The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age


    Place holder for Uke-Gate stories that shouldn't roll off the blogroll. Will update number as it climbs. Not sure yet which stories qualify, but probably ones that best support the limited area of Uke-Gate & similar acts being impeachable behavior, and not just a one-off but repeated violation and/or dereliction of duty.

    1) Trumps's private hush hush hit team - Rudy, DiGenova, Toensing -

    2) Ur-Report of Uke-gate - where this reporting started (James Risen - from which it got twisted) -

    Updated in May by Robert Mackey to correct NYTimes reporting that left way too much innuendo:

    3) Did Trump withhold a memo from Mueller summarizing key Russia meeting?

    4) When Jared got a blockade put on Qatar after Qatar wouldn't help out on his property - earlier Trump Shakedown Street example -

    5) How Memorializing Conversations works/should work in the White House, including reaching consensus & distributing that info to affected persons/departments -

    6) Special Ukraine Envoy Volker's odd conflicts of interest -

    7) Trump's State Dept retroactively classifies 7-10 year old emails to go after Hillary staff - 130 former & current employees contacted -

    8) Emptywheel's hacker background on Crowdstrike in Ukraine and why Trump's pushing this (tougher read, but likely important context) -

    9) AG Bill Barr on world tour to dig up help from foreign governments in his Trump-pleasing anti-Democrat investigations. Last week he was in Italy. Much of this stems from shady info gathered from Mifsud & Papadopoulos.

    10) But Bill Barr hid this "official business" behind their misused "Top Secret" system - you might gues he didn't want anyone to find out what he was doing on "official time"?

    11) Pence implicated:

    [more linear version:
    but is it more complete? or do we need more spread, more angles?]



    Somewhere Deutsche Bank intersects with Trump, and the number of "suicides" tied to Deutsche Bank failure leads all the way to Justice Kennedy's resignation from the Supreme Court and his kid's role inside the bank.


    Critical present news is: what Trump says about it from now on. Maggie Haberman just retweeted this one:

    President Trump lashed out at @Reuters reporter @jeffmason1, who asked him what he wanted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to do when Trump brought up the business ties to Ukraine of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden

    — Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 2, 2019

    Edit to add: did not mean to post this as a reply to a comment, meant to just add to the thread, sorry for any confusion.

    Yovanovitch key example of Trump bullying career State employees, groundswell starting.

    oh yeah, I heard something along those lines on NPR yesterday, interview with someone from diplo world. All Rex did was just ignore a lot of them in effort to downsize, this is worse, not the least of which it comes with hypocrisy about supporting them

    On Pence:

    "President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival... "

    — Robert Costa (@costareports) October 2, 2019

    edit to add Greg Miller comment on the above:


    Trump wants dirt on Pence, bring him to heal, threaten to take him down. (how is it that Cohen's in jail but SDNY closed the rest of the investigation? There will be a lot of tails when this is all over.)

    "Urgent" IG briefing just finished. Journos: WTF?

    also, southern gent not giving up, will defend honor to death:

    The conventional wisdom is these people say these very stupid things deliberately, as a PR strategy, but I’m not so sure in Rudy’s case. Sometimes, when the dog shits on the rug, it’s not communicating some deep discontent to you; it’s just being the dog.

    — IAmTheJawHat (@Popehat) October 3, 2019

    I suspect Rudy is has long been in hysterical meltdown at least since Mueller started investigating, along the lines of that line in Moonstruck "your life is in the toilet". His whole life he was viciously ambitious in "law and order" after having a criminal father, especially starting out as a prosecutor. And he got delusional about his abilities at that, which were more due to fortune of the moment. Getting the right cases, choosing the right demeanor in many challenges as mayor, especially after 9/11. Now the cards say: oops you chose super wrong on this latest path after having gotten lucky your whole life, you're going down, and he knows it. Some of the current ideologies he's been choosing to help, just for ambition and strokes and money, they are nothing like him. It's got to wear on the psyche, helping to make him nuts. Throw in probably the last divorce in his life...

    P.S. He was never good at spinning, not in his skill set. He's a prosecutor at heart, just the vocal condemnation of whatever he thought wrong, fuck you if you don't agree, and then move on. No defense. not into spinning.

    Rudy's the man, Trump's fave surrogate, best talking points, yuge ratings, bigly:

    There was this revelation the other day about Boris showing up habitually late for presentations, scribbles a few notes on a napkin, then delivers a completely disheveled performance, all confused, but sucking the audience in with uproarious laughter - and then he repeats the same "accidental" sorry-I'm-late planned-unplanned speech somewhere else.

    Somehow on some plane, Trump & Rudy are succeeding. It's something we don't understand, but then we don't really understand how the GOP got such firm majorities everywhere and don't have their base totally pissed at them. What's amazing and scary is that Impeachment (or conviction) certainly isn't a sure thing, no matter what the revelations of the last week/year. Someone at 538 was trying to describe a 2 point drop in Trump popularity as "perhaps" a sign of final free-fall. What's more likely it's normal variation - Trump has stayed around 42% ± 2% popularity for 1 1/2 years now - it's an incredible feat of defying gravity. Us mere earthlings would be wise to pay attention.

    A Lindsay Graham 2016 classic, just for the heck of it:

    just a suggestion from Seth:

    Looking at this piece, I wonder if knowing many of the above facts matter because impeachment is a political thing and he is going to play his usual game of made up alternate reality, change the subject to straw men and suck up all the media coverage. As noted with "worries Republicans", this reflects back on them. So it's an "on the other hand", they might vote to impeach if the narrative is kept simple and to specific point. Those would not want to see everyone else go down, to make the whole admin. corrupt would just make them look bad for ignoring it. While they may be open to a vote specific to Trump misdeeds alone?

    Impeachment War Room? Trump Does It All Himself, and That Worries Republicans

    by Haberman & Karni @, Oct. 2, 11:21 pm

    The White House itself has no organized response to the impeachment, and some aides doubt whether it even poses a serious threat.

    [....] Mr. Trump has long believed that he is the best communicator in the White House, but as the presidential campaign picks up its pace and the prospect of his impeachment becomes more real, he seems to be its only empowered communicator, a one-man war room responding to developments almost hour by hour. And that is making many Republicans anxious. 

    For now, the White House has no organized response to impeachment, little guidance for surrogates to spread a consistent message even if it had developed one, and minimal coordination between the president’s legal advisers and his political ones. And West Wing aides are divided on everything from who is in charge to whether, after two years of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, impeachment even poses a serious political threat to the president.

    “This is a very different animal than the Mueller investigation,” said Josh Holmes, a former top aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader. “It’s a political question, not a legal one. They need to persuade Republicans in the House and the Senate of a bunch of really good arguments to have the partywide insulation the president is going to prefer going into this fight.”

    And the White House has a narrow runway to adjust and tighten its response, with just over a week until the congressional recess ends. At that point, Republicans will return from their home districts and face questions about Mr. Trump’s tweets and condemnation of the whistle-blower — questions they might have difficulty answering.[....]


    While they may be open to a vote specific to Trump misdeeds alone?

    That's the perilous question the Opportunists must be asking themselves. But the meaty part of the question is whether it is possible to keep the damage within a designated area.

    At the moment, much of the actual evidence of the Mueller investigation is being kept frozen in urine jars at Barr's hunting lodge. If the impeachment is carried out by the Senate, those jars will begin to thaw. The cards Manafort has been holding will no longer have value. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    Cue the "ding dong the witch is dead" music with the guards doing the can-can.

    {Edited to add]

    Support for the above argument that a firewall cannot be built between the current behavior of POTUS and the Mueller investigation is the reporting by Natasha Bertrand that Justice Department hasn’t interviewed key Russia probe witnesses. The sole focus of the DOJ going into foreign sources of intel suggests that they cannot afford to explore the actual investigation and what was discovered in the course of it.

    More complicity to consider and, to top it off, Giuliani writes a suitable epitaph for himself:

    “I may or may not know anything about it,” Giuliani told POLITICO when asked if he knew about Perry’s efforts to install new people on the board.

    Ye hardly knew ye.

    Five Thirty Eight is now tracking the polls on mpeachment:

    Someone was writing the other day about a polling phenomenon (I forget name) whereby when certain kinds of news hits, good or bad, certain subsets of the polling population stop responding.

    So rather than this being a sign that Trump's becoming less favorable, it just may be his fan base is shutting out pollsters, staying mum for the moment until this scandal flurry & fury like so many others passes by.

    What Putin got, by Molly McKew:

    Latest Comments