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HISPANIC (P)

HISPANIC (P)

The Real Oath Senate Republicans Took Within Their Minds

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The United States Senate likes to call itself “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” But as we are seeing with Trump’s impeachment trial, the only thing senators are doing is deliberately violating their oaths of office.

The Oath Act of June 1, 1789, was the first legislation passed by the Senate and the first law signed by President George Washington. It simply read: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States.”

Following the Civil War, the Oath was amended several times to now read:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Besides the above oath taken by each senator-elect before assuming office, all 100 senators took the following special oath before the start of Trump’s impeachment trial:

 “I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [Donald John Trump], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.”

We all know, because some have actually told us, not all Republican senators will be living up to their sacred oaths to do impartial justice.

I’m guessing while mindlessly mouthing their prescribed oaths, these were the words that actually registered within their brains:

“I solemnly swear that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald John Trump I will do all I can to exonerate him even though I will be presented with a mountain of incriminating evidence which will clearly show he violated his oath to the Constitution and laws: so help me my constituents.”

Of course, the more religious members of the Senate had their fingers crossed behind their backs while the impeachment oath was administered by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Photo | msnbc.com



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R.I.P. Political Satire – Republican Senator Asks Whether John Bolton Is Really A Firsthand Witness

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Clearly we are living through some weird times. The line between the factual and the absurd just keeps getting blurred beyond recognition.

Satire is dead.

Senate Republicans have complained that all the evidence against Trump has come from people with secondhand, third-hand and even fourth-hand knowledge. Yet when Democrats asked, during Trump’s impeachment trial, to subpoena witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s alleged wrongdoing, all such requests were voted down along a straight party-line vote.

Then, over the weekend, the Bolton book bombshell hits the streets.  In the unpublished manuscript of his tell-all book, former national security advisor, John Bolton, says Donald Trump told him that he was withholding military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Ukrainian president Zelensky to help him with political motivated investigations, i.e. dirt on the Bidens.

In a normal world this would be considered the ultimate firsthand knowledge … unless you could produce a witness who inhabited Trump’s subconscious!

But, no. Missouri junior Senator Josh Hawley is actually questioning whether John Bolton is that much-sought, indispensable witness.

When CNN’s Haley Byrd caught up with Hawley yesterday and asked why the Senate wouldn’t want to hear from Bolton, he replied, “Well, I don’t know. Is he a firsthand witness? I’m not sure.”

Folks, we have reached a point where writers of political satire need to just pack their bags and go ply their trade on some less absurdist terrain otherwise known as today’s political world. Well, at least until we can return to more normal times … if that is even possible.

Sorry, Mr. Borowitz, but it seems the current crop of Republican politicians may have put you, and all your clever fellow satirists, out of business.

Did you hear that Donald Trump is thinking of pardoning Charles Manson, Ms. Williamson?

Photo | washingtonpost.com



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After Bombshell Bolton Book Leak, Publisher Wants Full Return Of Advance

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Reprint from moronmajority.com

According to an unpublished manuscript of John Bolton’s upcoming book obtained by the New York Times, the former National Security Advisor claims Donald Trump directly told him he would withhold military aid to Ukraine until Ukrainian President Zelensky agreed to deliver politically motivated investigations into the Bidens.

This may be good news for Democrats seeking to compel Bolton’s testimony in Trump’s impeachment trial but it is very bad news for Bolton.

It has been reported that Bolton’s multi-million dollar book deal with Simon & Schuster carried a whopping $2 million advance. The publisher now wants the money returned.

A spokesperson for Simon & Schuster says the value of the book was based on Bolton’s explanation of the “drug deal” he purportedly told Fiona Hill about, of which he wanted no part. Many assumed the comment related to the scheme Gordon Sondland and Mick Mulvaney were cooking up to pressure Zelensky into announcing investigations into the Bidens, Burisma. 

“The cat’s out of the bag,” said the spokesperson. “Who would want to read the book now?”

A close friend of the former Trump advisor has revealed Bolton doesn’t have the money, having spent it all on a high-tech security system for his Bethesda, Maryland home and on 24-hour bodyguards.

Photo | france24.com/abcnews.go.com



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Graham On Calling Witnesses: “I Really Don’t Want To Turn The Trial Into A Circus”

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Now that Trump’s lawyers have begun offering up their arguments against impeachment, many Democrats are saying they just made a great case for calling witnesses.

Trump’s defense team began this morning’s Senate session arguing that no one has testified they heard Trump directly demand a political quid pro quo from Ukraine or say he explicitly held up foreign aid to benefit himself.

So, wouldn’t calling witnesses with direct knowledge of the issues potentially solve the problem?

Not for Lindsey Graham. He stated, after this morning’s “brief” presentation by Trump’s lawyers, “I am more intent on ending this thing now with my vote. I really don’t want to turn the trial into a circus.”

Any person with even the slightest knowledge of trial procedure would tell you Graham has it completely backwards. A trial without witnesses IS a circus; nothing but a sham trial.

Yes, Senate Republicans have heard enough after three grueling days of arguments by the Democrats. They want to move on to other things … lunches with lobbyists and fundraising for the next election.

Having witnesses, like Bolton or Mulvaney, testify would only complicate things and make it more difficult for Senate Republicans to acquit Trump without looking like the unpatriotic, partisan hacks that they are.

Welcome to our brave new, dystopian, world of Orwellian doublespeak!

Photo | cnbc.com



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Please, Let’s Stop Calling What’s Taking Place In The Senate A Trial

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As we are all transfixed on the spectacle taking place in the Senate, let us not dignify it by calling it a trial.

The Constitution gives the Senate the sole power to try a case of impeachment. In other words, to hold a trial.

A trial by its very definition is a formal examination of evidence before a judge; an exercise in seeking the truth. The basic structure normally follows this pattern:

  1. Opening statements
  2. Witness testimony and cross examination
  3. Closing arguments
  4. Jury deliberation and verdict

What’s taking place in the Senate is not a trial but a partisan, and some might add, unconstitutional, impeachment process. Senate Republicans voted down every effort by the Democrats to call witnesses (and produce documents, for that matter). 

As many have observed, a trial without witnesses is a sham; a coverup.

Oh yes, but aren’t they just following the Clinton impeachment model you ask?

Yes and no.

Yes, in the Clinton impeachment there was unanimous agreement among senators to vote on the need for witnesses after the trial concluded. But key witnesses had already given sworn testimony before the trial. The idea of not calling live witnesses during Clinton’s trial was mainly due to the salacious nature of the facts which gave rise to Clinton’s perjury.

But in Trump’s case, there is nothing indecent about any potential witness testimony … just plain old-fashioned abuse of power and obstruction.

House manager Adam Schiff put the difference between Trump and Clinton this way:

“If we’re really serious about modeling this proceeding after the Clinton trial, the Clinton precedent is one where all the documents had been provided, up front, where all the witnesses had testified, up front, prior to the trial. That is not being replicated by the McConnell resolution — not in any way, not in any shape, not in any form, far from it.

What the Senate is doing is flipping the meaning of “trial” on its head… conclude the presentation and then vote on whether witnesses and documents are necessary!

Look for Republican senators to vote down the need for witnesses at the end of the trial and for either a motion to dismiss or a quick vote leading to acquittal.

So, let’s just call what’s happening in the Senate what it is … a “presentation” by a group of Democrats seeking to uphold the Constitution and a group of Republicans willing to undermine our constitutional democracy. 

Photo | nypost.com



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Mitch McConnell Ditches John Roberts In Favor Of New Presiding Judge

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Reprint from moronmajority.com

In a last-minute move that surprised no one, Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has relieved Chief Justice John Roberts of his role as presiding judge at the Trump impeachment trial in favor of Captain Kangaroo.

McConnell’s desperate maneuver has confirmed what many had feared … he has turned the solemn Congressional responsibility of conducting a fair impeachment trial into a Kangaroo court.

But in a totally unexpected turn that has stunned McConnell, Judge Kangaroo has stated that “a trial without witnesses or documents is a sham trial … a fake trial. My court will not countenance such a clear disregard of its legal and ethical obligations.”

So now, look for the Democrats to get their wish list of potential witnesses … John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, Lev Parnas, Stormy Daniels, the two Michaels … Cohen and Moore and Chrissy Teigen.

Photo | snopes.com



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Whether Bolton Testifies Or Not Really Doesn’t Matter

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The Senate impeachment trial of Donald John Trump is scheduled to start next Tuesday under a cloud of uncertainty … will it be a real trial or a sham? Will there be witnesses? Will documents be produced?

Much is being made about the possibe testimony of John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor. Will he or won’t he testify? If he does, will he testify truthfully?

While it is still possible that NO witnesses will be called at Trump’s trial, a few Republican senators have expressed an interest in hearing from Bolton. Most notable among the reasonably-sounding senators is Utah’s Mitt Romney.

After Romney stated that he would be open to hearing from witnesses, in general, he was asked specifically if that included Bolton.

“Including John Bolton, yes,” said Romney. “He’s someone who I would like to hear from, and presumably I get the chance to vote for that.”

This intrigue over Bolton’s testimony is grossly puffed up, however.

It won’t matter one way or another!

Even if Bolton testifies he knew about Trump’s attempted shakedown of Ukrainian President Zelensky and tried to warn him against it, it will not sway enough Republican senators (67) to break ranks and vote to oust Trump.

Even if Bolton testifies he knew it was an illegal act, one that threatened our national security, Trump will be acquitted.

The “trial” is fixed and the outcome certain. Remember, Trump is the guy who boasted he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose support. It turns out he wasn’t just talking about voters but also Republican politicians. Trump has made it abundantly clear over the past three years he is less of a president and more of a cult leader.

Oh yes, there may be a few Republicans who put country ahead of party but not enough to remove Trump from office.

The best Democrats can hope for is that Trump will be weakened and thrown out of office by the voters in November … and that all those vulnerable, spineless Republican senators up for reelection are similarly shown the door.

Photo | france24.com



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As Senate Trial Nears, Trump Set To Call Three Character Witnesses

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Reprint from moronmajority.com

We learned today from Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, that Trump’s impeachment trial may start as early as next Tuesday.

Word has it Donald Trump’s legal team is scrambling to prepare his defense. At the suggestion of Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, three character witnesses will be called by Trump’s legal team to vouch for his good reputation and moral character: Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and Recep Erdogan.

Putin, it is being reported, is prepared to say Trump is the model of honesty and probity. In the past, Putin has called Trump, “Greatest U.S.A. president.”

Trump’s love affair with the Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, is well documented. It is expected Kim will repeat his description of Trump as “a most wonderful, handsome and loving dear leader.”

Turkey president Erdogan is also a big fan of Donald Trump. He called Trump, “Allah’s gift to Turkey” after the impulsive commander-in-chief abandoned our allies, the Kurds, in Syria.

Yet some are already questioning the Giuliani-inspired tactic. They point out the three men are obviously beholden to Trump for various favors afforded them in the past. And, oh yes, they are all despots!

Nonetheless, the three strongmen are held in such high esteem by nearly all the Republican senators who will act as jurors at Trump’s impeachment trial that it seems well worth the effort, according to one of Trump’s most trusted advisors, son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Photo | salon.com

Warning – this could be “fake” nooze



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Did Pompeo Get Stumped On A Simple Word Definition?

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is regarded as a very smart man. His academic accomplishments have been well documented: graduated first in his class at West Point; a Harvard Law School graduate who served as editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review.

Yet there he was at a press conference on Friday, “unable” to define a relatively simple word.

Pompeo has insisted that the killing of top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani was necessary because he was planning “imminent attacks” against the U.S.

During remarks made on Fox News Thursday night, Pompeo told host Laura Ingraham that Soleimani was plotting a “series of imminent attacks,” but added, “We don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where, but it was real.”

Pressed during Friday morning’s White House briefing about how he could know the Soleimani threat was “imminent” if he did not know when or where the Iranian general planned to attack, Pompeo insisted that his two sets of statements represented “completely consistent thoughts.”

In an effort to somewhat walk back his “we don’t know precisely when and we don’t know precisely where” Fox comment, Pompeo said, “I don’t know exactly which minute. We don’t know exactly which day it would have been executed, but it was very clear: Qassem Soleimani himself was plotting a broad, large-scale attack against American interests, and those attacks were imminent,” Pompeo said.

When asked by a reporter to give his definition of “imminent,” Pompeo demurred, replying that administration officials “would have been culpably negligent had we not recommended to the president that he take this action” against Soleimani.

For the record, a generally accepted definition of “imminent” is: “likely to occur at any moment.” (Dictionary.com)

So, it is reasonable to conclude that either Pompeo is not the brilliant mind he is purported to be … or he is just another Trump fabulist.

You know which one I’m going with!

Photo | gannett/usatoday.com



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