The hearing today :Comments?

    Unless anyone has a better vehicle - anyone who wants to comment is  invited to use this blog.




    Just an impression. So far one of the losers is VP Biden. 

    Trump has declared publicly "the press is the enemy of the people" more than once. He also said Article 2 says "I can do whatever I want". Both statements violate his oath to protect and preserve the Constitution. Then we had his lawyer claiming his right to shoot people and be immune from investigation.

    So playing mob extortion games with some country that 62+ million goose stepping Trump supporters know nothing about will not cause even one of their Fox, Limbaugh addled brains to re-boot to reality, or consider voting for anyone else.

    It's becoming increasingly clear that short of an economic collapse, Trump will be re-elected. If the Democratic Party, the majority Party by voters, can survive, they may learn that 54 candidates, one with 54 plans, is not the best way to win elections when the other Party has gone full win at any cost authoritarian.

    Of course F and L won't reboot.

    My neice might.

    1 55. Nunez and the minority counsel  attempted to  connect Hunter Biden with  previous corruption by  verbal propinquity. It will work with those who want to believe it and with some who left the room and just came back.


    So far so good. 

    The republicans are defending Trump's ultimate actions not the subject of the Impeachment his failed attempt

    to misuse for his personal gain the powers that as it happened he ultimately used  more or less correctly.

    2 30

    Not enough. 

    Pity about Hunter.

    GOP was all over the map as usual, but the central thrust of the defense, as presented by Nunes, was that Trump was justified in pressuring Zelensky because Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election and the Bidens are corrupt. I guess their hope is too muddy the waters, but I don't see this argument swaying anyone who is actually swayable, since it requires full immersion in the Fox News fever-swamp.

    Fwiw, I don't expect mainstream GOP senators to sign on to Nunes's conspiracy theories, but I predict they'll argue that Trump believes in them, so therefore there's no "corrupt intent."

    Whatever. The House will impeach, but the Senate won't convict, at least not based on the current testimony. The only open questions are whether any Republican senators will defect and how much these proceedings will hurt Trump in the general election.

    A wild card for me is the possibility of " impeachment blow back."  As ,maybe, in 1998 if indeed that's the explanation for 1998.

    Was it a rebuke to the Reps   for high handed interference with  the electorate's god given right to continue to complain about Bill and Hill. There's probably some academic work  floating around on that phenomenon. Might even be valid.


    Well, this is a different situation in that no appeal to a public concern from the Republicans is in play. The testimony given so far claims that the President did and said stuff. The defense on the GOP side does not recognize any of those statements as testimony.
    Pretty weak beer on the effort to make like POTUS is not just what he seems to be.

    Pentagon won't investigate delays in Ukraine military aid because it "might interfere or duplicate impeachment investigation".      link


    Pentagon refuses to cooperate with impeachment investigation:

    "In a letter sent Tuesday to top Democrats, Robert R. Hood, assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs, cites several “legal and practical concerns" in declining to participate in the impeachment probe.. ".   link

    The headline should read, The Pentagon won't assist the ongoing Coup Plot, based on their Constitutional duty to protect the Republic and the CIC from all enemies foreign and domestic.A very significant development as was illustrated inversely by another military to Evo Morales. 

    It's possible to make a thoughtful defense of the president that contains rational arguments why he shouldn't be convicted by impeachment. We would consider it and respond with our rational arguments. But you're not capable of thoughtful rational analysis. What amazes me is you don't seem to realize that when you call impeachment a coup we just laugh at you and think, What a moron.

    The Nunes gambit is perhaps a factor if Barr backs it up with his "report."
    But that sort of thing works both ways. Verification and that sort of thing. Barr seems to be not onboard with the going down with the ship thing.
    Most Republicans just tried to get by with pointing to their limits of cognition; Or that of their Chief Executive.


    These were good for getting a handle on what's probably going to continue:

    1. Dueling narratives, separated by a polarized media, collide at impeachment hearing

    A witness was left momentarily speechless when pressed on conspiracy theories apparently driving the president’s actions.


    One measure of yesterday  were the final comments of the 538 team 

     Mine is I agree with Rick Klein's.Plus the earlier statement 

    "It was like  first game of the world series"

    The regular 538 summary of overall opinion of  impeachment appears to me to be a small lead and narrowing for impeachment


    Those final comments:

    Big picture, Republicans made two arguments: that the president and the White House would have had good reason to condition the aid to Ukraine and that the aid was eventually delivered. No harm, no foul?

    But the witnesses were not giving them much at all. Instead, over and over these diplomats talked about how they saw no clear national interest rationale for withholding military assistance. They testified that they were concerned that any conditioning was about helping the president’s campaign – his political interests alone — not overall foreign policy goals


    The flip way to treat today is to say nothing moved the needle. But I’m inclined to believe that it’s just too early to tell how this will impact public opinion. There were new details, and very compelling testimony from Kent and Taylor. At the same time, there was a solidified GOP defense. Probably savvy not to impugn the motives of the witnesses. And mostly the defense is … Trump was being Trump.




    There’s no doubt that the testimony of Taylor and Kent is a boon to the Democrats’ case. The testimony Trump cared most about investigating Biden, that he felt the Ukrainians owed him personally — that testimony is not kind to the president. And while at times Kent in particular tried to keep his testimony dry and “above it,” the pair presented testimony that can be used by Democrats to defend their impeachment stance. Their case will be helped in all likelihood by the testimony of a Taylor aid who said he directly overheard a Trump conversation.

    On the GOP side of things … they were certainly at a disadvantage when it came to defending Trump on the facts of the matter. But Jordan in particular voiced a decent line of defense for the GOP which was “Taylor and Kent don’t know Trump, they’re just repeating lies other people told them about the president.” The White House has spent the day doing rapid response online to the hearings, spitting out video of Jordan and the like defending the president and I guess we’ve got to wait and see how that plays with not Trump’s base, but more swayable voters.


    Yeah, Nathaniel, my overall thoughts are similar to yours. I’m going to withhold judgment on what the impact will be on public opinion, since we’ve got a lot more hearings coming within the next week and I am inclined to think that the cumulative impact will be more important than any individual hearing. I will be very interested, though, to see what happens with the testimony of Taylor’s staffer, David Holmes, who overheard the phone call between Trump and Sondland where Trump asked about the investigations.

    Otherwise, I wonder if Republicans’ staff lawyer, Steve Castor, will be back for questioning on Friday, since the members seemed to be more effective in questioning the witnesses (or, at times, talking at the witnesses) than he was. And Democrats are doing exactly what they promised — soberly laying out all of their evidence. From my perspective, today went very well for them. Republicans got pretty deeply mired in conspiracy theories, and I don’t think that served them well if they’re trying to convince anyone who doesn’t already watch Fox News — although of course, it probably was effective with that particular audience.



    Here in full...

    From my standalone Dag comment here...

    From Slate . . .

    Nov 14, 20197:22 AM

    The Seven Ways Wednesday’s Hearing Clarified Trump’s Real Motives

    Republicans added to the mountain of evidence that the president abused his power.

    Here's one real whopper...

    5. The “check him out” lie. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio told a fantastic story. He claimed that when Trump blocked the aid in mid-July, the president said, “Time out. Let’s check out this new guy. Let’s see if Zelensky’s the real deal.” Jordan continued: “So for 55 days, we checked him out. President Zelensky had five interactions with senior U.S. officials in that time frame.” Jordan said that senators, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, and Vice President Mike Pence “all became convinced that Zelensky was in fact worth the risk, he was in fact legit and the real deal and a real change. And guess what? They told the president, ‘He’s a reformer. Release the money.’ And that’s exactly what President Trump did.”

    This story is a complete fabrication. Bolton needed no convincing; he supported the aid all along. So did the Republican senators who were advising Trump on Ukraine. We also have a video-recorded statement from Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, who blocked the aid on Trump’s instructions and later released it. Mulvaney said the suspension was lifted for reasons that had nothing to do with corruption.



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