Reason Roundup

Democrats Cry Corruption, Republicans Denounce Hearsay at First Impeachment Hearings

Plus: California truck drivers sue over new labor law, Hong Kong clashes get medieval, Deval Patrick announces presidential bid, and more...

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Yesterday's impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee went as one would expect, with two career diplomats testifying that President Donald Trump improperly held up military aid to Ukraine for his own political advantage, Democrats eagerly embracing and amplifying their statements as evidence of corruption, and Republicans denouncing their testimony as nothing but second-hand rumors.

"It's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign," said William B. Taylor, the chargé d'affaires in Ukraine, at yesterday's hearing, saying that Trump—through his ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland—had relayed to him that $400 million in military assistance to Ukraine was to be withheld until Ukrainian officials publicly announced that they were investigating former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and his dealings with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma.

George Kent, a senior State Department official, testified that these efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the younger Biden were "infecting" U.S. policy toward the country.

Their message was one that Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stressed in his opening remarks.

"If [Trump] sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign, and did so by withholding official acts—a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid—must we simply 'get over it'?" asked Schiff, referencing a remark from acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who had told reporters to "get over" Trump's demand for a Ukranian investigation of his political rivals.

Republicans, for their part, stuck to two main talking points: that neither Taylor of Kent had first-hand dealings with Trump, making their testimony unreliable hearsay, and that the two were pushing their own political agenda.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Calif.) said that the accusations against Trump were coming from a politicized bureaucracy whose members "decided that they, not the president, are really in charge.

"So you both know that this impeachment inquiry is about the president of the United States, don't you—the man that neither one of you have had any contact with?" said Rep. Mike Turner (R–Ohio) to Kent and Taylor, declaring that their testimony would be inadmissible in any court.

The Cato Institute's Julian Sanchez argued on Twitter that the hearsay talk was a cheap dodge, given that they had first-hand dealings with senior Trump administration officials who were carrying out the will of the president.

Ben Friedman, a scholar at Defense Priorities, criticized Democrats for at times suggesting that Trump's relative dovishness toward Russia was the problem instead of focusing on his potentially corrupt dealings with Ukrainian officials.

Rep. Justin Amash (I–Mich.) suggested Democrats were getting lost in the details.


FREE MINDS

The clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators worsen in Hong Kong, and even get a little medieval. Protestors have been building brick-throwing catapults, picking up bows and arrows, and walling off strongpoints at universities in the city.

Meanwhile, mainland Chinese students are starting to be evacuated from the island city, raising concerns that officials in Bejing are planning to forcibly crush the protests.


FREE MARKETS

Truck drivers in California are suing the state government over a new law that makes it harder for workers to be classified as independent contractors.

Passed earlier this year, AB5 imposes a three-part test to determine if a worker is an employee or a contractor. To be counted as the latter, you must be "free from control" from the direction of your hiring entity (meaning you can decide when to work and what jobs to take), you must be performing work outside the normal scope of the entity hiring you, and you must be customarily involved in the work you're being hired to do.

The truckers argue that this standard is far too rigid.

"AB5 threatens the livelihood of more than 70,000 independent truckers," California Trucking Association CEO Shawn Yadon lamented in a statement. "The bill wrongfully restricts their ability to provide services as owner-operators and, therefore, runs afoul of federal law."


QUICK HITS

  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has announced his own presidential bid.

  • Sens. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) and Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.) have introduced a bill to ban most flavored nicotine vaping products. Vaping activists have argued a flavor ban would kill the industry—and a lot of people have relied on flavored vapes to quit smoking.
  • Behold the first online archive of Mencken Award winners. From 1982 to 1996, the prize honored "outstanding writing, reporting, and cartooning that defend individual rights or expose abuses of power."
  • Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has only just launched his presidential bid, but he might be getting canceled already.

  • Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea are going badly.
  • Intense protests greeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he visited D.C. yesterday to meet with Trump.

NEXT: Justice Kagan asked which provision of the INA was violated by DACA

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  1. Intense protests greeted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he visited D.C. yesterday to meet with Trump.

    its a shame no one showed up to show their displeasure with erdogan

    1. Zing!

    2. Hello.

      I listened to Howie Carr during the Deval Patrick years. What an incompetent hack he was. Now he wants to take his act to the national stage? Yikes!

    3. Didn’t he sic his bodyguards on protesters the last time around?

      1. Yes, he did. And the Federal government just let it happen. Fucking useless pigs.

        1. They beat up secret service and diplomatic security services guys too, and then state department helped them evade justice.

          https://thehill.com/policy/international/469705-erdogan-visit-stirs-memories-of-violent-protests

  2. Yesterday’s impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee went as one would expect…

    Great? Efficient? Dispassionately?

    1. Divisive? Political? Lots of grandstanding and spin?

      1. But enough about Taylor and Kent.

        1. And Schiff, and Nunes, and Trump, and on and on.

          1. Yeah, anyone falsely accused should just shut up and take it, right?

            1. Why won’t he let Rudy, Mulvaney, or Bolton testify, if he so badly wants to defend himself? Are the facts not a good enough defense?

              1. “If you have nothing to hide…”

              2. Why should he let either testify? Separation of Powers is an actual thing.

                Why shouldn’t you just let the FBI search through your computer? What are you trying to hide? It’s not like the DNC has openly admitted (just yesterday by AOC) they are searching for anything they can impeach him on.

                1. I doubt the DNC considers AOC to be their spokeswoman.

                  1. Do you also doubt she doesnt sit in on DNC meetings or gets direction from Pelosi?

                    Do you want me to point you to Al Green, Talaib, and others?

                    Is your argument stupid enough to be they didnt think of impeachment until this whistleblower?

                    1. Pelosi’s presser was fun today.
                      She went on and on about Trump covering up (obstructing justice) and how he’d only release the aid to Ukraine if Zelensky publicly announced an investigation.
                      Damning stuff.
                      Only problem is, no investigation was announced and aid was released to Ukraine, no cover up took place as Trump released the transcript.
                      Pelosi and Schiff have a script they wrote weeks/months ago. Trump’s actions – releasing the aid and a transcript – invalidated their script… but they’re still using it. They don’t know how to improvise.
                      When asked if they’d vote for impeachment, Pelosi said they still haven’t decided if they’ll have a vote.

                    2. Pelosi and AOC are known to not get along very well.

                2. On one hand, you guys complain that is hearsay, on the other hand you complain that no one should testify. It’s almost as if you want Trump to be an unchecked king.

                  1. Translation: Yeah, the cops have brought up absurd charges. It isn’t fair that you refuse to let them search your house to try and prove them, though.

                    1. This isn’t a criminal trial. This is checks and balances. If the president wants to assert he did nothing wrong, then he should make his case. Instead, he is forbidding his staff from testifying.

                      As it turns out, there is quite a lot of evidence and corroboration even still: https://apnews.com/ef4ca38f1cf047b4ab329d1457f41392

                    2. Evidence of what, exactly? The Democrats can’t even decide on what they are accusing Trump of having done! It changes from week to week.

                    3. It hasn’t changed in the sense that the accusation is that Trump delayed payment of Congressionally-allocated aid to Ukraine until the President publicly declared that they were investigating the Bidens.

                      Since it is an impeachment, they don’t have to be specific about the crime, but can just claim abuse of his office. However, various parties have at various times made the specific accusations of: bribery, extortion, violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, violation of FEC fundraising regulations. In that sense, you are right that the accusations have changed, with the latest Democratic talking point centering on “extortion”.

                    4. @De Oppressor Liber “This is checks and balances”

                      This is Act 3 of the world’s stupidest coup attempt.

                      “He is forbidding his staff from testifying”

                      Never voluntarily submit to the “authority” of a show trial or Kangaroo Court. It’s sole purpose is to force you to confess to the manufactured crime.

                  2. De Oppresso Liber, you probably missed this comment thread from yesterday:

                    https://reason.com/2019/11/13/republicans-and-democrats-rev-up-spin-machine-for-start-of-public-impeachment-hearings/#comment-8010294

                    You might find it interesting.

                    1. That’s…a theory.

                    2. And Nardz, John, and loveconstitution1789 all state they find it credible.

                    3. Look at “mike” with such faith that his betters don’t have any dirty secrets

            2. No, but that doesn’t mean they waste an opportunity for some grandstanding and spin.

            3. It’s a fair point that Trump has a right to defend himself. It’s just so divisive and moronic how he goes about it with his tweets.

              1. The fact that people like you hate it is what makes it great prog.

              2. Do you feel the same way about anyone who declares their innocence publicly?

                1. Feel that if they posted idiotic, divisive tweets I would find the tweets idiotic and divisive. Yes, I would feel the same way.

                  1. So you’re pro locking up people for being crass. Some nice morals you have there.

              3. “It’s just so divisive and moronic how he goes about it with his tweets.”

                Do you realize how absolutely craven this reads? We have a giant impeachment, with Schiff- the same guy who insisted for 3 years that he had personally seen the “smoking gun” of Russian collusion- now pivoting to Ukraine and literally reading a FAKE recap of the president’s phone call in the initial allegations. And that Trump tweets in anger is Divisive?

                Come on dude. Just go full SPB or grb because your sophist concern troll act is completely transparent.

                1. You know it’s possible for both Schiff and Trump to be divisive at the same time. In fact, that’s kinda how the Red-Blue cultural wars work.

                  1. Mike… live under investigation for 3 years of which you believe you’ve committed no crime and see how devisive you get.

                    What a stupid assertion.

                    1. What a stupid belief. Trump has factually committed crimes, proven in court. Just ask Michael Cohen.

                    2. Faith alone!

                    3. “”Trump has factually committed crimes, proven in court””

                      I don’t think this statement means what you think it means.

                    4. He might get a different outcome at his trial than Michael Cohen, but the facts, as established in Michael Cohen’s conviction are this: Cohen committed felony campaign finance violations at the direction and for the benefit of individual-1, aka Trump. Those are the facts, this is not my opinion.

                      https://fortune.com/2018/12/07/feds-accuse-trump-crime-cohen-campaign-finance/

                    5. Lol. Proven in court huh baby jeffrey?

                    6. Cohen wasn’t proven in court you fucking retard. He pled. Do you even know what words mean baby Jeffrey?

                    7. He pled guilty in court. The facts are established. Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator to a felony.

                      I love your nonstop pedantry, though. Really distracts from the actual content. Bravo!

          2. So much effort

    2. Pissed me off they interrupted The Price is Right.

    3. No one expects peach pit herrings

    4. “Republicans denouncing their testimony as nothing but second-hand rumors

      And ENB refusing to point out that the diplomats actually said that what they heard was rumours and that they personally never witnessed any evidence to back up what they heard.

      Fuck ENB, are you learning hackery from Suderman or Binion?

      1. Oh wait, it’s Britischgi (Welch Jr.), not ENB.

  3. Michael Bloomberg’s history of demeaning comments about women is likely to draw scrutiny as he prepares a presidential run. His team issued a statement saying that some of them were “disrespectful and wrong.”

    yeah, but what about the statements?

    1. Another line, purportedly Mr. Bloomberg’s sales pitch for his eponymous computer terminal, said the machine will “do everything,” including oral sex, although a cruder term was used. “I guess,” Mr. Bloomberg was quoted as saying, “that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”

      Oops!

      1. “Sorry, you ladies out of business.”

        1. Sorry, you ladies out of business.”
          You mean wymin.

      2. If Bloomie had used the right marketing buzzwords like ‘inclusive’ and ‘sustainable’ he’d be golden.

      3. The left hates jokes

        But I love them, and that’s pretty damn funny

        1. No presidency for *you*, either!

          1. Like Biden, my slogan would be “Don’t vote for me!”

        2. “The left hates jokes”

          That certainly explains why the best comedians, actors, directors, musicians, and other artists — and the best television shows, movies, and other entertainments — are in, by, and for the liberal-libertarian mainstream, while conservatives are stuck with Greg Gutfeld, Dinesh D’Souza, the people behind that Left Behind series, and a bunch of drawling country music goobers who couldn’t tune Willie’s guitar or adjust Hank Williams’ hat.

          1. Ahahaha look how butthurt he is because he knows it’s true ahahahha you sad humorless fuck ahahahaha

          2. “The left hates jokes”

            The saddest thing is that you don’t realize that this–

            That certainly explains why the best comedians, actors, directors, musicians, and other artists — and the best television shows, movies, and other entertainments — are in, by, and for the liberal-libertarian mainstream, while conservatives are stuck with Greg Gutfeld, Dinesh D’Souza, the people behind that Left Behind series, and a bunch of drawling country music goobers who couldn’t tune Willie’s guitar or adjust Hank Williams’ hat.

            proves that it’s true.

            1. Leftist pathologies are so pervasive, they cannot help confirming the assessments made in the process of trying to refute them.
              It’s hilarious

            2. No one clings to bitter better than the Rev.

      4. Bloomberg to hooker: You’re fired!

      5. Uh, transphobic, gay-phobic, someone needs to tear down his statue (if there is one).

        1. Every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind sumbitch or ‘nother

        2. That would be a very short statue.

          1. You mean a statue of limitations.

      6. The problem with people that freak out over this – a lot of women actually like sex and have a sense of humor. *gasp*

        1. Really? Where are they?
          Asking for a friend.

          1. Sorry, I’m already dating her.

            1. Come on, there’s gotta be more than one.

            2. Hoarder.

              1. That’s not how it’s spelled…

              2. Hoarder? It nearly killed her!

  4. The clashes between police and pro-democracy demonstrators worsen in Hong Kong, and even get a little medieval.

    Please tell me the protesters brought siege weapons. Maybe a trebuchet?

    1. When will they learn walls don’t work?

      1. This is China. As I recall, they think walls are great.

    2. How bout a pair of pliers and a blowtorch?

      1. Pretty fuckin far from ok

        1. I can picture it now, tens of thousands of Hong Kongians cheerin, “BRING OUT THE GIMP!”

          “BRING OUT THE GIMP!”

          “BRING OUT THE GIMP!”

          1. Ha!
            That makes me laugh

    3. If they’re arming up, I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing improvised weapons and homemade guns?

      1. Don’t know, but it’s going to come to an end soon.
        Between lighting a guy on fire and shutting down business, the protesters are dwindling to a small group of extremists not readily embraced by the Hong Kong public at large

        1. All part of the Chinese government’s plan. They’ve been infiltrating the groups since the beginning with the goal of alienating them from popular support. Its working.

      2. Just before we see tanks and APCs.

    4. “Please tell me the protesters brought siege weapons. Maybe a trebuchet?“

      Look at the picture top right on the composite. That is a trebuchet and it looks like they launched a projectile you can see in the air.

    5. “Give ’em the lead!”

  5. Sens. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) and Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.) have introduced a bill to ban most flavored nicotine vaping products.

    If he can’t have more than one wife, you can’t have more than one flavor.

  6. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has only just launched his presidential bid, but he might be getting canceled already.

    Why bother digging up anything on this nonstarter?

  7. George Kent, a senior State Department official, testified that these efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the younger Biden were “infecting” U.S. policy toward the country.

    But Ukrainian officials corrupting the 2016 election isn’t a problem.

    1. I wonder if Kent realizes that the president sets US Policy towards any country as part of his Article 1 powers…. not unelected Bureaucrats.

    2. If only there was a shred of evidence of this, then people might agree with you.

      1. You mean besides a Ukranian court ruling that it had in fact happened?

        https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/europe/ukraine-paul-manafort.html

        1. Not to mention Politico reporting on that very thing and Ukrainian officials freaking out about how Trump was going to respond.

        2. Lol. You think that makes your case? Manafort being a slimeball and Ukraine exposing that is election interference? So no Ukrainian hackers impersonating Russians, or whatever dots it is you are trying to connect?

          1. Thanks for confirming that you have nothing.

            1. I was asking for evidence of this crowdstrike/Ukraine conspiracy, and you toadies gave me Manafort. I’m the one asking for you to produce something, not vice versa. Glad we could clear this up.

              1. I was asking for evidence of this crowdstrike/Ukraine conspiracy

                Bitch, you didn’t say anything of the kind.

                1. Sorry, I assumed that was what he was referencing. Manafort getting outed as a crook doesn’t count as election interference as I understand it.

                  1. You said election interference you retarded fuck. Please. Keep moving goalposts with your retard strength.

                    1. Keep holding onto those straws. Dear daddy Trump couldn’t have done those awful things!

              2. No you weren’t

          2. It is literally a ruling proving you wrong you fucking dumbass.

      2. People do agree with me.

        You’re not people.

        1. Devo?

    3. So now revealing true information about people involved in campaigns is election meddling? I can’t keep track.

      1. Nothing in the piss dossier was factual.

  8. His team issued a statement saying that some of them were “disrespectful and wrong.”

    His team doesn’t want to be canceled.

  9. “Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has announced his own presidential bid.”

    Wow, another exciting Democratic candidate. Time will tell if he can join Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren in my top tier. Of course, I already know he’s better than Tulsi Gabbard.

  10. Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea are going badly.

    There goes that Peace Prize.

    1. Oh, well. Kim was probably never really in the running anyway.

    2. Still no mushroom cloud over Philadelphia.

    3. Trade the 98 Bulls for their nukes.
      Done deal.
      Seriously, kim is a big fan

  11. Protesters are building a makeshift wall using concrete and bricks on Pok Fu Lam Rd at the University of Hong Kong.

    BUILD THE WALL!

    1. Why didn’t Reason highlight the fact that walls don’t work?

      1. Didn’t want to be seen as being “I told you so’s” when the tanks end up crushing them?

    2. Wrong approach. They should be digging pits and moats. To be filled with snakes and alligators.

  12. Deval Patrick has announced his own presidential bid.

    Seems like a nice guy; but his ad is indistinguishable from any other.

    1. Seems like a nice guy;

      He’s not.

      1. Nice he’s seamy?

      2. He seems like a straight Corey Booker

        1. Hey, Cory is FIERCELY heterosexual. He and his TOTALLY not a beard girlfriend have regular hot steamy sexual activity that involves his penis.

          1. But we can’t be sure it involves her vagina

    2. Nice guys aren’t democrats. Democrats want to rule you, not govern for you.

      1. “Nice guys” are the quintessential stereotypical far left Democrat.

      2. Nice guys aren’t politicians of any variety. They all want to rule you. It’s a difference in degree, not in kind (possibly excepting the small handful of more or less libertarian politicians out there).

        1. Except Carter. Who is the embodiment of why nice guys should never run anything ever.

          1. Except maybe Habitat for Humanity projects.

    3. Seems like a nice guy; but his ad is indistinguishable from any other.

      Are you suggesting he do them in blackface?

  13. To be counted as [a contractor], you must be “free from control” from the direction of your hiring entity (meaning you can decide when to work…)

    The California legislature has dealt with building contractors, I see.

  14. The Democrats are talking corruption unless corruption involves the Bidens, that is so obviously not corruption that we cannot discuss it.

    1. Kent early on expressed concern about apparent conflict of interest. This is another aspect of the, um, situation that gets glossed over.

    2. They should just come right out and say that Gropin’ Joe and his hairplugs are ‘acceptably corrupt’. Just like Hillary.

      1. “No reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.”

        1. If they want to live.

  15. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has announced his own presidential bid.

    Who?

    1. “Deval Patrick — the other dark meat”

  16. If [Trump] sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign, and did so by withholding official acts—a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid—must we simply ‘get over it’?

    Trump has always demanded Europe pay for the military suppport American taxpayers provide them. What kind of president would he be if he didn’t get to wet his own taxpaying beak?

    1. He also cut taxes, which directly put more wealth into the hands of his family and allies!

    2. How do Democrats feel about AOC flatly admitting the impeachment hearings are a means to protect against a disastrous outcome next year, her words?

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/ocasio-cortez-impeaching-trump-is-about-preventing-a-potentially-disastrous-outcome-in-2020

      Impeachment seems to be done to personally aid Democrats.

      1. Hahaha, the young democrat resistance! can’t stop saying the quiet parts and its hilarious.

      2. Ha, for once I agree with her.

        For me, the funny part about the whole Ukraine thing is the premise: that Trump is so terrified of facing Biden that he’s frantically digging for dirt on him anywhere, regardless of cost. It’s hard to imagine Trump (or anybody else, for that matter) being scared of Grandpa Simpson Biden.

        1. Pre-teen females are frightened of him for sure.

            1. Wow, she filed THREE suits. Sounds super duper serious.

              1. Perhaps his point is guilty upon accusation.

              2. She’s one of 25 odd accusers now. Trump has threatened all of them with slander lawsuits, yet has failed to follow through. At some point you have to accept that things are getting fishy.

                1. I thought EVERYBODY lied about sex. Democrats were quite adamant about that under Clinton. Why, precisely, should I care what pussy Trump’s dick was in?

                  1. Another whataboutism subject change.

                    1. Whenever people use “whataboutism” as a perjorative, it’s a good indication they can’t actually defend their position.

                    2. I did ask why I should care whose pussy Trump’s dick was in. Try and read.

                    3. Whenever someone unleashes a whataboutism, it is a good indication they cannot defend their position.

                    4. I did read what you said. The subject was accusations of rape against Trump, and you tried to change the subject to Bill Clinton.

                  2. Clinton is a rapist too.

                    1. If only democrats hadn’t let him off the hook and made the sex life of Presidents nothingburger.

        2. Who have you heard advance that premise?

    3. Reading it again, there are between 4-8 conditional statements in that sentence.

  17. “Michael Bloomberg’s history of demeaning comments about women is likely to draw scrutiny as he prepares a presidential run. His team issued a statement saying that some of them were ‘disrespectful and wrong.'”

    Ugh, I just know conservatives will pounce on this. “Sure seems like the most aggressively pro-choice straight men tend to view women as semen receptacles,” they’ll claim. Don’t buy into that nonsense. I’m sure Bloomberg (like Joss Whedon, and Bill Clinton) genuinely respects women.

    #LibertariansForBloomberg

  18. BORING!

    I’ve actually changed my tune on the impeachment hearings. As Atlas_Shrugged suggested yesterday, it would be amazing to watch Joe Biden stumble through a day of questioning, ruin his campaign, and probably lose teeth and an eyeball. And imagine Hunter up there trying to justify his role on that board… He’s probably studying for it right now!

    1. “As we say in Ukranian, Дякую за всю рибу!”

      1. I thought it was Бувайте, та дякуємо за рибу.

    2. NBS News said yesterday that the hearings had substance but lacked the pizzaz to interest the public. That is a funny way to spin it. The lack of pizzaz, whatever that means, is due to a complete lack of substance. If these people had anything to say, the public would be plenty interested.

      1. Like we said yesterday, a bunch of old white male paper pushers still kicking and screaming about 2016.

        I am now on team impeachment, solely for entertainment purposes.

        1. I didn’t watch much of it. But it seemed every time I have, it is some guy going on and on about how wonderful they are and how much they have done for the great nation of Ukraine. If you didn’t know better, you would think these people worked for the Ukrainian government instead of the American one. None of them seem the least bit concerned with what is best for the US. But they all passionately care about what is best for Ukraine. I would be surprised if the public didn’t notice this as well.

          1. Funny how Democrats care about Mexico, and Ukraine, and everyone else, but fuck the USA amirite?

            1. The guy yesterday spoke in so many words of “the nation’s sacred duty to Ukraine”. WTF?

            2. What’s trillions of unfunded spending? Chopped liver?

          2. Taylor essentially said he was their to protect his job since Trump would make his job un-needed

          3. The funny thing was hearing both Taylor and Kent admit Trump had been better to Ukraine than Obama was… yet they still kept claiming Trump wasn’t following interagency direction.

            1. Where did you hear that?

              1. In their testimony yesterday dumbfuck. Do you go out of your way to be ignorant? Kent was asked directly about aid under Obama, and specifically about Javelins sold to Ukraine under Trump.

                My god dumbass mikey.

      2. “We meant to say the hearings lacked pizza. NBS regrets the error.”

        1. Well, there was pizza. But it was the cauliflower crust kind, and we just don’t consider that pizza.

    3. Hunter Biden: “I know what a u-crane is! It’s a thingy for picking up stuff!”

    4. 🙂

  19. Trouple Hearsay is a great name for a band.

  20. Justin Amash is a great example of a guy who can be both for the reduction of the size of government and also a beta punk bitch.

    1. Amash has never taken a position to lower the size of government that he didn’t know would lose

      1. Amash: It’s VITAL that we allow unelected bureaucrats to run everything.

        1. Hey in Amash’s defense he is fine with unelected bureaucrats running things, just as long as there are fewer of them. Because that will surely work out.

  21. With Hong Kong protesters beginning to wield bows and arrows and occupying improvised breastworks, the tactics threaten to take the pro-democracy campaign to a new level of risk for all sides.

    Resistance is feudal.

    1. Lord, what an unpleasant slogan.

      1. *unpeasant*, dammit!

      2. Rather miserable.

    2. Breastworks? I didn’t see any breasts anywhere. We better bust up this narrative.

    3. Resistance is feudal.

      #RESIST

  22. More bad economic news.

    Charles Koch is only up $2,260,000,000 this year.

    You know what’s keeping the richest people on the planet from accumulating additional wealth at an acceptable rate? Drumpf’s high-tariff / low-immigration policies.

    #DrumpfRecession
    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

    1. However that’s great news for Mrs. Mann.

  23. “AB5 threatens the livelihood of more than 70,000 independent truckers,” California Trucking Association CEO Shawn Yadon lamented in a statement.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to piss off 70,000 truckers. If they all ever decided to refuse to deliver to California, say for two weeks as a protest, shit would get medieval in a matter of days.

    1. During ‘the great fuel shortage’, I read that LA would face shortage on some items in 4 or 5 days, everything in less than two weeks.
      And that does not include 70,000 big rigs blockading I5, I10, I15, and the 101.

      1. That’s why we need super trains!

        1. Brings up a question.
          California is currently rationing power transmission to decrease risk of causing massive fires.
          So let’s say they get their high speed rail –
          What does high speed rail run on?
          Electricity, no?

          1. They’re not rationing, as there’s not a shortage. They’re cutting off power where there’s a risk of starting a fire. High speed rail lines wouldn’t go through those areas.

            1. They’re cutting off power at certain times, not continuously, as I understand it.
              Shortage or no, that is rationing. Temporal rationing.
              If I’m mistaken about that, then no, not rationing

              1. It’s just getting shut off for as long as needed in certain areas until the winds die down. Some people didn’t have power for 5 days. Not like the rolling brownouts of the past when everyone had to give up a little power for the collective.

                1. Can we start a pool on how long it takes to charge a Tesla for evacuation if all you have is a hand crank generator?
                  What is the impact on disabled persons in those areas that depend on electrical medical devices? Does CA provide them generators? Provide them transport and housing during the blackouts?

                  1. What is the impact on disabled persons in those areas that depend on electrical medical devices?

                    Plan for your medical needs, citizen.

                    Does CA provide them generators?

                    Nope.

                    Provide them transport and housing during the blackouts?

                    Nope.

                2. Ah
                  Then use of the term “rationing” is inappropriate.
                  I stand corrected

              2. They’re cutting off power at certain times, not continuously, as I understand it.

                No. It’s continuously during certain weather conditions.

    2. Maybe they should put their money where their mouth is and strike.

  24. “Michael Bloomberg’s history of demeaning comments about women is likely to draw scrutiny as he prepares a presidential run. His team issued a statement saying that some of them were “disrespectful and wrong.””

    Good riddance. I can’t imagine being a male democrat. You literally have to tie off your nuts and apologize daily in order to get a word in.

  25. “Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigations. You should ask him,” Prystaiko said about Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-impeachment-ukraine/u-s-envoy-sondland-did-not-link-biden-probe-to-aid-ukraine-minister-idUSKBN1XO1HK

    But the linkage was apparently clear to Kent and Taylor… just not the Ukranians.

    1. “This is simple. Keep it simple.

      The White House released security assistance to Ukraine only after Congress started asking questions. Why? Considering that Bolton, Giuliani, Mulvaney, and others may have pertinent first-hand testimony, why won’t President Trump let them testify?” – Amash

      Amash is stupid enough to believe that correlation proves causation. It’s probably why he was such a bad senator. The fact was that the impoundment deadline of Sept 30th was the deadline approaching. Likewise various reviews at the DoD and State had also complete at that time per OMB. There is no proof it was Congress asking questions that released the funds.

      1. Apologies, Rep. Amash was a useless Rep. Naming one post office isn’t exactly a history of success.

      2. Is Amash ACTUALLY pulling the whole “If you have nothing to hide, you should talk to the cops about anything” canard now?

        LIBERTARIAN MOMENT!!!

        1. He sure is.

          1. It’s not a criminal case, so it doesn’t count!!!! Reeee!

    2. To one Ukrainian, not the Ukrainians plural. But it is a good article that brings up one point of counter-testimony to the impeachment hearings.

      1. “To one Ukrainian, not the Ukrainians plural”

        Wrong.

        1. It says Prystaiko nobody told *him* about a demand for a Biden investigation.

          Prystaiko does say, ““Yes, the investigations were mentioned, you know, in the conversation of the presidents. But there was no clear connection between these events.” But the article doesn’t give enough detail to make clear whether Prystaiko was a direct privy to any conversations Zelensky was involved in. It’s possible Prystaiko was speaking for the Ukrainian president, too, but the reporting is poor.

          1. And you said one Ukrainian. Multiple Ukranians have reported they were not aware.

            You were wrong.

            1. Perhaps. I was talking about the article that was linked to above.

              1. Cool story, guy who made a wrong declaration.

          2. Question: Did you bother to find out who Prystaiko was?

            If so, you would understand how silly your response is.

            1. It’s in the article who he is.

          3. Remember, you are pushing for people to believe Kent and Taylor who were multiple people removed from Trump and the direction he was seeking on Ukraine… yet you refuse to believe the guy who is directly reporting to Zelensky on dealings with the U.S.

            Why?

            1. Cuz he’s a dishonest hack.

            2. I haven’t pushed for anyone to believe them.

              1. “”I haven’t pushed for anyone to believe them.””

                We could probably point to some posts where one could opine that you were “pushing”.

                Or perhaps a third party could make a claim that you were doing so based off what someone else told them.

                1. Please find any such comment I have ever posted and link to it here.

                2. A friend of mine heard someone on the phone talking to Mike and he said he thinks Mike was saying to believe them.

      2. It was the one Ukranian directly involved with talking with the Trump WH… sorry some rando Ukranian in the street wasn’t asked.

        This is dumb even for you Mike.

        1. It still isn’t established that he was privy to all relevant conversations. I thought we were scrupulously avoiding any assumptions or second-hand accounts.

          1. Only when it’s convenient for you

      3. So, uh, Mike — where is the Ukrainian claiming a quid pro quo?

        You’d think you’d have found one by now, right?

        1. The argument that Ukrainians don’t want to get mixed up in Democrat-Republican politics is credible. As a country, they are motivated to keep receiving military aid from whichever party wins in 2020, and can’t be expected to be highly concerned with rooting out corruption in American government.

          As I said above, the article JesseAz linked to “it is a good article that brings up one point of counter-testimony to the impeachment hearings”. As I have said many times, I’m neutral about the impeachment — if you bring up a good argument or link to an informative article, I’ll acknowledge it.

          1. “The argument that Ukrainians don’t want to get mixed up in Democrat-Republican politics is credible.”

            So, the people being “pressured” say it did not happen and, therefore, they must be lying. No other alternative.

            1. One Ukrainian has said that: Prystaiko

              1. The President has also said so.

                The Ukrainian/s saying otherwise are…?

          2. So you think your thoughts on what could be are credible… but dont find the aid to the Ukranian president to be so…

            1. I said above that it has not been established that he has been privy to all conversations to know about all communications between American diplomats and other Ukrainians. I don’t have any reason to doubt Prystaiko‘s credibility.

      4. Not just “one Ukrainian”, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister. You know, the guy that does the negotiation with the US? The guy that handles the US aid sent to the country? The guy whose job it is to know about any terms or conditions set on that aid?

        You know – one of the guys at the heart of the matter?

        1. Yet, many here doubt the word of the American ambassador.

          1. Who’s word is that he’s speculating

  26. The claims that hearsay is somehow reliable or is usually admissible in court are laughable. Hearsay is excluded for good reasons. First, hearsay allows people to make untrue accusations without perjuring themselves. If hearsay is admissible, a witness can get up and say “Bob told me the defendant did it” and not be perjuring themselves even if they know the defendant is innocent. The witness is just saying Bob told them not that it was true. But Bob’s statement is being offered to prove that it is true.

    Second, hearsay allows what is happening here; for witnesses to concoct an accusation out of thin air simply by making it to each other. Why do you think the Defendant did it? Because Bob told me. Why does Bob think the Defendant did it? Because Joan told him and so forth.

    Hearsay is only admissible under very narrow circumstances. It is admissible when it is not hearsay, that is that the out of court statement is not offered for the truth of the matter asserted but for some other reason like state of mind and thus is not actually hearsay, or has some level of reliability to it like a business record or a declaration by a party opponent that is against their interests.

    None of the hearsay presented yesterday fits into any exception that I can see. And the point of that is not just an exercise in the formal rules of evidence. The rules of evidence were not created for fun. They were created to keep unreliable evidence out of court. Hearsay that doesn’t fit into an exception is unreliable evidence and should be ignored.

    1. “*Damn* it, man! This is not a *trial*!”

      1. It is not a trial but a political process but how dare republicans call an extra legal political maneuver to overturn an election a coup.

        1. For me it’s not even about if it’s a trial, or criminal. It’s about how some Americans are refusing to apply fundamental fairness to someone who is being accused. They want Trump to be below what a free society would call justice, just because they are part of the resistance.

    2. Those rules are for a real court. This is a different kind of court. Kangaroo court.

      1. G’day!

      2. i see you’ve played Knifey-Spooney before.

    3. This isn’t a trial. It’s not a court. Rules of criminal procedure are not in effect. It’s an investigation. Hearsay is very useful to an investigation because it points to people with first hand knowledge. For instance whenever Taylor said that he was told Trump was overheard discussing the investigations with Solandand it gives investigators the chance to talk directly with the witness who overheard Trump’s conversation. The fact that this witness also told Taylor about the conversation could also be relevant for judging the credibility of the first hand account because witnesses are sometimes asked if they told anyone about what they saw. The importance of them telling someone is that it establishes a definite time and place for the witnesses account as evidence against the possibility that the witness is making up stuff for a trial. You’re not much of a lawyer if you don’t understand the value of hearsay.

      1. Thank you for detailing the political witch hunt with such sincerity

      2. You either completely ignored or missed my point. It doesn’t matter if it is a trial or a court. Hearsay is unreliable evidence and shouldn’t be used to base decisions on. And yes, hearsay is useful in determining who knew what. But that is not what it is being used for here. It is being used to prove that Trump tied the aid to the Ukraine to investigating Biden. It is not being used to show who said what. It is being used to prove the truth of the matter asserted in the absence of direct evidence.

        Hearsay is a hard subject for some people to understand. You are clearly one of those people. You are just making a fool of yourself here. Go post talking points on their own. Don’t try to use them to engage in a discussion about a topic you clearly don’t understand with someone who does.

        1. Sondland admitted there was a quid pro quo. The Giuliani associate is saying the same. Mulvaney admitted it as well. John Bolton says it as well, i.e. the drug deal. The circumstantial evidence backs it up. You’re just willfully ignorant.

          1. Sondland admitted there was a quid pro quo.

            Yes, based upon what he read in the papers and heard from others you idiot. You are doing exactly what I am talking about here, using testimony based on hearsay to try and prove something for which there is no direct evidence is true.

            Repeating the fallacy I am pointing out just further proves my point.

          2. “Sondland admitted there was a quid pro quo.”

            Admitted he THOUGHT there was a quid pro quo. He can’t admit to something he had no power over.

            And since his THOUGHTS are based on the reading an article in the paper, they’re worth less than nothing.

          3. Actually Sondland said at one point he thought there was a pid pro quo, that was Sept 1st. He then asked Trump and came back to Taylor on Sept 6th stating that Trump said absolutely no pid pro quo.

            Stop lying.

        2. It’s hard to say it’s being used as proof, until we hear from more witnesses. Presumably, the House Democrats will bring in first-hand witnesses. If not, they will have a very weak case.

          1. It’s hard to say it’s being used as proof, until we hear from more witnesses.

            No it is not. The purpose of the statement is clear from the context. Otherwise, the statement, any statement, would make no sense.

            1. The testimony of Taylor and Kent makes sense if as establishing a chain of communication, explaining what Taylor and Kent understood to be the President’s wishes and why they thought that. If that’s all the Democrats got, then it is hearsay and a weak case. But there are more witnesses to come.

              1. If they have evidence that the President did this, then the fact that Taylor and Kent thought so is of no value. It adds nothing. If we don’t have any evidence, then Taylor and Kent’s opinion has no value then either.

                Again, if there were witnesses who had direct knowledge, those would be the first people the Democrats called. So, your claim that more is to come is just wishful thinking on your part.

                1. It does have value, as Taylor and Kent were involved in diplomacy with the Ukrainians, and acted upon what they thought were the Presidents intentions.

                  I agree that the Democrats need to call firsthand witnesses to make a strong case, but I don’t agree with your claim that they have to be the *first* witnesses.

                  1. Make a strong case of doing nothing wrong.
                    POTUS asking a foreign leader to investigate corruption within his own country involving a former US official, no matter the motivation, is not wrong.
                    POTUS using foreign aid as leverage to motivate foreign leaders is not wrong.

                    That’s the cleverness of these allegations: there’s no evidence of the allegations, but the allegations if true still wouldn’t be wrong.
                    So you get the situation where one either addresses the lack of evidence for the allegations or the lack of wrongdoing with what is alleged.
                    To assert the latter compromises the former, and to assert the former compromises the latter.

                    Fuck compromises.
                    Death to totalitarian State Supremacists

                    1. It has been explained many times what was unethical with the way Trump allegedly pursued the investigation. The legal accusations have also been explained. We get that don’t accept it or agree with it.

                    2. And we get that you’re a progressive shill, “mike”, yet you continue to shit up the thread.
                      The unethical thing here is your mother allowing you to come to term

                2. To engage in wishful thinking, I’d have to care how the hearings turn out. I don’t care whether they impeach Trump or not.

                  1. Right, you’re here every single day not caring super hard about it dozens of times.

                    1. I care about Trump fans hanging out on the Reason misrepresenting or omitting information about the hearings, giving libertarians who visit Reason the impression they are representative of the readership and commentariat. That’s all.

                    2. No Mike. You care about lying and putting out the daily leftist talking points.

                    3. We can see what you care about. Even if you weren’t lying, your truth is fucking pathetic.

                3. The cool thing is that their next “witness” is a woman who was fired and out of the country months before anything in question happened

                  1. Same one who lied under oath about communicating with Dem staffers?

                    1. That’s her!

                4. David Holmes (the aide that Taylor said overheard the phone conversation) is scheduled to testify tomorrow (Friday). So, for whatever reason, we know that the Democrats didn’t make him one of the first people to testify but they have scheduled his testimony.

                  He is scheduled to testify in a closed session. I haven’t found any explanation yet why the session is closed.

              2. Kent and Taylor were both asked if they had any first hand evidence. Both said no.

                They were then asked if any action they knew of any direct evidence of an action that was impeachable. Both sat in silence for 5 minutes.

                1. Sorry, 5 seconds.

              3. “The testimony of Taylor and Kent makes sense if as establishing a chain of communication, explaining what Taylor and Kent understood to be the President’s wishes and why they thought that.”

                Odd that they never once spoke to Trump about what he wanted…

          2. “Presumably”

            It boggles my mind how much you progs constantly presume shit just it be wrong Jeff.

            1. It’s not like a high-stakes presumption on my part. The House Democrats will either come up with more witnesses and build a better case, or they won’t.

              Since I’m not a progressive, and am just a non-partisan observer of the whole show, I don’t have any personal stake, emotionally or politically, in whether my presumption is correct.

              1. Sure prog.

                1. “Mike’s” not a progressive, he just plays one existentially

              2. A non partisan observer who strongly urges people to believe the Democratic narrative.

              3. Mike, how many trials have the prosecution starting off with their weakest possible witnesses?

                1. Have no idea. I mean in real trials, not courtroom dramas on TV.

                  I’ve been on jury like two or three times, and I’m not a lawyer. In the trials where I was on the jury, a lot of the witnesses came in when they were available to testify.

    4. My understanding is that it would be admissible in a trial as long as the parties mentioned are available for cross-examination. So, Taylor saying that his staff overheard a phone call is admissible as long as his staff can be subpoenaed to testify as a follow-up to Taylor’s testimony.

      (Of course, it bears repeating that the impeachment hearings aren’t a criminal trial, so they don’t necessarily follow the rules of evidence of a criminal trial.)

      1. My understanding is that it would be admissible in a trial as long as the parties mentioned are available for cross-examination

        And your understanding would be completely wrong. There are exceptions that depend upon the availability of the other party, but those exceptions work the other way; they admit hearsay where a declaration is unavailable. There is no exception that says it is admissible as long as both parties are available.

        Everything you say here is completely wrong and even if it were correct would still not respond to my point, which is that hearsay is generally not admissible because it is unreliable and should not be used as a base for making factual determinations.

      2. Your understanding in hearsay is incorrect. And, of course, you don’t ask why they don’t skip Sondland and call these people who supposedly heard it.

        As to “not a trial” best practices exist for a reason. Making excuses for why you don’t use them destroys the legtiamacy of your process.

        1. I’m waiting to see which witnesses they do call, and what those witnesses say, before drawing any conclusions.

          It’s not *my* process. I’m not a House Democrat. I’m not impeaching the President.

          1. Hope that future witnesses will have better testimony doesn’t prevent you from concluding these witnesses’ testimony was not persuasive.

            1. Oh, if that’s what you want me to say, let me make it clear: Taylor’s and Kent’s testimony alone is not persuasive. The Democrats need to do more to make a solid case against Trump. For one thing, they should subpoena the staff who overheard the phone call.

              1. “they should subpoena the staff who overheard the phone call.”

                The guy who overheard the other party on a call he was not involved in? I am not thinking that will be terribly convincing.

                1. Taylor claims the staffer heard both ends of the call and that he discussed the call with Sondland after he hung up. Unless the staffer is dead or in a coma or something, seems like the House Democrats should put him on the witness stand.

                  1. “Taylor claims the staffer heard both ends of the call and that he discussed the call with Sondland after he hung up. Unless the staffer is dead or in a coma or something, seems like the House Democrats should put him on the witness stand.”

                    …because the OTHER side of a conversation is always easily intelligible. Even once asking in the entire testimony “What?” to a question undermines his claim horrendously.

                  2. “Taylor claims the staffer heard both ends of the call and that he discussed the call with Sondland”

                    We are all aware of the gossip

                  3. Taylor was talked up as one of their “star” witnesses, so it seems your concern about the actual staffer doesn’t hold much water.

          2. “It’s not *my* process”

            I hate having to explain clusivity to people so much, God dammit learn to fucking read.

            1. You don’t write as clearly as you think you do. You used “your” to refer to me in one paragraph then “your” again in the next paragraph. If you wanted to be clearer you could have switched to “one” or made it clearer you were changing whom you were talking about.

              Instead, you always resort to swearing and insulting people.

              1. I get it, you can’t read and hate that my style exposes it.

              2. Pronouns can change what they reference later in a paragraph? Why didn’t they tell me?!

                1. Hey!

                  A pronoun can identify as whatever reference they want to be, you Transreferencephobist, you!

                  I wanna talk to your Manager, dammit!

    5. Yea but the hearsey’s original source are reliable people so we are told, so should just accept it.

      Of course then why doesn’t the original source come forward?

      1. That is the whole point. The trier of fact decides if the source is reliable. And you do that by having the person who has direct evidence testify so the trier of fact can judge their credibility for themselves.

        Understand, that direct evidence is a thousand times more persuasive and compelling than hearsay. The fact that the Democrats cannot produce any direct evidence is pretty good proof they have none. If they did, they would have the person testifying instead of a bunch of people giving opinions about what they heard.

        1. So, let’s watch the hearings and see which witnesses come up. It’s day two of the public hearings.

          1. You don’t get why this isn’t an issue, do you?

            Would you think it would be politically neutral to call 100 witnesses to merely disparage the president, all without adding any qualitative evidence, and then call a single witness at the end to provide some evidence? Remember, the US and media is watching and reporting.

            You seem to believe that defaming someone is fine as long as some evidence at some point might be entered or even is never entered.

            You’re asking for the allowance of public defamation in Impeachments without a good initial cause for doing so.

            1. No, I’m just not getting all worked up about Washington, D.C. continuing to behave the way it has behaved my entire life.

              1. By posting dozens of times a day about it.

  27. Yesterday’s impeachment hearings in the House Intelligence Committee went as one would expect,

    I’m just waiting for the surprise twist ending.

    1. I wouldn’t count on it. Like most spinoffs, the Impeachment spinoff of the Trump reality show sucks. Its like watching the Senate scenes in the Phantom Menace only without anyone wearing interesting costumes.

      1. I’ll bet M Night Shamalamadingdong could pull it off.

        1. At the last minute, Trump files to enter the Democratic primaries and claims the impeachment inquiry is a partisan witch hunt by the GOP. Nancy Pelosi immediately files a motion to condemn the hearings, which is unanimously adopted by the House.

          1. One of us, one of us.

        2. congresspersons fall from the sky bc trees?

        3. “”M Night Shamalamadingdong “”

          Perhaps I laughed more than I should have on that one.

      2. “Its like watching the Senate scenes in the Phantom Menace only without anyone wearing interesting costumes.”

        Ooh, burn.

        1. I wonder if the U. S. Senate would make a good venue for light-saber fights, like the Galactic Senate?

          1. It’s certainly worth looking into.

          2. MEESA PWOPOSE that they just stick to the occasional caning

      3. Political theater typically winds down during the holidays, but I don’t see how the media can leave their brain washed minions hanging… There must be something there to keep them hooting and hollering at the dinner table or they’re going to get absolutely steamrolled by their pro-trump family members.

        1. Dear Lord, if they give me that Trump stuff at Thanksgiving, I’ll simply say something nonpolitical like “please pass the mashed potatoes and allow the dinner to exist during the full term to which it was elected.” Oops, I mean just pass the mashed potatoes.

    2. this is the twist from the Russian-Mueller considering that many new sources were sources or worked on that as well

      1. this is the twist

        A twist is something that comes out of left field that nobody was expecting, not the next obvious step when the previous step fails.

  28. First Elizabeth Warren used science to disprove the main right-wing lie about her. You know, the one that absurdly claimed she was faking Native American ancestry. Now another anti-Warren myth is debunked:

    Elizabeth Warren’s plan fully finances Medicare for All without imposing any new taxes on middle-class families, writes Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics.

    #LibertariansForWarren

    1. Not only is Lizzy the most brilliant of the current class of genius candidates, she is super sexy! I mean, can you even keep it in your pants when she is around? When she debates Donald he’ll be chasing her around the stage just like he did Hillary, except this time he’ll be drooling and have a pants tent!

  29. http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/doj-announces-project-guardian-to-combat-gun-violence-by-enforcing-existing-laws/

    DOJ announces program to better enforce existing gun laws. If I were President I would have all the existing federal gun laws drafted into a proposed bill and then hold a press conference announcing my new gun control plan. I guarantee you the media and a good number of people on both sides would think I was making a sweeping new proposal.

    1. This would be such a genius move.

  30. I’d think that, by the grand-jury analogy, the House can consider hearsay, but that doesn’t mean they have to *believe* it.

    Before taking it upon themselves to vote that some official committed impeachable misconduct, the House ought to be convinced in conscience that the accusation is true, and while considering hearsay, they should give it less weight than live testimony.

    The House should be morally certain that the person is guilty. The fact that they consider different kinds of evidence doesn’t mean they’re entitled to avoid the responsibility of deciding if they’re actually convinced of guilt. They must be in a state to say “I have done what lies in me to induce the Senate to convict, and if they don’t that’s on them.”

    (I also think that’s what grand juries should do, but I’m not naive enough to think that’s what they *actually* do – instead they’re given the “probable cause” standard which is only mentioned in the Bill of Rights in the context of *warrants,* not grand jury activity. But what’s the Constitution between friends?)

    In the trial court

    1. Sorry – in the trial court (in this case Senate), more formal rules of evidence should apply, and cross-examination, the whole nine yards.

      It is a security for the suspect that two separate bodies consider the evidence – so both bodies must be convinced before a guilty verdict and all it implies (removal from office, possible disqualification from future federal officers).

    2. “Before taking it upon themselves to vote that some official committed impeachable misconduct, the House ought to be convinced in conscience that the accusation is true…”

      That’s a good analysis of the situation. I think it unlikely the House impeachment vote will go any way other than a vote along party lines, no matter what happens in the public hearings. And, if it ever gets to the Senate, that vote is likely to go along party lines, too.

  31. This is simple. Keep it simple.

    The White House released security assistance to Ukraine only after Congress started asking questions. Why? Considering that Bolton, Giuliani, Mulvaney, and others may have pertinent first-hand testimony, why won’t President Trump let them testify?

    — Justin Amash (@justinamash) November 14, 2019

    Hey Potato Head, don’t talk about simple when the entire purpose of your job is to make things less so.

    1. The guy who says the whistle blower who shall not be named should not testify and that Hunter Biden nor anyone the Republicans wish to call should testify is now angry the President doesn’t think some people should testify. It is different when he does it because REASONS!!

      1. Amash is such a fucking clown.

        1. He’s really making fools of anybody that talked him up… or continues to do so

        2. I know right? Not like that dreamy Rand Paul who ditches every semblance of principle overboard once he has a chance to sniff Trump’s throne.

          1. You mean Rand Paul who has been consistent in despising the IC’s attempt at control over politics?

  32. Glenn Beck Connects the Ukraine Dots

    Spoiler alert: The State Department is terrified that Trump will uncover what the US embassy and George Soros were doing in Ukraine before 2014.

    1. This shit isn’t stupid enough already? Now you want to get Soros involved?

      1. “This shit isn’t stupid enough already?”

        Oh, they’ve only just begun.

      2. Soros gets himself involved.
        Or are you one who prefers to hand wave away any actual analysis of geopolitical manipulations?

        1. Anyway, Soros funding aside, feel free to look up the emails between McCain and Nuland and the Maidan coup

        2. Or are you one who prefers

          FOCUS. How about this one time this one thing doesn’t try to get tied to some shadowy global conspiracy.

          OTOH, nobody who matters cares about Soros.

          1. “Nobody who matters cares about Soros”

            You should tell that to Western politicians

            1. Like I said, nobody who matters.

              1. *blinks*

                ….

                ….

                ….

                Did that fucking ignoramus just try to say Western politicians don’t matter?

                1. ignoramus

                  You’ve been hanging around with old man Sevo too long.

                2. Lawmaking, war making, taxing and spending – no biggie

                  1. Maybe Soros is meeting right now with the Illuminati, the Bilderbergs, and Colonel Sanders and his Pentavirate at their secret base in Antarctica. They’re planning global policy for next year and working out who will be at war with who and which of them will be getting the profits from it.

                    1. Maybe you’re not much of a thinker, otherwise you might not be so invested in stock “skepticism”

                    2. Be careful Sparky, if you don’t buy into Nardz’s conspiracy theories, he’ll accuse you of being psychotic!

                    3. I’m sure you consider yourself a thinker when you’re not half as smart as you think you are. In every post of yours I’ve ever read I’ve never found anything to make me think that you should ever be taken seriously about anything ever.

                    4. Nardz reminds me of the guy who goes to Infowars or The Right Stuff, reads a few articles, and then thinks he is so enlightened and knowledgable.

                    5. No, you’re the psychotic, jeff.
                      Sparky hasn’t demonstrated delusion, merely insecurity and bitterness.
                      Sparky, you really want to answer the question of “being a thinker” by stating that someone doesn’t make you think?
                      You didn’t think that one through.
                      Some will take things I write seriously, some, like you, won’t. I’m ok with that. You, on the other hand, seem quite upset about it.

                    6. Sorry, jeff, no infowars or the other one I’ve never heard of.
                      The only ones I go to consistently are Reason and ZeroHedge.
                      Seems you have a stereotype in mind though…

                    7. zerohedge has been off the deep end since 2010 or so. They were cool for getting insight from bond traders during the recession, but other than that, they post a bunch of abject bull shit.

                    8. ZeroHedge is absolutely nuts and the commenters are vile neurotics obsessed with “the jews”, but it pulls from a lot of sources that have some interesting angles on things.
                      Some good data can be found there if one ignores daily predictions of the econapocalypse.

                      I’ve thought about getting a handle on there just to ask someone to explain the jew-dominance theory to me. When did they start? How did they gain control of literally everything? What’ve they been doing for hundreds of years? Is there an HR department that sends out all the checks, and does every jew get one? And, if jews manipulate literally everything, why resist? I mean, if they can pull it off for centuries now… you gotta respect that

                    9. Jewish conspiracy theories go back to the holy roman catholic empire. The modern versions go back to the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, published in early 1900’s. They are a popular scapegoat.

                    10. I’m not as interested in the history of the conspiracy theories (reality) as I am in the details of the theories (fantasy).
                      I want the story as believed, because I bet there are going to be some very impressive leaps of logic in there

                    11. Also Jeffrey Epstein is not dead. The whole thing was a fake. He knows to much valuable dirt to kill. Right now he is being held somewhere in Eastern Europe.

                    12. Oh, well, forgive me. You’re the guy instead who goes to ZeroHedge and then thinks he’s all knowledgeable and shit.

                      If you only go to Reason and ZeroHedge, you aren’t even getting half of the story. Why don’t you try broadening your worldview a little bit. You might learn something.

          2. The US precipitated a coup in Ukraine in 2014 and started a war with Russia. US establishment policy is rabidly focused on keeping and increasing tensions with the only other nuclear superpower in the world.
            How “libertarians” don’t give a shit about US shenanigans in Ukraine is mind boggling.
            I can only chalk it up to ignorance, and a far greater inclination to groupthink than they like to admit

            1. US establishment policy is rabidly focused on keeping and increasing tensions with the only other nuclear superpower in the world.

              WOW! Thanks for uncovering this huge secret that literally nobody else was aware of!

              How “libertarians” don’t give a shit

              I don’t really care what “libertarians” think.

              1. Your reply is utterly pointless

                1. Of course it is, the nonsense I’ve been replying to started off pointless.

                  1. Then shut the fuck up if you think it’s pointless

                    1. Fuck off, cunt. If you can throw your shit everywhere then so can I.

                    2. Sparky, your resentment is palpable.
                      Might want to work on that.
                      You’ve got much bigger problems if you’re so threatened by my, or others’, posts that you feel the compulsion to shit up the thread even though you have nothing to say.
                      You’re argument is literally “I have nothing to say but I’m unhappy you’re saying something”
                      Sad

                    3. Sparky, your resentment is palpable.

                      Phew, I was kinda worried that you might not pick up on it.

                      You’ve got much bigger problems if you’re so threatened by my, or others’, posts that you feel the compulsion to shit up the thread even though you have nothing to say.

                      You really need to deliver this speech to a mirror. Seriously.

                      You’re argument is literally “I have nothing to say but I’m unhappy you’re saying something”

                      You think that because you’re not smart enough to understand it. You can continue to believe that you are some kind of smarty pants if it makes you feel good about yourself.

            2. What constitutes “giving a shit” in your mind? I’m sure most libertarians don’t think the US should be supporting coups in other countries. What the heck would satisfy you? It’s not as if libertarians are in a position to change US foreign policy.

              1. Some acknowledgment of the situation, some pushback against stock anti-Russia narratives, some skepticism about the US presence there.
                I shouldn’t need to remind you that this whole farce is about some people throwing a tantrum that taxpayer money wasn’t sent to Ukraine fast enough

            3. The US are aggressors? Really? Not the country that just re-ignited the cold war with a presentation of a bunch of new nuclear weapons hitting the US?

              https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/01/europe/putin-nuclear-missile-video-florida/index.html

              Check your media consumption, it might contain Russian propaganda.

              1. Which is weird, because Putin knows that a nuclear detonation would only make Florida Man stronger.

                The US contends they made no promises about expanding NATO to former Warsaw Pact nations during negotiations about the reunification of Germany. Russia contends that they were assured NATO wouldn’t do so.
                Regardless of the commitments or lack thereof, NATO did expand to

                1999: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary
                2004: Estonia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania
                2009: Albania, Croatia
                2017: Montenegro

                In 2008, NATO’s Sec General stated their intent to add Ukraine and Georgia. Finland has thus far resisted the invitation to join.
                Interestingly, Russia has proposed joining NATO, but been rebuffed.

                The Cold War ended 30 years ago, why continue to treat Russia as an enemy?
                What is the current purpose of NATO, and why expand it to nations such as Montenegro?

                It looks like an alliance in search of a war.

                http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/americas-ukraine-hypocrisy-21803

                1. You think Putin could ever be a good faith ally, or even anything less than a threat? I’m skeptical. He takes the cold war loss personal.

                  I recommend a Frontline doc on it. You might have to pay for the streaming service for part 1, but part 2 is free: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/putins-revenge/

                  1. Thanks, I’ll check it out.

                    Any insight into NATO here?

                  2. And before I get to that, Putin didn’t take over for Yeltsin until 99.
                    As we can see, NATO had already begun expansion to Warsaw Pact states. Just 5 years into Putin’s rule, NATO moved right to Russia’s borders. And joining NATO isn’t an instantaneous process – plans to include those nations threatening Russian borders begun prior to their official absorption into NATO, and were first officially proposed in 2002.
                    In the 90s, Russia was utterly powerless. The fear then was that they were going to sell off their nukes because their economy was in utter ruins (thanks Harvard boys).
                    Why encroach? Why begin in 99? Why expand so quickly?
                    And why bomb the shit out of Serbia in early 1999?
                    NATO has bombed Russian allies such as Serbia, Libya, and Syria in the last 20 years. NATO took over almost all of eastern Europe, and has made no secret of its desire to add more territory.
                    Who has Russia bombed? Where has Russia expanded?
                    How am I supposed to believe that Russia is threatening the west when all evidence indicates the reverse?

                    1. I’m not holding Nato blameless; I think you raise many valid points.

                      I think the answer is that a lot of countries bordering Russia wanted to be in Nato to make sure they stayed on the right side of Russia’s borders. Some of those countries had stuff we wanted too, so we let them in. There was even talk of Russia joining Nato, back in the Yeltsin days. I’m not sure how far that went and why it was killed.

                      Russia is aggressive in many ways that we choose not to go to war over. The poisonings in Britain (and other assassinations) are incredibly serious violations of international norms and agreements. This is where we probably part ways in our thinking, but I do not find Russian troll and hacking operations to be harmless or permissible. (Yes, I know we do it too.)

                    2. The poisonings in Britain were extremely suspicious (not the original polonium one in 2008 – I buy Russian responsibility there).
                      I don’t trust British intel nearly as much as corporate media would like me to. Russia had the most recent guy in custody for years and had nothing to gain whatsoever from poisoning him, but somehow they always manage to do these irrational things that are very convenient for western intel agencies.

                      Yes, Baltic and other eastern European states want(ed) to join NATO. A lot of economic activity comes along with the security (as long as the western powers that be don’t decide to really go to war) and rubbing Russia’s face in their new friends.
                      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement_of_NATO
                      “Jack Matlock, US ambassador to the Soviet Union during its final years, said that the West gave a “clear commitment” not to expand, and declassified documents indicate that Soviet negotiators were given the oral impression by diplomats like Hans-Dietrich Genscher and James Baker that NATO membership was off the table for countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, or Poland.[11][7] In 1996, Gorbachev wrote in his Memoirs, that “during the negotiations on the unification of Germany they gave assurances that NATO would not extend its zone of operation to the east,”[12] and repeated this view in an interview in 2008.[13] However, in 2014, Gorbachev said “The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all [in 1990], and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Western leaders didn’t bring it up, either.”[6][14] Eduard Shevardnadze, foreign minister of the Soviet Union between 1985 and 1991, has always maintained that “NATO’s expansion beyond German borders never came up for negotiation.”[6] According to Robert Zoellick, a State Department official involved in the Two Plus Four negotiating process, no formal commitment regarding enlargement was made.”
                      So we have a “he said, he said” about NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, but no formal commitment.
                      But what do those nations have that we want?
                      What could Montenegro, for example, possibly provide to the US that justifies us pledging to go to war for them?

                      (The offer by Putin to join NATO is possibly in that article, but I don’t feel like looking through it right now – if not, it’s in another linked page)

                    3. Where has Russia expanded? Really?

            4. “Other superpower”? What does the Ukraine have to do with China?

              1. China doesn’t have near the nuclear arsenal Russia has. Nobody but the US does.
                Maybe it would’ve been clearer if I wrote it as “nuclear-superpower”

  33. The only undisputed fact that has come to light as a result of this impeachment clown show is that everyone in the State Department was looking to investigate Burisma for years and, subsequently, had more than a few questions when it emerged that the eminently qualified Hunter Biden was sitting on its board. Incidentally, all of these concerns were more or less scrubbed from existence because the elder Biden was Vice President. Now, unlike the Democrats’ convoluted and ever shifting theory, the above is very straightforward and simple to understand.

    Apart from demonstrating for the whole world that Kent and Taylor were nothing more than gossip queens, the Democrats’ star witnesses sunk the entire impeachment narrative and focused the spotlight right back on Biden and his drug addict of a son.

    So, now everybody knows that this impeachment push has nothing to do with Trump’s corruption, and absolutely everything with Team Blue looking to cover up the apparent corruption of Joe Biden and, most likely, the entire Obama administration.

    Good job.

    1. Biden’s son got paid big money at a do nothing job at Burisma. Burisma was a big part of the corruption going on in Ukraine. Biden bullied the Ukrainian government into firing the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma. The entire State Department wanted Burisma investigated but never pushed it because Biden didn’t and was in charge of US policy towards Ukraine.

      Those are all established facts. Yet, somehow it is Trump who is the crook for telling Ukraine that it was okay to investigate Burisma. And somehow there is an innocent explanation for all of that that Biden’s defenders can’t articulate because reasons or something.

    2. I don’t think the Democrats ever said that Kent and Taylor are their “star witnesses”. If so, please link to some article that supports that assertion.

      When JesseAz asserted yesterday that the Democrats said Kent and Taylor were their star witnesses, all I could find googling is that Nunes called them the Democrats’ star witnesses, and an old Vice article from the closed hearings claiming Tim Morrison was going to be their star witness.

      1. I don’t think the Democrats ever said that Kent and Taylor are their “star witnesses”. If so, please link to some article that supports that assertion.

        Yeah, they just had them testify on Day 1, the day when they would most command the public’s attention for reasons not because those witnesses were the best they had. Sure. There are all of these better witnesses out there with amazing and compelling things to say but the Democrats didn’t call them on the day when they would have gotten the most attention. That makes sense.

        1. Don’t know. I’ve never thought the Democrats were especially bright. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think this whole thing is likely to backfire and make Trump even more popular, and make the public even more aware of the Bidens and Burisma.

          1. You can believe there is a pony in that pile of shit if you like. But the rest of us are not required to share your belief and are entitled to believe our lying eyes and ears.

            1. I’m neutral on the matter.

      2. Leading with people that sink your case and didn’t witness anything first hand is …. well, its completely retarded. Kent and Taylor spent more time testifying about their resumes than they did about any actionable conduct, despite being billed as inside guys with their eyes on all the dirt.

        Please don’t pretend like the Democrats didn’t parade Taylor around like the second coming of Christ. They waved around his cherry picked text messages with Sondland as if it was an open and shut case. And, now, suddenly …. meh, just two guys that are no big deal.

        Republicans were completely right from the outset. Without Schiff cherry picking through deposition transcripts and selectively leaking them to the media, neither witness stood up to even a modest amount of scrutiny and their entire narrative collapsed after a few pointed questions.

        1. They are going to parade the military and service histories of *all* their favored witnesses, not just Taylor and Kent. What else would one expect in a highly political hearing.

          1. Wait … wait, wait, wait, wait …. do you have any links that refer to them as “favored” witnesses, because I haven’t seen any …..

      3. “”I don’t think the Democrats ever said that Kent and Taylor are their “star witnesses”. If so, please link to some article that supports that assertion.””

        That could be true. But does someone have to say it, or can merely people’s opinion of it make it true. This is the problem with the accusations against Trump.

        It was said in congress yesterday, albeit by a republican. That supports the assertion that someone said it is true. Perhaps I’m preaching to the choir on this one.

      4. God mike, you are incredibly stupid

        https://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/dem-aide-says-first-hour-of-impeachment-hearing-expected-to-be-a-blockbuster-73365061730

        If the blockbuster is the first hour, who do you think the stars are? Can you be this dumb even after I tell you how to find information.

        1. You can lead a donk to water, but…

    3. Well, actually the hearings touch on both Trump’s and the Biden’s corruption, although the Democrats don’t seem to realize how much they are keeping the Biden/Burisma matter in front of the public’s eye by conducting these impeachment hearings. (Just like they didn’t seem to realize how they were keeping Hillary Clinton and the DNC in the public eye with the Mueller probe.)

      1. Your opinion of corruption is laughable.

        1. I dunno. It’s “laughable” to not see anything amiss with a President getting his personal attorney involved in diplomacy. Or not see how an investigation personally benefits Trump as a political candidate.

          1. Mike, you might be surprised, but I happen to agree with you on this: There was definitely something amiss with a President getting his personal attorney involved in diplomacy.

            Given the events that transpired, which we now know: spying on his campaign, leaking call transcripts with allies, FISA warrant abuse, ‘whistle-blowing’ (which Eric Ciaramella is not, legally speaking), resistance/refusal to carry out foreign policy directives….is it really any wonder a POTUS would resort to relying on someone not in the DC bureaucracy.

            I would much rather this not be the case, but these things did happen and I see POTUS Trump using his personal attorney to convey his thoughts and messages as a reasonable response to what has happened. The context matters here, is what I am saying.

            1. There was definitely something amiss with a President getting his personal attorney involved in diplomacy.

              Oh now you’ve done it. You’re going to be thrown out of the Reason Commenter Cool Kids’ Club for that little outburst of yours.

              1. Chem….It is objectively true: It ain’t normal that a POTUS is undermined by sedition, which is what we see today, and has to use a personal emissary because he cannot trust the people that work for him.

                1. That’s because Trump is Irish. He knows if you want someone you can trust you go right to an associate like Giuliani.

            2. .is it really any wonder a POTUS would resort to relying on someone not in the DC bureaucracy.

              I’m sorry, but Trump has sufficient power to appoint whomever he wants to be Ambassador to Ukraine to execute what he thinks is the proper policy.

              And Trump is not stupid enough to not realize this.

              By using his personal lawyer instead, Trump created the impression that his agenda w.r.t. Ukraine are not about policy goals, but about personal goals.

              If Trump had simply declared Giuliani to be the Acting Ambassador to Ukraine, a great deal of this controversy could have been avoided. No more conflict of interest with Giuliani running around Europe serving his client Trump’s interests rather than the interests of the government, no more secret shadow diplomacy, it would all be out there.

              1. Well chem, POTUS Trump fired that Ukraine ambassador, the ugly lady with shitty looking sunglasses. He lost confidence in her. Her boss says ‘X’ and she goes off and says something else. So she was shit-canned. Rightly so, IMO.

                In theory, I don’t disagree with you wrt your secret shadow diplomacy point.

              2. Whatever other points you may have, you have forgotten that the President does NOT have the ability to appoint anyone he wants to be an Ambassador.

                That’s an “advice and consent” position, which requires Senate approval.

                1. He has no problem appointing people as Acting Secretaries, why not Acting Ambassador?.

  34. Team D is committing an ‘own goal’. By all means, please continue to make yourselves look completely asinine to the entire country.

    By the middle of next week, Team D will waken to the fact that the country doesn’t see clear and unequivocal eveidence of jack-shit. Just a bunch of bureau-critters griping about policy. No matter, Team D will move forward and impeach POTUS Trump. It will tear the country apart.

    1. The Republicans will own the process in the Senate. They can drag it out however they like. They can and presumably will call all of the witnesses who talked to Shiff and question them under oath about what was said. They can and will call the Bidens and God knows who else with knowledge of that whole affair.

      An Impeachment Trial would be a nightmare for Democrats. I am dumbfounded they choose an area where so many Democrats are dirty as hell as the way to try and impeach Trump. It is clear they are just making shit up. Given that, why didn’t they make something up involving some country that Democrats were not looting?

      The whole thing makes no sense. They really have lost their minds.

      1. Unfortunately, they don’t have the balls to call Obama.

        It’s funny – Obama was chief executive during the “Russian meddling” in 2016, was apparently briefed daily on it, and supposedly spoke directly with Putin about it… but wasn’t needed for the Mueller “investigation”

        1. He could just ignore the subpoena. What are they going to do, arrest a former President? Never going to happen.

      2. I think it is a combination of things.

        First, the Democrats do not have any sensible policy proposals for their candidates to run on apart from transforming the country into a communist dictatorship that will hire storm troopers to confiscate guns and arrest anyone that has the temerity to use gas powered cars or misgender trannies. Thus, impeachment is the only alternative to feed the crazies. The Democrats have nothing else and, as a result, they have to keep impeachment at the forefront because it creates the illusion that they are doing something, because the alternative is admitting they aren’t doing jack shit.

        Second, because of everything stated above, Democrats are desperate to paint anything and everything as conduct worthy of impeachment. Give it enough time and you will see the Democrats trying to impeach Trump for farting in an elevator. This shit will never stop. The Democrats will do this for five more years if given the chance.

        Third, Democrats are using impeachment to deflect from the inevitable chaos that will break out from the pits of hell once Barr and Durham start indicting people in earnest. Getting rid of Trump is no longer just a stunt; it is an existential necessity because the seditious corruption that gave us the Mueller hoax will be handed to the public on a silver platter and the best way to get in front of the issues is to continue to claim that Trump is an evil, illegitimate, corrupt President and, therefore, Americans should ignore his attempt to hang the people that took a shot at the king.

        Ultimately, I think Democrats wagered that they could kick up enough of a scandal through innuendo to turn a sufficient amount of Republican senators from sensible human beings who could see through the bullshit into daintier, softer versions of Mitt Romney. And, now that even pearl clutching noodles like Romney seem to be backing away from impeachment, the Democrats have realized, begrudgingly, there isn’t much hope at all of achieving anything at all.

        But, they’re in too deep and have to keep going. I think the only thing the Democrats are right about is that a whole lot of their voters have shit for brains.

        1. If and when Durham starts indicting people, the Democrats will use the fact that Trump is being impeached as a way to claim that he is just jailing his political opponents. In fact, it would not surprise me at all if some of the witnesses for this thing end up being indited and were chosen by the Democrats to be witnesses because they were likely to be indicted and being a witness at the impeachment will allow them to claim political persecution when it happens.

          Also, I think RBG is not long for this world. The Democrats will then claim that no President under the cloud of Impeachment has a right to appoint her successor.

          1. Exactly right.

            The impeachment push is a defensive maneuver.

        2. transforming the country into a communist dictatorship that will hire storm troopers to confiscate guns and arrest anyone that has the temerity to use gas powered cars or misgender trannies.

          hyperbole much?

          1. Too bad it’s not as much hyperbole as it should be.

            1. You know how, after being called a racist over and over again for things that weren’t really racist, some people on the right simply said “fuck it, if you’re going to call me a racist over that, then I’ll just stop pretending and go full-on KKK and let my inner racist flag fly, because you’re going to call me a racist no matter what I do”? Well, there is a similar dynamic in play with the right’s overuse of the accusation of ‘socialist’.

              1. Right.

                Because endorsing socialist policies, identifying as a socialist, and arguing that socialism is the only path to a brighter future doesn’t make one a socialist.

              2. You know how, after being called a racist over and over again for things that weren’t really racist, some people on the right simply said “fuck it, if you’re going to call me a racist over that, then I’ll just stop pretending and go full-on KKK and let my inner racist flag fly, because you’re going to call me a racist no matter what I do”?

                No, because it actually went more like this–

                You know how, after being called a racist over and over again for things that weren’t really racist, some people on the right simply said “fuck it, if you’re going to call me a racist over that, then I’ll throw racist hyperbole in your face until you go batshit crazy and start thinking milk and okay signs and bowl cuts are not just ‘white supremacy’–but are things that you can ban because you’re a bunch of fascists and you’re going to call me a racist no matter what I do”?

                When the DSA, RCP, and Antifa are holding rallies and attacking people with impunity this–

                Well, there is a similar dynamic in play with the right’s overuse of the accusation of ‘socialist’.

                just isn’t true.

          2. (Green New Deal) + (“Hate” Speech Laws) + (Gun Confiscation) + (Free shit for everyone at no cost) + (“At some point, you’ve made enough money”) x (an endless repository of bureaucrats regulating every aspect of your life) x (A “living” constitution with no fixed meaning) = a communist fucking dictatorship.

            Slice it how you want, but this is basically the platform of every Democrat running for President at the moment.

            1. Gee, what you’ve described is a European social welfare state. Is France a “communist fucking dictatorship”?

              Perhaps you should reserve the phrase “communist fucking dictatorship” to, you know, actual communist fucking dictatorships.

              1. What I described is a communist fucking dictatorship, while all you did was throw France on the end of the equal sign in an attempt to argue that France …. is …. what? Not socialist? Not communist? It’s getting there rapidly and it’s nothing to be proud of. Unless, of course, you’re a socialist asshole. Asshole.

                https://www.aier.org/article/france-is-the-socialist-future-we-should-dread/

                1. No, France is not socialist and not communist, and certainly not a “communist fucking dictatorship”. It’s a European social welfare state. THIS is a “communist fucking dictatorship”:

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union

                  And this is why your strategy of yelling at everything calling it “socialist” is going to fail – normal people who are okay with a modest social welfare state are going to react to your yelling about everything being socialism, and say “well if they’re going to call THAT socialism, why should *I* hold back? Maybe I’ll go full-on Marxist!”

                  Don’t insult people’s intelligence and maybe they will respond differently.

                  1. Asshole, I said it’s getting there …. and it is. You have a real hard time reading the actual words, don’t you? Don’t bother responding.

                  2. So THAT’s why the Ds have gone full Marxist!

                  3. “THIS is a “communist fucking dictatorship”:”

                    USSR

                    1. USSR identified itself as Socialist, not Communist… The whole Socialist Republics part of the name.

                    2. It was controlled entirely by the communist party. I think it is accurate enough to call Russia in the USSR communist.

              2. Is there even fucking in Communist dictatorships? The USSR’s population was crashing, and Red China was actively suppressing theirs.

      3. John…Just imagine Creepy Joe, who cannot even form a coherent sentence, as a witness under questioning by Team R. He will be absolutely made to look like a doddering old fool, humiliated and politically destroyed. So be it. This is what Team D wanted, so let them have what they want.

        I did not like it when Team D put up Mueller and humiliated an old man. But they did. It will be payback time, soon enough.

      4. “The Republicans will own the process in the Senate. They can drag it out however they like. They can and presumably will call all of the witnesses who talked to Shiff and question them under oath about what was said. They can and will call the Bidens and God knows who else with knowledge of that whole affair.”

        Oh, that’s the least of it. McConnell has already said he’d hold the Senate trial in February, 6 days a week. And ALL Senators have to attend but none can speak. So, this will take Warren, Booker, Harris, Sanders, and one other off the trail. And Biden will be a MAJOR focus and will likely be subpoenaed. So, this will cause massive havoc to the Dem primary.

        It might be a God send to Buttigieg, though.

        1. Mayor Pete Butthead can’t win the black vote. Won’t happen. Given the choice between POTUS Trump and Mayor Butthead, it will be close to an even split.

  35. “AB5 threatens the livelihood of more than 70,000 independent truckers,”

    My guess is this is sort of the point. The biggest nightmare of the organized left is a decentralized society of independent people. Virtually all of its modern power comes from centralized choke-points in society: media, administrative state, universities, big corporations etc. A society where more and more people are independent of that is one where it is very difficult to “cancel” people for not obeying.

    1. My first thought reading it was that truckers will just stop delivering to California. If you don’t deliver there, the law doesn’t apply to you. I can’t see that working out well for the state.

      1. That would be a great protest.

  36. Yesterday, I mentioned how the left’s projection of social justice perfection is both unrealistic and unsustainable if it can’t account for the imperfections of real people in the real world. I pointed to Roseanne being kicked off of TV for failing to live up to the new false image of what people are supposed to be like–even after her image in the ’90s was a direct repudiation of the false image of June Cleaver in the 1950s. Again, no one really acted like June Cleaver–although they tried. When popular culture moved towards women that were more like reality, e.g. Roseanne, it wasn’t that people changed. It was just an acceptance that June Cleaver never was a realistic norm–and people stopped pretending.

    The left’s vision of what people are supposed to be like in 2019 has basically brought that 1950s back again, a time when conformity was expected and public displays of imperfections were supposedly unacceptable. The left is having the same problem getting reality to play along with their new perfection norm that culture warriors did in the 1950s, too. Case in point–the league sponsored NFL work out of Colin Kaepernick. Has there ever been a more futile attempt to force progressive ideals on a social reality that doesn’t possess or want them?

    It doesn’t matter if you think you’ve created a new society in which being disrespectful to the flag, patriotism, men and women in uniform, etc. is supposed to be perfectly acceptable by average people because the new reality is so woke and that spit in the eye of patriots everywhere was motivated by a desire for social justice. Meanwhile, the reality is that no fan base wants Colin Kaepernick on their team. They don’t want to root for him, and they don’t want the money they pay for tickets to go towards his salary. The American people simply do not want to root for quarterbacks who dis the flag.

    That’s why no team has offered him a contract.

    “NFL clubs were informed Tuesday that a private workout will be held for free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Saturday in Atlanta, according to a copy of a memo obtained by ESPN.

    The session will include on-the-field work and an interview. All teams are invited to attend, and video of the workout and the interview will be made available to them.

    Several clubs had inquired about Kaepernick’s current football readiness. Sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the workout was also set up in response to an Oct. 10 statement by Kaepernick’s representatives, who said they had received “little to no response” from the 32 NFL teams. Kaepernick has been out of the NFL since 2016, the year he began protesting police brutality and racial injustice by kneeling during the pregame national anthem.

    https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/28067012/nfl-invites-teams-colin-kaepernick-workout-saturday

    They can’t get anyone interested in signing Kaepernick, so the NFL is holding a personal combine–just for him! But the question isn’t whether Kaepernick can still throw the ball. The question is whether he can put on your team’s uniform and not inspire the disgust of your team’s fans and season ticket holders. All the social justice progressives in the world standing together, holding hands, and denouncing average Americans as closet racists won’t change the reality that Kaepernick has damaged his marketability to fans so badly–no matter whether progressives hate average Americans for it or not.

    Incidentally, you can fire Roseanne from Roseanne, and rename it The Connors and expect the same number of people to tune in either. No amount of progressive opprobrium can change the fact that Roseanne’s imperfections are typical of average Americans, and average Americans loved watching Roseanne because they love her, not only in spite of her imperfections but maybe even because of the fact that unlike the Millennial version of June Cleaver, Roseanne is imperfect–just like them!

    The same reason they have to try to sell us The Connors without Roseanne is the same reason they have to work so hard to sell us on Kaepernick and the same reason their criticism of Trump’s imperfections so often fall on deaf ears. The perfect social justice warrior of an average American is no more realistic than June Cleaver ever was. I’ve known black homophobes. I’ve met racist gay men. I’ve met Islamophobic illegal aliens from Mexico. The image the left is projecting is sure to cave to reality eventually–just like the 50s housewife bullshit fell to pieces in the 1960s.

    The Millenials’ kids are gonna give them hell for being so phony. The Trump voters are probably ahead of the curve.

    1. Ward, I think you were a little rough on the Beaver last night.

    2. The problem Ken is that the people who run the NFL and most other large corporations care more about virtue signaling and fitting in with their woke colleges than they do about making money or serving their shareholders.

      For example, I read this morning that Ford is going to make the Mustang electric. Now, the Venn diagram of people who like electric cars and people who would bye a Ford Mustang is two circles about a foot apart. Making a car like the Mustang electric is a monumentally stupid marketing decision. If Ford really does it, it will kill off the best selling model of car in the history of the company and cost the shareholders billions. Yet, the people making the decisions don’t care about that. Why should they? They will get paid millions no matter what happens. The only real level of accountability they face is the social accountability of their peers for not being woke enough. So, E-Mustang it will be. When the company ends up run into the ground, they will still be rich and still be accepted in their social circles. So why should they care?

      I don’t know how the market can solve for things when the people running corporations no longer care about making money.

      1. Yeah, there is a serious agency problem. We complain about it a lot in government, though it does affect large private organizations severely as well.

        It could be that beyond a certain size, and absent government regulation, a company will always go down this path, effectively creating a natural limit on the growth of companies.

        1. I think there is probably something too that. It shows that you need a society that has the right values for capitalism to work best. It used to be that we had a society that valued work and honesty such that people were shamed for losing other people’s money. That has among our elite classes been largely replaced by a value system that values politics and shames people for following the wrong politics and rewards them for following the right politics even if it costs other people their money.

          I don’t know how you fix that.

          1. I don’t know how you fix that

            Let it play out. As more and more too big to fail companies end up in the graveyard, intelligent inventors and investors should catch on.

            1. Big companies lumber on for decades in spite of themselves sometimes. Also, the bigger they are the more likely they can run to the government to save them. Worst of all, if all of the companies keep force feeding the consumer crap, eventually the consumer adjusts to it and just lives with the crap and no longer demands better.

              1. Also, the bigger they are the more likely they can run to the government to save them.

                ^^^^THIS

                And the regulation is sold as “protecting the vulnerable” or “making us safe”

              2. Big companies lumber on for decades in spite of themselves sometimes.

                Sure, but that’s not really a problem.

                the bigger they are the more likely they can run to the government to save them.

                This is the problem. One which there likely is no fix for. It’s like in the days of feudalism when shit would be settled with land and title grants. Ex-government flunkies get sweet corporate gigs and ex-corporate flunkies get sweet government gigs.

                eventually the consumer adjusts to it and just lives with the crap and no longer demands better.

                That’s the way it goes sometimes. If people want something better, a market for it should appear.

          2. I think politics becomes a part of any company by force of regulations and the bigger the company the more they have to placate the regulators with BS programs. that said Ford is still building the gas mustang along side the electric and considering how many like the Teslas and the European market is going all electric it may not be a bad idea by Ford

            1. The European market isn’t going all electric. They claim they will but it isn’t going to happen. There isn’t enough raw materials on earth to make enough batteries for that to occur.

              1. Really long extension cords.

                1. Underrated pickup.
                  I got one a while back.
                  Game changer

            2. And I think fast electric cars can appeal outside of the “green” market. For a car that is mostly a toy, I could see the performance of electric being a decent offset to the inconvenience of a battery powered car.

              1. >>And I think fast electric cars can appeal

                fucking loved my slot racers

      2. Ford has been woke for a long time. They once spent a billion dollars making their roofs green while Honda spent a billion making a walking talking robot. who do you think got more publicity, Honda since they did something that actually improves their product while what ford did was spend money on greenery.

        1. I think it was Honda, but I could be misremembering because the robot is much more interesting.

      3. Electric cars are really fun to drive though. If you haven’t driven one, you should give it a shot.

      4. “Now, the Venn diagram of people who like electric cars and people who would bye a Ford Mustang is two circles about a foot apart.”

        To be fair, that Venn diagram has been slowly drifting closer together. American Muscle Cars were about two things- a loud-ass V8 shaking the glass of every shop on main street, and a neck-breaking, tire-screeching launch in a straight line. The love of the former is slowly fading away, but the latter is IMMINENTLY possible in electric cars. Say what you want about the Tesla- it is exciting off the line- and that includes the base model 3s, let alone the Ludicrous Mode models.

        McClaren, Porsche and others have all started putting electric cars on posters for kids’ bedroom walls. By the time those kids are buying their first cars, the E-Mustang may actually be the affordable car that interests them.

        1. Nah, by the time those kids can buy one we will have already run up against the disaster (ecologic and economic) of battery disposal.

      5. >>Now, the Venn diagram of people who like electric cars and people who would bye a Ford Mustang is two circles about a foot apart.

        damn straight. First On Race Day not Found On Road Dead

      6. The problem Ken is that the people who run the NFL and most other large corporations care more about virtue signaling and fitting in with their woke colleges than they do about making money or serving their shareholders.
        ….
        I don’t know how the market can solve for things when the people running corporations no longer care about making money.

        Love the NBA, do you?

      7. “For example, I read this morning that Ford is going to make the Mustang electric. Now, the Venn diagram of people who like electric cars and people who would bye a Ford Mustang is two circles about a foot apart. Making a car like the Mustang electric is a monumentally stupid marketing decision.”

        I love the idea of an electric car, but I haven’t seen a Mustang I’d want to own that was made after 1969. Ford has certainly done much worse than going electric with the Mustang brand. The Mustangs throughout the ’80s were awful. Have you ever seen the Mustang II up close?

        It’s a pig.

        I find electric cars compelling personally–and as a teenager, I owned a ’64 Plymouth Fury (convertible) with a 383 Commando. I love me some good muscle car, which is one of the reasons I dig electric cars. It isn’t all about being vegetarian and the environment.

        I suspect Ford’s thinking is being driven more by envy of Tesla’s market capitalization. As I type, Ford has a market capitalization of $35 billion.

        Tesla has a market cap of $350 billion.

        Tesla has a market cap of $350 billion.

        Tesla has a market cap of $350 billion–on a fraction of Ford’s sales!

        Did I mention that Tesla has a market cap of $350 billion?

        Musk can print his own money by listing new shares at a much higher multiple than Ford can. Even if the sales aren’t there (yet), Ford would be crazy not to chase those investors’ money. If the market will give you that kind of valuation for making electric cars, then you should probably be doing what the market tells you.

        P.S. I mentioned Rivian the other week. Ford has invested heavily in electric trucks with that investment, and that Rivian undercarriage is meant to be plug and play. You can slap any carriage you want on top of that thing–and Ford will almost certainly slap an F-150 on it. If I were buying a truck I wanted to last for ten years right now to drag around an RV and some offroad toys, I’d get a V-8 F-150 right now–because I still don’t trust all that turbo on their ecoboost engines. That won’t hold up under load, and it won’t offer much better gas mileage under load, than a V-8 either.

        If the V-8 weren’t available, I’d want one of those Rivians–especially if I can charge it up at any RV park with 30 amp service, which is practically all of them.

        1. I have had 3 Mustang GTs and loved them. I would definitely check out an electric Mustang.

      8. For better or worse, NFL teams are owned by individuals (the Packers being the only exception), and I believe it is a requirement of ownership.

        So in the NFL, “serving the shareholders” doesn’t enter into it.

        Which gives the teams (their owners) substantially more latitude than public corporations to act like complete asshats.

    3. For the record – I’d like to point out that a lot of my friends (we’re all millennials) really, really liked Rosanne and were pissed that she got cancelled – including several people I’d call “solidly left.” I’m only 1 out of 2 people that you could arguably describe as “not on the left” in the group.

      1. My point was that the left’s projection of unreality encompasses Millennials, too.

        Despite what you see on reruns of Leave it to Beaver, women of the 1950s didn’t dress like models in the morning, do their hair just perfect, put on their pearl necklaces and high heels, and head on downstairs to the kitchen to mop the floors. That was always a farce. Because women were depicted that way in the 1950s doesn’t mean they were ever really like that.

        The same is true today with Millennials. There’s this image being projected about them that is completely unrealistic–and yet projected as if it’s commonplace in reality. It only exists in pop culture and advertising. In reality, when Millennials get married and have kids, they move to the suburbs so their kids won’t have to go to school with poor minority kids. They don’t think of themselves as racist, but the white flight people of the 1970s didn’t think of themselves as racists either. They’d turn on Archie Bunker and laugh at him for being such a stupid racist–can you believe he really said that?!

        There is nothing new under the sun.

        1. often you’re more entertaining than the authors.

        2. The same is true today with Millennials. There’s this image being projected about them that is completely unrealistic–and yet projected as if it’s commonplace in reality.

          Its a lot worse than that, Ken. Millennials (and everyone else on social media) actually project their own unrelaistic ideal images of themselves every single day on social media. The reversion back to this kind of thing on television was the television execs reacting to what people were already doing online, and then changing the shows accordingly.

          All that being said, I totally agree with what you’ve said. Very good post as usual.

  37. I love hearing Democrats and their paid for media pundits echo the absurd notion that nobody, not a single soul, has ever even remotely suggested that there was anything wrong or improper or concerning about Hunter Biden sitting on the board of world’s most corrupt energy conglomerate while his Vice President father incidentally shut down an investigation into its corrupt operations.

    So, here is George Kent, on the record, establishing what everybody already knew to be the case and, yet, we are still hearing the same old song that anybody entertaining the idea that Biden was involved in some very corrupt dealings is basically insane.

  38. I apologize for linking to NBC since its a news organization that supports pedophilia and the systematic trafficking and abuse of children, but I did find this interesting. Apparently, not too many people are interested in watching the impeachment hearings.

    It appeared not all Americans were convinced of the event’s nation-shaping significance. Inside the Crowne Plaza hotel in Houston, guests stared at their cellphones and sipped coffee as the hearing played on TVs in the lobby.

    Travis Smallwood, a Dallas businessman, flipped through a newspaper sports section as Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified about his concerns that the Trump administration had withheld military aid from Ukraine in a bid to pressure the country to investigate the Bidens.

    “I’m sort of paying attention, but not really,” said Smallwood, who added that he believed Trump had likely broken the law. “It’s not like they’re going to be able to remove him from office.”

    Inside the Red Rock Casino Resort in west Las Vegas, only a couple of the dozens of television screens on the main floor were tuned to the hearing. Lonnie Spray, a bartender at the casino’s sports bar, said he had not heard much interest in the event from patrons.

    “People that I’m talking to don’t want it on because they think it’s a sham,” said Spray, who works the graveyard shift.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/impeachment-hearings-play-big-tv-less-so-viewers-n1081711

    1. Everything in the article is anecdotal, but I don’t really get the sense that very many people care about this beyond the far left and people that really like Trump.

      1. It is NBC news. Think about how hard they tried to find average people who cared about this. And yet, this is the best they could come up with. Yeah, it is anecdotal evidence, but considering the source, it is likely pretty indicative of the country at large.

  39. This, but also: Characterizing this as “hearsay” is pretty weird and misleading. Taylor & Kent were direct witnesses to how other senior administration officials worked to put sustained pressure on Ukraine.

    “Direct witnesses” to someone other than Trump saying and doing things. Isn’t that the very definition of hearsay as regards what Trump said and did?

    1. Yes it is. They were witnesses to people telling them that they thought the aid was being withheld for the purpose of getting Ukraine to investigate Biden. And yes, that is the definition of hearsay.

      If we knew that Trump was doing that, then their testimony would not be hearsay because it wouldn’t be offered for the truth of the matter asserted. It would be offered for state of mind. So, if we knew Trump were doing this, the fact that so many people knew that would be evidence that he took steps to make it happen. But their saying it was happening is not evidence that it was.

      1. John….I was in the Big Apple yesterday, and I can assure you. The average guy on the street does not give a flying fuck about this show trial by Team D. If it is like that in the bluest of blue places, what is it like in the hinterland?

        As for me, Team D needs to call the vote. I know it will tear the country apart, but let’s get this over with.

        1. I am in Washington DC and no one seems to care about it. Everyone here is a die hard Democrat and I have yet to hear any person talking about it. It is remarkable how little people seem to care about this.

    2. If White House staff refuse to comply with Congressional subpoenas, then we may never get any direct witnesses to Trump saying anything. Especially with Trump telling people to, “Talk to Rudy.” The Democrats need to come up with some testimony closer to the source than they have so far, but they can come up with a persuasive case without ever getting testimony that directly quoted the President.

      1. “”If White House staff refuse to comply with Congressional subpoenas, then we may never get any direct witnesses to Trump saying anything.””

        That’s a prosecutors problem. If you need the defendant to make the case for you, you don’t really have much of a case.

        1. And if this whole thing ever makes it as far as the Senate, the Democrats will almost certainly fail to get the verdict they desire.

          I’ve always said that. I don’t expect anything else.

        2. They will subpoena all of them in the senate. Expect to hear a lot of 5th pleading.

          1. “They will subpoena all of them in the Senate”

            AHAHAHAAHAHHAAHHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

          2. If this goes to the Senate there will be a bunch of people taking the Fifth.

            Sciaramella
            Vindeman
            Chalupa
            Both Bidens
            Maybe even Schiff

        3. That’s a BINGO!

      2. “… we may never get any direct witnesses to Trump saying anything.”

        Meaning you have nothing. Yet the star chamber persists.

  40. “Democrats Cry Corruption”

    You keep using that word…

  41. Nunes was funny probably for the first time in his life. Also fuck you, Justin Amash.

  42. In Kangaroo Court news, Judge Orrick has ruled that the jury MUST find David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress for trespass BEFORE having them actually go and decide a verdict on the case. Mind you, Daleiden has sought to have William Orrick removed due to perceived bias against the defendants in the CA lawsuit.

    Not sure how this will hold up on appeal. Cannot imagine a problem with the judge ordering juries to find certain verdicts.

    1. The appeal will be heard by the 9th and SCOTUS will deny cert. A guy who took tens of thousands of dollars from Planned Parenthood and whose wife is a radical abortion advocate gets to decide the verdict for the jury. Welcome to Amerika.

    2. If it is a directed verdict then what is the jury even deciding?

      1. Their OTHER “crimes” involved in journalisming

  43. Characterizing this as “hearsay” is pretty weird and misleading. Taylor & Kent were direct witnesses to how other senior administration officials worked to put sustained pressure on Ukraine.

    So in other words………… the actual, literal fucking definition of ‘hearsay’

  44. My favorite quote to come out of the attempted coup is from Rep. Mike Quigley: “Hearsay is often better than hard evidence.”

    1. If that is the case then Schiff needs to be arrested and charged with pedophilia, because I am 100% certain that multiple sources here have made statements to that effect.

    2. I just had to DuckDuckGo this one, because it sounded too stupid to be true, even for a scummy congresscritter. Unfortunately, Darth wasn’t kidding — Quigley actually said “I think the American public needs to be reminded that countless people have been convicted on hearsay because the courts have routinely allowed and created needed exceptions to hearsay…Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct, as we have learned in painful instances and it’s certainly valid in this instance.”

      These people make Tony look like a rocket surgeon.

      1. It is terrifying to think they have any legal authority or power at all.

      2. To be fair, the Federal Rules of Evidence and the rules of most states do have a plethora of exceptions to the prohibition against hearsay.

        You can see the exceptions here: https://www.rulesofevidence.org/article-viii/rule-803/

        Granted, most of these pertain to documents. But, to state that the hearsay at issue in the testimony of Kent and Taylor is qualitatively *better* than direct evidence (that is, hearing it from Trump’s own mouth, said to them) is decidedly absurd. There is no exception for hearsay within hearsay within hearsay unless each and every level of hearsay independently falls within an enumerated exception.

        A witness cannot take the stand at a trial and testify that he heard from “X” who heard from “Y” who heard from “Z” that statement “A” is true and, therefore, statement “A” must be true. That is *never* allowed.

  45. I still say that if all the facts alleged against Trump are true — that he threatened to withhold Congressionally-authorized military aid to Ukraine if there were no investigation into this possible corruption — that would be a good thing, impressing me a little more favorably with his administration.

    1. Weird flex, but ok.

      1. So you are saying that, even if there was corruption involving the Bidens, Trump could not request an investigation because they were his political opponents.

        That’s not weird, that’ stupid.

        1. Here’s a mind blower for you.

          Anytime corruption is exposed we all benefit. You, me, and Trump (well, maybe not you.)

        2. No, Trump needed to take care in how he went about pursuing an investigation. Instead, he impulsively cowboyed through it.

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