Thursday, October 24, 2019

Last Call For Poor Unfortunate Souls

The opening statement of Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, is "reverberating" on Capitol Hill among Republicans, according to GOP Hill sources, who told CNN that Taylor's testimony is a game changer in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. 
A senior Republican source on Capitol Hill told CNN that Taylor's statement was so detailed, so specific and that he is so respected that it is having an impact. 
"It points to quid pro quo," the GOP source told CNN
There is an ongoing conversation among GOP members on Capitol Hill about the impact of Taylor's testimony, but it remains a question whether it will move Republicans closer to considering impeachment. 
In a closed-door deposition Tuesday, Taylor said he had been told by Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union, that "everything" Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wanted, including a White House meeting and military aid to the country, would be held up until he publicly declared investigations sought by Trump. Taylor's statement undercut the White House's defense that there had been no quid pro quo offered on the call, as well as Sondland's previous testimony to Congress, but it corroborated many of the claims made by the intelligence community whistleblower whose complaint prompted the impeachment inquiry. 
While most Republicans have sided publicly with the President, they've been privately grumbling that they're "fed up and tired" of being asked to defend him in the impeachment investigation. 
Republican sources on Capitol Hill told CNN there's a "growing unease that there is no defense" of the President's actions. 
"How do you defend the indefensible?" one source told CNN. "We can't defend the substance, all we can do is talk about process."

But no Republican wants to come out and say anything.  The one Republican who did, Justin Amash, was run out of the party in under 30 days.  Nobody will follow suit.  Nobody.

Impeachment will still happen.  But I don't get what the Republicans are leaking about.  Trump will crucify any Republican who defies him, Republicans don't have a choice now, they're drowning on the Titanic as it goes down, so who does a leak like this serve?

I have no clue.

The Reach To Impeach, Con't

House Democrats are ready to move ahead to the open impeachment hearings phase of the process in two or three weeks, according to the Washington Post.

House Democrats are preparing to move their largely private impeachment inquiry onto a more public stage as soon as mid-November and are already grappling with how best to present the complex Ukraine saga to the American people.

Over the past three weeks, a parade of current and former Trump administration officials have testified behind closed doors, providing House investigators with a compelling narrative of President Trump’s campaign to extract political favors from Ukrainian officials. But on Wednesday, after conservative lawmakers stormed the hearing room and delayed the proceedings for five hours, some Democrats were feeling pressure to advance public hearings in hopes of avoiding further disruptions.

Among the witnesses Democrats hope to question in open session are the acting ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr., and his predecessor, former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Both are seasoned diplomats who, in earlier House testimony, effectively conveyed outrage over a White House plan to withhold much-needed military aid from Ukraine, a long-standing ally battling pro-Russian separatists.

In testimony Tuesday, Taylor also directly contradicted Trump’s account of his interactions with Ukrainian officials, making clear that Trump demanded that President Volodymyr Zelensky order an investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his family in exchange for the release of nearly $400 million in military aid and a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office.

Another top priority for many Democrats is John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, who made known around the White House his visceral opposition to the campaign to pressure Zelensky, a campaign directed in part by Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani.

Testimony from Bolton could be particularly devastating for the White House, though it was unclear whether Democrats would subpoena him or when. After Bolton resigned last month, he told The Washington Post that he would “have my say in due course.”

Democrats have long been expected to shift to public hearings, which offer the opportunity to build the case against Trump while also building support among American voters.

“It’s going to be the difference between reading a dry transcript and actually hearing the story from the people who were in the room,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Intelligence Committee. “I think the story needs to be told, you know, the story of the abuse of power. . . . People like the various ambassadors who have come to testify need to come tell it."

I'm all for this.  Republicans have been screaming on FOX State TV about "closed-door" hearings and yesterday's ridiculous (and illegal!) SCIF stunt, which should have two dozen plus Republicans cooling their heels in federal prison through next spring, is only a taste of what's coming as the Trump regime faces the music.

The time to get this on TV, 10 hours a day for a couple weeks as Americans gather for the holidays, is very close and it will make all the difference.

Meanwhile in Bevinstan...

Yet another poll shows Matt Bevin has now tied up the Kentucky Governor's race with Andy Beshear with under two weeks to go, and Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Joe Gerth wonders what it's going to take for KY Dems to learn how to close a race they led for months against arguably the most unpopular Governor in America.

Democrats across Kentucky must be banging their heads against the wall and mumbling to themselves, “Not again.”

As has been the case in recent elections, Democrats have fielded a candidate for major statewide office who comes screaming out of the gate with a lead in the polls, only to see it wither away in the final month or so before the election.

Some early internal polls had Attorney General Andy Beshear with nearly a double-digit lead over Gov. Matt Bevin after he dispatched House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and former state Auditor Adam Edelen in May.

But a Mason Dixon poll released last week has the race as a tie, with momentum clearly on Bevin’s side as we hit the last two weeks before Election Day.

We saw the same phenomena in 2015, when Jack Conway led Bevin in mid-summer polling only to see it turn as brown as the trees by November. Bevin won by nine percentage points.

We saw it in 2014, when Alison Lundergan Grimes had a four-point lead over Sen. Mitch McConnell, according to the Bluegrass Poll, only to see it evaporate. McConnell won by 15 percentage points.

In 2008, Bruce Lunsford pulled within a point of McConnell, only to lose in November by six percentage points.

Democrats say their internals still have Beshear ahead of Bevin, and Republicans say their polls actually have their candidate leading.

Either way, the race has tightened, and we’re seeing the same pattern emerge that has meant doom for Democrats in recent years. That’s not to say Beshear still can’t pull this out, but if he does, he’s going to have to sweat it out on election night.

It ain’t gonna be easy.

Bevin has run the last six weeks on ending abortion in Kentucky and ads about scary MS-13 gang members invading Kentucky from Mexico, and he's probably going to win because of it.

I'm tired of KY Dems blowing leads time and time again.  Another four years of Bevin and Kentucky will be dead last in education, teacher pay, health care, environmental safety, and will become the first state without a single abortion provider.

And my neighbors are either going to stay home or vote for this prick to take everything from us.  It infuriates me to no end.  Bevin straight up lied about Medicaid, he lied about teachers, he lied about everything, and he dumped the state's first black statewide officer off the ticket since Reconstruction because she was a drag with his white supremacist base.

But he's a 50-50 shot to win.


We deserve the destruction this asshole will bring.


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