Categories
Current Events

Impeachment Bon Mots

Ambassador Taylor had to reach for his water before dropping this one.

Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about “the investigations.” Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.

Ambassador William B. Taylor, Opening Statement – 11-13-19

Imagine how loud the President must have been talking into his phone for someone sitting nearby to be able to overhear and recognize not only his voice but the words.

Categories
Current Events

Headline Spectrum

So interesting when you lay the headlines along a spectrum. You can pick up quick a bit from just a headline.

  • Trump caves, says he will release whistleblower complaint, IG report
  • Schumer will press resolution to force administration to release whistleblower complaint to Congress
  • Trump caves to Congress — will release full whistleblower complaint and IG report
  • WH prepares to release whistleblower complaint to Congress
  • White House preparing to release whistleblower complaint to Congress
  • Trump to release whistleblower complaint to Congress: report
  • White House preparing to release whistleblower complaint
  • White House will release whistleblower complaint to Congress: official
  • WH to release document showing intel community watchdog found whistleblower had ‘political bias,’ official says
  • Whistleblower’s legal team, in statement, supports releasing full complaint to lawmakers
  • White House Preparing to Release Whistleblower Complaint
  • White House reportedly moving to release full whistleblower complaint
  • White House to release document that shows findings of ‘political bias’ by whistleblower
  • Report: White House Planning To Give Whistleblower Complaint To Congress Within Days

These come from a new feature that SmartNews launched called the News From All Sides slider. You can read more about it on TechCrunch.

Categories
Current Events

Pete Buttigieg & Structural Change

While it’s important to talk about the issues, they are all just ideas and plans until we have a debate about the structure of our political system – that is what is limiting our ability to make real changes that will stick.

Here’s Mayor Pete from last night’s debate:

[This is] the conversation that we have been having for the last 20 years. Of course we need to get money out of politics, but when I propose the actual structural democratic reforms that might make a difference — end the Electoral College, amend the Constitution if necessary to clear up Citizens United, have DC actually be a state, and depoliticize the Supreme Court with structural reform — people look at me funny, as if this country was incapable of structural reform.

This is a country that once changed its Constitution so you couldn’t drink and changed it back because we changed our minds, and you’re telling me we can’t reform our democracy in our time. We have to or we will be having the same argument 20 years from now.

via Pete Buttigieg had the most important answer at the Democratic debate
Categories
Current Events

Mueller Report : A 10-act play

On Monday, an all-star cast of actors gathered together in New York to perform a dramatic reading of the Mueller Report, the 448-page looking into Russian interference into the 2016 election. The play was written by Robert Schenkkan, a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning screenwriter and playwright. Jason Alexander, Sigourney Weaver, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mark Hamill, and many others make their appearance. John Lithgow is particularly good at channeling Donald Trump as he reads his quotes and tweets.

The performance was for one night only and was put on by Law Works, who also host the video stream above. From their about page:

Law Works partners with leaders in the legal, judicial, national security, law enforcement community, and current and former elected and appointed officials to explain how the rule of law is the foundation of a healthy democracy, to defend the nonpartisan role of the Department of Justice, and to expose current threats to core American values and electoral systems . We advocate for bi-partisan legislation to protect our judicial institutions.

They encourage donations on the page hosting the video.

Categories
Current Events

We’re better than this

Elijah Cummings implores the United States to, “get back to normal”

I know that this has been hard. I know that you face a lot. I know that you are worried about your family. But this is a part of your destiny. And hopefully this portion of your destiny will lead to a better Michael Cohen, a better Donald Trump, a better United States of America, and a better world.

Elijah Cummings closing remarks, House Oversight Committee hearing of Michael Cohen

Amen.

Let the healing begin.

Categories
Current Events

Candidate 404 pages

The last time around I took screenshots of all the presidential candidate 404 error pages. The candidate probably never saw these but they gave a unique glimpse into the character of the people the candidate hired – or at least the person who ran the website.

Sen. Michael Bennet

Nice way to involve your family.

Joe Biden

Cool Joe.

Cory Booker

Kinda looks like Kamela Harris’ 404 page.

Gov. Steve Bullock

Pete Buttigieg

Sad face

Bill de Blasio

John Delany

Hidden Springsteen reference.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Vast Nothingness

Kirsten Gillibrand

Sit down and take a load off.

Mike Gravel

Kamala Harris

John Hickenlooper

Classic

Jay Insle

Featuring some of Governor Jay’s own artwork

Amy Klobuchar

Uff Da – had to look that one up.

Mayor Wayne Messam

No humor here.

Rep. Seth Moulton

Did Seth play basketball at Harvard or is there a Seth Moulton in the NBA?>

Beto O’Rourke

On Point! Peril producing Promise!

Tim Ryan

Bernie Sanders

Perfect.

Rep. Eric Swalwell

Bonus points. Mouse pointer turns into his dog.

President Trump

Fixated on HRC.

Joe Walsh

Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Warren’s 404 page pokes fun at her reputation as someone that never gives up, especially the phrase uttered by Mitch McConnell that now has its own Wikipedia entry.

Bill Weld

Doesn’t stand a chance.

Marianne Williams

Andrew Yang

Related: The Race

Categories
Current Events

Lady Gaga on Dr. Ford’s Courage

I am a sexual assault survivor. Trump the other day was speaking at a rally, and he said, ‘She has no memory of how she got to the party. Should we trust that she remembers the assault?’ And the answer is ‘yes’ … And I also know this woman is smart because she’s a psychologist – she’s no dummy. If someone is assaulted or experiences trauma, there’s science and scientific proof – it’s biology – that people change. The brain changes. What it does is it takes the trauma and it puts it in a box and it files it away and shuts it so that we can survive the pain. And it also does a lot of other things. It can cause body pain. It can cause baseline elevations in anxiety. It can cause complete avoidance of not wanting to even remember or think about what happened to you. But what I believe that have seen is that when this woman saw that Judge Kavanaugh was going to be possibly put in the highest position of power in the judicial system of this country, she was triggered, and that box opened. And when that box opened, she was brave enough to share it with the world to protect this country.

For more on the science, see Why Christine Blasey Ford Can’t Remember How She Got Home (psychologytoday.com)

Categories
Current Events

Ford-Kavanaugh and Truth

The clash of cultures that has been on slow boil since the election came to a frothing head last week in the back-to-back hearings of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh. Both insisted they are absolutely correct and that those on the other side are either mistaken at best or lying under oath at worst.

In the end, after this full day of wrenching testimony before the Judiciary Committee, it feels like we’re essentially back to “he said, she said.”

Which is exactly where we were 27-years ago with Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. Then, Hill and Thomas were stand-ins for gender and we essentially chose, “he said.”

In this case, Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, yes they’re stand-ins for gender, but what today made so clear, they’re really stand-ins for two sides of our divided country and both sides are 100% certain that they are right.

We have been given a week for the FBI to investigate and come forward with the facts. We have a week for our institutions to take these facts and determine the truth and make the right decision on a lifetime appointment. Has a man been unfairly accused of guilt by association or has a woman been heard but ignored?

The stakes have never been higher. The nation watches and the world waits to see if our institutions survive this test and be a reliable crucible that produces truth and justice. We’ll either come out of this stronger with new found optimism or tumble into a cynicism that will infect our midterm elections in the short term and an entire generation of political hopefuls that we can rely on to lead us to make the necessary changes to address the very real challenges to the climate and our way of life.

Categories
Current Events

Questions about Kavanaugh

Two things nagging at me as we await what is gearing up to be the showdown of the decade. There’s no about-ness about this. Someone is not telling the truth. It’ll be winner takes all.

Brett Kavanaugh has categorically denied being at the party where  Christine Blasey Ford alleges that she was pinned down and almost raped by the current nominee for the Supreme Court.

Late night TV host Seth Meyers has this observation on curious timing of the release of list of women that support Kavanaugh,

Yet, Chuck Todd from NBC asks,

The problem with the denial is Dr. Ford didn’t make a specific allegation of a specific event. She admitted she couldn’t remember which house where this was. So, why does he have a very specific ability to deny?

How can Kavanaugh deny being at party when accuser never said which party it was?

Then there’s this tweet that makes you go hmm,

Categories
Current Events

Putting it on the line

“As I’ve been saying from the beginning, this process has been a sham,” Senator Booker said. “The fact that tens of thousands of documents revealing a Supreme Court nominee’s views on key issues were deemed Committee Confidential and not available to the public reflects the absurdity of this process. The public has a right to access documents about a Supreme Court nominee’s views on issues that are profoundly important, such as race and the law. This process has demonstrated an unprecedented level of secrecy and opaqueness that undermines the Senate’s Constitutional duty to advice and consent.”

www.booker.senate.gov