John McCain’s farewell letter

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

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Journalists are Not the Enemy

From the Boston Globe:

A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “the enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences. We asked editorial boards from around the country – liberal and conservative, large and small – to join us today to address this fundamental threat in their own words.

Read the full editorial, and follow links to hundreds more, here

Trump Betrayed His Country to Serve its Attacker

Newspapers across the world today echo the determination of the former CIA director John Brennan that US President Donald Trump betrayed his country when he sided with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and defamed his own intelligence community, military, and Department of Justice. Stranger still, Trump blamed the United States for tensions with Russia, ignoring a long history of anti-democracy violence and human rights abuses, forty years of Cold War, and ongoing attacks against the US and the UK.

The US Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats responded by reiterating that the evidence shows an ongoing, “pervasive” effort by Russia to attack and manipulate American democratic processes.

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Pollution is Not a Right

There is no right to pollute. The United States government has no lawful authority to act in a way that removes protections against pollution of the physical environment or endangerment of human health.

A close reading of the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the remaining Amendments, makes clear the intention that protections of the wellbeing of all persons, and of vulnerable people in particular, should take precedence over the desire of people of influence to take actions that negatively impact such wellbeing.

The rights of people supersede the desires of those who wish to use public office to serve narrow or conflicted interests.

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Uphold the Humanity of Every Person

We inhabit a period of great turmoil and suffering, while at the same time immense hope and promise flood around us, making it possible for any person anywhere to potentially make great contributions to the betterment of humankind. That better possibility is entirely dependent upon the guarantee that all people have access to the benefits of education, science, rule of law, and real protection of human rights.

Many question right now how we can best defend these instruments of our protection and empowerment.

In just the month of June 2018 we have seen the President of the United States reject the very “rules-based international order” that his nation built and which secures democracy and human rights, forcibly separate children from parents and send them to internment camps, and then call for an end to due process.

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Voting Matters

An analysis published today by Axios finds that:

A shift of fewer than 80,000 votes in three states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) — or 0.06% of 137 million cast — would not just have made Hillary Clinton president.

6 one-hundredths of one percent of all votes cast decided the presidency in 2016, along with the future of the Supreme Court.

Whoever you are, whatever your views, make sure you cast your vote — every time it is your right to do so.

Trump is destroying conservatism

If you are a conservative American, Donald Trump is your enemy. More than any other figure in American politics, it is Trump who seeks to use conservatives’ own ideas to rob them of what they most value. Trump’s policies directly undermine the Constitution of the United States, personal civil liberties, checks on executive power, the integrity of the family, and religious freedom.

Many conservatives say they support Trump, not because they like his style or his views, but because they believe he will give them hard-line policies on issues that matter to them, such as immigration and abortion. What these conservatives get wrong is largely about integrity: Trump doesn’t even pretend to have any, let alone allow them to keep any of their own. Worse, the hard-line policies they expect Trump to enact are not conservative wins; they are removals of rights and protections of personal liberties.

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