Midnight in Washington: Today’s Senate Vote [UPDATE-2]

[NB: Updates will appear at the bottom of this post. /~Rayne]

This post is dedicated to today’s U.S. Senate’s proceedings with regard to the trial of Donald J. Trump under articles of impeachment for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

The Senate is scheduled to convene at 4:00 p.m. ET* for the vote. Debate is underway already.

Senate live video link

C-SPAN live video via YouTube

C-SPAN’s live feed at their site

Eleven Films made a video in which House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff’s closing arguments are the centerpiece.

There’s a weak chance that GOP members of Congress could prove me wrong and do impartial justice. There might be a few who vote to convict Trump.

But I doubt it, not when they have proven time and again to be weak and craven, like Sen. Susan Collins who could be persuaded with a little cash to claim Trump has learned a lesson from impeachment.

What a pathetic fool. Mainers deserve so much better.

The worst part of what’s to come? Just as Trump made his “perfect call” the day after Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress, Trump will feel vindicated if he is not removed from office today.

His vile minions will manipulate him in his addled state into wreaking revenge.

And every one of the GOP members of Congress who did not vote to impeach and did not vote to convict and remove Trump will own what’s to come.

You’ll note I’m not holding my breath for impartial justice.

* Note the time change from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Debate speeches are still underway as of 3:25 p.m.

~ | ~ | ~

UPDATE-1 — 2:15 P.M. ET —

Give it up for Mitt Romney. I’m still in doubt this will persuade any other GOP senators to do the right thing and vote to convict.

ADDER: Oh gads Mitt’s splitting the baby. He’s going with one vote to convict on abuse of power, one vote to acquit on obstruction of Congress. I don’t even know how he could imagine ordering people not to comply with requests and subpoenas from the House isn’t obstruction.

UPDATE-2 — 4:50 P.M. ET —

As expected, the GOP senators voted along party line to acquit Trump. Mitt Romney was the exception, voting to convict on abuse of power but acquitting on obstruction of Congress.

You own all of this, GOP. Everything up to now, everything that follows now that you’ve turned your back on the rule of law. You are tied with a cord of steel to this forever.

The GOP senators who are up for re-election this year are:

Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)
Cassidy, Bill (R-LA)
Collins, Susan M. (R-ME)
Cornyn, John (R-TX)
Cotton, Tom (R-AR)
Daines, Steve (R-MT)
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY)
Ernst, Joni (R-IA)
Gardner, Cory (R-CO)
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)
Hyde-Smith, Cindy (R-MS)
Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)
Perdue, David (R-GA)
Risch, James E. (R-ID)
Rounds, Mike (R-SD)
Sasse, Ben (R-NE)
Sullivan, Dan (R-AK)
Tillis, Thom (R-NC)

Alexander, Lamar (R-TN) – retiring, seat is open.
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) – retiring, seat is open.

McSally, Martha (R-AZ) — is up for election; she’s an appointee who replaced a previous short-term appointee, Jon Kyl.

Find their opponents and give them a hand. Vote everyone of these scofflaws out of office.

218 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Mitt Romney is supposed to speak before the vote, I think I read somewhere. ~eye roll~

    Doug Jones committed to voting to convict. Good. Throw him some money if you can afford to because his campaign will be the most beleaguered on the left.

  2. Geoff says:

    That’s a catchy trailer, but it would be better if someone informed them that the spelling of it’s in “it’s case” at 0:40 is “its case” without the apostrophe. Just saying.

    • Rayne says:

      Hey. GTFO with this shit. You want to complain about Eleven Film’s copy? Go visit their Twitter account or website. Don’t trash up comments here with this pedantry when we have better things to do here.

      • errant aesthete says:

        Thank you!

        I’m a stickler for spelling too, but if you really want to make it “better” and even contribute in a meaningful way, you might follow Rayne’s suggestion of contacting the company directly so the responsible party could make the change.

        If you should go to their site, you will learn that Eleven-Films, creator of this small gem, is a family operation started by a husband/wife team out of Portland, Oregon in 1983. While they garner an impressive number of views per month from the videos they create, they are wholly independent, responsible for overseeing the creation, the development, the production (pre/post), the scripting, narrating, editing, music, mixing, sound effects and yes, graphics, including chyron and spellcheck.

        There are fortune 500 companies in this country that commit these kinds of chyron errors every day while making millions of dollars in advertising. Citing this particular low-budget one from a team who is contributing to the betterment of us all seems senseless.

    • Eureka says:

      That ad knocked my socks off last night. What I most want to see next is where it airs besides the streets of twitter. The studio account had indicated that they rushed it out around urgent things like childcare (in response to someone whining about the audio).

      It was thoughtful for them to have even encoded captions in the first place.

      • BobCon says:

        How bad does it have to get before they admit they need to stop treating the White House as if it is a neutral, professional place like NOAA or the NTSB?

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      For Trump’s it’s always personal and business, and he takes no prisoners.

      Like all bullies, I suspect Trump would backslide in a heartbeat if faced with effective opposition. But the MSM never offers any – unlike the Dutch or even the Brits. And here, Trump has given himself nowhere to go.

  3. punaise says:

    I will grudgingly but appreciatively tip my hat to Mitt for doing the right thing, regardless of any ulterior motives.

    • Frank Probst says:

      Ditto. I don’t know if any Democrats were still on the fence, but Mitt just gave them enough breathing room to vote to convict.

    • Mickquinas says:

      Or half the right thing, as it turns out.

      I’m guessing that Joe Manchin’s pitch for censure was the foundation for a vote to acquit, so Romney and Manchin will swap spots for this vote and the totals will be the same, and everyone will get to argue that their side was bipartisan.

      I so want to be wrong. There’s no argument that the president did the thing. There’s no argument that the thing was wrong. They just don’t want to remove him for it, because he’s THEIR criminal, and they, and the people who own them, are getting what they want. And I hate that things are so broken that MITT ROMNEY comes off looking good (remember Seamus the dog? remember 47%? remember binders full of women? corporations are people?) for doing half the right thing.

      I’d say that we deserve to lose our democracy, except that deserve’s got nothing to do with it.

    • BobCon says:

      I would have traded it for a serious effort to round up support for witnesses, but it’s something. I hope at least it dilutes the stupid pundit talking point about no bipartisanship.

    • pjb says:

      i’m not sure I understand what ulterior motives Romney may have? He well knows he’s not going to be President in 2024. Maybe I am naive, but I am inclined to take him at his word. He takes his oath seriously, he could not find a way to avoid the obvious conclusion that Trump was guilty and so announced his vote. Its what Collins, Alexander and Murkowski (not to mention all the others) obviously should have done, but for their ulterior motives.

      Romney has tons of dough and no re-election to worry about for 5 years. But, he’s still going to be pilloried and called disloyal. There’s even a fair chance this recidivist President or his henchmen inside or outside official government, will start an “investigation” of him a la Biden. He did an honorable thing. Less than 24 hours after a Presidential Medal of Honor was bestowed upon a racist, bigoted asshole like Rush, I needed to feel there was some true honor somewhere. It feels like a hot shower after the toilet backed up.

      • Frank Probst says:

        I think another possibility is that Romney plans to retire from politics after this term, and he’s thinking about his legacy. I think that may be why ran for this seat in the first place. He didn’t want the last thing on his political biography to be “failed Presidential candidate”. Now it’s going to be: Savior of the 2002 Olympics, former governor, and former US Senator. Oh, and he ran for President in 2012 and lost. And the speech he gave today will replace that cringeworthy picture of Romney with Trump. (I also think he really believes that this is the right thing to do, but politics certainly figured into the equation.)

      • Jenny says:

        It was the Medal of Freedom to a racist, sexist, misogynist, bigot, bully and more … he and Trump are like two peas in a pod.

      • Rayne says:

        There’s another possible angle Romney may have in mind in addition to just plain doing the right thing.

        What happens if Trump has a serious meltdown and is incapacitated? What happens with Pence at the top of the ticket?

        • pjb says:

          I still find it hard to believe the party will turn its lonely eyes to Mitt the Apostate. I would imagine Donnie Nepotism, Jr. will assert the divine right of kings doctrine to take his rightful place on the throne.

  4. Rayne says:

    Oh gods, Lindsey Graham is going on now about the impeachment being an attempt to reject the election.


    We’d like to fire your ass, too, but that will have to wait until November.

    • P J Evans says:

      Every time one of them starts going on about this, or “overturning the election”, I want someone to stop the speech and ask, “if he’s convicted and removed, who becomes president?” just to get the point across that it isn’t doing anything of the kind.

  5. punaise says:

    with apologies to Maria Muldaur:

    Midnight at the ole’ crisis
    Set your karma to “dread”
    Shadows on the Constitution
    Traces of justice in our heads
    Heaven’s holding a half-doom
    Shining just for U.S.
    Let’s slip off to a voting booth, real soon
    And kick out the little f*cks

  6. Dave Karson says:

    I may be pathetically naive, but I appreciate Romney voting to convict. I wish he would vote on both accounts though. I do listen to Sean Hannity most nights, and last week, it was the “Destroy Senator Romeny” week on his radio show. It was a blistering attack for several days and I would assume it was meant to show the other Republican Senators what to expect if they stepped out of line. That along with Trump’s aide, “head on a pike” comment. Yes, I know it is not obstruction of justice, but to me it seems like it has the same effect on Senators, it keeps them from voting their conscience.

    • Dave Karson says:

      I just skipped over to WAPO and it said that only four Senators listened to Romney’s speech. But two of them, were brought to the point of tears, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). Sounds like it was a good speech. If, over the next year or two, more significantly damaging details comes out on Trump, I am wondering if Romney will be in a good position in 2024 to claim that he is the only Republican who protected the Constitution, and the stood up to Trump, if he decides to run for President? Just wondering. TIA. Best, Dave Karson

      • Jenny says:

        I called Romney’s office to thank him for choosing We the People rather than We the Party. One conviction account is better than none.

        NBC News on Twitter: 11:33 AM – 5 Feb 2020
        FULL SPEECH: Sen. Romney says he will vote in favor of the article of impeachment on abuse of power against President Trump.
        “With my vote, I will tell my children and their children that I did my duty to the best of my ability, believing that my country expected it of me.”

      • skua says:

        The huge negative of Romney raising his vote for impeachment in a 2024 Presidentail campaign is that it will cast all his Trump-enabler Congress associates in a very bad light.
        “Unlike my Congress colleagues here, I tried to limit Trump’s poisoning of America”, is a great sound-bite though.

        • Dave Karson says:

          Good point. He could finesse it though, for example, during a Presidential debate, if there is a question about which candidate can make the tough choices required of the Commander in Chief, he could talk about his life experiences and then casually mention his vote on impeachment. I listened to Sean Hannity last night and it was another night of excoriating Romney. Right Wing Talk Radio won’t let anyone (Senators/House Republicans) forget what will happen to them if they cross the line. It seems like “virtual jury tampering” to me. Best, Dave Karson

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A lying shite, desperately hoping for re-election, thanks to mysterious gifts from afar. She deserves to find herself employed by neither the public nor wingnuts, admiring how windy it is atop Mt. Katahdin at night, with nowhere to go but down.

    • P J Evans says:

      She made that bed. Let her lie in it and find out how uncomfortable it really is, when the voters toss her out.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    It’s not what he says, it’s what he does.

    Mr. Trump has made a move. Late Friday evening, apparently, he designated all of his Customs and Border Protection as a “Security Agency.” That gives it similar status to “highly secretive intelligence and law enforcement agencies like the FBI and the Secret Service.” Despite much of its work not being anything like those agencies. Among other things, CBP is exempt from a wider range of mandatory disclosures under FOIA.

    Trump’s new secret police. Presumably, he has plans for it. He has much to do before he can assume his presidency-for-life.


  8. klynn says:

    I saw a chart that added up the number of constituents represented by senators and it compared the impeach numbers to not impeach numbers. Now I cannot find it. Did anyone else see that chart?

    • Eureka says:

      I saw it yesterday, but there’s also a harpie thread about it somewhere around here from several days ago (~last week) (possibly ultimately linking to the same tweet circulating yesterday). If you want to poke around.

    • harpie says:

      Maybe this:
      4:20 PM · Feb 5, 2020

      Mind-blowing stat: 48 Senators who voted to convict Trump represent 18 million more Americans than 52 Republicans who voted to acquit / 48 Senators who voted to convict Trump of abuse of power represent 170 million people 52 Senators who voted to acquit represent 152 million people In US Senate majority represents minority
      Here is math via @imillhiser [link] /

      52 GOP Senators who represent 18 million fewer people than Dems/Romney, in a body where Wyoming has 68 times the voting power of California, blocked impeachment of president who lost popular vote by 2.9 million. American democracy is badly broken

  9. Eureka says:

    CON: OK so I know I shouldn’t have unmuted MSNBC, especially with some of the coverage lately. Guest just now, NYT’s Annie Karni, couldn’t NOT use the word “disarray” (I believe the phrase was ~ Dems looking like a “party in disarray”).

    PRO: But it inspires a satirical challenge, the ‘satire’ part courtesy of the characteristics of our current regime. What words (phrases) would we need to take away — put in timeout — for some elements of the press to have to think through their tired gags?

    I’ll admit to not being super inspired at the moment:

    [Dems in] disarray,
    [Trump] believes,
    Diner, Trump voters, bothsides, civility.

    What else?

    • BobCon says:

      If you can stomach it, read this interview with Annie Karni. It is like getting the unfiltered voice of a superficial, brain dead zombie journalist. She is the essence of NY Times campaign coverage — glib, slanted, in denial of her own biases, shallow, anti-analytical….


      It gives a visceral sense of why the Times and rest of the DC press corps is so freaking bad. She speaks of a foreign trip with Trump she attended where news organizations paid tens of thousands of dollars to go along, Trump’s people completely stiffed them on access, and her reaction is just to shrug and treat it like a strategy. They are insanely cynical and yet completely, unthinkingly committed to making the GOP seem like they’re not insane.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        CSIS is the ueber-establishment think tank. Originally set-up by Georgetown, it is an extremely well-connected and well-funded think tank. It is much praised by a power set of academics, officials, and national security, defense, and government contractors. They rank it (themselves, really) as numero uno in der Welt.

        It claims a bipartisan perspective, but retains a distinct Republican twang. Unsurprisingly, its original location was on K Street, lobbyist central. It has since moved a few blocks to Scott Circle, as DC reshapes its dominant architecture to more overt glass high-rise expressions of power.

        • BobCon says:

          Karni obviously felt she was safe within the clubhouse talking to other members.

          It’s overloaded with gossip about Bannon v. Kushner, which largely turned out to be wrong or incomplete, and absolutely zero sign of any kind of analytical thought.

          It’s an astounding piece and I’m grossed out, but not surprised, that she still has a job in good standing at the Times. She’s obviously at home there.

      • Eureka says:

        Thanks for the trigger warning. MSNBC has had Karni on regularly for a bit now — almost like she’s a pseudo-diametric to the “serious” and “consternated” Schmidt — and any given glimpse is hard to take. Your overview of the interview accords with what I’ve observed here and there: there’s a tranquilized quality to her segments, an odd “pleasant” affect paired with truly weighty news — _if_ news is what’s even on the table.

    • Eureka says:

      CON: this is ultimately a really unpleasant game. Makes you recall semi-retired words like “electability” (paused only due to so much outrage, it’ll be back). RETRACT THE SUGGESTION

      PRO: It makes super-salient how our MSM news services are failing us, when you have a draft list of dumb words and keep hearing them.

      (Forgot other favorites like “divisive” — heard that one a lot re “this divisive tiem in our nation” as to impeachment. BLECH.)

      • Eureka says:

        *time. And that was just yesterday, as in “moving past” (another BINGO) “this divisive time” now that impeachment is over.

  10. LivnInReality says:

    I don’t understand. How can this happen. How has this man been acquitted for all the crimes he has committed? Can anyone explain or link me to something that actually explains how such a heinous criminal can go without being held accountable for his crimes? Seriously. I’m enraged.

    And don’t say Russia. I’m tired of that. Where is the real evidence other than stupid handshaking/money games between people who actually don’t influence Russian and Ukrainian politics.

    Can anyone explain this to me?

    • Rayne says:

      You haven’t been paying attention for three years if you haven’t seen the connections between people and money. Don’t ask us to do your homework when it’s as easy as googling. Hell, Wikipedia even has entries for the Special Counsel Investigation and Trump-Ukraine scandal. Knock yourself out.

      Welcome to emptywheel, by the way. Please use the same userid and login information each time you comment so community members get to know you.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      For someone whose comment suggests they don’t get out much, you’re up to date on criticizing individual wiki pages that have not been updated in a few months. I’m sensing a contradiction with your inexplicable lack of information about “how this happened.”

      Answers to that you might find from a few months of reading this blog. But my observation is that the same rules apply here as apply to other forms of public discourse and transportation: reasonable courtesy will keep you from having to walk.

  11. Manqueman says:

    The Party of Trump took the last step towards throwing away all legitimacy and any right to lead. Their acquittal of Trump (predetermined at that) is the ultimate confirmation that they are opposed to the rule of law other than as a tool of oppression of the majority of the nation. This has been a theme of the GOP SCOTUS majority, and now the GOP Senate. The historic American experiment (overhyped as it was by jingoism) is dead. The only solution won’t happen: A strong progressive state.

  12. harpie says:

    Marie Yovanovitch: “a person free to speak exclusively for myself”!

    Marie Yovanovitch: These are turbulent times. But we will persist and prevail.
    Marie L. Yovanovitch Feb. 6, 2020 at 6:00 a.m
    [Marie L. Yovanovitch served most recently as the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.]

    After nearly 34 years working for the State Department, I said goodbye to a career that I loved. It is a strange feeling to transition from decades of communicating in the careful words of a diplomat to a person free to speak exclusively for myself.

    What I’d like to share with you is an answer to a question so many have asked me: What do the events of the past year mean for our country’s future? […]

    • Frank Probst says:

      If you’re looking for someone who deserves a Medal of Freedom, I’d say that it’s someone like this. She spends very little time talking about with happened to her personally and a lot more time talking about what’s happened to civil servants in general. When she pats herself on the back for simply obeying a subpoena, she immediately includes all of the other civil servants who did the same thing. She never highlights the fact that she’s probably the one person who’s gotten slimed the most over the past year. She also doesn’t really even mention that she was the person who got the most personal threats. She realizes that this is all bigger than her. This is what a patriot looks like.

    • harpie says:

      POMPEO is an UNpatriot:

      [via Laura Rozen]: https://twitter.com/RobbieGramer/status/1225429470099771392
      9:42 AM · Feb 6, 2020

      SCOOP: Trump’s South Africa ambassador, a successful handbag designer, forced out her top career diplomat at the embassy as she tried to elevate her son to a senior embassy post, officials tell me.
      Part of a trend of Trump envoys pushing out their #2’s

      Links to:
      At Embassies Abroad, Trump Envoys Are Quietly Pushing Out Career Diplomats
      “There’s zero support or pushback from the department for the career people,” said one former U.S. official.
      FEBRUARY 5, 2020, 3:19 PM

      • Frank Probst says:

        I think that this was most clear during Mary Louise Kelly’s interview of Mike Pompeo. If you listen to the audio of that interview, it’s (I’m sorry to use the word, but it seems like there are no synonyms for it.) damning. She asks him about morale at State, and he said it was good. She said that that’s not what people at State were saying, and he said that he wouldn’t respond to stories from anonymous sources. That was clearly his “go to” defense that I’m sure he’s gotten away with using many times in the past, and Mary Louise Kelly was ready for it. She cited two people from State who had made this claim UNDER OATH, so it wasn’t just “anonymous sources”. He cut her off before she even finished and said that he had always defended the people at the State Department. She asked him when he’d done so for Marie Yovanovitch, and he said he always defended the people at the State Department. She didn’t disagree; she just asked him to point her towards the comments he had made defending Marie Yovanovitch. And that’s about where the interview ended. (The hissy fit came afterwards.)

        (It’s worth noting that the main focus of that interview was Iran, not Ukraine. It was a 10 minute interview, and she was able to get through all of her questions about Iran because we aren’t really having any diplomatic negotiations with them right now, so there wasn’t much to talk about.)

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The Great Purge won’t begin until Trump is awarded his laurel leaves and triumph in November. But the little ones are deeply troubling.

    • Frank Probst says:

      I’m curious to see what happens with the book. It’s never going to leave the review office, or if it does, everything in it will have been Insta-classified as Top Secret by Trump and Barr.

      IMHO, I honestly think that Trump will somehow try to block the publication of the book, which will obviously create a fight over the First Amendment’s clause on freedom of the press. That STILL puts the book in legal hell for months to years.

  13. harpie says:

    BREAKING! [LOL!] Matt Gaetz is filing an ethics complaint against Pelosi.
    10:10 PM · Feb 5, 2020

    BREAKING: I’m filing an ethics complaint against @SpeakerPelosi for destroying @realDonaldTrump’s State of the Union speech.
    Her conduct was beneath the dignity of the House, and a potential violation of law (18 USC 2071).
    Nobody is above the law. She must be held accountable.[screenshot]

    • klynn says:

      What a putz he is. Someone needs to file one against him for his SCIF tantrum that ended being a threat to national security.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The quips write themselves, a tarnished pot calling a polished kettle black among them.

      I also think it’s too late for Matt to try to ass-kiss his way back into Trump’s favor. Hope he remembers how to sell those crappy used cars he used to borrow for free on prom night.

    • Jenny says:

      Yep – LOL!
      Ethics complaint for ripping up paper. Let’s go a laundry list for Trump’s unethical behavior: cages children, separates families, defrauds a charity, created a fake university, sexually assaulted women and so much more… plus cheats at golf.

    • Rayne says:

      Nobody is above the law. ~snort~

      I’m going to bite my tongue about the clean-up work Gaetz’s daddy did with regard to his unlawful behaviors.

    • P J Evans says:

      Does he really think that was the only copy of that alleged speech? Can we send him back to school, in hopes of him learning something about the real world?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Do you suppose there’s a single twt or dm, e-mail or phone call, report, memorandum, transcript, or minutes of a meeting that has escaped the careful curatorship of this administration?

        It protects the Presidential Records Act – and every other law – as if it were a still hot McDonald’s sandwich on its way to der Leader. His administrative best practices are rivaled only by the stellar executives it hires to implement them.

    • klynn says:

      The Dems would be wise to stick to paper ballots. GOP have been coached to create chaos in the Dem primaries to make Dems look bad.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Whether or not this claim is true – disinformation is the Trump and the GOP’s stock-in-trade – the dirty tricks have only begun to fly.

      • harpie says:

        …case in point, from McKay Coppins:
        7:37 AM · Feb 6, 2020

        Trump and his allies are poised to wage what could be the most extensive disinformation campaign in U.S. history this year—and we’re not ready. My new feature for the March issue of The Atlantic: [link]

        While reporting this story, I created a fake Facebook account designed to fully immerse me in pro-Trump propaganda. The effect surprised me. Read about how I (almost) accidentally red-pilled myself: […]

        • harpie says:

          From the article:
          The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President
          How new technologies and techniques pioneered by dictators will shape the 2020 election https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/

          […] I was surprised by the effect it had on me. I’d assumed that my skepticism and media literacy would inoculate me against such distortions. But I soon found myself reflexively questioning every headline. It wasn’t that I believed Trump and his boosters were telling the truth. It was that, in this state of heightened suspicion, truth itself—about Ukraine, impeachment, or anything else—felt more and more difficult to locate. With each swipe, the notion of observable reality drifted further out of reach. […]

          • Eureka says:

            This is possibly — *possibly* (there are so many contenders) — the most alarming must-read of the day.

  14. harpie says:

    Aaron Rupar does a video thread as
    The President of the United States speaks at today’s Prayer Breakfast:

    9:19 AM · Feb 6, 2020

    Trump to the prayer breakfast:
    “As everybody knows, my family, our great country, & your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest & corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us & by so doing, very badly hurt our nation.” #WWJD [VIDEO]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A rare skill, simultaneously being Victim-in-chief and Tormentor-in-chief.

      Trump intends to lead a bloody crusade to send the Infidel Democrats and the country to hell. No restraint is necessary or good when doing the will of the gods.

  15. Manwen says:

    I just wanted to add one Senator who is also up for re-election. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) will also be on the ballot next year in an unusual election to replace the retired Johnny Isaacson. She could be very vulnerable. She is running against Reverend Ralph Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church (the King Family Church) and possibly Republicans such as Rep. Doug Collins in an open seat election. Loeffler viciously attacked Romney early in the trial for daring to suggest he might want to hear from Bolton. She forfeited any hope that Georgian Republicans would soften their edge in an appeal for the suburban vote.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks for that, I’ll add Loeffler as a target. Hope to gods the election infrastructure doesn’t work against Democrats in this race.

  16. Vicks says:

    For someone to feel they got “rolled” I would think you would have to consider whether or not they cared about any fallout that did not affect them.
    I always assumed Rooty was using his relationship with Trump to help other clients, and i would suggest that lucrative side gigs are the reasons for most of the insane defenses of Trump and his almighty power.
    My question is, is king building enough or is there some other way Trump’s soldiers are showing respect to the boss?

    • harpie says:

      […] By denying the American people a fair trial, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also deprived the president of something that he desperately sought — exoneration. There can be no exoneration without a legitimate trial. Out of fear of what they would learn, the Senate refused to hold one. The president will not be vindicated, and neither will the Senate, certainly not by history. […]

  17. harpie says:

    wrt: my comment at 5:36 PM above

    Moments after the acquittal vote, Grassley and Johnson announce their request for Hunter Biden’s travel records from Secret Service.

    …something new, from nycsouthpaw:
    Treasury Department sent information on Hunter Biden to expanding GOP Senate inquiry
    Luppe B. Luppen February 6, 2020

    From Luppen’s thread on the article:
    11:31 AM · Feb 6, 2020

    […] Through his spokesperson, Sen. Wyden, the ranking member on the Finance Committee, criticized the administration for exercising a double standard in its responses to the GOP Senate’s investigation and the impeachment inquiry. […]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      But nada from Treasury in response to a formal – and explicitly statutorily authorized – request from a congressional committee for el Presidente’s tax returns?

      I’d say Mnuchin is running a protection racket, but that would be true of the entire Republican Party, barring examples we could count on fingertips. Donald Trump must be hiding one helluvan ugly portrait in his attic, that he needs to corrupt an entire government to keep prying eyes from seeing it.

  18. Dave Karson says:

    Slightly OT: There were so many good points made in this post. Yes, Bolton, IMHO, was not a patriot. He had the chance of speaking up, when our nation needed it most, and maybe, maybe could have turned the tide. I always believe in the Malcolm Gladwell tipping point theory, and I thought with Parnas and Bolton, maybe we could have reached it. All we needed was 4 Republicans to vote for witnesses and then it might, might have been off to the races. But Bolton stayed silent. He chose $$ over country. Ugh. Secondly, I listen to Sean Hannity and Mark Levin most nights, and they are intent on destroying Mitt Romney, my guess, to show the other Republicans that they will be utterly destroyed if they step out of line. Russ Feingold was my hero for having principals and courage, now I have added Mitt Romney to that list. He knew he would become a piraya in his own party, but he voted his conscience. Thank you Mitt. #couragematters. Finally, in my mind, Fox News and Right Wing Hate Radio is so strong, that even after 2024, as long as they are around, we will continue to have feckless, spineless Republicans. Personally, by making it clear that their Senate career would be destroyed if they voted to convict, it is like a kind of “virtual jury tampering” or “virtual obstruction of justice”. It is no secret that the Senators are afraid of Trump and Fox. (Today’s online NYT op-ed talks to the very point of that.) So the question in my mind is, how do we change Right Wing Radio? Because until we do, it will continue to exert enormous influence on our country. IMHO. Best, Dave Karson

  19. Rayne says:

    Because a newbie account decided to drop in and have a tantrum, it’s time to pull this out again. Think it’s been almost two years on the nose since I posted it.


    xkcd on Free Speech (ep. 1357)

    Things frowned upon here include but not limited to: deliberate sockpuppeting, ad hominem attacks on contributors and/or commenters, (far-fetched) claims without substantiation, behavior denying other commenters’ use of comment thread, behavior undermining site integrity and/or or users’ security.

    Lisa Williams once explained that her blog was like her living room; she expected commenters to behave as they would in her living room. This seems a perfect rule of thumb — not overly specific but easy to understand. This might be a fairly raucous living room but hosts and guests alike don’t care for the jerk who does something nasty in the punch bowl.


    And it’s especially frowned upon for strangers to walk in off the street, not make an effort to develop a rapport with the community, and then doody in the pool.

    Just plain bad manners in real life and in comment space. Thanks to our community members who make this a place where we only infrequently need to throw participants out of the pool.


    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      I’ve always enjoyed the alt-text on this one, “I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.”

      Here’s a link to the source https://xkcd.com/1357/

    • P J Evans says:

      Over at Making light, the lurking mods will disemvowel comments that are over the line. If the commenter persists, they may end up banned (it’s happened a couple of times that I know of).

  20. Molly Pitcher says:

    Trumps victory lap being broadcast right now is a preview of what a second term would look like. He actually was played into the room with Hail to the Chief. He is completely unhinged and rambling now.

    We can officially say that we now live in the YUGEST banana republic in the world.

    • PeterS says:

      True, but wasn’t the US already a bit of a banana republic? A political system so blatantly corrupted by money; political control of large parts of the electoral infrastructure; political appointments in the judicial system. Aren’t these features of a banana republic? Perhaps there’s an extent to which the age of Trump has highlighted that the emperor’s clothes are kind of flimsy. 

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        No, I do NOT think that the US is already a banana republic. I think it is a democracy with all of the foibles of a government dependent on humans. We have swung the pendulum too far to the right and the coming election will be a correction to bring it back to reality.

        The banana republic element of our current situation is the veneration of a crackpot leader by a corrupt political party. That is not the result of a failing of democracy, but a result of the laziness of the electorate. Democracy requires the informed involvement of the citizenry. We got complacent with Obama in the White House and did not prepare for the assault from the right in the 2016 election.

  21. OmAli says:

    Did Trump just brag on Nunes going into basements and finding documents? Was he stealing classified information? I’d love to know what he meant.

  22. Raven Eye says:

    It’s obvious that there is still a lot of unpacking and analysis needed with regard to the events of the past several months.

    But even at this stage, it is perfectly clear (using “perfect” in the Presidential context) that the President, Attorney General Barr, and Senate Majority Leader McConnell consider it acceptable if candidates to federal office decide to accept the assistance and support of foreign governments and their agencies. Within that same context, assistance could also be accepted from non-U.S. business or financial firms.

    Such assistance and support may be solicited from or merely offered by the foreign entity. It could take the form of existing information, general or targeted research and analysis, technical assistance, voter education, monitoring of voter registries, indirect financial support, or any other task or deliverable that would assist the candidate, supporting Political Action Committees, or committees or other entities conducting special events. The support activities need not be wholly conducted in or from locations subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

    Candidates or PACs could contract these services, or accept them gratis. As a note of caution, the assistance or support should not be offered as a quid pro quo agreement, but the definition and scope of quid pro quo would necessarily be conditional upon the circumstances extent at the time of offering or delivery, with the recipient having sole authority and responsibility for determining if the offering does, in fact, involve quid pro quo.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      The impulse to give the dastards a healthy dose of their own medicine is perfectly understandable.

      However, I have reason to believe that your truly hard-core hypocrites–such as A. G. Barr, for instance–remain utterly incapable of perceiving in themselves the same sicknesses that they so readily diagnose in others.

      They have a rule for that. You won’t like it. It goes like this: It’s always different when they do it.

      Besides, they really have convinced themselves that they supposedly own the place.

  23. Mitch Neher says:

    Wallowing. Gloating. Wallowing and gloating; gloating and wallowing.

    Trump is a schoolgirl surrounded by a gross or more of grown men who are also all schoolgirls.

    [No offense intended to the current crop of actual schoolgirls, most of whom appear to be very nearly on a par with Greta Thunberg.]

    I’m talking about Trump’s grown-men schoolgirls, who are all vendettists as well as incorrigible recidivists–just like their Queen Bee, DT. Wallowing vendettists. And gloating recidivists.

    O! How I feel the truly off-color language rising up in me. So before I retire to the penalty box, let me just say that, “I have shared park benches with paupers who had more innate class than Trump and his schoolgirls could ever even imagine.”

    • Vicks says:

      I picked up more of a made for TV, mafia vibe.
      He was speaking through gritted teeth like a menacing mob boss declaring war, demanding applause for his greasy sons and the (inevitable) mafia princess daughter and pumping up his underboss and capos.
      This appeared to be a very deliberate attempt to clear up any doubt of what the group formally known as the republican party has committed to.
      In keeping with the storyline Romey will continued be tortured and used a warning to others thinking of crossing the organization.

      On a lighter note..
      “If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.”
      ― John Gottman

    • holdingsteady says:

      I for one would much rather hear your off color language as opposed to your use of schoolgirl as a derogative, which doesn’t work at all .

    • Eureka says:

      Offense taken by this one of the “current crop” of women.

      holdingsteady 537p is right about your repeated “schoolgirls” similizing. Surely you can do better in the pejoratives department.

      “Punch up, not down” as the good comedians say.

      I suggest “bag of dicks” might work well here.

      • Mitch Neher says:

        Nothing kicks the schmucks in their dick-bags like calling them schoolgirls does.

        Conversely, nothing quite shines their shoes like calling them a bag of dicks does.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    You gotta hand it to this administration. It has resurrected anti-Communism as a driving force. Despite its much-touted demise, this administration is forever on the look-out for its renaissance. It hates socialism, too. Like J. Edgar, fighting civil rights for anyone outside the white male establishment, it plops itself in the midst of any organization where two or three or more are gathered in any name but Trump.

    Not that it understands what Communism, socialism, or any such thingy means: the words are used as generic expletives for things it hates, such as public ownership of a business or industry. Here is strident anti-socialist and former telecoms company general counsel, Attorney General Bill Barr:

    “The United States and its allies should take controlling stakes in Nokia, Ericsson or both to battle Chinese telecoms giant Huawei’s dominance of the 5G market.”


    • Rayne says:

      Allies. Hah. His boss doesn’t want those allies.

      And an American company did take a controlling stake in Nokia — the worst part — and turned it into trash. Congrats, Microsoft!

    • Frank Probst says:

      Alright, I’m going to be upfront and say that I know almost nothing about Huawei and the 5G market, but, um, don’t our allies already own Nokia and Ericsson? Nokia is a Finnish company. Ericsson is Swedish. Both countries aren’t just allies. They’re also countries that we haven’t gone out of our way to antagonize lately. Can’t we just be all capitalist and simply pay them money in order for them do whatever it is Barr wants them to do?

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I assume Barr means direct ownership of the companies’ stock, not just that they are incorporated and/or listed in allied countries. An odd recommendation from a former telecoms guy from a party which considers government ownership anathema.

        Left unspoken, perhaps, is that Barr would implement his recommendation through a sort of public-private partnership. Those loathsome vehicles tend to privatize profits, but dump liabilities on the public. Now that would be more typical of this administration.

        • dude says:

          Cheap as Nokia is on the market now, I don’t think we can afford it. Greenland cost a pretty penny didn’t it?

    • Eureka says:

      Hoo, boy. I can’t wait until we get to the precious metals (or whatever raw materials) part of this story. Of course it’s cheaper to capture functioning businesses at the outset, I’ll give them that.

  25. Frank Probst says:

    I’m late to the party. Does anyone know who the audience was (and I’m talking about the people who were literally sitting in the chairs here) for the 2nd batshit crazy speech Trump gave today?

  26. Sela says:

    This is a very sad day, but we all knew this would happen long time ago.

    The silver lining is that at least no democrat voted to acquit trump. I was seriously concerned about Doug Jones and Tim Manchin. If even one Democrat didn’t vote to convict, Trump could’ve claimed a “bipartisan” acquittal, which would’ve been a disaster from public perception.

    There is also a symbolic importance for the fact that one Republican did vote to convict Trump. I am sure there would be at least 10 republican Senators who would’ve voted to convict Trump if they were not spineless cowards. Maybe even double this number. But since they are, I at least appreciate Romney’s vote, regardless of any question about his motives.

  27. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The CNN world is much agog about the loathsome things frequently said by its lavishly paid commentator, Rick Santorum, a former two-term Republican Senator from Pennsylvania.

    Santorum must fill the CNN nets with a lot of clickbait. Otherwise, it would do the obvious and promptly terminate his contract (along with the competence-challenged Chris Cillizza). Rick Santorum has no clue about anything. He is less often right in a day than a stopped clock.


  28. Molly Pitcher says:

    Doubling down on incompetence:

    Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) will soon become the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, after the House Republican Steering Committee voted unanimously Thursday to have him replace Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.).

    Separately, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) will take over Jordan’s top post on the House Oversight Committee.

  29. Eureka says:

    USWNT is playing an important Olympic-qualifying match vs Mexico tomorrow night (10p FS1, set your DVRs).

  30. Eureka says:

    Nothing like some planetary septic shock to go with your Midnight in Washington America:
    Scientists: Multiple Eco-Crises Could Trigger ‘Systemic Collapse’

    PARIS (AFP) — Overlapping environmental crises could tip the planet into “global systemic collapse,” more than 200 top scientists warned Wednesday.

    Climate change, extreme weather events from hurricanes to heat waves, the decline of life-sustaining ecosystems, food security and dwindling stores of fresh water — each poses a monumental challenge to humanity in the 21st century.

    Out of 30 global-scale risks, these five topped the list both in terms of likelihood and impact, according to scientists surveyed by Future Earth, an international research organization.

    In combination, they “have the potential to impact and amplify one another in ways that might cascade to create global systemic collapse,” a team led by Maria Ivanova, a professor at the Center for Governance and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts, said in a 50-page report.

    In a related item from the front page of courthousenews.com, Robert Kahn notes “In Brief” that the Center for Biological Diversity has sued the EPA for failing to account for microplastics pollution (of all things, as they are some of the worst things) in waters off Hawaii, in violation of the Clean Water Act.

    Great general info here:

    Ocean Plastics Pollution

    • P J Evans says:

      There’s an outfit in, I think, Thailand that collects floating plastic and turns it into bead bracelets. (The beads aren’t bad looking.)

  31. Fran of the North says:

    Here is a blast from the past* that showed up on my interwebs radio. Courtesy of the German Prog Rock band Triumvirat:

    The Deadly Dream of Freedom

    “I can see the face of fate is turning
    We can throw the ball and chain away
    We can make it happen just as long as you believe
    Together we stand up for our peace.”

    That could be a manifesto in this troubled time.

    Smoke ’em if you got ’em. The war isn’t over, this is the lull between the last battle and the next. Fran

    *Full disclosure, this isn’t one of the Triumvirat songs that is in my musikicon. But it’s a keeper now.

      • Fran of the North says:

        I hadn’t identified the connection, (then or now) but now that you mention it, they certainly seem to be influenced by ELP on this song. Probably the piano in the forefront of the mix.

        While I haven’t done the research, perhaps Tarkus predates this by a few years? This cut is from the Spartacus album.

  32. Eureka says:

    BILL OAKLEY: “Mr. Secretary of State please do not ever ever ever use Simpsons material in your twitter or watch the show or refer to it in any way [screenshot Pompeo tweet attempting to meme Lisa Simpson to own the libs]”

    Pompeo didn’t watch the whole episode; electorate willing and able, we can revisit this tweet in November for the thorough self-own that it is.

  33. harpie says:

    Alexander Vindman, Patriot

    1] White House Weighs Ouster of Aide Who Testified Against Trump
    February 6, 2020, 10:13 PM

    The White House is weighing a plan to dismiss Alexander Vindman from the National Security Council after he testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, preparing to position the move as part of a broader effort to shrink the foreign policy bureaucracy, two people familiar with the matter said. [harpie: This is their propaganda, folks, and WHY use their pejorative: “bureaucracy”????] […]

    The White House intends to portray any house-cleaning as part of a downsizing of the NSC staff, not retaliation, according to the people. [harpie: They’re telling you exactly how they want this framed. DON’T do it!] […]

    2] via Wendy Siegelman
    12:07 AM · Feb 7, 2020

    There is no graceful exit from Trump’s orbit.
    Vindman had already informed WH officials he would take early departure from NSC and leave by end of February.
    But WH appears to be accelerating that plan in part to make it look punitive.

    3] MARCY: emptywheel /1225750155045023744
    6:56 AM · Feb 7, 2020

    Note: If Vindman already told Trump, “I’m breaking up with you,” the headlines should not be, “Trump dumps Vindman.” It should be, “Trump’s trying to look successfully vindictive and we’re going to help him.” [WaPo link]
    [harpie: You can’t quit, you’re fired!]
    Marie Yovanovitch, Jennifer Williams, and Vindman all removed themselves before Trump had the pleasure. That’s worth noting.
    A perhaps BETTER frame for this story is how Trump is firing experts because he demands to be surrounding by sycophants. That’s a real danger. Your readers deserve to be reminded.

    The TRUMP White House: NO Patriots need apply!

  34. harpie says:

    wrt: Weinstein trial, via Kate Brannen
    9:20 AM · Feb 7, 2020

    I was almost done interviewing Weinstein’s defense attorney when I decided to ask one more question: had she ever been sexually assaulted? “I have not,” she said at 23:50. “Because I would never put myself in that position.”

    Then things really heated up.

    …links to [intro to podcast]:
    The Woman Defending Harvey Weinstein
    One of the reporters who broke the story of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged abuse speaks with Donna Rotunno, the lawyer behind Mr. Weinstein’s legal strategy.
    Feb. 7, 2020 Updated 9:35 a.m. ET

    • P J Evans says:

      She always has someone with her who she knows will protect her? Because that’s the only way it’s even remotely possible.

      • harpie says:

        What she tells herself:

        Anyone who has ever been sexually assaulted
        put themselves in that position,
        allowed it to happen to them…
        maybe even wanted it to happen.

  35. harpie says:

    1] The White House May Impose Classical Style on Federal Buildings A draft executive order promising to “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” drew a fierce response from the American Institute of Architects.

    2] [via Marcy] A very informative thread by the author of 1]: https://twitter.com/kristoncapps/status/1225560577092833288
    6:23 PM · Feb 6, 2020

    This is the U.S. Courthouse in Austin, Texas, designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, a husband-and-wife firm based in Atlanta. Maybe you like it—maybe you hate it. The White House proposal to ban modernist federal buildings mentions it by name. [photo] […]
    The Trump administration’s proposal to ban modernist federal buildings says that this courthouse has “little aesthetic appeal.” [link to above article]

    3] [via Cheryl Rofer]:
    [Will provide @IlvesToomas link in reply]
    8:52 PM · Feb 6, 2020

    WTF? So is non-classical architecture now to be considered Entartete Kunst? Look it up.]

    …links to the following:
    The Trump Administration and the New Architects of Fear
    The government’s plan to mandate “neoclassical” buildings might be one of the most blatantly authoritarian things it has yet attempted.
    [link in reply]

    […] Actually, forget about the aesthetics.

    State mandates for what counts as culture are always signs of creeping authoritarianism—banning architectural styles comes from the same file as banning books and declaring paintings degenerate. […]

    Mandate a single architecture, no matter which one, and democracy, history, and the law become a facade; underneath is an infrastructure of fear.

    • P J Evans says:

      People who hate modern architecture need to explain what parts they hate. With Trmp, I think it’s that he can’t appreciate anythign that isn’t ornate and full of gilding: the poor man’s idea of being rich.
      (The courthouse in Austin? I think it’s interesting looking.)

      • harpie says:

        Rogers talks about that in his piece, above:

        […] Neoclassicism was fundamentally inauthentic, a facadism that pretended to represent glory and truth. That might be why, in the 1930s and 1940s, it became the house style for Albert Speer, official architect of the Nazi government.

        It’s the kind of association that usually turns people off—but not the Trump administration’s would-be aesthetic guardians. Their neo-neoclassicism gets to pretend to recall the glory of Greece and Rome in the service of symbolizing a hegemonic world power.

        It also winks even harder at an America before women and people of color could vote. It turns up its Roman nose at [the modern …] … the hell with all that American stuff.

        Make it look like a bank.
        Make it look rich, jowly, pasty-faced, and fat.
        Let the sound of a thousand harrumphs
        echo amid cigar smoke. […]

        [I think the Austin Courthouse is gorgeous!]

        • harpie says:

          wrt: Trump administration’s would-be aesthetic guardians

          It’s such a authoritarian mindset.
          They get to decide
          what’s beautiful and good
          and right and moral.

        • P J Evans says:

          The postoffices I’ve used have been Spanish-style, modern, Romanesque, anonymous modern… One of my favorites was a former USPS office, Romanesque with marvelous carving around the doors and windows – it’s now an art museum, and the architect is the same one who did the Old Post Office in DC – the one Trmp is getting money from.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        That this president focuses on a single, preferred architecture is pure distraction.

        It is also pure, micro-manager Trump. He thinks his taste in all things – as garish and embarrassingly nouveau riche as it is, is even better than his ability to manage people, businesses, finance or governments.

        It should come as no coinkydinky, though, that his choice is so very 1930s Germany.

    • harpie says:

      [From the first link]:

      The American Institute of Architects released a statement on Tuesday rallying behind its modern members.

      “The AIA strongly opposes uniform style mandates for federal architecture,” the statement reads. “Architecture should be designed for the specific communities that it serves, reflecting our rich nation’s diverse places, thought, culture and climates.

      Architects are committed to honoring our past as well as reflecting our future progress, protecting the freedom of thought and expression that are essential to democracy.”

      Diversity and Democracy…
      that’s the last thing any authoritarian would want.

    • P J Evans says:

      Alexander is scheduled for War College this summer. (The Pentagon doesn’t have a problem with either of them.)

  36. Molly Pitcher says:

    Tweet from Sahil Kapur :

    “62% of New Hampshire Democrats would rather see a giant meteor strike the earth and extinguish all human life than see President Trump get re-elected.”

    • P J Evans says:

      I was looking at the image in that tweet, with the results: the *only* groups that favor re-electing Trmp are people with annual income over 100K (51-49) and conservatives (72-28).

  37. mospeck says:


    trump is running his dog and pony show on the noble Vindman brothers. Meanwhile, trying to keep it low key, his stooge NSA O’brien continues to gut the NSC. Rumors are that this week 50 more get canned. They are trying to take out the pros, keep only the loyalists and space out a cut from around 230 down to 100-130, with the carnival barker trying to keep our attention. Remember DNI Dan Coats getting PDDNI Sue Gordon out of a meeting and telling her it’s time to go? That seems so long ago. But it was only August. Now we got stooge Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. trump is taking apart US NatSec right in front of our eyes. This is #1 on Putin’s hit parade.

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