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PBC News & Comment: Whistleblower/Ukraine Flap Stains Biden and Trump

Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion from Ukraine, prosecutor fired; Trump withheld $250 million, demanded investigation; both lose this round….–Dems talk more openly about impeachment, using this dubious episode while downplaying proven criminal behavior

–Politico’s legal writer thinks Trump did a bad, bad thing, but says don’t call it bribery or extortion

–with max bravado, Biden says Trump is smearing him because he’s afraid that Biden “will beat him like a drum”

–at ConsortiumNews, Ray McGovern opines that this could be the end for Biden

–most media outlets defend Biden without much explanation, or call critics of his intervention in Ukraine “conspiracy theorists”

–the yellow-ist example of this sort of yellow journalism is The Intercept’s defense of Biden, perhaps ghosted by Pierre Omidyar

–listicle-rich Buzzfeed tries to keep up

–Scott Ritter calls it an abuse of the whistleblower law, and more interference in politics by the Intel community

–Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector, is our guest for in-depth interview podcast, where he connects some dots to ask if Smolenkov was a double agent

–UN General Assembly meets in NY, led off by scolding from Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg

–Trump deserves a little credit for not attacking Iran yet, but he ordered US troops and more Patriot batteries to Saudi

–Iran’s Rouhani demands that western nations leave the Gulf region

–John Kiriakou has cogent comments on Saudi Arabia, where he was first posted as a CIA agent

–more violent protests in Hong Kong over the weekend, as Egypt moves to snuff out small demonstration demanding dictator’s resignation

–India’s prime minister Modi held a rally in Houston, and co-hosted with Trump