Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Crowded Field

Tonight is the fourth DNC primary debate, 8pm EDT, at private liberal arts college Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus.

Despite her ‘threats’ last week, Tulsi Gabbard will be on stage. As will Tom Steyer, ratite-resembling billionaire, for his first (and I devoutly hope last) appearance. (He’s already qualified for the November debate, but maybe tonight’s experience will wean him off his electoral fantasies.) Apparently 12 candidates on one stage is a new record — here’s to cutting that number in half by next month!


Under the Trump Bus Open Thread: Giuliani Edition, Part the First

NBC, this afternoon:

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on Monday denied being involved with a Ukrainian oligarch whose ethical issues have dovetailed with the ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president.

Giuliani also told NBC News he was not planning on visiting Dmitry Firtash, who is currently wanted on corruption charges in the U.S., during a trip to Vienna he planned last week. He said he could not speak for his two Soviet-born business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were arrested last week on campaign-finance charges in Virginia as they were about to board one-way flights to Vienna. Giuliani has said their similarly timed Austrian trips were not in conjunction…

Giuliani also said he has “never” brought up Firtash’s extradition battle with Trump.

“I’m not even sure the president is aware of him,” Giuliani said. “I think if you asked the president ‘who is Dmitry Firtash?’ He would say ‘I don’t know.’ As far as I know, we’ve never discussed him.”…

Saturday, per the NYTimes:

President Trump had lunch on Saturday with Rudolph W. Giuliani amid revelations that prosecutors were investigating Mr. Giuliani for possible lobbying violations, and speculation that his position as the president’s personal lawyer was in jeopardy.

The lunch, at Mr. Trump’s golf course in Sterling, Va., was among several shows of the president’s support for Mr. Giuliani on Saturday. They seemed meant to tamp down questions about Mr. Giuliani’s status with a client famous for distancing himself from advisers when they encounter legal problems of their own.

Mr. Trump, during a Saturday night appearance on Fox News, called Mr. Giuliani “a great gentleman” and said he is still his lawyer. “I know nothing about him being under investigation. I can’t imagine it,” he told the host Jeanine Pirro…

Mr. Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and New York mayor, was retained last year to help defend the president in the special counsel’s investigation.

But his efforts to undermine the investigation’s origins and its conclusions helped lead Mr. Trump into an impeachment inquiry. The inquiry focuses on whether Mr. Trump, with assistance from Mr. Giuliani, abused the presidency to pressure Ukraine to pursue investigations for his political benefit, including into whether Ukrainians played a role in spurring the inquiry of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III…

Mr. Trump was not enamored with the negative publicity around Mr. Giuliani, people close to the president said, but he remains loyal because of his lawyer’s willingness to aggressively defend him during the special counsel’s inquiry.

It is not clear what was discussed at the lunch…

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Monday Morning Open Thread: Wonderful

The best quote I’ve seen was in USAToday“Simone Biles sets the standard in gymnastics and maybe any sport you can name”:

“She’s incredible,” [Coach] Landi said. “You don’t want to look at (the medals), just. We were here to do the job. The goal is to hit four out of four, every day, day after day… “

Heck, most days I’m satisfied if I can hit three out of four. Some days, I settle for two — okay, one — plus some earnest efforts…

Mandatory political content, for the hard to please:

Late Night Open Thread: Outta the Clown Car, CREEPsters!

There was a bumper crop of good post-Watergate books — I still have copies of a few, including The Friends of Richard Nixon and Trout Fishing in the Reflecting Pool — but the prospects for post-Ukranium-1 ‘excellent reads’ is almost stunning:

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Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Rallying His Base Rallying Him

Like any other addict, an adulation junkie needs to keep upping his dosage to get the same boost. Trump’s recent rallies just haven’t been doing the job for him — even the LameStream Media is bored watching the same MAGAt DeadBrainHeads yowl LAWKERUP like it was a prayer. So he’s flailing around, looking for that special attention-getting message that will make him feel alive again.

His handlers had him all set up for a good time in Minneapolis — where people vote for Muslim immigrants who are also Black, and even female! — but the natives didn’t take the bait:

Friday night, he was shipped to Louisiana to bath in some old-fashioned hardcore racist GOTV… but ended up spending most of the evening angrily defending himself against the morgue’s worth of still-rotting corpses falling out of various Trump closets.

So for his weekend retreat, he dropped in on the hardest of the hardcore — the “Values Voters Summit” evangelical beanfest / witch hunt, where those media representatives not of the body can be barred from spoiling the ‘where we go one, we go all’ happytimes…

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