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President Pence

Written By: - Date published: 6:21 pm, May 21st, 2017 - 47 comments
Categories: us politics - Tags: , ,

Mensch and Taylor report that:

Judiciary Committee considering Articles of Impeachment

“Multiple sources close to the intelligence, justice and law enforcement communities say that the House Judiciary Committee is considering Articles of Impeachment against the President of the United States.”

Sources further say that the Supreme Court notified Mr. Trump that the formal process of a case of impeachment against him was begun, before he departed the country on Air Force One. The notification was given, as part of the formal process of the matter, in order that Mr. Trump knew he was not able to use his powers of pardon against other suspects in Trump-Russia cases. Sources have confirmed that the Marshal of the Supreme Court spoke to Mr. Trump. …

That would be consistent with:

Sources: White House lawyers research impeachment

White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment procedures in an effort to prepare for what officials still believe is a distant possibility that President Donald Trump could have to fend off attempts to remove him from office, two people briefed on the discussions tell CNN. …

Brace yourselves for President Pence. He’ll be worse for America because he might actually get stuff done. If he restarts the TPP he’ll be worse for NZ.

47 comments on “President Pence”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    Bring on the 2018 midterms.

  2. Andre 2

    For those that missed it yesterday, a wee blurb about Mensch and Taylor.

    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/19/15561842/trump-russia-louise-mensch

    Basically they’re the lefty equivalents of Rush Limbaugh or Alex Jones or Glenn Beck…to be treated with extreme skepticism.

    • weka 2.1

      how do we know if vox or Zack Beauchamp are trustworthy?

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Trustworthy? Probably not. But their track record seems to be a lot better than Mensch and Taylor’s.

      • Andre 2.1.2

        Another worthwhile backgrounder about Mensch.

        “But readers are now being confronted with an even tougher challenge: decoding the work of writers whose track records of faulty reporting are occasionally interrupted by stories that are actually true.”

        https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/may/16/fake-news-sites-reports-facts-louise-mensch

        • Bill 2.1.2.1

          Pretty rich of The Guardian given its penchant for peddling bullshit these days, no?

          Haven’t you noticed that there will be a piece by the likes of The Washington Post that uses the same flimsy framework of “someone” said “blah” (no evidence) as Menche’s piece above? But that unlike the bloggers stories, it gathers a sense of solidity because when the likes of The Guardian report the exact same shit, they refer to the source as being The Washington Post … which, y’know, what could possibly be wrong with a story coming from The Washington Post?

          And so the fact the original story had no named or identifiable sources and no evidence gets ‘papered over’ and the story gains legs and then further ‘flesh’ as various liberal outlets play ‘pass the parcel’ and repeat the basic lines, using one another as ‘back-up’ – as sources of credibility.

          Critical reading. When did it die?

          • weka 2.1.2.1.1

            got an example or two? (or just next time you see one).

            • Bill 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Go to The Washington Post site or the Guardian site and pick just about any piece at random concerned with Russia/White House/ Trump/ ‘connections’ etc.

              If The Guardian is citing the Washington Post, go to their piece (it’ll usually be linked) and see what their sources are…and burrow on down to the very first instance of “whatever allegations” being reported.

              More often than not there is no more to any of it than what’s in that Mensch and Taylor piece. They’re a wee bit more sophisticated insofar as they’ll use each new “snippet” as a springboard to re-hash and re-inforce previous stuff mind.

              The “Trump gave away sensitive secrets to the Ruskies” is quite a good one. Recent too.

              • He did give away classified info he admitted it and said he was allowed to didn’t he no yes no?

                Do you think he didn’t do that?????

                • Bill

                  He gave info to Russians about bomb plots for airliners that were going to utilise laptops. That’s as best as I can remember – but would have to go back and read the original Washington Post piece.

                  Sharing info that potentially saved the lives of civilians – not a bad thing in and of itself, is it?

                  But what the Washington Post has suggested is that there was some kind of wholesale divulging of state secrets that were so secret that even unspecified allies had not been told – and so secret that only a select few people within the administration knew.

                  Now, the Washington Post was not at the meeting and didn’t use a single source from the meeting, and provided not a single piece of evidence to back their allegations. Interesting, given that the info was so top secret that ‘no-one’ knew what it was, that the Washington Post also claimed to have the info but was withholding it in the interests of ‘national security’ or some such.

                  How’s that work?

                  You might also recall they claimed that an unnamed country was pretty pissed about having been revealed to be the source of the supposed intel, but that they were not going to name the country because of security reasons.

                  A couple of days later and they’re reporting it was Israel.

                  How’s that work?

                  And so it goes on and on and on. And over what?

                  Oh that’s right – some info was relayed to Russia that may have saved civilian lives. Was a portion of that info secret? Maybe. What level of secrecy had been afforded that portion of info (if it existed)? No-one is in any position to say. is it possible that the Russians could have inferred some other stuff from what they were told? Possibly. But again – no-one is in any position to know because no-one bar the people in the room know what details or info was passed on.

                  And not a single report from The Washington Post or The Guardian et al is basing any allegation on detailed information or discussion known to have happened at that meeting…or even on detailed discussion that anyone at the meeting claims took place.

                  • He said he was allowed to say whatever he liked – he had discretion and responsibility. And he did say stuff considered sensitive. In a quickly evolving situation other participants make decisions and statements/non statements as they see fit. Ho hum.

                    It is arrogance to think that unless some subjective evidence that convinces you is produced then the whole thing is a lie and just made up fake news. You know better and so much more than everyone else especially those agents of the system and deep system at that lol. Yeah nah.

                    • Bill

                      You’re being a dick marty. If you have a news piece that’s based on anonymous sources and no evidence, you don’t have a news story.

                      If all you want to do is peddle propaganda though, those things don’t matter. But then what you need is penetration and repetition.

                      The Washington Post (in this case) provided the penetration and the Guardian and all the other outlets that front paged that story on day two pushed the penetration further and provided the element of repetition.

                      And as I’ve said elsewhere, their methodology also involves using the latest unsubstantiated report to replay similar stories and allegations from the past – ie, repetition.

                      It’s not arrogance to demand some level of proof; it’s complete fucking idiocy to not demand it.

                      You say – And he did say stuff considered sensitive. What exactly was that stuff? Because unless we know exactly what it was, we’re in no position to judge how sensitive it was/is.

                  • rhinocrates

                    Sharing info that potentially saved the lives of civilians – not a bad thing in and of itself, is it?

                    Sharing too much information to a second party that may share it with a third party allied to the second but hostile to the first that allows the sources and methods to be deduced can be reckless and counterproductive. If it enables a source to be identified and then killed, then a valuable source is most likely killed and the leak is plugged, meaning that the flow of information is stopped and no further information will follow that would prevent more deaths.

                    That doesn’t mean that information shouldn’t be shared, but it should be shared judiciously and Trump is anything but judicious. Sharing specific data with the Russians might be in their mutual interest, but the Russians sharing that and what they deduce from it with others to suit their own interests may not be in anyone else’s interests.

                    I don’t think that Putin’s ‘evil’ for the sake of being evil, simply that he is ruthless in his promotion of Russian interests and that these are not those of anyone else’s and it is naive to assume otherwise and therefore sensible to tell him as little as possible.

                    Indeed neither you nor I are in a position to assess what is or isn’t safe to pass on, but to by one’s own admission say that since it’s superficially a good thing, it must be made open?

                    Really?

                    Sure, you can stamp your foot and demand ‘proof’ of this or that and hope for the best, but in the real world that’s simply not available. Sources will not give themselves away and spooks and reporters will protect them (I notice that Nicky Hager hasn’t yet told us who ‘Rorschach’ is and never will, for obvious reasons). Thus caution is essential as a policy.

                    • Bill

                      I was with you for most of that comment rhinocrates.

                      But then you lost me where you contend that in the absence of a named or identifiable source, we should just believe what we’re being asked to believe.

                      In the absence of sources (and yes, there are definitely times when it’s crucial that source remains unknown), then evidence is supplied.

                      And if it’s not direct evidence, it’s at least other verifiable secondary evidence that points very strongly to the unreleased evidence being actual and true.

                      But we have none of the above for any of this ‘Trump told the Russians our top secret shit’ clatter that’s been falling around the western msm front pages of late…just anonymous sources shooting their mouths off and generating banner headlines off the back of their pains.

                      If I was a bookie I’d be giving ‘odds-on’ for it coming from people very close to the Clinton/McCain tag team.

                    • rhinocrates

                      I think we can agree to respectfully disagree, Bill.

                      Clinton et al don’t have access to the inner circle while it’s been obvious for a while that Trump’s court is showing the factionalism and backstabbing that’s standard for any authoritarian regime surrounding a charismatic idiot. Each faction tries to push the leader in one direction or another and leaks or sabotages to express their profound disenchantment or rivalry with another faction. The clearest ideological split is between the White Nationalism of Bannon and the globalism of Kushner while junior staffers have been leaking anonymously for some time out of sheer frustration.

                      But then you lost me where you contend that in the absence of a named or identifiable source, we should just believe what we’re being asked to believe.

                      Thanks for reminding me of that (no irony intended).

                      I was told by someone I know (nudge nudge wink wink) that intelligence agencies trying to exploit assets in an enemy regime look at the most fanatical believers because they are most likely to react most extremely when disappointed and when vetting applicants for jobs in their own offices, they reject any fanatic patriots because they’re likely to sell out to the enemy out of sheer spite when their leaders fail to meet their idealistic standards.

                      My imaginary bet (a chocolate fish, since I have no cash to spare) is on a Republican or Orange Supremacist insider.

                    • Bill

                      Clinton et al don’t have access to the inner circle…

                      Correct. but they do have extensive networks built up and probably nurtured tover many years. Clinton et al want the Washington Post to run a headline? Done.

                      Whatever schisms and divides that exist within the admin, they may be different fault-lines to those that existed within other admins, but schisms and factions are ‘par for the course’.

                      How does this work? while junior staffers have been leaking anonymously for some time out of sheer frustration

                      First up, junior staffers anywhere in the world are ‘loose lips’. Second up, they tend to not have access to any really important stuff. Juicy stuff, yes. Important stuff, no.

                      But, if as you say, they’ve been leaking anonymously, then how is it known that it’s junior staffers that have been leaking?

                      If you can be arsed, I’d be interested to follow up on any links you can give to news stories claiming something of import came from a junior staffer.

                      You know that odds-on means that if you’re right to bet it’s a Republican, that you’ll only get your chocolate fish back plus maybe a fish head, yes? 😉

                    • rhinocrates

                      Well the best known are

                      Rogue POTUS Staff

                      and

                      Trump Leaks

                      There are others.

                      Plus, a run down of historical leakers in the various presidential administrations here:

                      https://theconversation.com/why-trumps-white-house-leaks-77651

                      I include this because it is from Fox news, traditionally on Trump’s side:

                      http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/05/19/krauthammer-trump-white-house-leaks-are-loyalty-problem-president-admin

                      ‘Par for the course’ I’m afraid undersells the effects of leakers. Junior staff see and hear everything and ignored equals invisible, ignored equals overlooked, which equals ambitious, which equals resentful, which equals vengeful.

                      Leakers as we know, and as Nixon knew can be devastating, hence Nixon’s ‘Plumbers’:

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Plumbers

                      Moreover, a lot of intelligence work is secondary, such as ‘the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’ A classic example, perhaps apocryphal, is that of a top secret plane the Americans had developed that they carefully hid in a hangar while Russian spy satellites were passing overhead… however, while the plane was parked on the runway, it shaded the concrete, leaving it cooler. The Russian spysats using infrared were able to discern a silhouette of the plane from the ‘heat shadow’ it left, and the shape and size of its wing tells a tremendous amount about its capabilities.

                      There’s an image that people have of evil empires being all shiny floors and efficiency like the Empire in Star Wars. Yet in reality all government is shambolic and leaky, the Emperor doesn’t know everything that’s going on and graft is rife.

                      No, nothing is going to be empirically verifiable yet. At the moment it’s just persistent patterns that we’ll see. There may be no one Deep Throat this time, there may be many little ones. We’ll see what emerges and what corroboration comes along, but I doubt very much that Trump’s White House is going to be disciplined.

                      You know that odds-on means that if you’re right to bet it’s a Republican, that you’ll only get your chocolate fish back plus maybe a fish head, yes?

                      My doctor cautions me against too much sugar, so that’s reasonable.

                    • rhinocrates

                      PS, a perennial nerd debate is whether the Enterprise could defeat an Imperial Star Destroyer. Clearly the Enterprise would win – they simply have to beam over a load of ball bearings. Smooth floors and a lack of guard rails…

                    • Bill

                      At the moment it’s just persistent patterns that we’ll see.

                      Maybe where we’re diverging is that I’m picking ‘the pattern’ is largely being drawn up and coloured in by the same “affiliated” groups of people (ie – those with a common cause, like the McCain and Clinton camps and networks), rather than being revealed by the somewhat incidental actions or revelations of disparate and unconnected sources.

                      In that respect, I see it as being akin to the Corbyn stuff.

  3. Ad 3

    Trump needs to hang in there for a full term.

    The great Washington Refresh can’t happen without him.

    Democrat renewal can’t happen without him.

    In the absence of a Gandalf, we need Lord Sauron.

    • adam 3.1

      Ad, trump is at best a Saruman, for Lord Sauron have a wee look at pence, and be prepared to be very afraid.

      trump is an idiot, whilst pence really is a christian-fascist – those two words just look wrong together. There is this radical hate-fulled sect within Christendom, which pence is the paramount political figure of.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Remember the last time Trump was underestimated?
        It was about three moths ago.

        • adam 3.1.1.1

          I don’t underestimate trump, I think he is an idiot in that he is a lay person in a job outside his skill set – way, way outside his skill set.

          That said, I think the alternative is worse. I’ve been asking about, and looking into pence more and more, and he really worries me.

          • Bill 3.1.1.1.1

            I think people need to get their focus off of Trump and start bloody well organising. “The left” should be getting ready instead of jumping on any old rickety bandwagon that happens to be passing.

            At this rate, the McCains and Clintons are going to be waltzing back into power.

            Now, I know there are plenty of liberals would be happy enough with that. And that’s fine. But for the rest of us, if we want some meaningful measure of change…

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Crikey Bill, if you’re saying what I think you’re saying then we, the TS community, should pay heed IMO.

              The Trump circus is an enormous distraction, a red flag to a bull, a Pavlovian signal for all or most of us to drop everything (incl. our critical faculties) and fight the windmills.

              Closer to home we have our own smaller circuses to which we react and respond in inevitably predictable ways.

              As you correctly point out, none of this leads to meaningful solutions or change! In fact, it wastes our precious time and energy.

              We take our eyes off the ball and play the man or the messenger (or t-r-o-l-l); it’s becoming tedious.

              • Chris

                That was always Pence’s plan since when he saw that nobody wanted to be Trump’s running mate. Pence saw this as his way to the presidency. Quite clever, really, because he’s betting on Trump’s incompetence and the chances of a broken term, whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is it’ll come down to Trump not knowing how to be the president. And if it’s impeachment it’ll be sooner than usual because both sides want him gone. Clever, clever Pence.

                But Pence is more dangerous than Trump in so many ways. That’s because he’s part of the respected right. Trump isn’t. His own fucking party is a hindrance to him. The likes of Pence, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, they’re all nasty fuckers but because they’re part of the respected right can do nasty stuff. Trump might be capable of starting a nuclear war with North Korea, but the establishment will oust him before he can. Then it’s back to core business for the republicans, which is fucking citizens over, let alone non-citizens. Heaven help America.

            • Molly 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Sorry, moved myself to Open Mike.

  4. Bill 4

    I’m actually with Andre and/or Vox on this, but if I may…

    Multiple sources close to the intelligence, justice and law enforcement communities say…
    Sources further say that…
    It was reported this week that…

    Those are the only premises provided for every single piece of info in that wee article. Now, reported by who ffs! And all these sources, not a one of them named and not a single shred of evidence provided – just a whole pile of “someone said” leading into various arm wavy OMGosh and what not.

    This bit’s probably true.

    Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein met with the House Judiciary Committee this week in closed session.

    So one piece of innocuous info in a splatter of bullshit.

    Now here’s the scary bit.

    The same simple exercise can be done on articles from the Guardian, The Washington Post, the NYT on a pile of US related stuff at the moment…and the same result of ‘nothing there’ pops up….just unsubstantiated rumours being spread by unnamed people.

    This is where I part company with Andre though. Because the very same bullshit he rightly lambasts Mench and Taylor for, somehow doesn’t matter when the outlets are the likes of The Guardian, NYT, Washington Post etc.

    • weka 4.1

      If you have a look under Mensch’s tweet of the article, there’s a whole bunch of people saying she doesn’t understand how impeachment and pardons work, but then they all argue with each other over how it works. #clusterfuck.

      “Multiple sources close to the intelligence, justice and law enforcement communities say that the House Judiciary Committee is considering Articles of Impeachment against the President of the United States.”

      There’s this dude,

      “I am on the House Judiciary Committee. This is what I am going to read this evening.”

      That’s an impeachment legal document. I have no idea if they are playing silly buggers. Or why he doesn’t just say what is going on. Is it meant to be a secret?

      I take your point about Mensch’s post, all the points she makes are innuendo. I’m less concerned about anonymous sources than the fact that she made zero attempt to back any of it up.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        Ted Lieu is a Democrat that’s been about the loudest about trying to remove Trump asap. If anyone bothered to look, he was probably talking about how to remove Trump even before the election. It’s partisan posturing, like Trey Gowdy and Benghazi or Jason Chaffetz and Hillary’s e-mails, except Lieu doesn’t have the clout of being a member of the majority party.

      • Bill 4.1.2

        It’s the new news Weka. It’s great! /sarc

        As I try to lay out above, it’s not just bloggers who’re scraping this low. Interestingly (well, I think it is) the Guardian link Andre gives seems to be suggesting that it’s terrible that all this ‘gunk’ is forcing readers to discern truth for themselves.

        I must have been brought up on a planet near here – y’know the one? Where critically evaluating reading material was just an integral part of normal reading. I guess Jon Swaine – the guy who wrote the Guardian piece – wasn’t.

        • Ad 4.1.2.1

          We are no longer in a political economy of singular truth.
          That planet is cold.

  5. Andre 6

    While it’s likely a more sober critique of the patribotics piece will come along shortly, the Twitter reaction is a reasonable pass-time.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/twitter-loses-it-when-louise-mensch-says-marshal-of-the-supreme-court-told-trump-about-impeachment/

    But just to remind everyone, impeachment will have one or more “Articles of Impeachment” which get voted on by the House. Any of the Articles that get passed by a simple majority in the House then go to the Senate for trial, where a 2/3 majority vote is needed for conviction. If the president is convicted on any one or more of the Articles, he is removed.

    In practical terms, that means at least 24 (I think) Republican Representatives and at least 17 Republican Senators have to vote for impeachment on the same Article of Impeachment (assuming all Democrats and independents vote for impeachment). And wear the eternal wrath of the Trumpkins for doing so. They show no signs of being anywhere close to that yet.

    • Andre 6.1

      Sorry, that’s 19 Republican senators that would have to vote for conviction.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        It’s a second term issue.
        This term has plenty to play out before 19 will turn.
        We’re in a mythic saga not a short story.

        • Andre 6.1.1.1

          Yeah. I just don’t see any Republican senators wishing to get re-elected turning on Trump until after he’s lost the Trumpkins.

          On the other hand, I think the odds have increased of Trump deciding he’s not having fun and he’s fleeced the rubes for all he can, figuring out some way to say he’s “won”, quitting and walking away from the wreckage. He’s got form for that.

  6. Brendan 7

    Ol’ Bradbury has lost his way over the last couple of years, but I think he’s spot on with this analysis.

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/05/20/the-dangerous-fantasy-of-removing-trump/

    As incompetent and dangerous as Trump is he needs to be curtailed then removed democratically by the will of the American people for there to be any sense of legitimacy. That is, mid-term elections in 2018 to seriously hamper his legislative agenda, then finally removing him in 2020. It seems like a long wait, but Pence would do far less damage to the GOP. On the other hand, how much damage can Trump do in the meantime?

    • Ad 7.1

      His first paragraph was fine, but Bradbury needs to show patience.
      The arc of this narrative is pretty clear – just let it play out.

  7. Tricledrown 8

    Pence is deeply involved with the Russians as well that’s why Trump chose him.

  8. rhinocrates 9

    Gerald Ford wasn’t Nixon’s first VP, he was just the last man left standing. We’ll see how this plays out.

    • rhinocrates 9.1

      That said, Pence is the one that the Republicans would most want to succeed Trump and was chosen for that reason as a deal he made with them.

      Also, Trump was pressured into signing a pledge that if he was not selected as the Republican candidate, he would not campaign as an independent and effectively split the vote – now I don’t think that he would have honoured that agreement for a second, but nonetheless it reveals the calculations at work in the party.

  9. rhinocrates 10

    Noted:

    http://proudemocrats.com/2017/05/21/watch-as-these-notre-dame-students-get-up-and-walk-out-during-mike-pences-commencement-speech/

    A coalition of student activist groups at Notre Dame called We StaND For planned a walkout to protest policies Pence pursued as governor that they say targeted the most vulnerable. Pence was planning to seek reelection as governor when Trump selected him to be his vice presidential running mate in the summer of 2016, but Pence was unpopular at the time in his own state and many thought he would lose his reelection bid.

    School officials knew of the student walkout plans and did not try to stop them. The students — more than 100 — walked quietly out, and there were some cheers and boos sounded, though only briefly. Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, said Notre Dame has been the site of protests of presidents and vice presidents in the past, and as long as the students did not disrupt the ceremony, it would be allowed to take place.

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