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Tulsi Gabbard: Impeaching Trump can cause ‘lasting damage’ to America

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Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate who controversially voted “present” on the question of impeaching President Donald Trump, defended her decision on Saturday by saying that she’s concerned impeachment will cause “lasting damage” to America.

This article first appeared in Salon.

The Hawaiian legislator told ABC News on Saturday that the idea of Trump winning a second term with a Republican-controlled House of Representatives is a “serious concern” for her and that she believes it would leave “lasting damage” on America.”I think impeachment, unfortunately, will only further embolden Donald Trump, increase his support and the likelihood that he’ll have a better shot at getting elected while also seeing the likelihood that the House will lose a lot of seats to Republicans,” Gabbard told the reporter in New Hampshire. She added that her vote was “not a decision of neutrality” but that she was “standing up for the people of this country and our ability to move forward together.”

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Gabbard said, “Thinking about what’s politically advantageous, whether for me or for my party, does not enter into my mind around these decisions that have really great consequence.”

In a statement released after the vote, Gabbard spoke out against the “terrible fallout of this zero sum mindset” between Democrats and Republicans and claimed, “I am standing in the center and have decided to vote present, because I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.”

Gabbard’s decision to vote “present” has been the source of controversy since the House voted to impeach Trump earlier this month. Only two other Democratic congresspeople did not support impeaching Trump — Reps. Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey (who has since become a Republican) and Collin Peterson of Minnesota.

“That’s just stupid,” former Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said regarding Gabbard’s vote. “I mean, what is the point? I don’t know what this woman thinks she’s accomplishing by that. I guess getting attention. We’re talking about her, and really we shouldn’t spend any time talking about her.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., was also critical of Gabbard’s vote at the time, telling BuzzFeed News that “today was very consequential, and to not take a stand one way or another on a day of such great consequence to this country, I think is quite difficult. We are sent here to lead. Whenever we have a vote, we should vote ‘yes,’ and we should vote ‘no.’ Voting ‘present’ is a very tough position to be in. To not take a stand in a moment that is so consequential — I think it’s quite difficult.”

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Although Gabbard has never ranked among the frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, she has become a minor celebrity and frequently appears on Fox News. Last month the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, described Gabbard as “the favorite of the Russians” and said that Republicans “know they can’t win without a third-party candidate. So I don’t know who it’s going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed.” Gabbard responded by labeling Clinton as “queen of the warmongers” and an “embodiment of corruption” and insisted on receiving an apology.


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2020 Election

Trump is preparing the ground for a totalitarian dictatorship

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We're all going to know someone who has died of the coronavirus when this is over. The tragic news is all over Facebook and Twitter already. My friend Patricia Bosworth, the actress and biographer, died on Friday of the virus. Everyone has friends and acquaintances who have the virus, family members who have died, favorite musicians or actors and friends of friends who are sick and dying. The virus has taken them from us, but so has Donald Trump with his inaction and lying and childish finger-pointing and failure to take responsibility.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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HBO’s Bill Maher returns to rip Trump over the pandemic — and blast his fans who are rallying around ‘the guy who made it worse’

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HBO's Bill Maher returned on Friday night via YouTube to blast Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic and took on fans of the president who are rallying around him, calling their response "irrational."

Speaking from what appeared to be his backyard, the "Real Time" host noted that Americans tend to rally around their leaders in times of crisis but that this president is not deserving of support.

"Was the current crisis preventable? " he asked. "Not all of it, of course. But we could have done what South Korea did, their nightmare started the day our's did. But while Trump shut up experts, happy-talked and lied his ass off, South Korea put a strong testing program into place, tracing people, and today they have twenty-0ne times the cases and thirty times fewer deaths."

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Here’s what Wall Street doesn’t want you to know about its grip on emergency rooms

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Doctor Ling Min is the first emergency room doctor to be fired for going public with his concerns about poor hospital emergency room safety practices and shortages of medical supplies and protective gear for health workers.

He won’t be the last.

Like many hospitals in the US, PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham Washington, where Ling Min worked for the past 17 years as an emergency room doctor, has outsourced the management and staffing of its emergency room. So, Min works on-site at the hospital’s ER, but he is employed by a physician staffing firm that runs the ER. These staffing firms are often behind the surprise medical bills for ER services that patients receive after their insurance company has paid the hospital and doctors, but not the excessive out-of-network charges billed by these outside staffing firms.

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