Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Alan Dershowitz Is Right

"Give Me Sanity...Or Give Me Death!"
 Professor Alan Dershowitz delivered a show-stopping defense of the Constitution Monday night during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. 

He is right. “Abuse of power” and “obstruction of justice” are not appropriate reasons to impeach a sitting president under any circumstance. 

It is time to update the Constitution with a 28th Amendment that specifically clarifies the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that must be proven to remove a president using our 21st-century sensibility of what constitutes legitimate grounds for impeachment. 

Presidents Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and now Donald Trump have been subject to trial in the Senate. All three impeachments were virtually 100% political in nature. Congressional opponents of each impeached president simply hated him so much they chose to impeach him rather than wait for the next election. 

The Trump impeachment revolves around Democrat accusations that President Trump violated a single process clause of the Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 as part of his alleged quid pro quo scheme with the president of Ukraine to investigate possible corruption involving Joe and Hunter Biden.  

Professor Dershowitz annihilated the basis of the Democrats’ impeachment effort when he said: “You cannot turn conduct that is not impeachable into impeachable conduct, simply by using words like quid pro quo and personal benefit.” 

The Trump impeachment is the mirror image of the President Clinton impeachment fiasco of 1998. Republicans wanted to get rid of Bill Clinton the day he was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 1993. A special counsel was named to look into his involvement in the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas; White House travel agents being fired and improper use of FBI files. Eventually, almost by accident, investigators came up with what Republicans considered “sufficient grounds” for his impeachment. 

They charged Clinton incorrectly, according to Professor Dershowitz, under the “high crimes and misdemeanors” clause of the Constitution. President Clinton was charged by the GOP-led House of “lying under oath” (perjury) and “obstruction of justice.” 

Clinton was not charged with providing aid and comfort to the enemy. He was not charged with selling nuclear weapon secrets to the Russians or Communist Red China. He was not charged with leading an overthrow of our democratic republic and replacing it with a communist dictatorship. He was not charged with anything of any magnitude that might have jeopardized the security and prosperity of America. 

President Trump was impeached by the current Democrat-led House with similar vague and indefinite charges — “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” 

Every president could be charged with such cryptic accusations by ardent opponents under a separation of powers lawsuit. None should be removed from office for having different political goals and philosophies than the majority of Congress at the time. 

The American people deserve better. We propose that Congress and the state legislatures amend the U.S. Constitution with the following 28th Amendment to be more specific: 

The President of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason in the form of Giving Nuclear Weapon or Privileged National Security Intellectual Property to Any Enemy, Domestic or Foreign; Or Committing a Personal Felony Against Another U.S. Citizen. 

We have a “destruct mechanism” in the Constitution in force today to get rid of “bad” presidents: four-year terms and elections. Short of personally killing someone or selling sensitive top-secret information to our enemies who want to do us harm as a nation, there is nothing that merits such a colossal waste of time and taxpayer money to remove a president from office that cannot wait until the next presidential election. 

We have to put a hard stop to these partisan kangaroo courts conducted under the current ambiguous language 
of the Constitution. In the last 22 years, Democrats and Republicans have tried to reverse a presidential election based on politics and emotions, not actual facts of dangerous criminal behavior in the White House. 

For the good of the nation and future of the American Democratic Republic, pass and ratify this 28th Amendment to the Constitution. 


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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

People Will Vote Their Pocketbook In November

Voting Pocketbook
I was on Capital Tonight recently with my friend Bruce Thompson of Parker Poe who was the chair of the Hillary Clinton campaign in North Carolina in 2016. At the end of the segment, he said that his father taught him an important thing about politics he never forgot: Son, people will always vote their pocketbooks come election time! 
Political consultants used to tell me the first priority of voters in any campaign was My job! The second was My spouses job! The third was Everyone elses job! 
If people are feeling good about themselves and their financial prospects and future, they tend to vote for incumbents. If they dont feel good about their job situation, they will vote for someone else to see if they can pull something out of their economic bag of tricks that will help make their lives better. 
Ronald Reagan crushed President Jimmy Carter in a terrible economy in 1980. Reagan cruised to re-election in a booming 1984 economy. Bill Clinton won a three-way race with only 43% of the popular vote against George H.W. Bush in a poor economy in 1992. Clinton easily won re-election in 1996 in a booming internet-fueled economy. 
Carter and Bush 41 are the only two presidents not to win a re-election bid since World War II. 
Last week, at the very same moment House managers were marching across the Capitol in a formal procession to the Senate to deliver the articles of impeachment, President Trump was signing Phase I of the new Chinese trade agreement which promises to add a halfpoint of GDP growth to 2020 growth and hundreds of thousands of new jobs. 
The juxtaposition could not have been more stark. Democrats have spent the past three years doing nothing but trying to impeach President Trump; two years while in the minority and the last year while in the majority. 
Employment for every age group, race and gender is at historic high. As much as the Trump tax cuts and regulation reductions and restrictions contributed to this prosperity, the most important difference between the last three years and any time under the Obama Administration is the confidence that business owners have that they can invest and hire people without fear of more taxes and excessive regulation. 
Phase I and II of the Chinese accords will be important to the American economy over coming decadesHowever, the most important trade agreement signed recently was the trade agreement between the U.S., Mexico and Canada (USMCA) which replaced the old NAFTA agreement that caused so much disruption to our economy, particularly in the textile industry in the South. 
Mexico and Canada account for twice as much trade combined with the U.S. as between the U.S. and China. U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada totaled $1.130 trillion fairly balanced between exports and imports.  
Annual U.S. trade with China amounts to only half that total, $516 billion. Eighty percent of that trade total is Chinese exports to the U.S. mainly attributable to unfair trade practices by the Chinese government since 1980 which destroyed millions of manufacturing jobs in America. 
Phase 1 of the China deal will add another 0.5% to GDP this year. For every full point increase in GDP, roughly 500,000 new jobs will be created in America.  
Not a single senator or representative from any solid blue states such as California, New York and Illinois supported any of the Trump policies that have contributed to this new prosperity which has improved the economy of each blue state just as it has in the red states. 
Perhaps the voters of these blue states need to heed the words of Bruce Thompsons dad. Voting for the socialist policies of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and now Joe Biden, who has adopted many of them as gospel, will plunge us right back into the economic doldrums we experienced under the Obama administration for eight long years. 
Why would anyone in their right mind want to take that chance? 
(first published in North State Journal 1/22/20)

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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

A Man Walks Into The Trump Winery

Pop Open A Cold One on November 3
On the day after Christmas and seeing our extended family in Fredericksburgwe traveled across the state of Virginia to Hot Springs for some pure rest and relaxation. 
Along the way, we noticed we were going through the wine country established by Thomas Jefferson near Charlottesville. We decided to go see the Trump Winery since one of our sons gave us a bottle of Trump champagne in the summer of 2016 as a joke because we all know he is never going to win, Dad!
As is our wont to do, we struck up a conversation with some folks over lunch in the packedtothegills tasting room to see why they were there on the day after Christmas when they could have been so many other places with family and friends. 
We came to buy a case of Trump champagne to celebrate his re-election in November 2020! 
Are you sure of that?
Absolutely. I am a veteran working at the Pentagon and every active military and retired veteran know is going to vote for him. He has been great for us across-the-board.” 
There are 1.3 million active service personnel and 18.2 million veterans. Close to 80% of all active military and veterans are registered to vote. If 75of them vote, and 75% go for Trump, that is close to 9 million of the roughly 65 million votes he would need to win the popular vote in November. 
I am a Latina from Nicaragua who has seen how dangerous and awful socialism really is,” said the wife of the Pentagon employee. These young people in America who are falling in love with socialism have never lived under such an awful government. I am glad I got out. Plus, we are Catholic and the Democrats wanting to kill babies after they are born alive is just plain wrong.”  
How can you be so sure that President Trump is going to win reelection? I asked in all honesty. 
The economy is great. The stock market is up 50% since Trump was elected. My IRA and 401(k) accounts are at a level we can retire securely. We are not at war or going into countries for regime-change like we did so stupidly under Bush 43. What is not to like about what is going on in America today? 
Yeah,” said his brother who owned a plumbing concern in Arizona. My business has never been better. We might retire to Mexico, but you know what? They will never let us become citizens so we can vote there one day. They make it impossible to immigrate to Mexico, but they want the U.S. to take every illegal immigrant they send us? That aint right.” 
Thats right,” echoed his Nicaraguan wifeNo one who immigrated legally to the U.S. wants anyone to come here illegally. They cut too many corners. We played by the rules; paid thousands of dollars to gain citizenship, and now the Democrats want to give illegal immigrants free education and free health care while they undercut our wages at our jobs? That just aint right! 
What do you think of the Democratic candidates for president? 
You mean the socialist candidates for president like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren? None of them are talking about anything that anyone we know in Arizona is buying! And Joe Biden has been sucked in by the leftists in his party. How a 77-yearold white guy who has been in Washington for 50 years and never solved anything is going to get nominated by the modern democratic socialist party is beyond me. It aint gonna happen.” 
Well, it sounds like you certainly have made up your minds! I said as we were leaving. 
Youre darn right we have! And so have all these other 80 people in this room who are buying Trump champagne to celebrate in November! 

(first published in North State Journal 1/15/20)

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