Trump Impeachment is like Clinton’s except where is the blow-job?

I have been struggling to write for the last two months. These bouts of publication inertia have happened before and alas I’m sure will occur again. Readers familiar with my writing over the past three years will recognise that I frequently move from penning sporting pieces and interviews to wider more social topics.

Frequently, I want to write about what’s going on in the world and my inertia stems from not feeling qualified to do so and also I recognise that my platform is nominally a sporting rather than a political or social one. At times like this, a lengthy internal dialogue begins and eventually I write it all down. Sometimes I publish it and sometimes I don’t. The process serves the purpose of clearing my mind so I can get on with my writing life.

There are three themes or subjects that are swirling around in my head at the moment and have been for a number of months.

  • The destruction of objective news reporting
  • The impeachment of Donald Trump
  • The so called ‘Snowflake’ generation

Over this and the next couple of postings I will get into these themes.

I can’t pinpoint the exact time or date that I stopped having faith in what news channels were reporting as ‘News’ or ‘Facts’ but I can say it is quite recent, probably within the last five years or so.

I, like many of you, have a sense that what I’m getting from all the major news channels around the globe is their opinion of the facts rather than the facts themselves in the unvarnished state. I increasingly get the impression that what I am consuming as news is the complementary facts and opinions suited to the narratives that News organisations wish to pursue.

Seldom does anyone lay out what happened in a particular circumstance without inserting their take on what happened.  Moreover it seems to me news outlets only report the piece of what happened that fits their narrative. If it doesn’t fit they don’t report it at all.

This is both on the Left and Right.

As I don’t trust that there is a broadly objective news organisation (traditional or digital) that is remotely close to reporting the facts on a range of issues I have started to do the next best thing I can think of, namely consuming news from both sides of the aisle. As the impeachment of Donald Trump is also on my mind ( and everyone elses!) I have started following the reporting of the following 4 information providers.

  1. CNN (liberal bias)
  2. Fox News (Conservative Bias)
  3. The New York Times (Liberal bias)
  4. War Room: Impeachment (Conservative bias)

As I am pointing out my perceived biases of these four information platforms I should also point out my own.

I am 46 and I’ve spent the vast, vast majority of my life in Ireland. However I was born in the United States and lived there till the age of 6. I am a dual citizen of both countries and like an MI5 or MI6 agent have more than one passport at my legal disposal.

As I have watched the impeachment process play out none of the 4 information outlets have accurately portrayed what I have seen before my eyes. Mostly they mis-direct towards a narrative they already have. The best of them, I am reluctant to admit, is the Steve Bannon produced War Room: Impeachment. Not because they don’t have a bias, but because they go into minute detail of the evidence each day. They provide enough information so that I still have some elbow room to disagree with them based on the information they have provided.

Traditionally Irish people have an affinity with the Democratic party in the United States going back to the election, on November 8th 1960 of a US Irish Catholic, John F. Kennedy to the presidency of the United States. In 1980’s Ireland, the decade of my childhood and early adolescence it was not an uncommon sight in most Irish households to have two pictures on prominent display in the living room.

Pope John Paul II and John F. Kennedy.

I have always had a keen interest in the political, social and business goings on of the United States. Irish people in general would also share my interest.  The reason Ireland is a first world country today and not the near third world country of my youth is largely due to the influx of foreign direct investment from the United States and to a lesser degree the European Union.

If I had voted in the presidential elections of the last 25-30 years my voting patterns would have looked something like this

Clinton

Clinton

Gore

Kerry

Obama

Obama

Trump

I should say up front that in my near 30 years of following the politics of the United States from Bill Clinton’s first election right up to the end of Obama’s second term as president I have had a fairly simple take on the Democratic Party. If they were an Irish or UK party they would be considered a centre or a slightly centre right party.

Clinton embraced business, particularly small business and as a result reeled the Democrats in from the margins. He failed on Health care reform and this too was President Obama’s greatest domestic struggle. In europe, almost every centre or centre right party already embraces the concept of a properly publicly funded Health care systems that strive to be affordable. The political fights where they exist are centred around waste and poor delivery of services.

I say all this because, post Obama, the Democratic party have most definitely swung Hard Left on a range of issues and as such in Europe they can no longer be confused with a centrist party.

The impeachment inquiry is brilliant from one perspective. If I invest my time and energy in watching it, all of it, I can reasonably draw some conclusions by comparing the inquiry itself to how news channels are reporting it.  There are hours and hours of public testimony televised. To date there have been 8 witnesses and as I write the US Ambassader to the European Union, Mr Sondland is in the witness box, if that is the correct term.

I have seen or heard nothing to date that would lead me to believe President Trump has commited anything close to an impeachable offence. Most of the testimony is quite boring. A lot of of the Democrats and Republicans on the intelligence commitee, that is responsible for running this inquiry, merely use their time to preach from the pulpit.

Most of the witnesses to date have never met or spoken to the the President of the United States!

There isn’t a worthy high crime or misdemeanour anywhere in sight as far as I can tell. Plenty of poor taste and a smidgeon of questionable judgement but a crime ? – I honestly haven’t seen evidence of it to date.

Impeachment inquiries in the United States have a storied past, it has been easy for the general public to identify why the person in question was being investigated with a view to impeaching them. The short summary goes like this.

Richard Nixon – Watergate

Bill Clinton – Monica Lewinsky

Donald Trump – a phone call

There is nothing on this Trump phone call with Ukranian President that is a crime in my opinion. The transcripts of the phone call are not really note-worthy. I was expecting this inquiry to deliver lots and lots of supporting evidence because of the weakness of whats on that phone call.

The president was allegedly to have placed huge pressure on the Ukranian President Zelenski to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. In addition if the Ukranian president didn’t comply hundreds of millions of US dollars in aid would be suspended indefinitely. That is quite an accusation to level.

On the first day of the impeachment inquiry we heard from Ambassador Taylor, the US ambassador to the Ukraine. He spoke to the Ukranian President 3 times after the now infamous call between President Trump and President Zelinski. On the first two occasions they spoke post the call, the President of Ukraine wasn’t even aware there was a problem or potential embarago on the aid coming from the US.

To put it more simply he wasn’t aware that he was supposed to be doing a big something for Donald Trump. Specifically a big something like launching a raft of investigations into Ukranian Gas and energy company Burisma Holdings and the relationship they had with one Hunter Biden and the 50 grand a month they were allegedly paying him.

Trump never asked for a Quid pro Quo. The phone transcripts and all witness testimony to date bear this out. One of the few witnesses in this impeachment process that has actually spoken to President Trump is US European Union Ambassador Sondland.

Finally some direct evidence from someone who has received some direct instruction from the President of the United States as recently as this September with regard to UKraine.  Finally the bombshell we have all been waiting for Right?

Some evidence of Quid pro Quo, Bribery, Extortion or obstruction of Justice right?

Eh……wrong…. at least not today folks. Or any other day to date. Maybe tomorrow or more likely maybe never.

 

Ambassador Sondland: What do you want from Ukraine?

POTUS: I want nothing. I want no Quid Pro Quo. I want him to do what he ran on (Corruption)?

 

US President Trump is such a stunning intimidator, extortionist or bribery artist that he forgot to do all of the above during his phone call with the Ukranian President. He is such a clever, russian agent that when he told Ambassador Sondland that he wanted nothing from the Ukranians we are meant to believe that in fact, he wanted the opposite. It’s kinda farcical really.

Remember, the only reason there is an impeachment inquiry is that the anonymous whistleblower flagged this phone call or phone calls as being in some way criminal.

Having now watched too many hours to mention on the subject, the Trump impeachment is like the Nixon impeachment but without a break- in or like the Clinton inquiry without a blow-job.

Congressman Nunes is heading up the Republican team and each morning both sides give a statement on proceedings with their own spin to it. He has made a couple of references to the umbilical link, as he sees it, between the Democratic party and mainstream media sources. He states quite clearly that he thinks the media are the puppets to the Democratic party’s puppet mastery. He is wrong.

It is entirely the other way round in my opinion. The Democratic party are the nearest convenient vessel to help them get rid of the President. The media are a far greater problem to our society than either the Democratic or Republican parties. The technological age and in particular social media has destroyed our news cycle.

Clicks mean cash and only lots and lots of clicks deliver any meaningful cash. Thoughful analysis and research is no longer cool and it most certainly isn’t profitable in the revenue models of the techological age. How we fix this in our society I have no idea but fix it we must.

When I use the term ‘Our society’ I mean western, democratic and yes supposedly free societies. If principles of democracy fail in the United States, they fail everywhere else too. The US is that important to the rest of the free world. You might think the US is too big to fail but unfortunately unlike the financial crisis of 2008 there is nowhere to turn to for a bail-out at the moment.

We all have skin in this game.

The biggest piece of information that surprised me to date is that of Lt Colonel Vindman. It has no particular relevance to the guilt or innocence of President Trump. Vindman works at the National Security Agency and is tasked with directing European Affairs for the agency.

The Ukranian government, in it’s wisdom, have asked the Lt Colonel on 3 separate occasions to be their Minister of Defence.

I find this information stunning. Why on earth would they do that?

It seems to me that if the Ukranian government are open to bribery they are open to it at a truly colossal scale. They are willing to invite an American member of the security services to come in and help them run their government directly.  What better way to carry out american foreign policy than go in and run things yourself with a proxy. What better way to influence a country?

Lt Colonel Vindman reported the approaches to his seniors as he should. The matter was laughed at in his testimony but I think it reveals something very important. If Trump wanted to bribe the Ukranian government into doing anything he wanted, it would be very easy. In this simple offer to Lt Colonel Vindman they are flagging that they are open to anything in order to get American assistance. It is to his credit that President Trump, based on everything I have seen to date, never directly asked for a thing.

I took a break while writing this piece to cook dinner and then embarked on high level diplomatic negotiations with my 15 year old son to help wash the dishes with me. The arguments lasted longer than the dish washing.

It occurred to me to ask him a question.

‘ If you had a vote in the US Presidential Election who would you vote for?’ 

‘ Bernie Sanders……Doh’

His reply caught me off guard. The Bernie Sanders bit as opposed the ‘Doh’ bit.

I was surprised he even knew the name Bernie Sanders let alone he was aware Bernie is running for president again. My follow up question was to ask what news channels he watches on the phone that is permanently glued to his right hand. Again his answer was unexpected.

” No-one watch news for gods sake.  I watch Joe Rogan for all that kind of stuff. Dad It’s all about climate change today, I mean do you not know ANYTHING about what’s going on in the World at all? “

I smiled my answer.

Probably not.

So I resumed drying plates and got busy making our kitchen great again.

 

 

 

 

 

The impeachment of U.S President Donald Trump

 

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