Thursday, December 26, 2019

Impeachment Panel on The Critical Hour (12/18/2019)

Impeachment: Is it a Winning Case Against Trump or Sinking Sand for Democrats?

The US House of Representatives has held a historic day of debate Wednesday, which is likely to conclude with US President Donald Trump’s impeachment. If the House votes in favor of the two articles of impeachment, one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of an investigation by Congress, it will make Trump only the third president in US history to receive such a sanction, with Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson being the other two. As we sit here now at 6 p.m. EST, it looks like the time is nigh. What are we to make of all of this?

US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi began Wednesday's session by saying, “Today, as speaker of the House, I solemnly and sadly open the debate on the impeachment of the president of the United States… If we do not act now, we would be derelict in our duty. It is tragic that the president’s reckless actions make impeachment necessary. He gave us no choice.”
(My segment begins at 28:05)
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of ImpeachmentDead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment GambitImpeachment: What Lies Beneath?]

Impeachment Panel on Loud & Clear (12/18/2019)

An Impeachment Road That Leads to Nowhere

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books; Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net; Lee Camp, host of the comedy show “Redacted Tonight” and whose work is at leecamp.com; and Sputnik News analysts Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

The House of Representatives is nearing the end of its debate on impeachment, and President Trump will likely be impeached in the next several hours. The battle lines have been drawn strictly along partisan lines, with almost all Democrats supporting impeachment and all Republicans opposing it. Once impeachment is approved, it will be sent to the Senate, where President Trump will stand trial. A two-thirds vote there to convict him his unlikely.
(My segment, first hour)

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Impeachment: What Lies Beneath?


 
Reuters

The Raw

The Democrats have now revealed the hand they're going to play for impeachment.  I have been vehemently arguing against playing this game and pointing out how futile it is, but, seeing the two cards actually laid out on the table, even I am gobsmacked at what a loser of a hand they’ve got.

Of course, we have to recognize Gerald Ford’s correct point that “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history,” and accept that the Democratic majority in the House at the present moment will determine that their two charges against Trump are impeachable offenses.

But it's equally true that an acquitable charge is whatever more than a third of the Senate considers it to be, and the issue will finally be decided by the political support the charges can muster from Republican senators and their constituents. 

Given the ideological disposition of those senators and constituents, as well as the widespread reluctance of Americans generally to impeach a president—an act that does annul an election—over any but the most serious offenses, it is hard to believe the Democrats think they will sway anybody with the thin gruel they are serving up.

Week in Review Discussion on Loud & Clear (12/13/2019)

Labour Suffers Catastrophic Defeat in UK Election

On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won British elections yesterday in the biggest landslide since 1987, guaranteeing that Brexit takes place on his terms next month. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said that he would not head the party in the next elections, but he has not yet set a resignation date. Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party won broadly, perhaps enough to push another referendum on Scottish independence.

The House Judiciary Committee this morning voted 23-17 in a party-line vote to impeach President Trump. The two articles of impeachment now go to the floor of the House, and the entire body will vote on impeachment on Wednesday. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com, joins the show.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (12/13/2019)

House Dems Ready for Impeachment, While Senate GOP Commits to Knocking it Down

It’s Friday, so that means it's panel time.

"The House Judiciary Committee quickly approved two articles of impeachment Friday against President Trump on party-line votes accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress," the Washington Post reported. "The full House is expected to vote to impeach Trump next week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said there is 'no chance' the Senate will vote to remove Trump from office." Trump is now on his way to becoming the third president in history to be impeached, after Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson.
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of Impeachment,  Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

"Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Friday for 'closure' over the Brexit divisions that have riven or split the United Kingdom, saying his election victory provided an overwhelming mandate to take Britain out of the European Union on January 31," Reuters reported. "Johnson, the face of the victorious 'Leave' campaign in the 2016 referendum, fought the election under the slogan of 'Get Brexit Done,' promising to end the deadlock and spend more on health, education and the police." Now that the votes have been tabulated, the die has been cast. What does this mean going forward?

Friday, December 13, 2019

Loud & Clear Discussion of Inspector General Report (12/10/2019)

Inspector General report heightens controversy over 2016 FBI spying

Attorney General William Barr and US Attorney John Durham publicly broke with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz yesterday, disputing the IG’s conclusion that the FBI acted without political bias in initiating a counterintelligence investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign. Media reports say that FBI Director Wray’s days in office are now numbered, and the report also raises serious questions about how the FBI uses informants and the FISA process. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, which is where you can find his latest article titled “Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)logic of impeachment,” also on Counter Punch, joins the show.
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of Impeachment,  Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

Listen to "Inspector General report heightens controversy over 2016 FBI spying" on Spreaker.

Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Week in Review Discussion on The Critical Hour (12/06/2019)

Will Democrats be Cut by the Same Sword They are Preparing for Trump?

"House Speaker Nancy Pelosi compared President Donald Trump to a despotic tyrant in a press conference Thursday and announced she has asked House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to prepare articles of impeachment," Common Dreams reported. "'The facts are uncontested,' said Pelosi, a California Democrat. 'The president abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security.'"
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of Impeachment,  Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]

"The proposed Trump administration changes to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) could strip 3.7 million low-income Americans of their food stamps and slash benefits for millions of others," Business Insider reported Tuesday, citing a November study by the Urban Institute. The institute said of the proposed changes: "Sixteen percent of households with no children, no adults age 60 or older, and no one with a disability would lose eligibility under the proposed changes to the ABAWD [able-bodied adults without disabilities] regulations. Nearly 12 percent of households with an adult age 60 or older would lose eligibility under the proposed changes to broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE). Households that include someone age 60 or older or someone with a disability are most likely to be affected by the proposed changes to the SUAs [standard utility allowances], although a larger absolute number of households with children would be affected than for either of these groups. Non-Hispanic white and Asian households would be somewhat more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to lose eligibility or benefits under the proposed changes to BBCE and SUAs. The estimated likelihood of eligibility loss from the proposed ABAWD changes differs little among racial and ethnic groups."

Loud & Clear Discussion of Biden's and Buttigieg's Problems (12/06/2019)

The 2020 Race: Biden Yells at an Iowan While Buttigieg’s Background Emerges

Impeachment hearings continued this week, but that wasn’t the most interesting political news. Joe Biden took the opportunity yesterday to call an Iowa farmer “fat” and “a damn liar” when the man asked him about Hunter Biden’s role in a Ukrainian energy company. And the media are now telling us that Pete Buttigieg is “surging” in California, where the latest polls have him going from 10 percent to 6 percent and then back up to 12 percent. Meanwhile, the same media largely ignore the fact that Bernie Sanders is leading the race in California. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, joins the show.
[Related articles: Defeat or Impeach? The (Il)Logic of Impeachment,  Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit]


Loud & Clear is a daily program of news, commentary, and political analysis on Radio Sputnik, hosted by Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, featuring independent experts, activists, and political writers. (Introduction above is theirs, with related articles of mine referenced in brackets.)

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