Impeach the MOFO Open Thread: Maybe We Can Subpoena Ivanka, Too…

Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead… but probably not if the secret-sharer is a senile narcissist propped up by parasites. Or, as Ivanka probably puts it, Who gave the servants *our* password, Daddeee?:

There were dozens of ears listening to President Donald Trump’s 30-minute phone call with the leader of Ukraine that is at the center of a House impeachment inquiry , and as many eyes that saw what he said.

White House staffers, working in the secure, soundproof Situation Room in the West Wing basement, listened in and chronicled the conversation . National Security Council personnel edited a memo written about the call. White House lawyers, according to a government whistleblower, directed that the memo be uploaded into a highly restricted classified computer network. And there were the staffers whose keystrokes on a computer made that happen.

They represent a universe of people, little known outside their vital circle of national security officials, who can either support or disavow the whistleblower’s account. Their roles could well become more public as the impeachment investigation unfolds and Congress seeks additional witnesses.

Some staffers involved with the call still work at the White House; others have left. But what was thought to be a routine conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy turned into anything but that, when Trump asked him to investigate Ukraine’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and the activities of Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter…

This call, as well as others Trump has had with foreign leaders, was unusual in other ways, too. In past administrations, top foreign policy officials routinely briefed a president in person right before a call and provided written materials as well…

One individual with firsthand knowledge of how the Trump calls with foreign leaders are handled said the president “hates” such “pre-briefs” and frequently has refused to do them. Trump doesn’t like written background materials either, preferring to handle the calls himself, often in the morning from the residence. Occasionally, while on the phone with foreign heads of state, Trump has handed the receiver to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, so she can talk with the leader, according to this individual.

The person said a six-page pre-brief with attachments was once prepared for Trump before a call to a foreign leader. But that turned out to be too long, as did a single-page version. Preparing pre-brief note cards that offered about three talking points for Trump to make on a call was the norm, according to this person, who feared retribution for describing this process and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The individual said that when Trump is done with the note cards, he often rips them up and tosses them in a burn bag. Staff who handle records have had to retrieve the burn bags from the residence, put the papers out on a table and tape them back together to preserve them as official presidential records, this person said…
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Excellent Read: “Nancy Pelosi, Political Grandmaster”

There’s a famous Mark Twain quote: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

It always comes to mind when some Very Woke twitter analyst with a goldfish memory switches overnight from WHY WON’T PELOSI DO SOMETHING !!!RIGHT NOW!!! to WOOO SPEAKER & SHORTLY INTERIM PRESIDENT PELOSI IN!THE!HAWSE!!!. (Except, of course, those analysts usually switch right back to their first position, sometimes before I can finish reading down the thread.)

Abigail Tracy, in Vanity Fair, on “Nancy Pelosi, super Speaker, on Trump’s unfitness, the decision to impeach, and “weaving” her fractious caucus”:

Lost in the wilderness of the Trump era, Democrats looked long and hard for a champion: Robert Mueller, the media, even Michael Avenatti. But when the party retook the House in November and Nancy Pelosi began her historic second term as speaker, no one doubted the search was over. She’d been a GOP target and, some centrists thought, an electoral liability given her San Francisco roots. But now no one doubted that she was the indispensable Democrat, cheerfully jousting with AOC and “the Squad,” mediating the hoary conflict between the party’s left and its center (she describes herself as “a weaver,” which is a nice word for how she sometimes has to operate), winning with substance (her party’s focus on health care) and imagery (the famous Max Mara red coat, the donning of the sunglasses after her triumphant border wall meeting with Trump and Senator Chuck Schumer), and holding fire on impeachment until precisely the right moment. The Speaker talks to Abigail Tracy about the road to impeachment, how the Democrats won in 2018, why Trump is unique among presidents she’s known, and the work to be done after Trump is gone.

Tell me about the moment you reached the decision to go down the impeachment path.

I take a lot of guidance from the vision of our founders, and our founders fought very hard for our democracy, for our country, for our Constitution. In the dark days of revolution, Thomas Paine said, “The times have found us.” We believe that the times have found us to keep the republic from all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that would be those who say things like, “Article II says I can do whatever I want.” That’s not a republic, that’s a monarchy. That’s not what we have…

Some members in your caucus credit excitement from the base and a desire for a check on President Trump to your victory in the midterms in 2018. Others argue it was the messaging around issues like health care. What is your diagnosis?

Oh, it was health care. We had a very disciplined campaign in terms of a purpose. “For the people” was our agenda. We were going to lower health care costs by lowering costs of prescription drugs and preserving [protections for] preexisting conditions. Two, we were going to increase paychecks by building infrastructure in a green way. Three, we were going to have cleaner government by reducing the role of big dark money in politics and ending voter suppression others inserted in the bill. And the issue of health security, it’s just very dominant. People have determined it is “the issue” and this is the difference between Democrats and Republicans…

It is hard not to notice that he has rarely used a nickname for you.

Who cares? I don’t care if he has a nickname, maybe that’s why he didn’t do it.

I treat him with respect. I respect the office he holds. Sometimes I think I respect the office he holds more than he respects the office he holds. I try not to ask him to do something that isn’t in his interest. And it is in his interest to lower the cost of health care, to protect children, to build the infrastructure of America…

Have you been at all surprised by the behavior of the broader Republican party in the Trump era?

No. I’m not surprised. I mean, their oath of office is clearly to Donald Trump and not to the Constitution of the United States. Forgetting his personal grotesqueness, there is nothing he is about, in terms of the issues, that they haven’t been there longer and worse. Name any issue— climate, a woman’s right to choose, fairness in our economy, gun safety, how we treat immigrants. Any issue you can name, they have always been there and worse than he is. He is like their JFK. He is their guy

Much has been made about a perceived conflict between the progressive and moderate wings of the Democratic caucus this Congress. Has anything really changed?

No. No, it’s been the same forever. We’ve always had a big tent, we’ve always had different elements of the party. I myself am a San Francisco liberal and I’m proud of that. Republicans bought 137,000 ads describing me as such during the 2018 campaign. It didn’t work for them. We won 40 seats in the most gerrymandered, voter-suppressed districts you can name.

We’ve always had our exuberances, but we’ve always had our common ground. And as I say, “Our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power,” and that’s what President Trump fears most…

Rooting for Injuries Open Thread: #MoscowMitch vs. #PutinsPuppetPrez


Good Work President “I Don’t Know Them”! Lev Parnas’s Dinner Reservations at the White House Edition

The President did his usual Mariah Carey impression earlier today when asked about his relationship with the now indicted Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

Unfortunately for President Good Brain, Lev Parnas documented his dinner with the President on May 1st at the White House on Instagram!


On the menu were a wedge salad and a “Presidential cheeseburger”. Because when you have someone over for dinner at the White House the worst possible salad option from a 1950s steak house and a cheeseburger really scream elegance. Also, do they play Hail to the Beef when they serve it?


I Dont Know Her Mariah Carey GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Also, if you’re going to go on MSNBC as a contributor because you were a Republican member of Congress to opine on how bad this is and how much jeopardy this creates for your former Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives, maybe you shouldn’t have this bouncing around on social media!

I’m talking to you Curbelo!

Open thread!

Thursday Morning Open Thread: More Like This, Please

Also seasonal: