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

Why Impeachment Has No Traction

There is a right way, and a reason to do things, and a wrong way and reason to do things.

Democrats are impeaching Trump for the wrong thing, in the wrong way.

As a result, polls show virtually no movement in support for impeaching him or effect on his approval ratings.


Because they are impeaching him to protect the Democratic front-runner. Trump has done many bad things, starting with being a walking emoluments violation. The Democrats did nothing until he went after Joe Biden pressuring the Ukrainian government while Joe Biden’s son Hunter had a position on the board of a Ukrainian company he had zero qualifications for, except for being Joe Biden’s son.

Joe and Hunter Biden may have done nothing illegal, but they were involved in corruption, and anyone with sense can see it. Legal and right aren’t the same thing, just as illegal and wrong aren’t identical.

So the Democrats are going to the wall, not to protect Americans, but to protect Joe Biden, Democrat, and his son, who are, at the least, involved in unethical, but legal, corruption.

Yeah, Trump blackmailing the Ukrainians to get dirt on an opposition figure is wrong, but Hunter Biden didn’t have to take a job for which he wasn’t qualified and which he had to know he was getting only because Ukrainians wanted to pander to his very powerful father.

An impeachment based on hitting Trump with all the things he’s done illegally, starting with emoluments (remember that Jimmy Carter had to sell his peanut farm to be President, where Trump hasn’t even put his assets and companies in trust), would have been going after Trump for the right reasons.

It would also have allowed an endless parade of clearly corrupt activity, rather than what looks to ordinary people like Trump using the office for partisan political ends, which is gross, but a lot less gross.

Impeachment, done right, for the right reasons, was a virtually sure winner, in the sense that it would harm Trump.

But when you do the right thing for the wrong reason in the wrong way, people see it for what it is, and you lose a lot of the benefit.

Bottom line is that Pelosi never seemed to really care about Trump being corrupt, or about him hurting ordinary Americans. But the moment he goes after Biden, well, she goes for him. She’s acting as nothing but a partisan, and as such, why should Americans care?

Do the right thing, the right way, for the right reasons. Not everyone will notice or care, but enough people will–enough to matter.

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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 1, 2019


Killing Herd Animals


  1. Dan

    They won’t go after him for emoluments violations because everyone in Congress is involved in similar sorts of corruption.

    Also why I think Trump isn’t using Epstein as a bludgeon against his political enemies, because he was involved in that same dirty business too.

  2. nihil obstet

    I’ve had no patience with this impeachment inquiry for the reasons you point out. Donald Trump should have been in jail years ago. The failure of the criminal justice system at both the state and federal levels to go after a rich man enabled him to become president. They could then have gone after him for violating the emoluments clause pretty quickly with a wide range of corruption or for failure to follow the constitution.

    However, the elite in the wonderful world of neoliberalism have decided that politics is not a reason for impeachment, although it’s clearly the political solution to a president not carrying out his responsibilities responsibly.

    So this is another stupid amble towards impeachment. The first one in 1868 against Andrew Johnson was brought because Johnson was removing economic and civil rights protections for the new freedmen. It failed and effective reconstruction ended. This was a terrible tragedy. The Clinton one was a political witch hunt. Clinton had some bad policies, but Whitewater and a blow job? Really.

    It’s not just that there’s no moral difference between Biden and Trump in getting what they want from Ukraine. It’s that the American elite want to be able to control elections while preventing foreigners from using the same methods.

    The only arguments that I’ve seen that make me think more about this are that even though there’s always been lots of corruption, bald-faced lies normalize criminality in a way that makes it hard to draw back. A political system has some legitimacy if it is seen as continuing a noble tradition even though a lot of white-washing had to be done to get that story of nobility. But still, if it’s important to impeach Trump for that reason, do it honestly.

  3. Impeachment will fail, the dems will run Biden because it’s his turn that’s who Trump wants to run against, and trump will be re-“elected”.

    If ever there were a time re-inventory the sacks of seeds, oil the well-oiled AR…

  4. Impeachment will fail because it is a political process, not a judicial process, and T-bone is soooooo much better than anybody else at politics. Also, this is a Democratic Party project, and they are a jobs agency for losers and don’t want to win anyway.

    It’s a terrible idea, badly handled.

    The Brits do this the right way- tossing an incompetent PM is a simple vote, and that’s it!

  5. Ché Pasa

    Amy Walter was fairly profound about impeachment on the NewsHour this evening: by next summer, she said, it won’t even be a Thing any more. We will have >moved on to something else.<

    There's always something else, isn't there.

  6. Hugh

    Pelosi never wanted to impeach Trump. She wanted Trump fatigue to get Democrats elected in 2020 by depressing the Trump base and energizing everybody else to vote against him and Republicans. She was dragged by her own Democratic Caucus to impeach, and she decided that if she couldn’t stop it, she would do her best to control it. And she wanted something focused, narrow, and quick. This allows Republicans to defend Trump on specious, but very narrow grounds, rather than that he has been a crook all his life and this has continued everyday in every way into his Presidency.

    The system (political,economic) is degenerate, and, as Dan says, everyone is in on the grift. So Biden’s son gets a directorship in a Ukrainian company and Trump’s semi-literate son Don Jr. gets on the NYT Best Seller List because the GOP buys his book in bulk. But it really goes everywhere. Neither Trump nor his son would have gotten into Penn on their own merit. Neither would Obama’s kids or Chelsea Clinton or on and on. Play the game, you get campaign contributions. Play the game, and when you leave, you get to be president of this or that “trade” organization, or a consultant or legal partner with a seven figure income, or you go to this university policy center or that think tank. You get a book contract for your worthless or non-existent insights. No matter what, you get taken care of and very well too. Not just for your own efforts/misdeeds but to encourage those around and who come after you to play ball.

    What Trump did in Ukraine is different. It was about extorting a foreign government for his own political gain at the expense of both our and Ukraine’s national security. Extortion is a form of bribery and so within the Constitutional scope of impeachment level offenses.

    As for the polls, the support for impeachment is ahead of what it was at this point in Watergate. But impeachment should be done because it is the right thing to do. In that sense, Pelosi, Trump, the Republicans don’t give a damn about doing what’s right because it’s right.

  7. Mallam

    None of this makes sense and you’re only projecting your own feelings onto how voters should feel, when nothing is logical with racist cults of personality. 40% of the country is enthrall with Leader, whereby the Leader hates the people they hate, and they want to stick by the racist piece of shit because they’re racist pieces of shit. I don’t know how much more evidence you need of this. Boris Johnson’s resilience and continued rise in the polls tells the same story (Labour is at least rising too, but way behind).

    Regardless, I do agree with you on their handling of impeachment, which should not have had a narrow focus. The biggest threat with a corrupt person like Trump who lies to his own advisors and political partisans is you never know what shoe will drop next because you don’t know what will be uncovered. The threat of the unknown. When Democrats announced it would be narrow, all it takes is the will to lie for Leader and hold out for a few months. Support for impeachment rose when leaders signaled that voters should support it. And without any Republicans willing to signal to the 5-10% of reachable voters, it would always be stuck at his disapproval rating at best. I never thought they’d remove him, well…scratch that: I thought it was possible they would remove him (maybe 5% chance?), but the goal should have been to continue bringing down new corruption every week until the election.

    I mean, he also withheld aid to Lebanon for unknown reasons. And corrupt agreements with Turkey (which we still don’t know about). God knows what’s on the Saudi Arabia and Russian transcripts. But we won’t be finding out since no one seems to want to look.

  8. realitychecker

    I’m looking forward to watching the ‘experts’ who doubtless think the word “militia” is the only important word in the Second Amendment explain to America tomorrow why the words
    “high crimes and misdemeanors” don’t mean anything at all.

  9. alyosha

    …Because they are impeaching him to protect the Democratic front-runner.

    No they’re not. Agree with you that Trump has crossed the line in other areas, such as emoluments, but his extorting the Ukraine could’ve been over any number of subjects, and is obviously wrong. It’s not about protecting anybody, it’s how gross the crime. We can disagree about which crime is worse, which crime is more understandable by the public, but who or what is the catalyst for this crime (Biden) is irrelevant.

  10. “It was about extorting a foreign government for his own political gain at the expense of both our and Ukraine’s national security.”

    Oh please. The “extortion” is gross exaggeration, Ukraine is of zero importance to our national security, and Ukraine’s national security matters not at all to us.

  11. Stirling S Newberry


  12. Hugh

    Actually as we have common defense agreements with the Baltic states and Poland through NATO, what goes on in Ukraine is very much part of US national security interests.


    Once again, the defense of Trump is disgusting and pathetic. What should we do as feckless bystanders? Just throw up our hands and say “anything goes” because in fact anything does go? Burn our own houses and neighborhoods as a form of revenge against the neoliberals? Did you ever stop to think that may very well be the point of all of this? For you to finally capitulate entirely and toss any semblance of rule of law out the window so that when the time does come that it is really and truly needed, it won’t be available unless you don’t mind searching at the bottom of a landfill.

    For the Trump defenders, what would it take for you? Seriously, what would Donald Trump have to do for you to take umbrage with it and clamor for his removal from office? Would raping an infant at one of his rallies suffice or would you give him a pass on that also because that’s what men do in locker rooms?

    It’s laughable that Trump points to Zelensky and says, “see, he doesn’t think there was any quid pro quo.” THIS IS HOW VAIN AND NARCISSISTIC AND STUPID HE IS. The fact that he doesn’t see a problem with this. Zelensky will say whatever he has to say and do to keep the money flowing. That’s obvious on the face of it for anyone who has the ability to think critically. In otherwords, Zelensky cannot be impartial and objective in this matter. It’s not for Zelensky to determine if he was extorted. His opinion in this matter is irrelevant. It’s about the facts, not Zelensky’s opinion which is worthless in this regard.

    We shouldn’t be arguing that the rule of law not be applied to Donald Trump’s disgraceful presidency because it has routinely been ignored so many times in the past for political purposes. We should be arguing that the rule of law be applied much more judiciously sans the political bent with which it has been traditionally applied heretofore. Hang this f*cker and all the f*ckers who voted for Bush’s invasion and occupation of Iraq and all the f*ckers who squandered a chance at constructive rapprochement with Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union rather than trying to steal its assets from the people and stealing their life’s savings. The same f*ckers who gave us Putin, who set the stage for him, have also given us Trump. So yeah, hang Trump and hang them too and especially.


    Yes, the Brits do “do it better.” Here’s another important date aside from 1857. 1649.


    It appears the Dems are considering your point. There are so many cases for impeachment against Trump, it’s a veritable smörgåsbord of impeachment delicacies & delights.


    I think the articles of impeachment should be expanded to include the murder of Steve Hyde, Mark Etess and Jonathan Benanav in a convenient helicopter crash in October of 1989.

  17. Jeremy

    Nancy Pelosi? Hahahah! Please Stop! Hahahaha!!

    “All roads lead to Putin” – too funny.

    It’s a Clown Car Crash – in slow motion.

  18. Ché Pasa

    It’s possible the House will not vote to impeach but instead continue investigations through the election next year. That seems to be what Trump and his cronies are most afraid of, too.

    One of the puzzles is why Trump’s corruption and criminality weren’t subject to scrutiny throughout his adult life. It’s not as if it wasn’t known about, like any New York gangster’s dirty dealings would be known about. New Yorkers certainly knew. But the public in general didn’t and largely still don’t. Why not? Why is it still not something discussed beyond a very small circle of partisans (and a number of New Yorkers and others who have been aware for a long, long time.)

    He’s an entertainer/”billionaire” who says what a shrinking portion of them want to hear. That’s practically all they know about him. He says what they want to hear and hasn’t yet crashed the economy, so why not re-elect him? Or like they say around here, “He hasn’t started any new wars!” (Oh yeah?)

    On the other hand, the House may impeach over the Ukraine thing (primarily a political crime) and withhold the resolution from the Senate while they look into Other Matters. At some point, Nancy will not have full control over what happens. But what happens will probably not be what any of us predict.

    And no, this is not being done to ‘protect Biden.’ He almost certainly won’t be the nominee. I have long predicted that none of the other candidates will be, either. Biden is a placeholder while the Pooh-Bahs try to find somebody, anybody, who can beat Trump and protect the interests of the Pooh-Bahs. So far, they’ve come up short. Maybe there isn’t any such person. We’ll see, won’t we?

  19. Herman

    Impeachment will energize Trump supporters. They will see it as an attack on their leader and they will rush to defend him. Some marginal Trump voters might be swayed but many will see impeachment as just another political circus. As for the Democratic base, well-educated liberals who watch the news religiously will be energized by impeachment but they were in the bag for the Democrats anyway.

    The people that the Democrats need to get out to vote are young people, the less affluent and minorities. For these people I suspect impeachment looks like the usual byzantine infighting that we have come to expect from Washington.

    Trump is corrupt but I cannot bring myself to get bent out of shape over Trump when George W. Bush and his cronies, who were many times worse than Trump, were let off the hook by Obama and the Democrats.

  20. @Hugh
    Ukraine is not part of NATO, nor is it a member of the EU. I stand by my earlier assertion. We have zero common interest with Ukraine, that nation has zero impact on our national security, and Ukraine’s national security is of no importance whatever to us.

  21. bruce wilder

    Ukraine’s national security, let alone its national integrity, is no simple self-defined quantity.

    The U.S. is not serving its own interests by letting itself be entangled in the political struggles of Ukrainian factions and oligarchs over defining and defending dubious concepts of Ukraine and the Ukrainian relationship with Russia.

    Nor is the U.S. well-served by the insane Russophobia of its own deep state, which has been on full display in the impeachment hearings.

    The U.S. foreign policy establishment and intelligence community are manifestly incompetent, arrogant and untrustworthy, but for the purposes of an ephemeral and trivial partisan contest, the public is being told to pretend otherwise.


    We have zero common interest with Ukraine

    By that logic we also have zero common interest with Russia except for the fact it’s pretty much lily white for the most part and Trump’s base likes that except for when they (the Russians) were Communists and the union busters in the South convinced the evangelical southern Trump supporters 50 years prior that Russians were bad and fifty years later Russians are now good even though we have zero common interest with Russia.

    Good grief! Why bother with this bullshit? It’s intractable. They’re incorrigible. They are hellbent on burning the village to save it from the Dems and the Deep State.

    Trump is their Cavalier and he’s leading his rubes to an apocalypse of their own making. It’s only right & proper he should have complete impunity and immunity to do whatever he damn well pleases anytime, anywhere.

  23. realitychecker

    Truly mind-boggling that anyone could possibly not see a fundamental difference between a feeble Ukraine and a Russia with the second most serious nuclear arsenal.

    Is China actually invisible to enthusiastic lefties?

  24. NoPolitician

    I have to disagree with you, Ian. Trump has done some horrific things, but many of them fall into the realm of “political disagreements” (caging children, diverting money to build a wall, imposing stupid tariffs (as opposed to sensible tariffs)). He has done other things which are difficult to specifically prove (emoluments) or define as a high crime or misdemeanor (serial liar, boor), or even pin down (like appointing people to agencies who don’t believe those agencies should exist). Those are things which are outrageous, but probably should be settled at the ballot box.

    However with this latest action, he has taken steps to interfere with the next election itself. Elections need to be sacrosanct in a democracy. They exist so that change doesn’t have to happen with violence. You can’t define Trump’s actions as merely partisan in nature because his actions strike at the very core of our democracy. If it remains OK for a seated president to interfere with his opponent, we are no better than a country where political opponents are jailed on trumped-up charges in the name of “fighting corruption”.

    Impeachment is ultimately a political process, in the sense that if the electorate doesn’t agree with it, then they vote out the people who supported it. That is the way it *has* to be in a democracy – the people must have the final say. It should not be a partisan process, and that is something that every Democrat running against a Republican who buries his head in the sand over this needs to scream as loudly as possible.


    The insanity of Trump supporters. He put a knife in you, you idiots. You’re done. It’s game over for you and you voted for it. It’s your bed, a bed of nails, and now you’re going to lay in it. Even though Trump doesn’t read, he should read up on Hoffa. From a Venn Diagram perspective, Hoffa and Trump have significant overlap. Another date to join 1857 and 1649. 1975.

  26. Effem

    It’s actually worse than that Ian. We all know Ukraine is wildly corrupt and a number of current and former US politicians are knee-deep in it. Not only will impeachment fail, but the resulting scrutiny (and publicity) of Ukraine-US connections will reveal enough past corruption to give Trump a huge “win.” Impeachment was one of the worst pieces of political strategy i’ve ever witnessed.

  27. Jeremy

    Nancy Pelosi? Hahahah! Please Stop! Hahahaha!!

    “Progressives on Monday criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for reportedly leaving a broadly popular bill boosting union membership on her desk for months while pushing for the passage of one of President Donald Trump’s legislative priorities, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, by Christmas.”

    “I don’t know exactly what the holdup is,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapa (D-Wash.), a co-chair of the House Progressive Caucus, “it is taking longer than it should given the number of co-sponsors that we have.”

    I do – and I’m laughing so hard it hurts !!

  28. StewartM

    I agree with Hugh. Pelosi never wanted to impeach Trump, though I believe by limiting the scope of the impeachment to the Ukraine Pelosi is actually working to *prevent* Trump’s impeachment from successfully removing him from office, whether deliberately or not.

    I believe there is the equivalent of the “Watergate tapes” in this–the back-channel communications which would reveal, as John Bolton has inferred, that the Ukraine incident was not some aberration but was in fact symptomatic of how Trump was conducting *ALL* US foreign policy, with Turkey and Saudi Arabia and Russia and others, all for his personal financial and/or political interests. That and everything else would make a far more compelling case for removal than just the Ukraine extortion scheme (which wasn’t successful, insofar as we can tell now).

    But my takeaway from this is that this is a failure of the US constitution, or how it’s been interpreted–especially the contention that no prez can be indicted while in office. There is nothing in the Constitution that explicitly states this and by allowing indictments, prosecution, and removal for, at the very least, criminal allegations regarding crimes allegedly committed while the president was in office, would make punishment for a president’s crimes something far less amendable by “politics” and far more certain. We don’t offer this immunity to anyone else, and moreover we *do* have the vice president around as a fill-in, so I can’t fathom why this interpretation took sway.

    I still do favor the political process of impeachment, but I’m perfectly ok with it being used for political differences and not requiring ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ as it’s a difficult bar to attain and would probably indicate that the president was in fact truly pursuing policies which riled a large majority of Americans.

  29. Hugh

    Bill H, the world, US security interests, NATO security interests are little bit more complicated than a game of Risk.

    It’s so funny. All Trump’s scams even when they are exposed, even when they kick off an impeachment investigation, are really wins for the Trumpster, and defeats for everyone else. All hail Dear Leader. I mean what a bunch of fascist claptrap. I guess the idea is rather than do the heavy lifting to make the country a better place to live in, just yell MAGA until reality goes away.

    Jeremy, that’s typical Pelosi. Screw the base, suck up to billionaires.

  30. nihil obstet

    In 1968, with American troops in a shooting war in Vietnam, Richard Nixon sent word to the North Vietnamese delegation to peace talks in Paris that he would give them a better deal if they delayed the talks. Henry Kissinger was involved. In 2016, Hilary Clinton called Kissinger her good friend and foreign affairs consultant.

    In 1980, Reagan struck a deal with Iran to hold the American hostages until after the election. In the 2016 Democratic Party convention, Reagan was cited positively as much as any previous Democratic Party president.

    Nixon was pardoned for his crimes without any outcry and Bill Clinton ended investigations into the Reagan/Bush deals with Iran, mostly over Iran/Contra.

    I’m having some real problems with the argument that getting dirt on a political opponent is a more horrendous violation of electoral integrity and national security than dealing with American lives and freedom. Those who did the latter have been embraced by our bipartisan leaders.

  31. different clue

    I have also read that Pelosi didn’t want impeachment but the eager hungry members of her caucus demanded it so she will tolerate a crippled ineffective version of it.

    I have also read a theory that since we now have a slow road to impeachment anyway, that Pelosi will try to make maximum Catfood Democrat use of it. How? By working with the DemParty House to get some articles of impeachment voted on and get an impeachment trial grinding as slow as possible in the Senate.
    Why? To get Sanders and Warren so very tied down with their Senatorial duties of sitting in the Senate as the Jury deciding on the articles of impeachment . . . that they are diverted and time-crippled from campaigning effectively, thereby favoring the Catfood Democrat nominee-wannabes one way or another.


    Our choices are Angelo Bruno or Nickodemo Scarfo (Dems v. Donald Trump). Guess which one’s which. Both are crooks. One’s more palatable than the other.


    nihil, you make great points. I’m for impeaching them all posthumously and Trump concurrently and rewriting the history books. All of them are a disgrace. All of them were crooks. All of them were traitors.

    Meanwhile, PBS and NPR and the media in general pretend Bernie doesn’t even exist. The Dems and the establishment in general are nervous with this impeachment gambit. They don’t want it to cascade into a leftist revolution. They would much more prefer fascist containment of any leftist movement than a leftist revolution, violent or otherwise. The impeachment leaves the Dems’ vulnerable on their left flank. This is why they had to trot out Obama to dismiss Bernie and any leftist sentiment.


    Trump should be removed from office for many reasons the least of which is, he simply is not qualified in any meaningful way. Here’s his latest proving my point. He doesn’t even know what climate change is. He’s a disgrace. But. The Dems and the oligarchy would prefer to suffer him rather than allow a long-overdue shift to the left in America.

    “I think about it all the time, Phil. And, honestly, climate change is very important to me,” Trump replied. “And, you know, I’ve done many environmental impact statements over my life, and I believe very strongly in very, very crystal clear, clean water and clean air. That’s a big part of climate change.”

    If the Dems and the oligarchy screw Bernie again and they will, will Bernie have the balls to call for revolution or will he ask his faithful followers once again to capitulate to an inferior and crooked Dem candidate?

  35. Ché Pasa

    The way things are going, I wouldn’t be too surprised if neither Trump nor whoever the Dems nominate is elected next year.

    It’s clear enough that impeachment and removal has substantial popular support — by some counts an absolute majority — but not nearly enough support in Congress to do him in or throw him out. He is therefore going to run again, and the Dems will put up someone who probably won’t be fierce enough, and then… I wouldn’t be too surprised to see an independent entry, someone probably outside the political system but well-known and widely respected. Non-partisan? Maybe.

    And wouldn’t it be something if that person is elected?

  36. bruce wilder

    Ché Pasa preaches revolution and votes Bloomberg! Kill me now.

  37. S Brennan

    Yes Bruce;

    The fiery revolutionary operatives on this blog always seem to find a way to vote DLC…er..oops DNC. But…their rhetoric is so inspiring. Then there was 2008, fiery revolutionary operatives don’t vote Edwards, they vote for the TRUE REFORMER; Obama!

    …and so it goes.

    Just listen to Z, I supported Edwards and he Obama but, he’s the “reformer” because after his side won, I thought Hillary less dangerous than Obama. A view I still hold in spite of Z’s endless attacks/lies.

  38. realitychecker

    It’s that lesser-evil thingy again–Woke progressives, etc., might get hurt actually fightin’ the Man, but votin’ for corrupt white oligarchs (or their tools) is painless.

    But ya still got a right to virtue-signal.

  39. S Brennan

    But yes, Hillary is a scum sucking [expletive deleted] but, not slick enough to pull off what Obama did.

  40. NR

    The irony of a Trumper complaining about corrupt white oligarchs is off the charts.

  41. Ché Pasa


    That’s just daft. Bloomberg will not be the Dem nominee, and if he tries for a third party or independent run, he will be crushed. He has no role to play in what’s coming. Have you seen his ads? Not only does he have no role to play, he has nothing to say, either.

    However, the idea that some candidate could arise and run against both major party candidates and win has not only been broached, it’s gaining traction among those who are starting to see the current path as a dead end.

    Trump is by far the least popular president in (post) modern times; none of the Dems so far put forth have shown the ability to protect the high and mighty and gain enough popular appeal to beat Trump; there is an opening, however narrow, for someone else from outside the system.

    As the impeachment juggernaut rumbles along but gets nowhere and Dem candidates flame out one by one and as Trump shows more and more signs of his dementia, the alternative possibility of an independent candidate (running on a “Sanity” and “Unity” platform, of course) is more and more likely.

    It’s not the solution to the overall problems that got us into this mess, but it could be seen as a stopgap or system save.

    But Bloomberg? No.


    The fiery revolutionary operatives on this blog always seem to find a way to vote DLC…er..oops DNC. But…their rhetoric is so inspiring. Then there was 2008, fiery revolutionary operatives don’t vote Edwards, they vote for the TRUE REFORMER; Obama!

    I can only speak for myself. I don’t vote Democrat. I don’t vote as a general rule because the choices aren’t really choices. I will vote Bernie if he gets the nomination but I know they will never let him get the nomination and “they” equals the establishment that gave us Trump. You’re a liar just like your hero Trump. As far as operative, yeah, sure, whatever. Although I did spend Thanksgiving with a CIA operative, so there’s that.


    They’re cannot be fair and democratic elections when the media, which is many times more effectively malevolent than the Russians, is meddling in it, and yes, refusing to mention a popular candidate is most definitely destructively meddling in elections.

    Che, there are no viable options, independent candidate or otherwise, so long as the media remains in its current state — owned by the oligarchs to include PBS and NPR.

    We must take back the media and that means occupying and ultimately taking over all the major cable news networks, the radio stations where corporate whore pundits meddle in our elections and poison our minds and all the major influential “print” media venues like the Washington Post and New York Times.

    The revolution will not be televised. Until we take back the media.


    Here’s an interesting comment from that article and yes this is all relevant. I agree that impeachment is not a solution to anything more than removing Trump. It’s painful to support precisely because you’re viewed as siding with the Democrats when in fact you’re siding with the rule of law as currently configured and all-too-often ignored.

    We know the solution. The oligarchy has to go. The oligarchy is the impediment. They can go voluntarily and salvage whatever dignity they haven’t squandered, or they go involuntarily which will be horrifically ugly but ultimately by their own hand. The ONLY way to dislodge the oligarchy is to first take control of the media and this latest example about PBS and NPR blacking out Bernie is just one more example heaped on a pile of proof that rivals Everest at this point.

    There will be blood. Honduras is here. It’s coming to roost in America. With the help of Israel.

    The PBS and NPR board of directors were bought and paid for by the Koch Bros, especially David Koch, a couple decades ago. Pay attention to how many shows are supported by the David Koch Foundation.

    Everyone should listen to the “Catch and Kill” podcast from Ronan Farrow, especially the first episode entitled “Spy.” While politicians and MSNBC are wringing their hands over Russian firms buying Facebook ads, private(?) Israeli companies like Black Cube, chock full of former Mossad agents, are being hired to spy on and dox journalists. In countries like Mexico, it ends up getting journalists killed. If they are surveilling journalists, you can be damn sure they are watching politicians and their staff.


    How much you want to bet Black Cube is in the house as I type this. Can you spot them, speaking of operatives?

  46. Hugh

    “Judy Woodruff, Amna Nawaz and Yamiche Alcindor from PBS NewsHour and Tim Alberta from Politico will moderate the next Democratic debate, to be held on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles.”

    It was Alcindor who erased Sanders in the article linked to.


    The televised impeachment proceedings have begun and the Republican sycophants are objecting as a matter of course right out of the gate.

    “Under article 4 section 8, I object.”

    “The gentleman from Texas objects. Sir, what is your objection?


    “Your objection is Hillary?”

    “Yes, Hillary.”

  48. Willy

    With the behavior of our elected “representatives”, the dysfunctional tribal beat goes on.

    Sooner or later common folks (or mobs) will be demanding that they solve actual problems instead of just eggshell-walking around donor class desires.

  49. realitychecker

    Impeachment hearing total farce. Turley has the goods.

    Dems witnesses are all emotion, subjective speculation, sloppy analogy. The smell of their desperation to depose a Prez who beat them, regardless of long-term consequences, is sickeningly obvious.


    Turley’s a massive hypocrite who should have his tenure stripped, but he raises a good point in regard to Bernie Sanders should Bernie be miraculously elected in 2020 which would never happen but even if it did Bernie would have so many systemic obstacles to overcome he could never succeed with any semblance of a policy agenda.

    We all know Bernie would beat Trump handily on a level playing field. What does a level playing field mean? It means Bernie wouldn’t have to face a Dem party who will prevent him from winning the nomination come hook or crook and I will say more crook than hook even if it means the Dems asking Russia for help in that endeavor. The second hurdle or obstacle for Bernie is the media. The media is blacking Bernie out across the board. It’s the exact opposite for Trump. The media gives him free publicity and Trump has been a master at using that 24/7 publicity to his advantage be it negative or positive.

    The third and final obstacle for Bernie will be Congress if he was to miraculously win the Dem nomination and then the presidency. The Dems would side with the Repubs in blocking Bernie every step of the way and in fact, if the Repubs tried to impeach Bernie on frivolous grounds, the Dems would vote with the Repubs. Maybe not all of them but enough to get him removed from office. I firmly believe this. They are this hypocritical. They are this disingenuous in claiming this impeachment is about saving democracy. They are this crooked. They are this bought & sold. They are slaves to the oligarchy for a few more slices of bacon on their plate. They are pathetic scumbags.

    Bernie’s path is Sisyphean. A mountain too far. A mountain too high. Like I said, if he miraculously pulls this off, I will vote for him, but I won’t hold my breath because if I do, it will be my last. Breath, that is.

    Turley was all for impeaching Clinton over an affair because to not impeach Clinton would mean anarchy, but he’s firmly against impeaching Trump because impeaching Trump over extortion would mean anarchy. Sure, Jon, what the hell ever.

    If it was Bernie rather than Biden, do you think we would be talking about impeaching Trump over his extorting Ukraine and Zelensky? Hell no. In fact, the Dems would have sided with Trump in calling for an investigation of Bernie. Not that Bernie would be embroiled in something of this nature like Uncle Joe the Molester. Ian’s right, what Biden and his scummy drug-addled son did may not have been technically illegal, but it was unethical and should be enough to remove Biden from the presidential race considering he’s not a viable candidate in so many other ways besides Burisma.


    All The President’s Men

    Jim Jordan keeps repeating the lie, one of so many, that Trump won an electoral college landslide in 2016. That is a lie. 304 to 227 is not a landslide by any means. But he keeps repeating it just as he keeps repeating the lie that he didn’t know Strauss was molesting the Ohio State wrestlers and Jordan the creepy, perverted, molester-enabling coward did nothing about it. This guy is one of Trump’s most ardent supporters in the House of Representatives. It says it all, doesn’t it?

  52. different clue

    A non-partisan candidate running from outside the system? Running on “sanity” and “unity”?

    Sounds like a job for John Stewart.

  53. realitychecker

    Sounds like a job for The man knows landslides.

  54. Ché Pasa

    If you see government and politics as primarily entertainment, then why not John Stewart or Oprah Winfrey? After all, we’ve had a string of entertainers in office over the years, and there’s one in office now, no? Oh, and the guy in Ukraine? He’s got a comedy series on Netflix, “Servant of the People.”

    But I think the ruling class is still looking a little farther afield…

  55. Hugh

    In 2008, Obama had 365 electoral votes to John McCain’s 173. In 2012, Obama had 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney’s 206. I do not recall either of these wins being described as a landslide. I would note that it is harder for a Democrat to achieve an electoral majority because of the number of small population, rural, conservative states in the US which give Republicans an automatic head start in any electoral contest.

    If Obama or any Democratic President had done even a tenth of what Trump has done, the Republicans would be screaming 24/7 for his head–on a platter–yesterday. It’s OK for them to impeach a Democratic President for lying about a BJ, but beyond outrageous for a Republican President to be impeached for selling out the country for his personal political benefit. Despite overwhelming evidence already on hand that this is what Trump did, Republicans maintain there would need to be more evidence and testimony from the principals involved, even as they support Trump’s stonewalling and withholding both.

  56. NR

    Once again, Hugh hits it dead on.

  57. bruce wilder

    I didn’t think the whole Whitewater scandal/investigation was legitimate. I don’t think much of the parallel trail of bimbo eruptions either, though there was at least some factual basis there. It was the project of a billionaire oligarch, Richard Mellon Scaife, who paid for “the Arkansas Project” (David Brock among others) to keep a “scandal” churning for years and it was given legs by reporters at the Times and Post during the 1996 election campaign who pursued a “where there is smoke, there might be fire” narrative line. A couple of those reporters would found for another oligarch, the younger Allbritton; reporters are deliberately networked around PBS, NPR and cable news to help create the dreadful pall of consensus horserace plus theatre-criticism political reporting. Scaife funded Newsmax and got Ken Starr a nice job at Pepperdine after Starr did his job on Clinton.

    Scaife and his kind won. The Clintons survived and adapted in the political ecology Scaife and people he funded (and others like Scaife and other political operative similar to characters like Ken Ruddy, founder of NewsMax that Scaife funded.). (Heck, Scaife was indirectly a funder of Nixon’s plumbers back in the day.) Bill Clinton spoke at a memorial for Scaife and NewsMax would sing the praises of the Clinton Foundation’s “good work”. And, while we are at it, Scaife was one of many oligarchs whose charity helps to fund The Blob that intellectualizes America’s bizarrely dysfunctional foreign policy, which not incidentally is at the center of the Trump impeachment scandal.

    Nixon’s impeachment (yes, I know he resigned before the House actually voted so he was not actually impeached) resulted from a kind of accident: the discovery of the break-in at the Watergate. But, the great drama that resulted, riveting a nation, was instructive to a later generation of parasitical and cynical political operatives, who would attempt to artificially synthesize such drama, creating narratives that could drive and control the politics of the public discourse.

    American democracy is drowning in a bathtub filled to overflowing with a politics of groundless narratives created by cynical PR hacks for billionaires and giant business corporations and fed thru networks of reckless talking heads and journamalists seeking celebrity and the millions that come with it.

    Trump, reality teevee star and birther-in-chief, is a player in this sick political world, one who drives eyeballs and profits to corporate political media. The Clinton Foundation was an institution founded to make the Clintons players in this sick politics; that was their “good work” (a thin cover story). The Russia,Russia,Russia narrative was driven forward by Neera Tanden’s Center for American Progress in a strange alliance with the Blob. Ukraine has been a sweet little money machine for American political operatives skilled in the ways of narrative manipulation (or well-placed to be useful) for oligarchs — Manaforts, Podestas, Hunter Biden even. It wasn’t so long ago that this politics of cynical narrative-spinning gave us the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

    This is politics as scripted entertainment (another term for narrative). I think it is wearing out some its overused memes and scenarios. Like corporate Hollywood, it is all about the sequel and the reboot, because its stories are all fake ( “based on actual events”).

    Che Pasa thinks we may get a deus-ex-machina sent our way; that was how the original Greek hacks would resolve too complicated plotlines. I think we might get too bored to care.

    I cannot help but think there is a real ground to politics that must resurface as economic calamity, imperial collapse, ecological collapse, something to make the controversies colorably real again.

    But, in the meantime, i cannot credit getting wrought up over whether Trump should be impeached for being crass and cynical in person with a foreign leader. Get back to me when you have hung Bush and Obama for actual crimes.

  58. realitychecker

    “Get back to me when you have hung Bush and Obama for actual crimes.”

    Spot on, as usual.

    But, why stop there? Who cares if the price of rope goes up?

    IIRC, that Christians-and-lions thingy worked well for quite awhile lol.

  59. Ché Pasa

    I’d say the deus ex machina resolve to the current political mess is actually one of the alternatives– perhaps the chief one now– our rulers have in mind. Trump has been wonderful for business, damn he’s a money-maker for media and a lot of other interests, but he’s freaking mad, and if he were anyone’s uncle, he’d be kept in seclusion in a home or in the attic somewhere. This can’t go on. He cannot be re-elected. But there’s no one on the Dem side at this point that will protect the interests of the ruling class and beat Trump even in a rigged election. (Which it looks like we’re going to have.)

    Trump has a very small fan-base; Bernie’s I think is larger. But Bernie won’t protect the interests of the ruling class, so how can he be elected (shudder)? Same with Warren. Biden will protect the ruling class and can beat Trump if the contest were today… or if he doesn’t stumble-fumble his way off the stage. Pete is a Hail Mary if nothing else works, though unless the count is really rigged, he can’t get elected.

    But I’ve heard and read chatter that there is a serious effort underway to recruit someone else with a significant fan-base and the chops to beat Trump like a rented mule. It’s not at all out of the question that it would be another entertainer. There are plenty of them available, no?

    “Servant of the People” was accidentally predictive in Ukraine. It’s star is now the president. It could become a type-model for politics here.

  60. Sid Finster

    Everyone in the Ukrainian government is corrupt, from the postman and the fire department all the way up to the president. Everyone and everything there is for sale, everywhere, all the time.

    Of course Shokin, the fired prosecutor, was corrupt. Everyone knows it.

    In fact, I would not be at all surprised if the fired prosecutor were investigating Burisma Holdings simply to shake down the owners. That’s just part of doing business in Ukraine. Things have only gotten worse since the 2014 putsch.

    That said, there is no reason to hire a cokehead failson like Hunter Biden for a $600K a year no-show job, except for the political cover he provides.

    And when Shokin was fired – his replacement was just as corrupt, but the replacement left Burisma Holdings alone. The Ukrainians got the message. And as soon as that happened, Joe Biden suddenly stopped caring about corruption in Ukraine. In other words, the political cover (the “krysha” as they call it there) worked exactly the way it was supposed to work.

    For that matter, Trump doesn’t care about corruption in Ukraine, either. Anyone who thinks otherwise should not buy bridges. The only thing Trump cared about was getting the Ukrainians to provide him with a stick to beat his political opponents with. Unless you believe that corruption in Ukraine began and ended with Biden, because that is the only corruption Trump seems to care about, in a country that is 169% corrupt.

    The consideration for Ukrainian assistance was more American weapons to use to butcher the civilians on Donbass with. And Zelensky sounded like he was auditioning to be Trump’s prison bride.

    As far as I am concerned, none of the parties come out of this looking good at all.

    Law, justice, facts, morality, logic, etc. have nothing to do with it, not for Team D, not for Trump or his enablers.

    Team D has the votes and the will. Therefore, the impeachment will go forward.

  61. Hugh

    I often wonder what’s up with the ease that some people write off Ukrainians. Are they some form of sub-human life? If there is corruption in the Ukraine, it is dwarfed by the corruption in Putin’s Russia. I hear a lot about fascists and skinheads in Ukraine. But again Russia is skinhead, fascist central. And why is it that Ukraine gets blamed for the Russia’s invasion and occupation of parts of it? Who started the slaughter and been responsible for most of the deaths in the region? Oh yeah, Russia. So let’s blame Ukraine.

    Ché Pasa, perhaps that’s why Bloomberg got in the race: to make America safe for billionaires. Other possibilities: for another billionaire, how about Oprah Winfrey? or for an Establishment choice, Michelle Obama?

  62. realitychecker

    I’ve heard a bunch of Dems on TV his week parroting the talking point that we are helping the Ukrainians “fight the Russians over there, so that we won’t have to fight them over here.”

    Is there ANYONE who reads this blog that believes that steaming pile of BS? That the Russians are planning a land invasion of the United States?

    Or, does anyone really think it’s smart to continue to believe that in a multi-polar geopolitical future we should cling to the policy of taking sole, or even primary, responsibility for controlling every ground conflict that arises, no matter how far away from our territory?

    Shouldn’t we start mixing some pragmatic reasoning in with our emotions?

  63. nihil obstet

    The U.S. promoted a coup with some violence that overthrew a legitimately elected leader in favor of fascists. It was a corrupt government and its replacement has been corrupt. As usual, we seem to have sent well-connected cronies to reap the riches of the new corruption. I just don’t see any of this as promoting democracy or honest government or American security if American security is defined as anything other than riches for well-connected cronies.

    I oppose the American government acting like a Mafia family council, even if it’s described as the fight against another state whose government acts like a competing Mafia council.

  64. Hugh

    So is Ukraine just to be left to Putin? Isn’t a legitimately elected corrupt government something of an oxymoron? What? they were they corrupt only when they got into office, but not in how they got there? I don’t get the instant reflex condemnation of US meddling in Ukraine and crickets when it comes to the much more malign meddling (oh, and invasion) of Putin.


    We’re going to see a lot more of this in the year ahead. Polls aren’t about accurately reflecting the opinion of the polity, they’re about perception management. More and more polls will reveal Bloomberg is THE MAN.

    Bloomberg will play the Dems just as Trump played, and is playing, the Repubs. Remember, Trump threatened to continue running for POTUS whether the Repubs nominated him or not at the convention. Bloomberg has the clout to do the same to the Dems and like Trump, Bloomberg can swing for either team proving both parties are two sides of the same coin.

    What this means, and I asserted this in the commentary to an earlier blog post, is we are well on our way to direct oligarchical rule. The oligarchy is declaring that the executive branch can no longer be left to the parties. The party whores can no longer be trusted.

    So yeah, we’re watching the Ukrainization of America which makes the substance of the impeachment proceedings rather, or highly actually, ironic all things considered.

    Everything Trump said he is but isn’t, Bloomberg is. Bloomberg is a TRUE businessman employing tens of thousands of employees. Bloomberg actually is a billionaire and Bloomberg will have no problem showing his tax returns to prove it as if we need the proof. Bloomberg is a media mogul and has extensive clout and influence within the media. Bloomberg has all the right stuff to pull this off and he’s actually held office where Trump never had and he’s held it successfully for the most part at least compared to Trump’s miserable and tragic nightmare of a performance as POTUS.

    Just in case, I’m saving my comments related to this so when the time comes, I can say I said so.

  66. realitychecker

    Short people got no reason to live—h/t Randy Newman

    Also, there’s that “third term” thingy. For those who worry that Trump won’t leave office. 🙂


    Hugh, I have to snicker when people carry water for Putin. In another thread I was told that America has no common interest with Ukraine. Okay, let’s roll with that. If that’s so, why was Manafort in Ukraine helping Putin place Yanukovych in power. Putin then used Manafort to help seat Trump in the Oval Office. Do they believe this was just a coincidence? Manafort is key to this. Trump had no idea who Manafort was prior to Manafort coming on board. But Putin knew Manafort well. Manafort is the TELL. He’s the nexus. Before donning an orange jumpsuit, he worked for Putin.

    “No common interest with Ukraine.” “Ukraine’s corrupt.” Why don’t they tell, or why didn’t they tell, Rick Perry because Perry sure does like Ukraine and has plenty of common interest with this Russian backwater province that once upon a time had nuclear weapons and probably, or most definitely, wishes it never surrendered them.

    This is Perry’s, or was Perry’s, Energy Department. Sounds like common interest to me. More than common interest and it sounds an awful lot like what Biden and his son were doing and yet Perry is an ardent Trump supporter and his former Energy Secretary.

    Production from the country’s sizable gas reserves is now one-third of what it was in the 1970s, after decades of under investment. Perry, meanwhile, was eager to find new markets for U.S. energy companies, in particular the growing number of liquefied natural gas export terminals along the Gulf Coast.

    “When you have Russia playing at its games, it’s going to scare away a lot of majors and the independents,” said one senior official at the Energy Department. “We saw a significant opportunity for [Ukraine] to be western-orientated after essentially being a puppet of Russia.”


    Temple Grandin designed this. A humane way to herd humans to the slaughter so they don’t get spooked or frightened.

  69. bruce wilder

    I often wonder what’s up with the ease that some people write off Ukrainians.

    I wonder about the ease with which some people think they are going penetrate the rights and wrongs of political conflict half-a-world away and know exactly how and why and where a foreign power ought to intervene (on the side of the “good guys” naturally).

    When someone — even someone as remarkably well-informed as Hugh normally is — casually asks, “Who started [the fight]?” as if we are talking about a playground scuffle among ten year olds, with no history stretching back much before lunch, and nothing more at stake than nicknames, I cringe.

    Speaking as an American, moreover, I am deeply ashamed at the palsied way American military and economic power is deployed and manipulated. My country is reckless and immoral in its conduct abroad and makes itself too easily the servant of purposes and programs not at all consonant with its own long-term interests, let alone justice or the stability of the world.

    I don’t know that Americans should “blame” Ukraine, but I think it would be best if U.S. foreign policy steered clear of entanglement with Ukrainian political factions all too likely to be reckless in attempting to wield American economic and military power against their powerful neighbor. It is in the American interest that Ukrainian statesmen be prudent and cautious in structuring and managing their relationship with the Russian Federation, not to mention with the nearly half of their own population who are ethnically or linguistically Russian.

    Some Ukrainian leaders have been less than prudent or even honest in their dealings with Russia, setting up considerable cause for distrust. There have been disputes over the Russian gas transiting Ukraine, in which Ukraine was pretty clearly in the wrong. And, Ukrainian nationalists have pressed language policies quite hostile to Russian speakers, while aid to the ailing eastern cities was pretty much non-existent prior to the civil war breaking out.

    It is not at all clear to me that the U.S. has been steering clear of entanglement — in fact, it looks to me like the U.S. has spent a lot of money fomenting a color revolution, that overthrew an elected government and understandably antagonized Russia in the process. (Two revolutions actually, in 2004 and 2014)

    I am not sure what to make of Hugh’s claim to know the quantity of Russian oligarchic corruption compared to Ukrainian. I do know that Russia recovered economically in the 1998-2008 period and Ukraine did not, with the result that per capita incomes in European Russia are roughly three times what they are in Ukraine, which remains a very, very poor country by the standards of Eastern Europe. The Russian-speaking rust belt in Eastern Ukraine has been particularly miserable, even though statistics suggest that they are not the poorest part of the country.

    The Russian annexation of Crimea is often treated in the West as a black-and-white issue, but I do not think most residents of Crimea are especially dissatisfied with the result. Russian oppression has taken the form of paved roads and rapid economic development, with median income rising substantially. And, in real politick terms, it is not surprising that Russia would act to secure its naval base against a state evolving into a hostile power associated with a hostile alliance.

    I do not see the moral case for treating Ukraine as an aggrieved innocent, nor do I see the practical case for a settlement entirely prejudicial to Russia as likely to be stable. If Ukraine has leaders foolish enough to try to fight Russia, I do not want the U.S. in that fight. If Ukraine does seek an economic alliance with the West, I would rather it not be some neoliberal slow suicide pact to sell the black soil to private equity.

  70. Hugh

    So if self-determination is OK for Crimea minus the Crimean Tatars, why wasn’t it OK for the Chechens or a hundred other ethnic groups in Russia? Putin was more or less made politically by cheerleading their brutal suppression. But Putin is teflon so either forget that or sweep it under the rug.

    Why is it that the US = bad always and Putin gets a pass? Putin has been destabilizing Ukraine for years. He’s invaded it, seized territory in it, and keeps a low grade war going on in it, but it’s all Ukraine’s fault, or our fault, but importantly not Putin’s. How is it that we need to be careful with Russia but Russia doesn’t need to be careful with us, even though we are matched in nukes, our conventional forces are much better than theirs, and our economy dwarfs theirs? And does anyone seriously believe that if we let Ukraine go, Putin would too?

  71. Ché Pasa

    If you followed the Maiden revolt and its aftermath closely, as I tried to do, the lies being told about it in the US and Western Europe were obvious.

    Like many other “revolutions” this was an engineered Color-type “revolution” that had as its objective wresting Ukraine from a Russian orbit and placing it firmly into the orbit of the West. But oddly, or maybe not, many of the westernizers in this “revolution” were Nazis (some literally), ethnic purists, and fiercely anti-Russian. They were very violent, both in the Maiden protests and its aftermath, and they were determined to de-Russianize the entirety of Ukraine, including extirpating the Russian language and (if necessary!) expelling the many ethnic Russian residents. “Blood and Soil” all the way.

    Putin didn’t cause this. It was all directly out of the Maiden and the behaviour of the victors of the “revolution.” Moscow, for some unknown reason, recognized that the post-Yanukovich rulers in Kiev were a threat. Primarily, so the story went, they were a threat to the substantial numbers of ethnic Russians living in Ukraine and to anyone else who was not aligned with the Nazi takeover of the government.

    They acted on that threat, too. You may remember the Odessa Massacre in which dozens of opponents of the new regime in Kiev were burned to death in an act of mob violence at the Trade Unions Hall. There were many other smaller incidents of violence against opponents of the new regime and against those of Russian descent. The Rada voted to forbid the use and teaching of the Russian language throughout Ukraine, even though most Ukrainians spoke Russian, and in Crimea and the Donbass, Russian was the primary language of the majority.

    Ethnic cleansing was under way.

    Russia intervened as it has done before when ethnic Russians were under threat. The annexation of Crimea was almost foregone. Prior to 1954, Crimea had not been part of the Ukrainian SSR, and most of its population was either Russian or of Russian descent. Moscow saw their very existence as threatened by the new regime in Kiev. The Russian naval base in Sevastopol was also under threat. The plebiscite that Moscow engineered in Crimea was probably hinky as hell, but the results weren’t that surprising, given the heavy Russian majority in the population. So, to cheers from much of the population and contempt and sanctions from the West, Moscow annexed Crimea. Should they have? I can’t say it did the Kremlin much good, but they did what they did.

    A civil war has been underway in the Donbass since 2014, where native Russian speakers are the majority. Ethnic Russians are the largest minority. Separatist militias have been fighting against Ukrainian Nazi-Nationalist forces ever since it became clear that Russians and the Russian language would be forced out, cleansed, by the new regime in Kiev. This civil war has had assistance from Moscow as well as from the United States and the EU. But there has been no invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. The separatists say they want autonomy from Kiev, or at least the ability for local self-rule. Kiev wants domination and submission. Or at least did until Zelensky came along.

    Now Zelensky and Putin are to meet in Paris next week (provided the French uprising against Macron abates a bit) to attempt to bring the Donbass conflict and other Kiev/Moscow issues to a resolution. They just might do it, too.


    They just might do it, too.

    No way, or at least not to the effect those who want to be rid of Russian influence & meddling would want. If a deal is miraculously brokered in Paris, it will be severely tilted and favor Putin and Russia. Zelensky has already said he will only serve one term. If he is indeed a Putin trojan horse puppet, the one term would make sense especially if he strikes a deal with Putin that strongly favors Putin and Russia. Because Zelensky has promised to only serve one term, the backlash for brokering a deal that strongly favors Putin and Russia won’t really matter much to Zelensky or Putin, will it? Putin will have the next trojan horse puppet in the pipeline ready to trot out and take Zelensky’s place.

  73. Hugh

    Again it is called irredentism. Hitler practised it too, the claim that Germans in whatever country they found themselves needed to be protected and the gathered back again into a unitary German Reich. Oh, and the existing borders? They were arbitrary and artificial.

    I don’t get the Russian apologists and exceptionalism I see here. I see the same kind of arguments that a domestic abuser would use against their partner. The victim forced the abuser to beat them up. They were asking for it. If the victim had just done what the abuser had wanted, none of this would have happened. So a murderous dictator like Putin does everything he can to put pressure on the Ukrainians, destabilize their country, invade and occupy large stretches of it, and it’s the Ukrainians’ fault because they weren’t clones of Mother Teresa and didn’t acquiesce to Putin’s plans. Or to put it another way, Ukrainian fascists –bad. Russian fascists –good. Not getting the reason for the double standard and the chucking out of international law, because Russia, but whatever.

  74. Ché Pasa

    Describing what happened and why — albeit from my personal perspective at a distance — is not to claim one side is good, the other is bad. They have different interests; they want different things; they see themselves as the inheritors of different histories, competing histories, often deadly histories.

    Ukraine’s alignment with the West and potential membership in NATO is seen as an existential threat in the Kremlin. This is not Putin’s doing alone. It is a product of long and painful history. Many Ukrainians are not eager to follow the path the EU and the US set for the country. From what I saw, they voted overwhelmingly for Zelensky because he vowed to try something different — to defenestrate the oligarchs who had been looting the country since the break up of the Soviet Union and to resolve as best he could the stupid conflict with Russia while maintaining friendly relations with the EU and the US.

    That and the fact that he played a character doing these things and more on TV elevated him to the presidency. He’s faced one roadblock after another, and who knows what he’ll be able to do. Somehow he’s got to forge a path between the US/EU and Russia that protects Ukraine’s integrity and people, all of them, not just the Nazis, and pulls the plug on the looters. Good luck! Or a miracle.

    It won’t be easy and he may not succeed, but by this point, it should be obvious that neither the US/EU nor Russia has the best interests of the Ukrainian population in mind. Since most of the region has been part of the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union for most of its history (0ther parts were ruled by Poland-Lithuania, Austria-Hungary or other European countries) Ukrainians ‘know’ Russia and Russians intimately — for good and ill. They have reason to be wary.

    On the other hand, they also know from their history what happened under German-Nazi rule, Polish rule and so on. They’ve seen and experienced betrayal, famine, destruction and worse too often. They have reason to be wary of the US and EU, neither of which has the interests of the Ukrainian people in mind. They are playing their imperial games using Ukraine as a pawn. So is Russia. They’ve been squeezed from both ends and it looks like they’re sick of it. Zelensky is offering some hope that they can be rid of most of their adversaries and begin building a better future.

    It may be a wan hope, but what else do they have?


    So, we have Manafort, who was on Putin’s payroll, running Trump’s campaign and we have Trump continually trying to put a stake through the heart of NATO. Putin’s hand is all over this. Putin’s hand is up Trump’s ass directing his every move. Trump is a traitor if ever there was one. He deserves the fate of a traitor and yet America’s deep state plays games with him like a cat plays with a mouse.

    Meanwhile, there’s Georgia. Are Putin’s apologists going to blame this on the American deep state too even though Trump has been the head of the deep state now for three years? Every revolt everywhere for all time is the doing of the American deep state? Really? You can’t claim every uprising and revolt is the American deep state. That’s not possible. The fact so many still do means it’s just cover and apologia for despots and tyrants. It’s not credible to blame everything on the American deep state especially since the insane orange dotard is now at the helm of the deep state.


    What about Moldova? Are Trump and Pompeo offering refuge to the scumbag oligarch Plahotniuc? A great public relations coup, Donnie, would be to initiate sanctioning of this scumbag per the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act and put him behind bars for life rather than to do Nuland’s bidding and provide refuge and safe harbor for him in America.

    How does US Embassy action in this case corresponds with the advice of a former OSCE political officer and a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace scholar, who co-authored an analysis calling on the “U.S. government to initiate an interagency process sanctioning Mr. Plahotniuc under the U.S. Global Magnitsky Act.”

    Plahotniuc cannot be allowed to hide behind his enablers in Washington like Shuster or former Obama-era U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, now a consultant for the Albright Stonebridge Group, who “stood shoulder to shoulder with Moldova’s most feared figure.” Too much is at stake for Moldova’s “unorthodox coalition”, which has “demonstrated a surprising degree of cohesion and purpose,” according to the Kennan Institute. Washington, Brussels, and Moscow all united in opposition to Plahotniuc’s continued grasp on power.

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