AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 182493 times)

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🤡 Trump awards huge G-7 contract to himself, then reverses decision
« Reply #2175 on: October 21, 2019, 02:37:47 AM »
Un-fucking-believable!  ::)

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🤡 Did Trump Just Give A Jewish Astronaut The Finger?
« Reply #2176 on: October 22, 2019, 12:02:16 AM »
https://forward.com/culture/433439/did-trump-just-give-a-jewish-astronaut-the-finger/

Did Trump Just Give A Jewish Astronaut The Finger?
PJ GrisarOctober 21, 2019

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/J-1KklDCSvw" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/J-1KklDCSvw</a>

Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir was busy walking outside of the International Space Station Friday afternoon as part of the first all-female spacewalk, but that didn’t stop her from giving President Trump a live fact check. Some believe the commander in chief’s response was a good old fashioned one-finger salute.

“We’re thrilled to be speaking live with two brave American astronauts who are making history, joining us during their spacewalk,” Trump said during a live-streamed call to Meir and her colleague Christina Koch, Vice reported.

On the call, Trump applauded their courage and admitted that he didn’t think he’d want to go to space himself, which seems true enough, but then said something that was not quite right.

“They are conducting the first ever female spacewalk to replace an exterior part of the space station,” Trump said.

After a lag (there was a four second delay according to someone in the room), Meir chimed in to offer a correction.
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“First of all, we don’t want to take too much credit, because there have been many other female spacewalkers before us,” Meir said from a location Trump accurately described as “a very high altitude.”

“This is just the first time there have been two women outside at the same time.”

It is at this point in the call, as video evidence clearly shows, that Trump raises his middle finger to the bridge of his nose, strokes his T-Zone, edges the aforementioned derisive finger along the outside of his eyebrow, and then uses it to curl some stray hairs behind his ear.

The video went viral, leaving many to wonder if Trump was simply itchy, or was in fact sending a message he hoped could be seen from space.

Meir, for her part, appeared to be more gracious. When asked by the president what words she had for young women watching, Meir emphasized that her and Koch’s message was more universal than it was gendered.

“We also hope we can provide an inspiration to everybody—not only women, but to everybody—that has a big dream and is willing to work hard to make that dream come true,” Meir said, adding, “It’s really our honor to be up here, working today, representing whatever it is that’s significant to whatever individual’s desires and hearts.”
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🤡 The next House impeachment witness is the most important so far
« Reply #2177 on: October 22, 2019, 12:29:38 AM »
https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/22/politics/impeachment-watch-october-21/index.html

The next House impeachment witness is the most important so far


By Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

Updated 2:47 AM ET, Tue October 22, 2019
CNN: Key witness initially hesitant to take Ukraine role


Bill Taylor, currently the top official at the US Embassy in Ukraine, will get his moment before congressional investigators Tuesday. Taylor was one of the officials whose text messages were released by House Democrats earlier this month. His explanation for why he said he felt the US was trading foreign aid to Ukraine for political favors to the President could be a key piece of evidence for House investigators.
A succession of bombshells
Each week of the impeachment inquiry has brought at least one bit of testimony that either confirmed elements of the whistleblower report or opened up new avenues for impeachment investigators.

    Kurt Volker handed over the text messages that showed concern about a quid pro quo.
    Marie Yovanovitch said she was targeted by Rudy Giuliani and stood up for foreign service officers.
    Fiona Hill said that her boss, former national security adviser John Bolton, compared the shadow diplomacy being done on President Donald Trump's behalf to a "drug deal."
    George Kent, according to The Washington Post, said Trump soured on Ukraine after talking to Russia's Vladimir Putin and Hungary's Viktor Orban. He also backed up Yovanovitch and said he lit flares in 2015 about Hunter Biden.
    Gordon Sondland said Trump told him to work with Giuliani on Ukraine.

Who is Taylor?
Read more about Taylor here. He's a former ambassador to Ukraine and came out of retirement, out of a sense of duty, when Trump recalled Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, according to CNN's Kylie Atwood and Jenny Hansler.
What Taylor can tell us
Taylor is expected to be asked about the text messages he sent US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland in September, before the whistleblower complaint was released.
Refresh your memory on those messages, but the key exchange was this:
[9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.
[9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions...
From what we've learned about the closed-door testimony by career State Department officials, none of them have seemed to try to protect the President. We already know that Taylor was extremely skeptical of the shadow foreign policy Sondland was helping Giuliani execute.
Taylor can offer texture and important context about what led him to repeatedly question Sondland in the messages.
One key question
The messages contain a mystery: Did Taylor intentionally try to put his concerns on the record by texting about them? If they had already been discussed on the phone, why immortalize it and create a paper trail in text?
No-shows
Acting OMB director Russell Vought repeated Monday that his agency will not be cooperating, so testimony from the official who had a hand in delaying funding to Ukraine will likely not occur as planned Wednesday. But on Thursday, a key Pentagon official could give her side of why and how the money meant for Ukraine was frozen.
Here's the full slate of testimony expected this week.
Trump scoffs at protection for whistleblower
During a bizarre Q&A with reporters before a meeting with his extremely depleted Cabinet on Monday, Trump questioned whether the whistleblower needs protection.
Democrats and the whistleblower's attorneys have raised questions about the individual's safety in potential congressional testimony. Trump took the opportunity of the Cabinet meeting to again attack the whistleblower.
Remember in reading the quotes below that despite what Trump says, most of what the individual said has turned out to be true.
"Now you have to say, well do we have to protect somebody that gave a false account?" he asked.
"You know, these whistleblowers they have them like they're angels. So do we have to protect somebody that gave a totally false account of my conversation? I don't know. You tell me."
He also repeatedly compared himself to George Washington because he, like the nation's first president, is wealthy.
Schumer wants protection plan
The top Democrat in the Senate, Sen. Chuck Schumer, wrote to the Director of National Intelligence and Intelligence Community Inspector General demanding to know how they're going to protect the whistleblower's identity.
Foundational cracks in the GOP? Keep looking
I guest-hosted the Impeachment Watch podcast with CNN's David Chalian on Monday and we discussed Florida Republican Rep. Francis Rooney, who announced over the weekend that he won't be running for reelection and also said the impeachment inquiry should continue. Listen here
"Every time one of these ambassadors comes and talks, we learn a lot more," the congressman said.
Whispers of discontent
Losing Republicans is clearly something Trump worries about, which he transmitted Monday as he complained about Democrats, who unlike Republicans, he said, are "vicious and they stick together."
"They don't have Mitt Romney in their midst," Trump said, referring to the Utah Senator who has criticized Trump and who we learned today goes by the pseudonym Pierre Delecto on Twitter.
Fox News' Chris Wallace said one nameless but important Republican told him there's a 20% chance Trump is impeached and asked acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney about it. Mulvaney said there's no problem for Trump.
Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado told CNN's Jim Sciutto Monday that Republican senators in private raise concerns about Trump's behavior.
Whispers don't vote
David smartly pointed out you need a magnifying glass to see cracks in the support for Trump among Republicans since they are almost unanimously behind him in public.
Impeachment timeline slipping
On Friday we pointed out that, compared to the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the impeachment effort against Richard Nixon, Democrats are moving at a comparably breakneck speed against Trump on Ukraine.
Turns out their timeline could slip further.
The reason, per CNN's Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, is that the inquiry keeps expanding:
Each witness has so far provided more leads for investigators to chase down, including new names to potentially interview or seek documents from. Plus, Democrats have had to reschedule several witnesses, including some this week in part because of memorial services for the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, and others because they needed more time to retain lawyers.
Plus, there are several more time-consuming steps as part of the probe, potentially trying to bring in big names like former national security adviser John Bolton, then holding public hearings before a report they're expected to write with recommendations — all before any votes in the House.
One hard deadline is Election Day 2020. The ultimate question for Democrats could end up being whether they need to follow every lead they discover in order to vote that Trump committed high crimes or misdemeanors.
Pressure on Trump
The GOP is still very much behind him on impeachment, but Trump has had to modulate his position on the pullback from Syria and completely reverse his decision to hold the G7 summit at his golf resort in Florida.
The changes represent that Trump is not immune to pressure from fellow Republicans.
Pressure on Schiff
Republicans in the House tried to force a vote to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, who is leading the impeachment inquiry, for that time he read erroneous quotes from Trump into the record of a House Intelligence Committee hearing. The House voted Monday along party lines to effectively kill the privileged resolution in the Democratic-led chamber, but the censure attempt feeds easily into Republican anger at the process by which Democrats are moving toward impeachment.
Democrats have actually tried to pivot in their messaging about impeachment. On Friday, Schiff promised there would ultimately be public hearings and transcripts released. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi published a fact sheet on what the inquiry has learned so far.
Bottom line: It's clear that even as they race toward impeaching Trump, Democrats are cognizant of the complaint by Republicans that they have abused the process.
What are we doing here?
The President has invited foreign powers to interfere in the US presidential election.

Democrats want to impeach him for it.
It is a crossroads for the American system of government as the President tries to change what's acceptable for US politicians. This newsletter will focus on this consequential moment in US history.
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https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-edit-lynching-20191022-yksc2x7wqbes7mjot4ilejfe7i-story.html

Donald hanged himself: A veteran diplomat’s account under oath is far more damning to Trump than anything Democrats can say
By Daily News Editorial Board
New York Daily News |
Oct 22, 2019 | 6:09 PM


Taylor exposed the plot. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Tuesday, Donald Trump called Democrats’ attempts to get to the bottom of his efforts to strong-arm Ukraine into investigating his political opponents “a lynching.” Also Tuesday, a West Point graduate who has served his country ably for a half-century gave House investigators more rope by which the president has already hanged himself.

Ambassador William Taylor systematically detailed how Trump, Rudy Giuliani and Trump donor turned European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland conspired to freeze aid to Ukraine — with plans to thaw it if and only if President Volodymyr Zelensky delivered a public commitment to investigate Democrats, including the company for which Joe Biden’s son Hunter worked. His words are more damning than any we could write (these are a few choice excerpts; read the whole thing):
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When Taylor learned Trump and his budget office had ordered a hold on the aid: “I and others sat in astonishment...In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened. Their irregular policy channel was running contrary to goals of longstanding U.S. policy....”

“President Trump did insist that President Zelensky go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference, and that President Zelensky should want to do this himself....”

“In fact, Ambassador Sondland said, ‘everything’ was dependent on such an announcement, including security assistance. He said that President Trump wanted President Zelensky ‘in a public box’ by making a public statement about ordering such investigations....”

“Sondland tried to explain to me that President Trump is a businessman. When a businessman is about to sign a check to someone who owes him something, he said, the businessman asks that person to pay up before signing the check.”

A businessman. Not a president.
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Offline RE

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🤡 Lawmakers react to Bill Taylor's testimony
« Reply #2179 on: October 23, 2019, 12:26:18 AM »
Who here think Trumpovetsky will worm his way out of this clusterfuck?

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🤡 Will Trump shut down the government to fight impeachment?
« Reply #2180 on: October 23, 2019, 06:58:58 AM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/will-trump-shut-down-government-fight-impeachment-n1070106

Will Trump shut down the government to fight impeachment?
Analysis: Washington is bracing for the prospect that president may seek to let funding lapse in a bid to blame Democrats.


President Trump tends to add as many chips to the pile as he can in high-stakes political battles — particularly when things aren't going his way.Andrew Harnik / AP

Oct. 23, 2019, 1:00 AM AKDT
By Jonathan Allen

WASHINGTON — Impeachment, meet government shutdown.

With funding for federal operations set to expire Nov. 21, the political class here is beginning to plan for the possibility — likelihood, in the eyes of some — that President Donald Trump will shut down the government to try to turn public opinion against House Democrats and their push to impeach him.

"He used it for his almighty wall for the longest shutdown in history, so I don't put anything past him when it comes to this," Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic minority whip, told NBC News.

It's not just Democrats who have learned that Trump has a tendency to add as many chips to the pile as he can in high-stakes political battles — particularly when things aren't going his way. Right now, according to an impeachment tracker by FiveThirtyEight.com, a plurality of Americans (48.6 percent to 43.3 percent) support removing the president from office.

Trump has a history of seeking dramatic means to alter storylines.
Even Trump thinks impeachment is inevitable
Oct. 21, 201916:42

"The Republican leadership is watching this very closely and anything really can happen, and that does give him the ability to express himself and he has done that before," said Ron Bonjean, a former leadership aide in both the House and Senate who assisted the Trump White House with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearings. "Could it happen again? Absolutely. And especially when everything is so personal."

Beyond Trump's irritation at being impeached, many Republicans see the potential for a shutdown to flip the script on Democrats.

"The administration could use a spending showdown to put the focus back on the issues and the fact that Democrats don't want to pay for national security, border security or restrain wasteful spending," said one former senior administration official who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the president.

"The longer Democrats drag out this impeachment circus, the less likely Trump has any reason to cooperate with them on appropriations," the source added.

Yet Democrats contend such a move would backfire on Trump because the public would see it as an attempt to help himself at a cost to the country.

"If some Republicans want to shut down the government because the House is upholding our oath of office and holding President Trump accountable, they'll have to defend that to the American people," New York Rep. Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement.

On Capitol Hill, where the Senate is just taking up some of its versions of the annual appropriations bills — the dozen measures that fund the government — there is no realistic hope of the two chambers agreeing to all of them before the deadline.

A big part of the impasse has to do with the long-running fight between the White House and Congress over the president's efforts to fund a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, but the two chambers haven't even yet reached a deal on how much to money to allocate for each of the dozen spending bills.
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Those who want to avoid a government shutdown are looking to make progress on those bills while passing a measure called a "continuing resolution" that would keep the government operating beyond Nov. 21.

Count the House Democrats — who would face the politically risky prospect of moving forward with impeachment while the rest of the government sat still — in that camp.

"House Democrats refuse to play politics with a government shutdown, and we will pass necessary legislation to keep the federal government up and running," Lowey said.

Lawmakers keep working during shutdowns, and, as is the case with federal agencies, Congress can designate certain staff "essential" to do the same.

A senior Trump administration official said in an email that the president probably won't shut down the government, but stopped far short of closing off that option.

"The administration expects Congress to do its job to secure the border and pay our troops, but in the event that they are unable to pass full-year appropriations bills, the president is unlikely to oppose a clean temporary funding bill," the official, who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak about the issue, said in an e-mail.

Like Lowey, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Appropriations Committee, doesn't want to see a lapse in federal funding. And he doesn't think it would be a political boon for Trump.

"I've said for years, and I've said to the president, that to shut down the government helps no one, including the administration," he said.

As for whether he's worried that Trump would shut down the government out of frustration with the impeachment process, Shelby stopped short of predicting that the president would avoid that route.

"I would hope not," he said.
Jonathan Allen

Jonathan Allen is a Washington-based national political reporter for NBC News who focuses on the presidency.
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Re: 🤡 Will Trump shut down the government to fight impeachment?
« Reply #2181 on: October 23, 2019, 07:13:12 AM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/will-trump-shut-down-government-fight-impeachment-n1070106

Will Trump shut down the government to fight impeachment?
Analysis: Washington is bracing for the prospect that president may seek to let funding lapse in a bid to blame Democrats.

//
As for whether he's worried that Trump would shut down the government out of frustration with the impeachment process, Shelby stopped short of predicting that the president would avoid that route.

"I would hope not," he said.

Since we already know he will launch nukes to hold onto power and evade legal responsibility for his crimes, this is a forgone conclusion. Write it in ink.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

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🤡 Impeachment Just Became Inevitable
« Reply #2182 on: October 24, 2019, 12:16:06 AM »
But how LONG do we have to wait for this Kabuki to begin?  ???   :icon_scratch:

What's the Over-Under on the timeline?  Before New Year's or after?

RE

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/inevitability-impeachment/600559/

Impeachment Just Became Inevitable

The testimony of William Taylor confirmed that what seemed improbable just a few weeks ago is now all but certain.
Oct 23, 2019
David A. Graham


Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony to House investigators on Tuesday didn’t answer every question about the Ukraine scandal, but it answered the big one: Will President Donald Trump be impeached?

Impeachment is now effectively inevitable. Taylor’s testimony fleshed out the biggest open questions, including whether there was a quid pro quo with Ukraine (there was), what it involved (military aid), and what Trump wanted (investigations of the Biden family and the 2016 election.) Congress has now heard from career civil servants and from political appointees, all telling a similar story, and Taylor removed the last scintilla of doubt. With that, it’s all but impossible to imagine a scenario in which House Democrats don’t vote to impeach the president.

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The remaining questions are how much broader the scandal gets, how much worse the details become, and how many—if any—Republicans get on board with impeachment. All of these in turn bear on the ultimate question: whether the Senate might vote to remove Trump.

David A. Graham: The scandal has spiraled out of Trump’s control

Though Taylor’s account aligned closely with what was already known, he offered more damning detail than had been available in any previous publicly revealed testimony. Taylor, whom Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed as America’s top diplomat in Kiev earlier this year, offered an account of how the administration held up military aid while pressuring Ukraine’s president to mount investigations of a natural-gas company on whose board Vice President Joe Biden’s son sat, and of alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election.
More by David A. Graham

    William Taylor Delivers the Smoking Gun
    David A. Graham
    Nothing Changed on Impeachment, and Everything Changed
    David A. Graham
    Trump’s Journey From Double Down to Flip-Flop
    David A. Graham
    ‘Get Over It’
    David A. Graham

With that, Trump’s defenses have failed on every side. Though the president was reportedly adamant that the exchange not be called a quid pro quo, it doesn’t matter what it was labeled, since it apparently was, in fact, a quid pro quo. Nor does the excuse that Trump was simply trying to use American leverage to fight corruption stand up. The president was seeking to aid his own personal reelection prospects using American statecraft as leverage—a clear abuse of power. (It’s also still possible that the administration broke the law by trying to hold up the funds.) Nor can the president claim ignorance of the scheme, since multiple witnesses have attested to his personal involvement.

“The president used the machinery of government to advance his private interests instead of his own administration’s public policy,” Daniel Fried, a former State Department official in Republican and Democratic administrations, wrote in an email. “Taylor’s statement outlines in devastating detail that there was indeed a presidential-mandated ‘quid pro quo,’ that the substance of the U.S.-Ukrainian relationship was to be made conditional on the Ukrainians acting on behalf of the president’s partisan interests.”

With this information in hand, Democrats have little choice but to vote to impeach. They just have to decide, as my colleague Elaine Godfrey reports, when and on what specific issues.

Any impeachment of a president is an epochal event. Yet this realization is especially surprising because of how quickly it has come. As the drip of evidence has turned into a steady stream over the past two weeks, it’s easy to lose sight of how much the ground has shifted.

Less than one month ago, on September 24, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House was launching an “official impeachment inquiry.” At the time, that seemed like a potentially risky move. What led Pelosi to act was that a group of moderate Democratic representatives who had been reluctant to impeach announced that they supported an impeachment inquiry—not necessarily articles of impeachment, or a vote to impeach, but a simple inquiry.

A probe made sense, since the public, and Congress, knew very little about the matter in question. There was a whistle-blower complaint about the president’s behavior, and the White House had been refusing to release it, but the substance of the complaint was still mostly unknown. The White House had not yet released the transcript of a call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, had been relatively open about his muckraking in Ukraine, but the extent of his hijacking of U.S. foreign policy was unknown. More than half the country opposed impeachment (51.2 percent on average, per FiveThirtyEight), and less than 39 percent of the country backed it.

Since then there’s been a vast shift in both knowledge and opinion. It came slowly at first, and then snowballed. First, the White House released the partial transcript of the July 25 Zelensky call, apparently as a last-ditch effort to forestall the impeachment inquiry. Then came the whistle-blower complaint, packed with incriminating details—yet by the writer’s own acknowledgment, based entirely on second-hand knowledge (though the complaint’s substance was remarkably consistent with the call transcript).

Over the next few days, Trump flailed—threatening the investigators and promising to obstruct the investigation, even as he openly committed the same sin of which he had been accused. But it turned out Trump couldn’t hold the line, and a procession of current and former officials opted to testify to Congress, many under subpoena. Meanwhile, Trump was making it hard for his allies to defend him on other fronts too, from his green light for a Turkish invasion of Syria to his announcement that he would host the Group of Seven summit at his own Trump National Doral resort.

Amid the tumult, public opinion shifted quickly. Within five days of Pelosi’s announcement, support was in the black; it now sits at an even 50 percent in FiveThirtyEight’s average, with some polls showing higher support. Only 43.1 percent oppose impeachment.

David A. Graham: Trump never learns

Taylor’s testimony offers several leads for House investigators to pursue, and  interviews with other officials have already been scheduled or requested. But there’s no longer a question of whether the House has sufficient material to impeach. Given what they’ve found, Democrats probably couldn’t avoid a vote to impeach even if they wanted to—which some still might.

Republicans are in an even tighter vise. With a few exceptions, elected GOP officials have found it very hard to defend Trump’s behavior substantively. Instead, they have complained about the process, saying that Democrats are too secretive, or attacking Representative Adam Schiff, the most prominent Democrat leading the inquiry. A Daily Caller canvass found that only seven of the 53 Republican senators were willing to rule out voting to remove Trump from office.

That caginess might be wise. Neither side knows how much more worse the Ukraine story will get with more testimony, or whether evidence of Trump improperly pressuring other countries might emerge. As the past month demonstrates, a lot can change in a few short weeks. One month ago, it wasn’t clear there’d even be an impeachment inquiry. Today, impeachment itself is a near-certainty.
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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🤡 Impeachment Just Became Inevitable
« Reply #2183 on: October 24, 2019, 02:13:03 AM »
But how LONG do we have to wait for this Kabuki to begin?  ???   :icon_scratch:

What's the Over-Under on the timeline?  Before New Year's or after?

RE

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/inevitability-impeachment/600559/

Impeachment Just Became Inevitable

The real trial is in the court of American public opinion The Dems have floated that they want to begin to start with the public phase of investigations in November. If I were their strategist, I'd want to air the list of grievances publicly as loud as possible through mid November. Nobody will pay attention to much of anything during the holiday season. Making building the public case problematic. #MoscowMitch wants to get a trial done ASAP, the better for his caucus' re-election prospects. Meaning that Nancy et al have all the reason in the world to push any such trial into 2020, the better to pin the tail on the elephant.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

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Re: 🤡 Impeachment Just Became Inevitable
« Reply #2184 on: October 24, 2019, 03:59:45 AM »
But how LONG do we have to wait for this Kabuki to begin?  ???   :icon_scratch:

What's the Over-Under on the timeline?  Before New Year's or after?

RE

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/inevitability-impeachment/600559/

Impeachment Just Became Inevitable

The real trial is in the court of American public opinion The Dems have floated that they want to begin to start with the public phase of investigations in November. If I were their strategist, I'd want to air the list of grievances publicly as loud as possible through mid November. Nobody will pay attention to much of anything during the holiday season. Making building the public case problematic. #MoscowMitch wants to get a trial done ASAP, the better for his caucus' re-election prospects. Meaning that Nancy et al have all the reason in the world to push any such trial into 2020, the better to pin the tail on the elephant.


I tend to agree with that analysis.  In this sesnse, they should play along with El Trumpo's attempts to impede the process.  It serves them better than it does him.

RE
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Re: 🤡 Impeachment Just Became Inevitable
« Reply #2185 on: October 24, 2019, 04:17:21 AM »
But how LONG do we have to wait for this Kabuki to begin?  ???   :icon_scratch:

What's the Over-Under on the timeline?  Before New Year's or after?

RE

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/inevitability-impeachment/600559/

Impeachment Just Became Inevitable

The real trial is in the court of American public opinion The Dems have floated that they want to begin to start with the public phase of investigations in November. If I were their strategist, I'd want to air the list of grievances publicly as loud as possible through mid November. Nobody will pay attention to much of anything during the holiday season. Making building the public case problematic. #MoscowMitch wants to get a trial done ASAP, the better for his caucus' re-election prospects. Meaning that Nancy et al have all the reason in the world to push any such trial into 2020, the better to pin the tail on the elephant.


I tend to agree with that analysis.  In this sesnse, they should play along with El Trumpo's attempts to impede the process.  It serves them better than it does him.

RE

Yesterday's "Brook Brothers riot 2.0" has made Matt Gaetz and the Freedumb Kaukus look as stupid AF. They are getting killed in corpmedia. And none of them can look ahead to the day when "Trump" will be an epithet of scorn and disdain. Which is coming.

As I tell everyone I talk to a bout such things, "The stain of Trump will never wash off."

Maybe that's why they threw me out of Kroger's.

Look at the space that McConnell and John Thune are starting to open up between them and Trump. Better, more experienced pols with better internal polls.
“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

Offline Surly1

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Brooks Brothers Riot 2.0 Clown Parade
« Reply #2186 on: October 24, 2019, 04:54:29 AM »
13 Republicans involved in impeachment protest already have access to hearings



13 of the 41 Republican lawmakers who stormed a closed-door hearing Wednesday to protest an alleged lack of transparency in the impeachment inquiry sit on committees with the power to question witnesses and review documents.

The big picture: The inquiry is currently being led by the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees, which are comprised of 48 Republicans in total. House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) has asked the House Sergeant at Arms to "take action" against the members involved in Wednesday's protest, after lawmakers reportedly brought cellphones inside the classified room and forced the deposition to be delayed for five hours.

Worth noting: A full House vote authorizing an impeachment inquiry would likely allow Republicans to call their own witnesses, but any subpoenas they attempt to issue could be vetoed by Democrats.

Details: The Republican lawmakers who participated in the protest and sit on relevant committees include...

“The old world is dying, and the New World struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.”

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🤡 Trump’s Ukraine Clown Posse Sounds Like Shit
« Reply #2187 on: October 24, 2019, 08:23:10 PM »
https://www.thedailybeast.com/trumps-ukraine-clown-posse-sounds-like-shit

Trump’s Ukraine Clown Posse Sounds Like Shit


The morons in the House ‘led’ by Kevin McCarthy are storming the SCIF, but Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have had about enough of this noise.
Rick Wilson

Editor-at-Large
Published 10.24.19 8:06PM ET
opinion
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos Getty

Donald Trump is having the latest in a long run of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weeks, and the strain is showing on his poxed, jowly face and in his raging, undifferentiated anger at everyone but himself and everything but his own increasingly evident instability, incompetence, and desperation.

Trump’s rolling, self-created disasters over Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, impeachment, and everything else he encounters are hitting him where it counts.
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His approval numbers are scraping record lows and public polling shows support for both his impeachment and his removal from office ratcheting up. Republican arguments that Democratic freshman would face blowback if an impeachment inquiry were launched in the House were clearly mistaken. There’s no polling downside thus far, and the growing bulk of the public evidence argues that the people taking the damage from this will be Trump’s mouth-breathing cadre of dumbass defenders.

Trump’s simultaneously baroque and  idiotic bank-shot plan to disqualify Joe Biden in the 2020 election is backfiring, his Senate shield wall is cracking, and his crew in the House is reduced to staging dumb, desperate panty-raids into classified facilities to try and protect him. After a bump, Biden’s numbers seem to be moving up, and Trump may have given him two of the most valuable gifts in politics; the right opponent and an inoculation on an issue that might have otherwise haunted him.

In short, another great Infrastructure Week.

Of course, this isn’t stopping his fanboys, acolytes, and media lackeys from calling the fly-blown dung-heap of his political circumstances a glowing, golden pyramid of fecal excellence. It hasn’t stopped them from describing Trump’s harsh reversals of fortune as endless wins, defending the utterly indefensible, and ignoring the tidal wave of testimony, evidence, eyewitnesses, documents, and ongoing prosecutions wrapping the Ukraine Clown Posse (honestly, it’s so perfect I can’t stop using it) into a neat ball.

The gap between what’s happening to Trump in the real world and what happens inside the soft fantasy bubble of the Trump Matrix is vast and widening. It’s harder and harder to deny his peril. For a long time, Trump and his followers had a kind of fuck-you swagger, confident his Mighty Bullshit Wurlitzer would always overcome truth, decency, the law, and the rules of political physics. This week, they have abandoned that tone for one of screechy belligerence edged with Fuhrerbunker panic.

When Trump compared his current situation, involving a snowballing impeachment inquiry into crimes and abuses that he has admitted on the record to the heinous history of America lynching, it was tempting to read his language as his usual deliberate racial provocation, but underneath it was something weaker, more pathetic and desperate.

Donald Trump's own lawyers argued with straight faces before incredulous Second Circuit Court of Appeals judges this week that he could commit the proverbial murder on Fifth Avenue and that law enforcement would have absolutely no purview. It did not go over well.

Beyond the frenzied need to hide Trump’s tax returns, there is a definite edge of wishcasting to the arguments of ultimate executive protection from justice. You practically can hear the wheels turning in that umber noggin, “Maybe I should shoot someone on Fifth Avenue, just to own the libs” and the Trumpentariat sagely then intoning, “At last we have a president strong enough to ignore these so-called ‘laws’ invented by cucks and Deep State shills.”

Obviously, Trump will appeal whatever decision comes from the panel all the way to the Supreme Court, but black letter law is black letter law, and it's intriguing to think we could see his taxes rather sooner than later. Don’t be surprised if there's a fire at Mazar’s, Trump's longtime accounting firm.

In related post rule of law news, the House GOP engaged yesterday in the new brand of performative idiocy that increasingly defines The Party of Trump in the eyes of American voters. Matt Gaetz—because of course—led the Jerkoff Caucus in an invasion of the Secure Classified Information Facility (the famous “SCIF”) in a vain attempt to stem the flood tide of career federal employees who are dismantling Trump’s Ukraine defense.
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Charging into a room secured against electronic and signals intelligence efforts from foreign intelligence services, these useless idiots charged in with their cell phones streaming, tweeting busily in an attempt to gag testimony against Trump. They were playing to an audience of one in the White House and to Fox bookers. They then monetized their prank by dropping fundraising emails about it.

The purpose of Gaetz and his frat rats wasn’t to bring the facts to light, or to expose some nefarious behavior by the Democrats and Republicans on the three committees leading the impeachment inquiry, who were in the SCIF hearing the testimony of yet another fact witness in what is now absolutely established as a quid pro quo in Donald Trump's attempt to extort the Ukrainian government.  Their dumb stunt—“light treason,” as my friend Molly Jong-Fast calls it—wasn’t to pin down imaginary Deep State liars.

It was a pathetic distraction, the work of a few minutes to try to put a band-aid on the boo-boo of Donald Trump’s fragile, shaken ego and confidence, all while compromising national security and attempting to intimidate witnesses.

Sorry, boys (and they were almost all boys): It didn’t work, and no matter how many times you show your asses, it won’t work. The testimony is detailed, damning, and can't be spun away with a few tweets or another Hannity interview.

It won’t change that the serious people are giving serious testimony about the extraordinary damage that Trump’s use of cutouts, hirelings, minions, scumbags, and random Russian-mob connected hoodlums has done.

For the hapless Kevin McCarthy, his refusal to discipline his caucus makes him look both impotent and dumb. McCarthy's caucus is 42 seats down since 2017, and given that 16 members have already announced their retirements, the path to taking back control of the House is so steep that the NRCC and GOP leaders aren’t even bothering to make it to lobbyists and interest groups. By the time this is over, the caucus will likely be able to sit comfortably around a table at a Waffle House.

Maybe I'm one of those old-fashioned human scum conservatives, but I missed the part in the Constitution that said absolute fealty to the president is the primary role of our representatives in the House.

This idea that members serve their individual districts seems so quaint and old-fashioned now. This frat pack of Trumpian morons could give a damn about their voters. Their entire purpose in life is to serve and service Donald Trump. They are nothing, and mean nothing; just cannon fodder in defense of the indefensible president.

In the Senate, Mitt Romney is making trouble of the best kind, John Thune is signaling his unease, and Mitch McConnell refused to back Trump’s lie that he blessed the content of the infamous Zelensky call where the American tried to extort his Ukrainian counterpart. The polling and fundraising collapse in key GOP Senate races for 2020 has McConnell pondering the ultimate triage: saving the majority by sacrificing the President.

Even Trump has enough awareness to know that Mitch McConnell is more crafty and experienced than he will ever be about the ways of Washington, and has the power to break his Administration and his future.

The panic in the Republican Party is palpable, and delicious. Trump will grow more angry that the Senate isn’t immolating itself to support him. The House GOP and the Trump media apparatus will demand louder noises, more distractions, more Trumphadi tactics in support of a President who has already poisoned their future.

It’s going to be loud, and very, very ugly.
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GET IT?
Judge Napolitano Schools ‘Fox & Friends’ on Impeachment: Schiff Just ‘Following the Rules’ Written by GOP

Fox News’ judicial analyst disappointed his colleagues by explaining there’s nothing wrong with “secret” impeachment hearings.
Matt Wilstein

Senior Writer
Updated 10.24.19 7:29PM ET / Published 10.24.19 11:22AM ET
Fox News

After Republican members of the House literally stormed the gates of the impeachment hearings on Wednesday, Judge Andrew Napolitano stopped by Fox & Friends Thursday morning to deliver a harsh wake-up call: Democrats are just “following the rules”—rules written by Republicans.

“I read the House rules,” Napolitano said. “And as frustrating as it may be to have these hearings going on behind closed doors—the hearings over which Congressman Schiff is presiding—they are consistent with the rules.”

“They can make up any rules they want?!” Brian Kilmeade replied.

Speaking more slowly, Napolitano told him, “Well, they can’t change the rules, they follow the rules.” He went to explain that those rules were last written in January 2015 when Republicans held the majority and the Speaker of the House was John Boehner.

“The rules say that this level of inquiry, this initial level of inquiry, can be done in secret,” Napolitano said, effectively dismantling the primary talking point of both Fox News and the Trump White House. “Secret evidence doesn’t work in this world, so eventually there will be a public presentation of this,” he added, “at which lawyers for the president can cross-examine these people and challenge them.”

“So I get it, the Republicans are frustrated, they wanted to make a point and they made their point, but this is just not the most effective way to show respect for what your colleagues are doing,” Napolitano said.

As the Fox & Friends hosts continued to protest, he added, “I know this is going to sound weird, these are not the impeachment hearings. The impeachment hearings have to be held in public by the House Judiciary Committee. This is the initial interview of witnesses to see what they have to say, to determine whether or not they are even worthy of presenting evidence of impeachment.”

“And they’ll continue to go on and on and on until they find something on the president, right?” Ainsley Earhardt chimed in.

“Yes, that’s what police and prosecutors do,” Napolitano explained. “They come to a conclusion that the person is probably guilty and then they look for evidence to either support or negate that. That’s what Congressman Schiff is doing, and he’s following the rules—as frustrating as those rules are.”
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Offline RE

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Flank Attack from the Judiciary!  Now TWO of the "co-equal" branches of Goobermint are lined up against the Executive Branch!

RE

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/10/impeachment-inquiry-legitimate-ruling-republicans-trump

Impeachment
Federal Judge Upholds Impeachment Inquiry—and Destroys the GOP's Main Argument Against It

Judge Beryl A. Howell called the Trump administration's arguments against the investigation's validity “cherry-picked” and “fatally flawed.”
By Alison Durkee
October 25, 2019


Senator Lindsey Graham speaks during a news conference introducing a resolution against the impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 24, 2019.By Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have so far dealt with the impeachment inquiry being led by House Democrats in a familiar way: by attacking the legitimacy of the investigation itself and declaring it to be an unconstitutional sham process. “Your inquiry is constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process,” Counsel to the President Pat Cipollone wrote in a recent letter to Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats, which declared the Trump administration's refusal to cooperate with the (actually very constitutional) impeachment process. On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham led a group of Republican senators in a resolution condemning the impeachment process, which he believes is “illegitimate, is unconstitutional, and should be dismissed in the Senate without a trial.” But there's one major problem with their aggressive strategy: A federal judge has now legitimized the impeachment inquiry—and forcefully struck down Republicans' main argument against the probe.

In a ruling Friday that grants House Democrats the right to view grand jury testimony gathered by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller—itself a major victory as Democrats consider whether Trump obstructed justice—District Judge Beryl A. Howell officially declared that Democrats are conducting a legitimate impeachment inquiry. While Republicans have argued that the House probe is illegitimate because the full House did not vote on a resolution authorizing it, Howell ruled that no such resolution is needed for an impeachment inquiry to start. “Even in cases of presidential impeachment, a House resolution has never, in fact, been required to begin an impeachment inquiry,” Howell writes in her 75-page opinion, calling the Trump administration's arguments “fatally flawed.” “The precedential support cited for the ‘House resolution’ test is cherry-picked and incomplete, and more significantly, this test has no textual support in the U.S. Constitution, the governing rules of the House, or Rule (e), as interpreted in binding decisions,” Howell writes. (House Democrats have been conflicted on conducting a full vote authorizing impeachment but have so far held off, as it could harm vulnerable Democrats in swing districts.)

Howell, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, also undercuts other arguments the Trump administration put forth for why Democrats shouldn't get their hands on the grand jury material, such as their claim that Democrats hadn't yet exhausted their other options for obtaining the information they're seeking. Noting the Trump administration's very obvious history of stonewalling Democrats, Howell writes in her opinion that the administration's arguments “smack of farce.” “The reality is that DOJ and the White House have been openly stonewalling the House's efforts to get information by subpoena and by agreement, and the White House has flatly stated that the Administration will not cooperate with congressional requests for information,” the judge writes. Howell also takes issue with the Department of Justice's attempt to step on the authority of a co-equal branch of government and the powers that Article I of the U.S. Constitution grants them. “DOJ urges this Court to second-guess a co-equal branch of government and find that the steps taken by the House fall short of showing a primary purpose of undertaking an impeachment inquiry,” Howell writes. “In so doing, DOJ again invites an impermissible intrusion on the House's constitutional authority under the Rulemaking and Impeachment Clauses.”

The ruling and its validation of the impeachment process comes as Republicans have upped their tactics to very publicly oppose the impeachment inquiry, from Graham's Senate resolution to the recent attempt by House Republicans to storm the secure room where closed-door impeachment hearings are being held, rules and national security be damned. Howell's ruling and its clear rebuke of one of their biggest arguments clearly gives Republicans even less of a leg to stand on in their opposition to the constitutional process, and how they'll choose to move forward remains to be seen. But gaining official legitimacy in the eyes of the courts is sure to be a big boon for Democrats as they continue to subpoena materials and witnesses in their impeachment investigation—and now do so with key Mueller evidence in hand. “The court's thoughtful ruling recognizes that our impeachment inquiry fully comports with the Constitution and thoroughly rejects the spurious White House claims to the contrary,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in a statement Friday. “This grand jury information that the Administration has tried to block the House from seeing will be critical to our work.”
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Offline RE

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🤡 Donald Trump Has a Big Problem in the Senate
« Reply #2189 on: October 26, 2019, 03:25:02 AM »
If there are 7 out-of-the-closet defectors, there are twice as many in the closet.

RE

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/donald-trump-has-senate-problem/600724/

Donald Trump Has a Big Problem in the Senate

A resolution meant to be a show of solidarity by Republicans with the president has instead become a sign of weakness.
Oct 25, 2019
David A. Graham
Staff writer at The Atlantic


Andrew Harnik / AP

As the White House struggles to build an anti-impeachment strategy, President Donald Trump turned this week to Lindsey Graham, his staunchest ally in the Senate, to try to stiffen Republican spines in that chamber. It’s not going the way the president must have hoped.

On Thursday, Graham announced that he’d put forward a resolution condemning the House impeachment inquiry. By mid-afternoon, when he actually announced it, the resolution had been watered down to a plea for a different and more transparent process, apparently a sop to GOP senators unwilling to go quite that far. And yet by Friday morning, only 44 of 53 Republicans in the Senate had signed on to the resolution. A gesture meant to be a show of solidarity by senators has instead become a sign of the weakness of the president’s position.

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The Senate was supposed to be Trump’s firewall in the Ukraine scandal, and there’s still not any reason to believe that there would be 67 senators willing to vote to remove the president. But with impeachment in the House an all-but-foregone conclusion, as I wrote earlier this week, the administration is turning its focus to the Senate, and it’s proving to be less of a redoubt than Trump wanted.
More by David A. Graham

    Why Republicans Are Complaining About the Impeachment Process
    David A. Graham
    The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet
    David A. Graham
    Donald Trump
    Impeachment Just Became Inevitable
    David A. Graham
    William Taylor Delivers the Smoking Gun
    David A. Graham

The New York Times reports:

    After another private meeting Monday night with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, Mr. Trump began complaining privately that he did not think Senate Republicans were doing enough to have his back. For days, some allies of the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., had agitated on Twitter for Mr. Graham to do more to try to counteract Democrats in the House.

One line of pressure has been for Graham, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, to call witnesses in that chamber as a sort of counterprogramming, though on Thursday he said that made no sense to him.

David A. Graham: Nothing and everything changed on impeachment

But Graham is not the problem; he’s signaled a willingness to stand by Trump through thick, thin, and horrific lynching analogies. The White House’s challenge is other senators. Some Republicans have been notably open to an impeachment inquiry, but most have been conspicuously quiet. Some use the time-honored excuse that they’d serve as jurors in a trial and therefore ought not to weigh in; many more are simply dodging questions. What they’re mostly not doing is mounting substantive defenses of the president’s behavior. A Daily Caller canvass found only seven of the 53 Republicans were willing to rule out voting to remove Trump.

Republican senators have always been less tractable for Trump than representatives, though the GOP controls the Senate but not the House. The president has many rah-rah fans in the House, and House members are also more vulnerable to pressure from Trump-loving constituents if they get out of line with the White House. (Francis Rooney of Florida, the most outspoken Trump critic on the Ukraine matter in recent weeks, has announced he’s retiring.) Senators are more insulated from immediate political pressure, more rooted in Washington and the party structure, and less fond of the president.

Nonetheless, it would take a major change in the evidence against Trump, or a vast shift in polling, for enough Republican senators to support conviction that the president would be in serious danger of removal in a Senate trial. Yet it’s clear that Trump does care a great deal about senators’ positions. The impetus for his hasty cancellation of plans to host the Group of Seven summit at this resort in Doral, Florida, was apparently the anger it provoked among Republican senators. In the past, Trump has been content to weather their displeasure, but this time he folded.

David A. Graham: ‘Get over it’ is the Trump Doctrine

Perhaps Trump believes that a unified GOP Senate response will persuade Democrats not to vote to impeach; I am skeptical that will work. Or perhaps Trump worries about the political damage if a majority of the Senate voted to convict, even if it didn’t lead to removal. It would take only four GOP defections to reach a majority for conviction in the Senate.

There’s little precedent that can help forecast what the political fallout might be. A majority of senators voted to convict President Andrew Johnson, but they fell one vote short of removal; Johnson’s presidency never recovered. More recently, the Senate voted 45–50 and 50–50 to acquit President Bill Clinton, without a majority for conviction in either case. Even so, that result was arguably ruinous for his Democratic Party in the 2000 election. It would be a powerful talking point if Democrats headed into the 2020 campaign season with a vote for conviction in the Senate that had garnered a majority with Republican support, even without removal, so Trump’s worry is rational.

Graham may eventually be able to cajole the rest of the Republican caucus into signing on to his resolution condemning the House process. The final vote isn’t the point, though. Graham’s resolution was intended to send a message about Senate support for Trump—and it already has.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.
David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers U.S. politics and global news.
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