GOOD

300 ex-national security officials say Trump committed 'an unconscionable abuse of power'

He tried to blackmail the president of Ukraine.

via Wilder Foote / Twitter

Around 300 former national security officials, diplomats, and ex-White House staff have signed a letter that says President Trump committed "an unconscionable abuse of power" when he attempted to blackmail the president of Ukraine.

On Wednesday, notes from a phone conversation between the two leaders were released to the public and they were disturbing to say the least. During the call, Trump asked Zelensky to investigate his presumed political opponent in the 2020 election, Joe Biden, in exchange for $400 in military aid.


The call showed Trump was willing to put the national security of an ally as well as the United States at risk to gain leverage over a political rival. Soliciting election help from a foreign country is also a criminal act.

RELATED: Fox News anchor rips Trump for his role in the Ukraine blackmail scandal

The letter was organized by National Security Action, a group that says President Trump's leadership is "reckless" and that he's has made the U.S. "weaker in the world, less safe, and more isolated."

The group comprised of former ambassadors, secretaries of state, intelligence officers, advisers and former members of the CIA, State Department, and Department of Defense.

It gave many members the opportunity to make a rare political statement. "Some of us have spoken out, but many of us have eschewed politics throughout our careers and, as a result, have not weighed in publicly," the statement read.

"Having worked across administrations of both parties to uphold and advance those national interests, we consider the President's actions to be a profound national security concern," the statement said.

It called the presidents actions an effort to "subordinate America's national interests—and those of our closest allies and partners—to the President's personal political interest."

RELATED: Another research study proves what we already knew: Deportations have no affect on crime

Among the notable signatories are Matthew Olsen, who led the Justice Department's national security division and Nancy McEldowney, the ambassador to Bulgaria. Both served under George W. Bush.

The letter also praised the Democrats for opening up an impeachment inquiry. "We applaud those Members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi, who have now started us down that necessary path," it said.

"The introduction of any other considerations of the President debases our democracy, has the potential to make us more vulnerable to threats, and sends a message to leaders around the world that America's foreign policy can be dangerously corrupted by catering to a single individual," the statement said.

"If we fail to speak up—and act—now our foreign policy and national security will officially be on offer to those who can most effectively fulfill the President's personal prerogatives," the statement continued.

Here's the entire statement in full:

September 27, 2019

As national security professionals, many of us have long been concerned with President Trump's actions and their implications for our safety and security. Some of us have spoken out, but many of us have eschewed politics throughout our careers and,as a result, have not weighed in publicly.

The revelations of recent days, however, demand a response. Specifically, all of us recognize the imperative of formal impeachment proceedings to ascertain additional facts and weigh the consequences of what we have learned and what may yet still emerge. We applaud those Members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi, who have now started us down that necessary path.

President Trump appears to have leveraged the authority and resources of the highest office in the land to invite additional foreign interference into our democratic processes. That would constitute an unconscionable abuse of power. It also would represent an effort to subordinate America's national interests—and those of our closest allies and partners—to the President's personal political interest.

Having worked across administrations of both parties to uphold and advance those national interests, we consider the President's actions to be a profound national security concern. Our relations with the rest of the world and our policies on the global stage must be based solely on what is in the national interest. The introduction of any other considerations of the President debases our democracy, has the potential to make us more vulnerable to threats, and sends a message to leaders around the world that America's foreign policy can be dangerously corrupted by catering to a single individual. If we fail to speak up—and act—now our foreign policy and national security will officially be on offer to those who can most effectively fulfill the President's personal prerogatives.

To be clear, we do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congress'deliberative process. At the same time, there is no escaping that what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings. From there, the facts—and nothing but the facts—should dictate how Congress holds the President to account and signals to the world that our foreign policy and national security are not for sale.
Politics
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet