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‘Jaw dropping’: Libertarian explains how Trump’s congressional defenders are gaslighting America

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Libertarian columnist Jacob Sullum of Reason Magazine has tried to keep an open mind about impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump — but he has found himself confounded time and again by the president’s defenders completely misstating or misrepresenting basic facts.

In his latest column, Sullum calls out Republican lawyer Stephen Castor for making a “jaw dropping” argument that Trump never asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political opponents, despite the fact that the White House’s own readout of the now-infamous July 25th call shows he did exactly that.

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“The president’s defenders have repeatedly contested well-established facts in a way that makes fair-minded nonpartisans despair of having an impeachment debate based on a shared understanding of reality,” he writes. “You can argue, as Republicans have, that there was nothing improper about that request. But you cannot credibly deny that Trump made it.”

Sullum says this is part of a pattern for Republican defenders of the president. In particular, he points to the House Republicans’ rebuttal of Democrats’ impeachment report from the House Intelligence Committee that argued Trump was merely asking Zelensky to look into Biden out of a sincere desire to root out corruption in Ukraine.

“Trump did not broach that subject in the July 25 call or an earlier conversation with Zelensky, and his interest in discrediting Biden is consistent with the lobbying of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who by his own account was seeking ‘information [that] will be very, very helpful to my client,'” he writes. “Current and former administration officials have testified that such an announcement was a prerequisite for a White House meeting and the release of congressionally approved military aid that Trump had delayed without explanation.”

Read the whole column here.


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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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