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November 14, 2019

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https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/11/19/excellent-the-pentagon-now-considers-the-president-to-be-a-domestic-terrorist/

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/11/19/excellent-the-pentagon-now-considers-the-president-to-be-a-domestic-terrorist/

i started listening to the Volker section, but i started just as Nunes took over. i lasted about two sentences into his recitation of the day's top conspiracy theories and had to switch over to Sirius for the rest of the drive.

Aside from my altruistic concern for the US constitution, the world really doe need Trump to go next year at the latest.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/20/fossil-fuel-production-on-track-for-double-the-safe-climate-limit

heh.

thump. there goes Rudy, under the bus!

nice try, Sondland.

here, Rudy, have some company!

LOL. Sondland is kicking everyone off the damned bus.

Trying to throw Taylor along with the rest of the State Dept, but we have it in writing that Taylor said QPQ was a problem, with Sondland replying there was no QPQ.

Although admittedly, that was QPQ for the release of the aid....

"What? Who, me? Everybody was in on it. Everybody signed off. They all said I was doing a great job. What's the big deal? Protocols were followed."

Sincerely,

Gordie

Oh boy, this is not looking good for Rudy or for Trump. But with all the usual caveats (i.e. probably spinnable in the alternate reality inhabited by 89% of the Republicans).

The public announcement of the investigations apparently was the priority, more so than the investigations themselves. The argument is that the public announcement would force the Ukrainians to actually go through with them, rather than the Ukrainians privately committing to them but not following through. Yet we all know that announcing an investigation into someone is usually politically damaging in and of itself, regardless of whether the investigation happens or what the result of the investigation ends up being. You know, like her emails.

"And what did they say?"

"They said something about corruption and Burisma."

"But nothing about the Bidens?"

"Nope. Nada...plural, singular-never came up."

"So, mr. ambassador, the words 'corruption' and 'Burisma' were casually linked and brought into just about every conversation you had with just about anybody you talked with about Ukraine during the period from May to September and nobody uttered the word, 'Biden'?"

"Yep. Pretty amazing, no?"

"Indeed."

"You want some emails?"

"I think we're going to need a bigger bus"

Aside from my altruistic concern for the US constitution, the world really doe need Trump to go next year at the latest.

China is currently the largest CO2 producer. But they're about #34 per capita producer. If they manage not to crash their economy, they're going to be doing a lot of catching up in the coming years.

YouTube bar chart animations:

Which countries have emitted the most CO2?: Bar chart race: the countries with the largest cumulative CO2 emissions since 1750

"This video shows the Top 20 countries by the total annual carbon dioxide emission (CO2 emission) from 1960 to 2017. United States contributed to almost 1/3 of the entire world's CO2 emissions in the 1960s but China and India started catching up in the early 2000."
Top 20 Country Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Emission History (1960-2017)

Top Countries by CO₂ Emissions per Capita 1950 to 2018: Where in the world does the average person emit the most carbon dioxide (CO2) each year?

"Who told you that!?"

Typical response of innocent party.

There goes Mulvaney.

Pompeo seems to be going under the bus as well. Which probably hurt his chances for that Kansas Senate seat. Perhaps more significantly, it ups the chances that Kobach gets the Republican nomination. Which, in turn, ups the chances that the Democrats manage to flip that seat.

Potential fallout well beyond the White House here.

Trump just retweeted Kevin McCarthy saying "Case closed. Ambassador Sondland just testified under oath that he NEVER heard the President say there were conditions on aid to Ukraine. Democrats' smear campaign is falling apart."

He wishes. Of course it will work on the faithful.

of course there is a mountain of evidence that Trump was conditioning the visit on the 'investigations'. the aid thing was Trump trying to turn the screw a little harder. and, word hadn't circulated about Trump's new angle before it all fell apart.

LOL.

https://www.vox.com/2019/11/20/20974305/trump-sondland-testimony-not-a-man-i-know-well

Trump before Sondland’s testimony: “He’s a great American.” Trump after: “This is not a man I know well.”

But does Trump really know anybody "well"?

My sense is that he essentially views everybody as possible assets or temporary conveniences, nothing more. (Ivanka may be an exception. If so, she is the only one.)

Remember the scene in Pulp Fiction when Vincent calls his drug dealer, Lance (played by Eric Stoltz), desperate to save Mia from overdosing?

Lance realizes Vincent is calling from his car on his cell phone, and says, "Are you calling me on the cellular phone? I don't know you. Who is this? Don't come here, I'm hanging up the phone! Prank caller, prank caller!"

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-quotes-sondland-quoting-him-i-want-nothing-i-want-no-quid-pro-quo/

President Trump quoted a portion of the testimony of EU Ambassador Sondland as he departed the White House Wednesday: "I want nothing. I want nothing," Mr. Trump read to reporters outside the White House. "I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky — President Zelensky to do the right thing."

(...)

The date of that conversation between Sondland and Mr. Trump was September 9, the date that the House Intelligence Committee received the anonymous whistleblower's complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

hah!

September 9,

two days before the aid was released.

and, that would have been the day after Trump was scheduled to have the Taliban over to Camp David!

i can see why he's so much better than a Democrat.

Sondland characterized the call as being very abrupt and Trump as sounding like he was in a very bad mood. I wonder why?

Rs are giving this call a lot of weight, as though it's some kind of exoneration.

they're flailing

I'm not sure who's doing the questioning right now, but she's asking Sondland why he thinks Trump would have responded to an open question very specifically with "No quid pro quo!"

Trump's life has been a massive flailing from the womb onwards.

And look where he sits.

It's the type of flailing crocodiles and other predators do to stun and disorient their prey, in this case the fucking United States of America and its government.

His vermin conservative base, including a vast part of the republican elected elite in this country love everything they see about the flailing and have internalized the dance steps for their own use.

Measures are called for, and I don't believe the Constitution is a reliable narrator of what they might be.

Try to explain process to a rattlesnake or a shark .. or to a human psychopath.

I've been watching lots of clips of Rs acting as if that call was definitive, "I want nothing, no QPQ", but not seeing much pushback.

I hope to God that that's misleading, that the Dems have been pushing back at least as much as you guys, and pointing out that the date of that conversation was the same day as the whistleblower complaint was received, and two days before the aid was released. Because that really changes the whole narrative.

Umm-hmm:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/nikki-haley-used-system-for-unclassified-material-to-send-confidential-information?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

Umm-hmm:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/nikki-haley-used-system-for-unclassified-material-to-send-confidential-information?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

When even The Hill is talking about ‘bombshells’, then it’s clear that Trump is in trouble
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/471359-five-bombshells-from-explosive-sondland-testimony

In a reasonable world, this is the point where (R)'s in Congress would begin to start cutting Trump loose. Not all of them, nobody expects that, and that's fine. But some of them, possibly a generous number of them.

I don't see that happening. What I expect is that the House will bring articles of impeachment on an almost purely party-line vote, and then the (R)'s in the Senate will vote as a bloc to not remove Trump from office. Maybe there will be two or three "defections". If there are more than that, I will be shocked.

What I see happening is this: Trump survives this, and something like 90% of the people who voted for him in 2016 will vote for him in 2020.

For folks who don't want four more years of Trump, the priority is getting the vote out in 2020, holding the House, and flipping as many (R) seats in the House and Senate as is possible.

I fully support the impeachment inquiries, and fully support bringing as much information about all of the crap that has been going on into general public knowledge.

But there is not one damned thing in the world that is going to dissuade Trump's supporters from their point of view. Not one thing. Trump bargained military aid and/or other official forms of support for the new Ukrainian administration for a public statement about investigations into the Bidens and/or fictitious Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election? So what?

And so you can probably count the number of (R) officeholders who are going to be able to cut Trump loose without losing their position on one hand. The folks who might have done so out of principle have already headed for the exit. They're gonna spend more time with their families.

Get out the vote. Keep the House and flip as much of the Senate as is possible. And vote that rancid SOB the hell out.

The impeachment stuff has been useful and more than worth doing. But it is not going to accomplish removing Trump from office.

I'd love to be wrong about that. I am more than sure that I am not.

you're not.

the Fox News world has its own set of facts. they've left our world for a place that's more comfortable to what they've been taught to believe. and they're mad that they have to share the geography with anyone who doesn't see their reality.


it's the largest cult the US has ever had.

Hold the existing (D) seats in the House and flip as many (R) seats as possible.

Flip as many (R) seats in the Senate as possible.

Replace Trump with (D) POTUS Ham Sandwich.

What makes all of that happen is GET OUT THE VOTE. Write postcards, spend money if you have it to spare, knock on doors, take election day off and volunteer with your local (D) party organization to give folks a ride to the voting booth.

Get involved now, because it's gonna be a long year and we need to get an early start. If all you can do is send $5 a month, do that.

Get these MF'ers the hell out of government. They hate government anyway, they'll land some sweet sweet consultancy or lobbying gig or board position. Or maybe they actually will just go spend time with their families. You're not taking any bread out of their mouths. Send them on their damned way.

The majority of the people in this country do not want another four years of Donald J Trump. Get out the vote and send his sorry corrupt obnoxious fat @ss on its way.

russell, I submit that you need to reverse the priority of your goals.

First, getting rid of Trump (or Pence, should the improbable happen) has to be Priority 1. First, for the simple competence of the judiciary. Second, for the sake of our foreign relations -- we can recover, eventually, from 4 years of disaster and our word being shown to be worthless. IF we show that we recognize that we made a mistake. But a repeat of that mistake? I don't think that's recoverable.

Second one thing we learn from McConnell is that the Senate is more critical than the House when it comes to damage limitation.

Best to hold both houses, of course. But if you only get one, the Senate is the one you want.

Another circuit flipped.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/11/trump-flips-11th-circuit-lagoa-luck.html

For Nigel ... but of course everyone:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/bill-gates-backed-heliogens-solar-breakthrough-could-replace-fossil-fuels-in-steel-and-other-big-polluting-industries-2019-11-20?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Why else would the Saudis be floating their oil company on the market ?

The world’s largest oil producer recognises that its future lies in solar - and is perhaps fortunate that they are also one of the world’s best sites for solar, as they have less reason to fight the transition.

The US has some pretty big sunny deserts, too......

Which reminds me, in September on my road trip to California, I drove right up the chain link fence of this facility outside of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert.

It looked like a fantastical extraterrestrial landing strip in the midday desert sun from the highway, so I had to get a closer look.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility

Which reminds me, in September on my road trip to California, I drove right up the chain link fence of this facility outside of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert.

It looked like a fantastical extraterrestrial landing strip in the midday desert sun from the highway, so I had to get a closer look.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivanpah_Solar_Power_Facility

Speaking of technology and all things deregulatory to boot, this example of how long-standing corrupt conservative "principles" and predatory corporate practices peddled by elite conservative vermin in business schools and their clients in the republican party burrow themselves into the deep state (the murderous conservative real one) lead to masses of dead human beings, for which one day the conservative movement will be held personally responsible ("skinned in the game") when they are flushed out of their hidey holes in the State of Delaware.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/how-boeing-lost-its-bearings/602188/

When Charles Murray et al claim all government regulation is stupid, it's too bad he wasn't booked in a first class seat so he could recalibrate his murderous deregulatory algorithms during the ride down on one of those two Boeing jets.

Also, I cited this SEC decision here a week or two ago, and ipso fatso, it's all fake conservative pig shit in the corrupt paid-off corporate republican fully-captured SEC.

Whoda thunk? Money is speech. But speech that might threaten money is illegal.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/sec-chairman-cites-fishy-letters-in-support-of-policy-change/ar-BBWZtRX

America needs this. It's coming and much worse will follow in every street in every federal courtroom in every corrupt corporate boardroom in every city in every state:

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2019/11/photos-lasers-discontent/602263/

Destroy.

I don't own Boeing stock.

Those two Atlantic links are behind a paywall for me at the moment, until I toss my cookies, but you can access them yourselves for free.

because of course:

Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, helped arrange meetings and calls in Europe for Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018, Parnas’ lawyer Ed MacMahon told The Daily Beast.

Nunes aide Derek Harvey participated in the meetings, the lawyer said, which were arranged to help Nunes’ investigative work. MacMahon didn’t specify what those investigations entailed.

When the dust settles on this god-awful mess, my guess is that we're gonna find a handful of grifters trying to cash in on the corrupt mess that was post-Soviet Ukraine. And telling Trump stories so they could leverage the clout of the office of the POTUS to grease the skids.

With Giuliani at the front of the line.

It's entirely possible that Trump wasn't in on the deal, and that he was basically just the mark. Not that he innocent in any of this, just that he is vain and gullible and easily led.

Who knows.

Get him the hell out of the Oval Office.

Giuliani has always been far from perfect, but it's just crazy how much he's fallen in respectability and, I don't know, sanity or rationality. He was a sharp and capable guy seemingly not all that long ago. Now he's a cartoon villain.

Why did he mix himself up in all this nonsense? He could have coasted along giving paid speeches and doing spots on TV news shows. It would have been totally cush.

"Giuliani has always been far from perfect, but it's just crazy how much he's fallen in respectability and, I don't know, sanity or rationality."

9/11 + dementia = dotard

This is something to watch if you are Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Richard Branson and the others dropping kazillions into space travel for the ordinary consumer:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/11/astronaut-blood-clot/602380/

On the explanation for Giuliani's remarkable decline, what Snarki said.

On the explanation for Giuliani's remarkable decline, what Snarki said.

Don't these people realize you can't indict a sitting conservative fascist:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/israeli-pm-netanyahu-indicted-charges-bribery-fraud-breach-trust-n1084831

OK then, stand up and we'll indict you.

Nunes is fearless in his irrelevance. (The subtext of the responses to his questions is, "Why are you asking me this?")

wow. Fiona Hill was a force.

imagine if our President had the dignity and competence these witnesses have shown.

and imagine being any of them and knowing the loony cartoon buffoon and his opportunist goon platoon are at the controls.

imagine if our President had the dignity and competence these witnesses have shown.

I'm so proud of these people. They represent most of us. We have to do whatever it takes to make sure that stays true.

I didn't see the testimony today, but I heard about it and am about to watch late night news program.

The date of that conversation [Nothing! I want nothing! No QPQ!] between Sondland and Mr. Trump was September 9, the date that the House Intelligence Committee received the anonymous whistleblower's complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry.

***

hah!

September 9,

two days before the aid was released.

Goddamit, still not seeing this laid out anywhere as clearly and damningly as it is here. ObWi FTW, but somewhere with more clout would be preferable.

still not seeing this laid out anywhere as clearly and damningly as it is here

at least one of the Dems today brought it up.

i didn't catch that part live, but NPR was talking about it when i was driving home.

One of those NPR blatherers (female, but I didn't catch which one) said, at the start of an analysis, that Fiona Hill was a British citizen.

This was within less than half an hour of what I took to be NPR's own voiceover (prior to Hill's testimony) saying that Hill had become an American citizen in 2002.

In relation to a certain segment of the population, this is not a minor error, if error it was.

Good. Let's hope it goes viral (not fucking likely, unfortunately, unless some genius here or elsewhere comes up with a catchy meme).

My "Good" etc was a response to cleek, not Janie.

it was actually two days ago, Schiff:

“My Republican colleagues, all they seem to be upset about with this is not that the president sought an investigation of his political rival, not that he withheld a White House meeting in $400 million of aides we all pass on a bipartisan meeting to pressure Ukraine into those investigation, their objection is he got caught! Their objection is that someone blew the whistle! And they would like this whistleblower identified. And the president wants this whistleblower punished. That’s their objection, not that the president engaged in this conduct, but that he got caught! Their defense is, ‘well, he ended up releasing the aid.’ Yes, after he got caught! That doesn’t make this any less odious.”

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/11/20/adam-schiff-closing-statement-gop-trump-caught-impeachment-hearing-vpx.cnn

Nunes, of course, responded today with the now-standard GOP retort of "No, you are":

"The Democrats have tried to solve this dilemma with a simple slogan, 'he got caught.' President Trump, we are to believe, was just about to do something wrong and getting caught was the only reason he backed down from whatever nefarious thought crime the Democrats are accusing him of almost committing."

But, Nunes argued, "For the last three years it's not President Trump who got caught, it's the Democrats who got caught."

https://www.cnsnews.com/article/washington/susan-jones/nunes-democrats-got-caught-not-trump

Probably worth pointing out that that no quid pro quo call was the day after Trump found out the whistleblower report was going public.

I see this tweet by Josh Marshall from TPM retweeted by hilzoy, at the head of a thread where various people chime in to say not enough is being made of this point by Schiff et al.

Schiff made enough of it that Nunes felt like he had to use it as a way to make himself look stupid. so, it's out there. and since Schiff knows it there's no way it's not going to factor into the charges they eventually write up.

The American public would need to hear it, and often enough to internalise it to immunise themselves against the RWNJ noise/distraction machine which is churning so hard to muddy the waters, and to some extent succeeding. But I just don't see that happening, alas. Trump shouting "I said I want nothing!" is almost certainly going to be the main takeaway in the general culture among people who (unlike us) aren't obsessives.

It’s like I’ve been having an affair with a coworker, my wife offhandedly asks how my day was when I get home, and I say, “Well I sure wasn’t having sex with Gina from accounting at the Motel 6 on Route 70 during my lunch hour! I don’t even like her short skirts and pink panties! Yuck!”

it's the Democrats who got caught..

You're the puppet.

socialism!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/11/22/baldwin-florida-food-desert-city-owned-grocery-store/

The Baldwin, Florida municipally-run grocery store is obviously a case of the creeping commie infiltration of small-town America and its values of self-reliance and gossip.

The city fathers (first thing we do is hit them with paternity suits and sue them for child support) would do better to attract a bootstrap vendor to town so these sad dupes can learn to levitate the all-American free market way, by hovering with both feet off the ground in defiance of gravity, and don't get me started on THAT fake news science foisted upon by us by pointed-headed elite physicists sucking up gummint grants, the better to lead us down the road to perdition, which turns left every chance it gets.

Next thing they'll tell us is that the municipality is supplying clean water to the citizens ... wait ... it says that right in the article .. see, that's where the battle for America's soul was lost, yer durn tootin'!

On that slippery slope!

I'll bet you too that the water is deliberately fluorinated, which drove the last capitalist dentist out of town to the big city and the bright municipally-supplied energy-saving lights, ON those poorly-tended, pot-holed roads (this is pointed out about a dozen times in the article) to perdition (well, it says the town's residents hate taxes, so it's no wonder it takes 'em hours to get to the nearest Piggly Wiggly for their sugary treats).

The fake photo-shopped photographs accompanying the article belie the real deprivation of such collectivist schemes, much as Soviet-era state propaganda in Russia had us thinking that a grinning Khrushchev showing Nixon around a gleaming, well-stocked Potemkin village grocery store, while the grey, emaciated masses, their hands partially protected by threadbare gloves with the fingers cut off in reality stand in line for days on shoe leather that might be fed to the kids next say for breakfast, to perchance cast a peckish eye on the only moldy potato within a hundred miles, which itself was stolen from a Ukrainian peasant by Hunter Biden.

I mean, look at that city father in the accompanying photo. Hollow cheeks, the yellowish skin of the food-deprived, his hair falling out from lack of ordinary nutrition, and that fake news smile while his stomach (obviously showing the last declining swollen moments of commie deprivation; why if he had bootstraps, he wouldn't be able to see them in order to pull them, and if he could, he'd probably eat them) pangs for meager collective sustenance, maybe a can of glue from the local Dollar Store for the sniffing.

What these good folks need to do pronto is coax one of them Purdue Pharma-supplied doctors to town and start on a generous course of opioids so their eyes can glaze over knowing they have relied on good-ole American capitalist entrepreneurial ingenuity, you know, like them inner city blacks and THEIR self-inflicted pathologies.

That would be the American dream!

Ahh, who needs roads anyway?

“The idea that a municipality should have to beg private companies to provide basic goods and services to its people is absurd.”

I suppose these ingrates will be begging (oh, they wanna be choosers, is that it? Ohhhh ...) for a taxpayer-supplied hospital next.

I think Trump keeps one up his republican ass, so they can take that low road to emergency room wellness.

Preamble: I'm kind of stupid as political strategy goes, but I'm not going to let that stop me!

----------------------------------------------

I've been wondering if House Democrats should forego a final vote on articles of impeachment and, instead, issue a statement saying that they have made their case, laid bare the evidence before the American people, and will leave it to them to decide via the 2020 election rather than passing articles of impeachment to the Senate to most certainly die. (Maybe leaving everything after "election" out.)

I'm sure this could be spun negatively by Republicans a thousand ways that I can't even think of. A couple of ways I can think of them spinning it are 1) that it would demonstrate what a monumental waste of time the inquiry was and 2) that Democrats failed to vote on impeachment out of a lack of courage or conviction.

The reasons I'm entertaining this is that I like the "leave it the American people to decide" narrative, because it blunts the "anti-democratic coup" argument the Republicans have been making (and I simply like it as a message generally), and because it doesn't give the Republicans in the Senate the opportunity to acquit the president.

Thoughts?

socialism!

The Rural Foodification Act

2) that Democrats failed to vote on impeachment out of a lack of courage or conviction.

i think the Dem base would agree.

Way to burst my bubble, cleek. Day ruined!

Everything anti-matters:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ryanhatesthis/republican-conspiracy-theory-counterprogramming

Fuck us.

I like the "leave it the American people to decide" narrative

Bringing articles of impeachment in no way prevents the American people from voting in 2020.

The "anti-democratic coup" thing is contra-factual BS. There is a degree to which people in positions of responsibility need to recognize the practical realities of widespread BS, but there is also a limit to that. I think we've reached that limit.

People are going to think whatever they think. At some point you simply can't be constrained by that. You have to actually articulate, and act on, what actually is so.

We're there.

You have to actually articulate, and act on, what actually is so.

We have to be hopeful, strong and persistent. If we could win in Virginia, we can do it elsewhere. We know the Republicans are going to lie, and believe lies. We have to avoid that.

Here's the House Republican counsel deftly making the case for the shatter-proof conservative position regarding Trump's traitorous deeds, for which the latter and his will be fucking executed:

https://twitter.com/bydanielvictor/status/1197732629212090368

It's the broken windows theory of American conservative bullshit.

I have to stop abusing the word "actually". :\

We have to be hopeful, strong and persistent.

Yes.

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. One less thing to think about! I will refer you to my preamble.

Look, I'll ask a different question:

What could anyone possibly do or say that would persuade Trump supporters that they should reconsider?

If the answer to that is "not one damned thing", then IMO it falls into the category of things that you just have to not worry about. Or, maybe worry about, but stop trying to change or influence through your own actions or statements. It's a dead end. There is no "there" there.

People are gonna think what they think. Trump's support is basically 40%, plus or minus. Has been, is now, probably will be, more or less forever.

If the (D)'s impeach him, that won't change. If they don't impeach him, that won't change. If they found him, literally, with a smoking gun standing over somebody's warm corpse, they'd assume that the dead guy was somebody that simply needed killing.

So screw it.

I didn't propose that because I thought it was going to change anyone's mind in the ~40% cult.

Without regard specifically to my proposal, there's always the calculus of how many people you piss off in your base when trying to appeal to those people outside of your base who remain at all persuadable, even if a large opposition cult exists.

I think declining to bring articles of impeachment at this point would be seen as an inexplicable and cowardly failure of nerve and a dereliction of responsibility.

I would certainly see it that way, I doubt that I'm alone.

They put the process in motion. See it through.

maybe it will change once the Dems nominate someone and the election becomes a reality. but right now, according to Gallup, the GOP has the exact same share of the electorate - and gives Trump the same level of approval - as when he was elected. nothing has changed their minds. he has neither lost nor gained support among people Gallup polls.

so, no, they can't be reached. they can't even be driven away.

[no, i can't square that with the three electoral shellackings the GOP has received since 2016. but that's what Gallup says.]

I'm no longer arguing for my proposal. I get what everyone is saying. I'm simply clarifying that my reasoning for it did not involve persuading Rump's base.

I refer you again to my preamble.

Bringing the articles will be portrayed as a "partisan political stunt" because "the president has done nothing wrong."

Not bringing the articles will be portrayed as a "partisan political stunt" because "they knew all along that the president had done nothing wrong."

Bringing the articles will piss off the cynical pox-on-both-houses types who will see this all as more government dysfunction, but something else is sure to replace the articles in their mind as the totem of corruption, so that too is a wash.

The Dems need to actually take a stand and carry through. It's both necessary and right. Avoiding that will only delay the inevitable confrontation, and the people who continue to support the president are being taken farther down the scale of what they will accept and do with every new provocation that is allowed to happen with scorn as the only penalty.

Best to dig in now before violence is inevitable.

Yup.

Yup.

I've been wondering if House Democrats should forego a final vote on articles of impeachment

The thing is, to people outside Trump's base, and who haven't been paying close attention (i.e. most of the country), this validates the Republican talking point that the whole thing was much ado about nothing.

At this point, and given the evidence in hand, I think the only options are:
1) vote to impeach,
2) vote thru a Constitutional amendment removing bribery from the list of impeachable offenses.

HSH's idea is the kind of thinking that, if either base were to regularly and seriously undertake it, would make for a much better situation in the country. Instead of everyone signing on to and defending to the death a particular party line, giving serious thought to different alternatives would be productive not to mention refreshing. So, nicely done for raising the topic.

I disagree with everyone who thinks not going through with impeachment is somehow a betrayal or otherwise reflective of some defect in the Democratic Party. Impeachment isn't about anybody's party. It's about the country and what the country--all of us--need.

What the country needs, quite frankly, is for Donald Trump to face a trial in the senate and to have the senate act on the record. It would be nice if senators from both sides could act less like partisan freak shows and more like deliberative, reasonably open-mined adults, but that's probably asking too much these days.

I want Trump impeached. I would like to see Pence side-line himself and let someone like Mitt Romney run in 2020 (I'd vote for MR in a heartbeat). If Trump is not impeached, we will be looking at--McKT's crystal ball in action once again--a Biden meltdown and a Warren nomination. Progressives seem to love Warren. None of my expressly Democrat friends have any use for her at all because they believe--and I agree--that she is so far left, so damn "I'm going to straighten that mess out no matter who's toes I have to step on", that even Trump can beat her.

The worst of all worlds: Trump surviving impeachment AND winning in 2020.

I want Trump impeached.

I'm assuming you really mean that you want him removed from office.

So, nicely done for raising the topic.

And thank you. (It really went over well!)

i could stomach Romney; he's like the Platonic ideal of an 'old-school' Republican. he'd make a lot of decisions i wouldn't like, but i wouldn't be utterly disgusted by him as a human being and wouldn't wake up every morning hoping to learn that he'd croaked overnight. it would improve my overall mood.

Impeachment isn't about anybody's party.

maybe it shouldn't be. but it certainly is now. all of Hamilton's lofty ideals about the honor and principles of our elected officials were sold to Russia for scrap.

(It really went over well!)

i think it is an interesting thought experiment. (we're still talking about it, after all!)

Since we're still talking about it, this is at least part of what got me thinking about it (not this particular article, but what it's describing):

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/11/new-poll-suggests-democrats-impeachment-push-could-alienate-key-voters

The intro:

Data exclusive to Vanity Fair shows impeachment could be a losing issue for Democrats hoping to recruit Independents in 2020. “Lots of people who don’t like Trump who are still prepared to vote for him,” says one political science expert.

If Trump is not impeached, we will be looking at--McKT's crystal ball in action once again--a Biden meltdown and a Warren nomination

Whether Trump is removed or not, we are looking -- wj's crystal ball -- a Biden meltdown and someone else being nominated. I have my doubts that it will be Warren, however. I expect her and Sanders to continue splitting the far left vote. Until, after failing to win any primaries (thru Super Tuesday, possibly a little longer), one of them fades in the interests of consolidating their fans. And since Bernie's fans are more my-way-or-the-highway, I expect it to be Warren who fades.

However, it appears that, for a fair number of Warren supporters, Sanders is not their second choice. Who they go for instead, together with who Biden supporters got for as second choice will determine who gets the nomination.

Since I don't see the nominee being Sanders or Warren, I don't think Trump's odds are good. Absent the kind of screwy gaffe or meltdown that occasionally occurs during campaigns.

actually... Hamilton knew this would happen, didn't he...

A well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments is an object not more to be desired than difficult to be obtained in a government wholly elective. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. The prosecution of them, for this reason, will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.

and while he's fretting about whether or not the Senate is a good place to hold an impeachment trial, he asks if the Supreme Court would be better:

Could the Supreme Court have been relied upon as answering this description? It is much to be doubted, whether the members of that tribunal would at all times be endowed with so eminent a portion of fortitude, as would be called for in the execution of so difficult a task; and it is still more to be doubted, whether they would possess the degree of credit and authority, which might, on certain occasions, be indispensable towards reconciling the people to a decision that should happen to clash with an accusation brought by their immediate representatives.

he doesn't think much of the Court. :)

A more interesting question, I think, is: What if Trump isn't the Republican nominee? And does it matter whether that's because of umpeanchment-and-removal, ill health, or (lowest probability) a sudden attack of sanity across the GOP?

My guess is that any of the (to my mind) likely Democratic nominees would beat a President Pence. Romney would have the best chance, but would I think lose due to disgruntled (to put it mildly) Trump supporters sitting out the election.

What the country needs, quite frankly, is for Donald Trump to face a trial in the senate and to have the senate act on the record.

This.

I don't care who makes it happen. The (D)'s are likely to make it happen, the (R)'s will not make it happen in a million years.

So, as regards the issue at hand, it's the (D)'s ball to carry forward, or not.

But yes, the issue is Trump's behavior, not the letter after his name.

I put the odds of Trump surviving impeachment and being re-elected at pretty much even. You can blame that on the (D)'s and their bad habit of nominating people who advocate for progressive policies, I guess, but I'd say at least some of the blame lies with people who vote for Trump.

But agreed, if rule of law and separation of powers are to mean anything at all, Trump needs to face a trial in the Senate. And that is a larger and more important concern than the partisan aspects of it.

I put the odds of Trump surviving impeachment and being re-elected at pretty much even. You can blame that on the (D)'s and their bad habit of nominating people who advocate for progressive policies, I guess, but I'd say at least some of the blame lies with people who vote for Trump.

I'd say that there's plenty of blame to go around. A more useful focus is on which group you have the best chance of influencing to do what needs to be done.

As ham sandwiches go, Romney is vegetable matter on a Wonder Bread knockoff.

As a Platonic ideal, Socrates would upchuck at the first bite, but here we are.

I imagine were his image carved into Mount Rushmore, it would add TWO faces to the mix.

Frankly, if Warren runs and is elected and the stock market plunges, hooray for bargain prices.

I'd be buying with both hands.

The Wall Street hedge fund jerks apparently shop differently than most Americans. They hate bargain prices.

Look at their shoes. Top dollar there. Even when it's two for the price of one.

Of course, the market would then go on after the bear dip to outperform during a Democratic administration, as historical patterns repeat themselves again and again ... the market inevitably crashes at some point and under performs while Republican administrations wreak feckless, self-dealing havoc for all excepting their offshore bankers.

This bit of Kudlowesque (the worst kind) 12-step methadone nonsense I'm seeing recently from Wall Street analysts. A stock will rise to say $112 share and the next day, a bullish analyst will pound the table with a conviction buy recommendation (the stock's a bargain, they bleat with a price target of .... $105 bucks a share.

Yes, that happened.

Wall Street loves price inflation, as long as they already own what's inflating.

“Lots of people who don’t like Trump who are still prepared to vote for him,” says one political science expert.

Then this country will by god have four more years of Trump. And we'll have four more years of becoming increasingly irrelevant if not annoying on the world stage, we'll have four more years of businesses trying to plan around the whims of a truculent man-child, four more years of immigrants and brown people in general being harassed for the color of their skin and their apparent nation of origin, four more years of rampant and obvious corruption, four more years of Federalist Society knee-jerk jurisprudence, four more years of all of it.

All of that will suck, and all of it will be what the people of this country have chosen for themselves.

When the people who "don't like Trump but will vote for him anyway" get sick of all of the bullshit he brings down on the nation, they'll wise up. Or they won't, and they'll vote for whatever version of Trump II gets coughed up next time around.

A lot of people fall on a spectrum from "I would take a bullet for Trump" to "I think he's an embarrassing ass but I can put up with him and I'm making money so WTF".

Those are not points of view I can relate to, but neither are they points of view I can do one damned thing to change. People have to figure this stuff out for themselves.

The (D)'s will nominate the person they want, for the reasons they want. I guess it would be helpful if they were to try to figure out exactly what (D) would be sufficiently palatable to the "I hate Trump but I'll still vote for him" crowd, but I don't see anyone who fits that mold who would have any stronger chance of beating Trump than e.g. Warren.

Klobuchar? Butigieg? Harris maybe, but I'm not sure all that many people who would vote for Trump over Warren are going to vote for Harris over Trump.

In any case, you can only put so much of this on the (D)'s. A hell of a lot of people are perfectly fine with voting for Trump. That's where the problem is.

Go see if you can convince them they should do otherwise, and tell me how you make out.

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