Tuesday Reads: Impeachment Is Our Only HopePosted: April 16, 2019
I’m feeling despairing today. I’m already so sick of the 2020 election that I just want to throw out my TV and hide in my apartment reading escapist novels for the rest of 2019. Bernie Sanders is determined to destroy all of the actual Democrats who are running in order to reelect Trump, and much of the mainstream media is rooting for him to succeed.
I’m convinced that our only hope to save this country from autocracy is impeachment, because the media has learned nothing from their horrendous mistakes in 2016. They will continue to hammer Democrats and support Bernie Sanders’ effort to divide the party because they would rather gain click from publishing gossip than use their considerable power to help save our democracy.
I can’t understand why The New York Times especially is supporting Bernie’s efforts to destroy the Democratic Party. Do they really believe Trump won’t find a way to control the press if he wins a second term? This morning the Times published a stunningly unethical hit piece on Bernie’s latest target, Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden. I’m including the headline because it demonstrates the Times’ deliberate venom against Democrats and, of course, Hillary Clinton. The authors are Elizabeth Williamson and Ken Vogel.
The bad blood started early.
In 2008, Neera Tanden, then a top aide on Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign, accompanied Mrs. Clinton to what was expected to be an easy interview at the Center for American Progress, the influential group founded by top Clinton aides. But Faiz Shakir, the chief editor of the think tank’s ThinkProgress website, asked Mrs. Clinton a question about the Iraq war, an issue dogging her candidacy because she had supported it.
Ms. Tanden responded by circling back to Mr. Shakir after the interview and, according to a person in the room, punching him in the chest.
“I didn’t slug him, I pushed him,” a still angry Ms. Tanden corrected in a recent interview.
Ms. Tanden now leads the Center for American Progress, Mr. Shakir runs Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign and the enmity between the two camps burst into the open last weekend. Mr. Sanders, angry about a video produced by ThinkProgress that ridicules his new status as one of the millionaires he has vilified on the campaign trail, sent a scorching letter to the center’s board, accusing Ms. Tanden of “maligning my staff and supporters and belittling progressive ideas.”
The blowup is another reflection of the ideological divisions among Democrats, this time between a legacy Clinton organization and a liberal wing trying to move the party to the left to harness the energy of millennials. Mr. Sanders’s team remains convinced that the Democratic establishment worked behind the scenes to deprive him of the party’s nomination in 2016; his campaign has cast the group as beholden to corporate interests set on thwarting him in 2020.
I wish NYT would explain how the “Democratic establishment” could have “rigged” the primary for Bernie. Primary voters choose the nominee, and even without the superdelegates that Bernie railed against in 2016, Hillary would have beaten him handily. Bernie had little chance to win after Super Tuesday in 2016. He made no effort to win black votes, and no Democrat can win without them, especially in the South. Bernie also publicly disparaged the South in 2016.
But back to the disgraceful NYT story. The authors, Elizabeth Williamson and Ken Vogel took advantage of Tanden’s mother to attack her as an “aggressive” woman (horrors!)
Ms. Tanden’s mother, Maya Tanden, says that her daughter “can be very aggressive.”
“She’s not going to let anyone rule over her,” she said, “and she has loyalty to Hillary because Hillary is the one who made her.”
“Those Bernie brothers are attacking her all the time, but she lets them have it, too,” Maya Tanden said. “She says Sanders got a pass” in 2016, “but he’s not getting a pass this time.” [….]
Ms. Tanden, whose salary was $397,000 in 2018, was an unpaid adviser to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign while running the think tank, and was considered a candidate for a top White House job had Mrs. Clinton won the presidency. Ms. Tanden says she has founded six new policy-intensive groups as the center’s president and increased its annual budget by 25 percent.
“That’s what she does — she shows up at rich people’s places because she needs funds from them,” Ms. Tanden’s mother said. “That place runs on Neera Tanden.”
Neera’s mom is rightfully proud of her. She’s not involved in politics, and she believed the reporter was writing a nice story about her daughter. She had no idea she was being used to promote Bernie Sanders in his childish feud against CAP and Think Progress. When she realized what was happening, she called back and the reporter who had called her, Elizabeth Williamson, explain that the quotes had been “on the record.” Tanden’s mother Maya didn’t know what that meant.
That’s a joke of course. The NYT fired their ombudsman and eliminated the job.
Williamson send out a nasty tweet about her story, but then deleted it after the overwhelmingly negative response on Twitter.
We’ve learned quite a bit about Cover-Up General Bill Barr’s history in the past couple of weeks, but I didn’t know he had connections to Russia.
…some experts argue that Barr’s previous work in the private sector could conflict with his continuing supervision of the investigation into Russian tampering in the 2016 election campaign.
Why? A few of Barr’s previous employers are connected to key subjects in the probe. And some argue that, even if Barr didn’t break any rules, his financial ties to companies linked to aspects of the Russia investigation raise questions about whether he should—like his predecessor, Jeff Sessions—recuse himself.
“The legal standard is really clear about these issues. It’s not about actual conflict, it’s about the appearance of a conflict, about the appearance of bias,” Jed Shugerman, a professor at Fordham University’s School of Law and an expert on judicial and government ethics, tells Newsweek . “The problem is that we have so many flagrant conflicts that are so obvious, we get distracted from what the legal standard is.”
This much is known: On Barr’s public financial disclosure report, he admits to working for a law firm that represented Russia’s Alfa Bank and for a company whose co-founders allegedly have long-standing business ties to Russia. What’s more, he received dividends from Vector Group, a holding company with deep financial ties to Russia.
“All of this raises the need for further inquiry from an independent review, not a Department of Justice investigation,” Michael Frisch, ethics counsel for Georgetown University’s law school and an expert in professional ethics, tells Newsweek . Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project for Government Oversight, says that Barr is probably playing within the rules. But that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t recuse himself.
“He’s not doing anything illegal. [But] is it good practice, given that he might have been involved with these entities in private practice? Probably not,” Amey added.
Read many more details at Newsweek.
If we can’t count on the media to to it’s “fourth estate” job, who can we turn to? Right now, our only hope is the House Democrats.
Brad Miller at The Daily Beast: Here’s How the House Can Finally Nail Trump.
President Trump may complain on Twitter or Fox News that congressional investigations are a “partisan witch hunt,” “presidential harassment,” and a “disgrace,” but few judges will want to hear it.
Of course House Democrats have the legal power to obtain President Trump’s tax returns. And the full, un-redacted Mueller report. And records of Trump’s financial relations with Deutsche Bank and other lenders. And much more.
House Democrats need not ask meekly for information about Trump’s finances and the Mueller report and accept whatever Trump voluntarily provides. The power of the House and of the Senate to compel the disclosure of documents and testimony to inform the exercise of their constitutional powers is very, very well-established. “The power of the Congress to conduct investigations is inherent in the legislative process. That power is broad,” the Supreme Court said in Barenblatt v. United States. “It encompasses inquiries concerning the administration of existing laws as well as proposed or possibly needed statutes.”
“The power of inquiry has been employed by Congress throughout our history, over the whole range of the national interests concerning which Congress might legislate or decide upon due investigation not to legislate; it has similarly been utilized in determining what to appropriate from the national purse, or whether to appropriate,” the Supreme Court said in Watkins v. United States. “The scope of the power of inquiry, in short, is as penetrating and far-reaching as the potential power to enact and appropriate under the Constitution.”
Citizens are required to comply with congressional subpoenas “to testify fully with respect to matters within the province of proper investigation” just as they are required to comply with judicial subpoenas.
Read the rest at the link.
I’ll end this post with some powerful remarks from the woman who really should be our president.
What stories are you following today?