Looks like they started earlier today. It’s the day that Republican Senators tie themselves to Donald Trump’s corruption for the rest of time.
— Eleven Films (@Eleven_Films) February 5, 2020
I didn’t have the strength, so commentor Zhena Gogolia generously bricolaged this tribute:
As recounted by Maxwell King in his biography of Mister Rogers (The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, Abrams, 2018), when Rogers was young and saw upsetting things happening in the world, his mother would tell him, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
We are all too prone to easy cynicism: “The Republican majority in the Senate will never convict and remove Trump, so why should I pay any attention to the impeachment hearings or trial?” Well, I did pay attention, and what I saw was deeply inspiring and hopeful. Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and their Democratic colleagues, as well as the counsel for the Democrats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, Daniel Goldman and Barry Berke, did not get cynical, they did not give up or phone it in. They went to BATTLE for this country, day after day, and used everything in their arsenal: intelligence, hard work, and most of all, that unfashionable thing, patriotism. Despite the obstruction of the president and his allies, the Democrats proved Trump’s guilt so decisively that even the Republicans had to admit it. They were left with no fig leaf other than, “Yeah, he did it, but he’s giving us tax cuts so it’s okay.” They were left with no defense.
But although it was a team effort, it was Adam Schiff who carried the biggest burden, especially during the trial. He spoke for hours on end, often without looking at notes. (Compare Pam Bondi.)
Every time I tuned in, I expected to see him tired, or hoarse, or fuzzy. It never happened. Here are some highlights:
‘Give America a fair trial. She’s worth it,’ Schiff urges senators
Jefferson once said:
“I consider trial by jury as the only anchor yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its Constitution.”
Remove that anchor, and we are adrift.
But if we hold fast, if we put our faith in the truth,
This storm will pass. pic.twitter.com/mh0Ju6ZHZK
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 31, 2020
Jennifer Rubin has summarized:
…Along the way, House managers stripped the bark off phony Republican hawks who could find nothing wrong with extorting an ally in a hot war with Russia; decapitated “constitutional conservatives” who have become defenders of autocracy; and showed off some of their brightest stars, including Democratic Reps. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Jason Crow (Colo.), Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) and Val Demings (Fla.).
History will treat them all well and take note that when truth and constitutional government were on the line they did their jobs in exemplary fashion. That is “winning” by any legitimate measure. And for that we can say, well done.
And I’ll let Jon Zal have the last word:
Excuse me, Mr. Schiff? You dropped this.
Goddamn American hero. pic.twitter.com/zFJvYaX4VL
— Jon Zal (@OfficialJonZal) January 30, 2020
Rep. Adam Schiff’s Closing Argument
On Monday, Boris Johnson’s communications people tried to exclude a few reporters from an official briefing. The rest of the reporters boycotted it.
Yesterday, Trump had an “off the record” pre-SOTU lunch reporters and anchors from the major news networks. CNN was excluded, though they’re normally invited. Of course, everyone else showed up.
Add yesterday’s lunch to reporters still traveling with Pompeo after he kicked an NPR reporter off his plane last week, and you’ll see that our press is even worse than Sky News, the Telegraph and the Sun, all of whom boycotted that London briefing. That’s a pretty damn low bar, but they’ve managed to crawl right under it.
Note from a partisan: I’m gonna treat any votes Elizabeth Warren gets in New Hampshire like I would finding a forgotten twenty in a coat pocket — nice, but not something to base my budget on. There are pundits who should now better talking about a ‘favorite neighbor’ vote, but New Hampshire’s neighborly intentions towards Massachusetts resemble those of Rand Paul’s neighbor towards the Senator’s yardwork habits. The smart money in the Granite State primary has always been on Bernie Sanders, because he appeals to the Free State Project anarcholibertarians and the resentful MA expats who commute to their jobs in the ‘Peoples’ Republic’ (and complain about the sky-high NH property taxes that replace the state income tax). My real curiosity regarding the primary is whether Deval Patrick — who only got lured into the national race to kneecap any tiny chance Warren might have in NH — drops out after the votes are counted Wednesday, or if his pride will keep him limping along until Super Tuesday, where he can be embarrassed on his old stomping grounds.
Overheard at Warren’s town hall after she finished speaking, a voter on the phone: “I just feel so responsible,” she said, “I feel so responsible for my vote.”
A sentiment I’ve heard from a lot of voters in early states the past few weeks, especially
— Deepa Shivaram (@deepa_shivaram) February 4, 2020
About last night…
Welp, Pelosi just reached out to shake Trump's hand and he turned away. Pelosi visibly winced.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) February 5, 2020
NANCY TORE UP HIS SPEECH pic.twitter.com/HCKq3D9waR
— Meena Harris (@meenaharris) February 5, 2020
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on why she ripped up President Trump’s speech: “Because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.” pic.twitter.com/nYTjAZAwGo
— Jason Donner (@jason_donner) February 5, 2020
Seems to me like Pelosi took a page out of Trump’s playbook and stole the spotlight away. No one’s talking about the speech now.
— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) February 5, 2020
Honestly, Pelosi would have been justified in scrawling THIS IS BULLSHIT in Sharpie on the back of her copy of the speech and sticking it into the camera frame for the entirety of the speech.
— David Waldman-1, of Yorktown LLC™ (@KagroX) February 5, 2020
"They don't think we're real Americans, say as much every day, and work everywhere to make things worse for the voters who depend upon us to stop them from doing that. And guess what? We honor their passion and respect their opinion." https://t.co/UdkP7HUV2V
— David Roth (@david_j_roth) February 5, 2020
#2019nCoV: Latest numbers out from China.
Total cases 24, 324, up nearly 3900 from yesterday.
Deaths now 490, up another 65.
Globally there are another … 150? 200? cases in about 2 dozen countries. 2 deaths outside of mainland China. pic.twitter.com/BzH3x3R2vz
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) February 5, 2020
Notes from a couple of commentors in Asia:
Ninedragonspot – February 4, 2020 at 2:47 am
Coronavirus Update from the past couple of hours:
2800 medical workers in Hong Kong go on strike, demanding the government close the border with Mainland China.
Taizhou and parts of Hangzhou (c 9 million people) join Wenzhou and Ningbo on lockdown. Each family can send one member out every two days to collect supplies, everyone else has to stay home. These four cities have about 20 million people and are located in Zhejiang province, not Hubei. Will this happen to Shanghai?
Macau is closing its casinos for half a month.
Taiwan is refusing entry to all foreigners who have been in China for the past 14 days, except under special circumstances.
Raralex — February 4, 2020 at 4:34
@Ninedragonspot: Singapore-based commenter and long-time lurker here. Singapore was probably ahead of Taiwan, but yes, similar. They barred entry to mainland travelers last week with a 14-day quarantine. 18 cases here so far, all people who had been in Wuhan or Hubei province. All quarantined and recovering.
As you might expect, in a place where memories of SARS are very fresh and with a fully competent, well resourced, and empowered government, the response has been aggressive and efficient. At the same time, clear and frequent communication and thoughtful messaging from the PM down on treating people with decency and kindness, and avoiding misinformation. Other than proximity, which probably means less and less, I’d rather be here than almost anywhere (including the US, where Trump can be guaranteed to screw it up).
WHO has released its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for 2019 Novel Coronavirus. It gives some nuance to a number of issues like quarantines, travel restrictions, the IHR and pathways for addressing gaps like information & vaccines. https://t.co/CxcfahYLRq
— Dr Alexandra Phelan (@alexandraphelan) February 4, 2020
Remember we have 4 human coronaviruses already circulating in the population that cause colds (and occasionally serious infections). This one seems to be between those and SARS in severity, to put things in perspective. /2
— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@aetiology) February 4, 2020
The Wuhan coronavirus is thought to spread through respiratory droplets emitted by coughing or sneezing. There's also a possibility the virus can spread through contaminated fecal matter. There's currently no evidence that it's airborne. https://t.co/A1fMLycIzr
— CNN (@CNN) February 5, 2020
There’s been a lot of chatter about whether masks protect against #nCoV2019. Difficult fact: If you can’t get them, it doesn’t matter. Most of the world’s masks are made in China, and that could disrupt healthcare worldwide. https://t.co/FEnZY3eeb7
— Maryn McKenna (@marynmck) February 4, 2020
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers Democratic response to Trump #SOTU: “I need a lot more than 10 minutes to respond to what the president just said. So instead of talking about what he is saying, I’m going to highlight what Democrats are doing.” https://t.co/bulmjJOCUb pic.twitter.com/H9yVx7buel
— ABC News (@ABC) February 5, 2020
Gretchen Whitmer: “As we witness the impeachment process … there are some things each of us – no matter our party – should demand. The truth matters. Facts matter. And no one should be above the law. It’s not what those Senators say – tomorrow, it’s what they do that matters.”
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 5, 2020
WATCH LIVE: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers the Democratic response to the State of the Union https://t.co/r7Vs6c6WAu
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) February 5, 2020
NPR’s transcription — with notes — here.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer targets President Trump’s attempts to dismantle Obamacare: “It’s pretty simple — Democrats are trying to make your health care better, Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away.” #SOTU https://t.co/C3Wm2ERpwP pic.twitter.com/3uJcKaPHcv
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 5, 2020
In the Democratic #SOTU response, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hit back against Trump’s talking points that the economy is booming.
— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) February 5, 2020
Haven’t found a transcription of Rep. Escobar’s speech, but I’ll add a link if you put one in the comments:
Rep. Veronica Escobar said it was critical for her to deliver the Democrats’ Spanish-language rebuttal to President Trump’s #SOTU address from her hometown of El Paso, Texas.
“This is a place that has responded in the face of hate with love.” https://t.co/Yet8kNdpuF
— NPR (@NPR) February 4, 2020
— Veronica Escobar (@vgescobar) February 5, 2020
The mood of the union is this: pic.twitter.com/dqDuiz2WhH
— Abraham Gutman 🔥 (@abgutman) February 5, 2020
Nancy Pelosi on manners and propriety: https://t.co/SkDhZxw2CS
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) February 5, 2020
Buttigieg with a 74 percent chance to win the most SDEs, according to our estimates
The returns so far are fundamentally representative, but Sanders has some credible pockets of remaining strength and there's uncertainty around the satelliteshttps://t.co/qXwEnK4sYH
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) February 5, 2020
CNN airing this graphic right now, lol pic.twitter.com/rnFSZ0uIkM
— Populism Updates (@PopulismUpdates) February 4, 2020
BECAUSE I CAN. Look, this particular brand of social-media response to the ongoing political fustercluck is absolutely catnip for my particular brand of ADD/OCD Short Attention Span Theatre.
Also, as far as I’m concerned, any oxygen stolen from tonight’s TV turn by the Squatter-in-Chief is unequivocally good. I read that AoC has officially bowed out from attending, which is also good, because (NYC represent!) she probably wouldn’t have been able to resist popping off at the bs firehose on camera. It’s better to have the media thumbsuckers focused on the lies from the podium rather than giving them an excuse to clutch their pearls over a You Lie! moment. Even (especially) if President Obama was *not* lying, back in the day, while the current Disgrace will be.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE IOWA CAUCUSES
— Jake Anbinder (@JakeAnbinder) February 4, 2020
It’s 2AM and we have supporters for Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders, and Warren at Polk HQ going through every precinct box to send the results we have to the state party so we can finally go to bed.
— Sean Bagniewski (@bagniewski) February 4, 2020
on earth two DNC chair Pete Buttigieg is scrambling to figure out this caucus data situation
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) February 4, 2020
Read: this was a predictable shitshow in execution but you probably shouldn't assume that the state represents some bellwether. It might! But look at the GOP side of winners in the last twenty years with big fields. Not an awesome batting average.
— The Mall Krampus (@cakotz) February 4, 2020
Maybe Vox should write a piece on it? https://t.co/quF1crDJvQ
— Mangy Jay (@magi_jay) February 4, 2020
— Tucker Higgins (@tuckerhiggins) February 4, 2020
I feel like turnout being rather low in Iowa is a theme of underrated importance.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) February 4, 2020
Here you go!
I’m not watching, I am going to be playing World of Warcraft Classic with a bunch of people I first played with 16 years ago and we all stayed in touch. I don’t give a shit with what that loathesome coked up turd has to say.
Today is a day for more debate. The wrongly-named Senator John Kennedy from Louisiana is now speaking.
Sorry I’m late with this.
The Iowa Democratic Party chair held a conference call with the campaigns a while ago to provide an update on the unfolding catastrophuck:
Iowa party officials are holding a call with the campaigns.
Troy Price tells them he'll put out about *50%* of results at 4 p.m. today.
There are objections.
He won't say when the rest are coming.
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) February 4, 2020
According to CNN (whose reporter dialed in to the conference call), Price said they’ll release “more than 50% of the results” by 5 PM ET because “we want to get some results out there.”
Oh honey, no.
Price said they’d planned to release information as tallies were confirmed throughout the evening yesterday, which is a fine on caucus night, I guess. It ain’t caucus night anymore. Am I alone in thinking this will make an already embarrassing and fraught situation that much worse?
Looks like we could use a new open thread.
Just a quick note, they have changed the way that they are reporting the Iowa Caucus results tonight.
They will report the initial result. Then the final result after the second round when caucus goers redistribute themselves after their first choices don’t make the 15% cut off threshold. Finally, they will report the preliminary delegate count. The preliminary delegate count is not the final delegate count and that could change, which would be a fourth result, when the Iowa Democratic Party holds its state convention. As a result, we could get three different winners tonight with a fourth potential winner a couple of months down the road.
This is going to be a shit show.
— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) February 3, 2020
It’s been my great pleasure to have discovered an astronomer on twitter this past year who lives in my backyard (not literally, I don’t have room for his goats). I’m sure I followed one of you jackals to him.
Apropos of nothing, here are some social media links for me:
Newsletter (free on Mondays, paid subscribers get one on Thursdays too): https://t.co/qieBKd3MiZ
Everything else: https://t.co/aH0Ny5ilI7
— Phil Plait (@BadAstronomer) July 27, 2019
He has a weekly free newsletter (as well as a weekly paid newsletter for you hardcore astronomy buffs).
This week he discussed Hurricane/Alabama Sharpiegate (just in time for jokes about KC, MO map jokes).
“HELP!!!” Internal #SharpieGate Emails Show Government Officials Freaked Out Over Trump’s “Doctored” Hurricane Map
— Zahra Hirji (@Zhirji28) February 1, 2020
Seems the scientists were none too pleased with NOAA coming down on their forecaster for correcting the criminal-in-chief’s map work.
“For an agency founded upon and recognized for determining scientific truths, trusted by the public, and responsible in law to put forward important science information, I find it unconscionable that an anonymous voice inside of NOAA would be found to castigate a dutiful, correct, and loyal NWS Forecaster who spoke the truth,” Craig McLean, then the agency’s assistant administrator, wrote in a Sept. 7 email to other top-level government officials.
A day later, NOAA issued an unsigned statement backing Trump over its forecasters who suggested the president was wrong when he said Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama. That led to an internal revolt and a flurry of emails between top officials who disavowed the statement.
“What concerns me most is that this Administration is eroding the public trust in NOAA for an apparent political recovery from an ill timed and imprecise comment from the President.”
“Please reassure those of us who serve the public, and do so with commitment and humility that we are not mere pawns in an absurd game. Please do not allow the science and support that we perform on behalf of the American public to be tossed into the trash heap by political expediencies. Please support us and stand with us. Please,” wrote Gary Shigenaka, a senior NOAA biologist, in an email to acting administrator Neil Jacobs.
“You have no idea how hard I’m fighting to keep politics out of science,” Jacobs replied. “We are an objective science agency, and we won’t and never will base any decisions on anything other than science.”
Closing arguments today. Ken Starr is speaking of Martin Luther King.
Yeah, TaMara posted this last night — but it’s a long Monday, and if this doesn’t pump you up a bit, you might be clinically dead…
I think Jennifer Lopez just won the Iowa caucus
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) February 3, 2020
— Twitter Moments (@TwitterMoments) February 3, 2020
So, for the NFL’s Miami celebration of Latinx culture, superstar Shakira (who is Colombian) brought out Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Bad Bunny, and superstar Jennifer Lopez (whose parents are Puerto Rican) played with Colombian singer J Balvin. (Yes, I had to google.) Bonus points, callbacks to Shakira’s Lebanese heritage, and her anthem for the South African World Cup. Not to mention a subtle reference to kids in cages, also King Kong, plus Bruce Springsteen, and pole dancing!
… According to data crunched by Twitter, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira’s smoking-hot rendition of “Waka Waka” was the most-tweeted moment during the halftime slot.
And for the one-two knockout punch, JLo’s pole-dance routine during her performance of “Waiting for Tonight” was the second-most tweeted spectacle…
We also don’t give af pic.twitter.com/eyY8AEdm01
— Heather Havrilesky (@hhavrilesky) February 3, 2020
Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo, at Remezcla:
… They are the first two Latinas to headline the halftime show together. As we noted earlier last year, Gloria Estefan was the first to ever do it (sola, por supuesto) in 1992. Shakira’s mentor paved the way for her and her counterpart and now, in celebration of the beginning of a new year and decade (we’ve all collectively decided January didn’t count), J.Lo and Shaki did the same for generations to come.
— RAICES (@RAICESTEXAS) February 3, 2020
J.Lo used the spotlight to show off her excellent pole dancing skills (once again putting the Oscars to shame) and pass the performing baton to her daughter, Emme. The 11-year-old shared her talent on stage alongside mom with a unique spin on “Let’s Get Loud,” in which the Nuyorican mother of two whipped out the Puerto Rican flag in all its glory by way of (faux?) fur and came as close to a political message as the night would get with children in lit-up cages.
“Born in the U.S.A,” Emme bounced off her mother’s vocals throughout the bridge…
Singing “Born in the USA” while draped in a Puerto Rican flag is an excellent flex
— Matt Browner Hamlin (@mattkbh) February 3, 2020
A good time to remember that the Trump administration has viciously withheld needed recovery funds from Puerto Rico and this is an inexcusable neglect of American citizens
— Matt Browner Hamlin (@mattkbh) February 3, 2020
And speaking of ‘suspiciously brown people’…
Chiming in because I know everyone will be making jokes about this for days — this is a popular Arab tradition, called zaghrouta, used to express joy at celebrations. In the melting pot that is Miami, you could not have picked a better Super Bowl act and this was a lovely touch. https://t.co/q1H9l8UpQ5
— Lulu Ramadan (@luluramadan) February 3, 2020