Impeachment

The House Progressive-Democrats have settled on two Articles of Impeachment.

The first article is on abuse of power. Democrats allege that Mr Trump took advantage of his position as president to pressure Kyiv to investigate a political rival. The second article is on obstruction of Congress, related to the president’s moves to block aides from participating in the impeachment investigation.

In conjunction with this, The Wall Street Journal asked a question:

Do you think President Trump will be impeached in the House under these two articles?

Short and Sweet

I watched the Nadler burlesque show that’s masquerading as the House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing yesterday so you didn’t have to.  Here is the short and sweet of it.

The three Progressive-Democrat law professor witnesses each opened their opening statements by saying President Donald Trump was guilty and should be impeached even before they knew the impeachment charges being preferred.  They couldn’t know the charges because the Judiciary Committee has not written the articles of impeachment. Indeed, the committee chairman, Jerry Nadler (D, NY) has refused—and he refused repeatedly during yesterday’s show—even to say when the next hearing would be held or what witnesses would be called.

Surveillance

It turns out the People’s Republic of China government is a collection of pikers compared to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a pair of bills Monday, one of which will require all consumer electronic devices sold in the country to be pre-installed with Russian software, while the other will register individual journalists as foreign agents.

Government spyware pre-installed on Russian citizens’ devices, so Russia’s modern-day KGB successor can track where Russian citizens are, with whom they’re communicating, what they’re doing, down to the last detail.

Expanding Surveillance State

Want a new phone in the People’s Republic of China? You have to give up an image of your face to the government.

The requirement, which came into effect Sunday, is aimed at minimizing telephone fraud and preventing the reselling and illegal transfer of mobile phone cards, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a notice in September.

Right. That’s believable.  Never mind that

…facial recognition becomes more and more prevalent in [the PRC], with authorities applying artificial intelligence to sift through reams of data collected in a bid to boost the economy and centralize oversight of the population.

Checks and Balances

Editors at The Wall Street Journal correctly decry a Federal district judge’s ruling that ex-White House counsel Don McGahn must testify before the House of Representatives in response to a House subpoena.  As the editors put it,

the sweeping ruling essentially eliminates a right to confidentiality between a President and his most senior advisers.

Thus:

A federal judge says White House aides must answer to Capitol Hill.

Not just any Federal judge: an Obama judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson.

The Jackson’s ruling, though, goes far beyond that.  The judge has asserted absolute supremacy of the Legislative over the Executive.

The People Have Spoken

The tally is nearly completely in for Hong Kong’s Sunday vote for local offices.

Local broadcaster RTHK reported that pro-democracy parties took 390 out of 452 seats in the district council, or nearly 90%.
The polls closed with 71.2% of eligible voters casting a ballot, the election commission said, easily surpassing the figure of 47% in the last such vote in 2015.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam suggests

The government will certainly listen humbly to citizens’ opinions and reflect on them seriously[.]

A Court Error

It seems the Hong Kong High Court messed up.  Recall that, last week, the court ruled Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s “emergency” rule barring Hong Kong citizens from wearing masks was illegal. Lam’s rule, the court ruled

infringed on fundamental rights more than was reasonably necessary.

Oops.

The court, having received its marching orders from Beijing, through Lam’s government corrected itself:

following an appeal from the government to freeze the ruling, the court agreed to grant a one-week suspension in view of the “highly exceptional circumstances that Hong Kong is currently facing,” local broadcaster RTHK reported.

Another Bout of Foolishness

Congressman Eric Swalwell (D, CA) was on the late-week talk show circuit complaining about President Donald Trump’s removal of Marie Yavonovitch from the position of Ambassador to Ukraine. It’s wrong, he insisted, to remove an ambassador for nakedly political reasons.

This is just ignorant, shockingly so from a Congressman.  An ambassador’s job is to represent our government, headed by our President, politically on the world stage, beginning in the nation to whom she’s our ambassador.  It’s an inherently political job.

It’s impossible to remove an ambassador from an inherently political position for any reason other than politics.

Ambassadorships

Unable to make a case against President Donald Trump for anything else that’s remotely impeachable, House Progressive-Democrats now are going to obsess over our erstwhile Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s removal from her post.

There are some questions that won’t be asked on this matter, though, whether by Congressman Adam Schiff’s (D, CA) Star Chamber inquisitors or by anyone in the NLMSM.

  1. Is an ambassadorship a lifetime sinecure?
  2. Who appoints (subject to Senate confirmation) our ambassadors?
  3. For whom does any ambassador work—what’s his chain of command?

And, given accurate answers to those questions,

The Doings of a Star Chamber

Here are some, from the House Intelligence Committee’s canonical Star Chamber, chaired by Congressman and Intell Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D, CA):

a single, printed transcript of every interview…of its impeachment inquiry. Only members of the three committees…allowed to view that printout, and only in the presence of a Democratic staffer

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R, NY) has the right of this one:

Ms Stefanik—an elected member of Congress who sits on the Intelligence Committee—will be babysat while reading by an unelected employee of the Democrats.
“It’s outrageous, and it’s an abuse of power,” Ms Stefanik said in an interview. “Every constituent across this country deserves to have their members have access to all the facts.”