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MORNING MESSAGE

Tim Wilkins

The New Know-Nothings And Why We Must Impeach

Trump’s America feels more and more like the 1850s, when our country’s violent anti-immigrant movement was born. Anti-Catholic mobs, alarmed by a rapid influx of poor immigrants from Germany, Ireland and Italy, burned churches and killed Catholics in Philadelphia and other cities. In 1849, these “Nativists” formed the Order of the Star Spangled Banner, whose members vehemently and violently opposed immigration, and who were sworn to secrecy. When outsiders asked about their activities, members would say they “knew nothing.” By 1854, they were a political party, and seemed poised to seize the presidency. Today’s Know-Nothings –Mike Pompeo, Mick Mulvaney, Mike Pence and Stephen Miller – are all descended from once-reviled immigrants. And while their forebears denounced “foreign influence” in American politics, these new Know-Nothings embrace it. This Know-Nothing attitude has now crystallized in the Republican Party’s lockstep defense of the president as he faces trial for two articles of impeachment. Abuse of power? It’s the will of the people, they say. Obstruction of justice? We make our own rules, they say. The stakes have never been higher if we wish to see our republic endure. That is why impeachment is now our only choice and an imperative, and why we must support lawmakers as they make this historic choice. On Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. local time, People’s Action members will take to the streets with other activists in Washington, D.C. and all 50 states to demand impeachment, and support House lawmakers as they prepare to vote. More than 600 events are planned around the country, to send a clear message to wavering lawmakers that Nobody Is Above The Law. The stakes for our democracy have never been higher. Join us to demand that lawmakers choose the path of courage, and vote for impeachment now.

Join one of the more than 600 “Nobody Is Above The Law” events around the country on Tuesday, December 17 at 5:30 p.m. local time.

Rallies Nationwide To Demand Impeachment

‘To Protect Our Democracy,’ Tuesday night rallies planned in all 50 states to demand Congress votes to impeach Trump. Common Dreams: “At more than 500 rallies planned for Tuesday evening, hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to call on the U.S. House to vote to impeach President Donald Trump. The rallies will take place at congressional offices and other public spaces, the night before the House is expected to vote on two articles of impeachment accusing Trump of abusing his power when he pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and obstructing Congress by stonewalling its investigation. ‘The facts are uncontested,” organizers said Saturday. ‘An extensive investigation turned up phone records, transcripts, and first hand witness testimony that prove Trump demanded Ukraine interfere in the 2020 election on his behalf before he’d give them critical military aid or a White House meeting.’ ‘Americans from California to West Virginia are ready to hold their representatives accountable and declare that no one—not even the president—is above the law,’ they added. At least 612 events were planned for 5:30pm local time on Tuesday, with people in every state in the nation planning to rally.”

Thursday’s Presidential Debate To Proceed

Democratic debate to go on as planned after labor dispute tentatively resolved. CNN: “The Democratic primary debate scheduled for Thursday will go on as planned, after a labor dispute between a California union and a catering provider that threatened to derail the high-profile event was resolved. All seven Democratic presidential candidates who met the qualifications to participate in the debate declared their support last week for Unite Here Local 11 and said they would not participate in the debate if they had to cross the union’s picket line. The announcements threw the debate planning into turmoil as top officials from the Democratic National Committee, including chairman Tom Perez, spent the weekend frantically working the phones to come to a resolution. The union announced on Tuesday morning that an agreement was reached on Monday with Sodexo, the catering provider at Loyola-Marymount University; the university is set to host the Thursday debate in Los Angeles. ‘Sodexo at Loyola Marymount University and their employees negotiated through Monday evening to secure a tentative contract agreement,’ the union said in its release. ‘The Democratic National Committee and Tom Perez worked hard to help bring the situation to a positive resolution.’ The agreement still must be ratified by the workers to be official, according to Maria Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the union. That vote will happen Tuesday, Hernandez said. ‘I am thrilled that we were able to reach an agreement, and that the candidate debate can continue as scheduled,’ said Angela Fisher, a prep cook at Loyola Marymount University. ‘I want to thank the Democratic candidates who stood with us and the Democratic party that helped us win.'”

Energy Secretary Perry Sought Windfall In Ukraine

Exclusive: Lawsuit raises questions about Rick Perry’s role in Ukraine’s energy sector. TIME: “This summer, the Ukrainian government awarded the rights to develop a huge complex of oil and gas fields in the country to an American company that is co-owned by a former campaign donor to then-Energy Secretary Rick Perry. The decision annoyed the heads of the state-owned Naftogaz conglomerate, which had competed and lost the bidding for the contract. Now, Naftogaz has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the deal, two sources familiar with the matter tell TIME, casting a spotlight on Perry’s role in Ukraine’s oil and gas industry. The suit was filed on Friday afternoon in the District Administrative Court of Kyiv, the sources tell TIME, and has not been previously reported. In a draft of the complaint obtained by TIME on Monday, Naftogaz alleges that the government of Ukraine acted illegally and with bias in July when it granted the oil and gas fields to an American company that is co-owned by Michael Bleyzer, one of Perry’s longtime allies and financial backers. Bleyzer, a Ukrainian-born energy investor from Texas, insists that his company won the oil and gas exploration rights in Ukraine fairly and without any political influence. ”

SCOTUS Turns Blind Eye On Housing Crisis

Supreme Court leaves cities with one option on homelessness: More housing. LA Times: “The U.S. Supreme Court decided against hearing an appeal of the landmark case City of Boise vs. Martin, letting stand a ruling that amounts to a broad curb on police powers in California and eight other states to stop people from sleeping on public property if no other shelter is available. In doing so, the justices took yet another tool out of the municipal toolkit for preventing people from building sprawling encampments that increasingly clog their sidewalks and streets. Local governments had hoped the highest court in the land would clarify how to comply with the Boise ruling or carve out more authority for police to clear encampments. Instead, homeless advocates celebrated the justices’ decision as the death knell for local anti-camping laws that they say criminalize homelessness. ‘I think a lot of jurisdictions were hoping that the Supreme Court would enable a much greater level of enforcement activity around the unsheltered homeless, and that won’t be the case,’ said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, who along with L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is co-chair of the governor’s task force on homelessness. The result, some officials and homeless advocates say, is likely to be an upswing of newfound political will to build more permanent supportive housing and temporary shelters to get people off the streets.”

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