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House votes along party lines to impeach Trump

Breaking: House votes along party lines to impeach Trump | 18 Dec 2019 | The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted almost entirely along party lines to impeach President Trump following a rancorous, day-long hearing -- making him just the third president in U.S. history to suffer the congressional rebuke. Voting began at 8:09 p.m. and Democrats reached the necessary 216 majority on the first article -- that Trump abused the power of his office for personal gain -- at roughly 8:24 p.m. Democrats passed the second article, that Trump obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate, garnering the needed 216 votes at 8:42 p.m. The vote sets up a showdown in the GOP-led Senate, where Republicans have said there is virtually no chance Trump would be convicted and removed from office.

Trump admin intends to announce withdrawal of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan

Trump admin intends to announce withdrawal of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan --Trump had made clear to his advisers earlier this year that he wanted to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the November 2020 election. | 14 Dec 2019 | The Trump administration intends to announce the drawdown of about 4,000 troops from Afghanistan as early next week, according to three current and former U.S. officials. The withdrawal will leave between 8,000 and 9,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the officials said. The announcement would come just days after Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad rejoined diplomatic talks with the Taliban, which had broken down in September... The U.S. currently has between 12,000 and 13,000 troops in Afghanistan.

It begins: Virginia county forms active militia, declares itself Second Amendment sanctuary city

It begins: Virginia county forms active militia, declares itself Second Amendment sanctuary city | 16 Dec 2019 | Earlier in the week, we reported on how lawmakers over in Virginia were threatening to use the National Guard if members of local law enforcement refused to enforce laws passed in the state that they felt violated the second amendment. Well, looks like Tazewell County isn't going down without a fight. On top of calling themselves a second amendment sanctuary county, they're also crafting a militia as well...The resolutions in Tazewell County would remove funding for any law enforcement department that would infringe residents' right to keep and bear arms.

House votes to impeach Trump on two counts, as president holds defiant rally

Breaking: House votes to impeach Trump on two counts, as president holds defiant rally | 18 Dec 2019 | The House voted to impeach President Trump for "abuse of power" and "obstruction of Congress" related to his dealings with Ukraine after six hours of heated debate Wednesday, making Trump the third American president ever to be impeached. The separate votes on the two counts teed up an all-but-certain Senate acquittal, should House Democrats forward the charges to the GOP-controlled chamber. They also fulfilled a promise made by some Democrats ever since Trump's inauguration to impeach him, even as polls have shown support for impeachment declining. The final vote on the abuse-of-power count was 230-197, with Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voting present. In a statement Gabbard called for a censure resolution instead of impeachment... No Republicans voted to impeach the president on either count, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had vowed earlier this year that impeachment would need to be a bipartisan effort to have legitimacy.

US appeals court rules Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional, leaves law intact

US appeals court rules Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional, leaves law intact | 18 Dec 2019 | A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision is unconstitutional but punted on deciding whether the rest of the landmark health-care law should be tossed out. The court, in a 2 to 1 decision, is also ordering a lower court judge to reconsider whether ACA, more commonly known as Obamacare, should remain intact. "The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power," the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling said. "On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist."

California to appeal ObamaCare ruling to Supreme Court

California to appeal ObamaCare ruling to Supreme Court | 18 Dec 2019 | California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) will ask the Supreme Court to take up a controversial case that will determine the future of ObamaCare. His comments followed a federal appeals court ruling that ObamaCare's individual mandate is unconstitutional. But the court punted on the larger question of what it means for the rest of the health law, sending the case back to a lower court, further prolonging legal proceedings.

House impeaches Trump for abuse of power

Breaking: House impeaches Trump for abuse of power | 18 Dec 2019 | House Democrats on Wednesday impeached President Trump for abusing his power, the first of two impeachment articles the lower chamber is poised to adopt in historic votes alleging the president is unfit for office. Lawmakers approved the resolution accusing Trump of abusing his power, with only two Democrats -- Reps. Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Jeff Van Drew (N.J.) -- crossing the aisle in dissent. Republicans, meanwhile, remained unified in their defense of the president, describing the impeachment inquiry as a purely partisan pursuit spearheaded by Democrats still embittered by the results of the 2016 election. The House is poised to soon take up a second article of impeachment charging Trump with obstruction of Congress, which is also expected to pass easily in a similar party-line vote. Aside from Peterson and Van Drew, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) has also said he'll oppose the obstruction charge, despite supporting the abuse-of-power article.

Trump supporters camp out in bitter cold ahead of rally

Trump supporters camp out in bitter cold ahead of rally | 18 Dec 2019 | A growing crowd of Trump supporters are lining up outside in Michigan's bitterly cold weather ahead of an evening rally with President Trump that coincides with House Democrats voting to formally impeach him. Footage from the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek showed throngs of attendees waiting for Trump's "Merry Christmas" rally on Wednesday, but Trump's supporters reportedly started camping out as early as Monday. Battle Creek city officials are reportedly expecting 10,000 attendees, which is more than the arena's capacity. The city's fire chief told a reporter that the permitted capacity is 5,400.

Dow, S&P, Nasdaq hit fresh records

Dow, S&P, Nasdaq hit fresh records --Trade deal progress and economic data lift stocks | 17 Dec 2019 | Major U.S. stock indexes notched small gains but enough to secure another round of fresh records on Tuesday as optimism about major U.S. trade deals and an uptick in manufacturing and housing overpowered concerns about Boeing's decision to halt production of a top-selling plane and Britain's breakup with the European Union. Markets got a big boost in confidence after the U.S. and China announced a long-awaited "Phase 1" trade deal...Wall Street also benefited from House Democrats' plans to move forward with the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, the Trump administration's overhaul of the Clinton-era NAFTA.

FISA court on FBI conduct - document

FISA court on FBI conduct - document | 17 Dec 2019 | The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the FBI for mistakes it made in the Carter Page surveillance warrants. Read the order here.

Trump tells Pelosi in blistering letter that Dems are 'declaring open war on American Democracy'

Trump tells Pelosi in blistering letter that Dems are 'declaring open war on American Democracy' | 17 Dec 2019 | President Trump, in a blistering, no-holds-barred six-page letter Tuesday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., lambasted the Democrats' impeachment inquiry as an "open war on American Democracy," writing that she has violated her oath of office and "cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!" "Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening," Trump said, just a day before House Democrats were expected to vote to impeach him. "Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!" He went on: "You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain."

FISA court slams FBI in Carter Page surveillance warrant applications

FISA court slams FBI in Carter Page surveillance warrant applications --Order is departure from the court's usual secrecy | 17 Dec 2019 | The typically ultra-close-lipped Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court slammed the FBI for mistakes it made in the [Trump campaign adviser] Carter Page surveillance warrants and ordered the agency to detail how it will improve its warrant applications in light of the errors, uncovered recently by the Justice Department's inspector general. The order is a startling departure from the court's typical comprehensive secrecy as it reviews from federal investigators requests for warrants related to foreign intelligence. The public statement on Tuesday from its presiding judge appears to nod to growing criticism that the warrant-application process has become lax or lacks transparency.

Sanders surges ahead of Iowa caucuses

Sanders surges ahead of Iowa caucuses | 16 Dec 2019 | Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is rising in the polls ahead of Thursday's pivotal debate in Los Angeles, reestablishing his standing in the top tier of Democratic contenders with the Iowa caucuses less than 50 days away... Sanders appears to be hitting his stride at just the right moment, surging past Warren and cutting into Biden's lead in new national surveys. Sanders leads in the RealClearPolitics average of polls in New Hampshire, and is in second place in Iowa, only 3 points behind Buttigieg. Campaign officials say Sanders weathered the rough stretches on the strength of his firm base of support and unparalleled grassroots fundraising operation.

Poll: Support for impeaching and removing Trump dips

Poll: Support for impeaching and removing Trump dips | 16 Dec 2019 | Public support for impeaching and removing President Trump from the White House is declining, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS. The survey, which was released Monday night, found that 45 percent of American voters say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, a 5-point drop from a similar poll conducted in November following the House Intelligence Committee's public impeachment hearings into the president's dealings with Ukraine... Among the findings, the new survey shows that Democratic support for impeachment has declined.

Google Steers Users to Propaganda Attacking Shen Yun Performing Arts

Google Steers Users to Propaganda Attacking Shen Yun Performing Arts | 16 Dec 2019 | Beijing has opened a new front on the internet for its more than a decade-old campaign to shut down a performing arts company whose shows challenge the Chinese regime's human rights record and cultural identity. Google search results for the Shen Yun Performing Arts company are steering users toward Chinese regime propaganda...In fact, Google's corporate interests best align with contemporary leftist politics dominated by intersectionality, according to [CLG Founder] Michael Rectenwald, former liberal studies professor at the New York University and author of Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom. The ideology of digital giants like Google and Facebook could be best described as "corporate leftism" and bears a resemblance to the ideology of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" practiced by the communist regime in China, Rectenwald says.

Russia probe witness charged with funneling millions to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign

Russia probe witness charged with funneling millions to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign --George Nader was charged earlier this year with child trafficking and transporting child pornography. | 04 Dec 2019 | A businessman who helped broker a meeting between an ally of President Donald Trump and an official of the Russian government has been indicted for allegedly funneling millions in illegal campaign contributions to support Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. George Nader, who was charged in another case earlier this year with child trafficking and transporting child pornography, was one of seven people named in an indictment unsealed in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night involving the campaign payments. Nader, 60, is charged with funneling money to Ahmad "Andy" Khawaja, 48, of Los Angeles, in order to circumvent federal election laws that restrict the amount of donations from a specific individual and where that money is actually coming from, prosecutors say. The indictment alleges that Nader was reporting to a Middle Eastern government throughout the period.

Dow gains 10,000th point since Trump's election

Dow gains 10,000th point since Trump's election | 16 Dec 2019 | The stock market has been unstoppable under the influence of President Trump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 28,332.74 on Monday, meaning it has rallied 10,000 points, or more than 54 percent, since Trump's election victory on November 8, 2016. The benchmark S&P 500 has gained more than 46 percent.

Nadler calls for Trump's removal in committee's 658-page report on articles of impeachment

Nadler calls for Trump's removal in committee's 658-page report on articles of impeachment | 16 Dec 2019 | Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote that President Trump is a threat to the Constitution and should be removed from office, according to the committee's 658-page report on the articles of impeachment resolution against Trump that was submitted early Monday. The majority wrote that President Trump abused his office by soliciting the interference of Ukraine in the 2020 election and then obstructed the impeachment inquiry into his conduct. The report was released at 12:30 a.m. ET., and included a dissent from the committee's minority that called the case for impeachment "not only weak but dangerously lowers the bar for future impeachments."

Navy pilots demand more be armed on bases in letter to lawmakers and military brass

Navy pilots demand more be armed on bases in letter to lawmakers and military brass | 15 Dec 2019 | Dozens of U.S. Navy pilots have written a letter demanding Capitol Hill lawmakers and top military brass allow more pilots to carry arms on bases, and allow those standing watch at flight schools across the country to be armed in the wake of the deadly shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola by a Saudi officer training there. The letter, obtained exclusively by Fox News, is a form letter the pilots hope their colleagues will use to write lawmakers to get what they say is much-needed attention -- preventing further shootings on U.S. military bases, in part by increasing deterrence.

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, opposed to impeachment, expected to leave Democratic Party

New Jersey Rep. Jeff Van Drew, opposed to impeachment, expected to leave Democratic Party | 14 Dec 2019 | A Democratic congressman from a swing district in southern New Jersey -- who has been outspoken in his opposition to President Donald Trump's impeachment -- is likely to leave the party, sources told NBC News on Saturday. Two Democratic leadership sources said they expect Rep. Jeff Van Drew to change his registration to Republican in the wake of his stance against the House Democratic-led efforts to impeach Trump...Van Drew was among a handful of Democrats to vote against going forward with the impeachment inquiry back in October.

Trump calls impeachment vote 'an embarrassment' to nation

Trump calls impeachment vote 'an embarrassment' to nation | 13 Dec 2019 | President Donald Trump declared Friday's House committee vote to impeach him "an embarrassment to our country" and refused to back away from the charge that first ensnared him in the scandal. With a vote by the full House expected next week, Trump declared in the Oval Office that the Democrats had "made absolute fools of themselves" by moving ahead with impeachment. Trump stands poised to be the third president in history to be impeached, though it is all but certain he will not be removed from office by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Hearings on Assange's Extradition to US Will Be Held on February 25, 2020 - Lawyer

Hearings on Assange's Extradition to US Will Be Held on February 25, 2020 - Lawyer | 14 Dec 2019 | The next hearing on the possible extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States will be held on February 25, 2020, and the defense hopes that the request of US authorities will be rejected, lawyer Aitor Martinez, who coordinates Assange's defense in Spain, said. "On December 19th, a hearing will be held in the United Kingdom at the Westminster Court, but in a simple procedure to present evidence. Mr. Assange will not be present. Subsequently, on February 25, 2020, a hearing will be held on the extradition, which will decide whether to extradite Mr. Assange to the United States or not, although we hope that the US request will be rejected," the lawyer said.

Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal

Trump, China announce 'Phase One' trade deal | 13 Dec 2019 | President Trump and China on Friday announced that they had reached a "phase one" trade deal that would see a reduction in tariffs from both sides and increase China's purchases of U.S. agricultural products. "We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China," Trump announced on Twitter, adding that negotiations on "Phase 2" of the deal would begin immediately, rather than after the 2020 election...At a press conference that began minutes before Trump's tweet, Chinese officials announced that an agreement had been reached on text for the nine-part deal, and said that tariffs would be phased out over time.

Virginia National Guard responds after Democratic lawmaker suggests it may be needed to enforce gun control measures

Virginia National Guard responds after Democratic lawmaker suggests it may be needed to enforce gun control measures | 13 Dec 2019 | The Virginia National Guard on Friday responded to a Democratic lawmaker after he suggested that it may be needed to enforce new gun legislation. The remarks from Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) suggesting that Gov. Ralph Northam (D) "may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law" comes as dozens of counties across Virginia have declared themselves "Second Amendment sanctuaries" after Democrats took over the state legislature last election. "We have received multiple questions regarding proposed legislation for the 2020 General Assembly session and the authority of the Governor of Virginia to employ the Virginia National Guard in a law enforcement role," the Virginia National Guard wrote in a statement posted on Twitter Friday. "We understand and respect the passion people feel for the U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights. We will not speculate about the possible use of the Virginia National Guard," it added.

Supreme Court will hear three cases over Trump's financial records

Supreme Court will hear three cases over Trump's financial records --Trump has asked the justices to reverse three lower court rulings that would require his longtime accounting firm and two of his banks to hand over financial records to investigators | 13 Dec 2019 | The Supreme Court said on Friday that it will hear three cases over President Donald Trump's financial records next year, and scheduled arguments for its March session. The arguments are likely to be the most high-profile of the term, and will test the court's newly constituted conservative majority. A decision is expected by the end of June, in the midst of the 2020 presidential election.

Jersey City shooters may have wanted to target 50 children in nearby religious school, mayor suggests

Jersey City shooters may have wanted to target 50 children in nearby religious school, mayor suggests | 13 Dec 2019 | The anti-Semitic couple who gunned down three people at a Jewish market in Jersey City this week may have actually wanted to shoot up a religious school next door that had dozens of children inside, the city's mayor suggested Friday. Steven Fulop, in a series of tweets, described how the attack that unfolded Tuesday could have been far worse. It left six people dead in total: four victims, including Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals, and the suspects, David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50...The two killers were armed with a variety of weapons, including an AR-15-style rifle and a shotgun, when they stormed into the store in an assault that left the scene littered with several hundred shell casings, broken glass and a community in mourning. A pipe bomb was also found in a stolen U-Haul van.

House Judiciary Committee votes to send articles of impeachment to House

House Judiciary Committee votes to send articles of impeachment to House | 13 Dec 2019 | The US House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Friday. This comes only days after the House of Representatives released the two articles, which state that the president abused his power and obstructed Congress. The committee gathered on Thursday to mark up the articles, but the session was drawn out, and then adjourned by Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) without a vote on the articles. When the Committee reconvened on Friday morning, each article was approved along party lines with vote counts of 23-17.

Horowitz report spotlights little-known FBI agent's role in Russia probe, Flynn case

Horowitz report spotlights little-known FBI agent's role in Russia probe, Flynn case | 13 Dec 2019 | Inspector General Michael Horowitz's long-awaited report this week on FBI and Justice Department surveillance abuses does not provide the name of an unidentified FBI supervisory special agent (SSA) who made a series of apparent oversights in the bureau's so-called "Crossfire Hurricane" probe into the Trump campaign. However, a review of Horowitz's findings leaves little doubt that the unnamed SSA is Joe Pientka -- someone who could soon play a prominent role in the ongoing prosecution of Michael Flynn, as the former Trump national security adviser fights to overturn his guilty plea on a single charge of making false statements. Specifically, Horowitz's report states that "SSA 1" was one of the FBI agents to interview Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017, in a seemingly casual conversation that would later form the basis for his criminal prosecution.

Trump predicts UK election 'a harbinger of what's to come' in US

Trump predicts UK election 'a harbinger of what's to come' in US | 13 Dec 2019 | President Trump on Friday predicted that the resounding victory for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the United Kingdom's elections this week could be a precursor for Republican success in the U.S.'s 2020 elections. "I want to congratulate Boris Johnson on a terrific victory. I think that might be a harbinger of what's to come in our country. It was last time," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office during a meeting with the president of Paraguay. Johnson and his Conservative Party won a sizable majority in the British Parliament, clearing a path for the British prime minister to secure a deal to leave the European Union, a movement known as Brexit. The Conservative Party won 365 seats in the House of Commons compared to 203 for the Labour Party, with several smaller parties earning seats as well.

UK Prime Minister Johnson's Conservative Party wins majority of seats in Britain's Parliament

UK Prime Minister Johnson's Conservative Party wins majority of seats in Britain's Parliament | 13 Dec 2019 | Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party officially won a majority of seats in Britain's Parliament -- a decisive outcome to a Brexit-dominated election that should allow Johnson to fulfill his plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union next month. Johnson said it looked like the Conservatives had "a powerful new mandate to get Brexit done." The victory makes Johnson the most electorally successful Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher, another politician who was loved and loathed in almost equal measure. It is a disaster for left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who faced calls for his resignation even as the results rolled in.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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