WaPo Columnist: McCain Colleagues Need to Push Back
As part of a eulogy for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who passed away on Saturday after battling brain cancer, a conservative columnist for the Washington Post called on some of McCain’s colleagues to push back against Trump the way McCain did before his passing.
According to Max Boot, who has become a vociferous critic of Trump, “McCain was the rare celebrity who was even more impressive in person than on television. I remember on a flight to the Munich Security Conference wandering to the front of the Air Force executive jet to find McCain engrossed in a lengthy historical tome. Imagine that — a politician who spent his spare time reading history. Or anything at all.”
“A good deal of his political appeal lay in his ability to avoid sounding like a politician — perhaps the only thing he and President Trump have in common,” Boot continued. “Unlike Trump, however, McCain did not establish his authenticity with ignorant or deranged statements. McCain could be politically incorrect (I remember how hard he laughed watching ‘Borat’ on one flight) but he was never cruel or bigoted.”
The conservative pointed out that he worked with McCain as a policy adviser, saying the late senator — unlike the current president — had a clear-eyed view of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, once remarking, “I looked in Mr. Putin’s eyes and I saw three letters–a K, a G, and B.”
“McCain will be remembered, above all, for his character and courage. While other privileged young men were discovering ailments such as ‘bone spurs’ to avoid the Vietnam War, McCain requested a combat assignment and spent more than five hellish years in the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ POW camp,” Boot wrote in a direct shot at Trump.
He then challenged GOP lawmakers to step up and do the job McCain was doing from the Senate floor.
“McCain’s passing, tragic at any time, is all the sadder now,” he wrote. “His dedication to America’s global leadership, advocacy for human rights, steadfast opposition to despots, devotion to bipartisanship, willingness to break with his own party, insistence on putting the nation’s interest above self-interest, and, above all, his unwavering sense of right and wrong — all are desperately needed at a time when his party has embraced an amoral, narcissistic demagogue who fawns over tyrants and flirts with isolationism and protectionism and white nationalism.”
“Trump hated McCain and insulted him at every turn because McCain was everything Trump is not — and everything that we need in our politics today but tragically lack,” he concluded.
You can read the whole piece here.
Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license
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Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.
The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.
“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee, www.teamherschel.com, five separate times.”
The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.
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The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.
“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”
CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.
You can read the letter below or at this link.
In a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham, the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee admonished him for soliciting campaign contributions five times during a media interview in the Russell Senate office building. It is against Senate rules to solicit campaign donations on Capitol grounds pic.twitter.com/amc5ipcosw
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 23, 2023
‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid
The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”
National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.
National Security Council’s John Kirby suggests the U.S. would consider economic punishments if Uganda’s law criminalizing LGBTQ people goes into effect:
“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance.” pic.twitter.com/hWrRrHqd6q
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”
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“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”
WH Press Sec. Karine Jean-Pierre denounces the Ugandan parliament’s passage of a bill criminalizing LGBTQ people:
“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights … The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.” pic.twitter.com/WSzCY5Vlq4
— The Recount (@therecount) March 22, 2023
Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
‘Going Full Fascist’: Morning Joe Blasts Trump’s Latest ‘Dehumanizing’ Attack on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg
Days after he wrongly claimed he would be arrested and urged his supporters to “protest,” Donald Trump unleashed a vicious and antisemitic attack against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and philanthropist and donor George Soros, leading “Morning Joe” Scarborough on MSNBC to declare the ex-president has gone “full fascist” and even “full Nazi.”
“I mean he’s just going full Nazi here, full fascist,” Scarborough said Thursday morning, just minutes after Trump’s remarks posted on social media.
“You’re doing the whole Jewish international banker thing and and dehumanizing him as an ‘animal,’ calling him an ‘animal,'” Scarborough said.
“That’s ugly,” Mika Brzezinski added.
“And that’s like like straight out of the playbook. Yeah, that’s really that’s really ugly. Yeah, it’s really interesting to see exactly what’s happened with Bragg. He hasn’t taken the bait.”
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Thursday morning, in an all-caps rant, Trump called District Attorney Bragg a “Soros backed animal who just doesn’t care about right or wrong no matter how many people are hurt.”
Scarborough was not being hyperbolic when he said Trump had gone “full Nazi.”
“This is no legal system, this is the Gestapo, this is Russia and China, but worse. Disgraceful!”
The Gestapo were Adolf Hitler’s Nazi secret police.
In a separate post Thursday morning, after his attack on Bragg, Trump again appeared to telegraph a call for violence, writing: “Everybody knows I’m 100% innocent, including Bragg, but he doesn’t care. He is just carrying out the plans of the radical left lunatics. Our country is being destroyed, as they tell us to be peaceful!”
It is possible the grand jury, which is meeting Thursday, could vote on an indictment of Trump. Some say any potential vote would not come before next week.
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