Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Last Call For The Impeachment Reached

And at 8:24 PM EST, Donald J. Trump was impeached by the US House of Representatives on the first article, abuse of power.

230-197, 1 present vote (Tulsi Gabbard, natch). Jeff Van Drew and Collin Peterson voted no for the Dems, Justin Amash voted yes.

On Article II, obstruction of Congress, the final vote was 229-198-1, with the only difference being Democrat Jared Golden voting no, Golden had announced his plans to split his votes yesterday.

But that's it.

Trump has been impeached.

Now we move on.

Homeless On The Range

The US Supreme Court this week refused to touch a Ninth Circuit ruling that struck down a Boise, Idaho law criminalizing homelessness, leaving the ruling in place.

A federal appeals court had ruled that the anti-camping ordinance in Boise, Idaho, was cruel and unusual punishment, violating the Constitution's Eighth Amendment. "A state may not criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless," the appeals court said.

The Supreme Court denied Boise's appeal Monday without comment, as is its normal practice when declining to grant reviews.

Lawyers for the city argued that Boise wanted to enforce the ordinance "in the parks, foothills, and other public areas not just to keep them safe and sanitary but also to allow users to utilize the public spaces as they were intended to be used." Supporters of the law said people sleeping on the streets are unsafe and make residents feel less safe.

In asking the Supreme Court to take the case, Boise's lawyers said the appeals court ruling that invalidated the ordinance created "a de facto right to live on sidewalks and in parks" and said it would cripple the ability of more than 1,600 communities in Western states to enforce similar laws.

But challengers of the law said the appeals court ruling simply blocked Boise from charging homeless people with a crime for sleeping outside when no shelter space was available. The appeals court affirmed "the ought-to-be uncontroversial principle that a person may not be charged with a crime for engaging in activity that is simply a universal and unavoidable consequence of being human,” they said.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that half a million people are likely to be homeless on any given night. A study by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness found that 42 percent of homeless people sleep in public locations such as under bridges, in parks, or on the sidewalks.

The importance of this is not that the Roberts Court suddenly wants to protect the homeless, they've shown plenty of disdain for the marginalized before.  It's that they don't want to take up Boise's case because a much bigger issue is coming: the Trump regime is planning to use HUD to criminalize homelessness nationally, and they will direct police to rid cities of camps and temporary shelters or they will eliminate federal funds for cities that don't comply.

Advocates say that they expect an executive order on homelessness to assign new resources to police departments to remove homeless encampments and even strip housing funds from cities that choose to tolerate these encampments.
It’s one of several efforts being steered by the White House’s Domestic Policy Council in concert with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On Monday, Housing Secretary Ben Carson met with local officials in Houston, part of a push for federal action on homelessness that could soon take shape in cities across the country. The secretary visited an emergency shelter and was slated to tour a former Harris County jail facility, according to advocates familiar with his agenda. Officials at HUD have been looking at real estate in several cities since the fall, when President Donald Trump ordered a sweeping federal response to homelessness.

Carson’s latest stop is yet another signal that the administration is keen to take a hands-on approach to people who sleep on the street. Advocates say that the government is looking closely at ways to turn former correctional facilities and federal buildings into shelters, a controversial approach backed by Robert Marbut, the newly appointed White House czar on homelessness.
One advocate for a Washington, D.C.-based housing organization says that HUD has narrowed its focus to a list of 24 cities and states, all of which have large numbers of unhoused people sleeping outside. Most are located on the West Coast, where Trump has sought to embarrass progressive officials by intervening. Houston is among the cities on this list, obtained by CityLab, where local and regional bodies known as continuums of care (CoCs) face high unsheltered counts. In addition to 20 cities, four of the places named on the list are states that have homeless populations outside the largest urban centers.

While Houston made its way onto HUD’s potential action list, the city has made significant progress in recent years in curbing homelessness, especially relative to other cities in Texas. Over the last decade, the city has cut the number of people experiencing homelessness by more than half. And despite a recent increase following Hurricane Harvey, the trend is still stable or downward, unlike in Dallas, Austin, and other places.

Yet housing advocates fear that the White House favors a punitive approach for Houston, where—as in other Texas cities—homeless encampments are increasingly visible. “I hope that what [Carson] takes away is that if you really turn all your resources to permanent housing and ending homelessness, instead of managing the condition of homelessness, it can have dramatic results,” says Eva Thibeaudeau, CEO of Temenos, a community development corporation that operates about 140 performance supporting housing units in Houston. 
Since 2011, the city has marked a 54 percent decline in people experiencing homelessness, according to local point-in-time counts. Thibeaudeau credits the falling numbers of people living on the streets to the city’s adherence to a set of principles known as Housing First. The policy has enabled Houston to put more than 18,000 people into permanent housing situations with their own leases. “We shifted a lot of dollars out of short-term, temporary, high-barrier projects, and reallocated them all toward permanent solutions,” Thibeaudeau says. “That really is the reason that our homelessness has been driven down.”

Housing First runs contrary to the approach favored by Marbut, the consultant who was named director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness last week. Marbut has pushed for shelters that set up barriers to treatment, namely sobriety. For example, at Haven for Hope, a shelter founded by Marbut in San Antonio, homeless people with substance-abuse problems must sleep outside in an exposed courtyard until they can pass a drug test.

Trump rounds up those suspected of being undocumented to put into the hell system of ICE detention, now he's planning to do the same for homeless, only a lot of them are going to actually be US citizens, but of course they will lack the resources to be able to prove that.  Of course there's going to be citizenship checks on those detained under this vile program, and no papers, no problem, into ICE detention camps you go.

And if you don't think the Trump regime will disappear homeless into ICE detention camps, US citizens, for removal from our country, well you haven't been paying attention to a regime that separates kids from their parents on purpose as a deterrent to other migrants.

Horrific doesn't begin to describe these scumbags.

The Reach To Impeach, Con't

As the House has set aside six hours for final debate and floor speeches today before the fateful vote in Donald Trump's impeachment, pro-impeachment protests organized in scores of cities across the country last night showed the nation that yes, people want Donald Trump gone.

From Boston Common to the French Quarter in New Orleans, a series of protests reverberated across the country on Tuesday evening to call for President Trump’s removal from office, a prelude to momentous impeachment votes set for Wednesday in the House of Representatives.

In Center City Philadelphia, a group of demonstrators held up signs with LED lights spelling out IMPEACH at the base of a bronze statute called “Government of the People,” while Times Square in New York teemed with protesters chanting, “No one’s above the law.”

In Marshall Park in Charlotte, N.C., about 200 pro-impeachment demonstrators recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang “America the Beautiful.” Among them were Kendrick Frazier, 49, and his husband, Vincent Archie, 59.

“I’m here because our democracy is at risk,” Mr. Frazier said. “The rule of law has been thrown to the wayside. And people think that you have this personal thing against Donald Trump, and there have been lots of Republican presidents, but they acted like presidents. They didn’t act like, I’m sorry, but criminals.”

A coalition of liberal groups including and Indivisible organized hundreds of demonstrations, which incorporated many of the same elements as the yearly women’s marches that have been held since Mr. Trump’s election in 2016. The hashtags #impeachmenteve and #notabovethelaw trended on Twitter.
In Tucson, Ariz., several hundred activists who support impeachment flocked to the front of the federal courthouse, where they were greeted by the sound of honking horns from rush-hour traffic.

“This is not a partisan issue,” said Dr. Eve Shapiro, 67, a local pediatrician who favors impeachment. “Congress has made it one, but that’s what’s happening to our country. For us today, it’s about a president who obstructed justice. That’s not partisan.”

Today is going to be historic, one way or the other, but last night history was made too.


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