US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) makes no bones about his position on the likely upcoming impeachment trial of US president Donald Trump. "I am trying to give a pretty clear signal I have made up my mind," he tells CNN International's Becky Anderson. "I'm not trying to pretend to be a fair juror here." Well, okay, then. Graham has publicly disqualified himself as, and should be excused from serving as, a juror.

"US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign," the Washington Post's Craig Whitlock reports, "making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable."

Amazon is one of the largest companies in the world, boasting revenues of more than $230 billion last year. But last month, the company sued the US Department of Defense over a paltry potential  $10 billion spread over ten years. Amazon lost out to Microsoft in bidding for the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (yes, JEDI, because the most important part of a government program is coming up with a cool acronym) cloud-computing program.

I don't keep count, but I see lots of headlines like this one from The Hill, dated December 5: "Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown." Reporters Jordain Carney and Niv Elis tell us that "Congress is racing the clock" and working on a "tight time frame" to pass yet another stopgap spending measure ("continuing resolution") so that the government doesn't go into one of its perennial fake "shutdown" productions.

On November 29, FBI agents arrested hacker and cryptocurrency developer Virgil Griffith. His alleged crime: Talking. Yes, really. The FBI alleges that Griffith "participated in discussions regarding using cryptocurrency technologies to evade sanctions and launder money."

In early November, French president Emmanuel Macron complained that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization  (NATO) is experiencing "brain death" as its member states go their own ways, with "no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making." US president Donald Trump's reply: "Nobody needs NATO more than France." The two continued their duel over NATO's future at an early December meeting of the alliance's members in London.

On November 27, US president Donald Trump signed The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The bill, passed by veto-proof majorities in Congress amid large protests in the "special administrative region," allows the president to impose sanctions on officials who violate human rights there, and requires various US-government departments to annually review Hong Kong's political status with a view toward changing trade relations if the US doesn't like what it sees.

On November 15, US president Donald Trump pardoned two US Army officers accused of war crimes (one convicted, the other awaiting trial).

A political writer's annual Thanksgiving column can be easy to write, or incredibly difficult to put together. It can also be inspiring or banal. The two are probably connected. It's always a difficult one for me; its quality is a matter of your opinion. But hey, Turkey Day is just around the corner and it's time to talk about being thankful. Please bear with.

Annie Karni, Maggie Haberman, and Sheila Kaplan of the New York Times describe US President Donald Trump's proposed ban on flavored e-cigarette products as "a swift and bold reaction to a growing public health crisis affecting teenagers" that Trump backed away from "under pressure from his political advisers and lobbyists to factor in the potential pushback from his supporters." Maybe they're right about Trump's motivations, but they're wrong about pretty much everything else.

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