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Jason Miciak

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Friday Pick Six

**** So I was contacted by some new folks, the blog now moves up to other websites, we’re happy to be called to bigger places. I would have preferred to stay here at Politizoom and Daily Sound and Fury, in addition to my new site, but the powers that be have decided they do not want to do that. I adore you all. Many of you will get an email from me telling you where I am going. Please do not worry, I will be in a much better spot with far wider readership. Though I’ll miss you. All in all, this is one of the best Fridays for me in a long time, it is always nice to be appreciated, and I appreciate the support here. Thus, as a token of my appreciation, the Friday Pick-Six WHAT YOU SHOULD PICK TO CLICK We honor Dolores O’riordan, lead singer of The Cranberries, who died accidentally earlier this year. Her haunting voice in “Linger” still shivers and brings back memories. We join her at the Tiny Desk NPR Concert Series: BEST FOOTBALL GAME OF THE WEEKEND IS NOT A FOOTBALL GAME: Time for the blog to convince you to follow the alma mater, your number one ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs #1 Conzaga University v. #25 BYU: ESPN 2 Saturday 7:00 pm P.S.T. BRAINFOOD TO IMPRESS NICOLE: Elon Must talks about the future, space travel, artificial intel and google implants: BEST THING ON THE INTERNET: TIE It's finally raining in Australia ????❤???????? "Downpours have already helped to extinguish 32 bushfires..number of blazes fell from 120 to 88..It means the end may be in sight for exhausted firefighters who have battled deadly fires for more than 3 months." — StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) January 15, 2020 This is a rescued Eagle who had a broken wing being released after months of recovery treatment — ???? Orb Planet..???? Resister..????ClimateAction (@OrbPlanet) January 15, 2020 BEST THING ON THE INTERNET THAT INVOLVES A DOG Puppy learning CPR!!!! Good boy practicing his CPR. Dogs, bruh…????????????????❤️ — Rex Chapman???????? (@RexChapman) January 11, 2020 YOUR WEEKEND REAL PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT BARTLETT. In honor of my final post here at Zoom:   I do not wish anyone at this Politizoom ill will, indeed there wasn’t a ton that the people most involved could have done, the decision was largely made elsewhere. Please continue to support Politizooom, there are good people here with great writing. I am sure they’ll be fine. For all who have contacted me before, I will let you know where I am going and why. Anyone wanting to email is welcome. A few here already know and they’ll likely put notices up from time to time. I learned from all of you, and treasure all the feedback. To the extent I am better, it’s because of your feedback and what I learned. It was invaluable. Sometimes one has to make a move. I was recruited and took the offer, though I tried to work something out with Daily Sound and Fury and it will not work. **** Peace, y’all I love all of you. Jason and on Twitter    

Administration Lies About Most Sacred Duty: Casualties to Troops

Yes, we know the Trump administration lies. It lies when politically expedient, it lies when it isn’t, it lies out of habit, it lies when the truth is more helpful, but perhaps we didn’t know that it would lie when to do so would break a sacred duty to the American people, and the people that serve us so bravely. The Trump administration lied when stating we suffered no casualties when Iran bombed an Iraqi base housing U.S. personnel. There were 11 U.S. casualties – not deaths, injuries – but some of our best people were hurt severely enough to require medical treatment elsewhere. Politico brings us some of the details, from Politico: While no troops were killed in the strike on Iraq’s Al-Asad air base, “several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said in a statement. There has been a great deal of research into concussion symptoms and a concussion’s danger going forward. A concussion is something that could have lingering effects for some time. It is not a “non-issue.” But Urban said Thursday that “in the days following” the strike, “out of an abundance of caution,” eight troops were transported from the Al-Asad air base to a medical center in Germany, and another three were moved to Kuwait “for follow-on screening.” He did not specify a timeline for their diagnosis and treatment Moreover, these concussions are the result of an attack that was far more serious than we originally heard. The attack seems purposefully under reported. One might speculate that the United States had an interest in convincing the American people that the bombs were symbolic, and that the Iranians were too afraid to retaliate directly against Americans. Such a message would serve Trump well. Not so. The attack was more of a very “close miss” rather than safe distance message, Via Rawstory Initial reports about the attack speculated that Iran had tried to avoid areas of the base that housed military personnel. But U.S. officials soon rejected that notion. In a Jan. 8 press conference, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said, “The points of impact were close enough to personnel and equipment, so on and so forth, I believe, based on what I saw and what I know, is that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel.” Initial reports about the attack speculated that Iran had tried to avoid areas of the base that housed military personnel. But U.S. officials soon rejected that notion. In a Jan. 8 press conference, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley said, “The points of impact were close enough to personnel and equipment, so on and so forth, I believe, based on what I saw and what I know, is that they were intended to cause structural damage, destroy vehicles and equipment and aircraft, and to kill personnel.” The leader of an Army drone team told NPR that he was “knocked off his feet by the blast.” Others told the New York Times that missiles damaged the building they were in. “Intended to cause massive damage and kill personnel” is quite different than the initial self-serving release made by the administration, yes? It seems they wanted us to believe that the assassination of […]

The Oath Lasted Less than Two Hours, Republicans Revert

‘I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be,) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: so help me God.’ Senate Impeachment Oath ***** Well that didn’t take long. For just a moment yesterday, amid the solemnity and formal ritualization of the process, I had hope that a realization hit each Senator, an appreciation of the history, one much bigger than themselves, bigger than a MAGA movement, and certainly bigger than Donald Trump. Call me naïve. I have a pre-existing condition, forever believing in peoples’ better angels. It only took a couple hours for Republican senators to disabuse me of the notion that they wanted facts to render truly impartial justice. Indeed, Lindsey Graham post-oath is the exact same Lindsey as pre-oath. Graham quickly let us know he had already judged the case, at least with respect to the only evidence he’ll consider, and without so much as the first proceeding, Graham informed the world of that he couldn’t take the case seriously because the case was brought by politicians acting in their political interests. The Senator took an oath hours ago and he still has the audacity to appear on Fox News to announce his bias — Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) January 17, 2020 Lindsey says he is going to judge the case by the evidence assembled by the House, and he is not going to expand the record. Except Graham alone doesn’t get to determine the record, and is not free to ignore evidence introduced. He then goes on to note that he doesn’t take Schiff, Nadler, nor Schumer seriously.  Graham believes the Democrats aren’t seeking the truth, only seeking to destroy Trump, and move Schumer into the majority leader’s position. When it comes to Graham, I am particularly saddened. If you have followed politics for a while, you know that he used to be a good, level-headed guy, well-liked by Democrats. John McCain’s death didn’t help, but I have to believe that Trump has something on Graham. It would be typical Trump, and typical M.O. for Eastern European government. Graham also looks terrified. He should, he is speaking to an audience of one, and that one may destroy him. Were Graham our only problem. Rand Paul is out vowing to make life a political hell for any Republican senator who dares to express interest in hearing from witnesses at a … you know … trial? Isn’t that right, Politico? Sen. Rand Paul is waging a fierce campaign to prevent the Senate from hearing witnesses in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, vowing to force tough votes on his fellow Republicans if they break with the president or back Democrats’ demands for new evidence. Prevent the senate from hearing witnesses. In other words, preventing an actual trial. Take a random foreign person off the street, one who knows nothing about government or even law. Describe the process, and note that one side doesn’t want to hear from anyone who was there. That person would quickly note that the Republican side is terrified that too much truth might get out. It is a cover-up. There is a wrinkle in Paul’s position: Paul says if four or more of his […]

Ukraine Announces Investigation into Surveillance of Yovanovitch

Ukraine announced today it would be investigating the surveillance of Marie Yovanovitch. The United States is officially on notice, if the Trump administration does not, today, launch an investigation into the surveillance of American Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, we will be the only country implicated not investigating. Any self-respecting country would be embarrassed. We will also be left with the inescapable conclusion that Ukraine is more troubled than the United States upon learning of threats directed at a United States ambassador. And, yes, it will mean that Ukraine is not afraid to get to the truth, oligarchs be damned. Whereas us? Don’t even ask. Right, Politico? The Ukrainian Interior Ministry, which runs the police forces, said in a statement that Ukrainian police “are not interfering in the internal political affairs of the United States.” “However, the published messages contain facts of possible violations of Ukrainian law and of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, which protect the rights of diplomats on the territory of another state,” the statement continued. Violations of law? Quaint. But, it’s probably good to say, “Thank you, Ukraine, and – please, by all means, do feel free to interfere with our politics. It appears you’re already deeply involved – sorry – and most Americans want real truth, consisting of real facts, to thwart the fictional thriller being run out of the White House and the US Senate.” I said it, since I have no hope of a peep out of the White House. So, how does Mike Pompeo even go to work today? He has to know that he had the entire day yesterday to announce that his own department will investigate the matter. Indeed, it’s probably safe to guess that Ukraine gave the State Department the one day just to see if the U.S. took the lead. Apparently Ukraine didn’t have the patience to wait another day. Ukraine is serious about this anti-corruption sh*t. I guess we’re too busy creating the corruption to get around to investigating it all at the same time. Speaking of which: The Interior Ministry also said it has invited the FBI to take part in the investigation. The FBI? That would be the little mall security force that sits underneath Barr? Pffft. But, again, nice of Ukraine to offer. Oh, and just to put the cherry on top of the humiliation pie being served-up, Ukraine also announced that it is investigating the Russians hacking into Burrisma’s computers. Thankfully, our people were involved in that investigation and announced their findings. Actually, the fact that federal investigators involved themselves in monitoring the computer hack, but not investigating the surveillance and threat to Yovanovitch tells us a great deal. What exactly does it tell us? I guess we’ll have to wait for Ukraine to let us know. I hope they already have next year’s money. **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom

Nunes, Top Republican on Intelligence, Is a Principle in Conspiracy

Sometimes one has to sit back and remind oneself of what reality is supposed to look like. It is especially important when one learns that the second highest member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence admits he was in contact with Parnas. Parnas is a man who is charged with felonies and has evidence to back it up. Nunes made the admission despite previously stating he did not know Parnas. Yes, Devin Nunes now admits he at least was in contact with a main witness and is deeply involved in the entire matter. Parnas admitted that he had only limited direct contact with Nunes, but only because Nunes worried about the appearance of his conflict (Nunes knows about the appearances of a conflict given he has already been caught carrying the White House’s water). Thus Nunes did his work with Parnas through an aide. Via Rawstory: “We don’t have too much of a relationship,” Parnas said of Nunes. “We met several times at the Trump Hotel, but our relationship started getting — basically where it expanded was when I was introduced to his aide, Derek Harvey, and the reason why Derek Harvey I was told because Devin Nunes had an ethics — something to do with the Ethics Committee, he couldn’t be in the spotlight. He was kind of shunned a little bit and that he was looking into this Ukraine stuff also, wanted to help out. And they gave me Derek Harvey to deal with.”  This is surely true. Why would Parnas admit he had only a few contacts with Nunes, and how would Parnas know the name of Nunes’ aide? It is true, and even Nunes admitted last night on Fox that he actually had met with Parnas, countering his own lie from just months ago. If Nunes had to send an aide to assist Parnas, because of potential appearances of a conflict, there is no doubt that Nunes’ aide Harvey told Nunes of each new development, and probably got instructions. Parnas did note that he had limited involvement with Nunes because Nunes was already deeply involved in “opposition research,” the euphemism utilized to cover the whole Biden operation: Maddow asked if Parnas got the idea that Rudy Giuliani had briefed Nunes, but Parnas said he didn’t think so, because there was a group of people working on opposition research for the campaigns. Nunes was running a similar operation parallel to the work done by Rudy and Lev? It certainly appears so, and that fits with what we know about Nunes’s strange travel to Eastern Europe. But even parallel involvement is still shocking involvement. In fact, it may be more shocking, as Nunes may be more culpable for his own ideas and own independent actions. Meanwhile, Nunes’ aide Harvey plunged even deeper into the scandal, undoubtedly keeping Nunes informed every step of the way: Parnas went on to say that he set up “several Skype interviews” with people for Harvey including a key anti-corruption prosecutor in Ukraine as well as Konstantin Kulik, deputy head of the Department of International Legal Cooperation of the General Prosecutor’s Office in Ukraine. The top Republican congressional official charged with minority oversight into the entire Ukraine crime is now confirmed to have known of the crime and was involved – or at […]

There Are Tapes: Parnas Has Phone Messages

Well, not much of an intro to do here, per Politico which is staying on top of this: House impeachment investigators released a new set of evidence that was obtained from Lev Parnas, an indicted former associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani — including voicemails, photos, and text messages between Parnas and high-level figures within Trump’s orbit. The material includes voicemail messages Parnas received from Giuliani and Victoria Toensing, a prominent Trump-aligned lawyer, both of whom have been identified as players in an effort to force the removal of the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, during the spring. And do we have any idea yet what Parnas learned from Giuliani or Toensing? Why yes, we do. “Hey Lev. VT here. We’ve got a request to talk to the big one,” Toensing said in the April 23, 2019, voicemail message. “So I just wanted to get the latest from you, if I could. I know it’s late there. I’m sorry.” The timing of the Toensing voicemail coincides with a flurry of activity involving Yovanovitch’s ouster. On April 23, Giuliani tweeted that Ukraine was investigating 2016 election interference, and Trump recalled Yovanovitch from Ukraine on April 24. So much for Trump not knowing. “We have a request from the big one” is game, set, match on Trump claiming he didn’t know. At the absolute very least, we have irrefutable proof that Trump lied his damned ass off in the back lawn stating he didn’t know Parnas. To be sure, these tapes do not relate to bribing Zelensky during the call, they relate to organizing the whole deal regarding dirt on Biden. The message concerns firing Yovanovitch. The evidence points to the fact that Trump fired Yovanovitch in exchange for dirt on Biden from the oligarchs. If that is true, it is an independent reason to impeach and remove Trump, rising almost to the level of the extortion of Zelensky. Trump has the power to hire and fire diplomats, unless he does so for self-gain. That is called corruption. The tapes also prove that Trump did know what Parnas was doing over in Ukraine. The tapes will likely get played during the trial. Tapes take evidence to another level, hearing peoples’ voices or seeing them on video has a dramatic effect on all jurors. Jurors no longer have to rely solely upon whether they believe the witness. They can see or hear for themselves. The tapes also solidify the notes and texts Parnas put forward. Republican senators are going to have one hell of a job in explaining this away. I am sure they will try, for a while. But at some point … Hang on, because Parnas goes on Maddow soon. UPDATE: Of course, there is a certain element of the Trump vote that could not be moved by any evidence at all. Saddest part? I think this guy is telling the absolute truth. Christian pastor: I’d support Trump ‘even if he ran a dogfighting ring on Mother Teresa’s grave while having multiple affairs’ – — Dr. Robert Fortuna (@psychdr100) January 16, 2020 **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom

Must Watch: Parnas on Maddow, “Trump Knew and Lied”

Short blurb almost as a public service. Rachel Maddow interviewed Lev Parnas this afternoon. Parnas knows this is his moment, and Rachel knows how to get the most critical information out. We already have bits and pieces aired on Ari Melber. Per the title, Parnas will tell Rachel that Trump knew everything, and blessed Rudy’s entire operation. Of course, we suspected as much all along, Trump is a micromanager, and this was “the” project, the one Sondland said was the only thing about which Trump cared. Parnas is a man in a ton of trouble, and simply must be counting upon Trump’s ouster, and the new A.G. wanting to show some sympathy for the man. Thus, when Parnas says “Trump lied,” as he also told Maddow, it will resonate. I don’t see how Republicans can keep Parnas from testifying now. One of the few defenses that Republicans dared to use was that the Democrats failed to produce any direct witnesses. Well, now Democrats have one, and he is talking. This witness not only has damning evidence of the ongoing project, but says Trump knew everything and lied. So what argument would the Republicans use to keep his testimony out? Any argument would be one that screams cover-up and Republicans are willing to engage in it because they’re corrupt. It may well be more dangerous for Republicans to keep Parnas’s testimony out, rather than in. Here is a natural question that flows from the above. How would the Republicans get around a request to call Rudy as a witness? It is near the same question, especially when the nation will know exactly what Parnas has said and documented, and it all implicates Rudy, which implicates Trump. Unlike Parnas – who is already charged with felonies – Rudy has not yet been arrested. Rudy would almost surely have to walk in, take his seat, and then take the 5th Amendment, over and over. Oh, yes, at first he will claim Attorney-Client privilege, but the stuff that Parnas describes is not legal representation, moreover, attorney-client privilege never covers furthering a crime. Nor I am not sure how one engages in legal representation outside the country performing duties implicating the United States. He can try it, but I suspect he’ll end up claiming the 5th. So it all makes Maddow a “must see” tonight on television. I might have to break my own rule, no screens, as evening time belongs to daughter. Normally she and I do some art. Tonight, it may be that she and I watch history being made. **** Peace, y’all Jason and on Twitter @MiciakZoom

What Did Pompeo Know and When: Pompeo’s Fate on the Line

To be sure, no one is more under the gun in the impeachment proceedings than Trump. But there certainly are others who have some serious concerns going forward. One person who must feel exponentially more pressure tonight than just yesterday would be Mike Pompeo. Pompeo is one of the smart ones, who has sold his soul to Trump, and knows much more than most that the walls are closing in. Pompeo had enough problems with the revelations that an entire black-ops diplomacy effort operated within his jurisdiction, but outside his department and run by Rudy Giuliani. The fact that this Alt-State Department now looks like it put Ambassador Yovanovitch at risk – and that is the least of the possibilities at this point – Pompeo must now face his responsibilities as the chief United States diplomat, and cabinet secretary charged with overseeing all ambassadors. Joe Lockhart, late of the Clinton administration, addressed just how difficult Pompeo’s life is about to get: I was struck this morning given my experience in government — the people that we had doing special diplomacy were people like George Mitchell, you know, Tom Foley went out and did some things — the former speaker of the House. Richard Holbrook.” “Not Lev Parnas?” Camerota prompted. “Not two-bit criminals who are either mob figures or trying to act like mob figures,” Lockhart replied. “It’s unconscionable that [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo allowed this to go on. You have to believe at some point he read into all of the stuff and he allowed it.” I am not sure about “read into all of the stuff,” as I am not sure that Trump knew of all this stuff, and if we know anything about Trump, none of it was put to paper to read. The point remains, however, that at some point Pompeo knew, and didn’t lose his sh*t in defending his ambassador half-way across the world. Bad enough that he allowed the “alt-diplomacy” go on. We know that someone in the State Department knew that Marie Yovanovitch was in danger. Someone called her to say under no vague terms: “Get the fck out of the country, not tomorrow, on the next plane. You are in danger.” Or terms to that effect. If someone at the State Department knew enough to call Ambassador Yovanovitch, Pompeo cannot deny he had no information about it. He knew by that point that something extended far beyond his control. Keep in mind, Yovanovitch was fired and told to get out, long before this all became a thing. It would certainly put Pompeo on notice that Ukraine was the center of a controversy. It appears to me that Trump has “some things” he must go through, and may or may not survive. Of this we can be sure, no chance does Trump without Pompeo also going down. They are linked, with their fates intertwined. Pompeo is going to have to answer some hard questions. He may even get called to testify – depending on the scope of the trial. But whether it be at trial, or in the congressional hearings sure to come paralleling the scandal, Pompeo is going to have to answer the age-old question, what did he know and when did he know it. He best start preparing some answers now. […]

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