History’s Rhyme, Part 4: Contempt Then, Contempt Now

[NB: Check the byline, thanks! /~Rayne]

I’ve previously looked at example Articles of Impeachment against Trump in this series of posts:

History’s Rhyme: Nixon’s Articles of Impeachment — focus on Obstruction of Justice

History’s Rhyme, Part 2a: ‘Abuse of Power’ Sounds So Familiar — Abuse of Power (may include Public Corruption)

History’s Rhyme, Part 3: How Nixon’s Impeachment Unfolded — Watergate and Nixon’s near-impeachment timeline

I still plan to return to do Part 2b to address more abuses of power in the near future. He’s racking them up faster than I can record and draft the rest of Article 2.

I’m still working on Article 4 and more related to violations of treaties and foreign policy failures, as well as human rights violations.

Let me note at this point the curious coincidence that The New York Times’ editor has published an article today with spiffy graphics comparing Nixon and Clinton Articles of Impeachment to articles Trump might face. What a topic; what amazing timing, six weeks after I began this series…

~ ~ ~

As noted before, the 93rd Congress’ House Judiciary Committee drafted five Articles of Impeachment against Richard M. Nixon in 1974. Only three of the five were passed by the committee; the first two were related to Obstruction of Justice and Abuses of Power. The misuse of government resources to spy on individuals and political opponents combined with Nixon’s efforts to thwart subsequent investigations into these abuses were impeachable on their own.

Nixon, however, doubled down and tried to withhold materials responsive to the Senate Watergate Committee’s, the special prosecutor’s, or the House investigation into the abuses of power which were revealed by the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate break-in.

How very familiar this feels, given how utterly uncooperative Trump and his administration have been in response to House Committee requests and subpoenas.

In July 1973 the Senate Watergate Committee and special prosecutor Archibald Cox both requested tapes recorded in the Oval Office; Nixon refused to comply.

On October 19, Nixon instead offered a compromise: Senator John C. Stennis would listen to the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office. Stennis had a hearing disability making this compromise untenable; Cox refused the offer.

Nixon ordered the Attorney General Eliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. They chose to resign instead. Next at bat was the Solicitor General Robert Bork who fired Cox on October 20, 1973. The resignations and Cox’s firing became known as the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

Cox’s successor Leon Jaworski subpoenaed the tapes on April 16, 1974. The White House offered only partial compliance by offering edited transcripts of the tapes on April 30.

Jaworski and the House Judiciary Committee insisted unedited actual tapes must be released in full; a deadline of May 31 was set for compliance.

Nixon’s special counsel James D. St. Clair went before Judge John Sirica of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to quash the subpoena. Nixon’s motion was denied. Sirica ordered Nixon to turn over the tapes by May 31, 1974.

Special prosecutor Jaworski and Nixon appealed directly to the Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon. The court began to hear arguments on July 8.

The court delivered a unanimous decision on July 24, affirming the D.C. District Court’s order that subpoenaed materials be transmitted to that court.

Three days after the legal battle over the tapes ends, the House Judiciary Committee drafted and began to pass three of five Articles of Impeachment.

Sixteen days after the United States v. Nixon decision, Nixon resigned rather than face a trial before the Senate.

~ ~ ~

The third Article of Impeachment against Nixon was the simplest of the three the House Judiciary Committee passed. In essence it said Nixon had

…  failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce papers and things as directed by duly authorized subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives on April 11, 1974, May 15, 1974, May 30, 1974, and June 24, 1974, and willfully disobeyed such subpoenas. …

This itemization was sandwiched an opening and a closing statement in total, Article 3 was a whopping 281 words long. Short and sweet, it only addressed contempt of Congress and not Nixon’s failure to comply with the special prosecutor’s requests or the Senate Watergate Committee’s requests.

Now compare that to a theoretical Article 3 against Trump:

Article 3 – Contempt of Congress

In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, contrary to his oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has failed without lawful cause or excuse to produce testimony, papers and things as directed by duly authorized requests and subpoenas issued by the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.

On the matter of Security Clearance:

The House Oversight Committee, while investigating the White House and Transition Team disregard for established procedures for safeguarding classified information, requested voluntary testimony from U.S. Defense Department’s Carl Kline on four occasions – January 23, 2019, February 11, 2019, March 1, 2019, and March 18, 2019. Mr. Kline failed to respond to these requests, and the White House refused to make him available. After testimony from whistleblower Tricia Newbold on April 1, 2019, the Committee received last-minute letters from Mr. Kline’s lawyer and the White House saying he would voluntarily comply. However, they made clear that he would not answer questions about specific officials, specific security violations, or specific security clearance adjudications, but instead would speak only about general policies and procedures.

On the matter of 2020 Census:

During the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into the Trump Administration’s secret efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, Secretary Ross and other Department of Commerce (DOC) officials asserted multiple times before House Oversight Committee (May 8, 2018), House Committee on Appropriations (March 20, 2018), the House Committee on Ways and Means (March 22, 2018), the Senate Committee on Appropriations (May 10, 2018) that the decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census arose from a request from the Department of Justice in December 2017. Internal documents dated March 10, 2017; April 5, 2017; May 2, 2017; July 21, 2017; August 9, 2017; and September 16, 2017 made public show that Secretary Ross took steps to add the citizenship question to the 2020 Census months before the DOJ’s request. The House Oversight Committee identified priority documents, extended deadlines, and offered to review certain documents in camera. The White House continued to avoid compliance with requests for information necessary to determine the real reason Secretary Ross added the citizenship question, obliging the Committee to subpoena Secretary Ross for testimony and documents.

On the matter of Potential Foreign influence on the U.S. Political Process:

As part of their oversight authority and their subsequent investigation into allegations that Russia and other foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election, both House Committees on Intelligence and on Ways and Means have sought Donald J. Trump’s financial records to determine whether U.S. financial system was used for illicit purposes including unlawful influence through foreign banks operating in the U.S. with longtime relationships with Trump and past ties to Russian money laundering. Subpoenas were served on Deutsche Bank and Capital One for records related to their business transactions with the Trump family and Trump Organization. On April 30, 2019, the Trump family and Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against these financial institutions to prevent them from complying with the Congressional subpoena, thereby obstructing the Committees’ investigation. The D.C. District Court ruled on May 22, 2019 against the Trump family and Trump Organization but they have since filed an appeal.

On the matter of the Special Counsel’s Investigation:

The House Judiciary Committee, while investigating the Trump administration for possible obstruction of the Special Counsel’s investigation into foreign interference with the 2016 election, has subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear before the committee to discuss Donald J. Trump’s attempt to remove Special Counsel Rober Mueller and possible subornation of perjury. Special Counsel had previously interviewed Mr. McGahn while Mr. McGahn was still employed as White House counsel. Mr. McGahn no longer works for the White House and was subpoenaed after his employment ended. Donald J. Trump has since said he does not want his aides to testify before Congress. He also said, “We’re fighting all the subpoenas.” Attempts to obstruct justice and suborn perjury are not reasons for compelling confidentiality.

— TO BE CONTINUED — ]

Donald J. Trump has willfully disobeyed, or directed, or authorized disobedience by executive branch officials of such requests and subpoenas. The requested and subpoenaed testimony, papers, and things were deemed necessary by the Committee in order to resolve by direct evidence fundamental, factual questions relating to Presidential acts, direction, knowledge or approval of actions demonstrated by other evidence to be substantial grounds for impeachment of the President.

In refusing to produce these testimony, papers, and things Donald J. Trump, substituting his judgment as to what materials were necessary for the inquiry, interposed the Article II powers of the Presidency against the lawful subpoenas of the House of Representatives, thereby assuming to himself functions and judgments necessary to the exercise of the sole power of impeachment vested by Article I of the Constitution in the House of Representatives.

In all of this, Donald J. Trump has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice, and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

Wherefore, Donald J. Trump, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from office.

Take careful note: this theoretical article of impeachment is not complete, both because I haven’t fully documented every occasion when Trump and his administration have failed to comply with Congress’s requests and subpoenas, and because noncompliance is ongoing. The itemization of acts of contempt of Congress could be at least twice as long.

What else should be added which would qualify as contempt of Congress by the Trump administration?

~ ~ ~

Now here’s where it gets sticky, before I even look at another theoretical Article of Impeachment as I intend to do. We are at the point right now in the timeline that the Senate Watergate Committee, Special Prosecutors Cox and Jaworski, and the House Judiciary Committee were at in between October 1973 and May 1974, before the House began an impeachment inquiry. Trump and his administration have already ignored or rejected requests for testimony, papers, and things issued by both the Special Counsel’s Office and by Congress.

What Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not do was fight all the way to the Supreme Court to revisit United States v. Nixon.

At this point I want to make very clear what follows is my personal speculation, along with a reminder that I am not a lawyer.

I believe Mueller did not want to take the demand for Trump’s testimony and other papers and things all the way to the Supreme Court because the court’s current composition and its decisions have not instilled confidence in its ability to recognize the United States v. Nixon decision as settled, let alone trust the court will recognize Congress’s Article I powers of oversight and its co-equal status.

I believe Mueller recognized that Trump has no respect for the law or norms; it would be a horrible sacrifice to disturb the court’s decision in United States v. Nixon only to have Trump refuse to recognize the authority of any decision the court made against him.

I believe Mueller may have made an impeachment referral for exactly this reason — the solution isn’t to take this matter to the Supreme Court which is what Trump wants, before a bench which was skewed in 2016 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow former President Obama his nominated choice, Merrick Garland.

The solution is for the House to impeach Trump based on his ample failings to date as president.

Further, I believe it is up to the public to demand the Senate do its duty to try, convict, and remove Trump from office before he does any more damage to the nation including undermining Congress’s Article I powers. As long as Trump remains in office he poses a threat to the Constitutionally-described three co-equal branches of government which have served this nation since ratification of the Constitution 230 years ago.

Some will say that we can remove Trump ourselves as voters at the polls in 2020. Should we really wait that long when we have already made a choice at the polls to elect representatives who are enabled by the Constitution to rectify gross failings of civil officers who have committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors?

~ ~ ~

A republic, if you can keep it,” Ben Franklin explained when asked what form our government would take upon leaving the Constitution Convention.

What will you do to keep it? I’m looking at you, all 538 members of Congress elected to represent us, who swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.

I’m looking at you, the people referred to in the Constitution’s Preamble; will you call your representative and two senators and insist on impeachment and removal?

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120 replies
    • J R in WV says:

      Rayne:

      A great article bringing together several threads of this cluster tangle of yarn, thank you for pulling these comparisons together.

      I haven’t yet read all of the comments, but since the typo yet remains, I’m posting this comment. I believe that in the sentence fragment I’ve copied just below you have omitted a verb needed for the rest of the sentence to be correct — I have added a suggested verb in square brackets into the copied sentence fragment.

      As part of their oversight authority and their subsequent investigation into allegations that Russia and other foreign entities [ sought ] to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election…

      Hope this helps cleaning up a complicated piece!

      Keep up the good work, everyone at Emptywheel~!!~

  1. Eureka says:

    Wow, I am completely exhausted reading all of the non-exhaustive (i.e., ongoing) contempt. Also, fuck the NYT; I’m not clicking over to verify that they have not credited you and your comprehensive work.

    Related to your speculative point, but almost like an obverse, I had wondered early on if the House strategy in _not_ going for the formal impeachment inquiry was in fact to get mundane questions of congressional oversight authority before the courts sooner rather than later. (This was awhile back; I don’t think my reasoning for their reasoning obtains any longer.)

    If I can think of anything later, I’ll pipe up.

    PS: add a condiment to your sandwich*

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Eureka, I clicked the link and I’m glad that I did. I’ll have to get to it much later today, but someone at the NYT is doing one hell of a lot of work to get their animations working, and smoothly. It is a very impressive technical achievement. It really helps readers get more clear, and less muddled.

      • errant aesthete says:

        I’m in complete agreement on the technical achievement of the animation done by the NYT. That is not meant to minimize the masterful effort Rayne contributed. In fact, the two pieces are not only complementary but the “curious coincidence” she notes of the timing, is uncannily remarkable.

        The eye-catching animation techniques employed in showcasing impeachment historically with the present findings of Mueller’s report is first rate. It is precisely this kind of eye-catching choreography that will enhance the understanding of the ill-informed citizenry on just how grave and serious these findings are.

        The Times best described the approach they took:

        “What might impeachment articles against Mr. Trump look like? To find out, we reviewed the articles of impeachment drawn up against Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Then we edited them — by removing and adding passages — to match the president’s conduct as described in the Mueller report and elsewhere.

        Impeachment is often said to be a political process. But when you assess Mr. Trump’s conduct by the bar for impeachment set by past Democratic and Republican lawmakers for past presidents of both parties, the results are striking. The pathway to a possible Trump impeachment is already mapped out in these historical documents.”

        https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/05/opinion/impeachment-trump-democrats-nixon-clinton.html

        • Rayne says:

          You know what also pisses me off about the NYT’s piece? The very reason I didn’t use Clinton’s impeachment articles. NYT took a forced both-side-ism approach treating Ken Starr’s work as equally legitimate to the investigative work of the Senate Watergate Committee, the special prosecutors, and the House Judiciary in 1973-74.

          For Christ’s sake they blew an enormous amount resources comparing Nixon’s obstruction/abuses/contempt with lying about a goddamned extramarital blowjob between consenting adults.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            I heartily concur with errant —

            But you are writing for a generally more partisan audience than the NYT. If they are going to be ‘the paper of record’, then it seems that they actually needed to include Clinton.

            • Rayne says:

              Fuck the “paper of record” bullshit. That’s the reason they covered Clinton’s emails ad nauseam during 2016 because gods forbid they didn’t both-sides the candidate who DOJ didn’t find in the wrong, just sloppy, and the most corrupt bottom-feeding gold-plated shithead.

              That “paper of record” concept is unethical as hell and quite possibly gamed when it forces these false equivalencies.

              • errant aesthete says:

                All solid points, though as ROTL states, we need to be going for the ‘broad’ in broadcast. Thankfully, the Times saw fit to side with democracy in bringing the Mueller report to life and undertook the effort on their dime and their resources.

                It does the job it was intended to do.

                As for the “paper of record” concept being as “unethical as hell,” you won’t get any argument from me there.

                • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                  LOL. Rayne does have a way with words.
                  My point was partly that it would take some pretty deep pockets and business savvy to get that kind of project up at the NYT. Yes, there are individuals who could do it, but they’d never have the reach.

                  It’s good to see the NYT developing new muscles and honestly going for comprehension, even if they use some sizzle to do it 🤓

              • Jockobadger says:

                Hear hear! Fuck the “paper of record” is right. All the admittedly cool graphical gimcrackery in the world aside, the NYT is preaching to the choir. Their readership is already almost entirely blue – with maybe a bit of purple scattered in there. It’s clickbait in the same way their recent UFO articles have been – widely viewed but by true believers.

                Keep at it Rayne! And Marcy and bmaz too. Btw, it appears the youtube vid has removed…

                • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                  jockobadger, I think that I got too off topic and am kicked off earlier thread (serves me right!).

                  seattle environs = affirmative

          • Savage Librarian says:

            Yeah, Rayne, I’m with you 100% about Clinton. Definitely wrong comparison!

  2. K-spin says:

    I am really hoping that Nancy is playing a long game – giving the WH enough rope to hang itself, as the obstructions stack up, before coming out and saying “you know I didn’t want this, but now I’ve got no choice”.
    Don’t get me wrong – I think the standard for impeachment has been well and truly met, and that each member of Congress has a moral obligation to fully investigate – and make transparent to the public – the many actions of a president who clearly believes himself to be above the laws he has sworn to uphold.
    That’s just my opinion though – would be interested to hear from others re: whether Nancy actually doesn’t want to impeach Full Stop, or whether she does, but is playing out a longer term strategy.

    • Rayne says:

      The other impression I have from reading the SCO report Volume 2, pages 1-2 spelling out the reasons why Special Counsel didn’t make a determination was that they prepared for future criminal indictments and a fair trial after POTUS was out of office.

      If Pelosi was saying yesterday she wants him in prison(1), she’s on that same page. I wonder whether some resistance to impeachment on the part of centrist Democrats is that they want criminal charges and see these on top of impeachment as not having adequate support.

      (1) Watch sourcing on this. Right-wing outlets are running around trying to fire up their base on this and I only see the center-right taking up this story.

      • Hops says:

        Ford pardoned Nixon on the basis that prosecuting a former president, still with like 25% approval, would tear the country apart. Jailing Trump would be even worse, given half his supporters are a basket of armed deplorables. Maybe impeach, pardon, and he lives in shame.

        • Rayne says:

          I don’t think we can compare Nixon’s and Trump’s criminality. These theoretical articles make it clear that something is extremely rotten, and not pursuing a criminal case against him may actually let the other threats off the hook.

          IOW, Nixon and the Republican Party were the problem in 1974, and even they touched Cuba and Asia as objectives. In Trump’s case the U.S. is the objective and the problems are much bigger than Trump and the GOP alone — it’s the entire fossil fuel sector, from Russia+Saudi Arabia+UAE to Kochs+Mercers, attacking the U.S. through Trump and the GOP. Letting Trump off with impeachment only doesn’t slam the door in attackers’ faces; the public would fail to grasp the existential threat posed by entities who do not want us to give up fossil fuel and our money and planet for it.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            I’m in your ‘amen corner’.
            Also, reminder to all of us, IIRC Watergate was never, ever a counterintelligence operation. (Obviously, I’m open to correction, but I think it was a domestic operation originally believed to be a break-in.)

            Trump-Russia is counterintelligence. Always has been.
            Let THAT sink in.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          That’s a hotly debated topic. Ford claimed that he acted “to put all this behind us,” in the aftermath of the Vietnam war and the Watergate saga. He was looking forward, not back.

          Ford preemptively pardoned Nixon to hide his crimes and to protect the electoral solvency of the Republican Party. The GOP vigorously leaped to Nixon’s defense until the S.Ct. decided the tapes must come out. Then it folded on Nixon and moved on.

          Ford, too, was a reliable vote – and communications channel for the Johnson White House – for ensuring that the Warren Commission inquiry went nowhere beyond Oswald so as “to heal our wounds”.

          An impeachment inquiry is necessary to establish facts that the Mueller report ignored because they were beyond its scope. They are needed to document Trump’s wrongs and to help frame reform legislation.

          Impeachment leading to a trial in the Senate would go nowhere unless the Dems control the Senate. In that case, the White House would probably fall to the Dems, making moot his removal from office.

          A Democratic pardon would be self-defeating. It would harm the country as much or more than any public prosecution of his crimes. It would make Trump a winner – exactly what the Democratics should not do. The GOP would learn that their next president needed to be more Trump than Trump. That would not end well for anyone.

          • Hops says:

            Does it “go nowhere in the Senate” or does it go as far as a vote on removal?

            There would be some interesting testimony between start of trial and a vote.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            McConnell is a master at Senate procedure. He would be obligated “to act” on an impeachment delivered to him, but how and over what timetable he does that is at his discretion.

            He would ensure that no meaningful prosecution took place, that propaganda galore buried any that did take place, and that a hurried vote produced a not guilty verdict in time to place it before the electorate.

            Unless a dozen more Senators see Trump the way progressive Dems do, a more productive outcome is unlikely. To me, that process would be wasted effort.

            Pelosi should make her case about Trump’s crimes and leave the matter with the House, which she controls, fully explaining why the McConnell who deprived Merrick Garland of a Senate vote would not hesitate to deprive the Senate of a meaningful trial on the impeachment-indictment of Donald Trump, a president he and Lil’ Lindsey have so faithfully served.

        • Americana says:

          Nancy Pelosi’s caution in impeaching Trump is only because of the status quo in the Senate. Pelosi is watching the scales of justice sway under Trump’s criminality and trying to assess when Trump has outraged the Senate’s Republicans enough to guarantee a successful impeachment vote. I was shocked and disgusted at Romney’s refusal to acknowledge Special Counsel Mueller was referring Trump to Congress for impeachment because Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice and sundry related high crimes. For Romney to pretend he doesn’t see the crimes that Rep. Justin Amash sees is ludicrous. I’m beginning to think we need to package all the significant exposés on Trump and mail/email them to all Senate Republicans.

          I’m afraid I disagree w/allowing Trump’s criminality to stand just because his backers are armed and dangerous. That will only embolden their demands from here on out if Trump is not demonstrated to be a criminal and to have been removed for cause. What would Trump’s second term be like if such threats of armed insurrection were allowed to quell justifiable legal challenges to Trump’s actions? I agree w/Rayne. There are a great many aspects to Trump’s collusion w/various entities that need to be severed in order to return this country to a better path.

          • bmaz says:

            This is fucking garbage. Agree with an impeachment inquiry or don’t. It is a yes or no.

            • Americana says:

              You couldn’t differentiate between my understanding where Pelosi stands and where I stand on impeachment? That’s pure garbage thinking on your part. What do you think the following sentences indicate as to my belief where things stand?

              >>> I’m afraid I disagree w/allowing Trump’s criminality to stand just because his backers are armed and dangerous. That will only embolden their demands from here on out if Trump is not demonstrated to be a criminal and to have been removed for cause.

              • P J Evans says:

                Maybe if you could write what you mean, instead of two long paragraphs that are hard to follow to wherever you’re going with them.

                • Americana says:

                  My writing is comprehensible. What nitpicking! I don’t sit around crafting sentences of three words unless that feels like the sentence of choice for that day. If you don’t have an easy or enjoyable time reading my posts then just skip them.

              • bmaz says:

                Oh, I can differentiate just fine. Thanks, don’t worry about the ability of the proprietors here to understand things. I think you are propounding garbage. That is all.

                • Americana says:

                  I think you’re trying too hard to discredit me… If the proprietors think I’m propounding garbage then why is it after I mentioned I believed Roger Stone is the linchpin for the structural choice of the Russian-WikiLeaks interface w/the Trump campaign that’s the thrust of the very next article?

                    • Americana says:

                      Hey, babe, I didn’t mean to suggest I “was driving content,” merely that I have a good ability to read tea leaves and I seem to be serving myself from the same tea pot EW is. You’ve got to admit that was a pretty freakish coincidence for Marcy Wheeler to use the very turn of phrase I did in my earlier post from several days ago when I was addressing Roger Stone’s role in Trump’s campaign. So what if she spelled lynchpin that way and I spelled it linchpin?

                    • Eureka says:

                      Oh, but it was addressed to “Americana.” So he should sweat it.

                      *fans self* at such a faux pas possibly arising from a lack of direct reply spot, which a new marauder may not recognize.

                      Let’s do it over:

                      Bless your heart, “Americana” *fans, fans*

                      Pity I am just about out of sweet tea.

                    • Americana says:

                      Why, bless your hearts as well! It’s such a grand old sign of congeniality…

                      Lordy, Eureka! You just hit the right spot! I love the disabling of the reply. It’s such a quaint, old-fashioned touch.

    • pjb says:

      Isn’t that what everyone is wondering? From what I see, Pelosi seems too smart and cagey to reveal in public that she is playing any kind of timing game versus opposed to impeachment, full stop. My best guess is that she wants her cake and to eat it too: she wants to launch a public education campaign in the House about all of Trump’s impeachable offenses but wants to avoid a trial in the current Senate. If that is the case (and I’m not endorsing this strategy – having read the Report, it is obvious impeachment hearings are a moral and constitutional imperative today), she would be wise to lengthen the House public investigative period so that it culminates near election day without voting out articles, denying Trump an opportunity to trumpet his “exoneration” in the Republican controlled Senate. Part of that strategy could be to forestall the use of the I word for a few more months, which would certainly look to many like the Democratic leadership was dragged kicking and screaming to an impeachment inquiry.

      In any case, I take these leaks about Nadler pushing for opening impeachment hearings and Pelosi resisting with a serious grain of salt. It seems like kabuki theatre. I assume nothing is exactly as it seems in the papers.

      • P J Evans says:

        I agree that she needs to get the investigative hearings going now – they’re what will move public opinion, if the media will cover them well.

      • BobCon says:

        If Pelosi is trying to expand the process, then holding off the start of the impeachment inquiry is the wrong way to do it.

        The reality is that any official vote will kick off a firestorm. If she wants to manage the aftermath, she needs to get that piece of it out of the way as soon as possible to lessen the pressure of the time in the followup period.

        Delaying this into this coming fall will mean compressing options in the runup to the election. An inquiry is not a nimble process, and the Democrats will need as much flexibility as possible as it is going on to modify course and follow new leads.

        I think the most likely assumption is she is either trying to short circuit impeachment, or she is hoping to doing a Gingrich-style quick and dirty attack and dump it all in McConnell’s lap.

        I think either one is a mistake. Both assume that nothing new will emerge on Trump between now and Fall 2020. That goes against what we should expect from Trump. There is at least a 50-50 chance that more dirt will emerge, and having the inquiry unstarted, or pressed for time, will leave it unable to deal with it.

        I fail to see why she would want to relive the mess that Gingrich launched in the late 90s. The GOP only went with the rush to a vote because they lacked any substantial case. The case against Trump is powerful, and hobbling the inquiry process by delaying its start only hurts the public case.

        I fear that Pelosi thinks she can’t control the process, and as a result wants to take it off the table. But doing nothing doesn’t mean more control, it means less control.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It seems possible that she might want to dump it into McConnell’s lap, if at all, nearer the 2020 election.

          In politics and for the country, that’s a helluva long time. Too much can happen beforehand, which she might be hoping for. It’s not as if Trump will just wait for it to happen: he’s obsessing about it and doing what he can to preempt it or up the cost of doing it.

          Electorally, waiting that long would allow the Trumpies to occupy the news cycles and swamp the Democrats’ messaging.

          • BobCon says:

            I agree that waiting allows the GOP to swamp the air waves, and starting an impeachment inquiry later in the wake of some ginned up controversy only makes Pelosi look reactive, not strong. There is no better time than now, except for the past, and that’s no longer an option.

            And dumping it in McConnell’s lap in the fall of 2020 following a rushed and cursory process looks like a cheap political stunt, rather than a well thought out measure. She needs to build the case over time. Time is a critical resource, and Pelosi will be wishing she had more of it when the GOP attacks and when more impeachable conduct emerges.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Exactly. Doing anything like that would make the Dems look as politically opportunistic as Trump. It would lead to “a pox on both your houses” attitude among the electorate.

              Not doing anything would make the Democrats look hapless, feckless, and like no alternative at all to the GOP. Cap that with a Bidenesque nominee for president and snap, the Democrats would have pulled defeat out of the jaws of success.

              That’s because too many voters would stay home. They would bury their heads in the sand, obsess about local only issues, or turn to a demagogue to salve their wounds. It would be hard intentionally to craft a worse outcome.

            • RWood says:

              Waiting gains us nothing.

              People seem to be under the impression that congress is a 9-5 Mon-Fri job, when the truth is they are in session for only 138 days a year. They are not scheduled in August at all.

              Trumps crimes are so numerous they could meet every day from now until Nov 2020 and still not cover everything.

              Pelosi is doing nothing but wasting good investigation/TV time.

          • pjb says:

            I guess I am positing that Pelosi doesn’t want to “deposit it” (being clean for the kids here) in McConnell’s lap at all. She wants to have it all wrapped up in a tidy bow but without a stamp. Or else, dumped on the Senate without time to hold a trial before election.

            For the reasons Professor Tribe laid out, Pelosi’s formulation that she’d rather Trump be criminally convicted than impeached is a false dichotomy. Failure to impeach renders criminal conviction far less likely it seems to me, either because she is putting all her eggs in the “Trump loses election” basket or by failing to consider that if he loses, he trades resignation before inauguration for pardon with Pence.

            • bmaz says:

              Hilarious.”For the reasons Professor Tribe laid out”. Larry Tribe is now arguing exactly what I have argued from the start. Including to him, when he was not there yet. Whatever. But Tribe is a late soul on this bandwagon. Some were way ahead of him. But, sure, let’s make it about Larry Tribe.

            • BobCon says:

              I think you’re right that she’s trying to finesse things, and I see this as a situation where you can only finesse the small details, not the central question.

              • pjb says:

                Completely agree. It seems to me validating our core American values of good honest government/fidelity to the Constitution/rule of law (as well as the utility of strengthening Congressional powers of inquiry) far outweigh any speculative (at best) benefits of not upsetting a potentially winning hand in fall 2020.

              • Tom says:

                I can’t help but think that any effort to “finesse” things will be lost on much of the American public. Trying to calculate the best timing for impeachment hearings and how the end result might factor in with the 2020 election and the possibility of criminal charges down the road seems to me like trying to time the stock market. The Democrats’ message should be simple and direct: “We believe that the President’s actions are corroding our democratic republic from within as well as making us more vulnerable to our adversaries from abroad. We are therefore opening hearings to determine whether the President should be impeached.” Seize the initiative and proceed forthwith while telling the country to pay heed and be enlightened.

                • Rayne says:

                  “We believe that the President’s actions are corroding our democratic republic from within as well as making us more vulnerable to our adversaries from abroad. We are therefore opening hearings to determine whether the President should be impeached.”

                  That’s neither simple nor direct depending on the audience.

                  Persuade Steny Hoyer, Ro Khanna, Jan Schakowsky — they exemplify the Dems who aren’t sold on the idea of impeachment.

                  If you think you’re going to persuade any portion of Trump’s base the message must be much more simple and sustained. It may not be conveyed directly but better by hearings and media soundbites.

                  They need to hear: Trump is a crook and a liar. He sold out the country. He is bad for America. He must be fired.

                  Now tell me how managing the message to multiple audiences won’t require finesse.

                  EDIT: Elizbeth Warren comes pretty damned close with her summation.

                  • Tom says:

                    I agree that Warren pretty well nailed it in her town hall meeting. There was also a good discussion on about all this on Nicolle Wallace’s program Thursday afternoon. As far as messaging goes, I think you might be underestimating the public’s ability to understand complex issues such as impeachment. And as for “audiences”, if the Democrats want to rally the people around the cause of impeachment, then perhaps they should speak out with one basic message rather than tailoring their remarks to appeal to separate voting blocs.

  3. Hops says:

    I think the reason to want Trump financials documents is to determine whether any foreign power is influencing his decisions to the detriment of the people of the United States. Justice for past offenses can wait, as it often does, but ongoing harm must be stopped.

    • Rayne says:

      “…investigation into allegations that Russia and other foreign entities to influence the U.S. political process during and since the 2016 U.S. election…”

      Yeah. If there are financial fingerprints in 2013-2016, though, they inform where to look now and into 2021.

  4. Jenny says:

    Thank you Rayne. Excellent video and educational about impeachment. Should be required viewing on the Hill.

    Watching All the President’s Men, Revisited, the Saturday Night Massacre was mentioned and I totally forgot it was Bork who fired Cox. Speaks volumes about Bork.

    From Lawrence Tribe twitter: … but the House shouldn’t draft Articles of Impeachment before doing an #ImpeachmentInquiryNow. Putting the cart before the horse is as bad as delaying the vital process of mounting that horse. That’s what the House has to do — now
    https://twitter.com/tribelaw/status/1136367888443551744

    Rayne, you have been way ahead of others.
    [email protected] has read the Mueller report. Have you???
    https://twitter.com/PodSaveAmerica/status/1136445134491570176

    • Rayne says:

      The House should definitely follow where an impeachment inquiry leads before drafting articles of impeachment. But if they think right now there isn’t enough to investigate and/or address in public hearings, I hope my theoretical articles show there is more than enough to get started on already.

      Still haven’t heard that a majority of Congress has read the SCO report — and I’m sure those who’ve read it are more likely on the left side of the aisle.

      • P J Evans says:

        hit Pelosi’s email box and urged that she get the investigation moving, review the history of Watergate, and kick the slower Dem committee heads (Neal, in particular) into action. Just because they prefer 1919 scheduling and procedures doesn’t mean that *we* have that kind of time.

      • BobCon says:

        I think another critical question is how many members of the political press have read the report? I’m guessing that half of the reporters and editors haven’t done more than go through the summaries.

        That question ought to go to everyone who opines about it on TV.

        • P J Evans says:

          Reading Mueller’s summaries is better than reading Barr’s version, (Not reading any is probably better than reading Barr’s version.)

          • BobCon says:

            It’s better than nothing but for editors and reporters, summaries aren’t enough. Skipping the detailed evidence lets them continue to float at the level of his side says/that side replies. Which of course is where they feel most comfortable.

            • P J Evans says:

              yes, they need to read the thing – or get the audio version, for those that have good hearing and lots of time – and find otu what it says. (It would be easier with fewer redactions.)

        • Rayne says:

          I can tell watching CNN and MSNBC that the CNN people have NOT read the report. They talk very superficially about it. Most of MSNBC’s team and their guests who are on to talk about Trump-Russia have read the report, but then they consistently bring in former federal prosecutors and intelligence people.

          Probably why CNN hired Daniel Dale — he knows Trump backward and forwards. Faster to hire the knowledge than encourage their laggards to get smart, I guess.

  5. Molly Pitcher says:

    I sat under a framed copy of the front page of the DeMiones Register, from August 8, 1974, at Perry’s in San Francisco last night. It was from the the day Nixon resigned. Very interesting reading. I took a picture of it but I am unable to post it here.

    Quote above his photo “I have never been a quitter.To leave offce before my term is completed is abbhorrent to every instinct in my body. But as President I must put the interest of America first. America needs a full time president and a full time Congress.”

    This certainly echoes the internal Justice Dept policy of not indicting a sitting President.

    Right below Nixon’s picture in the middle of the page is an article titled “Jaworski: No Deal Made on Immunity”. Right, none needed, because Ford was there to pardon him,

    • P J Evans says:

      IIRC Ford didn’t pardon him immediately, and certainly not before he was sworn in – which wasn’t that day. So you’re kind of reading somethign that wasn’t there.

      • bmaz says:

        Um, took about one month from swearing in. And when Goldwater and Scott made clear, beyond telling Nixon to resign initially (with John Rhodes), that prosecution was still on the table.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Nixon resigned on 09 Aug 1974. Ford pardoned him on 08 Sep 1974.

        In office a month, Ford and Republican strategists in the WH (including Rumsfeld and Cheney) and on the Hill had an almost leisurely time determining how to do it and at what cost.

        The benefit to the GOP was to deprive the country of an accounting of Nixon’s crimes and exacting just punishment for them. That process might also have yielded reforms that would have made Nixon’s abuses harder to commit again. Instead, under Republican guidance, the country turned away, hoping to find some status quo ante that never was.

        • P J Evans says:

          Some of us have never quite forgiven Ford for that. Certainly we haven’t forgotten – and those like Cheney and Rumsfeld are part of how we got to where we are now: they learned only to be sneakier about committing crimes.

        • Rayne says:

          Church Committee as well as the Pike Committee and the presidential Rockefeller Commission arose from Nixon’s scandal. The 1974 Privacy Act was drafted and passed in response to Nixon’s domestic surveillance.

          Perfect? No. But time worked against Congress then as it does now.

    • RWood says:

      “The solution is for the House to impeach Trump based on his ample failings to date as president.”

      What does the gang here think of Jennifer Rubin’s piece in the WaPo today where she floats this as an option:

      “…if the House Judiciary determines all the elements of obstruction of justice were present, it will recommend for a vote by the full House a resolution declaring the OLC memo is constitutionally unwarranted and presenting for referral to prosecutors a post-Trump presidency indictment on multiple counts of obstruction.”

  6. Savage Librarian says:

    It’s fascinating that people are giving so much credence to polls in their arguments against an impeachment inquiry. First, an inquiry is simply an investigation to reveal facts to the public. It can take a very long time. Months. Or a year, or more. I certainly would prefer my taxes be spent in this manner than in corrupt ways.

    So, if a poll of abused children showed that they would prefer to stay with their abusers, would this be the right thing to do? And, yet, it is not uncommon for these children to think that this is what they want. They can’t help but hope, that against all odds, things will work out.

    Or, let’s take children in a healthy environment as another example. Give them the choice between eating candy and junk food versus eating healthy food. What would they want? Hmm. Just guessing it might not be what is in their best interest or the best interest of their families.

    And we all know adults (maybe we are some of them…) who act impulsively, at least some of the time. We are pretty much programmed to do this by unrestrained capitalism that spews out unrelenting advertising through media, robocalls, and snail mail.

    So, the point is: should we address wants or needs? From all observations and accounts, it appears that we all want the nation to be better. But it is not so obvious that we all realize the *need* for it to be better. Yet most of us might acknowledge that needs outweigh wants when the going gets tough.

    Now, back to those polls so many people are obsessing about. I am wondering how much we have learned in the past couple of years. If polling had been accurate, we would not be in this situation, would we? Somebody else would be leading us, right?

    If you believe that hackers interfered with the election and cyber mercenaries manipulated voters’ choices, why do you have so much faith in polls? It does not seem like a logical belief to have. Perhaps, it is wishful thinking. Couldn’t polls be just as easily manipulated (or more so) as elections?

    Might it not be better to just get the inquiries going? And then take it from there? If the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, maybe it is desperately trying to tell us to nourish its needs.

    • fpo says:

      Speaking of polls and the like:

      “Poll: 74 percent of Americans say former Trump officials should obey congressional subpoenas”

      “Majorities of every demographic group sampled in the May 24-25 poll came down strongly against the idea of allowing ex-White House officials to evade congressional subpoenas. Even Republicans, by a margin of 61 to 31 percent, said that former administration officials should testify before Congress when they are asked to appear.”

      [ https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/447113-poll-americans-overwhelmingly-think-former-trump-officials ]

      Unfortunately, these poll results have nothing in common with what’s actually happening in Washington these days.

      And if you can’t compel the likes of a Hope Hicks to appear and/or release documents, what hope is there that polling results/public opinion will impact future responsiveness to subpoenas? Regardless of party, it would seem that polls are no longer the coin of the realm.

      Related…As for Pelosi’s and others’ hesitation re impeachment, there’s that little matter of Barr and the DOJ that’s not going away anytime soon…

      “Dems fear report on Russia probe could kill their oversight momentum”

      “Democrats lurching toward potential impeachment and ramping up their probes of President Donald Trump are becoming increasingly worried that the Justice Department will subvert their efforts.”

      [ https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/06/russia-investigation-probe-justice-trump-1355524 ]

      Somewhere out there is a true American hero…and I’ll bet the farm they’re not an elected official. We need one – now.

  7. Molly Pitcher says:

    Thinking about the differences between the two crooks, I wonder how much Pelosi is thinking about Ford’s pardoning ? Thinking hypothetically here, if Trump were to resign before the end of his term, could he count on Pence to pardon him ?

    Would the Republicans then have a White Knight in Pence to take them into the 2020 elections? They could rally the party in indignation.

    I’m only suggesting this as a component in Pelosi’s calculations.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      Maybe Pence is not such a hero. Maybe there is a nice fat dossier just waiting to see the light of day. After all, he has just stood by and done nothing to make things right.

    • RWood says:

      Pence is a puppet who will do what he’s told. It would be a McConnell/Koch/Deripaska presidency.

      The GOP hate him, so I don’t see them propping him up to take Trumps place. They’ll instead find a better useful idiot.

      • P J Evans says:

        Pence is getting some of what he wanted: putting people who aren’t straight white males back in closets, and breaking the wall that should exist between [his] church and [our] state.

  8. BobCon says:

    And clearly ties into the Emoluments Clause, which explicitly requires Congressional OK for foreign payments. Blocking congressional investigations related to its legitimate interest in the Emoluments Clause is a valid argument for contempt of Congress.

    I think the Democrats would struggle if all they had was a couple of bookings in a Trump hotel by someone attending a trade expo. But things like this are a different story:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-wealthy-iraqi-sheikh-who-urges-a-hard-line-us-approach-to-iran-spent-26-nights-at-trumps-dc-hotel/2019/06/06/3ea74c5e-7bf9-11e9-a66c-d36e482aa873_story.html

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM is addicted to horse races and guessing which candidate “will win” in November 2020. I think that’s the wrong approach.

    One reason all those candidates are competing now is to do it ahead of the true 2020 race, which will involve far fewer candidates. Talking about “winners” now misses the point. That’s convenient for the MSM, which does not want to get into the weeds of anything complex. But their coverage does a disservice to voters and those dependent on them to get it right.

    The debate is about what course we need to take after Trump and why. What needs is it intended to serve and who might most credibly serve it? “Winners” are for the next round. Why the country needs them to win is for this round.

  10. Nehoa says:

    “Further, I believe it is up to the public to demand the Senate do its duty to try, convict, and remove Trump from office”
    I would take a different approach to dealing with the Senate. First, I would make clear to the public that Sen. McConnell, as Majority Leader, will one way or another, block a trial or vote by the Senate to prevent his caucus members from having to vote. I would have a campaign to attack Sen. McConnell for corruption related to matters affecting his wife’s family and for the Deripaska payoff related to support for the sanctions relief on Deripaska’s aluminum company. The intent of the campaign would be to force his resignation from the Senate, or him being replaced as Majority Leader.
    Second, I would recommend that the House take the approach recommended by Laurence H. Tribe in yesterday’s Washington Post to keep matters entirely within the activities of the House.
    “The House, assuming an impeachment inquiry leads to a conclusion of Trump’s guilt, could choose between presenting articles of impeachment even to a Senate pre-committed to burying them and dispensing with impeachment as such while embodying its conclusions of criminality or other grave wrongdoing in a condemnatory “Sense of the House” resolution far stronger than a mere censure. The resolution, expressly and formally proclaiming the president impeachable but declining to play the Senate’s corrupt game, is one that even a president accustomed to treating everything as a victory would be hard-pressed to characterize as a vindication.”
    In short, don’t let Sen. McConnell make the rules!

    • Rayne says:

      A public demand for the Senate to take up its constitutional duty is in no way an either/or proposition. If the public places no pressure on the Senate, ~20 GOP members will skate to re-election and on the backs of the pre-occupied House.

      That goes for McConnell’s corruption as well. Kentuckyians should be beating down the door because everything he’s doing for them is corrupt, from the Rusal plant to the infrastructure work he’s trying to get for them. Meanwhile, he’s doing jackshit about their health care including the cost of insulin. The Rusal plant is no good to them if they’re dead.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Nancy Pelosi has a Spartacus problem. The most famous scene in the film happens when the Romans have defeated his rebellious slave army. The Roman general offers to spare the few survivors – if they give up Spartacus for execution. Tony Curtis, not Kirk Douglas, steps up and proclaims, “I’m Spartacus!” Each survivor repeats his claim, “I’m Spartacus!” Spartacus remains silent, alone, exhausted, and proud. One battle won, if only symbolically. The Romans crucify them.

    When Nancy’s caucus gets to that point in the film, they must guffaw at the absurd example of leadership and self-sacrifice. Here’s Collin Peterson (D-MN): He’ll entertain the idea of impeaching Trump when there are enough GOP votes in the Senate to convict.

    “We’re not anywhere close,” says Peterson. “He’s been pressing his colleagues in the House Democratic caucus to recognize that this simple fact should put impeachment fever to bed, for now. But he says he hasn’t had much luck. ‘They’re not listening,’ said Peterson. ‘I’ve tried, but it’s pretty hopeless.’”

    These centrists are afraid of going home to their constituents with nothing to show but having battled the president “to some form of political or legal gridlock.” Peterson, for example, claims that “it’s time to get something else done.” He knows that the odds of getting Senate Republicans to approve that “something else” are about as good as Spartacus surviving crucifixion. That suggests he’s a lot happier with gridlock than doing anything about it.

    Whatever else happens, no one will be stepping forward in the well of the House and shout, “I’m Collin Peterson!”
    [https://www.thedailybeast.com/moderate-democrats-growing-demoralized-by-the-partys-impeachment-lurch]

    • Rayne says:

      Peterson displays such small thinking. The impeachment should be an argument against the GOP along with the bills on McConnell’s desk. The campaign adds nearly write themselves.

      “You want a government that actually works? Don’t vote GOP.” [graphic w/card: Hurricane damage unrepaired; insulin bills]
      “You want a government that will protect us from foreign adversaries? Don’t vote GOP.” [graphic w/card: Baltimore computers with malware]
      “We’ve done the work of the American people. The proof is more than 140 bills stalled on the desk of the GOP Senate.” [graphic w/card: mound of paper and old white dudes sitting around with their feet up on the desk]
      “Change isn’t a pile of paper for Republicans to sit on. Vote Democratic Party to end the log jam.” [graphic: make a suggestion here]

      • P J Evans says:

        College students with loans they’ll never be able to pay off, because private lenders charging high interest on high payments.
        Veterans who can’t get the care they need, because the GOP-T has closed the VA center nearest them – or sold it to private companies.
        People with asthma or black lung, who can’t afford medications and can’t move to areas with cleaner air – those are all for people with high income.

    • BobCon says:

      The basic argument is that impeachment will distract from the message of the Democrats, but the problem is that Pelosi isn’t providing any message. Maybe she feels she should defer to the presidential candidate, except that nobody will emerge until the spring of 2020, and by then it will be too late.

      She ought to realize that whatever Democrat runs will be pushing the idea of fairness — how the GOP is all about rigging the system in favor of the rich and corporations, and how the Democrats are fighting for fairness for everyone. The exact slogan may yet to be determined, but that’s going to be a central message.

      Impeachment fits that message extremely well. It’s about denying Trump the right to be better than anyone else and above the law. It’s about shutting down sweetheart deals for developers. It’s about forcing the powerful to tell the truth. It’s about making sure everyone gets a vote.

      But if she dillies and dallies and ends up hastily signing off on impeachment after getting backed into a corner, she doesn’t get to control the messaging. It becomes whatever other people say. And if, for some reason, impeachment ends up being a dud, it’s far better to get it over with now than to have it bubble up as an issue next Spring in the middle of primaries when some candidate decides to rally supporters around the issue. Unless the process is moving, at least one of the candidates is going to see it as a way to make a splash and start pillorying Pelosi for slow walking everything. And if news about Trump emerges in coming months, everyone is going to be wondering why Pelosi didn’t have the process started already.

  12. klynn says:

    So, a little OT.
    Do the following search:
    tula oblast + the trump

    The first hit should be a restaurant. Look at the address, then click on the map. See where you land.

    Enjoy Rayne. Wonder if Opensecrets has this?

      • klynn says:

        Long story. I was reading a story about P-tn and Tula Oblast was mentioned. Thought I would do a search…got a surprise.

    • Eureka says:

      I get a review that says “Worst hotel ever, horrible experience!”

      I don’t get a restaurant (in any results), nor corresponding address to map. Any better clues?

      • klynn says:

        A Google search should land on the restaurant. It’s been updated since I posted. Which is amazing but I have screen shots. Not sure how to post them. When you clicked on the map, it would go to Trump Tower.

        • Eureka says:

          LOL, thanks.

          I use duckduckgo, totally different results I guess (tried the string a couple different ways, too). Anyway, there are a bunch of trip advisor dot uk* reviews of “The Trump” hotel in Tula Oblast.

          ETA: rechecked, also at the plain dot com (that’s where the “Worst hotel ever” review comes from) and .ca

          • punaise says:

            The street map of that area has a more than vaguely phallic pattern – might that be it? Kind of like the pilots who trace a dick in the sky with their radar path.

            • Eureka says:

              The world is but a collage of dick pics.

              I was on an 80s song rampage recently, so readily cue up even those I didn’t re-listen to.

              Architects of phalli made me think instantly of:

              GirlGuy can’t help it,
              She needs more,
              hasn’t found what she’s looking for…

  13. punaise says:

    (late to the party, I’ll Squeeze this one in):

    I bought a gavel, some pro forma
    Impeachment for you you all
    But it’s not my conscience
    That hates to be untrue
    I asked of my reflection
    Tell me what is there to do?

    (Con)Tempted by the fault of another
    (Con)Tempted but the truth is discovered
    What’s been going on
    Now that you have gone
    There’s no other
    (Con)Tempted by the fault of another
    (Con)Tempted but the truth is discovered

          • punaise says:

            A classic pop song of the era. Hadn’t listened to it for a while; I wouldn’t be surprised if it predated and influenced Costello’s jaunty but a bit saccharine “Book of Love”.

  14. Savage Librarian says:

    I read the Collin Peterson comments earlier today and they made me so mad that I wrote this:

    Party Poopers

    I’ve had my fill of politics,
    Of pols and polls and graft,
    I’ve seen so many dirty tricks,
    Stop giving me the shaft.

    Democans or Republicrats,
    Soon they’ll be the same to me,
    I’ve seen them in their public acts,
    Where they shirk their main duty.

    They count so much on loyalty,
    They’ve truly lost their way,
    They do it so flamboyantly,
    And think we’re all fair game.

    A straw that breaks the camel’s back,
    Is closer than they think,
    They should know all mammals have,
    Aversion to bad stink.

    To all you party poopers,
    Who invited you?
    Without your pooper scoopers,
    What is it that you do?

    I’m so mad that I could spit,
    You cheat me every day,
    Putin loves this party split,
    And you let him have his way.

    I’d like to give you one more chance,
    But I’m hesitant to try,
    You’ll just offer some square dance,
    And poke me in the eye.

    I’m tired of your shit storm,
    The day is finally here,
    If this is what you call your norm,
    Let me make this clear:

    It’s now or never, I’ve had enough,
    I can’t take it anymore.
    Pay your dues and do your stuff,
    Or else I’m out the door.

    I’ve had my fill of politics,
    Of pols and polls and graft,
    I’ve seen so many dirty tricks,
    Stop giving me the shaft.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        I’ve been a dedicated Democrat for 5 decades. But, if by some twist of fate, Amash and Peterson faced off in an election for POTUS, I’m fairly certain that I would choose Amash. He is the one that cares about the country and democracy. And that is what is most important to me. Because from that, everything else flows.

  15. Eureka says:

    Speaking of our homework, anyone up for riding Neal’s ass on basic oversight? He’s MA-01 but I have heard some politics etiquette allows for contacting e.g. committee chairs who aren’t one’s direct rep re their roles.

    This is from yesterday, WaPo writer links to an Accounting Today article:

    “NY State passed a law to give Trump’s state tax returns to Congress. Rep. Richard Neal, chair of Ways & Means, says no thanks, he won’t ask for them because it might look like a fishing expedition, and that would be unseemly: (link) Are you kidding me?”
    https://twitter.com/paulwaldman1/status/1136295850827767808

  16. P J Evans says:

    The House really needs to investigate this entire maladministration: all of their appointees seem to be corrupt, so are at least some of the spouses, and nepotism is also a problem.

  17. Eureka says:

    Amash with a new tactical thread today, breaking down how he was initially snookered by the Barr letter, until he read the truth:

    Justin Amash: “As you can see from the attached tweet, I initially fell for Attorney General Barr’s March 24 letter of principal conclusions—but then I read Mueller’s report…”
    https://twitter.com/justinamash/status/1137094407625302017

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I’m beginning to feel a lot like collateral damage. I’m wondering how many other folks feel this way. Maybe some pollsters could ask *that* question for Nancy.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I believe Nancy suggested that someone should do an intervention on DT. Guess she doesn’t realize that’s her *own* first and primary obligation to the American people. Maybe it’s time someone does an intervention on NP.

Comments are closed.