Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

THE DAILY SHOW - David Oyelowo Interview

The Daily Show
with Trevor Noah

Parts of this interview is hilarious, especially the 'leaf blower' sequence (7:16).

Monday, December 16, 2019

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 12/13/2019

"Shields and Brooks on articles of impeachment, FBI’s Russia mistakes" PBS NewsHour 12/13/2019


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s political news, including the House Judiciary Committee’s passage of articles of impeachment along party lines, Republicans’ defense of President Trump, how impeachment affects Trump politically, what the Horowitz report says about the FBI and a bombshell report on the Afghan war.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  Abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, as of today, those are the Judiciary Committee-approved charges against President Trump.  Now it is on the full House of Representatives to decide whether or not to impeach him.

To help us analyze this important week, as always, are Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Hello to both of you.

So these two articles of impeachment, David, how strong a case have the Democrats made with this?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Well, two things.  One, I think they have made a strong case.

I think there was clearly a campaign to have a quid pro quo with Ukraine, and it's clearly an impeachable offense.

As for the articles of impeachment, I don't like them.  Abuse of power, what is that?  Like, that's not a criminal thing.  Like, it's a vague construct.  And same with obstruction of Congress.  Like, these are both extremely vague constructs.

And I think they lead away from what actually happened, what crime was committed, and what should the punishment be.  And they will lead to a debate over these vague concepts.

The concepts should hug closely to some sort of criminal concept that's in our court system, so we all have a history about it, so we know the structure of it, and these sort of waft away from it.  So, I think they make the case.  I just don't like the way they framed it.

Judy Woodruff:  Mark, too vague and not on the point?

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist:  David, too vague?  No, never.

Judy, I think the best case was made by a unique person, in the sense of Zoe Lofgren, who was a staffer for Don Edwards on the House Judiciary Committee at the time of the Nixon impeachment, was a member at the time of Bill Clinton's impeachment, is now in the House Judiciary Committee.

And she — I thought she drew the distinction quite compellingly.  And that was that Richard Nixon, no comporting with a foreign power, no attempt to bring the foreign influence into our elections, that he had tried to influence the election improperly, and tried to cover it up with the FBI and the CIA, and paid for it.

That Bill Clinton, no foreign influence, no rigging of an election, he had, totally improperly and indefensibly, had sexual relations with a 21-year-old intern and lied about it.

But this was a President [Trump] trying to rig an election coming up in 2020, using a country, an ally under duress, facing an external threat to its survival from Moscow and — from Russia, and in need of our assistance that had already been voted for, and asking for exchange to get that, to meet — or meeting even with the President to validate the new leader of our ally there, that they spy on an upcoming election in the President's principal opponent.

Judy Woodruff:  And you're saying these articles capture that?  Or they…

Mark Shields:  I think they capture — I mean, I think it's pretty — I just think it's quite straightforward and clearly understandable, and clearly understandable to anybody.

And I think, Judy, quite honestly, no Republican I know will be able to explain to his or her grandchildren why he or she voted against this, I mean, that this was defensible, that this was acceptable behavior on the part of a President of the United States.

David Brooks:  I think it will say, oh, I might have voted for censure.  This doesn't rise to the level of impeachment.

I still think that's their strongest argument, aside from just throwing up smoke.

Judy Woodruff:  But are you saying, David, that there's another — there's a different article that they could have, should have come up?

David Brooks:  Well, I should have gone to law school because I would know.


I didn't go to law school.  So I don't have the exact phrase.  I just think the phrase abuse of power just doesn't — it just means nothing and everything to me.

Judy Woodruff:  And obstruction of Congress?

David Brooks:  Well, that's a little closer.  But, frankly, so many people have been accused and sometimes removed for office from that, that do we really undo an election over that one?

And I think something serious happened here.  But it was that — what Mark just described.  But, somehow, the way we're about to debate this doesn't seem to get the seriousness of it.

Mark Shields:  Well, just one side has engaged in the debate.  I mean, the Republicans have not.

I mean, there was an acknowledgment on the part of Clinton's defenders that he had done something wrong, even with Nixon, that there had been a break-in.  I mean, the Republicans are just in a state of denial.  They're sailing blithely on the river denial, I mean, that there was nothing, nothing was done.

This is — Mick Mulvaney tells us, wake up and grow up and accept it.

Judy Woodruff:  The Republicans are calling it a sham, a waste of time.

The President himself is doing the same thing.  He's tweeting a lot.  He was out on the campaign trail this week.  He was in Hershey, Pennsylvania, talking about the impeachment process, also singling out the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff.

And here's what the President said:

President Donald Trump:  The president of Ukraine repeatedly declared that there was no pressure, but he didn't want to say that.

We said, say it.  Say it, you crooked bastard.  Say it.



President Donald Trump:  But he doesn't want to say it.  We said, say it.

I'd like to force him to say it.


President Donald Trump:  He will walk up to the mic.  "Ladies and gentlemen."


President Donald Trump:  The guy total corrupt guy.

Judy Woodruff:  So that plays well with Trump supporters, doesn't it?

David Brooks:  He's a showman.  And that's showbiz.

And I have to say, I had a friend come from — he'd been away in Israel and came back to the United States.  And he came to me, he said, Trump's really funny.

And I don't always see the humor.  But, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, tens of thousand of people saw the humor, and hundreds of thousands of million — hundreds of millions — or tens of millions of people around the country see the humor.

And they just think the guy's funny, and I like that.

Judy Woodruff:  It seems — it's working?  I mean, he's using coarse, tough language.

Mark Shields:  It's not working.  He's running behind Joe Biden and every other leading Democrat.

Judy, just think of politicians, political leaders in your lifetime, whether it's the city — shining city on a hill, or the hope, and that's — or what we can do together, you know, what we owe each other.

This is the antithesis of that.  This is the politics of grievance.  This is not that we are surrounded by those with whom we can work, we can reach across, we can — that my opponent is — my adversary is not mistaken or ill-informed.  My opponent is my enemy and is evil and hates this country and hates you.

And, boy, that didn't echo through Jim Jordan's words.  I mean, Donald Trump has spawned protégées and knockoff versions: They hate us.  They're out to get us.

It really is — it's a terribly bleak and dismal and dark America that this President portrays and those who support him.

David Brooks:  You know, we have all based our careers on the notion that we can have a conversation.

And so I would stand up for those values as much as anybody.  But in a time when people hate the political establishment so much, one of Trump's secrets is to find there has to be a stylistic way of talking that seems different.

And even for those of us on our side have to find the stylistic way of talking that feels authentic to people.  And some of the old communication styles that we used to do or that candidates used to do, I think that just is not resonating with people right now.

And that's been true around the world.  And you can get somebody who's conservative or progressive who doesn't exhaust everybody all the time and who actually talks in a normal tone and actually listens.

Mark Shields:  Yes.  No.

David Brooks:  But, somehow, something has to change.  And that's one of the things we have learned, not only from Trump, but the world politics.

Judy Woodruff:  Some people are pointing to Boris Johnson winning in Britain.

Mark Shields:  Yes.

I guess just — and I agree with David, but just one point, Judy, and that is, at no point is there any celebration of what we have achieved in this country, I mean, the fact that we have cut the poverty rate among people over the age of 65 by two-thirds, that we have removed 85 percent of lead from the air, I mean, all of the things we have done and are doing.

We have got a long way to go.  But we have achieved, and there are good things that America does.

Judy Woodruff:  Two — well, in a completely different direction, two investigations I want to ask you both about.

One, David, is the inspector general at the Department of Justice went back and looked at the origins of the Trump campaign Russia investigation.  Republicans had been saying it would show political bias.  The inspector general said — didn't find political bias, but he did find a lot of mistakes.

What do we take away from this?

David Brooks:  Yes.

Well, with Fiona Hill and a lot of people who testified, we saw the federal government at its best.  And now we're seeing another side, which is incompetence.

And I take them at their word there was no political bias.  But there was certainly a lot of incompetence, and they were certainly spinning the game.  And the investigation into Carter Page, just for one [actually the only] example, he was meeting with the Russians.  And he was telling the CIA, I just want you to know I'm meeting with them.

And the FBI did not disclose that fact that he told the CIA, which certainly makes it look a lot less suspicious than it otherwise would be.  And, frankly, this vindicates a lot of the — not everything, but a lot of the stuff Devin Nunes was saying, House Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, saying they weren't playing fair.

And so this is a case where I don't like — maybe there wasn't bias, but there was certainly a lot of incompetence and there were certainly people getting over their skis in trying to pursue an investigation, maybe without as much cause as they pretended.

Judy Woodruff:  What do you take away from that.

Mark Shields:  That there wasn't — I agree with David.  There were serious mistakes made.

And I think that FISA process is open, not only to scrutiny, but to severe criticism.  But I — when Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, appointed by President Trump, says investigations were opened in 2016 for an authorized purpose and with the adequate federal predication — predication the recent word that is now in vogue — but he gets lambasted by the President.

It's like everybody got something out of this investigation, except the President, who wanted it to be a coup.  And there was no coup.  That's it.  I mean, I think a lot of people have to answer what they did as far as the visa [FISA?], but there was no coup.

COMMENT:  What David Brooks is failing to realize is that impeachment does NOT have to relate to a crime like in normal courts.  The definition of "High crimes and Misdemeanors" are totally up to the House and can be political.

TRUMP'S TRADE WAR - China vs United States Update

"Why U.S. and China are still ‘very far away’ from ending trade war" PBS NewsHour 12/13/2019


SUMMARY:  On Friday, the Trump administration and China announced the first phase of a deal to de-escalate the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.  But the agreement, positioned by the White House as a major victory, has prompted many questions, as well as bipartisan criticism.  Nick Schifrin reports and talks to Mary Lovely of the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

HEALTH CARE - Drowning in Debt

"Should the federal government be able to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs?" PBS NewsHour 12/12/2019

Is this even a real question?  Of course we should, that is one reason we pay more for medical drugs than many other nations.  And of course Republicans receive very big 'donations' for Big Pharma.


SUMMARY:  Americans spend more on prescription drugs than any other country in the world: about $1,200 per person every year.  One in four say the cost is problematic, and some say they haven’t taken their medicine as directed as a result.  In Congress, both parties are looking to address the problem -- but with different approaches.  William Brangham talks to Emmarie Huetteman of Kaiser Health News.

"Americans are drowning in medical debt, so this nonprofit is buying — and forgiving — it" PBS NewsHour 12/12/2019


SUMMARY:  Collectively, Americans owe nearly a trillion dollars of medical debt, and Congress is trying to figure out a policy response.  But in the meantime, economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on an unusual non-profit’s effort to relieve the burden of medical debt for those in need.

Here's another thought:
  1. Our present health care system = [you] -> [middle man, fee & profit driven health insurers] -> [health care provider, doctors, hospitals, pharmacy]
  2. Better way = [you] -> [Medicare, fix fee not-for-profit] -> [health care provider, doctors, hospitals, pharmacy]


"Researchers still striving to understand cause of vaping-related illnesses" PBS NewsHour 12/11/2019


SUMMARY:  State governments continue to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes and other vape products, largely in response to the deaths and illnesses that began coming to light this past summer.  But as lawmakers deliberate over their policy response to vaping, researchers are still trying to understand the cause of the illnesses.  Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports.

IN THE CENTER RING - Brexit Update

"Ahead of election, British voters grapple with Brexit, division and distrust" PBS NewsHour 12/11/2019


SUMMARY:  The United Kingdom goes to the polls Thursday in what is being considered the most significant election since the end of World War II.  Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson needs a clear majority in Parliament to force through a deal for a January Brexit.  But as special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports, British voters have trust issues with both Johnson and Labour rival Jeremy Corbyn.

"With overwhelming Conservative win, Boris Johnson can deliver Brexit" PBS NewsHour 12/12/2019


SUMMARY:  The United Kingdom has voted in its third parliamentary election since 2015.  The country is sharply divided, and the outcome will result in fundamental changes to British policy for generations to come.  Nick Schifrin reports on what appears to be a decisive Conservative victory, according to exit polls, and talks to Chatham House’s Robin Niblett and CSIS’s Heather Conley about what it means.


"Jersey City mayor attributes deadly shootout to anti-Semitism" PBS NewsHour 12/11/2019


SUMMARY:  A day after a deadly shootout with police left six people dead in northern New Jersey, law enforcement and city officials are trying to understand what happened.  Among the possible motives being considered: anti-Semitism.  John Yang speaks to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop about being “aggressive and deliberate” in calling out violent hate and how the community is reacting to the tragedy.


"2 law enforcement experts on what Horowitz report and testimony mean for the FBI" PBS NewsHour 12/11/2019


SUMMARY:  In 434 written pages and more than five hours of live testimony, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz shared his perspective on how the FBI conducted itself in the early stages of its Russia investigation.  How serious are his findings, and what happens now for the FBI?  Former FBI official Frank Montoya and former federal prosecutor James Trusty join Judy Woodruff to discuss.

MARYLAND - Juvenile Lifers

"In Maryland, many juvenile offenders languish in prison without parole" PBS NewsHour 12/10/2019


SUMMARY:  Nearly a year ago, President Trump signed a bipartisan federal criminal justice reform bill that reduced mandatory sentences.  Many states followed suit -- but not Maryland.  In collaboration with the University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, John Yang reports on the uncertain fate of prisoners who are still serving life sentences for crimes they committed as minors.

REPORT CARD - Arctic Ice 2019

"What a ‘sobering’ report on Arctic ice loss means for global sea levels" PBS NewsHour 12/10/2019


SUMMARY:  Tuesday marked the release of yet another stark report detailing how the increased warming of our atmosphere is transforming the planet.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s annual Arctic Report Card includes some grim news for wildlife, native communities and global sea-level rise.  William Brangham talks to Dartmouth College’s Erich Osterberg about the impact of melting ice.

USMCA - What's Different From NAFTA

"How the USMCA trade deal differs from NAFTA — and how it doesn’t" PBS NewsHour 12/10/2019


SUMMARY:  After months of discussion, congressional Democrats have struck a deal with the Trump administration over trade with Mexico and Canada.  If passed by Congress, the USMCA will be the United States’ largest single trade agreement, with trillions of dollars in goods flowing both ways.  Amna Nawaz reports and talks to The Wilson Center’s Christopher Wilson about what changed from NAFTA--and what didn’t.


"Explosive investigative report says U.S. government misled public on war in Afghanistan" PBS NewsHour 12/9/2019


SUMMARY:  In a blockbuster story representing the culmination of several years of investigation and pursuit of government documents, The Washington Post reports that U.S. officials have been misleading the American public about the war in Afghanistan for the past 18 years.  John Yang talks to The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock, lead reporter on the story, about what the classified document trove revealed.

"During Afghan war, lack of U.S. knowledge yielded a flawed strategy" PBS NewsHour 12/10/2019


SUMMARY:  For nearly two decades, the United States’ military engagement in Afghanistan has been plagued by strategic missteps, according to The Washington Post's bombshell report.  The investigation examined thousands of pages of previously unpublished notes and interviews from the U.S. government’s Lessons Learned Project analyzing the war.  Nick Schifrin talks to retired Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute.

RUSSIA PROBE - DOJ Inspector General Findings

Of course Trump's 'Personal' attorney AG Barr disagrees.  Again Barr forgets he works for the American people not Trump.

"DOJ inspector general finds Russia probe was appropriately opened — but Barr disagrees" PBS NewsHour 12/9/2019


SUMMARY:  A long-awaited report into the origins of the Russia probe found no evidence of a political conspiracy against President Trump.  But the Justice Department’s Inspector General criticized the FBI’s handling of wiretap applications used in the early stages of the investigation.  William Brangham reports and Judy Woodruff talks to John Carlin, former assistant attorney general for national security.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

SAN DIEGO - North Park Institution Closes

NOTE:  This article was copied from the e-newspaper, therefore no link to article.

"Last stand for newsstand" by Peter Rowe, San Diego Union-Tribune 12/5/2019

Paras, a North Park institution for 70 years, will close Dec 29, a victim of Internet, its owner says

Todd Viter didn’t notice the large signs when he walked into Paras Newsstand to buy Wednesday’s Los Angeles Times.

Then someone told him what they said: “Store Closing/ Everything Must Be Sold!”

“I’m shocked,” said Viter, 51, learning that owners Ken and Ann Gabbara plan to close Paras by year’s end.  “I love the history stuff he has — the World War II magazines and stuff about after World War II.  I’m disappointed.”

For 70 years, this shop near the corner of University Avenue and 30th Street has sold cigars, gum, newspapers and magazines.  Magazines by the ton.  There are now about 2,500 unique titles on Paras’ racks, the county’s largest stockpile of current periodicals.  For readers like David Harrell, a fan of railroad monthlies, and Edgar Hall, a Soap Opera Digest devotee, there’s no place like Paras.

To wander the crowded aisles is to immerse yourself in hobbies, vocations, passions.  Turn a corner and there’s every conceivable publication for anglers: Ice Fishing, Sportfishing, Pacific Coast Sportfishing, Fly Fisherman, Bassin’.  A nearby shelf holds some of Harrell’s favorites: Trains, Railway, Locomotive, Great Train Stations, Passenger Train Journal, Railfan & Railroad, Tramways & Urban Transit: The International Light Rail Magazine.

“Some of the bestsellers are magazines about cars, planes, boats, guns and the literary stuff,” said Kent Snyder, a Paras employee.  “Then there are the weeklies — you know, the tabloids.”

After Snyder’s hiring in July 1986, some mornings he’d find impatient fans of The Globe and The National Enquirer lined up outside the door.

“The little old ladies would be standing out on the corner,” Snyder.  “The owner would say, ‘Just a minute, ladies.’”

At Paras, these mob scenes are history though the store still carries History, National Geographic History, All About History, Current History.  There are still regulars who come in for newspapers and magazines they can’t find elsewhere, but nearly as many consumers buy candy or coffee.  There’s also a steady flock of browsers who use their cell phones to snap photos of intriguing covers, then seek those publications online.

“We tried hard, we put up a good fight,” said Ken Gabbara, who bought this shop with his wife in 2007.  “But Mr. Internet is winning the war and there’s nothing I can do about that.”

‘Another family’

On this site in 1949, Frank Hill opened a cigar and notions shop.  Four years later, he sold the place to Chris Paras, who began stocking reading material.  By the 1970s, Paras boasted an impressive selection of out-of-town newspapers.  Visitors from Miami popped in to buy the Herald, New Yorkers to peruse the Post and the Times, Chicagoans the Tribune, Seattleites the Post-Intelligencer.

Most of those newspapers are no longer delivered to Paras, as publishers encourage far-flung readers to subscribe to digital editions.  The magazine inventory, though, continued to swell, prompting Paras to expand in 1995 and again in 1996.

“Even with the Internet, the business has been pretty steady,” Snyder said.  “It’s only in the last couple of years that it’s gone down.”

Besides North Park, there were Paras newsstands in Ocean Beach and La Mesa.  In 1987, the Paras family sold the North Park shop to two brothers, Michael and Rocky Attallah.  Twenty years later, they sold to the Gabbaras.

The couple added snacks, souvenirs, candles, jewelry and other items to the store.  But the backbone of Paras — pronounced like the French capital, Paris — remains the many, many magazines.

This is the place if you want the latest issue of Sea Classics, Classic Boat, Wooden Boat, Good Old Boat or just plain Boat.  Where enthusiasts scope out Guns & Ammo, Gun Digest, and Precision Rifle Shooter.  Where do-it-themselfers pick up Old House Journal, New Old House, Home & Design, House & Garden, Homes & Gardens, Southern Home and San Diego Home/Garden.

And it’s where Edgar Hall has been buying Soap Opera Digest for the last 15 years.

“I’m not going to be happy about this,” Hall said of the impending closure.  “I’ve gotten to know the staff here.  It’s almost like having another family.”

One final Sunday

Like video rental stores, newspapers, shopping malls and other institutions upended by online competition, Paras Newsstand’s inefficiencies are part of its charm.  A No.  6 bus stops right outside the shop’s open door, and the driver yells a good-natured gibe at Ken Gabbara.  Street people wander in, buying the occasional coffee, chocolate bar or sticks of incense.  David Harrell, 83, knows he could buy the Los Angeles Times at newsboxes close to his downtown residence, but he’d rather take the bus to Paras.

“I don’t like the street machines at all,” he said.  “Sometimes, you lose your money.”

“We’ve formed a lot of good relationships,” said Ken Gabbara, 66.  “We’re very lucky.”

Gabbara said he’s still making ends meet at Paras, but the store’s profits are shrinking while he and his wife’s health issues are expanding.  He’d like to find a buyer for this store, but now plans to stay open only through Dec 29, the Sunday after Christmas.

“I want everyone to be able to pick up their Sunday papers,” he said.

On the walls of Paras, above shelves holding the John Wayne Ultimate Puzzle Book, Hawaii Weddings and Dapper Dan, some of the many stories written about this institution are framed.  The headline on one: “We’ll Always Have Paras.”

Not sure.  Nor, it seems, will we always have a place to buy the latest Paris Review, Cuba Plus, New Eastern Europe, Sactown, Tahoe, Salt Lake, Los Angeles or San Diego Magazine.

Monday, December 02, 2019

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 11/29/2019

"Shields and Brooks on impeachment public opinion, shifting 2020 Democratic race" PBS NewsHour 11/29/2019


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including public opinion and legal debate in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, the shifting race among 2020 Democrats and what we’re thankful for during this holiday week.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  Now here to analyze the politics of this Thanksgiving week, as always, are Shields and Brooks.  That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Hello to both of you.

Mark Shields, syndicated columnist:  Hi, Judy.

Judy Woodruff:  So, the impeachment process, we are seeing the Judiciary Committee marching ahead, David.

There's a hearing next week where they are going to talk to constitutional scholars about impeachment.  The committee sent a letter to the White House saying the President has until next Friday to say whether he's going to call witnesses and provide evidence.

Meantime, the President is out on the campaign trail saying the whole thing is a witch-hunt, and he's not going to cooperate.

And is he making some progress, because we're seeing the polls show some slipping in support for impeachment?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Yes, especially in swing states.

And so I think the contrast for the coming week will be that the Democrats will be ever more treating this like a legal matter, and Donald Trump will be ever more treating it like a political matter, and them trying to close it in on the exact events and him trying to widen it, see, this is just what they have been doing at me.  They have been — this is an attack on you.

And they will both win.  And the impeachment now numbers are just like every other numbers in our politics, completely divided right down the middle, and with nobody moving on either side.

And so I suspect Trump will see this as a tremendous way to get his base, and Democrats will see the same way.  And we will march forward.  And eventually it'll end.  And then we will turn our attention the Democratic Party, and I'm not sure what will have been achieved.

Judy Woodruff:  His best defense, go out and call it a witch-hunt?

Mark Shields:  David is such a Pollyanna.

Look, Judy, I think continues to slide is just a little bit of an overstatement.

If you think — compare this to Watergate, it took 26 months after the break-in at Watergate, 14 months of hearings, to get to the point where we are now with Richard Nixon.  That was the summer of 1974, one month before he resigned, to the point we are with Donald Trump right now.

And as far as — I mean, you can look at all the polls.  Ipsos does it — has done six since the end of October.  It's gone from 47 percent in favor of impeachment, to 41 against, to 47 percent in favor of impeachment, 41 — 40 against.  I mean, it's been next to — next to no movement.

I just I think that we have, quite frankly, is early stages.  And we're very much in the early stages.  And I think for us to rush — Jeff Horwitt, the Democratic pollster who does The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll with Bill McInturff, the Republican, compares it, the impeachment and conviction in the Senate, as to the criminal part of a trial.

And the civil — the civil trial will be the election of 2020.  Donald Trump may very well be not guilty in the criminal part, but, right now, he's in just terrible, terrible shape looking at November 2020.

Have 47 — 6 percent of Americans who say they would vote for anybody except Donald Trump.  And 34 percent say they will vote for Donald Trump, regardless of who runs against him.

David Brooks:  Yes.

Mark Shields:  So, I mean, he's really just in worse shape than any incumbent in my lifetime.
Judy Woodruff:  So are you saying — and I'm going to turn to David on this.  Are you saying that this is not about impeaching him and removing him from office by the Congress, but doing it — but damaging him enough so that it happens at the polls next November?

David Brooks:  Well, that's not the way it's supposed to be.

Mark Shields:  No.

David Brooks:  It's supposed to be a legal thing to see if he did high crimes and misdemeanors.

I don't — I agree, I think Donald Trump is in serious trouble, more than — more than most of my Democratic friends do.  That having said, in swing states, The Times had a poll that gave everybody anxiety on the Democratic side about two weeks ago showing Trump winning all these swing states.

And we have, surprisingly, shockingly little data on how he's doing in swing states or how impeachment is doing in swing states.  The one thing we do have is a poll that Marquette did in Wisconsin, which was 40 percent support, 55 percent oppose.

And so if that's the way the swing states are reacting, then that's not a good thing, because this is not going to be about looking at how the whole country views this.  This is about how those swing voters are viewing it.

And whether the Democrats want to go and do Watergate style or Watergate length set of hearings, it seems to me that's highly problematic.

I think there's a case, as we discussed last week for bringing in Mike Pompeo, and trying to ask him some questions.  But the Democrats so far seem loath to do this because they want to rush this thing.  And so that — that's just a big philosophical difference.  Do they go big and try to engineer that, or do they say, let's just get this over with?

AT THE MOVIES - "The Report"

"What new film ‘The Report’ says about the CIA and post-9/11 torture tactics" PBS NewsHour 11/29/2019


SUMMARY:  Five years ago, a report was released on the torture tactics used against suspects of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Now, that investigation is the subject of a new film, “The Report.”  Jeffrey Brown speaks with director Scott Z. Burns about why he thought the controversial topic could be made into a movie.

IRAN - Crackdown

"Behind the protests and brutal government crackdown in Iran" PBS NewsHour 11/28/2019


SUMMARY:  For two weeks, thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in what began as protests denouncing a hike in fuel prices.  But the uprising quickly turned political, with demands that top officials step down, and the government blacking out internet in response.  Meanwhile, Iranian leaders accuse the U.S. of fomenting the unrest.  Special correspondent Reza Sayah joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.

ALASKA - Rising Waters

"As water levels rise, this Alaska town is fleeing to higher ground" PBS NewsHour 11/27/2019


SUMMARY:  Rising sea levels will threaten three times more people in the next 30 years than previously thought, according to the latest scientific estimates.  Among the hundreds of millions of people worldwide facing the threat are the 400 residents of Newtok, Alaska.  Rising river and eroding land is pushing the entire community to relocate, despite emotional and logistical hurdles.  Stephanie Sy reports.

FOOD - Waste Not, Want Not

"In the U.S., 30 to 40 percent of food is wasted.  California aims to change that" PBS NewsHour 11/27/2019


SUMMARY:  In the U.S., 30 to 40 percent of food produced never makes it to a dining table.  Much of that waste ends up in landfills.  But some companies are pursuing new techniques to reduce and redistribute surplus -- plus process discarded food in environmentally friendly, sustainable ways that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  NPR’s Allison Aubrey reports from California, which is leading the charge.

"How Americans can change their mindset about wasting food" PBS NewsHour 11/28/2019


SUMMARY:  Over the next year, the average American household of four will spend roughly $1800 on food they don't eat.  Why do we throw away so much in the kitchen, and how can we cut those losses?  Now, the culinary industry is tackling those questions.  NPR’s Allison Aubrey talks to scientist and cookbook author Dana Gunders about reducing food waste for the second installment in our special series.

AMAZON - Prime Risk

"Amazon doesn’t report its warehouse injury rates — but we have an inside look" PBS NewsHour 11/27/2019


SUMMARY:  Black Friday kicks off peak shopping season for Amazon.  This year, the company is offering its Prime members even faster service: instead of two-day shipping, some packages will arrive at customers’ doors in only one.  But many Amazon staffers say the focus on speed puts warehouse workers at great risk of injury.  Will Evans of Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting has the story.

TRUMP'S CONSIGLIERE - Rudy's Business Dealings

Consigliere:  Is a position within the leadership structure of the Sicilian, Calabrian and American Mafia.  The word was popularized in English by the novel The Godfather (1969) and its film adaptation.  In the novel, a Consigliere is an advisor or counselor to the boss, with the additional responsibility of representing the boss in important meetings both within the boss's crime family and with other crime families.

"What were Rudy Giuliani’s business dealings in Ukraine?" PBS NewsHour 11/27/2019


SUMMARY:  It was another day of revelations in the saga of President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, which prompted the impeachment inquiry.  What was Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, doing in that Eastern European country?  What did the President know about the whistleblower complaint -- and when?  Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the latest and put it into context.

IMPEACHMENT - The Voters Speak

"What voters across America are saying about impeachment" PBS NewsHour 11/27/2019


SUMMARY:  In Washington, much attention is directed toward the impeachment inquiry.  But how is it viewed in other parts of the country?  We turn to three public media reporters to find out: Caitie Switalski with WLRN in South Florida, Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities PBS in Minneapolis, and Bente Birkeland of Colorado Public Radio.  The three join Judy Woodruff to discuss partisan divides and impeachment fatigue.

SICILY - What 1 Euro Can Buy

"What 1 euro can buy you in Sicilian real estate" PBS NewsHour 11/26/2019


SUMMARY:  In Sicily and across Italy, towns are on the brink of extinction.  Locals have been leaving these picturesque communities, with their antique buildings and narrow roads, in search of economic opportunity, and few babies are being born there.  Some towns are trying to lure new residents with the prospect of cheap real estate.  Special correspondent Christopher Livesay reports on what one euro can buy.

STARTUPS - WeWork’s Rise and Fall

"WeWork’s spectacular rise and fall provide cautionary tale for startups" PBS NewsHour 11/26/2019


SUMMARY:  The startup WeWork set out to revolutionize the workplace -- leasing, renovating and subletting offices as shared coworking spaces.  At the beginning of 2019, it was the single biggest private office tenant in London, New York, and Washington.  But the company’s valuation has plunged $40 billion, and it’s now laying off 2400 employees.  John Yang talks to The New York Times' Peter Eavis.


"How ‘climate procrastination’ has put the planet in peril" PBS NewsHour 11/26/2019


SUMMARY:  The United Nations has an alarming assessment of climate change and how countries around the world are not doing nearly enough to slow its damage before it becomes worse.  The report finds that the warming effect of greenhouse gases on the planet has increased 43 percent just since 1990.  Columbia University’s Dr. Radley Horton joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the problem and potential solutions.

TRUMP - Impeachment Update

"The latest from the impeachment inquiry, including new transcripts and a court ruling" PBS NewsHour 11/26/2019


SUMMARY:  More transcripts from closed-door impeachment hearings were released Tuesday, providing new insight into how aid to Ukraine was delayed -- and why.  Meanwhile, a federal court ruled witnesses subpoenaed in the impeachment inquiry must testify, noting that "Presidents are not kings.”  Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff to discuss these developments and news from the House Judiciary Committee.

"How Nixon, Clinton and Johnson dealt with the threat of impeachment" PBS NewsHour 11/28/2019


SUMMARY:  Impeachment is a rare event in American politics.  Amid the past few weeks of public hearings, we have wondered how this episode compares to previous instances of impeachment.  Amna Nawaz spoke with three historians, each focused on a former president who had to grapple with that threat: Peter Baker on Bill Clinton, Timothy Naftali on Richard Nixon, and Brenda Wineapple on Andrew Johnson.

AMERICA - What History Can Teach Politicians

"David Rubenstein’s take on what American history can teach our politicians" PBS NewsHour 11/25/2019


SUMMARY:  In 2013, billionaire investor, businessman and philanthropist David Rubenstein set out an ambitious plan to moderate conversations with prominent historians before an audience of bipartisan lawmakers.  The goal: help members of Congress become more knowledgeable about the past -- so they are better equipped to govern our future.  Rubenstein joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the project's outcome.

UNITED STATES - Military Justice System

COMMENT:  I am 22yr retired Navy and Viet Nam Vet so I speak from a first hand view.  I even served as a member of a Courts-Martial Board as a Chief.

Also, Under Article 15 of the Code [UCMJ] (Subchapter III), military commanders have the authority to exercise non-judicial punishment (NJP) over their subordinates for minor breaches of discipline.  These punishments are carried out after a hearing before the commander, but without a judge or jury.  Punishments are limited to reduction in rank, loss of pay, restrictions of privileges, extra-duty, reprimands, and, aboard ships, confinement.  The accused has the option to go before to a Courts-Martial Board on the charge.  This is what happened in Gallagher's case.

Disciplinary matters, for all branches, are governed by "Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ)" which specifies and governs all matters of behavior and disciplinary matters.  It is totally wrong for ANY President to interfere in this area.

"The fallout from Trump’s intervention in Navy SEAL discipline case" PBS NewsHour 11/25/2019


SUMMARY:  President Trump and U.S.  military leadership clashed this weekend over the case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a highly decorated Navy SEAL accused and acquitted of war crimes but convicted of posing in a photograph with a dead militant’s body.  The controversy ultimately led to the firing of the secretary of the Navy.  William Brangham talks to The Wall Street Journal’s Nancy Youssef.

CHINA - Under Pressure

"How will Beijing respond to Hong Kong election results and leaked Uighur documents?" PBS NewsHour 11/25/2019


SUMMARY:  Sunday’s Hong Kong election proved grassroots protesters there have overwhelming support.  Although the positions pro-democracy forces won have little power, Chief Executive Carrie Lam vowed to “seriously reflect” on the results.  Meanwhile, leaked Communist Party documents shed new light on Chinese persecution of Uighur Muslims.  Amna Nawaz talks to University of California San Diego’s Susan Shirk.

"Leaked docs give inside view of China’s mass detention camps" PBS NewsHour 12/1/2019


SUMMARY:  Last month, hundreds of documents obtained by The New York Times gave an inside view of China’s growing indoctrination camps.  In the country’s northwestern region, Uighurs and other Muslim minorities have been detained for ideological transformation, isolated from the outside world.  Austin Ramzy, a reporter with the New York Times, spoke with Hari Sreenivasan about the findings.