Yet another Cohen open thread

I’ve been unable to watch the last few hours. But my overall impression from the first portion of the testimony is that Cohen was eloquent in portraying how Trump recreated the corrupt culture of the Trump Organization in the Trump Administration.

The GOP goons angrily attacking Cohen at the hearing couldn’t have mirrored Cohen’s performance in his old role as Trump’s protector any better if they’d tried. And Cohen’s description of Trump’s gaslighting techniques — where he lies repeatedly and gets others to mouth those same lies — accurately reflects the bizarre post-truth world we’ve been living in ever since the 2016 election.

Anyhoo, open thread.






236 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    First time I have ever heard AOC’s voice. It’s girlish.

  2. 2
    Immanentize says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Oh no, another favorite GOP fetish.

  3. 3
    Misterpuff says:

    AOC gets right to the point. And follows up on several threads from her fellow Dems,

    Smart lady.

  4. 4
    Yarrow says:

    Man, Allen Weisselberg is going to be in a world of hurt. I don’t believe Ken Dilanian saying Weisselberg isn’t cooperating but if he isn’t he will want to after this.

  5. 5
    germy says:

    Waiting for Rep. Pressley to question

  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    @Misterpuff: She did a good job.

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Ayanna Pressley up. “Electric light is the best policeman.”

    AOC closed on the tax returns. Well done, AOC. (I missed most of her testimony.)

  8. 8
    Yarrow says:

    A few moments ago:
    Cohen says Trump said he didn’t want to release his tax returns because he might end up under audit. Trump’s always claimed he couldn’t release them because he was under audit. Cohen says he understood Trump is not under audit based on his comments.

    That’s some news.

  9. 9
    germy says:

    Pressley!

    pic.twitter.com/zv5e0sLo1m— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) February 27, 2019

  10. 10
    Misterpuff says:

    Its going to be Alan Weisselberg’s time in the barrel soon. The true keeper of the Truth.

    I hope he is ready for his star turn.

  11. 11
    A Ghost To Most says:

    AOC did well. Your take is correct. This has been almost everything we could have hoped for, short of confirming the Russian conspiracy.

  12. 12
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Yarrow: Isn’t Weisselberg Dump’s CFO? Didn’t he get immunity? (Yes I know immunity can be revoked.)

  13. 13
    Barbara says:

    Good article at WaPo analyzing the details and significance of the editing of Cohen’s statement to Congress about the Moscow deal. Source

    Basically, they edited his statement and he thinks they changed information on the dates. Jay Sekulow isn’t much beyond a thug, but if Abbe Lowell was actually involved, then it really will be true, everything Trump touches turns to shit.

  14. 14
    Kent says:

    Good burn on the racism question by Pressley. She impressed me

  15. 15
    Yarrow says:

    @A Ghost To Most: This whole hearing is amazing. History is happening right now.

  16. 16
    rp says:

    Come on people. Those of us not watching need some details. You have one job! (I mean, apart from your actual job)

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    I’d like to see split screen clips of the old Michael Cohen defending Trump in the past and the current Jim Jordan defending Trump today. And there’s ample record of Trump defending Trump. It would make a helpful narrative.

  18. 18
    TriassicSands says:

    My only minor disagreement with what Betty wrote is that I think Trump gets too much credit/blame for creating the “post-truth” world. The GOP had abandoned democracy long before Trump declared his candidacy. They had fully embraced government by lies for liars. Trump simply stepped into a space created by Reagan, GHWB, GWB, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and many others.

    Jennifer Rubin, a “never Trumper” who writes regularly for the Washington Post constantly pretends that Trump has corrupted the GOP. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has made things worse, yes, but mostly he’s allowed (or forced) Republicans to openly be the Republicans they’ve been since at least 1994.

  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    @mrmoshpotato: Many outlets reported he had flipped and had immunity. Today Ken Dilanian at NBC claims Weisselberg didn’t. I don’t trust Dilanian’s reporting since he got some recent errors.

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    Ooohh…Mark Meadows i s very unhappy with Rashida Tlaib commenting on their stunt casting.

  21. 21
    JWR says:

    Oh wow. Go, Rep Tlaib!

  22. 22
    Elizabelle says:

    Fireworks from Rep. Tlaib, a good smack at Mark Meadows, who is bellowing even now.

    Rep. Tlaib has nothing to apologize about. Seemed factually true to me.

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    Cummings coming down on Mark Meadows. Heh. White man sulking. “I am not a racist!”

  24. 24
    debit says:

    Woah. Drama.

  25. 25
    Brachiator says:

    Rep Tlaib is not here for Republican bullshit.

  26. 26
    Luthe says:

    @TriassicSands: The big clue was the whole “Reality has a liberal bias” nonsense from the W Administration.

  27. 27
    Yarrow says:

    I’m not sure Rep Tlaib did the Dems any favors by creating this outrage moment for the Republicans, though.

  28. 28
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: I wonder who Dilanian’s source is.

    And yes, I don’t think Tlaib was calling Meadows a racist. Seemed aimed at Trump, very honestly, since the whole point of dragging that poor black woman up as a prop was to demonstrate The Trump Organization had a black employee. At least one. At one time.

    And now Meadows is spitting.

  29. 29
    khead says:

    Cummings dropping the hammer on Meadows. I think Meadows may cry.

  30. 30
    debit says:

    @Yarrow: She’s not the only one who spoke about how awful it was Meadows used that woman as a prop.

  31. 31
    Martin says:

    @rp: Currently the racists on the committee are butthurt that they are being called out for being racists.

  32. 32

    @rp: Here’s Pressley’s question about whether having a Black employee disproves racism, quoted by Daniel Dale:

    Would you agree that someone could deny rental units to African-Americans, lead the birther movement, refer to the diaspora as ‘shithole countries’ and refer to white supremacists as ‘fine people,’ have a black friend, and still be racist?”

  33. 33
    The Moar You Know says:

    My only minor disagreement with what Betty wrote is that I think Trump gets too much credit/blame for creating the “post-truth” world. The GOP had abandoned democracy long before Trump declared his candidacy. They had fully embraced government by lies for liars. Trump simply stepped into a space created by Reagan, GHWB, GWB, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and many others.

    Jennifer Rubin, a “never Trumper” who writes regularly for the Washington Post constantly pretends that Trump has corrupted the GOP. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has made things worse, yes, but mostly he’s allowed (or forced) Republicans to openly be the Republicans they’ve been since at least 1994.

    @TriassicSands: Stone cold truth. I go back farther: Nixon. He set the stage. Reagan then climbed on it and made it happen.

  34. 34
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: That’s a good point. It’s the shiny object the fucking press will go for.

    “Did Tlaib call Mark Meadows a racist? Some say she did …”

    Rep. Cummings brings them up short, reminding all he is the child of sharecroppers, “practically slaves.”

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    @TriassicSands:

    He has made things worse, yes

    That’s bad enough.

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    And now Rep Tlaib has to apologize to Meadows. Ugh. It was a rookie move on her part for saying that and creating that opportunity for Meadows to grandstand and play his “I have nieces and nephews of color!” card.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Cummings handled that very well.

  39. 39
    Martin says:

    @khead: Good. I don’t necessarily think Meadows is a racist, but the contortions these assholes are going through in order to defend the president are causing them to make increasingly bad and questionable decisions, such as acting like a racist.

  40. 40
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Elizabelle: I am amused at AOC reply to Ivanka Trump “I’ve worked hourly before”

  41. 41
    Yarrow says:

    @khead: I disagree. I don’t think she did great. Cummings essentially had her apologize and Cummings had to say what great friends he is with Meadows.

  42. 42
    Misterpuff says:

    Some hurt fee fees…….don’t be defending a racist Mr. Meadows, if you don’t want to be spattered with racist mud.

  43. 43

    @Martin:
    The Republican Party in a nutshell.

  44. 44
    Elizabelle says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Yes, he did.

    Cummings is so far superior to the unmissed and now retired Bob Goodlatte who ran that shitshow Peter Strzok hearing.

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @Yarrow: Republicans are particularly quick to note that they have a black friend.

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Cummings definitely did well. It was a dumb distraction and imho a mistake by Tlaib. Took the attention off Cohen, Trump’s misdeeds and the bad actions of Republicans.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    VeniceRiley says:

    @Yarrow: Yeah Tlaib own goal here. Walked right into it and made Cummings front for that pig. Should have let that stunt stand without comment.

  49. 49
    donnah says:

    Meadows is tearing up, boo hoo, his feelings were hurt.

    After all the shit he’s said today, after his lies against Cohen, and he’s all hurt about being called a racist. And he wasn’t named as one in the first place.

    Hice is making addendums to the record against Cohen to make sure the Republicans are getting a word in during this last segment.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    The Republicans stupidly think that the various news stories about Cohen somehow helps Trump. Have any Democrats asked to have news stories made part of the record?

  51. 51
    khead says:

    @Yarrow:

    I didn’t say great. I said fine. You are worrying a bit too much. Cummings handled that shit, shut Meadows down, AND made sure everyone knew that Tlaib wasn’t calling Meadows a racist.

  52. 52
    Elizabelle says:

    These Republicans are such fans of the pencil press, are they not? All these fake news (!) stories entered into the record.

    Cohen and a final statement now. He has done very well today.

  53. 53
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @TriassicSands: What he said – saying “Trump did it” is just more of the Great Man theory of history nonsense. Trump’s like Hitler, the end product of the conservative culture of their times, not the creators of it.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    We’re wrapping up now. So Tlaib’s dumb move will be the last exchange. Stupid.Underwhelmed by her.

  55. 55
    Elizabelle says:

    Talking about basic norms and civility and blind loyalty.

    Learn up, Republicans.

  56. 56
    Elizabelle says:

    Whoa. Warning that Trump will not be into a peaceful transfer of power.

    My hope has always been he would be in jail, very honestly.

  57. 57
    Kent says:

    Patton was an obvious prop. What other possible reason was there for Meadow’s to drag her into the hearing just so we could see that she was black. Good for Tlaib for calling it out. Having one black employee somewhere within the Administration proves Trump isn’t a racist? And then putting her on national TV with her job on the line to say so? Horrible. These people are horrible. Many of the worst racists in American history had black employees working for them in manual labor. That makes them not racist?

  58. 58
    A Ghost To Most says:

    That was an amazing display of democracy, and an equally sordid display of sedition.

  59. 59
    Elizabelle says:

    This will be a terrific transcript to read. Cohen spoke from his better angels today. He seems genuine to me, too.

    Unlike the preening and posturing Republicans, everyone except Amash who claimed they had better things to do.

  60. 60
    Yarrow says:

    Gym Jordan just completely creeps me out. I would not trust him around kids. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

  61. 61
    JWR says:

    All the broadcast networks have dropped their coverage. I somehow managed to get it back via C-SPAN3.

  62. 62
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Michael Cohen: Oh the breakdown of civility! *fans himself*

    WTF?

    Can we get a BTTF II alternate timeline of how these fuckers would be acting if they got away with all this shit? I’m thinking they wouldn’t be bemoaning a lack of civility.

    Bury them under the prison.

  63. 63
    Kent says:

    @JWR: I’m streaming on the NYT web site. Probably a lot of other sites still streaming

  64. 64
    Yarrow says:

    @JWR: I think the cable networks are still showing it. CNN is. The good stuff was all before lunch.

  65. 65
    patrick ii says:

    @mrmoshpotato:
    Weisselberg was given limited immunity in the context of a particular investigation, but does not have total immunity from future issues that may arise.

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    This Jordan guy tries to bash Cohen, but only makes Trump look worse. It’s not like Cohen was acting as an independent agent with no direction from Trump.

    He may be a crooked lawyer, but he had a crooked boss.

    oooh, Deep State garbage.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    Kent says:

    Very impressed with Chairman Cummings. This was my first real chance to see him in action and it was a revelation (at least for me). Maybe I don’t watch enough TV. I think we will be seeing MUCH more of him over the next year. I think he represents the party and the side of good very well. He speaks thoughtfully and fairly and honestly, and with humor when necessary. He is also very tough and authoritative. He is very good.

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    Cummings is saying, “Why did this happen for you? I hope a small part is to make this country better.” Lanny Davis is nodding behind Cohen. Strong closing from Cummings. He’s good.

  70. 70
    Sloane Ranger says:

    The best part was Gym Jordan trying to make bricks with the few bits of straw Cohen had let slip right there at the end. Very sad. Weak!

  71. 71
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TriassicSands: Didn’t mean to imply that Trump invented lying, but I think it’s fair to say he’s ramped it up to levels never seen before in that office. The WaPo’s running count of official public lies passed 8K a while back, which is stunning. Trump lies about everything, including inconsequential shit where we can easily verify the truth with our own eyes and ears — and has those lies repeated by elected officials and Fox News. It’s an unprecedented assault on the truth, IMO, and has created an Orwellian hellhole that has surpassed the paranoid fantasies of Nixon and “create our own reality” arrogance of Reagan and Bush.

  72. 72
    Yarrow says:

    Cohen looks like he’s just barely holding it together while Cummings is talking about his daughter on crutches.

  73. 73
    TriassicSands says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    You’re right to include Nixon. The Southern Strategy was really a major step on the road of racism and dishonesty. It’s now a deeply embedded part of the GOP. So, yes, Nixon.

  74. 74
    Yarrow says:

    Man, Cummings is good. This is excellent. “In 2019 what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?”

  75. 75
    JWR says:

    @Kent: @Yarrow: Yes and yes. And boy, this has been riveting, especially after the 2 year shitshow from the Repubs. (I think I’ll start abbreviating the R party’s name, at least until they stop using “DemocRat” as an adjective.)

  76. 76
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @JWR: CSPAN’s YouTube channel streams the hearings too.

  77. 77
    HeleninEire says:

    Cummings is good. Cohen is losing it. He’s trying not to cry.

  78. 78
    Ivan X says:

    I’m not as persuaded as some of you by the excellence of this closing statement. It seems unnecessarily sympathetic to Cohen. Maybe I’m a cynic for not taking Cohen’s contrition at face value.

  79. 79
    debit says:

    Holy crap, Cummings is raging. And applause.

  80. 80

    @The Moar You Know: @TriassicSands:

    I go back farther: Nixon. He set the stage. Reagan then climbed on it and made it happen.

    The fucking lizard Gingrich weaponized it, and TurdBlossom got it included as a plank on the platform for all the rest of our days, so help us Gaia.

  81. 81
    donnah says:

    Cummings is amazing. He’s passionate and he’s on fire. Everyone should see this.

  82. 82
    laura says:

    The Chairman’s closing statement is POWERFUL!
    Focus people, the Republic hangs in the balance is how I interpreted it.
    Gym Jordan’s experience protecting a powerful sexual abuser of college students is coming in handy today in protecting a powerful sexual abuser….

  83. 83
    VeniceRiley says:

    So we came back just for the yelling and insertion of articles into the record? Didn’t republicans used to call those fake news?

  84. 84
    Yarrow says:

    @Ivan X: It’s more about Cummings, I think. He wants to see the good in people. He wants the country to get back to what it should be. He wants the government to work again like it should. He was amazing.

    @donnah: Definitely. He was so good.

  85. 85
    C Stars says:

    Whew! Cummings blew that out of the water.

  86. 86

    @Elizabelle:

    Trump will not be into a peaceful transfer of power.

    He won’t be. Like when the Justice Department has had to explain to him that he can’t have anyone he likes arrested, he will be seriously incensed when the military and Secret Service tell him that, no, they won’t shoot anyone who tries to remove him from the White House.

  87. 87
    The Dangerman says:

    Didn’t Cohen have but one other client (i.e., Hannity)? Or am I confusing who did what (or whom)?

    If so, has Hannity come up at all? I guarantee there is something dirty there (if I have it right).

  88. 88

    @JWR:

    And boy, this has been riveting, especially after the 2 year shitshow from the Repubs.

    This is going to be the new norm.

  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @laura: Gym Jordan is also protecting Gym Jordan. A lot of the urgency from Republicans is knowing their own asses are on the line.

  90. 90

    @BruceFromOhio: What no love for the failed actor, who is revered as God by Rs and Punditubbies of the MSM. Including so called liberal pundits like Jowls of Concern on the Snooze Hour.

  91. 91
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: Hannity was Client Number 3. Trump, Broidy and Hannity. I don’t think either Broidy or Hannity came up today.

  92. 92
    Yarrow says:

    Cohen making a statement.

    Thankful and humbled to be here today. Hope it helps in order to heal America.

  93. 93
    Scotian says:

    Well that made for some interesting, if periodically infuriating, must see TV. I will say I was very shocked at how credible Cohen came off as, more so for what he did not say/confirm than what he did. I could not believe that stunt with the Trump working black woman being brought in to show how non racist Trump really is, but I LOVED Cohen’s reply to it, fitting, concise, and directly on point.

    In general, this was illuminating, especially on the financial crimes/shady stuff, which is all in itself more than enough to normally impeach a sitting President by any of the pre-Trump standards. I look forward to watching the ripples flow from this hearing.

    It is also nice seeing actual oversight happening, but I think it is also worth noting that all the GOP members could do was attack Cohen, in terms of direct response, what we did not hear from GOPers is any actual defence for Trump and his actions. I also found it hilarious listening to the trashing of Cohen on his professional grounds as well as personal yet somehow ignoring that this person was apparently good enough for Trump to employ for a decade as his personal lawyer. But we all know, Trump only hires the BEST people (felons/crooks)…

  94. 94
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Cohen = Joe Valachi

  95. 95
    MomSense says:

    @Misterpuff:

    If only she would keep her focus on Republicans.

  96. 96

    Charlie Pierce rages righteously about how the Rs disgraced themselves today.

    This was a vivid look into the chronic ward of the prion disease that has eaten away the higher functions of American conservatism—and, thus, those of the Republican Party as well—since Ronald Reagan first served up the monkey brains almost 40 years ago. These are the complete creatures of the talk-show culture, the perfect products of two and three generations of gerrymandered in-breeding. These are the monsters from inside The Bubble.

  97. 97
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I didn’t see this from Talib but it doesn’t sound much different than what Brenda Lawrence said

    on Swaine @ jonswaine
    Rashida Tlaib just says Mark Meadows’s earlier use of Lynne Patton as a “prop” was racist in itself. Meadows erupting and demanding the remarks struck from the record.

    Rep. Brenda Lawrence: “I just want to put on the record, as being a black American and having endured the public comments of racism from the sitting president, as being a black person, I can only imagine what’s being said in private.”

    ETA: copied the wrong tweet on Brenda Lawrence’s remarks

    Olivia Nuzzi @ Olivianuzzi
    Earlier during the hearing, Rep. Brenda Lawrence said, “To prop up one member of our race and to say that nullifies [‘the public comments of racism from the sitting president’] is totally insulting.”

  98. 98
    Yarrow says:

    Man, Weisselberg is going to be in deep doo-doo if he hasn’t flipped already. He goes back to when Trump’s dad was still around Trump Org.

  99. 99
    hilts says:

    Cummings’ closing statement was majestic, brilliant, and incredibly inspiring! I was on my feet cheering when he completed his remarks. What a stark contrast between the soaring eloquence of Cummings and the lowlife gutter sniping of Meadows, Jordan et al.

  100. 100
    MomSense says:

    @Ivan X:

    Sympathy for Cohen and the story of his family suffering and redemption was the lens through which he was showing us the path our country is on. It was a very smart way to handle this.

  101. 101
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    So what did I miss?

    We are engaged in a battle for our nation’s very soul….

  102. 102
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The difference is that Tlaib phrased it in such a way that it could be construed as her calling Meadows a racist. Lawrence was agreeing with Cohen that the President says racist things.

    It created an opening for Meadows to go ballistic and shift the focus of the hearing. Tlaib is entitled to her view, and I agree with her view, but was it smart for her to express it in that way at that time? I don’t think it was.

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    I had to step away and I guess I missed Cummings’ closing remarks. Hope I can catch them later on.

  104. 104
    JWR says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    This is going to be the new norm.

    Amen to that!

  105. 105
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Whoa. Warning that Trump will not be into a peaceful transfer of power.

    I’ve often surmised that the transition from a Trump administration to a Harris-Warren-Biden-Gillibrand-Klobuchar-WHATEVS administration would be a gigantic clusterfuck (because incompetence), but I never really considered that there might be fisticuffs, or worse.

    Stupid of me, I know.

  106. 106
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Oh, not much. Only the most compelling hearing in at least 45 years.

  107. 107
    Yarrow says:

    @hilts: It was wonderful. I clapped. I heard applause in the hearing room.

  108. 108
    Elizabelle says:

    Dang. I missed Elijah Cummings’ closing statement. Will check it out on C-Span or youtube or wherever it shows up. Want to see it, and Cohen’s statement, in entirety, and not through the corrupted lens of the MSM (we so blind) press.

  109. 109
  110. 110
    Lapassionara says:

    @Elizabelle: he’s on MSNBC now

  111. 111
    Steve in the ATL says:

    What a day. I was watching it on the plane, but found it difficult to concentrate with my seat mate binge watching “Dharma and Greg”. Seriously, dude?

    Ended up watching a movie called “the catcher was a spy”. The title gives away the entire plot, but it was well done. Paul Rudd played basically his usual rom-com bromance role, except that he was a baseball star/super genius/bisexual/spy.

  112. 112
    Wapiti says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I figure that a Harris-Warren-Biden-Gillibrand-Klobuchar-WHATEVS administration would either appoint former Obama administration officials, or include them in the transition briefings as expert advisers, to capture how the organizations functioned in the past before misrule.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    It created an opening for Meadows to go ballistic and shift the focus of the hearing. Tlaib is entitled to her view, and I agree with her view, but was it smart for her to express it in that way at that time? I don’t think it was.

    Cummings handled it well. This kinda reminded me of the weird rules that govern the UK’s House of Commons. For example, you cannot call another member a liar. There are YouTube clips of the Speaker admonishing a member and formally asking them to withdraw their remarks.

    Tlaib stumbled and Cummings helped her out of the gaffe.

  114. 114
    Elizabelle says:

    @Lapassionara: Thank you. Checking that out online.

  115. 115
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    too late and will get lost in the new news of the day, and of tomorrow, but I’m sure Mark Meadows will be bleating his butt hurt all over Fox, and probably CNN, tonight, and he admitted today that the Clinton Benghazi hearings were a stunt

    Jake Sherman @ JakeSherman
    MEADOWS to me for Playbook this morning: today is going to be “political theater like we’ve not seen since Hillary Clinton came to testify on Benghazi.”

    Christopher Orr @ OrrChris
    Mark Meadows doesn’t even pay lip service to the idea that this hearing could have any purpose apart from “political theater.” But arguably that makes it that much more amusing that this hasn’t turned out to be the political theater he was counting on.

  116. 116
    Yarrow says:

    Just showed a clip of Cummings. I didn’t know he uses a walker. He’s speaking now.

    Two years ago when Hillary and Trump were running against each other he said it wasn’t about Hillary vs Trump. It was a fight for the soul of our democracy. 200 years from now people will be reading about this moment. Press, get it right. We have a situation where we’ve strayed so far from normal in our country and we’ve got to get back to center. Today was an opportunity to do that.

    We got a lot of criticism about Michael Cohen coming before our committee. But think what we’re dealing with. Rosenstein said it’s possible the American people may never see Mueller’s report or anything that comes out of his investigation. Last election the American people were crying out and said we want accountability. And therefore they elected Democrats in districts that were Trump districts. What has happened over the last two years is there has not been any accountability. None!

    Couldn’t get a subpoena. Couldn’t get a hearing. Couldn’t get witnesses. The constitution is abundantly clear and part of that is we have to be a check and balance on the executive branch.

    Cohen reintroduced the American people to the man he knew for ten years. The Republicans didn’t want to hear any of that. That’s all well and good but that’s not going to get us where we need to get as a nation.

    Going to look at testimony and review it in a methodical way. Must be a committee with integrity. Gotta reclaim civility. Got to make sure we get information. When we have an uncooperative executive branch and then tell press they want to suppress you all (press), how do we make them accountable.

    Appreciate Cohen coming in. He brought a lot to the table.

  117. 117
    gwangung says:

    As a POC, Rep. Tlaib nailed it. And that kind of racist crap NEEDS to be called out. And it wasn’t the first time he’s done it

    https://twitter.com/stevemorris__/status/1100881913756176386

  118. 118
    WaterGirl says:

    I can’t wait until Gym Jordan has his time in the barrel — surely the chickens will come home to roost for his protecting a powerful sexual abuser. Arrogant, smarmy pig. No wonder he likes Trump so much.

  119. 119

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @gwangung: LBJ: “Make them deny it.”

  121. 121
    Kent says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    @Elizabelle:

    Whoa. Warning that Trump will not be into a peaceful transfer of power.

    I’ve often surmised that the transition from a Trump administration to a Harris-Warren-Biden-Gillibrand-Klobuchar-WHATEVS administration would be a gigantic clusterfuck (because incompetence), but I never really considered that there might be fisticuffs, or worse.

    Stupid of me, I know.

    Unless Trump has his own personal security force of SS Troopers, I’m not sure he can do much else but scurry back into the dark. What is he going to do when the secret service and Air Force One and all the other institutions of power and security stop answering to him?

    Talk of insurrection is so much farting in the wind. What’s going to happen? Small groups of pot bellied militia types showing up with sidearms to protest at random Federal facilities around the country? Oooh. Scary. I can’t imagine that any serious upper level career military or law enforcement types would commit the career suicide and treason it would be to actually try to conduct some sort of meaningful insurrection.

    Yes they will absolutely fuck up the transition. But the damage probably won’t be as bad as they think it could be because so many government agencies are basically run by the professional civil service staff and not the political appointees. The important thing will be to get good and experienced people into important executive positions as fast as possible and nothing Trump can do to stop that. GOP Senate can slow down confirmations but they can’t stop a Dem president from filling agencies with acting chiefs and getting down to business.

  122. 122
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @hilts:

    Cummings’ closing statement was majestic, brilliant, and incredibly inspiring! I was on my feet cheering when he completed his remarks.

    I was weeping.

  123. 123
    TriassicSands says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    You’re absolutely right about Trump. My concern is that people think or pretend that when Trump is gone the problem will go with him. As you know, the GOP is rotten to the cor(ps)e (so to speak).

    The lying of Republicans, pre-Trump, was the more or less typical, mundane lying of dishonest people trying to manipulate voters. It got worse over the years. Trump’s lying is museum-quality. Again, you’re right, he lies about everything even when it doesn’t matter and what is more amazing is even when it is obvious to everyone that he’s lying.

    Unprecedented? Of course, you’re right, but once again the English language fails us. We need an entirely new vocabulary to describe Trump and his behavior. It’s funny because one of the things I find most annoying about listening to Trump is his insistence on hyperbolizing everything. It seems like one “very” is never enough. He beats the superlative to death. Yet, when it comes to describing Trump, five verys seem inadequate. We have the comparative, the superlative, and the Trumpative.

    My concern is that the MSM will treat the dishonesty as though it is a problem entirely caused by Trump.

    @The Moar You Know:

    And I’d add Ford as well. His pardon of Nixon was a major statement that criminal behavior by presidents would not result in accountability.

  124. 124

    Here’s a C-SPAN clip of AOC testimony: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4782856/aoc-questioning-michael-cohen. She did an excellent job of making the case for subpoenaing Trump’s tax returns – there are 20-year veteran legislators who would not have done as well.

  125. 125
    Yarrow says:

    @gwangung: It does but time and place. Rep Cummings had to bail her out of it. He also said “as the son of sharecroppers who were basically slaves,” I guess to show he gets it maybe more than some.

  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    @TaMara (HFG): It was amazing! He is so full of integrity and honor. I have so much respect for him. He’s also kind and wants to see the good in people. That’s a wonderful trait.

  127. 127
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ll take “girlish” over the sound crawling out of Rethuglican pieholes, which is ghoulish. Mortar-forkers.

  128. 128
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    I had to step away and I guess I missed Cummings’ closing remarks. Hope I can catch them later on.

    Oh, you will. Believe me, you will. (Not snarking. Cummings was wonderful, got better as the day progressed, and by the end of the proceedings was as eloquent as I’ve ever heard him.)

  129. 129
    Yarrow says:

    Cummings is still talking and taking questions. CNN is covering it. He’s so good. He is one of the real adults in the room. He takes his job and role very seriously. He says we’re fighting for the soul of our democracy. Couldn’t agree more!

    Oh, he just finished. He’s got a bad cough and says he’s got a cold. Get well soon, Rep. Cummings!

  130. 130
    hilts says:

    @Elizabelle: @Brachiator:

    You won’t be disappointed by Cummings’ closing remarks. He was flat out brilliant in terms of substance and style! It was a truly commanding, bravura performance and I use performance in the best sense of the word.

  131. 131

    @A Ghost To Most: RL called. I will check it online.

  132. 132
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Wapiti:

    So basically, just transitioning seamlessly from January 2017 to January 2021? Works for me. I’m fine with obliterating the intervening four years.

  133. 133
    HeleninEire says:

    LOL. FOX is reporting about a blind dog. Cuz nothing important happened today.

  134. 134
    hilts says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I was weeping.

    One day, you and everyone else on this thread will get the chance to cheer when Trump’s lying, fat ass vacates the White House. Hopefully today’s testimony nudges the needle a little further in that direction.

  135. 135
    Elizabelle says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I don’t even want Trump to have a portrait up in the National Portrait Gallery. If he does, it should be obscured by an orange curtain with a huge asterisk on it.

  136. 136
    VeniceRiley says:

    Ratings for this must be through the roof, because my Sling keeps buffering every few seconds

  137. 137
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: I kind of agree but then ignoring history isn’t a good solution either. We have to know our history and how we got here. We have to own it so we can move forward and be a better country.

  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @VeniceRiley: Interesting, ratings for this will be something to look for

  139. 139
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: Maybe the gallery’s smallest portrait? Hand-sized, perhaps?

  140. 140
    Yarrow says:

    @Elizabelle: A portrait of Trump behind bars would work for me.

  141. 141
    debbie says:

    Jim Jordan is a major league asshole. Period.

  142. 142
    Yarrow says:

    @debbie: And creepy. Watching him literally makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Something is not right. Wouldn’t trust him with kids.

  143. 143
    Elizabelle says:

    @Yarrow: I think the NPG will have to assign a guard to keep visitors from defacing a Trump portrait. I know. I need something else to obsess over. But it bothers me that he would be there. He is so unworthy of the office, cheated to get there. Does not belong there.

  144. 144
    debbie says:

    Like this is something to brag about.

    I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?). His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud – he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019

  145. 145
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Steve Morris @ stevemorris__
    Here’s Mark Meadows, who just sidetracked the entire House Oversight Committee to assure him he’s not racist, saying that “2012 is the time we are going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is

  146. 146
    rikyrah says:

    Monique Pressley (@MoniquePressley) Tweeted:
    A snitch is still a witness. A snitch with receipts is a credible witness.

    https://twitter.com/MoniquePressley/status/1100792758976110592?s=17

  147. 147
    debbie says:

    @Yarrow:

    I was at work and could only listen, but I found it interesting that a predator’s lead defender was a pedophile. Definitely creepy.

  148. 148
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: Diversion, diversion, diversion. Ignoring that asshole.

    Brag? More like bray.

  149. 149
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    Yep, as was John Dean, lo those many years ago.

  150. 150
    JoyceH says:

    I too noticed that Cummings was using a walker. Does anyone know what that’s about? Injury, or age?

  151. 151
    Kay says:

    I listened in the car, in and out, for the second piece and I don’t know if this is how “normal” people will perceive it, but I found myself listening for Cohen. I would sort of half listen to the intro and the question by the Republican and Democrat, but I wasn’t focusing until Cohen would speak. He’s the one I wanted to hear, because he’s the one I haven’t heard and don’t get an opportunity to listen to. If that’s how “normal” people heard it then what the reps say didn’t make that much difference and what Cohen said about Trump is devastating, especially the “don’t make the mistake I made” theme.

  152. 152
    Wapiti says:

    Man, Representative Cummings’ closing remarks. He notes that someone (?) said this was their first hearing and points out that it’s the third hearing by this committee. Basically intimating that at least one of the Republican committee members is a lying shit.

  153. 153
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    off topic but probably not really

    Ken Dilaniann @ KenDilanianNBC
    This is STUNNING
    U.S. drops demand for full accounting of N. Korea nuclear program ahead of talks

    David Rothkopf @ djrothkopf
    Desperation move. And a true warning sign about these negotiations. Trump’s desperation is showing…and Kim will take advantage of it.

  154. 154
    debbie says:

    @hilts:

    Best was that he responded to the GOP lies that this was the first hearing the Dems had even held. Take that, assholes!

  155. 155
    Mary G says:

    I haven’t been able to watch or listen, but reading all the threads here has been a joy. Nancy SMASH’s strategy of giving AOC’s class plum committee spots, whether in exchange for speaker votes or not, is working out brilliantly. As newbies, going last, they have been able to push the boundaries way out and in a way that will resonate with voters, in clear and plain language. Just in time for the evening news, if anyone is still watching that.

  156. 156
    debbie says:

    @Wapiti:

    I think both Jordan and Meadows said it was the first hearing. But this morning was so long ago.

  157. 157
    C Stars says:

    I guess it give me hope that Cummings thinks there’s a possibility we actually can return to normal. I keep thinking it all hinges on some GOPper having the spine and moral muscle to stand up to the Trump Congressional Bootlicking Team (and stand for the Constitution/rule of law). From the outside, that sure doesn’t seem likely, but sometimes the Dems seem like they’re just waiting out a temper tantrum and expect their congressional fellows to eventually come around.

  158. 158
    hilts says:

    @Yarrow:

    It was wonderful. I clapped.

    I clapped so hard that my hands hurt for several minutes after Cummings had finished speaking.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    debbie says:

    @gwangung:

    The first comment on that thread was from the guy who will be running against Meadows!

  161. 161
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: I think that rep from West Virginia, whose name is not Helen Lovejoy but it should be, said the same thing in her long and quavering tantrum that also mentioned “neo-natal abstinence”

  162. 162
    Wapiti says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yeah, not off topic, because Trump’s weakness affects us all.

    The fool is so far out of his depth that a third rate country with a GDP somewhere between Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories is winning in negotiations against the United States.

  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    @TriassicSands:
    Long before 1994.
    Try almost 50 yrs prior. Eisenhower wasn’t horrible and had his moments but really, they stepped off the ledge right after WWII. And have been falling ever since.

  164. 164
    hilts says:

    @debbie:

    The level of lying by the Republicans today was off the charts. Meadows and Jordan were even more odious and detestable than I thought possible.

  165. 165
    Mary G says:

    Another star is born:

    Democrats CAN walk and chew gum at the same time – watch! #CohenHearing #ReclaimingMyTime pic.twitter.com/VrmN2lr8Ho— Rep. Stacey Plaskett (@StaceyPlaskett) February 27, 2019

  166. 166
    trollhattan says:

    Recently watched a lesson on trimming a beef tenderloin down to three clean roasts. Today in Trumpland, the Cohen statement and hearing was like converting the fatty, untrimmed tenderloin comprising three years of Trump in our faces into a tidy, trussed chateaubriand ready for the skillet. There’s just SO MUCH Trump crime and misdeeds, today helped the world focus on and clarify his central crimes. Could be helpful going forward.

    Of course, I also thought Kavanaugh was toast after Dr. Ford’s testimony so am not trustworthy on reading such things.

  167. 167
    trollhattan says:

    @Ruckus:
    I’d like to bring up Herbert Hoover….

  168. 168
    hilts says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    off topic but probably not really

    Donald Shit for Brains wants a Nobel Peace Prize and he’s growing more delusional and detached from reality with each passing day.

  169. 169
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    For those watching the hearings and old enough to remember the Watergate hearings, how do the Cohen ones compare to that?

  170. 170
    TS (the original) says:

    @Barbara:

    then it really will be true, everything Trump touches turns to shit

    Never in doubt – what he has done to notable GOP members of congress confirmed this long ago. About the only one who was there before trump came along is McConnell. There was nowhere left for the latter to go.

  171. 171
    lamh36 says:

    @WesleyLowery
    Following Following @WesleyLowery
    More
    she didn’t *call him a racist* and the number of *reporters* currently sending tweets saying that she did exemplifies the extent to which the media’s inability to discuss issues of race with any nuance or understanding is as pervasive as that of our elected officials

    4:06 PM – 27 Feb 2019

    @WesleyLowery
    1h1 hour ago
    More
    brown congresswoman: that thing that happened here earlier was kinda racist and offensive
    white congressman: *sobbing* I AM NOT A RACIST
    brown congresswoman: I didn’t say you were.

    white reporters: can you BELIEVE she called him a RACIST?!

  172. 172
    debbie says:

    @hilts:

    i know! I was trying so hard not to start yelling and startling the people working around me. The GOP needs better-quality people who can bellow their outrage more effectively. These chumps don’t have what it takes.

  173. 173
    hilts says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Donald Trump is a vacuous braying ass full of sound and fury signifying nothing.

  174. 174
    trollhattan says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:
    I mostly recollect the Senate hearings and they were absolutely riveting, packing the dorm lounge. Republicans were much less shouty.

    It was also like peeling an onion a layer at a time, and we have yet to get to the “Are you saying the White House has a taping system?” moment of zen.

  175. 175
    Mary G says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: The Republicans behaved better then. I think that time had more impact because no one had seen behind the curtain before. There was far more trust in government and so a greater sense of betrayal. I’m afraid this time the reaction will be, “we already knew they were all crooks, so what?”

  176. 176
    debbie says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    They were calmer and more reasoned, even on the GOP side. No histrionics, other than when Butterfield dropped his bombshell.

  177. 177
    khead says:

    @Yarrow:

    When is the RIGHT time? No, really. I’m curious. Sounds a bit like you are concern trolling.

    As I said before I thought she did just fine and that Cummings did a really good job of taking care of Meadows.

    @lamh36:

    Yup. This.

  178. 178
    trollhattan says:

    Programming note: 7:00 p.m. ET US Women’s National Soccer Team v. Japan. Preview of two 2019 World Cup semifinal locks and rematch of the 2015 final. Carly will be in the house (even if we don’t exactly know starting lineups).

  179. 179
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Richard M. Nixon @ dick_nixon
    @ AOC, who is not a lawyer, spoke more efficiently than most of the lawyers.

    praise I’m seeing echoed all around the twitter, and from a source that’s been skeptical of her, both the character and I think the guy who plays him

  180. 180
    hilts says:

    @lamh36:

    I love Wesley Lowery!

    When you’re looking for something interesting to watch, I recommend this half hour interview with him https://www.pbs.org/video/open-mind-wesley-lowery-reporters-notebook where he talks about the Boston marathon bombing among other things.

  181. 181
    lamh36 says:

    Follow Follow @NBCNews
    More
    JUST IN: Exclusive: US negotiators no longer demanding North Korea agree to disclose full accounting of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs as part of talks between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, according to current and former US officials.

    https://twitter.com/NBCNews/status/1100895501300523008

  182. 182
    Mary G says:

    @Mary G: Also, too, when Watergate happened there was no internet and barely any cable TV. The hearings were on all three national network channels, so you saw them or you read a book, or watched Beverly Hillbillies reruns and used car commercials on the three local channels (CAL WORTHINGTON AND HIS DOG SPOT!!!!!!!!!!! for LA area viewers.) It was all anyone talked about.

  183. 183
    trollhattan says:

    @lamh36:
    Cripes. Has he promised Ivanka yet?

    It’s time to start writing Trump “beautiful letters” and find out what he’ll give me. So much winning.

  184. 184
    debbie says:

    I didn’t hear anything, but was there any reaction from the GOOPers to that 2017 Trump check reimbursing Cohen for paying off Stormy? That seems a particularly damning bit of evidence.

  185. 185
    hilts says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    For those watching the hearings and old enough to remember the Watergate hearings, how do the Cohen ones compare to that?

    Back then, there was some sanity in the Republican party.

  186. 186
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @trollhattan:
    @debbie:
    @Mary G:

    That sounds about right. Do you get the same sense of historical importance?

  187. 187
    Immanentize says:

    @lamh36: THAT is exactly the topic of this Jay Smooth Illin’ podcast called, “How to Tell Someone they Sound Racist”. I show it to every one of my first year students to model how we will talk about race in my class. (and how we will not!)

  188. 188
    Yarrow says:

    @khead: I thought it was more about how she said it, not so much the time and place. But from a time and place standpoint, she could have said those things after the hearing. In the hearing she created the opportunity for the discussion to move to “I’m not a racist” from Meadows. If she had been clearer in her framing, as Rep Lawrence was, her time and the hearing wouldn’t have been derailed and Meadows would not have had his grandstanding moment. I don’t see giving Meadows an opportunity to grandstand and having Cummings rescue the situation as an effective move by her.

  189. 189
    Belafon says:

    So to recap: two (2) people of color had to spend ten (10) minutes comforting one (1) white guy after he was called out for doing something that was racist, after he was about to start crying for doing said racist thing.

    Brought to you by America, 2019.

    https://twitter.com/juliaioffe/status/1100881594015981568

    And remember, it’s this guy:

    Here’s Mark Meadows, who just sidetracked the entire House Oversight Committee to assure him he’s not racist, saying that “2012 is the time we are going to send Mr. Obama home to Kenya or wherever it is”

    https://twitter.com/jcfreeborn/status/1100883376423104512

  190. 190
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: The response by Gym J. on the radio just now was that it is a normal retainer check. Of course, there were no such other, “normal retainer checks.”

  191. 191
    khead says:

    @Yarrow:

    Those folks are ALWAYS going to take the opportunity. No matter what Tlaib actually said.

    ETA – I’m actually glad it went down the way it did. Because Cummings. Got mad respect for that guy.

  192. 192
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    For those watching the hearings and old enough to remember the Watergate hearings, how do the Cohen ones compare to that?

    Whitaker’s demeanor, earlier this month, reminded me of Ehrlichman’s contemptuous behavior during the Senate Watergate hearings chaired by Sen. Sam Ervin.

    Among other examples, Ehrlichman infamously referred to Dem. Senator Daniel Inouye, who lost an arm in combat as a U.S. soldier in WWII, as “that little Jap” on a hot mike in the hearings room.

    John W. Dean, like Michael Cohen, exposed wrongdoing and illegal acts by the President for whom he worked; and served jail time.

  193. 193
    lamh36 says:

    @gwangung: talk of racism makes even white allies uncomfortable, especially when it direct and not passive round the way language.

  194. 194
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @hilts:

    Donald Trump is a vacuous braying ass full of sound and fury signifying nothing

    I disagree somewhat. He often projects his crimes onto others, which is useful.

  195. 195
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: She said, “someone.” She took it (arguably) from a racist ACT to a question of personal racism. Even in that context, it was pretty clear that she was talking about Trump, not Meadows. That said, she was not “bailed out” by Cummings, she was gently taught a lesson about exposing the power of ones’s argument to disingenuous attacks and how to avoid it. It is Cummings job, as Chair and Elder, to protect the new members while showing them the way. Cummings lost NO power in calling Meadows his closest friend. In fact, he owned (and I mean owned) Meadows by that comment.

  196. 196
    TriassicSands says:

    @Ruckus:

    As I said in an exchange with The Moar You Know, I agreed that it goes back to Nixon. Then, Ford really made a mess of things by preventing Nixon from facing legal accountability for his crimes.

    But 1994 was a special year in the descent of the GOP into the abyss. On a graph that was trending constantly up (or down depending on your perspective), there was a big jump in Republican misbehavior. Gingrich ushered that in. W and Cheney kicked in another jump in the graph. McConnell added a huge spike with his behavior during the Obama years with yet another spike when he refused to give Merrick Garland a hearing.

    By the time Trump announced his candidacy the Republican Party was a thoroughly corrupt mob of thugs who’d abandoned democracy altogether.
    They were the medium in which the virulent disease that is Trump could take hold and flourish. Since the election, they have made each other worse.

  197. 197
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @khead:
    Elijah Cummings FTW.

  198. 198
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    I thought there were a total of 11 checks and that Cohen was going to go through his records and produce them?

  199. 199
    debbie says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I don’t, at least not yet. I think I will when Mueller releases his report.

  200. 200
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: Yes, but they were already reported on — they equal the amounts paid to Trump’s assignations, plus a bit for Cohen. I still wonder about the Broidy question.

  201. 201
    TS (the original) says:

    @lamh36: Never in doubt – a smart journalist would have been able to predict everything said by the GOP at today’s hearing and everything tump and cronies were going to do and say in Vietnam – for reasons never to be understood, journalists keep thinking trump & co know what they are doing.

    Seems trump’s goal is to ensure every country that is a friend of Russia has nuclear arms.

  202. 202
    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    For purchasing his influence with Trump?

  203. 203
    trollhattan says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:
    It’s hard to pick an equivalent time in the two processes to anchor a comparison but no, by the time the Watergate hearings began I felt Nixon was in much more trouble than I sense now for Trump. The Watergate and Ellsberg break-ins were actual crimes, the trick was connecting Nixon. But pick at the sewer clog long enough and you never know what gets unloosed.

  204. 204
    Aleta says:

    To add to @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @lamh36:

    (NBC)
    The decision to drop, for now, a significant component of a potential nuclear deal suggests a reality that U.S. intelligence assessments have stressed for months is shaping talks as they progress: North Korea does not intend to fully denuclearize, which is the goal Trump set for his talks with Kim.

    Disclosure of a full, verifiable declaration of North Korea’s programs is the issue over which the last round of serious negotiations between Pyongyang and world powers, including the U.S., fell apart a decade ago.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/u-s-drops-demand-full-accounting-n-korea-nuclear-program-n977251

  205. 205
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t even want Trump to have a portrait up in the National Portrait Gallery.

    I don’t want him in the Disney World Hall of Preznits. I don’t even want Wax Trump at Madame Tussaud’s.

  206. 206
    chris says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: They could use one of those inflatable Trumps. With a handy bucket of vegetables.

  207. 207
    TS (the original) says:

    So the headline on the ABC in Australia (supposedly left wing govt news reporter)

    Trump’s former lawyer delivers cinematic testimony, but lacks credibility

    Someone took in the GOP b.s.

  208. 208
    trollhattan says:

    Here’s my Awww moment for the day.

    HW Bush’s service dog, Sully, is now working with vets at Walter Reed. Who’s a good boy?

  209. 209
    lamh36 says:

    @JamilSmith
    Following Following @JamilSmith
    More
    Rashida Tlaib did nothing wrong.
    Elijah Cummings needs a better friend.
    Mark Meadows needs a dictionary.
    So do many in the press.
    She did not call him a racist.
    She called the act racist.
    Her statement was not racist.
    Using black folks as props is racist.
    CSPAN

  210. 210
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think they have space at Ken Ham’s House of Horseshit.

  211. 211
    Aleta says:

    Rebecca Ballhaus @rebeccaballhaus
    The D.C. attorney general has subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee for documents related to any payments to the Trump Organization and related to Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric Trump.

    It’s at WSJ, so not much more is available.

    The subpoena, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, is the third such request to the committee, which is also the subject of investigations by the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office and the New Jersey attorney general.

  212. 212
    Immanentize says:

    @debbie: No, whether the woman Broidy paid for an abortion was really a Trump ‘liability.’

  213. 213
    Immanentize says:

    @lamh36: Just so.

  214. 214
    Aleta says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I don’t even want him allowed near children.

  215. 215
    Billcoop4 says:

    @lamh36: Total agreement.

    Yarrow bleats “Tick Tock” for two years and then chokes supporting part of the toll of doom.

    Sheep need to shut up.

  216. 216
    chris says:

    What a great day! Thanks to all for the great commentary.

    Slightly OT but I hope the preznit* has been told that Andrew McCabe’s book has debuted at #1 at the NYT and is top of the page at Amazon politics books. Kick him when he’s down I say.

  217. 217
    Dan B says:

    @khead: I agree with Yarrow that the “racist” point could have been better phrased for this hearing. But is this skirmish where we want a clean victory. Th MSM and social media are carrying this to the next field of operations.

    The question is what do liberal and progressives do now that the GOP wailing fest has commenced. Once it’s in the news what do we do? If we come across with semi-apologies and semi-condemnations of Meadows we are stuck in neutral. It would serve us well to point out that the GOP questioned our first black president’s citizenship and the right to vote of hundreds of thousands of citizens with dark skin. There are communication experts who can do the job better than me.

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    Kathleen says:

    @debit: Thanks so much for that link. I wasn’t able to watch the hearing.

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    Wapiti says:

    @lamh36: Apparently there’s video out there of Mark Meadows in 2008 or 2012 saying that it’s time to send Obama back to Kenya. I’ll leave it to his black friends and family members to explain to him that that was racist as hell.

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    Snooze Hour had a White water prosecutor as the legal expert. He proceeded to call today’s hearings a circus. WTF PBS?

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    gwangung says:

    I think it best to leave it up to POCs to determine the appropriate time and place to respond.

    Far too many of us have BEEN in the place of being tokenized. Ignoring the deep anger of being on the butt end of racist acts, both small and large, is….not wise.

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    plato says:

    @Kent: Yup. meadows is a teabagger aka a racist. Cummins was the dumb one defending this pos racist.

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    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Aleta:

    I don’t even want him allowed near children.

    Or animals. Or any sentient being.

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    khead says:

    @Dan B:

    The question is what do liberal and progressives do now that the GOP wailing fest has commenced.

    You, uh, push back instead of worrying about it.

    Once it’s in the news what do we do? If we come across with semi-apologies and semi-condemnations of Meadows we are stuck in neutral.

    I’m not making the apologies. Are you? There was nothing neutral about the response from Elijah Cummings. He owned Meadows. Now, I don’t exactly like being the 50 year old white guy carrying the push back water for Balloon Juice. I am sure there are better candidates. But – hey – it looks like I’m that guy in this thread so here we are.

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    Haroldo says:

    @TS (the original):

    So the headline on the ABC in Australia (supposedly left wing govt news reporter)

    Trump’s former lawyer delivers cinematic testimony, but lacks credibility

    Someone took in the GOP b.s.

    @schrodingers_cat:

    Snooze Hour had a White water prosecutor as the legal expert. He proceeded to call today’s hearings a circus. WTF PBS?

    Both the ABC (Australia) and PBS (USA) have become the cowering lap dogs of the right wing. It’s especially saddening to me as in days now long gone by I really admired the ABC.

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    debbie says:

    @Immanentize:

    How could I have forgotten that one? Thanks!

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    Dan B says:

    @Yarrow: Rep. Lawrence’s line of questioning did not make it into the news. Political nerds like us saw Meadows get an opportunity handed to him and it was not pretty. I still maintain that there is a war about racism and corruption but the fight in Congress is just a skirmish. We need to keep it in the bigger media and wage the fight there.

    My ancestors in Arkansas said, jokingly, that you needed a two by four to get the attention of the mule first and then you could get them to do what you wanted. We’ve got to stop being afraid of hurting feelings and being “uncivil” (poor widdle David Brooks) to get our values into the fray, or at least into the lame corporate media.

    MLK said terrible things about racists despite his supposed sainthood. Change is messy not because of mistakes. It’s often the only way.

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    TomatoQueen says:

    Judy’s Snooze Hour did have Adam Schiff, but true to form weighed in with two Rs (Comer and the fmr deputy independent counsel during WhiteW*) first. I wonder if I can stay up to see if Amanpour does any better.

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    Skepticat says:

    I don’t own a television, AND I’ve spent the entire day proofreading a series of boring, turgid, poorly written jobs, so my only exposure to the hearings has been here. (And where better?) However, I do hearken back to the Watergate hearings, during which I worked in television and thus was almost paid to be glued to them. I shall never forget Alexander Butterfield casually mentioning the Oval Office taping system. At least both sides were rather sane and generally committed to the greater good then; I cannot remember such naked, vicious partisanship, though I am old and my memory is shaky.
    Even if I’d had the time, I’m not certain I could have stomached listening to the Rethuglicans today (or any day). However, I would like to read transcripts and shall watch Cummings’s closing statement. From what you’ve said here, I have some hope for the country for the first time in too long. (I know slightly and dislike Lynch, but props to him today.) I doubt His Royal Heinous will be impeached (I hate that we’re so relatively casual about this so-serious matter), but perhaps the balance of power can be brought back into balance.
    Evidence that I’m a bleeding heart liberal is that though he’s hardly a rather hapless John Dean, I’m feeling a bit sorry for Cohen, as we tend to forgive–or at least cut slack for–people who acknowledge and try to repair their errors, but all I care about is that he may grease the wheels of justice here.

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    Dan B says:

    @khead: Me too except I’m the older white gay guy who got booted out of college and threatened by the mafia and several branches of government and then lost several dozen friends to AIDS, etc. I heard the excuses about how LGBTQ people had to be better and smarter than the Christianists, and nicer, and more patient, and more strategic, in order to achieve our rights. In the 60’s I was in Civil Rights. It was a mess but enough got done to make progress. The LGBTQ people who volunteered in Civil Rights learned to set expectations right and still be righteously incensed when that was the emotionally honest response.

    We also learned to play the game in private, government, and public arenas. Current progressives and liberals seem to me to focus on private and government and play the victim in the public sphere: “Oh, but the corporate media!” AOC and others are showing how to use it, imperfections and all.

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    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @hilts: @SiubhanDuinne:

    Cummings’ closing statement was majestic, brilliant, and incredibly inspiring!

    I watched the closing statement – and was hugely disappointed to find it was none of these things.

    Elijah Cummings has been my Congressman since he entered the House in 1996; I value him highly & will support him so long as he stands for reelection – but that statement was not one of his better moments.

    As I listened, I recalled an elderly priest who said Mass at our parish in the mid-50s & early 60s. Father W was so passionate, so devout, but he had fled Poland not long before, & his limited English could not do justice to the sermons he wished to preach. Like him, I felt that Chairman Cummings had a sermon he passionately wished to preach, one that we all wanted to be, were convinced had to be, “majestic, brilliant, and incredibly inspiring” – and that’s what many people heard, or thought they heard.

    I know this is going to catch me a lot of flak from the Jackaltariat. But I’m morally certain that a perceptive & judicious listener who revisits that statement in the fullness of time will conclude that in the heat of the moment the Chairman’s customary eloquence did not rise to his aims. That in his passion and devotion to the Republic, he stumbled & fumbled about, & what emerged was not well focused & marginally coherent. Just as Father W, over 50 years ago – his face (as I still see it in memory) under a fringe of white hair purple with frustration as he struggled with an alien tongue – so often in the end could manage nothing more eloquent than You must love Jesus Christ with all your heart!

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    Skepticat says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    I watched the closing statement – and was hugely disappointed to find it was none of these things.

    I too just watched this, and I agree with you that it wasn’t polished and didn’t carry a targeted, tight message. But it was honest and heartfelt, and right now, I rather prefer that, as we don’t see enough of it. I’ve seen criticism of comments of the young, new members too, but I cut them slack because they’re learning, albeit the hard way. Were that I could be as eloquent on a stage such as that.

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    H.E.Wolf says:

    I see we have a brand new friend, who is sneering at our old friend Yarrow. They must not know that we live for Yarrow’s inimitable tick tocks. [ETA: did New Friend vanish? If so, that’s good.]

    Also, I am sooo sad that I’m the only one who noticed the excellent “Hamilton” reference by schrodinger’s_cat (nor did anyone notice mine in reply). Mnemosyne must be off-line. :)

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    Dmbeaster says:

    @trollhattan: Yes you are, but the jury that mattered were GOP Senators who did not care.

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    Ruckus says:

    @trollhattan:
    Well the similarity is that both Nixon and Trump were/are similar in personalities. They both had far higher opinions of themselves than reality gives them credit for. Both had to have the last word. Nixon was the smarter one for sure but Trump thinks he’s the smartest. They were/are both flawed human beings in so many ways, but Trump’s lack of intelligence and grasp of reality has protected him somewhat from reality but will not do this forever as he has placed himself on a rather high profile stage that he has no business being on. IOW he has been able to keep a bit of distance between himself and trouble because it’s easy for him to play dumb, he just has to be himself. But that will come to an end and I’d bet sooner than later as the truth of his level of attempted control comes out. Cohen may be his downfall, if Cohen has the receipts for what he’s done in Trump’s name and he’s been paid for it and he decides he’s not taking the fall alone. Which I think he’s already done.
    As the clues and guilt gets closer and closer to Trump he will act out, as he always does and will say anything to save his ass. But he’s not good at this and it will show even more and in a legal sense. Have no idea how it will end of course but this level of bullshit can’t go on forever, not on this big of stage, with everyone watching.

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    Dmbeaster says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: The John Dean testimony was similar in many ways, but more dramatic. Dean spoke directly with Nixon about “a cancer growing on the presidency” because of the deceit associated with covering up the wrongdoing. What Dean did not realize at the time he had that conversation with Nixon was that the director of the coverup was Nixon.

    Dean provided highly dramatic testimony of Nixon’s explicit wrongdoing, and was not as soiled as Cohen concerning his credibility. Dean was later proven right when the tapes confirmed his story (including the cancer of the presidency remark by Dean). Cohen was a good witness because of his streetwise candor, but Dean was much more articulate. Dean was much more at the heart of Nixon’s wrongdoing, which was to orchestrate an obstruction of justice to prevent discovery of the true depth of the Watergate wrongdoing. By comparison, Cohen knows very little about the whole Russian thing, except the fact that Trump lied repeatedly during the campaign that he was in fact up to his neck in persuing his most important real estate deal ever in Moscow.

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