It’s Armistice Day

Today’s news:

Pete King (R-Asshole) is retiring from Congress.

This is a hoot. Junior went to UCLA to promote his new book, Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. I take it he hired Ann Coulter to write the title, if not the rest of it. Anyway, he was heckled and booed off the stage — by right wing hecklers. The young, right-wing audience that filled the venue grew angry when they were told Junior and his girlfriend (why was she on the stage?) were not taking questions.

At the Sunday event, Trump Jr. appeared to think the first shouts of dissent had come from left-leaning counterprotesters.

“Name a time when conservatives have disrupted even the furthest leftist on a college campus,” he said to the crowd. “It doesn’t happen that way. We’re willing to listen.”

A member of the audience interrupted with a shout: “Then open the Q&A!”

“See what I mean?” Trump Jr. answered. “And that is the problem. And the reason oftentimes it doesn’t make sense to do the Q&A is not because we’re not willing to talk about the questions, ’cause we do. No. It’s because people hijack it with nonsense looking to go for some sort of sound bite. You have people spreading nonsense, spreading hate, trying to take over the room.”

The roar of the crowd shouting “Q&A!” grew louder, threatening to overpower Trump Jr. and Guilfoyle inside Moore Hall on UCLA’s campus.

See also this account of the episode at The Guardian. Junior and girlfriend left the stage after twenty minutes; they were scheduled for two hours.

Yesterday on Meet the Press, the ever-useless Chuck Todd smiled and nodded at inane right-wing talking points from Rand Paul. Paul actually argued that pressuring Ukraine to announce a public investigation of Trump’s political opponent was no different from Joe Biden’s carrying out U.S. foreign policy to get Ukraine to oust a corrupt prosecutor. Then Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) pushed back.

Over the weekend the New York Times published a long story about exactly what Biden was doing in Ukraine, and why. The short answer, “his job.”

Mr. Giuliani has claimed, without evidence, that Mr. Biden’s push to oust Mr. Shokin was an attempt to block scrutiny of his son’s actions. In fact, Mr. Biden was just one of many officials calling for Mr. Shokin to go. Good-government activists were protesting his actions in the streets, as were eurozone power players like Christine Lagarde, then the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, along with Ms. Nuland and Senate Republicans.

“The position regarding getting rid of Shokin was not Vice President Biden’s position; it was the position of the U.S. government, as well as the European Union and international financial institutions,” said Amos J. Hochstein, former coordinator for international energy affairs at the State Department and one of the few administration officials who directly confronted Mr. Biden at the time about his son.

Greg Sargent:

Biden was carrying out U.S. foreign policy by prodding Ukraine — awash in civil unrest and corruption, getting plundered by oligarchs and under Russian assault — to undertake reforms to bring it in line with Western democratic ideals, as a bulwark against Russia.

This is the important subplot lurking beneath the scandal headlines — that in leaving Ukraine vulnerable to Russia in order to strong-arm Ukraine into carrying out his own self-interested corrupt designs, Trump retreated from the United States’ posture of siding with Ukraine in a broader battle between liberal democracy and illiberal authoritarian kleptocracy.

As Franklin Foer has shown, Biden was trying to pull Ukraine into a more democratic orbit, and Trump in effect pulled in the other direction, mingling his own corruption with Russian geopolitical interests.

See also Trump’s Road to Impeachment Paved by All the President’s Yes Men and The Disorienting Defenses of Donald Trump. One more: Republican: You Can’t Impeach Trump for a Crime He Does ‘All the Time’.

16 thoughts on “It’s Armistice Day

  1. The republicans fire off trial balloons to sway the court of public opinion.  Just send them all out there and tell them to wing it seems to be the plan for the Sunday talk shows.  It is quite obvious what they do not have, which is a plausible defense.  They need something simple the base can parrot, but all the plans sound like "I did it last night and had it on my desk and the dog ate it." 

    Nancy is right wanting a tight clean case.  The tighter the case gets and the more the evidence mounts, the sillier the defenders sound.  Trump was just making him an offer he couldn't refuse.  Why not just say he and Giuliani went gangster psycho and no one could stop them.  I would buy an insanity defense without a problem for both of them.  No one in their right mind would try a stunt like that would they?  Would anyone in their right mind try to defend it? 


  2. What I'm really pleased to see is that people have moved from calling it "quid pro quo" to "extortion" and now, "bribery" – which is actually mentioned in the Constitution as a valid reason for impeachment. It's critically important to name it correctly otherwise it simply won't sink into people's minds, and the right will absolutely try to find ways to weasel around it.

  3. How many Republicans who are defending Trump VOTED for that military aid to Ukraine. It was going to expire. Republicans in Congress were asking WTF is with the aid to Ukraine that Trump had frozen. Now that Trump is busted and the scandal threatens the 2020 election, it's okie-dokie. 

  4. Lindsey Graham says that the Trump administration is too incompetent to execute a quid pro quo. Therefore he can't be guilty. But didn't Trump write a best selling book called: Art of the Quid Pro Quo?

  5. Let's face a very simple fact:

    The reason tRUMP Jr. didn't want to "A" any "Q's" is that not only didn't he write that book with his name on it, he probably didn't even read it!

    He just wanted to yak on stage for a couple of hours about how dirty and unfair liberals are, probably to impress his new female-creature-friend!

    BTW – some very clever liberal(s) changed the title on the book-cover in one store to read, "Please Daddy, Love Me!"


    • Yeah, the reality is that daddy isn't ever gonna love Donny Jr. When you get wrapped up in narcissism to the degree that Donny Sr. is there is no possibility of ever loving anybody other than yourself.

      Donny Jr. has been through some trauma in his relationship to his daddy. I've read where at the time Trump was cheating on Ivana and he planted the story about Marla Maples claiming that having sex with Donald Trump was the best sex she's ever had. I know it was intended as an attempt by Trump to project an image of Trump being some sort of a super stud, but he never considered, or possibly  was never concerned about the impact such a fabricated story would have on Donny Jr.

      Little Donny Jr. was at a tender age in his development when he was subjected to his father publicly humiliating his mother and also grappling with the abandonment by his father of the only familial structure he had ever known.

      Divorce is difficult for any child to come to terms with without feeling that they are somehow to blame. Or to come through that experience without being scared with a deep sense of insecurity

      The only coping mechanism Donny Jr. could come up with was to run away from home and try and strike out on his own, far from the domineering shadow cast by his father. Seems he wasn't adequately prepared to face the hardships of responsibility and hard work to stand on his own two feet, and eventually he skulked back to his life of  economic privilege in exchange his worth as a human being. Sad

      So I can understand why someone would summarize the content of Donny's book with a title of … Please Daddy, Love Me.

  6. He just wanted to yak on stage for a couple of hours about how dirty and unfair liberals are, probably to impress his new female-creature-friend!

    He wants to follow in dad’s footsteps, lying and manipulating the crowd, fooling the rubes, so that he, too, can become President someday. That’s the whole the point of the book.

    We have a shot at getting rid of Trump Sr because he’s so incompetent and has some major dementia going on. Even so this is a long shot. We’re lucky – the next authoritarian won’t be such an obvious a$$. It won’t end with Trump.

  7. This is sickening:

    "Peter King stood head & shoulders above everyone else.  He’s been principled & never let others push him away from his principles.  He’s fiercely loved America, Long Island, and his Irish heritage and left a lasting mark on all 3.  I will miss him in Congress & value his friendship."

    The Vice headline for this story is dead on. 

    Schumer didn't have to say anything.  Or he could have just noted his retirement and wished him well.  But this gushing praise of this bigot is an example of, as the Vice headline says, is precisely what's wrong with democratic leadership.  

    For these "centrists" this is also part of the status quo they want to maintain.

  8. It's amazing to see the Republican PR machine's red lights flashing everywhere. The message discipline program has finally been infected by malware it couldn't handle; Donald J. Trump. A cult of personality! 40 major White House players fired or forced out! 20 House retirements so far! Trumpist v.s. conservative infighting! The ludicrous and grotesque capers of Rudy, The Three Amigos, Lev and Igor, and many more! Multiple conflicting defenses of Trump's impeachable behavior! Olympic grade under-bus throwing! Destroyed reputations! The greatest show on Earth! Coming up are Republicans positioning themselves to rise from the ashes; Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, only to name a few. Rots of luck, saps.

    You can't ever count them out. They're the ownership class and its servants. But the times they are a'changin'.


  9. Great comment to Republicans’ words betray a lack of moral core, repeated here:

    My work takes me to many eastern European and Former Soviet Union countries.

    A couple of observations are always made by individuals in this region.

    One, trump is essentially owned by Putin. The Kremlin clearly has Kompromat on trump and his cronies, and direct their actions.

    Two, trump is a money launderer who is deeply indebted to Russian oligarchs, and has strong ties to organized crime in Russia.

    Three, it is very easy and relatively cheap to buy Republicans. Numerous people have told me that they cannot believe it would be possible to buy a Republican congressman for $10-20k, but it is. These are low level police / city official type prices in Russia.

    Finally, they think they have neutered the US military and NATO with a relative small expenditure. Controlling the Republican party means the Russians have taken control over the main policy decisions of the Pentagon, and are gradually destroying Western military alliances.

    I hope I live to see the day that this all comes out.

    • The repugs are charging introductory rates. One they get up and running with a healthy clientele  the rates are going to pick up. Look at Cohen and Giuliani they get half a mil just for openers. Pete Sessions was a back bencher, but 12 grand for smear letter ain't exactly chicken feed.

  10. From Moonbat's link on Carlson's show: "It is a mix of populism — even though Carlson rejects the label — and 21st-century culture wars, all wrapped up in a College Republican intellectualism."

    Not stopping at "culture wars" was way too kind. There is no intellectualism. Tucker's all about stereotyping, mockery and trolling, like the sociopath he's currently fluffing. Hannity is more of the same.


  11.  This from an article in USA Today

    ’The nightmare’ is the scenario where President Zelensky goes out in public, makes an announcement that he’s going to investigate Burisma and the election in 2016, interference in 2016 election, maybe among other things,” Taylor said, according to a transcript released Wednesday of his Oct. 22 testimony. “The nightmare was he would mention those two, take all the heat from that, get himself in big trouble in this country and probably in his country as well, and the security assistance would not be released. That was the nightmare.”

    Am I reading into this? Taylor feared or expected that Trump would obtain what he wanted in the public statement and then not pay the "quo." Trump's business history suggests that's in keeping with his nature. But why, given the outcry from both sides in Congress that aid which was appropriated if it's never delivered. Does Taylor (and perhaps others) think that Trump's objective in withholding aid wasn't the public announcement we're focused on? The freeze happened long before the shakedown began. (or at least watch the timeline on that) There's recent testimony by Catherine Croft was that sale of the Javelin that Ukraine requested was favored by everyone except OMB (White House) in 2018. So Trump has left Ukraine exposed and vulnerable for a long time deliberately. Exposed to Russia. 

    Trump betrayed the Kurds to Erdogan – was that also the evident policy of the WH toward Ukraine? Betrayal to Russia? Did Taylor come out of retirement to try to save Ukraine from Russia only to discover that that salvation could only occur despite Trump? This is a question Digby is asking – did stabbing Biden come along after the decision to screw Ukraine militarily was made and was that the plan anyway (deliver Ukraine to Putin) after Trump did the damage to Joe

    Is exposure of the real plan – that Trump had sold Ukraine to Russia – the real worry in the Oval Office?


    • One of the thoughts that has crossed my mind is that Rachel Maddow mentioned on one of her shows that Rex Tillerson landed the biggest gas and oil deal with the Russians ever made. It was somewhere in the neighborhood of one half a trillion dollar deal but couldn't be completed or brought to fruition without the technical expertise that only the Americans could provide, Sanctions that were put in place against Russia were an obstacle preventing that deal from going forth.

       It seems to me that if Trump could secure the relief from sanctions and get a small percentage of the overall deal as a finders fee or initiation fee it would give him wealth beyond anything he could ever have imagined. I know it seems a little far fetched,but it makes sense in the fact that Trump's desire for money is so great that if the possibility for such an arrangement were offered to him I'm sure he'd jump at it. It's just a thought,but we do know that Trump is doing everything possible to serve Putin's agenda and the lure of money seems to be the perfect enticement to make him behave the way he has been.

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