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Dems in Congress can publicly punish Trump — and Mitch McConnell would be powerless to stop them

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The revelation that President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded Ukraine officials work with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden has led to a fresh wave of calls for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to support an expedited impeachment effort — something that she is still resistant to doing.

But as Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty noted in a new op-ed, there is another method Democrats can use to punish Trump on the House floor — and unlike impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have no say over it whatsoever: a formal censure.

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Tumulty noted that the procedure is well laid out by the Congressional Research Service: “Should a House committee report a non-Member censure resolution, the full House may consider it by unanimous consent, under the Suspension of the Rules procedure, or under the terms of a special rule reported by the Committee on Rules and adopted by the House. 17 If widespread support exists for the censure resolution, unanimous consent or the Suspension of the Rules procedure may be used. Otherwise, the resolution could be brought to the floor under a special rule reported by the Committee on Rules. All three of these parliamentary mechanisms require, at a minimum, the support of the majority party leadership in order to be entertained.”

“This would not sate the appetite of the pro-impeachment forces, or end the debate over whether that step is warranted,” wrote Tumulty. “But it could be done quickly, with the evidence at hand, and would have the benefit of forcing Republican members to go on record stating whether they do or do not find this behavior on the part of the president acceptable.”

“While many would argue that censure is a symbolic gesture, it is a disgrace that Trump would share with only one other president in American history — his purported idol, Andrew Jackson,” continued Tumulty. “Jackson was censured by the Senate in 1834 as the result of a little-remembered dispute over the Second Bank of the United States; it was expunged a few years later when his pro-Jackson Democrats gained a majority in the chamber, which showed that they regarded a censure as more than a slap on the wrist.”

“None of this would end the argument over impeachment, but it would prove to the American people that at least part of their government sets a higher standard of behavior than our current president does,” concluded Tumulty. “It also, finally, would force Republicans to answer a question that they have been dodging: Is there anything this president does that you will not tolerate?”

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‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience

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The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.

The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."

Photos from the protest:

1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.

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Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report

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President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.

"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."

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Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.

The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.

"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."

"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."

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