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Tuesday :: January 21, 2020

Trump on Trial: Day One

Donald Trump's impeachment trial begins with arguments about the rules. Here is the House Manager's Statement on McConnell's rules. The New York Times reports that McConnell made two modifications after objections: there will be three rather than two days of opening statements and all the documents and evidence from the House proceeding will be entered in the Senate proceedings. The amended version of Sen. Res. 483 is here.

The House Brief and Statement of Facts is here. It's reply to Trump's trial brief is here. [More...]

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Monday :: January 20, 2020

NYTimes Passes Over Biden and Bernie. Picks Both Women

The New York Times has made its endorsements for Democratic candidate for President. It's picked two candidates, independently. (i.e., the Times is not suggesting a two women ticket). And those candidates are: Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.

“There will be those dissatisfied that this page is not throwing its weight behind a single candidate, favoring centrists or progressives,” the board writes. “But it’s a fight the party itself has been itching to have” since Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016, “and one that should be played out in the public arena and in the privacy of the voting booth.”

.... “Ms. Klobuchar and Ms. Warren right now are the Democrats best equipped to lead that debate. May the best woman win.”

I agree. [More...]

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Sunday :: January 19, 2020

Prince Harry Speaks: He is Sad

Prince Harry today publicly addressed his sadness at not being able to continue working for the Crown as he and Meghan branch out to live their own lives.

Her Majesty the Queen issued this statement yesterday. It is followed by a statement from Buckingham Palace with the what Harry and Meghan are giving up. In addition to their titles and public funds, they have requested to repay the Crown for the cost of remodeling their residence at Frogmore Cottage ($1.3 million) which will continue to be their home when in England.

As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.

[More...]

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Thursday :: January 16, 2020

Thursday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread. I know there's lots of attention being paid to the impeachment and Ukraine matters, but surely other things are happening.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Senate Begins Trump Impeachment Trial

U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts swore in the members of the Senate today as the impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins.

With great pomp and circumstance, the articles of impeachment were brought in by a team of 7 Democrats, and prior to reading them Adam Schiff called out:

“Hear ye, hear ye, hear ye,” the sergeant-at-arms declared, using language from another era to admonish the senators not to speak while Representative Adam B. Schiff, the lead impeachment manager, prepared to read the articles aloud. “All persons are commanded to keep silent upon pain of imprisonment.”

Also today, a GAO report was released finding that Donald Trump broke the law in withholding aid to the Ukraine.

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Guiliani Time: A Roast, a Strikeout or Just Toast?

The Parnas documents disclosed by the House y are pretty devastating to Rudy Giuliani and by implication, to Donald Trump. They are available here.

The worst may be that it appears from released text messages between Parnas and Robert Hyde that the former Ukranian ambassador Yovanovitch, who was fired by Trump, was being physically tracked. No wonder she testified she felt she was in danger. The Ukranian Government has initiated a criminal investigation to look into this.

But wait, like any good infomercial, There's More! Lev Parnas has completely broken with Trump and Rudy, says Trump was aware of the plan to get the Ukraine government to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, and that he's now eager to cooperate fully with the Government. [More...]

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Tuesday :: January 14, 2020

Des Moines Debate: Six to Compete

The Democrats will debate tonight. You can watch at CNN. Those who will be on the stage:

Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Pete Buttigieg
Amy Klobuchar
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Tom Steyer

Who will glow and who will fade?
Will Bernie and Elizabeth make up?
Will Pete aim his fire at Biden?
Why are Amy and Steyer still here?

I'm glad Wolf Blitzer is moderating. [More...]

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Monday :: January 06, 2020

Julian Castro Endorses Elizabeth Warren

Julian Castro, who suspended his campaign for President last week, today announced via video he will endorse Elizabeth Warren.

There's one candidate I see who's unafraid to fight like hell to make sure America's promise will be there for everyone... That's why I'm proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren for President."

Castro will campaign with Warren this week in Brooklyn.

So, will we see a Warren-Castro ticket?

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Sunday :: January 05, 2020

Golden Globe Awards 2020

The Golden Globe awards are live. Here's their Twitter Feed. Unfortunately, Ricky Gervais is hosting again. The New York Times is keeping track here.

The NY Times critics didn't think much of Gervais' opening. With lines like this, I'm not suprised:

"I came here in a limo and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman."

Check out Tom Hank's reaction. [More...]

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Friday :: January 03, 2020

Reactions to Trump's Targeted Killing of Quds Leader Soleimani

Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth
Blowing down the backroads headin’ south
Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot, babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

That's what I think of Donald Trump's decision to take out Iranian Quds Force leader Qassim Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes. What's next? [More...]

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Thursday :: January 02, 2020

Giuliani's Son's Cushy Golf Job at the White House

Remember Rudy Giuliani's son Andrew, who went from disrupting Rudy's swearing in as Mayor to being asked to leave the Duke University golf team?

Well we all knew he got a job at the White House. There was a big to-do when John Kelly revoked his clearance to the West Wing (he later got it back.) But I had no idea until I read it in the Irish Times today that his salary is reportedly $90k a year and his job is to serve as Donald Trump's "golf pro in residence".

Giuliani has been in the public eye since 1994 when, as a precocious seven-year-old, he stood next to his father while he made his inaugural address as mayor. As Rudy laid out his plans for cleaning up the city and remaking it as capital of the world, Andrew hammed it up on the podium beside him, blowing kisses to the cameras, mimicking his dad’s every hand gesture and even shouting out random declarations like, “It should be so and it will be so!

[More...]

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Tuesday :: December 31, 2019

Happy New Years Eve Open Thread

A very Happy New Year to all. I wish you all a year filled with joy, good health, inner peace and success at whatever personal journeys you embark on.

And may we all survive another year of the Carnival Barker-in-Chief who is standing by the entrance of the roller coaster ride, hawking half-price tickets while promising us the ride of our lives. We have all been forced to enter and take a seat. As the rocky and erratic ride begins, we know all too well there will be no getting off for at least another year. [More...]

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Thursday :: December 19, 2019

Democratic Debate: The Dems' Most Important Duty

The Democrats had another debate tonight. I'm watching the re-run now. I wonder, after the thrill yesterday of watching the news chirons and papers scream"Impeached", how much interest is there in a Democratic debate -- especially when none of the frontronners have any control over the most immediate and important duty at hand: Removing Trump from office.

My thoughts in advance of watching this debate: Neither Biden nor Bernie will be the nominee. The public has had enough of septugenarian white men. Warren and Pete B. are real possibilities.

Your thoughts on the debate?

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Wednesday :: December 18, 2019

Donald Trump's Reaction to his Impeachment: "I Fired His As*"

Donald Trump was in Michigan today at one of his rallies when the impeachment vote came in. Mike Pence came out for him at first, telling the crowd Trump was watching the vote.

He had plenty to say about the impeachment when he took the stage for over an hour and half. I cannot believe Trump actually said these things, but I'm taking them off the twitter feed of WAPO White House reporter Josh Dawsey who is in Michigan and live-tweeting. He's doing a terrific job. Donald Trump's mental deficiencies have never been as obvious. In no particular order:

Trump is now onto attacking Hillary Clinton, acting out the affair and comments between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Jim Comey. "Comey, who's another beauty, did I do a great job when I fired his ass?" he says. Loud "Lock Her Up" chant about Clinton, after he mocked her stamina.

"Whoa, wow," he says announcing the vote. "We didn't lose one Republican vote." Then says he got 3 Democrats to support him. "That's unheard of."

[More...]

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Donald Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction

Update: 6:43 MT: Donald Trump has now been impeached on both counts: Abuse of Power and Obsturction of Justice.

People are dancing in the streets tonight. With 398 days left in his term, Donald Trump has been impeached on one count of Abuse of Power and a second count of Obstruction of Congress.

Regardless of what the Senate does, Donald Trump's legacy will be forever stained.[More...]

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