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#4261
caltrek

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Hundreds of Thousands Expected to Join 'Historic Nationwide Mobilization' on Eve of Trump Impeachment Vote

 

https://www.commondr...ation-eve-trump

 

Introduction:

 

(Common Dreams) A coalition of progressive advocacy groups on Friday announced plans for a "historic nationwide mobilization" across the U.S. on the eve of the House's yet-to-be-scheduled vote on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

 

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets around the country, said the "Nobody Is Above the Law" coalition, which includes MoveOn, Public Citizen, Indivisible, and Stand Up America, as well as more than a dozen other organizations.

 

"Protesters will gather in front of the district offices of House members as the lawmakers finalize their positions and at U.S. Senate offices as senators prepare for a likely trial," the coalition said in a statement. "Protesters will call on their representatives to uphold the Constitution and their oaths of office by supporting Trump's impeachment."

 

Nearly 120 events have already been planned in more than 80 cities in anticipation of the House impeachment vote.

 

The coalition organized several rapid-response demonstrations last year in defense of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, and organizers said they hope to drive massive turnout for the impeachment demonstrations.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4262
caltrek

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I am not holding my breath expecting the Bolton will do anything constructive. Still...

 

John Bolton is in talks to testify in the impeachment inquiry

 

https://www.vox.com/...mocrats-ukraine

 

Introduction:

 

(Vox) Readers, this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for: John Bolton is in talks to testify in the impeachment inquiry.

 

According to multiple reports on Thursday and Friday, the former national security adviser’s lawyers have spoken with the three Democratic-led House committees about a potential deposition. If that happens, he would be by far the most high-level witness to testify, possibly giving investigators the most authoritative account of President Donald Trump’s policy toward Ukraine.

 

This is very bad news for Trump. The president and Bolton had a contentious relationship that spilled out into the open after the top aide left the administration: Trump said he fired Bolton, but Bolton clapped back saying that he resigned. That means Bolton is unlikely to protect the president and instead will recount what he saw inside the government as truthfully as he can.

 

He surely has some explosive things to say. After all, he was on the infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which the American leader requested a “favor” in exchange in for investigations into Joe Biden’s family and Democrats. What’s more, two separate witnesses in the impeachment inquiry noted that Bolton felt the pressure campaign on Ukraine was highly inappropriate.

 

In her testimony last week, former National Security Council Director for European Affairs Fiona Hill recounted a July 10 meeting with senior Ukrainian officials that she, Bolton, and US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland attended. Per her statements, Sondland brought up the investigation, leaving those in the room with no doubt that he wanted the Ukrainians to look into the Bidens.


  • Jessica likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4263
starspawn0

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Trump ordered Mattis to 'screw Amazon' on Pentagon contract, according to new book

https://www-m.cnn.co...ract/index.html

Sounds like an assault on Capitalism. He's just jealous Bezos is so much richer.
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#4264
caltrek

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^^^^Sounds more like a kleptocrat trying to do his thing.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4265
starspawn0

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I wouldn't say it's about kleptocracy.   I had assumed everyone knew what it was really about, which is the Washington Post:  Trump is upset with the critical press, and wants Bezos to clamp down on it.  Bezos has explained to Trump that he doesn't interfere in the newspaper's reporting.  Trump wants him to help him rein in the free press, a very anti-democratic / authoritarian thing to do.



#4266
caltrek

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Trump wants him to help him rein in the free press, a very anti-democratic / authoritarian thing to do.

 

LIke I said, sounds like a kleptocrat trying to do his thing.

 

At any rate, now for something completely different:

 


How a Veteran Reporter Worked with Giuliani’s Associates to Launch the Ukraine Conspiracy

 

https://www.propubli...aine-conspiracy

 

Introduction:

 

(ProPublica) Last March, a veteran Washington reporter taped an interview with a Ukrainian prosecutor that sparked a disinformation campaign alleging Joe Biden pressured Ukrainians into removing a prosecutor investigating a company because of its ties to the former vice president’s son. The interview and subsequent columns, conducted and written by a writer for The Hill newspaper, John Solomon, were the starting gun that eventually set off the impeachment inquiry into the president.

 

Watching from the control booth of The Hill’s TV studio was Lev Parnas, who helped arrange the interview.

 

 

Conclusion:

 

…As Solomon’s relationship with Parnas developed, he learned over time that the businessman “was working for many people or several people in Ukraine,” including Giuliani and Solomon’s lawyers. Politico first reported Solomon’s lawyers also represented the Ukrainian oligarch. Giuliani hasn’t responded to messages seeking comment.

 

Solomon defended his work, including his reporting on the so-called do-not-prosecute list, which he said he went through “enormous efforts” to verify. “At the end of the day,” Solomon said. “it doesn’t matter what Lev Parnas did. It matters what I did.”

 

But a month after Lutsenko’s Hill TV appearance, the former Ukrainian prosecutor backed off of his allegations. He told a Ukrainian-language publication that he himself was the one who asked the U.S. ambassador for the list of supposedly untouchable figures. The State Department said there was never any list, calling it an “outright fabrication.” And Lutsenko told the Los Angeles Times last month that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing that would justify an investigation into Biden’s son’s business dealings in his country.

 


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4267
tierbook

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Trump ordered Mattis to 'screw Amazon' on Pentagon contract, according to new book

https://www-m.cnn.co...ract/index.html

Sounds like an assault on Capitalism. He's just jealous Bezos is so much richer.

On the one hand basing major deals like this off personal dislike is an issue. On the other there are a handful of viable reasons I can think of for going with MS, namely one of the main reasons I've seen for why they should go with Amazon over MS is that, while MS's cloud stuff is decent it's not as mature as Amazon's. To me it seems like taking actions to move away from a monopoly in cloud computing is a good idea? At least in terms of government contracts.


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#4268
caltrek

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To me it seems like taking actions to move away from a monopoly in cloud computing is a good idea? At least in terms of government contracts.

 

Good point.


  • Erowind likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4269
Jessica

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'Pure North Korea fluffery':WH press secretary labeled a 'sycophant' after calling Trump a 'genius'

By Bob Brigham


The White House on Saturday lashed out at former Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Kelly made news with two harsh criticisms of Trump.

“I said, whatever you do — and we were still in the process of trying to find someone to take my place — I said whatever you do, don’t hire a ‘yes man,’ someone who won’t tell you the truth — don’t do that,” Kelly said. “Because if you do, I believe you will be impeached.”

The retired four-star general also blasted Trump’s “catastrophically bad idea” of abandoning America’s Kurdish allies in Syria.

The White House quickly lashed out at the former Secretary of Homeland Security.

“I worked with John Kelly, and he was totally unequipped to handle the genius of our great President,” press secretary Stephanie Grisham argued.

Conservative commentator Charlie Sykes blasted the White House statement on MSNBC.

“Oh and that Stephanie Grisham quote. I mean, that is a classic,” Sykes said.

“That is pure North Korean fluffery,” he charged.

“That’s got to go in the Sycophant Hall of Fame,” Sykes added.

 


https://www.rawstory...bTnQkI1lw8.link



#4270
Jessica

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Sondland sang like a canary.
 
Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, told House committees last week that efforts by President Trump and his allies to press Kyiv to open investigations in exchange for a White House meeting with Ukraine’s president amounted to a quid pro quo, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Trump has denied that his decision to hold up aid was related to his push for investigations, repeatedly declaring there was “no quid pro quo.” Asked by a lawmaker whether that arrangement was a quid pro quo, Sondland cautioned that he wasn’t a lawyer but said he believed the answer was yes.

 



#4271
Erowind

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Please don't tell me there is a moral equivalence between Donald Trump and Eric Holder:

 

 

 

If you care about character maybe no, if you care about consequence yes. They both serve the same systemic issues and it makes zero sense to frame politics in this country around optimizing the slightly less evil over the slightly more evil. We will never solve any of our issues bouncing between lesser evils. We must pursue good instead, which sounds cliche but it's true. I don't care what Trump or Holder say. I care about what they do. As Attorney General of the United States Holder is just as complicit in mass political corruption, mass incarceration, systemic racism, systemic sexism, ecocide, war crimes, human exploitation, animal exploitation, chattel slavery, wage slavery and abuses of civil liberty. With all that in view one of them saying something racist is really really not important and doesn't deserve anyone's attention or effort. They are both consequentially racist so why spend millions upon millions of man hours complaining and hyperfocusing one of their characters wasting everyone's time? Talking about Trump's character is a distraction, it will never solve any of the problems I mentioned above and he himself is a symptom of those issues not the cause. The fact that the news only cares to scream about him constantly and none of the systemic issues that cause him, nor broaden the conversation can only be taken as tremendous ignorance at best and deliberately engaging in bad faith at worse. This rhetoric is killing our society, and until it ends nothing will get better. 

 

My argument simplified. Two people are complicit and beneficiaries of a slave plantation. One person is overtly racist and often insults the slaves when he sees them. The other is covert about it, he may have even convinced himself that he isn't racist going so far as to call out the other person's behavior. They both however buy cheap goods from the slave owner and live in a prosperous town only made possible by the labour of the slaves. Are these two people morally equivalent? Or at the very least are they so close morally that the minutia of their moral standing is irrelevant? I personally would answer the former with arguably yes and the latter with definitely yes. Saying that, should we spend our man hours trying to decide which slave driver deserves the virtue signal of the hour, or should we free the slaves?



#4272
caltrek

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@ Erowind,

 

Winston Churchill once quipped something to the effect that democracy is the worse possible form of government, except for all the others.

 

If you can replace it with something of superior quality, then please be my guest.  Still, it seems a peculiar way to go about doing so by trashing folks that are trying to place some limits on on a narcissist like Trump who apparently wishes to be declared emperor to carry out God's plan here on earth. If you cannot find any basis of solidarity with such elements of the opposition, then who can you align yourself with?  

 

Edit:  I just now noticed that you "liked" my earlier post, so I am glad that you found something of value in my observation and/or the article that I linked.  I suppose that can count as some sort of expression of solidarity. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4273
Jessica

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WaPo Breaking: House will vote Thursday on impeachment procedures, Democrats say
 
BREAKING: House Democrats said Monday that the House will vote on Thursday to formalize procedures for the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

The text of the resolution was not immediately available, but House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said it would "ensure transparency and provide a clear path forward" as the investigation continues. "This is the right thing to do for the institution and the American people," he said.

 



#4274
Jessica

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Democrats to Skip Court Fights Over Impeachment Witnesses

Source: New York Times


By Nicholas Fandos
Oct. 28, 2019
Updated 2:16 p.m. ET


WASHINGTON — House Democrats will forgo using the federal courts to try to compel testimony from recalcitrant witnesses in their impeachment inquiry, a top Democratic chairman said Monday, warning that lawmakers would instead use the lack of cooperation to bolster their case that President Trump has abused his office and obstructed Congress’s investigation.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, confirmed the shift in strategy after Charles M. Kupperman, the former deputy national security adviser and one of Mr. Trump’s “closest confidential” advisers, defied a House subpoena for testimony that had been scheduled for Monday morning.

The White House on Friday said that Mr. Kupperman was absolutely immune from testifying and directed him not to appear in defiance of a subpoena. That prompted the former official to file a lawsuit against Mr. Trump and congressional Democrats asking a federal judge whether he could testify, raising the prospect of a drawn-out legal battle over weighty questions about the separation of powers that could effectively stall the impeachment inquiry for months.

“We are not willing to let the White House engage us in a lengthy game of rope-a-dope in the courts, so we press ahead,” Mr. Schiff told reporters outside his secure hearing rooms.

 


Read more: https://www.nytimes....oena-house.html


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#4275
Jessica

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Speaker Pelosi statement: This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings
Link to tweet


TEXT

Nancy Pelosi

@SpeakerPelosi

The House has been following the facts and the evidence has only made the President’s own words on his call more appalling. This resolution will set up the structure for the next phase where the American people can hear those facts for themselves in open hearings. #TruthExposed
"This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel."
1,260
5:29 PM - Oct 28, 2019


So it will be a vote for the rules for the next phase of their process.

ETA - Adam Schiff tweet -

 



Link to tweet


TEXT
Adam Schiff

@RepAdamSchiff


This week, we're voting to establish the format for open hearings that will be conducted as part of the impeachment inquiry.

The American people will hear firsthand about the President's misconduct.

 


3,634
5:31 PM - Oct 28, 2019


HERE IS THE "DEAR COLLEAGUE" LETTER


Dear Colleague on Next Steps in House's Ongoing Impeachment Inquiry
October 28, 2019
Press Release

H. Res. ___ — Directing certain committees to continue their ongoing investigations as part of the existing House of Representatives inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its Constitutional power to impeach Donald John Trump, President of the United States of America, and for other purposes.

 



***

Dear Democratic Colleague,

For weeks, the President, his Counsel in the White House, and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representatives’ impeachment inquiry “lacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.” They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist.

Of course, this argument has no merit. The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.” Multiple past impeachments have gone forward without any authorizing resolutions. Just last week, a federal court confirmed that the House is not required to hold a vote and that imposing such a requirement would be “an impermissible intrusion on the House’s constitutional authority.” More than 300 legal scholars have also refuted this argument, concluding that “the Constitution does not mandate the process for impeachment and there is no constitutional requirement that the House of Representatives authorize an impeachment inquiry before one begins.”

The Trump Administration has made up this argument – apparently out of whole cloth – in order to justify its unprecedented cover-up, withhold key documents from multiple federal agencies, prevent critical witnesses from cooperating, and defy duly authorized subpoenas.

This week, we will bring a resolution to the Floor that affirms the ongoing, existing investigation that is currently being conducted by our committees as part of this impeachment inquiry, including all requests for documents, subpoenas for records and testimony, and any other investigative steps previously taken or to be taken as part of this investigation.

This resolution establishes the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people, authorizes the disclosure of deposition transcripts, outlines procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee as it considers potential articles of impeachment, and sets forth due process rights for the President and his Counsel.

We are taking this step to eliminate any doubt as to whether the Trump Administration may withhold documents, prevent witness testimony, disregard duly authorized subpoenas, or continue obstructing the House of Representatives.

Nobody is above the law.

best regards,

Nancy.jpg

 


https://www.speaker....wsroom/102819-0


#4276
Jessica

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Adam Schiff has announced he's no longer waiting for courts to compel witnesses to testify
Link to tweet



Adam Schiff has announced he's no longer waiting for courts to compel witnesses to testify in some of the impeachment topics. Instead, the fact of their refusal will be used as evidence that they're co-conspirators in Trump's crime spree.

Brilliant.

 


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#4277
Jessica

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omWV1cZs_bigger.jpg Kyle GriffinVerified account @kylegriffin1

 
 
 
 

 

Kyle Griffin Retweeted Kyle Griffin

"Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman of the Army, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, twice registered internal objections about how Mr. Trump and his inner circle were treating Ukraine, out of what he called a 'sense of duty'."

Kyle Griffin added,

Kyle GriffinVerified account @kylegriffin1
Breaking via NYT: A W.H. national security official who's a decorated Iraq war vet plans to tell investigators he heard Trump appeal to Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden, a request he considered so damaging that he reported it to a superior. …
6:00 PM - 28 Oct 2019

 

 


#4278
Jessica

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'Extremely disturbing': Top Dems alarmed over Vindman's testimony on Trump-Ukraine call
 

 
Top Democrats at the deposition of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, said his testimony Tuesday was “extremely disturbing” and praised him for appearing despite attacks from the White House.

Acting House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y, told NBC News she found Vindman’s remarks “extremely, extremely, extremely disturbing” as she left the deposition. Maloney refused to answer any other questions about Vindman’s testimony.

Vindman, appearing voluntarily under congressional subpoena, was set to tell members of Congress conducting an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump that he was on the phone call between Trump and Ukraine’s leader in which Trump asked for an investigation into the Bidens — and that he raised concerns about it.

Vindman considered Trump’s request that Ukraine investigate his political rivals so damaging to American national security that he reported it to a superior, according to his opening statement ...

 

 

https://www.nbcnews....-trump-n1073371


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#4279
Jessica

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Kyle GriffinVerified account @kylegriffin1

 
 
 
 

 

Kyle Griffin Retweeted Kyle Griffin

"The rough transcript also contains ellipses at three points where Mr. Trump is speaking. Colonel Vindman told investigators that at the point of the transcript where the third set of ellipses appear, Mr. Trump said there were tapes of Mr. Biden."

Kyle Griffin added,

 

Kyle GriffinVerified account @kylegriffin1
Breaking via NYT: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman told House investigators that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine's president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to restore them failed. …

 

 
6:20 PM - 29 Oct 2019

 

 


#4280
caltrek

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Republicans Accuse Colonel Vindman, a Jew Whose Family Fled Soviet Persecution, of Dual Loyalty
 

https://theintercept...n-dual-loyalty/

 

Extract:

 

(NPR)   DESPERATE TO UNDERCUT the credibility of a White House official who testified to the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, Republicans resorted to an age-old smear tactic by questioning the loyalty of the witness, a naturalized American citizen who fled the Soviet persecution of Jews as a child and rose to the rank of Army colonel.

 

The witness, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, is a decorated Iraq war veteran who advises the National Security Council on Ukraine and Russia. According to his prepared testimony, Vindman notified White House lawyers on two occasions in July that President Donald Trump and his aides had politicized aid to Ukraine, by pressing Ukraine’s president to help smear Democrats in return for nearly $400 million in security assistance.

 

…“Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president’s interest,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham said on Monday night. Ingraham cited as evidence a report that Vindman had been asked by Ukrainians how to deal with unofficial requests from the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to investigate debunked conspiracy theories about Biden and supposed Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election.

 

…Julia Ioffe, an American journalist whose family also fled the Soviet Union, observed on Twitter that “Laura Ingraham accusing Alexander Vindman, a Soviet Jewish refugee who became a decorated U.S. Army veteran, of dual loyalty is, well, anti-Semitic.”

 

“While Trump has a history of attacking anyone who questions his power, there is a particularly insidious history to questioning the loyalty of Jewish émigrés,” Ioffe explained in a GQ profile of Vindman published on Tuesday. “According to a source who knows the family, Vindman’s grandfather died fighting for the Soviet Union in World War II. After the war was over and the state of Israel was founded, Stalin unleashed a bloody and ruthless campaign against Soviet Jewry. He called them ‘rootless cosmopolitans,’ a wandering people who had no real roots in the Russian soil, and therefore no loyalty to the Soviet state. The campaign continued even after Stalin died, with harsh quotas imposed in universities…In everyday life, Soviet Jews, whose ancestors had been in living in Russia for centuries, were told to ‘go to your Israel’ or to return to their ‘historic homeland.'”

 

28dc-vindman-articleLarge.png?quality=75

Alexander S. Vindman, left, with his twin brother, Yevgeny, at the Pentagon in 2016. They are both lieutenant colonels in the Army.

Credit...Carol Kitman


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The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






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