Tuesday Morning Hearing Thread

Update: Okay, between Google’s inability to return what seems to me to be the obvious and Cspan’s confusing way of presenting things, along with my juggling six things at once, let me do a total remake of this post. Apologies for the confusion and non-embeddedness.


Two big hearings today:

Jeff Sessions before the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the President’s ability to authorize nuclear weapons use.


Also, open thread.

112 replies
  1. 1

    I’m not going to be able to comment in real time. Will be back later.

  2. 2
    🌷 Martin says:

    tl;dw version:

    “I had no recollection”

  3. 3
    Davebo says:

    I love John Conyers but it would be nice to have someone a little bit more ambulatory giving the Dems opening statement.

  4. 4
    GregB says:

    Poor, Jefferson. I don’t recall amything but if there is anything incriminating I did the right thing.

  5. 5
    Hildebrand says:

    I can save everyone the hassle of watching this – Sessions will whine, dodge, act petulantly, sneer condescendingly at any woman who dares ask him a question, and finally go into a defensive crouch that would make an armadillo jealous when Al Franken politely puts the hammer and tongs to him.

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    Sessions is like a parody of himself at this point. “Ah dew declaah!” “Bring me mah fainting couch!” “How daaah you impugn mah intehgrahty!”

  7. 7
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Davebo: If it’s Conyers then this has to be House Judiciary and not Senate? Is Cheryl mistaken?

  8. 8
    Jeffro says:

    @Hildebrand: My understanding is that he’s also prone to not remember talking to anyone anywhere about anything, and then when you ‘remind’ him he did, he does remember unless that person is Carter Page.

    Right-wingers, riddle me this: what one instance, just one, from any of this cast of morons, leads you to believe that they are innocent of conspiring with a hostile foreign power against our country? Has any Trumpkin stood up at any point and said, “Well, so-and-so suggested that we take a meeting with Veselnitskaya/work with Wikileaks/help the Russians hack Facebook/funnel Russian money to GOP congressional races and I said OH HELL NO, THIS IS THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS STRICTLY BY THE BOOK!”?

    It is to laugh…

  9. 9
    Shalimar says:

    @Hildebrand: He showed up for the House Committee, not the Senate Committee. Franken and Harris won’t get a chance to question him.

  10. 10
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Yeah, it’s House Judiciary, not Senate. So Al Franken won’t be putting hammer and tongs to anyone.

  11. 11
    debit says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Pretty sure it’s the House.

  12. 12
    Kay says:

    My sister and I call the day (some) were indicted “indictment day”. We want to be able to put the next one on our calendar.

    Can that be arranged, do ya think? We don’t like surprises. How can we PLAN? :)

  13. 13
    Davebo says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah, it’s the House.

  14. 14
    Hildebrand says:

    @Shalimar: Damn. I love the Franken v. Sessions show. Looking at the list of Democrats, not sure if anyone has the same ability to get under Sessions’ skin.

  15. 15

    @Kay: I like a little anticipation myself. Word on Friday that indictments would come on Monday was perfect.

  16. 16
    Roger Moore says:



    Of course they said they were going to do things strictly by the book. It’s just that the book they’re using says the right thing to do at this point is to chant “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

  17. 17
    WaterGirl says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I was excited there for a moment – since I had previously read that Sessions wasn’t going to go before the Senate, I let myself hope that the Senate had stepped up with some teeth. Of course not!

  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    @Roger Moore: win

    Also, Paul Ryan just called for Roy Moore to drop out of the AL Senate Race. DAMMIT I meant to buy popcorn shares last night on eTrade…

  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    @Jeffro: What a brave man, that Ryan.

  20. 20
    Gin & Tonic says:

    My daughter is watching the hearing and texted me that people are laughing at Sessions.

    It’s funny. Prior to November 8, 2016, this daughter was mild-mannered, unfailingly polite and not all that interested in domestic US politics. Now she follows John Schindler on Twitter.

  21. 21
    Aleta says:

    @Kay: An advance warning system has not been developed yet, but if we act locally, church bells could ring out.

  22. 22
    SFAW says:

    @Roger Moore:

    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

    I plugged that into Google Translate, and my computer died

  23. 23

    @Gin & Tonic: Must be House. Cspan writeup is confusing.

  24. 24
    Repatriated says:

    @SFAW: it’s sleeping…

  25. 25
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    My daughter is watching the hearing and texted me that people are laughing at Sessions.

    They’d better watch out; you can be prosecuted for that.

  26. 26
    D58826 says:

    OK so according to the latest version of the AG’s testimony he has been telling the truth about never meeting with any Russian officials. But he now remembers that he did have one meeting with some low level guy during the campaign. Well that makes sense – George P brought the coffee for the Trump team and this newly reveled low level contact did the same for the Russian side

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    @Aleta: No kidding. So brave, Paul Ryan. Showing up just in time for the pile on. Profile in courage.

  28. 28
    SFAW says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady):

    I like a little anticipation myself.

    Are you shivering with antici …
    … pation?

  29. 29
    SFAW says:


    it’s sleeping…

    As long as it’s not dreaminig

  30. 30
    scav says:

    Has he said anything about not generally meeting with Russian foreign agents yet?

  31. 31
    GregB says:

    Jefferson’s testilying is not going well.

  32. 32
    Roger Moore says:


    As long as it’s not dreaminig

    It’s dreaming of electric sheep.

  33. 33
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: In every way, in ever action he takes, Paul Ryan proves that he is a follower. First and foremost, he follows the wishes of wealthy donors with can only be seen as slavish devotion. But in all other cases, his principles only become apparent once it is completely safe to express them and they make no difference to anyone.

  34. 34
    Suzanne says:

    I am on a conference call right now (much discussion of facilities required for cooking fish), so I am missing all of the excitement. Sad!

  35. 35
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I don’t know what y’all are watching, but it’s definitely the SENATE Judiciary Committee on my device! (I’m about probably 40 minutes delayed — currently watching SENATOR Chuck Grassley make his opening statement, and caught a glimpse of SENATOR Dianne Feinstein.)

  36. 36
  37. 37
    Steeplejack says:


    You’re watching something else, because Jeff Sessions is talking to a House hearing right now. Maybe the Senate hearing on the president’s control of nuclear weapons?

  38. 38
    J R in WV says:


    Now you got me, ROFTLOL!!! I’m not going to try it, no spare laptops right now! ;-)

  39. 39
    Lizzy L says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Washington Post headline: LIVE: Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies to the House Judiciary Committee.

  40. 40
    efgoldman says:


    You’re watching something else, because Jeff Sessions is talking to a House hearing right now. Maybe the Senate hearing

    Is it pledge week? Maybe they’re doing “impeachment favorite hearings”

  41. 41
    GregB says:

    Sessions: I tried to be honest.

  42. 42
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Nope. It’s JBS, and he is most definitely talking to the Senate Ctte.

    Very weird.

  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    Is anyone live-blogging Sessions’ testimony?

  44. 44
    Steeplejack says:


    Can’t be. I haven’t seen the doo-wop representative from Newark at all.

  45. 45
    Jeffro says:

    @GregB: Did he follow that up with “…but I’m guilty as sin. Can I please just keep this AG gig for another year so that I can persecute a few more minorities before I go to the hoosegow?”

  46. 46
    hedgehog the occasional commenter says:

    @Amir Khalid: The Lawfare blog is.

  47. 47
    Steeplejack says:


    What source stream are you watching? And is there a time shown anywhere on the screen?

  48. 48

    I’m looking at news about the Trump Jr/WikiLeaks contacts. It must be a shock to every Trumps’ system to learn that lying can actually be illegal.

  49. 49
    Elizabelle says:

    Who is questioning now? Guy with a sort of crew cut.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Hmm. Just saw Cheryl’s update and new links. I guess what I was watching from the original link must have been video from an earlier JBS appearance before the Senate Judiciary Ctte. How very confusing.

  51. 51
    Elizabelle says:

    Ah, Mr. Jordan. Would be “Jim Jordan.”

    Because I heard him say “Democrat National Committee.” A tell.

  52. 52
    Elizabelle says:

    And he’s all about uranium and the dossier. What an asshole.

    Guessing it’s Jim Jordan? From Ohio? Remember he was a douche, but there may be a few Jordans in the House.

    And he just said “Democrat National Committee” again. Fucker.

  53. 53
    Shalimar says:

    @Roger Moore: Working on a Lovecraft/Dick mashup?

  54. 54
    J R in WV says:


    Difference between cooking fish, and oh, say, eggs? Nil? I guess they want to vacuum the odor of the fish out of the establishment instantly?

    Sorry you’re in such a low-point meeting.

  55. 55
    noncarborundum says:

    True fact. If you put that into Google Translate and select Uzbek as the target language, it comes up with the string “Shundan keyin Rabbimiz Isoning shogirdi bo’lishdi”. Which if you then translate it back into English comes out as “And after that he became a disciple of the Lord”.
    I have NO idea what to make of that.

    ETA: Yiddish: די פונדרויסנדיק געצייַג קענען זיין רילייאַבילאַטי. -> “The external tool can be reliability.”

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Suzanne says:

    @J R in WV: Now we are discussing the number of compartments in the sink! Because the County health department requires a 3-compartment sink, and they don’t want to do it! AAAAAAHHHHHH.

    Sometimes a distressing amount of my life is devoted to telling clients, “It’s in the code/federal law/zoning ordinance/licensing conditions, IT’S A RULE, you have to do it.” The number of people who think that I can just change the code because they don’t like it is staggering. Especially around ADA issues.

  58. 58
    MomSense says:


    Makes me want to send him some hand embroidered hankies so he can wave them around. I also think stabbing a square of linen a thousand times might be cathartic.

  59. 59
    GregB says:


    Word that tanks are on the move in Zimbabwe after Mugabe sacked his VP in order to pave way for his wife. Mugabe is 93, head of state for 37 years.

  60. 60
    Steeplejack says:


    Yes, it was Jim Jordan (R-OH). Came across as a complete right-wing nutball. Big surprise.

  61. 61

    Y’all, I’ve reworked the top post to give two links to live coverage and apologize for my confusion.

    Also, here is a live-tweet thread of the nuclear use hearing.

  62. 62
    The Moar You Know says:

    Because the County health department requires a 3-compartment sink, and they don’t want to do it!

    @Suzanne: Back when I was young and had no life skills, I worked in a few restaurants. Not sure what state you’re in, but here in CA the three-compartment sink (soap/rinse/sanitize, I think that’s the order) has been mandatory in any food service establishment for decades.

    Don’t know what it is about foodservice owners that gets them so damn riled about regulations. Only worse group are construction contractors.

  63. 63
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Suzanne: I live in a small town. Almost invariably, if I hire a contractor to do something at my house, one of the first questions is “uh, do you want me to pull a permit for that?” I get the feeling that “yes” isn’t the normal answer.

  64. 64
    Shalimar says:

    @Suzanne: I quit a job once because they were ignoring ADA requirements. And because it was unsafe. Response from management was that we rented the building from the local fire department so if they didn’t see a problem then there wasn’t one. Ugh.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @GregB: And Jayuff failed so much that preschoolers roll their eyes.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @The Moar You Know: It’s that old “you’re not the boss of me!” attitude. Probably helped along by regulators who say “Because I’m the mommy!”

  67. 67
    Spanky says:


    I also think stabbing a square of linen a thousand times might be cathartic.

    Especially if Jeffy-Bo is wearing it at the time.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Spanky: Word.

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    @MomSense: I know. He’s like a caricature of a Southerner at this point. “Mah honor!”

    Orange dipshit is talking. “We had no relationship for a long period of time in the Philippines. Now we have a good relationship there. We’re back with the Philippines.”

    WTF? WTF?

  70. 70
    J R in WV says:


    That’s just too bizzaire!!! Who knew Ch’thlu was an Uzbek lord? Maybe a weekend hobby thing? Lovecraft stole his ancient evil lord-worshipping language from Uzbek?

  71. 71
    Steeplejack says:

    I would squee if one of the representatives asked Sessions: “Have you been evaluated recently for Alzheimer’s or early-onset dementia? You seem to be experiencing some significant memory issues.”

  72. 72
    Emma says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Doesn’t have to be a small town. I am pricing a privacy fence to replace the one damaged in the hurricane. The first thing I say is “I want the permits.” You can see in their eyes that it isn’t a standard homeowner request.

  73. 73
    TenguPhule says:

    @Hildebrand: Forget that, how is the effort to stop Trump from starting a nuclear war going?

  74. 74
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steeplejack: Let’s not give him an excuse.

    I want him declared perfectly sane right before he’s thrust up against that wall when the revolution comes.

  75. 75
    J R in WV says:


    To give him a little credit, we did bail out of Subic Bay naval base after that volcanic eruption. The brass decided it wasn’t geologically stable enough to pin our South Pacific military strategy on, what if the volcano blew in the middle of a war?

  76. 76
    TenguPhule says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It’s just that the book they’re using says the right thing to do at this point is to chant “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

    It’s a cookbook!

  77. 77
    prostratedragon says:

    @Suzanne: If you get new sinks, first make sure they’re big enough for your roasting pans.
    –The Weary Voice of Experience

  78. 78
    Spanky says:


    We had no relationship for a long period of time in the Philippines.

    Maybe he’s referring to that period of unpleasantness back in the ’40s. Someone should ask him about MacArthur.

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:


    Also, Paul Ryan just called for Roy Moore to drop out of the AL Senate Race.

    Thereby guaranteeing he doesn’t drop out now.

    Senate will not put up with the House telling them what to do.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: He’s talking about the part where we let them become independent, and expressing it very poorly.

    Let’s go with that, because the alternative is pretty bad.

  81. 81
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Clean sheets above.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J R in WV: Dormammu has his fingers in this, I’m sure.

  83. 83
    TenguPhule says:


    “Mah honor!”

    Southern Honor is a dead horse oxymoron.

  84. 84
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Where is Dr. Strange when we really need him?

  85. 85
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steeplejack: what an ugly, angry man is Mr. Jim Jordan.

    re Democrat National Committee — it grates on the ear. And is gratuitous.

    Are you guys aware of Democrats ever saying anything like that to Republicans? In public?

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Feaver’s distinctions between “military waking up POTUS” and “POTUS waking up military” makes for useful thought experiments.

    Whelp, so much for any hopes of a good night’s sleep until Trump’s hands are removed from the big red button.

  87. 87
    burnspbesq says:

    In the midst of all this fun, Senate Finance is marking up its version of the tax bill, and it’s virtually certain that you’re getting hosed.

  88. 88
    Suzanne says:

    @The Moar You Know: Wash/rinse/sanitize is the standard in every jurisdiction I’ve ever worked. The only time I only had to do a 1-compartment sink was in a satellite facility that did the real washing back in the main facility. These people are just cheap.

    @Gin & Tonic: You would be staggered by the large commercial clients I have that want to avoid pulling permits. It’s because municipalities have a way of including other (necessary) improvements into their required scope of work, which pisses them off.

    @Shalimar: The fire department isn’t the building department, and the building department (usually) doesn’t enforce the ADA. However, there is new attention being paid to ADA issues, because there are nonprofits that are looking up businesses on Google Earth, finding ADA violations, and successfully suing. The ADA doesn’t require you to prove damages, but these successful lawsuits have gotten lawmakers to push for laws and ordinances that would change that.

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:


    Sessions: I tried to be honest.

    He simply didn’t try very hard. Low energy. Sad.

  90. 90
    MomSense says:


    I like you, Spanky!


    Oh I feel your pain. Every time the Mandarin Moron opens his mouth I feel like poor C-3PO with my head on backwards yelling ‘What have you done you flea bitten furball…only a mophead like you would be stupid enough to [insert latest stupid thing]’

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TenguPhule: Probably drinking tea with Thor.

  92. 92
    Suzanne says:

    @prostratedragon: This is for a building I’m designing (a senior living/memory care facility), not for my house. They need a 3-compartment sink and they are trying to weasel out of it. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @J R in WV: Well, also, the PI was making noises about wanting the Navy out.

  94. 94
    TenguPhule says:

    @burnspbesq: We can only hope it remains a clusterfuck on meeting the $1.5 trillion cap requirements.

  95. 95
    TenguPhule says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I understood that Thor is a beer drinker.

  96. 96
    Steeplejack says:

    Heard my first instance of a rep addressing Sessions as “General Sessions.” Jesus.

    Ah, it’s Ted Deutch (D-FL). Name and shame.

    If that’s Sessions’s wife sitting behind his right shoulder, she looks like Maude Frickert. Even if she’s not his wife, she still looks like Maude Frickert.

    Why do so many of these Republicans’ wives look like their mothers? Except for the ones that are obvious second-shift trophy wives, of course.

    Deutch is not covering himself in glory. He’s asking a lot of zany hypothetical questions that Sessions couldn’t legitimately answer even if he could remember anything.

  97. 97
    The Moar You Know says:

    In the midst of all this fun, Senate Finance is marking up its version of the tax bill, and it’s virtually certain that you’re getting hosed.

    @burnspbesq: My wife and I are in the “sweet spot” of every bill proposed; we’re going to get well and truly taken to the cleaners.

    You know what? That would be fine if they were going to use the money for anything other than literally handing it to people who make more in a day than I make in a year. But that is exactly what’s going to be done with it. Nothing else. Just taking it from me and handing it to them.

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    @J R in WV:

    Difference between cooking fish, and oh, say, eggs?

    Overcooking eggs is a minor fine. Overcooking fish is a felony.

  99. 99
    TenguPhule says:

    @The Moar You Know: If they pass that shit bill, I guarantee there is going to be violence as a result. I only wish I could be sure that violence would be directed at the right people responsible for the shit.

  100. 100
    sherparick says:

    Report on the progress to the Koch brothers advancement to establishing the Randian paradise (a/k/a Hell) in the United States starting with Kansas, Wisconsin, etc. http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....hn-baptist and http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblo.....-wisconsin

    John Conyers has been in the Congress for 52 years, which reminds me how old I am since I remember him as a young radical Congressman and thorn in the Nixon Administration’s war and civil rights policies. Last serving member who served on the Watergate Judiciary Committee that impeached Nixon..


  101. 101
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @TenguPhule: Yeah, well Thor was drinking beer, Stephen was drinking tea.

  102. 102
    TenguPhule says:

    Sessions swears he always told the truth about his knowledge of the Russian connections to Trump’s campaign.

    I want him strapped to a lie detector. The lying liar lies.

  103. 103
    Steeplejack says:


    And none of the moderators on the cable shows ever call them on it. Actually, Joy Reid stopped a GOP weasel in mid-rant last weekend and corrected him in a schoolteacherly way, and he actually looked like he had been spanked. He was embarrassed! They should do that more often.

  104. 104
    Steeplejack says:

    I’m out. This hearing is a miasmic fog of bloviation on all sides. Do these reps actually think that some huge number of their constituents have tuned in to see “their guy” shine in the spotlight on C-SPAN? Unbelievable. And for a bunch of lawyers and ex-prosecutors they are asking amazingly bullshit questions. Which makes it all the more pathetic that Sessions still has to rely on “Mah honor!” and “I don’t recall.”

  105. 105
    Steeplejack says:

    Good move, Steep! Getting out just ahead of Trey Gowdy. Maybe I’ll try the Lawfare live blog. I need somebody intelligent to filter the bullshit for me.

  106. 106
    sherparick says:

    @Elizabelle: A whole generation has been trained by Rush Limbaugh to refer to the Democratic Party and to Democrats with this word “Democrat,” and trained that the word and people who call themselves Democrats = liberals, socialists, communists, atheists, feminazis, and now terrorists. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/texas-shooter-conspiracy-theories_us_5a01ed2be4b092053058499e

  107. 107
    Steeplejack says:

    And I see everybody has moved upstairs.

  108. 108
    MCA1 says:

    @Elizabelle: No, but it should be done until they whine about it so Dems can retort about “you’re not going to show me the courtesy of calling my party by its proper name, I’m going to deny you the dignity of calling your party by the name you use, too.” It’s a small thing, but it’s just one more way the right wing delegitimizes and dehumanizes Democrats, and every time Dems don’t push back and insist on basic comity and respectfulness, Republicans succeed in further degrading the public discourse.

    I consistently call it the Republic Party when I go troll hunting on other sites.

  109. 109
    SenyorDave says:

    @TenguPhule: I want him strapped to a lie detector. The lying liar lies.

    I want him strapped to a waterboard, I assume he’s in favor of using it on ferriners.

  110. 110
    D58826 says:

    Is this Sessions hearing about current policy or are we rehashing Hillary/Obama years.? I know the answer of course.

  111. 111
    Citizen Alan says:


    Surely it would be better to call them the Publican Party, publicans being the Crooked tax collectors and government contractors who were utterly despised by most people in the New Testament.

  112. 112
    efgoldman says:


    He simply didn’t try very hard. Low energy.

    I don’t understand how a little, dweeby evil leprechaun guy is trying SO hard to be big, loud.King of the courthouse judge, Ah say JUDGE and senetauh Foghorn Leghorn

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