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Donald Trump Impeached for Second Time

Donald Trump has been impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives. The vote was 232 to 197. 10 Republicans voted with the unanimous Democrats.

There will be a Senate trial after Joe Biden takes office. No timeline is set.

So long as he exits the White House and takes his children and son-in-law and top current and former aides with him, I don't care what label America ultimately tags him with.

Questions: Will he spend the next week issuing pardons to himself and his family and Rudy Giuliani? Will the Trump Organization face a slump in revenues? Will every hotel he's licensed his name to change its name and stop paying licensing fees? Will Deutsche Bank call his loans early or refuse to extend them?

Where will Ivanka and Jared go now that it's pretty obvious she won't be taking Marco Rubio's seat from him anytime soon? Will they be sorry they plopped $31 million down on a plot of land on a tiny island in Miami? Will Melania and her parents and Barron go back to New York? Will Donald move to Dubai? [More...]

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House Votes on Impeachment of "World's Most Dangerous Man"

"Donald Trump is a virus. It's time to remove him from his host." Unknown female Rep.

"Donald Trump is the most dangerous man ever to occupy the Oval Office". Rep. Joaquin Castro

Unhinged: Rep. Matt Gaetz

Donald Trump will be impeached by the House today. What will the Senate do? More importantly, what will Mike Pence do if Trump resigns in the next week? I believe he will pardon Donald Trump. Will they make a deal that Trump (who will likely be banned from holding public office in the future by the new Democratic-led Senate)will support a Pence-Ivanka ticket?

I do not care whether Trump finishes his term. I care that Mike Pence not take the helm in the next week because he will eradicate all of the bad karma the Trump family now has hanging over their heads. Pence is the only one who can dissipate it. I hope Congress does not let him.

Colorado's Rep. Diana DeGette is a national treasure. You can tell she used to be a criminal defense lawyer. Gun-toting bar owner/Trump hanger-on Lauren Boebert can't even read her lines without stumbling over them. I don't think her voice wasn't shaking with anger but stage fright. She will never be taken seriously by Democrats.

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Impeachment the Second Time Around

Does practice make perfect? Here is the Impeachment Resoulution now circulating in the House of Representatives.

The charge (Article I): Incitement of Insurrection. The alleged misconduct: Willfully inciting violence against the Government of the United States.

"Willfully" is the required state of mind. (Every crime except strict liability crimes like not wearing a seat belt have two components -- an Actus Reus (act) and a required Mens Rea (Mental State).

"Willfully" is a higher standard than "knowingly". It requires proof the person acted voluntarily and purposely, with the specific intent to do something the law forbids (here, to incite violence). It also includes voluntarily and intentionally assisting or advising another to do something the person knows disobeys or disregards the law.

It is not a defense to acting "willfully" that a person may have believed that his conduct was politically or morally required, or that he believed ultimate good would result from his acts.

So, did Trump intentionally violate a known legal duty? In my view: he intentionally violated dozens if not hundreds of them over the past four years. [More...]

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PGA Pulls Championship From Trump Golf Course

The consequences to Donald Trump and the Trump Organization from last week's Capitol riot keep pouring in. Sunday night, the PGA announced it is terminating its contract with the Trump Organization to host its 2002 championship at Trump's golf course in Bedminister, New Jersey.

"The PGA of America Board of Directors voted tonight to exercise the right to terminate the agreement to play the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster," said Jim Richerson, PGA of America president, in a statement.

Holding the tournament at Trump Bedminster, Richerson said, would be "detrimental" to the PGA of America's brand and put the organization's ability to function "at risk."

The predictable response by the Trump Organization: "This is a breach of a binding contract and they have no right to terminate the agreement. "

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Saturday Open Thread: Fight or Flight?

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows" for Donald Trump. (Bob Dylan, Suberteranean Homesick Blues)

If Trump resigns, won't Pence just pardon him the way Ford pardoned Nixon? I'd rather see him stay and try to pardon himself, which will end up costing him millions in legal fees over the next few years as the courts debate whether he has the power to do that.

I think a charge of seditious conspiracy is the way to go. Maybe he will be hit with a federal complaint on January 21 after which they will take it to the grand jury so there is no question they did not indict a sitting President.

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Britain Refuses to Extradite Julian Assange

Finally, some good news for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Britain has issued its ruling denying the request by the U.S. to extradite him.

“I find that Mr. Assange’s risk of committing suicide, if an extradition order were to be made, to be substantial,” Baraitser said in her ruling at London’s Old Bailey court.

“The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man, who is genuinely fearful about his future.”

The United States intends to appeal. Assange has been in custody, both at the Ecuadorian embassy and in jail for a decade. Enough. Free him.

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Nancy Pelosi Re-elected Speaker of the House

Nancy Pelosi has been re-elected Speaker of the House.

Her victory means that after two years as President Trump’s most outspoken antagonist, Ms. Pelosi will now be responsible for trying to shepherd through Congress as much of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s agenda as possible.

The Dems have a pretty slim majority in the House.

On the Senate side, congrats to former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who was sworn in today by Mike Pence . [More...]

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Trump Tries to "Fix" Vote Results in Georgia

The Washington Post has the astonishing transcript of Donald Trump's call to Brad Raffensperger, the Republican in charge of the elections in Georgia., telling him the state's vote was rigged and insisting he won Georgia. He presses Raffensperger to meet with his staff and take their numbers into account. From the Post's description of the call (but you should really read the transcript for the full flavor):

The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”

Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.

Trump did manage to fit in one statement I agree with. In fact, he repeated it twice. He called himself a "schmuck".

So it appears Donald Trump, Carnival Barker-in-Chief - is now attempting to be the Fixer in Chief. He has no limits when it comes to pulling the wool over America's eyes.

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Happy New Year At Last (and open thread)

Happy New Year, everyone!

May the vaccines work, and may 2021 see the end of the rampage of COVID-19. Let us not let the lives of those we lost be in vain. Please heed science and not the word of elected politicians.

Take a moment to be proud that we, the voters, cast off the most undeserving, unprincipled, soul-less man to ever be given a desk in the oval office. Let him stew in Palm Beach, which will become like a prison to him, even if he's never arrested or charged with a crime.

Indeed, the pump don't work when the vandals steal the handles, but America just grabbed them back.

Here's to a Healthy, Safer, Trump-free world in 2021.

With much gratitude to our readers,

TalkLeft

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Wednesday Open Thread

The last few days of the year are always busy ones, trying to fit everyone in for one last zoom/talk, get one more motion filed, and all the home stuff.

Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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McConnell Blocks Vote on $2k Stimulus Payments

Mitch McConnell does it again. He's blocked the vote on the increased stimulus payments sought by most of Congress and Donald Trump.

McConnell brought the chamber back this week with one major goal: overriding Trump’s veto of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. He has not yet committed to bringing the $2,000 payment bill up for a vote, and it is unclear now how one would take shape.

Trump is also trying to get the Senate to pass something that will investigate (non-existent) election fraud in the presidential election.

Will Bernie Sanders follow through with a filibuster to block the overide vote on Trump's veto of the Defense Authorization bill? [More...]

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Ghislaine Maxwell Denied Bail Again

Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers tried hard to have her released on bail this month. The Government fought them tooth and nail. Guess who won? The Government. The full order is not yet released because the parties have to go through it and redact it to protect the privacy interests of those mention. But the short version is here.

The ruling is based strictly on flight risk, as the Government didn't argue she was a danger to the community. [More...]

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Trump Signs COVID-19 Relief Bill, House to Vote on $2k payments

It's time for Congress to "Give Us Something to Believe In". $600.00 is not enough. $2,000.00 will help so many people.

Now that Trump signed the COVID-Relief bill, the House will vote on whether to give each of us $2,000.00 instead of $600.00 per month. Sen. Schumer today said the bill has enough support to pass the House, but the Senate, which balked before, is uncertain.

The House is in recess right now but is expected to resume later today (5-6 pm ET) to take up the increased stimulus payment and then the overide of the veto of the Defense Authorization Act. The 4,518 page Conference Report on the bill is available here. You can watch live and see the results here.<

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Merry Christmas and Open Thread

Merry Christmas, Everyone.

It really doesn't feel like Christmas to me, but for those of you who have found something to celebrate today (including your religion), enjoy! - and please tell us about any great meals or adventures you had. For those of you staying home (like me) and watching a lot of TV, I hope you'll share any great series or movies you've seen.

It's been interesting following the varied approaches states are taking to who gets the vaccine second. Everyone is doing first responders and nursing homes first, but after that, there seems to be a split. Some states are going with the elderly being second because that will save the most lives (since their lives are most at risk). Other states are going with workers who deal with the public in non-medical fields next, saying they are most likely to catch the virus. Where do you weigh in?

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Trump's Pardonmania

There is no way to describe Donald Trump's pardon choices this week as anything but repulsive.

Instead of extending a second chance to those who turned their lives around, were remorseful and deserving of mercy, he made a mockery of the entire concept.

Donald Trump is thumbing his nose at America for giving him his pink slip. He will forever be known as the most corrupt man to every sit at a desk in the oval office.

The good news is Donald Trump has been un-Presidented. And he knows it. I heard him say on the news today that something will be the job of the next Administration. Finally, he admits he's toast. That makes me happy enough to shrug off the disgraceful things he will do in his last month. [More...]

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