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November 22, 2019 06:47 AM UTC

Friday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

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

–Bryant H. McGill


25 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread

  1. 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.

    1. And, the RNC just bought $100K worth of Genius, Jr’s “best seller” . . .

      . . . GOPer Dianetics

      . . . and, I’m guessing that, as another qualified scam delusion religion, it’ll all be tax exempt . . . like it wasn’t gonna’ be anyway, huh?

      1. Bear in mind, Realist, that the Trump empire is actually propped up by Russian loans. You will recall Eric Trump publicly stating, in 2013, "we get all the money we need from Russia."

        Why else would Trump continually grovel and bow before Putin; and be looking to advance Putin's causes instead of our country's interests? 

          1. Realist: I think we both know there is no way to know anything for sure until Trump's financial records are revealed, at least in part. And Trump is trying feverishly to keep those records concealed. 

            Considering what is already known about his business history, Trump reminds me of the saying from down Texas way: "big hat, no cattle."

            Eventually something will break on his finances. He can't legally stop every attempt to garner information.

    2. His mother is actually Rudy’s second wife, Donna Hanover, the one he unceremoniously dumped at a press conference for mistress who went on to be wife number 3.

      1. The article I embedded states that *rump has always been like a father figure to him. This looks more like a classic ‘same Milkman’ situation: (Eric on the right) 

    3. The Atlantic also claims:

      Steve Munisteri, who was principal director of the public-liaison office and Giuliani’s supervisor from February 2017 to February 2019, told me that Giuliani fills out his time by serving as the office’s representative at White House meetings about the opioid crisis.

      No word about how he developed an awareness of the opioid crisis, the governmental response, or if he has a personal agenda in the area.  But somebody has to do it, and Jared seems to have too many other responsibilities to cover an opioid crisis.

  2. 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.

    1. 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????

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.


  5. 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.

  6. 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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