It’s hard to pick out the best moment for Absurdity around the impeachment trial. In this Twilight Zone-like courtroom reality, there are simply too many choices for Most Absurd.
Like the Oscars, the undramatic competition for the award leans unduly on older, white men, particularly those with preordained decisions already in mind before any outcome.
Certainly, the top three must include continuing claims by Republican senators that they have not learned anything new – after having voted 11 times to deny the admission of new evidence or witnesses beyond the transcripts of the House committee hearings that had led to an impeachment vote.
Then there is Donald Trump, who has been out of town to seem aloof from the fray, boasting to reporters that prosecuting House managers have no documents, but he has them – thus doubling down on the exact obstruction of justice charge included in the impeachment itself.
And then there was the entire presentation, starting yesterday for Democrats and to be rebutted shortly by Team Trump, on whether abuse of office is impeachable or not – overlooking the obvious that even if you believe that history insists on a singular breach of law (which it doesn’t, but which actually does exist here in the umbrella charge of “abuse”) that the House has indeed impeached him.
If the president’s defense team is not going see abuse of office as impeachable, they need to name an action to be taken in cases of serious bad behavior by a sitting president. But they would fight just as equally against a finding of censure, because Donald Trump is dictating that his defense must be total exoneration.
The constitutional debate really is a blind for the dominance of politics and reelection over the niceties of law. It is a blind for so expanding the powers of the presidency as to redefine the office as free of any oversight whatsoever, and to dismiss the constitutional role of Congress.
There has been plenty of news coverage reflecting the boredom being endured by senators, with reports of Republicans sneaking off the floor outpacing those for Democrats. There has been coverage of who’s drinking milk (Tom Cotton), and who illicitly smuggled in some yogurt (Elizabeth Warren), who’s fallen asleep (Jim Risch), who was having a berserk reaction to it all (Lindsey Graham) and who’s actually said he had learned something (John Kennedy).
Still, the overall reaction is that Republicans have heard nothing that changes the predisposition to vote not only against impeachment, but against hearing about any additional evidence or from any additional witnesses.
To me, organized lack of curiosity for those charged with looking at excessiveness in presidential behavior always wins a gold star for Absurdity. The idea that documents of email contacts about withholding money from Ukrainian leaders in a shakedown to win announcement of an official investigation of Joe Biden from statements made at least five years ago, whether classified or not, should not be called to clear the air is Absurd. The idea that the Senate would go through a full hearing of House-collected second-ear accounts without calling acting Chief of Staff Mike Mulvaney or former National Security Adviser John Bolton is simply Absurd.
Among all else, it is Absurd that the Trump White House wanted an investigation announcement into Joe Biden and appointment of his son, Hunter, to a lucrative position at Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and not an investigation, if one was warranted, by the FBI or other U.S. agency.
Presentations by the presidential defense team, which will follow in coming days, already seem to challenge the Absurdity awards. They seem to center on the idea that nothing unusual happened, that there never was a campaign to get to the Bidens, and that even if any of it happened, that it was all within the everyday duties and powers of the presidency.
It is all exhausting, repetitious (to try to catch intermittent TV viewers), and, well, often less than fascinating, mostly because the all the drama of the moment has been removed by a preordained result.
It all goes to show that Might does not produce Right, even in conditions that often touch on the Absurd.
Younger voters are most likely to have their absentee ballots rejected — here’s why
As half or more of the 2020 presidential election's votes will be cast on mailed-out ballots, a new study on why absentee ballots were rejected in three urban California counties in 2018 reveals why young voters' ballots were rejected at triple the rate of all voters.
Nationally, it is well known that absentee ballots arriving after state deadlines, problems with a voter's signature on the return envelope not matching their voter registration, or a missing signature account for more than half of all rejected ballots, as the latest federal statistics affirm. But a new California Voter Foundation (CVF) study reveals the most likely causes behind those errors, especially for young voters.
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The stock market, the faltering Trump campaign’s last straw of hope for the November election, is turning out to be the Republican nominee’s short straw.
After a month of gradually falling stock prices, Wall Street on Monday was delivering a stunning repudiation of the current occupant of the White House and his radical Senate enablers for their failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the resulting collapse of the economy.
Just last week, Trump touted the stock market’s generally positive performance through the pandemic: "Look, we're having a tremendous thing in the stock market, and that's good for everybody, but people that aren't rich own stock and they have 401(k)s," he said at a town hall appearance on ABC.
Trump denounced as ‘evil’ for cooking up ‘disgusting lie’ about RBG’s dying wish
President Donald Trump appalled social media users by suggesting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dying wish was a Democratic "hoax."
The president questioned a statement dictated to her granddaughter -- "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed" -- during his wide-ranging interview Monday morning on "Fox & Friends," where he promised to nominate Ginsburg's replacement by the end of the week.