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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.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Speaking His Truth: William Monroe Trotter (1872-1934) 12/10/19

William Monroe Trotter in 1915 (1872-1934)

He was privileged as one of the “Talented Tenth,” but a true ally to poor African-Americans. He was a newspaper editor and a Black Radical who alienated the full-range of the political spectrum, from Woodrow Wilson to Booker T. Washington to other Black Radicals. He believed the good was the enemy of the perfect but left a legacy that inspired the actions of activists of the Movement. He was William Monroe Trotter, and today we learn about him through his own words.

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)

Tuesday in Mooseville – SHEnanigans: Elizabeth Peratrovich 12/3/19

The design features a portrait of Elizabeth Peratrovich, whose advocacy was considered a deciding factor in the passage of the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Law in the Alaskan Territorial Government. The foreground features a symbol of the Tlingit Raven moiety, of which she was a member.

For most of us (and yes, there are some notable Village exceptions), the story of Alaska and its First People is a story sketched in the broadest outlines and with little detail. Most of us have heard the designation “Seward’s Folly,” the derogatory description of the 1867 “purchase” of Alaska from the Russian Empire. We may have some basic understanding of the gold rush in the Klondike in 1896. Most of us have heard of the Iditarod, and the story of Togo and Balto and the sled dog relay to save the children of Nome, which inspired the current race. But I feel relatively confident that most of us, unless having spent some time in Alaska, know very little about the indigenous peoples and how they fared when Americans came to colonize their land. Not surprisingly, it’s a story of white supremacy and today, it’s also the story of a Native woman who said, “Enough.”

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)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Public Law 110-82 11/19/19

Front of U.S. $1 coin

As much as I enjoy writing about history, I am always aware that I am a white woman who, whether intentionally or not, will always center whiteness. On the occasions I write about African-American history or individuals, I most often do it from the perspective of pointing out what white supremacy has erased, not because I claim to have any particular insight into the personal experiences of African-Americans in this country. This is also why it’s unlikely I will ever write about the history of the Indigenous in the now-United States. White supremacy has erased so much that I wouldn’t even know where to start; worse, it’s quite likely I would make missteps without even realizing it. In general, I am quite willing to stick with listening and learning from others. In light of that, today’s post is a bit outside of my comfort zone, particularly since it is 100% reliant upon U.S. government sources. I write it not to applaud the lawmakers who passed Public Law 110-82, nor the people who are implementing it. I write it as a reminder that White erasure of Natives has been so thorough, so complete, that the smallest government efforts to unerase history can be viewed as noteworthy, and at the same time, as further evidence of the vested interest the U.S. government has in controlling the historical narrative.

Fighting Back: “Democrats support a humane, comprehensive immigration system that honors the dignity and grace of all people.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas speaking about H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which will protects DREAMers from the Republicans on the Supreme Court.

(In this week’s address, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar discussed the stakes of the Supreme Court case on the Trump Administration’s effort to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative and highlighted Democrats’ overwhelming passage of H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, which was sent to the Senate over 160 days ago. )

“Americans across the country know that for Dreamers, home is here, and support providing them with permanent protections and bringing relief and certainty to their lives.

“In Congress, House Democrats have delivered For The People and honored their will by overwhelmingly passing H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act — sent to the Senate over 160 days ago.

“This bill protects Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status beneficiaries by providing them with a pathway to citizenship.

“As the Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the rulings of courts across the country or be complicit in the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda, House Democrats are urging Majority Leader McConnell to bring the American Dream and Promise Act to the Senate Floor immediately and work to fix our broken immigration system with humane, comprehensive immigration reform that honors the dignity and grace of all people.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “Justice is on the ballot”

 
 

Presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris spoke at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Liberty and Justice Celebration this past week. She clearly laid out what the stakes are for 2020 and urged us to fight back – alongside her.

Senator Harris:

To win, we are going to have to fight against those who have been trying to push hate and division among us and have Americans turn on each other.

To win, we’re going to have to fight for what I know in my heart and in my soul to be true — which is in the beauty and diversity of who we are as a nation, we all have so much more in common than what separates us.

And to win, we are going to need a nominee on that stage with Donald Trump who has the ability to go toe to toe with Donald Trump — and Iowa, you are looking at her.

[…]

It is time that we fight. And this is a fight that is about all of us.

Because, yes, a harm against any one of us is a harm against all of us. And here’s the bottom line. I do believe that when we overcome these injustices, we will unlock the promise of America and the potential of the American people. And I do believe that this is what we want and need. That is the America I see. That is the America I believe in. That is the America I know us to be. And that is why I am running for president of the United States.

Tuesday in Mooseville – Willow Run Mission Accomplished 11/5/19

Original caption: “A girl team working on a center wing section of a B-24E (Liberator) bomber in Ford’s big Willow Run plant. The Liberator is capable of operation at high altitudes and over great ranges on precision bombing missions. It has proved itself an excellent performer in the Pacific, in Northern Africa, Europe and the Aleutians. Ford’s Willow Run Plant, Michigan” (Between July 1942 and February 1943)

In September 1942, President Roosevelt visited the Willow Run plant as part of a cross-country war industry tour. Despite being four months behind where it hoped to be, Ford showcased its bomber and other war materiel that was being produced at other Ford locations. It was a dog-and-pony show put on by the company, but as Roosevelt’s countrywide tour was intended to be a boost to morale, it was a pleasant visit despite Henry Ford’s dislike of Roosevelt (Charles Lindbergh, an American First-er who had resigned his commission with the Air Corps before the U.S. was officially at war, stayed home. He was now employed by Ford as a lead test pilot, to be involved in the shakedown flights of the bombers). If the visit was any indication, 1943 should have been a stellar year for Ford. It wasn’t.

Fighting Back: “Democrats believe that true leadership means standing with our friends and partners, keeping our promises. “

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, denouncing Trump’s treatment of our Kurdish allies.

(In this week’s address, Chairman Eliot Engel discussed the overwhelming bipartisan passage of the PACT Act, to impose sanctions on Turkey for its invasion of northern Syria and reject the President’s dangerous and reckless decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in the region.)

The House will not stand for President Trump endangering the American people with his reckless foreign policy. Our victory in passing this legislation will help keep Americans safe, showing the true meaning of American leadership.

True leadership means standing with our friends and partners, keeping our promises. It means supporting our military, making sure we are doing our part as they put their lives on the line. It means protecting human rights and human dignity, speaking out and pushing back against injustice and terror.

True American leadership is keeping our country safe. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with this legislation, and what we are doing in the House every single day.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)