I KNEW He Could Do It! As Impeachment Plans A-Q Look Like Losers, Rep. Adam Schiff Invents Plan R!

It should be obvious what the Democratic Party’s game plan is now, especially since Robert Mueller’s testimony yesterday dashed hopes that he would blow wind into the limp sails of the SS Overthrow The Republican. Instead, the ostensible Special Prosecutor  made the case for “high crimes and misdemeanors” look weaker and more contrived than before. One by one, the weak, weaker and weakest “resistance” plans to remove President Trump have fallen into various states of hopelessness and ruin, and the bitter-enders are now resorting to denial or impeachment rationalizations unmoored to anything at all, like this guy, who says that “history demands” an impeachment. [Pointer: Zoltar]

The Democrats will just keep the impeachment fires burning until the election, hoping that 1) one of the horrible candidates Democrats get to choose from will defeat Trump, which looks like a Hail Mary at this point (but who knows what the President will tweet next) or 2) the Democrats will take control of the Senate, and 3) the public will tolerate them spending another 4 years trying to overthrow an elected President without getting disgusted and turning the House back over to the GOP.  Does this sound rational and responsible to you? I wonder why it sounds reasonable to Democrats.

Meanwhile, I was beginning to think the Ethics Alarms list of coup theories had maxxed out at Q, plan #17. [ The most recent  updated list is here] But somehow I knew, deep in my heart, that Rep. Adam Schiff, who has lied, puffed, exaggerated and grandstanded all manner of impeachment justifications that didn’t exist in fact or law, but somehow isn’t walking around Washington D.C. with his head in a bag, would be equal to the daunting task of coming up with a new plan. And so he has.

Perhaps anticipating the  Mueller Meltdown,  Schiff unveiled Plan R in his opening statement as Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.  His theory? President Trump was “disloyal”:

“Disloyalty to country. Those are strong words. But how else are we to describe a presidential campaign which did not inform the authorities of a foreign offer of dirt on their opponent, which did not publicly shun it, or turn it away, but which instead invited it, encouraged it, and made full use of it? That disloyalty may not have been criminal. But disloyalty to country violates the very obligation of citizenship, our devotion to a core principle on which our nation was founded, that we, the people, not some foreign power that wishes us ill, we decide, who shall govern, us.”

Continue reading

And The Flag Is Still There: Goodbye To Plan K!

[Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) probably hate that unrestrained video, and Megan Rapinoe would walk out on it.  And that, in the end, is why they and their supporters are going to lose]

From the The Complete Presidential Impeachment or Removal Plans A-Q (Updated 7/18/2019) below:

Plan K: Election law violations in pay-offs of old sex-partners

Now from the New York Times today:

“Federal prosecutors signaled in a court document released on Thursday that it was unlikely they would file additional charges in the hush-money investigation…. that ensnared members of Donald J. Trump’s inner circle and threatened to derail his presidency. In the document, the prosecutors said they had ‘effectively concluded’ their inquiry, which centered on payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to buy the silence of two women who said they had had affairs with Mr. Trump…. The president’s former lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, was convicted in the case. He has said he helped arrange the hush money at the direction of Mr. Trump, and prosecutors have repeated the accusation in court papers. Mr. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.”

It’s fun watching the anti-Trump media try to spin this. Here’s AOL:

“The FBI believed then-candidate Donald Trump was closely involved in a scheme to hide hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed an affair with Trump, court documents from the closed campaign finance case against former Trump-fixer Michael Cohen show.

The documents, released Thursday, describe a “series of calls, text messages, and emails” between Cohen, Trump, Trump campaign aide Hope Hicks, Keith Davidson — an attorney for the woman, porn star Stormy Daniels — and David Pecker, an executive of the company that published the National Enquirer.”

Oooh, “scheme.” That sounds sinister and illegal, but paying off old adultery-enabling sex partners who are threatening to embarrass you when you’re a public figure is business as usual for people like Donald Trump (and Jack Kennedy, and Bill Clinton, and so on) and it isn’t illegal. Nor is lying about whether such relationships ever existed, unless it’s under oath or to investigators.

The reason charges aren’t going anywhere is because the theory that this was an election law violation, or that if it was, it was sufficiently dire to be impeachable, was always a ridiculous stretch. Michael Cohen, who promised to be the worst and most unreliable witness of any lawyer in history if this ever reached trial, had been persuaded to plead guilty to a non-crime as part of his plea deal, purely to assist the quixotic effort to make the politically motivated case that an individual running for President doing exactly the same thing that he would have done had he not been running for President was violating federal elections laws despite the fact that no law prohibits that act. Continue reading

No, Fergie’s Star-Spangled Banner Wasn’t The Worst Rendition Ever….[ UPDATED ]

Not even close.

This was…

The ethical problem in both cases is the same, however. The National Anthem is not, or should not be, an excuse for a performer to grandstand or make headlines by controversial renditions. The National Anthem is not about the singer. It is a musical declaration that the nation is strong and thriving, and that it is equal to whatever challenges it encounters. Performed respectfully and with skill and forethought, The Star-Spangled Banner can communicate this, and be stirring to all Americans irrespective of musical preferences and tastes.

Here is what a great rendition sounds like, just so you can get Rosanne and Fergie out of your brains…

[Be patient, however: the NFL won’t let any site play this but YouTube, so you have to click on the link, then listen to a gratuitous intro, then finally you get Whitney. Please come back afterwards: we’re not finished!]

 

That’s my favorite, but I have to say, Lady Gaga did great job in 2016. Here she is–same process as with the previous video. Sorry. You know…the NFL:

Just so you don’t think only female singers can knock the song out of the park, here is Chicago’s Jim Cornelison, a powerful tenor, whose rendition is fast, no-nonsense, and if this doesn’t get your blood pumping, nothing will.

UPDATE: All right, I’m going to have to post this, in my opinion the greatest rendition of the most dramatic and musically stirring of all national anthems, though it isn’t ours. The version in “Casablanca” is terrific, but this legendary performance is better:

Ethics Heroes: 18,000 Canadians

 Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was supposed to sing the U.S. and Canadian national anthems before Game 3  of the NHL play-offs between the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers over the weekend, but his microphone malfunctioned. He couldn’t be heard.

The estimated crowd of 18000 took over, and sang both national anthems. They really belted out “The Star Spangled Banner” too. Now that’s being a good neighbor.

Would a US crowd so enthusiastically croon “O Canada”?

I wonder.

I hope so.

National Anthem Ethics

Pop songbird Christina Aguilera has been ridiculed and condemned in every forum imaginable for botching the lyrics of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. The last time a performer got this kind of abuse for a National Anthem performance (not counting Roseanne Barr’s infamous crotch-grabbing,  off-key screeching of the anthem to begin a San Diego Padres game, which was not so much a performance as a clinical demonstration of what boorishness looks and sounds like) was when the late Robert Goulet massacred the lyrics before a national radio audience to introduce the Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston Heavyweight Championship fight. The incident haunted Goulet the rest of his life, although he was a good sport about it.

As with Goulet (he was Canadian, for heaven’s sake!), the condemnation of Aguilera is not merely unfair, but ignorant. Continue reading

Citizenship, Ignorance, and The Star Spangled Banner

Neatly balancing the high school that refuses to allow “Ave Maria” to be played by the school band because its unheard lyrics might offend litigious atheists in the student body, we have the indignant students at Goshen College, who are angry at their school for finally permitting “The Star Spangled Banner” to be played at sporting events. Goshen is a Mennonite institution, and the Mennonites are pacifists. Somewhere the school got the idea that the National Anthem glorifies war, and on that basis some of its students are up in arms—well, not really, since they object to that sort of thing. But they have a Facebook page, which aims to organize a protest.

When the bicentennial of the War of 1812 comes around in two years,  maybe the defiantly ignorant in this country will begin filling in that huge gap in its consciousness. Many media articles covered the National Anthem flap at Goshen and quoted students like Marlys Weaver, 22, a senior from Goshen and editor of the college newspaper. “I am not in favor of the college’s decision to play the anthem,” she  said.  “Images of war run throughout all the verses of the anthem, and Mennonites, as pacifists, work with active and involved non-violent options.” None of the articles that I could find bothered to note that the “The Star-Spangled Banner” does not glorify war. Indeed, criticizing the Anthem for “images of war” shows a shocking deficit in American history and perspective, and the failure of our news media to help the public be informed citizens on this point is a breach of its duties as well. Continue reading