Impeachment, Bolton, the New So-Called Peace Plan

The question-and-answer portion of the trial is underway. From what I can tell, this is just an exercise in repeating points, or lies, as the case may be.

Late yesterday there was news that Mitch McConnell let it be known he doesn’t have the votes to block witnessess. It’s useful to hear what Lawrence O’Donnell has to say about this.

If you say last night’s show, you might remember O’Donnell also reminding us that McConnell is up for re-election, and McConnell wants to avoid the wrath of Trump at all cost.

The White House issued a formal threat to Bolton to stop the publication of his book.

The White House has issued a formal threat to former national security adviser John Bolton to keep him from publishing his book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.

In a letter to Bolton’s lawyer, a top official at the National Security Council wrote the unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s book “appears to contain significant amounts of classified information” and couldn’t be published as written.

The letter, which is dated January 23, said some of the information was classified at the “top secret” level, meaning it “reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to the national security.”

“The manuscript may not be published or otherwise disclosed without the deletion of this classified information,” the letter read.

Can the White House stop publication of the book? The story as I understand it: Bolton gave a copy of the manuscript to the National Security Council on December 30. He asked the NSC to review the manuscript for security issues, and gave them 30 days to do so. Bolton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, has announced a March 17 publication date, which means printing has to begin some time in February.

Bolton is a warmongering jerk, but he’s not stupid. I’m sure he has a pretty fair idea of what’s classified and what’s not, and he wouldn’t have written a book that wasn’t publishable. This is a bare-assed attempt at censorship.

What will Simon & Schuster do? S&S is owned by Viacom (now ViacomCBS), a really, really big multinational corporation. This means they have a big, robust legal department, and I doubt they are going to accept censorship meekly, especially when big money is at stake. The book is already the #1 best seller in Amazon’s political science category.

In other news, Today the White House announced a new Middle East Peace Plan brokered by Wonder Boy Jared Kushner. Trump called it “the deal of the century.” Even so, the plan was instantly met with derision, and the United Nations wasted no time in rejecting it. Juan Cole called it a “crime against humanity.”

See also Fred Kaplan, Trump’s Plan for the Middle East Has Nothing to Do With Peace.

First, the fact that the Palestinians played no role in negotiating or vetting the document means, by itself, that this is an imposition—something like the surrender terms handed down by a victorious army—rather than an accord reached by two parties.

Second, it declares the existence of a Palestinian state with a capital on the outskirts of east Jerusalem and the prospect of a U.S. Embassy—but it also prohibits this state from forming an army, meaning it is not really a sovereign state after all.

Third, it freezes the expansion of Israeli settlements for the next four years—but it sanctifies all the settlements erected to date, allows more houses to be built on land already held, and annexes most occupied land, including all the holy sites in all of Jerusalem, to become officially part of Israel. …

…Finally, it hands this Palestinian not-quite-state $28 billion for economic development—but only if it takes the deal. Yet without real control over the state and a formal surrender of territory, without reciprocation, no Palestinian leader could take this deal and stay in power.

Original photo by Evan Guest,

15 thoughts on “Impeachment, Bolton, the New So-Called Peace Plan

  1. First, I would bet everything I have, had, and may yet attain, that presiDUNCE Mangerine Van Stupid MFer has given away more state secrets in one day than this warmongering neoCLOWN, Bolton, has in his entire miserable and evil lifetime! Bolton may be evil, but stupid he ain't!

    So, yeah, this is the latest step in America morphing into an Authoritarian Fascist Kleptocratic Dictatorship:  Censorship of important mediums.

    As for the supposed "Peace Treaty," give me a break!

    This isn't a peace treaty, it's a roadmap for the Palestinians to become a "voluntary" subject state of Israel.

    This is not "The Deal of the Century."

    It's more like "The Steal of the Century!"

  2. What will Simon & Schuster do? S&S is owned by Viacom (now ViacomCBS), a really, really big multinational corporation. This means they have a big, robust legal department

    It also means they’re a big target, and Trump will find something big to hold over them, in much the way he tried to hike postal rates to punish Jeff Bezos’ Amazon. Big multinational companies are typically run by bean-counters, who are so far removed from the core ideals of what the company is about – disseminating information in the case of S+S – but who shiver at the prospect of losing shareholder value.

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  4. Welcome to the one party state fascist dictatorship. Its here.

    Dershowitz proving he is a royalist.

    Oir country is now run by trump giuliani dershowitz barr and pompeo. Read where the general called out pompeo and esper for forgeting their west point standards.

    A pack of old white men. I guess the rest of us just thought we existed.

  5. If McConnell really wants to avoid the wrath of Trump he should stage a coup and put the threat of any retaliation from Trump as far as the east is from the west. Show Trump the door! The Trumpkins have nowhere to go in protest except back into the arms of the GOP. Who else is going to support their pro life and anti immigration agenda? Certainly not the liberal left.

    It wouldn't be difficult to arrange such a coup. McConnell might actually be in the process of doing that right. He could do it in such a way that Trump wouldn't even know he's been had. And McConnell could emerge as a champion who fought the good fight but couldn't overcome Trump's incessant self destructive comments and behaviors. McConnell has got to leave the American public with a sense that justice has prevailed. Otherwise he's going to own it. And he'll be making a big mistake in thinking he can manage Trump. Now is the perfect time to eliminate the danger that Trump poses to all in the GOP if they don't band together and secure their own power.


  6. It's worth keeping in mind that no American president has ever been removed by a vote of the Senate. Johnson came within 1 vote of the 2/3 majority needed on all three charges. Nixon was told he would not carry the Senate, after which he resigned. Clinton's impeachment was nakedly political and didn't get close to the majority needed on either of two charges.

    The crystal ball readings from the media have become annoying. History and the nature of the Republican party both indicate Trump won't be removed, but it's not a done deal. Moscow Mitch's "genius" play isn't either. We don't know about witnesses yet. We don't know what will come out during or after the trial along with the damning revelations in Bolton's book. Claire McCaskill was the first I heard to point out the idea of "witness reciprocity" widely yammered about was nonsense.

    A few of the story lines are just obnoxious. There is no irony in Democrats wanting Bolton as a witness. He is not the great liberal hope, and they are not fawning over him. Even worse are the occasional mentions of the Iowa caucuses, in which we are told the Democrats will surely doom themselves if they nominate Sanders. This is the wisdom of the same highly paid soothsayers who laughingly assured us Trump could never be president.


  7. It is odd that if senators are afraid of heads on pikes, they wouldn't throw the wanna be gangster crowd out. Pence is pence but what is a few months till november and some other republican?


    So it makes you wonder why they are really polishing the crown for trump the impaler.

    What the child rapist dershowitz did yesterday will go down in history.

    Why arent 5 million in washington sayimg "the whole world is watchimg"? We have s populace trained to tweet their objections as if virtual ridicule really matteted. This isnt virtual. And it is not theatre.

    • So it makes you wonder why they are really polishing the crown for trump the impaler.

      Yeah, Aj…That's where I'm at a loss to understand. Seems to me that to even become a Senator you'd have to be attuned and highly responsive to the desire of the voting public. When public sentiment is in the 75% range in calling for a fair trial with witnesses and well over 50% calling for Trump's removal from office that those Senators would at least put on the best show of impartiality and in seeking the truth that they could muster. It's the truth that is on trial.

      It could be that I'm laboring under a misapprehension in believing the truth counts for something, something enduring that is more precious that the fleeting high of temporal power or the bonds of camaraderie of political association. For the life of me I just don't get it…..and I'm left in a constant state of wondering what and why it is that they do what they do.

      • Given that some of these senators and congressman have been implicated in Trump's schemes, the latest being Graham, and others have taken money, some likely illicit, they may be afraid that if Trump goes down, others are going with him.  Imagine what a real AG could do with the last four years; they'd have to work overtime just going after Trump era lawlessness.  Protecting Trump is protecting themselves.

  8. Look at this from any Republican senator's viewpoint. The GOP has the Executive Branch and the Senate. They want to retain power. Forget 'truth' and 'justice'.' It's about power (and money for the donor class that will take a hit if the GOP loses power.) 

    If Trump is politically damaged by the impeachment, it will cost the GOP the Executive Branch. But it's worse. If Trump loses the cultists aren't going to go, 'Oh, well.'  There are no reality-show racists waiting in the wings, especially who will satisfy the GOP donor class who want somebody more stable than Trump. 

    IMO, the GOP is staring at circumstances that they know could lead to their fall from power and possibly their extinction. If Trump is defeated and the GOP takes Senate losses, the GOP party leaders will want to move away from Trumpism at the same time at least half the GOP voters want to double down on Trumpism. 

    I'm as capable of self-delusion as the next guy but the pendulum is swinging away from what the GOP has become and the Senators are trying to hold it back.

  9. Trump's lawyer says anything from abroad is okay 'if it is credible'.

    So does that mean Christopher Steele's dossier is okay because hey it's credible.

    Does all this mean that Monica and Bill should both be apologized to, because hey when a president does it it is okay. Clinton's impeachment should be overturned.

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