Sondland to Testify

Axios says EU Ambassador Sondland will testify next week:

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is expected to testify next Wednesday before the House committees investigating President Trump and Ukraine, despite being blocked by the State Department from appearing at a closed-door deposition this week, 4 congressional sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: One source familiar with the rescheduling tells Axios that after the State Department pulled the plug on Sondland’s testimony, Republicans close to Trump encouraged the president to let the ambassador come before the committees. Trump’s allies believe Sondland’s testimony will be helpful to their side.

“Republicans are looking for any silver lining they can get,” the source said. “Sondland could be a silver lining … He donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural. He’s a Trump guy. Whereas [former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie] Yovanovitch is a career person.”

I read this crack in the stone wall as a sign of panic. The polling is terrible for Trump, new facets of the scandal are exploding in Republicans’ faces every day, and elected Republicans are tired of tap-dancing around the question of whether it’s appropriate for a president to shake down foreign governments for oppo research.

Sondland is a good little Trumpster, as we know from his text exchange with diplomat Bill Taylor, who laid out the truth of the situation when he wrote, “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Sondland panicked when he saw that and called Trump, and someone, almost certainly NOT Trump, fed him the policy manual response about “no quid pro quo’s [sic] of any kind” — hours later.

My guess is Trump’s handlers put a hold on Sondland’s appearance earlier this week because they had to assure themselves that he would play ball, and now they have. The administration is so desperate to generate positive talking points that they’re willing to take the risk that Sondland will crack under questioning.

Maybe it’s time for the Dems to bring Mr. Berke back.






192 replies
  1. 1
    MattF says:

    I’d assume that Sondland has never faced a public, professional cross-examination. He should ask Lewandowski for pointers, or maybe not.

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    FelonyGovt says:

    So they’re going to allow only people they think are favorable to them to testify. I agree, sounds like a panicked response, hoping to generate something to counter the prevailing sense of criminality. I so hope it backfires.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    So is Sondland willing to go to prison for trump? I’m guessing not.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    Calouste says:

    Trump’s razor: they’re still not clear on the difference between exonerate and incriminate.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    This guy has never been through a gauntlet like he’s going to go through during his testimony. Isn’t he just some podunk Portland hotelier or something?

    If they sic Berke on him, he’ll shred like a wet tissue.

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    jimmiraybob says:

    In the meantime, does anybody know if the DOJ has ruled on whether a sitting president can turn states evidence and get into the witness protection program?

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @jimmiraybob: I’m wondering if he gets a Secret Service protection detail while doing time in federal lockup.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    Chief Oshkosh says:

    Will his testimony be under oath?

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “Sondland could be a silver lining … He donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural. He’s a Trump guy

    YEah, that million dollar donation through four different shell companies to support an inauguration for the candidate he opposed who then turned around and gave him a non-ceremonial ambassadorship for which he had no qualifications and then meddled in the affairs of a country unrelated to that ambassadorship… what could backfire?

    Maybe it’s time for the Dems to bring Mr. Berke back.

    They shouldn’t let him leave

    ReplyReply
  10. 10
    cmorenc says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    @jimmiraybob: I’m wondering if he gets a Secret Service protection detail while doing time in federal lockup.

    White nationalist prison gangs will gladly provide protection-in-prison for Trump. Quite secure protection! The very best protection! Maybe even without having to become the prison-bitch for some gang leader serving a life sentence as a quid pro quo.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: It’s not testimony if it’s not under oath.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    Maybe it’s time for the Dems to bring Mr. Berke back.

    No maybe about it. They need to have Berke or someone like him do the questioning.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    tokyokie says:

    @geg6: I think you can expect a post from Steve in ATL over that.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Wasson @ elwasson
    APPEALS COURT RULES TRUMP ACCOUNTANT MUST GIVE TAX RECORDS TO HOUSE OVERSIGHT PANEL

    so does trump go to Kavanaugh now?
    OT: Seems like those records are more relevant than ever now that Erdogan has more influence on US military policy that the Secretary of Defense

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    jeffreyw says:

    NOW: The DC Circuit has affirmed a lower court order rejecting Trump's legal challenge to House Dems' subpoena seeking financial records from Trump's accounting firm — waiting on the full opinion, here's the one-page summary pic.twitter.com/UKTQDZ0PRL— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) October 11, 2019

    ReplyReply
  16. 16

    @FelonyGovt:

    So they’re going to allow only people they think are favorable to them to testify.

    And they’re still holding back every scrap of documentation. They know those files are incriminating as hell, and they’ll do everything in their power to block their release.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @cmorenc: That would be a real service to the tax payers of America.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Mousebumples says:

    DeVos is in trouble for ignoring a judge’s 2018 order regarding student loan forgiveness – https://www.newsweek.com/betsy-devos-could-face-jail-after-judge-rules-violated-2018-order-1463764

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been threatened with the possibility of jail after a judge deemed she was violating a court order for continuing to collect student debts on a now-defunct school.

    That ruling, handed down in June of 2018, was made by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim and prevented DeVos and her Department of Education for going after former students at the bankrupt Corinthian Colleges Inc.

    However, Kim said she was “astounded” to discover that DeVos was violating the court order at a hearing in San Francisco on Monday after a filing by the Education Department earlier disclosed that more than 16,000 former students at Corinthian College “were incorrectly informed at one time or another … that they had payments due on their federal student loans.”

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    psycholinguist says:

    Yovanovitch just walked in the door. She called the bluff, let them try and fire her now.
    that could be the dam breaking for these clowns.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    dmsilev says:

    @jimmiraybob: He’d Tweet out the details of his new identity within about ten seconds.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Amir Khalid says:

    @jimmiraybob:
    Isn’t turning state’s evidence usually a deal you cut with the state so it won’t prosecute you? It doesn’t seem to me that POTUS, already immune from prosecution by virtue of his office*, really has that option.

    *Per the US DoJ, whose current head also believes POTUS is immune even from criminal investgation.

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Marcopolo says:

    So this is a little OT but about this time yesterday John Shimkus, the R congressman from across the river in southern IL, came out and said he was no longer supporting Trump: https://kmox.radio.com/articles/news/trump-loses-metro-east-ally-john-shimkus-over-syria-decision

    You might think this would be considered big news (not as big as the Cardinals advancing to the League playoffs but still). Well, I’ve been checking the St Louis Post Dispatch’s (our major daily paper) website regularly since then. Crickets. Still no reporting on this development.

    Anyways, I am surprised (and disappointed) by this.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @Mousebumples:

    DeVos was yelling at Warren on Twitter yesterday. Warren tweeted that DeVos is a crook (paraphrasing!) and DeVos fired back with a nasty Trumpist tweet that Warren is a liar.

    There is literally no downside to Democrats attacking DeVos. She’s loathed.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Mike in NC says:

    @cmorenc: I read a profile of Brad Parscale, Trump’s latest campaign manager. He’s a 6’8″ goon who went from apolitical IT nerd to hardcore alt-right fanatic like Bannon and Gorka. Wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have one or two swastika tattoos. Very much looks the part of a white supremacist ex-con.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    It’s not a crack that Sondland is testifying. That was announced after Fiona Hill let it be known she would testify next week and that her testimony would be that Sondland and Giuliani, on behalf of the President, took over the Ukrainian portfolio for the US government. The attempt will be to get Sondland in before Hill so he can get his story on the record first and try to frame the information that she is going to divulge. I know Fiona, but not well. She’s sharp. She’s going to be great. And she was only working at the NSC and in the White House because McMaster asked her to, not because she wanted to work for trump. The news media is so bad at understanding the context around all of this and being able to effectively explain it.

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The news media is so bad at understanding the context around all of this and being able to effectively explain it.

    You could just post this on a loop for every single issue that comes up and it would be true.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    Immanentize says:

    Betty —

    sic

    That green grocer’s apostrophe really chaps you, yes?

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    BR says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Do the Dems on the committee know this? I wonder if they might switch the order of testimony if they did…

    ReplyReply
  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @psycholinguist: Good.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    Mousebumples says:

    @Kay: yeah, I definitely can’t stand her… Though I don’t know if there’s any Trump cabinet members that I like. (low quality hires across the board, I think)

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Travis Akers @ travisakers
    NEW: Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has come out in support of impeachment.

    an impeachment inquiry, still.. I think that’s three GOP Govs– also Baker and Whosits in Vermont– supporting the inquiry

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    Marcopolo says:

    @Kay: I don’t know the timing of the tweets but I was watching the CNN Townhall on LGBTQ issues yesterday & in response to a question from a young trans student Warren specifically named DeVos as an awful Sec of Ed.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33

    I see it’s going to be another slow news day. I guess we’ll just need to talk recipes and pets.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike in NC: I’ve had several friends/acquaintances from eastern Europe tell me that he physically presents, in terms of style, body posture, facial expressions, etc as Russian.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35

    @Mousebumples: I’m hoping for a looong jail sentence and bankrupting the whole clan for this scheme.

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @psycholinguist:
    This is why, I assume, Sondland has suddenly agreed to testify.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chief Oshkosh: Yes, but it doesn’t matter whether anyone is actually sworn in before testifying to Congress as lying to Congress is a Federal crime regardless of whether one is sworn in.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38
    Kay says:

    They make me nervous. They’re such pros at criminality. I read this and I thought “they have the testimony of the prior witness so now they can get their stories straight”

    Come on. None of these people are going to stop lying. It’s a lifestyle. They lie like they breathe.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Leto says:

    @Amir Khalid: He’s immune to federal charges, not state. When he leaves office, state prosecutors can go after him and there’s nothing Barr, Pence, or anyone else can do that’ll help. Turning state patsy would be an option.

    @jeffreyw: well now we get to see if the two stolen SC seats set him free.

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Marcopolo: That is big news, or should be in STL. Or anywhere else in the US for that matter.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    Barbara says:

    Stonewalling has gotten Trump pretty far in combating allegations of criminality. The problem is, stonewalling works much better for crimes that require a lot of dots to be connected, and you have to remember that most of the people advising him are used to dealing with allegations of complex financial crimes, not the kind of crimes where people put their hands in a cookie jar when the camera is running. Once the crime is easily comprehended, then all stonewalling does is highlight the absence of facts that might provide context or mitigate the gravity of the offense. “You did what we think you did and there is nothing else that would make the situation better for you.” So yeah, they need to pivot their POV rather quickly given the kind of criminal they are trying to defend.

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Immanentize says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    But why aren’t the Democrats doing anything? They could have taken Trump to court to get them to order Trump to turn over those tax returns!!!!

    Oh, nevermind.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    Leto says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He reminds me of Sloth from The Goonies. About as articulate, too.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @BR: If Congressman Schiff, his committee counsel, his Democratic committee members, and their staffs and counsels don’t realize this, then we have a problem. I expect Schiff understands what is going on.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    psycholinguist says:

    @Immanentize: I don’t think so, I don’t think they thought she was not going to show up today, and would follow the prohibition to testify from the White House. Isn’t she the first CURRRENT employee at State to defy the State and come forward (without subpoena) to testify? That’s why this one feels different, at least to me.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Hogan’s father, Congressman Hogan, was the first Republican member of the House to come out in favor of impeaching Nixon.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    MattF says:

    @Mike in NC: Yes, Parscale is an all-in Trumpie. Trolls and lies galore.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    Barbara says:

    @Barbara: I would also say that the developments of the last few days are making Pat Cipollone’s letter look idiotic or even more so.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Mike in DC says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Key metrics on impeachment:
    1. Overall approval rating
    2. Support for inquiry
    3. Support for removal
    4. Newspapers calling for removal or resignation
    5. Elected Republicans speaking in favor of either or both

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    SWMBO says:

    OT I was reading some earlier threads, trying to catch up. Everyone was saying that they miss Baud. What happened to Baud? I completely missed it.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    Leto says:

    @Immanentize: Maybe you can explain again why the courts move so slow for white men. If an immigration court can rule, in roughly 45 seconds, that a two year old, representing themselves, can be deported, surely other federal judges can move with the same expediency on plain black letter law.

    No no, we need definitely need to hear why the defendant is flagrantly breaking the law. Please proceed, counselor.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    MattF says:

    @Barbara: Everyone, Rs and Ds alike, agrees that Trump is a mean asshole. Emphasizing this accomplishes nothing. Danger for Trump is in the other stuff: pathological dishonesty, pathological narcissism, and criminality.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: There was this sandwich shop near where I used to live that had about a dozen of those superfluous apostrophes on its menu board. It was one of those changeable menu boards where you push plastic letters and punctuation into groves to form the message. The sandwiches were good, so I was a regular customer. But I always wanted to ask them if they had to order an extra goddamned bag of apostrophes!

    ReplyReply
  54. 54
    Immanentize says:

    @psycholinguist:

    I don’t think they thought she was not going to show up today, and would follow the prohibition to testify from the White House.

    One too many “nots”? Or as Betty prefers, “not’s”

    I think they knew by sometime yesterday whether she was going.

    ReplyReply
  55. 55

    @Mike in DC:
    The key thing is that these things feed on each other. The more the public supports impeachment and removal, the more emboldened the media and fence sitting Republicans will be to come out in favor of it. The more the media and Republican officials come out in favor of it, the more the public will support it. Once this hits critical mass, opinion is going to move really fast, and it’s just about there.

    ReplyReply
  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SWMBO: He got peeved at something I wrote on the morning we were waiting to see what Pelosi was going to do about impeachment: kick the can again, dip a toe in, go all in. He expressed this in a comment that he was tired of reading this stuff here. I replied that no one was forcing him to be here or read it. My meaning was: if you don’t like this post, just skip it or go do something else for a while. He hasn’t been back since.

    ReplyReply
  57. 57
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Immanentize: trump appointee Neomi Rao dissented, and her opinion is getting shredded on the twitters by people who know more than I do, which is everybody

    ReplyReply
  58. 58
    Immanentize says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Ha! They probably got a good deal on punctuation and decided — why let it sit fallow? Also, the extra work and care taken to get it wrong. Probably went to one of Frank Biden’s schools.

    ReplyReply
  59. 59
    Immanentize says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Neomi Rao is one serious hack.

    ReplyReply
  60. 60
    SWMBO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks for the update. I like Baud’s wit. I hope he finishes whatever he went to do and comes back soon.

    ReplyReply
  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @SWMBO:

    Yeah, me too. I hope he’s okay and he’s back on the campaign trail soon.

    ReplyReply
  62. 62
    randy khan says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    The D.C. Circuit’s website is slammed. I’ve now been waiting a couple of minutes just to get to the front page.

    ReplyReply
  63. 63
    Kay says:

    @Marcopolo:

    It’s good politics, especially in Michigan where DeVos is a famous far Right winger from a hugely powerful family. She was only unknown nationally. She’s well known there.

    Warren said something to the effect that the judge had to threaten jail time to get DeVos to comply with the order on the student loans. It is true that the magistrate, I think it was a magistrate, listed the possible sanctions for contempt (she said she was glad she had jail time as an option) but it is also true that no way in hell is anyone going to jail.

    But students loans are Warrens wheelhouse so I think she should absolutely go after DeVos, constantly. Daily, if possible.

    ReplyReply
  64. 64
    Leto says:

    @Betty Cracker: This is reminiscent of a Monk episode where he’d simply get a ladder and start fixing it. Fiona would ask him wtf he’s doing and he’d simply shake his head, gesture at the apostrophes, and say, “… Noooo….”

    @Adam L Silverman: Per the BJ hive mind, once a lawyer enters Congress, all previous lawyerly abilities are thrown out the window and they become incoherent word salad spewers. See Harris v Barr as example 1.

    ReplyReply
  65. 65
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Marcopolo:

    Good news from across the river and it seems to me that a southern Illinois R making this statement is significant.

    ReplyReply
  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Leto:
    How any court can consider a two-year-old all on her own to have adequate legal representation escapes me.

    ReplyReply
  67. 67
    geg6 says:

    @SWMBO:

    So, apparently he’s taking a page from Tulsi Gabbard’s book. I’d still vote for Baud 2020! anyway. He throws the best tantrums! Or at least he keeps his mouth shut and doesn’t come out of it looking like an idiot like Tulsi.

    ReplyReply
  68. 68
    Steeplejack says:

    @Marcopolo:

    From their website yesterday:

    Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois says he no longer supports President Donald Trump after his “terrible and despicable” decision to pull American troops from Syria.

    ReplyReply
  69. 69
    Immanentize says:

    @Leto:
    That one is simple. Immigration courts are not courts in the Article III of the Constitution sense. They are administrative courts. Think your local DMV hearing to take points off your license.

    Immigration ‘Courts’ are overseen by ALJs (Administrative Law Judges) who work for the DOJ and are directed what standard to use or not use and (almost) how to rule in cases.

    Article III federal courts still are not completely co-opted by this administration, although maybe 20% have been and many of those are in critical positions like Rao. But there is still time to keep the courts from tipping fully.

    ReplyReply
  70. 70
    psycholinguist says:

    @Immanentize: Whoo, yeah, that was pretty mangled. But my point is she’s showing that their threats are empty. I’ve played out in my head what Pompeao’s options are in response to her testifying in defiance of State, and I don’t see any action on their part that doesn’t make the situation worse for them. Do nothing, and that green lights everyone else currently serving. Fire her, and there’s another article of impeachment, a lawsuit she likely wins, and an even more pissed off rank and file at State. Her willingness to do this seems huge.

    ReplyReply
  71. 71
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steeplejack: I heard it on NPR and MSNBC– Shimkus was already retiring, so it’s that very specific kind of courage…

    ReplyReply
  72. 72
    jimmiraybob says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    They could reinvigerate their wine business by offering the finest of prison varieties made from the best grape juice, toilet water and yeast that nobody wants to know where it came from. Trump Estates Winery.

    I’m also sensing the possibility of reviving the cutlery business……only rebranded as a shiv line.

    ReplyReply
  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    @psycholinguist: Agree. She has the upper hand here. I take it that, after an hour, she is actually testifying and not fulfilling the request to appear but claiming fake privilege.

    ReplyReply
  74. 74
    patrick II says:

    I think letting some (just the ones the White House thinks might help them) testify while holding back others they think may be more harmful witnesses, hurts their court case against subpoenas from the House inquiry that the House has no right to call any witnesses. In court, Trump is asserting both that the House inquiry is illegitimate and Trump, as the SUPERCALIFRAGILITISTIC UNITARY EXECUTIVE, does not have to send any witnesses in this matter to the congressional hearings. By picking and choosing Trump undercuts both arguments.

    ReplyReply
  75. 75
    Kay says:

    Jonathan Swan
    @jonathanvswan
    ·3h
    Trump Lashes Out at Fox News Poll as Barr Meets With Murdoch

    Back from his globetrotting luxury trip covering Trump’s ass, the attorney general stops by the propaganda arm to align their stories. The public needs a lawyer. Maybe we can pass a hat and pay for one, in addition to paying Trumps.

    ReplyReply
  76. 76
    joel hanes says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    APPEALS COURT RULES TRUMP ACCOUNTANT MUST GIVE TAX RECORDS TO HOUSE OVERSIGHT PANEL

    Split decision, 2 upholding, 1 dissent.
    The dissenter was Rao, a Trump appointee.
    Of course.

    ReplyReply
  77. 77
    jimmiraybob says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Shimkus was already retiring, so it’s that very specific kind of courage…

    Maybe it will give whoever’s running to replace him on the R side a boost up the old courage scale. I’m in my optimistic phase. Give me a few minutes to adjust.

    ReplyReply
  78. 78
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Kay:

    DeVos was yelling at Warren on Twitter yesterday. Warren tweeted that DeVos is a crook (paraphrasing!) and DeVos fired back with a nasty Trumpist tweet that Warren is a liar.

    I’m ready to bet good money that Betsy can barely operate a Smith Corona typewriter, much less uses Twitter. More likely Church Lady was all snuggled in back home, sipping her 6th extra sweet Old Fashioned.

    No, that Tweet was done on her behalf by a squirrely 22 year old Stephen Miller stan who lives in her DC offices’s janitor’s supply room because he can’t afford an apartment.

    ReplyReply
  79. 79
    Marcopolo says:

    @Kay: I was aware of the judge being POed at DeVos because the Dept of Ed was continuing to allow the improper collection of student loan payment, penalties, and fees after the judge had ruled such collections illegal. Did not know Warren had weighed in on that.

    At the CNN Townhall, the question Warren was asked by the trans student was what Warren would do, as Prez, to improve/protect trans student rights in schools. In her response, Warren noted that the authorizing language for the Dept. of Ed actually gave pretty broad authority to the Ed Sec for implementing & enforcing school policy in the US. It was after saying that that Warren talked about how awful DeVos was in context.

    ReplyReply
  80. 80
    kindness says:

    If only the House would ask Kamela Harris to be the one to question Sondland. Either that or let the panel’s lawyer do the questioning. When the Congress critters all have 5 minutes it makes a mess of it and the non-paying attention Americans start believing Democrats are the ones who are screwing up.

    ReplyReply
  81. 81
    Leto says:

    @Amir Khalid: Immigration Courts: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) Quick rundown of the shitshow.

    @Immanentize:

    But there is still time to keep the courts from tipping fully.

    But that’s not the issue here. The issue is speed/expediency. Most of us don’t understand why it takes months for each level of review. White collar criminals (what we’re dealing with here) understand that if they throw enough shitsand in the system, eventually everything stops moving. They’re doing that because it works. Personally I don’t think judges need to write why this new justification for breaking the law is bad. But again, I’m not in law so…

    How many tax return lawsuits have been filed, and how long ago? Which suit was this one? Expediency.

    Edit: I hope you and Immp are enjoying the sun today. Don’t spend too much time on here responding to crotchy men 😜

    ReplyReply
  82. 82
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay: ·

    3h
    Trump Lashes Out at Fox News Poll as Barr Meets With Murdoch

    last night at his Sixty Minute Hate he was singing their praises. Somebody on twitter called him “President TV Guide”. I like T. V. Fuddlehead, from an old cartoon.

    ReplyReply
  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    Dutch conservatives in Michigan are unbearably smug about their (claimed) moral superiority. Warren hit her where it hurts- her sanctimony.

    ReplyReply
  84. 84
    patrick II says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yes, and the Secret Service agents will hate being in the cells on either side of him. Until the video cameras for some reason stop recording.

    ReplyReply
  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    @Immanentize:

    It’s not really a greengrocer’s apostrophe. It’s a usage (that seems to be going out of favor) to clarify certain plurals, often involving single letters or words that end in o, as in “Mind your p’s and q’s,” “Aardvark has three a’s,” “What are the do’s and don’ts here?” or “There are quite a few no-no’s involved.”

    The comma that Betty [sic]ced is used to clarify that the s is not part of the Latin phrase but an English plural affixed to it.

    ReplyReply
  86. 86
    zhena gogolia says:

    @SWMBO:

    He disappears every once in a while.

    ReplyReply
  87. 87
    Marcopolo says:

    @jimmiraybob: Not to rain on (or rein in) your parade but I doubt it. This is the most conservative & rural Congressional district in IL—including the coal mining area of the state. They are pretty much assured to elect a very conservative Rep.

    ReplyReply
  88. 88
    patrick II says:

    @psycholinguist:

    Yovanovitch just walked in the door. She called the bluff, let them try and fire her now.
    that could be the dam breaking for these clowns.

    It also may be the reason they have decided to let Sondland testify. And, they can’t do anything to her and it sets a precedent, it may start a flood. Good for her.
    So many strong women these days. Come on guys, step up; testify. I’m looking at you McGahn.

    ReplyReply
  89. 89
    Yarrow says:

    @kindness: Yep. The Democrats would benefit from hiring people who understand theater and how these hearings come across on TV. The content is one thing and the presentation is another.

    ReplyReply
  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SWMBO: @zhena gogolia: I emailed him to see if he’s okay. Provided the email he uses to comment here is legit. Otherwise, I have no idea who I emailed.

    ReplyReply
  91. 91
    germy says:

    Rajiv Moté wrote a good piece of satire. Not easy to do nowadays.

    GOP TALKING POINTS FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FIFTH AVENUE MASSACRE
    by RAJIV MOTÉ

    Press reports have given currency to flat-out falsehoods about the Executive Action.

    MYTH: The President “brandished” an assault rifle.
    FACT: Semi-automatic rifles like the Colt AR-15 are not assault rifles; they do not have burst or fully automatic firing capabilities.

    MYTH: “The smell of cordite hung heavy in the air… outside Trump Tower.”
    FACT: The use of cordite was discontinued in 1945.

    MYTH: The President’s statement during the 2016 campaign that he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” was a statement of intent or premeditation.
    FACT: It was obviously made in jest, not to be taken literally, and entirely coincidental.

    MYTH: “The President stood in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot [somebody].”
    FACT: It was East 57th Street, the President was on the sidewalk, and there were multiple targets.

    The President’s action was entirely in keeping with the rights and responsibilities afforded by the Constitution.

    Like every citizen of the United States, the President is granted the inalienable right to bear arms by the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
    The President is required to “protect each of [the States] from invasion” by Article Four, Section Four, Clause Two of the Constitution.
    The fifteen targets of the Executive Action were undocumented foreign nationals, i.e. “illegal aliens” and de facto invaders.
    The real scandal is the trail of dead left by the Democrats around which many unanswered questions remain, an issue ignored by the liberal and Fake media.

    What did Vince Foster know that may have made him a target?
    Was Seth Rich murdered for his connection to WikiLeaks?
    What testimony on Bill Clinton could Jeffrey Epstein have provided before he died in custody?
    Freely use the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount, #SorosBodyCount, and #DemocratBodyCount on Twitter when raising these questions and any others that may occur.
    Let’s be clear: Crimes are committed by the guilty, who attempt to conceal them for fear of the consequences. An unusual action taken in open daylight on the streets of Midtown Manhattan with no regard for consequence whatsoever is either the work of a madman, or of someone doing exactly what he is authorized to do. Three hundred and four (304) members of the Electoral College cannot have voted for a madman. Therefore no crime has been committed.

    IMPORTANT REMINDER: DO NOT share any of these talking points until after the Fifth Avenue Executive Action occurs, next week.

    https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/gop-talking-points-for-president-trumps-fifth-avenue-massacre

    ReplyReply
  92. 92
    Aleta says:

    When they cancelled after he arrived, I thought perhaps they needed a lot more time to rehearse him:
    “Here’s where you say ‘Trump haters whose agenda is to take down the elected president of United States.’ Then you say ‘As for actual collusion or conspiracy, there was none.’

    “And make sure you work in everything on this list: ‘rabbit holes like this hearing,’ ‘petty and personal politics,’ ‘helping people and saving lives,’ blah blah;”

    and to calm him down:
    “Calm the fuck down! Look at me! No one is going to prison!! Say it !!!”

    (CNBC, Sept 23) The Republican National Committee paid over $160,000 to a law firm that is defending former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. The payment was made a month before his testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee. … The payment was made to the “Mintz Levin Firm Account,” the document says. Lewandowski is being represented by Peter Chavkin, one of the firm’s top white collar defense attorneys. The National Law Journal noted that Chavkin was present at Lewandowski’s Judiciary hearing last week.

    ReplyReply
  93. 93
    Immanentize says:

    @Steeplejack:
    Betty once called them “greengrocer’s punctuation” (or apostrophes) and I’m sticking with that because it makes me smile. Rare enough event these days.

    ReplyReply
  94. 94
    Kay says:

    @Marcopolo:

    Federal education laws are really civil rights laws. That’s the federal area of control in education. When conservatives harken back to the bad old days of when there was little or no federal oversight of education that’s what they’re pining for- when the feds couldn’t reach schools on civil rights. Once you realize that what DeVos is doing makes perfect sense. She’s gutting federal protections for civil rights in an area where it really matters- for children. That’s the broad issue Warren is introducing and DeVos is the perfect foil for what is a long held liberal argument. That we have to have federal laws protecting civil rights. That states rights have to give way.

    ReplyReply
  95. 95
    NotMax says:

    Republicans LOVE to proclaim to the skies that they want to get rid of “waste, fraud and abuse.”

    Yet they support Dolt 45.

    ;)

    ReplyReply
  96. 96
    Steeplejack says:

    @SWMBO:

    Recap here.

    @Adam L Silverman:

    He hasn’t been back since.

    You are absolutely wrong. Baud had comments in many threads every day over the next week, including the morning of the day when you made your “flounce” comment.

    ReplyReply
  97. 97
    cain says:

    Good morning, jackals. Another day, another discovery of laws being broken. Welcome to the Tang Dynasty. Be sure to save the vases.

    ReplyReply
  98. 98
    cain says:

    @Steeplejack:

    You are absolutely wrong. Baud had comments in many threads every day over the next week, including the morning of the day when you made your “flounce” comment.

    So youre saying he’s waiting for us.. in the next week?

    ReplyReply
  99. 99
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Kay:

    Trump Bored by His Own Speech, Just Wants to Talk About TV Shows
    I don’t know why, but with all of the great people I just introduced, for tonight, maybe this is the most important person, because I turned on a very good show in the morning. Fox and friends. They treat us great. I just want fairness. What a great group. Ainsley and Steve, and by the way, Brian has gotten a lot better, right?

    Brian was a seven, and he’s getting close to 10 territory, and Steve has been so great, and Ainsley’s just incredible.

    he also went on a couple extended riffs about the My Pillow guy (for those who don’t watch TV, some guy buys cheap air time to hawk his miracle pillow, and has gotten rich enough doing it to keep it up and apparently donate money to trump)

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  100. 100
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Are there blog rules about (except for John) using someone’s sign-in email to contact them if they haven’t reached out to you first, or given permission?

    ReplyReply
  101. 101
    Leto says:

    @NotMax: You’ll hear that among the veteran community, “Oh, I know X and they’re getting more VA benefits/they’re cheating the system” or some variation of that. I always ask them, “Well why don’t you report them? If you know they’re cheating the system, why don’t you report them?” Inevitably they hem and haw, give excuses… but my point is rubbing their nose in their own hypocrisy. As long as it benefits them and theirs, they don’t care. It’s irritating.

    ReplyReply
  102. 102
    Marcopolo says:

    @Steeplejack:

    From their website yesterday:

    Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois says he no longer supports President Donald Trump after his “terrible and despicable” decision to pull American troops from Syria.

    So here’s the thing Steeplejack, I was physically checking the Post Dispatch website every couple of hours yesterday. They never posted any version of this story to the webpage (main or politics section). Yes you could go to the search function on their page and type in “shimkus” and you would get several results that included the article you are showing (which I’d note is from the AP & datelined Chicago) but none of them was actually published to the website. One of the reasons I was checking was I wanted to be able to read the comments from PD readers. As you can see, there are no comments from readers on any of the Shimkus articles you bring up through searching on the PD webpage.

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  103. 103
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Since Betty mentioned him, I thought I’d put in another good word for William Taylor, another career Foreign Service officer, who certainly appears to be taking the ethical path in a tough situation. It happens that my son has met with him professionally, both in the US and in Kyiv, and has developed a very positive impression. Here’s Christopher Miller’s (an experienced Ukraine correspondent) take on him.

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  104. 104
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Leto: Because that is the process in an Article III court. When someone files at suit, the defendant is given time to respond. Then there is time for motions to be filed and responded to. And so on. The system isn’t designed to be fast.

    I understand that the time the courts take can be frustrating to people who are watching from the outside, but there really is no such thing as a simple decision on black letter law. Some facts are always different and that can potentially change an outcome.

    As to why administrative hearings can be much faster, they less formal and frequently less tied to the formal rules of evidence. Also, there are avenues beyond the hearing that a losing party can pursue. When I was a state level ALJ, the losing party could appeal my decision to an oversight agency. If they weren’t happy with the result there, they could file a lawsuit in a regular court.

    ReplyReply
  105. 105
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Yovanovitch is giving a deposition, not testimony, right? So it won’t be public?

    ReplyReply
  106. 106
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack:

    You are absolutely wrong.

    Unpossible!

    ReplyReply
  107. 107
    Immanentize says:

    @Leto: @Omnes Omnibus:
    Oh Article III courts can work at lightning speed when they want to — See, death penalty habeas corpus litigation.

    ReplyReply
  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t think they went to Minnesota to try to get it in their column, which is what they told the Trump Whisperers at the NYTimes who dutifully transcribed it.
    I think they went to Minnesota to deliberately target that House member. To gin up hatred against her.

    ReplyReply
  109. 109
  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: I have no idea. But every time someone here gets worried about someone and asks if they can be checked on, this is how I do it. I send a message with test and connect in the subject line and that’s it. If I get a response, I get a response. If I don’t, I don’t. Beyond that, I’m not sure there’s much else to say.

    ReplyReply
  111. 111
    Steeplejack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    ReplyReply
  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yep. Taylor was both smart and experienced enough to not just get Sondland and Volker to create a paper trail through the texts. And then, when Sondland tried to take the real incriminating stuff away from the texts and into phone calls, Taylor was still able to get it into the texts.

    ReplyReply
  113. 113
    Barbara says:

    @Steeplejack: There are times when I make myself scarce, and those times have especially occurred after some comments I received that I considered to be unduly hostile or personal given how long I have been commenting here. I hope Baud reconsiders.

    ReplyReply
  114. 114
    Kay says:

    Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled “Protecting and Improving Medicare for Our Nation’s Seniors.” The order is the latest example of how Trump says one thing while doing another. Rather than strengthening Medicare, Trump envisions turning large swaths of the 54-year-old program for the elderly over to the private sector while directing the federal government to dismantle safeguards on seniors’ health care access, shift costs onto beneficiaries, and limit seniors’ choice of providers.

    It’s perfect for D congressional races. It didn’t get a lot of attention because of the all the crime-committing but they can run on this, and they will.

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  115. 115
    Immanentize says:

    I have to admit that I kind of enjoy the fact that Baud is stirring the pot even when not present. Like!👍

    Maybe he is off trying to slip into Gabbard’s debate slot in November?

    ReplyReply
  116. 116
    rikyrah says:

    @TaMara (HFG):
    Duck pictures are always appreciated

    ReplyReply
  117. 117
    TerryC says:

    @Mike in NC: Sadly, my son-in-law, a techie in SF, is a doppleganger of Parscale 😢 in physical appearance only!

    ReplyReply
  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Immanentize:

    Maybe he is off trying to slip into Gabbard’s debate slot in November?

    ReplyReply
  119. 119
    PJ says:

    @Barbara: Every day on Balloon Juice, if not in every post, there is some asshole making hostile or personal comments about another commenter (and the likelihood goes up if the person being attacked is a new or infrequent commenter.)

    ReplyReply
  120. 120
    Leto says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Immanentize: Thanks for the explanation. I’m basically like everyone else, wanting them to move with some more expediency. If the shithead appeals to the SC (which I fully expect him to do), it’s just further delay. I’m tempering my excitement on this because the SC has shown their willingness to overturn all lower court decisions, especially when those lower court opinions all align.

    @Barbara: Everyone takes a break at some time. I feel like my time is coming sooner because of how I’ve responded on here lately.

    ReplyReply
  121. 121
    Leto says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Oh, come on. Not even in space? #Archer1999 pic.twitter.com/W2nHnt1zfI— Archer (@archerfxx) May 31, 2019

    ReplyReply
  122. 122
    Ruckus says:

    @Yarrow:
    Two words are the mantra for news organizations.
    Breaking News!
    Good reporting? Who gives a shit.
    Honest reporting? Who gives a shit.
    Being First? Their bosses do.

    ReplyReply
  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Leto: I don’t bother to set up a pie filter but there are a handful of commenters I’ve just learned to avoid engaging with

    ReplyReply
  124. 124
    germy says:

    @Ruckus: Whenever we watch ABC News with David Muir, the show always begins with a loud drum sound effect and Muir saying “Breaking News!” about some story I saw ten hours earlier here.

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  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    @Mousebumples:

    (low quality hires across the board, I think)

    I think we need to revise this for the drumpf dis-organization.
    These are No Quality Hires.
    Can not have anyone worth more than drumpf in any way working for him, he’s the top of this diarrhea heap, so no quality whatsoever is allowed.

    ReplyReply
  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    @Ruckus: @germy: I don’t think CNN has any banner other than “Breaking News.” It’s the little bumper before and after commercial breaks. It’s on the corner by the chyron. None of it is breaking and a lot of it isn’t even news.

    ReplyReply
  127. 127
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @germy: You need to tell WaterGirl to get the dev team to have that sound effect here.

    ReplyReply
  128. 128
    Marcopolo says:

    @germy:Gotta admit I consider this a click bait kinda story. While I am sure that Warren has talked to Gillum (and many many other people), I suspect it is more in regards to who to talk to in and how to win in FL rather than VP vetting. After all, we are still months away from the first primary and Warren doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who counts their chickens before they hatch. She is more of a focus on the task at hand kind of person. So I am guessing that either someone in Gillum’s orbit “leaked” this (which might explain the VP stuff in it) or someone even more tangential heard the two had had a conversation and is trying to, as I said at the start, generate some clicks from it.

    But honestly, if you wanted to be considered as VP material by a potential nominee wouldn’t it make a hella lot more sense just to keep mum about it? If you were the nominee would you really pick someone as your VP who couldn’t keep a lid on things?

    Anyways, just my thoughts which are probably worth less than 2 cents.

    ReplyReply
  129. 129
    Leto says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’ve learned to use it. It’s sparing but it’s improved my overall experience.

    ReplyReply
  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: on MSNBC, they announce breaking news, stop everything, play the Breaking News music and graphic, then announce the breaking news, typically something like: “We’ve been saying all day a subpoena was imminent, and now… BREAKING NEWS… that subpoena was issued. Barb McQuade predicts the White House will challenge the subpoena in court and now…. BREAKING NEWS… the White House has announced its intention to challenge the subpoena in court…”

    ReplyReply
  131. 131
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I think I’d prefer the Muppet News Flash! meme myself. Being a Muppet freak and all.

    ReplyReply
  132. 132

    @PJ: Yeah, it bothers me. I’d prefer we criticize those who impede our common goals.

    ReplyReply
  133. 133
    Yarrow says:

    @Marcopolo: Isn’t Gillum doing voter registration/rights stuff in Florida now? If so, maybe she was talking to him about organizing Florida. As Betty C said in a recent morning thread, Warren’s campaign sent her a text inviting her to a Democratic convention or gathering of some sort and her local party didn’t even bother to let her know it was happening. They clearly could be better organized. They’re probably missing a lot of potential votes.

    ReplyReply
  134. 134
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    This is the rational for why they have all those people in the WH press corp. They could sent one camera and a mike and share the info, but no, they all have to go and end up saying the same shit. And they have to keep their access so they can’t say anything truthful…… It’s a bad circus, a bad circle of bullshit to keep us misinformed while the wealthy take everything not tied down and a lot that is. There are cracks forming, people seeing that theft is OK but being so clumsy, ignorant and open about it isn’t. Some are actually saying the bad parts out loud. What is it that we aren’t hearing/seeing?
    Sorry, not in such a good mood today. Maybe it’s the politics…….

    ReplyReply
  135. 135
    Betty Cracker says:

    @germy: I don’t think it’ll happen. Gillum paid a $5K fine as a settlement related to an ethics investigation this year. IMO, the investigation was almost certainly a political hit job, but they did discover some incidents that the average voter might regard as hinky, i.e., Gillum accepting free stuff as a public official in the presence of undercover FBI agents, a formerly very close campaign associate and personal friend who comes across as super-grifty, etc. It sucks, because the former governor (Scott) is an outright crook, and that didn’t put a hitch in his political career. But as we know, white male Republicans don’t have to be squeaky clean, but everyone else does.

    ReplyReply
  136. 136
    Barbara says:

    @PJ: If you say so but I am neither a new nor an infrequent commenter.

    ReplyReply
  137. 137
    Marcopolo says:

    @PJ: While I definitely agree that this place can be really rough on new posters/nyms (we are a verify then trust group for the most part), at the end of the day we do generally come together over our shared outrage/hatred at some R offense to decency.

    And also I am a big fan of the pie filter…

    ReplyReply
  138. 138
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Betty Cracker: It sucks, because the former governor (Scott) is an outright crook, and that didn’t put a hitch in his political career

    a source of never-ending astonishment, if not surprise, that a fucking MEDICARE SCAMMER got elected by old white people in Florida, but he promised to keep Those People from getting their hands on health care, so… And from several sources I’ve read– second-hand, I don’t know– FL Dems, and Nelson in particular, were/are almost insistently bad at mobilizing the non-Cuban Hispanic vote. I believe Scott travelled to Puerto Rico seven times between the hurricane and election day?

    ReplyReply
  139. 139
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Leto: I’ve still got to watch the final three episodes of the most reason season. They’ve been sitting on my DVR waiting to be watched. So no spoilers!

    ReplyReply
  140. 140

    @Steeplejack: That’s my recollection as well.

    ReplyReply
  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yarrow: The Florida Democratic Party is genetically incapable of being able to do politics. At all. Not that they’re just okay. THEY ARE HORRIBLE! They let Rick Scott out hustle them with the Puerto Rican voters in Florida in 2018 because they did absolutely nothing to try to make inroads with them. And the members of the Puerto Rican diasporan community in Florida kept publicly saying they were waiting to hear from the Democrats. Any Democrat.

    That Andrew Gillum only lost by 2% is a testament to candidate quality. And that he’s trying to actually fix some of this problem is a good thing and a sign that he recognizes the problem. But he’s had a very low profile since he lost the election last year. Some of that may be him being a workhorse, not a show pony. But usually once a Democrat loses in Florida in a state or Federal level election, they don’t have a political future in Florida.

    ReplyReply
  142. 142
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Idrees Ali @ idreesali114
    Sources tell Reuters that the United States is set to send thousands of additional troops to Saudi Arabia following the Sept.14 attack on Saudi oil facilities

    trump’s argument for unleashing hell in Kurdish Syria is we need to bring Our Boys home and end endless war

    ReplyReply
  143. 143
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Betty Cracker: And that’s before they restart the whispering campaign that Gillum is a closeted African American man who doesn’t do that good a job of staying in the closet. I do not know and do not care what, ultimately, his sexual orientation is. And it shouldn’t even be an issue in 2019. But it is and it is Florida. So…

    ReplyReply
  144. 144
    Steeplejack says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    And weren’t infidel American boots on holy Saudi ground the trigger for Osama bin Laden’s jihad?

    ReplyReply
  145. 145
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Isn’t it just perfect? He’s such a crazy liar. He doesn’t just shade the truth- what he says is the opposite of what he does. Psycho.

    ReplyReply
  146. 146
    VOR says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t think they went to Minnesota to try to get it in their column, which is what they told the Trump Whisperers at the NYTimes who dutifully transcribed it.
    I think they went to Minnesota to deliberately target that House member. To gin up hatred against her.

    Both. Yes, deliberately targeting Rep Omar was probably a significant reason they went to Minneapolis. The Target Center where the rally was held is in Rep. Omar’s district. Trump is attacking Rep. Omar and turning her into a bogeyman because he or his brain trust thinks it will aid Republican turnout. And yes, it is theoretically possible for Trump to win Minnesota next year. Western Wisconsin, which Trump did win in 2016, is also in the same media market.

    ReplyReply
  147. 147
    Lulymay says:

    I just came across this thread after reading yours. Not US citizen, but I was astonished to find out how easy it is for foreign money to potentially influence your elections. This was especially interesting to me since I recently was on a trip in Russia and one of our tour guides pointed out that there are more billionaires per capita in Moscow than any other major city in the world.
    Hope I’m not infringing on anyone’s property here:
    juancole.com/2019/10/roberts-citizens-influence.html

    ReplyReply
  148. 148
    Kay says:

    Adam Goldman
    @adamgoldmanNYT
    ·8m
    Yovanovitch delivered a scathing indictment of his administration’s conduct of foreign policy. She warned that private influence and personal gain have usurped diplomats’ judgment, threatening to undermine the nation’s interests.

    We all know how this ends, right? We find out these crooks sacrificed those Kurds to their personal financial gain.

    Because there isn’t a rational being on the planet who believes it was about “endless wars” or “the troops”.

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  149. 149
    Yarrow says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yep. As far as I can tell the Dems in Florida are terrible. Something really needs to change.

    ReplyReply
  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steeplejack: One of them. He listed this as one of his grievances in his manifesto.

    ReplyReply
  151. 151
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay:

    We all know how this ends, right?

    Sadly, yes. And we know that it all started the same way. It really is still shocking to me that the Trump City Mob has no understanding or concern about this country. None.

    A higher quality gang would be better at hiding the con if only to run it longer

    ReplyReply
  152. 152
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Lulymay: Not in the least. Welcome.

    ReplyReply
  153. 153
    PJ says:

    @Barbara: My point is that if you are commenting here, you have to expect to receive abuse from another commenter, because most commenters (no, not you, and not you, other commenter that is reading this and is really a nice person and would never rudely lash out at another commenter because they had a different opinion or because you thought their comment was a thinly veiled attack on you even though it wasn’t directed at you) behave like petty, vicious swine at some point or another.

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  154. 154
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Kay: Either Erdogan promised him something or this is part of what he agreed to do for Putin back at the summit in Helsinki.

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  155. 155
    Hoodie says:

    “Republicans are looking for any silver lining they can get,” the source said. “Sondland could be a silver lining … He donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural. He’s a Trump guy. Whereas [former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie] Yovanovitch is a career person.”

    Ok, these people are either idiots or this is a passive aggressive attempt to torpedo Trump. Only a fool like Guiliani would think this is a good strategy.

    ReplyReply
  156. 156
    Josie says:

    @PJ:

    I have to disagree with the words “most commenters.” There are a few commenters who have a problem expressing themselves without attacking others. i have found that most commenters are pretty reasonable in discussing their differences. I just scroll past the ones who are always in attack mode and save myself some blood pressure spikes. There is no rule that one has to read or react to everything that is written in the comments.

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  157. 157
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: responding to Steeplejack:

    One of them. He listed this as one of his grievances in his manifesto.

    Oh noes! For a minute I thought you were discussing Baud!

    Come back Baud.

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  158. 158
    Hoodie says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Wouldn’t be surprising if it’s not just the Russians that have kompromat on Trump.

    ReplyReply
  159. 159
    Aleta says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I have no idea. But every time someone here gets worried about someone and asks if they can be checked on, this is how I do it.

    I think it would be good to clarify, so commenters know “how the info they provide will be used” (as the privacy saying goes). A comment that looks to you like a request that you should act on, might be one, or not; but, IMO the more important question is whether the commenter you are writing to feels comfortable with a FPer using their email or looking at their IP address.

    If this privacy-related privilege and role automatically goes with being a FP-writer here, that should be understood by FP-writers and comment-writers and also just-readers. My thinking is that for some commenters, not all, privacy assurances affect whether they decide to trust writing here. Btw, there is nothing cowardly about using a nym–it’s been a given at BJ that it’s the writer’s choice, for good reasons.

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  160. 160
    Barbara says:

    @PJ: No one should “expect” to receive abuse. Sorry to disagree with you.

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  161. 161
    Elizabelle says:

    @Aleta: FWIW, I appreciate that Adam does check on jackals from time to time. To my knowledge, he has never abused that privilege.

    If privacy is important to BJ commenters, there is nothing to stop them from setting up an email account solely for dealing with Balloon Juice, is there?

    Obviously, changing ‘nyms and email addies constantly will result in delay to one’s comments appearing, as the system does not recognize the commenter.

    A lot of us know each other now “in real life” too, and I don’t see anyone “outing” each other with real names.

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  162. 162
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    I know you know this but trump lies. It’s one of his constants. He always lies. About everything. Most/some people attempt to be honest most of the time. If for no other reason it’s easier. Being trump he does everything wrong. He so obviously lies that he gets caught all the time. The old line, “You know he’s lying, his mouth is moving!” That was penned with someone just like trump in mind.

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  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:

    We all know how this ends, right? We find out these crooks sacrificed those Kurds to their personal financial gain.

    As always, follow the money.
    None of the people drumpf “hires” are honest money earners. Their talents are lying and theft and that’s it. At one point a very long time ago the republican party may have stood for some actual principles. Not now. The only “principles” they have now are lying and theft.

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  164. 164
    Elizabelle says:

    @Ruckus: Good luck to all friends caught up in the Saddleridge fire. Seems this is gonna be a tough fire season.

    And thank you for your kind comment day before yesterday. I did see it. Agree, people are all nerved out this election season. With good reason.

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  165. 165
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Hoodie: It isn’t just the Russians.

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  166. 166
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    ABC News Politics
    @ABCPolitics
    ·55m
    NEW: Defense Sec. Mark Esper: “We oppose and are greatly disappointed by Turkey’s decision to launch a unilateral military incursion into northern Syria.”

    It’s all fun and games and long lunches at the Trump properties until they make one of their sleazy deals with the wrong party and people start getting killed. They believe all that bullshit about business- that they’re are “killers” fighting “battles” when they’re haggling over a fucking real estate deal. Now it’s real – a real war with armies – and no one listens to these coddled, entitled clowns.

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  167. 167
    Kay says:

    Mark Murray

    Verified account

    @mmurraypolitics
    14m
    14 minutes ago
    More
    Money line from Yovanovitch: “The harm will come when bad actors in countries beyond Ukraine see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia”

    Oh, look you guys! A grown up professional. Haven’t heard from one of them in years. No wonder they pushed her out. One higher quality hire among the bottom of the barreler’s really stands out.

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  168. 168
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Josie:

    There is no rule that one has to read or react to everything that is written in the comments.

    Shit, *now* you tell me…

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  169. 169
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Yes.
    trump did exactly the wrong thing, for exactly the wrong reason, as he always does, and then his sycophants are amazed that it all goes wrong. When it was his bank account that got the brunt, no one cared. But now it’s thousands/millions of innocent lives at stake and of course he’s such a buffoon and diseased personality that he thinks it’s everyone else’s fault.
    This presidenting stuff is important. Not for the president’s bottom line, like trump thinks, but for all of ours, everyone in the world.

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  170. 170
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Kay: Well, she’s a career Foreign Service officer, so not a recent hire. And she was placed in the Ukraine position by President Obama, not Trump.

    I appreciate your “low-quality hires” refrain about the Trumpists, but the career Foreign Service is, in my experience, people committed to American ideals which I suspect they share with you. The ones I know are uniformly aghast at the current administration; not all are in a position to express that publicly.

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  171. 171
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Aleta: You know, you’re right. The next time someone posts a comment that they need help from EMS, but can’t get through or threatens to commit suicide in the comments to a post, I’m gonna do nothing because we don’t have an official policy that has been officially posted and that everyone who is commenting is aware of while that person may be making a final decision to a temporary problem and all the other commenters are screaming at me to do something. Instead I’ll go get dinner and catch a movie.

    ReplyReply
  172. 172
    Josie says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Lol. Better late than never…..

    ReplyReply
  173. 173
  174. 174
    Elizabelle says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Now now. I think it’s great that you (and other Front Pagers) have a backdoor way to check on all too human jackals.

    You know that. And you (and others) do not abuse the privilege.

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  175. 175
    Kay says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Oh, I think she’s great. I really haven’t heard a professional in years. The contrast is stark. I had forgotten these people exist. It’s reassuring. That is why they fired her too- has to be 100% hacks or the bar is too high and they look bad. Well, worse.

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  176. 176
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay: I feel so badly for all the career government professionals — the good ones — who have their last years in service destroyed by our traitor in the Oval Office. We have seen a parade of them.

    Please let Trump and his administration be destroyed soon.

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  177. 177
    Woodrow/asim says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That was a respectful request that BJ — not you, Adam, specifically — develop a policy for understanding how people’s privacy works, given the data provided on this site. Nothing in what I read [EDIT: from] Aleta indicated she through[t] said policy should over-ride, say, Good Samaritan laws.

    You are, literally, a Policy Person. It’s part of why I enjoy reading your posts. You have the education, and experience to think thru a host of issues aligned to your day job, and beyond. And to share them and debate them with audiences.

    As such, this response from you felt wildly out of scale with what’s being asked. I would respectfully ask you re-consider it, and the overall ask.

    Thanks.

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  178. 178
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Marcopolo:

    Joyce Alene @ JoyceWhiteVance
    He has been around long enough to know this is not a good sign: “Giuliani…said he has not been interviewed by the FBI in the investigation.”

    so concise, so cold, I love it

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  179. 179
    Mr. Mack says:

    Probably chiming in too late, but on the hope that Baud is lurking…I used to read and comment everyday on a FB page hosted by a guy I used to read during the Bush years. I thought he was an important voice, he was young and could turn a phrase so I kept up with him. Recently, he has begun to value clicks more than heartfelt comments and has cheapened his brand IMO. His page is now chock full of mindless sycophants so I don’t bother anymore. Obviously, this was not the same situation, but Adam is not writing for clicks, and perhaps was busy or annoyed and may have seemed abrupt with his reply. My point is that both of you seem like great people, so unless you’re taking a break to clear your head (which I do from time to time) I think a bunch of jackals would appreciate your return.

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  180. 180
    JoyceH says:

    Something that occurred to me recently. Ukraine and Turkey have been much in the news lately, and with the spotlight focused on them, it’s clear that this administration’s foreign policy there has been bottomless sleaze and self-dealing, mostly carried out by Trump-connected amateurs. What if Ukraine and Turkey aren’t anomalies? What if they’re ALL like that? If investigative reporters went out and did deep dives into our embassies at Brazil or Greece or Latvia, would they just find more of the same?

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  181. 181
    debit says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I assume that if I must give my email address on any website it’s going to be used somehow, so I don’t worry about it. That being said, I understand where Aleta is coming from and think you’re being overly harsh.

    ReplyReply
  182. 182
    donnah says:

    On MSNBC just now, Steve Mnuchin said that Trump has warned Turkey that there will be sanctions against their government if they continue to exercise military aggression against the Kurds and if they release any ISIS terrorists. Trump claimed he could devastate their economy if they persist.

    It’s escalated beyond threats from a weakened president.

    ReplyReply
  183. 183
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debit: We don’t actually require a real email or one that works in order for someone to comment. I don’t spend my free time cruising through the comments looking for people’s emails so I can correspond with them.

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  184. 184
    geg6 says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I appreciate your “low-quality hires” refrain about the Trumpists, but the career Foreign Service is, in my experience, people committed to American ideals which I suspect they share with you. The ones I know are uniformly aghast at the current administration; not all are in a position to express that publicly.

    I have several old friends who are FBI and Secret Service. This is how they express themselves to me. I have never felt sorry for them in all the years I’ve known them. I do now.

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  185. 185
    Elizabelle says:

    Betty’s put a fresh thread up. Ambassador Yovanovitch spills the tea

    ReplyReply
  186. 186
    Fleeting Expletive says:

    Sondland protested when T dissed the family of a fallen soldier, the Khans, and therefore to pay $1million to the inauguration committee as penance, as one does, apparently. I hope the investigation (by whom?) of the $$ inauguration slush fund explores its contributors’ histories as tribute-payers to the “King”.

    ReplyReply

  187. 187
    debit says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam, I don’t for a second think you do. I don’t think anyone believes that.

    I assume all of our front pagers are awesome people who can totally be trusted with our information. John Cole knows my address and phone number, which is more than two of my siblings do. But a few years ago there was someone (Tommy?) who had the keys to the place and made threats about doxxing someone here who disagreed with him. John promptly locked him out, but, as far as we know, that was the end of it. I don’t think asking if we have a policy in place to prevent that sort of thing is out of line. That’s all.

    ReplyReply
  188. 188
    joel hanes says:

    @Barbara:

    There have been times when the backbiting and acrimony among various jackals have been sufficiently ugly that I have quit reading Balloon Juice for a week or five.

    ReplyReply
  189. 189
    Barry says:

    @Amir Khalid: “How any court can consider a two-year-old all on her own to have adequate legal representation escapes me.”

    Pretend you’re Stephen Miller, or anybody in ICE/Border Guard.

    ReplyReply
  190. 190
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I think it’s great that you (and other Front Pagers) have a backdoor way to check on all too human jackals.

    I’m not seeing the technical privacy exposure TBH. Would take nation-state resources to exploit I think (could be wrong), and is pretty indirect, expressing concern to prompt a ping to an (unknown) email account. (FWIW, anyone seriously concerned about email privacy should be using a secure and optionally anonymous email account (e.g. a protonmail account made with a burner phone, accessed anonymously)) (burner in case protonmail is compromised.)
    I do appreciate John’s no-doxing stand. It’s appreciated.

    ReplyReply
  191. 191
    LongHairedWeirdo says:

    The polling is terrible for Trump, new facets of the scandal are exploding in Republicans’ faces every day, and elected Republicans are tired of tap-dancing around the question of whether it’s appropriate for a president to shake down foreign governments for oppo research.

    This really annoys me. The President is lying to a foreign country saying “some of my people did some *REALLY* bad things.”: So he’s been trying to put US citizens into significant legal jeopardy in other nations, by spreading false information about them.

    Now, it’s true: this President is so dull, so venal, he’s probably just thinking about getting some news cycles out of the investigation, and being able to farm out announcements to help with reelection. It’s also true that Ukraine, or China, might decide there’s fame, or concessions, to be made out of a high profile arrest. And if they did make such an arrest, what, exactly, could DJT say about it? Would the Republicans be able to scream that this is a horrible injustice?

    ReplyReply
  192. 192
    J R in WV says:

    @PJ:

    …behave like petty, vicious swine at some point or another.

    How Dare You ~!!!~

    ReplyReply

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