be obvious on the face of it. Let’s remember what the term “high crimes” means and why that term is used. Statutory law, which applies to ALL of us, is also work-a-day law because of its universal applicability. High crime, conversely, does not universally apply. Its application is highly specific. It’s specific to those who hold high office. It’s applicable to those who govern and rule. To those who hold power. Hence HIGH CRIMES. Abuse of that power is a HIGH CRIME. Using the power of one’s office to coerce anyone let alone another foreign dignitary to aid in maintaining one’s monopoly on power is an abuse of that power and is an impeachable offense even though it is not statutorily illegal. Nadler does a great job of explaining in this video. Obstruction of justice is obvious on the face of it. It really requires no further explanation. If you withhold pertinent evidence related to a charge of abuse of power or a charge of anything related to any impeachable offense, you are obstructing justice. Trump is blocking any and all evidence he can. He and his administration are clearly obstructing justice. There is no doubt whatsoever.

    Take note that Mandos’ post about Joe Rogan has received 24 comments thus far and counting. Clearly Joe Rogan gossip is more important than a constitutional crisis. And we wonder why we are where we are. This is part of the reason. Because arguing about Joe Rogan is clearly more important.


    Trump is now threatening Adam Schiff. Considering what we now know about Trump and his intent related to Yovanovitch, we know this is a physical threat. Trump is signaling a hit on Schiff. This is how Putin operates. He signals someone has to go and the goons/thugs do it without a direct traceable order. The signal is enough. Plausible deniability except Putin is more tactful with his signaling.

    Schiff is right. The GOP are moral cowards. They are scared of Trump. They’re pathetic. Pompeo is directly complicit in all of this and should be put behind bars for life.

  15. bruce wilder

    Ten Bears: Trump put a hit out on an American ambassador. Trump is now threatening Adam Schiff. Considering what we now know about Trump and his intent related to Yovanovitch, we know this is a physical threat. Trump is signaling a hit on Schiff. This is how Putin operates.

    You people have lost your minds.

  16. Hugh

    I think that it speaks to Trump’s mindset that he talks and thinks like some cheap dimestore version of a Corleone.

  17. Ten Bears

    Drink some more kool-aid, bruce, go on home and watch it on TV.

  18. highrpm

    the blatantly obvious double standard of overlooking joie biden’s ukranian quid pro quo and djt’s same taxes my simple mind. we can choose to mask such in high crimes and misdemeanor law talk, or toss all the perps. mental masturbations.

  19. highrpm

    especially when joie presently aspires to the same high office.

  20. Hugh

    When the facts are on your side, pound the facts.
    If the facts aren’t on your side, then pound the law.
    If the law isn’t on your side, then pound the table.

    highrpm, the facts are not on your side. You dismiss the law. All you have left is the table. Pound away.

  21. BlizzardOfOzzz

    bruce wilder,

    You people have lost your minds.

    It’s quite a turn, isn’t it? Conspiracy-theory type thinking gone mainstream? Collective insanity? It’s hard to describe.

    Has anyone watched the House Managers make their case against Trump?

    I didn’t except for a clip or two. How about this quote from Nadler: “No president has ever used his office to compel a foreign nation to help him cheat in our elections.” I’m not sure that words like “bullshit” or “spin” can quite capture how language is being tortured here. This is something far stranger. It recalls the old “Russia hacked our elections”, but that was at least diabolically clever. This from Nadler is just a transparent realtime re-definition of words.

    In Schiff’s grand finale posited up front that the charges were proven true and impeachable. And so he turned to a damning story about how Trump trusted Giuliani over “his own intelligence community” on the Ukraine matter. Then spun a hypothetical in which Russians might plant fake evidence on Burisma servers to influence the next election, and asked that august chamber if they could possibly trust Trump in such a likely scenario, or a similar one.

    The whole thing is so clownish, it’s hard to believe it is really happening.


    Why fascists are attracted to Ian, I’ll never understand. But they are.


    To anyone with any capacity for critical thought, the difference between Trump’s actions and the Bidens’ actions is nuanced and can be parsed. It’s apples and oranges, yet both are rotten fruit.

    The Atlantic is rather fair & balanced in this excellent article. They separate the wheat from the chaff.

    The irony of Trump’s defense engaging in whataboutism related to the Bidens is that it is an admission of Trump’s guilt. You’re correct, Trump & Co., Biden is guilty as charged but he can no longer be impeached and neither can Obama any longer be impeached. If the GOP had any moral courage, they not only would vote to impeach Trump now and remove him from office, but also they would have brought impeachment proceedings against Obama/Biden for their graft. The GOP failed to exercise any moral courage then or now.

    Because the Bidens engaged in graft doesn’t make what Trump did okay. It doesn’t make what Trump did unimpeachable. It means the GOP flubbed the dub and missed the boat. It means the Dems are hypocrites. And it means Trump is guilty as hell and should be impeached. I will NEVER eschew accountability. NEVER. And neither should you if you have a moral bone in your body.

    It’s safe to say, Biden will never become POTUS because of this so he will pay a price of sorts. Trump should pay the price too, and impeachment and removal from office is that price.

    Voicing this question now invites an immediate objection: “false equivalence.” Let’s dispense with it. What Donald Trump has done—in this case, according to the summary of a single phone call, lean on a foreign president to launch two spurious investigations in order to hurt political rivals, offering the services of the U.S. Department of Justice for the purpose—is shockingly corrupt, a danger to American democracy, and worthy of impeachment.

    But the egregiousness of these acts must not blind us to the culture of influence-peddling that surrounds and enables them. That culture is fundamental to the cynical state we are in, and it needs examining. All too often, the scandal isn’t that the conduct in question is forbidden by federal law, but rather, how much scandalous conduct is perfectly legal—and broadly accepted.

  24. BlizzardOfOzzz

    450, the allegation against the Bidens stems from Hunter being paid an apparent sinecure by a Ukrainian company. It looks like corruption, and merits investigation. Trump pushing for an investigation is his job, it is part of why we voted for him.

    Your “whataboutism” thing misses the point. Obviously if I am accused of murder and I say, “how can you prosecute me for murder when OJ got away with it”, that would be nonsensical. This is different. You are accusing Trump, not of any crimes, but of extra-judicial misconduct, improprieties, etc. People are trying to assess whether you are applying general principles, or just ad-hoc ones against a political opponent. If it turns out that what Trump is accused of doing, his accusers have already done openly without consequence, then it is clearly the latter, isn’t it? Having a plethora of laws which are selectively applied to political opponents is textbook tyranny.


    Having a plethora of laws which are selectively applied to political opponents is textbook tyranny.

    Hogwash. Lamentably, it’s politics, but tyranny per se, no, unless politics itself is tyranny but that’s another topic worthy of its own discussion.

    My point remains and your comment has done nothing to rebut it. I concede Bidens’ political career is over. Kaput. As it should be and should have been long ago. It’s the price he has paid. Should the price have been steeper? Yes, but that’s on the GOP (or the White Trash Party if you prefer and I do) and its lack of moral courage.

    The Senate impeachment trial isn’t exactly good press for President Donald Trump. But Senate Republicans says it’s also hurting former Vice President and 2020 hopeful Joe Biden.

    The second day of the president’s opening arguments in the impeachment trial took a sharp turn, when Trump attorneys Pam Bondi and Eric Herschmann spent a significant portion of their time on the Senate floor arguing that Biden should be investigated for corruption.

    Bondi primarily focused on Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his role on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma while his father was vice president and in charge of Ukraine matters. Trump’s team has presented no evidence that Biden used his role as vice president to benefit his son nor alleged anything improper other than the “appearance of a conflict.”

    But Senate Republicans used the concerted attack on Biden to raise questions about his political viability.

    In all fairness, I must thank the the White Trash Party for this. They were able to remove Biden from the equation and as I have said many times before, Biden never could have defeated Trump. Sanders and/or Bloomberg can and will and by eliminating Biden, Trump & Co., to include the White Trash Party, have sealed their fate in the next election.

    But the matter of principle still remains. The impeachment, regardless of political motivation, is legitimate and we, as ethical intelligent citizens, should NEVER eschew accountability in whatever form the crumbs of accountability are delivered.

  26. BlizzardOfOzzz

    It’s amusing to see you guys all repeating the same phrases about “moral courage”, etc. It’s beside the point, because Republicans do not agree with you that Trump has done anything wrong.

    You guys can’t even manage to articulate a clear, consistent accusation based on established facts. That was the point of my post above about the impeachment hearings. The allegations are so amorphous that the Dems can’t use existing English words that describe crimes and wrongdoing, so they pull out words like “cheating”, “bribery” etc and torture their meanings. Schiff can’t just lay out the facts of a crime committed (because there was no crime), so he has to stand there and spin up fanciful scenarios about Russians planting fake documents on Ukrainian servers, etc. It is totally unpersuasive to anyone who isn’t already in your camp.

  27. realitychecker

    Have been busy elsewhere, but shocking to see the depths of ignorance of all the folks pretending to understand the law, even Constitutional law, and so happy not to have been marinating in this TDS madness for the past month.

    Jurisprudence is actually detailed and complex, and nobody here gets any of it. I took it as an elective course in law school and got an A. Then I worked for the judges of the second highest appeals court in New York. analyzing and critiquing the work of all participants, judges and lawyers alike, and writing the first drafts of all the published opinions for the cases I worked on; that’s just to establish my personal standing to call b.s. on the purely emotional ‘insights’ being offered.

    Ostentatious ignorance is not a good look. Opinions are not knowledge.

    Hugh, in particular, your derogatory conclusion re Dershowitz’s analysis shows that you COMPLETELY misunderstood his argument. Got it completely backwards, in fact. Maybe a re-read would help, but really, his live presentation on C-Span should be sufficient.

    Carry on carrying on. I should think that it would be cold comfort to constantly pretend that one’s betters are stupider than oneself, but I guess for some that’s all the comfort they have available in the Trump era.

    The left used to be the smart ones . . .


    Have been busy elsewhere…

    Sure you have. Helping to hammer out Trump’s ME peace plan, no doubt. You know, the one where the Palestinians get screwed even more than they’re screwed now.


    This freak’s been busy elsewhere too…

    The Family approves. Jesus approves. Jesus gave us Donald Trump. Jesus gave us Vlad Putin. Jesus gave us Kim Jong-un. Jesus gave us every tyrannical strong man dictator. And Jesus gave us this guy and Hyde to surveil and harass and execute American ambassadors that don’t bend the knee to the leaders Jesus gave us. This is what The Family believes and this is why The Family must be outed as a terrorist organization and eliminated entirely.

  30. realitychecker

    Ranting is not knowledge, either.

    But for some, it suffices.

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