Supreme Court agrees to hear Trump's financial records appeals

Daily Kos - 20 min 7 sec ago

The Supreme Court will hear Donald Trump's appeals fighting subpoenas from the House and New York prosecutors for his financial records, NBC reports.

Lower courts have ordered the release of the records, but the orders have been on hold. Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance is trying to get a decade's worth of tax returns and financial documents in his investigation into hush money payments made to the two women who claim to have had extra-marital affairs with Trump. The House has issued subpoenas for financial documents from his accountants as well as Deutsche Bank and Capital One.

By accepting the appeals now, the Supreme Court is on track to hear them this session, probably in March. Their decision could come in June.

Categories: Politics

It's the last weekend to get insured with Obamacare, and there are some great deals to be had

Daily Kos - 1 hour 34 min ago

You have two days—TWO DAYS!—to get signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, or to harass your friends and loved ones who need insurance to do it. Take it from this guy: 


Get Covered America has an open enrollment toolkit that can help, providing all the information you need. And, as always, Healthcare.gov is the place to get started.

Categories: Politics

Friday Cat Blogging – 13 December 2019

Kevin Drum - 2 hours 14 min ago

It’s been raining around here lately and Hopper is thrilled. She likes a little flavor in her water, and after a nice rain shower she drinks out of buckets, puddles, gutter spouts, and anything else she can get her paws on. In this picture, she’s lapping up the water in our birdbath. There’s plenty for everyone, after all.

Categories: Politics

House Democrat starts what should be groundswell, demands McConnell recuse himself from impeachment

Daily Kos - 2 hours 18 min ago

House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Val Demings, a Florida Democrat, is demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recuse himself from the Senate's impeachment trial.

She accused McConnell of promising the White House to "sabotage" the trial. "No court in the country would allow a member of the jury to also serve as the accused’s defense attorney. The moment Senator McConnell takes the oath of impartiality required by the Constitution, he will be in violation of that oath," she said in a statement. That's in response to McConnell's admission on Sean Hannity's Fox News show Thursday night that he would act on Trump's behalf. "Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with White House counsel," he said. "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this."

He would be in violation of his oath, as Demings pointed out, referencing Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution which delineates "The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation." That oath, or affirmation, every senator will take says "that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [President Trump], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God."

Demings should not stand alone. Every Democrat—including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his team—should join her. And they should publicly shame any Republican senator still capable of feeling that emotion who is allowing McConnell to get away with this.

Sign the petition: Mitch McConnell must recuse himself from Trump impeachment trial.

Categories: Politics

Is Boris Johnson a Brilliant Political Strategist?

Kevin Drum - 2 hours 23 min ago

In the wake of the big Conservative victory in yesterday’s British elections, Andrew Sullivan is getting a lot of attention for his piece about Boris Johnson in the latest issue of New York. Sullivan argues that although Johnson may seem disheveled and lacking any kind of consistent ideology, he deserves more credit than he’s usually given for executing a brilliant electoral strategy:

He has done what no other conservative leader in the West has done: He has co-opted and thereby neutered the far right. The reactionary Brexit Party has all but collapsed since Boris took over. Anti-immigration fervor has calmed. The Tories have also moved back to the economic and social center under Johnson’s leadership. And there is a strategy to this. What Cummings and Johnson believe is that the E.U., far from being an engine for liberal progress, has, through its overreach and hubris, actually become a major cause of the rise of the far right across the Continent. By forcing many very different countries into one increasingly powerful Eurocratic rubric, the E.U. has spawned a nationalist reaction. From Germany and France to Hungary and Poland, the hardest right is gaining. Getting out of the E.U. is, Johnson and Cummings argue, a way to counter and disarm this nationalism and to transform it into a more benign patriotism. Only the Johnson Tories have grasped this, and the Johnson strategy is one every other major democracy should examine.

Maybe so. But Johnson did this by giving the hard right exactly what it wanted: Brexit, and no shilly-shallying about it. As for anti-immigration fever calming, few people ever seem to take a good look at the timing of all this. The Brexit referendum, unfortunately, was held very shortly after the peak of the European refugee crisis, when panic about it was still fresh:

It’s pretty easy to calm anti-immigrant fever if you simply wait a few years for the fever to break naturally. And it’s pretty easy to defang a political movement if you basically surrender to all their demands, no? If you want to argue that this was the only way to get things done, and Johnson was the only one to see it, fine. But there’s not a lot of political brilliance here.

Categories: Politics

Trump's 'big deal with China' isn't big, isn't a deal, and isn't real

Daily Kos - 3 hours 31 min ago

America’s farmers can now rejoice, praise Donald Trump, and “buy much larger tractors.” Or at least that’s the word that Trump handed down after he inked a preliminary deal with China on Thursday evening. But—shocking as it may seem—there are not many connections between Trump’s claims about this deal and the actual deal in the real world.

As The New York Times reports, this deal is still a long, long way from the kind of victory that Trump has promised for his long-running trade war. It won’t come close to restoring the fortunes of American farmers, who have been suffering a record level of bankruptcies since Trump decided to prove his toughness by blowing up international relations. It also won’t pave over the massive payments Trump has handed out in an effort to minimize the damage. In fact, it will leave behind a $10 billion hole.

The agricultural purchases required in the agreement are both vague and clearly far too small to restore even the conditions that existed before Trump’s actions sent China looking to South America and other regions to replace goods they would have previously purchased from America. In 2019, farm debt topped $416 billion—absolutely swamping the scale of Trump’s “enormous deal,” even when including non-agricultural products. 

Even as bankruptcy is up 24% in a single year, Trump is telling America’s farmers that it’s time to buy “much larger tractors” to generate all the grain required by this deal. Trump says that he expects China to buy $50 billion of U.S. agricultural products. That $50 billion figure is one that Trump has deployed before. It’s just that the date keeps shifting. And shifting. That number is imaginary, but the exploding farm debt and bankruptcies are very real.

The hole between what Trump “expects” and what’s actually in the deal is far larger than any of the gaps Republicans complained about in the impeachment case. As in Trump doesn’t give any timetable for those purchases, or any description of how they will be configured, or any real reason to believe the purchases will happen at all. When will farmers see new purchases from China? “Pretty soon,” says Trump.

That’s not exactly something that cash-starved farmers can take to the bank when asking for that new tractor loan. Though imaginary tractors will probably do for this imaginary deal.

Categories: Politics

Sanders and Warren pledge to skip next debate if the alternative is crossing a picket line

Daily Kos - 3 hours 45 min ago

The next Democratic presidential debate had its location changed over a labor boycott of the University of California. Now, top contenders Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren say they will skip the debate if a labor dispute with the new location, Loyola Marymount University, isn’t settled.



Food service workers at the university have been in contract negotiations with Sodexo, the company that employs them, for over a year. With the negotiations stalled, the workers have held pickets, and a Democratic debate could provide them leverage. It’s a little late in the game for the debate to be moved again, but the university could pressure Sodexo.

At the time of this writing, none of the other candidates who have qualified for the debate have committed to honor a picket line.

Friday, Dec 13, 2019 · 6:54:53 PM +00:00 · Laura Clawson

Andrew Yang is the third candidate to say he won't cross a picket line. That is a surprise.

Categories: Politics

Trump is so anxious to have fresh smears from Rudy, he called him while the plane was on the runway

Daily Kos - 4 hours 59 min ago

As complete proof that Donald Trump hasn’t been soliciting smears from Ukraine to ratf#ck the 2020 election, Rudy Giuliani has been over in Ukraine … soliciting smears to ratf#ck the 2020 election. And while Trump isn’t apparently happy with the instant whitewashing that Mitch McConnell is offering up in the Senate, there is something that has him very, very excited. So excited that he couldn’t wait even minutes to get the latest installment.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Trump called up Giuliani as soon as his plane hit the ground. As soon as it hit the ground. As in, while it was still taxing down the runway. Trump was literally watching the clock, waiting for that first moment when he could call up his personal attorney and get the latest progress on smearing political opponents with the help of foreign officials. Because this is where we are now.

Giuliani had to make this trip without the assistance of his pals and former guides Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, because they happen to be under indictment in the United States for funneling foreign funds into Republican accounts—including a big, big chunk for Trump. Frequent campaign “bundler” and White House guest Parnas appears to be actually on his way back to jail after hiding a $1 million payment that the Russians slid his way through the ultra-sophisticated method of inserting it into his wife’s bank account.

But lacking his former connections didn’t seem to slow down Giuliani’s efforts. He already had enough connections between ousted pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine, and lawmakers who want to see new President Volodymyr Zelensky fail, that he had no trouble coming up with a line of people willing to testify that Joe Biden is evil incarnate. All of which really, really pleases Trump.

Giuliani was equally excited to tell the Journal about his runway conversation with Trump. According to his personal attorney, Trump’s first words were “‘What did you get?’” And Giuliani assured him that he has “More than you can imagine.” Which is a big claim, because Trump’s belief in the “CrowdStrike conspiracy” shows that he can believe a helluva lot.

Categories: Politics

What’s Wrong With the Repo Market? A Followup.

Kevin Drum - 5 hours 26 min ago

Back in September I passed along the news that there had been a sudden spike in the overnight repo rate, the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans of cash. On September 16, right at the end of the trading day, there was suddenly a huge unfilled demand for cash, which produced a massive spike in the repo rate from 2 percent to about 10 percent. The Fed stepped in with an injection of cash the next morning, and calm was restored to the market:

So this all had a happy ending. Or did it? At the time, the Fed blamed the spike on “technical factors,” mainly the fact that corporate tax payments were due on the same day that Treasury auctions settled. This produced a sudden need for cash at a time when cash reserves happened to be a little lower than usual.

But here’s the thing: if that were the case, the Fed would have stabilized the market once and that would have been it. In reality, the Fed has continued injecting cash into the repo market continuously for the past three months. Here’s the latest:

The New York Fed added $56.45 billion in short-term liquidity to the financial sector Friday to get markets through the weekend….The Fed has been intervening in markets in the current fashion since mid-September, when short-term rates unexpectedly shot up on a confluence of factors, the biggest of which stemmed from corporate-tax payments and the settlement of Treasury debt auctions.

Fed interventions have calmed markets considerably, even though there remains significant uncertainty about what will happen over the turn of the year, when money-market pressures are expected to rise up, although no one knows by how much….Yet anxiety remains. Ian Lyngen, a market strategist with BMO Capital Markets, told clients in a note that “in spite of the massive scale of this liquidity provision, the year-end turn is still trading around 4%, which is disconcerting and speaks to the level of angst on funding desks.” That said, he reckons the Fed’s latest move should help: “If there was any doubt as to whether the Fed would do everything they could to pump the system full of reserves, [Thursday’s announcement] should calm those fears, even if the regulatory constraints remain.”

Why the continued need for cash? Short-term technical factors can hardly account for it. But here’s one thing to think about: the Fed’s interventions are relatively small compared to the whole repo market, amounting to maybe 5-10 percent of the total. But what are the odds that the overnight repo market would consistently be just 5-10 percent short of demand over a period of months?

I Am Not A Banker, but the odds seem slim to me. A more likely explanation is that the repo market is working fine—for most people, anyway. But there are a few borrowers who are in such parlous shape that no one wants to loan them money for even 12 hours, and it’s these borrowers that the Fed is propping up in hopes that they’ll get their act together and we can avoid any big bank or money market fund failures.

But this is just noodling on my part. No one else seems to be especially worried about this, and perhaps there really is just some glitch in the repo market that’s basically technical in nature and will take a while to fix. Stay tuned.

Categories: Politics

Moscow Mitch gleeful over his wanton destruction of the Senate and the Judiciary

Daily Kos - 5 hours 27 min ago

Moscow Mitch McConnell didn't just casually toss the Constitution into the trash on Sean Hannity's show Thursday when he promised Donald Trump would be in control of his own impeachment hearing. He gloated over his wanton destruction of federal judiciary, laughing at Hannity for saying that he was shocked President Obama left judicial vacancies.

"I'll tell you why," he answered. "I was in charge of what we did the last two years of the Obama administration." Then he laughed.

He laughed over the fact that he single-handedly refused to let the Senate advise and consent on President Obama's judicial nominees. He's laughing over the fact that he left all those vacancies open for Donald Trump. For Trump. Including a Supreme Court seat.

He's now reached an obscene milestone—50 circuit court judges confirmed. Fifty. These are the judges that will send every anti-abortion, anti-civil rights, anti-environment case from the states up to the Supreme Court. For decades to come, because many of them are very young and these are lifetime appointments. He's reached his goal on the circuits, he told POLITICO, and is moving on. "Whatever's on the calendar, I'm going to make every effort I can to clear them all," McConnell said. "We've already […] finished up the circuits. So I'm going to make my best effort to clear the calendar of district judges by the end of the year."

He has been completely undaunted by the fact that a record number of those judges have been deemed "unqualified" by the American Bar Association. They're now up to seven unqualified judges confirmed, including two just confirmed: the "arrogant, lazy ideologue" Lawrence VanDyke, who cried crocodile tears over his ABA rating, and anti-abortion zealot Sarah Pitlyk, who "has never tried a case as lead or co-counsel, whether civil or criminal [and] has never examined a witness."

Moscow Mitch is infesting the federal judiciary with unqualified, bigoted judges and he's proud of it. He thinks it's funny. And he's doing it for Trump, a bigoted, unqualified president. Because it wasn't enough to destroy the Senate. He has to destroy the judiciary, too.

His wanton destruction of the institution of the Senate must be stopped. Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Categories: Politics

Salvadoran asylum-seeker forced to wait in Mexico under inhumane Trump policy kidnapped, murdered

Daily Kos - 5 hours 53 min ago

A Salvadoran asylum-seeker who had been forced to wait out his case in Mexico for four months under inhumane and illegal Trump administration policy was kidnapped and murdered last month, The New York Times reports. “Mexican authorities said the man was ‘dismembered’ and they are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.”

Despite a false claim from Homeland Security that Migrant Protection Protocols, or Remain in Mexico, has “successfully provided protections” to returned asylum-seekers, human rights leaders said violence against them has surged, documenting nearly 640 cases to date. Nearly 140 of these instances have involved kidnappings. The administration’s policy has been a boon to thugs and cartels, who’ve stooped to targeting asylum-seekers as they’re being sent to Mexico or trying to return to the U.S. for court dates in order to extort them or relatives. 

The asylum-seeker, whose identify has not been revealed to protect his widow and two children, had found work at a pizzeria when he was targeted, kidnapped, and killed. "They sent us back,” his widow said. “We said Tijuana was really dangerous, there was a lot of crime but they didn't listen to us. They said that they couldn't do anything because those were Trump's orders.” Some public servants have recognized Trump’s orders are illegal, however. 

Doug Stephens, believed to be the first asylum officer to formally refuse to implement Remain in Mexico, said last month that the policy “is violating numerous domestic and international laws by sending people back and causing this harm.” He said he knew he could no longer do his job when “it seemed clear” someone he was interviewing would be harmed if they were returned to Mexico, but he was told by a superior to reject the claim. “I was not really surprised,” he said. “The interviews as they’re structured are clearly designed to make individuals fail and send everyone back without really giving them a fair shot.”

The asylum-seeker’s widow said they were trying to do everything right by doing what they were told to do, but this is a system that’s not set up to implement asylum law: It’s set up to block it, and at horrific human costs. “We didn't cross over illegally, we crossed over the right way, we waited our turn to do things right,” she said. “That's why this is so unfair.” NBC News San Diego reports that only now is the family in San Diego, with their attorney working to have them placed with relatives in San Francisco.

Categories: Politics

Trump wants to give Zelensky that White House meeting, now that it would be a 'perfect' photo-op

Daily Kos - 6 hours 6 min ago

On Thursday, Republicans made up two whole new excuses for Donald Trump withholding funds from Ukraine, which is handy for Republicans who want to pretend they’re not defending a grave threat to national security without cause. However, Trump himself doesn’t seem to give a damn. While Republicans are defending Trump using claims that he never bothered to make, Trump isn’t interested in defense. Instead, Mr. “Perfect phone call” is out there trying show that he has noting to defend.

One step in that is something that did come up repeatedly in Thursday’s impeachment hearings. Republicans are claiming that since Ukrainian officials stated that they did not feel pressured by Trump, there can be “no crime.” To back that up, The Daily Beast reports that Trump wants to bring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the United States to not just give him that White House meeting that he’s so far been denied, but to give Zelensky a tour of U.S. liquefied natural gas producers.

The goal is to push back against the idea that holding up a meeting that Zelensky long desired was ever part of the extortion Trump was conducting in Ukraine. Republicans have trotted out a court case in which they claim that a meeting isn’t sufficient to be the subject of a bribery charge, while ignoring the fact that it was a very different kind of meeting in a very different context. But Trump is planning to … trump them, by simply moving the needle to “see, he got that meeting after all,” and, Trump will claim, America even got a trade deal out of it—one sure to create millions, and millions of millions, of jobs. 

That this meeting is happening not just after Trump was caught with his hand in the Ukraine jar but after he’s actually been impeached by the House won’t matter to the claims made by Republicans. After all, they’re already claiming that the release of the military assistance had nothing to do with the fact that Trump had just been definitively, and decisively put on notice.

And as Republicans made absolutely clear in Thursday’s hearing, if you mention that someone is a hostage who is being forced to make a statement they don’t agree with, it’s an insult … to the hostage.

Categories: Politics

House Judiciary Committee passes articles of impeachment against Trump

Daily Kos - 7 hours 1 min ago

After an overnight break, the House Judiciary Committee returned Friday morning and quickly voted through two articles of impeachment—abuse of power and obstruction of Congress—on party-line votes. Both articles passed 23 to 17, with Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu absent due to illness.

This vote sets up a vote in the full House as soon as next week.

Categories: Politics

McConnell: 'No difference between the president's position and our position' on impeachment

Daily Kos - 7 hours 9 min ago

Moscow Mitch McConnell isn't even going to bother with the pretense of having a real impeachment trial in the Senate. They'll have a trial, but it's going to be the defendant who is running the show. He told Sean Hannity so on Fox News Thursday night, making it very it clear: "Everything I do during this, I'm coordinating with White House Counsel. There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this."

That's following a strategy session McConnell had with Trump's White House counsel Pat Cipollone where the two "sketched out a plan […] to coordinate closely for an impeachment trial but haven't reached agreement on a final strategy to defend Trump against charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, according to two sources familiar with the conversation." Because McConnell sees his role as defending Trump against the charges, even though he's one of the jury.

He couldn't be more blatant if he tried. Every move he makes, he told Hannity, will be "in total coordination with the White House counsel."

Here is the oath Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will administer to McConnell and every other senator before the hearing, the oath they will all swear to: "I solemnly swear […] that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of Donald J. Trump, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God." Impartial justice. That's what he's required by the Constitution and will swear to deliver.

Throwing that in the trash isn't enough for McConnell. He had to add a not-so veiled threat to his Republican senators on top of it. "There's no chance the president will be removed from office," McConnell told Hannity. "My hope is there won't be a single Republican who votes for these two articles of impeachment."

His wanton destruction of the institution of the Senate must be stopped. Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as majority leader.

Categories: Politics

As Republicans scream about bipartisanship in impeachment debate, think about the Voting Rights Act

Daily Kos - 7 hours 12 min ago

House Republicans keep insisting that if impeachment is not bipartisan, it’s illegitimate. Let’s talk about that. First, of course, a House Republican did come out for impeachment, months ago. The fact that Freedom Caucus co-founder Justin Amash is no longer a Republican is exhibit one in how tightly Republicans have closed ranks against any criticism of Donald Trump. But there’s another recent House vote that tells us what we need to know about Republicans and bipartisanship: the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

The recent passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the Voting Rights Act protections dismantled by the Supreme Court came on a nearly party-line vote. Just one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, voted for it.

In 2006, a Republican-controlled House passed the last update to the Voting Rights Act with 192 Republican votes. It went on to pass the Senate unanimously and be signed by then-President George W. Bush. All that Republican support has disappeared, and it’s not because the question of voting rights has changed so much. It’s because of what the Republican Party—already a hard-right party in the W. era—has become.

Something that had broad bipartisan support in 2006 is now a partisan issue. Only Democrats want to protect the voting rights of people of color. Republicans are opposed. Does that Republican opposition mean that voting rights are illegitimate because it’s not bipartisan? So when Republicans point to their own opposition to impeachment to say that impeachment cannot possibly be acceptable in a democracy, consider the question of voting rights. This is the Republican standard these days: furious opposition to anything that might weaken Republican electoral prospects. 

Categories: Politics

House Judiciary Committee Votes To Impeach Donald Trump

Crooks and Liars - 7 hours 15 min ago

(The proceedings start at the 18:25 mark above.)

House Judiciary Committee Votes To Impeach Donald Trump

It's done. Two counts, along party lines, passed 23-17.

Republicans tried to force last night's vote to take place in the middle of the night, and Jerry Nadler's response was, "Yeah, I don't think so." GOPers screamed like stuck pigs and cried copious tears over a "corrupt process."

Without mentioning these are the exact same rules Republicans used while they were in control. But hypocrisy is a feature, not a bug, in today's Republican party.

So despite their best efforts (nomination for Best Performance As A Histrionic Whack Job goes to Doug Collins), it's on, folks. Watch as history happens.


Categories: Politics

Who’s the FBI Agent in “Richard Jewell”?

Kevin Drum - 8 hours 20 min ago

Clint Eastwood’s new movie, Richard Jewell, about the man who was falsely accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, has gotten generally good reviews from critics but has come under fire from journalists and feminists for a scene in which a newspaper reporter offers to sleep with an FBI agent if he’ll tell her the name of their suspect. It’s such a tired—and tiresome—trope. But aren’t there two sides to this? What about the FBI agent? By chance, just as I was wondering about this, the New York Times provided a few details:

Mr. Eastwood’s film, written by the veteran screenwriter Billy Ray, follows the standard practice for movies based on real-life events by taking liberties with certain facts to speed the story along. But it uses Ms. Scruggs’s real name while giving a new one to the F.B.I. agent, raising the question of whether the filmmakers risked damaging the reporter’s reputation in their efforts to convey how Mr. Jewell lost his.

….At an awards-campaign talk in Los Angeles last month, the film’s screenwriter, Mr. Ray, said he had spoken with people involved in the case. “I will stand behind every word of the script,” he added.

There are two obvious things here. The first is that the reporter died a few years ago and you can’t libel a dead person. So there was no legal risk in using her name. The FBI agent, by contrast, is still alive and could sue for libel if he were wrongly named.

The second is that maybe the FBI agent was Ray’s source in the first place, and not naming him was part of the source agreement.

So what I really want to know now is: what’s the name of the FBI agent? And was he the source for the movie?

Categories: Politics

Stephen Colbert Lauds Greta Thunberg's Win Over Trump For Person Of The Year

Crooks and Liars - 8 hours 43 min ago

Via Mashable:

"So ridiculous," tweeted the president. "Greta must work on her Anger Management [sic] problem then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!"

Unsurprisingly, Stephen Colbert had some thoughts on that.

"First of all, teens don't go to movies anymore. They stay at home and Tik-Tok their Vape pens on Fortnite. I don't know. Teenagers scare me," says Colbert in the Late Show clip above.

"But since Thunberg is Swedish, let me put this in culturally appropriate terms: Mr President, go Fjuk yourself. Which I can say on CBS, because Fjuk is an island in Sweden.

"It's lovely, they have a lighthouse. And you know where you can stick it."

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Categories: Politics

Judiciary Committee returns for final vote after Jerry Nadler gives Republicans a midnight surprise

Daily Kos - 8 hours 49 min ago

Reading the proposed articles of impeachment took less than ten minutes. The nonsense that followed, in which Republicans introduced a series of nonsense amendments and revisions then spent the maximum time dragging out each inevitable rejection, stretched on for over twelve hours. And then, when the all the long day of intentional distractions and repeated lies had left the Republicans hoarse-voiced and looking pummeled … there was a surprise. With midnight looming and the end in sight, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler suddenly gavelled the hearing closed without calling for a final vote on the articles. 

Throughout the day, Republicans had many moments of over-the-top histrionics, with ranking member Doug Collins of Georgia swinging between mocking laughter and storming out of the chamber in his quest to produce the perfect fifteen seconds for Fox News. But what Nadler did when the last possible minutes of objections, points of order, and “I rise for the purpose of striking the last word” had finally been exhausted left the Republicans genuinely roaring and sputtering as the Democrats left the room just short of midnight.

"It is now very late at night," said Nadler. "I want the members on both sides of the aisle to think about what has happened over these last two days, and to search their consciences before we cast their final votes.” So Nadler closed the hearing with the announcement that they would take up the vote at 10 AM and “let history be our judge." Then he left, with Republicans who thought they had safely buried the vote in the literal middle of the night sputtering in his wake.

Even with the hearing officially closed, Collins continued shouting his objections and emerged in the hallway to claim that “this is why” people don’t like Congress. Collins also described the action as a “Kangaroo court.” Because Nadler moved the vote to … where it’s more visible and more public. That might not make sense, but then neither did the feeble arguments that Republicans mounted all through Thursday.

Categories: Politics

VILE: Doug Collins SMIRKS As Rep. Swalwell Reminds Him Ukrainians Were Killed

Crooks and Liars - 8 hours 54 min ago

Doug Collins -- lawyer, former Baptist Pastor and a Navy Chaplain -- displayed behavior at Thursday's impeachment hearing that will definitely limit his chances of making it to heaven. In fact, it may have guaranteed him a spot in the hot place down below.

Eric Swalwell was reminding Doug Collins and all of the Republicans that there was an actual human cost to the withholding of aid to Ukraine. Newsweek reported that 13 Ukrainian soldiers were killed by Russia during the period that aid was held up by Donald Trump. These people were totally innocent. They were daughters and sons, brothers and sisters, probably some were parents.

And while Swalwell was making this impassioned statement, Doug Collins was smirking and laughing. And then, when it was done, Collins rambled, denied that he said that no one died, accused Swalwell of being illiterate (in so many words) and then he spit out a bunch of nonsense words, accusing Swalwell of having a lack of honesty and lack of integrity.

Then he ended with this wonderfully Christian and Jesus-approved sentiment:

"I know when people die...we know people die. Wars. People die. Is that difficult to understand?"

Wow. Doug Collins is a gruesome and loathsome character.

Categories: Politics