Archive of Articles in the "Ukraine" Category

Friday Talking Points -- As The Clown Car Empties

[ Posted Friday, October 11th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

The amusing thing about a circus clown car is, of course, that just when you think that itty-bitty car couldn't possibly vomit forth any more clowns... a few more climb out. That's what this week's news of the arrest of two "clients" of Rudy Giuliani (Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman) as they were attempting to flee the country certainly felt like.

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Should Pelosi Hold Impeachment Inquiry Vote?

[ Posted Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 17:20 UTC ]

The biggest question Nancy Pelosi will face next week, when the House of Representatives gets back from yet another multiweek vacation, will be whether or not to hold a full floor vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry that has already begun in various House committees. There are arguments to be made both pro and con on the issue, and so far Pelosi has been resisting the pressure to hold such a vote. President Donald Trump upped the stakes on this decision by claiming in a White House letter that he's not going to comply with any subpoena or request for interviews or documents until the House holds such a vote. But it's still an open question whether he would do so even with a floor vote for the impeachment inquiry, because if he stays true to form then he'll just manufacture another specious argument for why he is continuing to stonewall Congress.

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Pelosi Should Force Republicans To Vote On Presidential Ethics Bills

[ Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 – 16:57 UTC ]

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is sure getting a lot of advice from the punditocracy right now. Mostly, over the last few days, this has focused on the question of whether she should or should not hold an impeachment inquiry vote on the House floor. I'm going to ignore that issue today (perhaps to be revisited in a later column) because I feel there are other strategy ideas worth exploring, as the Democrats chart their course through the choppy waters of impeachment.

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Friday Talking Points -- Quid, Meet Quo

[ Posted Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 16:30 UTC ]

The impeachment whirlwind shows no signs of slowing down, and in fact each day brings more and more evidence that President Donald Trump is using American foreign policy as his own personal opposition research to undermine his Democratic political opponents. Which, of course, is an eminently impeachable offense.

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Pelosi Has Luxury Of Setting Impeachment Timetable

[ Posted Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 – 17:02 UTC ]

House Democrats are soon going to face a stark choice. Either they wait for the court system to slowly grind its way up to the Supreme Court, and then hope that John Roberts values his legacy enough to rule in their favor; or they can just move past judicial delays altogether and draft articles of impeachment sooner rather than later. So far it seems they're more inclined to pursue the latter strategy, but it is still too early in the process to state that definitively. A court ruling limiting Trump's excessive executive privilege claims would be a valuable thing in its own right, but the question is going to be: is it worth the inevitable wait?

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Elizabeth Warren Close To Leading The Race

[ Posted Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 – 17:02 UTC ]

It's hard, when the president is literally tweeting "BULLSHIT," to focus on anything else going on in the world of politics. But today I'm going to ignore the impeachment circus and focus instead on the Democratic primary race, because several important developments are simultaneously happening which could entirely redefine the race. Elizabeth Warren continues her impressive climb in the polls, Joe Biden is beginning to falter amidst all the mud Trump has been throwing, and Bernie Sanders just had an emergency heart operation. How much each of these events will impact the race is still somewhat up in the air, but we should at least be able to see some indication before the next debate is held.

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Attempted Smears Against Whistleblower Are Irrelevant

[ Posted Monday, September 30th, 2019 – 17:23 UTC ]

President Donald Trump and all his coterie of apologists are right now angrily focused on impeaching the credibility of the whistleblower who complained about Trump's call to the new Ukrainian leader. And, yes, "impeaching" is the right word for what they're trying to do. But it's all both meaningless and irrelevant, because the scandal has already moved beyond any questions of bias or credibility of the whistleblower, largely due to the release of both the semi-transcript of the call itself and the whistleblower's complaint. Trump and his minions are, in essence, screaming about how they're going to sue the heck out of the locksmith, while the barn doors hang wide open and all the horses are running willy-nilly across the landscape. At this point, the story is the horses who are running free, not the lock's possible failure.

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Friday Talking Points -- Collusion, Collusion, Collusion!

[ Posted Friday, September 27th, 2019 – 17:22 UTC ]

This has been an extraordinary week, in a presidency chock-full of extraordinary weeks. Call it extra-extraordinary, we suppose. The country went from hearing vague things about Trump stonewalling a congressional committee to full-on impeachment in a matter of hours, it seemed. Or days, at the longest. We went from zero to impeachment in record time, giving Trump a new superlative to brag about: fastest scandal ever.

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The Fastest Scandal Ever

[ Posted Thursday, September 26th, 2019 – 17:00 UTC ]

We all know how much President Donald Trump loves superlatives, most especially when they are used in reference to himself or his presidency. This week added yet another one of these superlatives, since Trump is now at the center of the fastest-progressing political scandal ever. Think about it: a mere two weeks ago, nobody knew anything about it; and now we've seen the public release of a president-to-president phone call's semi-transcript, the public release of the whistleblower's slightly-redacted complaint, testimony on the scandal before both houses of Congress, and the start of impeachment proceedings. To say the past week has been a whirlwind doesn't even begin to accurately describe the blinding pace of the growing scandal.

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'No Quid Pro Quo' Is The New 'No Collusion'

[ Posted Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 – 17:28 UTC ]

One of Donald Trump's presidential heroes is Andrew Jackson. Jackson rose to the presidency in 1828 after his first attempt failed. The centerpiece of his second campaign was to shine a bright light on the "Corrupt Bargain" in the House of Representatives, which named John Quincy Adams president in 1824 even though he had fewer Electoral College votes than Jackson (it was a four-candidate race and none of them got an outright Electoral College majority, which threw the election's decision into the House). I was reminded today of a central quote from Jackson's second campaign where he spoke about what had happened in the 1824 election, because it seems downright appropriate when discussing our current president: "There was cheating, and corruption, and bribery too." At this point, that seems to accurately sum up Trump's 2020 campaign as well.

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