Everything Happening All at Once

There’s a quote often misattributed to Einstein that says time is what keeps everything from happening all at once. I think time may be breaking down. Everything is happening all at once.

About last night’s debate, before we move on to the juicy stuff — First, Pete Buttigieg annoyed the hell out of me. He was even more annoying than Tom Steyer, who actually said a few sensible things this time. Mayor Pete needs to take his Republican talking points on health care and stuff them someplace.

Regarding the hoped-for Sanders-Warren smackdown, I’ve been ignoring it because it seemed to me the whole flap could be attributed to miscommunication combined with the exhaustion and burnout that must happen during a long campaign. People who wanted reasons to hate one or the other candidate have been riding it hard on social media, but as I like them both the so-called controversy just annoys me. But not as much as Pete Buttigieg annoys me.

And I miss Andrew Yang and Cory Booker. Oh, well.

Other than that, I think everyone did okay. Probably no minds were changed. But see also Does CNN have it in for Bernie Sanders? by John Judis at TPM.

As the Dem candidates were taking the stage last night, other Dems were opening a big ol’ can of whoop-ass on Donald Trump, in the form of the Lev Parnas papers. As Greg Sargent wrote today, the Parnas papers prove beyond doubt (except, of course, to Republicans) that Rudy G. was in Ukraine as Trump’s personal attorney, with Trump’s approval, to make a deal for dirt on Joe Biden. This pretty much shreds any pretense that Trump was acting in U.S. interest and not his own.

Part of the deal was, explicitly, to get Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch fired because she was in the way of Rudy’s various machinations. The campaign against Yovanovitch was outrageous and sinister; some marginal character named Robert Hyde even claimed to be tracking her movements. Why, to assassinate her? But this opens up the question — what did SecState Mike Pompeo know about this? Rep. Eliot Engel, the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, told Greg Sargent that his committee would be investigating this.

Waldman continued,

As part of the impeachment inquiry, Democrats had subpoenaed the State Department for documents that could shed light on any knowledge that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had of this ongoing campaign, on Giuliani’s communications with the State Department about it, and on efforts by Trump and other henchmen to pressure Ukraine more generally.

The State Department defied this subpoena, and Pompeo just blew off a request that he testify to the Foreign Affairs Committee about Trump’s Iran policies. The State Department is responding to journalistic inquiries with radio silence…

…Democrats will simply have to go on an investigative war footing that will continue after the impeachment saga, and it is likely to produce new revelations. …

An official involved with the impeachment inquiry says more documents are coming from Parnas soon. Meanwhile, there will be extensive investigative media digging that will almost certainly establish more about what, precisely, Giuliani ordered done on Trump’s behalf.

As Charles Pierce says, I Don’t Think the Lev Parnas Texts Are the Last Hound to Be Unleashed. I can’t believe that the State Department was completely in the dark about what Rudy was up to.

Senate Republicans must realize that time is not on their side. More crap will be raining down on their heads throughout the election year of 2020. Some of them may be considering allowing a bit of daylight to come between themselves and Trump. This may affect the Senate vote over witnesses at the trial.

Speaking of which — the House impeachment trial managers are chosen, and the House has voted to send the articles of impeachment on to the Senate. Amber Phillips explains who the managers are and why Pelosi chose them.

Meanwhile, the Russian government resigned so that Putin can consolidate power. And Australia is still burning.

Update: Then this happened

The State Department abruptly canceled two classified congressional briefings Wednesday that were supposed to focus on embassy security and the U.S. relationship with Iran, Capitol Hill aides said, infuriating lawmakers and staffers seeking answers on the fallout from President Donald Trump’s decision to kill a senior Iranian general.

The cancellations also coincide with the release of documents suggesting that associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had put the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine under surveillance — an issue that touches on both embassy security and the president’s impeachment.

“Staff are furious,” a House aide said about the scuttled embassy security session. “This briefing is required by law every month, and today’s was the most important we’ve had scheduled in a long time. The State Department has given us no explanation whatsoever.”

13 thoughts on “Everything Happening All at Once

  1. I was watching a physics show about the cosmos on CuriosityStream (a ten year old BBC documentary). It spanned the birth of the universe, projecting forward to what they believe is its "heat death", eons and eons into the future. This "arrow of time" is driven by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, that the energy in a system tends to move to equilibrium, in other words maximum entropy, maximum disarray. Per this thesis, time appears to collapse when the barriers holding back entropy collapse, giving the perception that many things are happening at once. "Heat death" is when the stars all die out, their energy and matter evenly distributed throughout the cosmos. Time will stop when everything is at a final equilibrium.

    Our country is moving to a different equilibrium than before. So is the climate.

    Read a little about the "flap" between Sanders and Warren, this strikes me as a made up for TV conflict (the only thing TV understands). That said, one of them needs to triumph over the other, focus the field around a few clear choices.

    Setting aside his politics, I am looking forward to see what effect Bloomberg and his big checkbook will have. This field needs to be shaken up. I've been tuned out to the debates, and cheer a little bit as each of the minor candidates drops out. I want to see somebody come in swinging. I've read Bloomberg has zero charisma so it could all be a big waste or worse. Tom Steyer definitely needs to find something better to do. As usual Democrats can't find the door marked "Victory" if someone pointed it out to them with a flashlight.

  2. The question is who paid Hyde? Hyde is now trying to backtrack pretend  it was a joke. Yea right. Threatening an ambassador.  And he plays golf with potus. Let the doc dumps begin.

  3. I was disappointed that Cory Booker dropped out of the race. His messaging and his spirit contained the cure for what ails us as a nation. He's earned my respect and I believe he is genuine. I look forward to him playing a prominent role in whatever capacity he chooses to move America in the right direction. He's got a servants heart.

  4. I was disappointed that Cory Booker dropped out of the race. His messaging and his spirit contained the cure for what ails us as a nation. He's earned my respect and I believe he is genuine. I look forward to him playing a prominent role in whatever capacity he chooses to move America in the right direction. He's got a servants heart.

  5. Who will say it? The rules that the GOP set in 2020 for Trump are the rules the Democrats will play by in 2021 when a Democrat wins. Think about this for a sec, guys. If you are a Republican Senator today and you accept the cancellation of two briefings on an assassination and embassy security in the region, how will you like it if President Sanders defies any inquiry into international policy? We're rapidly approaching the point where a foul has nothing to do with play on the field – it only matters what color jersey you are wearing. 

    That is the definition of lawlessness. And we are there.

  6. Moscow Mitch will do any and every thing to move this faux trial along, and end it to tRUMP's satisfaction, ASAP ! 

    He's one of the trio of un-American politico's who are determined to undermine and eventually destroy our system of representative democracy – the others are tRUMP and Barr (Pompouspeo and Leningrad Limpseed could be added for a quintet).

    And we'll soon find out how many witnesses the witless GOP Senators will allow.

    My bet is, not many.  If any.

    And that's if Moscow Mitch doesn't choose one of tRUMP's Senate Republican sycophants to ask for a dismissal on Day 1 or Day 2.  All it will take, is 1 Senator to ask for it, and a majority to vote for dismissal. 

    I don't know about you, but I don't trust Collins (or even Mitt), or 3 of the others who've been mentioned as GOP Senators who might vote for witnesses.

    Remember, tRUMP is still the leader of their party, and HE controls the reelection money purse-strings.

    So, I'll just wait and see if Collins, Gardner, Tillis, and/or Ernst have the guts to do the right thing.

    I don't trust them.  Do you?

    I hope I'm wrong.

  7. So Putin has initiated Russian constitutional reform.  As a result or requirement of this process his cabinet must resign for restructuring, realignment, and possible reassignment.  This brings up a question as to who are the people that are to resign?  Will this go as far as Moscow Mitch and the Donald?  Will they be reappointed under the new plan that makes Putin the eternal ruler of the whole earth?  Will he rule under the principles of divine right like the Czars?  All this disorder and chaos is distressing.   

    Next week Tuesday the impeachment trial begins.  For once C-Span will show more than the one speaker and the so normal array of empty chairs. Senators may need guides and name cards to help  members find their seats as memories do fade after long periods of time.  This is going to be a tough slog for these Senators.  As one BBC commentator remarked, Senators will be required to listen, a skill they rarely practice.  Talking is the skill they typically train up and are practiced up on.  Jury duty demands quite the opposite skill set,  we will see what they can muster and if they are up for the challenge.  Some may spontaneously explode from the internal pressure created by being quiet for lengths of time they are not trained for. It will be like waiting for the inevitable wreak in the NASCAR race, and give us a reason to pay attention.

    Rumor has it as a show trial, with the outcome pre ordained. It really does not matter.  At this point the exoneration of Trump is not an option.  At best he comes out un-removed from office with the final verdict passed on to historians and constitutional scholars.  So far in our history impeachment is as far as any president has made it down the road of disgrace.  I doubt if Trump can be the first to go "all the way", but he has surprised many times before.  That pesky Parnas guy is all over the news, saying Trump lied.  Parnas reports he was a direct witness to open and flagrant quid pro quo with intent to defame Biden.  As an old joke goes, that cork is never going to be jammed back in.  If the Senate does hold a sham trial and gloss over the truth, it will besmirch the reputation of the justice system and the Senate forever.  Even a turtle in his shell has to have some clue that is going on.  Come out Mitch, the reality smackdown is here to see you.

  8. It's not just his lack of experience and smarmy manner. Buttigieg is so annoying because he represents the party establishment calculation that "If the left will just shut their mouths and stand very still, people will think we're Republicans, and Republicans are winners". That's the thinking that led to the execrable Debbie Wasserman Schultz as DNC chair – the same Wasserman Schultz who waged a war on the working poor by backing the payday loan industry.

    Those people are terrified that Sanders or Warren will be the nominee and become the next McCarthy or Mondale; a too-left candidate who would guarantee a second Trump term. What they don't seem to realize is that Bill Clinton successfully ran as a "centrist" and the blowback wasn't over as of 2016.

    Clinton's draconian "law and order" bills alienated minorities. His downsizing reinforced the Republican claim that government is always the enemy. He backed a free trade bill that didn't do anything to moderate the results for American workers. Worse, his backing of the Financial Service Modernization Act allowed the Wall Street hijinks that led to the meltdown of 2007 and caused more hurt and mistrust among the Democratic base.

    Obama's "third way" approach was less toxic and actually got some progressive results, but the scars haven't completely healed. Trump won in part by (falsely) promising a lot of things establishment Democrats have been afraid to, especially standing up for American workers and for "great" healthcare. Buttigieg is the embodiment of the same old losing formula.


  9. You may not have noticed there were two major earthquakes and a volcanic eruption last week. The cause may be 50-something GOP senators drilling their heads so deep in the sand they broke through the earth's crust into the magma. This created global geological instability.

  10. I heard that Bernie accused Warren’s father of helping Castro to assassinate President Kennedy.
    Or was it Warren that accused Bernie’s father?

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