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Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.

The post Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks appeared first on Digital Trends.


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Would your mobile phone be powerful enough to get you to the moon?
Many people who are old enough to have experienced the first moon landing will vividly remember what it was like watching Neil Armstrong utter his famous quote: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”. Half a century later, the event is still one of the top achievements of humankind. Despite the rapid technological advances since then, astronauts haven’t actually been back to the moon since 1972. This seems surprising. After all, when we reflect on this historic event, it is often said that we now have more computing power in our pocket than the computer… This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
PRIME CHEAP: Fast! Schnell! Hurtig! The Samsung Galaxy S10 has $300 off
Welcome to PRIME CHEAP, our series about things that are good, cheap, and part of Amazon’s Prime Day sales. Hey, we gotta eat too.  Of all the Prime Day deals out there, this is one of the best. Strap yourself in, because you can get an unlocked 128GB Samsung Galaxy S10 for only $599.99. Yup, that’s a full 33 percent, or a cool $300, off its list price. Features-time. For that $599 (such a good price), you get a 6.1” dynamic AMOLED display that goes to the edge of the phone. It really is a looker. There’s also an in-screen fingerprint sensor,… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Samsung Galaxy,Samsung
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Lawmakers set to grill Facebook executive
The first of two Congressional hearings this week on Libra will kick off Tuesday. Facebook executive David Marcus will testify before the Senate banking committee at 10 am ET.
Politica
KU's Miles figures he's back where he belongs: On sideline
Les Miles sat for more than hour, a Kansas pin on his left lapel and his LSU national championship ring on his right hand, answering wave after wave of often repetitive questions as he closes in on his return to coaching — and the Big 12 — with the long-suffering Jayhawks.
Sport
PRIME CHEAP: Store all your sorrows with $214 off SanDisk Extreme 1TB drive
Welcome to PRIME CHEAP, our series about things that are good, cheap, and part of Amazon’s Prime Day sales. Hey, we gotta eat too.  We are all collectors. Some of us hoard photos, while others keep large collections of high-quality music. And then there are people who call themselves movie buffs, who’d tell you they own a copy of a movie so rare that it’s nowhere to be found now. This all sounds fancy, but it requires a shitload of storage. Cloud services are all great, but if you have terabytes of stuff lying around, you can spend too much… This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Laura Dern reveals the 'Big Little Lies' group text name and, yes, Meryl Streep is part of it
Group chats are hell. But, you know what's even more hellish than group chat hell? Adding another person to your already tight-knit group text. Laura Dern knows the struggle all too well. Her group text with Big Little Lies co-stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Zoe Kravitz, and Shailene Woodley was recently infiltrated by an outsider: Meryl Streep.  Season 2 gave a name to this group of former frenemies who now share a whopping great secret — The Monterey Five. That name also happens to be the title of the group chat.  "This other woman wants to join the text," Dern joked to Seth Meyers. "Like 'Meryl. OK? We have our own group text.' It's a little rude." Read more...More about Seth Meyers, Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies, Laura Dern, and Big Little Lies Season 2
Mashable
Cubs get catcher Maldonado from Royals for LHP Montgomery
With their All-Star catcher sidelined, the Chicago Cubs quickly found some experienced help behind the plate.
Sport
Oil firms as U.S. supply concerns ease but Iran tension lingers
Oil prices rose on Tuesday as a resumption of output in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Barry and a boom in U.S. supply due to shale oil countered tensions in the Middle East.
REUTERS
Croatia music festival evacuated after fire breaks out – video
Hundreds of people have been evacuated from a hip-hop festival on the Croatian island of Pag after a forest fire broke out nearby. Flames were seen billowing behind the site as attendees left the Fresh Island festival on Zrće beach on Monday night. The organisers said emergency services were working to contain the blaze and it was unclear whether the event would continue as planned on Tuesday Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
As New Space Race Beckons, Astronauts Face Identity Crisis
With the private sector moving aggressively into space, NASA is no longer the only game in town for would-be space travelers.
NYT > Home Page
Prime Day deal: Get a Nintendo Switch with £30 of Nintendo E-shop credit, 'Just Dance 19', and 'Mario Rabbids' for under £290
TL;DR: This fun Nintendo Switch, Just Dance 19, and Mario Rabbids bundle is available for under £290, and comes with £30 of Nintendo E-shop credit. Nintendo Switch deals always seem to make a splash in the biggest retail events, but we were starting to think that things might be different this Prime Day, with only a few smaller deals to consider. Well, we should have never doubted Prime Day, because you can now get a Nintendo Switch, in grey or neon, with Just Dance 19 and Mario Rabbids, for just £289.99. That would be a great deal on its own, but the fact that this comes with £30 of Nintendo E-shop credit is pretty amazing.  Read more...More about Nintendo Switch, Mashable Shopping, Shopping Uk, Uk Deals, and Prime Day 2019
Mashable
Netflix Cuts Controversial Suicide Scene From '13 Reasons Why'
The show is centered around the suicide of a teenage girl, and the first season's finale shows her taking her own life. Several organizations raised concerns that it could romanticize suicide.
News : NPR
Second Canadian town set to accept tax payments in Bitcoin
It looks like another town in Canada might let its residents pay municipality taxes in cryptocurrency. The local council of Richmond Hill voted on July 10, 2019 to enter into an agreement with a cryptocurrency payment services provider to let residents of Richmond Hill pay property taxes in Bitcoin, Financial Post reports. Cryptocurrency payment platform Coinberry is said to be working with the municipality to provide the tech – this marks the firm’s second partnership with a local council. Earlier this year, Coinberry partnered with the municipality of another Canadian town, Innisfil in Ontario. “We believe that the demand for… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Bitcoin
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
Essential California: Selling a house made notorious by the Manson murders
Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, July 16, and I’m writing from Los Angeles. Rare is the real estate listing that really means it when characterizing a home as “truly, one of a kind.” But there is no other place like 3311 Waverly Drive in Los Feliz....
Sport
The Morning After: Amazon Prime Day strike
Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Morning, there! Did you join the not-so-secret society of Instant Pot owners following those Amazon Prime Day sales? We're here to make sure it doesn't gather dust, with a bunch of tips (and crucially) recipes f...
Engadget | Technology News, Advice and Features
Kansas City Royals will extend protective netting at stadium
The Kansas City Royals are planning to extend the netting at Kauffman Stadium to better protect fans.
Sport
North Korea warns it could resume missile and nuclear tests
Frustrated by slow diplomacy and looming U.S.-South Korean war games, Pyongyang says motivation to abstain from tests is "gradually disappearing"
CBS News - Breaking News, U.S., World, Business, Entertainment & Video
Cavs waive shooting guard JR Smith after eventful tenure
J.R. Smith's never-a-dull-moment run with the Cavaliers is over.
Sport
Warriors GM Bob Myers moves on from Durant with appreciation
Bob Myers has accepted Kevin Durant's departure for the Brooklyn Nets with an appreciation for all the superstar forward accomplished with the franchise, even if the Golden State general manager would have loved to keep KD around a little longer.
Sport
Trump and his ex-banker treasury secretary are really scared of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrency)
US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin is apparently super concerned about the impact Facebook‘s Libra “cryptocurrency” will have on national security, reports Bloomberg. In a White House briefing, Mnuchin mirrored president Trump‘s recently-found tough stance on digital assets by claiming that its potential to facilitate crime is high. “Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cybercrime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, human trafficking,” Mnuchin told reporters. “Many players have attempted to use cryptocurrencies to fund their maligned behavior. This is indeed a national security issue,” he added. Steve Mnuchin on whether… This story continues at The Next WebOr just read more coverage about: Bitcoin
The Next Web | International technology news, business & culture
How Activists Brought Apollo Back to Earth
Protesters in the late ’60s and early ’70s pushed for spending at home on the same multibillion dollar scale as the moon race.
NYT > Home Page
The Virtues and Vices of Nationalism
A populist-nationalist corrective to American exceptionalism would be welcome. Trump’s bigoted exceptionalism isn’t it.
NYT > Home Page
What’s a College to Do When a Black Student Plays Along With the K.K.K. Joke?
After the Virginia governor’s racist yearbook scandal, the University of Richmond is grappling with disturbing images from its own history.
NYT > Home Page
DealBook Briefing: Tariffs Aren’t Offsetting the Trade War Pain
President Trump says his fight with Beijing is hurting China’s economy but generating billions for the U.S. That’s not entirely true.
The New York Times
Prime Day deals: Surface Pro, Apple Watch, iPad, Pixel 3a XL, Sonos One, and more for July 16
Didn't get a chance to browse Amazon's Prime Day sale yesterday? Lucky for you, the sale ends tonight, so you still have time to snag a few goodies, and with so many deals available right now, it pretty much caters to everyone's hobbies and needs. In need of a new smartphone? Well, get the Samsung Galaxy S10 for $599.99 or the Pixel 3a XL that comes with a $100 gift card for $479.00. How about an extra set of Nintendo Joy-Con? You can save 25% off, or get an Apple Watch Series 4 with GPS for $349.00. Check out more of today's best deals from Amazon for Tuesday, July 16th. Read more...More about Gaming, Smart Home, Prime Day, Consumer Tech, and Mashable Shopping IMAGE: AMAZON $249 $80 OFF (24%) $329 Prime Apple iPad WiFi 32GB Tablet (Latest Model) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $799 $200 OFF (20%) $999 Prime Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB with Microsoft Surface Pro Type Cover -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $349 $50 OFF (13%) $399 Prime Apple Watch Series 4 GPS 40mm with Free No-Rush Shipping -- See Details IMAGE: SUR LA TABLE $149.95 $150.05 OFF (50%) $300 Instant Pot Auro Pro 8-Qt Slow Cooker -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $99.99 $50.00 OFF (33%) $149.99 Prime Microsoft Office 365 Home 12-Month subscription PC/Mac Download with $50 Amazon.com Gift Card -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $169.99 $110 OFF (39%) $279.99 Prime ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner -- See Details IMAGE: ABT Save up to $1500 on select QLED 4K TV's -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $476 $119 OFF (20%) $595 Prime Tuft & Needle Queen Mattress with 10-Year Warranty -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $399.99 $199.01 OFF (33%) $599 Prime Dyson Pure Hot + Cool HP02 HEPA Air Purifier -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $49.99 $49.96 OFF (50%) $99.95 Prime Instant Pot DUO60 6-Qt 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker -- See Details IMAGE: ASHLEY FURNITURE $479.99 $320 OFF (40%) $799.99 Up to 70% off any order + Extra 10% off - Skempton Dining Room Table and Chairs Was -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $39.99 $20 OFF (33%) $59.99 Prime PlayStation Plus 12-Month Membership (Digital Code) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $479 $100 OFF (17%) $579 Prime Pixel 3a XL Smartphone with $100 Gift Card -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $159 $70 OFF (31%) $229 Prime Bose SoundLink Wireless Over-Ear Headphones II -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $59.99 $20.00 OFF (25%) $79.99 Prime Nintendo Joy-Con (Neon Red/Neon Blue) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $299.99 $34 OFF (10%) $333.99 Prime Nintendo Switch Console with $35 Nintendo eShop Gift Card (Digital Code) -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $51.99 $18.00 OFF (26%) $69.99 Prime Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2TB External Portable Hard Drive -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $179 $70 OFF (28%) $249 Prime Sonos One (Gen 2) with $50 Amazon Gift Card -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $599.99 $300 OFF (33%) $899.99 Prime Samsung Galaxy S10 128GB Unlocked Smartphone -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $189.99 $138.01 OFF (42%) $328 Prime Dyson Air Multiplier AM06 10-inch Table Fan -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $209 $40 OFF (16%) $249 Prime Oculus Go Standalone 64GB Virtual Reality Headset -- See Details IMAGE: AMAZON $49.99 $40.00 OFF (44%) $89.99 Prime Echo Show 5 Compact Smart Display with Alexa -- See Details
Mashable
Ryanair CEO says confident in 'great' Boeing 737 MAX despite delays
Ryanair remains confident in the Boeing 737 MAX and believes the plane will be "warmly welcomed" by customers, Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday after he was forced to half the airline's 2020 growth plans due to the plane's grounding.
REUTERS
Tesla workers say they had to cut corners to meet production goals
Over half a dozen current and former Tesla employees claim that aggressive production goals have forced workers to take shortcuts when manufacturing its cars in a new report from CNBC. They also accuse Tesla of creating harsh working conditions, especially for employees working in the “GA4” production tent where assembly is not fully automated. Employees claim that electrical tape was used to patch cracks on plastic brackets containing electrical components, and that cars would sometimes pass through the production line while missing bolts, nuts, or lugs. The employees even provided CNBC with photographic evidence to support their claims. They also claim that Tesla encouraged its employees to work in harsh conditions that were... Continue reading…
The Verge
Opinion: The Open Championship at Portrush might be only thing Northern Ireland can agree on
The Open Championship makes first appearance in Northern Ireland since 1951; the Troubles are in past, but province retains slightly sinister air.       
USATODAY - News Top Stories
Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher's defense lawyer wants to rejoin the Navy to teach prosecutors, says he fears for law-abiding warfighters
The defense attorney who won an acquittal for decorated Navy SEAL Edward "Eddie" Gallagher earlier this month is seeking a waiver to rejoin the Navy at a higher rank to help teacher prosecutors how they mishandled the case.
Politica
UK pay growth strong despite economic slowdown fears
Unemployment falls by more than 50,000 but jobs growth declinesWorkers’ basic pay is growing at the fastest rate in cash terms for more than a decade as the British labour market continues to defy the slowdown in the economy.Despite some signs of weakness, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics showed annual average earnings growth at 3.6% in the three months to May – comfortably exceeding the increase in the cost of living. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Bleak German mood weighs on Europe, Brexit pummels pound
Darkening German investor morale and fresh Brexit woes cast a shadow over European markets on Tuesday, with German benchmark bond yields coming under pressure and the pound plunging to six month-lows against the euro.
Reuters: Top News - powered by FeedBurner
Following the Billy Graham rule doesn’t make you noble. It makes you a sexist dinosaur
Robert Foster wants to be governor of Mississippi — at least the male half of it. A Republican first-term state representative who’s running for the state’s top job, Foster doesn’t seem to value women much beyond their bodies. Last week, a female reporter at Mississippi Today, a nonprofit digital...
Politica
Demand for new designer's ranges lift Burberry sales and shares
Strong demand for designer Riccardo Tisci's new fashion ranges helped revenue at British label Burberry grow faster than expected in the first quarter, sending its shares soaring as a high stakes overhaul showed early signs of promise.
REUTERS
Britain First fined £44,000 over electoral law breaches
Electoral Commission found defunct far-right party had failed to declare donationsThe now-defunct fringe far-right party Britain First must pay a fine of more than £44,000 for what the Electoral Commission has said were multiple breaches of electoral law, including undeclared donations and a failure to provide proper accounts.The party achieved brief notoriety in late 2017 after Donald Trump retweeted anti-Muslim messages sent by the party’s then deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, prompting international condemnation. Continue reading...
US news | The Guardian
Why is Trump so down on Paul Ryan?
Paul D. Ryan is getting the hate treatment — again. The former GOP House speaker and 2012 vice presidential candidate is a unifying figure these days. Liberals have long despised him — unfairly in my mind. Anti-Trump conservatives are infuriated by his “surrender to Trumpism” in the words of Charlie...
1 h
Politica
Congress is rushing to make the CIA less accountable
It’s already a crime to identify a covert intelligence agent or confidential informant working overseas. But even though the law has only been used twice in 37 years — and even though no persuasive case has been made that it needs to be toughened or expanded — Congress is now proposing to broaden...
1 h
Politica
Winners and losers among 2020 Democrats and other takeaways from campaign filings
Just five Democrats raised nearly three-fourths of all the money that flowed to the party's presidential contenders in the second quarter of the year, new filings show. And some freshmen Democrats posted big numbers, too.
1 h
CNN.com - RSS Channel
Iris Murdoch at 100 and Howard Jacobson on humour and shame – books podcast
On this week’s show, Richard Lea speaks to Howard Jacobson, hot on the heels of his new novel Live a Little, a love story about two ninetysomethings in north London’s Finchley Road. Jacobson talks about humour, shame and antisemitism.And Claire, Richard and Sian talk about the novels of Iris Murdoch, in the week of her centenary. Continue reading...
1 h
US news | The Guardian
Trump and ‘the Squad’
After the president targeted four progressive congresswomen of color with a racist trope, they fired back.
1 h
NYT > Home Page
Ilhan Omar, Jeffrey Epstein, Ricardo Rosselló: Your Tuesday Briefing
Here’s what you need to know.
1 h
NYT > Home Page
Talking Horses: it seems astonishing that Arc weekend runs at a loss
The size of the loss has not been revealed, but Arc weekend was in the red in 2018, despite an eye-watering admission price hikeFrench racing’s senior executives are clearly hard at work before October’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and briefed reporters at Longchamp for Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris on their plans to avoid a repeat of the PR disaster when the track hosted its first Arc since 2015 last autumn. But while they were doing their best to woo the British and Irish fans who were bitterly disappointed by their experience in 2018, they also revealed what seems to be – to me, at least – an astonishing fact about the showpiece event of European racing. Arc weekend, which includes the only day of the entire season when Longchamp is full to the rafters, runs at a loss.You read that correctly. A loss. If Edward Gillespie, the man who turned the Cheltenham Festival into one of sport’s biggest events, happens to be reading this piece, his eyebrows have just hit the ceiling. Continue reading...
1 h
US news | The Guardian
Kamala Harris wants the federal government to set the price of some drugs to lower costs
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris unveiled a plan on Tuesday that authorizes the federal government to set the rates for certain prescription drugs as a way to lower prices.
1 h
CNN.com - RSS Channel
What the City Didn’t Want the Public to Know: Its Policy Deepens Segregation
An expert found that New York City housing policy deepens segregation, but City Hall wanted the report kept secret.
1 h
NYT > Home Page
Sent to Indonesia by a Fake Film Executive? The F.B.I. Wants to Talk to You
Someone impersonating high-profile leaders in the entertainment industry is conning people seeking work.
1 h
NYT > Home Page
Do our pets ever really love us – or do they just stick around for the food?
We dote on our cats and dogs, but is it a one-way relationship? Here’s what science tells us about how to decode their emotions, whether they are avoiding us or getting a little too amorous with our legsIt is almost a year to the day since Dustin, our milky-eyed nervebag of a cat, died and we still miss him a great deal, although he was not a great giver of emotion. We miss his refusing to look our way immensely. And his not wanting to be stroked there, there or there. But it wasn’t Dustin’s fault he was like this. Unknown trauma in kittenhood (he was left in a shoebox at the front door of a vet’s surgery) meant that he lived his entire 11 years in terror of being mauled to death by some unseen enemy. Understandably, this constant fear made Dustin very, very nervous.Through many years of care and affection, we almost managed to rescue him from this anxiety until – almost as if to prove a point – Dustin was mauled to death by two pet dogs off the lead. When we pulled his frozen body out of the freezer before his funeral, Dustin had a withering expression – “I told you so” it seemed to say. This was the only time we really got to stroke him properly. Frozen solid. Continue reading...
1 h
US news | The Guardian
Help! I Just Found Out My Neighbor’s a Former Sex Offender.
“I don’t want my children playing at their house anymore.”
1 h
Slate Articles
Can’t Impeach Trump? Go After His Cabinet.
On July 21 and 22, 1864, Confederate soldiers under John Bell Hood went on the offensive in an attempt to blunt William T. Sherman’s advance toward Atlanta. Union artillery forces dug in behind fortifications at a place called Leggett’s Hill east of the city. A Confederate battalion charged the hill. Encountering withering fire, many of the rebels died and others fell back. Though their commander, Col. Harris Lampley, was wounded as well, he refused to retreat, and loudly cursed his troops as cowards.At this point, a Union colonel jumped over the earthworks, one Iowa volunteer later recalled. The officer seized Lampley by the collar, spun him around to face his decimated rebel force, and shouted, “Look at your men! They are all dead! What are you cursing them for?” Lampley ended the day as a Union prisoner; Hood’s offensive failed, and Atlanta fell on September 2.The daring Union colonel was named William W. Belknap. By war’s end, his heroism and skill had earned him the brevet rank of major general; after the war, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed him secretary of war. In that office, he earned one ignominious distinction: He is the only cabinet secretary in American history to be impeached.So far, anyway.Impeachment fever has gripped the U.S. since roughly the day after inauguration 2017. (You think you’re interested? Check out Donald Trump’s tweets!) Although Speaker Nancy Pelosi has frozen talk of removing the president, making a lot of Democratic voters angry, let’s remember that the impeachment power is not just for presidents. And there is more than enough evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors in the executive branch to fuel multiple impeachments of Trump appointees.If Pelosi won’t dare impeach Trump, perhaps she’ll deign to impeach his stooges.“Grant the Acrobat,” Joseph Ferdinand Keppler, in the humor magazine Puck, February 4, 1880, depicted Grant’s quest for a third term as weighted down by his compromised appointees. William Belknap is in the top row, on the right. (Library of Congress)She should start with Labor Secretary Alex Acosta. Yes, Acosta resigned Friday, after his newly publicized role in a sweetheart plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein made his position untenable. (Epstein, who was accused of paying multiple minors for sexual contact and for procuring other minors, agreed to plead guilty to state charges and register as a sex offender, but spent just 13 months in county jail and was allowed out 6 days a week on “work release.”) But Acosta remains impeachable.To understand why, study the sad fate of William Belknap.[Yoni Appelbaum: Impeach Donald Trump]High Crimes and Misdemeanors, a forthcoming history of impeachment in the age of Trump by University of Missouri law professor Frank O. Bowman III, includes the rich story of Belknap’s fall from grace. (In fact, High Crimes and Misdemeanors is about the only place to learn that story—there’s no mention of the Belknap case in Ron Chernow’s biography Grant.) Briefly put, Secretary of War Belknap and his wife Carita developed a taste for the Washington high life, and soon became desperate for extra cash. Belknap found it in the War Department’s control over “trader posts” on military reservations in the American West.Belknap wangled sole power to award these “traderships.” Next, he required U.S. troops in the West to buy their needs at trader posts, which charged exorbitant prices. He and Carita then cut a three-way deal: the official trader at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, paid an annual kickback to a New York contractor, who in turn gave half the proceeds to Carita. After Carita died, her sister Amanda took her place, both as kickback collector and as Belknap’s wife.It was a sweet deal for a while, nearly doubling Belknap’s government salary; but in 1874, Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives. Democratic Representative Hiester Clymer in due course became chair of the committee charged with oversight over Belknap’s department, just as rumors surfaced of something rotten in the trader-post system, and Clymer pounced. (He and Belknap had been roommates at Princeton; but in Washington, business is business.)[Read: Impeachment is the song of the summer]Here’s the most relevant part for our time. Clymer’s impeachment hearings launched on March 1, 1876. The next morning, Grant asked for and got Belknap’s resignation. That very afternoon—after learning of the resignation—the committee impeached him anyway and referred the matter for a Senate trial.This made perfect sense, partly because of history and partly through the interplay of two constitutional provisions. As Bowman documents, the English Parliament created impeachment in the 13th Century. “It was invented as a means of asserting parliamentary power against the Crown,” Bowman told me in an interview. Verbal criticism of the King himself involved some risk of disembowelment or similar unpleasantness, and were probably useless anyway. Impeachment of a minister “struck back at what Parliament perceived as executive tyranny or the invasion of Parliament’s privilege.”The Framers knew this history—and they knew that English parliamentary tradition allowed impeachment of officials after they left office. (In the most famous case, Warren Hastings, governor-general of India, was impeached in 1785 and acquitted nine years after he left office.)Now for the constitutional provisions. Article II § 4 states that the president, vice president, and “all civil officers of the United States,” can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” English impeachment could lead to penalties up to and including beheading; the Framers thought that was a bit much. Thus, Article I § 3 limits the punishment for impeachment and conviction to “removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under the United States.” Belknap was no longer secretary of war, but congressional Democrats argued that he remained at least theoretically eligible to serve in elected or appointed office—unless he was impeached by the House and removed by the Senate.[Garrett Epps: What pleases Trump has the force of law]At his Senate trial, Belknap didn’t even deny his crime; instead, he argued that his resignation barred a trial. The senators voted to proceed, and then voted 35-25 to convict him—a majority, but less than the required two-thirds. Belknap was then indicted by the Department of Justice; but Grant intervened to halt the prosecution. Belknap went back to Keokuk and died in 1890.Why would Congress have bothered with this mummery? Grant’s foes were not terribly worried about a Belknap comeback—but, Bowman told me, the Democrats would take any chance “to move against Grant’s corruption.” The proceedings amassed a 1,200-page record, distributed at government expense, laying out the corrupt payments in detail.Now back to Acosta. I asked Michael Gerhardt, University of North Carolina law professor and author of The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis and this year’s Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know, whether Acosta’s conduct in the Epstein case might constitute an impeachable offense. Gerhardt responded that conduct before taking office has in the past served as grounds for impeachment. He cited the 2010 case of Thomas Porteous, a federal district judge who was charged with—among other offenses—taking kickbacks as a state-court judge before his federal appointment. Porteous was not only convicted and removed—he was also disqualified from future office (making him one of only three people ever given that additional penalty). Bowman agreed; since the Porteous case, he said, “the precedent is now clear” that conduct before taking office can be grounds for impeachment.In addition, Acosta testified under oath about the Epstein case during his confirmation hearings. If that testimony was false or even just incomplete, or if there were falsehoods or omissions on the forms he submitted to the Senate, Gerhardt said, Acosta could be charged with “a fraud on the Senate.” And if anyone thinks his conduct as a prosecutor is too far afield from a post as Labor Secretary, there’s no reason the House can’t also impeach him as a former U.S. Attorney.[Read: What Trump’s generation learned about the Civil War]Pelosi already dismissed the idea of impeaching Acosta, but there are urgent reasons why the House should do a Belknap on the former labor secretary: Acosta’s deal with Epstein was arguably tantamount to a coverup of depraved sexual conduct; not only that, depraved sexual conduct against minors; not only that, depraved sexual conduct against minors by a former friend of Donald Trump’s.Acosta’s inaction cries out for investigation—an investigation I for one do not trust the Trump/Barr Justice Department to carry out.And that mistrust suggests another appropriate impeachment target: William Pelham Barr, esq. Even Pelosi recently told reporters that Barr “lied to the House. That’s a crime.” It’s not just a crime: lying to Congress under oath is what we call a high crime. Gerhardt agreed that false or misleading testimony—especially by the head of the Justice Department—could be enough to justify removing Barr. Bowman is already on record, during the long ago days of the George W. Bush administration, calling for the impeachment of Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, for his role in the political jimmying of U.S. attorney offices.A House investigating committee could also demand an explanation from Barr for his conduct at the end of the Mueller investigation and during the Census fiasco. And an impeachment proceeding would give the House a strong argument to compel him to turn over Justice Department records, which he so far has been reluctant to do.Alas, these cabinet impeachments are probably a con law nerd’s dreams, no more realistic than a serious impeachment probe of the president himself. If Pelosi has made a political judgment to hold back, that’s only to be expected. “If we know anything about impeachment from 1376 on,” Bowman said, “we know it is designed to be a political process.”So be it. But to paraphrase the immortal Rick Blaine, Pelosi’s business is politics, mine is running a saloon. And in my saloon, we drink to accountability, to investigation, to legislative courage, and to William Belknap’s lonesome ghost.
1 h
World Edition - The Atlantic
House Insurrections Are Here to Stay
As Congress plods through a steamy July, its insurgents become more combative. They view their speaker as ideologically impure, faithless to the base, too willing to dilute party doctrine with dollops of bland pragmatism.The intra-party civil war on Capitol Hill is erupting publicly, on cable news shows and in indignant tweets.I’m not talking about the contretemps between Nancy Pelosi and the handful of House progressives led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I’m referring to exactly four years ago, July 2015, when the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus staged an uprising against Republican Speaker John Boehner. But I could also be referring to the summers of 2017 and 2018, when the Freedom Caucus grew restless against Republican Speaker Paul Ryan.There’s nothing new about a speaker managing insurrection. It’s a safe bet, moreover, that these battles will only intensify and grow more frequent, no matter who grips the gavel or which party controls the House.On July 28, 2015, Republican Representative Mark Meadows approached the speaker’s rostrum and handed a resolution to a clerk. It was a “Motion To Vacate The Chair”, which, stripped of its parliamentary veneer, means, “let’s dump the Speaker of the House.” Under the rules, the motion would receive a vote immediately upon the request of any Member. (The last time a similar motion was filed and voted on was under Speaker Joe Cannon in March, 1910. He survived by a vote of 155-192).Boehner downplayed the move the next day: “You’ve got a member here and a member there who are off the reservation. No big deal.”[Read: Could Conservatives Actually Pull Off a Coup Against House Leadership?]Behind the scenes, he and his allies were wielding carrots but mostly sticks to quell the dissent. The prior January, after 25 Republicans voted against him for speaker, Politico reported that “Boehner moved swiftly to boot two of the insurgents from the influential Rules Committee.”As the rebellion grew beyond Boehner and morphed into opposition to the sacrosanct rules of the House, Boehner upped the ante: Meadows was removed from the subcommittee he chaired. Another rebel, Representative Jeff Duncan, was reportedly barred from congressional trips abroad. Representative Rod Blum, from a competitive district in Iowa, was said to have received no support from the National Republican Campaign Committee, the House GOP’s political arm. None of it worked. Not only did “the “member here” and “member there” stay “off the reservation,” as Boehner had put it, they seemed massed for a full-scale attack. After Pope Francis visited Congress in September, Boehner surrendered, announcing his retirement. The gavel went to Ryan.About two and a half years later, Ryan announced his own retirement.Pelosi feels her predecessors’ pain. But unlike her predecessors, Pelosi must also contend with a president who insults and attacks her insurgents. Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted that “Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen” should go back to where they came from. So Pelosi must constantly move between trying to contain her unruly members and defending them, making her job that much more complicated.[Graham: The Overhyped Feud Between Nancy Pelosi and AOC]Even in a future without such a president, however, speakers can count on unrest, because members know they have little to lose in opposing their leaders.The disciplinarian days of Sam Rayburn and Tip O’Neil are over. When Congress banned earmarks in 2011, it denied its leaders the ability to punish wayward members by stripping funding for local projects in appropriations measures. Boehner tried to punish his detractors by removing them from committees or grounding them from travel, but he only succeeded in making them martyrs.Polarization, aided by gerrymandering, also makes the speaker’s job harder. As I noted recently, according to The Cook Political Report, of the 435 districts in the House, only 21 are true “toss-ups,” whereas 344 are considered safe seats. (The rest lean in one direction or the other.) This situation rewards lawmakers who cater to activists who glue themselves to their favorite agreeable cable news shows; actually watch C-Span 3; follow on the Internet the latest controversy over a “Motion to Recommit.” What used to be inconsequential is now incendiary, igniting the party bases on even the most arcane matters. They pressure their elected representatives to take up arms—and they do, because, as I said, they have little to lose.Finally, there’s social media, which distorts political realities. Members of Congress sometimes risk seeing the world through their own districts; losing sight of the diversity of views and pressures which confront colleagues from other regions. But now it’s worse — some members define the world by the sympathetic Twitter followers who retweet them. It’s an echo chamber and hall of mirrors at the same time.[Serwer: The Exceptions to the Rulers]Boehner, Ryan, and Pelosi shared a fundamental problem: a few insurgents with one priority, their ideology, versus one speaker with many priorities. The speaker of the House must represent the entire Congress and at the same time reflect the consensus of his or her party. Plus, retain the majority; win elections; align with the president or presidential candidates; motivate and mollify donors, activists and canvassers; and govern.As Pelosi told her Caucus last Wednesday: “Some of you are here to make a beautiful pâté, but we’re making sausage most of the time.”
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World Edition - The Atlantic