Friday Open Thread

“An intelligent person is never afraid or ashamed to find errors in his understanding of things.”

–Bryant H. McGill


25 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Cory Gardner HAS said something about the Korean peninsula.  According to KBS World Radio (which has "programs help you explore the multiple facets of Korean culture, politics and society."), there was a meeting of Korean parliamentary leaders and US Congress members.

    The floor leaders met with Chuck Grassley, president pro tempore of the Senate and Finance Committee chair; Cory Gardner, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and Michael McCaul, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    DP floor leader Lee In-young said he had conveyed to the U.S. Congress the South Korean parliament’s hope that the defense-cost sharing process will see a fair and reasonable outcome. 

    LKP floor leader Na Kyung-won said Gardner vowed to apply efforts to ensure that negotiations are carried out in a mutually beneficial manner. 

    Another Korean source,  Korea JoongAng Daily("a leading English newspaper of Korea), described the meeting as including a different statement from Gardner:

    According to the Korean lawmakers, Gardner told them Trump’s demand for $4.7 billion was mainly a bluff from the U.S. president stemming from his ability to attract press attention. “In the end, [the cost-sharing matter] will be decided on a rational level,” Gardner told the lawmakers.

    So, nothing direct to the media, nothing pushed out to US media, but we do have second hand accounts of Gardner's thinking.

  2. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    After being removed from the Duke University golf team this smug little punk
    is pulling down $90k+ in the Whitest House Public Liaison Office.  His mother may or may not be his father’s cousin.  Just kidding. He actually looks like more of a brother to Eric than Donnie the junior.

    What does Rudy Giuliano’s Son Do? 


  3. kickshot says:

    This stinks:
    On May 18, 2010, Norton supporter Charles Grice, Jr. filed a complaint with the FEC against Buck, his campaign, Buck’s wife, AJS, two other outside groups, Morgensen, and Hensel Phelps, alleging illegal coordination between Buck’s campaign and the outside groups, as well as excessive contributions and illegal corporate contributions. The complaint also raised the possibility that Hensel Phelps could have violated the ban on government contractors making political contributions.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      The urgent need for real campaign finance reform is like climate change . . .

      . . . a undeniable fact that every person with even half a brain now acknowledges is a huge, intractable problem that threatens, and if left unchecked will eventually destroy, everything we hold dear . . .

      . . . which also seems to be grudgingly tolerated, or kicked down the road, under some kind of pretense it can always be dealt with by some mysterious future magic????

  4. itlduso says:

    The Atlantic is reporting that Joe Biden has struggled with stuttering his whole life.   That helps explain some of his stumbles when he closes his eyes and seems to be having problems finding the right word.  So, many of his "moments" are not the feared "senior moments" and makes me feel a little better.  But, it doesn't explain three of his gaffes at Wednesday's debates when he misidentified becoming the Dem nominee rather than the Dem president, when he claimed there was only one black woman senator in US history, and when he used "punch, punch, punch" to describe how to reduce violence on women. 

    Just made another contribution to Pete and to Amy after being reminded by V the other day.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I saw only a snippet of the Wednesday debates. What I saw was Biden successfully hammering on Bernie over the fact that a majority of Democrats do not support Medicare for All.

  5. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Josh Marshall at TPM: "Remember that Chief Justice Roberts Presides over the Impeachment Trial in the Senate"

    A reason why the House Democrats are not filing subpoenas on Bolton, Mulvaney and Giuliani may be because they can get those subpoenas later, during the trial in the Senate. Chief Justice Roberts has the role of deciding on any procedures and evidence during the Impeachment trial in the Senate. If the subpoenas make their way slowly up the appeals process, Roberts would probably be the 5th vote anyways, so it is more expeditious to just have him approve subpoenas for material witnesses in the trial. The Senate could vote to over-ride him… how many Republican Senators would choose to override the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

    The rules provide that the House managers can issue subpoenas to anyone, presumably including Bolton and Mulvaney. A senator could object that the testimony is irrelevant or covered by privilege. Rule VII provides that a ruling on such questions will usually be made by the Presiding Officer – the Chief Justice, unless he refers the decision to the full Senate. The Chief Justice would likely decide, in the first instance, claims of executive privilege or attorney-client privilege. He would also likely decide questions such as the crime/fraud exception and the co-conspirator exception to the hearsay rule, as well as questions of waiver of any privilege. Finally, he would rule on subpoenas for the production of documents.


  6. ParkHill says:

    Fiona Hill just killed it.

    Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged," Hill testified Thursday, reflecting on her disagreement with Sondland. "So he was correct," she concluded.

    She split the impeachment inquiry into two parts: (1) Official US policy and (2) Trump's informal.

    The other thing I got from these hearings is to observe Trump's negotiating style in detail. First you hold up the military aid. Nobody knows why. Then people start trying to guess what would restart the aid. Then a suggestion comes in. Trump's opponent tries to meet the suggestion. Then the goalposts are moved, and a different suggestion comes.

    JUST BEFORE the deal is settles, a whole other requirement shows up.

    Then AFTER you sign the deal, and AFTER you deliver 200 plumbing jobs to 200 condos, Trump refuses to pay and when you take him to Court his $900/hour lawyers  claim your work was sub-par, and the Court case drags out for weeks while you are paying your $200/hour lawyers.

    It's an aggressive, power-hungry, sociopathic way of negotiating. 

    It doesn't recognize that a good deal is a good deal for both sides, and it assumes that you don't have to work with the same negotiating partner in the future.

  7. Diogenesdemar says:

    Ruh roh . . . 

    . . . looks like somebody’s lil’ milkdud got some splainin’ to do:

    Giuliani associate willing to testify Nunes went to Europe for Biden dirt

    Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, would tell Congress that the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee met with an ex-Ukraine official to try to get information on Joe Biden, his lawyer says.

    . . . can you say, “co-conspitator”???  I’ll bet you can!

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