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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "2020 election"

Hillary stole Jimmy Kimmel’s bit — and all sides lambasted her for it

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Hillary Clinton is the party guest that does not get the hint when her host starts yawning. She doesn’t grab her jacket and head for the door with everyone else. She won’t leave.

Hillary had quite the weekend in social media. First, she said on former Obama adviser David Plouffe’s podcast that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is being groomed to launch a third-party challenge in the 2020 presidential election. And, oh yeah, Tulsi is a Russian asset. So is Jill Stein who ran as the Green Party’s candidate in 2016, she said. She offered no proof to back up any of this nonsense and Plouffe sounded as though he agreed with her. With Hillary, it’s Russia, Russia, Russia all the time. Her obsession with accusing others of being under the influence of Russians rings a bit hollow, given the money that former President Clinton commanded for delivering speeches in Russia ($500,000) and Russian donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Sunday afternoon Clinton tweeted a phony letter from President Kennedy to former Premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev. She was trolling President Trump, as she frequently does on Twitter. The fake letter was a response to Trump’s letter to Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Found in the archives? Really? Naturally, plenty of positive responses rolled in from Hillary-land but we are starting to see some frustration among the liberal media types. The Washington Post’s fact-checker tweeted what we all think at this point.

One tweet noted the incredibly stupid times in which we live. He’s not wrong.

And then the truth emerged. Hillary Clinton (or a staffer) is not nearly clever enough to produce such a tweet. She took it from a bit on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show. There is no attribution.

Hillary Clinton was a horrible candidate. Nonetheless, she has reached levels of success in politics that others envy – First Lady, U.S. Senator, and then Secretary of State. She was the first woman to be nominated by a major party as the presidential candidate. She has a horrible record from her time as Secretary of State, though. Remember the embarrassing reset with Russia? Remember Benghazi? And, there is the demise of Gaddafi. He was a bad guy but he did do as the United States demanded as far as eliminating his nuclear weapons program. During the Obama/Clinton reign, he was rewarded for his cooperation with death. The eighth anniversary of that event just passed. Who can forget Hillary’s boasting in an interview – ““We came, we saw, he died!” ?

Libya is a mess. Perhaps instead of trolling President Trump’s foreign policy decisions in social media she should spend a little time on self-reflection. And, for heaven’s sake, find a hobby.

The post Hillary stole Jimmy Kimmel’s bit — and all sides lambasted her for it appeared first on Hot Air.

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Strib poll: Minnesota still has the blues, folks

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Can Donald Trump flip Minnesota back to the GOP in a presidential election for the first time in nearly 50 years? Alas, as Hot Air’s resident Land-of-Ten-Thousand-Lakes observer, the task falls upon me to cast a little cold water on the idea, although perhaps not quite as much as today’s Star-Tribune poll suggests. Despite his sensational and controversial rally last week, Trump trails the leading challengers by wide margins in Minnesota, and a couple of the not-so-leading ones too:

The two current front-runners for the Democratic nomination, former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, both beat the president by double digits among Minnesota voters. Voters polled picked Biden over Trump by 12 percentage points, 50% to 38%.

Warren, who attracted a large crowd at an August campaign rally in St. Paul, tops Trump 51% to 40%. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who places third in most national polls of the Democratic field, is ahead of Trump 49% to 40%.

The Strib pollster pitted Trump against four potential challengers, not the whole field. We don’t know, for instance, how Trump might perform against Pete Buttigieg, whose numbers have been rising enough to start becoming a top-tier contender for the nomination — for the moment, anyway. Instead, the poll uses the top three consistent polling leaders, plus a look at the local favorite:

  • Biden 50/38
  • Warren 51/40
  • Sanders 49/40
  • Klobuchar 55/38

The fact that she scored the best in the state led Amy Klobuchar to claim the overall electability mantle. She tells CBS News that her “moderate approach” positions herself best against the chaos of Trump, and against the radical progressivism of, well, everyone else in the field:

She might have a better claim to the electability mantle than Joe Biden these days, but only theoretically. Klobuchar only has a 2% aggregate average at RCP nationally, which would barely qualify her for the next debate. In neighboring Iowa, though, Klobuchar has … a 2% aggregate average, too. However, in New Hampshire, Klobuchar scores a 2.3% average. In more conservative South Carolina, that gets halved to one percent. She got a featured slot in the Strib poll for home-state props, not because she’s developing into a threat, at least not yet.

Klobuchar’s right about electability in Minnesota, though only to a small extent. She is the only candidate to beat Trump in the metro suburbs (47/46, more of a virtual tie) and not lose to him in southern Minnesota, which is more rural and conservative (45/45). Trump edges her in northern Minnesota and the Iron Range, 48/47, a region which is becoming more conservo-populist in the past few years, but she closes the gap in the entire state.

The other Democrats win largely on the Twin Cities. Respectively, this how the other candidates fared against Trump in those regions:

  • Biden: Twin Cities 67/21, Metro suburbs 42/46, southern MN 43/45, northern MN 41/47
  • Warren: 69/23, 40/49, 43/46, 43/49
  • Sanders: 67/23, 40/49, 41/46, 41/49

That’s where this poll might be a little tilted, but only just a little. It has 32% of its respondents coming from the Twin Cities and 29% from the Metro suburbs. That might overstate the influence of the Metro ‘burbs a bit compared to the 2016 exit polls, but only just a bit — and probably not enough to matter much anyway.

Besides, the glaring issue that pops up from the 2016 exit polls is that enthusiasm for Trump ran much higher three years ago in outstate Minnesota. Trump won 56% of the vote in the south and north, and 60% in the “east central” part of the state, whatever that means. Trump doesn’t get to 50% in these areas against any of the contenders in this poll.

However, it’s probably not fair to lay this on Trump. The GOP hasn’t won a statewide vote in Minnesota since 2006, and since 2008 they haven’t really even come close. Much of that has to do with disorganization in the party and funding issues which have largely been resolved, but it’s also because the Twin Cities is a liberal bastion of Academia that accounts for a third of the voters in the state.

It’s still early, and Jason Lewis will be a serious contender against non-entity incumbent Tina Smith for the US Senate seat, the only state-wide office on the ballot. Lewis might be able to pull off a surprise win, but we probably can’t take the possibility of the GOP winning the whole state in a presidential race until we see evidence that they can win any other statewide office first. Lots of things can change between now and November 2020 and Trump’s dynamism has to be taken into account as well, but lots of things will have to change for Minnesota to go red in 2020.

The post Strib poll: Minnesota still has the blues, folks appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary warns: Russians are grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid to get Trump re-elected

Westlake Legal Group hillary-cbs Hillary warns: Russians are grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid to get Trump re-elected tulsi gabbard The Blog Russian collusion Jill Stein Hillary Clinton 2020 election 2016 Election

Russians Russians everywhere, and not a drop of vodka to drink. In an interview on former Barack Obama adviser David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton offered what might be called the Unified Theory of Russian Interference in the 2016 election. Hillary warns that Tulsi Gabbard could launch a third-party bid on behalf of her Russian handlers in 2020 — just the same way that Green Party nominee Jill Stein did in 2016.

On second thought, perhaps Hillary has had a little too much vodka of late:

Color WaPo analyst Aaron Blake unimpressed by Hillary’s conspiracy-theory rantings about either Gabbard or Stein:

In a conversation on former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Clinton suggested the Russians are leveraging a number of top U.S. politicians. She suggested Russia had kompromat on Trump. She accused 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein of being a “Russian asset.” And she suggested Russia might back Gabbard as a third-party candidate.

“They’re also going to do third-party again,” Clinton said. “I’m not making any predictions, but I think they’ve got their eye on someone who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”

The “again” referred to Stein, whom some Clinton supporters have accused (rather baselessly) of serving as a spoiler for Clinton in 2016. Stein got around 1 percent of the vote in the three decisive states — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — but exit polls showed most of her voters wouldn’t have supported either Clinton or Trump if Stein weren’t running.

Clinton then flat-out labeled Stein a “Russian asset.”

“And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset,” Clinton said. “Yeah, she’s a Russian asset — I mean, totally. They know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.”

The part about Stein is especially lunatic. The Green Party might be fringy and socialist, but it’s a long-established minor party that had ballot access in 31 states by the 2006 midterms, and expanded it to 45 states for the 2016 election. After the 2016 election, Hillary wasn’t complaining about Stein as she launched recount campaigns in the “blue wall” states Hillary lost, attempting to discredit Trump’s victory over baseless allegations of cheating and (of course) Russian manipulation of ballot results.

The allegation against Gabbard is only slightly less insane. And yes, Hillary spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed, that’s exactly who Hillary meant:

That’s just nuts. Let’s say for a hot moment that Russian intelligence would pick a Manchurian Candidate for a presidential election. Would they choose someone who’s barely been in politics, someone who’s already viewed as rather fringy, and who can’t acquire much of her own support? Of course not. It would be all risk, no reward.

As for the impact of all that “grooming” and the sites and the bots oh my, take a look at RCP’s full polling aggregation for this year. Gabbard hasn’t scored above 3% in any poll, and she has a lot more zeroes than threes. Her current polling aggregation average is 1.2%. If the Russians are “grooming” her, they’re terrible at their jobs.

This, of course, is part of the same conceit of Russiagate all along. We have spent the last three years hyperventilating over a Russian “merry prankster” disinformation campaign that spent $25 million in a cycle where the two candidates and their allies spent well over two billion dollars on messaging. No one — not a single person — has ever shown that the Russian social-media campaign ever changed a single voter’s mind, regardless of their intent.

This is an insane conspiracy theory, and it’s a demonstration that Hillary has simply lost her mind in the wake of her incompetent performance in 2016. The irony of this is that Hillary’s doing this as part of her book tour for her new tome The Book of Gutsy Women. It seems that Hillary doesn’t appreciate some “gutsy women” as much as others.

The post Hillary warns: Russians are grooming Gabbard for a third-party bid to get Trump re-elected appeared first on Hot Air.

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Biden calls for impeachment: “He’s shooting holes in the Constitution”

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Remember when Joe Biden was marketing himself as the strong, steady Democrat in the presidential primary? He resisted calling for President Trump’s impeachment even when most of the other candidates did. That changed Wednesday.

Biden joined the chorus of Democrats demanding President Trump’s impeachment – not simply to investigate and hold impeachment inquiries. He jumped all the way to impeachment. He slowly got to this point after starting in April to call for hearings.

Biden had been more cautious than his Democratic competitors to call for impeachment. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who is neck-and-neck with Biden in recent polls, called for an impeachment inquiry into Trump in April after former special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In late September, Biden made his call for an impeachment inquiry conditional and said if Trump did not cooperate with Congress, he would leave lawmakers with “no choice” but to start impeachment proceedings. Later that same day, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump. Pelosi’s call came after Trump admitted to discussing Biden and his son, Hunter, in his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and after dozens of House Democrats — many from moderate or Trump-won districts — announced their support for an inquiry.

The tone and much of the speech reminded me of Mitt Romney’s diatribe against Trump in March 2016 when Mitt called him all sorts of names in a last-ditch effort to derail Trump’s nomination. Biden called Trump a coward and a bully. “He’s shooting holes in the Constitution and we cannot let him get away with it.”

And all I hear is blah, blah, blah.

With his call for impeachment, Biden now makes himself indistinguishable from the others. The candidate who is supposed to be the comfortable old shoe who is reasoned and a safe alternative to the socialists running for the Democrat nomination now sounds like the far-left ideologues who toss due process out the window while claiming that it is Trump who is going against the Constitution.

Biden did what many Trump critics do – he claims Trump is doing what “no president in history” has done. That’s ironic because many conservatives, including myself, distinctly remember having the same thoughts during the Obama administration.

“Trump will do anything to get re-elected, including violating the most basic forms of democracy. It’s stunning, and it’s dangerous,” Biden said. He added, “No president in history has dared to engage in such unimaginable behavior.”

Good old Joe was just fine with Obama and Pelosi ramming through Obamacare on a party-line vote and hijacking 1/6 of the American economy, politicizing every government agency and department you can think of, and Obama’s public berating of Republicans at every opportunity. Remember when Obama said, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”? Doesn’t that kind of language fall into “do anything to get re-elected” territory? That was then and this is now.

I keep waiting for someone to tell me specifically exactly what it is that Trump has done to require that he be impeached. Biden’s jumping on the impeachment bandwagon now shows that he is worried about three things.

First, Biden is sinking in the polls and he’s no longer the frontrunner. He is now bouncing back and forth with Elizabeth Warren for the top spot in the RCP average. Yesterday she was 0.2 ahead of him and this morning as I write this, Biden is 0.2 ahead of Warren. She still leads him by 2.7 in Iowa while Biden is ahead of Warren in New Hampshire by 1.4. He delivered his impeachment speech in New Hampshire yesterday, by the way.

Second, Biden is old. He is older than Trump and Warren but younger than Bernie Sanders. Biden has his own health concerns to worry about. The latest physical sign of his frailty was the bloody eye incident during the debate. While Biden loves to boast about how macho he is by saying things like he’ll beat Trump “like a drum” or saying how he’d take a bully like Trump behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, he appears frail. He stammers when he speaks and often sounds confused.

Third, the investigation into Trump’s handling of the phone call with Zelensky opens up a can of worms for Biden and his family. The family’s corruption is now in the spotlight. There is an interesting article at The Intercept that lays out some of Biden’s problems due to his son Hunter and brother James using the family name to enrich themselves. The online publication is liberal – you just have to skip over the obvious conservative-bashing language as the author tells the story.

But that doesn’t mean the Bidens’ behavior isn’t a legitimate problem for Democrats. Indeed, Biden has been taking political hits over of the intersection of his family’s financial dealings and his own political career for some four decades. Yet he has done nothing publicly to inoculate himself from the charge that his career is corruptly enriching his family, and now that is a serious liability. By contrast, one of his opponents in the presidential primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., went so far as to refuse to endorse his son Levi Sanders when he ran for Congress, saying that he does not believe in political dynasties. In defending the Biden’s nepotistic relationship, Democrats would be forced to argue that, to be fair, such soft corruption is common among the families of senior-level politicians. But that’s a risky general-election argument in a political moment when voters are no longer willing to accept business-as-usual. For now, Biden’s opponents in the presidential campaign appear to all hope that somebody else will make the argument, while congressional Democrats don’t want to do anything to undermine their impeachment probe. And so Biden skates.

I wrote about Sanders refusing to endorse his son, Levi, back in June 2018.

It all boils down to this – Joe is nervous and his campaign isn’t going well. The people around him seem to be unable to jumpstart excitement about his candidacy and Elizabeth Warren has the enthusiasm of primary voters and crowds to move her ahead. The contrast between Warren and Biden is noticeable. At age 70, she is the Energizer Bunny compared to Biden. At this point, the lead spot is hers to lose.

The post Biden calls for impeachment: “He’s shooting holes in the Constitution” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary on a Trump rematch: “Obviously, I can beat him again”

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“Again”? Forget it, she’s rolling. Or trolling. Take your pick, but Hillary Clinton isn’t going to get a rematch now even if she wanted it. And especially since Donald Trump wants it:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday trolled President Trump after he suggested that she should run for president again, joking that “maybe there does need to be a rematch.”

“Obviously I can beat him again,” Clinton joked on “PBS NewsHour” in an apparent reference to her earning a majority of the popular vote in the 2016 election. Trump won the Electoral College vote, 304-227.

The comments from Clinton, who has launched two White House bids, came as Trump continued to lash out at Democrats over a formal impeachment inquiry launched in the House. He targeted Clinton in an early-morning tweet Tuesday, saying that he thought she “should enter the race to try and steal it away from Uber Left Elizabeth Warren.”

“Only one condition. The Crooked one must explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors,” Trump said, prompting Clinton to reply, “don’t tempt me. Do your job.”

The “again” comment is Hillary Clinton’s attempt at being cute about her loss in 2016. Since that shocking defeat, Hillary has offered any number of excuses for her poor performance in traditionally blue states, almost all of which focus on something other than Hillary Clinton herself: sexism, Russia, disinformation, James Comey, the heretofore-unknown existence of Wisconsin as a state, etc. That act is wearing thin, but that was true of The Clinton Act as a whole before 2016 too.

Her appearance on PBS’ NewsHour is ostensibly in support of her new book Gutsy Women, co-authored by daughter Chelsea. It does have the aroma of a pre-campaign, however, similar to the epic flop of a tour Hillary conducted in 2014 in support of her campaign-ready memoir Hard Choices, for which she received a stunning $14 million advance. This one seems to be going better, as Hillary has managed to avoid dropping bon mots such as $100 million not making one “truly well off,” and lamenting the poverty into which she and Bill fell after his term ended in January 2001.

Hillary certainly sounds as if she’s on the campaign trail more than the book-flacking tour:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying the move was a “betrayal” of Kurdish allies and would lead to a “resurgence of militancy” in the region. …

Clinton said Trump’s latest Syria plan was playing into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s hands, and represented another example of Trump allowing foreign leaders to influence U.S. foreign policy. Trump also announced an immediate withdrawal of thousands of troops from Syria last year after speaking to Erdogan, though he later said the drawdown would take place more slowly.

“Why are we sitting silently by and watching him do Putin’s bidding?” Clinton said, adding, “there’s no happier man in the world right now than Putin.”

Clinton, who served as the U.S.’s top diplomat for four years, said Trump’s foreign policy decisions damage the U.S.’s standing overseas.

The next president “will inherit shattered alliances, emboldened adversaries” and “all kinds of internal divisions that are going to have to be addressed,” she said.

And, er … gutsy women, or something! Hillary sounds more like a gusty woman on this tour, one who resents having to talk about these (ahem) hard choices than being the one making them. That doesn’t mean, however, that she and Trump are going to get their rematch. Democrats have too many other candidates clogging the path to yet another coronation attempt, candidates without Clinton’s baggage and track record of failure against Trump. Unlike in 2016, Clinton didn’t lock up all of the major institutional donors and no longer has a campaign staff on salary at her charitable foundation. Even with all of those advantages, she needed the DNC to cook the process to hold off a crank socialist from Vermont in the last cycle’s Democratic primaries.

Hillary knows all this, even if she might secretly yearn for a rematch. The best she can do is a book tour and gust on from the sidelines.

The post Hillary on a Trump rematch: “Obviously, I can beat him again” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hillary: I lost in 2016 because sexist America didn’t appreciate my seriousness. And Russia. And voter suppression. And …

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Hillary Clinton’s explanations for her 2016 loss now exceed the number of theories regarding the finale of The Sopranos. (The correct interpretation for the latter can be found here. You’re welcome.) Nearly three years later, Hillary showed up on ABC’s The View to offer yet another reason she turned out to be the one Democrat who could lose to Donald Trump. America was not prepared for Hillary Clinton, Serious Candidate, Clinton told the co-hosts.

Well, that and Russia and voter suppression and sexism too, but seriously, seriousness:

“You know, I’m a serious person but I’m also a fun person but I think I probably came across as too serious,” Clinton said Wednesday on ABC’s The View when asked what she could have done differently in 2016.

The View host Meghan McCain said her father, the late Sen. John McCain, also thought she was fun to hang out with on trips. The former Secretary of State said that she thought she overcompensated with her serious side because she wanted Americans to take the first potential woman president seriously.

“I really believed that my job, especially as a woman and the first woman to go as far as I did, that I had to help people feel good about a woman in the Oval Office, a woman commander in chief,” she said. “And, so, I may have over corrected a little bit because sometimes people say, ‘Why can’t you be like that or why weren’t you like that.’ I did feel a heavy sense of responsibility and it was such that, you know, maybe I wasn’t as loose or open as I could have been. I take responsibility for everything I didn’t do as well or my campaign didn’t do as well.”

Twitchy has the show’s Twitter clip in which the discussion about Russia goes on a little longer, after which Hillary again says without any evidence that Stacey Abrams lost because of voter suppression. Perhaps this isn’t so much as a new hypothesis as it is an addition to the agglomeration to the Unified Field Theory Of Hillary’s Victimization:

Whatevs. The most charming parts of this clip involve the comments made by presidential candidate daughters Abby Huntsman and Meghan McCain, especially the latter’s recollection of her late father’s fun with Hillary while traveling. The least charming by far are the by-now-serial attempts by Hillary to place the blame for her loss on everyone but herself. At one point, Hillary says that she’ll take responsibility for the things she did wrong. We’re still waiting.

While I watched this clip, my wife remarked, “She’s running again.” Donald Trump couldn’t get that lucky again, could he?

The post Hillary: I lost in 2016 because sexist America didn’t appreciate my seriousness. And Russia. And voter suppression. And … appeared first on Hot Air.

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McCarthy to Pelosi: Time to suspend and retool your whole approach to impeachment

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Alea iacta est in haste, repent at leisure. Kevin McCarthy’s trying to toss Nancy Pelosi a lifeline here, but she’ll never grab at it. As House Democrats careen from one rationalization to the next on impeachment and refuse to explicitly authorize an inquiry at all, they House Minority Leader called for a halt to the chaos. Either put together a “transparent and equitable” process for evidence and testimony, he tells Pelosi in a letter released earlier this morning, or hang it up altogether:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., is asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi on to suspend the House impeachment inquiry until she establishes more “transparent and equitable rules and procedures” to govern the probe.

“Unfortunately, you have given no clear indication as to how your impeachment inquiry will proceed — including whether key historical precedents or basic standards of due process will be observed,” McCarthy wrote in a letter to Pelosi, D-Calif., on Thursday.

“In addition, the swiftness and recklessness with which you have proceeded has already resulted in committee chairs attempting to limit minority participation in scheduled interviews, calling into question the integrity of such an inquiry,” he continued.

Put simply, Pelosi’s impeachment Rubicon has become an impassable mess. Her chair for the effort, Adam Schiff, just got exposed by the New York Times as misrepresenting his role in cultivating the whistleblower complaint that has been its catalyst. Schiff has now had to backpedal from his earlier public denials that he or his staff having had contact with the whistleblower well before he claimed that the White House had withheld that information from him. Having cast her die without bothering to wait for the evidence Schiff claimed the White House was covering up, she has tossed her caucus into the proverbial Rubicon creek without a paddle.

McCarthy wants Pelosi to commit to a credible process that allows for a true judicial approach to the question of impeachment. That includes an extensive resolution adopted by the whole House outlining “transparent and equitable rules and procedures,” including the following:

  • Co-equal subpoena power to the committee chair and ranking member
  • Right for Donald Trump’s counsel to attend all committee hearings and depositions, to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses
  • Allow the president’s legal team to present its own evidence

“By answering ‘no’ to any of the above,” McCarthy concludes, “you would create a process completely devoid of any merit or legitimacy.” That’s going to be a major problem for Pelosi, not just for a Senate trial but just to get impeachment past a floor vote. She has at least a couple dozen caucus members who have to run next year in Trump-friendly districts who won’t be happy with any kind of impeachment process. If Pelosi allows Schiff to run a kangaroo court without any appearance of due process to produce articles of impeachment, it will only make that situation worse — and it will give Senate Republicans plenty of justification for a quick dismissal to its impeachment trial afterward.

Frankly, McCarthy might be doing Pelosi a favor with this letter, in at least two ways. The bigger favor would be that this would allow Pelosi to dump Schiff from leadership of the impeachment push, and probably Jerrold Nadler as well. Both have undermined their credibility to lead a fair investigation into Trump over the past two years, especially Schiff. Pelosi could use the resolution process McCarthy suggests to put a more credible figure in charge — perhaps Foreign Affairs chair Eliot Engel, or maybe even deputy speaker Steny Hoyer — while appointing Schiff and Nadler to the select committee. A select committee would make it easier to meet McCarthy’s other demands too, rather than retool existing rules for the standing committees. It would be a fresh start to crossing the Rubicon, a do-over of iacta-ing the alea, so to speak.

The smaller favor would be extracting some of the obvious politicization from the process. If Pelosi adopts McCarthy’s approach, she at least has some nominal buy-in from the GOP caucus leader on an impeachment process modeled on his recommendations. That would help protect her moderates while giving up nothing of substance to the GOP except — and this is not unimportant — the several weeks it would add to any passage of impeachment articles. The closer this gets to the primaries, the more political impeachment looks, and Pelosi knows it.

Will she take this opportunity to solve this problem? Based on Pelosi’s lack of care to keep from conflating impeachment and re-election this morning on ABC, I’m betting … naaah.

Addendum: Here’s yet another reason to find a way, any way, to get rid of Schiff’s leadership on impeachment:

Schiff’s not even abiding by the normal rules of his committee. He’s going to be a disaster as an impeachment manager, and Pelosi should realize that by now.

The post McCarthy to Pelosi: Time to suspend and retool your whole approach to impeachment appeared first on Hot Air.

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New Team Trump campaign ad: Coup

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Never let it be said that Donald Trump takes too nuanced an approach to campaign politics — or that his campaign team doesn’t follow his lead. Just hours after Trump tweeted out that Democrats are staging a “coup” rather than an impeachment, Team Trump released a new TV spot doubling down on the accusation. It’s “nothing short of a coup,” the 30-second ad released this afternoon declares, “and it must be stopped!”

President Trump’s reelection campaign released a new advertisement on Wednesday accusing Democrats of carrying out a “coup,” shortly after the president himself made a similar accusation amid the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“Democrats are trying to undo the election regardless of facts, attacking the president by any means necessary, fabricating evidence,” a narrator says in the advertisement. “It’s nothing short of a coup, and it must be stopped.”

The spot is flanked with video of high-profile Democratic lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

Video of Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joe Biden is shown as the advertisement finishes.

The spot is apart of an $8 million previous ad by announced by the campaign.

Either this Twitter thread was the inspiration or the teaser for the ad:

“Coup” is hyperbolic, of course, but whether it’s more hyperbolic than Trump’s repeated accusations that Adam Schiff has committed “treason” is up for debate. For that matter, it’s also a YMMV situation as to whether it’s any more hyperbolic than accusations from Schiff and other Democrats that Trump is a “Russian agent,” a “traitor” himself, as well as a white supremacist, etc etc etc. We live in deeply unserious times, and all this does is just fit into them.

As campaign ads go, it’s effective. It’ll create lots and lots of controversy, generating lots and lots of earned media coverage, and make lots and lots of heads explode. That will generate lots and lots of overreach and demagoguery too; Kamala Harris will call for Trump ads to be banned (more on that later today), and in general everyone will go nuts for 48 hours, after which … nothing will change at all.

Let’s just pose two questions in response to the ad. What does Trump mean by “it must be stopped”? Congress has the authority to impeach federal officers, including presidents, and the only thing that can stop the House from succeeding is a majority vote opposing it. Any other method would be kinda … coup-ish, no? Second question: why did Team Trump use Biden as the final image behind the message on stopping an impeachment? He’s actually been quieter than most other Democrats on that point, which is understandable considering the heightened scrutiny of his son’s track record in the business world. Shouldn’t that have been Pelosi behind the big ask? She’s the one who crossed the Rubicon.

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Rare Trump victory in California: Judge blocks law aimed at tax returns

Westlake Legal Group 1dab81f6-b193-41a4-bf1f-569d26fc8f6e Rare Trump victory in California: Judge blocks law aimed at tax returns U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. Trump 2020 campaign The Blog tax returns President Trump California primary California 2020 election

It rarely happens but President Trump was handed a victory in California that was announced Tuesday night. The attempt to keep Trump off the California primary ballot unless he provides his tax returns is on hold … for now.

U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. issued an opinion that California’s new law likely violates the Constitution. In September he signaled that this would likely be his opinion. He said he would issue a formal ruling by October 1 and he did. The Trump campaign and Republican parties sued over the law which requires candidates to release their tax returns in order to appear on the March 2020 primary ballot.

The stunt to demand the release of President Trump’s tax returns didn’t sit well with the judge – a George W. Bush appointee. Governor Newsom signed it into law in July. In September Trump’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, was hopeful.

Lawyers for Trump and Republicans argue that it violates the U.S. Constitution by adding an additional requirement to run for president. They also said a federal law requiring presidents to disclose financial information supersedes state law.

“We are encouraged that the federal court tentatively concluded that a preliminary injunction should be granted,” Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said in a statement. “We look forward to the court’s written order. It remains our position that the law is unconstitutional because states are not permitted to add additional requirements for candidates for president, and that the law violates the Constitution.”

The new California law requires candidates for governor or president to file copies of five years of tax returns with the California Secretary of State’s office. Refusal to do so will mean the candidate will not appear on the primary ballot. The law targets just those two offices – it doesn’t apply to general elections. Gov. Newsom claimed at the time he signed the bill into law that California has a “special responsibility”, whatever that means.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he signed the law because California has a “special responsibility” to hold candidates to high ethical standards. The Trump campaign sued, arguing the law seeks to add another qualification for running for president, something state governments don’t have the authority to do.

It is unclear exactly why Newsom thinks that California is so special. California is one of fifty states, not a special entity of its own. Let’s face it, this is just an attempt to press Trump for tax documents he hasn’t provided to the public. Democrats would love for a state to be successful in an attempt to keep Trump off the state’s primary ballot and no doubt more would follow suit if the federal court rules in favor of such an attempt. The Trump campaign argues that state governments don’t have the authority to add an additional qualification for those running for president.

The judge is sympathetic to the state’s demand but his priority is to rule as the Constitution dictates.

In his 24-page ruling, Morrison wrote the state’s concerns are “both legitimate and understandable,” highlighting that candidates have offered “unnecessary and irrelevant excuses for shielding the public from such information.”

“It is not the job of the courts, however, to decide whether a tax return disclosure requirement is good policy or makes political sense,” wrote Morrison, who was appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush. “Instead, it is the court’s job to make sure the Constitution wins.”

Judge Morrison rightfully pointed out the obvious – California is a Democrat-controlled state. The California legislature passed legislation that specifically targets a Republican president. The law violates Trump’s First Amendment right “of associating with voters who share his political beliefs.”

“The dangerous precedent set by this act, allowing the controlling party in any state’s legislature to add substantive requirements as a precondition to qualifying for the state’s presidential primary ballot, should concern all candidates alike,” he wrote.

This move by the California legislature smacked of petty partisan politics from the beginning. It is in line with the blatant authoritarianism on display by the Democrats running for president and in top leadership. Whether it is Joe Biden’s campaign demanding that Rudy Guiliani be shunned by networks, or Kamala Harris calling on Twitter to suspend Trump’s account, or Speaker Pelosi allowing impeachment inquiries to begin without holding a formal vote so that the minority (Republicans) can be heard, the Democrats are on quite a roll. It does not bode well for the future of our country if they are successful and take back the White House in 2020, or the Senate, for that matter.

The judge’s ruling blocking the bill will be appealed.

California’s chief elections officer on Tuesday said he plans to appeal the decision. “California will appeal this ruling and we will continue to make our thorough, thoughtful argument for stronger financial disclosure requirements for presidential and gubernatorial candidates,” Padilla said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Our elected leaders have a legal and moral obligation to be transparent with voters about potential conflicts of interest. This law is fundamental to preserving and protecting American democracy.”

If the appeal is successful, November 26 will be the deadline to file tax returns for California’s March 3 presidential primary.

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Ukraine Isn’t the Only Country Hunter Biden Had Extremely Sketchy Dealings With

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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry, in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Given his drug addiction and getting kicked out of the military, I could be just talking about his dealings in the United States, but Hunter Biden gets around.

Somehow a guy with no experience doing anything has managed to land several lucrative gigs in foreign countries, making more in a month than most people make in a year. I wonder what could possibly be behind the stroke of luck the drug addled, womanizing Hunter Biden found himself on over the past five years?

Although most of the smoke surrounding the former VP’s son has revolved around getting paid $50,000 a month by a corrupt Ukrainian oil company, he’s also found himself tied up in dealings with the Chinese. Ironically, it looks like a mistaken phone call to the wrong Biden family member exposed the whole thing.

The Washington Examiner shares the details.

A high-ranking Chinese businessman was charged by the Justice Department with global corruption and bribery in 2017, and the first call he made after his arrest was to Vice President Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, who thinks the call was meant for Joe’s son, Hunter.

Patrick Ho, the lieutenant to the founder of the multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy, was indicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the Southern District of New York for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme aimed at government officials in Africa. The Justice Department also accused Ho of helping with Iranian sanctions evasion and working to use the Chinese company’s connections to sell weaponry to Chad, Libya, and Qatar.

Ho immediately tried reaching out to the younger Biden for help because that summer, as investigators circled, Hunter agreed to represent Ho as part of Hunter’s efforts to work out a liquefied natural gas deal worth tens of millions of dollars with CEFC China Energy’s leader Ye Jianming.

James Biden gave Ho the details on how to contact Hunter, but why was he calling in the first place? That all comes back to who Ho is and what his company, CEFC China Energy, was doing. Ho was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison for all manner of bad deeds, including money laundering, sanctions evasion, and bribery.

Ho was the right hand man of Ye Jianming. And who just happened to be his right hand man in the United States? That would be Hunter Biden. By comparison, this would be like Donald Trump Jr. being exposed as working directly with a Russian company of which it’s founder was put in prison. Anyone think that’d be a scandal?

Hunter Biden says he met Ye for the first time in Miami and that two of Biden’s associates surprised him when they gave Ye Scotch valued at thousands of dollars. Ye sent a thank-you card and a 2.8-carat diamond to Hunter’s hotel room. Hunter says he handed the diamond off to his associates and doesn’t know what happened with it but denies it was meant as a bribe.

“What would they be bribing me for? My dad wasn’t in office,” Hunter Biden told the New Yorker. “I knew it wasn’t a good idea to take it. I just felt like it was weird.”

Oh, I don’t know Hunter. Perhaps because your father was already flirting with running for President and was seen as the odds on favorite to beat Trump in 2020 by the chattering class? There’s also the fact that Ye would have expected the Bidens to still hold considerable sway in Washington.

This is the same lame line the Clintons used in 2016. Because they were out of power at the time (and remain so), they postured as if it was impossible that anyone could be attempting to buy influence. That was asinine, as many world leaders who were giving them millions saw them as a great bet to regain power after 2016. Obviously, those people gambled and lost, but the thinking was obvious and made more so by the fact that the Clinton Foundation basically went defunct after Hillary lost.

It should also be noted that diamond in question was said to be worth $80,000 by Hunter Biden’s ex-wife in their divorce filings. Someone doesn’t just give another person a rock worth that kind of cheese for no reason, and they certainly don’t do so as a thank you for a glass of scotch. Ye was desperate and he wanted something in return. Biden claims he doesn’t know what happened to the diamond and that he gave it to his associates. He’s obviously lying, because again, his wife knew enough about it to claim it and its value in the divorce filing.

Of course, we actually have a pretty good idea of what Ye wanted in return.

Hunter negotiated a $40 million investment deal with Ye related to a liquefied natural gas project on Monkey Island in Louisiana.

At the same time, Ye told Hunter that one of his business associates, Ho, was being investigated in the U.S., and Hunter agreed to represent him. The deal between Hunter and Ye crashed almost immediately when Ho was arrested by U.S. law enforcement at John F. Kennedy Airport in 2017.

I’m under no illusions that anyone in the media or on the left will be consistent and find this disturbing, but even then, it’s still mind-blowing that this isn’t a big story. Not only was Hunter Biden racking up the cash from corruptocrats in Ukraine, he was getting $80,000 diamonds in an obvious bribery scheme from China. But because Joe Biden has the magic letter next to his name, none of this matters I guess. We all know what the response would be if this were Trump’s kids.

Lastly, recall that Biden got into a bit of a controversy early in the year for hand waving away China as an enemy and threat. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that his son was tied up in dealings with a Chinese company looking to make a lot of cash in the United States.

Biden may end collapsing in the Democratic primary anyway, making all this moot, but as long as he’s still in the race, this stuff is going to hang over him like a dark cloud. Anyone think Trump will be too bashful to bring this stuff up in a debate? Yeah, didn’t think so. If Biden survives the primary, it’s going to get really dirty.

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