Senator Grassley, you enabled this

President Donald Trump has added to the list of officials he has sidelined for their role in exposing or investigating him. In what Aaron Blake called a “Friday night news dump for the ages,” Trump informed leaders of the U.S. House and Senate Intelligence Committees on April 3 that he is removing Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson.

Trump put Atkinson on administrative leave to stop him from doing his job before his dismissal takes effect next month (the president was required to give Congress 30 days notice of such action).

Continue Reading...

What Chuck Grassley didn't want Donald Trump to hear about his acquittal vote

As anyone could have predicted, Iowa’s Republican U.S. senators voted this week to acquit President Donald Trump on charges that he had abused his power and obstructed Congress. Bleeding Heartland covered Senator Joni Ernst’s explanation for her votes here. Senator Chuck Grassley laid out his reasoning in a fifteen-minute floor speech and news release on February 3. Two days later, he submitted a longer rebuttal of the impeachment charges for the Senate Record.

Grassley’s February 5 statement mostly covered the same ground in greater detail, with one exception: it included a mild rebuke of Trump. Iowa’s senior senator avoided expressing those sentiments on camera.

Continue Reading...

What Joni Ernst said (and didn't say) about acquitting Donald Trump

President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial ended on February 5 with U.S. Senate votes to acquit on both counts: 52-48 for “not guilty” on abuse of power and 53-47 for “not guilty” on obstruction of Congress. Republican Senator Mitt Romney joined the 47 members of the Democratic caucus to convict on the abuse of power charge; the other vote fell along straight party lines.

Public comments from Iowa’s Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley over the past several months indicated that neither would seriously consider convicting Trump under any circumstances. Both opted not to subpoena documents the White House refused to provide during the House investigation, and voted not to hear any testimony from witnesses the president sought to keep quiet. So yesterday’s votes were no surprise.

Nevertheless, it’s worth taking a closer look at Ernst’s public explanation for her vote. A separate Bleeding Heartland post will cover Grassley’s justification for voting to acquit.

Continue Reading...

Requiem for the Constitution

Ira Lacher comments on today’s proceedings in the U.S. Senate. -promoted by Laura Belin

Hello. I’m the Constitution. And if you’re reading this, I’m dead.

Oh, you may see me around, from time to time. Someone or other will always wave a copy of me around, pointing to me as the glue that’s the foundation of America. Abraham Lincoln said of me, “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.” Then, there was this from Rush Limbaugh: “We are hated because we are free. We are hated because of the idea that is the United States of America. We are hated because of our Constitution.”

Yeah, but my organs have shut down. By breaths have ceased. I have flat-lined. And so, I’m dead. Here are a few examples why.

Continue Reading...

To prevent Trump's 2nd (and 3rd, and 4th) term, Democrats need Elizabeth Warren

Erin Madsen is former candidate development chair of the Johnson County Democrats and a concerned citizen. He lives in Iowa City.

“What I’ve learned is that real change is very, very hard. But I’ve also learned that change is possible – if you fight for it.”
Elizabeth Warren

I attended Elizabeth Warren’s first rally in Iowa last January. I needed to see if she was the same Elizabeth Warren who explained the financial crisis to The Daily Show with John Stewart when no other program could, who pilloried bankers like it was her favorite hobby, and who stood shoulder to shoulder with Bernie Sanders (for whom I was a delegate and volunteer in 2016) on Medicare for All and a host of other issues which I care about deeply.

Continue Reading...
View More...