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Hometown: America's Finest City
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Member since: 2001
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The Senate must convict Donald Trump

Opinion by Editorial Board

THE SENATE will begin considering Tuesday whether to convict Donald Trump following the House’s unprecedented second impeachment of the now-former president. Mr. Trump’s lawyers, as well as many Republicans, deny that the proceedings are legitimate. They are wrong. The Senate must hold its trial, and the right vote is for conviction.

The House was able to impeach Mr. Trump quickly in the final days of his presidency because he betrayed the nation on live television. The House impeachment managers’ brief is damning, even though it reveals little that was not already in the public record.

After Mr. Trump lost the Nov. 3 presidential election, he conducted a persistent campaign of lies alleging that Joe Biden’s victory was fraudulent. His campaign escalated after he failed in court; he suggested Senate Republicans should “fight to the death.” He asked supporters to descend on Washington on Jan. 6, the day Congress was to count electoral votes. Some of those supporters responded by planning to attack the Capitol.

On the morning of Jan. 6, Mr. Trump instructed the crowd to go to the Capitol and warned, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Supporters screamed, “Take the Capitol right now!” That is what they did after Mr. Trump stopped speaking. Mr. Trump watched as a mob chanting “Hang Mike Pence” stormed the building, resulting in multiple deaths, the interruption of the electoral vote counting and the desecration of the nation’s seat of government. Some in the mob reported that they were following Mr. Trump’s directions. Mr. Trump eventually issued meek statements designed as much to justify the mob’s rage as to pacify it.


Why progressives should be celebrating Liz Cheney and Ben Sasse right now

Opinion by Eugene Robinson

I look forward to the day when I can get back to disagreeing with the likes of Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) about basically everything. But right now, with former president Donald Trump's second impeachment trial set to begin, even progressives need to celebrate these conservatives as heroes.

It is in everyone's interest that the GOP become an actual political party again, rather than a cult dedicated — in Sasse's memorable phrase — to "the weird worship of one dude." Such a party could play a productive role in governing and policymaking, rather than using Washington as the set for an increasingly bizarre reality show. For that to happen, lawmakers such as Sasse and Cheney need to win the battle for their party. Democrats should be self-interested enough to recognize the costs of letting the GOP devolve further into lunacy.

I never thought I'd have to share a foxhole with some of the nation's most doctrinaire conservatives, but here we are. Cheney, Sasse and a precious few other Republicans have been telling the truth to their base about Trump and the grave injury he has done to our democracy. Given all the times today's truth-tellers pretended not to notice Trump's outrages in the past, it is tempting to say they are merely reaping what they have sown. But they have shown up and spoken out when it counts most.

In an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Cheney was on fire. "People have been lied to," she said. "The extent to which the president, President Trump, for months leading up to January 6th spread the notion that the election had been stolen or that the election was rigged was a lie. And people need to understand that. We need to make sure that we as Republicans are the party of truth, and that we're being honest about what really did happen in 2020, so we actually have a chance to win in 2022 and win the White House back in 2024."

Let's work hard to make sure that Republicans do not win those coming elections; hoping for sane debating partners who might cross the aisle on occasion is not the same thing as wanting to cede control to conservatives. But let's applaud the fact that Cheney was addressing the GOP-leaning Fox News audience so bluntly.


Trump supporters want us to believe the Framers were fools

Opinion by Michael Gerson

Not long ago, it was common on the right for people to call themselves constitutional conservatives. But that, evidently, was a fad. Now, the supporters of Donald Trump want us to believe the Framers were fools.

How else to understand their interpretation of impeachment? As the Senate trial begins, the main argument of Trump’s lawyers — repeated ad nauseam in their written response to the House trial brief — is that their client can no longer be impeached because he is no longer president. “The constitutional provision,” it reads, “requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached.”

The absurdities of this claim abound. The Constitution specifies two possible punishments the Senate can impose upon impeachment conviction: removal from office and disqualification from future office. The second penalty is always and only imposed on former officials, since they have just been removed from their job. And there is nothing in the text of the Constitution that requires the imposition of both punishments in every case.

The Trump team’s version of impeachment would leave the process easily gamed. Why wouldn’t every official facing the likelihood of conviction simply resign from office 10 minutes before the Senate votes? Yes, the official would lose office (by an act of his or her own will). But wouldn’t this make the second punishment — disqualification from future office — impossible to impose?


My fellow Republicans, convicting Trump is necessary to save America

Opinion by Adam Kinzinger

Winston Churchill famously said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” All Americans, but especially my fellow Republicans, should remember this wisdom during the Senate’s trial of former president Donald Trump.

I say this as a lifelong Republican who voted to impeach Trump last month. Virtually all my colleagues on the right side of the aisle took the opposite path. Most felt it was a waste of time — political theater that distracted from bigger issues. The overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans appear to feel the same way about conviction.

But this isn’t a waste of time. It’s a matter of accountability. If the GOP doesn’t take a stand, the chaos of the past few months, and the past four years, could quickly return. The future of our party and our country depends on confronting what happened — so it doesn’t happen again.

The immediate cause for Trump’s impeachment was Jan. 6. But the president’s rally and resulting riot on Capitol Hill didn’t come out of nowhere. They were the result of four-plus years of anger, outrage and outright lies. Perhaps the most dangerous lie — or at least the most recent — was that the election was stolen. Of course it wasn’t, but a huge number of Republican leaders encouraged the belief that it was. Every time that lie was repeated, the riots of Jan. 6 became more likely.


Trump's Lawyers Call for Dismissal of Trial on the Ground That They Will Never Collect Fees

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Donald J. Trump’s lawyers have called for the dismissal of his impeachment trial on the ground that they will never get paid.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, Trump’s lead attorneys, David Schoen and Bruce Castor, said that they had a “moment of lucidity” when they realized that their chances of Trump ever paying them were nil.

“We were pulling an all-nighter rewriting this brief, and we kind of looked at each other and said, ‘We’re not gonna get paid for any of this, are we?’ ” Schoen said. “From that moment on, we felt like a couple of dopes.”

The two lawyers said that they racked their brains trying to remember why they had agreed to defend Trump in the first place, given that they would most likely wind up stiffed.

“I guess I thought it would be historic to be involved in the second impeachment trial of a President,” Castor said. “But what would truly be historic is if Donald Trump paid his lawyers.”


Former Trump economic advisor Larry Kudlow will replace Lou Dobbs on Fox Business Network

Former U.S. National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow will move into the Fox Business Network line-up next week, effectively replacing Lou Dobbs, whose program was canceled Friday.

Kudlow’s new program will air at 4 p.m. Eastern with a repeat at 7 p.m. Eastern, the business channel announced Monday.

“Fox Business Tonight,” which currently fills the Dobbs time period, will continue to air at 5 p.m. Eastern with rotating hosts, but will be replaced at 7 p.m. by a re-airing of Kudlow.

Kudlow, 73, is a conservative with experience in the Trump and Reagan administrations. His program will be driven by opinionated guests and commentary.


NFL Bankrupted After Receiving $6.3 Trillion Bill From Hospitals For Healthcare Workers Appearance

NEW YORK—Weeping into his hands as he realized everything he worked for had been destroyed in an instant, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters Monday that the league has been bankrupted after receiving a bill for $6.3 trillion from the hospitals that employ the 7,500 healthcare workers who attended the Super Bowl.

“They were only there for a few hours and we didn’t even need any treatments? What are we going to do?” cried Goodell, who had spent the previous four hours on the phone with the NFL’s insurance company, only to be told it was a standard charge and there was nothing they could do to help.

“A hundred years and it’s all gone with one medical bill. How do they expect us to pay this? We could sell off every team and it still wouldn’t even come close. They didn’t even warn us either, they acted like it was no big deal and then they slam us with this bill just because 7,200 of these people were out of network. I’m going to be in debt the rest of my life.”

At press time, an NFL GoFundMe to pay for the bill had raised $792.


Giuliani to Be First Guest of Lou Dobbs Total Landscaping

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—Lou Dobbs has selected Rudy Giuliani to be the first guest of his new media venture, Lou Dobbs Total Landscaping.

Dobbs said that his new show will offer “more freedom” than his Fox Business show did, because there will be no cameras recording it.

“Since it won’t be on television or the Internet, we can let it rip,” Dobbs said. “It’s just going to be me and my guest sitting on lawn chairs in the parking lot of a landscaping company, shouting at passersby. It’s a dream format for me.”

Dobbs advised Giuliani “not to hold back” during his appearance on L.D.T.L. and “to spew the first baseless accusations that pop into his head.”

“There’s no way he can ever be sued, because no one will ever see or hear him,” Dobbs said. “Take that, cancel culture.”


Acknowledging the malice of some precedes charity for all

Opinion by E.J. Dionne Jr.

I never liked the phrase “the new normal,” which became popular after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was a too-easy, high drama cliche, but worse than that, it implied that we would become accustomed to terrorism as a way of life. That was and always will be unacceptable.

And this is why the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump that begins on Tuesday is so important. It’s also why last week’s House vote to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments — with, it should never be forgotten, 11 Republican votes — sent an invaluable message.

Although we can welcome President Biden’s desire to look forward rather than backward, our nation, and the Republican Party in particular, have not fully come to terms with what the violent attack on our Capitol and the effort to overturn the result of a free election mean for our democracy. Trumpism and its close cousins in Greene-ism, QAnonism, white supremacy and violent extremism cannot become “the new normal” in our politics.

We have “moved on” far too quickly. All 147 Republicans who, against all the evidence, cast at least one vote to reject legitimate election returns should be called upon to recant the falsehoods on which their votes were based. A formal resolution affirming Biden’s legitimacy is in order.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) treats advocates of “a bullet to the head” of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ­(D-Calif.) as just another wing of the Republican Party. Yes, the GOP includes supply-siders, social conservatives, foreign policy hawks and now would-be assassins who believe that Jewish lasers start forest fires. Talk about broadening the base!

McCarthy isn’t even a competent opportunist. He condemned QAnon last summer when it seemed politically convenient to do so, but turned around last week and said: “I don’t even know what it is.”


The GOP is not a normal party

Opinion by Jennifer Rubin

The few intellectually honest Republican officials recognize that the party is nothing more than a cult. Facing sanction from his state party for having the temerity to acknowledge reality and denounce racist insurrectionists, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) responded in a video, “Let’s be clear about why this is happening. It’s because I still believe, as you used to, that politics isn’t about the weird worship of one guy.”

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) replied to her censure by her state party, “I think people all across Wyoming understand and recognize that our most important duty is to the Constitution. And as I’ve explained — and will continue to explain — to supporters all across the state and voters all across the state, the oath that I took to the Constitution compelled me to vote for impeachment.” She highlighted the insane views of her fellow party members. “They believe that BLM and antifa were behind what happened here at the Capitol. It’s just simply not the case. It’s not true,” she said. “And we’re going to have a lot of work we have to do. People have been lied to.”

The problem, of course, is that the party at large — elected members of Congress, state officials and a large portion of the base — believe or at least feign belief in the crackpottery of the former president, the QAnon congresswoman from Georgia (Marjorie Taylor Greene) and the conspiracies promulgated by cynical right-wing media moguls. Frankly, the ones feigning belief are the most reprehensible, because they willingly manipulate the base and undermine democracy for personal fame and power. (On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) correctly analyzed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “stands for nothing except the perpetuation of his own position. He has no values, and in my view cares about little except for hoping to be speaker one day. God forbid.”)

In what universe can the Republican Party recover some semblance of normalcy? Nearly 150 House Republicans voted to overturn the election results; 199 refused to strip Greene of her committee seats. All but 10 voted against impeachment to hold the former president accountable for insurrection. (And in case you thought Senate Republicans were any saner, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi declared he is “not conceding that President Trump incited an insurrection.” He might check with Cheney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — and the tens of millions of Americans who witnessed the events of Jan. 6.)

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