Monday Morning Open Thread: Speaking Truth

Open Thread: Mike Pompeo, “Secretary of Swagger”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has become increasingly frustrated in recent weeks by the departure of top State Department officials and claims that he failed to defend the former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, from a smear campaign against her, according to three sources familiar with the situation.

As part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Yovanovitch testified to Congress this week that she was unfairly removed based on false claims pushed by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

One of the sources tell CNN that Pompeo was alerted to internal and external concerns about Giuliani’s effort to push out Yovanovitch, but Pompeo failed to act — he was wary of getting too deeply involved over fears of derailing US-Ukraine policy and potentially sharing the fate of his former colleague John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser who was fired for not being aligned with the President

Pompeo’s apparent choice not to put guardrails between State officials and Giuliani has come under scrutiny by House Democrats who are bent on learning as much as they can about what exactly Pompeo knew of Giuliani’s dealings. In recent interviews, Pompeo has declined to answer questions about Giuliani’s entanglement in the administration’s Ukraine policy.

He was however aware of it. In March, Pompeo received a packet from Giuliani containing unfounded claims about Yovanovitch, as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter regarding their dealings in Ukraine…

As the State Department has stopped working with Congress due to orders from the White House, Pompeo himself continues to defend Trump. He has called the Ukraine impeachment inquiry a conspiracy theory to take down the President.

But there will be new questions about conversations regarding quid pro quo in the coming days given the pronouncement by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney in a news conference Thursday that the US withheld military aid from Ukraine in hopes of securing a promise that the foreign government would look into the possible presence of the physical Democratic National Committee server hacked by the Russians in 2016.

Pompeo, whose department oversees a hefty amount of that assistance to Ukraine, was also asked last month if it would be a problem if there were a quid pro quo arrangement. Pompeo said it is his job to be sure that foreign assistance is “completely appropriate” and that “American taxpayer dollars are used appropriately.”

IMO, “All better now!” should *definitely* be added to the rotating tags list.

Election 2020 Open Thread: The FTFNYTimes Defends Its #1 Priority

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Site Update: Test Period Extended / Testers Chime In


We had 50 people signed up for testing, and 30 people have participated in testing so far.  About 10 other people have let John or myself know that they are unable to test this weekend but would welcome the opportunity to test the site, so we decided to extend the test period through Tuesday night.

We are putting out a call for at least one person to test the new site with a screen reader, so if you might be willing and able to do that, please speak up here and/or send email to my nym at

What an amazing group of testers!  Every single one has been working diligently, with many people testing on multiple devices.  Kudos to all of you!

How has testing been going?

It’s much more important to know what you guys think about the site than it is to hear what I think, so I’m going to invite the testers to chime in here and let you all know how the testing has been going and what they think of the site.

So testers, jump in and share your thoughts, if you so desire.

Sunday Evening Punchdrunk Politics Open Thread

Could be worse, we could be Republicans.