JanF

Welcome, Returning Light!

The winter solstice “occurs exactly when the Earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the winter solstice lasts only a moment in time, the term is also a turning point to midwinter and the first day of winter.”

That moment will occur tonight, December 21st, at 10:19pm Central Time (which is my time zone), in universal time that will be tomorrow, December 22, UTC 04:19.

Preserving and Protecting: “This is a question of duty – we will honor our oath of office and defend the Constitution”

December 10, 2019 – The House of Representatives releases Articles of Impeachment.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Waters and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney.

Chairman Schiff has the last word:

Chairman Adam Schiff: The Framers of the Constitution recognized that someday, a president might come to office who would abuse that office, betray the public trust and undermine national security to secure foreign help in his re-election and who would seek to abrogate of the power of Congress to hold him accountable. They recognize this danger and they prescribed a remedy and that remedy is impeachment.

It is an extraordinary remedy and one that I have been reluctant to recommend until the actions of President Trump gave Congress no alternative. We stand here today because the President’s continuing abuse of power left us no choice. To do nothing would make ourselves complicit in the President’s abuse of his high office, the public trust, and our national security.

The President’s misconduct is as simple and as terrible as this: President Trump solicited a foreign nation, Ukraine, to publicly announce investigations into his opponent and a baseless theory promoted by Russia, to help his re-election campaign. President Trump abused the power of his office by conditioning two official acts to get Ukraine to help his re-election: the release of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that nation desperately needed and a White House meeting with an ally trying to fend off Russian aggression. […]

The argument, ‘Why don’t you just wait?’ amounts to this: Why don’t you just let him cheat in one more election? Why not let him cheat just one more time? Why not let him have foreign help just one more time? That is what that argument amounts to. […]

Ben Franklin said we have a republic, if we can keep it. The President and his men say you can’t keep it and Americans should just get over it. Americans don’t get to decide American elections any more, not by themselves, not without foreign help.

For the Members of Congress, this is not a question of fact because the facts are not seriously contested; it is rather a question of duty. The President’s oath of office appears to mean very little to him, but the articles put forward today give us a chance to show that we will defend the Constitution, and that our oath means something to us.

Bolding added. Full transcript below.

Fighting Back: “We have the moral obligation to lead on climate change.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Sean Casten of Illinois speaking about our moral obligation to lead on climate change and how Democrats are prepared to do so.

(Congressman Sean Casten discussed the upcoming Congressional Delegation to the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Madrid and the importance of the United States’ leadership in addressing the climate crisis.)

[Under Republicans control], the United States has failed to bring that leadership to greenhouse gas emissions. Even worse, we have walked away from the international agreements that would do so.

“And while House Democrats joined together to pass H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, sending a clear message that just like the thousands of localities, cities and U.S. companies, we are still in on the Paris Agreement, Senate Republicans and the President have met this historic effort with inaction and a resounding silence. That is not leadership. It is cowardice. […]

“The greatness of the United States – and our greatest gift to the world – is our leadership. We are not perfect, but since World War II there has been no greater advocate for equality, for the rule of law and for international peace than the United States.

“We have the ability – no, we have the moral obligation – to lead in this moment as well.

“The times have found us, and we will not shirk from our responsibilities. That will be our message to our allies in Madrid, and that is our charge moving forward. […]

“House Democrats will continue leading For The People: to lower health costs and prescription drug prices; to raise wages by rebuilding the infrastructure of America in a green, resilient, transformative way; and to clean up corruption to make Washington work for you.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Democrats will always do right by veterans and their families.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Jon Tester calling out the Republican administration for their withholding of health care for veterans harmed by Agent Orange.

(Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) delivers this week’s Weekly Democratic Address calling out the Republicans for blocking benefits for over 83,000 veterans exposed to Agent Orange.)

Our nation’s veterans have made many sacrifices for the freedoms that we enjoy. And in return for their service, we have an obligation to ensure that these men and women receive the quality benefits that they have earned. But the Trump Administration— while claiming to support our veterans, has turned their backs on them, blocking benefits for those who suffered from illnesses related to the exposure to Agent Orange. […]

Veterans are dying and their families are not getting the benefits that they have earned.

Let’s do right by these veterans and their families. End the wait for those who have already sacrificed greatly.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)