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Gender: Female
Hometown: Georgia
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 25,628

Journal Archives

Zuckerberg has so much money now, I wonder if it's just about $$ any more.

I think he gets a charge out of power. He likes being famous and important (the reasons why don't bother him at all) and he really wants to think that, as Facebook had a major role in throwing the 2016 election, if things follow precedent he therefore controls the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

In a word, sociopath.

Data point re Robert Livingston mentioned in WaPo article

His lobbying firm, Livingston Group, represents former Ukraine prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, as well as Association of Enterprises UKRMETALURGPROM, a steel-related trade group, and Innovative Technology & Business Consulting, a group related to Tymoshenko, both based in Ukraine.

Given that information, I just can't imagine why Livingston might have any reasons to want a nonpartisan career diplomat out of the way...

The carryover of nonpartisan State Dept staff is their strength

Of course staff stays from one president's tenure to the next. They are supposed to, in order to provide depth and continuity to policy. Of course there are those people who would have to actually care about policy depth and continuity in order to appreciate it, sigh.



edit to add:
State Dept. officials offer new details about Trump’s shadow diplomacy with Ukraine [with good photo]

K&R for visibility.

Take it up with the Constitution, Kenny

Along with wanting to join in on all the impeachment pooh-poohing, the real point he wanted to slip in was this:

A “conflict of interest is that the speaker of the House is guiding this process when she is third in succession,”

He's telegraphing how weak Pence's position is. He sees the downfall coming, but because he is just another 'party before country' Republican, he just. can't. stand. it.

Nobody else made the choices that led these clowns to destroy themselves. Nobody forced them to compromise themselves or their country, and anyone who currently finds themselves in a situation where they now feel forced to continue these crimes has put themselves there. Disentangling the web of criminals and their offenses is all being handled aboveboard and by the book.

One more time: if you don't like it, take it up with the Constitution, Kenny. Better yet, sit down and be quiet while the adults handle this mess.

Vindman's testimony dovetails with that of Fiona Hill

Apologies NYT is behind a paywall, but the gist is here:

OCT23 White House Aides Feared That Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel - Senior national security officials grew concerned about Kash Patel, a colleague who had been involved in Republicans’ efforts to undermine the Russia investigation.

Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, testified to House investigators last week that she believed Mr. Patel was improperly becoming involved in Ukraine policy and was sending information to Mr. Trump, some of the people said.

Ms. Hill grew alarmed earlier this year when an aide from the White House executive secretary’s office told her that Mr. Trump wanted to talk to Mr. Patel and identified him as the National Security Council’s “Ukraine director,” a position held by one of Ms. Hill’s deputies. The aide said Mr. Trump wanted to meet with Mr. Patel about documents he had received on Ukraine.

Ms. Hill responded by asking who Mr. Patel was. While the aide from the executive secretary’s office did not state explicitly that Mr. Patel sent the Ukraine documents to Mr. Trump, Ms. Hill understood that to be the implication, according to a person familiar with her testimony.

Mr. Patel’s apparent communications with the president prompted Ms. Hill to raise concerns with her superiors, including John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that Mr. Patel was meddling outside his portfolio. As early as May, Ms. Hill had begun discussing with colleagues her concerns about whether Mr. Patel was running a shadow effort on Ukraine at the White House, according to four people briefed on the discussions.

Mr. Patel joined the National Security Council in February and began getting involved in Ukraine matters in April, as Mr. Giuliani pushed the Ukrainian government to discredit evidence against Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman. It was not clear who hired him.

It's becoming clear now that Devin Nunes is likely responsible for 'hiring' Patel.

The 'position held by one of Ms. Hill’s deputies' that Patel usurped would be that of Lt Col Vindman.

Unbelieveable. A rogue group of people just pushed the real staff out of the way and started freestyling. And we're all just supposed to be okay with this?

It's a long shot, but I agree that enough in the Senate

may come to their senses to vote to convict, depending on just how bad the public hearings are.

I have come to believe that the 'vote in secret and he'd be convicted' idea is a trap, a trial balloon for trickery. The anonymous whispers claim a near sure thing, but secrecy would give them all cover to vote away Trump's crimes without being held accountable. I do not trust it.

A lot can change once the proceedings are being televised. If Schiff & co can keep a tight but fair reign on the proceedings, it could get really bumpy, really quickly for Trump. And the fallout for Rudy and Barr, whee!

I'm on the 'wait-and-see' fence, too. We'll see.

The same Devin Nunes who recently hired Derek Harvey?

I seem to recall a certain blowhard *winkwink* *nudgenudge*-ing along these lines not too long ago.

Trump claims whistleblower source committed ‘treason,’ suggests harsh punishment, reports say

“You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now,” Trump said, according to the LA Times.

That's a pretty clear dog whistle. The "will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" undertones are unmistakeable. Either Nunes might want to re-think his vocabulary given one of his recent staff additions, or perhaps he knows exactly what he's saying and doing.

Nunes Aide Is Leaking the Ukraine Whistleblower’s Name, Sources Say

Derek Harvey, who works for Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, has provided notes for House Republicans identifying the whistleblower’s name ahead of the high-profile depositions of Trump administration appointees and civil servants in the impeachment inquiry. The purpose of the notes, one source said, is to get the whistleblower’s name into the record of the proceedings, which committee chairman Adam Schiff has pledged to eventually release. In other words: it’s an attempt to out the anonymous official who helped trigger the impeachment inquiry.

On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that GOP lawmakers and staffers have “repeatedly” used a name purporting to be that of the whistleblower during the depositions. The paper named Harvey as driving lines of questioning Democrats saw as attempting to determine the political loyalties of witnesses before the inquiry. A former official told the Post that Harvey “was passing notes [to GOP lawmakers] the entire time” ex-NSC Russia staffer Fiona Hill was testifying.

These people are despicable.

find more

Glenn Kirschner asks an excellent question

I think all Trump enablers in government should be asking themselves the following question: if I support, encourage or cover-up presidential crimes, can I be charged as an Accessory After the Fact once a law-abiding Attorney General takes over? See 18 USC section 3.


Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.

Except as otherwise expressly provided by any Act of Congress, an accessory after the fact shall be imprisoned not more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment or (notwithstanding section 3571) fined not more than one-half the maximum fine prescribed for the punishment of the principal, or both; or if the principal is punishable by life imprisonment or death, the accessory shall be imprisoned not more than 15 years.

Thank you, Mr. Johnston

It's (sadly) a little unusual to see such a positive and constructive response to feedback. Good on you, sir. The addition of more context and nuance to your closing thoughts is greatly appreciated. I think that your intent to prompt more careful reflection has been successful.

I also humbly admit that I missed the 'opinion' label at the top and stand corrected. Perhaps my mistake was in part because your opinion column is filled with more facts and well sourced information than many 'news' reports on the same topics.

Definitely looking forward to more of your columns in the future.

Beautiful in its simplicity.

No one can continue to claim that this is too complicated for the American public to understand.
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