Wait. What?

Editors Note:
Congress has gone home for the year and as we enter the holiday period we will take a break too. We want to wish you and yours the best of the season and year ahead. We thank you for your readership and support, and know 2020 will be an exciting year.

wait. what?

Wait, after the absolute rush, cutting corners in any manner and getting a vote in the day before they break for the year, they don’t pass the articles to the senate? I thought the President’s action was so grievous that this couldn’t wait?
Wait, did you say the senate must call the witnesses you wouldn’t wait for? You think Mitch O’Connell and the senate are going to do what you refused? In what universe do you think they will do extra work in an act they think is ill served to start with? Don’t you understand it was your job to prove the case to a skeptical senate?

I can’t explain the logic behind holding this, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t talk about it yesterday in her press conference. After three months of constant daily chatter about why the President had to go, she refused to take any questions the day after the House passed the articles.

We can assume those so focused on the President being impeached will see no wrong here, but I have trouble seeing any right here. With Congress out for the year we’ll have to wait until January for the next chapter. So much for urgent.

The democratic debate last night

The first hour was kind of ho hum with softball questions like how come more people are not for impeachment. Then hour two came and the candidates opened up on each other. It got interesting. With only seven on the stage, there was more time. The moderators seemed to lose control at times as those attacked went after those attacking. So who won and lost?
I think Amy Klobuchar won the night with her reasoned answers and acting like the adult in the room.
Andrew Wang was smart, quick and even deviated from the party line on impeachment. His answer there was so pertinent to what the focus should be.
I thought Joe Biden had his best debate, but just held ground. His “middle class is getting killed” will bury him in the general election.
Mayor Pete got into it as he was attacked. He was great answering Elizabeth Warren on fund raising, but Klobucher buried him on his statewide run.
Bernie appealed to his base, but did not have any memorable moment.
I thought Elizabeth Warren had a bad night. She created what will be the most covered moment criticizing the “Wine Cave” fund raiser, to which Mayor Pete counter attacked her wealth.
Tom Steyer was there.

The next debate is in January. One more debate and then the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary are set to go. If Nancy brings the articles to the senate in early January, then Warren, Sanders and Klobucher will be off the trail. Which makes the whole thing even more confusing.

some additional news bits

Edward Snowden, you remember him and the released secret documents to the media . Well he wrote a book on his actions to make some money and the federal government took him to court to deny him the funds. The judge ruled that he is not entitled to receive proceeds from the sale of his memoir. He said the U.S. government is entitled to collect any money he makes off his memoir and related public events, citing agreements Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, entered into with the CIA and National Security Agency.

You know how President Trump is either a Russian agent or beholden to Putin according to many of his detractors? Well look at this story and tell me how it fits:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday criticized a Trump administration move to impose sanctions related to a controversial new Russian-German gas pipeline, signaling that she wants discussions with Washington but declining to threaten retaliation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said that the U.S. government’s move violates international law and that the project will be completed regardless of the new American sanctions.
The U.S. has been an outspoken opponent of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transport natural gas about 750 miles under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Along with Eastern European countries that also oppose the project, the U.S. government argues that it will increase Europe’s dependence on Russia for energy.

Think you’ll much about this in the media?

The House passed USMCA on its last day in session. The vote was 385-41. Isn’t it fair to ask what took it so long? Why did we have to wait until the last hour of this congressional session? Where is the outrage over holding this up for almost a year?
And now Nancy Pelosi, backed by some in her party say this is “her deal”. Really? How many times did you bring this up in the eight years of the Obama administration? Or, the Bush one? How many times did you meet with the Mexican and Canadian negotiation teams the past three years?
Let’s just call this a better deal for America and be happy for the jobs it will create.

Finally, the House and Senate approved a pair of spending packages Thursday, authorizing $1.4 trillion in spending and avoiding a government shutdown that had loomed Friday. Amazing what congress can do when all that separates them from vacation is a vote or two.

Our best wishes to you and yours as we head to the holiday week.

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