Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a safe and festive celebration last night.  2020 begins with many 2019 stories still making headlines.  Here are the top two:

The New York Times reported that top aides of Donald Trump, including Bolton, Esper and Pompeo, tried to convince Trump to release the infamous Ukraine aid, that it was in our national interest, but Trump refused, waiting for reassurances of an investigation of Biden and convinced that Ukraine was a corrupt country–as Putin had assured him.  The report dramatically increases pressure on “Moscow Mitch” McConnell and Senate Republicans to hold a Senate impeachment trial that includes live witnesses like Bolton and Pompeo.  Thus far, McConnell has refused to use witnesses and the Articles of Impeachment are still being withheld by House Speaker Pelosi to keep pressure on him.

Meanwhile, the nation of Australia continues to suffer a record heat wave and devastating wild fires.  An area twice the size of Vermont has already burned and yesterday 4,000 residents of a sea-side town had to flee to the beach to avoid the flames.  Wildlife experts estimate that 500-million animals have perished thus far, and something like 70% of the Koala habitat has been destroyed, pushing the species toward extinction.  The record heat and prolonged drought conform to predictions by climate scientists, and we can expect to see these types of natural disasters with increasing frequency, as many Californians have already experienced.  In our own country, central Alaska just broke out of a prolonged heat wave and had its first snowfall–they’ve been warmer and drier than upstate New York–which has horrible consequences for the continued thawing of permafrost that will release methane trapped for thousands of years.

Between historic corruption in the White House and a global climate emergency, the election in November will the be the most consequential in generations.

Keep resisting Trump keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”

Wishing all of us a better 2020.

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