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‘Blow up the phones’: Demands that #BoltonMustTestify surge after new Trump’s Ukrainian aid freeze

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A day after Democratic lawmakers demanded that former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, grassroots political action groups urged the American public to call their representatives and add their voices to the call for a fair trial.

“Hearing from first-hand witnesses in the Senate trial is now a necessity,” tweeted the progressive group Stand Up America. “Call your senators now and demand a fair trial.”

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The New York Times reported Sunday night that an unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s memoir showed that in August 2019 Trump told the then-national security official that he didn’t want to lift a freeze on aid to Ukraine until the country’s government agreed to launch investigations into Democrats including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the news “stunning” Monday morning and demanded Republicans end what Democratic leaders have called a “cover-up” of the facts.

“It goes right to the heart of the charges against the president,” Schumer said at a press conference. “Ambassador Bolton essentially confirms the president committed the offenses charged in the first article of impeachment.”

“We have a witness with firsthand evidence of the president’s actions for which he is on trial,” he continued. “How can Senate Republicans not vote to call that witness and request his documents?”

Bolton has previously stated that he would be open to testifying in the impeachment case and has suggested he may have information pertinent to the trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, has coordinated with the White House on his management of the Senate trial and last week led his party through several votes in which the GOP rejected calls for government documents and witnesses to be subpoenaed.

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“Blow up the phones, children,” actress and activist Sandra Bernhard tweeted after the news of Bolton’s unpublished revelations broke.

Bernhard’s tweet was one of many making similar calls.

As part of its lobbying and mobilization effort, MoveOn.org announced Monday it was rolling out a new billboard campaign aimed at key Republican senators.

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The billboard was positioned on Capitol Hill and targets Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and others who have said they would consider having witnesses as part of the impeachment trial.

Republicans “are refusing to hold a fair trial, refusing the Senate access to White House documents and refusing to hear from valuable witnesses,” said Rahna Epting, executive director or MoveOn. “This is not the American way. Republicans are showing that they care more about their loyalty to Donald Trump than the interests of the American taxpayer and upholding our constitution.”

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The few Republicans “who can still choose the Constitution over Trump”, Epting said, “need to know that voters all across the country want the full truth—and history will remember if they stand up for the truth.”


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‘Didn’t Trump want the death penalty for drug offenses?’: White House mocked for claim Blagojevich was freed to combat ‘aggressive sentencing’

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During an appearance on Fox News this Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addressed President Trump's recent pardons and commutations, specifically the commutation of Rod Blagojevich, suggesting it was done in an effort to clamp down on "aggressive sentencing" by prosecutors.

"The fact is, the president is clearly against excessive sentencing," Gidley said. "Whether it's Rod Blagojevich or Alice Johnson, he's focused on making sure people who serve time in prison, who have rehabilitated, who show regret and show remorse, don't have to rot away in a jail cell their whole life."

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2020 Election

Will Wednesday’s debate finally prove that Bloomberg is not Batman?

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After months of highly repetitive Democratic primary debates that, with pointless inevitability, turn into tedious squabbles over different health care plans that will never actually be passed in their proposed forms, there's finally going to be some real tension going into a debate again. That's because information billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is expected to show up tonight in Las Vegas, having purchased his way into the debate by infusing the airwaves and our very bloodstreams with a series of ads that are as inspiring as Bloomberg the man is not.

This article was originally published at Salon

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Paul Krugman debunks Trump’s bogus claims about the ‘Obama economy’

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that his policies alone are responsible for the economic recovery in the United States, claiming that he inherited a broken economy from his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. But Trump’s claims are wildly misleading, and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman debunked some of them this week in a Twitter thread.

Krugman tweeted, “So, I see that Trump is bad-mouthing the Obama economy. Two points. First, there was absolutely no break in economic trends after the 2016 election.”

The 66-year-old Krugman posted a chart showing GDP (gross domestic product) from 2010 (when Obama was serving his first term) to 2020 (three years into Trump’s presidency). GDP, the chart shows, gradually improved during Obama’s eight-year presidency.

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