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Conservative explains why Mitch McConnell is scared to let Giuliani henchman Lev Parnas testify

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On Monday, A. B. Stoddard — a conservative editor at RealClearPolitics who appears frequently on Fox News and CNN — zoomed in on one of the key witnesses Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn’t want to testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial: Lev Parnas, the associate of Rudy Giuliani indicted for campaign finance violations.

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“If Mitch McConnell and President Trump have their way, the trial is likely to lack witnesses and conclude expeditiously, as Senate Republicans are eager to avoid testimony, on the (reasonable) assumption that the facts are so well established that testimony can only hurt the president,” wrote Stoddard for The Bulwark. “One of the reasons for this rush may be a desire to be done with impeachment before any more news connects Russian money to President Trump. We now know Rudy Giuliani’s indicted ex-business partner Lev Parnas — who paid Rudy $500,000 to do Trump’s Ukraine election meddling — had a Russian funding stream.”

“The real reason for getting the impeachment trial done fast is defensive: Republican[s] want to dispense with their Constitutional responsibility before the public realizes there is a second Russia-focused federal criminal investigation underway and that Trump, once again, is at the center of it,” wrote Stoddard. “And the more Giuliani — who is also being investigated, along with Parnas and others, by the FBI as well as the Southern District of New York for his work as Trump’s ‘attorney,’ flies around the world ranting about what he and Trump are up to and shows up at the White House (as he did last Friday), the more incentive Republicans have to get the trial over with.”

“The ironic part is that Trump and Giuliani don’t seem to understand their own best interests quite as clearly as their Senate enablers do,” wrote Stoddard, noting that the two of them are openly boasting about how much dirt they are getting from Ukraine. “This must drive McConnell and his colleagues slightly meshuggah. Because while Trump and Giuliani are having fun with their out-in-the-open election interference, sooner or later people are going to start wondering whether or not this work is also being indirectly financed by the Russians. And worse: Trump’s actions strengthen the argument that if he is not removed from office, he will continue to abuse his power. Which is, in turn, an argument for passing, then holding, the articles of impeachment in the House.”

But that is not the only damaging thing Parnas could reveal, wrote Stoddard.

“The pro-Trump PAC America First Action is also cooperating with the investigation SDNY. Parnas and Fruman donated $325,000 to the PAC in 2018 through their company Global Energy Producers, which has been described by prosecutors as a money laundering entity from which political donations flowed to federal and state campaigns,” continued Stoddard. Additionally, there is extensive evidence he coordinated with former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes (R-CA). “And those are only the loose ends we know about.”

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“As Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly warned: With Trump, all roads lead to Russia. McConnell, Graham, and Barr — all Republicans, really — know this,” concluded Stoddard. “Yet instead of exposing it, they seek to cover it up.”

You can read more here.


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Expert explains the psychopathology that underlies Trump’s dictatorial behavior

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I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

Trump has shown little interest or intent in following our Constitution. He is not abiding by the emoluments clause. He breaks norms and rules at will. He does not recognize that the three branches of government are co-equal. He operates as if the executive branch has total power. Our democracy is not based on the executive branch having absolute power. It requires that the three branches have separate powers in a check-and-balances system. Trump impugns democracy because it limits his power and requires him to be held accountable.

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‘Donald who?’ Presidential historian predicts GOP support for Trump will erode in the face of a ‘blue wave’

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MSNBC's Jon Meacham predicts that President Donald Trump won't be able to count on Republican support through a lengthy vote-counting process.

The historian and author told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that GOP support may wane if Democrats strengthen their House majority and take over the Senate from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, even if the results of the presidential election aren't known until weeks later.

"There's a much better chance that Joe Biden will end up somewhat centering the Democratic Party than anybody is going to come along and center the Republican Party," Meacham said, "and I think that's an existential threat to a Republican Party that has sold its soul, the check bounced, and they've got to figure out what are they going to do to attempt to be something approaching majority party in this demographically changing country."

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Historian details how ‘anti-science’ views of white evangelicals in the South helped fuel the 2nd wave of COVID-19

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When the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of New York City residents in the spring, many far-right Republicans in Texas and the Deep South argued that they shouldn’t be forced to practice social distancing or wear protective face masks because of a Northeastern Corridor problem. They failed to realize that pandemics, from the Black Death in Medieval times to the Spanish flu in 1918/1919, can rapidly spread from one place to another. Historian Laura Ellyn Smith, in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post, discusses the fact that COVID-19 has been hitting the South so hard recently — and argues that the “anti-science” views of far-right white Christian fundamentalists are partly to blame.

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