A little friendly advice from Snoopy and The Gang is to enjoy every moment. Get your rest when you can and enjoy the quiet times when you have the chance. Never let an opportunity pass to tell someone special that you love them, and never let an argument keep going.
Always be thankful for what you have, and work for what you want. Remember to be kind to those around you, and to help those in need. Plan your days around the things you love and want to do, not what you are forced to do. Work smarter, not harder.
Read something new each day. Try something you haven’t done before. Be the best person that you want to be.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions about the duo’s July phone call. (Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images)
The Thursday morning release of the official whistleblower complaint at the heart of a controversy which has triggered an official impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump intensified concern among Democrats and outside critics who say the complaint goes beyond a single phone call by alleging a wider White House conspiracy to cover it up.
“Sounds like the cover-up and the crime are both impeachable,” tweetedSludgereporter Alex Kotch.
“Instead of hiring burglars to investigate political rival Trump asked a foreign government to do it for him and then tried to cover it up.”
—Ari Berman, Mother Jones
As Common Dreamsreported, the scandal stems from a July phone call between Trump and Zelensky in which Trump asked the Ukrainian president for a “favor”—to investigate Biden’s son Hunter’s employment by Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019. A memorandum of a condensed version of the conversation was released Wednesday.
During a Thursday hearing of the House Intelligence Committee featuring Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) saidthat the complaint indicates that the cover-up is aimed at concealing the knowing criminal behavior of the administration.
“The whistleblower complaint has exposed a criminal effort to extort political dirty work from a foreign government, and a massive cover-up orchestrated by the White House,” said Castro.
The complaint (pdf) alleges that, after the call, White House officials moved to put a word-for-word transcript of the conversation into a server separate from the normal one reserved for such matters.
“In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to ‘lock down’ all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary—by the White House situation room,” the whistleblower writes in the complaint.
Particularly, the complaint claims, intervention came from the administration’s legal counsel.
“The public deserves to have full transparency regarding Trump’s abuse of office.”
—Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
“White House officials told me they were ‘directed’ by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization and distribution to Cabinet-level officials,” says the whistleblower.
Specifically implicated in the complaint are the president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and Attorney General William Barr.
“They knew the President had violated his oath of office,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-Fl.).
The cover-up is “as bad, if not worse, than Watergate,” Mother Jones writer Ari Berman said.
“Instead of hiring burglars to investigate political rival Trump asked a foreign government to do it for him and then tried to cover it up,” said Berman.
New Yorker writer Susan B. Glasser wrote Thursday that the phone call is part of a pattern of behavior:
The Ukraine scandal is, among many other things, a portrait of American foreign policy gone terribly wrong, hijacked by a President who has shredded the vast U.S. national-security apparatus in favor of a rogue operation looking out for his own interests and overseen by his personal agent, Rudy Giuliani. To anyone who has been paying attention, this has been the President’s approach to foreign policy from the start: it has been all Trump, all the time.
Trump’s pattern of behavior, and the current scandal being simply a part of it, was a point that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also made in a statement Thursday.
“This whistleblower complaint is only the tip of an iceberg of corrupt, illegal, and immoral behavior by this president,” said Sanders. “What the House must do is thoroughly investigate Trump’s cover-up of this call and his other attempts to use government resources to help his re-election campaign. The public deserves to have full transparency regarding Trump’s abuse of office.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said on Twitter that Congress must act as soon as possible to stop the president from continuing to use “the Oval Office as his campaign office.”
“We cannot let the occupant make a mockery of our Constitution any longer,” said Omar. “Congress must cancel the upcoming recess so we can finally impeach this president.”
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A demonstrator with a sign reading “impeach now” takes part in a protest in front of the Trump International Tower in New York City on June 14, 2019. (Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images)
After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi finally caved to pressure from a growing cohort of Democratic lawmakers and formally launched an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump Tuesday evening, grassroots groups on Wednesday announced new efforts to urge undecided members of Congress to back “impeachment now!”
“We urge every member of Congress to support a public, transparent, and robust inquiry into several of Donald Trump’s potentially illegal acts as soon as possible.”
—Rahna Epting, MoveOn
At 1 pm on Thursday, “activists backed by 19 progressive groups and House Democrats championing impeachment will gather outside the Capitol to demand that every member of Congress support an immediate impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, and that the House Judiciary committee subsequently move toward a public, unhindered inquiry that moves quickly to a floor vote on Articles of Impeachment,” the advocacy organization MoveOn said in a statement.
“Thursday’s event is a visible display of the alignment we’re seeing between grassroots progressives and the over 200 House members who support moving toward impeachment inquiries,” said MoveOn’s incoming executive director, Rahna Epting. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that Trump has and continues to repeatedly violate the oath and obligations of the office of the president of the United States.”
“For the sake of the integrity of our democracy, the question of whether Trump has committed impeachable offenses cannot go unanswered any longer,” added Epting. “We urge every member of Congress to support a public, transparent, and robust inquiry into several of Donald Trump’s potentially illegal acts as soon as possible.”
The rally is also backed by the groups By the People, Center for American Progress Action Fund, CREDO Action, Courage Campaign, Daily Kos, Demand Justice, Democracy for America, End Citizens United Action Fund, Free Speech For People, Hispanic Federation, Indivisible, Kremlin Annex, March For Truth, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, People, For the American Way, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Democrats Of America, Public Citizen, and Stand Up America.
TOMORROW @ 1PM: Activists are mobilizing for a major #impeachmentrally at the Capitol.
As of press time 214 House Democrat and Republican-turned-Independent Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.) had expressed support for an impeachment inquiry, according toThe New York Times, which is tracking the position of every member of the lower chamber. That number has soared in recent days amid ongoing concerns about a phone call in July between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and on Wednesday morning released a memo of his conversation with Zelensky, which critics called a “smoking gun.” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), argued in an op-ed published Wednesday by The New York Times that the memo “is far worse than we could have imagined” and demonstrates that Trump “sought multiple favors from a foreign leader for his personal political gain and in doing so violated his solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”
Some supporters of impeaching Trump have called on congressional Democrats to not merely focus on Trump’s legally dubious conversation with Zelensky. Peter Certo, editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords, wrote Wednesday, “If Democrats feel they need the Ukraine story as a legal hook to start the process, that’s one thing—but I hope they won’t forget to make a political case against these much more egregious abuses along the way.”
As Certo noted:
There’s been any number of earlier abuses—from the merely venal (like altering a hurricane forecast with a sharpie) to the unapologetically corrupt (like putting military officers in Trump hotels and charging taxpayers for vacations at his own properties).
I also recall there was something about Russia, a fired FBI director, and—oh right—that time he called Nazis who’d just beaten people and killed someone in Charlottesville “very fine people.”
Certo also highlighted Trump “taking buckets of fossil fuel money” while “destroying the planet,” caging thousands of migrant children and “continuing to separate them from their parents after a court ordered him to stop,” targeting progressive Democratic lawmakers on Twitter with “incendiary racist slanders,” and “encouraging a foreign leader, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to block those members of Congress from an official visit to the top U.S. aid recipient.”
Grassroots groups that are organizing in favor of impeaching Trump are also highlighting the president’s broader record. Trump’s conversation with Zelensky “confirms what we already know: Trump abused his authority, violated the law, and tried repeatedly to obstruct justice. Donald Trump is a criminal and these activities are impeachable offenses,” according to the Impeach Now, a joint project of many groups behind Thursday’s rally.
Noting that the House still plans to go on a two-week recess and lawmakers are set to return to their home districts next week, Impeach Now is urging constituents on its website to “show up on the phones, at offices, and at town halls and make sure every member of Congress hears our message that they need to go back to Washington and take a vote to impeach Trump.”
A coalition of 15 organizations led by Stand Up America and By the People sent a letterWednesday to Pelosi and House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler demanding that they cancel the upcoming recess and “immediately get to work impeaching this lawless president.”
“The House has a constitutional duty to protect our democracy by holding a corrupt president accountable—and this is not the time for our elected representatives to go home,” the letter says. “In place of this recess, we urge you to begin an aggressive hearing schedule, swiftly draft articles of impeachment, and vote to impeach Trump this fall.”
Sean Eldridge, founder and president of Stand Up America, declared in a statement that “the president of the United States is a clear and present danger to our democracy.”
“Every day Trump is in office is another day he betrays his country and undermines our democracy for his personal gain,” said Alexandra Flores-Quilty, executive director of By the People, a campaign to impeach Trump. “Our movement successfully pressured the House of Representatives to advance impeachment proceedings. Now, House leadership must cancel their recess, do their job, and vote to #ImpeachNow.”
As the days get shorter, I wake up while it is still dark to get ready for work. At times this can be rather depressing, but on rare days, it gives me the opportunity to observe a glorious start to the day. That was the case this morning when I looked out of the window and saw the sunrise. I was so enthralled that I immediately grabbed my Pixel phone and headed for the balcony so I could get a clear picture.
I think that this is a beautiful picture that shows the start of a new day. No matter what else happens, the beauty of the moment cannot be taken away from me.
Today certainly started out feeling like Fall had arrived with a vengeance. A damp and dreary and cool early morning greeted me as I left the apartment to fight my way through traffic to the client’s office.
I checked the weather forecast and found out that the weather won’t change much through the rest of the day. This means that today will be about 25 degrees cooler than yesterday.
The day at work was on the quiet side, and that suited me just fine. I’m ready for the weekend regardless. I don’t expect any plans for the evening, and I’m already looking forward to sleeping late tomorrow morning.
Another piece of my childhood died today when I heard that Eddie Money passed away due to cancer. Although never a major star, his music was something that always caught my attention and made me feel wonderful. I am including three videos of his lesser-known songs that I always loved.
R.I.P. Eddie Money, enjoy your tickets to Paradise.
Every time I set a new goal for myself, the first thing I must do is to get a sense of perspective before I try to plan too much. What I am talking about resembles the old bell curve that so many of us are familiar with
We all start at the left-hand side of the curve, with all our grand plans and ideas to make the world a better place. When we start out, we find that things often go very slowly and that our progress doesn’t become apparent until later on. This is the point at which the curve starts to rise. Momentum will carry us up the curve if we maintain our progress towards the end goal. Too often we cannot see over the crest of the curve to our final destination, but we know it is there. We just have to keep pushing.
When we reach the crest of the curve, we can clearly see how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. This is the moment when the temptation to rest and forget things is very great. It derives from a sense of complacency because we can see what we have already accomplished. In itself, this is not laziness, but it is not a long trip to get there, so we must be cautious at times like this.
When we start the journey down the far side of the curve, it is tempting to let momentum simply carry us along without putting in the same amount of effort that got us up the other side of the curve in the first place.
Focus is the key to completing any task that we set for ourselves. The small steps are the most important because, without them, the big steps lead nowhere.