The Impeachment of the 45º President of the United States of America

In almost two hundred and forty years, America had forty-five presidents and three processes of impeachment. None of these cases led to the removal of the President, the closest being the resignation of Richard Nixon. Gene Healy of the CATO Institute thinks, “It’s hard to say that it’s historic that there’s never been an Impeachment of a President … it’s easier to say we do not start these processes enough times.”

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We needed to get to the Trump-era to see Articles of Impeachment of a US President submited in the House of Representatives.

The authors of the Constitution considered some conditions for the impeachment process. The original proposal restricted this process to “acts of betrayal and bribery.” However, this definition was rejected as too limited, and a later proposal was presented to be “acts of misadministration.” This was rejected because it was too vague. The terms “major crimes and misdemeanors” was finally accepted ans inscribed in the Constitution.

High crimes and misdemeanors describe much more than legal infractions. In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton presented the definition of “misconduct of public men, or, in other words, abuse or violation of the public.” James Madison, when confronted with the question whether the removal of government officials without just cause would be a reason for dismissal, replied that: “unconcerned removal of meritorious officers would be sufficient reason for Impeachment and removal.”

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Political scientist Allan Lichtman, author of “The Case for Impeachment” says: “The motives for an Impeachment need not involve a crime. That is why the process is not legal, but political. It does not take place in the courts but in the House of Representatives and Senate”.

In another book, “Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide,” Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein adds: “If a President makes gross violations of the public trust placed in him by having the place of president, he may be dismissed, convicted , and removed from the place”.

Impeachment is not the only way, beyond the democratic solution of voting, to withdraw a President from power. Another option is to invoke the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, which allows the President to be removed from office if a majority of the members of the Cabinet and the Vice-President certify that the former is “unable to apply the powers and obligations of his position “. This Amendment was ratified in 1967 in response to President Eisenhower’s health problems, or when due to the assassination of President Kennedy.

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The 25th Amendment is also a matter of interpretation. It can range from diminishing physical to mental capabilities. If an independent and substantiated clinical opinion shows that the President suffers from a mental disorder, or any injury that prevents him from fulfilling his constitutional duties, the Amendment may be activated, and with that the removal of the President.

However, both the Impeachment process and the activation of the 25th Amendment were intended for a reality that is not the current one. The United States Presidency has much more power than the “founding fathers” imagined, and the political system is supported in two parties, where, being one in power, it has sufficient conditions to prevent the President from being deposed. Majorities, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate are needed to move forward with the Impeachment process, and in a politically fragmented America, there isn’t enough votes to make sure that the process will go trough both chambers.

The question then arises, what is “the red line” for Republicans, with a majority in the two chambers, to remove President Trump from the political and military decision-making center of the United States. A nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula? A conventional war in the Middle East? Clearly, the possibility of collusion with an opposing power (Russia), or obstruction of justice (FBI) are not enough.

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Hopefully, whatever it is, will not lead the United States to ruin, or the world into armed conflict.

One year of the Trump Administration

Introductory note: This is an opinion piece written by Ricardo Silvestre, of the Democrats, reacting to what is happening in the United States.


Now that we have a year of Trump Presidency, it’s worth to have a retrospect look on what has been the equivalent of being on a roller coaster, where we alternate between legitimate fears that the White House, and the Republican majority, will ruin the United States in an irretrievable way, and the relief of realizing that those same people are so incompetent that they can not destroy what is done, which is considerably easier than having to rule a nation like to America.

 

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One of the positive things since the Trump election took place, and the Republican party has taken over the House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House, is that no legislation that really matters, or that had a profund impact on society was passed. On the other hand, there are several cases of failure, or actions that have diminished, if not even shamed, the United States.

Internally, we have (among many other examples).

1) The attacks on the press, with the easy (and fascist) solution of labeling all negative news about the Presidency as “fake news”. This attitude is corrosive at the moment, and in the future, because it will create a whole generation of politicians who can do whatever they want without fear of being exposed by the press and face the consequences for their actions.

2) Lying in a compulsive and incomprehensible way. From the very first moment of taking office, where anyone, anyone (!) could see by two comparative photographs that the President and his Spokesman were lying blatantly. The falsehoods the President has already said since November goes in 1268 lies by the time we write this post, or an average of 5.5 per day.

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3) Obstruction of justice. The President fired the Director of the FBI for failing to take an oath of loyalty, and because he was pursuing with the investigation into the Russian influence in the November elections. Thatresulted in the appointment of a Special Prosecutor who, as reported, may also fall victim to a “Saturday night massacre”, like in the Nixon Administration.

4) The different Executive Orders with a “ban on entering the United States”, mainly for countries with a Muslim majority, which have been systematically beaten down by Federal courts.

5) The inability to repel the Affordable Care Act, although Republicans have tried it more than 60 times in 6 years, and this was one of the Trump Campaign’s promises.

7) The terrible response to the natural disasters of hurricanes Irma and Maria, with the Federal Government havinga a sub-par action , and even in the case of Puerto Rico, with the President involved in totally unnecessary and counterproductive controversies, both at the personal level and and threats and withdrawal of Federal aid.

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8) The loss of life of 4 soldiers in Nigeria, on a poorly prepared mission and without Military Intelligence support. When the Administration was confronted with this, there were no answers for a long time, and when it happened it was with the attempt to free the President and pass all responsibilities to the military.

9) The attempt to reduce the rights of free expression and peaceful association, ranging from the Department of Justice to the President, from universities to professional sports leagues.

10) Persecution of political opponents. Obsessed with the defeat of the popular vote and fueled by FOX News and its stupefying conspiracy theories that always target Hillary Clinton, the US President uses his position to “suggest” to the Justice Department that criminally prosecutes the Democratic Party as well as the candidate of that party to the last elections.

11) The Wall. First it was Mexico that was going to pay, then it was Mexico that was going to pay later, then it is the American taxpayers who will pay. Then it may be a wall, but it will be transparent to see the bags of drugs being thrown. Then it may not be a wall but a fence. Not even a comedy show could be so ridiculous.

12) There are “some good people” in white supremacist movements. After Charlottesville’s horror, not only did the President take a long time to make a public address, but when he did he was clearly bothered by it, and when he had an opportunity to speak without prior preparation, he had a set of statements that alone should be reasons for Impeachment.

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At a global level, there has been a decline in US power as a diplomatic force, an absurd subservience to Moscow, the willingness to move away from the Paris Agreements (the United States is the only, the only nation not wanting to be in the Agreements), a commitment to revitalize the coal industry by drawing support for the development of renewable energy technologies, the threats to change the nature and functioning of NATO, and of course the “primary school insults” between the President of the United States and the “Little Rocket Man”, this said of the podium of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Trumpism phenomenon is based on a consecutive and unrelenting attack on knowledge and competence. The anti-intellectualism presented by Trump, and the machine that promotes him, ties to conceal ignorance and idiocy as populism and tries to create empathy with less informed voters, which are more likely to agree with extremist ideologies. Trump’s identification as a “man of the people” stems from a belief by this “people” that the President of America is able to overcome his manifest lack of quality and preparation using “intuition”, “experience” and “common sense,” when none of it it’s hallmark of the current President well, or even his voters.

Then there is the irresponsibility of being ignorant. The President of the United States must always remind the press, and their voters, of “how smart, educated, and experienced he is.” And yet his opinions, statements, and suggestions on domestic and foreign policy mainly show how much Trump knows not the least of the subjects in which he ought to know more. This phenomenon of someone being deeply ignorant about a subject, and yet presenting himself as an authority on this subject is known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. This style of behavior is observable in the other members of the Administration, Presidential staff, and government administrators.

And finally there is the reinforcement of the incompetence of the President. The conservative and Republican press machine (FOX News, Breitbart, Wall Street Journal (at least the Editorial part), talk-radio, commentators) creates, and maintains, an alternative reality where everything done by the President “puts America First “. And when it is easily demonstrated that this is not the case, immediately the mechanisms of obfuscation are triggered; spin, falsehoods, inconsequential comparisons (the famous whataboutism), and attempts to accuse the president’s critics of being biased, malevolent, or “not wanting the best for the United States.” And in the midst of such ” empirical and factual analysis never gain traction. And since this “bubble” is that which the President, and his voters, follow (FOX News, Breitbart), the circle of reinforcement is maintained, and increased: “The President is never wrong” … “See? America believes that the President is never wrong. ”

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However, some positive indicators are emerging in an America that is expected to “revolt” against such a state of affairs. The first electoral victories are already beginning to appear, even in places where Trump and Trumpism had won the Presidential elections. And it is less than a year before, we hope, the Democratic Party wins the Senate and House of Representatives, and the change of course takes shape.

Hopefully for next year, when we write the chronicle of the two years of Trump Administration, we can mention that the Impeachment process is under way.

35 million Americans who voted for Trump, did not vote for Trump

Introductory note: This is an opinion piece written by Ricardo Silvestre, of the Democratas, responding to what is happening in America.

My interest in American politics is not purely academic. Having lived in the United States for four years, especially since the tumultuous post-Sept. 11, to the first year of the second term of the George W. Bush Administration.

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During the first year, I was involved in such opposite discussions as defending America against Americans who thought that the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon had been way to little, and that America “deserved much worse,” until having to tell other Americans that they couldn’t get their perspective on the world where things were resolved by “launching a nuclear bomb on Iraq and make the country a gas station”.

It was at this point that I became interested in the Democratic Party. Although Al Gore and John Kerry lost the presidential election (Al Gore did not lose, but…), when a first-term Senator from Illinois, a Barack Hussein Obama, emerged as the most radiant star of the Democrats, I believed that the party was in good hands (although I was “at the distance” a supporter of Hillary, which happened again in 2016).

However, I always thought that political extremism in the USA, like the rest of the country, is big, and that had room to grow. If the more “radical” wing of the Democratic Party, especially of independents who end up voting for the Dems, became very visible (and disruptive) in the last elections, with the Bernie supporters wreaking havoc (and continuing to do), what happened inside the Republicans was “phenomenal”.

The Tea Party had already shown how much the more conservative / libertarian wing of teh GOP may be dysfunctional.

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However, since Trump made his first speech as an official candidate for the Republican nomination, things turned insane.

It is not worth reviewing all the arguments that Donald Trump made as a candidate, or how much the FOX News News, Breitbart News, Drudge Report, InfoWars helped propel the Trump candidacy, or even foreign aid, by Kremlin operatives to sow bad information and negative stories in the American electorate. What is worth discussing is who continues, and will continue, to support the President of the United States, even if he is not qualified to lead the country.

Trump won the Electoral College and had 46.1% of the vote. At present, the polls give him, in terms of support, between 35 and 38% of the electorate. Reliable indicators say that the lowest value Trump can reach is between 30 to 33%. These 30%, let’s say, 35 million Americans, did not vote for Trump. They voted yes for an idea, which, by chance, is personified by Trump.

I am often confronted, by my friends and acquaintances, with the question “But how is it possible that Trump continues to have so many people who say he supports him, no matter what he does?” Because, for these Americans, economic issues, or military, or social issues are not important. The cultural one are.

These 35 million Americans like the idea that a white Republican President can destroy the legacy of a successful, black President. That liberals, and their progressive ideas, be ashamed, and if possible, humiliated. That foreigners be treated like citizens of second, and that minorities know that it is still the white establishment that commands the country. Because these voters, having no education, despise whoever has it, and make use of it. Because they are not sophisticated, they abhor who has it, and act on that principle. Because they do not understand the complexity of things, they hate anyone who has a more elaborated opinion.

Because within these 35 million, many are, and will be racists, xenophobes, misogynists, homophobics, religious intolerants, and they will hate anyone who advocates the reverse of teir beliefs, and advocates for a pluralistic, inclusive, socially and economically just, America.

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Trump has already lost almost half of the Republican electorate who voted for him because they “wanted a change,” and now they seen the terrible mistake they made. However, the other half, the one who says they are comfortable with the idea that Trump can become a dictator, if he is their type of dictator, they will remain faithful until, and as our American friends say, the bitter end .

We hope that end comes sooner than later.

 

President Trump and the cowardly Elephants

In an interview with The New York Times this week, the President of the United States “ventilated” the hypothesis (surely as a trial balloon recommended by his lawyers) to stop the investigation led by the Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, and maybe compel the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss the Special Prosecutor. Likewise, it was learned on the same day that Trump’s lawyers, under his command, were investigating whether the President has powers to pardon himself and members of his Administration and family from any criminal procedures.

All this at the same time it was made public that Donald Trump Jr agreed to attend a meeting with someone associated with the Russian government, and with an e-mail exchange where the “subject of the message” was … Russia – Clinton – Private and Confidential ” !!

Jr’s answer? “(…)if it’s what you say I love it especially late in the summer.”

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This exchange of emails is admissible in court as an attempt to collude with an opposing country, as well as being a criminal case for disregarding rules for funding political campaigns.

Then there’s the “wonder boy.” Jared Kushner. President’s Senior Advisor, and the White House’s most influential person, it’s the third time he has to revise the SF-86 Form, which is mandatory to have security clearance for Presidential daily briefings , where the most important and vital secrets of the United States are presented to the upper echelon of the President’s advisers. Failure to honestly answer questions on the form is considered a crime. And it’s already the third time that changes were made! The first was because of contacts with Russians to establish a communication channel … without knowledge of the American information and security agencies (!!), and the second when the “wonder boy” forgot to report a meeting with the director of a Russian bank … who was indicted in the United States for money laundering.

In the last review, Jared added (because he had forgotten) that he had met with 100 other foreign agents from to those already reported. Even Ivanka, the “Princess of the Trump Court”, can be indicted for the same crime, since in SF-86 she was asked if a family member had contacts with foreign agents. Kushner did not report her own, Ivanka did not report her husband’s.

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Thus, it is easy to see why the President of the United States wants the investigation into the links between Russia and the Trump Administration to disappear (not to mention that Bob Mueller is looking at the economic ties between Trump and Russian oligarchs) and has entered into “despair mode” to find a way out to the hole where he is buried.

What does it mean that if Trump “moves a mountain” and get rid of the Special Prosecutor, could be then that Congressional and Senate Republicans get shamed to threaten an Impeachment process?

Unfortunately, the leadership in both chambers, and even the behavior of the overwhelming majority of Republican Representatives and Senators, is “meh …”.

Mitch McConnell in the Senate, and Paul Ryan in the House of Representatives know that Trump is inadequate for the job, but they will not do anything that looks confrontational to the White House.

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The idea that the President may be a Russian agent (or at least compromised by a foreign enemy), or that the Russians may have altered the American electoral process, or that there are conflicts of interest of Trump and the Presidency, should be an affront to Any American, especially to those with governmental responsibilities. However, the Republicans have shown a total disrespect for the American Constitution, and for the vows they made to protect it, and to defend the American people, not their party and the President. The President cannot be above the law, and it should not be acceptable, as it was with Richard Nixon, that an investigation into an attack on the United States, and possible collaborators in America, is suppressed or even terminated.

However, it seems we are on the way to a constitutional crisis that has not been seen since Watergate. If Trump gives instructions to the DOJ to fire Mueller, there is a simple solution: Republicans in Congress will have to pass a law to reinstate Mueller, or they can threaten Impeachment Articles if the President moves forward with that intent.

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Ryan and McConnel will not do that. Because they are cowards and cynics. They are afraid to use their powers because they are afraid of facing the mob that voted for Trump, and that continues to support him. They are afraid of losing their seats to a new “wave” of voters, like it happened with the Tea Party. Instead of using the Constitution to restrain the President, they do nothing, because they also want a puppet in the White House who signs laws (fortunately six months have passed an no major legislation signed) where the poor are penalized, and tax cuts are made for the (very) rich.

And by the way things are going, it does not look like we can wait for 2019 (new Congress and Senate) to finally get down to the bottom of these issues. So the only thing we can do right now is to expect the Republicans finally put Country over Party and do the right thing.

Trumpism and elections in Europe

Of the few (very few) good things resulting from Donald Trump’s election to President of the United States, one has been the effect (along with Brexit and the “regret” in UK voters) of shinning a light on the consequences of making … let’s say, “bad decisions” in politics.

The disaster we have seen on the other side of the Atlantic, coupled with the increasingly influence that Russia is trying to have on the democratic processes in the West, has made voters, the press, and even political apparatuses, begin to assume a more critical, and vigilant, position, regarding the intentions (more or less, declared) that certain parties have in governing their home countries, or Europe.

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This effect was seen, with more force in France. After the terrorist attacks in Paris in April, Trump went so far as to say that Le Pen would benefit from this event, in addition of expressing, in a more or less veiled way, that he would prefer the National Front candidate to win . Marine Le Pen had 34% of votes in the second round of Presidential elections, which turned out to be downright less than the 40-45% forecast some analysts gave him at the end of 2016. It also did not help Marine that the French people saw how “close” she was to Putin, both ideologically and financially.

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Antes das eleições em França, já se tinham vistos alguns sinais que a extrema-direita podia estar ligeiro declínio no Velho Continente, quando nas eleições de março nos Países Baixos, o PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid) de Geert Wilders, teve 13% dos votos. A meio de dezembro, as intenções de voto para o PVV estavam nos 22%, com Wilders a gabar a vitória de Trump e a juntar o populismo do PVV à mensagem da Campanha Trump nos U.S.

Before the elections in France, there had already been some signs that the far right could be slightly declining on the Old Continent, when the PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid) of Geert Wilders had 13% of votes. By mid-December, PVV’s voting intentions were at 22%, with Wilders boasting about Trump’s victory and closing the PVV populism to the message of the Trump Campaign in the U.S.

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And we can talk about what we saw in the UK, where another party wanted to take advantgage of the “Trump effect” (particularly with the ridiculous Nigel Farage acting as a “trained poodle” to the American President ),

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the UKIP (UK Independence Party), which had 13% of the vote in 2015, and was one of the engines for the Brexit campaign, had … 2% (!) of the votes, and lost the only MP it had in the House of Commons.

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The next big point of interest is Germany, with elections to the Bundestag in September. Angela Merkel’s CDU / CSU is on pole position at the level of voting intentions, with the Democratic Party of Martin Schulz likely to dispute the balance of political forces in Germany. What is good is that both candidates are pro-European and against populism (with Schulz’s exemplary behavior defending the Chancellor from Trump’s attacks when the latter made his first visit to Europe as US President).

However, the most important has been the fall of Frauke Petry’s Alternative für Deutschland (AFD), which fell from 13% to 8%. Here too, the AFD was expressed to express sympathies, both by Trump and Putin. Petry who came to be called as “the Trump of Germany“, because of the symmetry in positions and populism, risks to be a residual political force.

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Of course there is no way to know how much some things relate to others, and whether Brexit and Trumpism had a direct effect on these trends in recent months.

It is true that “damage is already done” in some cases, but we hope that the electorates is learning from the mistakes that have been observed elsewhere (Turkey, Brazil, Venezuela, Poland, Russia, USA, Brexit, among others) and that political rationality  in Europe remains a reality, instead of the “new solutions” that only bring confusion and extremism.

Impeachment it´s a possibility

In the downward spiral that has been the last days (last few weeks, last months) of the Trump Administration, there is an observation that is constant, and absolutely astounding … President Trump thinks he is untouchable, and that nothing can, or will, to happen. Not only is he “confident” about it, he is even astonished when someone thinks or acts otherwise.

No wonder that the dismissal of James Comey, Director of the FBI has been a roll of poorly-told stories, mock intentions and obstruction of procedures, and ultimately, of justice.

Some examples.

The New York Times reported that days before he was fired, James Comey had asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) a significant increase in resources for the investigation into Russia’s interference in the presidential election. Of course this was “not going to be accepted” by the Administration, or even by the DOJ, since Jeff Sessions, the head of the Department was … one of the members of the Trump campaign.

Speaking of Sessions, which should have no bearing on these cases, since he “recused” from any decision to do with the Russian investigation and the elections (for having lied, under oath in the Senate session for confirmation) The New York Times, by Michael Schmidt reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions “had sought reasons” to dismiss Comey since last week, finding a totally ridiculous explanation where Comey “should be fired” for mishandled the investigation into the e- mail story from Hillary Clinton … a matter closed since last year

Politico’s Josh Dawsey wrote that Trump “was getting furious with the Russian investigation,” a fury perhaps more pressing because the investigation was getting “closer” to the White House. That was reinforced when Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that “When I decided to do [Farewell Comey] I said to myself,” this thing from Russia and Trump, this is an invented story. ”

The President of the United States can´t dismiss an attorney general, or the Director of the FBI, or dismantle a court, or  change the rules of American democracy because he “thinks” that something that is not in his favor is invented, or becuse he thinks it’s political persecution, or it’s fake news by the press.

In doing these things, Donald Trump is helping to write the Articles for his Impeachment. Now we just need a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate of law makers that want to preserve America, and put “country ahead of party.”

Make it so, Mr. Data.

To continue to follow the “shenanigans” that will lead to the removal of the usurper in the White House, you can follow the Democrats in the page of Facebook “Democrats pelo Impeachment de Trump

 

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100 days of the Trump Administration and a Democratas PT new initiative

Despite being a totally artificial “milestone”  (thanks mainly to the press), the 100 days of any Administration in the White House has served as a barometer, even if very early, of how the Presidency is running, as well as the governance of states United States of America.

It is already well known our opinion (Democratas PT) of Mr. Donald J. Trump. But now, after these 100 days, and using an expression from our American friends, we feel like saying “well … I told you so” (not in the opinion of Donald Trump – and his voters – who instead say “no Administration has done more in the first 90 days”).

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Crédit to Pat Byrnes of the New Yorker

These early months of Trump’s administration have been calamitous, from the most ridiculous (acts of aggression during the ingestion of chocolate cakes) to truly troubling (an “armada” on route to the Korean Peninsula, confirmed by the President, White House Press Secretary, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, and National Security Adviser, Lt. Gen. HR McMaster, when the “armada” was headed for Australia, and apparently no one in the Administration knew that.)

In addition to the resounding political defeats, for example not being able to present a credible new Health System (and the consecutive situations of Republicans not being able to repeal the American Care Act (ACA or Obamacare), of not having the money to build the “Wall” on the southern border, which may even lead to the shutdown of the Federal Government, or to have failed to pass the Executive Orders to prevent the entry of migrants from certain countries or refugees, or to not have yet approved a new IRS code. However, there is a lot more to point out, from the disaster that has been the Trump Administration.

The Democratas PT want to do provide a “public service,” and we list a set of decisions, and intentions, that together, or even separately, would be enough to trigger the “Articles of Impeachment” (other than the House of Representatives, and the Senate, being under Republican rule – but let’s hope thats changes sson).

So, we’re introducing a new initiative, a Facebook page that it is the Democratas PT contribution to help build the momentum (even if at a distance) to see Donald J. Trump out of the White House, as quickly as possible.

 

facebo You can follow the Facebook page here.

Without further delays, we present some examples on the part of the Administration;

It has attacked the fiduciary rule in the Department of Labor, which requires financial advisors to act in the best interests of their clients (notably in retirement plans).

It has supported Republicans in Congress in an effort to cut taxes for millionaires, who are now one of the financial systems supporting the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.

Presented a tax plan that greatly reduces the tax burden on the millionaires, raising taxes on the middle class.

Presented proposals for budget cuts that would devastate rural America, from programs that support rural jobs, housing, infrastructure, health, and economic development.

Other budget cuts threaten loan funds for investment in distressed communities. The proposed budget would eliminate the Community Development Finance Institutions Fund, of the US Treasury Department, which provides billions of dollars of funding for disadvantaged communities.

Although he has often promised to disclose his IRS, the President of the United States refuses to do so, saying that this does not interest the American people, when polling after polling shows that a majority of Americans do not agree with that decision.

Proposed a cut of $ 6.7 billion for housing and community support programs. President Trump’s budget eliminates the Community Development Grant, which is used by 1,265 local communities for major initiatives such as Meals on Wheels, neighborhood rehabilitation, affordable housing development, training in new ways Work and private business expansion.

Appointed an administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that denies scientific evidence of climate change. Scott Pruitt told the press he did not think carbon dioxide was the main contributor to climate change.

Eliminated pollution rules for power plants, and oil and gas facilities. President Obama has set the first carbon pollution standards for factories, and the first methane standards for oil and gas drilling facilities. President Trump signed an executive order that initiated the process of nullifying these pollution standards.

Proposed that EPA water protection programs to be canceled, as well as executive orders that allow coal companies to deposit toxic waste, such as mercury and arsenic, into public rivers.

Anti-bribery rule were revoked, to the delight of the oil industry. President Trump has eliminated an anti-corruption rule that required oil, gas and gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments.

Changed rules for the protection of the environment, and of wild animals, from lead poisoning. Interior Secretary, Zinke, reversed a ban on using lead bullets to hunt wild animals, which can poison water and animals. And in another, utterly incomprehensible case, Trump took away the protection of mothers of black bears, and their cubs, from being shot down … while they are hibernating.

Signed an executive order nullifying the “social cost of carbon”. President Trump thus determines that climate change (which he does not believe, believes, or is a “Chinese invention”) has no cost, eliminating a critical metric used to measure the benefit of cutting carbon pollution.

Unlike the Obama administration, the current administration has made the list of people who have access to the White House secret.

Two “Executive Decisions”, to prohibit Muslims from a set of seven countries and mainly Syrian refugees from being banned from entering the United States, were both annulled by federal courts for breaching the First Amendment of the Constitution (creating a wave of protests in America).

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Threatened to take out funding for Sanctuary Cities, which was also overturned by a federated judge.

He pledged to overturn the Johnson Amendment, which prevents nonprofits – including churches – from endorsing political candidates.

It signed a law that weakens the background check system for buying of firearms, and that allow individuals with severe mental illness to obtain a license to carry a gun

Tried to repeal the ACA. This repeal meant that 24 million people would be without health insurance. Not happy, the Administration has been trying to make the number of people who want to enroll in the ACA decrease, making entry into the system increasingly difficult.

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Withdrawn Title X funding. Trump has signed a bill that allows states to block Title X funding. This funding provides critical reproductive, education and counseling services, related to family planning and contraception to 4 million women per year. It also reintroduced the Global Gag Rule, which prevents recipients of US foreign aid from receiving any information, referral, services, or advocacy regarding abortion.

Proposed cuts in the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, with a reduction of 50 million in funding. And in a clear attempt to appease the extremist religious right, it has promised to withdraw all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, which annually helps about 5 million women with reduced financial standing.

Yet one of the most disturbing things about President Trump is the ability to lie, blatantly, without any justification, without any benefit, be it political or strategic, in a truly ridiculous way.

That happened, for example, and right at the beginning of the Administration, with the question of the number of people present at the Inauguration.

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Then it continued with the burlesque preposition that the difference of almost 3 million votes for candidate Hillary Clinton, was because of illegal voters (something was repeatedly asserted by Republicans as unreal), or that won the Electoral College by a large majority, when it was a tight win.

Accused President Obama of having ordered the Trump Tower in New York to be taped (or tapped, as he put it), After that made the accusation that the British did it), when the FBI, NSA, and CIA repeated multiple times that this had not happened. Later accused Susan Rice of illegally “unmasking” Americans, who had been caught up in criminal conversations with Russian agents, which proved to be untrue. Also during the campaign, the candidate said that it had been President Obama and the Secretary of State Clinton who were “responsible” for the creation of ISIS.

After spending months urging, and then criticizing, President Obama over Syria, it attacked Syria at a fort opportunity, and with few results, once the Syrian airbase was operational the next day.

Or when he lied, saying that the National Security Agency, and the FBI, had told Congress they had not found any Russian influence in the electoral process, which did not happen.

That Sweden had suffered a terrorist attack, when that did not happen.

That the homicide rate in the USA is the highest in 47 years, when it is the lowest.

That was against the Iraq war from the start, which is evidence to the contrary.

And many more examples, which would make this article take a week to read.

Which way from here?

There may be two avenues for an impeachment process of the President of the United States. Before that, it is necessary that in 2018, the Democrats win the House of Representatives, and the Senate. If this happens, Democrats can start the process of writing the Articles of Impeachment. True, there needs to be a super-majority in the Senate, but there may come a time that Trump’s presidency is so “toxic” that even Republican Senators can join a Democratic majority.  There is already a precedent, which led to the resignation of the President in office.

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What reasons can be so inescapable, so scandalous, so devastating, to the image of the Administration, which can lead to such a measure?

Two deserve to be mentioned, and require permanent attention from the Representatives, Senators, the press, and of course, the ordinary citizen.

The possible collaboration with the Kremlin to undermine, boycott, and ultimately corrupt the American election to the presidency, with prejudice to the Democratic candidate. This can be considered an act of treason.

Then there is the obvious, blatant, blatant corruption of the Trump family in an illicit (and immoral) use of the Presidency’s position. If it is proven that the President has abused his position and has received favors from foreign governments, Emoluments Clause exists that can make the President be accused of a “high crime”, which is also a ground for Impeachment.

In the Democratas PT, we are going to remain vigilant, and continue to expose the disaster that is the Trump Administration, and the risk it poses to the United States, Europe, and the world.

Democratas are going to the March for Science

The Democratas will attend the March for Science, which will take place on the 22nd of this month, in Lisbon.

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The hour, and meeting point, for the Democratas, will be announced shortly, and it will be before 2:00 PM. Then we will march together for science, which, incredibly, is increasingly under attack.

Join us!

To know more about the event, visit here.

Podcast with Amy Kraushaar from Democrats Abroad Portugal

In the podcast 06 of DemsVox, Ricardo Silvestre speaks with Amy Kraushaar, of the Democrats Abroad Portugal.

Amy talks to us about her political career, the work she does in Democrats Abroad Portugal, and what is the role of Dems Abroad PT.

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To visit the site dos Dems Abroad PT go here, and the Facebook page can be found here

To hear the podcast go here.

To hear the podcast on Soundcloud, go here.

 

Round Table Ralf Dahrendorf in Lisbon

r2The Democratas will be present at a Ralf Dahrendorf roundtable, organized by the European Liberal Forum, with the help of the Social Liberal Movement in Portugal.

It will be held in Lisbon this Saturday, 11th, at the Hotel Sana Reno in Lisbon.

The theme of the Round Table is exactly what is needed, at this time, in Portugal.

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The program can be found here, and includes lectures by representatives of Ciudadanos (Spain), the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (Germany) and NEOS (Austria), who will share successful models in promoting an idea, an ideal, a political force in the area of liberalism and democracy.

To subscribe, visit this link. There are already few spaces available as such if you want to go, do not leave for later to sign up.

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