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Since The Mueller Report, Pelosi Opens The Door To Possible Impeachment



      ASSOCIATED PRESSSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seen on Thursday, has said that the Mueller report proved Trump “engaged in highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior.”

      The Mueller report has caused quite an uproar among those who no longer wish to endure Trump’s corruption without fighting back. As a result, many Democrats, (including two who are currently running for President of the United States) have called for impeachment of Donald Trump, so it was just a matter of time before this had to be addressed by the Speaker of the House.

      Today we learn that has happened. Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to Democrats and the press has picked it up. Within that letter she acknowledges that Trump has engaged in “highly unethical and unscrupulous behavior which does not bring honor to the office he holds” . . . “The GOP should be ashamed of what the report has revealed instead of giving the President their blessings."

      Read the full letter here

      Also Reporting on this: https://thesunbest.com/nancy-pelosi-blasts-highly-...
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      Pundit Post

      FLASHBACK: Re-Branding Yabberz - Then & Now


          With the imminent demise of Yabberz a year-and-a-half after I posted this opinion piece, it seems an appropriate time to revisit the decision and its consequences. Was it a mistake to make the site a dedicated anti-Trump repository? Was there in fact a "purge" of pro-Trump bloggers or did they simply leave? Did the dialogue just become too contentious, at times vicious, for the more moderate, thoughtful bloggers to remain?

          Re-Branding Yabberz

          The Necessity of Resistance


          By Ray Cunneff

          December 27, 2017

          There has recently been some push-back about this website's new mission statement. As one of the site's original "pundits", I feel the need to weigh in on the discussion.

          While I was not involved in the decision, and while I'm not entirely sure what my advice might have been if asked, I should explain why I wholeheartedly embrace it. So, in my opinion...

          The re-branding of Yabberz as "Trump Resistance" was an audacious and risky move on the part of Mike and Melissa. There was the obvious risk of the more thoughtful and knowledgeable Trump supporters departing the conversation, leaving only Trump critics to chronicle the president's daily outrages, essentially generating the sound of one hand clapping.

          And while there is some evidence that only the angry and uninformed Trump zealots have continued to embarrass themselves by remaining a snarky, rude presence on this website, I think it can be fairly said that "Yabberz/Trump Resistance" proves on a daily basis just how crucial and essential resistance to the Trump regime has become.

          No less than the fate of the American democracy is at stake.

          But it's not too late to prevent a corporatist/neo-fascist takeover of our government, the dismantling of democratic institutions, the sowing of distrust and division in order to restrict the rights and benefits of citizenship. The Trumpists seek to enshrine a particularly cruel vision of autocracy, oligarchy, and theocracy.

          This website presents an electronic town square, a gathering place for people who represent and reflect what is emerging as a mainstream, center-left, Democrat and independent, progressive (some Republican) celebration of diversity, tolerance and optimism, a movement of those who share a renewed consensus - equal rights, equal justice, equal opportunity - and a desire to represent a positive influence throughout the world.

          Our greatest exports should be liberty, justice and prosperity.

          We need to get back to basics, re-discover what truly made America great.

          * * *

          That was then, this is now. When I originally posted this opinion, it scored 520 points, a not-uncommon score a year-and-a-half ago. Not it's rare that any post scores over 200 points, an indication of the decline in the level of activity since the re-branding. And at least half the names who awarded those points are no longer active on the site.

          Now is the time to weigh in with your opinions before Yabberz disappears forever.

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          Pundit Post

          The Finite Spark - That Burns Eternally



              The Finite Spark - That Burns Eternally

              Planet Earth Is Alive!

              My seed article for this post is brilliant. In fact, this is the stuff that genius is made of. I've been trying to write it for twenty years, and some son of a gun comes along and says it better than I could ever hope to. Well!
              I am eternally grateful to the author, who is really only a chronicler of devoted researchers, who reflect images of the astounding mind of de Chardin. That's the way of science.

              Life strikes a spark on a lonely planet. Sometimes the spark dies. Sometimes it catches, and engulfs the planet, changing it forever. The planet, starting with the basic precursors of life, supports life and is in every way part of life. Precursors in planetary oceans become organic, then super-molecules, then organized, then cellular, then eventually sensitive, then mobile, then instinctive, then aware of itself and the Universe, then...? We are part of all that.
              Life will out. As the author says, it is eternal. But, you and I, and our lovely planet are not. The fire can be stamped out. Or it can be nourished. That's up to us.

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              The End Of Russia’s ‘Democratic Illusions’ About America


                  There is no dispute that the Russian government attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election with the intent to help Trump and hurt Clinton. In all probability, that attempted influence successfully impacted the outcome of the election. How So?

                  The co-ordination between IRA and the Trump campaign, social media activity and political activist groups, not to mention how Fox "News" and even legitimate news outlets covered the misinformation disseminated by IRA, had to have impacted how people voted. If not, all of the work done by political campaigns through grassroots activities had no impact on the election, and all of the "news" reporting had no impact on the election, and all of the campaign financing, grassroots or PACs had no impact on the election.

                  At the end of the day, Americans have allowed Putin to steal a presidential election from Hillary Clinton and install his own puppet sub-government in the USA, AND we are to this very day STILL operating under that Putin controlled puppet sub-government.

                  So how do we fix this, or indeed CAN we fix it? Do we merely treat this as normal politics? Have we done anything to prevent what Russia did in 2016 and may have expanded thereafter? Politicians and the press tell us everyday that this is not important to the American people. They say Americans are more concerned with things like health care and jobs and other things that affect their everyday lives. I have searched my brain's limited capacity, and I cannot come up with ANYTHING that is more important to me as an American, than the sovereignty of democracy in the USA. Can we fix this with politics? I don't believe politics presents an adequate solution to something that has sabotaged the very existence of democracy in the USA.

                  But I COULD be wrong.


                  For decades, Russia’s self-described “liberals” and “democrats” have touted the American political system as one their country should emulate. They have had abundant encouragement in this aspiration over the years from legions of American crusaders, who in the 1990s launched a large-scale, deeply intrusive, and ill-destined campaign to transform post-Communist Russia into a replica of American “democratic capitalism.” (See my book Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia.) Some Russian liberals even favored NATO’s eastward expansion when it began in the late 1990s on the grounds that it would bring democratic values closer to Russia and protect their own political fortunes at home.

                  Their many opponents on Russia’s political spectrum, self-described “patriotic nationalists,” have insisted that the country must look instead to its own historical traditions for its future development and, still more, that American democracy was not a system to be so uncritically emulated. Not infrequently, they characterize Russia’s democrats as “fifth columnists” whose primary loyalties are to the West, not their own country. Understandably, it is a highly fraught political debate and both sides have supporters in high places, from the Kremlin and other government offices to military and security agencies, as well as devout media outlets.

                  In this regard, Russiagate allegations in the United States, which have grown from vague suspicions of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 presidential election to flat assertions that Putin’s Kremlin put Donald Trump in the White House, have seriously undermined Russian democrats and bolstered the arguments of their “patriotic” opponents. Americans, who may have been misled by their own media into thinking that Russia today is a heavily censored “autocracy” in which all information is controlled by the Kremlin, may be surprised to learn that many Russians, especially among the educated classes but not only, are well-informed about the Russiagate story and follow it with great interest. They get reasonably reliable information from Russian news broadcasts and TV talk shows; from direct cable and satellite access to Western broadcasts, including CNN; from translation sites that daily render scores of Western print news reports and commentaries into Russian (inosmi.ru being the most voluminous); and from the largely uncensored Internet.

                  How many Russians believe that the Kremlin actually put Trump in the White House is less clear. Widespread skepticism is often expressed sardonically: “If Putin can put his man in the White House, why can’t he put a mayor in my town who will have the garbage picked up?” Others, who believe the allegation, often take some pleasure, or schadenfreude, from it, having grown resentful of US “meddling” in Russian political life for so many years. (In recent history, the remembered example is the Clinton administration’s very substantial efforts on behalf of President Boris Yeltsin’s reelection in 1996.)

                  But what should interest us is how Russiagate allegations have tarnished America’s democratic reputation in Russia and thereby undermined the pro-American arguments of Russia’s liberal democrats, who were never a very potent political or electoral force and whose fortunes have already declined in recent years. Consider the following:

                  § Russian democrats argue that their country’s elections are manipulated and unfair, including, but not only, those that put and kept Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin. “Patriotic nationalists” now reply that Russiagate rests on the allegation, widely reported and believed in the United States, that an American presidential election was successfully manipulated on behalf of the desired candidate and that the entire US electoral system may be vulnerable to manipulation.

                  § Russian democrats protest that oligarchic and other money has corrupted Russian politics. Their opponents argue that special counsel Robert Mueller’s convictions and other indictments—in the cases of Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, for example—prove that American political life is no less corrupt financially.

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                  The 2020 Democratic Ticket Has Been Set_For Me


                      Senator Elizabeth Warren and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro are the ONLY Democratic presidential candidates who have demonstrated the courage, conviction and foresight to UNDERSTAND the reasons Congress MUST impeach Trump. In spite of 65% of Democrats supporting impeachment, the Democratic House leadership and all of the other Democratic presidential candidates have decided that politics is more important than the Constitution and democracy.

                      From my perspective, it is game over. My ticket is Warren for president (because I support a strong female president) and Castro for vice president. Both of these candidates have many great attributes, but the courage they have demonstrated in this constitutional crisis rises above the field as leaders.


                      Warren calls on House to initiate impeachment proceedings of Trump

                      Democrats renewed consideration of impeaching President Donald Trump after the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, with leading progressives and some presidential candidates calling for swift action -- as Democratic leaders cautioned restraint.

                      In interviews with ABC News, a half dozen House Democrats remained wary of immediately launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, even as they highlighted the report’s unflattering depiction of the Trump White House and the president’s actions.

                      Moving forward on impeachment, they argued, could alienate voters and help Trump ahead of the 2020 election, jeopardizing the party’s chances of retaking the White House and Congress by overshadowing Democrats’ messaging on healthcare and kitchen-table issues.

                      “Congress has a responsibility for oversight,” Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, told ABC News. “But we’ve also got a job to deliver for the people.”

                      But some of the party’s rising stars and presidential candidates said Mueller’s findings called for a quick response.

                      “This isn't about politics," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, the first presidential candidate to voice support for impeachment proceedings, said on MSNBC Friday. "This isn't even specifically about Donald Trump himself. It is about what a president of the United States should be able to do and what the role of Congress is in saying, no, a president does not get to come in and stop an investigation about a foreign power that attacked this country.”

                      In an interview with CNN on Friday, former Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro said it would be “perfectly reasonable” for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings.

                      The rest of the Democratic presidential hopefuls remained uncommitted to pursuing impeachment, with some suggesting that it may be best at this point to leave it to voters at the ballot box in 2020.

                      Mueller determined that the Trump campaign did not conspire or coordinate with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election, but stopped short of clearing the president of obstruction of justice --- outlining 11 instances of possible obstruction and suggesting it would be up to Congress to make that judgment.

                      Mueller wrote that "[w]ith respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.”

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                      Opinion | The Ego Maniac In The Oval Is ‘Exonerated’


                          The Ego Maniac in the Oval Is ‘Exonerated’ https://nyti.ms/2DptIcp

                          Anything In The World

                          I've been a lot of places, lived a dozen lives, climbed mountains, and brought to life thinking machines that can contain in their memories the economic and financial information of a planet. I've known great artists, and athletes. I've worked with the most powerful men in the world. I have known a Hero of Old, and knew some of the most evil villains who ever lived.
                          The thing that struck me most when I read yesterday about Trump's daily routine was that he wastes a tremendous amount of time sitting at home watching television. I think of how Al Gore took a nuclear submarine to the North Pole, and how jealous I was; and how President Carter assembled conferences of the world's greatest minds, and how envious I was. All the mountains I've ever climbed din't count next to the people that I've met.
                          Think what a president could do! The people he could meet, the discussions they could have. He could see first hand the infinite variety of human, natural, and divine expression on planet Earth. He could go anywhere, do anything, plant seeds, and help millions to grow. He could learn anything. He could change the world.
                          Trump has shown the power of the American President, but seeds only division and prejudice. One has to wonder, of course, how a gifted president might use that power for good.
                          But more importantly, we have to start to think seriously about the fitness of this person who's idea of the presidency is a comic book fantasy.
                          Time to make a point here, pull it together: In my opinion, and given my history, for a man to call himself President, and live only for vanity's sake is insane. Worse, it is to be the greatest failure in human history: a child-man who uses ultimate power to merely, pathetically, flip channels in search of personal flattery, or perceived insult. How contemptible. To receive the greatest gift imaginable, and not even know it.
                          Up until the Twentieth Century, the doors of the White House were often wide open. If a citizen wanted to ride his mule from Kentucky to Washington, and walk right in without even knocking, unconscious of his muddy boots, because he had, "something to say, " well, that's what he did. And, if you had told a few certain ones of those Presidents that they weren't the President of all the people, you would have had a fight on your hands. That's personal. This is personal.

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                              "way of management," late 14c., policie , "study or practice of government; good government;" from Old French policie (14c.) "political organization, civil administration," from Late Latin politia "the state, civil administration," from Greek politeia "state,administration, government, citizenship," from polites "citizen," from polis "city, state" (see polis). Meaning "plan of action, wayof management" first recorded c.1400.

                              It isn't a law, it isn't even a rule.... it is a policy, at least someone, somewhere, in some far away place found pragmatism, common sense and left them some wiggle room. At work, our "policies," were changed to accommodate the Corporation that bought us out. Policies come and go, they're adjustable. They are not permanent, they are largely appropriate to how things should be done, as in. "best practices." The policy of not indicting a sitting president, literally gives the president a free pass. Policy is at the discretion of those most affected. Policy is what we do to make things fair, to make things go smoothly, to have a ready touch stone and answer for all questions.

                              This "policy," holds our President above the law, it ties the hands of the people and it has and will continue to hack away at our Democracy, our reputation and endanger ourselves, as well as our allies. The spirit of the policy is that our president would spend his time defending himself in court, instead of governing. In our case, a do nothing president would be better than one, who is is inexplicably more loyal to our adversaries, than he is to the country he is charged to govern.

                              Yes, impeachment is possible, but it is not going to get him gone, any sooner than a general election. The American people need to know the particulars and Congress has a duty to carry out oversight, because look what happened, without it for two years. I didn't think he should have been allowed to take office, but that's just me. In my mind, the FBI, needs to do something besides investigate. They need to use that investigation to keep people like Trump, out of the White House. So now, it is their policy to keep him above the law? Fabulous.

                              Yes, policies can be reversed, revoked or changed, dissolved, mutilated.... mostly policies keep us from choking on our own bile. This policy protects Donald Trump, and leaves the United States and the American people to dangle in a dangerous world being led by the president's nameless, not elected, inexperienced aids because our President is dangerous to himself and others.

                              In my mind, the really scary stuff is in the redactions for the 12 mystery investigations, likely to be counterintelligence investigations. Whether there was "collusion," or not, the executive branch and the Conservative branch of Congress has been lying their fool heads off to cover up something, and it's bigger than something as common in this administration as obstruction of justice, which happens daily, in the light of day, without remorse or any thing resembling consequences. The Trump administration might not have "coordinated," but they did all possible to cover up what the Russians did, and held on for the ride, because it behooved them. It behooved them enough to meet with Russians, ask for back channels to avoid our own intelligence institutions and they have done nothing to keep them from doing it in 2020. Once again, it seems to behoove them.

                              At the very least, I would want to do something to see to it that he is no longer eligible to run for a second term as he is likely to have pending criminal indictments and at least some censures.

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                              It’s Not The Collusion, It’s The Corruption


                                  It’s Not the Collusion, It’s the Corruption

                                  What the Mueller report says about our world.

                                  Opinion Columnist

                                  The Mueller report is like a legal version of a thriller movie in which three malevolent forces are attacking a city all at once. Everybody’s wondering if the three attackers are working together. The report concludes that they weren't, but that doesn’t make the situation any less scary or the threat any less real.

                                  The first force is Donald Trump, who represents a threat to the American systems of governance. Centuries ago our founders created a system of laws and not men. In our system of government there are procedures in place, based on certain values — impartiality, respect for institutions, the idea that a public office is a public trust, not a private bauble.

                                  When Trump appears in the Mueller report, he is often running roughshod over these systems and violating these values. He asks his lawyer to hamper an investigation. He asks his F.B.I. director to take the heat off his allies. He tries to get the relevant investigators fired. I don’t know if his actions meet the legal standard of obstruction of justice, but they certainly meet the common-sense standard of interference with justice.

                                  The second force is Russia. If Trump is a threat to the institutional infrastructure, the Russians are a threat to our informational infrastructure. We knew this already, but it was still startling to see the fact declared so bluntly — that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election “in sweeping and systematic fashion.”

                                  It may not be bombing buildings or shooting at people, but if a foreign government is attacking the factual record on which democracy runs, it is still a sort of warfare. The Russians are trying to undermine the information we use to converse, and the trust that makes conversation possible.

                                  The third force is Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. They are a threat to our deliberative infrastructure. Any organization needs to be able to hold private conversations in order to deliberate. Whether it is State Department cables or Democratic National Committee emails, WikiLeaks has violated privacy and made it harder for institutions to function. We’re now in a situation in which some of the worst people on earth get to determine what gets published.

                                  The Mueller report indicates that Trump was not colluding with Russia. But it also shows that working relationships were beginning to be built, through networkers like Paul Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Roger Stone. More important, it shows that many of the Trumpists, the Russians and the WikiLeaks crowd all understood that they were somehow adjacent actors in the same project.

                                  I would say that’s the report’s central importance. We are being threatened in a very distinct way. The infrastructure of the society is under threat — the procedures that shape government, the credibility of information, the privacy rules that make deliberation possible. And though the Chinese government does not play a big role here, it represents a similar sort of threat — to our intellectual infrastructure, the intellectual property rights that organize innovation.

                                  It is as if somebody is inserting acids into a body that eats away at the ligaments and the tendons.

                                  These forces are motivated by self-interest, but their common feature is an operational nihilism. They are trying to sow disorder at the foundation of society. The goal is not really to convert anybody to a cause; it is to create cynicism and disruption that will open up the space to grab what you want to grab. They rig the system and then tell everybody, “The system is rigged!” And therefore, all values are suspended. Everything is permitted.

                                  As I was reading the report I thought of a podcast called “Against the Rules” by Michael Lewis. A recent episode jumps off from the way athletes are getting more vicious toward referees. But that’s not just true in sport; it’s true in society. In all societies there are rules defining good conduct, and there are supposed to be impartial, honest referees that enforce those rules and make sure the game is fair.

                                  And today, across society, two things are happening: Referees are being undermined, and many are abandoning their own impartiality. (Think of the Wall Street regulators, the Supreme Court, the Senate committee chairmen, even many of us in the blessed media.) Things begin to topple.

                                  The system more or less held this time. But that’s just because people around Trump often refused to do what he told them to do. And we happened to have Robert Mueller, who seems to be a fair referee.

                                  The Justice Department has not been defended from political assault. William Barr’s news conference before the report’s release eroded any claim to impartiality and trustworthiness.

                                  Trump doesn’t seem to have any notion of loyalty to an office. All power in his eye is personal power, and the government is there to serve his Sun God self. He’ll continue to trample the proper systems of government.

                                  It’s easy to recognize when you are attacked head-on. But the U.S. is being attacked from below, at the level of the foundations we take for granted.


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                                  The Greatest Danger!


                                      Mr. Mueller’s Indictment https://nyti.ms/2UlPGTa

                                      Liars will lie. Theives will steal and con artists will deceive. We accept this now; with remorse, anger, or withdrawal. A Christian might say that it's in the warp and woof of the Universe. But, the President can't lie. Donald Trump lies. It's his signature.

                                      I've watched his eyes, on television with millions of people watching, as he spun lies out of thin air. He is unable to conceive of remorse for lying - of all things: it's his trade, and his patrimony. Why should he?

                                      It doesn't matter anymore what lies Trump tells. He's under a microscope, for one thing; and, he is a man for whom the entire world has no regard. He is a traitor to Western Civilization, and indeed, all of humanity. He is a thief.

                                      But, it matters if President Obama lies. I love and respect Barack Obama for many reasons. But, I have consistently condemned the Democratic Party for getting just plain "worked" by the Republican Party, Putin, and Trump. But, for all the talk of "peril," and cetera, if history remembers President Obama as self-serving, or as a coward, or as a showboat who "fiddled as Rome burned," then the damage is the greatest. The damage to the most people, for the greatest amount of time will be done. The greatest danger to our country.

                                      It was on his watch, and the healing process cannot even begin until he takes responsibility. If, as the subtitle of my seed article demands, there was a "pattern of deceit and dysfunction," then where was federal law enforcement, where was Congress, and where was Barack Obama. Are we to believe that there are no antecedents, that all of this spewed forth when Trump arose? Or, even, that no one knew? Even, that the President didn't know.

                                      I feel very sad and defeated right now. I don't expect anything from Ryan, Trump, McConnell, or their like. But, this hurts.

                                      We thought President Obama was our friend. Not if he lies to me. Not if it's a game. President Obama must apologize to the American people, take full responsibility, and lead a revolution in ethics in the Twenty-first Century. In my opinion, that is a debt of honor.

                                      (The accompanying photo came with the Times article; but, it might as well have been chosen specifically to accentuate my point: this is the look that Trump gets when he's spinning lies!)

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