Thursday ReadsPosted: December 5, 2019
This morning, Nancy Pelosi announced that she is authorizing the drafting of articles of impeachment against Trump.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that President Trump’s wrongdoing strikes at the heart of the Constitution and asked House committee chairs to proceed with articles of impeachment, saying lawmakers have “no choice but to act.”
Her address, in which she invoked principles espoused by the nation’s founders, came shortly after Trump went on Twitter to urge House Democrats to impeach him quickly, if they plan to do it, and suggested he would call an expansive list of witnesses during a trial in the Republican-led Senate.
At the heart of the Democrats’ case is the allegation that President Trump tried to leverage a White House meeting and military aid, sought by Ukraine in the face of Russian military aggression, to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation of former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, as well as a probe of an unfounded theory that Kyiv conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Of course Trump has weighed in.
Somehow I missed this, but Trump has started calling Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” again, and North Korea is not amused. The New York Daily News:
Looks like the North Korean honeymoon is over.
President Trump reprised his “Rocket Man” insult for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un on Tuesday as tensions spiraled between the two leaders who once boasted of their durable friendship.
North Korea has set a year-end deadline for Trump to return to the nuclear negotiating table, and has underlined its insistence on new talks by escalating its nuclear tests.
The U.S. appears to be doing its best to ignore Kim’s threats.
“He definitely likes sending up rockets, doesn’t he,” Trump said on the sidelines of the NATO summit, referring to KIm. “That’s why I call him Rocket Man.”
Now North Korea has responded. Kyodo News: N. Korea lambastes Trump for calling Kim “Rocket Man” again: KCNA.
A close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump for calling him a “Rocket Man” again, saying it represents a “very dangerous challenge.”
“What makes us feel further worse is that the figurative style was dare used at random with no courtesy when referring to the supreme leadership of dignity of the DPRK,” First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hu said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency in English….
“It would be fortunate if the utterances of the use of military force and the title of figurative style made by President Trump were an instantaneous verbal lapse, but matter becomes different if they were a planned provocation that deliberately targeted us,” Choe said.
“If this is meant to make expressions, reminiscent of those days just two years ago when a war of words was fought across the ocean, surface again on purpose, it will be a very dangerous challenge,” she added.
I don’t support Joe Biden, but this is best anti-Trump ad I’ve seen yet.
I haven’t read it yet, but this looks like an important article by Julia Ioffe in GQ: Trump Is Waging War on America’s Diplomats.
Last year, just before Halloween, Lewis Lukens, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in London, visited a pair of English universities where he spoke about the importance of international cooperation, beseeching students not to “swipe left” on the historic “special relationship” between the U.K. and America. The speeches were—according to a copy of the remarks that Lukens provided to GQ—fairly anodyne, reprising all the things Americans and Brits had learned from each other, all the ways we’ve helped each other over the years, disagreements notwithstanding. At the time, things between the two countries had been strained—in part because President Trump had attacked British leaders, including Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan—but Lukens, the second-most-senior American diplomat to the United Kingdom, had a request for the students who had gathered to see him: “Don’t write off the special relationship.”
A week later, Lukens says, his boss, the U.S. ambassador Woody Johnson, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune and a Trump political appointee, told him that he was done, firing Lukens from his post seven months ahead of when he was scheduled to leave for a new assignment. After nearly 30 years as a foreign service officer, his State Department career was over. The reason? Lukens says he had unwittingly committed a fatal error in his speech: He had mentioned former president Barack Obama.
To open the speech, Lukens, who had worked for presidents of both parties, used an anecdote from his time as ambassador to Senegal to illustrate how allies can handle disagreements. He mentioned Obama’s 2013 visit to the country. “There was incredible excitement,” Lukens said in his speech. “He had a guard of honor, crowds shouting his name, street vendors selling WE LOVE OBAMA T-shirts. It was really amazing. And the president had really great talks with the Senegalese president, Macky Sall. They got on really well. But what I remember most of all was the disagreement they had—as friends.” Lukens explained that during the trip, an American journalist had asked Obama whether he had pressed the Senegalese leader on LGBT rights—a provocative topic in a country where same-sex relationships are criminalized as “unnatural” and where the LGBT community faces widespread discrimination. Lukens told the students that Obama handled the thorny question well. And then he moved on to the rest of the speech, not realizing the damage he’d done with a single anecdote. (When asked about the episode and Lukens’s ouster, the State Department declined to comment. The American embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment.)
Read the rest at GQ.
I know many younger people don’t understand why some of us think John F. Kennedy was a good president and could have been a great one if he had not been murdered. Here’s an example of the kind of thoughtful discourse we heard from him as president. What a contrast to the current occupant of the office.
That;s all I have for you this morning, because I’m having some problems with watery eyes that make it difficult for me to read on the computer. This happens to me occasionally. So . . . what stories are you following today?