(11) UKE-GATE IMPEACH GRAB BAG - CRITICAL THREADS

    Place holder for Uke-Gate stories that shouldn't roll off the blogroll. Will update number as it climbs. Not sure yet which stories qualify, but probably ones that best support the limited area of Uke-Gate & similar acts being impeachable behavior, and not just a one-off but repeated violation and/or dereliction of duty.

    1) Trumps's private hush hush hit team - Rudy, DiGenova, Toensing - https://www.thedailybeast.com/joe-digenova-and-victoria-toensing-worked-...

    2) Ur-Report of Uke-gate - where this reporting started (James Risen - from which it got twisted) -  https://theintercept.com/2019/09/25/i-wrote-about-the-bidens-and-ukraine...

    Updated in May by Robert Mackey to correct NYTimes reporting that left way too much innuendo: https://theintercept.com/2019/05/10/rumors-joe-biden-scandal-ukraine-abs...

    3) Did Trump withhold a memo from Mueller summarizing key Russia meeting? https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/white-house-hide-memo-trump-...

    4) When Jared got a blockade put on Qatar after Qatar wouldn't help out on his property - earlier Trump Shakedown Street example - https://www.newsweek.com/jared-kushner-backed-qatar-blockade-after-qatar...

    5) How Memorializing Conversations works/should work in the White House, including reaching consensus & distributing that info to affected persons/departments - https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/09/29/trump-white-house-ukr...

    6) Special Ukraine Envoy Volker's odd conflicts of interest - https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/28/trump-ukraine-kurt-volker-1517874

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Impeaching the Black Swan

    I have no idea how the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump will play out. Neither does anyone else. The most important thing to remember when reading media coverage of the impeachment process is that the writer has no idea how the impeachment process is likely to go. This goes for everybody.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Time is Not on Biden's Side

    Joe Biden looks great on paper. Polling at over thirty percent, he dominates his Democratic rivals by fifteen points or more, and he crushes Donald Trump in head-to-head polls. He has half-a-century of political experience, and his middle-class Scranton roots will appeal in Pennsylvania and other rust-belt swing states. Firmly in control of the centrist vote, he can sit back while his opponents squabble over the left wing.

    But he’s unlikely to become the Democratic nominee for President.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Hoarding, Archiving, and the Public Domain: Universal Vault Edition

    The New York Times Magazine just dropped a piece on the complete destruction of every master recording in Universal's West Coast vault. I haven't even finished reading it, because it's so terrible I have to digest it in installments and take breaks. Hundreds of thousands of irreplaceable master tapes were destroyed.
     

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    A Warning from 1992

    Lately, I've been thinking about where things went wrong. Donald Trump is the culmination, not the genesis, of America's nationalistic trend. I suspect that the turn came, ironically, at the moment of the West's greatest triumph, when Gorbachev embraced western values of democracy and capitalism, and the Soviet Union disintegrated.

    Exploring the era, I came across this insanely prescient essay from 1992. I've never been a fan of David Gergen, but damn, he nailed this one. The article is firewalled, so I'll share a few of his predictions.

    Staggered by an economic downturn that has taken a deeper psychological toll than expected and frustrated by a paralysis in its politics, the United States toward the end of 1991 turned increasingly pessimistic, inward and nationalistic...Insistent cries came along that the nation should embrace a new philosophy of putting America first: turn a hard, flinty eye toward economic competitors, said its advocates, and curtail the long tradition of generous idealism in foreign policy.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Bill de Blasio Would Make a Great President

    Rumor has it that Bill de Blasio will be announcing a run for president some time next week and the response I’ve seen has been all snark and chortles, even from the left.  I get it — in such a crowded field, another candidate almost seems absurd on its face at this point.  Another issue is that de Blasio is not a particularly popular mayor here in New York City, which invites jokes that we residents are trying to export him to the rest of the country.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    How Far Will Trump Go?

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump famously invited Russia to hack his opponent’s email. He later claimed that it was just a joke. But when Donald Trump Jr. was told that Russia’s “crowd prosecutor” had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the younger Trump replied, “I love it,” and set up a meeting between the campaign leadership and Russian emissaries. Though nothing apparently came of this meeting, many have wondered why no one from the campaign reported Russia’s operations to Homeland Security.

    Well, President Trump now runs Homeland Security. We should be wondering what he’ll do when Russia tries to get him reelected in 2020.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Should Our Allies Hack Our Elections?

    Two things about the Mueller report are not up for debate: the Russians interfered in our last election, and no one is going to do anything about that. One party is hobbled by the need for bipartisanship, and the other so blinded by partisanship that they'll treat attempts to ward off foreign interference as political attacks on their own side. While we're making this about Trump, out foreign adversaries are preparing to attack our elections again. We haven't punished them or done anything to stop them, so why would they stop? All we've done is give them time to improve their methods.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    You Can Never Undo Losing an Election

    Picture it... November 2000.  George W. Bush loses the popular vote to Al Gore but is declared President anyway because a Supreme Court made up of key people appointed by George W. Bush’s father decided that vote counting should cease in a state where George W. Bush’s brother was governor.  I was 25 years old.  I thought, for a months, “there’s no way this will be allowed to stand.”

    It was allowed to stand.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Is the US Heading for Anti-Hate Speech Laws?

    Was reading this morning about people in New Zealand being criminally prosecuted for downloading, distributing and even making statements in favor of the Mosque shooting.  New Zealand is a free and open society where freedom of expression is protected, but free speech rights are not quite so clear as they are here in the U.S.

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    On Breaking up Google - this is not your Grandma's Monopoly

    Another election and another round of liberal posturing - "how do we beat down the corporates, how do we dismantle their power?" "Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple...," exclaims Elizabeth Warren, "along with their little subsidiary acquisitions". Let's call these The Big Four.

    So let's tear this down - first, are these the monopolists you're looking for? Back in the day of the Robber Barons, we had goons showing up to beat up the competition - quite a bit of heat brought down on anyone who was in competition. This kind of activity is pretty rare these days - mostly it's just that customers are flocking to the big boys, and that's just tough on the rest.

    The IT age truly hit when Microsoft ended up with a practical monopoly on the desktop. Sure, Apple could scrape out 4 million laptop & desktop sales a quarter with a huge comparative margin, and techies could go for Linux or lately Chromebooks, but in terms of units at home and in the workplace, DOS-Windows machines predominated since 1982, and still do. Microsoft went on to do quite well in the Office software and database business - and people howled to break them up. But in the end, they went from a dominant consumer company to a dominant enterprise software company, with the whole industry resigning itself to the fact that the OS is boring, and is best off boring, and all the OS wars in the 70's and 80's mostly led to things not working with each other, whereas the Windows behemoth solved that problem. Until the Web came along and made everything interoperable in a different way, so the Windows monopoly became a "who cares?" We got a little flurry of excitement when Steve Jobs decided to put a knife in the heart of Flash and Adobe itself, pretending to go to a new standard that was far from market ready - and suddenly we saw what we'd avoided for 2 decades - having to choose when we really didn't care. Sure, Excel rolled over Lotus-1-2-3 and M$ killed some other fine mail & database software companies, but it was the 90's, baby - the Internet Age, and if things hadn't just worked, that would have harshed our mellow. 

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Amazon’s Big Swingin’ Di—

    Well, The National Enquirer seems to have stepped in it by trying to go toe-to-toe with Jeff Bezos and his unlimited wallet.  The lame supermarket tabloid published details of Bezos’ affair (which I do not know because I never got caught up in the story) which has led to an impending divorce and Bezos wanting to know how those losers got information about his private life and having the means to launch his own investigation.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Governor Northam: Exhibit (A) In The Case Against Politicians

    Rudolph Cardwell Sr., Perlista Henry, Ralph Northam, Linda Cardwell, Danny Cardwell 

     

    Ralph has to go! There's no way he can continue as the Governor of Virginia. This is a painful sentence to write, but a necessary one. I've covered the Governor at a debate, a ribbon cutting, and a few other small events. I've met him a handful of times. I sincerely thought he was the real deal. He came off as a kind and caring person, but he has to resign. I was fooled. We all were fooled. He. Has. To. Go.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    When Satire Exposes Hate

    Nancy Pelosi is one of the few politicians who can say they have favorability, likeability, and approval ratings comparable to the president. According to a Monmouth University poll, Nancy Pelosi’s approval rating doubled after the government shutdown. The poll found that 34 percent of voters thought she was doing a good job— twice as high as the same poll found in November of 2018, when her approval rating was 17 percent. She doubled her approval rating and was still 16 points below 50%. There are legitimate reasons to like or dislike Nancy Pelosi, but more times than not people base their reasoning on the caricature of Nancy Pelosi.

    2020 Rejects & Remainders

    Ok, was trying to stay out of this, but so far the "no way Jose" list:

    - Tulsi Gabbard (Fox hawk if not Russian asset in Hawaiian hulu skirt with jackboots)

    - Howard Schultz (latte corporate vulture with an odd sense of "centrist" looking more like "blame the Dems for asking for nice things" misguided conception of "independent", while pitching a well-tarnished "businessman saves America" deficit-scold message. 15 years ago maybe - plus a business run only on young hipster easily-exploited youth hardly seems like it offers a breakthrough message for the rest of us)

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Three Week Refuge from The Purge Open Thread

    Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

    Try to be nice to Peter (not verified). 

    See, the thing is, Trump was playing Battleship and Pelosi was playing checkers, and you can't play Battleship without a wall, so Trump quit.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Legacy of Fighting Bob

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fascinates the press and electrifies progressives, but some Democratic colleagues just want her to pipe down and behave. One anonymous Democratic rep told Politico, “She needs to decide: Does she want to be an effective legislator or just continue being a Twitter star? There’s a difference between being an activist and a lawmaker in Congress.” According to the article, Ocasio-Cortez’s colleagues are particularly dismayed by her history of backing primary challenges to Democratic incumbents, and they warn that she will have “a lonely, ineffectual career in Congress if she continues to treat her own party as the enemy.”

    If Ocasio-Cortez does start to feel lonely, I urge her to visit the Senate Reception Room at the other end of the Capitol. There’s a man she should meet. His portrait hangs on the wall, the old guy with the bow tie and the enormous pompadour. Few remember him these days, but Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin was a political sensation in his day, loved by the press, hated by his Republican colleagues. They loathed him for his radical ideas, his outspokenness, and his disloyalty to the party. President Theodore Roosevelt called him “a shifty self-seeker” and “an entirely worthless Senator.” In 1907, a journalist memorably described him as “the loneliest man in the United States Senate.”

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    The Lies Are True; We Just Don't Get It!

    Donald Trump has convinced his followers that reducing the trade deficit with Mexico would pay for his wall; this lie, like the 7,000+ other lies he's told since becoming president, has been swallowed up whole and regurgitated by his base.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Public Domain Day Report, 2019: YES!!!

    Today, at last, is Public Domain Day in the United States. For the first time in decades, some American copyrights were actually allowed to expire naturally, a mere thirty-nine years later than planned. So after years of blogging, every January first, about what wasn't entering public domain and what would have entered public domain under earlier laws, I can finally blog about what is entering public domain.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Advent in Herod’s Kingdom

    Long before Christmas season was a consumer extravaganza starting just after Halloween, it was a period of solemn religious reflection starting four Sundays before Christmas. For some of us, it still is. In America that means it's both. I experience, and enjoy, the secular Christmas of eggnog, gift wrap, and Dean Martin, but I'm also mindful, maybe a bit more each winter, of Advent and its quieter demands. We're in the bleak midwinter, of the season and sometimes of the spirit. And midwinter's never seemed bleaker than when I watch the news.

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