Friday, 13 December 2019

A Holiday Season With Little Rest

No Let Up, No Winding Down

As things wind down to the much anticipated summer holidays, the news and international events show no let up.  Top and centre in New Zealand has been the tragedy of tourists being caught in an eruption at White Island.  This has resulted in deaths and in terrible burns (external and internal) to the tourists and some of their guides.

The globe continues to shrink.  As a result tourists from all over the world can be found holidaying in New Zealand.  Most New Zealanders find themselves grieving the dead and wounded.  We are such a small country that, for many, these things are personal.

The United States is witnessing another impeachment of its current President.  This, too, is historic.
  The Founders deliberately planned and intended that there should be three branches of government in that country: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial.  For some reason the Congress (one of the houses of the legislature) has decided that the current president should be impeached.  To us it seems to be an ignoble overreach of power on the part of the Congress.  We expect that President Trump will be acquitted in the Senate and the attempts by the Congress to undermine the lawful and constitutional powers of the Executive will fail. 

If it does not, then expect a velvet revolution where the US system of government will never be the same.  It will represent a soft-coup.

The summary above is, of course, simplified.  Why do we expect the soft-coup to fail?  Insufficient evidence.  To make an allegation is one thing.  To prove it is quite another. 

The minority Republican Party has put forward a four fold statement of why the case against President Trump is little more than diluted, dirty dishwater. 

The GOP’s Four-Point Defense Of Trump Is Devastating

David Marcus
The Federalist

During Thursday’s mark up of the articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee, Republicans unveiled a four-point defense of President Trump that is stunning in its simplicity and blows massive holes in the Democrats allegations of abuse of power. Essentially the Democrats are accusing Trump of shaking down Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky by withholding aid and demanding announcement of investigations, including one involving Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

To this, the central charge in the articles of impeachment, Rep. Jim Jordan and others presented four specific facts. First, both Trump and Zelensky say there was no pressure applied. Second, the transcript does not indicate Trump making any demands or setting any conditions. Third, Ukraine was not aware that the aid was delayed. And fourth, aid flowed without any announcement of investigations. . . .

These four basic points will make up the core of the Republican defense of Trump on abuse of power charges. The White House should be very happy. Unlike the serpentine choose your own adventure story the Democrats have cooked up, this is a straightforward and simple defense, it can be explained quickly and it all makes perfect sense.

David Marcus is the Federalist's New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.

And then there is the matter of  a general election in the UK.  We will reflect on that tomorrow, after the dust has settled a bit.

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