…impeachment 2.0 [DOT 9/2/21]

the mockery of justice...

…damn, y’all
[…&…well…sorry about the scrolling?]


The proceedings begin Tuesday with four hours of argument on the constitutionality of the trial by the House managers and Trump’s lawyers. While 45 Republicans voted in favor of a measure that argued the proceedings were unconstitutional last month, some of those senators said they simply wanted a debate on the issue. The Senate would then hold a vote on whether to proceed — a measure that only needs a simple majority and is expected to pass easily.

The House managers are scheduled to begin their opening arguments at noon ET Wednesday, followed by the attorneys for the president. Each side will have 16 hours to make their presentations — a shorter amount of time than the 24 hours allotted for Trump’s first trial and then-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial. Each trial day is expected to last 8 hours — meaning it would go until about 8 p.m. most days, later if they take breaks.

When opening arguments are done, senators will be able to question the two sides for four hours by submitting written questions to Leahy, who will read them aloud.

The managers could then have a debate and a vote on calling witnesses or subpoenaing documents. If that does not happen, the two sides would move on to closing arguments, which would last a total of four hours.

The trial will go six days a week until concluded. In a break from tradition, it will be held on Sundays instead of Saturdays at the request of Trump’s legal team because one of them, David Schoen, can’t work on the Sabbath. Trial days on Fridays would conclude by 5 p.m. for the same reason.



…I don’t know if I’m going to make it

Consider these Trump actions in the days and weeks after news organizations declared Joe Biden the winner:

– He praised — and even called — the GOP members of Michigan’s Wayne County Canvassing Board who refused to certify the county’s election results; they later reversed course.

– He phoned into a Pennsylvania state Senate meeting trying to overturn the results in that state: “We have to turn the election over, because there’s no doubt we have all the evidence, we have all the affidavits, we have everything,” Trump said.

– His allies were behind the Texas lawsuit to the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin; the court rejected the lawsuit.

– He begged Georgia’s secretary of state to find him additional votes to overturn the election result there: “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” Trump said.

– And then finally, on Jan. 6, he exhorted his assembled supporters as Congress was set to certify the Electoral College results.


…& let’s not forget that he was still trying to get people on the floor to add further delays WHILE THE CROWD HE RILED UP WAS STORMING THE DAMN CAPITOL…how is it this not the other kind of foregone conclusion?

According to Politico, there’s tension between several managers, who reportedly want to call witnesses, and senior Democrats who just want to get the trial over with. The desire to rush is understandable, because Democrats are sacrificing valuable legislative time. But if they miss the opportunity to give the country the fullest possible picture of Trump’s treachery, that sacrifice will be in vain.

Perhaps it goes without saying that the real jury for this trial is not the Senate but the public. Most Americans have decided on Trump’s guilt: according to a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll, 56 percent say Trump should be convicted and barred from holding office again. But it’s still important for Democrats to tell the comprehensive story of how Trump tried to steal the election, and how that attempt ended in death and desecration.

This is necessary not just to cement Trump’s disgrace, but because his election lies are being used to justify new restrictions on voting. Trump’s attack on democracy didn’t begin on Jan. 6, and even though he’s out of office, it hasn’t ended.
The outcome of this trial may not be in doubt, but Democrats have one chance to show the country exactly what Republicans are condoning.

You May Want to Forget Him, but Trump’s Trial Must Be Thorough [NYT]

…this shit is liable to make my head explode

Denying Incitement, Trump Impeachment Team Says He Cannot Be Tried [NYT]

Not long ago, it was common on the right for people to call themselves constitutional conservatives. But that, evidently, was a fad. Now, the supporters of Donald Trump want us to believe the Framers were fools.

How else to understand their interpretation of impeachment? As the Senate trial begins, the main argument of Trump’s lawyers — repeated ad nauseam in their written response to the House trial brief — is that their client can no longer be impeached because he is no longer president. “The constitutional provision,” it reads, “requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached.”

The absurdities of this claim abound. The Constitution specifies two possible punishments the Senate can impose upon impeachment conviction: removal from office and disqualification from future office. The second penalty is always and only imposed on former officials, since they have just been removed from their job. And there is nothing in the text of the Constitution that requires the imposition of both punishments in every case.

The Trump team’s version of impeachment would leave the process easily gamed. Why wouldn’t every official facing the likelihood of conviction simply resign from office 10 minutes before the Senate votes? Yes, the official would lose office (by an act of his or her own will). But wouldn’t this make the second punishment — disqualification from future office — impossible to impose?

Think on this a moment. If only current officeholders can be impeached and convicted, only those officials who feel confident of Senate acquittal would choose to remain in office until the vote. The incentive structure of this system would be perverse. As a practical matter, disqualification would be imposed only on officials who think they have a chance at Senate acquittal, decide to risk a vote and then lose. Those who are confident of Senate conviction would always avoid disqualification by strategically resigning. The worst offenders would never face the full range of penalties.
The general asininity of restricting impeachment to sitting officials goes further. Wouldn’t this be a license for presidents to abuse their power in the last few months of their terms, when impeachment becomes a practical impossibility? Wouldn’t this amount to a January free pass for high crimes and misdemeanors?

Trump incited the insurrection two weeks before the end of his term, in the hope that his time in office would be unconstitutionally extended. Yet his lawyers have been shameless enough to criticize “the House of Representatives’ rush to judgment” on impeachment. If only sitting presidents can be impeached, the House and Senate would need to have a rapid, streamlined impeach-o-matic process ready at the end of every presidential term to hold abuses of power to account on a countdown clock. “It is inconceivable,” according to the House trial brief, “that the Framers designed impeachment to be virtually useless in a President’s final days, when opportunities to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power would be most tempting and dangerous.”
Only one decision in the Senate trial will hold a guilty man accountable, while taking a stand for a better, nobler political ideal. And there is no plausible, procedural argument that will rescue senators from the moral choice they face.



…or just twist it so far around my neck snaps

The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins in about 24 hours, but Democrats still haven’t settled on their strategy. Perhaps the biggest question is whether they’ll even bother to call witnesses — something that, reportedly, still isn’t a done deal.

Failing to do so, though, would be a curious decision. And it’s clear there are plenty of people who could shed some light on an important event in our nation’s history — including Trump’s culpability for it.


…the corkscrew logic on display in the stuff being offered as a defense of the indefensible ought to be the very definition of laughable

In addition to challenging the process of trying a former president, Trump’s lawyers will argue that his comments attacking the validity of the 2020 election and at the rally before the siege are protected by the First Amendment.

Shortly before the attack on Jan. 6 that resulted in five deaths, Trump, in a rally at the Ellipse park near the White House, called on his supporters to “fight like hell” and to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to stop lawmakers from certifying the election of his rival, President Biden.

Trump’s fiery words to the crowd might not rise to the level of incitement in a traditional courtroom under the First Amendment, constitutional scholars say. But the same legal protections do not apply at an impeachment trial, where Trump is accused of violating his oath as a public official.

There’s a difference between what is impeachable and what is illegal. First Amendment experts distinguished between a political impeachment process and a criminal legal proceeding in a courtroom, where they said it might be difficult to successfully prosecute the president for riling up the crowd before the riot.

[…]Congress’s power to impeach is not limited to unlawful acts, and the First Amendment does not prevent the Senate from convicting Trump, according to a coalition of more than 100 constitutional law scholars.

“The First Amendment is no defense to the article of impeachment leveled against the former President,” according to a letter circulated by the scholars and first reported by the New York Times. “The president does not have a First Amendment right to incite a mob and then sit back and do nothing as the hostile mob invades the Capitol and terrorizes Congress.”

It’s not a typical trial. Lawyers in the Trump impeachment case will argue big constitutional questions. [WaPo]


On cusp of impeachment trial, court documents point to how Trump’s rhetoric fueled rioters who attacked Capitol [WaPo]

Federal prosecutors have now filed charges against 211 people accused of taking part in the assault on the U.S. Capitol last month, alleging a wide range of motives and behavior, from extreme violence to apparent ignorance that what they were doing was illegal.
The FBI said nearly two dozen had ties to right-wing extremist groups, most notably the Proud Boys. Investigators said one of its national leaders, Joe Biggs of Florida, was among the first to enter the Capitol after another member, Dominic Pezzola of New York, used a police shield to break out a window, allowing the first rioters to get in.
Proud Boys leaders from Hawaii and Washington state were also charged, including Ethan Nordean, who was accused of planning in late December for violent action in Washington, D.C., in January.

Three members of a militia group known as the Oath Keepers were accused of making similar plans and of using their cell phones as walkie-talkies during the siege to coordinate their actions. As it was underway, one said, “We have a good group. We have about 30-40 of us,” according to court documents.
Prosecutors said some of the hundreds who stormed the Capitol were prepared for battle, wearing helmets and tactical gear. At least four were seen on video or in photos carrying baseball bats. Twenty-two are accused of assaulting some of the 140 police officers who officials said were injured during the rioting.
No charges have been filed in connection with the death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. And the FBI has yet to identify the person who planted two pipe bombs near the Capitol the night before the siege outside the national headquarters of the Republican and Democratic parties.
The FBI’s task of identifying people who entered the Capitol was aided by the more than 200,000 photos and videos sent in by tipsters, including a few who turned in members of their own families, and by the use of facial recognition software to put names to faces.

…it’s a hell of a thread…but like he says at the end

Actions taken by paramilitary groups in Michigan last year, emboldened by President Donald J. Trump, signaled a profound shift in Republican politics and a national crisis in the making.

‘Its Own Domestic Army’: How the G.O.P. Allied Itself With Militants [NYT]

…but with a probable acquital looming I’m left hoping the last laugh is somewhere down the line because this shit ain’t even slightly funny

The problem, of course, is that the party at large — elected members of Congress, state officials and a large portion of the base — believe or at least feign belief in the crackpottery of the former president, the QAnon congresswoman from Georgia (Marjorie Taylor Greene) and the conspiracies promulgated by cynical right-wing media moguls. Frankly, the ones feigning belief are the most reprehensible, because they willingly manipulate the base and undermine democracy for personal fame and power. (On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) correctly analyzed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy “stands for nothing except the perpetuation of his own position. He has no values, and in my view cares about little except for hoping to be speaker one day. God forbid.”)

In what universe can the Republican Party recover some semblance of normalcy? Nearly 150 House Republicans voted to overturn the election results; 199 refused to strip Greene of her committee seats. All but 10 voted against impeachment to hold the former president accountable for insurrection. (And in case you thought Senate Republicans were any saner, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi declared he is “not conceding that President Trump incited an insurrection.” He might check with Cheney and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — and the tens of millions of Americans who witnessed the events of Jan. 6.)
First, Republicans’ process arguments are invariably false. The law and the precedent for convicting a president impeached while in office is clear. Those voting to acquit simply cannot bring themselves to condemn him for instigating a violent insurrection.

Second, it behooves the mainstream media to point out that Republicans have no policy positions. As such they are not conducting themselves as a legitimate party in the battle of ideas. They spend their time whining about “censorship” (from the floor of the House and on the largest cable news outlet). It is noteworthy that other than 10 Republican senators, congressional Republicans have no proposals for attacking the covid-19 pandemic, reviving the economy or anything that would alleviate Americans’ immediate or long-term hardships.

Third, the individual and corporate donors, news outlets, think tanks and other political organizations that continue to treat the GOP as a normal political party are contributing to the erosion of our democracy and the elevation of authoritarian-minded racists and conspiracy-mongers. They too should be held accountable. Consumers, stockholders, legitimate scholars, real media and ordinary individuals should withdraw support from and recognition of the enablers. The twin powers of the purse and of public shunning are useful tools in knocking down the pillars that support a decrepit party.

The GOP is not a normal party [WaPo]

The one GOP principle: Protect Donald Trump [WaPo]



…not forgetting that currying favor(s) is very much the hallmark of what the Dolt45 cabal consider to be the way things work

The lawyer Alan M. Dershowitz, who represented the former president in his first impeachment trial, used his access for a wide array of clients as they sought pardons or commutations.


…& lamentably it appears that the judiciary remains willing to drop the ball in all the wrong places


The Court of Appeals let stand a lower-court ruling that the Manhattan district attorney’s prosecution of Paul Manafort was barred by the double jeopardy rule.



The Justice Department will allow John H. Durham to remain in the role of special counsel appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia inquiry, even after he relinquishes his role as the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut, according to a senior Justice Department official.
All of the remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the Senate will be asked to tender their resignations except for David C. Weiss, the U.S. attorney in Delaware who is overseeing the tax fraud investigation into President Biden’s son Hunter Biden. Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson called Mr. Weiss on Monday evening and asked him to remain in office, according to the official.

Justice Dept. to Keep Special Counsel Investigating Russia Inquiry [NYT]


…I mean…I get that shutting those particular investigations down would doubtless be accompanied by accusations of partisan interference…by the party of partisan interference…but I can’t be alone in being sick of seeing that shit further enabled even as we wait to see another burst of mendacity surrounding the supposed vindication of a man who won’t actually be convicted despite literally years of criminal behavior on the most public stage imaginable culminating in an attempt to derail the legitimate confirmation of his electoral defeat…not to mention the ongoing sham whereby the legal culpability always seems to somehow fall short of the last few links in the chain that connects it to him beyond what might reasonably be called reasonable doubt?

David Correia, whose business ties to Rudolph W. Giuliani had drawn scrutiny, was sentenced Monday to a year in prison for defrauding investors of an insurance start-up that paid the former New York mayor hundreds of thousands of dollars for consulting work while he was President Donald Trump’s lawyer.

Correia pleaded guilty in October to duping investors in Fraud Guarantee, the business he started with Giuliani’s former associate Lev Parnas. The firm offered fraud protection and “risk management tools” to other companies, but prosecutors say it was never operational and that, instead, Correia and Parnas used over $2 million in investment capital for personal expenses.

Parnas, a Ukrainian-born businessman who later teamed with Giuliani to undermine President Biden’s candidacy in the 2020 election, has maintained his innocence. Giuliani is not accused of wrongdoing and has said there was nothing improper about his work for Fraud Guarantee.


…to tell you the truth I’m about sick of shit turning out much the way I expect

Last month’s GameStop trading mania was sparked by members of a popular Reddit investing community who said they hoped to strike back at the Wall Street elites who had long dismissed them as dumb money. But growing evidence casts doubt on the idea that the episode mostly benefited small-time investors.

Giant mutual funds that own the largest stakes in GameStop saw the biggest gains in value. Hedge funds — some that have started using algorithms to track retail investors on social media sites — appear to have bought and sold millions of shares during the stock’s most volatile period of trading, industry experts said.

And, in at least some cases, novice investors lost their shirts.

Instead of heralding a new wave of investor populism, the rise and fall of GameStop’s stock may end up reinforcing what professional investors have known for a long time: Wall Street is very good at making money, and more often than not, smaller investors lose out to wealthy traders and giant institutions.

The four largest asset managers in the world together own 39 percent of GameStop shares, according to regulatory filings. Those stakes, which are mostly held for years in passive index funds, have collectively gained roughly $1 billion in value since the beginning of this year. One hedge fund, Senvest Management, recently boasted to clients that it made more than $700 million from a bet it placed on GameStop in September, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.
The sheer number of shares that changed hands during the stock’s most manic trading period in late January suggests the episode was driven by more than just small, retail investors. Some hedge funds bought shares because they were forced to “cover” their short positions — a financial cost imposed on investors who bet a stock will go down before it goes up. Meanwhile, other hedge fund managers were probably taking calculated, short-term risks buying and selling as the stock price traded up, said Robert J. Shapiro, a policy fellow at Georgetown University and former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton.

“You have hundreds of millions of shares being traded at prices of $200 to $300 a share,” Shapiro said. “The Reddit crew cannot afford to play in this game in any significant way.”
But the rise in retail investors has also led some Wall Street firms to pay more attention to the mom-and-pop investors they used to ridicule. Hedge funds have started to build algorithms or hire outside firms that specialize in scanning conversations on Reddit and Twitter for clues about what retail traders are thinking. Several of these services, with names like Swaggy Stocks, Robintrack and Quiver Quantitative, popped up in the past two years.
Benn Eifert, chief investment officer of San Francisco-based investment fund QVR Advisors, said the largest hedge funds probably knew about the GameStop buzz early because they are actively monitoring conversations on social media forums.

“You better believe the large sophisticated firms in the space have technology to tell them about what’s happening in the world in real time,” Eifert said. He declined to comment on whether QVR took a position in GameStop or specify what technology his firm uses to monitor social media.

Last year, prominent hedge funds including Point72, D.E. Shaw, Two Sigma and Capital Fund Management were all found to be siphoning trading data from a popular app called Robintrack, which collected information on which stocks users of Robinhood bought and sold. Casey Primozic, the programmer who created the now-defunct app, tweeted his finding in May that he had traced large volumes of traffic back to servers that appeared to belong to those firms.
GameStop has 47 million shares available to trade in the stock market. And yet, on its roller coaster ride from a share price of $17 to $483 in the span of three weeks, investors bought and sold those shares hundreds of millions of times. Over three of the stock’s most volatile trading days, GameStop shares changed hands 554 million times — more than 11 times the number of total shares available.

This pattern suggests there is more to the story than retail investors buying shares and holding them through the stock surge, said Shapiro, the Georgetown policy fellow.

“The same shares are being bought and sold four or five or six times a day,” Shapiro said, a pattern he thinks points to the involvement of hedge funds with large amounts of capital to bet on highly volatile stocks. “Hedge funds make money off of volatility and price change. If prices are going to change very rapidly, that gives you a lot of opportunity to make profit.”
Another possibility regulators are examining is whether employees of large Wall Street firms were actively using the Reddit forum to boost their portfolios. Though posters are anonymous, r/WallStreetBets has long been populated by users who grasped complex trading concepts, shared screenshots of their Bloomberg terminals and discussed six-figure bets on single stocks, said Jaime Rogozinski, who founded the forum in 2012.

“Since it was started, it’s always attracted professionals,” said Rogozinski, who is 39 and lives in Mexico City. “It’s easy to miss them or assume they are not there because of the crude language.”


…particularly when for some the losses are anything but abstract


…while for others…there’s always that silver lining

Reddit, the Talk of the Internet, Raises $250 Million [NYT]

…& let’s not forget that some of this stuff comes with hidden extras…like a carbon footprint bigger than that of many nations


Bitcoin and even Dogecoin, which began as a playful experiment, are soaring in value as billionaires, companies and celebrities promote the digital currencies.



…so in a sense the whole world has to choke down that bitter little virtual pill…while the people literally trying to keep others alive are out there damn near drowning

Vaccines may be on the way, but many on the front-lines are burned out. Has the government done enough to help alleviate their stress?

A Parallel Pandemic Hits Health Care Workers: Trauma and Exhaustion [NYT]

[…& since last time it came up I kept failing to find a spot for it…let’s not forget that keeping us fed also counts towards that whole “keep others alive” thing]

‘We Are Forgotten’: Grocery Workers Hope for Higher Pay and Vaccinations [NYT]

…at the end of the day it’s not like it’s time to stop sweating the details


For years, cybersecurity experts have warned of attacks on small municipal systems. In Oldsmar, Fla., the levels of lye were changed and could have sickened residents.

‘Dangerous Stuff’: Hackers Tried to Poison Water Supply of Florida Town [NYT]

…because some of the people doing this stuff are a damn sight more competent than anyone ought to be comfortable with

Cybersecurity researchers have uncovered the identities of more than 1,000 victims of two hacking groups tied to the Iranian government.

The victims include high-profile academics, activists and business leaders in Iran and elsewhere, and government officials in the United States and Europe, researchers at Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point say in a pair of reports released Monday.
“To me, this shows the amount of complexity, the amount of resources the Iranian regime is putting into this campaign,” says Yaniv Balmas, head of cyber research at Check Point. “And it’s a complete invasion of the privacy of citizens.”
“The technology in this campaign — it’s not really high tech,” Balmas says. “But what it does teach us — and maybe that’s the scary part about this — is you don’t need to be that sophisticated to be successful. And I think that should be a concern for everyone.”


…& we don’t need any more fires to put out right now

The virus caused more than a pandemic. It set us all ablaze. [WaPo]

…so can we at least learn to take our damn medicine?


…like the song says…yesterday don’t matter if it’s gone



  1. That Manafort story demonstrates what I’ve feared about Trump’s pardons:  that his cronies will still get away with it because they can argue double jeopardy against any state or local charges.
    That, plus the fact that Democrats continue to fuck up the biggest gimmes in human history (the 2nd impeachment only being the most recent example), tells me that Trump 2024 will definitely be a thing–and if Mitch is successful at obstructing Biden’s agenda, it will be much more competitive than some may think.

    • The only upside I’ve heard about the pardons is that recipients can no longer take the Fifth since they can’t be convicted. So if they refuse to testify under oath they can be held in contempt and subject to criminal charges. So by pardoning his criminal associates Trump has basically freed them up to testify against him. Not sure how that might play out. 

      • Whether or not you can plead the fifth depends. If it is a purely federal crime, you can be forced to testify, so getting a pardon for breaking federal election laws in a federal election could take away your right to plead the Fifth regarding an illegal fundraiser for Trump.
        However, if you were breaking both federal and state laws — say you held an illegal fundraiser for both Trump and a governor — then you can still be prosecuted for state crimes. If the feds came looking for testimony, you could legitimately argue there was no way to disentangle the state and federal components of the fundraiser. The Fifth would still be an option.

    • What boggles my mind is how the Democrats spend so much money on political consultants and yet seem to have had so little infrastructure in place for the strategy and organization around their response. The slapped together nature of the first impeachment was driven to a large extent by a lack of preparation, and instead of it being a warning sign to leadership to be ready for another round, they took it for granted that Trump would learn his lesson.
      Having said that, he is not going to be a nominee in ’24. He will be 78 and he cannot handle it, and there will be a lot of unravelling on other fronts. Which doesn’t mean he won’t cause a fuss about running and try to raise a lot of money, but he won’t follow through.

      • Trump’s ego and his wallet will demand that he run in 2024, even if he has to do it as a third-party candidate. Which is fine — deprive the Republicans of the crazy vote. That’s basically half the party at this point. 

  2. One of the more intriguing theories I’ve read on Trump’s impeachment state that he might be better off accepting a conviction. There’s some precedent that he can’t be held in “double jeopardy” so if impeached and convicted, he would not be able to be tried for any crimes related to his insurrection. Which means, in effect, he’d be accepting the fact he could never be president again, in exchange for not being tried and convicted of criminal offenses relating to the insurrection and five dead people. 
    So Donny is rolling the dice and gambling he won’t be convicted of criminal charges later. With a stacked Supreme Court and lower judiciary, that’s a pretty safe bet, I’d guess. But I’d like to see him buried in a blizzard of subpeonas for the rest of his miserable life. So there’s a silver lining.

  3. I am all for getting the trial over and done until I remember that we spent over a month impeaching Bill Clinton for a BJ. I am sorry but a president that can multitask fills me with confidence. Imma gonna run the country, eat a pizza and get off simultaneously. I admire that.
    Cheeto cannot even do I thing at a time well.

    • Clinton was notoriously indefatigable. Endlessly curious. 3 AM weeknight bull sessions at the White House where all kinds of policy issues were endlessly discussed. Then he’d be back at the Resolute desk at 6 AM with 12-hour days ahead of him. Endlessly traveling, and not to things like MAGA rallies of golf resorts. Everyone I know seems to have met him. Conferences. Restaurant run-ins. I was walking down California Street in San Francisco and there was all this commotion. Pedestrian traffic was halted by a police presence and this huge motorcade pulled up. Something went wrong so the motorcade was stuck. Clinton, being who he is, used the minute or two to jump out of his car and started pressing the flesh. He couldn’t get enough of this very granular, retail politicking. Trump, famously, shares his desire for adulation, but rather than talking to individuals (and Clinton famously has an incredible memory; if I ran into him today there are 50-50 odds he’d say to me, “I remember you. San Francisco. California Street wasn’t it? Maybe 1994, 1995?”) Trump holds Nuremberg rallies and instigates Bierhall Putsches. 
      Speaking of memory impairment, the ex-Overstock CEO, who fit right in at 1600 Cuckoo’s Nest Avenue, is claiming that Giuliani is often shit-faced by the early afternoon and has been for quite a while. Apparently triple scotches are the tipple of choice. I think Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) are a pretty conservative group but if they ever start releasing more “scared straight” PSAs, they could do worse than use footage of a snarling, loopy Giuliani with hair dye running down his face as a cautionary tale.

      • This is why I think that Bill and Hillary’s marriage is maybe less than they would like us to think.  Bill was the most brilliant campaigner of our time, maybe ever.  Hillary was……….not.  Didn’t they even talk to each other about this stuff?

          • I don’t think it’s that simple.  Clinton knew how much people were paying for a gallon of milk and a pair of jeans.  Bush was awestruck by a bar code scanner, as if he’d never been shopping before.  That’s not charisma, it’s showing some knowledge of what the average person’s average day is like.

        • I’m just kind of surprised that two people very closely associated with Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and especially his own wife, didn’t learn more just by being around him, through osmosis and observation. In 2000 Al Gore didn’t carry his own home state, TN. Clinton won it in both 1992 and 1996. From my (exhaustive, to the point of obsession) reading about 2008 and 2016, “Hillary’s people” did everything they could to sideline Bill, and Hillary herself felt, “I got this Bill, this Barry Bamoa or whatever his name is…” or “I’m running against Donald Trump! He belongs in a locked ward, not the White House. It’s going to be a historic blowout.” She was a pretty bad campaigner but more importantly the whole Debbie Wasserman-Schultz/DNC fiasco, Bobby Mook, Donna Brazile who still, somehow, is received warmly as some kind of political sage…it was like the unsinkable Titanic. It all looks good on paper, but then the hull is breached below the waterline in an unexpected and perfect way, and the fail-safe measures fail, and the contingency plans aren’t anywhere near up to the challenge. 
          I also think, in Hillary’s case, that she was deceived by how simple it was to be helicopted in and elected Senator from New York. (Bobby Kennedy did the same thing a generation before her.) She must have learned something from her bitter, Führer in the Bunker loss to Obama in 2008, because in 2016 there were at least three thumbs on the scale to get her the nomination, but alas for her the electorate is not composed solely of Democratic machine hacks. She may have won the popular vote but what she really did was win California, and getting 90+% of the vote in lots of electoral districts in a very populous state is all to the good, but that state has the same number of Senators as nearby Wyoming, so for the electoral college that’s two more votes for her and two more votes for Trump, despite the fact that you could probably dump the entire population of Wyoming into California and people would hardly notice.
          Water under the bridge, and happier days ahead, let’s hope. I am turning my wonkish attention now to the Census results. As the blue states in the north and east keep losing population relative to the states in the south and west (except for CA) it’ll be interesting to see who will get culled from the herd. New York is certain to lose one Congressional seat, maybe two. Who will be the sacrificial lamb(s)?

        • Eh. I’ve always thought that their marriage became one of convenience, and continues based on mutual benefit rather than anything like love. I guess I’ve seen enough of those now that it seems somewhat “normal” to me to have two people who agree to stay married but pursue outside “interests,” for whatever reason (usually family but sometimes business). 
          I’m old enough to remember when divorce wasn’t socially “acceptable” so people who decided they couldn’t stand each other just led largely separate lives. I remember a wealthy couple in my hometown that had an enormous house that covered most of a block, but it was actually two separate homes with garages, etc., and one small door between the two. The husband was a judge and they apparently decided that divorce would jeopardize that, so they just coexisted. It was fascinating — the female half was light and spacious and brightly painted, and the male half had heavy wood paneling and was dark and had a cigar room and whatnot. You could instantly tell that these were two houses squashed together. 
          The South, man. It’s another world sometimes. 

  4. The impeachment problem is that we already know how the jury is going to vote. So to whom are the Democrats supposed to be making the case. Voters? The media? Republicans? Whether or not I think — or it’s even absurdly obvious — that he’s guilty as hell of any/all of the things they decide to accuse him of, it doesn’t really matter because the outcome is preordained.

    So, yeah, I’d like to see them go for it and make a good case, but if they also feel like they have better things to do … kinda hard for me to argue against that. 

    • …I want to argue…but it’s all arguments based on the long term look of the thing

      …& they all work better if he gets legally eviscerated…in the senate for preference…but endlessly in any & every court works, too

      …so they may well all be based in wishful thinking?

      • It’s tough because I agree:  I think it’s important that history notes the Democrats (and a solid majority of voters) said “No, this is unacceptable.”

        However, impeachment is only a trial in name only; it’s ultimately a political action. Trump remains in fine standing within his party, so they have zero incentive to do what’s right. Moreover, the entire party is already built on NOT governing! Their problem with Trumpism is not the mechanics, but the presentation.

        • I get it but if nothing else we can dispel some of the Republi-cons bullshit talking points to a captive audience, like the DON’T support the police, they don’t believe in justice for all, that they are patriots, guns everywhere is a great thing, that Antifa & BLM are the only domestic terrorists, that Trump is an every-man and liberals are elites, that QAnon is not a problem…etc.  On the Q thing, it is estimated that 30 million Americans believe in QAnon conspiracy theories or are members, that is fucked up!  It may be a waste of time & I know we have better things to do but we cannot let them get away with just brushing this off again.  Not just Trump but the whole GOP needs to pay a price for making this whole last 4 years the shitshow it was.

          • I agree wholeheartedly, but a Democratic argument in an impeachment of their hero isn’t going to reach any of those people. Whatever they hear about it is going to be through the prism of their Fox/OANN/Newsmax/Racist Uncle’s Facebook, and they’ll just double down.

            I don’t want to sound overly pessimistic, but none of those people are going to immediately be swayed by facts or logic and we — the broader left and left-center and frankly even the right-center — need to figure out a longer-term strategy to gently pull some of those people away from the fever swamps. I hoped an assault on the Capitol would be one of those “we can’t ignore this any longer” moments but apparently that still didn’t bother quite enough people.

    • I don’t disagree, but I keep coming back to “they have to.” If Congress ignores sedition and insurrection, then fuck it, what are they there for? It’s a lost cause, sure, but honestly they are kind of “required” to at least TRY. 
      And not for nothing, but five people are dead. Most of them don’t deserve our sympathy, but the police officer does. He was murdered doing this job and somebody should at least make an attempt to make Trump pay for it. 
      Moving away from morals, and dammit I can’t find the link, but I’m sure I read somewhere that even if impeachment fails it’s paving the way for other actions against Trump. The 14th Amendment is dicey, but I feel like I read an article that these proceedings could be used as evidence for other legal action. 

        • You’re right. I was just assuming that Republicans would repudiate that death as unrelated to the riots. Which they will, just like they claim coronavirus deaths are due to natural causes or some shit. But one officer’s death is CLEARLY the result of being murdered during the riot. Even Republicans can’t bullshit that away. 

      • Right, and even if I see the other side of that, I am annoyed by the smug “This is all theater and it doesn’t matter” take because a) theater matters unto itself in politics and b) several people died at the hands of these right-wing yahoos and like I think it’s OK to want some sort of justice for that. (And leaving it exclusively in the hands of like the FBI doesn’t guarantee that!)

  5. Seattle has already mandated a $5 per hour hazard pay for grocery store workers.  I think Kroeger is doing it statewide but not all other chains have followed.  I don’t know how much of the impeachment Kabuki theater I can handle so I’ll watch something to take me to my happy place instead…

  6. that hack caught my attention
    im used to hackers being in it for self interest…or just the lulz….and whilst i guess this guy could be doing it for the lulz…theres a willingness to harm there thats somewhat discomforting…makes me wonder what else hes getting up
    anyways…with a lot of these kind of places running on pretty old tech im surprised this kind of thing doesnt happen more often…yet
    good thing the staff was paying attention

  7. huh?

    only just heard about it…dont know if itll ever come to my netflix…but if it does…ill have to try it…food and obamas and muppets….im interested..lol

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