Impeachment = Grounds for Firing

You’d think we were all in Newfoundland buried beneath multiple feet of snow given the blizzard of bullshit Trump and his reality TV cast have been spewing.

Like this idiocy on Twitter:

Many have speculated that Trump can’t read; the above tweet is one more piece of evidence in their favor, because he’s clearly not read the rather simple Articles of Impeachment.

He can read because in addition to typing stupid tweets he manages to scratch out legible crap on paper using a Sharpie pen, writ large enough that passing cameras can read it.

Like this piece of brilliance snapped on November 20:

[Photo: Mark Wilson, Getty Photos]

Sure, we believe you, big guy. You didn’t want a quid pro quo BUT you told Zelensky you want him to “do the right thing,” leaving the possibility of future cooperation hanging in the air and $35 million in U.S. aid allocated by Congress still undelivered the day before this note was Sharpied.

Not bribery. Not extortive at all, with hundreds of Ukraine’s citizens dying due to Russian aggression.

But Trump’s ethically-challenged brain trust has his back, issuing a letter rebutting the House’s impeachment. They claim he can’t be impeached because [—enter bullshit excuse du jour—].

Like Alan Dershowitz’s ridiculous claim that Trump didn’t do anything illegal and therefore can’t be impeached.

I pity every student Dershowitz ever taught; the credibility of their credits earned has been thrown into question now that Dershowitz has decided to backpedal on his positions held back in the 1990s when lying to Congress about a consensual blowjob was an impeachable offense.

One of the arguments consistently made by Trump, his consent-challenged attorneys, and the right-wing monkey horde is that impeachment nullifies the 2016 election.

Putting aside the legitimacy of an election questionably won with foreign interference he solicited right in front of the American public on camera, impeachment isn’t a criminal prosecution. It’s a Constitutional act by which the people through their representatives indict the president for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors” — it’s not a nullification.

Can’t believe I’m actually posting anything by Cato Institute, but this fairly brief explainer is straightforward:

Using the power it alone possesses,the House of Representatives impeached Trump for high crimes and misdemeanors consisting of abuse of office and obstruction of Congress.

In Trump’s abuse of office he acted illegally; these acts may yet be prosecuted once he leaves office if they are still within statue of limitations:

There may be more illegal acts upon further investigation. We still don’t have all the details about the threat to former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, for example.

The illegal acts themselves are not laid out in the Articles of Impeachment, offering instead only the high-level assessment that Trump invited foreign interference in the 2020 election for his own personal gain while damaging U.S. national security interests and in violation of his oath to faithfully execute the law. He obstructed Congress as they investigated his abuse of office.

The House was too kind by half, sparing him a detailed recitation of his illegal behaviors within the Articles.

A conviction by the Senate — unlikely as it is because its GOP majority is hapless and nearly as corrupt as Trump — won’t nullify the 2016 election. It would result in succession by Vice President Mike Pence, acknowledging both the election and the established order of succession.

And it would tell Trump what he truly deserves to hear for failing to do his job, that of faithful execution of this country’s laws, upholding the Constitution.

It’s a pity Trump and his legal minions refuse to accept the House has found ample grounds to tell Trump his work performance is unacceptable.

More than half of the U.S. don’t approve of Trump’s job performance as well. It’d be nice if the Senate GOP found a spine, convicted Trump, and told him in simple, familiar terms he knows all too well that he’s fired.

205 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    She doesn’t get shouty often but man, the stupid exposed when these GOP partisans roll over for their crime lord deserves 24-pt. all caps.

    This is like Lindsey Graham’s roll over — someone who should know better like a former law enforcement official let their brain be eaten by zombie crime enterprise occupying the White House.

      • P J Evans says:

        I don’t think Trmp is lysdexic; I think he’s semi-literate. Not the same thing. Using a mix of upper and lower-case letters is semi-literate. Consistent kinds of misspelling would be dyslexic.

        • J says:

          Nah, some people just have writing styles like that. I would mix capital consonants and lowercase vowels all the time in like 7th grade. I was also a prolific reader.

          Just pointing out that that’s no evidence to the President’s literacy or illiteracy.

      • Rayne says:

        Then he’s NOT typing any of his tweets, either?

        I think if he has dyslexia it’s extremely mild. Whatever he has is manifest in the spelling of “Zellinsky.”

        His signature on documents also matches his printing in pressure and line width; a Sharpie results in less variation but there’s no difference between the rendering of his signature and printing, same as in older samples of his handwriting.

        Do note the mixed case which also appears in his older writing and won’t appear in the same way in typed tweets. Example:

        • alaska reader says:

          I think it important, though I can’t explain no one else making any note of it, but Trump ‘signs’ his signature with his real name, Donald Drumph.

          Every one of his signatures says Donald Drumph, not Donald Trump.

          (there’s no T, not in any of his signatures)

          • Rayne says:

            I disagree. The cross is there in the image I shared — it’s just down very low.

            And that’s exactly what we should expect from him, a low-down cross.

            You’ll note the rest of his signature consists of sharp, jagged points. Those are shark’s teeth, denoting someone who shouldn’t be trusted any more than a shark, capable of harsh, biting commentary. There’s virtually nothing below the line indicating someone who isn’t a deep thinker. The consistency of the line used also suggests rigidity, someone who can’t be easily persuaded.

            As much as he disgusts me I have to admit he’s a perfect specimen for someone teaching graphology.

      • Vicki Greenberg says:

        Why the Shapie?
        Seriously. A fussy dude insisting on using a messy tool is odd.
        Visually, it does put whatever Trump writes in the “bigly” category when compared to the losers who use a comment pen.
        Time to bust myself here, I am wasting my time obsessing about what Trump writes with.
        Point goes to Trump.

          • P J Evans says:

            That’s Vicks.
            I think he uses a Sharpie because it’s what he thinks Important People use. (And possibly because he can’t read his sig without glasses, otherwise.)

            • Rayne says:

              LOL Every document arriving in his office from Congress is signed with a pen. I’m sure part of his rationale for using sharpie is his vision; we know from his teleprompter errors he has either a vision or processing problem, neither of which are obvious in his tweeting.

              But he used to use pen and fine markers, now all Sharpie all the time. Something changed, doubt it was his job because his ego thought his business persona was as big or bigger than the presidency.

              • P J Evans says:

                His health is failing, I think both physically and mentally, and his vanity won’t allow him to acknowledge it. His family won’t do anything because they’re enjoying the taxpayer-funded ride they’re getting (well, maybe not Barron), and Pence, the Cabinet, and the Rs in Congress have no intention of using the 25th as long as he can appear competent long enough in public for their purposes.

          • Vicks says:

            Yeah your right.
            Not to mention a Sharpie compared to a “normal” pen is big, fat and it’s markings are almost impossible to get rid of.

            • Eureka says:

              When I was a kindergartner, I came to acquire a fat pencil — something I’d never seen before. I proudly took it to school, where the teacher kept telling me to stop using it, finally explaining that such a fat pencil was for ~babies with no motor control, or with developmental “problems”.

              Trump’s sharpie is for babies with no motor control, or someone with “problems”. Per my teacher.

              • P J Evans says:

                Fat pencils and crayons were for first-graders, too. Maybe also second-graders. At least in my schools. (I remember getting actual dip-pens in junior-high art classes, although I’d met school desks with holes for ink-bottles long before that.)

                • Eureka says:

                  Well this lady was *not nice* and practically made them sound like medical devices (which they can be sensu adaptive and rehab purposes, but which had a different connotation then, and to a child).

                  You’re incidentally reminding me of every teacher that ever trolled me: I can remember old wooden desks in shop class, trying to recall if any with holes. Instead recall the sub who made me refinish one, carved with decades of graffiti (however, he did not catch me making an, uh, “accessory” item from scrap. Who’s the better troll *now*, pal.)

                  I am very fussy about inks and pens for daily and arts (and sometimes like a nice broad-point pen or calligraphy nib). Uniball gel signos or vision elites or sometimes Sarasas preferred. (How odd that Trump has no *variability* or moods, as ____ as he is, you’d think he’d try on some colors here and there.)

                  • P J Evans says:

                    I liked writing with a Speedball C6 and a bottle of ink. I liked the “Fountain Pentel” (a plastic fountain pen). And yeah, Uniballs. (I’ve also used technical pens and actual ruling pens, the kind you adjust the two blades with a screw.)

                  • bmaz says:

                    When I was a young lawyer, somebody gave me an exquisite Mont Blanc. I lost it, so bought a replacement. It cost a small fortune and before too long, I lost that one too. And that was the end of my time with expensive pens.

                    Now I use these Uniball roller gel pens. They write beautifully, smoothly and never leave globs. And you can get a pack of four of them for the price of a big meal deal at the local fast food joint. They really are superb.

                    • Eureka says:

                      Yeah they’re great pens, and the shame of it is that a box of new ones is far cheaper than getting refllls anymore. But yet I buy the new pens.

                • e.a.f. says:

                  I am so old, we actually used those holes in the desks to put our ink in and we used those pens to write with. It wasn’t art class in latter grades. it was elementary school. You had to be very careful when you wrote. omg, I’m old…….had actually forgotten about those pens, at some level.

                  NFLD is digging out with the assistance of the Canadian military. Am so glad the parental units chose B.C. all those years ago.

  2. Savage Librarian says:

    Let’s see if I have this right. I think DT’s defense team is:

    A-lame Dearth-of-Wits,
    Ken’s Tar,
    Robot Ray,
    Pampers Bonding,
    Jane “Loves These Meeses to Pieces”

  3. Financial Planning says:

    Dershowitz is a joke, didn’t expect him to change his stance on the fly on such an important topic and in a moment of such heat. This is really weird, they’re just a perfect match with our “Zellinsky” writer, both are equally sad to watch. I hope that everything will continue to unfold around Trump and his puppets that try to defend his actions. This man should’ve been fired forever ago.

  4. Zinsky says:

    Marcy has touched on a meme that I am surprised Democrats haven’t been using more against Trump. Namely, the fact that an election is much like a job interview – and someone needs to tell fatass Trump, “YOU ARE FIRED!”

    • Rayne says:

      This was the first post in a while I didn’t add an author’s note reminding readers to check the byline.

      Check the byline.

      That said, I’m beginning to wonder if a lot of the whoop-de-doo generated with a incredibly sketchy reality TV cast legal team and their ridiculous six-page letter combined with McConnell’s hurry-up-coverup trial rules aren’t all a means to prevent persons like Pelosi from saying on camera during prime time TV that Trump is a shitty apprentice and he should be fired.

      • Eureka says:

        Each of you contributors has such distinct writing voices that it would seem clear by a line or paragraph in, anyway. (Though it has been well over a year since I’ve seen anyone call bmaz “Marcy”.)

        Now I want Pelosi to *say it*; no doubt she will come up with some clever, well-placed words for broadcast, somehow, some way.

    • Geoff says:

      I think of it more like a job where you are on probation your entire time served. It’s always a practice run, since it is term-limited by law. It is also limited by impeachment, as in, if you are f-ing up the job, it’s too important to just say that doesn’t matter, so we have to remove you and find a competent or non-corrupt person, or fill the position with someone that is qualified and without flaws that make him or her unsuited to the task. What is the task? Well, upholding the darn Constitution for one, and on that count, we’ve got an enormous fail going.

  5. dude says:

    This may be off point a bit, but as I sat here trying to absorb the absurdity of Moscow Mitch’s rules for admitting (or completely ignoring) all the evidence the House gathered, I realized there is one person who can throw a wrench into McConnell’s scheme. Though the odds are incredibly small and the risk to that person is already inhumane, that person would be The Whistleblower. If that person requested publicly that he/she wanted to testify in the Senate, the Red Coat Republicans could not ignore it, and Trump would absolutely drool at the prospect.

    • P J Evans says:

      Thing is, the whistleblower is secondhand testimony, and they have several firsthand witnesses who have testified already. It’s like the Rs trying to get the Bidens as witnesses: they weren’t involved in any of Trmp’s actions, so there’s zero actual reason to call them.
      But several of those Trmp has blocked from testifying, or even doing depositions, were present and can speak to what was actually said and by whom…if they’re willing to be truthful.

      • dude says:

        You are thinking like a lawyer. I am thinking like a fisherman. Trump would insist that testimony be taken so his Senate lackeys would get an opportunity to question/try to embarrass the witness and make a show of it. The Senators might not want to do it, but they would do it because they and the House Red Coats made such a show of demanding to see “the accuser” as part of the process. They would not suddenly throw away their ‘due process’ arguments. And Trump would want another person to humiliate. The dam for witnesses would break.

        All that aside, I don’t advise the Whistleblower to come forward. Too much personal cost. But I can dream…

        • P J Evans says:

          What Trmp says is, you may have noticed, not what he does. He talks about all these people who can exonerate him, but he’s blocked them all from testifying, for months. He’s not going to let them testify this time, either.

      • dude says:

        ..”But several of those Trmp has blocked from testifying, or even doing depositions, were present and can speak to what was actually said and by whom…if they’re willing to be truthful.”

        —-Or take the Fifth. If the Senate rules allow, I suspect the loyal Trumpies would do just that no matter how it might be perceived.

  6. Eureka says:

    Thank you, Rayne. You write with such clarity and restraint on this … convergence of GOP cowards, enablers, active destroyers of our world, safety, security.

    LOL when I see “I want nothing … ” again I hear some version of “I feel pretty, oh so pretty … ” (can’t recall what song now punaise had set that particular Trump scrawl to…if it was that song or not).

    • punaise says:

      LOL that was the one where I inadvertently conflated West Side Story with Sound of Music… not sure what thread that was in.

  7. AndTheSlithyToves says:


    And thanks to your proffer of a Perfect bribe during your Perfect phone call, it must be a Perfect impeachment!

  8. Bay State Librul says:

    “Mamma Mia”– here we go again
    Barr misrepresented the Mueller Report
    McConnell misrepresented the Clinton Impeachment Rules
    Misrepresentation is yet another term in the Republican’s “do whatever it takes” ethics playbook.
    The Ides of January have passed.
    Let’s not put away our swords.
    Adam Schiff — plunge that dagger into the hearts of Republican Senators!

  9. P J Evans says:

    Apparently there have been some (relatively minor) changes to Mitch’s rules since he introduced them yesterday. The 24 hours of opening arguments are now spread over THREE days. And they’re accepting the evidence from the House.
    Schiff is doing a very good opening statement.

    • P J Evans says:

      I wonder if Roberts told Mitch that there was no effing way he was going to stay up until 2am hearing bullshit arguments for Trmp’s lawyers.

      • John K says:

        I keep hoping that Roberts comes up with some type of intervention that completely fucks up everything these assholes are trying to pull off. Like, maybe forcing them to call witnesses.

      • e.a.f. says:

        now that would be fun to watch. Yes, how is Roberts going to take these new “working hours”. What if he deems the “jury” is asleep? Can he adjourn the proceedings? I actually don’t know the answer. it has crossed my mind with the hours.

        O.K. it may not make much difference whether some of them are awake or asleep, but you’d think they’d like to at least have it look like they were doing something useful.

      • cavenewt says:

        They’re only allowed to drink water or milk. No coffee! What was the purpose of that — to minimize the need for bathroom breaks?

        When I was a kid, our family drove every summer nonstop from LA to Wisconsin. Five kids. We were only allowed bathroom breaks at gas stops. Now I know what it’s like to be a senator.

  10. Geoff says:

    Why is Cipollone, or whatever his name is, allowed to blatantly utter complete falsehoods in today’s proceedings?? I turn it on for one fricking minute, and the first three sentences are just lies. Appalling. What is the point here if they are going to allow this BS? Its just another propaganda opportunity.

    • bmaz says:

      Because the floors of Congress are protected places of speech. Hopefully for the better, though not always, but that is how it is, and that is okay.

      • Geoff says:

        Thanks. My usual caveat, IANAL, so the chump citizen in me doesn’t grasp a lot of this. I did find this upon further inquiry : (not sure it is exactly what you refer to)

        Now, I can see perhaps in terms of Congresspersons, that this applies. But in this case here, you have a lawyer uttering falsehoods, in a place where others are protected. Would the type of crap spewing from his piehole be acceptable in an everyday court of law? I’m struggling with the distinctions here. thx again.

        • bmaz says:

          That is true, speech and debate protection is for actual members of Congress in the performance of their duties. However, what lawyers argue in opening and closing statements in any trial is pretty much protected too. I make opening and closing arguments all the time that I would never do if under oath as a witness. But that is the leeway you get. And, arguably that is even more so in a “trial” proceeding on the floor of the Senate.

          Now, honestly, I am not sure what is occurring is really a “trial”, but no court will touch that angle. So Cipollone and the others have pretty free space to utter whatever bullshit they want. And they are doing so.

  11. punaise says:

    Too soon for a Super Bowl open thread, so there’s this from The Atlantic:

    If Mitch McConnell ran the Super Bowl, would the game even have to happen?

    I would flip the script, however: no way the Brie-eating Chardonnay-sipping West Coast elite Niners are the chosen winners. Gimme some KC flyover country red meet instead. (*ducking Peterr’s ire*)

    • punaise says:

      BTW Brie and Chardonnay are so 1990s. These days it would be a good Sauvignon Blanc and Humboldt Fog goat cheese from Cowgirl Creamery…

      • blueedredcounty says:

        I haven’t had the Humboldt Fog goat cheese. But when I was on vacation in Maui a couple of years back, the cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy was outstanding, and paired great with several different wines. And the baby goats were entirely too cute.

    • Ckymonstaz says:

      Rick Reilly was always a fun read when he had a regular sports column. The chiefs would definitely be a more likely choice for the republicans to have the fix in for geographically but our racist president likely wouldn’t be on board with the team named after a native american leader

      Still the obvious choice for any fixed outcome in The NFL has to be the Patriots after they’ve made a cottage industry of such behavior thru the years and of course they have known ties to the orange one

  12. Eureka says:

    From Jim’s twitter:

    “Jim 2020: You Little Shit!”

    Your presidential campaign slogan is your first name + 2020 + the last thing you said to your pet

    Eureka 2020: Arright, you’re being a little fucking dramatic

    (I’m being extorted to get undone-for-humans dinner out of the oven post-haste)

    Break’s over, Demings up —

    Local broadcast networks have given up on airing the proceedings (none of four have them on on now, from two of four maybe an hour or more ago)

      • P J Evans says:

        They’re into thread 8 of the liveblog.
        The House managers are playing it smart: they’re getting all their evidence in as support for their motions, which doesn’t count against their official 12-hour time allowance.

    • P J Evans says:

      Last fall the Brazilian courts told the government to stop prosecuting reporters for reporting. This is evidence their government isn’t going to follow rulings it doesn’t like, any more than ours does.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        Well I think thre is a big difference between prosecuting reporters, and prosecuting someone/some group who is hacking into the phones of public officials and prosecutors.

  13. P J Evans says:

    As far as I can tell, the Rs in congress (and especially the Senate) have less spine than a baby tomato worm.

    • P J Evans says:

      And this, from the liveblog:
      Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020 · 7:38:57 PM PST · Mark Sumner

      There are probably at least two more amendments to come — a request for a Bolton subpoena, and a amendment to make structural changes in McConnell’s proposal. Which was where we started back at 1 PM. If anyone remembers 1 PM.

        • P J Evans says:

          It’s currently 11:20pm in DC…. And Roberts is stuck there until McConnell calls for a break or until they recess for the night.

          • Eureka says:

            Sounds like they are discussing some shambolic “witness trade” of Bolton for Biden (per Schmidt, guesting on MSNBC panel, whose “studious +/- angry constipated furrow” appears freshly botoxed).

            • Eureka says:

              or per Williams-Schmidt opening banter (not sure if the speculative info is NBC’s, NYT’s, or pool or whatever/ however the press is getting info out of the restricted setting).

              • P J Evans says:

                I think it’s them speculating. It’s certainly not going on in the well of the Senate.
                They’re still on break.
                Mitch reportedly looks bad and is limping. They could recess and come back tomorrow afternoon.

                • Eureka says:

                  Yep, I tracked it down and it was two separate — and both speculative (and apparently incorrect) — issues. They were presenting it as if such negotiations were going on _during the break_ (and that’s what piqued my interest).

                  Origin of story is from Costa et al. at WaPo (many tweets on his timeline). All things considered, the _general_ story of them doing that kind of deal seems off the mark [story photo features Chris Coons, but then Coons himself is tweeting (basically) no effing way at 1045p, etc.].

                  One example, w link to story:

                  Robert Costa on Twitter: “These Democrats said they believe having Hunter — or possibly Joe Biden — testify could backfire on Trump and the GOP, giving Biden and the party a platform to strike back and paint Republicans and the White House as obsessed with trying to damage Biden. [WaPo link to “Senate Democrats privately mull Biden-for-Bolton trade in impeachment trial.”]”

                  Senator Chris Coons: “I’m a lawyer, and here’s what I know: Trials have witnesses, and the witnesses have to be relevant to the case. It isn’t complicated. The President is on trial here, not anyone with the last name Biden. VP Biden and Hunter Biden are not relevant witnesses.”

                  • Eureka says:

                    Of course I looked into this _before_ Nadler came on at midnight, when it would have been clear no such thing was happening… lesson to beware the teevee (and symptom of the impact of the press restrictions on this listener; it’s definitely changed my perception of what may be ‘news’ and ‘how’ vs any other given day/ covered event).

          • P J Evans says:

            5-minute break, then they get around to an amendment from Schumer adding a sentence concerned with providing new information not already in the house report.

            • P J Evans says:

              This is what they’re looking at after the break:
              Tuesday, Jan 21, 2020 · 8:35:47 PM PST · Mark Sumner

              Schumer’s oddly worded amendment seems to create a situation where if the White House tries to bring up something not in the current House report — say, by releasing a single memo — they have to provide everything that was part of any subpoena that would have included the memo. Which is tricksy.

              But since Republicans are voting on autopilot, I’m not sure it matters.

              • Vicks says:

                I finally got to a tv, I’ve been listening at work and in the car, and bummed I missed seeing our local guy Jason Crowe.
                I started flipping back and forth between CNN and Fox and damn if they didn’t talk over what I think may have been all of Shiff’s turn on the John Bolton amendment.
                I’m not sure if this went on all night?
                I”ll take the need for a split screen, one showing a Historic event, the other featuring Matt Schlapp predictably snarking on Democrats as a positive sign that there is a story being told that they don’t want viewers to see.
                They are showing all of Nadler now so many it was an isolated incident?

  14. P J Evans says:

    It appears that the House used their holiday break to do some heavy-duty planning for this kangaroo trial.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, the baseball HOF voting is so bizarre. Rivera is the only unanimous selection ever. Only one voted against Jeter, and that has people in an uproar? Barry Bonds had HOF numbers just from his time in Pittsburgh, but he can’t get in.

          This is how silly it is:

          Mariano Rivera: 100.0 percent
          Ken Griffey Jr.: 99.3 percent
          Tom Seaver: 98.8 percent
          Nolan Ryan: 98.8 percent
          Cal Ripken Jr.: 98.5 percent
          Ty Cobb: 98.2 percent
          George Brett: 98.2 percent

          No other player appeared on at least 98 percent of Hall of Fame ballots. Not Hank Aaron (97.8 percent), not Babe Ruth (95.1 percent), not Willie Mays (94.7 percent), and not Ted Williams (93.4 percent). I can’t imagine the mental gymnastics that went into not voting for those four inner-circle greats.

          I mean, who the hell voted against Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ted Williams???

          • Eureka says:

            YES! I know the whole thing makes no sense (nor do most of the ensuing arguments — but they were a sight better entertainment than Jeffries’s case in the Senate at the time). And all the tweets about Bonds’s later head size/growth, ignoring he’d already earned his way before all that.

            But lots of nice old clips to watch (and some old Seinfeld clips with Jeter, too, kind of brought me back in time).

            • Eureka says:

              …and then the Pete Rose-based measuring stick arguments dragged in (about who more deserves to be in/excluded)…anyway it was a silly fun fracas.

        • Eureka says:

          Let the record reflect that Rep. Jeffries, in his pre-dinner (547p start) segment, brought up the Jeter holdout as an ice-breaker and pivot-point in The Impeachment of Donald J. Trump:





          (uncorrected from c-span closed-captioning transcript)

          At outset of clip here:

          Else go to main link, and search text ‘Jeter’ for the timestamp:

          • Eureka says:

            I have no problem using trivial current events to pivot into a topic of gravitas. But unfortunately Jeffries thwarted his own case, at least thrice, in forcing this example (he just needs a better editor, perhaps). Throwaway lines about enforcing purity and order (~subpoena who “voted against” (sic) Jeter) could have been better used, to, say, highlight the principle that breaking unanimity — leaving the unanimous horde to vote one’s conscience, like the GOP Senators before him *need to do* — is an American value.

            He could have been Socrates to his fellow New Yorker _and_ the Senate, to get them to perhaps all agree that dissent with one another over short-term stakes to uphold founding principles is more American than baseball and apple pie. Or something like that (I’ll pay closer attention and do a better rewrite the day I’m on the clock).

  15. Eureka says:

    The biggest sports newsflash is the renewal of the NCAA Women’s rivalry between UConn and UTK. Thursday, 7pm, ESPN. Awkward calling it a “rivalry” on the occasion of its friendly revival, but it started friendly back then, so… who knows what might happen. Anyone into 90s-aughts bball will remember. ESPN has a nice write up ahead of tomorrow’s game:

    UConn-Tennessee — Inside the year the rivalry hit its boiling point


    Lady Vols: Would Pat Summitt approve of UConn rivalry renewal?

    • Eureka says:

      Afternote (OT sports; ^ this game came between the Trash pickup days):

      UT Lady Vols vs. UConn Huskies Women’s NCAA basketball (*rivalry years: 1995 to 2007) was one of the most productive rivalries in sports history, with impacts to this day. Current players who know none of the history save for banners, plaques, and (HOF) trophy cases reap its benefits. It not merely symbolized but raised the esteem of women’s college hoops, and beyond many of the NCAA championships between the two schools (8 total for UT, 11 for UConn), it gave most of the fuel to the then-fledgling WNBA (founded 1996; initially as players transitioned to pro, then to coaching in the league), and enough Team USA gold medals, Olympic and otherwise, to anchor Betsy de Vos’s fleet of yachts.

      *The late great Vols coach Pat Summitt, life and career prematurely ended from early-onset Alzheimer’s, cancelled the series over a recruiting kerfuffle, to put it mildly; while they stopped playing each other in 2007, the rivalry lived longer in some ~adjacent brackets, and still lives in the coaches and fans who were there (readily prompted by flashback video clips and current behavior). With yesterday’s (1-23-20) game renewing the series (they’ve agreed to two games so far), and so many familiar faces, all of the olds and plenty of the youngs are in on the competitive aspect.

      What a time to be alive, to have witnessed this first-hand and then see it revive. Whether it withers to more nostalgia remains to be seen. Geno Auriemma still coaches the Huskies; new Lady Vols coach Kellie (Jolly) Harper, with a young, rebuilding team of mostly frosh and sophomores, played in the original matchups. Harper is 4-1 as a player vs UConn, now 0-1 as a coach.

      Excepting the first bucket, 23-ranked UT led the entire first half. Third-ranked UConn came out hot for the second, and won decisively at home. UT seemed to have fallen apart — it was like they lost where their bodies were in space — gave up too many turnovers, and headed home to some tough SEC matchups. Post-game, Geno oddly praised UT, saying they were a better team than their rank. That might have been a case of not shading his own team’s lighter-to-date schedule. UConn is still a ~perennial Final Four type of team.

  16. harpie says:

    If anyone wants to know what Trump thinks about Bolton testifying, here’s a quote from a press conference at Davos:
    4:31 AM – 22 Jan 2020

    Trump on Bolton as a witness: “The problem with John is it’s a national security problem. He knows some of my thoughts. He knows what I think about leaders. What happens if he reveals how I feel about another leader and it’s not positive…it would make the job a lot harder.”

    More from Trump on Bolton: “I don’t know if we left on the best of terms, I’d say probably not.”</em<

    • harpie says:

      An example of Trump’s knowledge of/about “another leader”:
      Laura Rozen:
      5:59 AM – 22 Jan 2020

      not a great day for US Iraq relations. WH says Trump met with president of Iran, not Iraq; Trump in meeting confuses Iraqi Kurdish president with Syrian Kurdish commander. [screenshots]

      She links to:
      5:27 AM – 22 Jan 2020

      EMBARRASSING, Trump thinks president of Iraq Kurdistan @IKRPresident is the commander of Syrian SDF @MazloumAbdi! These two are completely different

      Trumps says things have turn out great with Turkey in Syria and mistakenly thanks Barzani for keeping “my safe zone” safe. Watch: [VIDEO]

      Trump IS our national security “problem”.

      • harpie says:

        TRANSCRIPT from [[0:27]

        TRUMP: “Very importantly, as you know, we have the oil. And we left some soldiers for the oil, because we protect the oil, and we’re working on that, and we have it very nicely secured.

        We also have thousands of ISIS prisoners. We’ve taken over 100% of the Caliphate. And it’s a very interesting region, but we’ve had a tremendous relationship, and it’s great to be with you, thank you very much. [handshake] [0:59] Would you like to say something?

        @IKRPresident: [In English] Thank you very much. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, to receive us, you know, I mean in Davos. As you said, you know, we’ve been quite a long time waiting for that moment. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your support.
        So we defeated ISIS together. [Trump: Right.] So, and on behalf of the people in Kurdistan, I would like to express our thanks and gratitude[?] your leadership and your support. Thanks. [Trump: Really great. Thanks [handshake]]

        harpie interpretation:
        Trump finally granted them an audience and now they have to grovel in a public box….strangely familiar.

        • Eureka says:

          And as always, who’s the “WE”?

          (partly rhetorical statement; I thought it was established that the oil “we” have secured is effectively RU’s.)

  17. harpie says:

    The Press will be under the spotlight for how they handle impeachment.

    1] Josh Holmes hypothesizes:
    [President & Founding Partner of @Cavalry, LLC. Former Chief of Staff and campaign manager to U.S. Sen. Leader Mitch McConnell. Husband, Dad, GOP commentator]
    7:34 PM – 21 Jan 2020

    Schumer always takes the bait. Wearing senators out on meaningless process votes day 1 when his entire strategy relies upon bipartisan consent for a drawn out process. The mood in the chamber will be toxic by Saturday.

    2] The New Yorker’s Susan Glaser responds:
    [see next link]
    7:41 PM – 21 Jan 2020

    This is a real question: Is Schumer needlessly alienating possible votes? Those senators looked pretty miserable pretty quickly in the chamber.

    3] Conversation between Eric Boehlert and Charles Pierce about Glaser’s response:
    5:01 AM – 22 Jan 2020

    it’s not a real question DC press needs to drop fantasy that there’s a single open mind in the cultish GOP
    after watching GOP charade yesterday and to be clinging to idea Dems are turning off persuadable GOP senators is really just amazing

    [Pierce]: I am utterly astonished by the persistence of this idea.

    [Boehlert:] Replying to @CharlesPPierce @sbg1
    they cling to it like a life raft

  18. harpie says:

    Adam Klasfeld:
    12:31 PM – 22 Jan 2020

    More than 20 GOP state attorneys general sent senators a letter urging Trump’s acquittal at his impeachment trial.

    “Have you ever prosecuted a case without witness testimony or discovery of evidence?” I asked them.
    After a pause, their response: [link to VIDEO of their “answers” here]

    Here is their 14-page “Friend of the Senate” brief, riffing on the concept of an amicus (“Friend of the Court”) brief. [link]

    • P J Evans says:

      (a) they’re not in the chamber
      (b) they’re clearly not paying any attention to any of the testimony and evidence the House already has
      (c) they’re clearly ignoring the admissions of guilt – on video – by Mulvaney and by Trmp himself
      (d) how did they get through law school?

    • harpie says:

      Klasfeld has a followup [see it at the above twitter link]:
      1:00 PM – 22 Jan 2020

      In a follow-up, I asked the attorneys general how urging President Trump’s acquittal at the impeachment trial advances the interests of all of the citizens of their state– rather than their political interests as Republican AGs.

      SC AG’s response: [Link to VIDEO of response] / Story ahead, @CourthouseNews.

      Once in each clip, these guys refer to each other as “General” instead of Attorney General.

  19. Cathy says:

    Observation: House Managers appear to be using @ew’s signature narrative frame (timelines!) to great effect. :-)

    • Cathy says:

      Post script: In favor of including as many video clips as possible of Dr. Hill’s testimony. Beyond the content her speaking voice is riveting & welcome contrast to the the inevitable drone of the presentation marathon. ;-)

  20. harpie says:

    1] Trump Tweets Today:
    1:49 PM – 22 Jan 2020

    Trump has just set a new tweeting record for his presidency, according to @FactbaseFeed: 125 tweets and counting today. 110 of them have been retweets.

    His previous record was 123 on December 12, 94 of them retweets.

    2] From 12/12/19
    4:36 PM – 12 Dec 2019

    As the House Judiciary Committee was voting on articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, @publicintegrity received documents related to Trump’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine. Every substantive exchange between officials was blacked out. #UkraineDocs

    7:15 PM – 12 Dec 2019

    McConnell on Fox. Says he is “coordinating with White House counsel” on Senate trial. Says there is “no difference between the President’s position and our position on how to handle this.”

  21. harpie says:

    The Press is under unusual restrictions about where they can be and how they can do their jobs during the Impeachment Trial of President Donald J. Trump.
    Also, somehow, this happened, about 20 minutes ago [via Justin Hendrix]:
    3:24 PM – 22 Jan 2020

    OMG!! The scariest thing just happened. A protester stormed onto the balcony while Hakeem Jeffries was addressing the Senate. “Jesus Christ would…” he yelled, before Capitol police pulled him out. Everyone visibly started, including me!

  22. harpie says:
    6:06 PM – 22 Jan 2020

    Rep. Lofgren refers to Pence aide Jennifer Williams’ classified addendum to her testimony.
    “Now, I’ve read that testimony. I will just say that a cover-up is not a reason to classify a document.”
    She urges senators and the White House to declassify it.

    House impeachment managers now have repeatedly demanded the declassification of the addendum to Jennifer Williams’ testimony. Keep a watch on what happens to the under-the-radar access fight.

    • Vicks says:

      I thought at the time that this document going into the record was a pretty big win, but I have not heard much about it this am so perhaps I am wrong.
      I’m no politician but if it contains worthwhile information, I would give it a little time and then use it to poke Republicans to the point the media is asking each of them to tell t(e folks back home if they have taken the time to read it for themselves, and if not, why?
      If it is established that the document is meaningful, I think any clownish responses by the usual suspects run the risk of really pissing off the moderates.

        • P J Evans says:

          I think “have you read it, and if not, why haven’t you read it?” would be a good question – doesn’t require revealing anything classified, and tells you if the senator has a shutter open in their brain.

        • Vicks says:

          Yes it is classified, and democrats are using it as an example of the Trump administration misusing the classification process to obstruct congress.
          That seems to me a pretty bold claim considering all a Senator has to do is make the effort to go over and read it.
          I understand they can’t discuss the contents of the document (not that it has stopped many a house clown from making all sorts of claims based on classified docs we will never see) but surely classification can’t be used as a reason not to answer whether or not they have bothered to look at evidence?
          Perhaps I’m making something out of nothing, but it seems an easy way to separate many of these senators from the herd.
          The past being any indication, the hard core Trump loyalists “won’t waste their time” and the hand wringers will “study it carefully”
          If the media pushes the question, it could create the first divide in this process.

            • Vicks says:

              Well then, damn straight, I think is fair to demand an answer from all of them including out suddenly mute senator (Gardner)
              Im sure the dude is getting squeezed hard, but if I have anything to say about it, continuing to cover his eyes and hoping no one sees him is going to make him even more vulnerable

    • harpie says:

      Senator Chris Murphy [D-Ct] says he has read the document:
      9:14 AM – 23 Jan 2020

      Just left the secure room having read the classified document regarding VP Pence’s Sept 18 call w Zelensky
      1. Nothing in it is classified. It should be made part of the public record immediately.
      2. Hiding evidence of wrongdoing through bogus classification is unacceptable.

        • vicks says:

          To protect those who have not yet acquired the ability to unsee what they have seen, if I was a republican and afraid of what the document could show I would send over a hand wringer to scout it and report back….

    • Eureka says:

      Welp, I’m one of the losers who checked out to check in in basketball. So now I don’t have to feel like a Bad Citizen anymore. Yipee?

      • P J Evans says:

        I was bouncing in and out. I think the Dems have done a good job of getting evidence into the official record, even if the Rs have been ignoring the rules (and getting away with it).

        • Eureka says:

          I’m glad to hear that’s your evaluation (on the dems part). It seemed that way when I was in and out, too, but was hard to tell (with both the scope of evidence we’ve seen — and still could use — in mind).

          I heard an interview snippet from Schumer [on MSNBC] where he said he thought the GOP senators were actually paying rapt attention to Schiff’s closing, despite their earlier lax attention.

          Schumer also said that he didn’t think the GOPers (barring hardliners) _really_ wanted Biden testimony because of the (paraphrase) shitshow aspects.

  23. harpie says:

    Let’s talk about CJ John Roberts role in the
    Impeachment Trial of President Donald J. Trump.

    This article might be an interesting take-off point [via Kyle Griffin]:

    Why Is John Roberts Even in the Impeachment Trial?
    Last night, the chief justice showed he wasn’t just a potted plant. But the founders would have wanted him to play an even stronger role in impeachment.
    JAMES ROBENALT 01/22/2020 05:06 AM

    […] Hamilton pointedly referred to the chief justice as the “president of the court of impeachments.” This provides context to the phrase in the Constitution, “the Chief Justice shall preside.” […]

    • harpie says:

      The article was written after Roberts “admonished” both sides about civility in the early morning hours of 1/22/20.

      Last night [1/22/20], as we noted above:
      5:35 AM – 23 Jan 2020

      Just after Schiff closed the first day of arguments in the trial with an impassioned plea to allow new evidence, Chief Justice Roberts agreed to allow a single page of classified supplemental testimony from an aide to Mike Pence admitted into the record. [NBC News]

      But, Roberts said/did nothing about Senators [who are effectively both judges and jurors] not actually being present at the trial.

      added: As Jennifer Rubin says:

      Press: Can you tell us which senators leave the floor and for how long? This seems newsworthy

      • harpie says:

        And, as PJ Evans comments, above at January 22, 2020 at 9:44 pm, to some Senators, the whole proceedings are really, really dumb, and just so impossibly boring.

        They evidently find it really really impossible to do their jobs….poor things…

        We should relieve them all of their onerous responsibilities.

        • harpie says:

          IMPEACHMENT TODAY begins

          10:09 AM – 23 Jan 2020

          Rep. Schiff opens with a joke about how Chief Justice Roberts might not appreciate how rare it is for Congress members to pay attention and sit silently.

          Then he notes that each day begins with the Sergeant at Arms announcing they must do so on pain of imprisonment.

          [It sounds more like shade to me]

        • harpie says:

          11:02 AM – 23 Jan 2020

          When @RepJerryNadler played a clip of @LindseyGrahamSC from the Clinton impeachment, Graham wasn’t in the chamber– the only senator not in his or her seat at that moment.

          Some other observations from the last half hour: @SenatorBurr has a fidget spinner, @RandPaul has quite the sketch of the Capitol going, and @MarshaBlackburn is reading a book.
          The book is a standard-sized hard cover. It’s flat in her lap so I can’t read the cover. She’s underlining passages periodically.

        • Vicks says:

          The worst insult these leaders can conjure up is “it’s boring”?
          I guess we know who they are pandering to.
          I posted the first night on how Fox “news” seemed to be testing the strategy of grinding this historic event into irrelevancy when I noticed that Fox “news” anchors talked over an entire Schiff segment and then let Nadler talk without interruption.
          Shame on all those ass-holes.

  24. harpie says:

    A public service from Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston:
    7:40 AM – 23 Jan 2020

    So I was in the Senate chamber yesterday, and I was struck by how the lay of the land was not how I imagined it while watching TV on Wednesday. I thought it might be helpful to draw it out for people who aren’t able to attend to help get their bearings beyond the isolated camera / Please forgive the lack of named people, as my view was a bit obstructed in some parts and my contextual knowledge could be spotty at places. Also, my sister got all the artistic genes in the family…. [screen shot of drawing]

    • P J Evans says:

      That’s a useful drawing. Most of the artist drawings I’ve seen don’t give that much information (and some are so vague they’re nearly abstract).

  25. Savage Librarian says:

    Humor injection time:

    ‘Daily Show’s’ Trevor Noah Goes Wild Over Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ Trump Impeachment Shout-Out to Biggie Smalls

    Samantha Bee Dunks on Trump’s Impeachment Defense Team: ‘A Virtual Dream Team of Rape Culture’

  26. punaise says:

    Minor (petty) aesthetic quibble: is anybody else bothered by the hideously jagged and busy marble or faux-marble backdrop for these proceedings?

    • P J Evans says:

      I think it’s real marble – it’s in the videos of Graham during Clinton’s impeachment trial. It’s a little annoying, but I can tolerate it.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Metamorphic indeed ! Can you imagine the heat that stone has felt in that chamber for all these years ? Bet there have been some blistering debates. I was amused that it was purple, before being purple was a political thing.

      • P J Evans says:

        It’s one of the classic marbles. I have a marble tile holding my electric tea kettle, and it’s one of the kind with large crystals, very pretty: white with grey and brown markings. (Marble and granite for trivets because they’ve already been fried: what damage would a hot pot do?)

  27. punaise says:

    another peeve: as a non-religious sort I was actually quite offended by all the god stuff in the invocation. YMMV

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Ha ! I keep hoping that some well placed lightening bolts will smite some of the smug, self-righteous Republicans who are hoping for the rapture.

      • P J Evans says:

        Preferably in whatever places they’re using to avoid having to do their jobs. But in the Senate chamber will do, and even better might be it happening when they’re doing an interview instead of being on the floor.

  28. P J Evans says:

    Nice point:
    Thursday, Jan 23, 2020 · 7:28:47 PM PST · Mark Sumner

    Schiff: “Why would Trump believe a man like Rudy Giuliani over Christopher Wray? … Because what Rudy was offering Trump was something that benefited him personally, and what Wray was offering was merely the truth.”

    • P J Evans says:

      more Schiff:
      Thursday, Jan 23, 2020 · 7:30:52 PM PST · Mark Sumner

      Schiff making a forceful, powerful, engaging conclusion to the evening. Can you trust Trump? “You know you can’t.”
      “Is there any evidence that Donald Trump will ever put the national interest ahead of his personal interest? … You know you can’t count on him to do that.”

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