Inform Your Opinion 11-05-19

LAST MONTH: There was no quid pro quo, and you won’t find any.
TODAY: There is quid pro quo, and what about it.

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland appointed by President Trump revised his testimony to lawmakers in the House’s impeachment inquiry, saying in the latest version that the president’s dealings with Ukraine amounted to a clear quid pro quo.

The Hill report by Mike Lillis & Olivia Beavers.

Just over a month ago, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said “If you’re looking for a circumstance where the President of the United States was threatening the Ukraine with cutting off aid unless they investigated his political opponent, you’d be very disappointed. That does not exist.” Today after the transcript of the revised testimony from Sondland came out, Graham said “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of BS.”

Business Insider report by John Haltiwanger.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham also said today that it was unclear to him whether it would be an impeachable offense if President Trump demanded a quid pro quo from Ukraine’s president.

The Hill report by Alexander Bolton.

Inform Your Opinion 11-04-19

Beto O’Rourke has dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary. On Friday, November 1st, he told a small group of supporters “clearly see at this point that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.” The announcement came without warning but his campaign was running low on cash and was struggling with fundraising.

Politico report by David Siders.

The elections for the next president of the United States are less then a year from now. A lot can happen in a year, but what if we were to vote today? Who would win? How does Trump match up against Biden? What about Trump vs Warren or Trump vs Sanders?

NY Times report by Nate Cohn.

Impeachment inquiry by the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs panels released the first transcripts of hours-long hearings they held with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Michael McKinley, a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The top Democrats on the committees leading the inquiry said the testimony of both diplomats highlighted the “contamination” of American foreign policy by allies of the president who sought to create an “irregular back channel” to accomplish Mr. Trump’s personal and political objectives.

CBS News report by Camilo Montoya & Stefan Becket.

Weekend Edition: Inform Your Opinion 11-02-19 & 11-03-19

On January 12, 2017, President-elect at the time Donald Trump named Rudy Giuliani to be his cybersecurity advisor. Not even a month later, on February 7, Giuliani walked into a San Francisco Apple Store with a problem: his iPhone had gotten locked down after 10 unsuccessful login attempts.

NBC News report by Rich Schapiro.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are changing their residency from the Trump Tower in Manhattan to Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. So why the move from New York to Florida? President Trump says he gets no love from any of the political leaders in New York despite paying “millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year.” While that may be one of the reasons for the move, another could be that the move could be a huge tax saver.

USA Today report by Adrianna Rodriguez.

One of the central themes of Presidents Donal Trump’s 2016 campaign was a border wall that Mexico was going to pay for. Instead the taxpayers are paying for this wall, which has so far cost $10 billion. In recent campaign rallies and tweets Trump has called the wall “virtually impenetrable.” Recent reports have however come out that Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through the wall by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through.

The Washington Post report by Nick Miroff.

Inform Your Opinion 11-01-19

Tulsi Gabbard is rising in the polls and the Democratic establishment is in fears. Some are worried that she will take her campaign all the way to the convention just to create chaos; while others think she might run as an independent third-party candidate. Hilary Clinton even said of Gabbard that she is “a favorite of the Russians” and that Republicans are “grooming” her for a third-party run in hopes of splinting the support of a Democratic candidate. Gabbard has repeatedly stated that she is not going to run as a third party candidate, and there is no evidence that she is a “favorite of the Russians” or that the republicans are “grooming” her.

The Hill article by Max Greenwood.

Morning Consult and Politico recently ran a National Poll on many different questions related to the current state of politics and the upcoming election. Here are some questions and results.

Do you think you are ready for a president who is gay or lesbian?
33% Yes, definitely
17% Yes, probably
13% No, probably not
24% No, definitely not
13% Don’t know / No opinion

Do you think you are ready for a Hispanic president?
40% Yes, definitely
25% Yes, probably
10% No, probably not
12% No, definitely not
13% Don’t know / No opinion

Do you think you are ready for a agnostic or non religious president?
31% Yes, definitely
14% Yes, probably
15% No, probably not
26% No, definitely not
14% Don’t know / No opinion

Full poll from Morning Consult & Politico.

To end the week on a sweet note and it being Halloween yesterday, we may find ourselves with more candy to eat then we would want to. So why not eat just the best ones. the worst & the best Halloween candies for 2019 by Ben George.

Or maybe you would like to try the favorite candies of the State you live in. most popular Halloween candy by State.

Inform Your Opinion 10-31-19

Happy Halloween!

Today may go down as a date that students in history class will be reading about in their history books. The House passed a resolution formalizing its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The House of Representatives passed the resolution 232-196 with only two democrats voting no – Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

NPR report by Brandon Carter.

While there is a lot of talk today about the House vote formalizing its impeachment inquiry; we can’t forget that there is a heated Democratic primary race in full swing. With Iowa caucus less then a 100 days away new polls show Senator Elizabeth Warren as the most favorable, followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg and then by Senator Bernie Sanders. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who was the former front runner is now polling in fourth place in Iowa.

The Hill report by Tal Axelrod.

In the first primary state of New Hampshire, Senator Bernie Sanders takes the lead in most recent poll with Senator Elizabeth Warren close behind him. In third place is former Vice President Joe Biden and in fourth place is Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Progressive candidates are surging to the top of the polls in these early voting states, while the more centrist candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris are losing their ground.

The Hill report by Jonathan Easley.

In the national polls, lesser know candidates with progressive ideas are rising. While the former Vice President Joe Biden still leads the national polls, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and then by Senator Bernie Sanders; a businessman Andrew Yang and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard are gaining some ground. Yang is polling at 3%, the same as Senator Kamala Harrris in the national polls. While Representative Tulsi Gabbard is polling at 4% giving her a lead over Harris.

National Review report by Alexandra Desanctis.

Inform Your Opinion 10-30-19

Today lets take a look at a state that has been in the news all week – California.

On Sunday, 27th of October, Katie Hill a democratic congress woman from the 25th District of California announced her resignation over allegations of inappropriate sexual relations with a congressional staffer. The Wednesday before her resignation an investigation by the House Ethics Committee was opened into the allegations given that if true, the relationship would be in violation of House rules. Hill has denied the allegations in a letter to her supporters, but did admit to an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer. While inappropriate it would not be a violation of the House rules. Sense then however, nude photos of her have been leaked online which in the end lead to her resignation which many say she did not have to do.

USA Today article by Alia E. Dastagir.

Multiple wildfires have been scorching California. In southern California the conditions are extremely dangerous because of strong winds. On Wednesday morning northwest of Los Angeles the Easy Fire had burned more then 1,600 acres and was burning near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Thankfully the library was protected from the blaze. Meanwhile east of Los Angeles the Hill Fire broke out and burned through 628 acres on Wednesday.

In Northern California, a massive Kincade Fire has grown to more then 76,000 acres, and firefighters are fighting to contain it. Thankfully the winds have subsided a firefighters are reporting that they have the wildfire contained to about 45%. Thousands are still under evacuation orders and many more are without power as the electric company preemptively shut off power out of fear of starting new wildfires.

CBS News report with updates.

Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have kicked off a $90 million fight against a ballot measure in California that guarantees gig economy workers a 120% minimum wage. The ballot measure called Assembly Bill 5 which was signed into law on September 15th by California Governor Gavin Newsom enshrines the ABC test that determines whether someone is a contractor or employee.

The Verge in depth report by Andrew J. Hawkins.

Inform Your Opinion 10-29-19

Today there was another key witness that testified as part of the House impeachment inquiry; Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a highly decorated Army officer who is currently the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. Vindman is a first hand witness who listened in on the July 25th Trump-Zelensky call. He raised concerns over the context of the call multiple times with his superiors. In his opening testimony he said, “I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine.” He then went on to say that any investigation into the Bidens would be interpreted as a partisan play.

NBC News report by Jonathan Allen & Phil Helsel.

President Trump is defending himself against the incriminating testimony by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman by calling him a “Never Trumper.” While other Trump defenders are smearing Vindman with unsubstantiated claims, saying that he has dual loyalty and has been advancing Ukrainian interests over those of the United States.

The Intercept report by Robert Mackey.

Trump and his defenders attack on Vindman and his character triggered a backlash; with many Republican House and Senate members speaking out defending Vindmans service and patriotism. Vidman is a Purple Heart recipient and has served on active duty in the U.S. Army for more then 20 years and prides himself as a nonpartisan.

The Hill report by Morgan Chalfant & Brett Samuels.