House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may recognize just how badly Adam Schiff’s Soviet-style impeachment circus is going over – or maybe she realizes that the White House’s defiance of her crackpot brigade’s political theater will result in protracted legal battles that will drag this nonsense well into the next election cycle. But for whatever reasons, she announced that on Thursday, the House will finally vote on a resolution formalizing the impeachment inquiry. Pelosi said the resolution "affirms the ongoing, existing investigation" and "establishes the procedure" for future investigative steps.
Then to ladle on her usual side order of sanctimony, she added, “We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.” (Of course, it doesn’t do that at all, because the House doesn't have the power to vote to revoke executive privilege, but Speaker Pelosi doesn’t seem to be too concerned with the balance of powers these days, or any limits on her own.)
Schiff added, “We are not willing to let the White House engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the courts,” so at least he finally admitted what he is.
Democrats claim this will nullify the Republicans’ petty process objections (like, “How about giving the President due process rights?”), so they can concentrate on the substance of the impeachable charges against him. I eagerly look forward to that, since we’ve been hearing about these countless “substantive” high crimes for three years now and haven’t seen one yet.
Republicans responded that by reversing herself and finally voting to formalize the inquiry and establish some form of due process, Pelosi is admitting that everything the Democrats have done up until now is illegitimate.
It’s also odd timing: the Democrats just got a liberal judge in DC to rule that the sleazy tactics they’ve been employing so far are hunky-dory, and now they’re going to vote to legitimize the inquiry and actually establish some fair ground rules? They must’ve realized how this is playing with people outside the Beltway bubble who are sick of one set of legal rules for one side and a different set for the other.
The vote will be extremely interesting to watch because while it’s assumed it will easily pass with full Democratic support or Pelosi wouldn’t have scheduled it, it puts some Democrats on the hot seat. As law professor and blogger Ann Althouse explains, it’s possible that a lot of Democrats are secretly hoping (they’d be praying, but they're on government property) that the vote will fail. They know that even if it passes, this resolution won’t stop Trump from invoking executive privilege and dragging the left’s impeachment rabid obsession through the courts and the headlines until Election Day 2020, when it could wipe out Democrats who barely won swing districts that support Trump.
As Prof. Althouse points out, there are 31 Democrats in districts Trump won, and the GOP is targeting another 55 districts it believes are vulnerable. That’s 86 Democrats who might want to think long and hard before voting to jump on Adam Schiff’s Crazy Train, about whether they would be signing Trump’s political death warrant or their own.
Here’s a little good news on the legal front: the same judge who dismissed Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann's $250 million defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post has partially reopened it after Sandmann’s attorneys filed an amended complaint. Details are at the link, along with the judge’s original reason for dismissing the suit, and I use the word “reason” loosely.
Let’s hope Sandmann’s attorneys are right that this bodes well not only for their lawsuit against WaPo, but also against CNN and NBC. The media took a story that was actually about some innocent kids being harassed, bullied and put into a threatening situation and showing remarkable restraint, and nearly destroyed their lives by slandering them as racist aggressors. I can’t help wondering if the reporting might have been completely different had they not been wearing red MAGA caps (what is the term for someone who’s bigoted against people for their headgear? A “Hat-er?”)
I hope Sandmann not only takes these reckless and unethical media outlets to the cleaners, but that Clint Eastwood also buys the screen rights to his story for a movie like his next one, which reminds us that media malpractice aimed at everyday Americans media elites look down on is not a recent development:
Elizabeth Warren has been dodging like a Heisman Trophy winner whenever she’s asked if “Medicare For All” would require raising taxes on the middle class (I’ll tackle that question: “YES!!!”) She’s promised to release a plan on how she’ll pay for it, but it’s not out yet. Bernie Sanders doesn’t even seem to care how much it will cost, he just tosses it onto the giant pile of free stuff he’s promising to anyone dumb enough to vote for him.
But we have a new assessment of just how much Medicare For All will cost, and Democrats can’t dismiss it as coming from a partisan rightwing source, since it’s from the Urban Institute, a center-left think tank venerated by liberals. Brace yourselves.
According to this left-wing think tank, Medicare For All would require $34 trillion in additional federal spending just over the first decade. According to the CBO, that’s more than the projected cost over the next decade of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combined.
But would it require raising taxes? Uh…duh! Yes! The only time the US has ever raised taxes as a share of the economy as fast as it would take to fund Medicare For All was during the height of World War II.
The linked article has more, including a great quote from Syracuse University Prof. Leonard Burman, a former top tax official in both the Clinton Administration and the CBO. He said that raising that much more tax revenue “is plausible in the sense that it is theoretically possible…But the revolution that would come along with it would get in the way.”
But here’s the good news: if you get injured in the anti-tax revolution, you’ll be fully covered by Medicare!
With a nod to Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol,” here’s a glimpse of the future if “Beto” O’Rourke should ever become President (cue Tiny Tim: “God help us, every one!”)
Just in time for Halloween, a list of hectoring liberals who should not be invited to costume parties because they might show up in blackface:
Although good liberals probably would prefer trick-or-treating to parties on Halloween anyway. That’s the one night when Americans indulge people who put on a false face, pretend to be something they’re not, and go around demanding free handouts, so it’s sort of like a "Democratic" socialist national holiday.