Again, regarding Trump’s impeachment trial, read the transcript!

Michael Goodwin, New York Post

In the midterm elections just a month later, Dems picked up seven governors’ seats previously held by Republicans without losing a single one they had held. Most important, of course, they flipped the House to take control, with many of their new seats in districts Trump won in the 2016 election. In short, Dems were rewarded for their resistance against Trump and their smears of Kavanaugh. That is the lesson they learned, and it’s why they are again carrying out another scorched-earth attack on Trump and the GOP. So while impeachment deserves to die in the Senate and almost certainly will, it is not in the Dems’ political interest to let it die ­quietly. Buckle up for stormy days.

The Chicken Littles got everything wrong on Trump and Iran

Michael Goodwin, New York Post

Pelosi still believes in the fiction otherwise known as the Iranian nuke deal. They bought Barack Obama’s risible claim that the deal — not a treaty — would lure Iran back into the community of nations. Obama even sweetened the pot with billions of dollars, and skirted banking rules to deliver pallets of cash to Tehran. In fact, it was quickly clear that Soleimani used much of that money to fund armed proxy groups throughout the Mideast. As Trump said Wednesday, “Iran went on a terror spree funded by the money from the deal and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq.” That blood money is part of what Pelosi wants to protect with her war powers resolution on Iran.

The giant hole in Dems’ criticism of Trump’s attack on Qassem Soleimani

Michael Goodwin, New York Post

The leading Dems are not arguing that Trump was wrong to drone Qassem Soleimani, nor have they said flatly they would not have approved the mission. Their sound and fury, then, amounts to empty screeching and nothing else. In many ways, Trump’s decision on Soleimani and the timid reaction from the gaggle of Dem candidates highlights the difficulties of unseating a bold, activist president. Nobody ever said Trump’s an idle seat warmer. Whether it’s confronting China and other nations over job-killing trade deals, cutting taxes and regulations or just being vocal on major topics nearly every day, the president doesn’t hide from the nation’s problems. You know where he stands, sometimes to a fault.

Soleimani dead, but 'America First' very much alive

Charles Hurt, Washington Times

We are deeply entangled in Iraq, a place Mr. Trump and many Americans would dearly like to depart. Along comes Iran, which launches an attack on our embassy compound in Baghdad, ordered by this thug Soleimani. What on God’s green Earth is Mr. Trump supposed to do in response to such an attack? Write a check for more than $1 billion and give it to the mullahs? Send a plane under the cover of darkness carrying pallets of $400 million in unmarked cash for the ayatollah? Wipe out effective sanctions so that Soleimani might sow even more terrorism around the world? Well, that is precisely what the previous administration did. But not Mr. Trump. Instead, he killed the thug.

If unemployment stays low and wages rise, Trump will be unstoppable in 2020

Scott Walker, Washington Times

Democrats will have a tough fight in 2020. Oddly enough, the impeachment battle made it more likely that the president will get re-elected next year. Voters in my home state are responding to the impeachment much as they did to the protests and recall election years ago. Liberals are all worked up and take out their emotions in massive protests. Conservatives finally get worked up and rally for the election. And independents want action over partisan bickering. The more that President Trump can show that he is doing good things, the better off he is with independent voters. Continued signs of economic growth, low unemployment and higher wages will keep voters happy in the coming year.

Can Trump Put Humpty-Dumpty (the USA) Back Together Again?

Roger L. Simon, The Epoch Times

Trump's real challenge, and it will be an extraordinarily difficult one, close to a 10 on the Richter Scale, will be to put Humpty-Dumpty—aka the United States of America—back together again. America, right now, despite the aforementioned affluence and peacefulness, is a truly unpleasant place to live. We are not loving our neighbors. In order to really “make America great again,” so we can indeed live with each other, even if Durham indicts half a dozen of his opponents, even if he wins a smashing victory in November, the president must resist two powerful temptations: vengeance and gloating. This will be problematic for Trump, who thrives on confrontation, but he must do it.

Kim Jong-Un’s Dangerous Christmas Present For Trump

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

With 28,500 U.S. troops and thousands of U.S. citizens in South Korea, many within artillery range of the DMZ, is Trump prepared to risk a clash that could ignite a second Korean War in the election year 2020? Much is on the line here. Kim’s challenge is ultimately about the credibility of the United States, which has treaty commitments and issued war guarantees to scores of nations in NATO Europe, the Mideast, and East Asia, but whose people have zero interest in any new war, especially a second Korean war. If the world sees that America is reluctant to face down or fight a North Korea that is threatening us, will they retain the old confidence that the United States will risk war for them?

'It hasn't stopped him': Trump racks up wins, even as impeachment grips Washington

David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner

President Trump enjoyed an extraordinary period of policy successes over the past two weeks, even as Democrats seeking to remove him from office moved articles of impeachment through the House. Trump may have gotten more out of the deal-making, securing a host of key priorities that could boost his 2020 reelection bid. The president obtained regular funding for construction of a wall along the Mexican border; won the elimination of unpopular Obamacare taxes, such as one on medical devices; and signed legislation to provide permanent federal funding for historically black colleges and universities. Trump might yet pay a political price for impeachment, but  so far, the process has not damaged Trump's political standing.

Impeachment Is Already Backfiring On The Democrats

Patrick J. Buchanan, The American Conservative

Schumer’s plea for new witnesses is an admission that the House’s case for impeaching Trump is inadequate and deficient and could prove wholly noncredible to the American people. After all, if you need more witnesses, you probably do not have the smoking gun. The message sent by Pelosi’s call for more time before the trial, and Schumer’s call for more witnesses, is one of fear that not only could the House’s case for impeachment fail, it could be laughed out of the Senate. The Democratic Party has bet the ranch on the impeachment and removal of Trump for imperiling our “national security.” But are Schumer and Pelosi behaving as though the republic is in mortal peril?

Democrats Rush to Impeach Trump, Then Sit on It

Debra J. Saunders, The American Spectator

Pelosi has as much right telling the Senate how to conduct its impeachment trial as McConnell would have telling Pelosi how to run her impeachment. Pelosi’s act as a reluctant impeacher who wore black to recognize the solemnity of the occasion was smart, if not sincere. Ditto her ample use of the famous Ben Franklin quote said in answer to a question about what kind of government would come from the Constitutional Convention of 1787. “A republic, if you can keep it,” Franklin reportedly replied. Elected officials should vote to overturn an election at their peril. But instead House Democrats produced a result that they know could backfire big time — an impeachment, if they can keep it.

Why Does This Impeachment Not Feel Like a Defeat for Trump?

Jim Geraghty, National Review

What happened to all of those charges against Trump (bribery, etc.)? After all of this, there’s nothing referring to Trump’s actions in the Mueller report. Apparently the evidence of obstruction of justice laid out by the special counsel just didn’t warrant impeachment. Finally, apparently President Trump is such an anti-Constitutional menace that the freedom and fairness of future elections cannot be guaranteed unless he is removed . . . and he is also the kind of man that House Democrats can reach a deal with on trade deals and family leave. Both of those agreements are much bigger surprises than the decision on the impeachment articles. Impeachment is turning into a historic blip.

Trump Was Right From the Beginning

George Neumayr, The American Spectator

Horowitz, who is a creature of official Washington, is loath to interpret such rationalizations from fellow bureaucrats in a sinister light. Durham is under no such constraints. Unlike Horowitz, he also has the power to compel testimony. (Horowitz notes that he was unable to interview such figures as Jonathan Winer, the John Kerry protégé at the State Department who helped grease the wheels for Christopher Steele at the FBI.) Of course, the media will continue to pit Horowitz against Durham and Barr. But it is obvious to anybody who bothers to read it that Horowitz’s report lacks rigor and is more perfunctory than authoritative. Spygate’s day of reckoning still approaches.

Support for Impeachment Collapses Among Black, Hispanic Voters

Haris Alic, Breitbart

The televised hearings seemed to have the exact opposite impact Democrats were hoping to achieve when they first launched the inquiry. Although the Emerson poll did not ask why black and Hispanic voters had changed their minds on impeachment, the rates at which they were following the inquiry hearings could pose an answer.

Paging President Trump to the pitcher’s mound

Charles Hurt, Washington Times

The Washington Nationals are just the organization to step up and fill that healing leadership role. The Nats’ front office should invite President Trump to throw out the first pitch at Friday night’s Game 3, the first of the series to be played at Nationals Park in D.C. Mr. Trump on the mound would remind the career politicians in Washington that far more unites Americans than divides us, no matter how much they work to needle and exploit for their own personal gain the differences among us. During more politically decent times, a move like this would be routine and expected. Can you imagine the size of the crowd?

Trump's Labeling of 'Fake News' Was an Understatement

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

Those same mainstream media outlets are now making a big deal out of the Ukraine, even though Trump was obviously trying to figure out who had instigated the Russia probe in the first place. Wouldn't you? And as for Biden, media have known about the humungous corruption of Biden, Hunter, and Burisma since 2015 and barely reported it. It was clearly of no interest to them because the right people, their people, were the ones being corrupt. The newspapers above should all have a stamp on the front pages "CAUTION- -DISINFORMATION." The networks should lose their licenses. They have abused their near-monopoly statuses.

Martina Navratilova’s loyalty to Trump-hating overlords

Tammy Bruce, Washington Times

The requirement to prove one’s fealty to Trump-hating leftist overlords impacts more people than you realize. As a testament to what the left does to the very people they claim to represent, Ms. Navratilova has been reduced to sniping at another gay person who is actually doing work to improve the lives of everyone and working to, literally, save the lives of gay people in countries that remain determined to imprison and even kill them. The strategy of the bullies on the left to destroy an icon like Ms. Navratilova is meant to send a message to every other liberal: Don’t you dare step out of line or you will pay a horrible price.

Trump Makes Real Progress with China while Dems Play Impeachment

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

It's incumbent on us to find the better, more moderate parts of the regime and subtly encourage them (forming economic ties that work is one way) while still making sure that as Americans we see and sympathize with the cause of the democracy demonstrators. Thus far, Trump has done a rather accomplished job of this for a "diplomatic amateur." Meanwhile, the president publicly praises depots like Xi and Kim, much to the consternation of the CNNs of the world. It's a strategy, obviously. It's not clear the extent to which it will work. But if it does even some of the time, it's miles ahead of what his predecessors ever did.

Conservatives Launch Letter in Support of Menashi Appointment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

A group including many of conservatism’s most active constitutionalists has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rebutting the stream of lies and smears leveled at Steve Menashi by Rachel Maddow and the Left and urging that Menashi be promptly confirmed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Amid the political frenzy, eight keys to the coming Trump impeachment fight

Byron York, Washington Examiner

Here are eight keys to the future fight: 1. The 'cover-up' and the super-secret filing system; 2. What was said; 3. A William Barr recusal? 4. The House non-vote on impeachment; 5. Ukraine only? 6. The White House witnesses; 7. The whistleblower; 8. What the Bidens did. Those are by no means all the factors at work in the impeachment fight. But each is important, and each will help shed light on the biggest question of all: Did the president act improperly in the conversation with Zelensky? And if he did, was the impropriety of a type that merits criticism from Democrats, and perhaps some Republicans, or was it of a type that merits impeachment and removal from office?

Is military money really propping up a Trump resort?

Byron York, Washington Examiner

House Democrats are investigating whether the Air Force's stops at Prestwick Airport have "helped keep Trump's Turnberry resort afloat." "Accusations that Trump's properties are unfairly profiting off of his administration have dogged the president since entering office," the article reads. "But the potential involvement of the military takes the issue to a different level." There is certainly more to learn about the military's use of Prestwick and Turnberry. But the bottom line: Did an "odd" refueling stop "line the president's pockets"? Given what is known so far, that's a hard accusation to support.