Thoughts & Essays

Impeachment, Mueller memos, Ukraine emails, Australia, & more.

Congress was technically back in session today, but they won’t really start doing much until next week, so things have been mighty quiet on the impeachment front. The news has been quiet in general, too, thanks to the holidays, but there are a few things going on.

Washington Post: 4 ways the McConnell-Pelosi impasse over a Senate trial could end

You might remember we impeached the president last year. Instead of sending the articles of impeachment to the Senate right away, Speaker Pelosi is sandbagging them and trying to use that as leverage to force the Senate to hold a fair trial. Not sure that’s gonna work, but I’m glad to see the House trying something.

Buzzfeed News: Robert Mueller’s Secret Memos, Part 3: The Documents The Justice Department Didn’t Want Congress To See

Buzzfeed News filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Robert Mueller’s memos, from his investigation, and they’ve been printing them as they received them. The latest installment includes bits about Stephen Miller’s involvement in firing Comey, deputy national security adviser (under Michael Flynn) KT McFarland talking to the FBI under the type of agreement people under criminal investigation usually have, more about how bad at his job Michael Cohen was, and more.

Here’s Part 1 and Part 2.

Vox: A deceptively edited video of Joe Biden illustrates a big problem in 2020

Twitter lit up with a video of Joe Biden sounding racist and white supremacist the other day, and it turns out that the video was deliberately edited to sound that way in an attempt to make Biden look bad, and basically everyone, including a bunch of reporters, fell for it.

Everyone’s sweating bullets about deepfakes and whatnot, and no one’s paying attention to the fact that you can do just as much damage with real video edited deceptively. Consider this your “You’ve Been Warned” for the election year, folks.

Lifehacker: How to Help Those Affected By the Australian Wildfires

Australia is burning down. Lifehacker has a list of places you can donate to help out. Exclusive: Unredacted Ukraine Documents Reveal Extent of Pentagon’s Legal Concerns

Last month the Center for Public Integrity sued under the Freedom of Information Act to get their hands on emails relating to the Ukraine scandal. They got the emails, but they’d been heavily redacted. (“an online forum for the rigorous analysis of U.S. national security law and policy”) got their hands on the unredacted emails, and they’re pretty interesting. Basically a blow-by-blow of people warning Trump that he was doing something illegal, him ignoring that, and his administration going ahead with it anyway.

TPM: Trump Lists Vets Bill As 2019 Accomplishment. But Obama Signed It Into Law.

Trump keeps taking credit for the Veterans Choice Act, which was signed into law by President Obama during his second term.

Image credit: Newspapers, JonS on Flickr.