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Wednesday, to nobody’s surprise, the House voted to impeach President Trump a second time, on grounds that he incited the violent protesters who stormed the Capitol. They were in such a rush to impeach him before he leaves office that they didn’t take time for the standard legal procedure of presenting evidence and letting him defend himself.

The vote was 232-197, with 10 Republicans joining the Democrats against Trump.

One Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, was particularly outspoken, declaring, "The president of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing."

However, the FBI later announced that they had picked up evidence of plans for violence at the Capitol as early as January 5, the day before the attack, and they suspect some of the participants left the Trump rally early to pick up supplies and meet at the Capitol.

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If so, that would mean that Trump’s speech, while it might have been irresponsible, did not incite the Capitol rioters, who planned their attack in advance and left before his speech to launch it.

This could mark the second time the Democrats rushed to judgement to impeach Trump, only to have their efforts collapse once they left the hyper-partisan House because they substituted partisan anger for solid legal evidence. This article explains how a Senate trial might not even happen.

Joe Biden seems to have cold feet about continuing this impeachment trial in the Senate, at least judging by his statement yesterday reminding Senators of “other urgent business” and his suggestion that they split their time between that and other things.

The fact is that by pulling this final rebuke of Trump, the House may have undercut Biden by handing the Senate a divisive, time-wasting responsibility (a trial to remove a President who’s already left office) just as Biden will be coming into office and wanting to fast-track his agenda. Mostly because they hope to ban Trump from running again, which it's doubtful the Senate has the power to do. It also tells us that for all their vilification of Trump, they still fear he might beat them in 2024.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats seem to think that they have put a real super-duper stain on Trump by impeaching him twice, but more so, they’ve stained themselves as rabid partisans and permanently devalued impeachment. Being “double-impeached” without proper procedure of evidence as he’s leaving office anyway is as hollow as Dean Wormer warning the frat boys in “Animal House” that they’re on “Double Secret Probation.”

Impeachment of a President is the most drastic of all remedies for the most serious of offenses. It’s a grave Constitutional crisis that should be undertaken with the utmost seriousness. By talking about impeaching Trump from the moment he was elected, then impeaching him over a phone call and having the Senate throw it out -- and then impeaching him again when he’s leaving office over a riot incitement charge that not only wouldn’t pass legal muster, but if it did, the people accusing him of it would be as guilty as he is -- they’ve reduced that most solemn of last-resort responsibilities to a nakedly partisan political ploy.

Want proof? A Georgia Republican Representative announced that she plans to introduce impeachment articles against Joe Biden the day after he takes office, over corruption related to China and Ukraine.

Of course, it won’t go anywhere in a Democrat House. But as satisfying as it might be for Republicans who’ve had to put up with Trump being attacked from day one – and now accused of attempting a coup by the same people who enabled the Russian Collusion attempted coup, and of inciting violent rioters by people who’ve spent the past year defending violent rioters – do we really want a banana republic-style nation where impeachment is just a meaningless political weapon that every President can expect to get hurled at him by the other party, like a mudball?

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Electoral College Update

January 14, 2021

True to their word, several House Democrats have introduced a resolution to pass a Constitutional Amendment to abolish the Electoral College and elect the President by national popular vote. Because unlike in previous times, New York, Montana, Minnesota, Alabama and Texas are all exactly the same now.

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The chances of this passing are pretty slim, since it would require a two-thirds vote in both Houses of Congress, then ratification by three-fourths of the states (38 out of 50, or however many states there are after the Democrats get through transforming America.) I would hope that there aren’t that many states that would willingly give away their say over who becomes President to a handful of highly populated states like California, New York, Texas and Florida.

But I did want you to be aware of this, and also share their argument for why the Electoral College is obsolete. I think you’ll find it to be one of the funniest things you’ll hear all day:

“The development of mass media and the Internet has made information about Presidential candidates easily accessible to United States citizens across the country and around the world.”

I don’t think this is a very good time to claim that we can depend on the Internet to provide a free and nonpartisan flow of information about politics. Ask all the Biden voters who somehow never heard about Hunter’s laptop. Or the millions of former Parler users.

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Just weeks after it was reported that Rep. Eric Swalwell was in bed with an alleged Chinese spy (possibly literally), he had the stunning hubris to accuse a Republican Congress member of siding with terrorists and committing a crime by disclosing the location of Speaker Pelosi to the Capitol rioters.

If it’s true that Rep. Lauren Boebert disobeyed orders not to make social media posts during the assault, then that was a serious lapse that deserves attention. But tweeting that “the Speaker has been removed from the Chambers” didn’t reveal where she was, just where she wasn’t. How is that useful to terrorists?

I’d be fine with an investigation into this issue, as long as there’s also a thorough investigation into what information Swalwell, with his place on the House Intelligence Committee, might have revealed to China. But then, he’ll be too busy to answer those questions, since Pelosi gave him a post on her committee to impeach Trump for allegedly betraying America.

Self-awareness is as rare in Washington these days as fiscal responsibility.

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We’ve received a number of comments asking about an Internet rumor that Google bought the DuckDuckGo search engine that protects privacy. This is not true. A few years ago, Google bought a company that owned the domain Duck.com, which led to the confusion. DuckDuckGo complained, and Google voluntarily relinquished the domain, which now automatically redirects users to DuckDuckGo.com.

So it appears that DuckDuckGo is still so independent and dedicated to protecting privacy that they are justified in having a welcome mat at their headquarters that reads, “Come Back With A Warrant.” (I’m still disappointed that I didn’t get one of those for Christmas.)

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There’s also some discussion online about Google thinking it’s in their best interests not to try to take over or crush DuckDuckGo or Bing because that gives them some nominal competition to point to when they’re accused of being a monopoly. We’ll see how long that lasts if DuckDuckGo gets so many users that it threatens their monopoly…oops, sorry: I mean, "their business."

Here’s an article about DuckDuckGo from 2019, explaining the differences between the two search engines and why you might prefer DuckDuckGo (aside from the obvious political and “not supporting evil” reasons.)

Another issue we’re getting questions on (and that helped fuel the Google rumor) is that people think they’re seeing more left-leaning results on DuckDuckGo lately. I searched for “impeachment” and got fairly mainstream news stories and definitions from Wikipedia and History.com. A search for “Mike Huckabee” turned up a Fox News article and other benign results. It’s possible that if you see more left-leaning results, it’s because DuckDuckGo sifts through about 400 sources, including the Bing search engine, and there are currently a lot more left-leaning stories so more might turn up on DuckDuckGo, but that’s just a guess. Compare it to Google’s news results and there’s no contest.

Finally, if you want a privacy-protecting browser alternative to DuckDuckGo for some reason, you might try Qwant.com, which is based in France. But DuckDuckGo is NOT owned by Google.

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Your Tax Dollars At Work

January 14, 2021

The latest Project Veritas expose allegedly shows Michael Beller, principle counsel for PBS, saying that if Trump were to win the election, people should “go to the White House and throw Molotov cocktails.” He also said that Trump supporters are bad parents who are “raising a generation of intolerant horrible people — horrible kids.” So “even if Biden wins, we go for all the Republican voters, Homeland Security will take their children away and we’ll put them into reeducation camps.”

Nothing screams “I’m pro-tolerance” like wanting to throw Molotov cocktails if you lose an election or take your political opponents’ children away and put them into reeducation camps.

In response, PBS downplayed Beller’s role and said he no longer worked there. They condemned violence and slammed Project Veritas as a “a far-right activist group that is known for producing deceptive videos,” although they didn’t specify what was “far-right” or “deceptive” about this video.

At least, I’m glad to hear that a leftist can actually lose a job over his hateful, violent, intolerant rhetoric, although I assume he’ll soon have a cushy new job as a commentator at CNN.

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The FBI is sifting through more than 40,000 tips from the public to identify people involved in last week’s violence inside the Capitol. They say Americans will be “shocked” when they learn of the brutality that took place last week.

They also reportedly have warned Congress about further potential threats of violence up to and on the Biden Inauguration date of January 20th. There have been reports of plans for armed protests in Washington and all 50 state capitals on January 17th. While the source isn’t certain, it’s rumored to be promoted by far-right extremists called the Boogaloo movement.

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Some on the right are claiming this is a false-flag designed to smear or trap law-abiding Trump supporters, but the movement is real, and its adherents are very bad news, although some seem to be more general anti-government anarchists than rightwing. They should be thoroughly condemned, and the FBI is right to take every precaution.

Here are a few recent stories about some of their members, to show why the threats must be taken seriously:

https://policetribune.com/self-proclaimed-boogaloo-boi-pleads-guilty-to-federal-terrorism-charge-for-trying-to-aid-hamas/

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/airman-charged-killing-federal-officer-during-george-floyd-protests-california-n1231187

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/another-boogaloo-bois-member-federally-charged-accused-of-riot-in-minneapolis-in-may/ar-BB1akMW9

With the warnings out, the FBI and other federal authorities on high alert, and many Trump supporters who planned to attend peaceful rallies are now rethinking that. Pundit Roger Simon urged Republicans to respond by refusing to respond in any way. Not only don’t go to any rallies, don’t watch the Inauguration on TV, don’t stream it on any devices, just ignore it completely. He says that inaugurations are supposed to be a celebration of democracy, but there’s nothing to celebrate here, so let it be a ratings disaster and a cluster of Democrats surrounded by nothingness. As he puts it, “Suppose they gave an Inauguration and nobody came?”

He writes, “You must have something better to do, like fix that leaky faucet in the guest bathroom once and for all or finally to install that second peg board in the garage that’s still in its shrink wrap.” And think of how much fun it will be to hear Democrats and CNN trying to explain how fixing your leaky faucet is an act of white supremacy.

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