See the photos chosen by The Hill’s photo editor, Greg Nash, of some of the events that shaped and influenced politics in 2019.
A runner passes overfilled trash cans at the Washington Monument during the partial government shutdown on Jan. 2. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezBiden picks up endorsement from California Democrat Cárdenas Ocasio-Cortez: Trump ‘is afraid of strong women, of Latino women’ Sanders rolls out over 300 California endorsements MORE (D-N.Y.) greets Rep. Joseph Neguse’s (D-Colo.) daughter, Natalie, during the first day of the 116th session of Congress on Jan. 3. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump lashes out at Pelosi on Christmas, decries ‘scam impeachment’ Christmas Day passes in North Korea with no sign of ‘gift’ to US Prosecutors: Avenatti was M in debt during Nike extortion MORE presents fast food to reporters and photographers that will be served to the Clemson Tigers in celebration of their national championship at the White House on Jan. 14. (Chris Kleponis/Pool/Getty Images)
Post-it notes of encouragement are seen on the placard outside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) office on Jan. 17. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Supporters of onetime Trump adviser Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneTrump says he hasn’t thought about pardoning Roger Stone The Hill’s 12:30 Report — Presented by UANI — House panel debates terms for impeachment vote Ex-Trump campaign official Gates sentenced to 45 days in jail MORE showed up on Jan. 29 at the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., where Stone pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a ‘failure’ Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE‘s probe into Russia’s election interference. (Stefani Reynolds/The Hill)
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) speaks with reporters at a press conference at the governor’s mansion on Feb. 2 in Richmond as he denies allegations that he is pictured in a yearbook photo wearing racist attire. (Alex Edelman/Getty Images)
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump lashes out at Pelosi on Christmas, decries ‘scam impeachment’ Trump’s tweets became more negative during impeachment, finds USA Today Karl Rove argues Clinton’s impeachment was ‘dignified’ MORE (D-Calif.) motions to her caucus as President Trump gives his State of the Union address on Feb. 5. (Stefani Reynolds/The Hill)
President Trump’s onetime lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenWill the Supreme Court protect the rule of law, or Donald Trump? Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks judge to reduce sentence Trump request for Ukrainian ‘favor’ tops notable quote list MORE tears up during closing statements before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb. 27. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
A protester dressed as a swamp creature is seen during the confirmation hearing of Interior secretary nominee David Bernhardt on March 28. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsMcCarthy recommends Collins, Ratcliffe, Jordan to represent Trump in Senate impeachment trial House votes to impeach Trump ‘Irregardless’ trends on Twitter after Collins impeachment speech MORE (R-Ga.) holds up water bottles to counter House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerImpeachment’s historic moment boils down to ‘rooting for laundry’ Impeachment just confirms Trump’s leadership 2019 was a historic year for marijuana law reform — here’s why MORE‘s (D-N.Y.) point comparing former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to Ken Starr’s report during a markup to issue subpoenas to five former Trump administration officials on April 3. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Rep. Steve CohenStephen (Steve) Ira CohenGabbard under fire for ‘present’ vote on impeachment Gabbard votes ‘present’ on impeaching Trump Overnight Defense: Mattis downplays Afghanistan papers | ‘We probably weren’t that good at’ nation building | Judiciary panel approves two impeachment articles | Stage set for House vote next week MORE (D-Tenn.) eats chicken prior to a House Judiciary Committee hearing to discuss former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on May 3. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrMcCabe accuses Trump officials of withholding evidence in lawsuit over firing Trump says he hasn’t thought about pardoning Roger Stone Pornography consumption: The overlooked public health crisis MORE jokes with outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE during a farewell ceremony at the Department of Justice on May 9. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Democratic presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenLawyer for Giuliani associate to step down, citing client’s financial ‘hardship’ Buttigieg surrogate: Impeachment is ‘literally a Washington story’ Presidential candidates should talk about animals MORE throws his jacket to an aide before addressing supporters during his kickoff rally in Philadelphia on May 18. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Retired NYPD detective Luis Alvarez gets a standing ovation as he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee, advocating for the reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund on June 11. (Aaron Schwartz/The Hill)
Former White House communications director Hope HicksHope Charlotte Hicks2019 in Photos: 35 pictures in politics Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Former White House official won’t testify, lawyer says MORE is seen during a break in questioning by the House Judiciary Committee on June 19. (Aaron Schwartz/The Hill)
A flyover is seen during the “Salute to America” celebration at the Lincoln Memorial on July 4. (Aaron Schwartz/The Hill)
A child’s drawing from an immigration detention center is seen during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on July 12 to discuss President Trump’s family separation policy and alleged mistreatment of children in custody. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Reps. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibTlaib to Republicans: ‘Your boy called Ukraine and bribed them’ McCarthy says impeachment ‘has discredited the United States House of Representatives’ Hillicon Valley: House panel unveils draft of privacy bill | Senate committee approves bill to sanction Russia | Dems ask HUD to review use of facial recognition | Uber settles sexual harassment charges for .4M MORE (D-Mich.), Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyHillicon Valley: House panel unveils draft of privacy bill | Senate committee approves bill to sanction Russia | Dems ask HUD to review use of facial recognition | Uber settles sexual harassment charges for .4M Democratic lawmakers call for HUD review of facial recognition in federal housing Ilhan Omar responds to ‘Conservative Squad’: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ MORE (D-Mass.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar calls on US to investigate Turkey over possible war crimes in Syria Sanders surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Ilhan Omar responds to ‘Conservative Squad’: ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ MORE (D-Minn.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) hold a press conference on July 15 to condemn President Trump’s recent tweets. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Former special counsel Robert Mueller is sworn in before testifying to the House Judiciary Committee about his report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on July 24. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
President Trump arrives to make remarks in front of a doctored presidential seal projected at the conservative Turning Point USA’s Teen Student Action Summit in Washington, D.C., on July 25. (Chris Kleponis/Pool/UPI Photo)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg surrogate: Impeachment is ‘literally a Washington story’ Michael Moore: Sanders can beat Trump in 2020 Buttigieg campaign introduces contest for lowest donation MORE (I-Vt.) and his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, are surrounded by staff, security and journalists as they walk along the midway at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 11 in Des Moines. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren in Christmas tweet slams CBP for treatment of detainees Buttigieg surrogate: Impeachment is ‘literally a Washington story’ Buttigieg campaign introduces contest for lowest donation MORE (D-Mass.) speaks to supporters at a house party in Hampton Falls, N.H., on Sept. 2. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
House Democrats talk to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) on Sept. 11 after a moment of silence for victims of the 2001 attacks. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Climate activist Greta Thunberg participates in a youth climate protest on the Ellipse of the White House on Friday, Sept. 13. (Aaron Schwartz/The Hill)
Rep. Ted LieuTed W. Lieu2019 in Photos: 35 pictures in politics Democratic senators tweet photos of pile of House-passed bills ‘dead on Mitch McConnell’s desk’ Overnight Defense: Mattis downplays Afghanistan papers | ‘We probably weren’t that good at’ nation building | Judiciary panel approves two impeachment articles | Stage set for House vote next week MORE (D-Calif.) pauses his social media filming as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyMcConnell flexes reelection muscle with B gift for Kentucky McCarthy recommends Collins, Ratcliffe, Jordan to represent Trump in Senate impeachment trial Sunday shows preview: 2020 race heats up as impeachment moves to Senate MORE (R-Calif.) and Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseA solemn impeachment day on Capitol Hill House votes to impeach Trump Overnight Defense: House poised for historic vote to impeach Trump | Fifth official leaves Pentagon in a week | Otto Warmbier’s parents praise North Korea sanctions bill MORE (R-La.) walk past to make a statement about the impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are seen during a photo-op in New York City at the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) high-fives entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangButtigieg campaign introduces contest for lowest donation Yang asks ‘Where’s Tulsi?’ after video of Democratic candidates leaves her out Democratic strategist: Impeachment is ‘moral obligation’ MORE during the CNN/New York Times Democratic presidential debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, on Oct. 15. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Rep. Alex MooneyAlexander (Alex) Xavier Mooney2019 in Photos: 35 pictures in politics Ocasio-Cortez calls out GOP lawmakers asking to be arrested, citing privilege Ocasio-Cortez, Mooney spar on Twitter over closed-door impeachment hearings MORE (R-W.Va.) walks into a sensitive compartmented information facility, where Republicans were holding a protest during a closed-door impeachment inquiry hearing, with his phone on Oct. 23. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
Maya Rockeymoore Cummings pauses during a ceremony in Statuary Hall for her late husband, Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Defense: House poised for historic vote to impeach Trump | Fifth official leaves Pentagon in a week | Otto Warmbier’s parents praise North Korea sanctions bill Pelosi opens impeachment debate: ‘Today we are here to defend the Democracy for the people’ Pelosi announces Porter, Haaland will sit on Oversight panel MORE (D-Md.), before he lies in state outside the House Chamber on Oct. 24. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
President Trump reacts to Washington Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat as he welcomes the 2019 World Series champions to the White House on Nov. 4. (Kevin Dietsch/UPI Photo)
U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandSchumer demands sensitive documents for impeachment trial Republicans eschew any credible case against impeachment Conservative group hits White House with billboard ads: ‘What is Trump hiding?’ MORE arrives to give testimony before the House Intelligence Committee during an impeachment inquiry hearing on Nov. 20. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
President Trump holds his notes while speaking to the media before departing from the White House on Nov. 20.
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) lashes out at a reporter after he questioned whether she hated President Trump at the conclusion of her weekly press conference on Dec. 5. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
A Republican aide for the House Judiciary Committee puts a sign up before a markup of H.R. 755, articles of impeachment against President Trump, on Dec. 12. (Greg Nash/The Hill)
The House votes on the second article of impeachment against President Trump on Dec. 18. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Pool)
Putnam: The character of our politics – SC Times
When I first considered running for office, many of the people I care about offered their own version of “Why would you want to do something like that?” But my daughter Eliza, who was 13 at the time, said it best: “But Dad, then you’ll have to talk to people, and people suck.”
She meant politicians.
Eliza and my friends clearly thought politics was a place for questionable characters. Countering Eliza’s cynicism was a big part of why I ran for office that first time. After being involved in local politics for a couple years, it pains me, but low expectations for politicians are sometimes justified.
We’ve all heard people lament how our politics have gotten too personal. In some ways I agree, but in others I think we haven’t gotten personal enough.
I believe politics are about character — but not just expecting a politician not to indulge conflicts of interest or demanding that they keep their word, although clearly we should expect as much. It’s also more than personality. While many folks consider who they’d like to have a beer with before they vote, that’s not the only issue that matters. Character is bigger than professional ethics or likeability.
I believe character is about who we are and who we want to be. Character isn’t about a moment, an individual decision; it’s about the patterns of behavior that define us as individuals or as groups.
You know my character from how I behave when you’ve been around me. We know our character when we recognize it in our neighbors. Some patterns of choices are better than others. Some are aspirational. Sometimes we make choices that reflect concern for the best of us, the best for us, the best from us. Character is not about one day, but is reflected in the choices we make every day.
Recently, questions about the character of our politics and the characters in our politics have taken on a new urgency. Rep. John Thompson was stopped for not having a license plate on the front of his car. According to reports, during the traffic stop, Thompson first made sure to mention that he was an elected official, and then he provided the officer a Wisconsin driver’s license that had been renewed the same month that he was elected to the Minnesota legislature.
In the aftermath of this traffic stop, as reporters tried to ascertain his legal residence, they discovered repeated allegations that Thompson had committed domestic violence.
I don’t know Thompson personally, and I haven’t really worked with him in the legislature. He’s in the House, I’m in the Senate. That doesn’t really matter, though. I still find his pattern of alleged behavior to be abhorrent. It’s not good enough for an elected official. He does not deserve to serve.
This issue is not about a particular ideology or politics. It’s about an individual accused of repeated moments of unacceptable behavior, habits that come together to demonstrate character that simply isn’t good enough. We need to expect more from our politics.
This doesn’t mean that we should expect our politicians to be exactly like us, to have exactly the same values we have on every issue or never to make mistakes. But I do believe we need to hold them to a higher standard. Public service is about service. That’s the foundation, and it should be assumed that those who run for elected office have hearts of servants and habits of them too.
Next time you write to an elected official, don’t be surprised when they write you back. Demand it. If they answer you with talking points, tell them that’s not good enough and they need to think for themselves just like you do. If you have high expectations and they fail to meet them, well, then it’s your turn. Run for office.
Of course voting is important too. I’m not a big fan of participation trophies, in sports or in politics. Voting for or against someone just because of their party identification is setting the bar way too low. Our character is constituted in the decisions we make. We need to have higher expectations when we make those decisions. It’s not good enough to say someone else doesn’t do this work well. We all need to do it better.
Politicians needn’t be role models. Parents are best at that job. But we do need people in office who can be trusted, who show up and put work into listening, who finish what they start, who recognize the dignity of all people not just because that’s what’s useful, but because that’s who we want to be.
— Sen. Aric Putnam, a Democrat, represents Minnesota Senate District 14. His column is published monthly.
Germans divided over restrictions for the unvaccinated – Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — German politicians were deeply divided Sunday over a warning by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff that restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary if COVID-19 infection numbers reach new heights in the coming months.
Chief of staff Helge Braun told the newspaper Bild am Sonntag that he doesn’t expect another coronavirus-related lockdown in Germany. But Braun said that unvaccinated people may be barred from entering venues like restaurants, movie theaters or sports stadiums “because the residual risk is too high.”
Braun said getting vaccinated is important to protect against severe disease and because “vaccinated people will definitely have more freedoms than unvaccinated people.” He said such policies would be legal because “the state has the responsibility to protect the health of its citizens.”
His comments fueled a debate in German politics about potential vaccination requirements. The issue has proven divisive, even within Merkel’s own Christian Democrats party. Its candidate to replace Merkel as Germany’s leader, Armin Laschet, said he opposes any formal or informal vaccine requirements for the time being.
“I don’t believe in compulsory vaccinations and I don’t believe we should put indirect pressure on people to get vaccinated,” he told the German broadcaster ZDF on Sunday. “In a free country there are rights to freedom, not just for specific groups.”
If Germany’s vaccination rates remain too low this fall, other options could be considered, Laschet said, adding “but not now.”
With the highly transmissible delta variant spreading in Germany, politicians have debated the possibility of compulsory vaccinations for specific professions, including medical workers. No such requirements have been implemented yet.
Germany’s vaccine efforts have slowed in recent weeks and that has led to discussions about how to encourage those who haven’t yet received a vaccine to do so. More than 60% of the German population has received at least one dose while over 49% are fully vaccinated.
During a recent visit to the Robert Koch Institute, the government run disease control agency, Merkel ruled out new vaccine requirements “at the moment,” but added, “I’m not ruling out that this might be talked about differently in a few months either.”
Other elected officials have struck a similar tone. Baden-Württemberg governor Winfried Kretschmann, a member of the Greens, noted Sunday that the delta variant and others that may emerge could make vaccine requirements more attractive down the line.
While there are no current plans to require people to get vaccinated, he told the German news agency dpa that “I can’t rule out compulsory vaccinations for all time.”
Karl Lauterbach, a health expert from the center-left Social Democrats, spoke in favor of possible restrictions. He told the Süddeutsche Zeitung that soon one of the only remaining options to fight new variants will be “to restrict access to spaces where many people come together” to those who have either been vaccinated or recovered from the virus.
Others immediately pushed back against Braun’s comments on Sunday. Some expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of such restrictions, while others warned against having rights based on one’s vaccination status.
“Of course, we need incentives to reach the highest possible vaccination rate,” Marco Buschmann, parliamentary group leader for the pro-business Free Democrats, told the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland newspaper group.
Still, he said, if unvaccinated people who have been tested or recovered from the virus pose no greater danger than vaccinated people, to impose such restrictions on the unvaccinated “would be a violation of their basic rights.”
Rolf Mützenich, head of the Social Democrats’ parliamentary group, said politicians should be focusing more on getting willing citizens vaccinated than penalizing the unvaccinated.
“We’re not going to sustainably change the vaccination behavior of individuals with threats,” he told RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland.
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Caballeros are right to stay out of politics – Santa Fe New Mexican
My compliments and support for the recent decision of the Caballeros de Vargas to abstain from local politics.
I am an Anglo and not a Roman Catholic, but consider Santa Fe my home, my community. It is where I feel a connection with the Earth, with fellow human beings, with life itself. Compassion, respect, coexistence, hospitality to the stranger; these are all values that I see as a part of the history of the Santa Fe community. I see these values being reflected in how the Caballeros honor La Conquistadora, Our Lady of Peace, the Virgin Mary statue so central to the city’s history.
I used to feel that one did not need to be a Hispanic Catholic of Santa Fe heritage to be a contributing member of the community, as long as you recognized and supported these values. Unfortunately, the last several years I have seen communications by, and received from, members of the community that made me feel that not being of “Spanish” heritage in New Mexico, I was not welcomed in the community. I thought there was a rich, historic heritage of different opinions being welcomed here, to be civilly debated, as long as the focus was on what was best for the community, the people, the land. One’s history and experiences give each of us a different perspective. It is that blend of views and ideas that can generate healthy change, while preserving these historic values of the community.
The history of La Conquistadora and of Don Diego de Vargas should not be forgotten. But history is messy and complicated, a reflection of human life. Mistakes, errors in judgment, happen. New knowledge of the past is learned. But, if the focus is on reverence of life and support of the community, no matter if community is defined locally or worldwide, then one’s actions should be respected.
Fiesta de Santa Fe, and the role of Los Caballeros in it, is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Santa Fe. All of the history, good and bad. A time to give thanks for life, for harvest, for family, for my fellow citizens, my fellow human beings. Making it exclusive to only certain people does not reflect the values being celebrated.
La Conquistadora, Our Lady of Peace, may not be part of my personal faith or cultural heritage. But her values have captured my heart. I will always honor her and those who reflect the community values I feel she represents. I am glad the Caballeros will continue to honor and reflect those values and have chosen to not become part of the current visceral and vindictive local politics.
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Rumbling meteor lights up Norway, a bit possibly landing near Oslo – Euronews
U.S. Set to Push Global Economy Over the Recovery Line – The Wall Street Journal
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