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Texas Rep. tells crowd Obama impeachment ‘needs to happen,’ but fails to say why

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A Republican congressman from Texas recently told a gathering of tea party supporters that the impeachment of President Barack Obama “needs to happen,” but when queried as to why, he could not say.

The comment comes from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), a women’s doctor who took office in 2003, stepping into the seat held by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R). Amid a recent grilling over his vote to extend the U.S. debt ceiling, Burgess rebuffed tea party members, insisting that allowing the nation to default would have been much worse than a credit ratings downgrade, according to The Fort Worth Star Telegram.

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“I didn’t want the country to go through what it is going through right now,” Burgess reportedly said. “It’s not the president’s downgrade. The downgrade affected the whole country.”

That vote shouldn’t have come as a surprise to tea party Republicans. In times of less dire financial straits — namely when the Republican party controlled Congress and the presidency — Burgess was in favor of raising the debt ceiling every time he was asked, voting yes in 2003 and in 2004, and additionally voicing support for increases in 2006 and 2007, though official votes were not taken.

All told, Burgess has been in favor of raising the debt limit over $3.3 trillion to finance everything from foreign wars, massive, budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations and an unfunded prescription drug benefit plan that prohibited the government from negotiating for lower prices. Had he come to Washington just two years earlier, that figure would likely be closer to $4 trillion, which is approximately how much Republicans added to the nation’s debt limit from 2001-2008.

But it was his vote on the most recent increase that sparked the tea party’s ire. Responding to questions, Burgess reportedly vowed to resist future debt ceiling increases, saying that Congress should instead try to amend the Constitution to force balanced budgets and stave off future tax increases.

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That position became a favorite among tea party supporters toward the end of the debt limit debate, with some even suggesting that Republicans could force the Senate to accept the plan. That argument faced several logical barriers however, being that constitutional amendments take years to complete and must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. The next debt ceiling increase will be taken up by Congress in 2013 — well before an amendment could be accomplished.

Then Burgess fielded a suggestion that the House move to impeach Obama. “It needs to happen, and I agree with you it would tie things up,” he reportedly said. “No question about that.”

The U.S. Constitution, in Article II, Section 4, requires a conviction on “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” before an office-holder can be impeached. President Obama faces no such charges.

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Asked to clarify, “Burgess said he wasn’t sure whether the proper charges to bring up articles of impeachment against Obama were there, but he didn’t rule out pursuing such a course,” reporter Aman Batheja concluded.


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Donald Trump is making a mockery of Marco Rubio — and the Florida senator is letting him

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Sen. Marco Rubio was once one of Donald Trump’s most formidable opponents; now, the Florida senator bends over backward to excuse the president’s corruption.

In 2016, Rubio and Trump sparred frequently on the Republican primary debate stage. Trump picked the uninspired nickname “Little Marco” for the senator, which didn’t seem to do much damage on its own, but Rubio never gained the momentum or strength that his backers hoped would prove to be strong enough to take down the reality TV candidate. As Rubio grew desperate, he launched one of his most memorable and pitiful attacks by stooping to his opponent’s level, implying that Trump had a small penis. It was more of an embarrassing moment for Rubio than anyone else, though Trump helped himself with a crude rejoinder.

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The faith of Fox News: How the network’s propaganda warps viewers’ sense of reality

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A longtime sticking point among Fox News employees is their insistent differentiation between its news division, where employees practice actual journalism, and its opinion division, where employees practice actual nativism, spew misinformation, and have been actively campaigning for Donald Trump’s re-election since 2016.  Inside the organization, they claim to believe that the news side is separate from the opinion side, and insist that the audience can tell the difference.

News anchor Shepard Smith once characterized comparing the two as “apples and teaspoons.”

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2020 Election

Maddow warns Russia is interfering in the 2020 election in ‘exactly the same way’ as they did in 2016

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Monday warned that Russia and the Republicans are running the "exact same play" against Democrats in 2020 -- and this time will be aided by the United States Justice Department.

"And they are playing it again already for the next election. And some of it is happening just like it did in 2016. And some of it is worse and I think it’s going to be more powerful than it was in 2016. In part because this is a second draft for these guys, right? They ran this play in 2016. They worked out some of the kinks," she explained. "Now they’ll do it again with the benefit of knowing what worked for them and what didn’t work the first time around. It’s a second draft. It’s going to be better and more polished."

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