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Here's the case for impeaching Clarence Thomas — the most corrupt Supreme Court Justice

October 26, 2020 in Blogs

By Bill Blum

With the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the radical right has completed its long and painstaking project to seize control of the Supreme Court, and to reshape constitutional law for generations to come. Barrett’s elevation will give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the court and usher in a crisis of legitimacy for the third branch of government not seen since the 1930s.

The right’s triumph has prompted anger and soul-searching among Democrats and progressives, sparking calls to expand the number of Supreme Court justices, echoing Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unsuccessful effort to add additional seats to the high tribunal in the midst of the Great Depression.

Enlarging the Supreme Court is entirely within the power of Congress, as the number of justices is not set by the Constitution. The court’s composition has, in fact, varied over time, ranging from six justices when the Constitution was ratified to 10 in 1863. The panel was reduced to nine by an act of Congress in 1867 and has remained there since then by statute.

While Democrats should definitely demand court expansion if they retake the White House and the Senate and hold the House, there is at least one additional step they should take to address the court’s legitimacy crisis—the impeachment of its most corrupt member—Clarence Thomas.

Thomas should be impeached on charges of perjury for allegedly lying in his annual financial disclosure statements for over a decade and, more fundamentally, for lying in his 1991 confirmation hearing about his disgusting history of sexual harassment.

Although federal judges are appointed for life, their terms are subject to “good behavior.” Like all civil officers of the United States, they can be removed, under Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution, “on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

The impeachment process, as we were reminded by the experience of President Trump, consists of two basic steps: First, members of the House of Representatives impeach an official by adopting, on a simple majority vote, one or more articles of impeachment, which read very much like a criminal complaint or a grand jury indictment. Step two proceeds with a trial in the Senate, which has the power to convict …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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CNN unearths recording of Kayleigh McEnany saying Trump would have 'a problem' running against Biden

October 26, 2020 in Blogs

By Matthew Chapman

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany is a loyal mouthpiece for President Donald Trump, both in presidential policy and against his political opponents in the election campaign. She has echoed Trump’s attacks on Joe Biden, calling him a “radical socialist” and using monikers like “Sleepy.”

But on Monday, CNN unearthed audio of McEnany from 2015 during an interview on New York AM970, in which she offered a very different view.

“I think the Republicans run into a problem if it is Joe Biden and if it is maybe a Trump on the other side,” said McEnany. “Because Joe Biden, one of the things he is remarkable at is really kind of being a man of the people and resonating with middle class voters. Feeling like — coming off as human. His gaffes — as much as we make fun of them — to a certain extent they make him look human. So not, since he’s likable.”

She added that she believed Trump would probably have an easier time against Biden than Hillary Clinton, who ended up being his opponent that year, but she added that if Biden were to run against Trump, “I think the juxtaposition of kind of the man of the people and kind of this tycoon, is a problem.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why tribal leaders say it’s ‘long past time’ for the Interior Department to have a Native American secretary

October 26, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

The U.S. Department of the Interior has never had a Native American director. But in an op-ed for the Thomson Reuters Foundation, two Native American leaders argue that it’s high time for a Native American to lead that department of the federal government.

The op-ed was written by Shannon Holsey, president of the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe, and Leonard Forsman, chairman of the Suquamish Tribe. And in the piece, they lay out some reasons why a Native American should be chosen as Interior Department secretary.

“The United States plays an enormous role in setting climate, natural resource and environmental policies that impact the entire planet,” Holsey and Forsman explain. “Perhaps no federal agency has a greater share of that role than the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior manages nearly one-fifth of the land in the United States, regulates oil and gas extraction across the country and off our coasts, manages the delivery of water for farmers and ranchers across the country, and is the home of the U.S. Geological Survey — which gathers and analyzes data related to climate change.”

Holsey and Forsman go on to point out that the Department of the Interior manages national parks and monuments as well as wildlife refuges — all of which are of great importance to Native Americans.

“The Department performs functions in every aspect of tribal affairs except health care — from education to law enforcement, social services, economic development and natural resources,” they note. “Yet, the Department of the Interior has never been led by a Native American, and it is long past time for that to change.”

Holsey and Forsman describe some of the challenges Native Americans face.

“From melting permafrost in Alaska and rising sea levels in coastal tribal communities in Maine and the Pacific Northwest, to droughts and deadly wildfires across the West, Indian tribes have been the first Americans to feel the effects of climate change,” the tribal leaders observe. “We have been living with the consequences of federal climate and environmental policy for decades. Yet, we have rarely been represented at the table when federal officials have decided our fate.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A Fox host throws Lindsey Graham under the bus as he struggles to keep his Senate seat

October 26, 2020 in Blogs

By Roger Sollenberger

Fox Business host and indefatigable Trump ally Lou Dobbs ripped into Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., over the weekend, telling his overwhelmingly conservative audience in the final countdown to Election Day that he did not know “why anyone” would vote for a candidate who had “betrayed the American people.”

“Just to be clear I don’t know why anyone in the great state of South Carolina would ever vote for Lindsey Graham,” Dobbs said on his Friday broadcast. “It’s just outrageous. This is the guy who keeps saying, ‘Stay tuned.’ He said he was going to get to the bottom of Obamagate with the Judiciary Committee, which has been a year and a half, actually longer, of absolute inert — inert — response to these pressing issues of our day.”

“Obamagate” is a reference to a widely discredited conspiracy theory alleging that former President Barack Obama ordered his administration to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Dobbs then invoked President Trump’s own words in a stinging series of critiques of the Republican senator, who a recent poll found trailing Democratic rival Jaime Harrison, a fundraising powerhouse, for the first time.

“I believe that the president’s words about the senator then apply today,” Dobbs said, reading Trump’s remarks from a Feb. 17, 2016, campaign event in Graham’s home state of South Carolina:

I think Lindsey Graham is a disgrace, and I think you have one of the worst representatives of any representative in the United States. I don’t think he could run for dogcatcher in the state and win again. I really don’t. Other than that, I think he’s wonderful. He’s one of the dumbest human beings I’ve ever seen. That guy is a nut job.

At the time, Trump was responding to Graham’s prediction that the Republican Party would get “slaughtered” if Trump won the nomination.

Casting Graham as a turncoat on the Trump administration, Dobbs again invoked Obamagate as his sole example.

“Graham has betrayed President Trump at almost every turn. He has betrayed the American people and his oath of office,” Dobbs concluded. “He’s done absolutely nothing to investigate Obamagate, except to tell everyone stay tuned time and time again: ‘Stay tuned.’ Senator …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Trump administration is illegally hiding an FBI report on white supremacist terror

October 26, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

For decades, much of the right-wing media has emphasized the threat posed by violent Islamist extremists while downplaying the terrorist potential of far-right white supremacist and white nationalist groups. But that doesn’t make the latter any less dangerous. And one Democratic congressman who is sounding the alarm is Mississippi’s Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee and wants to know why an FBI report on white supremacists is four months late.

In an article published this week, journalist Spencer Ackerman — who specializes in national security matters for the Daily Beast — notes that the FBI “has failed to produce a legally required report detailing the scope of white supremacist and other domestic terrorism, despite mounting concerns that the upcoming election could spark far-right violence.” That report was supposed to be released in June, and according to Ackerman, Thompson is demanding answers.

“I would hate to think that they are reacting to President Trump’s machinations about his dislike for senior leadership in the FBI,” Thompson told the Daily Beast. “This report probably would not be viewed favorably by this administration. That, I think, precipitates the report not being released by November 3.”

Thompson told the Beast that the American public “needs to know who the real, documented terrorists in this country, based on the FBI’s intelligence, really are…. I think (FBI Director Christopher Wray) understands that if he wades too far in the water around this subject, he might drown — or get fired, to be honest.”

Trump has had a lot to say about antifa in recent months but precious little to say about white supremacist and white nationalist groups. Conservative Elizabeth Neumann, a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official under Trump who has been active in the group Republican Voters Against Trump and has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president, had been sharply critical of his treatment of the issue. Neumann has stressed that Trump has spent way too much time talking about Antifa while downplaying the terrorist threat that white power groups pose. And like Thompson, she would like to see an in-depth FBI report on the threat.

Neumann told the Beast, “I have no doubt the FBI is on top of any number of cases of this. I have confidence that the FBI is likely to thwart a lot of these attempts.”

Neumann and Miles Taylor — another conservative ex-DHS …read more

Source: ALTERNET