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As Trump’s impeachment heads to the Senate, Democrats should push for witnesses (including Hunter Biden)

Originally published at NBCNews.com

Witnesses or no witnesses? That is the question dogging senators of both parties, as they gear up for a Senate trial on the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

On the one hand, you have Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., saying that a fair trial must include hearing from the president’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton and possibly others.

On the other, you have Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who says that if Trump wants Hunter Biden called, or the whistleblower, the Senate should allow that.

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Opinion: Trump Is The Biggest Show On TV. Impeachment Will Be Bigger.

Originally published at BuzzFeed, and co-authored with Gur Tsabar.

 

In the days since the news broke that President Donald Trump made a request/demand that Ukrainian prosecutors investigate Joe Biden’s son, the president’s allies have blanketed cable news with allegations against the former vice president. A New York Times reporter reminded MSNBC viewers that “there’s a story here” about Joe Biden and his son, and Trump himself accused the Bidens of corruption on Monday.

To say Democrats are losing the ability to control this story would be an understatement. The allegations led to Biden to angrily jamming his finger in a reporter’s face when asked about his son over the weekend, in an attempt to place the focus back where it belonged.

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Other Presidents Have Inspired Good. Trump Inspires Violent, Deranged Hate.

Talk to members of the Greatest Generation, and they’ll tell you how FDR’s words inspired a nation, reeling from the depression, to rise up and defeat the forces of evil that were threatening liberty.  Most people born to the Baby Boom generation would talk about how John Kennedy’s words inspired them, or someone they knew, to take an active role in civic life, join the Peace Corps, or enter public service.  Listen to anyone from Gen-X, and they’ll recount how Ronald Reagan’s words helped heal a nation after the Challenger disaster, or how Bill Clinton helped us process what happened in Oklahoma City.

There is one historic truism that we know is true, because we’ve all lived through it – a president’s words can inspire thoughts and actions, like no one else.

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Republican Tax Plan Ad Concepts – Free!

One of the toughest parts of being in progressive political communications is that our side doesn’t have money like the other side, especially when it comes to off-years.

I can’t tell you how many incredibly good television ad scripts I’ve read that were never produced, because no group had the money to do it.

So it is, again, with the fight over the GOP tax bill. This time, though, rather than look at some scripts, sigh, and shove them away in the purgatory of the hard drive, I thought I’d post them here. Continue reading


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Spicer’s Lies and Laughter

Spinning is something all of us in political public relations do.  It’s our job. We take a bit of bad news, and try to rationalize to the media why it’s not so bad. Or we take a bit of good news for an opponent, and find the dark cloud we can place over it. Sometimes it comes off as ridiculous. Sometimes it works. But, spinning is taking the truth and working from there.

Sean Spicer lied.

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The Double-Edged Sword of a Nationalized Race

I wrote this piece for Campaigns and Elections.  Check it out!

Nationalizing a race, whether a state primary or a House special election, can help a campaign raise money and recruit volunteers. But history and recent results demonstrate that this strategy comes at too steep a price.

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Time for a Dem proposal on O’Care fix. Time for the public option.

Let me preface this post by saying I’m an advocate of single-payer health care. Nothing I’m about to write negates that. I’m just writing about political reality.

Yesterday, four GOP Senators came out against the current Senate version of the odious TrumpCare ACA Repeal Bill, tossing a bit of a monkey wrench into their plans to move ahead to a vote.

Their internal fight makes this the perfect time for Democrats to roll out an Obamacare fix bill, and present a positive vision for the future of health care, to America.  Part of that vision must be introduction of a public option on the Obamacare exchanges, in the form of a Medicare buy-in.  Here’s why.

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Democrats, It’s Time To Talk About Impeachment

(Updates at end: 11:15am, 5/18/2017)

The “I” word.

It’s time to talk about it, Democrats.

As stories mount, and mount, that Donald Trump has not been faithful to the oath of office, one House Democrat (not named Maxine Waters), one House Republican, and one Senate independent have broached the subject.  Yet, most Democrats refuse to even talk about it. Nancy Pelosi won’t.  Bernie Sanders, a not-quite Democrat, says he’s “not there, at this point.”

Well, they better get there, and quick.

It is time for Democrats to call for an impeachment inquiry – hearings that investigate these matters, gather the facts, and determine if they warrant impeachment – all at the same time.

Why?

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Trump’s Triangulation (and How To Not Fall For It)

Yesterday, leaders of the building trades unions went to the White House, to meet with Donald Trump.  Trump was just signing the executive orders to move ahead with the Keystone XL pipeline, and the Dakota Access Pipeline, both projects that many of those unions support.

When they came out, the union leaders spoke glowingly of Trump, who just delivered two projects to them.  In fact, North America’s Building Trades Unions put out this release, which positively gushed about Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is, if nothing else, an avid salesman of himself.  He got what he needed – the unequivocal praise of unions, for the price of just two projects.

Meanwhile, he is pushing through a harshly anti-labor nominee for the Labor Department, opposes any minimum wage, and supports so-called “Right to Work” laws that will end unions. Nowhere in their press release was any warning from the unions that they’d oppose Trump on such moves.

Looking at the whole exercise, I was reminded of the 1990s, when Bill Clinton engaged in what became known as “triangulation.”

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