Friday Talking Points -- Rolling Down The Impeachment Track

[ Posted Friday, December 6th, 2019 – 18:48 UTC ]

The impeachment train is rolling right on down the track, and nothing's going to stop it now. That was the big news this week, without question. This has all been happening at breathtaking speed, when you consider the usual glacial pace of things getting done in Washington. Just this week, the House Intelligence Committee put out its report on impeachment, handed it off to the Judiciary Committee, who then held their first hearing, and by week's end Nancy Pelosi was calling for articles of impeachment to be drafted so that the House could vote on them in time for the Christmas break. That all happened in one week.

Of course, Pelosi has had complete control over the timing of all of this, and she is gambling that moving faster rather than slower is going to work out better for Democrats. This decision is already being second-guessed -- and likely will in the future, as well. Pelosi could have chosen a different path, but she has signaled that the impeachment train will continue on the fast track.

Pelosi basically had three options: move fast, move slow, or move somewhere in between. She could have done what the Republican-called witness in the Judiciary hearing suggested, and waited for the courts to rule on the fight between congressional subpoenas and the White House's complete and utter stonewalling. This could have worked out well for Democrats, as Trump is claiming unheard-of sweeping powers to ignore Congress completely. The courts are not likely to agree with this -- even the Supreme Court would likely rule against it, if given time. But it probably would have taken months for that conclusion to be reached. This would have put impeachment on the back burner for months, and would have meant impeaching Trump some time next spring or summer -- right in the middle of the presidential campaign.

Pelosi could have moved just a bit faster than that, and tried to at least get a few lower court rulings to force people like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and Mick Mulvaney to testify. Bolton in particular might have agreed to do so with only a lower-level judicial ruling, and Bolton seems to have a big story to tell that hasn't yet seen the light of day. By moving slightly slower, Pelosi could also have had testimony from people like Lev Parnas, who is currently trying to offer up his testimony in return for an immunity agreement for all the crimes committed by him and Rudy Giuliani. That might also have been worth waiting for. At the very least, some of the loose threads in the investigation might have been tracked down if the process had gone on for a few more weeks.

Instead, Pelosi chose to fast-track the whole process. By doing so she appears to be limiting the articles of impeachment to only issues raised by the Ukrainian scandal and avoiding dragging any other possibly-impeachable offenses into the mix. It remains to be seen whether even the obstructions of justice uncovered by Robert Mueller will be included (this is currently a subject of debate among House Democrats). Right now, it appears that the articles of impeachment will be as narrowly-focused as possible, which ignores a whole lot of Trump's other wrongdoing.

Again, this will all be second-guessed by history. But at the heart of Pelosi's decision is the obvious elephant in the room: Senate Republicans are just not going to defect from Trump in large enough numbers to remove the first president in American history through the impeachment process. Knowing that this is not likely to change any time soon, Pelosi is figuring to get the whole thing over with as soon as possible so that we can all turn our attention to the 2020 election instead. Right now, if House Democrats do give Trump the worst possible Christmas present ever, then the Senate will likely hold its trial before Iowa even holds their first-in-the-nation caucuses. And then we'll all move on.

In normal times, such haste wouldn't make much sense, because impeaching a president would likely be the biggest issue in the upcoming presidential election no matter when it happened. But these are far from normal times. Who knows what we'll all be talking (and arguing) about next October or November? By then, after another lifetime of Trump tweets and bumblings, it's a pretty safe bet now that impeachment won't even be in the top three things voters will be thinking about when casting their ballots.

We got a reminder of this dynamic this week, as North Korea ratcheted up its rhetoric in frustration with Trump. When Trump first agreed to meet with Kim Jong Un, the widespread view was that Trump was handing Kim a public relations coup, by elevating him to the same stage as a U.S. president. Now, it seems, Kim has realized that this works both ways as well. Trump never had any intention of doing the hard work of hammering out any sort of denuclearization agreement with Kim, he just wanted the photo-ops for his own political benefit. In an extraordinary turnaround, now Kim is refusing to meet with Trump, because it would just be another meaningless photo-op for Trump to brag about. Instead, Kim seems on the verge of breaking his own self-imposed moratorium on testing either an intercontinental ballistic missile or another nuclear warhead. Either one would show the emptiness of Trump's efforts to date. And move both countries into a much more hostile position. Who knows where this could end up? Kim has promised that if the U.S. doesn't change position by the end of the year, he'll be giving his own Christmas present to Trump -- which sounds pretty ominous.

Or another possible issue that could arise between now and the election -- what if the Supreme Court rules against Trump and he doesn't like the ruling? This is a real possibility on either releasing his taxes or his financial information to prosecutors and Congress, or on forcing former Trump officials to testify before congressional committees. Will Trump directly defy the Supreme Court's rulings, if it comes to this? That would truly be a constitutional crisis, and there is not a whole lot of precedent for how such things play out (the most notable being Trump's idol Andrew Jackson, which didn't end all that well for those affected).

These are just a few possibilities, and it's impossible to say which crises we will all be paying attention to even as early as next spring. So Pelosi's gamble to move quickly on impeachment -- given the likelihood of the Senate refusing to remove him -- may look a lot better in hindsight.


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We had a lot of good candidates for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week, but we're going to give it to Speaker Nancy Pelosi once again, for one impressive press conference performance.

Democrats, as a whole, don't seem to do righteous indignation very well. There are exceptions to this general rule, of course, and names like Elijah Cummings and John Lewis do spring to mind as examples of Democrats who know how to express such feelings well. But for the most part, Democrats lack this skill, much to their disadvantage.

Nancy Pelosi just proved that she can indeed get righteous, if anyone still had any doubts left about her ability to do so. When asked by a right-wing reporter whether she "hated" Donald Trump or not while walking away from the podium at the end of her press conference, Pelosi drew up and responded: "I don't hate anybody." She stated in no uncertain terms that she was raised as a good Catholic and that she was taught never to hate anyone. She then returned to the microphone, just to make sure everyone heard her:

Don't accuse me.... As a Catholic, I resent your using the word "hate" in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is a heart full of love, and [I] always pray for the president, and I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time. So, don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

Earlier, in a closed-door meeting with her fellow House Democrats, she read from the Bible while speaking of the impeachment effort, quoting the Old Testament book of Jeremiah's warning about corrupt kings:

Attend to matters of justice. Set things right between people. Rescue victims from their exploiters. Don't take advantage of the homeless, the orphans, the widows. Doom to the leader who builds palaces but bullies people, who makes a fine house but destroys lives.

Now that's how to show righteous indignation!

If ever there was a time for Democrats to show they're on the moral high road, the impeachment of Donald Trump is it. Republicans know they're taking the low road in defending him, so Democrats should point it out, every chance they get. Pelosi just showed them all exactly how to do so.

For that alone, she is the winner of this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award. Tell it like it is, Madam Speaker!

[Congratulate Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on her official contact page, to let her know you appreciate her efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

This week, all of our candidates for Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week come from the Democratic field of 2020 presidential candidates, we're sorry to say. We've got a lot to cover, so let's dive right in.

The Democratic presidential field is actually now shrinking, and will continue to do so throughout the month, most likely. As candidates are shut out from another debate cycle, their donations dry up, and they slowly begin to realize that it just isn't going to happen for them this time around. That's what just happened to Kamala Harris this week, who admitted that her campaign has effectively run out of money, and run out of steam. This was a bit surprising, since she was polling solidly enough to be included in the December debate, which is why it disappointed many Democrats who had planned to vote for her.

Former Montana governor Steve Bullock also dropped out of the race recently, and he is also disappointing many Democrats by insisting that he's not interested at all in running for the Senate. If he did launch a bid, he'd have an excellent chance of flipping a seat currently held by a Republican, which would give Democrats a much wider path to retaking control of the chamber next November. But Bullock swears he's not interested. Perhaps he'll change his mind -- he's got until early March to make his decision -- but for now, his refusal to even consider it is disappointing many.

Joe Biden is in the news for a bit of feistiness. Now, taking on a critical voter one-on-one isn't all that bad a strategy in politics, but Biden was rather harsh in his language while doing so. Biden called a man who challenged him on both his age and his son's involvement in a Ukrainian gas company "a damn liar," and later told him to: "Get your words straight, Jack!" Biden also challenged the man to "do push-ups here together," or even "take an I.Q. test" to prove he wasn't "sedentary."

But what was really disappointing, and what earns Biden a (Dis-)Honorable Mention was either his verbal shorthand or his abject refusal to realize how damaging this issue could wind up being for him in the minds of average voters. When the Iowa man charged Biden with "selling access" by allowing his son to work for a Ukrainian gas company, Biden just refused to acknowledge the scope of the smear campaign against him: "No one has said my son has done anything wrong... no one has ever said it."

This, as we said, is either shorthand or it is delusional. Giving Biden the benefit of the doubt, he could have been trying to make the case that: "No one who has ever investigated these claims has said my son has done anything wrong," which is indeed true. There have been no formal charges either here in this country or in the Ukraine against Hunter Biden, much less Joe himself. But Biden didn't say that (at least not in so many words).

What he said instead was that "no one has said my son has done anything wrong," which is simply not the case. Correctly or incorrectly, plenty of Republicans have indeed made that accusation, starting with Donald Trump himself. In other words, this is going to be a big campaign issue if Biden wins the nomination. Remember what Trump and his henchmen did over the issue of Hillary's emails? That is exactly what is going to happen to Biden over Hunter's cushy job with Burisma -- even if no ethical wrongdoing or crimes are ever proven. And Biden should realize this.

He kind of admitted this, in a different appearance this week. In an interview with Telemundo, Biden was much more realistic about the optics of the situation when asked about Hunter's Ukrainian work:

What may have looked bad but wasn't anything wrong is totally different than whether a president has held up $400 million in aid for the Ukrainian military when Ukrainians are dying. That is criminal.

Biden himself knows that the whole thing "may have looked bad," because he himself has already promised that no member of his family will do such work abroad if he is elected president. Now, he can't have it both ways -- if there was nothing wrong (even with the optics), then why wouldn't he allow his family to do the same thing while president that he allowed while vice president? If it would be a conflict of interest under President Biden, why wasn't it before?

Note that none of this means Hunter Biden did anything illegal, unethical, or even just plain wrong. But that's the thing about a perceived conflict of interest -- no wrongdoing is necessary to make the entire situation look fishy. And you can bet your bottom dollar Trump and the Republicans are going to be pointing this out if Biden is the nominee -- as indeed they already are. Biden's refusal to realize this and to tackle it head-on is going to continue to be a problem for him, at least until he can come up with a better answer than: "no one has said my son did anything wrong."

But our real Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week this week is Michael Bloomberg, who is (for some reason) running for president as a Democrat. That last bit is important, because Bloomberg has been quixotic during his political career over the question of which party he belongs to.

Now, admittedly this wasn't anything he did last week, but it certainly deserves a whole lot of scrutiny now. Here is Bloomberg's record:

Bloomberg leaned heavily on an endorsement from Rudy Giuliani to win the mayor's race in New York City. Bloomberg "trumpeted his support in TV advertising and direct mail, chastising his Democratic opponent for being 'no friend of Rudy Giuliani.'" Bloomberg was an independent, at this point in his political career.

Bloomberg not only endorsed George W. Bush's 2004 re-election bid, he appeared at the Republican National Convention for Bush and said: "I want to thank President Bush for supporting New York City and changing the Homeland Security funding formula and for leading the global war on terrorism. The president deserves our support. We are here to support him. And I am here to support him." Bloomberg also donated money to Republican Senators John McCain, Susan Collins, and Richard Shelby in the past.

Bloomberg endorsed and supported (and even held a fundraiser for) Scott Brown when he was running against Elizabeth Warren for the Senate in 2012. He also spent money to help elect Senator Pat Toomey, as well as numerous House Republicans.

Last year, Bloomberg held a fundraiser for Representative Peter King, of Long Island. A former consultant for King's 2018 Democratic opponent summed up the opinion of many Democrats: "The path to win the House ran through New York: There were seven flippable seats in the state, and he supported Republicans in two of them. To come down and say he wants to be the head of the Democratic Party -- the hubris is unbelievable."

Bloomberg also heavily supported Republicans in the New York state government, which allowed the GOP to continue their stranglehold on the state legislature long past when it should have ended.

And now he wants the Democratic presidential nomination. Hubris indeed.

Michael Bloomberg is, at best, a fair-weather Democrat. He quite obviously has no party loyalty whatsoever. As one progressive put it: "The only thing that's been consistent about his party affiliation is that it has always been about benefiting Michael Bloomberg."

So for his long history of shovelling money into Republican campaign chests, Michael Bloomberg deserves this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award. He is eligible for this award because -- this week, at least -- he's now calling himself a Democrat.

[It is our standing policy not to link to campaign websites, so you'll have to look Bloomberg's contact information up on your own if you'd like to let him know what you think of his actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 553 (12/6/19)

OK, we only do this once a year, so here goes.

This column, and this blog, are user-supported. We rely entirely on donations so we can avoid having to clutter up your screen with advertising. But to do this, we have to have a yearly pledge drive every December. So if you like reading these columns, please consider making a small donation (or, heck, even a big donation!) to help us keep the lights on. Thanks for your consideration!

As promised, this will be the only such solicitation you'll see until next year around this time, so let's move on to this week's talking points.

Yesterday, we wrote a related column that some may find interesting. It is closer to laying out traditional campaign talking points for Democrats for the 2020 election cycle, because it is focused on how wildly popular most progressive ideas actually are (a new poll proving this once again was the reason we wrote it). So if you'd like a more forward-looking list of talking points, then please check it out.

Today, we are instead going to focus mostly on disproving yet another of Trump's lies. Trump has been -- laughably, to be sure -- trying to paint Democrats as "do-nothing," because they have the temerity to investigate and impeach him. We say "laughably" because it really is, when you examine the record.

By the numbers: the House has passed 542 measures this year, to the Senate's 384. Of those, 389 of the House measures were bills. On the Senate side, only 91 were bills. The House has held more than 600 roll-call votes so far this year. When you look at the actual facts, the House has unquestionably been getting more things done than the Senate. It's not even close, really. There is one house of Congress which can accurately be called "do-nothing," but it is not Nancy Pelosi's House, it is Mitch McConnell's Senate. Period. So point it out!


   You must have mistaken us for the other chamber...

Push back on this nonsense hard, because people need to understand exactly who the culprit is, here.

"Donald Trump appears confused, but that's not really all that surprising. He keeps calling us, quote, do-nothing Democrats, unquote, because he has apparently mixed us up with the Republican-controlled Senate. Nancy Pelosi laid out just how wrong Trump is in this regard, in a recent interview, saying: 'We have 400 bills sitting on Mitch McConnell's desk, and [President Trump] keeps saying "all they do is impeach." No -- we have 400 bills, 275 of them are bipartisan bills.' She's right -- the Democrats in the House are quite able to walk and chew gum at the same time, obviously. In fact, they've been quite productive at addressing America's problems. It's the Senate where bills go to die, and the Senate is run by Republicans. Mitch McConnell even brags about not getting anything done, calling himself the 'Grim Reaper' of legislation. Yes, Mister President, there is indeed one house of Congress that deserves the 'do-nothing' label, but it is not the Democratic House, that's for sure."


   Just this week... (1)

The next three talking points are similar.

"In fact, just this week alone -- right in the middle of the impeachment hearings, no less -- Democrats are doing the people's business in the House. A bill was just passed by an overwhelming 417-to-3 vote to fight back against the flood of robocalls Americans have been enduring. The impeachment hearing had to take a break in order to hold this vote, proving that the House can indeed do both at once. Of course, nobody has any idea when the Senate will act on this important legislation, because Mitch McConnell seems to move as slow as a turtle over in the Senate."


   Just this week... (2)

Foreign policy? Got that covered, too.

"This week alone, the House passed a measure supporting a two-state solution to the problem of the Palestinians and Israel. We were forced to do so because President Trump broke with what had been longstanding U.S. policy in calling for a two-state solution, much to many people's surprise. This has been U.S. policy for decades for a reason, and the reason is that a two-state solution is the only real path to achieving peace in both Israel and Palestine. This should be obvious, but again, Trump has forced us to restate the basics. Which we were able to do, this week in the House."


   Just this week... (3)

And, thirdly...

"Just this week, the House passed a voting-rights bill that was made necessary by an outrageous Supreme Court decision that gutted major parts of the Voting Rights Act which had preserved Americans' right to cast their ballots for decades. H. R. 4 passed -- with bipartisan support -- to update the Voting Rights Act and strengthen federal law so that states can't do underhanded things to unreasonably make it much tougher for people to vote. As we've seen since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling, this action is needed because without oversight voter suppression does indeed happen in red states. Representative John Lewis, a former Freedom Rider, spoke of the importance of this bill, calling voting 'the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in our Democratic society' and decrying 'modern-day barriers to voting' which have been passed since the court ruled. The bill will now get sent to the do-nothing Senate, where it will gather dust as Mitch McConnell refuses to act on it. It's really pretty obvious which side is doing all sorts of necessary things and which side is doing nothing, when you think about it."


   We'll be busy next week, too

This is going to be a big deal in the 2020 election, because a lot of House Democrats got elected to address this specific issue.

"As if all that weren't enough, next week the House is scheduled to vote on a bill to bring down the outrageous cost of prescription drugs. Democrats have been fighting hard to get this bill passed in such a form that even Republicans in the Senate should be able to vote for it. This first effort won't solve everything, but it should put us on a path to reining in the greed of the big pharmaceutical corporations and begin to restore some sanity to the pricing of basic medication that millions of lives depend on. Democrats want to make people not being able to afford prescription drugs a thing of the past, and we welcome any Republican who also agrees with this goal. This is not a left-versus-right issue, or it shouldn't be. It is instead a sick-people-versus-the-greed-of-drug-companies issue. And we'll be voting on it next week. When will the Senate act on this bill? You got me -- I have no idea, since the Republicans can't seem to do much of anything these days, impeachment or no impeachment."


   Trump's first and second supporters now guilty

This is just too good to pass up, really.

"Republican Representative Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty to federal felony charges this week, after being caught spending campaign donations on his multiple mistresses, taking money that should have gone to the Wounded Warriors and spending it on golf equipment for himself, and also using his campaign cash to pay $600 in airline fees to fly a pet rabbit across the country. I mean, you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried! So far, he has refused to resign his seat even after pleading guilty to his crimes, and he's still casting votes even though that is against the rules of the House. Oh, and less than two months ago, fellow Republican House member Chris Collins also plead guilty to a federal felony -- insider trading, in his case. What do these two have in common other than now being convicted felons? Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump's candidacy. Duncan Hunter was the second. That seems entirely fitting, at least to me, considering how many other of Trump's political buddies are now behind bars."


   Laughingstock of the world

And finally, to close on, let's just rub some salt in this particular wound, shall we?

"At the NATO meeting this week, it was shown once again that Donald Trump has become precisely what he promised to avoid if he became president. Right there on the world stage, Trump was his usual self, beclowning the office of the president of the United States in typical fashion. This led to a candid video of other world leaders standing around laughing at Trump. More proof -- if any were really necessary -- that Donald Trump is nothing short of the laughingstock of the entire world. Kellyanne Conway's husband summed it up best, tweeting to Trump: 'The world thinks you are an incompetent, ignorant, dumb, deranged buffoon -- and they are right. And you prove it to them every day.'"

-- Chris Weigant


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Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


27 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- Rolling Down The Impeachment Track”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Let's be perfectly honest here, Biden has handled this entire Ukraine situation terribly.

    He could have used it as a teaching moment about, well, about a whole lot - how Trump has handled foreign policy and treated state department officials, how and why the US is assisting Ukraine both in its fight against Russia and in helping a fledgling democracy break out from a yolk of REAL corruption, what his role was in all of that, and what he knew about his son's work for Burisma and what he thought about the perception of it, who the Prosecutors General involved in this are, etc.

    What we need from Biden is a relatively recent history lesson and he should make one of his stops in Iowa all about that and invite all of the media for a Q&A afterward.

    This was easily the week for Biden to get a well-deserved MDDPTW award, even if he had to share it with Bloomberg.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    What on earth is a MDDPTW award!?

  3. [3] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The only person Biden should be getting angry at and about is none other Trump. To date, Biden is wasting a golden opportunity to expose the president for the danger he represents.

    Maybe Senator Kerry will show him the way … I'll be waiting ...

    I just don't understand his angry reaction toward voters and the press. Well, I suppose I can understand the latter, but, still … ?

  4. [4] 
    Mopshell wrote:

    At no time did Pelosi say that the House would vote to impeach before Christmas and it's ludicrous to think that's the plan. Both Nadler and Schiff have made it very clear that investigations are ongoing. They are preparing the way ahead, that's all.

    Schiff already has more witnesses lined up and I'm sure Lev Parnas is on his list, especially as Parnas appears to have revelations concerning Devin Nunes who has been suspect since early 2017. That Schiff mentions Nunes in his Ukraine report means he's intent on following that up. Parnas is an essential part of that so he will get a hearing.

    Moreover, the real smoking guns of the impeachment will be those found in Trump's financial records. Two of the House's many lawsuits that have been making their way through the court system, have finally landed in the lap of SCOTUS. A third case filed by the Manhattan DA, also deals with Trump's financial records and that too has arrived at SCOTUS. All three cases will be considered at their December 13 conference.

    With access to Trump's financials so close, why on earth would Pelosi just toss that away in favor of a quick impeachment before Christmas? Of course she wouldn't. The very idea is nonsense. She's just giving HJC the green light to start work on their role.

    The first step for HJC is preparation and it's obvious that they intend taking this slowly. It can hardly be called rushing when they begin with a hearing on the Constitutional and legal issues of impeachment. They didn't have to do this. They could have skipped it and gone straight to drafting the first article. But no, that's not what they're doing.

    The next step is to liaise with each of the five other committees involved in the impeachment inquiry phase. Next week they will be talking to HPSCI re Schiff's Ukraine report. Then they'll wait for reports from the other four committees before holding evidence hearings with them too. That should take them up to the Christmas break.

    Meanwhile SCOTUS will hold their conference on Dec 13 and decide whether to accept the writs of cert regarding the two Mazars cases and whether they'll further stay the Deutsche Bank and Capital One case until Trump has a chance to apply for cert in that case as well. This is turbo speed for SCOTUS so I think it a fair indication that they intend to fast track all three cases.

  5. [5] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Take it as a defense of Biden or not, but the following timeline is history.

    Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer in August '13.

    Hunter, at age 44, joined the board of Burisma in April '14. By that time, Beau had had surgery, and was undergoing chemo, and there was no certain diagnosis.

    Throughout that time, Joe had a day job to do regardless of how distracted he might have been over his sick son.

    It's not plausible that Joe did anything to grease the slide of Hunter onto that board, and is plausible that he was too distracted by his other son and his job to intervene with Hunter's 60 grand a month boondoggle.

    Regarding Lev, that Russian-mobbed up thug, lordy, I hope there are tapes.

  6. [6] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    Bravo on an excellent FTP column. (And thanks for links to two others, which I've bookmarked to read later).

    Many self-identified Christians have been Trump's most tenacious cheerleaders. This line is critically-important in making them finally realize they are defending the indefensible (and not only impeachment, but Stormy Daniels, the Trump charity, etc):
    'If ever there was a time for Democrats to show they're on the moral high road, the impeachment of Donald Trump is it. Republicans know they're taking the low road in defending him, so Democrats should point it out, every chance they get. Pelosi just showed them all exactly how to do so.'

  7. [7] 
    italyrusty wrote:

    'These are just a few possibilities, and it's impossible to say which crises we will all be paying attention to even as early as next spring.'
    My prediction is that a Supreme Court justice will die or retire (RBG) The appointment of the replacement will be an epochal battle, highlighting once again Sen McConnell's dishonesty and the Republicans' craven quest for power.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Pelosi again?

    Any politician that talks about their faith (delusions) or quotes the Bible or any other religious text should be in the MDDOTW awards.

    Pelosi doesn't hate anybody because she is a Catholic?

    Sure. Just like all those mobsters of Italian heritage never killed anyone because they were Catholics.

    Why is being in a cult a good thing?

    Especially when being part of the cult is just a show to cover for being in the cult politicians like Pelosi really believe in- the big money "two party" cult controlled by the big money interests.

    And in what world is the House passing bills that will never become law getting things done?

    That is even more bull than the percentage of bills the House passed that were more bull than bill because they will never become law.

    Maybe instead of the annual fund raising drive to support we should raise money to rescue CW from the cult that has infected his mind resulting in nonsense like giving Pelosi MIDDOTW awards and spreading the lies that keep the cult in power.

    But, CW, if you can't bring yourself around to facing reality why not fully embrace your delusions by joining Scientology?

    The reason we are not in "normal times" is because people like you keep perpetuating the lies instead of facing reality.

    And unfortunately it has made not being in normal times normal times.

    Get Real and become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

  9. [9] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Pelosi is a great politician. The letters in her name spell sol pie!

  10. [10] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Sure. Just like all those mobsters of Italian heritage never killed anyone because they were Catholics.

    Pelosi is following Catholic tenets when she says she does not hate. Killing someone would violate the Catholic teaching of “Thou shalt not kill.” Your examples contradict each other.

    And in what world is the House passing bills that will never become law getting things done?

    I doubt that any bill gets passed and is made into law “as is”. In fact, I want you to find me any piece of pertinent legislation that passes both houses of Congress without any changes being made to it and is signed into law! Are you really saying that unless the action delivers the immediate results you are seeking, it is a waste of time?

    That sounds strange coming from someone asking people to write in their own name on their ballots which will magically encourage candidates to run as a small money candidate by the next election! Remember, if it doesn’t get the final results you desire with your first attempt, you think it is a total waste of time!

  11. [11] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    One thing I worry about with the impeachment hearings is that the Republicans have managed to shift the focus solely onto Trump asking for the Bidens to be investigated while Trump’s request regarding the DNC servers and CrowdStrike — Trump’s misguided attempt to show that Russia wasn’t the one who interfered in the 2016 election — have been ignored.

    The White House’s “rough transcript” showed us, with their use of ellipses immediately after CrowdStrike is mentioned, that the administration wanted to prevent us from knowing what had been discussed. Roughly ten minutes of their conversation is missing from this portion of the transcript...which is a long stretch of time given how bad this conversation was given on what we do know about it!

    It is hard to believe that if Trump’s attorneys were OK with releasing such damning evidence as the Biden portion of the conversation was, that the portion that they have kept secret would not be that much worse in what it contained! They removed it from the transcript and then put it into the top-Secret server for a reason... they clearly felt it would end his presidency if it got out.

    Trump was seeking to clear Russia of interfering with the 2016 election — using the power of his office to benefit a foreign country — which is a clear violation of his oath of office and proof that he has been compromised!

  12. [12] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Russ, the president's infamous performance in Helsinki should have provided more than enough fodder to end his presidency but, alas, it did not.

  13. [13] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I am still not entirely convinced that the Republicans in the Senate will not vote to remove Trump from office.

    Pelosi’s decision to fast track the impeachment process only strengthens this belief.

    I think the Republicans are fed up with Trump and know that he is compromised and dangerous. Maybe the party leaders in both houses have been given a report on the evidence from the counter-intelligence investigation that was being conducted on Trump? Dunno, but it is not a shock to learn that most cannot stand him and what he is doing to this country and the GOP. They also know that they cannot let on that they are turning on him; because like any cornered animal, Trump would become much more dangerous and would strike at anything in his line of sight.

    This would explain why their defense of Trump’s Ukraine antics have been heavy on the theatrics, but have not actually defended Trump’s actions. It’s all been done to pacify the big baby and keep him thinking that the GOP has his back. Because if Trump thinks he is doomed, there is a lot of damage that he could do and our laws would not allow us to stop him from doing it.

    But if the Republicans and the Democrats are working together to remove Trump, then it can only happen if the Senate votes to remove him from office. Because the way I read it, if the Senate votes to remove him from office, he is no longer the president the moment the Senate verdict is read... and Trump can immediately be arrested by the FBI.

    Like I said, I only think this might be the case because of how horrible a job the Republicans have done at defending Trump. Yes, you can argue that it is because Trump’s actions are so bad that there is no way to defend them — which is true — but then you’d expect that even the GOP would realize that supporting him won’t end well for them. They are supporting Trump wholeheartedly up until the second that they no longer have to, then his ass is gonna be handed to him.

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Listen (10)-
    You can't really be that stupid.

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet (9)-
    Sol pie is short for ASS-sol pie. :D

  16. [16] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Don Harris -

    It's just amazing. Everything you said is wrong.

  17. [17] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    how do you know don isn't intimately familiar with ass-sol pie?

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Is it possible you are even stupider than Listen as you apparently don't even know the definition of the word wrong?

  19. [19] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Of course I am intimately familiar with ass-sol pie.

    It is the only item on the menu for many of the commenters and in many if not most of the articles here at :D

  20. [20] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Plumber In Chief Trump's remarks about 10-15 flushes per visit to his "Golden Throne" probably reflect his fast food diet more than real limitations in low-flow tech.

    Napoleon is said to have said "An army marches on it's stomach."

    Our Commander In Chief lurches on his colon.

    President Skroob: "Why didn't somebody tell me my ass was so big?" - Space Balls

  21. [21] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    Castor is effectively putting out the case as arguably founded on "hearsay [and] presumption," and circumstantial evidence. Legally, the case is weak. Unless Pelosi and Shiff are idiots, it can't go forward unless there's reason to believe a gun that's still smoking is out there somewhere, and the bullet was certainly grooved by its barrel.

    If they're not drawing the Republicans out onto a limb to saw it off, this is all a very risky election ploy.

  22. [22] 
    LeaningBlue wrote:

    The good news, of course, is that Pelosi and Shiff are definitely not idiots.

  23. [23] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: Now, he can't have it both ways -- if there was nothing wrong (even with the optics), then why wouldn't he allow his family to do the same thing while president that he allowed while vice president?

    Question: However did Vice President Biden "allow" his middle-aged-forty-something-year-old grown-ass man child who is a lawyer (who presumably makes his own employment decisions) to take a job offered by a company in the private sector?

    Better Question: How would President Biden "stop" his 50-year-old grown-ass man child from making a decision to take a job in the private sector?

    I'm not inferring or suggesting that the entire issue doesn't appear to have the stench of impropriety for multiple reasons; I'm just asking why we're blaming Joe Biden for the decisions of his grown-ass son.

  24. [24] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: That last bit is important, because Bloomberg has been quixotic during his political career over the question of which party he belongs to.

    Now do Bernie Sanders... who has never been a member of the Democratic Party. I'm neither a fan nor a foe of Mike Bloomberg... rather indifferent actually, but while we're pissing on people with the "hubris" to run for the Democratic Party nomination who are "part-time" Democrats, let's at least say a word of acknowledgement to those who've never been a Democrat who are doing the exact same thing.

    Mike Bloomberg was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942 and was indeed a registered Democrat until 2001... so we're talking multiple decades being a Democrat. Meanwhile, Bernard Sanders was born about 5 months earlier and has spent zero -- count them -- zero (0) days being a Democrat... so not even a part-time Democrat. Oh, the "hubris"... it burns. I could now post a slew of disparaging quotes Bernie has made about the Democratic Party over multiple decades for which he's spent zero days as a member and has made multiple disparaging remarks... maybe later... but for now, let's do Elizabeth Warren.

    Elizabeth Warren was born in 1949, and it was not until 1996 when Elizabeth Warren was 47 years old and a brand spanking new law professor at Harvard that she changed her voter registration and lifelong political affiliation from that of Republican to Democrat. Yes, sir... Elizabeth Warren spent the majority of her life as a Republican, a very large chunk of it as a Texas law professor and ultra conservative and didn't change parties until she moved from a Red state to a Blue state.

    Discuss. :)

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:


    What do these two have in common other than now being convicted felons? Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump's candidacy. Duncan Hunter was the second. That seems entirely fitting, at least to me, considering how many other of Trump's political buddies are now behind bars.

    That's two more for our White House advent calendar of Trump Perps... sing it:

    Oh, it's beginning to look a lot like prison
    sentences from the Bench,
    and the string that makes them all seem like the very same thing
    is they're all Trump Stench. ;)

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:


    They are supporting Trump wholeheartedly up until the second that they no longer have to, then his ass is gonna be handed to him.

    That's a heavy lift even for human vertebrates, Russ, so which of the spineless Trump single-brain-celled amoebas do you think is up to the heavy lifting of Trump's ass? ;)

    Precious few.

  27. [27] 
    Kick wrote:


    Our Commander In Chief lurches on his colon.

    So you're saying he slithers? *laughs*

    It is a well-known fact around DC that the Trump diarrhea flows freely from stem to stern... verbal diarrhea right down to the biological variety. Trump won't even allow the White House cleaning staff to take his soiled sheets.

    So to recap: Trump is full of it... so much so that the stench oozes out even at rest.

    President Skroob: "Why didn't somebody tell me my ass was so big?" - Space Balls


    One pod left and three of us, and I'm the president. Well, boys, it's a very lovely ship; I think you should go down with it. ~ President Skroob, Spaceballs

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