Yet Again, This is How You Do It


If you have less than 5 minutes and missed this yesterday, watch AOC’s devastating line of questioning with Cohen. First, she avoids wasting her time bloviating. What a refreshing change. Second, she gets Cohen on the record listing people the committee should follow up with to validate his claims. The Republicans claim Cohen is a liar – let’s get some witnesses in who can back up his claims. Third, she picked a Trump property in or near her district, that probably benefited from a fraudulent tax claim, as an example.

Being an average Member of Congress is an “almost famous” job – there are very few of you, people will be impressed if they know, but you’re not going to get recognized on the street. But there’s one place where a MoC is king or queen – the local party hierarchy. If you’re a member of the local party who wants to be the next MoC from your district, you’ve been marinating in the behavior of your current MoC. They run their jaw at hearings, they are often abusive or at least nasty to underlings, and they are so often the recipient of frequent and fond ass kissing that they forget that, outside of the bubble, a lot of people think they’re full of shit. They also desperately want to transcend their almost famous status, so they use their 5 minutes of committee time to grandstand in the hope that their bon mots will be picked up on cable TV.

AOC came up outside the bubble. She, like most of the rest of us, understands that the masturbatory grandstanding that predominates in committee questioning disgusts people outside the bubble. So, when she has 5 minutes at arguably one of the most important committee hearings in recent memory, she digs in, does her job, and yields back part of her time.






121 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    She did well.

    I’m feeling a bit tired about the excessive fawning over her.

    But she did well here. Kudos to her.

  2. 2
    chopper says:

    refreshing! honestly, i was half expecting her time to be taken up by five minutes of “twitter clapbacks”.

  3. 3
    Belafon says:

    She knew that in this case, it was better for her to let Cohen tell the story.

    She’s already far better than a lot of old white men – who keep trying to make sure their names are in the news – at how to properly present herself.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Job well done.

  5. 5
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: You could always fawn over me. I think I did an excellent job of watching the entire hearing yesterday. Or perhaps that’s not fawn-worthy. never mind.

  6. 6
    WaterGirl says:

    I think AOC has done an excellent job in every hearing I have seen her in.

    But oh my god, the Republicans interrupting the process to get unanimous consent for a tweet — a fucking tweet! — to be entered into the record. They are definitely not sending their best.

  7. 7
    Tom Levenson says:

    Impressive.

  8. 8
    kindness says:

    We are blessed by some of the Congresscritters that represent us. And after yesterday’s Cohen hearings I would say we are also blessed with morons for opposition. Which is great for about 67% of Americans. (I think that bar has risen from the old 27% range)

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I’ve been part of your fawn club for a long time now.

  10. 10
    Betty Cracker says:

    I agree she was extremely impressive at that hearing. AOC seems to adapt to different settings and communicate with various groups extraordinarily well. My 20-year-old daughter and her peers know who AOC is and admire her. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have named a single MoC at that age, not even my own.

  11. 11
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Cosign. (Standard, not hyperbolic.)

  12. 12
    oldster says:

    She was super impressive.

    The best questioners are those who have had experience as prosecutors — e.g. Kamala Harris, Adam Schiff.

    But given that AOC has *not* been trained as a prosecutor, she did really well.

    Native smarts, good staff, got advice from people who know how to do it — whatever factors combined to produce that performance, all reflect well on her.

  13. 13
    arrieve says:

    It was the first time I’d seen her in action and I was also impressed. I had to keep muting the coverage yesterday because the R’s were beyond tiresome, but the Dem’s were mostly very good. And Cummings was just awesome.

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    My 2nd impression is that she’s not whistling Dixie in DC.

  15. 15
    msb says:

    AOC was very impressive.
    I understand that MOCs get briefing/training on entry – has anybody ever offered any training to them on effective questioning? Considering how much time they spend in hearings, it would seem like a good idea.

  16. 16
    MattF says:

    She was direct and cogent, no spittle. She obtained significant information from Cohen. And no R representative dared to try to interrupt her. Win, win, and win.

    ETA: And it looks like the NK talks have ended abruptly and badly.

  17. 17
    Bruce K says:

    1) Who was it who said “I prayed to God to make my enemies ridiculous, and my prayers have been answered”?

    2) AOC does impress, especially in how she publicly ties in concerns for her own district (neatly answering the question of “what’s it to you?”), and how efficiently she gets Cohen to go on-the-record about what he knows, what he doesn’t know, and where to go to get the information he doesn’t have.

  18. 18
    WaterGirl says:

    @Baud: And a bonus play on words, thank you! Guessing you might be president of the club if you didn’t already have higher presidential aspirations.

  19. 19
    zhena gogolia says:

    It was good.

    I couldn’t listen to the hearings because of the Repugs. I’m getting it in bits and pieces. I loved Cohen’s opening statement. He truly is a character from a bad movie. “Sez who?”

    ETA: because of work and the Repugs

  20. 20
    Wag says:

    @Belafon:
    AOC has learned the lawyer ‘s lesson of never asking a question that you don’t already know the answer to. Her questions were exactly on point, and all they required were a simple yes/no answer from the willing witness. Nicely done. A combative witness might have tried to argue each question, but Cohen graciously allowed AOC to tell his story for him.

  21. 21
    plato says:

    AOC came up outside the bubble. She, like most of the rest of us, understands that the masturbatory grandstanding that predominates in committee questioning disgusts people outside the bubble. So, when she has 5 minutes at arguably one of the most important committee hearings in recent memory, she digs in, does her job, and yields back part of her time.

    This.

  22. 22
    geg6 says:

    @Baud:

    Yeah, this. She seems to be doing well, but she’s not the second coming of Christ or even Sam Rayburn. I’m glad she’s doing well, but get serious. She’s not our savior. Or at least, she’s not mine.

  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    @MattF: That the talks ended abruptly and very badly is probably no surprise to any of us. No doubt the real surprise will be the details, and I dread hearing them. There will surely be consequences, and not the happy kind.

  24. 24

    More like her, please.

  25. 25
    Baud says:

    @geg6:

    She’s had a really impressive start and she’s obviously got a lot of natural talent. But our side has a bad habit of looking for messiahs and forgetting the team aspect of party politics. All the people looking to use her name for clicks or attention just feed into that pathology. It’s not even really her fault.

  26. 26
    Cermet says:

    @geg6: I hope not – in our sick Taliban religious thinking country, christ would be hung on a cross and then – the laughably called christians in this country – would hold the nails as the elite drove them home with hammers. LOL

  27. 27
    plato says:

    so much winning from the master dealmaker fucking dotard.

    We got rolled, Part 2. Kim gets an international Head-of-State event, makes DJT an apologist for mass murder, gets to retain all of his nukes & then walks away. Trump. Got. Nothing. Not even air miles. #FAIL https://t.co/g5wajHdMBn— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) February 28, 2019

  28. 28
    MomSense says:

    When she performs like she did at the hearing yesterday, I have high hopes for her potential as a legislator. When she goes after Democrats especially now when the GOP threat is an existential one to our democracy, I am beyond disappointed and outraged. I hope the smart Democratic legislator wins out.

  29. 29
    Nelle says:

    I am so pleased with this freshman class. I was thinking about how these women are unapologetic and matter-of-fact in letting their wit and intelligence shine. No hiding under a bushel for them. Good on them.

    And it got me remembering Barbara Jordan. I miss her. I will go look for a biography of her..if anyone here has a recommendation, please share it.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @MomSense: Maybe I missed it, but I’m not aware of her going after Dems in an unacceptable way (at least not since the election). I don’t do twitter much, so if it’s happening there, I probably missed it.

  31. 31
    Belafon says:

    @geg6: How did Sam Rayburn do his first few months in office?

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    AOC just whisked right through those questions and left the committee ALL teed up for more investigatin’, including getting trumpov’s taxes and bringing Weisselberg in for his own turn in the barrel. Well done!

    Bigger picture: anyone getting the sense that the House Dems are organized, unified, and seem to be proceeding point-by-point through a well-mapped plan here*? I am just wondering why that is…hmm, let me ponder that one for a sec…;)

    *oh also while continuing to pass piece after piece of important legislation, like re-establishing the VRA? “Walk-and-Chew-Gum Democrats” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, but I’m sure there’s something succinct we could start using.

  33. 33
    dmsilev says:

    @Bruce K:

    1) Who was it who said “I prayed to God to make my enemies ridiculous, and my prayers have been answered”?

    Usually ascribed to Voltaire. “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    @plato: I laughed at this on Steve Benen’s site just now, but it was a very sad laughter:

    As Vox’s Matt Yglesias joked this morning, “It turns out that sending a distracted president with a weak command of the underlying issues into a hastily arranged summit without proper preparation wasn’t a diplomatic masterstroke after all.”

    I have to admire that sentence, though; it is a thing of beauty.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro: It’s what Nancy Pelosi did in 2009, for which she was of course rewarded by a grateful public in the 2010 election.

  36. 36
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: As Doug Mataconis said, she is living in Republican’s heads rent free.

  37. 37
    plato says:

    Judge Amy Berman Jackson has rejected Roger Stone's motion claiming that Mueller's team tipped off CNN before his Jan. 25 arrest.Exhibits Stone provided "supplied no reason to believe that any contempt of court had occurred," Berman Jackson wrote. https://t.co/v2SEYk7tQR— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 28, 2019

    Gee judge, you know what will shut this traitorous thug’s mouth off? Fucking prison cell.

  38. 38
    MattF says:

    @WaterGirl: My dad always used to note, sadly, that cliches are usually true.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That’s why the GOP hates her. They want to make the rents too damn high.

  40. 40
    plato says:

    Wow. He even found a way for the US to lose in Vietnam again.— God (@TheTweetOfGod) February 28, 2019

    LOL. Zing.

  41. 41
    Belafon says:

    @Baud: AOC would be just one of the many competent new women elected to office that seems to be settling into her job if the GOP hadn’t tried to make her into the face of the Commie-Democrat Party. She gets more attention because of that, and because she’s handled it better than a lot would have.

  42. 42
    plato says:

    @WaterGirl:

    BBC reporter: Fucking trump could have just sent his underlings for this shitshow.

    Ok, not in those exact words, but that was the gist of it.

  43. 43
    rikyrah says:

    @plato:

    Put this muthaphucka in jail.

  44. 44
    plato says:

    @Belafon:

    AOC is smart, media savvy and going by those 15 5 minutes of her ‘fame’, obviously is well prepared to handle that shit.

  45. 45
    JR says:

    @Bruce K: Voltaire — and coincidentally one of the quotes attributed to him that he actually did write.

  46. 46
    plato says:

    @rikyrah: Nah, amy is all about pillows.

  47. 47
    Baud says:

    @Belafon: She’s probably the most telegenic and charismatic of the group too. And being the youngest ever gives her some special notoriety. It’s a perfect storm of events. All that’s fine, assuming she continues to be a productive team player. I’m just tired of cult of personality politics, even when the personality is someone I like. (Obama kind of suffered from this, although I think he really tried to get people to see the larger picture.)

  48. 48

    What I saw at the Cohen hearings was D substance based on values and R absence of any such thing. Is there evidence people outside the liberal bubble saw that too? I’d hope people can recognize character but there are people who voted for Trump so I guess not

  49. 49
    Baud says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    What I saw at the Cohen hearings was D substance based on values and R absence of any such thing.

    You saw that in the 2016 election too. But at that time, people were less woke. Who knows now? Hopefully, Trump’s shtick is wearing thin, but the 2020 election is tell us everything.

  50. 50
    plato says:

    Frum: The GOP case against Cohen was to reiterate Cohen is a convicted liar. As are Trump's campaign chairman, deputy chair & 1st national security adviser. It's bold to cite the criminality of so many of Trump's associates as proof of Trump's innocence.https://t.co/RMJ8WjN8qg— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 28, 2019

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    San Francisco East?
    Seriously?
    FOH!

    Column: What change in Chicago will look like: Mayor Lori Lightfoot
    By John Kass
    Chicago Tribune

    ………………….

    Lightfoot will need help addressing all that, particularly the fiscal issues, which are not her strong suit. She may consider reaching out to another reform candidate, Paul Vallas, who has the necessary financial chops and the respect of the oligarchs.

    Or, she could screw this up and listen to the downtown law firms, the same crowd that counseled the oligarchs to go with Daley.

    If I were still smoking, I’d enjoy one right now, and ponder the blunders of the C-suite types who backed Daley and not Vallas.

    They’re now masters of a city ruled by the hard political left in what could be called San Francisco East. And in political terms, April is just minutes away: Either establishment Chicago does nothing and waits for Preckwinkle and her public-sector unions to take control of Chicago and Cook County, or they go with Lightfoot.

    She’ll set the terms for those negotiations.

    Lightfoot is writing a new chapter of the Chicago Way, and her story is a historic mayoral campaign with no one named Daley in sight.

    The two African-American survivors in the April runoff come from the same left wing of the Democratic Party, but they provide ample contrast.

    Lightfoot is part of the new wave of politics. She’s lesbian and a savvy former federal prosecutor. Preckwinkle is competent, ruthless and elderly. She’s president of the Cook County Board and boss of the Cook County Democratic Party.

    New vs. old.

    The national media and the national Democratic Party will feel pressure to support Lightfoot. How can feminists and liberal Beltway media not support her?

    And how could liberal pundits not punish Chicago Democrats, particularly African-American Christian ministers, if any of them dare make Lightfoot’s sexual orientation an issue?

    African-American voters are socially conservative, particularly the churchgoers, a secret that most Democratic Party hierarchs and many in the national media are loath to mention.

    Some black clergy will be compelled to speak out. And how local and national media respond will form another story arc.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Baud:

    is tell = will tell

  53. 53
    tobie says:

    I’m glad she did well. She had a simple and direct line of questioning about the valuation of assets that yielded results, and she didn’t return to matters already addressed in the hearing, which is often a problem in these televised cross examinations.( I’m thinking in particular of the Kavanaugh hearings but the same also applies to Whitaker’s testimony.) I gather other young members of Congress like Krishnamoorthi, Hill, Gomez, and Khanna did really well yesterday and advanced the collusion/obstruction inquiry, as did veteran Jacky Speier. A shout-out to them would be appropriate.

  54. 54
    Ruckus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    They are definitely not sending their best.

    See, this is wrong.
    They are sending their best.
    Think about that for a moment.
    This is as good as they get.
    Their ideas/ideals are shit. Their process is shit. They are shit. They aren’t in political life to make anyone’s life better but their own and their paymasters even better than that.
    This is as good as they get.
    They don’t deserve credit for the shit job they do, they don’t deserve even the basic accolade that there are better people that they aren’t sending. They aren’t scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is how the entire barrel is.
    This is as good as they get.

  55. 55
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ruckus:

    They don’t deserve credit for the shit job they do,

    I think they deserve ALL the credit for the shit job they do. :-)

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    The enduring Republic

    Much of what Michael Cohen said in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee yesterday was shocking, in a country inured to shock. But it wasn’t surprising.

    It wasn’t surprising that the Republicans on the committee took over the role which Cohen occupied for ten years, that of Donald Trump’s fixer and consigliere.

    What they did—how they debased themselves, their offices, their institution, and their nation—will not be forgotten. When we again reach more civilized times, they will be held to account, if not in the dock of justice, then in the dock of history, as their cowardly, supine slavery to a man not fit to walk free among free people in this free Republic will be considered with the same opprobrium we reserve for the greatest of traitors.

    The shock lay in the detail with which Cohen laid out of Trump’s petty, grubby, small-time-crook malfeasance. We literally have a minor mob boss occupying the highest executive office in the land. Trump doesn’t even rise to the level of a Tony Soprano. He’s more like the relics found in Ghostdog: The Way of the Samurai, sad little men meeting to plot their crimes in the back of a Chinese restaurant. Of course, that doesn’t mean that he can’t wreak havoc. But he’s no grand criminal mastermind; he’s merely a schlub, a schnorrer, a crass little man who has conned the deluded into thinking he’s a world-historical figure. Historians in twenty years will wonder, mouths agape, at how so many people willingly, blindly followed this louche Pied Piper. (They can start by looking at the parlous state of our educational systems. They can continue by seeing what is preached from pulpits across the country, in the darker, forgotten recesses of the nation, forgotten recesses filled with forgotten people who wallow in their own pathology.)

  57. 57
    Mom Says I*m Handsome says:

    I was listening to conservative talk radio early this morning, as a good librul should (e.g. occasionally and in small doses) and the question was — quite literally — “What are the Social Justice Warriors going to do to ruin your way of life?” Most of the callers seemed to have failed Sun Tzu 101*, and AOC figured prominently in the discussion**, although only in that shallow way that conservatives seem equipped to handle her: “She’s a feather-head”, “She’s pretty but…”, “What’s the deal with that voice?”, “George Soros hur hur”.

    The video shows she’s a devastating opponent to Trump and his enablers. While the right talks about her dancing, her office staff salaries, and her boyfriend, she’s methodically setting up the Preznit for tax evasion charges. And she’s speaking in a way that is easily transmitted to the majority of Americans who know how deep the rot goes. She may not be the Second Coming, but I’m sure as hell glad she’s on our side. Brava.

    * “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

    ** I’m being generous, these people aren’t “discussing” as much as “word-vomiting”

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Paul LePage engages in identity politics:

    Former Gov. Paul LePage (R) tore apart a bill currently in the Maine state legislature that proposes essentially eliminating the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote because it would only “be minorities that elect” the President.

    According to a Thursday Maine Beacon report, LePage told local radio station WVOM that the legislation would render him and other whites “a forgotten people.”

    “Actually what would happen if they do what they say they’re gonna do is white people will not have anything to say,” LePage said. “It’s only going to be the minorities that would elect. It would be California, Texas, Florida.”

  59. 59
    Amir Khalid says:

    @WaterGirl:
    That’s not a joke, though. Yglesias is just stating the facts.

  60. 60
    comrade scotts agenda of rage says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I have met her and heard her speak in person. She’s the real deal. This is an example of that.

  61. 61
    plato says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There is a reason that thug is now called former. Fuck him and his ilk.

  62. 62
    Immanentize says:

    @rikyrah: Saw your question in the prior thread…. Lil Imma and I are seriously considering a trip to Istanbul.
    (Even old New York, was once New Amsterdam….)

    So any advice from fellow jackals about Turkey is most welcome.

  63. 63
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @geg6: I doubt that even Sam Rayburn was SAM RAYBURN when he started out. Compared to the average congresscritter she is extraordinary. I mean mine is Higgins and he’s ok mostly but nothing to rave about and he’s got years of experience. She displayed unusual competence.

  64. 64
    Ruckus says:

    @geg6:
    No one is our savior.
    She did her job and did it well. That is a major improvement on a dramatic number of congress critters. She doesn’t seem that she’s there to build a resume or to grandstand or to be slobbered over. She’s there to be a congress person. She may have political aspirations of the highest order but it seems she may want to actually full fill the requirements to get there. She’s not asking for a gold star, she wants to be productive.
    All of this is a good thing. We don’t have to like our politicians or to have a beer with them, but it would be nice if they actually did their jobs so that we could respect them for what we pay them for. She easily meets that goal. I’ve had lots of employees and people working under me over the years. I was not friends with a lot of them but I respected them as people and respected that they showed up and did the work to the best of their abilities because that’s what they were supposed to do. This display of professionalism that AOC just showed is refreshing. She should go far in politics or whatever she wants to do/accomplish because she is an actual professional person. Most of our side of the aisle is this way, even if they aren’t perfect at it. They are there to do a job, not get their knobs polished and it shows. She’s just good at it out of the gate.
    Like her don’d like her, that’s OK, but she earned respect for the simple act of doing her job properly.

  65. 65
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @plato: Hey now, us union thugs take exception to that association. ;-)

  66. 66
    MattF says:

    @tobie: Nancy Smash and the Smithereens.

  67. 67

    @plato:

    Kim gets an international Head-of-State event, makes DJT an apologist for mass murder, gets to retain all of his nukes & then walks away.

    To demonstrate the incredibly low bar Trump operates under, I was impressed he didn’t give away anything more concrete in exchange for the jack shit Kim offered. He actually grasped that closing one enrichment plant was not an equal offer to ending all sanctions. For Trump, this was brilliant negotiating.

    @rikyrah:

    Historians in twenty years will wonder, mouths agape, at how so many people willingly, blindly followed this louche Pied Piper.

    They won’t. Look at history books. Historians will have no trouble at all blaming this on racial backlash to the first black president. Experts will argue details with each other, but the overwhelming consensus will be “Duh, racism.”

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I’ll coincide that point.
    Actually, don’t they deserve jail time for all they do?

  69. 69
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @plato: We got rolled, Part 2. Kim gets an international Head-of-State event, makes DJT an apologist for mass murder, gets to retain all of his nukes & then walks away. Trump. Got. Nothing. Not even air miles.

    all the things that drew trump– applause, ceremony, cheering crowds and waving flags– actually were wins for the Hermit King. He also got this

    NBC News @ NBCNews
    President Trump, asked about responsibility for American Otto Warmbier’s death:
    “A lot of people, big country,” and Kim Jong Un “tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I’ll take him at his word.”

    sounds kind of familiar….

    and this

    Josh Dawsey @ jdawsey1
    “And I was telling the generals, I said, look, exercises is fun and it’s nice and they play the war game.” — Trump today on military exercises along the South Korean peninsula.

    Lindsey? Mad Dog? Any comment…?
    ETA: anyone seen the video of that? I can just hear it in that little sing-song of his

  70. 70
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: no advice, but if you go I hope you’ll share some. Istanbul is on my bucket list

  71. 71
    randy khan says:

    @rikyrah:

    And how could liberal pundits not punish Chicago Democrats, particularly African-American Christian ministers, if any of them dare make Lightfoot’s sexual orientation an issue?

    African-American voters are socially conservative, particularly the churchgoers, a secret that most Democratic Party hierarchs and many in the national media are loath to mention.

    Some black clergy will be compelled to speak out. And how local and national media respond will form another story arc.

    Over the years I’ve seen dozens of stories about this sort of thing, and can’t remember a single time any black clergy of any significance did anything of the sort.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    Cohen testifies SDNY conducting additional Trump investigations

    Rachel Maddow shares highlights from Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony and talks with Joyce Vance, former federal prosecutor, about the legal implications for Donald Trump after Cohen’s testimony about Trump’s involvement in illegal hush money payments.
    Feb. 27, 2019

  73. 73
    tobie says:

    @MattF: My admiration for how well Nancy handles a rambunctious caucus grows daily. It’s amazing what she manages from behind the scenes. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if she and her staff advised members of the Oversight committee not to return to the same matters again and again in their round of questioning. There was an op ed in the Post last week pointing out that one of the reasons the Judiciary Committee didn’t draw blood during the Whitaker hearings is that each member kept asking the same questions. The op ed writer thought they should coordinate their efforts better. This is what happened yesterday. Someone on the Hill took the op ed to heart.

  74. 74
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @rikyrah: Kass is a feeble-minded crank who was an embarrassing throwback when the Tribune disgraced itself* by giving him Royko’s old spot more than twenty years ago, and I say that in full awareness that Royko, at the end, drank and embittered himself into the Archie Bunker type he mocked in his heyday. Kass isn’t even a bible-thumper, he’s a fifties-humper, longing for the good old days when everybody stayed in their own neighborhoods, and we all liked it that way.

    * though, of course, Kass is much closer to the spirit of the Colonel than Royko, even at his worst, ever was

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: dang it he FIGURED OUT THE PLAN! Now what are we gonna do, fellow libs?

  76. 76
    MattF says:

    Alexandra Petri has her usual inimitable take on the hearings, e.g., :

    COHEN: Uh, I am sorry for every decision that led me to have to sit here through this interaction. I gave Donald Trump everything, and I see you now, doing what I did. You think he will not also turn you into toads. But I see the slime forming on your cranial crests. I know where this is headed.

    Here.

  77. 77
    Baud says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: \

    because it would only “be minorities that elect” the President.

    Good. Too bad that’s not true.

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ruckus:

    Actually, don’t they deserve jail time for all they do?

    Hmmm….. Is breathing while criminal a crime?

  79. 79
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: The part that cracks me up is he is apparently unaware of white people’s impending minority status.

    ETA while giving voice to his fear of exactly that.

  80. 80
    Barbara says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Former Gov. Paul LePage (R) tore apart a bill currently in the Maine state legislature that proposes essentially eliminating the Electoral College in favor of the popular vote because it would only “be minorities that elect” the President.

    “When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead . . .”

  81. 81
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Trump has made the situation with North Korea exponentially worse for any future President. It used to be that a face-to-face meeting with the US President was the carrot offered in exchange for sticks (concessions). Trump has elevated Kim to a world leader and he now expects face time with the US President with no preconditions. I pity the next President who is going to have to try to extract concessions from Kim.

  82. 82
    plato says:

    Matt Gaetz is apparently talking about witness intimidation with the president. https://t.co/9XaBoIYDr6— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 28, 2019

    Keep digging that hole, asshole, and take the totus thug with you.

    eta.

    .@TheFlaBar, this is relevant to your investigation of @mattgaetz: (1) he threatened a committee witness; (2) he's not a committee member; (3) his allegations were not raised in the hearing, suggesting he had no basis; and now (4) he reportedly admitted to doing it for Trump.— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) February 28, 2019

  83. 83
    MattF says:

    @tobie: There was apparently little or no preparation for the meeting. Can you imagine going to a summit with NK without wondering ‘How will KDU respond to X, Y, or Z?’. Or, if these questions were actually posed to the NK leadership, the responses they got were lies. Which is not better.

  84. 84
    Nelle says:

    @Immanentize: We had a small pleasant hotel with a good view of the Sea of Marmara and right behind the Hagia Sophia. I’ll look for the name..should I send the info to a front-page to put us in touch by email?

    My husband was mostly uninterested in going there but I was on a hunt for where my grandfather lived in then Constantinople when he escaped Russia in 1919 (he was a writer and journalist unpopular with the revolutionaries).

    However, when my husband found platters of all kinds of olives at buffet breakfast every morning, he was among the converted.

  85. 85
    Fair Economist says:

    @rikyrah: Did that guy manage to write an entire column about the Chicago mayor’s race without mentioning a single issue? Nothing except horserace discussion about two factions and supposed shadowy manipulators?

  86. 86
    geg6 says:

    @Belafon:

    Don’t know, don’t care. When she has 25 terms under her belt, we can make a comparison, okay?

  87. 87
    daveNYC says:

    @Immanentize: Pick your hotel carefully. Not so much because the hotel will suck or will be inconvenient or something, but because there’s a lot of clubs playing loud music, and you don’t want to be anywhere near them. I stayed in a lovely place up at Ortakoy, great room, great location, great thumping bass beat until 4AM.
    The city is very walkable, but some sites you might want to see are far enough out that you’ll want to take the tram. The old city walls for example are a trek to get to. Food is solid, there is a tram/metro combo connection to the old Ataturk airport, not sure if there’s one to the new mega-airport though.

    I won’t rattle off all the tourist sites you’ll want to be seeing, there are many of them and generally all obvious and located in the old center. I would highly recommend hitting one of the Turkish Baths though. One week in the city will be enough to see most everything, but staying longer will let you chillax a few days and just wander.

  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Immanentize: I expect your accommodations will be a little bit more upscale than those my son had when he visited Istanbul and woke up to find the bedbugs had spent the night feasting on his legs and feet.

  89. 89
    trnc says:

    The Republicans claim Cohen is a liar – let’s get some witnesses in who can back up his claims.

    Also, someone needs to challenge them to send a perjury referral to the FBI and see how far they get when asked for the evidence.

  90. 90
    tobie says:

    @MattF: ‘Reckless endangerment’ of the US would be one way of characterizing this summit with no agenda or preparation but it seems too mild. ‘Criminal negligence’ would be better but still falls short. The only reason North Korea even figures in Trump’s mind is that Obama told him that NK is an intractable problem. He wants to say, “Hey, I’m a genius. I solved the problem Obama said was too hard to solve.”

  91. 91
    catclub says:

    @plato:

    Trump. Got. Nothing. Not even air miles.

    KJU got train miles.

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    Well…..
    Being a criminal while breathing is……

  93. 93
    Skepticat says:

    The person who may have been the youngest in the room also seems to have been the most adult. Calm, focused, and devastatingly on point. Though usually I’m leery of political celebrities, I was extremely impressed. And hopeful.

  94. 94
    catclub says:

    @Jeffro:

    *oh also while continuing to pass piece after piece of important legislation, like re-establishing the VRA?

    make it apply to all 50 states. allow jurisdictions to earn their way out of pre-clearance.

  95. 95
    Plato says:

    @catclub:

    Lol. True. Wonder if lil kim will take the train route back home.

  96. 96
    JoeyJoeJoe says:

    @Gelfling 545: Back in 1913, his first year, new members weren’t even supposed to speak on the floor of the house, according to the stories I’ve read

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @tobie: Now DJT is all set to host The Biggest Loser.

  98. 98
    gwangung says:

    Just to add, this particular performance wasn’t unique for AOC. I’ve heard about similar sharp questioning for campaign financing and credit reporting.

    Real deal, for sure.

  99. 99
    tobie says:

    @Skepticat: It may be my Maryland prejudice but I think Raskin and Sarbanes may have drawn the most blood yesterday when they got Cohen to implicate Trump’s lawyers and Kushner’s lawyer in Cohen’s previous false statements to Congress. Suborning perjury is a big deal.

    “Who at the White House reviewed your testimony?” Sarbanes asked.

    “I don’t know the answer to that,” Cohen replied. “The document was originally created by myself along with my attorney at the time. … There was a joint defense agreement, so the document circulated around. I believe it was also reviewed by Abbe Lowell, who represents Ivanka [Trump] and Jared Kushner.”

    “Why did you provide the testimony to the White House?” Sarbanes asked.

    “It was pursuant to the joint defense agreement that we were all operating under,” Cohen said.

  100. 100
    prostratedragon says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: For most of his career Mike Royko was at the Chicago Daily News, a Democratic-leaning, much more liberal paper than the Tribune. He went to the Trib only when the News closed. I think it’s part of why he became embittered.

    Kass had his stopped clock moment, whose subject I no longer recall, but indeed, he’s not even a good wannabe.

  101. 101
    Janet Strange says:

    As I was listening, I was as impressed as hell with her excellent use of her limited time. But because I love to geek out at how Congress actually works, I found this pretty interesting:

    “@DanaHoule Retweeted @ElieNYC – I have a theory for why @AOC and @AyannaPressley handled their hearing better than other, older Dems. . . .
    (@DanaHoule replies:) . . . as the hearings go on, the senior members & staff will often consider the testimonies and what new has been raised, & what remains unanswered, & give questions to the junior members who speak last. . . . Also a bunch of 5 minute blocs of Q’s before they spoke laid a foundation. When I staffed a freshman member—thus, one of the last people to get time—he often benefitted from what had and hadn’t yet been asked, & he was able to do those get-on-TV performances like theirs today. . . . (Dana Houle added) In fact—and this isn’t meant to dismiss her—Ocasio-Cortez’s questions were a direct extension of questionng earlier by (I think?) Lacy Clay.”

    I think this is what she is referring to at the beginning of her questioning. Dana Houle’s thread here https://twitter.com/DanaHoule/status/1100963538837880832 (I cut and pasted it a bit.)

    “Dana Houle served as a congressional chief of staff and as a campaign manager on legislative, congressional and statewide campaigns.” Or as he describes himself – “Elected Democrats & pontificated, then chased toddler twins & pontificated, now getting back to electing Democrats. And pontificating.” Good person to follow on twitter if you, like me, like the how it works geekery.

  102. 102
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Apparently even Fox got it how badly the Republicans dropped the ball with Cohen.

  103. 103
    The Golux says:

    @daveNYC:

    @Immanentize: Pick your hotel carefully.

    If you stay in the old city, noise is less likely to be a problem. Back in 2006, we stayed at Hotel Uyan, a block or two from the Blue Mosque, and a 15 minute walk from the Grand Bazaar, which is something you absolutely should see. Very nice hotel, and only $55 a night according to Google Maps.

  104. 104
    J R in WV says:

    @catclub:

    Regarding Voting Rights legislation:

    allow jurisdictions to earn their way out of pre-clearance.

    Why allow any political jurisdiction to gain some way out of pre-clearance? Because there is potential for shenanigans in every jurisdiction from Maine to San Diego and all the islands that are part of the nation!

    All parties have done electoral dirt, here they even have to make never running for office again part of the plea deals for attempting to fix an election. And that’s mostly “Democratic” candidates in the southern half of the state.

  105. 105
    Skepticat says:

    @tobie: Good point, and I agree. However, I couldn’t stomach watching yesterday and thus saw only bits and pieces here and there. I see more and more glimmers of hope.

  106. 106
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @prostratedragon: He went to the Trib only when the News closed.

    he worked at the Sun-Times for a few years after the Daily News folded, and went to the Trib when Murdoch– The Alien, as Royko called him– bought the Sun-Times

  107. 107
    catclub says:

    @J R in WV: part of RBG’s evisceration of Roberts’ opinion on the VRA was that all those jurisdictions
    that were ‘unfairly’ (lost their equal dignitude of the states) targeted by the VRA, could earn exemption from pre-clearance if they could behave well for 10 years.

    But they were unable to do that – the same jurisdictions repeatedly tried the same illegal tricks.

  108. 108
    KSinMA says:

    @Barbara: “Sloppy dead”? So that’s what she was saying!

  109. 109
    J R in WV says:

    @catclub:

    My point [ eta: which you seemed to miss totally! ] is that all sorts of jurisdictions have a long history of electoral foul play, from Pascagoula MS to Chicago, IL, from Repugnant to Democratic.

    A VRA review should be mandatory for every change to electoral rules in every jurisdiction, always. Because someone is trying to change something that already worked. Otherwise we get into a post hoc judicial review during which the newly imposed rules or laws are in effect, so that dirtbags are getting elected to positions where they can continue to fuck with the rules.

  110. 110
    tobie says:

    @Skepticat: Josh Marshall has a really succinct summary of everything that went down yesterday. For him the three highlights were (1) Trump’s likely knowledge of Stone’s negotiations with Wikileaks regarding the hacked DNC emails; (2) The ongoing negotiations throughout the campaign regarding Trump Tower Moscow, which made Trump a prime target for manipulation; and (3) the seediness and fraudulence of Trump’s business practices over many years, which Marshall feels laid the foundation for the manipulation of Trump via kompromat. If I had to add a fourth point, it would be the intimation yesterday that Trump knew about Manaforts/Jr/Kushner’s meeting with Veselnetskaya. That all this turf got covered yesterday plus campaign finance violations, intimidation of potential witnesses, catch-and-kill stories, etc. shows a remarkable team effort.

  111. 111
  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    @tobie:

    I thought more of Lowell

  113. 113
    tobie says:

    @rikyrah: True. The reference to Lowell stood out. I wonder if the SDNY is on this? I so want Jarvanka implicated in all this. The two are so smug, self-satisfied, self-entitled and contemptuous of others. Their arrogance is breathtaking.

  114. 114
    LaNonna says:

    @Immanentize: loved Ephesis, Istanbul, and Cappadoccia…also a shout out to Turkish airlines, great service and reasonable fares. We were in Turkey for a month 2 years ago.

  115. 115
    David Evans says:

    @KSinMA: Youtube with lyrics is your friend. I didn’t know until today either.

  116. 116
    sgrAstar says:

    @geg6: I understand what you’re saying, but…she’s 29 years old. I think she shows every sign of being absolutely formidable when she’s 40.

  117. 117
    Eljai says:

    @Janet Strange: I was thinking along those same lines. Vermont Rep. Peter Welch and Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay laid the groundwork for AOC’s line of questioning. And that doesn’t take away from her skills at all. If anything, it shows how good she is a listening, teamwork and building a case.

  118. 118
    Cam says:

    @Immanentize: My visit there was just over 20 years ago so not sure I have much to add. Beware of raki if you indulge in alcoholic beverages. I loved Istanbul, but would have probably preferred staying on the European side instead of where I stayed on the Asian side. At the time everything there was dead just after dark while the other side had an actual nightlife. I enjoyed the time I spent in Izmir as an alternative, but that was helped by my mother knowing people there from work. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was pretty impressive, and the Blue Mosque.

  119. 119
    central texas says:

    @Ruckus:

    Or it may be that they are no longer capable of producing “best”. I’m inclined to agree with Charlie Pierce that three generations of gerrymandered inbreeding has left them without the ability to deal with the world outside the RWNJ bubble.

  120. 120
    MomSense says:

    @Immanentize:

    I’m so envious. Any tips I could give are so old by now as to be useless. I stayed with a friend in Istanbul so I got to experience it in a really special way.

  121. 121
    Peter VE says:

    Spare a little love for Katie Hill. She got a whole sequence in, establishing how 45 directed Cohen to lie about the Stormy Daniels payments.

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