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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "North Carolina"

Conservative States Seek Billions to Brace for Disaster. (Just Don’t Call It Climate Change.)

Westlake Legal Group 00cli-REDSTATES-1-facebookJumbo Conservative States Seek Billions to Brace for Disaster. (Just Don’t Call It Climate Change.) United States Politics and Government Texas south carolina North Carolina Louisiana Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Housing and Urban Development Department Greenhouse Gas Emissions Global Warming Florida Floods Federal Aid (US) environment Disasters and Emergencies California

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is about to distribute billions of dollars to coastal states mainly in the South to help steel them against natural disasters worsened by climate change.

But states that qualify must first explain why they need the money. That has triggered linguistic acrobatics as some conservative states submit lengthy, detailed proposals on how they will use the money, while mostly not mentioning climate change.

A 306-page draft proposal from Texas doesn’t use the terms “climate change” or “global warming,” nor does South Carolina’s proposal. Instead, Texas refers to “changing coastal conditions” and South Carolina talks about the “destabilizing effects and unpredictability” of being hit by three major storms in four years, while being barely missed by three other hurricanes.

Louisiana, a state taking some of the most aggressive steps in the nation to prepare for climate change, does include the phrase “climate change” in its proposal in one place, an appendix on the final page.

The federal funding program, devised after the devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017, reflects the complicated politics of global warming in the United States, even as the toll of that warming has become difficult to ignore. While officials from both political parties are increasingly forced to confront the effects of climate change, including worsening floods, more powerful storms and greater economic damage, many remain reluctant to talk about the cause.

The $16 billion program, created by Congress and overseen by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is meant to help states better prepare for future natural disasters. It is the first time such funds have been used to prepare for disasters like these that haven’t yet happened, rather than responding to or repairing damage that has already occurred.

The money is distributed according to a formula benefiting states most affected by disasters in 2015, 2016 and 2017. That formula favors Republican-leaning states along the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, which were hit particularly hard during that period.

Texas is in line for more than $4 billion, the most of any state. The next largest sums go to Louisiana ($1.2 billion), Florida ($633 million), North Carolina ($168 million) and South Carolina ($158 million), all of which voted Republican in the 2016 presidential election.

The other states getting funding are West Virginia, Missouri, Georgia and California, the only state getting money that voted Democratic in the presidential race of 2016. California hasn’t yet submitted its proposal, but in the past the state has spoken forcefully about the threat of climate change, in addition to fighting with the Trump administration to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

Half the money, $8.3 billion, was set aside for Puerto Rico, as well as $774 million for the United States Virgin Islands. The Trump administration has delayed that funding, citing concerns over corruption and fiscal management.

Not every state has felt compelled to tiptoe around climate change. Florida’s proposal calls it “a key overarching challenge,” while North Carolina pledges to anticipate “how a changing climate, extreme events, ecological degradation and their cascading effects” will affect state residents.

The housing department has itself been careful about how it described the program’s goals. When HUD in August released the rules governing the money, it didn’t use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” but referred to “changing environmental conditions.”

Still, the rule required states that received money to describe their “current and future risks.” And when those risks included flooding — the most costly type of disaster nationwide — states were instructed to account for “continued sea level rise,” which is one consequence of global warming.

A spokeswoman for the housing department did not respond to requests for comment.

Stan Gimont, who as deputy assistant secretary for grant programs at HUD was responsible for the program until he left the department last summer, said the decision not to cite climate change was “a case of picking your battles.”

“When you go out and talk to local officials, there are some who will very actively discuss climate change and sea-level rise, and then there are those who will not,” Mr. Gimont said. “You’ve got to work with both ends of the spectrum. And I think in a lot of ways it’s best to draw a middle road on these things.”

Texas released a draft version of its plan in November. That draft said the state faced “changing coastal conditions,” as well as a future in which both wildfires and extreme heat were expected to increase. In response, the state proposes better flood control, buying and demolishing homes in high-risk areas and giving counties money for their own projects.

But state officials in Texas, where Republicans control the governor’s mansion and both chambers of the Legislature, were silent on what is causing the changes. The report does not cite climate change or global warming, though “climate change” pops up in footnotes citing articles and papers with that phrase in their titles.

Brittany Eck, a spokeswoman for the Texas General Land Office, which produced the proposal, did not respond to questions about the choice of language or the role of climate change in making disasters worse. In an email, she said Texas would distribute the funding based on “accepted scientific research, evidence and historical data to determine projects that provide the greatest value to benefit ratio to protect affected communities from future events.”

Some local politicians in hard-hit areas of Texas are outspoken. Lina Hidalgo, a Democrat and the top elected official in Harris County, which includes Houston and which suffered some of the worst effects of Hurricane Harvey in 2017, said that addressing the effects of climate change was a top issue for her constituents.

“Harris County is Exhibit A for how the climate crisis is impacting the daily lives of residents in Texas,” Ms. Hidalgo said in a statement. “If we’re serious about breaking the cycle of flooding and recovery we have to shift the paradigm on how we do things, and that means putting science above politics.”

In South Carolina, which like Texas is controlled by Republicans in both legislative chambers and the governor’s office, the state’s proposal likewise makes no mention of climate change. It cites sea-level rise once, and only to say that it won’t be addressed.

The state’s flood-reduction efforts “will only address riverine and surface flooding, not storm surge or sea-level rise issues,” according to its proposal.

That is despite the fact that sea levels and storm surges are increasing across the coastal southeastern United States because of climate change, federal scientists wrote in a sweeping 2018 report. The report’s authors noted that Charleston, S.C., broke its record for flooding in 2016, at 50 days, and that “this increase in high-tide flooding is directly tied to sea-level rise.”

Megan Moore, a spokeswoman for South Carolina’s Department of Administration, said by email that the proposal “is designed to increase resilience to and reduce or eliminate long-term risk of loss of life or property based on the repetitive losses sustained in this state.” She did not respond to questions about why the proposal did not address climate change.

One of the states acknowledged that weather conditions were changing and seas were rising, but still mostly avoided the term climate change. Louisiana, whose location at the mouth of the Mississippi River makes it one of the states most threatened by climate change, intends to use the $1.2 billion it will receive to better map and prepare for future flooding — a major peril for countless low-lying areas — said Pat Forbes, executive director of the state’s Office of Community Development, which is managing the money.

“We realize we’ve got to get better, because it’s going to get worse,” Mr. Forbes said.

The state, where both the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans but the governor is a Democrat, submitted a proposal that makes references to climate change, noting that the risks of flooding “will continue to escalate in a warming world.”

Still, the 91-page report uses the phrase “climate change” only once, at the end of an appendix on its final page.

Mr. Forbes called climate change “not that important a thing for an action plan,” and said that mostly leaving the phrase out of the document was not intentional. He said the purpose of the proposal was to demonstrate to the federal government that Louisiana knows what it wants to do with the money.

“Our governor has acknowledged on multiple occasions that we expect the flooding to be more frequent and worse in the future, not better,” Mr. Forbes said. “So we’ve got to have an adaptive process here that constantly makes us safer.”

Other states used their proposals to emphasize the centrality of climate change to the risks they face. “Climate change is a key overarching challenge which threatens to compound the extent and effects of hazards,” wrote officials in Florida, where Republicans control both legislative chambers and the governor’s office.

In North Carolina, which has a Democratic governor and a Republican-controlled Legislature, the proposal argued that the state was trying to anticipate “how a changing climate, extreme events, ecological degradation and their cascading effects will impact the needs of North Carolina’s vulnerable populations.”

Shana Udvardy, a climate resilience analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the failure to confront global warming made it more important for governments to at least call the problem by its name.

“We really need every single state, local and federal official to speak clearly,” Ms. Udvardy said. “The polls indicate that the majority of Americans understand that climate change is happening here and now.”

Others were more sympathetic. Marion McFadden, who preceded Mr. Gimont as head of disaster-recovery grants at HUD during the Obama administration, said the department was responding to the political realities in conservative states. She described the $16 billion grant program as “all about climate change,” but said some states would sooner refuse the money than admit that global warming is real.

“HUD is requiring them to be explicit about everything other than the concept that climate change is responsible,” said Ms. McFadden, who is now senior vice president for public policy at Enterprise Community Partners, which worked with states to meet the program’s requirements. Insistence on saying the words raises the risk “that they may walk away.”

For more climate news sign up for the Climate Fwd: newsletter or follow @NYTClimate on Twitter.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes

Westlake Legal Group 17xp-impeachprosts-facebookJumbo Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Times Square and 42nd Street (Manhattan, NY) Senate Philadelphia (Pa) North Carolina New Orleans (La) MoveOn.org impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Elections, House of Representatives Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statue called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including MoveOn.org and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.

In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

On the other side of Congress Street, a smaller faction of Trump loyalists in their ubiquitous red caps mounted a counterprotest. There were dueling chants of “lock him up” and “four more years.”

Chris King, a retired military officer and vice chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, held an American flag and spoke sarcastically about the looming impeachment vote.

“I won’t let them spoil my morning coffee,” he said. “I don’t let their hate get to me.”

Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats.

“They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

The rallies came on the eve of a set of votes by the full House on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The first article charges Mr. Trump with abuse of power, stemming from the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in return for foreign aid. The second article charges the president with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry.

In Times Square, the demonstrators unfurled a giant banner with Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which deals with impeachment, printed on it. They marched with the banner downtown toward Union Square.

Erica Bruce, an interior designer who lives in New York, held up a gavel, made of garbage and paper, with the words “Impeach Trump” on it. The impeachment proceedings, she said, should serve as a wake-up call to voters.

“I think that what happens tomorrow is going to solidify for a lot of people whether their representatives are acting on behalf of their constituents or themselves,” Ms. Bruce said.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state that Mr. Trump won in 2016, backers of Mr. Trump’s impeachment descended on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison. They stamped their feet to revive frozen toes in 20-degree weather while listening to the Raging Grannies, a political activist singing group. A bullhorn and a microphone didn’t work, forcing speakers to shout to the crowd of about 200 people.

Bill Kilgour, 87, said it was the duty of Congress to keep Mr. Trump in check.

“If a friend was drunk and they wanted to drive, wouldn’t you have a responsibility to take the keys?” he said. “That’s what impeachment is doing — taking the keys away from this guy who can do much more damage than he already has.”

Chris Taylor, 51, a Democratic state legislator from Madison, acknowledged the polarized political climate.

“We’re a very divided state,” Ms. Taylor said. “We have such a strong tradition of clean government in our state. People don’t want a president forged by the legislature, doing pay-for-play politics. And that’s what this is.”

The votes on impeachment are expected to play out along party lines in the House, which Democrats flipped back to their control in the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Trump would become the third president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency, facing an almost certain impeachment for the Watergate scandal.

No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office. It would take 67 of 100 senators to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial, which is expected to take place early next year in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Melissa Guerrero, Myah Ward, Ford Burkhart, Emily Shetler and Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes

Westlake Legal Group 17xp-impeachprosts-facebookJumbo Rallies Spread on Eve of House Impeachment Votes United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Times Square and 42nd Street (Manhattan, NY) Senate Philadelphia (Pa) North Carolina New Orleans (La) MoveOn.org impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Elections, House of Representatives Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statue called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including MoveOn.org and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.

In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

On the other side of Congress Street, a smaller faction of Trump loyalists in their ubiquitous red caps mounted a counterprotest. There were dueling chants of “lock him up” and “four more years.”

Chris King, a retired military officer and vice chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, held an American flag and spoke sarcastically about the looming impeachment vote.

“I won’t let them spoil my morning coffee,” he said. “I don’t let their hate get to me.”

Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats.

“They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

The rallies came on the eve of a set of votes by the full House on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The first article charges Mr. Trump with abuse of power, stemming from the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in return for foreign aid. The second article charges the president with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry.

In Times Square, the demonstrators unfurled a giant banner with Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which deals with impeachment, printed on it. They marched with the banner downtown toward Union Square.

Erica Bruce, an interior designer who lives in New York, held up a gavel, made of garbage and paper, with the words “Impeach Trump” on it. The impeachment proceedings, she said, should serve as a wake-up call to voters.

“I think that what happens tomorrow is going to solidify for a lot of people whether their representatives are acting on behalf of their constituents or themselves,” Ms. Bruce said.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state that Mr. Trump won in 2016, backers of Mr. Trump’s impeachment descended on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison. They stamped their feet to revive frozen toes in 20-degree weather while listening to the Raging Grannies, a political activist singing group. A bullhorn and a microphone didn’t work, forcing speakers to shout to the crowd of about 200 people.

Bill Kilgour, 87, said it was the duty of Congress to keep Mr. Trump in check.

“If a friend was drunk and they wanted to drive, wouldn’t you have a responsibility to take the keys?” he said. “That’s what impeachment is doing — taking the keys away from this guy who can do much more damage than he already has.”

Chris Taylor, 51, a Democratic state legislator from Madison, acknowledged the polarized political climate.

“We’re a very divided state,” Ms. Taylor said. “We have such a strong tradition of clean government in our state. People don’t want a president forged by the legislature, doing pay-for-play politics. And that’s what this is.”

The votes on impeachment are expected to play out along party lines in the House, which Democrats flipped back to their control in the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Trump would become the third president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency, facing an almost certain impeachment for the Watergate scandal.

No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office. It would take 67 of 100 senators to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial, which is expected to take place early next year in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Melissa Guerrero, Myah Ward, Ford Burkhart, Emily Shetler and Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Protesters Clamor for Trump’s Impeachment on Eve of House Votes

Westlake Legal Group 17xp-impeachprosts-facebookJumbo Protesters Clamor for Trump’s Impeachment on Eve of House Votes United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Times Square and 42nd Street (Manhattan, NY) Senate Philadelphia (Pa) North Carolina New Orleans (La) MoveOn.org impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Elections, House of Representatives Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statute called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including MoveOn.org and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.

In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

On the other side of Congress Street, a smaller faction of Trump loyalists in their ubiquitous red caps mounted a counterprotest. There were dueling chants of “lock him up” and “four more years.”

Chris King, a retired military officer and vice chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, held an American flag and spoke sarcastically about the looming impeachment vote.

“I won’t let them spoil my morning coffee,” he said. “I don’t let their hate get to me.”

Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats.

“They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

The rallies came on the eve of a set of votes by the full House on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The first article charges Mr. Trump with abuse of power, stemming from the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in return for foreign aid. The second article charges the president with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry.

In Times Square, the demonstrators unfurled a giant banner with Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which deals with impeachment, printed on it. They marched with the banner downtown toward Union Square.

Erica Bruce, an interior designer who lives in New York, held up a gavel, made of garbage and paper, with the words “Impeach Trump” on it. The impeachment proceedings, she said, should serve as a wake-up call to voters.

“I think that what happens tomorrow is going to solidify for a lot of people whether their representatives are acting on behalf of their constituents or themselves,” Ms. Bruce said.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state that Mr. Trump won in 2016, backers of Mr. Trump’s impeachment descended on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison. They stamped their feet to revive frozen toes in 20-degree weather while listening to the Raging Grannies, a political activist singing group. A bullhorn and a microphone didn’t work, forcing speakers to shout to the crowd of about 200 people.

Bill Kilgour, 87, said it was the duty of Congress to keep Mr. Trump in check.

“If a friend was drunk and they wanted to drive, wouldn’t you have a responsibility to take the keys?” he said. “That’s what impeachment is doing — taking the keys away from this guy who can do much more damage than he already has.”

Chris Taylor, 51, a Democratic state legislator from Madison, acknowledged the polarized political climate.

“We’re a very divided state,” Ms. Taylor said. “We have such a strong tradition of clean government in our state. People don’t want a president forged by the legislature, doing pay-for-play politics. And that’s what this is.”

The votes on impeachment are expected to play out along party lines in the House, which Democrats flipped back to their control in the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Trump would become the third president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency, facing an almost certain impeachment for the Watergate scandal.

No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office. It would take 67 of 100 senators to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial, which is expected to take place early next year in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Melissa Guerrero, Myah Ward, Ford Burkhart, Emily Shetler and Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Protesters Clamor for Trump’s Impeachment on Eve of House Votes

Westlake Legal Group 17xp-impeachprosts-facebookJumbo Protesters Clamor for Trump’s Impeachment on Eve of House Votes United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Times Square and 42nd Street (Manhattan, NY) Senate Philadelphia (Pa) North Carolina New Orleans (La) MoveOn.org impeachment House of Representatives Foreign Aid Ethics and Official Misconduct Elections, House of Representatives Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Democratic Party Biden, Joseph R Jr

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statute called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including MoveOn.org and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.

In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

On the other side of Congress Street, a smaller faction of Trump loyalists in their ubiquitous red caps mounted a counterprotest. There were dueling chants of “lock him up” and “four more years.”

Chris King, a retired military officer and vice chairman of the Pima County Republican Party, held an American flag and spoke sarcastically about the looming impeachment vote.

“I won’t let them spoil my morning coffee,” he said. “I don’t let their hate get to me.”

Another Trump supporter, who declined to give her name, expressed her disdain for House Democrats.

“They should take away their law degrees,” she said.

The rallies came on the eve of a set of votes by the full House on two articles of impeachment against Mr. Trump.

The first article charges Mr. Trump with abuse of power, stemming from the president’s attempts to get Ukraine to investigate the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in return for foreign aid. The second article charges the president with obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and refusing to provide documents to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry.

In Times Square, the demonstrators unfurled a giant banner with Article II, Section 4, of the United States Constitution, which deals with impeachment, printed on it. They marched with the banner downtown toward Union Square.

Erica Bruce, an interior designer who lives in New York, held up a gavel, made of garbage and paper, with the words “Impeach Trump” on it. The impeachment proceedings, she said, should serve as a wake-up call to voters.

“I think that what happens tomorrow is going to solidify for a lot of people whether their representatives are acting on behalf of their constituents or themselves,” Ms. Bruce said.

In Wisconsin, a battleground state that Mr. Trump won in 2016, backers of Mr. Trump’s impeachment descended on the steps of the State Capitol in Madison. They stamped their feet to revive frozen toes in 20-degree weather while listening to the Raging Grannies, a political activist singing group. A bullhorn and a microphone didn’t work, forcing speakers to shout to the crowd of about 200 people.

Bill Kilgour, 87, said it was the duty of Congress to keep Mr. Trump in check.

“If a friend was drunk and they wanted to drive, wouldn’t you have a responsibility to take the keys?” he said. “That’s what impeachment is doing — taking the keys away from this guy who can do much more damage than he already has.”

Chris Taylor, 51, a Democratic state legislator from Madison, acknowledged the polarized political climate.

“We’re a very divided state,” Ms. Taylor said. “We have such a strong tradition of clean government in our state. People don’t want a president forged by the legislature, doing pay-for-play politics. And that’s what this is.”

The votes on impeachment are expected to play out along party lines in the House, which Democrats flipped back to their control in the 2018 midterm elections. Mr. Trump would become the third president impeached by the House, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency, facing an almost certain impeachment for the Watergate scandal.

No president has ever been convicted by the Senate and removed from office. It would take 67 of 100 senators to convict Mr. Trump in an impeachment trial, which is expected to take place early next year in the Republican-controlled chamber.

Melissa Guerrero, Myah Ward, Ford Burkhart, Emily Shetler and Sandra E. Garcia contributed reporting.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid

Westlake Legal Group trump-fist-620x317 Watch: NSA Adviser Shuts Down Chuck Todd on Why Russia Was Notified in Advance of ISIS Raid white house washington D.C. Syria Social Media Russia robert o'brien republicans Politics North Carolina NBC News National Security Middle East Media journalism Front Page Stories Front Page Foreign Policy Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture Congress Chuck Todd Allow Media Exception

President Donald Trump gestures towards members on the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, after returning from United Nations General Assembly. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

You’d think everyone would have been elated at the news, but the national media and Democrats including Obama loyalists and former Obama officials were some of the saddest, angriest people in the aftermath of the news of the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the weekend.

After the news broke, the mainstream media wasted no time in latching on to a Democratic talking point about how Trump had informed Russia about the raid in advance but not Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

NBC News’ Chuck Todd was just one of many journos who saw something sinister behind Trump’s decision to notify Russia in advance of the raid and “thank Russia first” afterwards, and he let National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien know it on Sunday’s “Meet the Press”:

CHUCK TODD: The president said that there were a number of folks that helped. He thanked Russia first. He thanked the Kurds last. Should we read into that?

ROBERT O’BRIEN: No I don’t think you should read into that. I think what the president talked about is that it was a very dangerous mission for our troops. And the president made a courageous decision to send them far into enemy territory at night, a long range helicopter raid. It was a courageous decision of the president. But it was incredible bravery and skill of our men and women in the armed forces and the intelligence community that executed the mission flawlessly. But they had to fly over areas where there was significant anti-aircraft capability, the Syrians, the Russians, the Turks, others. So I think we appreciated the fact that our helicopters and our planes weren’t molested. The Kurds played an important role in the operation. And we’re grateful for the Kurds and for the SDF and our allies there.

When Todd again pressed O’Brien on the Russia angle, the NSA adviser patiently explained again why Russia played a crucial role and deserved thanks, even though they were not an ally of the United States:

CHUCK TODD: On a policy front, Russia. Are they an ally of the United States in this fight in ISIS? And are they an adversary of the United States in this situation with Ukraine? How would you describe it?

ROBERT O’BRIEN: Well, let me just make it very clear, Russia is not an ally of the United States. The president doesn’t believe that. I don’t believe that. I think there’s anyone —

CHUCK TODD: First country he thanked today.

ROBERT O’BRIEN: Look, there are times when our interests overlaps with the interests of Russia. Last night it overlapped. We didn’t want Russian air defense missiles being shot at our men and women who were executing this raid. And, and so last night — and they don’t like ISIS, as the president pointed out. Last night, our interests overlapped with Russia. When our interests overlap with Russia, there’s no reason we shouldn’t work with them. Russia is not an ally of the United States and look Russia presents a great danger to the United States. And something we keep an eye on every single day.

Watch O’Brien calmly teach Foreign Policy 101 to Todd below:

And to be perfectly clear, per Trump Russia was not notified of the specific mission:

“We spoke to the Russians. We told them we are coming in. They said, ‘Thank you for telling us,’” he said. “We told them we thought they would be happy. They hate ISIS as much as we do. You know what ISIS has done to Russia. They did not know the mission but they knew we were going over an area where they had a lot of firepower.”

In spite of the LSM and Democratic concern trolling about what Russia knew vs. what Pelosi and Schumer knew, it was just a great weekend all around for the dedicated men and women of the U.S. military. Job well done, y’all.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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Hilarious: NC Man CNN Interviews at State Fair Is Many of Us When It Comes to Impeachment News Coverage (Video)

Westlake Legal Group CNN-NCstateFairTrumpVoters-620x351 Hilarious: NC Man CNN Interviews at State Fair Is Many of Us When It Comes to Impeachment News Coverage (Video) Social Media republicans Politics North Carolina Media journalism It Is Okay To Laugh Impeachment of President Trump impeachment Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post elections donald trump democrats Culture Congress CNN Allow Media Exception 2020 Elections 2020

A scene from the North Carolina state fair. Screen grab via CNN.

CNN sent correspondent Martin Savidge to my beloved state of North Carolina this week to ask voters their thoughts on the impeachment inquiry drama currently playing out in Washington, D.C.

As House Intel Chair Adam Schiff’s show trial inquiry has been described by Republicans like Rep. Lee Zeldin (NY) as nothing more than a “clown show” process, it would seem fitting that the choice of venue for the interviews was … the state fair.

Before we get started on what the voters said, let’s take a quick look at the beauty of it all – from the ferris wheel at sunset to the bacon stand where, of course, the bacon options are plentiful:

Most of the voters Savidge talked to were either against impeaching Trump or ambivalent about it. One of the voters talked about how he did not like the secrecy of it all. Here’s a partial transcript:

SAVIDGE: Here, you can satisfy your wildest deep-fried dreams. We’ve come to measure voter appetite for impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it’s a waste of the taxpayer’s money.

SAVIDGE: Do you think the president did anything wrong?

JENNIFER WALL, NORTH CAROLINA VOTER: Absolutely, absolutely.
[…]
JIM UZZLE, NORTH CAROLINA VOTER: I don’t think he’s broken the law and I wish they would do right for America versus wasting their money, our money on a lost cause.

SAVIDGE: Most of the Trump supporters we talked to were unmoved by days of explosive testimony and revelations against the president.

Do you think it changes the minds of Trump supporters?

JEFF MASON, NORTH CAROLINA VOTER: I do not. The ones of us who support him will continue to support him. If you look at the economy, there’s no way to design that weir doing pretty amazing.
[…]
RICH BLEWITT, NORTH CAROLINA VOTER: If it was out in the open and everything was discussed and he did something wrong, impeach the guy. I just don’t like the secrecy. It just sounds wrong the way they’re going about it, that’s all.

It was the last voter, a Trump supporter, who stole the segment. When Savidge asked him if he followed the impeachment news closely, here’s how the voter answered:

SAVIDGE: Joe Miller did vote for Trump. Do you follow this?

JOE MILLER, NORTH CAROLINA VOTER: Not much. I try not to, actually.

SAVIDGE: How do you avoid it? It seems to be everywhere.

MILLER: I watch a lot of ESPN.

Heh. I set the video to start at his comments. Click below to watch:

Now my critics will complain that I’m saying voters should stay in the dark on what’s going on in the world by avoiding watching the news. Not so. I just know that as someone who covers this stuff every day, sometimes it’s nice to be able to avoid all the drama and spin, even if just for a few hours. Especially when we’re talking about watching the type of “news” programming that comes from national media outlets like CNN.

And it’s not even so much by watching ESPN as an alternative, either, because even they get political sometimes. Maybe watch some ID channel. Or HGTV, or some YouTube organizing videos, or …

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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Michigan Senate: Two New Polls Show Democratic Sen. Gary Peters Has Some Trouble, and His Name Is John James

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Republican U.S. Senate candidate John James speaks at a primary night election party in Detroit, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Republican nominee John James gave Michigan’s senior Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow a run for her money in 2018 in a closely-watched Senate race, but fell short.

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Screen grab via the NYT.

But James, a West Point grad and U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq, is not someone who gives up easily. This time around he wants to take on Michigan’s junior Sen. Gary Peters, and two new polls show James’ hard work is paying off:

That “oh, oh” you hear from the Democratic camp of U.S. Senator Gary Peters is that, in one week, two polls are out showing his race against Republican challenger John James is a statistical dead heat and for an incumbent to be in that spot one year before the election is hardly good news.

In the Vanguard, Dennis, Pubic Sector Consultant poll last May it was Mr. Peters 42% and a generic Republican 36%. It is now 39.5% for Mr. Peters and 39.3% for Mr. James.

The race today is a toss-up.

And then there was this poll from earlier this month:

The poll, conducted by the Michigan-based Marketing Resource Group, a firm with ties to Republicans, shows Peters leading businessman and Iraq War veteran John James (R) by a slim 43 percent to 40 percent margin.
[…]
James may have a better chance against Peters, who is seeking his second term in office. Peters is less well-known among Michiganders than his senior colleague; while 75 percent of state voters polled said they were aware of Peters, only 35 percent knew enough about him to say whether they felt positively, 20 percent, or negatively, 15 percent
[…]
The poll shows a tighter race than a Target Insyght survey last month, which showed Peters leading by a 53 percent to 37 percent margin.

His third quarter fundraising haul was pretty impressive, too:

We still have a little over a year between now and election time so obviously a lot of things can change, but the fact that James has a strong showing and is doing well in the fundraising department at this stage in the game is a good sign that the inroads he made with voters during the last campaign cycle are paying off.

His only primary opponent as of right now is a man named Bob Carr, and he dropped out of the 2018 Senate race before the primary. He’s also a former Democrat. The Michigan primary is August 4, 2020.

Even with all that encouraging news, James or whoever the Republican nominee ends up being will still end up having a major uphill battle to clear the final hurdle:

Beyond that, beating the professorial Peters will require doing something no one has done in Michigan in 67 years: defeating a sitting Democratic U.S. senator. The last was Blair Moody in 1952, who had been appointed to serve out a term the previous year and lost an election bid to Charles Potter.

Also, though President Trump won Michigan in 2016, his approval numbers there right now are not good according to the Michigan state chart from Morning Consult (make sure to scroll down and click the Michigan tab). This could carry over in down ballot races if that sentiment doesn’t change between now and November 2020.

In any event, put this one on your list of races to watch next year. The Michigan Senate race in 2018 was closer than people thought it would be and that’s just one of many reasons why Republicans feel like James has a real shot at an upset the second time around.

Stay tuned.

(Hat tip: Legal Insurrection)

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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Former Speaker Boehner Contradicts Fox’s Napolitano, Says GOP Did Not Change Impeachment Rules in 2015

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House Republicans gather for a news conference after Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrived for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Newsweek gleefully reported yesterday about comments Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano made on Fox and Friends Thursday morning in the aftermath of the storming that took place on Wednesday by dozens of frustrated House GOP members into House Intel Chief Adam Schiff’s secret hearings.

During the segment, Napolitano told the hosts that the GOP had no one to blame themselves for how the current impeachment inquiry was being conducted. Why? According to him, the impeachment inquiry rules were written in 2015 by the GOP and signed by then-House Speaker John Boehner:

“As frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors…they are consistent with the rules,” Napolitano, who previously served as a New Jersey Superior Court judge, explained during a segment of the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends.

“When were the rules written last?” the legal expert asked. “In January of 2015. And who signed them? John Boehner [the Republican speaker of the House]. And who enacted them? A Republican majority,” he asserted.

A video of the clip was tweeted out by Media Matters’ Bobby Lewis, who apparently is their designated monitor for Fox and Friends. The clip went viral, and as of this writing has over 29,000 retweets and nearly 80,000 likes:

In the next tweet, Lewis asserted – without evidence – that Napolitano “demolishe[d] Fox’s talking point that Dems need transparency.” Similarly, the Daily Beast ran a piece on the Judge’s comments, and uncritically passed them off as factual. “Napolitano … effectively dismantl[ed] the primary talking point of both Fox News and the Trump White House,” senior writer Matt Wilstein stated.

There’s just one problem: Boehner himself called BS on Judge Napolitano’s comments, as Brit Hume noted in a couple of tweets responding to the reports:

Boehner later confirmed that that’s what he said:

I assume Judge Nap is talking about a rule that was/is supposedly in the House Rules and Manual, an updated one of which is distributed every two years to the new Congress. Here’s how the process works:

Printed as a “House Document,” the Manual is usually authorized by House resolution at the end of a Congress for printing at the beginning of the following Congress. As such, the House document number reflects the Congress that authorized the printing although the cover page identifies the applicable Congress for the contents.

Let’s assume for grins and giggles that Napolitano is correct here. Even if he was, the book changes for each new Congress. 2015 was when the 114th Congress convened. We’re now in the 116th Congress. And as Rep. Dan Crenshaw (TX) pointed out Wednesday, the rulebook for this Congress clearly states on page 568 all House members should have access to the documents/transcripts, etc that Schiff is keeping under wraps:

Is Napolitano not aware of this?

As far as depositions being held in the public view goes, Byron York made this great point this morning:

Indeed. Too bad our intellectual betters in the mainstream media aren’t interested in finding out why that’s the case.

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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Inclusion: Instead of Removing Venus Symbol, Babylon Bee Has Better Packaging Idea for Always Feminine Products

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Did you hear the news?

After complaints from LGBTQ groups that their Always line of feminine products weren’t “inclusive” enough, Proctor and Gamble has decided to phase out the use of the female symbol on their packaging … because not everyone who goes through their, ahem, monthly cycle is a woman or something.

Fox News reports:

“For over 35 years Always has championed girls and women, and we will continue to do so,” the company said in a statement Tuesday, according to The Independent. “We’re also committed to diversity & inclusion and are on a continual journey to understand the needs of all of our consumers.”

Company officials added that they realize not everyone who needs feminine hygiene products “identif[ies] as female.” Procter & Gamble did not immediately respond to an after-hours email from Fox News.

The decision was lauded by trans activists but faced criticism online.

“Women are quite literally being erased from sanitary products now. Is there anywhere we are allowed to be visible!?” one woman wrote on Twitter, according to The Independent.

Progressive trans activists applauded the move, of course. But in a show of a complete lack of self awareness, they actually mansplained accused women who complained about the removal of the symbol of fragility, which I let them know was a bit of a strange comment for them to to make, all things considered:

In any event, the Babylon Bee had an alternative suggestion earlier this week for P&G that might actually work better than the removal of the symbol:

CINCINNATI, OH—Always is appealing to the company’s male customers with its new “Always Macho” series of menstrual products.

The pads and tampons’ packaging will feature pictures of monster trucks crushing each other, AR-15s, and John Cena dropkicking people.

“We want to welcome all people who menstruate, whether you are a cisgender woman, a transgender man, or a dude who really likes monster trucks,” said a Procter & Gamble representative.

Here’s what “Always Macho” packaging looks like:

I think it’s a contender! What do you think?

Related –>> Embrace Our Beliefs Or Be Canceled

——-
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 16+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –

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