…but that would be an oxymoron because…sure they can because let’s be honest with ourselves…they’re politicians and you can tell they are lying if you see their lips moving.
First up on the hit parade this week…the Iowa caucuses to determine the state’s delegates to the respective Democrat and Republican presidential nominating conventions.
On the Republican side…the President was unopposed except for a couple of fringe candidates…and they used the tried and true method of after the second round of caucusing the precinct captains recorded the votes on paper and called them in to state party officials…and the President won. None of that was surprising.
On the Democratic side however…things went awry. First up…back in 2019 the state party officials decided to build themselves an app for a phone to send in the votes electronically. There was paper involved at the precinct level but the primary way to report results was this app that was specially written for the caucuses. Let’s count the ways that things went wrong with this app.
- The app was written by a company named Shadow Inc…a bare boned coding operation owned and operated by the folks that ran Ms. Clinton’s IT back during the 2016 election…ya know, those brilliant programmers. According to the company bio page…some of them had actual IT experience and a bit more of them worked on her campaign but at least one was a teacher and another worked recently at Starbucks. The company’s founders and backers are directly linked to a progressive non profit named Acronym. Nothing wrong with any of that on the surface until you see the other things they did wrong.
- The app was still being coded Sunday…the day before the caucuses.
- No security audit was done on the code…and it was written for the Android operating system which has known software bugs and security holes.
- No full functionality testing was accomplished…you know…something on the order of “get all precinct captains to try and report a full set of test results in the same hour”…in order to see if the back end of the system actually worked.
- Numerous precinct captains were not a able to download the app until they were…at the caucus site
- No training was done for the users
- No verification was done that the precinct sites actually had…ya know…phone signal which was required for the app to work.
So…when the app failed…the precinct captains tried the backup report via phone method…and where then left on hold for 2+ hours before they gave up, hung up, and went home.
As of this moment…Friday after the caucuses…full results are still not available.
Not to be outdone though in stupidity though…there are some Republicans claiming that the “failure” was actual a “rigging of the results” by the Democratic National Committee…but then they clearly want Mr. Biden to win as his changes of winning the November election are likely better than the far left candidates who will get little support from the majority of the country’s citizens who are in the political range of center right through center left. Since…by the partial tallies so far released…he came in 4th place…this alleged rigging didn’t work very well.
Nonetheless…Mr. Biden’s campaign is being touted by the media as “dead and buried” or “on life support”…despite the fact that he was never expected to win either Iowa or next week’s New Hampshire votes…but is heavily featured in the following week’s primary in South Carolina.
Also…the death of the Iowa caucus process is already being also touted by the media. Now I have no idea of how the process works…but I’m guessing that the caucus can’t be replaced by a primary (which the state would pay for) without some sort of legislation in the state. I’m also not sure that the date could even be changed without approval of the state. Sure…the DNC would get a vote on it but whether they get the only vote is too far down in the weeds of things I care about to make a guess.
Moving along chronically…Tuesday night was the State of the Union address by the President. Naturally…the Republican side claims it was the greatest speech in the history of SOTU speeches…and the other side claims it was a “reality show speech” or “campaign address”. Setting all that aside though…because that happens every year where the non presidential party says it sucked and the other side says it was great…there were several examples of stupidity involved.
- On arrival at the dais…Ms. Pelosi offered her hand to the President to shake which he ignored. Not really surprising as he’s really not a politician and clearly doesn’t like her but he didn’t shake hands with the VP who sat next to her either so maybe he just thought it unnecessary.
- Ms. Pelosi ignored the traditional “I have the high honor and privilege of introducing to you the President of the United States” greeting. I’m surprised that a smart politician like her…even though I don’t like her politics she is usually a pretty good politician…did something like that.
- When the President talked about prescription drug prices…numerous Democrats started chanting HR3…which is a bill for free prescription drugs sponsored by the late congressman from Baltimore. Not surprising…anymore than the Republican yelling “you lie” during one of the previous SOTU addresses. However…at least one congressman sitting in the speaker’s box was involved which put the disrespect on national television
- The father of one of the Parkland shooting victims jumped up and protested when the President talked about the 2nd amendment…granted he was not a congressman but he was invited by one.
- Ms. Pelosi ripped up her copy of the speech before the president left the dais afterwards…again on national television.
- Numerous Democratic women wore white to the speech in silent demand that the ERA…which was recently ratified by the reburied 38th state and they are furious that it is not part of the constitution now…despite the fact that two different deadlines for passage passed 30 years ago and the Supreme Court has ruled that the ERA is dead unless the proponents start over.
- Awarding the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh…this is usually reserved for persons of more impact on the country and not given as a political sop to one of your supporters. It is the Presidential Medal of Freedom though…so the President was within his rights to do so…but it was not a smart political move…but then as I said the President is most definitely not a politician.
What are these people thinking? One would expect that at least some of them would demonstrate some political savvy and not do or say stupid things.
Moving along to the final political event of the week…the conclusion of the Senate trial of the President’s impeachment articles…but these comments are about the process…not the actual articles…although the actual charges do deserve a few words. Let it be known that (a) we are not real fans of the President ‘round these parts, (b) but he did win despite the fact that he says and does things that are not politically smart or even always correct/true, and (c) the Democrats have never accepted the outcome of the 2016 election but as the previous President famously said…”Elections have Consequences.” While we think his actions were dumb and not a good political idea…they were not illegal. The Constitution does say that he can be impeached for “bribery, treason, or other high crimes and misdemeanors”. While later political writings by the founding fathers did offer reasonable assurances that they intended it to be a political process and that an actual crime may (or may not, depending on who, which writing, and how you interpret what they actually wrote) or may not be required. However…the actual words in the Constitution…which in our view are the only ones that count…and also in our view the Constitution says what it says and not what you want it to say…they seem to indicate to me that an alleged crime is actually required and in most previous federal impeachments not to mention both Presidential ones…an actual crime was alleged in the articles. Nonetheless…the comments below are more about the process and political stupidity involved and not the actual articles.
Essentially the charges come down to the President wanting the Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden and his father the former VP and current presidential candidate in return for military aid. The previous administration refused to provide them military aid…and even went so far as to demand the firing of one of their prosecutors that…according to the previous administration…was corrupt and refused to investigate corruption in the Ukraine. The view that the prosecutor was corrupt is substantially correct…but the nuance is a bit finer than that and I’ll admit that I’ve not investigated it fully myself…but the fact remains that the previous administration successfully bullied a foreign country to do something the administration wanted. In the end…what the President did was largely equivalent to that…he tried to influence a foreign country to do something he wanted…just like Presidents have been doing ever since we because a world power since at least the first world war. And…according to the law as Neil understands it and he used to be in that business…the aid was released before the end of the fiscal year which is the legal requirement…so the administration did not break the law as the GAO claimed. However…what the it comes down to is that the President tried to pressure a foreign country. The fact that the pressure also might benefit him politically…well, despite the claims of the Democrats and media…isn’t actually against the law. In fact…neither of the articles of impeachment charged him with anything actually illegal…distinctly different from the previous two presidential impeachments.
So…what is impeachment anyway? You have to remember that under the Constitution it is not a legal process…it is a political process…and that view by the founding fathers was further explained in numerous writings by them outside of the Constitution back in the 1700s.
So…under this political process…the House conducted what one can only describe as a hasty impeachment…because he needed to be removed from office immediately before he rigged the 2020 election. Never mind that House and Democratic leaders have been saying they would impeach him since the day after the election in 2016 and have never accepted the fact that he won. Never mind that a year ago Ms. Pelosi said that an impeachment was doomed to failure unless there was…bipartisan support for it. Never mind that the House didn’t bother issuing subpoenas for witnesses they wanted to hear from…and never mind that it was a pretty one sided process in the House. Remember…it is a political process and the House majority is Democratic.
Once the “we have to impeach him now” process was concluded…the vital speed that was “urgently needed” came to a complete halt as Ms. Pelosi sat on the articles for a month before sending them to the Senate. Supposedly this delay gave her”leverage” over Mr. McConnell to force him to ensure that the Senate would hold a “fair trial”…and the only definition of fair trial the Democrats were willing to accept was to allow the House managers to call witnesses but not the defense team. The Republicans who control the Senate…and remember this is a political process…determined to use the same trial rules that were approved 100-0 before the Clinton impeachment and determine the need for witnesses after the presentation of the case by the prosecution and defense teams.
Naturally…and obviously…her leverage was zero and the trial was conducted as a political trial by the Senate just as the indictment was politically conducted in the House. Democrats raged frequently the past 3 weeks about how the Republicans were putting party over country by voting in block…even though the Democrats in both the House and Senate likewise voted in a block…but at least according to the Democratic leadership that was principled resistance and recognizing that the overwhelming evidence and proven guilt was the reason for their votes.
Speaking of overwhelming evidence and proven guilt…the demand for new witnesses was rejected…it is a political process after all. The chief witness…Mr. Bolton…who the Democrats wanted to call was going to prove that the President pressured the Ukrainians…but then he already admitted that in the transcript so no new evidence there. Mr. Bolton was going to quote from the new book he is flogging…which is incidentally been classified by the White House and the March publication date is in doubt to prove this point. No new evidence other than “I said it in my book” was to be presented…and let us not forget that until a month ago the Democratic Party thought that Mr. Bolton was the devil incarnate.
Just in case you have any doubt that this whole impeachment thing was a political process…here are a few statements that were made in the past month or two
- We need new witnesses.
- We do not need new witnesses…we have 28,000 pages of evidence and have the transcripts of 20+ witnesses who testified to the House to review.
- It is the House’s job to indict and investigate…not the Senate’s job. Their job is to evaluate the investigation completed by the House and pass judgement thereon.
- Each Senator takes an oath to do impartial justice…and unless you vote to convict you’re not impartial.
- Every Senator has an open mind
- Every Senator already has his/her mind made up…but those on my side are impartial and convinced by the overwhelming evidence that he is guilty and those on the other side is just partisan
- Every Senator already has his/her mind made up…but those on my side are impartial and convinced by the overwhelming evidence that he is stupid and foolhardy but it doesn’t rise to the level of impeachment so they voted innocent and those on the other side is just partisan
If you go back and look at the Clinton impeachment then all of these same statements were made by many of the same people who made them these past 2 months. The only things that changed was the party of the President, who had the majority in each house of Congress, and the people who said them. While I did not do an exhaustive level of research on it…Mr. McConnell and Mr. Schumer could have just swapped their speech notes from 20 odd years back because they both contradicted what they said back then.
As I said…a political process…and now it is done. Except that it is not done and the House is going to continue to investigate and is likely (according to Mr. Schiff) to file new impeachment charges “if the President is reelected”.
Ms. Pelosi’s words about a bipartisan impeachment from a year back proved prophetic…if only she had not let her more rabid left wing anti-Trump members railroad her into doing something that was (a) doomed to failure and (b) likely will cost her party in the 2020 election.
Post acquittal…Mr. McConnell had a press conference as did Mr. Schumer. Mr. McConnell called a spade a spade and said it was political, touched on the testimony and evidence that was presented, talked about the 90 times the charges were “proved” or the evidence was “overwhelming”, asked why if that was true then why did the other side demand more witnesses which would indefinitely delay the matter, stated that Mr. Schumer had admitted that the primary reason was to stall things in the Senate as long as possible for political gain. Mr. Schumer sounded like an even more so than usual Grumpy Bernie Sanders and whined about the overwhelming proof and proved…again…while deriding the Republicans for voting as a block while defending his side voting as a block.
Dumb…and their other brother dumber…and mebbe their twin dumbest as well.
Interesting things found on the net.
I’m not trying to downplay the latest coronavirus…which is actually just the flu but a family of viruses that has spikes around the edge that look like a crown so the family is named coronavirus. Anyway…it is just a version of the flu…and while it is fatal in some cases…the overall death rate is (depending on which article you believe) either half of the normal seasonal flu death rate or up to about 1.7 times that rate…but it is only in the low single digits. Caution is needed…but the hype in the media is just that…hype…and the overly aggressive quarantines are probably not really needed.