Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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What, Precisely, Do Democrats Want To Impeach Trump For? Print
By Byron York
Wednesday, January 09 2019
Judging by the articles currently on the table, Democrats will have to raise their impeachment game if they choose to go forward with an attempt to remove the president.

Newly sworn-in Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib electrified progressives with her passionate declaration that she and her colleagues will "impeach the motherf---er" -- the "motherf---er," of course, being President Trump.

Democratic leaders were embarrassed that a high-profile freshman would speak so frankly in public. But hours before Tlaib spoke, on the first day of Democratic control of the House, another Democrat, Rep. Brad Sherman, filed a resolution of impeachment. Sherman's resolution was later co-sponsored by another colleague, Democratic Rep. Al Green.

The efforts by Sherman and Green, who filed his own articles in 2017, and another House Democrat, Rep. Steve Cohen, who also introduced articles in Trump's first months in office, are nothing new. Nor are those efforts a lonely quest. In an early 2018 procedural vote, 66 Democrats voted in favor of moving an impeachment measure forward.

But on what grounds, specifically, do the pro-impeachment Democrats intend to remove the president? The new Sherman/Green resolution, and Green's and Cohen's resolutions from last year, are not exactly a comprehensive recounting of Trump's alleged offenses.

Sherman's is based entirely on the president's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the Comey memos, while Green's articles seek to remove Trump for "sowing discord among the people of the United States" with his comments on Charlottesville, transgender troops and Muslim immigration. (In an earlier version, Green also sought to impeach Trump for statements about Rep. Frederica Wilson and NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem.)

Cohen's articles rehashed much of Sherman's obstruction allegation, while adding a charge that Trump violated the Constitution's emoluments clause, plus articles seeking to remove Trump for tweeting about federal judges and calling some press organizations "fake news."

Judging by the articles currently on the table, Democrats will have to raise their impeachment game if they choose to go forward with an attempt to remove the president.

Sherman's single article of impeachment, originally filed on July 12, 2017 and re-filed last week, said Trump violated his constitutional oath to take care that the laws be faithfully executed because he "prevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice during a federal investigation." Specifically, Trump violated his oath by "threatening, and then terminating, James Comey."

As evidence, Sherman cited a "pattern of behavior" in which Trump asked Comey to lay off Michael Flynn; decided to fire Comey before asking the Justice Department for a rationale for the move; gave varying reasons for the firing; and said sacking Comey had reduced the pressure on him from the Russia investigation.

Green's resolution of impeachment did not really accuse Trump of committing high crimes and misdemeanors as president. It was, instead, an argument that Trump should be removed from office because his "bigoted statements" have "harmed American society."

Cohen's articles, introduced in the House on Nov. 15, 2017, were the most extensive of the lot. They overlapped with Sherman's on the Comey obstruction charge, but also included an extensive list of alleged violations of the emoluments clause by Trump's various businesses. Trump's decision to retain links to his business, the articles said, "undermined the integrity of his office, brought disrepute on the presidency, and betrayed his trust as president in a manner subversive of constitutional government, against the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States."

Of the three measures, only Green's has received a vote. It came on Jan. 19, 2018, when the House voted on a motion to table the measure. Sixty-six Democrats voted against the motion, meaning they favored moving forward with the articles, while 121 Democrats voted to table the measure and three voted present. All Republicans voted to table the measure.

There's little doubt the new Democratic majority leans farther left than last year's Democratic minority. Were they put to a vote today, Green's resolution, or Sherman's, or Cohen's, might receive more than the 66 votes a year ago.

On the other hand, even put together, the Green, Sherman and Cohen articles are pretty thin gruel. Yes, the Comey matter would likely be part of any Democratic impeachment articles, but Democrats would certainly want to throw in additional reasons why Trump should be removed. They would certainly want to include, for example, the allegation made by federal prosecutors in New York that Trump violated campaign finance law by not reporting a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

It's a difficult legal argument, but House Democrats don't need to convict the president in a court of law; they just need to give senators a reason to vote for removal. Beyond that, it seems unlikely  although there's no way to say for sure at this point  that Democrats would try to remove Trump for tweeting about judges and bashing the press.

Part of the Democratic leadership's dismay at Rep. Tlaib's remark is that it might direct attention to the lawmakers who are currently advocating impeachment, and the actual content of the articles they have filed. Is that what the party wants? Green, Sherman, Cohen, et al are on the fringes of the Democratic caucus. But at some point, the big Democratic guns will take over the impeachment effort, and the public will see how serious they are about removing the president.


Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
COPYRIGHT 2019 BYRON YORK

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following pandemics caused the largest number of deaths in the 20th Century alone?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"The city of San Francisco is forbidding shoppers from carrying reusable bags into grocery stores out of fear that they could spread the coronavirus.As part of its shelter-in-place ordinance, the California city barred stores from 'permitting customers to bring their own bags, mugs, or other reusable items from home.' The city noted that transferring the bags back and forth led to unnecessary contact…[more]
 
 
—Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
— Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner
 
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