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11/05/19 02:23 PM #1501    

Stewart Myrent

Janis, thank you for your kind sentiments.  When I went to check my email today on Yahoo, I was surprised to see several stories about Sean Spicer once again not being eliminated from "Dancing With the Stars" & the heat he's been taking on social media for still being there.  Ironically, I have not watched DWTS for several yrs., but I happened to catch their Halloween show, I believe last week.  It was great!  I loved it from the opening number to the end.  I will say that Spicer's performance was probably the lowlight of the show.  In the replay I saw from yesterday, Spicer & his partner were the first couple to be declared "safe" to continue.  So much for building much suspense (except to see which couple would be kicked off the show, instead of Sean & his partner).  On the Halloween show I saw, the judges were being, I thought, brutally honest about Spicer's performance.  But, I get it.  He has NO experience & very little talent, but just keeps going out there.  (I'm pretty sure that Spicer, himself, can't believe he's still there & probably expects to be gone very soon.)  In the stuff I saw today about yesterday's show, it seems like the judges are incredulous that Spicer is still there.  (As I would presume are most fans of the show.)  So, if you actually care who wins DWTS (although I'm not sure why you would), I feel fairly confident that Sean Spicer will NOT win the mirror-ball trophy for this current season.  For two reasons: (1) there are only so many Trump supporters in the country (it is not an infinite number & what % of them are DWTS fans?), and (2) there is no Electoral College on DWTS, it is strictly popular (literally) vote.  However, I have to say that if somehow Sean Spicer pulls out an unbelievable win, I will be slightly more concerned about the results of the 2020 election.  I don't think this whole impeachment process will be over by next Nov. & I am starting to think that to turn Trump out at the ballot box in Nov. 2020, may be better (& easier) & more rewarding (& satisfying) than impeachment.

11/05/19 10:23 PM #1502    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Lindsey Graham speaking on the Senate Floor as Impeachment Trial Manager, Feb 8, 1999:

"Nobody because of their position in society has the right to cheat and to get somebody to lie for them, even as the president.  That means we're not a nation of men or kings. 

We're a nation of laws, and that's what this case has always been about to me ... "


Comparison of Graham's comments then and now reeks of hypocrisy.


Evidence of Trump's quid pro quo is documented in the deposition transcripts from the House impeachment inquiry.

Lindsey Graham is now a U.S. Senator and Trump supplicant; he says he will not read the transcripts.

It is disappointing / heartbreaking to hear Lindsey Graham (and other office holders) say they are unwilling to work for the American people; he (they) should resign.

Trump supporter Sondland (rewarded with appointment as Ambassador to the EU) has conspicuous memory lapses - he "recalls" some of what "he forgot" in an addendum to his original sworn testimony.  



11/06/19 03:34 PM #1503    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

"You can't let that happen to me."   -- Donald Trump pleaded with the crowd...

But it happened.  Incumbent Republican Governor Bevin was defeated in Kentucky.  


Witnesses' testimony in the impeachment inquiry is damning.


Trump insists he is blameless.

Why then does Trump assert Executive Privilege and bar "exonerating witnesses" from testifying?

***Trump denies that AG Barr declined a request to hold a news conference to clear Trump on his phone call with the Ukrainian president, and to declare he broke no laws.***


11/07/19 04:18 PM #1504    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Why do Republicans not respect the Whistleblowers Protection Act?

The whistleblower's claims have been corroborated by so many witnesses, the whistleblower's identity is irrelevant... demanding to know the identity of the whistleblower is a distraction from the truth in front of us.

The country is weakened when the public is manipulated by a lack of respect for the law and contorting the facts to create reality.

The partisan posturing and game-playing is destroying our country.  

Governing is not a competitive sport.


11/07/19 08:08 PM #1505    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Michael Bloomberg is preparing for a possible late entry into the 2020 Democratic primaries by meeting the filing deadlines for 2020 presidential candidates.

Voters do not seem as happy as he might have hoped about his entry.

Apparently there are others also considering meeting the filing deadlines for 2020 presidential candidates.



11/08/19 10:03 AM #1506    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

"Trump alone tells the truth.  He's accountable to no one.  His goal: to save us from corruption and crooked people and fake news."   -- Trump

The way Trump talks about Americans and our country is disgraceful.  There's no one he wouldn't throw under the bus.  He doesn't want to hear from people he doesn't know...

he won't let people he knows testify...

for all the screaming for public hearings, Trump opposes public hearings...

the grievance president flies on his own broomstick...


11/08/19 01:03 PM #1507    

Stewart Myrent

Janis, the whistleblower laws were passed for one specific reason: to protect the identities of people who want to come forward & identify those who are breaking this country's laws.  Fairly obviously, Republicans don't give a damn about protecting the identities of these people, who I consider to be patriots.  As one example, look at how these Republicans are trying to destroy the reputation of Lt. Col. Windman.  And these Republicans are the "law & order" party?  How laughable!  Also, don't know much about Michael Bloomberg, but he couldn't possibly be worse than the current CIC.  You also mentioned that "Politics is not a competitive sport".  In real competitive sports, the mantra is "win at all costs", so it seems that politics IS a competitive sport.

11/08/19 01:35 PM #1508    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Politics may be "win at all costs," but

"governing is NOT a competitive sport."

American citizens and politicians are destroying our country.

Name-calling and hyper-partisanship, 

shrinking from truth and losing sight of the common good

are not constructive paths to consensus.

Our founding ideals recognize the reality of disagreement -

We are not called to be a cult of personality,

shame on us for subverting our nation of laws.

Our government does not work without civility

and a commitment to bi-partisan problem solving.

Thank goodness for our non-partisan foreign service officers.


11/08/19 10:09 PM #1509    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

On the White House lawn, Trump told reporters the country's never been more unified.

straight from the mouth of a Trump supporter:

"Name just one impeachable offense that President Trump is guilty of.  Answer: NONE"

"It's all an illusion created by the Democrats... destroying our country with all of their lying and corruption."

"You would do well to listen to Rush.  Then make up your own mind.  He doesn't lie."


Tune out the spin.  We should listen to the impeachment hearings for ourselves.  "Democracy dies in darkness."  Our Constitution is at stake.


11/09/19 10:45 AM #1510    


Marvin Irving Blusteln

Just in.  Trump declares weather emergency after having the NOAA declare a blizzard warning for Noember 3. Consequently all federal,  state, and local offices will be closed till further notice.   He further states that NOAA shall lift the emergency status on January 21, 2021.



11/10/19 09:02 PM #1511    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

British Parliament has been dissolved because a December 12th general election has been called in the UK.  BBC Parliament will air the Trump Impeachment Hearings in full - the world will be watching...

Rep. Jim Jordan will replace Randy Crawford on the House Intelligence Committee for the Impeachment Hearings.  I have great respect for The Ohio State University - I hope Jim Jordan represents himself and his constituents and all of America well and recognizes the seriousness of the hearings.  
Wednesday (11/13) William Taylor, America's top diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, Deputy Ass't Secretary of State, will be questioned; and Friday (11/15) Marie Yovanovitch, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, will testify.

Trump has defied Congress like no president before him.  The House is moving forward rather than drag matters out in court.  The priority is moving forward.

The world will be watching to see if the impeachment hearings are held with decorum or met with a circus defense of a president who forgets why we declared independence from the rule of a king.

"Impeachment is not a coup, it's a Constitutional process."     -- Ezra Klein


11/11/19 10:48 AM #1512    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

In honor of our veterans and all American patriots:

"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863), but it can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."        -- Abraham Lincoln

Let us all be reminded of what is left for us to do today.
Our country is divided.  
We are in desperate need of role models of high moral character and selfless service - not only highly decorated officers and political leaders, but all of us - citizens who take on our civic duty with purpose.


11/11/19 11:30 PM #1513    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Condoleezza Rice, who served both as GW Bush's National Security Advisor and as his Secretary of State, and has restrained herself from comment during Trump's presidency, made a rare public critique of Trump while speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi about the reports of an unofficial U.S. policy being carried out in Ukraine.

"What I see right now troubles me."
"This is just not a good thing.  The world shouldn't get confusing messages from the United States of America." Rice described the July 25 call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky as "murky, (the call) is really murky.  It is out of bounds for the President of the United States to mention an American citizen for investigation to a foreign leader."


11/12/19 11:38 AM #1514    

Stewart Myrent

Janis, thank you for reminding us of the Gettysburg Address.  Man, that Lincoln certainly had a way with words, unlike the current occupant of the Oval Office & praising the veterans who have served this country honorably, also totally unlike the current occupant of the White House.  I just don't like the way the Republicans are defending this president, as I am fairly certain if what he has done were done by a Democrat, the howls of "unconstitutional behavior" and "impeachment" would be deafening, but coming from the Republicans, instead of Democrats.  However, the 2020 election is but one year away & if the impeachment investigation drags on, because of the Republicans trying to save the presidency of a flawed (& historically crooked) man, so be it.  But if Trump loses in 2020, I will regain confidence in the Constitutional precepts that have served our country so well, for the past 230 yrs.  Yikes!

11/12/19 04:56 PM #1515    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

"...when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men, all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views."   -- Benjamin Franklin in his final speech before the Constitutional Convention.  He thought it impossible to expect a "perfect production" from such a gathering, but he believed the Constitution, "with all its faults," was better than any alternative that was likely to emerge.

Lincoln foremost among statesmen of succeeding generations continued the quest for a "more perfect union."


"Our Constitution requires the constant attention and devotion of all citizens."  

Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created.  Franklin responded: "A republic, if you can keep it."

"The brevity of Franklin's response should not cause us to under-value the meaning of his answer:

"democratic republics are not merely founded upon the consent of the people,

"democratic republics are absolutely dependent upon the active and informed involvement of the people."


***Why do Republican Senators insist they have no interest in watching the impeachment hearings?  If Trump is impeached, they will be jurors in the Senate trial.  Have they no investment in our democratic republic? or respect for the rule of law?


11/13/19 12:59 PM #1516    


Marvin Irving Blusteln

I repeat my comment of many months ago, "they have no shame;they are not patriots"

11/13/19 03:56 PM #1517    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Trump insists it's his right to know the identity of the whistleblower.  Countering Rep Jim Jordan's argument that the whistleblower started this scandal, Rep Peter Welch said, "I would be glad to have the person who started this come in and testify.  President Trump is welcome..."  (It is important to remember that Congress has the responsibility to uphold the Whistleblower Protection Act.)

The Constitution calls for oversight: It is Congress' responsibility to be a check on what is being normalized as presidential activity.

Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Ass't Sec'y of State George Kent are both nonpartisans; they were both subponaed witnesses and exemplify the best of public servants.

They were present to testify to the facts (that are part of the storyline); they did not come as advocates.

Chair Adam Schiff kept the committee hearing on task - searching for the facts of the matter.  Each hearing is a brick of evidence.  Today was just a snapshot of the probe.

The Republicans did not contest the facts.  It's not just the phone call; it's the phone call and everything else.

The hearings today were no "sham" (to use Trump's word). 

Trump will not allow Republicans to present a reasonable defense.  He will not allow witnesses with direct evidence to testify.

An impeachment probe is an administrative hearing not a trial - nevertheless, it is a myth that hearsay evidence is not admissible in a court of law.  There are multiple exceptions to that rule.

If Trump fires the Inspector General, it's over.  He doesn't understand the job. 


11/14/19 09:49 AM #1518    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

We are indebted to the foreign service officers for their valor.

It is sad to see Congress reduced to a competition of power.

Our legislators have ceased to have serious discussion to fulfill their constitutional obligations.

Republicans in Congress have allowed Trump to bring the U.S. to crisis.

Has Trump set (lowered) the standard we expect of American presidents?

Corrupt personal political motives are A-OK in America ? ? ?
no problem conditioning congressionally approved U.S. military aid on a public announcement to assist the president in his personal political interests... ? ? ?

American citizens are to be told to "get over (subversion of the Constitution)."  ❓


11/14/19 12:10 PM #1519    

Stewart Myrent

Just finished another new release, "American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century", by Maureen Callahan.  Almost everyone in the U.S. has heard of Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy & Jeffrey Dahmer, but have any of you heard of Israel Keyes?  Didn't think so.  The book starts in Anchorage, Alaska, where Keyes has kidnapped, murdered & dismembered his last victim, a 16-year old named Samantha Koenig, who was working alone one night as a barista at a coffee kiosk, and whose body parts are found at the bottom of a lake, because of Keye's confession.  Samantha's abduction, subsequent murder, & recovery by the FBI's Dive Team, take up the first two Parts of the book.  I will only recount one section of the book, because it really affected me.  From Chapter 15, "But to James (Samantha's father), the least he could do for his daughter was bear witness to those last hours of her life.  All Samantha's hard-won hope and promise, her essential sweetness, taken at random.  His little girl had fought to the end.  The world had been better with her in it.  James so badly wanted to say good-bye to his daughter, to see her one last time.  It had been left to (FBI agents) Bell and Goeden to tell James that he really didn't want to see his daughter that way."  This last passage pretty much brought me to tears, as I have thought for some time now, that the worst thing that can happen to a person, is for a parent to lose a child.  You would never expect to have to bury your own child, because that child is supposed to be burying your old ass, not the other way around.  The book was a very easy read, but I wouldn't really recommend it, because it's so disturbing.

11/14/19 01:48 PM #1520    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Americans brag about freedom of speech...

but NO freedom of speech in the U.S. Senate.

Every day many Americans risk their lives for others.

U.S. Senators will not risk "their SEAT" to protect American families and law enforcement.

Common sense gun safety legislation is long past due.


11/15/19 10:10 AM #1521    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Trump is intimidating Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in real time (and as a warning to future witnesses).

Truth is on trial.  Truth still matters.

Roger Stone is found guilty on all 7 counts, convicted of witness tampering, lying to Congress, and obstruction.

Message to Gordon Sondland: Tell the Truth.

"Everything Trump Touches Dies"


11/15/19 12:32 PM #1522    

Stewart Myrent

After my last post, talking about "American Predator..." & talking about Keyes' last victim's father, I said that I had thought for some time that a parent losing a child is the worst thing that can happen to a person.  I later thought that with a graduating class of about 550, as I recall, the law of averages would dictate that some of our classmates had gone through this very thing, having to bury a child.  I don't know personally, what that experience is like, as I have been fortunate to not have to deal with anything like that, but I am guessing that some of our classmates have.  I have heard for decades that losing a child is very tough on a marriage, that many marriages do not survive that experience, for lots of reasons.  But, for those of you who have dealt with this very thing, I am curious about how any of you have dealt with this horrible circumstance.  I can certainly appreciate that whoever has lost a child, talking about it can be very uncomfortable - and if you are, I wouldn't expect anyone to comment on this.  But, if you feel comfortable enough to talk about this subject, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts about it.  I would guess that most parents who have lost a child, lost them due to some dreaded disease, as opposed to losing them to a serial murderer (as in the book), but if you feel like talking about it, I would appreciate any feedback.

11/15/19 03:06 PM #1523    


Janis Kliphardt (Emery)

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is an American hero.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York) is an intelligent woman misusing her position to "gaslight the public" - she continues to speak out of turn and today tweeted criticism of House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff for not recognizing her.

George Conway tweeted in response: "(She) went to Harvard.  (She) can read.  (She) knew full well that the operative resolution (H.Res. 660) only allowed questioning by the ranking Republican or Republican counsel at that point, and that (she'd) get (her) turn later.  (She) pulled a stunt to gaslight the public."

Stewart, this might be a good time to dog ear your reading and watch the impeachment hearings.

Today's hearing is another brick of evidence... "light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

The witnesses and Democrats are restoring my confidence in the rule of law.  Republicans used some ot their time to thank Ambassador Yovanovitch for her service.
But Mike Pompeo - he is conspiculously absent.  His failure to stand up for Ambassador Yovanovitch is "an act of abject cowardice."  Pompeo may be no dummy, and he may have served as an infantry officer, nevertheless, astonishing as it is, "some people, plain and simple, are cowards, and that's what Mike Pompeo is."  Or is he so concerned the clock is ticking, that he sold his soul (curries favor) to jumpstart destiny... sadly Pompeo falls far short as a person and the promise of his CV.

(Rudy Giuliani is another part of this story... somehow Nikki Haley is expressing regret that Rudy Giuliani was not named a "special envoy" to Ukraine.)

(I do not hear anyone extolling Hunter Biden.)


11/16/19 01:23 PM #1524    

Stewart Myrent

Janis, I read your suggestion that I should put a pause on my reading & watch the impeachment proceedings.  I feel like my reading is part of what keeps me sane, but I have NOT neglected following the impeachment procedures.  I have to say that the impeachment process has held my attention (I wouldn't miss it for the world), but I understand that Rep. Schiff's committee is taking it's time to build a strong (& irrefutable) case against the current CIC.  As I stated this past week, I am pretty sure how this is all going to end.  I don't think that Trump is going to be impeached (because of a weak & irresponsible Senate jury) & I think the only way to get rid of Trump is going to be at the ballot box, in November, one year from now.  I don't really have a problem with that, but if they try to remove Trump from his constitutionally-sanctioned election (damn that Electoral College!), I see Congress having to forcibly remove him from the White House, despite his protestations (& perhaps have to slap both handcuffs & leg irons on him).  Well, November, 2020 is now only one year away.  We have put up with Trump's shenanigans & shady (not to mention illegal) dealings for 3 years now, so it's only for one more, if we can survive it.  That will be the tough part.  By the way, about a week ago, I predicted that Sean Spicer's tenure on Dancing With The Stars, was going to end in the very near future & that he would NOT win this season's mirror-ball trophy.  He was voted off the show this past week.  My prediction was not based on any genius, just a study of the realities of current entertainment.  As sure as I was about Spicer being bounced from DWTS, I am equally sure that Trump will serve out the remainder of his term (unless the Republican Senators get some balls, or realize they may be sacrificing their political futures to protect a duplicitous & ill-prepared & criminal president).  But, Janis, rest assured that I have been following the impeachment proceedings.

11/16/19 04:57 PM #1525    


Carol Helen Kretschmar (Riffner)

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