Hillary – The Gift That Keeps Giving

Like a bad penny, she keeps turning up. Hillary Clinton just won’t go away (we’ve noted this before). She has been in the news the past few weeks bashing Bernie Sanders. We get it – she is pissed at him for his lukewarm support four years ago and revenge is a dish best service cold.

While it may feel good to be back in the public eye bashing Bernie, it doesn’t reflect well on Clinton. Every time she opens her mouth she hurts her party. She gives Donald Trump the opportunity to run against her once again and remind people why they didn’t vote for the Democrats in 2016.

The not so ironic thing is that everything she is blaming Bernie for is now actually on her. Just like she was waiting for Bernie’s enthusiastic endorsement, the current pack of Democratic candidates are waiting for her to shut up and take a vacation.

They could be waiting for a long time.

Bloomberg Wins Iowa

He wasn’t campaigning there, but Michael Bloomberg won the Iowa caucus. No one scored a knock out victory. This leaves the door wide open for Bloomberg. In fact, it could not have worked out better.

Nationally,  he polls just behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Pete Buttigieg did well in Iowa and might do well in New Hampshire,  but he has no support among minorities. After Super Tuesday, it could well turn out to be a Bernie / Bloomberg Battle.

If they can keep from criticizing each other too hard, they might even be able to team up. Bernie for president, Bloomberg for VP. Wouldn’t that be interesting . . .

Witness Win For the Democrats?

The Democrats failed in their attempt to call witnesses at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. But was it really a loss for them?

Trump was never going to be impeached no matter what witnesses or documents revealed. Everyone knew that. So how could the Democrats win?

One way is to turn it from an impeachment into a cover up. Republican senators might get some cover voting for acquittal – Trump’s actions were wrong but not wrong enough to kick him out of office. But they won’t get off so easily for squashing witnesses. That vote left them wide open to accusations of being part of Trump’s cover up.

Maneuvering Republican senators up for reelection into wading into the Trump swamp with Rudy Giuliani and Lev Parnas would not be the worst outcome for the Democrats. In fact, it could be considered a win.

Cen-sure? Un-sure

Donald Trump’s lawyers have made their case. Sure, the President did things that might have been wrong or questionable. But what he did isn’t bad enough to deserve impeachment.

Here’s the question: After Trump is acquitted, do the Democrats introduce a motion in the Senate to censure Trump?

It might be a smart political move. Of course, it would have no chance of passing, but it would put Republican senators on record saying that Trump’s behavior is not even worthy of a censure.

Or the Democrats could go even farther and introduce a resolution endorsing Trump’s behavior and saying that it was “perfect”. Would Republicans vote for that one? Would Trump be angry if they didn’t?

Pay Attention, Justice Roberts

There are plenty of theories about the Democrats’ “real” end game in the impeachment proceedings: turning voters off on Trump, turning voters off on Republican senators; highlighting the swampiness of the President’s team. It could be all of these. But there is other objective that might be in play.

At the end of the day, Chief Justice Roberts could be their real target. Sometime soon the Supreme Court is going to have to decide on how big of a stone wall Donald Trump can erect. So far, Trump has gotten away with ignoring all requests for information from Congress and state prosecutors.

The Democrats may be trying to show Roberts what happens when the President is allowed to get away with stonewalling. He becomes untouchable. Roberts is a conservative, but he is a constitutional conservative, not a partisan conservative. Team Trump’s efforts to rise above the law might just rub him the wrong way and backfire on them.

Khashoggi→Bezos→bin Salman→Trump?

The plot is a bit complicated, but here goes. Jamal Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist writing critical stories about the Saudi government. The Washington Post published his stories. Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post. Following so far?

The Saudi government hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone to blackmail him into killing Khashoggi’s stories (Bezos refused). So instead the Saudis hacked Jamal Khashoggi. Into little pieces. That killed him and his stories.

But then word got out that the Saudis murdered Khashoggi and everyone pointed to the head of the government, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He said he wasn’t involved, but it was just revealed that his personal What’s App account was indeed involved.

Most US politicians dismissed bin Salman’s denials outright. One major exception was Donald Trump. Trump just refused to push him on it. People figured Trump was trying not to piss off the Saudis, a major source of oil for the US and a major source of financing for Trump, Inc.

But maybe there was something else involved. Maybe the Saudis were providing Trump with information from Bezos’ phone. If they were, it will probably come out sooner rather than later and you can be sure the Washington Post will print the story.