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One Man's Opinion: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach. Is that the Question?
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One Man's Opinion: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach. Is that the Question?

One Man's Opinion: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach. Is that the Question?

One Man's Opinion: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach. Is that the Question?

"The man had a penchant for martyrdom. This allowed him to cling to his belief that he was cruelly beset, deeply under-appreciated, wholly persecuted and denied the respect that he rightfully deserved," said historian and author Brenda Wineapple speaking of President Andrew Johnson in her new book, "The Impeachers."

Congress had twice previously impeached a sitting President. President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat who ran on a unity ticket with President Abraham Lincoln during his re-election campaign, and then nearly 150 years later, President Bill Clinton. Neither Impeachment was successful, both did not receive the required votes for removal from office in the U.S. Senate. And in both of those cases, the party NOT in control of the White House held majorities in both chambers of Congress. That is not currently the case in Washington, D.C. Democrats have control of the U.S. House, where impeachment proceedings might be considered or begin.

 

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One Man's Opinion: To Impeach, or Not to Impeach. Is that the Question?

Johnson was considered not particularly bright, thin-skinned and racist. Johnson was best known for being the sole U.S. Senator from the south (a Democrat from Tennessee) who chose not to secede, and remained a Unionist throughout the war. For this reason, Johnson was viewed as an 'outsider' who could mediate and help bring the south back into the Union after the war.

Instead, Johnson would veto several of the most critical pieces of Reconstruction legislation, championed by Lincoln and passed by both chambers of the Republican majority Congress. The Freedmen's Bureau Act, Civil Rights Act and four Reconstruction Acts were all passed into law against his objection. And though the majority of his vetoes were over-turned, Johnson did not let that soften his rhetoric.

"This is a country for white men, and by God as long as I am president, it shall be a government for white men."

Johnson then made a particularly divisive target of the 14th Amendment, which would eventually grant citizenship to freed slaves and equal protections under the law to black Americans. Leaders of the new Republican Party, first in power under Lincoln, and who had risked their existence and political success on retaining the Union and freeing the slaves were angry and afraid the Johnson was leading the nation backwards.

Congressional Republicans were making a strong moral case that Johnson was ignoring the will of the people, and as the Vice-President is not actually elected (he is part of the ticket in the Electoral College), the validity of his holding the office was often questioned. Then as now, the question arose, must a President only be impeached only for acts of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors? Must he have actually broken a law in order to trigger the impeachment process?

Republicans instead seized on a technicality to proceed with impeachment. Johnson had 'illegally' fired Republican Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Johnson chose not to consult Congress before dismissing Stanton in 1868. That violated the then Tenure of Office Act, requiring Congressional approval before such action. And though Congress would later repeal that act over concern for it violating the Constitutional separation or powers, 8 of the 11 articles of impeachment concerned Stanton's dismissal.

The House passed out a recommendation of Impeachment for a trial in the U.S. Senate, where Senate GOP moderates decided it would be easier to simply await the coming November elections, nominating and securing the White House for the party's then popular standard bearer and war-hero, General Ulysses S. Grant. The Senate trial ended with Johnson acquitted by a single vote, including seven Republicans supporting acquittal.

Johnson, with no strong base of support in either party and still reviled in the south, finished out his term quietly and eventually returned to his native Tennessee. There he would later be somewhat redeemed and return again to Washington as a U.S. Senator with Tennessee fully re-instated in the Union.

The 2020 Presidential election is already underway. Congressional Democrats’ apparent obsession with the Mueller Report is beginning to cost them independent and non-party aligned voters. President Trump's approval ratings and poll numbers are trending up, whether that fits their preferred narrative or not. Given a field approaching two dozen Democratic aspirants for the White House, the Democratic Party might be better focused on determining how far to the left of center the party wants to go, and who are the potentially strongest standard bearers to take that case to Donald Trump. Odds are running high in Las Vegas and elsewhere however that that isn't exactly what they are planning to do. 

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  • A North Carolina man charged in the death of his 2-month-old child faced a judge in Burke County on Monday.  >> Read more trending news  Maurice Dashawn Springs, 23, is charged with second-degree murder.  Officials said deputies were called to Carolina Health Care System – Blue Ridge on Sept. 4 after an unresponsive 2-month-old boy was taken to the hospital by his parents.  The baby was transferred to Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, but he died on Sept. 9.  The Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division and Burke County's Department of Social Services started an investigation after reports from emergency room staff and at Levine's.  According to a search warrant, deputies believe the child died of shaken baby syndrome. “No visible signs of trauma to the head or anywhere on the child. That’s the next logical place you go – shaken baby,” Sheriff Steve Whisenant said. Officials said CT scans showed multiple subdural hematomas consistent with a traumatic brain injury. Springs’ family said he loved the baby with all his heart, and they are standing by him. The child’s mother was in court but too distraught to talk afterward. “As a parent and a grandparent, any time there is a young child involved all of us struggle with thinking about what a child went through,” Whisenant said. WSOC-TV learned that deputies interviewed Springs for hours. They are not revealing what he said during that interview prior to his arrest. 
  • Two Florida residents are facing several charges in Nassau County following an arrest on Friday. >> Read more trending news  Deputies with the Nassau County Sheriff's Office were in the area of South 14th Street and Sadler Road at 11:38 p.m., when they saw a man and a woman riding bicycles: one with no lights on the bicycle and the other bicycle with no lights on the rear, according to the report. The deputy said they began riding in the middle of the road and were almost hit by another vehicle due to their lack of lights.  The Sheriff's Office said the deputy pulled over Aaron Thomas, 31, and Megan Mondanaro, 35, at 870 Sadler Road and stated there was a strong odor of an alcoholic drink emitting from both of them. Thomas told the deputy that they had come from Hammer Head Bar and had beer. According to the arrest report, the pair both had bloodshot, watery eyes, and their speech was slurred. The deputy performed a field sobriety test on Thomas until he refused to complete it. Deputies said he did poorly on the portion of the test he did perform. The report said Mondanaro did not speak to the deputy after being asked to take the sobriety test. The report said the two were arrested and placed in the back of the patrol car. While the deputy was outside the patrol car, the pair took off their clothes and began to have sex, according to the arrest report.  NCSO said Thomas was removed from the car while naked by the deputy. Thomas was able to knock the deputy down to the ground during the process and began to run through the parking lot, the report stated. Thomas ran past several cars at a traffic light and then in front of a CVS store and in the parking lot of other stores. Deputies said they eventually caught up with him at the Cold Stone Creamery ice cream shop and arrested him. Thomas was taken to the Nassau County Detention Facility after he was medically cleared and faces charges of exposing sex organs, DUI, a threat against a public official, and an unnatural and lascivious act.  The arrest report stated during a breath test, he blew a .145 on the first breath and a .146 on the second. The breath test was taken three hours and 21 minutes after the arrest. Mondanaro became violent and started kicking one of the deputies several times after Thomas was initially removed from the patrol car. She is facing charges of exposing sex organs, DUI, resisting with violence/simple assault, and an unnatural and lascivious act.
  • General Mills is pulling some bags of flour from store shelves over E. coli concerns, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. >> Read more trending news  The company announced it was voluntarily recalling five-pound bags of Gold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour. The recall only affects bags with a use by date of Sept. 6, 2020. According to officials with General Mills, the flour could potentially contain E. coli. The bacteria was discovered during sampling of the product. FDA officials said there have not been any reports of confirmed illnesses connected to the recall. 
  • Three teens in masks were shot and killed by a homeowner Monday morning in Rockdale County, Georgia, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Investigators determined that the juveniles, one age 15 and two age 16, were involved in an exchange of gunfire with the White Oak Court homeowner shortly after 4 a.m., the Rockdale County Sheriff’s office spokesman, Deputy Lee Thomas said, in a statement emailed Monday afternoon. All three juveniles were from Conyers, Thomas said. WSB-TV said two of them were brothers. Deputies were called to the single-story home to investigate a report of shots fired. They found three “young men” lying on the ground outside, Sheriff Eric Levett said at the scene.  “Upon our arrival, the deceased was at the edge of a driveway and partially in the roadway,” he said. “The other young man was a little bit down the street, where it appears he was running.” Deputies administered first aid to him and another teen. Both later died after being taken to a hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The juveniles allegedly approached the residence and attempted to rob three people in the front yard, Thomas said. One of the attempted robbery suspects brandished a gun and fired at the residents before the homeowner returned fire, according to the statement. The robbery victims were not injured in the shooting. No charges have been filed. “They did discover masks on the young men,” the sheriff said. “That rose our suspicions.” Levett said the homeowner, who has not been identified, is in his late 40s to early 50s. WSB-TV reported he is a truck driver. Carlos Watson, who lives next door, said more than 10 emergency vehicles responded quickly to his otherwise quiet cul-de-sac after the shooting.  He said he thought he was dreaming when he first heard a series of about five gunshots. The second round got him out of bed.  “I heard somebody yell for help. Then I heard it again, and that’s when I came outside,” Watson said. “There was one gentleman laid out and our neighbor, Mr. Jenkins, was helping him out.” Brian Jenkins, a candidate for Rockdale County Commission chair, said he waited until deputies arrived before he went to check on the teen lying in his yard, screaming for help. The teen appeared to have been shot near his shoulder and was wearing a mask around his neck, Jenkins said.  “I told him to just calm down and relax,” he said. “It will be OK. Just stop moving.”  Watson has lived in the neighborhood off Flat Shoals Road for about a year and said random crimes are not common.  Investigators are still trying to determine who owned two different types of guns recovered from the scene.  
  • Around 100 SeaWorld employees were told Monday they're out of a job. >> Read more trending news  The employees worked for a call center in Orlando, that handles customer service for all of SeaWorld's 12 parks across the country. Some of the laid-off workers said they're really upset because their jobs are now going to people in other counties. A few of the laid-off employees said they were recently sent to Central America to train people, but said they had no idea they were training those workers to replace them in their own jobs. Empty parking spots in an otherwise full lot paint a picture of what happened behind closed doors at SeaWorld's corporate call center in Orlando. 'I got a call from human resources and they said that, effectively immediately, I no longer had a position there,' one former employee said. The employees said that, without warning, about 100 people were laid off. 'Everything from monthly payment plans, from annual passes to selling new annual passes, park tickets, setting up dining reservations, animal encounters, tours,' the former employee said, describing the workers' jobs. SeaWorld released a statement, saying 'it undertook a careful review of its operations and made a business decision to restructure its call center operations.” The statement also reads, “This move will allow us to better and more efficiently scale our call center to meet customer demand, especially during peak months. Due to this change, approximately 100 employee positions at the Orlando call center have been eliminated and operations have been shifted to a third-party vendor, effective immediately.” One former worker, who is a graduate student, said the company agreed to pay workers for the next 60 days but she's not sure how she'll be able to afford school now. 'People didn't really have a chance to prepare and, for me, that just doesn't sit right,' she said. 'That's a lot of money and a lot more debt that I’m not prepared to take on.' SeaWorld officials said the company recognizes the layoffs are not easy and it plans to offer severance benefits and outplacement assistance to help former employees with the transition. Former employees said the new call centers are in Jamaica and Guatemala.
  • Kathy Gadd is devastated over the death of her daughter, 39-year-old Jennifer Kalicki, who was found dead Sunday morning in her apartment in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.  >> Read more trending news  'She was the most wonderful daughter a mother could ask for and I can't believe I'll never see her again,' Gadd said in an interview Monday.  Jennifer's boyfriend, Eric Griffin, has been arrested and charged with domestic assault and battery. 'He murdered her. He murdered her,' Gadd said. 'There's no two ways about it. I want him to get the most they can give him.' Authorities said that, when they found Jennifer Kalicki after 8 a.m. Sunday, she was already dead. They could see trauma on her face, neck and extremities. On Saturday morning, 24 hours before Kalicki was found, authorities said, she sent disturbing texts to Eric Griffin's sister. 'He's ripped the door open. Choked me, slammed me to the ground,' the text messages read. 'Please help me. He's losing it...I just need help. I'm tired of him making me the victim.' 'During those text messages, the victim was begging the defendant's sister for help,' prosecutor Suzanne Wiseman said in court. 'She also indicated in those text messages that the defendant slammed her on the ground and the defendant had strangled her.' Griffin's sister never called the police. At the time of Kalicki's death, Griffin had just gotten out of the Billerica House of Correction, where he was held on a drug charge.  Griffin was released from jail on Wednesday. The only reason he got out is because Kalicki went to Lowell District Court and paid his $250 bail. Half a week later, Kalicki was dead- - at the hands of the man she helped get out of jail, investigators said. 'I just hate him. I hate him so much,' Gadd said. 'And he's going to try and say he's sorry. That's the type of person he is. He's not sorry. He's just sorry he got caught.' A Lowell District Court Judge has revoked Griffin's bail. Griffin is due back in court Friday for a dangerousness hearing.