Sunday, June 9, 2019

Pelosi wants to "Lock Trump Up"

She wants to lock him up

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(CNN)Ever since Robert Mueller's report surfaced, Nancy Pelosi has been consistent: She doesn't want to impeach the President. This week, the House speaker took it a step further: She wants to see Donald Trump "in prison" rather than impeached, she told Democrats, according to Politico.
Pressure is mounting among Democrats to impeach, and Pelosi planting the image of the 45th President behind bars after his term ends might mollify a portion of the Trump critics. But not everyone is buying it. Ross Garber, who has defended four governors in impeachment proceedings, wrote that Pelosi's focus on an eventual criminal case is an abdication of the House's constitutional responsibility, and is just one of what he called her "weird (and wrong)" views on the topic.
Michael Zeldin and Julian Zelizer pointed to three prime instances where Mueller's report lays out evidence of potential obstruction of justice that the House could consider in deciding whether to launch an impeachment inquiry. If Mueller had had the sweeping power granted by the now-defunct independent counsel law to Kenneth Starr, he might well have already referred such evidence to Congress.
Some Democrats argue that impeachment would give them a powerful weapon to crack the White House's stonewall, which has blocked testimony from key Trump aides.
    On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on Mueller's findings. But instead of those who can answer questions about their experience in the Trump orbit, the featured witness is John Dean, the former White House counsel whose testimony helped end Richard Nixon's presidency and who is now a CNN contributor.
    "It has been nearly seven weeks since the Mueller report became public," Elie Honig noted. "Congress has obtained exactly zero testimony from firsthand witnesses about the facts set forth in the report. That won't change unless and until Congress takes a stand."
    But is it really a good idea for Democrats to spurn Pelosi's advice? Anne-Marie Slaughter wrote in the Financial Times that the speaker's record as a Washington infighter is second to none. "American historians will look back on our present political struggles and note the epic underestimation of Nancy Pelosi," she observed.

    The royal we

    The Trumps visited the Windsors in a display of pomp and circumstance only Britain's royal family can pull off. The President's fascination with the royals and his decision to bring his adult children along for the ride flies in the face of centuries of American skepticism about hereditary monarchs, Kate Maltby wrote. Trump told interviewers he wanted to see a "next generation" meeting between his children and the younger British royals.
    "If Donald Trump really wanted his children to become like British royals," Maltby wrote, "he'd need to teach them the distinctly Windsor art of giving up power gracefully. British royals never comment on politics -- and they don't even run their own Twitter accounts. The prospect seems, well, distinctly unTrumpish."
    The tone was altogether different from the more personal connection President Ronald Reagan made in a series of visits with Queen Elizabeth II, former Reagan aide Mark Weinberg recalled.
    As the Trump visit was beginning, it was a presidential son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, who briefly captured the spotlight, in an interview with Axios. Jill Filipovic was not impressed: "Kushner sputtered and spun, looking like a little boy dressed up in his father's suit, unable to give a definitive or direct answer to nearly every question asked of him. From abortion rights to Israel, Palestinians to the presidential campaign, Kushner served word salad. It was a rare and jarring look inside the mind of a cipher made suddenly and undeservedly powerful."

    Trump and 'nasty' women

    As he headed to the UK, Kushner's father-in-law made plenty of his own controversial remarks -- including his reaction to a 2016 accusation from Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, that he was a misogynist ("I didn't know that she was nasty. I hope she is OK. ..." he said.) Trump later responded to Pelosi's prison comment by saying, "She's a nasty, vindictive, horrible person."
    Why do Trump's remarks about women deserve the scrutiny they get? "His comments set the tone for our national discourse and for the way others -- including ordinary citizens and the federal government -- treat women in every realm of life," Kara Alaimo wrote.
    Trump also clashed with London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who described the President in an Observer op-ed as "one of the most egregious examples" of the rise of far-right leaders: "Rather than bestowing Trump with a grand platform of acceptability to the world, we should be speaking out and saying that this (behavior) is unacceptable -- and that it poses a grave threat to the values and principles we have fought hard to defend -- often together -- for decades."
    Fighting to defend those principles was what the D-Day invasion was all about. Richard Carter was a 20-year-old American serving as a radio operator aboard Madame X, a B-17 bomber based in Britain and part of a wave of US aircraft that helped prepare the way for the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Carter and his comrades, his son, Bill Carter, wrote for CNN Opinion, "had signed up to serve their country in what they understood was a war for the survival of freedom. It wasn't a sophisticated or complicated choice they were making; it wasn't even really a choice. It was a duty."

    Librarians rule

    exp Jeopardy champion is out_00002001
    In a 32-day streak that nearly broke Ken Jennings' famous earnings record, sports bettor James Holzhauer raked in more than $2.4 million on "Jeopardy!" Then he met his match: It was librarian Emma Boettcher. She knew that the "North American city of Beverwyck had changed its name to Albany in 1664," David Perry recounted. "She stayed in the category 'Capital 'A',' got the chance to double up, and bet her full sum of $7,600. She knew that Annapolis was the home to the annual United States sailboat show. ..." It was a vindication of the value of "a well-rounded liberal arts and sciences education."

    Danger in the 'middle of the road'

    Joe Biden maintained a strong lead in the still-early polls for the Democratic nomination for president, but it was far from a smooth week for the former vice president's campaign. The biggest flashpoint was over the Hyde Amendment, which generally prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions.
    Within the space of a few days, Biden said he would favor repeal, then his campaign backpedaled, asserting that he maintained his longstanding support for the amendment. And finally, he told a roomful of Democrats in a speech in Atlanta that he would indeed favor getting rid of it. SE Cupp warned that changing his stance was a mistake for a candidate who once described his position on abortion as "middle of the road." She added, "Wasn't that the point of his candidacy? To occupy a moderate lane that far-left progressives had abandoned over the past few years? To capture the forgotten Democrats in the middle of the country, the voters the party had left behind for the coastal elites?"
    But Biden's move came after days of sharp criticism from some of his most prominent campaign rivals and from the party's base. Danielle Campoamor, writing in The Washington Post, said, "to continue to withhold federal funds from those seeking a common, safe, constitutionally protected medical procedure is to force poor people into pregnancy." Supporting the Hyde Amendment would be "politically disastrous" at a time when state legislatures are passing sharply restrictive laws on abortion, she wrote.

    Sir Rocketman

    "Rocketman," the Elton John biopic, got off to a boffo start, and neatly coincided with the start of Pride Month, which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Clay Cane saluted the musician's refusal to conceal his gay identity, even in a time when homosexuality was considered a mental disorder or a crime. "Instead of hiding, he became bolder, louder and flamboyant in the best way possible," Cane wrote. Watching the film, he wrote, "I thought of the progress we've made and was once again reminded of the delicate nature of our freedoms."
    Other takes on Pride Month:

    Declawing cats?

    New York state legislators passed a first-in-the-nation ban on the practice of declawing cats. Linda Rosenthal, a Democratic member of the Assembly from Manhattan, noted that she was alerted to the issue by Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian with the Paw Project. They wrote, "Declawing a cat is not like getting a mani-pedi at a day spa. Whether it is performed by laser or the old-fashioned way, it's a surgery during which nearly all of the cat's first toe bones, along with the tendons and ligaments, are removed. This brutal, permanent disfigurement leaves many cats experiencing chronic, lifelong pain, much like amputees who experience phantom pain associated with their lost limbs." Such a procedure can't be justified simply "to save a couch or the curtains."

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