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Political Profundity: Our State
Of The Union Is … Bizarre

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The State Of Our Union Is Bizarre: Whitaker, Bezos, Trump, Investigations, Virginia Black Face And Sexual Assault, As Well As The Death Of Three Icons


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By Karen Weil
Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 11, 2019 -- The richest man in the world goes public with a blackmail scheme, while the president underwhelms with a State of the Union speech. Throw in a Supreme Court decision, a disgraced governor and lieutenant governor, a combative Trump appointee, more administration scandals and the loss of three incredible men, and it adds up to yet another unforgettable/unbelievable  week in our nation. Modern Times Publisher John Guzzon and Karen Weil, editor at large, break it all down.

The Bezos scandal
He’s the world’s richest man who owns an influential newspaper -- but even Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos isn’t immune from blackmail. On Thursday, he went public with allegations that National Enquirer owner David Pecker, a President Trump confidant already in serious legal trouble, attempted to go public with embarrassing details about Bezos’ personal life. (Bezos’ account can be found here: https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no-thank-you-mr-pecker-146e3922310f?fbclid=IwAR1A9W48b0cjsutn1ash4CFv3_zHvrdZQWorot-Em7g6jE7y4_6nKoI245E)

It’s a story that not even the tabloids could make up, and may ensnare the Trump administration.

Supreme Court ruling on abortion (Roberts sides with the liberals)
Since being appointed chief justice in 2005, stalwart conservative John Roberts has at times surprised Supreme Court observers on certain rulings, including one holding up the Affordable Care Act in 2012. On Friday, he sided with the court’s more liberal wing by blocking a restrictive Louisiana abortion law. Recent appointee Brett Kavanaugh sided with his ultra-conservative fellow justices. Roberts’ decision shows a more complex figure than some previously thought.

Whitaker testified Friday
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Friday that he has never interfered with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election -- but he declined to discuss any conversations he’s had about the probe with President Trump. To say that the hearing was testy is an understatement. Did Whitaker’s testimony help or hurt Trump?
Political Profundity: Karen Weil and John Guzzon try to make sense of our political existence.
The State of our Union is bizarre: Whitaker, Bezos, Trump, investigations, Virginia black face and sexual assault, as well as the death of three. — Feb. 11, 2019

Trump's "meh" SOTU and the latest inauguration scandal
After recently losing the shutdown standoff with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which further lowered his approval ratings, Donald Trump needed a successful State of the Union speech  However, while he focused on abortion and building a border wall to placate his base, Trump’s speech did little to move the needle or bolster his overall political agenda. Now, his inauguration is under the investigatory spotlight, while anger continues over how his administration has dealt with  migrant children taken from their parents. Were any of his claims on Tuesday accurate?

House Launches investigations from 10 committees
The Democrats are in change of the House -- and that means investigations of the Trump administration. From alleged collusion with Russia to swing the 2016 election to his tax returns the businesses that his sons are running, it’s going to be a very busy year, with the rule of law at stake.  

The Virginia nightmare
Last week, the world saw a photo featuring what many believe to be Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in blackface. Northam apologized, and then followed that up with a disastrous press conference Normally, that would end a political career, but it’s not just Northam in trouble: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax now faces credible allegations of sexual assault. And state leaders are in trouble, too. Is there any easy way out of this nightmare for the people of Virginia?

Three legends leave us
They were giants their fields: Baseball great Frank Robinson, Congressman John Dingell and actor Albert Finney died this week. Their achievements and legacies will long be remembered.
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