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By Robert A. Vella

Yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted against removing President Trump from office regarding two articles of impeachment passed by the House of Representatives.  All Democratic and Independent senators voted to remove him on both counts, and all Republican senators voted to acquit him except for one notable exception.  Mitt Romney (R-UT) bucked his party by voting to remove Trump on the charge of abuse of power.  Romney’s ethical stance denied Trump the unanimous partisan verdict he wanted, illuminated the injustice of this sham trial (which was rushed through without witness testimony and documentary evidence by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), and is now incurring the wrath of Trump’s henchmen who control the GOP.  Regardless of how you felt about Romney beforehand, you should commend him today for this principled act of courage.  In my opinion, he demonstrated what it is to be American;  or, at least what it used to be.

Mitt Romney

From:  Here is what we can take away from Trump’s impeachment and acquittal

The most important political takeaway from the vote is how partisan it was. Not a single Democrat voted to acquit the president, not even the senators representing Trump-friendly states. Only one Republican voted to convict him, Mitt Romney of Utah, after no House Republicans supported impeachment.

But Romney’s lone vote changes how Trump can talk about his impeachment going forward. He can no longer technically say his impeachment was solely driven by Democrats. One Republican — a prominent one at that — voted to convict him.

Romney voted to acquit Trump on the second charge of obstruction of Congress. His conviction vote on the first charge was historic though: He’s the first senator in an impeachment trial to vote to convict a president of the same party.

“The president’s purpose was personal and political,” Romney said in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday announcing his vote. “Accordingly, the president is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.”

See also:

How Romney’s vote to convict Trump paid homage to his rabble-rousing Republican father

Anti-Trump protesters rally across the nation after impeachment acquittal

Iowa caucuses

From:  Many Errors Are Evident in Iowa Caucus Results Released Wednesday

Results from the Iowa Democratic caucuses were delayed by “quality control checks” on Monday night. Days later, quality control issues have not been resolved.

The results released by the Iowa Democratic Party on Wednesday were riddled with inconsistencies and other flaws. According to a New York Times analysis, more than 100 precincts reported results that were internally inconsistent, that were missing data or that were not possible under the complex rules of the Iowa caucuses.

In some cases, vote tallies do not add up. In others, precincts are shown allotting the wrong number of delegates to certain candidates. And in at least a few cases, the Iowa Democratic Party’s reported results do not match those reported by the precincts.

See also:

Buttigieg, Sanders nearly tied as Iowa caucus results narrow

Trump Fans Flooded Iowa Caucus Hotline, Democrats Say

The Winds of Madness

From:  UN’s Antonio Guterres: Wars, instability prove ‘a wind of madness is sweeping the globe’

As the United Nations marks its 75th anniversary this year, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday “a wind of madness is sweeping the globe” because of escalating geopolitical conflicts of wars and instabilities.

[…]

At a wide-ranging news conference, the U.N. chief, considered by many to be the world’s top diplomat, said: “All situations are different but there is a feeling of growing instability and hair-trigger tensions, which makes everything far more unpredictable and uncontrollable, with a heightened risk of miscalculation.”

The secretary-general stressed that global problems “feed on each other.”

“As economies falter, poverty remains entrenched. As future prospects look bleak, populist and ethnic nationalist narratives gain appeal,” he said. “As instability rises, investment dries up, and development cycles down. When armed conflicts persist, societies reach perilous tipping points. And as governance grows weak, terrorists get stronger, seizing on the vacuum.”

More news

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New York charges NRA over illegal insurance sales, deceiving members

Amazon, Nike, American Airlines: Tennessee anti-LGBT bills put ‘economic success at risk’

Virginia lawmakers vote to block offshore drilling in rebuke to Trump plan

Ten U.S. refineries emitted excessive cancer-causing benzene in 2019: report

Brazil’s Bolsonaro proposes bill opening indigenous land to mining

Merkel: Governor’s election with far-right help inexcusable

Afghan Votes Will Be Audited, Extending Monthslong Election Crisis

Turkish Cypriot leader warns Cyprus is facing permanent partition

Highly recommended

Watch:  NOVA documentary “Polar Extremes” – Paleontologist Kirk Johnson explores the dynamic history—and future—of ice at the poles. In this two-hour special, renowned paleontologist Kirk Johnson takes us on an epic adventure through time at the polar extremes of our planet. Following a trail of strange fossils found in all the wrong places—beech trees in Antarctica, hippo-like mammals in the Arctic—Johnson uncovers the bizarre history of the poles, from miles-high ice sheets to warm polar forests teeming with life. What caused such dramatic changes at the ends of the Earth? And what can the past reveal about our planet’s climate today—and in the future? (Premiered February 5, 2020)

Further reading:  Experiencing Extremes: Plunging into Polar Pasts with NOVA to Reveal Future Climates

4 thoughts on “Mitt Romney stands alone in Impeachment vote, Iowa caucus fiasco worsens, and the Winds of Madness

  1. Thanks for the link to “UN’s Antonio Guterres: Wars, instability prove ‘a wind of madness is sweeping the globe’.” It’s a troubling development globally and, no doubt, one in which our government of erratic leadership is playing a crucial role.

    I would also highly recommend the NOVA documentary, “Polar Extremes,” for those among us who would like to have an informed vision of humanity’s evolving existential crisis of our own making. The evidence, like the evidence during our recent impeachment “trial,” is very compelling. We could, like our elected officials, choose to ignore the evidence and continue our lives as usual. The consequences of the choices we make today will affect us all, here in the USA and worldwide.

    Liked by 2 people

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