U.S. Politics Vol. 7: A Dream of 2020

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Comments

  • Whistle-blower, please, give Mr Schiff the skinny.
    MarciTravis
  • I really hope that Pelosi is keeping her cards really close to her chest and she has plans in the works behind the scenes. I'm getting really frustrated that the dems were given the house by the voters and there seems the be nothing coming from it.
    Travis
  • Looks like it’s the old I’ll withhold $250mil appropriated by Congress from you (Ukraine) unless you investigate my potential opponent (Biden) deal. Totally normal stable genius stuff. Not impeachable at all. Would’ve been totally cool with the GOP if Obama did it to him in 2016.
    Travis
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Today I'm discouraged about the 2020 election again(?). I might be discouraged for the first time actually. I forgot how Trump can just make shit up and people will believe it. No one is safe from that kind of cult.
    Travis
  • LordBy said:
    Looks like it’s the old I’ll withhold $250mil appropriated by Congress from you (Ukraine) unless you investigate my potential opponent (Biden) deal. Totally normal stable genius stuff. Not impeachable at all. Would’ve been totally cool with the GOP if Obama did it to him in 2016.
    Yup, that old chestnut. Ho hum.
  • JaimieT said:
    Today I'm discouraged about the 2020 election again(?). I might be discouraged for the first time actually. I forgot how Trump can just make shit up and people will believe it. No one is safe from that kind of cult.
    40% of the country will continue to support him no matter what. We just have to hope more of the 60% shows up this time and that the 60% can over come the inherent advantage emptier states have. We also have to hope that the 40% that support trumps continue to age out of existence while not being replaced by younger wackos. 
    Travis
  • About fuckin' time!

    House Speaker Pelosi to announce formal impeachment inquiry of Trump
    https://wapo.st/2lmXLvp

    TravisMarci
  • MrX said:
    About fuckin' time!

    House Speaker Pelosi to announce formal impeachment inquiry of Trump
    https://wapo.st/2lmXLvp

    GAME ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
    Travisgguenot
  • Whistle-blower to testify before Intelligence Committee.
    Travis
  • tom_g said:
    Whistle-blower to testify before Intelligence Committee.

    Watch him go scorched earth and have the Whistle blower arrested 
  • I really want to be hopeful here. Transcript to be released, whistleblower to testify to Congress, #MoscowMitch is fast-tracking a Senate resolution to release the whistleblower report.

    Either this is really toxic so they want to get it out and deal with it to avoid it dripping-out next year and so risking an October Surprise, or this is all implicit stuff they can spin as just Trump being Trump without any explicit criminal activity so they want to get it all out there to humiliate the Democrats for going-off half-cocked and use it as an excuse to investigate the Biden family publicly for the next year because they’re afraid of losing to him.

    I’d hate to rest my hopes on #MoscowMitch suddenly growing a conscience.
    Travis
  • adobo1148 said:
    tom_g said:
    Whistle-blower to testify before Intelligence Committee.

    Watch him go scorched earth and have the Whistle blower arrested 
    Yeah, why would they stop claiming executive privilege now? Barr will say he’s not allowed to talk or he could be prosecuted.
  • Finally.
  • How long till the administration calls for an 'Infrastructure week'?
    Travisasmallcat
  • tom_g said:
    How long till the administration calls for an 'Infrastructure week'?
    Luckily it won't matter, since everyone around Trump hates spending on infrastructure and someone will flatter him the right way and he'll say infrastructure is actually bad. 

    Which is frankly a very good thing - if Trump had actually delivered anything to rural white voters beyond intangible cultural "wins," the brand of white nationalism he rode to office might have become a long-term and dangerous movement with a lot of political clout. As it stands, though, I doubt anyone who didn't already vote for him saw their lives drastically improve in any way, so they won't be motivated to suddenly support him. 
    tom_gMarci
  • asmallcat said:
    tom_g said:
    How long till the administration calls for an 'Infrastructure week'?
    Luckily it won't matter, since everyone around Trump hates spending on infrastructure and someone will flatter him the right way and he'll say infrastructure is actually bad. 

    Which is frankly a very good thing - if Trump had actually delivered anything to rural white voters beyond intangible cultural "wins," the brand of white nationalism he rode to office might have become a long-term and dangerous movement with a lot of political clout. As it stands, though, I doubt anyone who didn't already vote for him saw their lives drastically improve in any way, so they won't be motivated to suddenly support him. 
    Somewhere in what you wrote, you said, the Trump base would benefit from Socialism - good on you!!
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    I just read the "rough" transcript. If I'm honest, this feels like a trap. The WH waited until their political opponents committed to impeachment before releasing the transcript or the complaint. In effect they made it seem like the details were really bad by hiding them - but it turns out they're probably only a little bad.

    No one will care that the law was broken when the complaint didn't get to Congress within 7 days, because now they will release it. In the mind of Trump's supporters, that's a no harm, no foul situation.

    I hope Pelosi knew the details before she made her decision and I hope she knows what she's doing.
    JaimieT
  • Flukes said:
    I just read the "rough" transcript. If I'm honest, this feels like a trap. The WH waited until their political opponents committed to impeachment before releasing the transcript or the complaint. In effect they made it seem like the details were really bad by hiding them - but it turns out they're probably only a little bad.

    No one will care that the law was broken when the complaint didn't get to Congress within 7 days, because now they will release it. In the mind of Trump's supporters, that's a no harm, no foul situation.

    I hope Pelosi knew the details before she made her decision and I hope she knows what she's doing.
    I don't see how someone who cares if Trump breaks the law reads the "transcript", its not a transcript, and sees it as a little bit bad. The only way it could be worse is if he explicitly offered aid in return for dirt on Biden. Trump urging a foreign government to investigate his political rival is right there in the memo. It only gets worse from here. Remember this is supposed to be the flattering version for Trump and its already bad. 

    If anyone thought this would slow the march towards impeach they were wrong.
    tom_g
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited September 2019
    I read the “transcript” and it is moderately bad. Much worse than I expected given how fast the administration agreed to release it.
    Ukraine: I would like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
    Trump: I would like you to do a us a favor though... [proceeds to reference Hillary’s email server and the Mueller Probe before later going into Biden and asking the President of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, a part of his campaign and not a part of his administration, on it]

    Pretty bad. Especially with Trump personally holding hundreds of millions of dollars of defense aid hostage.

    Impeachment Inquiry should invalidate executive privilege based on a Nixon era Supreme Court decision. That should allow Congress to document that the defense aid was being held hostage for leverage against Ukraine for this issue. That is a crime.

    Articles of impeachment should include this issue, the worst incidents of obstruction documented by Mueller and fleshed out with testimony from those who were claiming privilege previously, emoluments clause violation which seems like a lay-up and is a path to business and personal financial discovery, his instructing the administration to disregard the law to build the wall faster because he will pardon them if they get caught, campaign finance violation with the Stormy hush money in which he was already documented to be an unindicted coconspirator in a case where a felony conviction was obtained, etc.

    The Senate is unlikely to turn on him, but get them on the record that they think this stuff is okay if they won’t grow a spine. Give them several articles of impeachment where they have to vote separately:
    Withholding defense aid appropriated by Congress for a country fighting an unlawful invasion by Russia as leverage to get “dirt” on a political opponent. Sure, that seems okay.
    Obstructing Justice in an investigation into Russian interference in a US Presidential election. Seems fine.
    Instructing people to break the law with the promise of pardons? Sure, why would a president not do that all the time?
    Using his office to enrich himself? Yup, totally cool. Foreign money from countries wanting things from the administration? I mean why not, their money spends just as well as domestic money.
    Felony campaign finance violation to cover up an extramarital affair with a porn star? Totally different from Bill Clinton trying to cover up a BJ on which several of these senators voted to convict 20yrs ago.

    This may indeed backfire on the Democrats in 2020, but at some point you have to go on the record trying to stop this stuff as history will be judging this period later and you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and your grandkids in the eyes in the future whether or not you hold on to your seat in the House/Senate.
    BloodyTacotom_gTravisMarci
  • The single phone call is only part of the story (and it's not a full verbatim transcript anyway). The full whistleblower report doesn't just reference that call according to sources. And it's not just Trump's direct contact with the Ukrainian president. Rudy Giuliani was tasked by the State Department to interface with people in Ukraine. That thread will be fully investigated in the impeachment inquiry.

    There is the legitimate fear the Trump successfully shapes the narrative from this single "transcript" like he was largely able to do with the Russia investigation. I have hope thought that public impeachment hearings will do more damage than the relatively secretive Mueller investigation.
    Flukescdrive
  • tom_gtom_g WV
    edited September 2019
    Flukes said:
    I just read the "rough" transcript. If I'm honest, this feels like a trap. The WH waited until their political opponents committed to impeachment before releasing the transcript or the complaint. In effect they made it seem like the details were really bad by hiding them - but it turns out they're probably only a little bad.

    No one will care that the law was broken when the complaint didn't get to Congress within 7 days, because now they will release it. In the mind of Trump's supporters, that's a no harm, no foul situation.

    I hope Pelosi knew the details before she made her decision and I hope she knows what she's doing.
    I don't see how someone who cares if Trump breaks the law reads the "transcript", its not a transcript, and sees it as a little bit bad. The only way it could be worse is if he explicitly offered aid in return for dirt on Biden. Trump urging a foreign government to investigate his political rival is right there in the memo. It only gets worse from here. Remember this is supposed to be the flattering version for Trump and its already bad. 

    If anyone thought this would slow the march towards impeach they were wrong.
    He was recommending that the foreign government work with/through his personal attorney.  It is impossible to say this was anything but political.  Not foreign policy, except for the quid pro quo of aid.  Secret negotiations from the oval office with a foreign power for his personal benefit are an absolute abuse of power.  This cannot be explained away to anyone that cares to put any thought into it.

    You cannot read the transcript and look for particular words, it is all about the setting, context and big picture.
  • The White House emailed their damage-control talking points to House Democrats and then tried to recall the message. Spoiler alert: the recall was unsuccessful.
    TravisBloodyTacoMrXFlukesCretanBull
  • tom_g said:
    asmallcat said:
    tom_g said:
    How long till the administration calls for an 'Infrastructure week'?
    Luckily it won't matter, since everyone around Trump hates spending on infrastructure and someone will flatter him the right way and he'll say infrastructure is actually bad. 

    Which is frankly a very good thing - if Trump had actually delivered anything to rural white voters beyond intangible cultural "wins," the brand of white nationalism he rode to office might have become a long-term and dangerous movement with a lot of political clout. As it stands, though, I doubt anyone who didn't already vote for him saw their lives drastically improve in any way, so they won't be motivated to suddenly support him. 
    Somewhere in what you wrote, you said, the Trump base would benefit from Socialism - good on you!!
    I think I should have been more clear - I'm not remotely a Trump supporter, and I think we should be much more socialist in our policies. I want medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee (eventually transitioning into UBI as automation removes the need for even more jobs), a wealth tax, an incredibly high top marginal tax rate, all capital gains treated as income, a 99% top rate on inheritance, and free college. 

     What I was trying to say was that if Trump was remotely saavy as a politician, he would have pushed federal programs to dump money into these towns (and explicitly NOT into cities, where most people rightly hate him), as that would have vitalized that portion of his base to get out and vote and would have likely encouraged people in those areas who didn't care to vote to vote for him. I mean, look how much Trump voters love medicare - as long as they are getting theirs, fuck everyone else. Trump could have leaned into this, but didn't, and that's very good for the future of the country. And of course poor, rural america would benefit from socialism - those are exactly the sort of places that are not currently flourishing under unregulated capitalism. 
  • FlukesFlukes Calgary, Canada
    LordBy said:
    I read the “transcript” and it is moderately bad. Much worse than I expected given how fast the administration agreed to release it.
    Ukraine: I would like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.
    Trump: I would like you to do a us a favor though... [proceeds to reference Hillary’s email server and the Mueller Probe before later going into Biden and asking the President of Ukraine to work with his personal attorney, a part of his campaign and not a part of his administration, on it]

    Pretty bad. Especially with Trump personally holding hundreds of millions of dollars of defense aid hostage.

    Impeachment Inquiry should invalidate executive privilege based on a Nixon era Supreme Court decision. That should allow Congress to document that the defense aid was being held hostage for leverage against Ukraine for this issue. That is a crime.

    Articles of impeachment should include this issue, the worst incidents of obstruction documented by Mueller and fleshed out with testimony from those who were claiming privilege previously, emoluments clause violation which seems like a lay-up and is a path to business and personal financial discovery, his instructing the administration to disregard the law to build the wall faster because he will pardon them if they get caught, campaign finance violation with the Stormy hush money in which he was already documented to be an unindicted coconspirator in a case where a felony conviction was obtained, etc.

    The Senate is unlikely to turn on him, but get them on the record that they think this stuff is okay if they won’t grow a spine. Give them several articles of impeachment where they have to vote separately:
    Withholding defense aid appropriated by Congress for a country fighting an unlawful invasion by Russia as leverage to get “dirt” on a political opponent. Sure, that seems okay.
    Obstructing Justice in an investigation into Russian interference in a US Presidential election. Seems fine.
    Instructing people to break the law with the promise of pardons? Sure, why would a president not do that all the time?
    Using his office to enrich himself? Yup, totally cool. Foreign money from countries wanting things from the administration? I mean why not, their money spends just as well as domestic money.
    Felony campaign finance violation to cover up an extramarital affair with a porn star? Totally different from Bill Clinton trying to cover up a BJ on which several of these senators voted to convict 20yrs ago.

    This may indeed backfire on the Democrats in 2020, but at some point you have to go on the record trying to stop this stuff as history will be judging this period later and you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and your grandkids in the eyes in the future whether or not you hold on to your seat in the House/Senate.
    I'm here for this take. There's just a lot of intervening Trump blather that makes the straight line between the military support and investigating Biden a little more crooked and fuzzy than I was expecting.

    I'm hoping the full complaint and whistleblower's testimony will strengthen the case. As an outsider I think the Democrats are doing the right thing. We all know the right thing can sometimes be costly.
    TravisLordBy
  • It may have been said and I forgot it since I read through so sorry if it has, but can we just take a moment to reflect on the fact that this is the document that the Administration (under pressure sure, but...) decided to put out there. This is the thing that they are thinking they can stand behind and spin from. What the fuck is the whistleblower going to say? What is said in the actual transcript (if there is one)? I mean, this is bad enough. I skimmed through it and even when applying a minimal amount of subtext and situational awareness this is really damning. I mean, of course Republicans would say to say it's nothing all the way up to and I'm sure including in the case of some reps if he said "Let me make this clear, I am extorting you using these aid funds and the power that comes with being the President of the United States as leverage" but this feels like it's pretty damning on its own. I wonder what comes next when it's not the story coming from them.
  • Conservative news journalist (and never-Trumper) David Frum wrote today in the Atlantic:

    "Trump has never been furtive. He commits his wrongs in the full glare of publicity. Bribes to Trump are not delivered by shadowy men in underground garages. They are collected right on Pennsylvania Avenue, in a garish hotel with Trump’s name right on the door. Trump does not stealthily embezzle Republican donations. The party simply books its events on his premises, every misappropriated dollar counted and disclosed. When Trump invited Russia to hack his opponent and deliver her emails to him, he did it on live television.

    Trump takes advantage of a human tendency to think, If he’s not ashamed, maybe he did nothing wrong. Normal people are taken aback by pathological people, and Trump is the most pathological president in American history."

    I think the larger issue than the subtextual quid pro quo Trump has used to try and gain political power over Biden, (and let me be clear, this is a very BIG issue) is that he has bypassed the entire system of diplomacy by sending his personal lawyer to be an emissary to a foreign nation.  It's unconscionable.  

    A week ago, David Frum wrote another article about how this particular quagmire mirrors the exact reason that impeachment was added to the constitution.

    I'd also like to point out that this brazen phone call took place the day after Mueller's testimony before Congress.  

    Former District Attorney for the southern district of New York, Preet Bharara said in his newsletter today (subscription required):

    "First, let’s not once again fall into the trap of making the standard here the commission of a crime, requiring that every element of a federal criminal statute be established by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 

    The question is not: is it a crime? That is not the standard for impeachment; that is not the standard by which we should judge the fitness of the most powerful office-holder in the country. It is not the standard by which we judge police officers, teachers, CEOs, athletes, or anyone in any workplace. The question is: did the president engage in conduct that is an abuse of power for which he should be held accountable, for which he should be rebuked and possibly removed? This is especially true now since everyone now knows nobody is going to charge him with a crime. 

    Lindsey Graham actually said it fairly eloquently back in 1999, when it was President Clinton in the hot seat: “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role; impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”"

    I highly recommend the cafe.com subscription.  Preet is a great communicator.  The podcast "Stay Tuned with Preet" is an excellent weekly podcast about Justice, that often touches on politics.  You can listen to it free every Thursday.  Membership grants access to the equally excellent "Cafe Insider" podcast that Preet does with Ann Milgram, former AG of New Jersey, every Monday.  Also, access to the newsletters.

    Sorry for the ad.  I'm not affiliated, just a fan.

    TravisCretanBull
  • the memo of the phone call also had ellipses placed right where it seemed like Trump could have said something more ... you know ... incriminating


  • Conservative news journalist (and never-Trumper) David Frum wrote today in the Atlantic:

    "Trump has never been furtive. He commits his wrongs in the full glare of publicity. Bribes to Trump are not delivered by shadowy men in underground garages. They are collected right on Pennsylvania Avenue, in a garish hotel with Trump’s name right on the door. Trump does not stealthily embezzle Republican donations. The party simply books its events on his premises, every misappropriated dollar counted and disclosed. When Trump invited Russia to hack his opponent and deliver her emails to him, he did it on live television.

    Trump takes advantage of a human tendency to think, If he’s not ashamed, maybe he did nothing wrong. Normal people are taken aback by pathological people, and Trump is the most pathological president in American history."

    I think the larger issue than the subtextual quid pro quo Trump has used to try and gain political power over Biden, (and let me be clear, this is a very BIG issue) is that he has bypassed the entire system of diplomacy by sending his personal lawyer to be an emissary to a foreign nation.  It's unconscionable.  

    A week ago, David Frum wrote another article about how this particular quagmire mirrors the exact reason that impeachment was added to the constitution.

    I'd also like to point out that this brazen phone call took place the day after Mueller's testimony before Congress.  

    Former District Attorney for the southern district of New York, Preet Bharara said in his newsletter today (subscription required):

    "First, let’s not once again fall into the trap of making the standard here the commission of a crime, requiring that every element of a federal criminal statute be established by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. 

    The question is not: is it a crime? That is not the standard for impeachment; that is not the standard by which we should judge the fitness of the most powerful office-holder in the country. It is not the standard by which we judge police officers, teachers, CEOs, athletes, or anyone in any workplace. The question is: did the president engage in conduct that is an abuse of power for which he should be held accountable, for which he should be rebuked and possibly removed? This is especially true now since everyone now knows nobody is going to charge him with a crime. 

    Lindsey Graham actually said it fairly eloquently back in 1999, when it was President Clinton in the hot seat: “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role; impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”"

    I highly recommend the cafe.com subscription.  Preet is a great communicator.  The podcast "Stay Tuned with Preet" is an excellent weekly podcast about Justice, that often touches on politics.  You can listen to it free every Thursday.  Membership grants access to the equally excellent "Cafe Insider" podcast that Preet does with Ann Milgram, former AG of New Jersey, every Monday.  Also, access to the newsletters.

    Sorry for the ad.  I'm not affiliated, just a fan.

    Frum is one of the Conservative writers who I like and respect, even when I disagree with him.  His mum was a really famous journalist in Canada and his sister is a Conservative Senator here.  I don't often agree with them, but they're a smart family!
  • SHIT+FAN=Whistleblower complaint
This discussion has been closed.