The DC: ✈️ The worst airports for delays, and... Should the White House participate in impeachment hearings?
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by Countable | 12.3.19
Welcome to Tuesday, December 3rd, electrons and protons...
The White House will not participate in the impeachment inquiry.
The White House has announced that neither President Donald Trump nor his attorneys will participate in Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment.” Four constitutional scholars — three chosen by Democrats, one by Republicans — will testify on the standards for impeachment.
In a letter to Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), White House counsel to the president, Pat Cipollone, wrote:
"We cannot fairly be expected to participate in a hearing while the witnesses are yet to be named and while it remains unclear whether the Judiciary Committee will afford the president a fair process through additional hearings. More importantly, an invitation to an academic discussion with law professors does not begin to provide the president with an semblance of a fair process. Accordingly, under the current circumstances, we do not intend to participate in your Wednesday hearing."
As he departed the White House en route to London Monday, Trump complained: “The Democrats, the radical leftist Democrats, the do-nothing Democrats decided when I’m going to NATO — this was set up a year ago — that when I’m going to NATO, that was the exact time,” Trump told reporters.
A reporter asked Trump why he wasn’t sending his lawyers to the hearing, given they weren’t heading to a NATO conference.
“Because the whole thing is a hoax. Everybody knows it," Trump responded.
On the Radar
Gun Rights Returns to SCOTUS
The Supreme Court has begun hearing oral arguments in a controversial gun rights case that a group of Democratic senators warned could lead to calls for SCOTUS to be "restructured."
New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York concerns a challenge to New York City’s ban on owners transferring their licensed handguns that are locked and unloaded outside of the city limits (such as to a shooting range or weekend home). The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association believed those restrictions were a “draconian” infringement on their Second Amendment rights, in addition to interfering with their constitutional right to travel.
The restrictions were upheld by lower courts and the Supreme Court signaled in January that it would take up the case this year. That led to gun control advocates ― including the five Democratic senators who issued the warning about restructuring ― successfully lobbying New York City to change its regulations this spring. They hoped that doing so would render the case moot, thereby preventing the Court from potentially issuing a broad decision that finds a constitutional right to possess a gun outside the home for self-defense instead of narrowly striking it down.
The Supreme Court denied New York City’s motion to dismiss the case on the grounds of mootness.
Under the Radar
Which Airports Should You Avoid?
The holiday season that stretches from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year for air travel. With winter weather throwing a wrench into travelers’ plans across much of the country, we take a look at which airports fare the best and worst in terms of flight delays (defined by the Dept. of Transportation as flights that are at least 15 minutes late).
The following chart from USAFacts shows the frequency of delayed departures:
Contributing most to delays: late-arriving aircraft, carrier-related issues (cleaning aircraft or loading baggage), and air traffic. Weather-related delays are present throughout the year, while security-related delays are thankfully relatively rare.
Take a look at USAFacts' data here, then join the conversation:
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in London, U.K.
- At 4:10am EST (9:10am local), the president will participate in a 1-on-1 meeting with the secretary general of NATO before a working breakfast.
- At 6:30am EST (11:30am local), the president will participate in a roundtable with supporters.
- At 9:00am EST (2:00pm local), the president will participate in a restricted bilateral meeting with the president of France before an expanded bilateral meeting.
- At 10:30am EST (3:30pm local), the president will participate in an expanded bilateral meeting with the prime minister of Canada.
- At 12:50pm EST (5:50pm local), the president and first lady will have tea with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall before attending a NATO leaders' reception hosted by the Queen.
- At 2:45pm EST (7:45pm local), the president and first lady will attend a NATO leaders' reception hosted by the prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The House of Representatives: In
- Voting on a bill to block technology exports that could aid China's persecution of the Uighur Muslims.
- Voting on a bill to ensure children born abroad to U.S. military & civil service personnel receive U.S. citizenship.
- Voting on a bill to make elderly prisoners eligible for home detention sooner if they earn good time credits.
- Voting on a bill to make Portuguese nationals eligible for nonimmigrant visas if similar visas are made available to Americans in Portugal.
- Voting on a bill to expand programs to address neglected tropical diseases.
- Voting on a resolution to support the sixth replenishment of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria.
- Voting on a resolution to express disapproval of Russia's inclusion in future G-7 Summits unless it respects democracy & borders.
- Voting on a resolution to reaffirm U.S. support for the Good Friday Agreement to ensure peace in Northern Ireland.
The Senate: In
- Taking confirmation and procedural votes on the nominations of at least two district court judges.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should the U.S. Block Technology Exports That Could Aid China’s Persecution of the Uighur Muslims?
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Also Worth a Click
And, in the End…
Plop plop, fizz fizz. On this date in 1931, Alka-Seltzer was sold for the first time:
Hope you're the last panel this morning,
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