Fake President may shutdown government over impeachment


AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

❝ “I’m increasingly worried that President Trump will want to shut down the government again because of impeachment,” House Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters. “He always likes to create diversions. I hope and pray he won’t want to cause another government shutdown because it might be a diversion away from impeachment.”

Republicans have insisted the government will not shut down, but that was also their position in December when Trump kicked off the longest government shutdown in history over Democrats’ refusal to fund his border wall. Without action, the government will shut down Nov. 22.

Trump might shut the government down over Ivanka getting a hangnail.

Ken Starr makes irony look easy


My hands are clean…

❝ On CNN’s “New Day” Friday morning, former independent counsel Ken Starr raised questions about whether current special counsel Bob Mueller might be over-stepping the bounds of his mandate in investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

❝ Here’s the key part:

“I think the gravamen of the original complaint was, was there collusion, to the extent you’re moving beyond collusion with Russian operatives or Russian interests or the Russian government itself, and into that which doesn’t seem to have a direct tie to Russia, then these questions are in fact raised. It becomes a litigable question that people are going to sidewalk about and disagree about it. I don’t think it’s clear one way or the other, but i do think it is a certainly a serious matter.”

❝ First of all, Ken Starr is the most prominent — and controversial — independent counsel ever. If you asked a person on the street to name an independent counsel not named Bob Mueller, Ken Starr would be the only one anyone would come up with…

Second, Starr is the reason that all presidents — Trump included — are extremely leery of independent or special prosecutors. He is the definitional example of an investigation starting small and growing huge.

❝ Remember that Starr took over the Whitewater investigation, an examination into an Arkansas land deal gone bad, in 1994. By the time Starr released the eponymous report of his findings on Sept. 11, 1998, his investigation had turned its focus to Bill Clinton’s extramarital affair with a White House intern. It took four years and cost roughly $40 million.

While Starr succeeded in initiating Clinton’s impeachment, he also knew [or should have] it wasn’t going to succeed. But, he managed to waste even more taxpayer dollar$ on his crusade against the Clintons. Fact-based legal decisions sometimes seem as rare as Trump keeping promises.

GOP senators trust Paul Ryan as little as they trust Trump. Want written guarantee “skinny repeal” of Obamacare won’t become law!


Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Ron JohnsonAP

The Senate Republican healthcare process descended into disarray Thursday evening, as four GOP senators threatened to withhold support for a more moderate, “skinnier” attempt at repealing certain parts of the Affordable Care Act.

“I am not going to vote for the skinny bill if I’m not assured by the House there will be a conference where my idea and other ideas will be taken up so we can actually repeal Obamacare,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said in a press conference Thursday with Sens. John McCain, Ron Johnson, and Bill Cassidy.

Graham added: “I’m not going to vote for a bill that is terrible policy and horrible politics just because we have to get something done.”

The last-ditch, so-called skinny repeal effort would consist of a series of amendments would aim to repeal certain unpopular parts of the Affordable Care Act, including mandates to get health insurance.

At the end of the 20-hour debate period, if no bill has been picked up, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would move on to the “skinny repeal” plan. If passed, it could lead to the House and Senate working together to compromise on one final bill in conference.

You’ll hear lots of rationales saying this is how a compromise will be worked out. The senators made it clear that compromise will include Democrats.

After the press conference, House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed a willingness to take the bill to conference.

“If moving forward requires a conference committee, that is something the House is willing to do,” he said.

The four GOP senators said they wanted assurances from House Republican leadership — including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — that they would not pass the bill, which Graham called a “fraud.”

The senators didn’t specify what kind of assurances they would request.

It’s like pornography. You’ll know it when you see it,” Graham said.

No one in the Senate is ready to take Ryan’s word. If Trump is impeached – and Senators working on that plan to include Pence in any criminal cover-up – Ryan gets to be President. He can taste it, already.

The Senators realize that, too. And BTW everyone expects ANY conference on this bill to fail. Requiring a do-over.

The so-called skinny repeal of Obamacare is the kinder, gentler version of Republican politics. It would only screw 16 million eople out of health insurance.

Latin American leaders reject coup in Paraguay

Latin American countries have expressed concern at the ouster of Paraguay’s President Fernando Lugo, with leaders of three countries saying they will not recognise its new government.

Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez, Ecuador President Rafael Correa and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Saturday said they would not recognise the government of newly-installed leader Frederico Franco, who was sworn in by the same senate which, minutes before, had voted out Lugo…

Federico Franco, the Paraguay’s newly sworn-in president, has reached out to Latin American leaders to minimise diplomatic fallout and keep his country from becoming a regional pariah…

Given that Franco is a flunky representing the only political party in Paraguay’s history that spent decades as the sole “choice” during extensive periods of dictatorship – why should anyone consider this latest effort anything other than a fascist takeover? Once again.

Senators found Lugo, a former Catholic priest with a string of outstanding paternity cases, guilty of performing his duties badly during the dispute last week that left 17 people dead.

An hour later, to cheers inside Congress and angry clashes outside, 49-year-old vice president Franco was sworn in as the new leader of one of Latin America’s poorest nations.

A torrent of furious responses poured in from across the region, not just from traditional leftist allies like Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela, but also from centrist and right-wing governments Argentina and Chile.

“Without any doubt there has been a coup d’etat in Paraguay. It is unacceptable.” Argentina’s Kirchner said…

Central American nations issued a joint statement urging the international community to reject Lugo’s impeachment.

In Washington, a US State Department spokeswoman, Darla Jordan, said: Blah, blah, blah.

Former Iceland PM goes on trial for responsibility in 2008 crash


Daylife/Getty Images used by permission

Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde has appeared at a special court on charges of “failures of ministerial responsibility” in his handling of the 2008 financial crisis.

The country’s three main banks collapsed amid economic turmoil.

The failure of Icesave, which hit thousands of savers in the UK and Netherlands, led to a dispute over compensation, which remains unresolved…

The two-hour hearing finished at midday, and a decision is expected within three weeks.

Mr Haarde, who pleaded not guilty, said as he left the courthouse: “My conscience is clear. And now I wait for the result of the court whether it comes in a few weeks or next year with a verdict.”

The hearing was held before the Landsdomur court, a special body to try cabinet ministers, which has never before heard a case.

Public opinion is divided, with some people seeing the trial of Mr Haarde as scapegoating, and others arguing that public accountability is essential following the country’s financial collapse.

Iceland was plunged into a deep recession following the collapse of its three leading banks, including Icesave’s parent company Landsbanki, in autumn 2008.

Mr Haarde, 60, led the Independence Party government at the time…

The charges carry a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

One would expect the defendant in any trial as serious as this to protest its worthiness to be heard. Yet there is sufficient respect for law and justice to have it proceed, treated as a legal proceeding should be dealt with.

Imagine what the carnival would be like if Congress in Obama’s first months had attempted to indict and try Bush – whether for his criminal invasion of Iraq or culpability in the deliberate slacking of regulation and oversight by his administration leading up to the Great Recession.

Clinton’s impeachment for being silly and stupid about sex was rococo enough. Bush accepting, his Oil Patch handlers accepting – the right of the nation to put his incompetence and corruption on trial would still be going on – with no end in sight.