Stephan Lewandowsky and others undertook a study which found the people in Australia cared if politicians told the truth, and were likely to take notice of fact checks. When they did the same study in the US they found the effect was 10 times less.
They speculate that this is because politics is much more polarised in the US.
Impeachment is a two-step process: first, the House of Representatives votes to impeach, then the accused official is put on trial before the Senate. A two-thirds vote in the Senate is needed to sustain impeachment, resulting in removal from office.
In 1974 three articles of impeachment were approved by the House. Nixon was advised that the Senate judgement would be unanimous.
- Nixon stepped down on Aug. 9, 1974. One month later, he was preemptively pardoned of all federal offenses arising from Watergate by his former Vice President Gerald Ford, who succeeded him as the nation’s 38th commander-in-chief. Nixon was able to recede from the limelight, disgraced but free.
Although Pence would likely do the same for Trump, the article says Trump will hang on to the bitter end:
- Trump will remain until the bitter end and seek reelection, not because he is a man of courage and principle, but because he has no other safe personal option.
A presidential pardon is limited to federal offenses. An offense that violates a state law is not an offense against the United States.
- At present, there are at least three major investigations underway in New York that ultimately could lead to criminal charges against Trump. They include investigations opened by New York City and New York state for tax fraud, as well as probes of the recently shuttered Trump Foundation for self-dealing, money laundering and illegal coordination with the Trump presidential campaign. The president could also be implicated by the district attorney’s office in Manhattan, which is looking into whether the Trump Organization falsified business records to hide his hush payments to Daniels and McDougal.
By convention, however, state authorities wait until a president leaves office even if that means he benefits from a statute of limitations.
While there is already enough on the record to impeach Trump, I understand that Nancy Pelosi, the new Democrat Speaker of the House, will not move against Trump unless she knows that Republicans in the Senate will back her. She is also waiting for what Robert Mueller comes up with.
Mueller seems to have done plea bargains with some pretty big fish, which indicates he is hunting even bigger fish. This episode of Russia if you’re listening looks at who Mueller is hiring. He has brought in 20 lawyers with expertise covering financial crime, bribery, money laundering, public corruption, Russian espionage and national security. He has also hired people with experience in arguing cases before the Supreme Court.
Looks like the fun is just beginning. And now the House of Representative under Democrat leadership of the committee process will start to get busy too.
- A glimpse of the suburban grotesque, featuring Russian mobsters, Fox News rage addicts, a caged man in a sex dungeon, and Dick Cheney.
Lauren Hough is a six-feet tall lesbian who looks a bit like a man, who:
- was born in Berlin and raised in seven countries, and West Texas. She’s been an Air Force airman, a green-aproned barista, a bartender, a livery driver and, for a time, a cable tech. Her work has appeared in Granta, Wrath Bearing Tree and The Guardian. She lives in Austin, Texas.
In this piece she relates experiences she encountered in people’s houses in Virginia where she worked as a cable tech for 10 years. It’s over 6000 words, but I think essential if you want to understand America.
On one occasion a man had been particularly rude to her. Workers installing a swimming pool next door had cut the cable. While he was ranting she saw his wife, repeatedly wiping a clean bench.
Then filling out paperwork in the van there was a knock on the window. The woman was polite and called her “ma’am”:
- She said she was sorry about him. I said, “It’s fine.” I said there really wasn’t anything I could do. She blinked back the flood of tears she’d been holding since God knows when. She said, “It’s just, when he has Fox, he has Obama to hate. If he doesn’t have that …” She kept looking over her shoulder. She was terrified of him. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I just need him to have Fox.”
On another case a woman was reluctant for her to go down into the basement. She said:
“Do you really? It’s just it’s a mess.”
“Unless you have a kid in a cage, I don’t fucking care.”
Turned out she had a man in a cage:
- Blue-collar customers were always my favorite. They don’t treat you like a servant. They don’t tell you, “We like the help to use the side door.” They don’t assume you’re an idiot just because you wear a name tag to work and your hands are calloused. The books on their shelves aren’t bound in leather. But the spines are cracked. Most of them, when you turn on the TV, it’s not set to Fox. They’re the only customers who tip.
In the end she hurt her ankle, had surgery, it didn’t heal properly, but couldn’t get disability because the HR section of the firm had effectively disappeared. So now she’s back working in a gay bar.
4. Mark Zuckerberg should resign
For several years now Mark Zuckerberg has been promising to fix Facebook, having admitted that he has responsibility for what is posted there and how the facility can be used for purposes which are anti-social to say the least, including organising genocide. The Guardian asked a range of experts. Their advice? ‘Resign from Facebook’: experts offer Mark Zuckerberg advice for 2019.
There is heaps he should do, but he won’t, so he should go.
5. Budget atrocities continue
Here in Oz, our government would have us believe that the budget is in the best shape in years. However, budget cuts continue. Remember back in the 2013 election campaign, when Kevin Rudd told us an Abbott government would “cut, cut, and cut to the bone”. He was right. Before Christmas Leaks show Border Force slashing airport staff at Christmas as budget cuts bite:
- The Australian Border Force is quietly slashing staff numbers at airports over the busy Christmas period and is believed to have suspended a fleet of boats supposed to protect the nation’s northern waters, in cost-cutting moves that insiders say threaten national security.
The cuts to critical frontline operations, which critics have blamed on “catastrophic” budget blowouts, raise further questions about the performance of the quasi-military organisation following reports that it is plagued by a toxic culture of bullying and harassment.
The workforce has been progressively casualised, and now has been cut by up to two-thirds in some areas.
Now as Health Minister Greg Hunt’s announced of $10 million in funding for human trials of a UQ-developed dementia treatment, the Government is ripping $56 million out of Queensland university research, including $31 million from UQ. That’s part of an Australia wide cut worth $328.5 million across Australia over four years. That affects our universities’ global rankings, making it harder to compete for international students. Education is our third biggest export earner, apart from the investment return of the actual research.
6. Adani blames the Queensland Government
However, State Government won’t be rushed and has told the company to go back to the drawing board on a controversial groundwater management plan.
Labor is planning a package of measures to guide the transition away from coal that will be triggered by of a more ambitious emissions reduction target, including the creation of a new statutory authority to oversee the transition and the programs intended to ameliorate it.
The Greens, as is customary, are more direct, simplistic and in fact political in proposing legislation making it illegal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal by 2030.
Now Larissa Waters apparently has a bill to ban mining in Galilee directly. Ian Macfarlane, who now represents mining interests says the bill is attention seeking and bound to fail.
He’s probably right. Such a bill would trigger sovereign risk and compensation claims. It’s purpose is political – to try to win inner city seats from Labor.