Yesterday was a busy news day. These are the stories you need to know about.
1) Reporting surfaced that Trump asked AG William Barr to hold a news conference declaring that Trump broke no laws in his phone call with the president of Ukraine–but Barr refused. Thus far, Barr had done Trump’s bidding to an astonishing and scandalous degree. Barr is more Trump’s personal attorney than the top law enforcement officer of America. Barr lied to the public about the Mueller report and recently went abroad to push foreign intelligence services to give him dirt on our own intel agencies in an effort to discredit the genesis of the Mueller probe. An intel agent in England was so shocked by Barr’s visit that he told the press that “they are basically asking, in quite robust terms, for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services”. Apparently, telling the nation that Trump did not commit a crime was a bridge too far for Barr to cross.
2) Donald Trump Jr. outed a person he believes to be the Ukraine whistleblower, though no confirmation has been offered by any reputable journalist, in part because the disclosure may have been a crime. If Junior does not face a criminal inquiry, it’s only because the DOJ is run by William Barr, a corrupt Trump toady.
3) The impeachment inquiry will begin open hearings next Wednesday, starting with testimony from former Ukraine ambassador Taylor whose closed door testimony was devastating to Trump and produced a strong reaction of disgust from Congressional Reps who were in the room. Closed door depositions will continue to occur, including a member if Vice President Pence’s staff scheduled to appear today. This whole process is moving quickly and efficiently compared to prior impeachment inquiries.
4) It was announced late last night by China that the USA and China had reached an agreement to scale back tariffs in phases. If confirmed by the USA, this will surely lift the stock market today, but much damage has already been done, especially to groups like soybean farmers, manufacturers, and importers. The bottom line here: Trump lit a raging fire that burned a lot of hard-working Americans and now he might be close to putting the fire out and taking credit for his arson. It’s highly likely–especially because Trump is a weak and incompetent negotiator–that we will end the China trade war with no meaningful gains, ending up right back where regulations stood before Trump went on his rampage.
5) A new study was released this week that included the backing of 11,000 scientists from around the world declaring a climate emergency and offering six steps that the world must take to mitigate the damage. The report notes that we’ve known about this problem for forty years and have essentially taken no meaningful action. Here’s coverage from WaPo:
6) Trump was in Louisiana last night for yet another emotional support rally, and it’s important to point out that his dishonest rhetoric is becoming increasingly outrageous and dangerous. He demonizes Democrats in increasingly extreme and inflammatory terms, and takes a tone that’s often so desperately angry that it’s easy to imagine his supporters perpetrating violence against his critics. His instinct and strategy is always to divide.
Keep resisting and keep working to “vote his ass out of office” if he isn’t removed first.