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Dem lawmaker rips apart top GOP anti-impeachment talking point: ‘Attempted extortion’ is still a crime

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Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) on Wednesday tore apart one of the major arguments made by House Republicans during public impeachment hearings.

Throughout the hearing, Republicans argued that there was no scandal in the president’s behavior regarding military aid to Ukraine because the aid eventually got delivered.

Castro, during his questioning of impeachment witnesses Bill Taylor and George Kent, expertly pulled this talking point apart by showing that President Donald Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine only failed because he got caught.

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Castro began by asking the witnesses why Ukraine didn’t actually go through with plans to investigate Burisma, the former employer of Hunter Biden, even though the country had been poised to do so.

Taylor replied that the plans to announce the investigations were called off after the hold on aid for the country was lifted in early September, shortly after Congress became aware of a whistleblower complaint filed against the president.

Castro then asked the ambassadors if Trump should be found innocent just because his scheme fell apart at the last minute.

“Is attempted murder a crime?” he asked.

“Attempted murder is a crime,” replied Taylor.

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“Is attempted robbery a crime?” he asked. “Is attempted extortion and bribery a crime?”

Watch the video below.

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Here are six hints that baby Jesus stories were added much later to early Christian legends

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The wonder-filled birth story of the baby Jesus was centuries in the making.

Picture a creche with baby Jesus in a manger and shepherds and angels and three kings and a star over the stable roof. We think of this traditional scene as representing the Christmas story, but it actually mixes elements from two different nativity stories in the Bible, one in Matthew and one in Luke, with a few embellishments that got added in later centuries. What was the historical kernel? Most likely we will never know, because it appears that the Bible’s nativity stories are themselves highly-embellished late add-ons to the Gospels.

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Impeaching Trump without addressing America’s deeper structural problems will only make things worse: journalist Chris Hedges

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The United States is sick with income and other forms of social inequality. It suffers from cruelty, loneliness, greed, gangster capitalism, white supremacy, violence, sexism and a culture of ignorance and distraction. Our broken political system does not encourage critical thinking or nurture a capacity for responsible, engaged citizenship.President Donald Trump is the human embodiment of almost everything wrong with American society. He is both the symptom and the disease.
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Democrats face critical decision on adding new charges to articles of impeachment

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House Democrats are divided over whether to add special counsel Robert Mueller's evidence to the impeachment process.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday will hear evidence turned up during testimony from the impeachment inquiry focusing on President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Joe Biden, but some Democrats want to expand the process to include the Russia investigation, reported The Daily Beast.

“This office has been abused and damaged in profound ways,” said Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA). “I personally would be for holding him accountable for every bit of it. Not for every grievance we have — I wouldn't include his bad behavior or his offensive rhetoric — but some specific actions that I believe that have abused authority and rise to the level of impeachable offense, in my view, would go well beyond the current Ukraine scandal.”

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