Romney’s Sorry Sunday


Mitt Romney has had a tough week trying to
explain secretly recorded remarks he made at a fundraiser last May, in which he said forty seven percent of
americans don’t pay federal income taxes and think of themselves as victims.
They see themselves as victims. He now says that he’s really for the hundred percent in
America, is anybody going to buy that given that dim vision of half the country?
He seemed to write off, he didn’t say well these are people who are in hard times but they
want to get out of our times, he was basically saying they’re forty seven percent, they’re victims,
they feel entitled and they’re never going to vote for me anyway so i’m not
going to worry about them. if your quote “dependent on government” which includes
senior citizens getting medicare and the like, well then I
can’t really now expect your vote, it just, it was a blow.
People seeing themselves as victims and dependent on the government and all that,
it’s not true and therefore very unfortunate. One strategist who’s
been involved in a lot of these campaigns said when he saw that video it was the
first time he thought he was seeing the real Romney that’s a problem in your most uh…
troubled moment is the one people think is the most authentic moment.
This is a man who has said a lot of things that cause voters out there to go woah, he doesn’t get me at all including the forty seven percent.
This is a defining moment in the campaign who’s the real Mitt Romney? The one who said that he didn’t have
to worry about forty seven percent of the people, or the one who told us at
a Univision meeting that he wanted to be the president for
one hundred percent of americans? The problem is that back in
february if you remember in an interview with CNN, he also said that he was not
concerned about the very poor, so honestly as a journalist he has
to get out of that box. He offered political analysis but policy analysis
on forty seven percent of this country including a lot of republican voters people who receive entitlements through
social security and medicare that they paid into he’s talking about this group of people will not take
personal responsibility, it betrayed a lack of understanding of how the government
works, how america works, the american work ethic. Do you think he needs to go
beyond saying that this was inelegant, to saying that he was flat wrong?

Who gets the money?


The last 3 years we’ve seen this
declining life expectancy, that’s hand-in-hand with a surge
in suicides and drug overdoses. Democrats need to try and address
that set of problems, as opposed to focusing too much
on Donald Trump – who, to me, is a symptom. Who would you rather get the money? The government
(who’s just gonna screw it up)… Or you, the American people?

Influencing an Election | Campaign Finance


If you’re anything like me, after a hard
day of work, you like to head on down to the 99 cent store… Maybe grab yourself a candy bar or a new pair
of socks. You slap your Washington on the table and
expect your penny back. But these days, there are people who don’t
want you to get that penny back. People who think the business would be better
off keeping that penny – they probably know how to spend it better than you would anyway. Pennies cost too much to make or simply aren’t
worth the hassle. Now, I may be a simple man, but I don’t
think counting by ones is all that difficult. I work hard for my money and I should be able
to keep it. Every single cent. A penny saved is a penny earned. Not paid for by Americans for Common Cents. This video was legitimately brought to you
by CuriosityStream. This one’s not a joke. Most every politician, when asked about campaign
finance reform, will agree that it’s a problem and we should do something about it. Usually to the sound of roaring applause. It’s one of those things like supporting
the troops, regardless of what side you’re on, everyone claps. Because everyone wants that. We all know that money in politics is a big
problem… but I’m not sure we all understand how. That was the attitude I had when I started
making this video. I want money out of politics, I started making
this video with that end goal in mind and now that I’ve made the video, I still want
money out of politics. I’m just not sure how… or even why? In order to figure out how we got where we
are, we need to look to the past, and most discussions about campaign finance start with
the Citizens United decision in 2010. On Twitter, I asked you to describe the Citizens
United ruling in your own words and even after a hundred different answers, I’m sorry to
tell you that nobody got it 100% correct – and most people were way off. Don’t worry, before making this video, I
would have said the exact same things you did. Like how the Citizens United case declared
corporations to be people, money to be a form of speech, allowed unlimited campaign contributions,
allowed corporations to contribute to campaigns, and created SuperPACs. It might surprise you to hear this, but it
did none of these things. Corporate personhood is a concept that goes
back centuries; they’re able to sue in court, enter into contracts, and own property. But an 1886 decision stated they had many
more rights under the newly written 14th Amendment. While the case was originally about taxes,
the decision basically gave the green light to corporations to exercise their right of
free speech. So, that’s one off the list – they don’t
have all the same rights as people, but they do have some. The infamous 1972 Watergate scandal was ultimately
a campaign finance violation that they tried to cover up, which caused Congress to pass
several new laws restricting money in politics. As a result, the Federal Election Commission,
or FEC, was established in 1975. Their sole purpose is to enforce campaign
finance law and to disclose contribution information to the public. Before them, it was basically the wild west. A year later, a Supreme Court case was heard
which challenged many of those new laws, most notably, campaign contribution limits. We all have the right to free speech, including
corporations. But the court also ruled that we have the
unlimited ability to use money to amplify or enhance our own speech, should we choose
to. Not to give unlimited amounts to candidates
– that was and is still against the law. But under the first amendment, there’s nothing
stopping you from buying a megaphone, or having flyers printed up, or running ads on TV to
get your message out, whether it’s political or not. Money itself isn’t speech, but it runs parallel
to speech. That’s another two decisions falsely attributed
to the Citizens United decision, not only did this older case state that using money
to enhance speech is legal, but limiting that ability is unconstitutional. Though things get a little tricky because
of the word “contribution.” When it comes to campaign finance, a contribution
is any thing of value given to a candidate or party to influence an election. Saying things on your own, separate from the
campaign, isn’t necessarily a campaign contribution. So, here you are, an individual, not a politician
or a CEO, just a regular person with a regular boring job. You have the ability to speak freely, and
if you have the money to do so, you can run advertisements on TV saying basically whatever
you want within various laws. We’ll contrast this with a corporation,
who can also speak freely and run advertisements, which they do all the time. Now let’s say someone just like you wants
to run for federal office. They could pay for their own advertisements,
but they can’t afford it. You like the positions they hold and you want
to help them by giving them some money. This is a campaign contribution; it has to
be reported to the FEC and is limited to $2800 per election, though this number is tied to
inflation and changes every two years. This is known as “Hard Money” and most
people don’t really have a problem with this, this is the system as intended. If people have a problem with it, it’s usually
the limit. They wish they could give more. If you decide to cut out the middle-man and
just run your own advertisements, if you mention that people should vote for Candidate-X, that
is an “in-kind contribution” and is subject to the same disclosure rules and limits – so
you can only spend $2800. But let’s say you wanted to do more, you
don’t just believe in Candidate-X, you believe in Party-X, and you want to help them get
elected nationally. No problem, you can also write them a check,
your identity will need to be disclosed to the FEC and you’re again limited, but to
$35,500 a year. Since the party will use this money to run
advertisements to help get its people elected, this is also hard money. In 1978, the FEC made an administrative ruling
which stated that donating to a political party for election purposes was subject to
campaign contribution limits. This is called electioneering, and it’s
a somewhat important concept. If I run an advertisement for or against any
candidate or in support of or opposition to any ballot proposal, that’s electioneering. President Abraham Lincoln, perhaps our greatest
American president, he freed the slaves, preserved the union, and lost his life because of it. But there are those who would see his memory
erased. They would remove the daily reminder of what
this president did from your very own pocket. Vote No on Order 66 and keep the penny. Not paid for by the Four Score and Seven Years
Society. That’s not illegal, you are allowed to electioneer
under the First Amendment. But, you have to follow the rules. If you wanted to donate to a political party
just because, out of the kindness of your heart, as long as they don’t use it for
electioneering, the sky is the limit. You can donate to a political party for electioneering
purposes with a limit or for “party building activities” with no limit. This is called “Soft Money” and it is
completely legal – this is where most people start to raise an eyebrow. So, let’s bypass the party, you and a bunch
of your neighbors get together to help get the candidate you support get elected, an
honest grassroots effort. Citizens for Candidate-X. You pool your money and start running advertisements. A quick note here, I keep saying running advertisements
and you probably picture TV commercials, which is definitely part of it. But it’s also literally everything else. Did you have t-shirts made? Lawn signs, post cards, youtube videos? All of that counts. Citizens for Candidate-X, despite being an
innocent gathering of citizens, is also a Political Action Committee, or PAC. These aren’t just shady groups of rich people
trying to steal elections. If you start an anti-litter campaign in your
neighborhood, depending on where you live and how much you raise, you could be legally
obligated to form a PAC. Generally, if you put all of your money in
one pot, it’s supposed to be a PAC. There are many different types of PACs, they
can be set up by a candidate or party, or associated with a business or industry, or
represent a group of people, or be totally issue-focused. What determines whether your money is hard
or soft, and subject to limits or not, is what the PAC does with that money. If they run electioneering ads, where they
tell you to support or oppose anyone or anything, that’s subject to disclosure and limitation. But if you run ads that just vaguely suggest
counting by ones is easier, no disclosure, no limitation. Because the PAC isn’t giving the candidate
anything directly or indirectly, it’s not a contribution, it’s an “independent expenditure.” They’re just running their own ads over
there, completely separately. PACs can coordinate if they’re doing electioneering,
telling people who to vote for, but they can’t coordinate if they’re doing independent
expenditures, where they just want to educate or whatever. As you can probably guess, it’s a very fine
line. So, PACs can run soft money advertisements
where they just tell you about an issue without telling you how to vote. If you have enough money, you as an individual
can too, you have the right to free speech. Corporations on the other hand… Corporations cannot give campaign contributions
to candidates, political parties, or political action committees. They also can’t pay for electioneering ads
where they tell you how to vote. But they can run ads that say something vague
like “support America’s copper and zinc industry.” Because that’s an independent expenditure,
not electioneering. People are allowed to get together to form
PACs that pool resources and spend money on electioneering and independent expenditures. And it’s the electioneering part of the
PAC which causes all the trouble; corporations can’t participate, there are limits, and
donor information must be disclosed. So… what if we made a PAC that only does
independent expenditures? Suddenly, there are no rules. People and corporations can donate unlimited
amounts of money, and as long as the PAC doesn’t participate in electioneering, it’s totally
legal. These are more commonly known as SuperPACs,
and depending on the type, they don’t have to disclose information about their donors
to the public, making this “Dark Money.” Dark money is just soft money that we don’t
know immediately the source of. In 1990, there was a Supreme Court case which
decided that corporations were allowed to donate to independent-expenditure-only PACs,
as long as it was from a separate fund, not the general treasury. Which slows the process down by what? Two clicks? This was the unofficial birth of the SuperPAC
– a Political Action Committee that only does independent expenditures and doesn’t
participate in electioneering. Officially, they are called independent-expenditure-only
PACs. The 1990 decision didn’t allow corporate
contributions, those are still illegal, but it did allow unlimited independent spending. And since people can get together and do that
in a PAC, this decision effectively allowed corporations to do the same. So, looking at this list now… what did the
Citizens United decision actually do? In 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act,
better known as the McCain-Feingold Act was passed which established a few rules that
changed the way campaigns were financed. Though they were mostly minor changes. They increased the amount of hard money you
could donate to candidates and parties and tried to limit the amount of soft money they
could raise. But only for candidates and parties, not PACs. It’s also the reason you hear people saying
they approve this message at the end of their ads… I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message. I’m John McCain and I approve this message. That way you can tell if they ad is actually
from the candidate, rather than a PAC or whoever else. But most relevant to us, it barred corporations
from running electioneering communications in the 30 days leading up to a primary and
the 60 days leading up to a general election. It also redefined electioneering as anything
even mentioning a candidate. So, to visualize this, the McCain-Feingold
Act only affected this stream by not allowing them to show ads for 90 days out of every
other year. Which seems like the opposite of what I’d
want? When they say you can’t do it during that
30/60-day window, they’re also saying you’re totally allowed to do it during the other
275 days of the year. I think I’d rather have it contained to
just before the election, but that’s just me. In 2008, a PAC known as Citizens United wanted
to run ads for their Hillary movie during the 30-day window before the primary, and
they couldn’t… so they sued. And spoiler warning, in 2010, they won. So, what did this decision actually do? It overturned the 30/60-day ban on corporate
soft money spending, which only existed for a few years at that point. The court felt that limiting free speech just
before an election runs counter to the intention of the First Amendment. It didn’t declare money to be speech, it
didn’t allow unlimited corporate spending, those things were already allowed. It also didn’t create SuperPACs, they had
been around for decades. Citizens United, the group that caused all
this fuss, was created in 1988. The Supreme Court also overturned that 1990
Michigan decision, so now corporations could give to SuperPACs from their general fund,
rather than having to create a separate one. They closed the loophole and just let them
use the regular hole. Which honestly, they were doing anyway, just
one step removed. But perhaps most importantly, while this case
didn’t really change much in terms of federal elections, its biggest impact was on the states. This decision effectively overturned any state
law which limited corporate soft money spending, loosening state election laws to be more in
line with the federal guidelines. Which is to say, very loose. Two months later, the SpeechNOW.org decision
effectively extended those same rights to individuals. Now, anyone could give unlimited soft money
donations. Remember, people could already do these things
and had been for decades. But now they had the green light from the
Supreme Court. To be fair, historically, the Supreme Court
has almost always been on the side of more free speech, which is what this is… We just don’t like it. Almost everyone agrees that we have too much
money in politics – this is the problem people want to get rid of. So, it’s probably a good idea to define
what this means. What is politics? Is this political? You might not think it, but to some people,
this is a very blatant political statement. A clothing company paying an athlete to take
some pictures of him while wearing their product, seems innocent enough. But because of what that athlete did a few
years ago, some people interpret this as a corporation opposing a political candidate. So I’ll ask again, is this political? It certainly isn’t overtly political, but
neither is “Support America’s Petroleum Industry.” It seems like it’s only political if you
disagree with it. Politics that you agree with is just “common
sense.” But other people wanting to have the option
to pick a non-white male main character in a video game… Ugh, why’d you have to make it political? With that understanding of politics, the issue
isn’t really “money in politics” – but money in politics you disagree with. Because if you agree, it’s not politics. So, let’s shift to the money side of the
problem – we all agree that there is too much money in politics. But… what is too much? The 2016 presidential election cost 2.38 billion
dollars… which is about half a billion shy of the most expensive, which was 2008. Which was before the Citizens United decision. In fact, when you account for inflation and
population, presidential campaigns have cost roughly the same amount over time, with a
few notable exceptions, especially recently. But Congressional races have been getting
more expensive, with the cost nearly doubling in the last twenty years. The most expensive federal election, accounting
for inflation, was 2012 at 6.85 billion dollars… which sounds like a lot of money. But dog grooming is a 9 billion dollar a year
industry. I think there is too much money in politics,
but when it’s less than one of the most extra industries I can think of… maybe it’s
not too much? I don’t know what the right number should
be. Federal candidates who ran unopposed still
ended up spending over a million dollars on their campaigns, each. So maybe it’s not the amount that’s the
problem. On Twitter, I asked you all a series of questions
about what you think should be legal when it comes to campaign finance. Most of the questions returned similar results,
until I got to these two… take a moment to read these over and ask yourself – what
is the difference between these two scenarios? In both cases, a group of people who work
at the same place made a commercial that will ultimately benefit the company. Even the difference that seems obvious, isn’t
really. They all get their paycheck from the same
place. So really, the only difference between these
scenarios is if your heart is in the right place. Which is impossible to regulate! Even if you made a rule saying companies cannot
participate in independent expenditures, what’s to stop a bunch of coworkers from doing it
completely on their own and then getting a nice holiday bonus conveniently timed just
after the election. They’ll say it was completely unrelated…
but… What it really boils down to is that people
don’t want corporate money in politics. This soft and dark money stream is the one
most people seem concerned with, corporations either on their own or as part of a SuperPAC
running mostly issue-based ads that aren’t technically electioneering. So, what is a corporation? Most of us immediately think of Google, Amazon,
ExxonMobil, Monsanto… You know, the big evil ones. But also, that mom and pop restaurant on the
corner and many YouTube channels are corporations. Charities are corporations. Under the IRS code, they’re what’s called
a 501c3 Organization, these are Charitable Non-Profits like the Red Cross. Donations are tax deductible, are limited
to 50% of your annual income, and must be disclosed to the IRS. They are not allowed to directly participate
in politics, except in a general assistance capacity like driving the elderly to the polls. In fact, when we look at our handy chart,
all of these are corporations. 527 Organizations are Political Non-Profits,
this includes all political parties, political action committees, and some SuperPACs. Contributions are not tax-deductible by the
donor, but the organization does not pay taxes on it. Contributions are subject to a limit depending
on what the organization uses the money for, whether it’s hard or soft money. 527s must also disclose who their donors are
but are only required to do so quarterly. So you may not find out who paid for an ad
until after the election. These groups can participate in electioneering,
independent expenditures, or both. But there is another popular choice which
organizes under section 501c4, these are Social Welfare Organizations, like the National Rifle
Association, Planned Parenthood, and just over half of all SuperPACs. Again, contributions are not tax-deductible,
but the organization is exempt from paying taxes. There is no limit to the amount you can donate,
since these groups are only allowed to participate in independent expenditures, and only if it’s
less than half of their total spending. That’s how they remain a social welfare
group, rather than a political one. There’ve been a few challenges to this in
recent years, but as of making this video, 501c4s do not have to disclose their donor
information at all. Ever. So when we look back at our chart, 527s can
take limited hard money or unlimited soft money, and must make donor information publicly
available… eventually. 501c4s can take unlimited soft OR dark money
and do not have to disclose. If you’re not already, you might want to
sit down… because all of these can give to each other in various amounts depending
on who it is and what they use it for. In the end, while there isn’t supposed to
be any foreign money in our elections, after it’s been passed between a few corporations,
PACs, and SuperPACs, it’s been effectively laundered and could end up anywhere. The same can be said about corporate money,
it’s nearly impossible to track, since again, all of these are corporations. Including things you might not think of, like
Labor Unions… Hint hint. And even professional organizations like the
American Psychological Association and the American Medical Association. Are we really expecting them to stay quiet
on something like healthcare policy? Really, when it comes to corporate money in
politics, I don’t want it, but I also don’t see how we can get rid of it. It is a slippery slope situation. If we want to get rid of all money in politics,
that means you can’t go and print up flyers for your anti-litter campaign. So obviously some money has to be allowed. On the other end, currently, both of these
are allowed, corporations can’t endorse a candidate, but they can do independent expenditures. Like many of you, I kind of wish they couldn’t. I would move the line down here, but I don’t
know how I can justify saying that businesses can’t participate, but labor unions, professional
organizations, and political action committees can. Because remember, they’re all corporations. I don’t know how to stop bad actors, without
also stopping good actors. So why make this video then? Why explain all of the intricacies of campaign
finance if I’m just going to tell you that I don’t know the answer? Because some people, including PragerU, claim
to know the answer – I’d give you two guesses, but you’ll only need one: it’s
deregulation. And I obviously disagree. But on the flip side, simple solutions like
“overturning Citizens United” wouldn’t do much either. So… you’re going to reinstate that 30/60-day
ban on some soft money spending? That doesn’t seem like it’s going to solve
much of anything. Most of the stuff people don’t like is already
illegal, SuperPACs are not supposed to coordinate with candidates or run electioneering ads. But in practice, they do it all the time and
they’re just not punished for it. The documentary Dark Money looks into several
of these cases, and while it is a fantastic bit of investigative journalism, I feel compelled
to remind you that everything they look into is already illegal. We don’t lack regulation, we lack enforcement. Over the decades, the way corporations have
sought to curry favor with politicians has changed, it might surprise you to hear that
traditional lobbying has fallen out of favor. Campaign contributions and SuperPAC donations
are all the rage now. There is actually very little evidence that
money changes minds, politicians don’t really go from anti- something to pro- something
because of a donation. It’s much easier and cheaper to find someone
who already agrees with you. So rather than try to recruit a mercenary
politician, they look for a principled activist they can amplify. There’ve also been calls to close the “Revolving
Door” in DC. This is when someone from the private sector
gets into a government position, changes a bunch of regulations, then goes back to work
at whatever corporation they left. But how can you meaningfully stop that? This is America, are we really going to make
laws about who you’re allowed to work for after being in government? That doesn’t sound right. Even if you implemented a five-year waiting
period, that would become the contract start date. Some people even take issue with politicians
writing books or giving speeches after leaving office. I’m not sure I want to tell people what
they can do with their lives after they’re done serving the public. I don’t know about you, but after a few
years of public service, I like to sit back and watch one of the many great documentaries
on Curiositystream, by going to curiositystream.com/knowingbetter. Curiositystream is a subscription streaming
service that offers over 2400 documentaries and nonfiction titles from some of the world’s
best filmmakers that you can access across multiple platforms. They even have a series about money’s influence
on American history, including an episode specifically about the Watergate scandal – see
how one corrupt politician started this entire campaign finance disaster. You can get access to their entire library
for as little as three dollars a month – actually, that’s not true, it’s 2.99 a month. They let you keep the penny, like all good
Americans should. If you head over to curiositystream.com/knowingbetter,
and use the promocode knowingbetter, they’ll even throw in the first month for free. As well as getting access to Nebula, the new
streaming service built by fellow youtubers to create videos without worrying about pesky
limitations or disclosure rules. Including several original series like Working
Titles, hosted by a different creator each week, talking about their favorite TV show
opening credits – I heard a rumor that I might be doing one of these in a few months. By joining CuriosityStream and Nebula, you’ll
also be supporting the channel. With everything I’ve told you today, I think
it’s important to remember that none of this money ever actually reaches the politician’s
pockets. This isn’t lobbying or old-school bribery. The six billion dollars we spent on the last
election ended up going to the people who make commercials and lawn signs, the campaign
staffers, and the venues where you hold your rallies- Or wine caves, I guess. While we may think that elections cost way
too much, that money ends up circulating in the economy. And restricting that is complicated. I want to find a way to realistically keep
our elections as ideologically pure as possible, but hopefully now you won’t accept simple
solutions like deregulation or overturning a court case, because it’s more complicated
than that, and now, you know better. I just started accepting Youtube memberships,
if you’d like to have a snazzy fork next to your name and get access to the newly revamped
members-only discord, hit the Join button down below. If you’d like to add your name to this list
of soft money donors, head on over to patreon.com/knowingbetter, or for a one-time donation, paypal.me/knowingbetter. Don’t forget to coordinate with that subscribe
button, check out the merch at knowingbetter.tv, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and join
us on the subreddit.

Political Correctness Unites People — in Hatred | Adam Mansbach, “Go the F*ck to Sleep”


You know even the term “political correctness”
at this point I feel like has been compromised, has been diluted, and means different things
to different people in a way that is counterproductive. I would vote to retire the term entirely. I guess where I fall is, on one hand if you
are whining about the way that political correctness and some culture of respect prevents you from
being an asshole, then you’re an asshole. If the political correctness of the world
stops you, impinges your freedom of speech and prevention from being misogynistic, homophobic,
racist—then fuck you, basically. I guess that’s ultimately where I fall on
it. I don’t really know any artists, any creative
folks who feel like some restrictive culture is preventing them from doing their art, you
know. The people I see are flourishing in this space. I think respect is important. I think calling people by the words and the
names and the pronouns that they choose for themselves is critical. There’s no reason in any sense to do otherwise
that I can think of. But I feel like the term itself, as far back
as the 90s, was being bandied about in this spirit of mockery, and I remember books being
published, like “The Politically Correct Handbook” and like things that just take
it to a level of absurdity. The simple idea—that people of various marginalized
discriminated against groups were claiming ownership of the words used to describe them—was
taken and satirized and made absurd by the right, a group of people who are not known
for their sense of humor. And it became kind of a battering ram. Like “Oh, you know, we can’t say blah,
blah, blah.” And like “Well you can’t say short anymore,
you have to say vertically challenged.” And it was very deliberate. I mean it was part of the war around language
which is a very critical part of political discourse. The control of terminology is really, really
important in the way that people’s views are shaped. And it’s something that the right has had
a lock on surprisingly for a pretty long time, you know. “Pro-life” sounds good but isn’t. But the way that the words and the phrases
and the terminology shape the debate is really critical. So the term in my mind goes back to that and
yeah, at this point I think we could probably put it to death and come up with something
better.

Impeachment is Trump’s ultimate loyalty test for Republicans


It’s official. Donald Trump is the 3rd president in American history to be impeached by the House of Representatives, joining Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Now, Richard Nixon, remember, resigned before theHouse voted on the articles of impeachment. But this is the middle, not the end, of the
impeachment process. This basically means Trump is officially charged
with the abuses of power laid out in the House’s articles of impeachment. But now the process moves onto the Senate, where Trump will actually be tried. If two-thirds of the Senate vote for conviction,
he’ll be removed from office. But Donald Trump is not going to
be removed from office by the senate. Mitch McConnell is the majority leader there and he more than anyone else, will control that process, and on December 12th, he went on Fox News to assure Sean Hannity that he saw his role not as
conducting a fair trial, but as protecting Trump’s presidency –
as carrying out Donald Trump’s will. “Everything I do during this, I’m coordinating
with the White House counsel. There will be no difference between the president’s
position and our position as to how to handle this.” The famous line about the Nixon impeachment
was that it came down to “what did the president know, and when did he know it?” But that’s not the case with Donald Trump’s
impeachment. We know that the president knew. He knew from the beginning, because he released the call record In which he personally asked Ukraine’s president to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden in return for military aid promised to Ukraine. And a slew of witnesses testifying before congress have backed that up. “What did Ambassador Sondland tell you that
he told Mr. Yermak?” “That the Ukrainians would have to have the
prosecutor general make a statement with respect to the investigations as a condition of having
the aid lifted.” No, the question here is what will congressional
Republicans accept, and what will they even defend? The facts of the case here are very simple. I spoke recently with Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman. He was one of the four constitutional scholars invited to testify before the House
Judiciary Committee as part of their hearings. The striking fact about this impeachment process,
he said to me, is that it’s not an edge case. It’s not a complex question of constitutional
interpretation. The framers had this one conversation
on July 20th, 1787 where they laid out in really clear terms what they were worried about. They worried about the abuse of power by a
president for his personal gain to corrupt the electoral process and to subvert national security. That’s why they put impeachment in there. The first article of impeachment lays it out
clearly: “Using the powers of his high office, President
Trump solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, in the 2020 presidential election. He did so through a scheme or course of conduct
that included soliciting the government of Ukraine to publicly announce investigations
that would benefit his reelection, harm the election prospects of a political opponent,
and influence the 2020 United States presidential election to his advantage.” That Donalrd Trump did all this is not in doubt. And he did his by leveraging aid that Ukraine,
an ally, needed to protect itself against Russian invasion. And this was just one of those cases
where it’s just not that complicated. Because Republicans can’t argue that Trump is innocent of what he’s alleged to have done – Innocent of what his own call record shows him doing – some Republicans embraced an argument that is actually a lot scarier. It’s much more dangerous to our system of government – much more in violation of what the founders wanted. That what Trump did is fine. “This president did nothing wrong.” “The President of the United States and Mr
Zelinski both said nothing is wrong and Mr. Zelinski has said many times over, ‘We felt
no pressure.'” “I have news for everybody. Get over it. There’s going to be political influence
in foreign policy.” The problem here isn’t just the 2020 election. It’s the precedent it sets for every other
election. Congress is meant to use the impeachment power
to set boundaries on executive behavior. If Republicans erase this one, then as Feldman
says: They’re saying to Donald Trump,
go ahead and do it in the future, and that’s bad enough. But they’re also saying it to every future
president. “Go ahead and use the office of the presidency
to gain personal political advantage in upcoming elections.” That is not, to be fair, Republicans only argument. Some Republicans have focused on process – That the House impeachment process was too fast, that it didn’t call all the witnesses. “The fact our colleagues are already desperate to sign
up the Senate for new fact finding, which house democrats themselves were too impatient to see through …” The circularity of this argument is a bit maddening. House Democrats wanted to call more witnesses. They wanted to subpoena more documents and Trump blocked them, claiming executive privilege. That’s why article 2 of the two articles of
impeachment is “Obstruction of Congress.” Specifically, the article says that Trump
obstructed Congress in doing it’s constitutional duty by: One Directing the White House to defy subpoenas
to produce documents relevant to the investigation. Two Directing agencies to defy subpoenas, such
that the Department of Energy, the Department of Management and Budget, the State Department,
and the Department of Defense refused to produce a single document or record for this investigation. And directing nine key administration officials to refuse to testify. Look, Republicans who actually care about congress and the constitution and their duty to conduct oversight and who truly were undecided on the facts of the case – who really felt they just didn’t know what happened between Donald Trump and Ukraine – They could threaten Donald
Trump. They could make him produce these documents. Make him produce these witnesses by saying they’d vote for the “Obstruction of Congress” article if he refused to honor the subpoenas and send the witnesses. They could just demand the House is able to complete its investigation to their satisfaction. That no congressional Republicans
hold this position makes their true position all too clear. “This thing will come to the Senate, and it
will die quickly, and I will do everything I can to make it die quickly,” This isn’t how the system the Founders constructed
is meant to work. Ambition was supposed to check ambition. Instead, the ambition of congressional Republicans
has become an enabler for the ambitions of President Donald Trump. There is a particular line, on page 5 of the
articles of impeachment, that I keep thinking about. It is, in my view, the most important line
in the entire document, It reads, “President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated
that he will remain a threat to national security and the constitution if allowed to remain
in office.” Everything Trump did with Ukraine came after
the Mueller investigation, after his presidency was put at risk over allegations of collusion
with a foreign power in 2016. And then – after all of that – Donald Trump, having escaped that inquiry
unscathed – He turned around and tried to enlist Ukraine’s help in the next election. If congressional Republicans let him off the
hook for this, why does anyone think he won’t do it again, and again, and again? And why, then, don’t they think this will
just become a normal tactic for incumbent presidents worried about their own reelection? This is, of course, the exact scenario the
Founders most feared. Republicans are abandoning their constitutional
role to provide oversight and to curb the executive’s abuse of power. Every Senate Republican I interview tell me they see themselves as a constitutional conservative. That their goal in congress is to protect the constitution. But that’s not what they have become. They’ve become anti-constitutional Trumpists. They are putting our system of government
at risk. One more thing before you go – If you want to hear the full interview with Noah Feldman and quite a bit more like that, you can subscribe to my podcast
“Impeachment, explained.” We release every week. We have a lot more where that came from and we’ll put a link in the description.

Will Egyptian President Morsi Be a Dictator or a Diplomat?


joining me today on world view with
dennis campbell is dennis campbell and they’re in chief of u_k_ progressive
magazine the book is the key gypped unshackled that’s also the topic today
dennis let’s start with egypt shin president mohammad more sees uh… extra judicial declaration that he
made which made some headlines and then will delve deeper into what’s happening
in egypt uh… what what was that that creation exactly well basically the declaration is one in
which he said that uh… no other governing body most uh…
especially the judiciary itself which if you remember going back a few months of
the people that diesel of parliament and attempted to
saying basically you have to stop all over again despite all the programs that
have been made that had parliamentary elections they had seen the parliament they’ve had
a presidential election and basically the only thing that that
the uh… judiciary saying could stand was the presidential election and he basically is saying if i wanna
make certain that nothing that i do can be stopped by this tradition body in any
form i’m taking power and what a lot of people have assume back to me is that he’s become the next falls ny
mubarak he has become of the the dictator of the new injection government and i don’t think
that’s exactly true okay so it looks a little bit down that were about route
thomas friedman had an interesting article earlier in the week where he
said the question now is will president more seat be a diplomat
or will he be indicators certainly he is framing it particularly in giving
himself credit for the cease-fire in israel between israel and hamas as
being a more diplomatic character although that is not a statement that
without controversy so what are going to be the key things to look at in the next
i don’t know months six months a year to determine what direction is this going
to go well you’re going to we had a number of
different factors i mean that from what i understand what’s happening
right now as we are filming this and will be going on the seat demand is that they are rushing a draft of the
constitution to the parliamentary body in through
this constitutional bond to then make certain that it goes out for
ratification however some of the commentary i’ve seen says that because the document is a little
bit more stripe and thin people had expected a little bit more authoritarian that this first pass is likely to fail so that it come see the you get to come back to the table looking very very diplomatic after it
fails at in election the constitution and that is in a position to come up with the new constitution
essentially so he’s in a bit of an interesting spot because inject on the one hand is the second
biggest uh… uh… benefactor of american aid money
behind israel and at the same time uh… more see has taken at least when it came
a couple of weeks ago between israel and hamas a very anti-israeli position so he
has to know that there’s a there’s a does not maybe it’s not a fine line
maybe it’s a bit of a blurry line but there is a line as far as how far he
can go before that aid started to become a question mark that exactly and you know i think when i did i’ve read
today that they that uh… uh… our good friend in texas uh… the
the man no playing with the completely full that
movie going where came out and and several others on the
floor there was on a radio station that uh… you know president obama has been
but teaming up with the muslim brotherhood and and you know it’s just
strange to see the reaction the minute you have the moslem brotherhood come up
as a as a potential party to these talks what a lot of people don’t understand is
that the muslim birth other who’d is probably
the the the most moderate purple with potential options that were out there
and the fact is is that more sees a pretty smart back he’s going to allow
this process to go through and he’s going to do it he can to keep you know
how much happy because obviously they are part of of muslim brotherhood uh… on a very big stream signs of it in the in the west
bank and gaza but he’s not going to do anything to upset the apple cart it’s been a sense is that if either of
peace and the region do you think that he’s going to be put
in a position to directly have to address these reports that we’re getting
satellite reports that uh… there is a refueling so to speak
of homeostatic in place from are ran and that uh… the path for
that is going via the red sea sudan and ultimately inject which also shares a
border with gaza is that going to become a factor for more she’s credibility at
some point is he trying to simply make that just not even come up with this
position i released if he’s got enough problems
he’s got eighty million people inside the most populous you know muslim nation india who
actually that they’re really more secular boat their is a very large percentage of
muslims and islam aka people inside of each itself i think he’s got enough just
to keep himself the in power and moving forward from there but one party that
we’ve not talked about all this is the staff was uh… supreme council be out
of the armed forces and that is that the ultimate decide ur
at the end of the day they’re unhappy with what happens they control the guns
they can ’til the economy and if they decide that you know this is an
acceptable motion self so we started the lawn bowls in the air and a lot of people happy can show that
he’s you know the law under the gun everybody expects him to be yes the new
constitution has a lot of uh… of mold what ascends the ride off into a tizzy this time the wall but it did not as extreme as what you’re
seeing an aroma papa part of the problem mhm on world so i don’t see you know accuse change butter i do think
that there are going to be fit to start it with the united c it eleven is wrong
the uh… that we’re kind of independent to actually have prompted you to is
going to take him several months before gets self-titled pennant only been
twenty-month all right so dad dennis campbell
worldview with dennis campbell the last day of of november you’ll see
domestically in geneva next weekend and what will be our topic of discussion for
next week that we’ve we’ve got breaking it here in
united kingdom would be ripley’s of bill clinton press report that is called me huge uh… uh from
right over here week aka obviously we’d be the committee had come out and and and damned wipo so well rupert and james murdoch will be
able to time use international and uh… they’re talking at but putting any
regulatory body that will or oversee the press now this is a state model our
cameras two dead on arrival members of the the the regulatory body but there’s
a lot of invocations here lots of implications better because it murdoch
is bound by parliament did not rock music and act will go very well and if
we keep the bomb hacking indications come out as a result of what has happened you’re going to buy and use so will be
at the headless s_e_c_ now uh… having to dive into this because
once one of these phone banking cases results in the convicted europe but in a
position where you’re gonna be putting under the foreign corrupt practices act
will licenses of fox news and all of the holdings in the united states and its
total as a leader all right that the only for next week
we’ve been speaking of course the dennis campbell he’s editor in chief of u_k_
progressive magazine check out the book in japan shackled and
the latest book billionaire boys election freak show dennis will talk to
next week we’ll see you then