Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal
The Week of Saturday, December 21 through Friday, December 27, 2019 [#23]
The Week’s Most Notable:
The time between Christmas and the New Year is relative down-time politically in the U.S. It’s not like nothing is happening, especially out in the larger, mostly non-Christian world. But Americans deserve some respite from the politics of identity and division.
Saturday, December 21
[Environment] Trump Tilts at Windmills – In a speech for the Turning Point USA conservative youth conference in Florida, he launched a rant against windmills. “They kill bald eagles,” among other things. It’s an old theme for Trump; as a developer he considers them an eyesore. He lost a 2015 court case in Scotland over windmills visible from his golf course. Nevertheless, this recent rant bounced around the media for several days. Why? It’s a stick-in-the-eye for alt-energy enthusiasts; just enough real issues and guaranteed hot button responses – perfect for environmentalist gaslighting.
Sunday, December 22
[Impeachment] Democrats Take to Sunday TV to Push Trial Demands – As a sign that the strategy of withholding articles of impeachment is still “a thing,” Democrats continued their talking points for interview shows all weekend.
Monday, December 23
[Impeachment] Judiciary Committee: More Impeachment Articles Possible – In the context of the court cases involving the Don McGahn subpoena and Mueller grand jury evidence, committee lawyers argued that both cases were urgent as additional articles could arise from testimony or evidence. More reasons for not turning over articles to the Senate just yet, although these cases are months from passing through the circuit courts and on to the Supreme Court.
[Impeachment] Impeachment Trial Witnesses – McConnell doesn’t rule them out, so he said, but only under Clinton trial rules, meaning they could be rejected by GOP vote. The Democrats want a guarantee witnesses can be called and documents presented. Hence the impasse for at least another two weeks.
Tuesday, December 24
[Impeachment] House Hiatus – ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the House (and Senate) not a creature was stirring. . ..
Wednesday, December 25
[Christmas Day 2019] A Quiet Christmas? – Hong Kong protests continue; Trump tweets, “Why should Crazy Nancy Pelosi, just because she has a slight majority in the House, be allowed to impeach the President of the United States?”; Pope Francis calls for peace; Netanyahu hangs on to party leadership; Taliban abducts 26 peace activists in Afghanistan; holiday online sales boom in the U.S.; and more. . . .
Thursday, December 26
[Impeachment] Rumblings of Senate Trial Ruction – A few comments by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and many hands go wringing about a possible break in the GOP wall against impeachment conviction. Remember that the Republicans have a vote or two to spare even for procedural issues (and 20 votes on conviction), allowing candidates in blue/purple states some latitude. Murkowski is one of them. Meanwhile, there are Democratic senators who have been fingered as potentially vote flipping: Manchin (D-WV), Sinema(D-AZ), Jones (D-AL).
Friday, December 27
[Arms Race] Russia Claims Hypersonic Missile in Service – The new “Avangard” missile, which can exceed 3,800 mph (hypersonic), is difficult to track. This makes renegotiating the New START treaty by 2021 much more problematic. No wonder the U.S. military is having policy conniptions over the Trump/GOP coziness with Putin’s Russia. (It’s a foreign policy version of schizophrenia.)
[Somalia] Mogadishu Bombing Kills 90+ – A reminder that Al Qaeda related activity, in this case the Somalian Al Shabab group, is still very much alive in parts of the world.
During the holiday break – Like a church chorus out of tune, Trump and acolytes sing loudly from the choir loft of “scam impeachment”, “no evidence”, “no crime, perfect call, no pressure” and the right-wing media echoes them incessantly. Meanwhile, Trump is impeached, Pelosi is withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate, and a PR battle wages that could determine if there even is a Senate trial.
After the holiday break – It’s a presidential election year. A reminder: If and when Trump’s impeachment goes to trial, he will not be convicted – he will still be president. He, and the GOP, will shout even more loudly, “Exonerated!” and “Smite thee our enemies!” Before that happens, it’s imperative the Democrats do not cede the narrative and, in fact, lay the framework for many more revelations to come from further investigation, court rulings, and craziness yet to happen. That’s why making news during the Senate trial, a real trial, is important; the worse Trump looks, the less force he has for exculpation. It’s what things look like after the trial that matters.
[The IUY Weekly Journal assumes readers are passingly familiar with names and events. For more details, check with internet search (Google it).]
Quote of the Week
“I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. I’ve studied it better than anybody . . . You know we have a world.”
President Trump, speaking at Palm Beach Rally, 12/21/2019