Salt Lake Tribune:
Tribune Editorial: Why Orrin Hatch is Utahn of the Year
It has everything to do with recognizing:
- Hatch’s part in the dramatic dismantling of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.
- His role as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee in passing a major overhaul of the nation’s tax code.
- His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power.
His utter lack of integrity that rises from his unquenchable thirst for power? That would be Republicans everywhere. See gerrymandering. See Voter ID and suppression and their ridiculous voting commission. See the way they conduct business in Congress. This isn’t partisan hyperbole, it’s cold fact. Alas.
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said it was an honor to be ‘Utahn of the Year.’ It wasn’t.
Hatch's retweet of the Tribune's front page — which did not capture any part of the editorial's text — set off a cascade of ridicule on social media from people who accused the senator of not reading it.
Why spend time ridiculing people like Hatch? Because not enough time is spent ridiculing people like Hatch.
Intensity of opinion continues to tell a potentially more important story, though the trend has been essentially the same as overall approval. So far in December, better than twice as many Americans strongly disapprove (47 percent) than strongly approve (21 percent) of the way Trump is handling his job as president. Trump’s strong approval rating fell by six percentage points (from 27 to 21 percent) between February and July and has leveled off since. His strong disapproval rating has been hovering near 46 percent since the summer but ticked up to 47 percent for the first three weeks of December.
Impeachment debate divides Democrats as 2018 wave builds
If Democrats take back the House, they’ll immediately face pressure from their base to impeach Trump. But it may not be their best move.
But lawmakers who recall the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton are wary of sparking a political backlash for appearing too eager to remove a president without buy-in from independents and even some Republicans. Their tallest task may be persuading fellow Democrats to cool their jets. How the party handles the explosive question of impeachment could determine whether its new majority is still standing two years later…
But Huffman acknowledged that most members of the Democratic caucus aren't there yet, and he says many are nervous about the prospect of provoking a political backlash, as Republicans did after impeaching Clinton
Actually they’ll face pressure for a proper investigation, not a Trey Gowdy-Jason Chaffetz-Devin Nunes sham. Just do it with sorrow more than anger, and it’s cool — so long as you do it. And in case you missed it, this from Kos.
Dante Chinni/WSJ ($$$):
College-Educated Women Are Moving Away From GOP
Recent WSJ/NBC News poll shows women with four-year degrees favor Democrats over Republicans leading Congress by 32 percentage points
Mary Strausbaugh, a retiree with a bachelor’s degree who lives in suburban Harrisburg, Pa., said she plans to vote Democratic in 2018, even though she has long considered herself to be a Republican. She said she had grown uncomfortable with the GOP’s position on immigration, among other issues.
Ms. Strausbaugh said her daughter, a recent college graduate who lives with her because of student loan debt, had suddenly become politically engaged this year, with a strong lean toward Democratic candidates and causes. “She’s writing congresspeople. It began with the Women’s March in January, and now it’s the ‘me too’ movement,” she said. “She’ll be active all next year.”
While this is behind a paywall, the graphic at top tells you what you need to know.
Why Weinstein? How a powerful but obscure figure touched off a social movement
Donald Trump didn’t do it.
Nor did Bill Clinton, Clarence Thomas, Bill Cosby, Roger Ailes or Bill O’Reilly.
None of these famous men, each publicly accused of sexual harassment or assault, touched off the cultural reckoning that has swept America and other parts of the world over the past three months.
The honor, or perhaps dishonor, goes to a far more obscure and unlikely figure: Harvey Weinstein. The Hollywood producer’s alleged predations unleashed the outpouring of #MeToo revelations on social media along with echoing volleys of claims against more than 100 prominent men in news, entertainment, government and other fields.
TL;DR? It’s because Weinstein abused well known white women.But the article credits Anita Hill, too often forgotten.
WaPo with a fascinating piece on VA that could be Congress. This is for you process people, and you know who you are:
Could a split Virginia House force delegates to get along? It’s happened before.
Jay DeBoer remembers feeling physically sick at the ugly spectaclein the House of Delegates, the angry chaos of members shouting and pounding on desks.
Dave Albo thinks about the young page, a middle-schooler, breaking down in tears amid the furor. It struck the delegate as a scene from a developing country, not the august Virginia chamber that bills itself as the oldest lawmaking body in the New World.
So, no, the last time Virginia’s House was evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, it didn’t get off to a very good start.
That was 1998, and all kinds of things were breaking — the sense of decorum, but also more than 110 years of single-party control by Democrats. The painful spasm at the beginning of that year’s General Assembly session, as Democrats faced sharing power for the first time, cleared the way for Republicans to take over two years later and build a juggernaut of their own.
Which lasted until approximately now.
Trump’s first year was even worse than feared
Many of us began 2017 with the consoling thought that the Donald Trump presidency couldn’t possibly be as bad as we feared. It turned out to be worse.
Did you ever think you would hear a president use the words “very fine people” to describe participants in a torch-lit rally organized by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan? Did you ever think you would hear a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations thuggishly threaten that she would be “taking names” of countries that did not vote on a General Assembly resolution the way she wanted? Did you ever think the government of the world’s biggest military and economic power would reject not just science but also empiricism itself, preferring to use made-up “alternative facts” as the basis for major decisions?
Yes, Trump can legitimately be charged with obstruction of justice
As David Alan Sklansky wrote in Fortune, it’s not a crime for a local sheriff to shut down an investigation because it’s not going anywhere, but it is a crime if his motive is to avoid implicating the sheriff’s brother-in-law. It is long-settled law that the legality of an executive official’s conduct may depend on why the official engaged in that conduct – i.e., that motive matters.
A prosecution based only on Comey’s testimony would not be strong, but it justified a careful investigation that has already turned up much more. It must be permitted to take its course, whether it leads only to indictments of administration officials or to a report triggering impeachment. There is no constitutional immunity for such corrupt abuse of power — not now, not ever.
Keep that in mind as you watch what the House commmittees do.
Post Christmas thoughts: