As you no doubt have heard by now, President Donald Trump has been impeached by Congress. This is only the third time in the history of the country where a sitting President has been impeached. The first was way back in 1868 when President Andrew Johnson was impeached after the Civil War as the nation struggled with reunification. The second time was President Bill Clinton, who was impeached for lying to Congress about a sexual relationship he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Both Presidents were acquitted as neither received the two-thirds Senate vote to remove them from office. President Nixon resigned before the impeachment moved forward and was fully pardoned by President Ford.
And now President Trump has joined the Impeached Club for:
The vote in Congress went as much as you would expect, along party lines. The abuse of power article passed 230-197, the Obstruction of Congress article passed 229-198. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) voted “Present” in each case, which is neither a “yes” or “no.”
So … now what happens?
Not much for the time being. President Trump is still the sitting President. Speaker Pelosi will, eventually send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate who will then hear a trial (or maybe they won’t) and vote to remove the President from office.
But, Pelosi hasn’t quite sent the articles to the Senate floor yet. She’s holding out, some believe, in order to get Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to agree to hold a Senate trial as opposed to simply vote against the articles of impeachment without further investigation or trial, which Republicans have already threatened to do.
The problem is that key witnesses refused subpoenas to testify before Congress. This … is a bit awkward. By comparison, when the Republican Congress sent out subpoenas to former Clinton advisor Susan McDougal to testify at the Whitewater hearing, she refused. And so Republicans threw her in jail for a year and a half. Today, several White House aides, lawyers, and even the acting chief of staff have ignored their subpoenas to testify before Congress in the Trump impeachment hearing. None of them went to jail. But maybe they should have. In fact, President Trump ordered some of them to ignore the subpoena, which is why Congress also added the Obstruction of Congress impeachment article. I mean, if Congress orders you to testify and you just, you know - refuse to show up, that’s pretty much the exact definition of “Obstruction of Congress.” Hard to argue with.
Eventually, the articles of impeachment will get to the Senate and President Trump could be, but will probably not be removed from office. Democrats claim he is corrupt and was trying to get a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 election. Republicans say he’s a man of God and was only trying to fight corruption by speaking with Ukraine about the Biden scandal.
If Trump were indeed a “man of God,” who wants to fight corruption at every turn then … um, well, he probably wouldn't be stealing money from charity and using it to pay for things like, a $12,000 autographed football helmet (which he kept), a $20,000 portrait of himself, paying off his legal debt. Trump actually spent more than $250,000 of money he raised for charity - to settle lawsuits involving his for profit business. That doesn’t even count his 2016 veterans fundraiser where he raised millions for vets and just .. you know, kept most of it to spend on his Presidential campaign. Which is what led to the actual New York State lawsuit against him and the $2 million fine he has been ordered to be distributed amongst eight charities Trump’s foundation swindled money from.
Not only that, the Judge found the foundation to be so corrupt, he ordered the entire Trump Charity Foundation to liquidate, worth about $1.7 million, and also give that money - to the charities Trump swindled money out of. In conclusion, Donald Trump's charity, which raises money for charity, takes the vast majority of that money for personal use and business gain. This is grossly illegal. After the liquidation the Trump Foundation was ordered to pay out (and it quietly did so) approx $400,000 to each of the following charities, listed alphabetically:
The Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals on Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of the National Capital Area, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
News of trucks bringing weapons-grade plutonium into Southern Nevada earlier this year drew a glitz of gasps from Las Vegas residents and legislators who knew nothing of the shipments.
The radioactive material came from South Carolina and was authorized by the Department of Energy to be stored at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) 65 miles (per its site) northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Legal attempts to remove the plutonium and stop future shipments have met with resistance as the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 allows the US government to control the development, regulation, and disposal of nuclear materials and facilities in the United States (Wikipedia).
Plutonium is a man-made radioactive element created by the destruction of uranium, a naturally occurring radioactive element. Both have been used as fuel sources and to make nuclear weapons.
Plutonium is known as an “unstable” element, in that it will decay until it eventually reduces to a stable element. During this decay, radiation is emitted. The radiation particles (specifically alpha and beta) will usually not penetrate the skin, however if ingested, absorbed or inhaled, could enter the human body and deposit in organs, affecting nearby tissues. Since its half-life, or rate of decay, can take years, organs in the body, such as lungs, liver, and bones can be exposed chronically to the radiation. This may result in radiation illness, cancer or death.
Signs of radiation illness include:
Currently there have been no reports of illness due to its storage in Nevada and the US government has assured the state that the storage facility is safe. However, potential seismic activity or an act of terrorism could lead to a potential leak and/or contamination, and with the infamous desert winds, radioactive material could be blown to nearby towns and inhaled or ingested by residents.
Per the NNSS site:
And some reports say the plutonium may be shipped out of state to nearby facilities and not remain in Nevada.
I won’t hold my breath ...oh wait…maybe I should…..
When I was seven, I got a cowboy hat and dual-holster gun belt, plus twin cap pistols for Christmas. That’s what little boys were into in the mid-1950s. My uncle challenged me to quick draw contests and won every one. There may be a life lesson there, but I’m not sure what it is.
Three years later, my brother and I got matching red bicycles with 26-inch wheels. That opened up many new experiences to us – whole new worlds, in fact. Bikes are a blessing to children and adults.
Two years on, in seventh grade I welcomed the modern era, high tech and access to music with a top-end transistor radio the size of a pack of regular cigarettes. In 1961, the cigarette reference was cool to boy of twelve. So, it didn’t matter that I got nothing else that Christmas because that item was all we could afford.
As these anecdotes illustrate, to children Christmas is much about receiving gifts. That’s not a bad thing, for it brings them joy and the gifts sometimes open up great new experiences for them. As well as showing them the love their parents and others feel for them.
In the next few years, I remember the three TV stations – yes, there were only three then, even in markets like St. Louis – broadcasting keep Christ in Christmas ads and even a program on the subject. Imagine that! Today, thanks to snowflakes and progressives, those stations may wish you happy holidays, but dare not utter the word “Christmas” in any approving way.
In the mid-70s, I recall driving my MGB on Christmas Eves from Urbana to Belleville, each time assessing the year passed and what progress I was making professionally and personally. Some of those years, I took my sister’s horse out for a bracing Christmas morning ride in an inch or two of snow along country roads and across fields.
Also, I sent Christmas poinsettias to my girlfriend in Atlanta. She said Christmas didn’t really begin until they arrived. When I flew to visit her, the tradition of traveling at Christmas took root.
In the 1976 movie Nashville, the presidential candidate asked college students offbeat questions like: “Does the smell of oranges remind you of Christmas morning?” It does for me, because our mother always prepared each of us a stocking with nuts, chocolates, other treats and a large apple and orange. And she fixed eggnog. Today, my sainted wife Kathy continues this tradition in our family.
In the 1980s, when I became a yuppie in San Francisco’s Marina District, Christmas was often about ski trips. The slopes were delightfully uncrowded on Christmas day and we were blessed often with blue skies, bright sun and great snow.
In the 1990s, I secured a center box each year for the San Francisco Ballet’s annual performance of The Nutcracker. I prepared a feast for eight at my apartment and then we left for the ballet. Until I left the Bay Area in 2001, that event was the official beginning of Christmas.
By then, Christmas was about a season, experiences with friends and family, and giving – not receiving. People become difficult to buy for as they get older. Moreover, the satisfaction of giving and seeing the happiness in the faces of others beats receiving.
After Kathy and I married and moved to Carson City, for a while we had a tradition of Christmas Eve here and Christmas morning flights – Kathy, our Awesome daughter Karyn, Kathy’s mom (the best mom-in-law ever) and I – to Belleville for time with my family. Both sides of my family always made me the luckiest boy in town.
Because we could no longer attend the SF Ballet, our new start of Christmas became the annual dinner at our home and showing of It’s A Wonderful Life. That film is quite spiritual, of course. It’s about salvation and also reminds us that one of the beauties of Christianity is that it’s a religion of forgiveness, not harsh justice. And about choice, not domination.