And the hits just keep on coming. The President killed an Iranian general in a drone strike early this month, and it's already old news. There's an old Southern expression you've probably heard. When a bad person comes to a violent end, somebody's bound to say, "He needed killin'." If anybody needed killing, it was General Qasem Soleimani, a brutal terrorist with buckets of blood on his hands. The president could have basked in reflected glory for a moment or two, but he couldn't resist embellishing the event by claiming that the general was planning "imminent" attacks on at least four U.S. embassies, with absolutely no evidence. President Norman Bates then threatened to target 52 Iranian sites, one for each hostage taken 40 years ago, including cultural sites, which is against international law and considered a war crime.
A shooting war with Iran on the eve of the House of Representatives' vote approving impeachment articles seemed inevitable, and the world held its breath waiting for the Iranian response. Everyone exhaled a bit when the Iranians shot rockets onto U.S. bases, causing no loss of life, then accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet and lied about it.
- Laurence Agron | Dreamstime.com
- Nancy Pelosi
That may have tempered their retaliation for now, but you're kidding yourself if you think this is over. Recent reports emerged saying Trump approved the strike seven months ago. That's a long way from "imminent." In return, the Iranians said they will no longer restrict the enrichment of uranium, something they had agreed to in the Obama-brokered nuclear deal. I'll confess I never heard of Soleimani until they killed him, but I was stunned at how many of my Facebook friends suddenly became experts in Middle Eastern affairs.
On the cusp of the Senate impeachment trial of DonJohn the Cruel, I'd like to take back all the unflattering things I've written about Nancy Pelosi in the past. I sincerely apologize and freely admit that she is a badass. Her strategy of holding onto the articles of impeachment produced two beneficial results: She got under Trump's skin, bigly, and every day that has passed has produced more incriminating evidence regarding the president's crime ring's dealings with Ukraine.
The two-part interview with Rudy Giuliani's co-conspirator Lev Parnas by Rachel Maddow blew the lid off the entire shadow government conspiracy to coerce the Ukrainian president to publicly announce an investigation into the activities of Joe and Hunter Biden. An actual investigation wasn't necessary, just the announcement would suffice to dirty up Biden.
Mr. Parnas said "everyone was in the loop," including the president, Vice President Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Attorney General William Barr. This isn't an administration. It's a criminal enterprise that includes the Departments of Energy, State, and Justice — and whatever and whoever Rudy represents.
Parnas claimed one of his reasons for going public was that he didn't trust William Barr. "Am I scared? Yes," Parnas said, making an end-run around the attorney general to get the truth in the open. I understand Parnas is under indictment for campaign finance charges, but I'd believe him before the proven serial liar who claims he doesn't even know the guy who sat next to his personal attorney in numerous meetings together.
Now that this mess is in the Senate's hands, I'll never understand why the House allowed government officials and the White House to stonewall their investigation. Trump instructed his minions not to cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee in any way, including providing document requests and appearances, and when nothing happened, it was — correctly — assumed that they got away with it.
Doesn't anyone remember Susan McDougal? She was a Clinton associate prosecuted for fraud in the Whitewater investigation, which ultimately morphed into the Lewinski affair. She was offered a deal if she implicated Bill Clinton in wrongdoing. When she refused, she was declared in contempt of court and was incarcerated for 22 months, eight in solitary confinement. Shouldn't the same fate befall Mick Mulvaney and Mike Pompeo? Getting numerous court orders might drag the process out until the election, and since the president's noxious behavior was becoming more erratic by the hour, the House opted to just go ahead and impeach the morally challenged capo di tutti capi.
Trump tweeted in all caps, "I JUST GOT IMPEACHED FOR MAKING A PERFECT PHONE CALL!" It turned out to be the perfect justification for impeachment.
We're about to see if the Senate will hold a real trial, including witnesses, or if "Grim Reaper" Mitch McConnell will bury the evidence and make it all go away. If witnesses are allowed and the Republicans want to call Hunter Biden, let 'em. What can he say that's relevant to this conspiracy? Impeachment manager Congressman Adam Schiff said John Bolton's testimony would be a "game changer," although I wouldn't expect Bolton to do the Democrats any favors. One positive is that a subpoena from the Senate can't be ignored. If attempted by, say, the attorney general, the Senate sergeant at arms can forcibly retrieve him. Or he can take the Susan McDougal approach and go to jail until he changes his mind. Barr wouldn't be the first attorney general sent to jail. Nixon's A.G. John Mitchell holds that distinction. The Trump bunch should take a close look at the Nixon example. Everything always comes out eventually. Even if Trump completes his term, a plethora of books will be written by insiders ready to cash in. The senators who will decide the president's fate have sworn an oath "to administer impartial justice, so help me God." Since Trump is fond of quoting scripture to his rapture-crazed devotees, here's something from Matthew 5:33: "You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn."
Randy Haspel writes the "Recycled Hippies" blog.