Impeachment Hearings Continue

The impeachment hearings continued today. The witness on today is former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch.

It is really inappropriate that Donald Trump is tweeting insults to her during her live testimony. How is this not witness intimidation -- as to her and future witnesses? It's absurd that he gets away with this kind of disrespect.

She just finished her testimony and Rep. Nunes, a Trump puppet, called it a show trial and mocked the hearing. Instead of rebuking him, the Democrats just ignore him.

America is upside down and turned around. Donald Trump is not just a global embarrassment, he is a charlatan that has to go. Maybe when Rudy gets charged and turns on Trump, saying everything he did was directed by Trump, Trump, like Nixon, will take his final walk, head down, across the White House lawn. One can hope.

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    ... is too good for Donald Trump. He needs to be perp-walked down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue in an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and leg irons.

    Just mt opinion. ;-D

    If Trump wanted (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 05:17:47 PM EST
    a different Ambassador to Ukraine he could have readily done so---just inform the Secretary of State of his desire.  With a new Ukraine president, the starting anew would have been a reasonable explanation.   Therefore, it is puzzling as to why the month's long smear campaign was conducted.

    Perhaps a further look at the tipping point and it's timeline provide insight, albeit a dark and troubling one.  On the very day Ambassador Yovanovitch received the two calls, the first relaying concerns for her safety and the second to get out on the next flight, she hosted a ceremony honoring the courage of  a Ukrainian anti-corruption activist killed by the effects of an acid attack.  A chilling effect for any other envoy who does not play Trumpian ball.

    No (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 05:27:47 PM EST
    puzzlement. This was Giuliani's payoff to the crooked prosecutors who hated the Ambassador.



    He's not that smart. (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Chuck0 on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 07:25:56 PM EST
    He is a thug and a bully. So his approach to every problem is that of a thug and bully.

    Hoo Boy! (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 05:55:04 PM EST
    So State Dept. official David Holmes just finished testifying before the House Intelligence Committee, and the transcript's already out. We just learned of this exchange:

    Sondland: "Zelensky loves your ass."

    Trump: "So, he's going to do the investigations?"

    Sondland: "Zelensky's going to do anything you ask him."

    This is first-hand verification of Trump's call to Sondland, and it's damning.

    We're watching a train wreck in real time.

    Here's Holmes' opening statement: (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 06:05:23 PM EST

    At what point do Republicans realize that they're sitting at a poker table where the ante is being raised markedly, and all they're holding is a pair of deuces?



    C'mon Donald, every Republican knows ... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Erehwon on Sun Nov 17, 2019 at 02:00:59 AM EST
    that a pair of deuces outranks four aces! In deplorable poker, that is. :-(

    And when you step back, for Trump it is all about (none / 0) (#19)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 10:03:07 PM EST
    defeating that political powerhouse Joe Biden. It just makes me laugh.

    Rudy of course also has his own deals going on.


    ... the attempt by energy Secretary Rick Perry (with an assist from Rudy Giuliani) to unduly influence Ukraine's burgeoning natural gas industry. He appears to have an outsized influence over the country's energy policies.

    Two of Perry's political supporters, Michael Bleyzer and Alex Cranberg, recently secured from the Ukrainian government a potentially lucrative 50-year lease for oil and gas exploration at the country's sprawling Varvynska complex, which was given soon after the secretary proposed Bleyser to serve as an adviser to President Zelensky.



    Will you settle for SDNY? (none / 0) (#92)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    That'll have to do for now. (none / 0) (#98)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:30:05 PM EST
    But Congress ought to consider the totality of the Trump enterprise, which essentially renders this administration an exercise in criminal racketeering that potentially dwarfs the biggest per capita scandal in U.S. history, the Crédit Mobilier affair in 1867-72.

    In 1867, Union Pacific Railroad executives created a fraudulent shell company -- Crédit Mobilier of America -- that appropriated the respected name of France's Crédit Mobilier Banque, which at the time was one of the major financial institutions in the world.

    The insinuation that Union Pacific had secured the financial backing of the well-respected French bank was then used to secure federal government investment in building the eastern portion of the first transcontinental railroad.

    Crédit Mobilier of America then fraudulently inflated the actual construction costs for building that railroad by 88% and passed on the invoice padding and cost overruns to the federal government.

    The aforementioned Union Pacific executives then pocketed the overpayments and bribed key federal government officials with shares of railroad stock and cash payments so that they'd look the other way.

    Before the Crédit Mobilier scandal was uncovered by auditors after five years, the schemers had looted the U.S. Treasury of nearly 20% of its cash assets. The scandal plunged the country's economy into a depression and nearly bankrupted Union Pacific Railroad.

    Unfortunately, Donald Trump and his gang are merely the latest in a long and hardly illustrious line of American grifters.



    I suspect (none / 0) (#27)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 09:34:30 AM EST
    that Trump and Rudy are partners in these deals, along with Lev and Igor as junior partners.  The only question for me is which is the cake and which is the frosting: Biden/Crowd Strike or some liquid gas deal.

    Am. Yovanovitch (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 09:32:05 PM EST
    She seemed like a really smart, sweet bookworm.   A nice, honest person....not too many of those in the public eye.

    Lev says he and Igor got a secret mission (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 09:59:15 PM EST
    from Trump after a WH Hannukah party.

    I don't have anything to say about it, just wanted to type that sentence. Unbelievable. Would have been better if it had happened at Mar A Lago, but oh well.

    He's a (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 04:58:27 AM EST
    secret agent man.

    ... were supposed to be the GOP's witnesses, whose testimonies were considered beneficial for Trump. Clearly, on the basis of what we saw today, they were not.

    Further, given that Volker has substantively amended his earlier testimony to the Intelligence Committee from a few weeks ago, one can imagine that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland will likely do more of the same during his time in the House docket tomorrow, and confirm his own personal contacts with Trump.

    Stay tuned.

    Sondland may have to take the Fifth (none / 0) (#56)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 07:56:44 PM EST
    according to good legal minds who are tweeting about his options.

    They could have taken Volker apart today (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    But they didn't because he ended up supporting the story they want to tell.

    I thought I might be seen by Sondland as a way to do the same and save himself.


    Also (none / 0) (#58)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 08:22:01 PM EST
    I saw Barbara McQuade say she didn't think he could take the fifth because he has already talked about all this publicly

    Or something like that.  I was really paying attention.


    Wasn't (none / 0) (#59)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 08:22:49 PM EST
    Paying attintion

    Rachel (none / 0) (#60)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 08:26:44 PM EST
    Is about to talk about this

    Maybe with McQuade because I'm pretty sure it was on Rachel's show yesterday I heard that.


    It's Chuck Rosenberg (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 08:33:58 PM EST
    And he doesn't say anything like that.  

    He does say they could immunize him


    You cannot take the Fifth to avoid (none / 0) (#62)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 08:58:04 PM EST
    committing perjury, but you can take the Fifth to avoid being forced to admit you previously committed perjury. So I guess he could. I seriously doubt he will though. In fact, if that was his intention, his lawyer would advise Schiff of his plans, and they probably wouldn't call him as a witness at all.

    It's it possible (none / 0) (#63)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:08:35 PM EST
    He could do it for certain questions and not others.

    If you begin to answer questions (none / 0) (#64)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:20:00 PM EST
    on a certain subject, you waive the Fifth for that proceeding on that general subject. So basically no, you cannot take the Fifth selectively. But you do have to assert the privilege on a question by question basis.

    I think that's what McQuade said (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:27:53 PM EST
    He could only assert it on one or two very narrow questions.

    I've heard a couple of democrats say they think he will spill everything.  Maybe they know something.


    Sondland was kind of an appealing witness (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:44:22 PM EST
    He seemed like a man liberated.  Every thing about him said I have no more f'cks to give.

    I liked him against my better judgement.

    I think it was absolutely Armageddon for republicans.

    Yes, the confidence and arrogance (none / 0) (#109)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 04:05:06 PM EST
    of a multi-millionaire and the folksiness of a local businessman.  But, yes, he was appealing as a witness, although I found Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney's questioning to take off, or at least, partially remove, his mask.

    Armageddon is in the eye of the beholder. (none / 0) (#114)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 06:03:31 PM EST
    As such, the level of willful disregard among GOP lawmakers for what has been happening in front of their eyes and worse still, their longstanding and obvious willingness to enable it, never fails to be a source of continued astonishment to me.

    Regarding the collective impact of all these recent revelations of wrongdoing and corruption upon the public consciousness, we'll have to wait and see. But I can't help but believe that more than a few eyes have been opened, and the needle of public opinion will move accordingly.

    But most importantly, we absolutely need to know whether or not today's proceedings were pizzazz-y enough for NBC News' Jonathan Allen.



    It's getting hard to look at the forest (none / 0) (#115)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 06:20:39 PM EST
    With all the freakin trees.  But even tho it's not getting the coverage impeachment is getting there are several very important things cooking on the back burners.  Things which look more and more like they could miraculously break all at once.

    Rudy.  Any day now.  Taxes.  Any day now.  Financial records.  Any day.

    I think we are approaching a perfect storm.  Or more like a perfect shi+storm.

    One that will be a win win for us.  If they remove him they are f'ed.  If they do not remove him, they are f'ed.

    Also, Mitch is now saying the trial could go well into next year.

    Remember what I said about quietly letting it slip past the deadline for primaries allowing republicans play to a larger audience.

    I think you noted today Ken Starr was saying we are nearing a Republican push for resignation.


    I've also often wondered at what point ... (none / 0) (#118)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:12:10 PM EST
    ... does Mitch McConnell seek to cut the GOP's losses by making the long walk across the Capitol to Speaker Pelosi's office to inquire about a potential deal that quickly hustles Trump out of the White House in a couple of months. He's certainly been around long enough to recognize a potential political disaster of the first magnitude when it's staring at him in the face.



    In a separate but related event, ... (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 03:53:45 PM EST
    ... congratulations to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who has been chosen by her Democratic colleagues to succeed the late, great Elijah Cummings as the new chair of the House Committee on Oversight. As the first woman to hold that powerful and influential seat, Maloney ensures that the House committee chairs leading the Trump impeachment inquiry are not all white men.

    Fiona Hill (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 07:01:39 AM EST
    opening statement

    "Based on statements and questions I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country," Hill will say in her opening statement, "and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did."

    "This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by Russian security services themselves," she will say.

    Full (none / 0) (#122)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 07:03:53 AM EST
    I (none / 0) (#123)
    by FlJoe on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 07:16:23 AM EST
    hope they have a camera on Nunes' face during this smackdown.

    There was apparently (none / 0) (#124)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 07:28:48 AM EST
    Some testy exchanges in her closed testimony with republicans trying to push this story.

    We can only hope they learned nothing and do it again.


    You called it. (none / 0) (#143)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 02:43:58 PM EST
    They obviously learned nothing, and they did it again.

    I'm starting to think Bolton (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 07:32:43 AM EST
    At the very least and probably him and Pompeo at the very least have to be forced to testify or take the fifth.

    Brevity be dammed.  If it runs into next year too bad.  They are in the very center of critical questions and they should be forced to testify.

    On what basis would either Bolton or Pompeo (none / 0) (#128)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:07:48 AM EST
    be able to take the Fifth? That is, what prosecutable state or federal crime is either of them reasonably suspected of? Is either now exposed to a past perjury charge (testimony under oath)? Something else that I'm missing?

    Perhaps (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:14:26 AM EST
    THe wrong term.

    We know I have not passed the Bar.  Yet.

    If you say so.  They should be forced by a court to testify about what they know.  Hopefully in public.  regardless of their reason for not doing it.
    The fifth, presidential immunity, constitutional immunity, doing their laundry, washing their hair or whatever the F other BS fig leaf they come up with.



    And BTW (none / 0) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:19:36 AM EST
    In my non professional opinion it seems not impossible crimes were committed in the process of the pig fvck

    Robert Costa just said (none / 0) (#147)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 03:31:29 PM EST
    They are thinking (hoping) in the senate trial where the house would act as prosecutors they could get a John Roberts to compel testimony from Bolton.

    That seems big.


    The argument being (none / 0) (#157)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 10:49:15 AM EST
    If this is a trial it hardly makes sense the defendant should not have final say on who testifies.

    Not a lawyer but logically it's hard to argue with that.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#158)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 10:50:57 AM EST
    An extra negative

    Secretary Pompeo may be subject to ... (none / 0) (#166)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 12:29:09 PM EST
    ... an obstruction of Congress charge for his willful flouting of House subpoenas issued to the State Department. He's unlikely to be charged by Bill Barr's DOJ, obviously -- but then again, Barr isn't necessarily going to still be there 15 months hence, and the statute of limitations will not have expired.

    These two witnesses (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:06:55 AM EST
    Are making me look forward to the Republican questioning.

    The professionals (none / 0) (#131)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 10:36:20 AM EST
    Involved in Ukraine, Dr Hill and Mr. Holmes, were clear that Burisma was code for Biden.   Sondland and Volker did not know that---until way later, after the infamous July 25 call.  So they claim so as to protect themselves from charges of  wrongful, if not unlawful, actions.  Just after corruption---more disingenuous testimony.

    It is a conspiracy, of course, with Trump the mob boss.   I think the Democrats have enough to move ahead on articles of impeachment.  After all, we have the smoking gun of  Trump's own words on the call with Zelensky.   Democrats do not want to move too far away from that sure-fire evidence, or it might look like that phone call is not critical ---and more is needed,  any more.that is needed is for American's understandings of the width and depth of the criminal plot.


    First question (none / 0) (#132)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 11:05:14 AM EST
    Miss Hill, if you really are an Uhmurkan like you say, why come you talk so funny?  Snooty like?

    Tell me THAT.


    Hill's response was great (5.00 / 4) (#145)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 03:09:39 PM EST
    in clarifying for the provincial sorts that hers is a lower-class accent which, had she stayed in England, would have crushed her hopes of a career.

    Instead, she came here as a graduate student and, owing to her brilliance, was hired to stay here.

    The Republicans can rejoice that their policies have caused a massive decline in international students coming to this country -- owing not only to their nativism and their obduracy on health care but also for other reasons. Recent research shows that the number-one reason for the decline is lack of gun control -- also the result of Republican obduracy.

    The result for our State Department and related agencies will be the loss of the likes of Fiona Hill, Alexander Vindman, et al. I am reminded of Halberstram's book The Best and the Brightest about the impact of McCarthyism on our State Department, devastating it when we needed it -- so we seriously screwed up Viet Nam.


    JFK and RFK (none / 0) (#172)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 05:07:50 PM EST
    loved Gen. Maxwell Taylor....who arguably led JFK to put troops in Vietnam.

    Taylor was considered brilliant and as the Commanding General of the 101st Airborne during WWII was certainly well known.

    Taylor was one of the best and brightest, and it did not prevent Vietnam.


    Again, Halberstam's argument was (none / 0) (#196)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 25, 2019 at 04:10:43 PM EST
    about the State Department, as a counter to the military. A counter that we lacked, owing to the devastation of the Asia (and other) desks in the State Department by McCarthyism.

    My Two Cents (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 11:10:15 AM EST
    I am old enough to remember Watergate well.  Until almost the end, almost all Republicans were united against impeachment.  Then a single tape appeared in which Nixon explicitly ordered Haldeman to do some coverup actions.  Actually, the tape added little to what we already knew but everybody then shouted, "OK here is the smoking gun."   Nixon was soon gone.  I heard a Louisiana Republican say on PBS this morning that the hearings so far have not produced a smoking gun."  Also, I think they have much higher standards for one now than they did then.  The financial records have to become available in order for one to be found that will be accepted by the Republicans.

    If David Holmes overhearing the phone call (5.00 / 3) (#164)
    by Peter G on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 11:52:48 AM EST
    in Tr*mp's own words and voice doesn't count as a "smoking gun," I'm not sure what they're waiting for.

    Physical Evidence (none / 0) (#165)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 12:12:47 PM EST
    Already Trump & Co are calling Holmes a liar.  Rudy might have recorded Trump in a "smoking gun" type call.  However, the one that Michael Cohen recorded hasn't received any impeachment traction since that was only about bribing hookers, not foreign leaders.  The financial records presented in Manafort's trial convinced even a MAGA lady on the jury, so if something similar came to light in the case of Trump (and who doesn't it exists?) I think the Republicans in Congress would join the "Trump Has to Go" chorus.

    If a recording (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 02:42:12 PM EST
    of the call at Ukraine restaurant did materialize, "Trump &Co" would manage to deny its authenticity.  With the GOP there is no bottom.  No level to where they will sink.  Facts do not matter, they are irrelevant if they do not fit their plot.  

    For example, despite the entire US Intelligence Community findings, the US Senate Intel Committee and Mueller reports that Russia systematically interfered in the 2016 election, Trump continues to disseminate the fiction, the latest this morning on FOX, that it was Ukraine.  And, of course, the Intel findings include recordings to which he has access.

    As for that smoking gun #1,000 (the call at restaurant heard by Mr. Holmes) there were two staffers also at the table who Trump & Co could get for repudiation, but do not bank on that happening.  Moreover, there are, no doubt, recordings captured from the unsecured cell phone used by Sondland, particularly Russia.  Trump's pal, Putin, surely would provide a copy of the call if it disproved David Holmes' account.  


    President Trump: "I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike ... I guess you have one of your wealthy people ... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. I think you are surrounding yourself with some of the same people. I would like to have the Attorney General call you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine. Whatever you can do, it's very important that you do it if that's possible." (Emphasis is mine.)

    Would you agree that the White House's own official read-out (not an actual transcript, as some have called it) of the now-infamous July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky likely qualifies as both physical evidence and a "smoking gun"?



    The Difference (none / 0) (#168)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 01:03:00 PM EST
    between that and the Nixon "smoking gun" tape is Trump's supporters can and do say that he was just trying to root out corruption in the Ukraine.  Something like that was impossible to say in the Nixon case.  The Nixon/Haldeman conversation required no additional facts or testimony to show its criminality.  You need more testimony and background to conclude that for the Trump/Zerlinsky call.

    Ok, so (none / 0) (#173)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 05:13:31 PM EST
    The fact no investigation was actually required but just the announcement of an investigation means people and apparently you can say Trump was actually "fighting corruption"

    Yeah, if that makes it possible to say that nothing is going to be a "smoking gun" for you.

    So, no offense, F you whoever is brainwashed enough to say that.

    It's pointless to keep trying to explain it to you.


    Stop spewing nonsense about something you obviously haven't read.

    Read. The. Document.


    What I am Trying to Explain (none / 0) (#175)
    by RickyJim on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 10:56:27 PM EST
    is what Republicans in Congress need in order to convey to their Trump loving constituents why they are voting for impeachment. It has to be obvious to people incapable of adding two + two and getting the right answer.  I don't know how you could have gotten the impression from my posts that I require such explanations.

    I think (none / 0) (#177)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 11:09:41 AM EST
    Republicans hate him as much as we do.  I think they need a reason

    So in a way yeah.  Maybe


    Or maybe not. (none / 0) (#191)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Nov 24, 2019 at 04:47:31 AM EST
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
    Upton Sinclair, author (1878-1968), "I, Candidate for Governor - And How I Got Licked" (1935)

    The world is filled with (none / 0) (#192)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Nov 24, 2019 at 06:39:44 AM EST
    Those who hate the person their salary depends on

    Sadly (none / 0) (#170)
    by jmacWA on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 02:28:44 PM EST
    They are republicans, and since Newt's decree of politics as blood sport, they are waiting for a Democrat to be impeached.

    No smoking gun. (none / 0) (#161)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 11:19:31 AM EST
    The inquiry has found what amounts to a smoking battery of artillery.

    The GOP is now a thoroughly corrupt party.  


    The bribery continues (5.00 / 3) (#178)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 01:20:59 PM EST
    This time, directed at jurors.

    Using (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 03:16:41 PM EST
    Tax payer money.

    what are the odds (none / 0) (#179)
    by jmacWA on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 02:46:53 PM EST
    That the 'liberal' media will point this out?

    I am guessing slim.


    MSNBC (none / 0) (#180)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 03:14:42 PM EST
    Has been talking about it quite a bit.

    Dumb and Duma (5.00 / 3) (#187)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 04:41:09 PM EST
    Trump and his complicitors are engaged in a conspiracy against American democracy. The conspiracy appears to have been hatched on the need to stay in power since Trump, obviously, and Republicans, too, view Democrats as enemies with no legitimate right to govern.

    AG William Barr has said that progressives are "militant secularists" out to "destroy the traditional moral order."  If those are seen as the stakes, it may readily follow that anything goes: including soliciting, bribing and extorting Ukraine so as to stack the deck and intervene in our elections.

    And, in the process, undermine a vulnerable ally and support the aims of Russia, an American adversary.  The conspiracy to stay in power was lead by Trump and carried out by Trump-appointed high level officials and his personal attorney.

    Trump, no doubt, worried that his election in 2016 was a fluke what with stars lining up thanks to Putin and Comey, No longer did he need to leave events to chance.  He had the power of his office to rig it by forcing Ukraine to implicate Biden, who he expected to be his rival, in a crime that did not happen. And, never giving up on the hope that Americans would purchase the fantasy that Ukraine and HIllary and the Democrats got together to steal the DNC emails so as to help defeat Hillary.

    The caper roped in his entire gang.  Rudy was designated to run a corrupt channel, as Rudy so eloquently put it, not to meddle in an election, but to "meddle in an investigation."  Whatever it took, was all well and good, trickery, deceit, bribery, and even, throwing Ukraine into the arms of the Russian bear. All this, and can a Trump Tower-Moscow be far behind to boot?

    Easily covered up.  Just Trump's grand reputation as an anti-corruption champion, bringing to the task his experience along these lines from Trump University.  Republicans complicitors will bury evidence and assist to obstruct. Good old Nunes and Mitch.  Certification by DOD an DOS to having satisfied anti-corruption criteria may be inconvenient but
    not insurmountable.  And, too, Trump did not really want to get into an investigation, just  have the Ukraine president be in a box after a CNN announcement.

    Without the whistleblower and Democrat House Intel follow-up, it would have succeeded.  A CNN international program announcing a corruption allegation against Biden and the Democratic Party.

    This scenario, I would guess, exceeded the imagination of the Founders when they argued for the necessity of the Impeachment Clause in the Constitution.

    This is one (5.00 / 1) (#190)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 07:55:16 PM EST
    of the reasons I think maybe a prosecutor as nominee would be a good thing though the two we have running do not seem to be getting any traction.

    So (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by FlJoe on Mon Nov 25, 2019 at 08:27:23 AM EST
    the Republicans still cling to the Ukrainian meddling theory. Republicans buy into Trump conspiracies to blunt impact of impeachment hearings The unasked question is, if you think Ukraine did us a dirty why would you ask/demand/suggest that the Ukrainians investigate themselves?

    Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, there were actually ethical Republicans in our midst who put country before party. Former Dep. Attorney Gen. William Ruckelshaus, who along with his boss Elliot Richardson willingly martyred himself on the altar of President Richard Nixon's guilt and paranoia in the Watergate scandal's now-infamous "Saturday Night Massacre" of October 1973, was one of them.

    While current Attorney General and a$$-kissing Trump toady Bill Barr might presently perceive the principled resignations of Richardson and Ruckelshaus 46 years ago as quaint and weak-sisterly, their joint actions are a selfless example to younger GOP politicians that once upon a time, two lifelong Republicans achieved their true moral stature in a moment of professional doom. For it is upon them, and not Nixon, that American historians will forever look with admiration.

    Slán agus beannacht leat, Mr. Ruckelshaus. (Goodbye and God bless.)

    Trumps Deutsche Banker dead by suicide (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 28, 2019 at 01:51:33 PM EST
    uh huh, sure. (5.00 / 3) (#200)
    by leap on Thu Nov 28, 2019 at 02:31:17 PM EST
    Hanging is the new polonium.

    Intimidation! (1.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 09:26:53 PM EST

    As I watched the testimony, the ambassador was completely unaware of what Trump was tweeting, until Schiff chose to read it to her.  If the ambassador was intimated it was Schiff that did so.  You can't be intimidated by a tweet you have no knowledge of.  

    Why did Schiff want to intimidate the ambassador?

    Yes, this is the GOP talking point (5.00 / 8) (#15)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 09:37:37 PM EST

    As if no one else would have told her during the lengthy lunch break.

    Got any points of your own?


    Ha, is that the best they've got? (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 09:54:21 PM EST
    She is not done testifying. If there is an impeachment there will be a trial in the Senate.

    LOL (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 04:56:27 AM EST
    So she couldn't read twitter after she was finished testifying? Actually I think this was pretty brilliant of Schiff to have someone watching twitter. Mango Mussolini couldn't stop behaving like a toddler for a few hours could he?

    You guys are hilarious (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 06:41:35 AM EST
    From one ridiculous, sophomoric defense to the next.

    Why do you (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 06:44:10 AM EST
    Hate America?

    In the GOP's America, ... (none / 0) (#44)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 04:14:44 PM EST
    ... everything is for sale if the price is right -- including one's personal integrity, apparently. And in that regard, it's hardly a surprise that some Republicans have been the equivalent of a K-Mart "Blue Light Special."

    Nice try (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 09:22:20 AM EST
    But it is more compelling than anything Steve Castor,  Republican Counsel, or any of the Republican Intel members came up with all week.

    Witness intimidation, like all forms (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 17, 2019 at 04:28:09 PM EST
    of obstruction of justice, is a crime based on the conduct and intent of the actor. The person seeking to intimidate or retaliate against a witness is not excused because the message did not (or did not yet) get to the intended target, nor is the actor exonerated by the resilience of the witness in not being actually dissuaded from testifying.

    Why do you (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 25, 2019 at 04:15:03 PM EST
    lack the imagination to consider that such tweets have impact on potential witnesses, not just the one testifying at the time?

    Even Trump has the imagination to understand that impact of his tweets, and Trump's mind is a low bar for you to meet, Or not.


    Just said the same (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 02:19:59 PM EST
    Below about Rudy.  His indictment sure seems imminent

    And that could sure change the game in many ways.

    And lest we forget.

    Taxes are coming.

    Not only did the Democrats (none / 0) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 04:08:13 PM EST
    ignore Nunes, but the Republicans did too.  The de facto chair, it seems, is Gym Jordan.  Although, Trump's intimidation tweet during the Ambassador's testimony put a damper on the Republicans strategy.

      She was not a witness to attack, both from her own ability to speak on her own behalf, but also from the sheer power of her presence. Even Mr. Castor, Republican Counsel,could not, or did not chose to, fill up his full time period for questions, stopping short of his time, with a visible sense of relief.

    Trump, it may be noted, did not play insult comic with either of the two male witnesses on Wednesday. But, it was all too much for Trump to not respond to a strong woman (the woman).

    "Gym" Jordan (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Yman on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 06:39:06 AM EST
    I'll definitely be stealing that.

    It's in (none / 0) (#26)
    by KeysDan on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 09:26:13 AM EST
    the public domain.  I find it fitting.

    Jim Jordan is what happens when ... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 05:37:19 PM EST
    ... one is over-caffeinated while wearing jockey shorts that are three sizes too small.

    Decibel levels are not an indication of native intelligence. It's a shame Speaker Pelosi couldn't have blocked his appointment to Chair Schiff's Committee.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#87)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 12:55:44 PM EST
    I think he is a gift.  Also Nunes.  A blessing.

    And I love the way Schiff is dealing with them.  He just lets them rant and squawk and flap.  Never responds to any crazy content.

    "I thank the gentleman for that"

    Instantly shuts down any nonsense.

    Nunes and Jordon are the stars on our team.


    I realize that. (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 01:16:40 PM EST
    But jeez, the guy sure is irritating to listen to. He doesn't question witnesses. He browbeats them.

    I can't argue (none / 0) (#90)
    by jmacWA on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 01:14:42 PM EST
    The thing that just absolutely makes me nuts is that 1) Nunes is the chair, and 2) Jordan was added to the committee specifically for these hearings.

    If these are the best the GOP has to offer, they are really screwed.

    Most of the GOP questioners of Soundland ask very few questions, they just bloviate.


    From David Frum at The Atlantic: (none / 0) (#94)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 01:29:01 PM EST
    "Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and the others have fenced off conservative Americans from the rest of American society. Within that safe space, insiders hear only what is familiar and comforting. When those protected insiders step outside into the larger world, they find themselves completely unprepared for it. To those not immersed in the fantasy franchise, people like Devin Nunes sound like crazy people. Which in turn, of course, only drives them crazier."



    The (none / 0) (#4)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 04:40:04 PM EST
    testimony of the latest ear witness is leaking and it appears to be a doozy. If I heard CNN's reporting correctly the Kardashians have a cameo appearance.

    Just the little (none / 0) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 08:26:35 PM EST
    bit they let loose on CNN now makes Sondland look like he might be indicted and have to plead the 5th before congress to keep himself from getting in bigger trouble.

    Sondland is (none / 0) (#11)
    by MKS on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 08:32:03 PM EST
    in big, big trouble.  Taking the Fifth may be the best way out.

    Coming clean would likely entail admissions he misled before.....So, he can't come clean, but continue to lie?  Best to just fold up the tent and take the Fifth and hope for the best.


    I think the best outcome would (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 09:51:19 PM EST
    be for Sondland to get immunity for his congressional testimony and be free to speak He is not worth prosecuting. I'd rather have his testimony.

    Would Barr have to sign off on that?


    Only a limited role for the AG (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 04:52:50 PM EST
    in a grant of immunity at the request of a duly authorized Congressional committee. It goes straight from the committee chair to a federal district judge. The request requires a 2/3 vote of the committee, however, and ten days' notice to the AG, after which the AG can impose a 20-day delay (presumably to prevent interference with a prospective prosecution of that witness; cf. how a grant of Congressional immunity served to derail the prosecution of Reagan White House NSC military staffer Oliver North). So, immunizing Sondland would not be an effective move for Schiff, if he wants the hearings to be done in less than a month.

    I would have (none / 0) (#28)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 02:15:16 PM EST
    ...posted that if you hadn't.

    Glad I'm not the only one thinking about this.

    Sondland knows everything. Immunize him.

    Sondland is the key witness, he has insane degrees of exposure, no constituents, no defenders in the State Department, and no concept of the limits on his authority. Nobody cares what happens to him if he walks on any charges, his name will forever be part of the conspiracy.

    And he knows everything.

    And then we have Lev and Igor, also nobodies who know everything and have no defenders, ripe for interviews. They have no presidential protection and a ton of exposure.

    Who WROTE this?


    Making Sonland take (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 07:32:16 PM EST
    the Fifth in a public hearing is pretty revealing all by itself.  

    Peter may say it should not be held against him, and maybe so, but it would be held against the Gran Cheeto.


    Taking the Fifth permits (but does not require) (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 16, 2019 at 07:47:02 PM EST
    drawing an adverse inference against the witness in any setting other than a criminal trial of that witness.

    The funniest (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Nov 15, 2019 at 08:33:19 PM EST
    or best tweet came from Elise Stefanik who tweeted that she exposed Schiff's scheme of secrecy. Did she not realize that the hearings were public today?

    We should praise Jeezus (none / 0) (#34)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:19:46 AM EST
    Devin Nunes is driving the clown car.

    Boy oh boy.

    ... of the far right's various conspiracy theories about Trump's Russia-Ukraine scandals. While we've long known that dating back to early last year, he's nuts to do so repeatedly during public hearings broadcast live on national television.

    It's 6:20 p.m. EST, and Nunes ... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 05:05:13 PM EST
    ... is still digging himself into a deep hole with his churlish "magic minutes" comment. Given the 2018 election results, I would note only that the patience of his CA-22 constituents in Fresno and Tulare counties is not boundless.

    #DevinNunesIsAnIdiot (none / 0) (#45)
    by vml68 on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 04:59:33 PM EST
    Democrats want to know who broke the law. (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 05:11:19 PM EST
    Republicans want to find out who ratted them out.

    Devin Nunes (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:02:59 PM EST
    Is stupider than his family's cows.
    And having raised cattle, I can assure you that cattle are really, really stupid.

    How stupid is Devin Nunes? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:23:06 PM EST
    Apparently, he's this stupid:

    The Daily Beast | November 20, 2019
    Lev Parnas Helped Rep. Devin Nunes' Investigations - "Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, Parnas'  lawyer Ed MacMahon told The Daily Beast. [...] Congressional records show Nunes traveled to Europe from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, 2018. Three of his aides -- Harvey, Scott Glabe, and George Pappas -- traveled with him, per the records. U.S. government funds paid for the group's four-day trip, which cost just over $63,000. The travel came as Nunes, in his role on the House Intelligence Committee, was working to investigate the origins of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling."

    LOL! KGOP, where the hits just keep on comin'!


    Is anyone else (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:23:26 AM EST
    Watching this?

    Because you should be.

    Uhhhhh (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:27:26 AM EST
    Ranking member, it's Lt. Col. Vindman please



    They used to fall over themselves (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Chuck0 on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 12:39:55 PM EST
    congratulating military members "for their service." Now, they don't even want to acknowledge their current military status. The GOP has become the party of $CUM. There is no two ways about it.

    Military officers are ALWAYS to be addressed by their rank. Never "Mr." Would these degenerates address the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff as "Mr."? How about Mattis, when he was DoD?

    This is the stuff Democratics need to hammer on in all election campaign ads. Why do Republicans hate America? Why do Republicans hate the military? Why do Republicans hate the Constitution. Ask these questions, over and over and over.

    The GOP has sunk to depths so low in trying to protect orange jesus that it should be easy to sweep them all out of office. (well maybe not Mississippi and Alabama. There's no hope there.).


    This will (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:32:26 AM EST
    Enter the ether

    Watching (none / 0) (#37)
    by FlJoe on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:29:37 AM EST
    Nunes is a moron, Biden,Biden, Biden....whistle blower, whistleblower, whistleblower... fifth amendment?

    Seriously (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:30:22 AM EST
    Amazing shi+

    I AM AN AMERICAN (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 10:22:21 AM EST
    Game f'iing over

    "Here (none / 0) (#41)
    by FlJoe on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 12:05:20 PM EST
    right matters", the LTC draws applause.

    Rudy (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 05:22:48 PM EST
    Certainly appears f'ed

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by FlJoe on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 06:10:22 PM EST
    Schiff: You never fixed the Giuliani problem, Correct?
    Volker: Correct.

    Volker had (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by KeysDan on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:29:48 PM EST
    a handicap in fixing the problems since he did not get the problem.  But if he would have known he would have done something (other than draft a copy with all Rudy's demands for  
    Zelensky) although when he did know he did not do anything.

    Morrison did not see anything wrong but made a beeline to the lawyers, because reasons.  And, wanted the phone notes buried in the secret, secret system because of leaks of the perfect call.  

    But, despite these curiosities, these two fact witnesses called by the Republicans, only added to the picture of abuse of power by Trump,  and, in the case of Volker,, gave lie to the conspiracies and gave character witness for Biden and others vilified.   Glossary for Volker...Burisma equals Biden.


    It was just pointed out (none / 0) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:46:31 PM EST
    That in addition to nailing Trump tomorrow Sondland could also complicate Volkers life if he says he told him these things he says he did not know.

    I believe Sondland (none / 0) (#96)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:24:08 PM EST
    Has indeed complicated the life of Volker.

    Yeah, that was my reaction to Morrison also: (none / 0) (#68)
    by Peter G on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 09:52:39 PM EST
    "Morrison did not see anything wrong but made a beeline to the lawyers, because reasons.  And, wanted the phone notes buried in the secret, secret system because of leaks of the perfect call." Cool-as-a-cucumber while spouting these utterly illogical inconsistencies, and professing to see no problem with that at all.

    Not a bad day (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 07:51:29 PM EST
    For Biden though

    LOL! Former SoS Tillerson on Nikki Haley: (none / 0) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 05:55:40 PM EST
    "There's so many people still trying to serve the country, so when people write books that quickly after leaving, my guess is there's two motivations: They need the money and they need the political future."

    That about sums her up. LINK.

    The pronunciation of "Kiev" (none / 0) (#52)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 06:00:33 PM EST
    Is starting to annoy me almost as much as the pronunciation of "Eye-rack"

    Kiev (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:24:28 PM EST
    Is pronounced differently depending upon whether you are Ukrainian or Russian.  (We have both ethnicities at the Orthodox Church I attend.)

    Yeah (none / 0) (#99)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:34:46 PM EST
    I read.

    But KEEV it not either.



    The one listed as English (none / 0) (#100)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:41:21 PM EST
    Is actually the Russian pronunciation

    It's not quite (none / 0) (#112)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 05:28:06 PM EST
    "Keev" the way the Ukrainians at church pronounce it, but it's close.

    KEEV-gate (none / 0) (#139)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 01:01:57 PM EST
    To answer this question, I asked my friend Joe Bagliere who recently returned from Ukraine where he was serving in the Peace Corps. Even after two years in the country, he still stumbles over it. Bagliere explains that in Ukrainian, it is pronounced more like "Keev." The Russian version is "Key-ev." But quite frankly, our western ears can't quite pick up on the differences.

    It seems like Keev is a westernization of the Ukrainian pronunciation.  Which is a bit tricky and would probably result in even more unfortunate sounds.

    Whatever.  It's not as bad as Eye-rack.

    How Do You Pronounce the Capital of Ukraine?


    Maybe we could Anglicize the name ... (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Nov 19, 2019 at 06:54:18 PM EST
    ... and call it "Uketown" or "Ukraine City."



    Sondland news (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 06:34:30 AM EST

    Sondland Kept Pompeo Informed

    November 20, 2019 at 7:23 am EST By Taegan Goddard

    Sondland strikes me as smart enough to see he and Rudy are being groomed as fall guys.

    Could be a big day.

    His opening statement (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 07:38:50 AM EST
    Has been released.

    It's pretty freakin explosive.


    Does not sound like (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 07:44:03 AM EST
    The fifth is going to be a factor.

    Man, it's bad (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 07:52:32 AM EST
    We can expect the clowns to start setting themselves on fire if needed to change the subject.

    It's bad.


    If you want to (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:17:06 AM EST
    I love the R definition of "exculpatory" (none / 0) (#82)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 12:27:49 PM EST
    I wish it applied to my own criminal clients. Your guy admits facts that constitute a key element of the crime (such as "quid pro quo") and in the same breath denies the legal conclusion (e.g., there was no "quid pro quo"). For example, the suspect says, "I entered my neighbor's house at night through an unlocked window, to see what I might find there to steal. But no, I never committed burglary." According to the R's and their counsel, this is "exculpatory." If only.

    See this? (none / 0) (#83)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 12:33:58 PM EST
    Yes, I did. But as a defense lawyer (none / 0) (#88)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 01:09:17 PM EST
    I actually would offer a broader definition of "exculpatory" than Pelosi did. Nevertheless, it would not encompass "a confession,"

    Wow (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:31:12 AM EST
    Not even half way thru and we already need more busses

    So (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:37:17 AM EST
    We now have two different accounts from four different people about the meeting Bolton ended.

    Sonland and Volker, no abrupt ending no idea where that came from

    Masha and Vindman, he cut it off and walked out.

    I don't see how Bolton doesn't have to testify.


    Mass (none / 0) (#76)
    by FlJoe on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:40:25 AM EST
    mass transit casualties.

    A criminal (none / 0) (#79)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 10:26:59 AM EST
    conspiracy...includes Pence and Pompeo.  Need to probe about Barr,  AG is mentioned in July 25 call notes.  Order more buses.

    President Pelosi? (none / 0) (#81)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 10:30:26 AM EST
    Mother will not be pleased.

    I have a feeling Tr*mp is going to end up (none / 0) (#77)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 09:21:28 AM EST
    having to do "Phase 2" of his annual physical earlier than scheduled. :-)

    One funny thing (none / 0) (#78)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 09:56:50 AM EST
    Sondland kept saying and correcting the questioner that he never thought they actually had to open an investigation but they only had to SAY they opened an investigation,

    Like he thought that was better.


    I had a flashback of Comey announcing (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by vml68 on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 10:28:12 AM EST
    the reopening of the investigation into Hillary's emails. It worked for these @$$h0les once, why not try a second time.

    All Sondland did was underscore that this was not about corruption but about damaging a political opponent.


    Pompeo: 'Gordie, you're doin' a heckuva job.' (none / 0) (#84)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 12:35:25 PM EST
    How was the Secretary of State NOT aware of all this stuff going on right under his own nose? This entire administration should be subject to a RICO investigation.

    Ken Starr believes impeachment is inevitable. (none / 0) (#86)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 12:55:32 PM EST
    On Fox News this afternoon (still 9:00 a.m. in Hawaii), he said Sondland's testimony "doesn't look good for the president" and that "this obviously has been one of those bombshell days." Bret Baier concurred, and said that Sondland "is incredibly damaging" to the GOP's talking points.

    From WaPo's Greg Sargent: (none / 0) (#104)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 03:22:45 PM EST
    Washington Post | November 20, 2019
    Gordon Sondland just made this scandal a whole lot bigger - "Gordon Sondland just made the scandal already consuming Donald Trump's presidency a whole lot bigger than it was only 12 hours ago. And that means Democrats are going to have to rethink what comes next. In his bombshell testimony, Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, implicated numerous members of Trump's Cabinet in this unfolding story to a far greater degree than before."

    As Adam Schiff received a loud ovation from the gallery at the close of this portion of today's hearing, Devin Nunes looked completely deflated.



    Heads up (none / 0) (#93)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 01:17:51 PM EST
    It's 1:37 and we still have two witnesses to go.

    And a democratic debate in 6 hours or so.

    The way that today's gone so far, ... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:44:19 PM EST
    ... tonight's Democratic presidential debate will feel entirely anticlimactic.

    They should delay the other two (none / 0) (#103)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 02:44:52 PM EST
    Agreed. (none / 0) (#105)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 03:26:15 PM EST
    Optimally, Chair Schiff and Speaker Pelosi would want the full impact of Sondland's testimony to sink in. But logistically, re-calendering the other two witnesses could prove problematic if there are scheduling conflicts. But if they can make it happen, they should do so.

    I would be surprised (none / 0) (#106)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    If democrats are not telling Schiff to find a way.

    No one is going to pay attention to 8 more hours of testimony today plus it's stupid and counterproductive to compete with the debate.


    Hat tip (none / 0) (#116)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 06:23:57 PM EST
    To anyone still watching.  I glazed.

    I will see highlites


    It started out good. (none / 0) (#117)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 08:00:15 PM EST
    But yeah, it quickly became a snoozer, about as exciting as a local county council infrastructure committee meeting on a proposed G.O. bond issue for sewer upgrades.

    (Disclosure: Most of my consulting work is done at the county level, so I know first-hand how tedious council committee meetings can be.)

    I wonder if that's because the Sondland testimony raised our bar of expectation so high?


    Sondland is now (none / 0) (#107)
    by KeysDan on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 03:50:14 PM EST
    on his way to Brussels. Would not be surprised if he gets the Comey treatment: Fired, summarily, while in Europe and prohibited from coming home in a government airplane or at government expense.

    He can afford (none / 0) (#113)
    by Zorba on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 05:30:16 PM EST
    A plane ticket home.
    Heck, he can probably afford to buy his own plane.

    So Who and Who Isn't Allowed to Testify? (none / 0) (#110)
    by RickyJim on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 04:46:46 PM EST
    Currently serving officials, some political and others civil service or military, have come to testify in the impeachment hearings despite a blanket prohibition from the Trump administration.  Some former officials have refused to testify, citing the prohibition.  I think the possibility that Trump could take legal action against somebody like Bolton for testifying is ridiculously remote.

    The question is not who is or is not allowed (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by Peter G on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 05:11:24 PM EST
    to testify. Everyone is in fact (and in law) allowed to testify. Indeed, they are all required to testify, if summoned. The real question is who will and who will not comply with the unlawful directive from the putative President not to testify.

    You missed something (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by Repack Rider on Wed Nov 20, 2019 at 10:06:40 PM EST
    Several of the witnesses were told by Trump not to testify.  They asked the only relevant question.

    "Or else...what?"


    By now no thinking person pays any attention to a threat from Trump. He has never carried one out.

    If you don't respond to his vague threat, he threatens you even more vaguely.


    HA. ASAP Rocky (none / 0) (#126)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 08:37:20 AM EST
    Let him get sentenced

    Play the race card

    Give him a ticker tape when he come home

    Oh man

    A chalupa... (none / 0) (#133)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:10:02 PM EST
    is a small boat in which Devin Nunes is determined to sink.

    It's remarkable (none / 0) (#134)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:25:56 PM EST
    That Nunes keeps talking about Rudy and trying to legitimize that whole thing.  He just did a whole thIng about how serious the whole Burisma thing must be for the president to send his personal lawyer to look into it.

    That would be the lawyer who's indictment seems imminent

    I don't think they have thought this through.


    And nude pictures (none / 0) (#135)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:26:45 PM EST
    Of Cheeto

    That Jordan... (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:40:10 PM EST
    is a real a-hole.  It's amazing that anyone can put up with him.

    A better face (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:42:31 PM EST
    For the republicans we could not wish for.

    He finally ruled Rep. Jordan out of order and told him to shut up and let witness David Holmes answer / smack down his crackpot question: "The gentleman's time has expired; the witness's has not. Mr. Holmes, you may continue."

    I see why (none / 0) (#138)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 12:45:07 PM EST
    They are closing the week with these two

    Clever plan for questioning them (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 01:35:35 PM EST
    From the republicans.

    Don't ask them questions.  That bit when she made that clown sit in his seat while she humiliated him with praise was awsum.


    Wow (none / 0) (#141)
    by FlJoe on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 01:49:42 PM EST
    Hurd just said we haven't heard from Rudy yet.

    Fiona Hill (none / 0) (#146)
    by desertswine on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 03:21:31 PM EST
    was very impressive.

    I (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by FlJoe on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 03:33:46 PM EST
    thought her "they were on a domestic political errand" statement was pure gold.

    Yes, (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:24:06 PM EST
    As was Mr. Holmes.  His testimony added much, having heard Trump (via Sondland's cell phone at the restaurant) asking for a status report on how the plot was proceeding.

    And, Mr Holmes is courageous in testifying.  He is presently employed as a career officer and is a young man with a career still ahead of him.


    Dr. Hill (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by leap on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:50:29 PM EST
    is brilliant at analysis and distillation of situations, such as in this part of her testimony. Ambassador Sondland was involved in a "domestic political errand," whereas her group was carrying out national security policy. They were not in the "same channel," as she precisely put it.

    And there sat Republican counsel Castor, who had elicited these comments, his face drawn and frowny. I'm surprised he didn't cut her off, but he might be one of those well-behaved Republicans some people dream about. Actually, I'm more surprised that Gym Jordan and Devin Nunes didn't jump up screaming for her to shut up shut up shut up la la la la la la we can't hear you.


    Gym/Devin (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by jmacWA on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 05:14:55 AM EST
    Nunes is chair of the committee on the R side, it's all about seniority I guess, but still most people get smarter with age, so I am not certain who this guy keeps getting elected.

    Gym was added to the committee specifically for this hearing.

    These are the guys they wanted to question the witnesses?  If this is the best the GOP has to offer how in heck are they still in business?


    Yes, (none / 0) (#150)
    by KeysDan on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 09:24:45 PM EST
    As was Mr. Holmes.  His testimony added much, having heard Trump (via Sondland's cell phone at the restaurant) asking for a status report on how the plot was proceeding.

    And, Mr Holmes is courageous in testifying.  He is presently employed as a career officer and is a young man with a career still ahead of him.


    Political Wire (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Nov 21, 2019 at 02:37:03 PM EST

    White House Wants a Senate Trial

    Politico: "A group of Republican senators met Thursday morning with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to discuss impeachment strategy."

    "Two attendees said that the White House wants the Senate to hold a trial of some length and not immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment with the GOP's majority, as some Republicans have suggested. The White House and Trump's GOP allies decided instead `they want some kind of factual affirmative defense on the merits,' said one attendee."

    HAPPY HOLLYDAYS (none / 0) (#153)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 08:57:50 AM EST
    It appears there will be an impeachment vote in the house AND a shut down the government vote - the week before Christmas

    Happy (none / 0) (#154)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 09:31:30 AM EST
    In case (none / 0) (#155)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 09:35:02 AM EST
    Pence Puffs (none / 0) (#156)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 10:00:10 AM EST
    Or maybe Pence Fluffs are popping up all over.  It's almost like they are being planted.

    A purpose and a calling

    The Big Stuff (none / 0) (#160)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 11:10:54 AM EST
    In an hour-long diatribe on that show where FOX people sit on a white couch, Trump said Ambassador Yovanovitch was no angel because she did not hang his photo in the Embassy for over a year.

    Lawyers for (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by KeysDan on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 01:57:41 PM EST
    former Ambassador Yovanovitch responded that Trump's photo was displayed in the Ukrainian Embassy on the day it arrived.  

    It is reported, by the Washington Post, that there was a delay by the government printing office in providing photos to government buildings owing to delays in Trump and Pence sittings.

    Maybe, the Ambassador could have  saved her job if she out-bid on that painting of Trump at a charity auction.  Trump bid and got that beautiful portrait for a mere $12,000, paid for by his fraudulent and now defunct Trump Foundation.


    Sleazy Don is a compulsive liar. (none / 0) (#176)
    by desertswine on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 12:09:13 AM EST
    And (none / 0) (#162)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 11:23:05 AM EST
    Kellyanne drove her husband insane.  

    And (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by FlJoe on Fri Nov 22, 2019 at 11:34:03 AM EST
    repeating Russia propaganda

    Insurance (none / 0) (#182)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 03:18:49 PM EST
     seems to suggest he has dirt that would prevent TRUMP from turning on him: "I've seen things written like `he is going to throw me under the bus.' When they say that, I say `he isn't, but I have insurance."

    Well, so (none / 0) (#183)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 03:21:16 PM EST
    we have Mobster Trump and Mobster Giuliani. It would just be too much to hope for for them to take each other out.

    We got (none / 0) (#185)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 03:28:44 PM EST
    Nunes busted by Lev and so distracted from suing his cow also.

    They should just put Trump and Rudy in a big sack and let the fight it out


    link with more quotes and video (none / 0) (#186)
    by Peter G on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 04:02:25 PM EST
    available here inter alia.

    If only (none / 0) (#189)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 06:28:27 PM EST
    Navy Secretary to resign in protest (none / 0) (#184)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 03:26:32 PM EST
    Course not. Why would you. (none / 0) (#188)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Nov 23, 2019 at 06:24:58 PM EST
    He resigned (none / 0) (#193)
    by Zorba on Sun Nov 24, 2019 at 05:25:42 PM EST
    Sec. Def. Esper demanded it.

    Weirder and weirder (none / 0) (#194)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Nov 24, 2019 at 09:01:47 PM EST