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After unwieldy town hall meetings — Democrats face a dilemma on impeachment

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Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump
Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi (Photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia and Albert H. Teich/Shutterstock)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats during a conference call last week that the impeachment of President Donald Trump is a waste of time and constituents in Democratic districts seem to agree.

Members of Congress have been on recess for the past two weeks, and town hall meetings didn’t yield much support for Congress to hurry along with impeachment proceedings. In Congress, the House would vote for impeachment, and the Senate would do the actual investigation. Given the Senate is headed by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) a legitimate investigation isn’t likely, even with special counsel Robert Mueller’s report as a guide.

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It’s unclear if that’s why Pelosi suggested to members to hold hearings and an investigation in their chamber, but it’s likely. Some members on the call demanded impeachment, but Pelosi shut the idea down, saying that the public

A New York Times piece Sunday observed Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) and a few Pennsylvania leaders held town hall meetings over the weekend. They had questions about healthcare, immigration, voting rights and the 2020 primary contest. Very few asked about impeachment, however.

“It’s not a top half-dozen. It may be down at the No. 12 spot” in terms of priorities, said Porter.

Still, Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) said he didn’t come to Washington to be the popular Democrat.

“I swore an oath to the Constitution,” he said, “not to protect and defend the Democratic Party.”

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A Washington Post-ABC News poll released Friday showed the response to the Mueller report is that nearly six in 10 Democrats support impeachment proceedings, but six in 10 independents do not.

“We are going to do our work, but we’re not going to do it haphazardly,” said Rep James Clyburn (D-SC) during an ABC appearance Sunday.

Democrats have an impressive agenda if issues they are working to pass, but McConnell isn’t likely to bring the issues up for a vote in the Senate. The Senate leader explained that he refuses to vote on a bill Trump won’t sign. To make matters worse, McConnell may see progress on issues in the House as a sign Democrats are getting work done for the people, while his chamber is not.

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McConnell could ignore the progress of legislation that passes the House as a way of making it appear as though Democrats are only focusing on hearings. If he goes that route, however, it could backfire with Democratic candidates for the U.S. Senate highlighting a “do-nothing Senate.”

Read the full Times piece here.

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2020 Election

Mental health expert: Trump is waging ‘psychic terrorism against Black Americans

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A prominent Black psychologist is accusing President Trump of waging "psychic terrorism" against Black Americans, and warns that the "psychological trauma" experienced by people of African descent won't simply go away if Trump loses the election.

Dr. Kevin Washington, the former president of the Association of Black Psychologists and the head of the sociology and psychology department at Grambling State University, studies the cultural and historical trauma of people impacted by the legacy of slavery in America. In a recent interviw, he told Salon that the president's rhetoric has effectively given "permission" to act out on "white supremacist" ideology, but was not the primary cause of rising racial tensions across the country.

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2020 Election

There were several glaring omissions in the FBI’s bizarre announcement about election interference

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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced on Wednesday in a last-minute press briefing that both Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information and have "taken specific actions to influence public opinion."

In particular, Ratcliffe said that Iran has been found to have sent "spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump." He seemed to be referring to an incident described in a Washington Post story published right before the conference, which said the U.S. has concluded that Iran had sent emails pretending to be from the right-wing group the Proud Boys to Democratic voters.

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Termination of this top Pentagon official reveals another disturbing pattern in the Trump administration

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Warren Whitlock enjoyed a remarkable career as a diversity officer at the federal Transportation Department, winning victories for poor communities of color that his superiors thought impossible. There’s even a documentary film about his success in getting municipal bus service for a Black neighborhood in Beavercreek, Ohio, that had been intentionally bypassed.

In its waning days of the Obama era, the Army chose Whitlock to become one of its highest-ranking Black civilians. His task: resolve diversity issues that had languished for years, some since George Herbert Walker Bush was commander-in-chief nearly three decades ago.

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