Thursday, November 30, 2017

Notations From the Grid (Special Month-End Edition): As November 2017 Fades Into History (with an Update).......

November 1963 was the month 54 years ago that John F. Kennedy was assassinated.    The images that was shared over Twitter was quite a scene to be witness to.      Our team picked this up which was the telegram by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr on his condolence message for Mrs. Kennedy that the Presidential Scholar Michael Bescheloss released to his Twitter Feed as the President was busy talking about something else over Twitter:

Dr. King was to fall to an assassin's bullet 5 years later along with Robert F. Kennedy shortly thereafter.    

We also picked up this from our Founders' Archives about the need to be above it all:  

Our team was also profoundly concerned about the attacks on the Press especially as we've been witness to journalists killed in Mexico, cartoonists being imprisoned throughout Africa along with the continued detention of Al Jazeera's Mahmoud Hussein in Egypt that we've done our utmost to help keep his cause for freedom alive.    The following three tweets we chose were profound as the debate over Tax Cuts and President Trump's attack on CNN ensued as the subtle changes continue onward at the Department of Justice: 

Libya, for instance, took its' cue from President Trump in criticizing CNN for saying that the reporting on the Slave Trade was #FakeNews even though it wasn't.  

We close out November with this we received courtesy of the team at the New York Times that captures the profound challenges the United States Faces as the Tax Cut Bill works its' way through Congress and other profound challenges loom--as we went to press, for instance, we reviewed a call by a commentator at Haaretz to have the US Ambassador Fired as Southern Israel again was attacked and Israel hit back at Hamas targets--We could not help  but wonder what's actually left in Gaza which is for all intent and purpose the largest prison in the World:

The New York Times
The New York Times

Thursday, November 30, 2017

David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt

Op-Ed Columnist
A few weeks ago, I read a short new book by the legal scholar Cass Sunstein titled, simply, “Impeachment.” The book doesn’t mention President Trump once. Sunstein started writing it, he told me, partly because he was alarmed by what he considered reckless talk of impeachment during Trump’s first weeks on the job, before he had started doing much.
Sunstein’s goal was to lay out a legal and historical framework for thinking about impeachment, independent of any specific president. I’ve been thinking about the topic a lot since finishing the book, and I want to recommend both Sunstein’s book and a Vox piece published this morning by Ezra Klein.
To be clear, I think it would be a mistake for Democrats to put much energy into impeachment right now, because it’s not going to happen: Republicans control Congress and show no interest.
But I also think it would be a mistake for Americans — regardless of party — to be in denial about the governing crisis our country is facing. Let’s admit it: Trump is behaving in ways that call for serious talk of impeachment. If you read Sunstein’s careful history of impeachment — of when the founders believed it was appropriate and necessary — I expect you will come to the same conclusion.
Trump disdains the rule of law (as I detailed in this column), and he lies constantly. Multiple high-level Republicans, including some who work in the administration, consider him unfit for the presidency.
His behavior in the last couple of days highlights the unfitness: an irresponsible provocation of the Muslim world; a lie about NBC News making up stories; a ridiculous new claim that the tape of him bragging about molestation is a hoax; an insult at a ceremony to honor Native Americans.
It’s time for Congress to take the crisis seriously. It has many options short of impeachment, starting with clear warnings from senior Republicans about Trump’s unacceptable behavior. If those measures work, I’d be thrilled (and surprised). If they don’t work, maybe Republicans will become more comfortable with considering the ultimate constitutional remedy.
Here is Klein: “Sometimes I imagine this era going catastrophically wrong — a nuclear exchange with North Korea, perhaps, or a genuine crisis in American democracy — and historians writing about it in the future. They will go back and read Trump’s tweets and his words and read what we were saying, and they will wonder what the hell was wrong with us. You knew, they’ll say. You knew everything you needed to know to stop this. And what will we say in response?”
And: “There are plenty of people who simply should not be president of a nuclear hyperpower, and Trump is one of them. This is a truth known by his staff, known by Republicans in Congress, and known by most of the country. That so few feel able to even suggest doing the obvious thing and replacing him with a Republican who is better suited to the single most important job in the world is bizarre.”
Related: Ross DouthatMichelle Goldberg and Nick Kristof on removing Trump.
The tax bill. I heard from Senator Susan Collins’s office with an objection about yesterday’s newsletter. I disagree with the objection, but it’s worth sharing.
The tax bill that Collins may help pass would do substantial damage to health insurance markets. I wrote yesterday that she had dropped her insistence on other legislation to reduce that damage. Her office points out that she still strongly supports such legislation and has pushed for it with both Trump and Senate leaders.
That’s true. But Collins has also suggested that she would vote for the tax bill in exchange for verbal promises that Congress and Trump would later pass the other legislation. To me, that’s not insistence. It’s hope. Collins has the ability to insist that her vote depends on preventing damage to Americans’ health insurance. She isn’t doing so.
Also: The bills she favors would undo only a fraction of the damage that the tax bill would do, as Aviva Aron-Dine and Edwin Park explain, here and here. Unless Collins changes course, she is on the verge of harming the quality of health care for millions of Americans.
On the same subject, Fox News is refusing to air nationally a liberal ad that describes the ways that Trump and his family stand to gain from the tax bill, Politico reported yesterday. You can watch the 30-second spot, titled “Billions,” here.
More firings for sexual misconduct. It isn’t just feminism that has brought down Garrison Keillor, Matt Lauer and others; free markets have also been crucial, writes Elizabeth Nolan Brown in The Times. In the internet age, “corporations are susceptible to the moral suasion of the public,” she writes. “For better or worse, we’ve all become remarkably effective at mobilizing it to our own causes.”
Onward to December...

UPDATE:  Two Media Sources (The Washington Examiner & the New York Times are reporting that President Trump has decided apparently to replace the Secretary of State with the Director of the CIA as Senator Tom Cotton (of the Iran Letter fame) is tapped to take over as CIA Director)--both opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal).  Th ebreaking news we received courtesy of the Washington Examiner is noted below:

Breaking News Alert

White House develops plan to replace Rex Tillerson with CIA Director 

Mike Pompeo: Report

The White House has mapped out a plan in which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is
 replaced in the next few weeks with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, according to
a report.
Senior administration officials told the New York Times Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.,
would then take over for Pompeo as director of the CIA.

Read the full story here.

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