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babylonsister's Journal
babylonsister's Journal
April 24, 2019

Without Impeachment, We're Lowering Standards for All Future Presidents


Without Impeachment, We’re Lowering Standards for All Future Presidents
By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

Published April 24, 2019


Speaker Pelosi and her friends are worried about that 36 percent approval rating, about winning the public relations battle with the right’s formidable messaging machine. They must be reminded that, at the outset of the Watergate hearings in May 1973, the approval rating for impeaching and removing President Richard Nixon stood at 19 percent. By the time Nixon resigned the presidency in August of 1974, that number had reached 57 percent. The hearings made the difference.


House Democrats must initiate the impeachment process and lay it all out there for the people to see. If certain witnesses like McGahn are mired in a court battle with the White House, call other witnesses. Or else simply read the Mueller report testimony into the congressional record, the way depositions are read into trial records when a witness is unavailable.

When the process reaches the Senate, the impeachment trial will be a spectacle for the ages. There are 22 Senate Republicans facing re-election in 2020, and 20 Republican votes needed to pass an order of impeachment (provided the Senate Democratic caucus holds together).

Every Republican in that chamber will be required to vote in public on the fitness of Trump to serve as president with all the evidence laid out, and more than a third of them will then have to run on that record. They will be way out there in the daylight with the whole world watching, and that will be worth the price of admission all by itself.

In the end and all politics aside, the question of whether impeachment would be ultimately successful is moot. It must be done because the rule of law, indeed the country itself, is on the line. If impeachment proceedings are not undertaken against Donald Trump in the face of such overwhelming criminal evidence, a partisan attorney general and a partisan Republican majority in the Senate will have set the standard of conduct for all presidents to come so low as to be utterly unrecognizable and thoroughly unenforceable.


A lot of people thought a man like Donald Trump could never become president. The fact that he is president means all bets are off and someone even worse could follow. Even someone better must not be allowed to enjoy the new powers that will be baked into the executive branch if there are no legal consequences for what has transpired.

It’s not only about Trump. It’s about every president to come. It’s about us, and whether we have the courage to do what is right regardless of the final outcome.
April 24, 2019

UPS receives 667 packs of playing cards for Walsh after open letter circulates


UPS receives 667 packs of playing cards for Walsh after open letter circulates
by KOMO News Staff Tuesday, April 23rd 2019

TUMWATER, Wash. -- The Tumwater UPS says they received 667 packages of playing cards Tuesday addressed to state Senator Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla), who came under fire when she opposed a bill mandating uninterrupted lunch breaks and rest periods for hospital nurses.

Walsh said last week, "I would submit to you those nurses probably do get breaks...they probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day."

Video at link~

The playing cards arrived after an apparent open letter to Walsh circulated on social media.

The letter included a photo of Walsh with her mailing address saying "send me a deck of cards!"

"I don’t know any nurses who play cards, Senator Walsh. I know nurses who care for babies who were born with their spines on the outside of their bodies and brains that won’t stop bleeding. I know nurses who hold infants that can’t stop crying because they were born addicted to heroin and meth amphetamines," part of the letter said.

On Tuesday, Walsh said she agreed to shadow a nurse for 12 hours after taking heat for the controversial remark on the Senate floor.

The open letter:

This is an open letter to Senator Maureen Walsh -

Dear Senator Walsh,

You said that not all nurses deserve breaks as they just sit around playing cards while on shift anyway.

I don’t know any nurses who play cards, Senator Walsh. I know nurses who care for babies who were born with their spines on the outside of their bodies and brains that won’t stop bleeding. I know nurses who hold infants that can’t stop crying because they were born addicted to heroin and meth amphetamines.

I know nurses who roll those same babies down to the morgue when they finally do stop crying. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?

I know nurses who care for patients that no one else cares about - the homeless, the forgotten and even the psychotic with the same dedication they would show a celebrity...or a Senator.

I know nurses who can go all night without food or a bathroom break. I know nurses with nerve damage and back pain from doing whatever it takes to take care of patients. I know nurses who cry in their cars. Do you think that’s where they play cards, Senator Walsh?

I know nurses who are hard as steel when delivering life saving treatment to dying patients and softer than a whisper when delivering the news that it didn’t work to the family. Do you think they all play cards together after that, Senator Walsh?

I know one nurse who is asleep in the next room right now after her second 12 hour shift of the holiday weekend. She left her shoes outside because she didn’t want to bring all the blood and bile that she walked through last night into our home. I wish she could leave everything else from the hospital outside that easy. She can’t. It stays with her.

Sometimes she doesn’t want to talk about it. Sometimes she can’t wait to talk about it.

Sometimes she laughs until she cries and sometimes she just cries but, regardless of those sometimes, she’ll be on time for her next shift.

She doesn’t play cards either Senator Walsh - but I do. That’s how I made my living once upon a time before I met a nurse who changed my life. You and I have that in common. Nurses are going to change your life too.

You’ll find out how right after the next election cycle. You’ll have plenty of time to play cards and plenty of cards to play with yourself then.


One of the millions of people who love a nurse
April 24, 2019

Official Working to Protect 2020 Election From Russia 'Was Told to Keep it Secret From Trump'


Official Working to Protect 2020 Election From Russia ‘Was Told to Keep it Secret From Trump’
Reuters / Carlos Barria

When former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen set out to strengthen efforts to protect the 2020 election from Russian interference, Donald Trump’s chief of staff reportedly warned her to keep it a secret from the president through fear it would upset him. The New York Times reports that, before Nielsen left the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month, she became increasingly concerned about Russia’s continued attempts to disrupt elections despite being caught red-handed in 2016. When she wanted to push ahead with new measures to help fight back earlier this year, chief of staff Mick Mulvaney warned her that Trump still equated discussion of Russian election interference with questions about the legitimacy of his victory. Mulvaney reportedly told her it “wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level.” Nielsen eventually gave up on her effort to organize a White House meeting of cabinet secretaries to discuss how to protect next year’s presidential elections.
April 24, 2019

Maxine Waters Says America Is Demanding Impeachment: 'We're Going To Have To Do It'

Posted on Tue, Apr 23rd, 2019 by Sean Colarossi
Maxine Waters Says America Is Demanding Impeachment: ‘We’re Going To Have To Do It’

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, the chair of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, said on Tuesday that the American people are demanding Donald Trump be impeached.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the Democratic congresswoman said it will soon become difficult for the leadership of her party to not move forward on impeachment.

Rep. Waters said that the American people are “going to push on the Congress to do the impeachment. ”

The Democratic congresswoman added, “Ninety percent of all the calls that I’m getting, people see me on the street and they are talking about impeachment.”

Rep. Waters said:
I know that as leaders they have the responsibility to try and hold our caucus together and to try and do and lead in the best way that they think will help us to be successful. They are going to try and do everything that they can. If they believe that now is not the time for impeachment, they will keep trying and they’ll go down that road. The American people, in the final analysis, is going to push on the Congress to do the impeachment. My calls are overwhelming, in my office, about impeachment. I have so many calls, 90% of all the calls that I’m getting, people see me on the street and they are talking about impeachment. ‘When are you going to impeach?’ I think, as the level of interest and the level of not putting up with this president any longer comes to the forefront and lays on and leans on and pressures the Congress of the United States, we are going to have to do it. We are going to have to impeach. I just wish it was sooner than later.


April 24, 2019

Protesters mulling Trump hot air balloon for UK state visit

Protesters mulling Trump hot air balloon for UK state visit
By Aris Folley - 04/23/19 08:34 PM EDT

The man who helped orchestrate an effort last year to fly a blimp depicting President Trump as a baby over London during his visit to the United Kingdom said he’s been “toying with the idea of a Trump baby hot air balloon” for the president's first official state visit there.

Leo Murray, the man who helped secure thousands of dollars through crowdfunding efforts to fly an inflatable infant Trump during his visit to the U.K. in July, confirmed to The Guardian in an interview on Tuesday that “the Trump baby will definitely fly again” for the president’s scheduled three-day visit to the country in June.

“We have been toying with the idea of a Trump baby hot air balloon, which would be about five times the size. But would cost a huge amount of money – upwards of £70,000,” Murray added.

However, some campaigners have reportedly expressed concerns over whether London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who approved a request for protesters to fly the blimp over the city during Trump’s visit in 2018, will sign off on a Trump baby hot air balloon, which is estimated to be five times larger than the 20-foot-tall blimp.

One of the campaigners, Asad Rehman, who serves as executive director of War on Want, told the international news agency that he's “also thinking about the option of making a bigger baby blimp,” but added that “logistics are the only consideration.”

“We are very confident there will be more than a quarter of a million protesters. Trump’s visit last year mobilised a large number of people, but a year later the man has done more to rip up human rights, step back from international norms, continued his climate denialism and fuelled white nationalism,” Rehman, who is also a member of the Stop Trump Coalition, continued.


April 24, 2019

Suspect charged for pipe bomb mailings says Trump rallies became like a drug for him


Suspect charged for pipe bomb mailings says Trump rallies became like a drug for him
By Brooke Seipel - 04/23/19 08:48 PM EDT

Cesar Sayoc Jr., who pleaded guilty to charges related to mailing explosive devices to prominent Democrats, said this week that attending President Trump's rallies became like a drug for him before his arrest.

He made the comment in a letter to a federal judge, writing that the rallies "became like a new found drug," and thanking Trump for saving his life after he says he almost committed suicide.

Sayoc, also wrote in the letter that "politics is dirty, ruthless, deadly" and "sucks you in radical on both the right and left."

The letter, which details Sayoc's mental state and alleged use of steroids for over 40 years, has been posted in his case file and his lawyers plan to cite them at his August sentencing hearing.

He is accused of sending pipe bombs in the mail to Democrats who have been critical of Trump, including Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and several other elected Democrats, former administration officials, celebrities and news organizations.

Sayoc, who was arrested in Florida last October, was charged with interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and certain other persons, threatening interstate communication and assaulting federal officers. If convicted, Sayoc would face up to 48 years in prison.

He was previously arrested for theft, fraud, drug possession and making bomb threats in alleged incidents dating back to the 1990s.
April 23, 2019

Ex-CEO charged in New York, becomes 1st drug executive indicted in opioid crisis

Ex-CEO charged in New York, becomes 1st drug executive indicted in opioid crisis
Kemberly Richardson reports on the criminal case against a drug co. CEO stemming from opioids.
Updated 2 hours ago

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- One of the nation's largest distributors of opioids has entered into a non-prosecution consent decree with the US Attorney's office for the Southern District of New York, which accused the company, Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC), of failing to properly report thousands of suspicious orders of oxycodone, fentanyl and other controlled substances.

At the same time, the company's former chief executive, Lawrence Doud, has been placed under arrest by federal drug agents. Doud is the first pharmaceutical executive associated with the nation's opioid crisis to face a criminal charge of diverting drugs for an illegitimate purpose.

The indictment unsealed Tuesday alleges Doud ordered subordinates to ignore red flags about certain pharmacy customers to maximize company revenues and his own pay, which more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 as the company's sales of drugs like oxycodone and fentanyl skyrocketed.


April 23, 2019

Trump Sides with Russia and China Against Women's Rights on Rape as a Weapon of War

Posted on Tue, Apr 23rd, 2019 by Sarah Jones
Trump Sides with Russia and China Against Women’s Rights on Rape as a Weapon of War

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney said to the UN on sexual violence in conflict on Tuesday, “This is your Nuremberg moment. Your chance to stand on the right side of history. You owe it to Nadia and to the thousands of women and girls who must watch ISIS members shave off their beards and go back to their normal lives while they, the victims, never can.”

But meanwhile, the United States is siding with Russia and China to set women’s rights back 25 years, according to an exclusive by The Guardian, which revealed that the Trump administration threatened to veto a UN resolution on rape as a weapon of war.

“The U.S. is threatening to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution aimed at preventing the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war because it talks about giving sexual and reproductive health support to victims of rape in conflict,” the Guardian reported Tuesday.

Rape is a widely recognized weapon of war.


The Trump administration has sided with Russia, a country that decriminalized acts of domestic violence that don’t result in hospitalization, and China, which has a widespread problem with violence against women.

Trump betrayed the values of the United States and endangered the lives of women around the world in an effort to earn some cheap points with his supporters ahead of the 2020 election. Somethings can’t be easily undone and what Donald Trump is doing will be a global stain on the United States of America for years to come.
April 23, 2019

IRS fails to meet congressional deadline to hand over Trump tax returns

Posted on Tue, Apr 23rd, 2019 by Reuters
IRS fails to meet congressional deadline to hand over Trump tax returns
By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday failed to meet a congressional deadline for turning over President Donald Trump’s tax returns to lawmakers, setting the stage for a court battle between Congress and the administration.

The outcome, which was widely expected, could prompt House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal to subpoena Trump’s tax records as the opening salvo to a legal fight that may ultimately have to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Neal set a final 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) deadline for the IRS and Treasury to provide six years of Trump’s individual and business tax records. But a Democratic committee aide said the deadline passed without the panel receiving the documents.

Earlier on Tuesday, the White House said Trump was unlikely to hand over his tax returns. “As I understand it, the president’s pretty clear: Once he’s out of audit, he’ll think about doing it, but he’s not inclined to do so at this time,” White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News in an interview.

“This is not up to the president. We did not ask him,” said a Democratic committee aide, who cited a law saying the Treasury secretary “shall furnish” taxpayer data upon request from an authorized lawmaker.

“In terms of the law, what he says is largely irrelevant,” said the aide, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the White House remarks.


April 23, 2019

The Democrats Aren't Really in Disarray Over What to Do About Mueller


The Democrats Aren’t Really in Disarray Over What to Do About Mueller
Lawmakers are, for the most part, united behind three immediate goals.
Elaine Godfrey
3:49 PM ET

In the five days since Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report dropped, stories about the Democrats’ escalating intra-party conflict have permeated the news media. Mueller’s findings, the narrative goes, have driven a wedge between the members of the party who are clamoring for an impeachment inquiry and the ones who view the matter largely as an unwelcome distraction from their kitchen-table agenda. The pundit class has been a fevered mess of speculation: Have the Democrats finally reached their breaking point?

But Democrats in the House are, for the most part, united in how they want to proceed in the days and weeks to come.

A review of Democratic lawmakers’ statements and interviews with more than a dozen Democratic House aides demonstrate that while there are some stylistic differences in how lawmakers are choosing to respond to the Mueller report’s findings, almost all of them agree on three immediate goals: They want to read the full, unredacted report. They want both Attorney General William Barr and Mueller to testify before Congress. And they want each of the relevant House committees to proceed with their investigations. They may argue in the meantime about what the end goal of those efforts should be, but overall, claims of Democratic dysfunction belie these points of consensus.


Democrats have an incentive to appear on message, which could account for some of the agreement. There are genuine tensions in the party about how aggressively Democrats should go after the president in light of the special counsel’s findings. A small handful of lawmakers in the House called near-immediately for impeachment proceedings to begin, including Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who announced that she would sign on to an existing impeachment resolution from her progressive colleague Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. “I cannot see a reason for us to abdicate from our constitutionally mandated responsibility to investigate,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. On the 2020 campaign trail, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts was the first candidate to call for impeachment proceedings to begin, followed a few days later by Kamala Harris, her colleague from California.

Other Democrats offered a more cautious response, including Representative Ben McAdams of Utah, whose statement was representative of how many moderate Democrats want to proceed in light of the special counsel’s findings. If the full version of the report is released and “supports the conclusion that no additional criminal matters are unresolved, then it is time for the country and the Congress to move on,” McAdams said.

But most Democrats, including staffers I spoke with privately, have acknowledged that, whether they’re ultimately rooting for impeachment or not, the next few months should be dedicated to getting more information. The attorney general is expected to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on May 2, and Nadler announced in Monday’s conference call that he will be calling on Mueller to appear later that month. He has also summoned former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify next month about the alleged instances of obstruction detailed in Mueller’s report. It may take time for the Democrats to feel like their questions have been adequately answered—buying lawmakers additional weeks and months to debate the merits of impeachment.

“Even Warren has said that we need to do all of the legwork, like holding hearings, etc.,” said one communications aide to a progressive House Democrat. “Everyone is kind of in agreement on what the next steps are.”

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