Tuesday Evening Open Thread: “Impeachment Is Patriotism”

Via Dana Houle’s twitter feed. This is pretty much where I am on the impeachment process, too:






114 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    😠😠😠

    Today in voter Suppression from Florida…

    Kira Lerner (@kira_lerner) Tweeted:
    A last minute amendment in a Florida bill that passed on the last day of the session makes voter registration records for felons private, meaning it’ll be difficult — if not impossible — to track the progress of Amendment 4 https://t.co/aBoHikN15F https://twitter.com/kira_lerner/status/1130866202069295104?s=17

  2. 2

    This is a good perspective. I’ve read a couple of articles lately on the evolution of our political parties over the last fifty years or so. Both parties once upon a time contained factions at odds over a number of issues. But the divisions weren’t total and permanent. Democrats who might disagree on civil rights might agree on tax policy, say. And Republicans who might disagree on abortion might agree on foreign relations. So there was discussion, and sometimes positions even changed.

    But since the 1970s, the Republicans have been toeing an ever purer line on ever more topics. They are also shrinking as a party as those in favor of women’s rights, using science as a guide to policy, and a number of other things find it impossible to agree with the racism, sexism, and know-nothingism.

    The Democrats have continued as the kind of political party they’ve always been and the Republicans once were. Some folks have decided to bring their racism to the Republican Party, but much of the range of policy preferences remains, perhaps even augmented by Republicans who want to participate in a political party, not a death cult.

    The media, sadly, find the Republican lockstep easier to report on and wonder why the Democrats can’t do that too.

  3. 3
    West of the Rockies says:

    I loathe Trump, and I am enraged daily by GOP horse shit, but I find myself trusting Nancy. Slow and steady, let a trickle become a stream, a river, a torrent…

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    The media is awful, but our own social media exacerbates the divisions too. We do it to ourselves a lot.

  5. 5
    germy says:

    From a whisper to a scream

  6. 6

    @Baud: There’s some of that. I ignore most of the fighting on social media. So far, I think the impeachment discussion is going reasonably, with no significant number mindlessly attacking those who disagree.

    Our local Democratic Party has had its share of unproductive infighting too, but I think it’s turning around.

  7. 7
    Ryan says:

    “24. In general, though, I’d say Pelosi & Dems understand that they must get institutions on their side as much as possible. That means the public, the press, and the courts. That way, impeaching Trump does not look like it’s about politics.”

    The problem is that this depends on Republicans feeling shame, guilt, and backing down. Merrick Garland. Can we rely on any Republican to act in any way other than shamelessly?

  8. 8
    Harbison says:

    And this is why Pelosi’s previous public statements about “Trump isn’t worth impeaching” were so colossally stupid.

    It doesn’t matter that she also said, at other times, that she was taking a wait and see attitude. Why did she have to go and step all over what the real message should be?

  9. 9
    MJS says:

    This all may be true, but sound bites along the lines of, “He’s not worth it” and “Trump is baiting us to impeach him”, and suggesting that there will need to be Senate Republicans jumping ship before anything can be done aren’t helpful. Stick to, “There’s a process to this, and we’re following it.”

  10. 10
    jl says:

    @Harbison: Pelosi’s statements, as statements, aren’t that important. They may be important if they reveal a mindset that is overly cautious about impeachment.

    A complicating factor is that Trump may be trying to trigger impeachment hearings to rile his base, and to get more sympathetic coverage from our failed corporate media experiment. That complicates things. If Pelosi is willing to change her stance as evolving facts indicate best course (as some of her other statements indicate), then I have no problem with a deliberate pace, and waiting to slap ‘impeachment’ onto the title of investigative hearings.

  11. 11
    cursorial says:

    @West of the Rockies: I’m giving Congressional Democrats the benefit of the doubt, that the deliberate process will be more effective eventually. But it does look weak every time they issue a subpoena that gets ignored, which matters for public opinion. And if the President ultimately defies a court order, who’s going to enforce it? A DOJ that reports to him? Impeachment in the House or not, I have trouble seeing how this ends in anything but a stalemate, while the GOP disregards norms and the Constitution.

    I wondered, although Congress has been slow to use budget authority to limit the executive, is this a possible option? Proposal: The only budget that passes the Democratic House is one that defunds the office of the president. Strip all the perks of the office. Ground AF1, destaff the White House, the works. Let the bastard sit in the Oval Office, order takeout fast food, and ragetweet himself hoarse. It’s petty and sets a terrible precedent, but it seems like something they could actually do. (and that would piss him off, which would cheer their supporters no end)

  12. 12
    Kelly says:

    I’m inclined to think the Republican elite were happy to let the crazier fringe congress folk carry on about investigating Obama based on their wild hallucinations to poison the very idea of Congressional oversight. There will be plenty of mainstream media happy to draft lazy both sides columns.

  13. 13
    debbie says:

    @MJS:

    The statements may or may not be helpful, but they are true. Trump is definitely baiting and phooey to those who fall for it.

  14. 14

    @germy: So I whisper, and I scream
    But don’t get me wrong
    Please don’t leave me waitin’ too long
    Waitin’ too long
    Waitin’ too long
    Waitin’ too long

    Seriously though, like I said in an earlier thread, Pelosi has to tread carefully. When the general public and esp. the FOXbots discover that she’s second in line for the throne, the screaming will REALLY start.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    By virtue of her position, Pelosi should be the last one to sign onto impeachment, not the first.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Harbison:
    So like you to look for the cloud inside the silver lining. Pelosi isn’t blundering her way through this. She’s been working out how to proceed with deliberate speed every step of the way. She has for obvious reasons been careful not to get ahead of public and institutional support, careful not to yield to partisan pressure to move faster than is wise. I think she of all people knows better than to expect honest dealing from Republican Congressional leaders.

    And re voting Trump (and other Republicans) out of office vs impeaching Trump, it is not really a choice between one and the other. Pelosi can and should pursue both approaches. As far as I can see, that is indeed what she’s doing.

  17. 17
    MJS says:

    @debbie: “He isn’t worth impeaching” is simultaneously untrue and demoralizing to many. I’m willing to accept that her strategy is the correct one. Her communication of that strategy has been sorely lacking.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    Someone in the IRS can read the law.

    A confidential Internal Revenue Service legal memo says tax returns must be given to Congress unless the president takes the rare step of asserting executive privilege, according to a copy of the memo obtained by The Washington Post.

    The memo contradicts the Trump administration’s justification for denying lawmakers’ request for President Trump’s tax returns, exposing fissures in the executive branch.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/confidential-draft-irs-memo-says-tax-returns-must-be-given-to-congress-unless-president-invokes-executive-privilege/2019/05/21/8ed41834-7b1c-11e9-8bb7-0fc796cf2ec0_story.html

  19. 19
    Bill Arnold says:

    [comment in jail] ETA never mind, reposted after fixing formatting and it worked.

  20. 20
    Bill Arnold says:

    Interesting spot by Marcy Wheeler/emptywheel:
    Michael Cohen’s HPSCI Testimony Proves Trump Lied in his Answers to Mueller (May 21, 2019, emptywheel)
    Long and with the usual details, but the shorter is

    Perhaps most surprising, though, Cohen’s testimony establishes that Trump lied to Robert Mueller in his sworn answers.

    Not knowing (or caring) that his former fixer was already cooperating with Mueller, Trump repeated precisely the same lies Cohen is now in prison for, did so under oath, and refused to fix those responses when given an opportunity to.

    Even if you buy that Trump forgot this conversation and the other seven he claims to have forgotten about a deal he very much wanted, you still need to explain why his responses, which allegedly account for the documentary evidence, nevertheless repeat the story that Cohen told based on a documentary record that Trump lawyers ensured was incomplete.
    Given the great lengths Trump went to to not answer any of Mueller’s questions, it would take some doing for him to tell a demonstrable lie.
    But he did just that with regards to the Trump Tower meeting — and refused to fix his testimony after he made it clear, publicly, that he had lied.

    (TBH, the D.J.Trump answers to Mueller’s questions was the first thing I read in the redacted Mueller report, but I missed this.)

  21. 21
    HinTN says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Remember “cocktail weenies”? The MSM is lazy.

  22. 22
    Chip Daniels says:

    Woulda been cool to have Politico reporting on the Constitutional Convention, where the founders had days of ferocious arguments about everything and anything.

    “Founders in Disarray!”

  23. 23
    HinTN says:

    @Ryan: We can rely on Merrick Garland af the Chief Judge of the DC Court of Appeals!

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    @MJS:

    She’s said more than just those two statements, like stating she wants to hold off on impeachment until there are facts sufficient to convince all but the most loonytunes of Congresspeople that Trump should be impeached.

  25. 25
    japa21 says:

    @Baud: I am not even sure how executive privilege would work in this situation.

  26. 26
    HinTN says:

    @Harbison: She was denigrating and baiting him. Sometimes this has to happen. BREATHE

  27. 27
    Baud says:

    @japa21:

    Me either. The memo probably says that a constitutional privilege, if applicable, is the only thing that can override an act of Congress.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @rikyrah: Violates the state’s sunshine law. It’ll get thrown out in court.

  29. 29
    Dan B says:

    Pelosi has a tightrope to walk. The Dems get the Wimp award if they are too slow and the reckless idiot award if too fast. But it feels like the broader public is mistly clueless at this point. How many of the public know the name Pelosi, let alone her job title?
    This has to rise to the point of scandal first. And I don’t want President Pence. I don’t want my golden years to be in a room full of Christianists with a transformer to ramp up the electrodes.

  30. 30
    trollhattan says:

    It’ll be hard to top this for Headline of the Week. “Virginia Uber driver was Somali war criminal

  31. 31
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Harbison:
    Load that van up with weapons, ready to go!
    We dress like students. We dress like housewives. Or in a suit and a tie.
    It’s a fight, being fought, including by Pelosi. Not sure the Fascists lose. (The Anglosphere is taking a lot of hits.)

  32. 32
    Adam L Silverman says:

    There are three different issues, which all have some overlap. The first is what @Cheryl Rofer: delineated in her comment about how the parties have sorted themselves since the late 1960s and what they’ve consolidated into. The second, which is both related to the first and is the issue of messaging/strategic communication, is that the Democrats don’t really do coordinated messaging/strategic communication. Some of this is an outgrowth of being more of a broad coalition, rather than a highly consolidated tribe. As a result of having almost only one constituency – white Christians – that has to be catered to and represented, the Republicans and the conservative movement that supports them are more effective at this than the Democrats that span the center to the center left to left of center and includes a variety of ethnicities and religions. The third issue is that you’re going to get one shot at doing this, so if you don’t do it effectively, if you don’t achieve your objective, you’re worse off than if you don’t try, regardless of why you didn’t try. It is really an example of “if you come for the king, you had best not miss” in practice.

  33. 33

    @Ryan:

    The problem is that this depends on Republicans feeling shame, guilt, and backing down. Merrick Garland. Can we rely on any Republican to act in any way other than shamelessly?

    No, it doesn’t require the Republicans to feel shame, guilt, and backing down. What it does is to put their shamelessness, guilt, and unwillingness to back down on public display. If the Democrats vote to impeach, the Republicans in the Senate are forced to take a position on Trump’s lawlessness. They can no longer talk a good game about how much they deplore his actions while failing to do a thing about them; their refusal to do anything becomes a positive action to acquit rather than a passive failure to act.

  34. 34

    @Adam L Silverman: It is the Sunshine State after all.

  35. 35
    Mister says:

    @Harbison: Disagree. Pretty easy for her to say “At the time I didn’t believe we should impeach him quite yet, but his continued refusal to act lawfully into simple investigations shows that we have to impeach him.”

  36. 36
    Luthe says:

    I’m good with Nancy slow walking as long as she gets there in the end. If she goes for impeachment now, it looks like she’s caving to the most partisan voices in the caucus. If she waits for the courts, she’ll have the high ground later because she can say she went through all the proper channels and was still forced into it. This goes double if the subpoenas are quashed by the Supreme Court; impeachment inquiries have much wider latitude. So if regular subpoenas wouldn’t work, there will be an excellent reason to start proceedings and get out the superpowered ones.

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Florida’s Sunshine Law is the reason we know so much about Florida Man, Woman, Child, and assorted animals!

  38. 38

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    Supposedly those sunshine laws are one of the big reasons for all the Florida Man craziness. It isn’t necessarily that people in Florida are that much crazier than ones in other states, but that the media has a much easier time making news articles about it because they can easily access the police blotter.

  39. 39
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Baud:
    Does Trump know how to go about formally asserting executive privilege? I’m guessing he’s not well clued-in on administrative process.

  40. 40
    burnspbesq says:

    OT: The reaction on Twitter to today’s exchange between Ben Carson and Rep. Katie Porter has to be seen to be believed. Hint: however dumb you previously thought Carson to be, you weren’t even close.

  41. 41
    Mary G says:

    @Dan B:

    This. Twitler has been a nightmare, but Pence would be way worse. You know the Village would be all over his looks, his seriousness, his consistent views.

    And he’s not toxic to regular Republicans. He could fire all the grifters and loons and hire the people who are Koch minions who can write sensible sounding bullshit that the courts wave through.

    It’s fun fantasy the FSM would smite both Twitler and Pence together in a monster storm caused by climate change so Nancy SMASH can be president, but it’s just a dream.

  42. 42

    I think Steve has eaten the hamster; the site has slowed to a crawl.

  43. 43
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Roger Moore: Here is a series of Tweets I saw linked a couple places today with a take similar to that.

    Basic gist of it is that the Democrats are assembling the documentary evidence of giving Trump et al every opportunity to comply with the law, and that it has to be done with this way when they go (inevitably) to court. It’s a nice read, but I don’t quite follow the end stages.

    Because it’s a dead cinch lock that the Judge will rule in our favor once those “t”s & “i”s are taken care of…because what I expect to happen…and what I think every Democrat expects to happen is that Trump will then defy whatever ruling the Judge hands down… 10/12

    …and once that happens, once Trump defies a Federal Judge’s ruling (which I expect to happen 100%), well the pressure to impeach won’t be on the Democrats. It’ll be on the Republicans. 11/12

    I’m not sure how he reaches that conclusion, that the lawlessness will somehow put extra pressure on the Republicans down the road that they aren’t feeling now. But as for the need to dot all the i’s, etc, OK I can see that.

    Something else that gives me an iota of hope too is the bizarre kabuki with Justin Amash, a Repub, calling for impeachment this week. I’m sure there weren’t any patriotic reasons for that, a Republican didn’t suddenly come to believe that IOKIYAR is repealed, and he knew damned well that he’d end up on the Fox News shitlist for speaking against Dear Leader. And yet he did some kind of calculation based on something that told him it would be a good idea to do that now. I’m guessing / hoping that he knows that it’s all going to come apart soon and that positioning himself as “rat who left the ship before it was sinking” is good for his career.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @burnspbesq: Some enterprising attorney should start doing national ads looking for plaintiffs for what I’m sure are a number of malpractice suits that could be brought against Dr. Moron Hands, M.D. There is no way he can be this stupid and have been that good a surgeon. And before you say he could have some untreated neurological disorder that presented after he retired, he’s been like this for well over 15 years.

  45. 45

    @Mary G:

    You know the Village would be all over his looks, his seriousness, his consistent views.

    Maybe the villagers would love him, but I think the diehard Trumpers would be bored. He won’t feed their need to hate the same way Pence does.

  46. 46

    @Adam L Silverman:
    @Roger Moore: Did y’all coordinate your outfits today as well? 😁

  47. 47
    laura says:

    Satby, if your out there, I’m sending you every bit of love and comfort I can muster. You’ve been on my mind and in my heart as you helped Hershey ease on down the road to the rainbow bridge.

  48. 48

    @Mary G:

    It’s fun fantasy the FSM would smite both Twitler and Pence together in a monster storm caused by climate change

    Have you looked outside in the past week? Rain, snow in SoCal in late May, WTF?

  49. 49
    hells littlest angel says:

    There is no one in Washington DC I trust more than Nancy Smash.

    (Yes, of course I wake up every morning hoping the headline is a Trump-Pence murder-suicide.)

  50. 50
    Millard Filmore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    however dumb you previously thought Carson to be, you weren’t even close.

    I once taunted my Trumpy brother with Ben “short bus” Carson.

  51. 51
    Steve in the ATL says:

    PSA for Chattanooga area Juicers: Hennen’s has an excellent wine list.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Rain, snow in SoCal in late May, WTF?

    Plague of Frogs is scheduled for late summer.

  53. 53
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: and the statute of limitations doesn’t start running until his victims turn 18, so it may not be too late to sue

  54. 54
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There is no way he can be this stupid and have been that good a surgeon.

    Technical skills don’t require significant comprehension ability.

  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    Cuccinelli, a righteous, faith-driven warrior who delights in provocation, will join Trump administration

    Long before Donald Trump entered politics, Ken Cuccinelli II, the former Virginia attorney general turned conservative TV pundit, warned against “an invasion” by illegal immigrants, sponsored a bill seeking to strip those immigrants’ U.S.-born children of their citizenship, and speculated publicly that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

    Cuccinelli’s reputation as a right-wing firebrand and a favorite of conservative evangelicals helped pave the way for his expected appointment this week to an unspecified senior role on immigration matters at the Homeland Security Department — a move Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had advised the White House to avoid.

    Between his strong rhetoric as a TV surrogate for Trump and his bedrock support among social conservatives, Cuccinelli presented the president with a combination he relishes: someone who seems loyal, is popular with his base, and is good at the politics of disruption and provocation.

    He seems nice. //s

    Every new hire is worse then the previous one.

  56. 56
    PPCLI says:

    @Baud: I’m not a lawyer, so hopefully a lawyer will chime in to correct me if I’m wrong, as I typically am.

    But as I’ve understood it, “executive privilege” can be asserted in the hope of protecting conversations between the President and his subordinates on matters that are relevant to the president’s actions qua president. The courts can rule the assertion justified or not, depending on the particulars. But it isn’t something the president can just claim about anything at all. Trump’s tax returns aren’t conversations with subordinates. They have nothing to do with his actions as president. How is “executive privilege” possibly relevant at all?

  57. 57
    Mart says:

    @TenguPhule: For the past hour or so around STL it has been pretty solid tornado warning sirens, sightings, and confirmed hits. They usually travel along the rivers north and south of our home, but hunkered down in basement away from glass doors and windows. A few years back a friends house was demolished while they were out to dinner. Seems to have calmed down while I typed this.

  58. 58
    tokyokie says:

    @TenguPhule: Isn’t “Cuccinelli” the name of Chico’s character in one of those lesser Marx Brothers movies like The Big Store?

  59. 59
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Amir Khalid: You may be interested to know that one of the two student speakers at my son’s commencement exercise on Sunday quoted Usman Awang, in Malay, as part of her speech. Comes at about 3:40 of this vid.

  60. 60
    debbie says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Oreos, FFS.

  61. 61

    @PPCLI:
    As I understand it, the argument isn’t that executive privilege would necessarily work in this case. The argument is that the law is absolutely clear that Congress has a right to the tax returns, so the only way they can avoid turning them over is if the president has some kind of constitutional authority for refusing so that a law demanding the returns be turned over would be unconstitutional in that case. Executive privilege would potentially be an example of that kind of constitutional authority for refusing, even if it’s hard to see how it could apply to something like a tax return.

  62. 62

    @PPCLI:

    I’m not a lawyer

    Spoiler Alert, Baud’s an attorney.

  63. 63
    PPCLI says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Something else that gives me an iota of hope too is the bizarre kabuki with Justin Amash, a Repub, calling for impeachment this week. I’m sure there weren’t any patriotic reasons for that, a Republican didn’t suddenly come to believe that IOKIYAR is repealed, and he knew damned well that he’d end up on the Fox News shitlist for speaking against Dear Leader. And yet he did some kind of calculation based on something that told him it would be a good idea to do that now. I’m guessing / hoping that he knows that it’s all going to come apart soon and that positioning himself as “rat who left the ship before it was sinking” is good for his career.

    Were it anyone but Amash I would agree. (I live close to his district, and I’ve had years to watch him up close.) I don’t think it’s a calculation for him. He really does believe the principles he espouses, crazy though some of them may be. He was one of the founders of the House Freedom (sic) Caucus and wrote their statement founding principles. Now the HF(s)C has censured him and may boot him out because he didn’t realize that everyone else in the Caucus regarded those “principles” as simply a bludgeon against Democrats.

  64. 64
    Mike in NC says:

    We should be hoping that this coming Independence Day is also going to be Impeachment Day. Fireworks!!!

  65. 65
    PPCLI says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Excellent, then he can fill me in.

  66. 66
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @PPCLI: that’s my understanding as well and while I am a lawyer, I’ve never claimed to be a competent one.

  67. 67

    @Roger Moore:

    a law demanding the returns be turned over would be unconstitutional in that case.

    I think we can use yesterday’s memo from DOJ as a guide, they’ll cite separation of powers. The BJ legal eagle team thought it week tea.

  68. 68

    @Steve in the ATL: Just a fancy lawyer, though your reported attire today calls that into question.

  69. 69
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: if that’s what the competent lawyers say, then I totally agree!

  70. 70
    PPCLI says:

    @Roger Moore: Ah, that makes more sense.

  71. 71

    @TenguPhule: I’ll take the frogs, this weather is putting a serious crimp on my astro-photography.

  72. 72
    Doug R says:

    @Roger Moore:

    You know the Village would be all over his looks, his seriousness, his consistent views.

    Maybe the villagers would love him, but I think the diehard Trumpers would be bored. He won’t feed their need to hate the same way Pence does.

    No passion plus that strange Dominionism. Pence slipped out of Indiana just before his numbers tanked, I think he’d end up about as popular as Cheney.

  73. 73
  74. 74

    @PPCLI:
    One of the things I’ve said since 2016 is that I’m not surprised there are some Republicans with principles, but I’m constantly surprised at who they are and what principles they can’t give up.

  75. 75
    Dan B says:

    @Mary G: This! To your words. T is the symptom. He’s not a boil to be lanced. He’s just the most noticeable and painful infection. I hope that Schumer and Hoyer understand this clearly.

    The public needs to be sold on this point. That’s why I believe Pete’s point that we talk to the rurals and the clueless racists, without compromising our values or watering down our words. People respect that, for the most part. There are plenty of people who are lost to fear and loathing. They’ve put many LGBT out of their homes and families. Maby of us come from those hatefilled families.

    60 minutes had a program on the Rainbiw Railroad, a group in Canada that gets LGBT people to safe havens from countries 70 where it is dangerous to be gay. They can’t get people into America anymore. Seeing these mostly young people going from months of solitary, beatings, or threats to Canada where same gender coupkes hold hands brings tears to ones eyes. This same railroad should get black trans americans across the border. The murders seem to be a daily event.

  76. 76
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    That’s awesome.

  77. 77
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Have no idea if any of them will see this — I am hours late — but to @mnesonyme and her dear cat Annie, @satby and her beloved Hershey, and @Miss Bianca and her good friend who just passed — I am sending you my deepest sympathy and warmest condolences, and to all those transitioning I wish a most peaceful passage. Love and hugs {{{{{ }}}}}

  78. 78

    @Doug R: A guy whose wife won’t let him be alone with another woman?
    The P***y-grabber-in-Chief’s fans aren’t gonna think much of him.

  79. 79
    Dan B says:

    @Roger Moore: Pence is as exciting as a cold fish… er.. sorry, my apologies to delicious fish, and pufferfish are a million times more exciting. Pence would coast on inertia. I’m curious if there’s anyone who could lead the social media frenzy and the Nuremburg rallies.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Between his strong rhetoric as a TV surrogate for Trump and his bedrock support among social conservatives, Cuccinelli presented the president with a combination he relishes: someone who seems loyal, is popular with his base, and is good at the politics of disruption and provocation.

    I remember when competent presidents would hire people to do a job and serve the people.

  81. 81
    J R in WV says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I’ll take the frogs, this weather is putting a serious crimp on my astro-photography.

    But… Bill, wouldn’t falling frogs foul up all the exposure calculations as well?

    Plus — the smell ~!!~ Also, I love frogs, too. We have lots of forest floor frogs here, and they have different times of spring to chirp and call. Chorus frogs, tree frogs aka peepers, even rare bullfrogs.

    I would hate for those little babies to fall from the sky and be hurt landing!

    ;-)

  82. 82
    Dan B says:

    @John Revolta: Mother must help. After all he’s a guy who constantly hates to think about gay sex..
    Or is it thinking about lesbian sex constantly?

  83. 83
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I just heard a story about big corporations and their views on THE LAW, and next time you are here I want the fellow who told it to me to share it with you and get your lawyerly take.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @PPCLI:

    The Post got hold of a copy of an internal IRS Office of Chief Counsel memo that says basically what you said.

  85. 85

    @Dan B: Well, there’s nothing about Lesbian sex in the Bible, so I guess that would be okay.

  86. 86

    @Dan B: So far this year, there have been four Black trans women murdered — two in the last 24 hours, one of whom had been the victim of brutal anti-trans mob assault only six weeks ago.

    Rest in Power and Peace Muhlaysia Booker, 23 and Michelle Washington, 40. #SayTheirNames

  87. 87
    oldgold says:

    If the Supremes order Trump to turn over the subpoenaed documents, what are the chances he refuses?

    If he refuses, will a sufficient number of GOP Senators vote to convict him?

  88. 88
    Raven says:

    @oldgold: Sheeeeet.

  89. 89
    Dan B says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I’m well, painfully aware, of the murders of trans women. I’m nit sure if it registers with the public or MSM. The police don’t seem to be involved so there may be less motivation for Black Lives Matter but I hope that’s nit the case.

    Coming up on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall would be a good time for the Marsha P. Johnson story to lead. She’s been too long ignored or an afterthought.

    I organized a Gay Liberation group in Tacoma, WA in ’72. We met at Misty Dawn’s apartment on Wright Park. She was the head drag queen at the Sandbox. Today she’d be trans or queer. Bright and wise. What they went through would make a tale worthy of James Baldwin. Fort Lewis was shipping hundreds of GI’s to Vietnam and the culture was dark and foreboding. We still managed to have some outrageous fun.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    So far this year, there have been four Black trans women murdered — two in the last 24 hours, one of whom had been the victim of brutal anti-trans mob assault only six weeks ago.

    Oh my dearest Golden Bear, I can hardly stand to read this. Can’t even fathom what it must be like to be part of the community being attacked. Sickening, but strengthening. You and your cohorts have a great many people with you, standing for you, fighting for you. Please tell us what we can do, concretely, to help make things even marginally better.

  91. 91
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Women’s Rights – CBS News Poll – 5/17-20

    What should the U.S. Supreme Court do about Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal: keep it as is, or overturn it?

    Keep it as is………. 67%
    Overturn it…………. 28%

  92. 92
    Dan B says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I don’t kniw how many Jackals know the average lifespan of trans women is 35.

    And in cities like Seattle it’s much longer.

  93. 93
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: (link)

  94. 94
    Dan B says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Way back Gay Liberation used to give talks to small groups about their experience and the data. We were trained but it was minimal. If you have friends or know groups that would be interested there should be local groups that can steer you to current resources.

    And thanks for your words. Somebody’s cutting onions here.

  95. 95
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Dan B:

    Thank you, Dan B. The older I get, for some reason the more I find myself identifying with society’s marginalised groups. Grateful for every lead to an activist group.

  96. 96
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I’ve never claimed to be a competent one.

    Just an effective one.

    /shakes an angry union fist

  97. 97
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    I remember when competent presidents would hire people to do a job and serve the people.

    Good times. I miss them already.

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    @J R in WV: *Poke* Tonkatsu

  99. 99
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: it’s a date!

  100. 100
    Lapassionara says:

    @Dan B: sigh.

  101. 101

    Sorry, didn’t mean to imply you were unaware, I was riffing off your comment.

    @Dan B:

    I don’t know how many Jackals know the average lifespan of trans women is 35.

    Thankfully that particular stat has actually been debunked.

    There’s roughly two dozen trans people killed each year — usually all trans women, almost all POC, the vast majority of them Black trans women. Which is obviously horrific.

    But the best estimate is that trans people make up 0.6 percent of the U.S. population — about 1.4 million (and that understated the population because they only looked at people 18 and older). Even when we narrow down the population to trans women of color, the numbers don’t work out.

    From what we can tell, the stat appears to a mangled version of what actually is backed up by data, that the vast majority of trans people murdered in the Americas (not just the U.S.) were under 35.

    To quote the person who ran the stats: “Every murder is a tragedy, and it is particularly sad when someone gets murdered just for being trans. That is all the more reason to get our numbers right: exaggeration doesn’t help the cause.”

    That said, life can be really hard for trans people — especially trans women of color. 41 percent of trans people have attempted suicide, and only combat vets suffering PSTD have remotely similar rates.

    Truth is no one really knows what the average lifespan is for trans women and trans men (non-binary folks are even less well studied). But it’s fair to say that, on average, it’s undoubtedly shorter than our cisgender peers.

  102. 102
    smintheus says:

    Nobody’s against lining up your ducks before impeaching Trump. Nobody’s against building public support before impeaching Trump. Some people are against impeaching Trump, however, and Pelosi is one of them. She is not making a case for a better impeachment, she is and has long been making a case against impeachment … absent nearly unattainable preconditions. She made the same case against impeaching Bush in 2007, when she also argued as now that the Democratic legislative agenda (her agenda) is more important than trying to remove a criminal president. The fact that her legislative agendas in 2007 and in 2019 stood zero chance of being signed into law is…no obstacle to pretending that it is overwhelmingly important.

  103. 103
    Anne Laurie says:

    @debbie:

    Oreos, FFS.

    To be fair, when I first watched this, I wondered if Carson might be nonplussed because he misinterpreted that particular word, since he’s spoken elsewhere about having it thrown at him in a racial context. On this particular gaffe, I’m just as happy to let Black Twitter & other African-Americans deliver their verdict before running my white-lady mouth…

  104. 104

    @SiubhanDuinne: Thank you.

    Please tell us what we can do, concretely, to help make things even marginally better.

    Speak up on our behalf. As mentioned, we’re <1 percent of the U.S. population, so we're reliant of allies to change things. So speak out. Not just on the big things, like attempts to pass anti-trans legislation. But also on the "little things," like educating people (or calling them out when appropriate) when they're saying/doing things that are insensitive or worse.

    Oh, and don't be these people: Trans Person Crosses Street to Avoid Overly Supportive Liberals. Yeah, it’s satire site, like The Onion, but there’s truth to it.

  105. 105
    Anne Laurie says:

    @PPCLI:

    Were it anyone but Amash I would agree. (I live close to his district, and I’ve had years to watch him up close.) I don’t think it’s a calculation for him. He really does believe the principles he espouses, crazy though some of them may be.

    Since you’re semi-local: What do you think are the chances Amash runs as a Libertarian / Independent candidate for president, specifically targeting Trump?

    Of course my own Masshole neighbor Bill Weld is already campaigning in that niche — I don’t think I understand Justin’s motivations enough to know whether he’d team up with Bill, or if Weld might not be ideologically pure enough to satisfy him. (Or, per my inner cynic, whether Amash might just intend to turn a presidential campaign into a for-profit enterprise, which would be glatt libertarian, for sure!)

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I clicked on that and then followed another link to this: Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but punk died when Blink-182 broke up, so that means anything goes now.

    Now I have go sit in a corner and rock back and forth while softly sobbing. Thanks.

  107. 107
    Dan B says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: I figured you were riffing off my comment. I just wanted to be sure that these mirders and hardships wound people who are not trans but people like me who know trans and queer folks, and people who are not LGBTQ. There are gay white men who are bigots. Some of them have “reasons” but you put them on a gay blog and they get ripped to shreds. Racism, anti-trans, anti-muslim, etc. doesnt matter.

    There is hope. We gotta organize.

    And thanks for the stats on lifespan. It seemed far from Seattle’s experience.

  108. 108
    eemom says:

    @smintheus:

    Nobody’s against lining up your ducks before impeaching Trump. Nobody’s against building public support before impeaching Trump.

    I am not directing this at you, but I am honestly just so blown away by the attitudes on display here today that I’m taking the opportunity to reiterate what I said earlier.

    What more lined up ducks do we fucking need? We have a thing in the oval office that makes no bones about his utter contempt for the rule of law and his more than willingness to bully and blackmail everyone who’s ever worked for him to likewise openly flout such rule of law and brazenly obstruct justice. Every fucking day that he continues to get away with this emboldens him to take the outrage to a new level.

    The forest is on fire NOW. For any elected Democrat to tell him/herself that it’s best to let the blaze burn while they sit back and wait patiently for the next election to deliver some new and better water dumping planes is irresponsible and insane.

    Finally, this “wait for public support to build” meme is the most ass backwards thing I’ve ever heard. Um, Pelosi et al. are supposed to be “leaders”? Leaders take decisive actions and mobilize the public behind them…..they don’t sit cringing on their asses waiting nail bitingly for the latest poll numbers to grow them a pair of balls to move forward.

  109. 109
    texasdoc says:

    @TenguPhule: Speaking of Ben Carson….good surgeons not only have technical skills, they know when/when not to operate and what the most appropriate procedure would be. The chief of medicine when I was in training used to joke that surgeons should be kept in cages, only to be released when allowed by the internist on the case.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:

    I do feel that the recent “Democrats in disarray!” story was actually Nancy and her allies trying to pressure the holdouts against impeachment, not that Nancy is one of the holdouts. She just knows that she can’t take public action until dinosaurs like Hoyer are on board, no matter how annoying that is to the rest of us.

  111. 111
    low-tech cyclist says:

    The reason I’m having problems with the whole slow-walking business is that there isn’t an open-ended stretch of time for this, like there was with Nixon’s impeachment. It really would be much better if this was over and done in 2019, before the election season gets underway for real.

    The impeachment *inquiry* should have started last month, because (a) the Mueller Report provided sufficient evidence for an inquiry into whether the President has committed impeachable offenses, and (b) you want to make sure to give the inquiry enough time so that it can proceed at a deliberate pace and still have time to finish its job by this fall, allowing enough time for articles to be drawn up and voted on, first by the Judiciary Committee, then to be debated and voted on by the full House, then still have enough time for the Senate to hold its trial this year (which it won’t; McConnell will simply refuse to take it up, but you’ve got to allow time in case he does).

    IMHO, the inquiry, as it puts its case together, will do the job of getting reluctant Dems on board as they see the evidence pile up. If one waits for Steny Hoyer to get on board first, we might not have the Senate trial until convention time next year. (FWIW, Hoyer’s my Congressman, and I’ve been calling his office regularly about impeachment. “Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall,” per Dylan.)

  112. 112
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Oh, and ‘bosh’? What’s with that? Who says ‘bosh’ anymore?

    That was the sort of expression that 60 year old fuddy-duddies used when I was 20. Now that I’m 65, those fuddy-duddies would be 105, and are more likely long deceased.

  113. 113
    Chris Johnson says:

    @John Revolta:

    Seriously though, like I said in an earlier thread, Pelosi has to tread carefully. When the general public and esp. the FOXbots discover that she’s second in line for the throne, the screaming will REALLY start.

    Seeing this over and over in the thread. Good point. The thing is, I’ve been saying for ages that Pence is just as dirty as Trump.

    Now, let’s suppose people up in DC KNOW this. I think in many ways they’re idiots but let’s assume it’s an open secret that big piles of them are fucking traitors and that’s considered… graceless, to DC politicians. They’re an upper class, all very wealthy, they shouldn’t have to grovel after treason to wield their power, and they shouldn’t have to sully themselves with assholes like Trump and Pence. Let’s suppose that lancing this boil will inevitably bring down not only Trump, but also Pence, because they are just blatantly traitors and literally sold themselves out to the Russians in order to win. Pence was hand-picked, and has been kept on ice all this time, but let’s say that is raging optimism and there’s no chance now that anyone could pull off a Trump to Pence transition and pretend it was in any way different or better.

    In that case, it’s President Nancy Pelosi, and maybe she doesn’t want to preside over a massive civil war and probably get herself killed. Maybe she just wants to sit on her piles of money and be in Congress and not be left holding the bag. There are so many who actively want to be President, why can’t they do it?

    In that light, I completely sympathize with Pelosi fiercely opposing impeachment. If they all know Pence is just as dirty, that would mean SHE personally becomes President. Good way to ruin someone’s life on top of kicking off a civil war.

  114. 114
    Karen says:

    @oldgold: Is 300% a good number? I figure if the SCOTUS doesn’t vote in Trump’s favor he’l say something asinine like “What are they gonna do to me? I’m invincible.”

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