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Donald Trump Toys With Abuse Of Office In Beef Against Washington Post | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC- MSNBC
Rachel Maddow revisits the history of Richard Nixon trying to use the IRS to audit his personal political enemies and notes the parallels with Donald Trump's attempt to punish Amazon with higher postal rates because of his personal disdain for The Washington Post. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc

Donald Trump interview 1980 (Rona Barrett) [Reelin' In The Years Archives]
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We are posting this 4 minute interview excerpt of a 34-year-old Donald Trump from October 6th, 1980, not for positive or negative political reasons but rather from an historical standpoint. We are in the business of licensing footage and that’s why our web site is across the screen (to protect it from being used without our permission) . We realize that Donald Trump’s presidency causes very strong emotions (both pro and con) but we are not in any way sharing this to take a side. We very much appreciate history and this is a fascinating interview considering that when our client Rona Barrett asked him these questions in 1980 he seemed to have no political aspirations, and now here in 2017, he’s days away from becoming President. Rona had not planned on asking him these political questions as she was there to interview him for a TV special on millionaires, but only a few minutes of the 47 minutes filmed ever aired, but nothing concerning politics. We posted this interview for what it is, an historical document. We’re hoping (but realize it’s a long shot) that people will show restraint and keep the comments civil. We as archivists appreciate footage and the story it can tell about a moment in time. Over the last few decades, we’ve dedicated so much time, money and resources to build a company that locates, preserves and makes available for licensing, lost archival footage whether it be music performances or interviews with important figures in Film and Television, Comedy, Literature, Art, Science, Fashion, Sports and in the case of this unique interview with Donald Trump, politics. Reelin’ In The Years Productions

 

2 White House officials testified Mulvaney helped coordinate Ukraine pressure campaign 

By ANNE FLAHERTY
Nov 8, 2019,

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/house-democrats-release-testimony-white-house-official-raised/story?id=66848697&cid=referral_taboola_feed  
Evan Vucci/AP


Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney helped to coordinate a pressure campaign against Ukraine, two top White House officials said they were told, according to testimony released Friday based on closed-door depositions.  
The two officials – Fiona Hill, who has since left the White House after serving as senior director for Europe and Russia, and Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, director of European Affairs at the National Security Council – also testified that they were so alarmed by the quid pro quos being put to Kyiv that they reported their concerns directly to National Security Council Legal 


Adviser John Eisenberg.
Both Mulvaney and Eisenberg have declined to testify, despite having received subpoenas from Congress.

At the center of the ongoing House impeachment inquiry is an effort by Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to get Ukraine to launch an investigation that would have included his 2020 political rival, Joe Biden.
Gordon Sondland, a Trump-appointed ambassador, has testified that he relayed the message to Ukraine that nearly $400 million in military aid was tied to its willingness to announce the probe.
According to the latest transcripts, Sondland said he had Mulvaney’s blessing, which Sondland expressed in a July 10 meeting with Ukrainian officials in which national security adviser John Bolton tried to abruptly cut short.

“Ambassador Sondland blurted out: ‘Well, we have an agreement with the chief of staff for a meeting if these investigations in the energy sector start,” Hill said.
Vindman confirmed her account, saying Sondland said the requirement of an investigation that included the Bidens “had been coordinated with White House Chief of Staff Mr. Mick Mulvaney.”
 Vindman also said he thought it was “inappropriate” to call for an investigation by a foreign power into a U.S. citizen.
“The request to investigate the Bidens and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something that the NSC was going to get involved in or push,” Vindman said.
The testimony also raises serious questions about Eisenberg’s handling of the complaints and whether he tried to act on them.
Vindman says he approached Eisenberg two weeks before Trump’s phone call in which he repeatedly urged the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rivals, warning him of the demands being made.

“I vaguely recall something about: ‘I’ll take a look into it. You know there might not be anything there. We’ll take a look into it,’ something of that nature” said Vindman, describing his conversation with Eisenberg, on July 10.

Vindman said he went back to Eisenberg again within an hour after Trump’s July 25 phone call to Ukraine’s president because he believed it amounted to a “demand” by Trump that a foreign power investigate a U.S. citizen, in this case Biden.

He also testified that he thought Eisenberg made the decision to put a transcript of Trump’s July 25 call into a system intended to restrict distribution.

When asked why distribution would be limited, Vindman said because it “would implicate a partisan play” that could damage U.S.-Ukrainian relations.

Hill said she was so alarmed by the July 10 meeting with top Ukrainian officials that she reported her concerns to then-National Security Adviser John Bolton who demanded she relay the details to Eisenberg, which she testified she did.

Hill said Bolton told her: “You go and tell Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up on this, and you go and tell him what you’ve heard and what I’ve said.”

Vindman's testimony can be found here.


https://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/CPRT-116-IG00-D011.pdf  


​2 White House officials testified Mulvaney helped coordinate Ukraine pressure campaign

The testimony release comes ahead of the first televised hearings in the impeachment probe next week as Democrats step up the public phase of their investigation.

ABC News' Mike Levine, Lauren Lantry, Laura Romero, Trish Turner, Kathryn Mcquade, Liz Alesse, Avery Miller, Allison Pecorin, Mariam Khan, Sarah Kolinovsky, Katherine Faulders, Soo Rin Kim, Stephanie Ebbs and Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.

WATCH: Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman’s full questioning of Amb. Marie Yovanovitch - PBS NewsHour
Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman questioned Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, on Nov. 15, the second day of public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Goldman asked Yovanovitch for details about what led up to her ousting, which came after Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, led a smear campaign against her. “When other countries, other actors in other countries, see that private interests, foreign interest can come together and get a U.S. ambassador removed, what is going to stop them from doing that in the future in other countries?” Yovanovitch testified. The impeachment probe centers around a July phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. For more on who’s who in the Trump impeachment inquiry, read: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics... 
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U.S. impeachment hearings | Day 2 - CBC News - Live testimony from the impeachment hearings in Washington, where former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will be testifying after being ousted from her role in May. ​]

 Donald Trump's business links to the mob - BBC Newsnight - BBC Newsnight -  Donald Trump now looks like the front-runner to be the Republican candidate for the US presidency. One of his big appeals is his business success - and his claim that his wealth means he can't be bought and sold. But there's evidence which not only casts doubt on Trump's wealth claims - but also reveals his history of business relationships with figures connected to organised crime. John Sweeney reports. Newsnight is the BBC's flagship news and current affairs TV programme - with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews

Trump impeachment inquiry hearings - Day 1
CNN
Acting Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent give testimony to the House Intelligence Committ

The Century of the Self - Part 3: "There is a Policeman Inside All Our Heads; He Must Be Destroyed."

Chris Hedges on Death of the Liberal Class - TVO Docs
Journalist and author Chris Hedges delivers a lecture based on his book Death of the Liberal Class. Hedges argues that there are five pillars of the liberal establishment - the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities and the Democratic Party - but that these institutions have failed the constituents they purport to represent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_(book) 
 Propaganda, an influential book written by Edward L. Bernays in 1928, incorporated the literature from social science and psychological manipulation into an examination of the techniques of public communication. Bernays wrote the book in response to the success of some of his earlier works such as Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and A Public Relations Counsel (1927). Propaganda explored the psychology behind manipulating masses and the ability to use symbolic action and propaganda to influence politics, effect social change, and lobby for gender and racial equality.[1] Walter Lippman was Bernays' unacknowledged American mentor and his work The Phantom Public greatly influenced the ideas expressed in Propaganda a year later.[2] The work propelled Bernays into media historians' view of him as the "father of public relations."[3]  

The Century of the Self - Part 2: "The Engineering of Consent"

Former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump, Tim Morrison, arrived for a closed-door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

The spiral staircase leading to the secure room in the Capitol where the private depositions in the impeachment inquiry took place.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Left is the New Right, or Why Marx Matters
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/08/left-is-the-new-right-or-why-marx-matters/  
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
by ROB URIE
More articles by:ROB URIE
https://www.counterpunch.org/author/3abre/ 

The American obsession with electoral politics is odd in that ‘the people’ have so little say in electoral outcomes and that the outcomes only dance around the edges of most people’s lives. It isn’t so much that the actions of elected leaders are inconsequential as that other factors— economic, historical, structural and institutional, do more to determine ‘politics.’ To use an agrarian metaphor, it’s as if the miller was put forward as determining the harvest.

The American left has had an outsider role in this politics from the inception of the nation as a capitalist oligarchy to the improbable cobbling together of the idea that popular democracy can exist alongside concentrated wealth. If the powers that be wanted popular democracy, they could stop impeding its creation. The ‘first mover’ advantage, that once gained, power is used to close the door behind it, has be understood for centuries in the realms of commerce and politics.

As was probably the intent, the 2016 presidential outcome was used by the more persistent powers to divide the American left. The neoliberal left moved to a reflexive nationalism tied through class interests to state-corporatism in defense of the realm. Carnival barker Trump, an American political archetype for at least two centuries, was portrayed as a traitor to capitalist democracy— from the left. Emptied of analytical content, left affiliation was made a ‘brand.’

In more constructive terms, Bernie Sanders reached into red state territory to facilitate a class-based left political response to the failures of capitalism by promoting social welfare programs with historical precedent in the New Deal. Tied to an analytically sophisticated effort to shift power down and across political and economic hierarchies, something akin to popular democracy is in the process of confronting its long-mythologized ghost.
Part of the challenge of addressing this politics comes through dubious parsing of ‘the political’ from its objects. If an agent of the government tells people when to wake, what to wear, what they can and can’t say and what to spend their time doing, that is authoritarian. When an employer determines these, it is considered ‘free choice.’ In the neoliberal frame, economics is only political to the extent that elected leaders promote specific economic policies.
Even with the realization of late that money determines political outcomes, the distribution of income and wealth is considered economics while the use that these are put to in the political arena is considered politics. The unvirtuous circle of capitalism, where concentrated income and wealth are used to affect political outcomes so as to increase concentrated income and wealth, ties economics to politics through the incompatibility of capitalism with democracy.
Modern electoral politics replaces this relationship of economics to politics with color-coded branding— red or blue, where ‘our guy’ is what is good and true about America. The other party exists to pin ‘our guy’ into a corner that prevents him / her from acting on this goodness. Barack Obama was prevented from enacting his ‘true’ progressive agenda by Republican obstructionists. Donald Trump is being persecuted by deep-state, snowflake, socialists.
Left unaddressed and largely unconsidered has been the persistence of class relations. The rich continue to get richer, the rest of us, not so much. For all of the claims of political dysfunction, when it comes to bailouts and tax cuts, wars and weaponry and policing and surveillance, these opposition parties can be counted on to come together to overcome their differences. Likewise, when it comes to the public interest, partisan differences are put forward to explain why nothing is possible.
The unitary direction of this government response in favor of the rich may seem accidental, a byproduct of ‘our system’ of governance. In fact, the defining political ideology of the last half-century has been neoliberalism, defined here as imperialist, state-corporatism, controlled by oligarchs. And contrary to assertions that neoliberalism is a figment of the imagination of the left, its basic tenets were codified in the late 1980s under the term ‘Washington Consensus.’
What the Washington Consensus lays out is the support role that government plays for capitalism. Its tenets are short and highly readable. They provide a blueprint that ties Democratic to Republican political programs since the 1980s. They also tie neoliberalism to the Marxist / Leninist conception of the capitalist state as existing to promote the interests of connected capitalists. Left out, no doubt by accident (not), was / is a theory of class struggle.


When Donald Trump passed tax cuts that disproportionately benefited the rich and corporations, this was the Washington Consensus. When Barack Obama put ‘market mechanisms’ into Obamacare and promoted the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), this was the Washington Consensus. When Bill Clinton tried to privatize Social Security, this was the Washington Consensus. The alleged ‘opposition parties’ have been working together from a single blueprint for governance for four decades.

The intended beneficiary of this unified effort is ‘capitalism,’ conceived as multinational corporations operating with state support to promote a narrowly conceived national interest. An ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) clause was included in NAFTA when Bill Clinton promoted and signed it. An even more intrusive ISDS clause was included in the TPP when Barack Obama promoted it. The intent of these ISDS clauses is to give the prerogative of governance (sovereign power) to corporations.

It is no secret in Washington and outside of it that multinational corporations pay few, if any, taxes. The logic of this is two sided. On the one side, the neoliberal / Washington Consensus premise is that corporations can put the money to better use than government. The other is that the role of government is to support capitalism, not to constrain it. Barack Obama’s consequence-free bailouts of Wall Street, often at the expense of ordinary citizens, possessed an internal logic when considered through this frame.

An historical analog can be found in the relationship of the East India Company to the British empire. The East India Company drew financial, tactical and military support from the British monarchy as its global reach made it a key institution of imperial expansion. Its economic ties gave it a depth and breadth of reach that military occupation alone couldn’t achieve. Centuries later, Mr. Obama made this point when he argued that the TPP was crucial to ‘countering China.’
The rise of neoliberalism in the 1970s was intended to address the alleged failures of the New Deal. By the late 1980s, this new-old ideology had been codified as the Washington Consensus. Its proponents amongst national Democrats morphed into the New Democrats / DLC just as the Soviet Union was coming unwound. The twin ‘failures’ of the New Deal and communism led to the revival of dogmatic capitalism that saw the state as an appendage of capitalist institutions. Bill Clinton was more likely than not sincere when he declared that ‘the era of big government is over.’

The conflation of Democrats with ‘the left’ that first emerged to counter the New Deal in the 1930s, persisted through the 1990s and the 2000s because it was useful to both political parties. Republicans were the party of business while Democrats claimed to be the party of the people. While the New Deal was in place and from a liberal perspective, the Democrats did support a limited conception of the public interest domestically. However, by the time that Bill Clinton entered office, the public interest had been redefined to mean corporate interests.
This tension can be seen more clearly in the fight over NAFTA, which Republicans had been unable to pass before Mr. Clinton entered office. Mr. Clinton was able to use his liberal bona fides— and the fact that he wasn’t a Republican, to bring over just enough Democrats in congress to get NAFTA passed. He went on to divide bourgeois Democrats from the broader Democratic constituency through the use of race and class dog whistles. In this sense, he presaged Donald Trump. The net effect was to successfully divide the Democrat’s constituency by class.

Before Bill Clinton, the anti-NAFTA fight had a clear class component. Organized labor had lined up against the free-trade agenda that was being promoted by Reaganite Republicans. Through his rhetoric of ‘fair’ capitalism and a ‘level playing field,’ Mr. Clinton gave a liberal patina to an utterly retrograde, pre-Great Depression, form of capitalism. With no apparent irony, the Washington Consensus applied a Marxist / Leninist conception of the capitalist state without any pretense of it mitigating capitalist excess.

The clutter of party politics creates differences where there are none, or where they are different than as posed. Prior to being elected president, Barack Obama used the frame of the Washington Consensus to give an ideologically coherent explanation of why he wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare. It is one with the Republican explanation. It ties to his inclusion of neoliberal ‘market mechanisms’ in Obamacare. And it ties to his pivot to cut public expenditures—a.k.a. ‘austerity,’ by early 2010. And it ties to his support for the TPP.
As with Bill Clinton before him, Mr. Obama had a clear ideological predisposition that was at odds with how liberals and his supporters perceived and / or explained them. The historically based conflation of Democrats with ‘the left’ was a misrepresentation of the ideological drivers of the New Democrat’s policies. In significant ways, Messrs. Clinton and Obama were ideologically to the right of their Republican colleagues. And they governed like this was the case.
The invisibility of this shared ideology to most Democrats and liberals came through general ignorance of the genesis and tenets of the Washington Consensus, its relationship to neoliberalism, and the closed nature of Washington political culture. In a Gramscian sense, it reflects the belief system of ruling oligarchs, an ideology based on the interests of the rich submitted from above. The historical precedent was the use of American foreign policy to promote the business interests of connected industrialists and the corporations they controlled.

Why any of this matters is that capitalism has been tried and its consequences are becoming increasingly untenable. Environmental ills appear intractable, capitalist political economy is being held together with increasingly desperate measures, and its human toll can be measured in foreign genocides and domestic deaths of despair. Given the nature of neoliberal recessions, the U.S. is but one recession away from wholesale economic and political rebellion. And that recession is on the way. The value of left analysis is that it opens the range of political possibilities.

Join the debate on Facebook
Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.


 

The road to impeachment: Here's how we got here
CNN
CNN's Jeff Zeleny explains how President Trump's July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky call led to historic public impeachment hearings. 

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Photo: Carlos Jasso/Reuters)  

Signing the Constitution, September 17, 1787 – Public Domain

Trump Impeachment Inquiry Hearings - November 13, 2019 (Day 1) | NBC News

Watch Live: 
NBC News
The House Intelligence Committee holds its first public hearing in President Trump's impeachment inquiry. Witnesses include Bill Taylor, Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.» Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC» Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNewsNBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and original digital videos. Subscribe to our channel for news stories, technology, politics, health, entertainment, science, business, and exclusive NBC investigations.Connect with NBC News Online!Visit NBCNews.Com: http://nbcnews.to/ReadNBCFind NBC News on Facebook: http://nbcnews.to/LikeNBCFollow NBC News on Twitter: http://nbcnews.to/FollowNBCFollow NBC News on Instagram: http://nbcnews.to/InstaNBC

Mr. Zelensky initially rebuffed Mr. Giuliani, a move that went over badly.Credit...Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA, via Shutterstock

Trump impeachment hearing, Day 1- The battle lines are drawn 
Yahoo News - ALEXANDER NAZARYAN  - Nov 13th 2019 
WASHINGTON — For hours they fought, Democrats and Republicans waging furious battle over what President Trump called his “perfect phone call” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 
During the first day of open impeachment hearings, Democrats repeatedly cast that call — and other actions by Trump and his associates, in particular his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — as a blatant instance of corruption. The proceedings, said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., “will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the presidency itself.”
His counterpart, ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was just as grave, calling the two witnesses — Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and State Department official George Kent — actors in a “low-rent Ukrainian sequel” to the two-year investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 election, or as Nunes called it, the “Russian hoax.”
Taylor and Kent testified for more than five hours, with no respite but a single five-minute break. The impeachment hearing — the first on Capitol Hill since 1998, when Bill Clinton was the subject of an inquiry into his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky — was carried live on television stations and on some social media networks. The halls of the Longworth House Office Building were crowded with journalists, congressional staffers and members of the public, including drag queen Pissi Myles, who won a day that otherwise seemed to have few victors.
[George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs and William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, are sworn in during a House Intelligence Committee public hearing in the impeachment inquiry against U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019. (Photo: Erin Scott/Reuters)]
That is because, for all the accusation and recrimination surrounding Trump’s conduct, it is unclear how much has changed now that impeachment has entered its public phase. More witnesses will testify later this week, as well as next week, ahead of an expected vote on articles of impeachment sometime before December’s holiday break.
Most of those witnesses have already given closed-door testimony. That testimony, much of which was made public last week, has been widely seen as damaging to Trump, with career diplomats repeatedly asserting they believed the president would not grant Zelensky an Oval Office meeting or, more substantively, release $400 million in aid until the new Ukrainian leader announced investigations into alleged electoral interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election and into Hunter Biden’s seat on the board of Burisma, an energy company with a history of corruption.
The most substantive revelation to emerge from Wednesday’s testimony appeared to be that Trump called Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, to ask about “the investigations” into Biden and the 2016 election. That call took place the day after Trump spoke on the phone with Zelensky, seeming to suggest that the U.S.-Ukraine relationship was contingent on an announcement of such investigations being launched. An intelligence official later filed a whistleblower complaint over that phone call, which would eventually lead to the opening of a formal impeachment inquiry.
[Top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine William Taylor testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, during the first public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (Phhoto: Susan Walsh/AP)]
Sondland’s seeming eagerness to work with Trump was already known. And after Taylor offered the new detail in his opening statement, there was little else that was new in the hours that followed. But this was not because either Taylor or Kent was reticent; to the contrary, they had given meticulous testimony to congressional investigators only days before. There was simply not much more to say, given how forthcoming they had already been.
That’s not to say that the proceedings lacked drama or surprise, despite attempts by White House communications director Stephanie Grisham, the president’s son Eric and others to cast the hearing as “boring.” Daniel Goldman, lead counsel for the committee’s Democrats, questioned the witnesses with a prosecutor’s focus, attempting to fashion from the complex affair a narrative of foreign policy used to achieve political ends.
Goldman’s counterpart on the Republican side, Steve Castor, cross-examined Taylor and Kent but came across as meandering. It fell instead to Trump allies like Nunes and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, to offer the kinds of made-for-television moments Trump prefers.
Nunes, Jordan and others — including, somewhat surprisingly, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who was previously seen by some as not entirely in the pro-Trump camp — criticized the proceedings as rigged by Schiff to yield the expected outcome of a House vote in favor of impeachment. They also suggested that the whistleblower was a partisan operative who had extensive interactions with Schiff before filing his complaint. (Schiff energetically denied this charge.)
[Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and committee member Devis Nunes (R-CA) appear at a House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry hearing into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019. (Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)]
Republicans also pointed out that the aid to Ukraine was ultimately released, and that the Trump administration has provided more support — including lethal aid — than President Barack Obama ever did. They also cast Trump's desire to have Zelensky investigate Biden as part of a broader push by both Washington and Kyiv to root out corruption in the Eastern European country.
In the end, Wednesday’s hearing was likely only to harden opinions instead of changing them. Trump’s detractors will continue to see the Ukraine affair as evidence of the ineradicable corruption of his administration. The president’s supporters, meanwhile, are bound to treat impeachment as part of the enduring project to undo the results of the 2016 election.
Perhaps the most insightful moment of the day came from Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who offered to reporters that “everybody has their interpretation of what truth is.” 

Trump roasts Clinton at Al Smith charity dinner]
CBS News
Just one night after the final presidential debate, Donald Trump roasted Hillary Clinton at the Al Smith Dinner. The Catholic charity fundraiser is an opportunity for the candidates to trade jokes and blows amid the heated campaign. CBSN has Trump's full speech.


Marines at the White House last month waiting to open a door for Mr. Trump. The Ukraine scandal is another chapter in Mr. Trump’s war on American governance.Credit...Samuel Corum for The New York Times

Key Moments From the First Public Impeachment Hearing
Witnesses testified that President Trump pressured a foreign power to help him win re-election during historic hearings that previewed an intensely partisan battle.
By Michael D. Shear- Nov. 13, 2019

William B. Taylor Jr., the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George P. Kent, a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy, are testifying before the House Intelligence Committee for the first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.CreditCredit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times 
Here’s what you need to know:

Taylor revealed he was told that Trump was more concerned about investigations of Biden than Ukraine.
Kent said efforts to ‘gin up politically motivated investigations’ were ‘infecting’ U.S. policy on Ukraine.
Republicans called the testimony unreliable hearsay.
Adam Schiff invoked Mick Mulvaney’s ‘Get over it’ admission as he opened the hearing.
Nunes accused administration witnesses of working against Trump as part of a ‘politicized bureaucracy.’
Republicans leaned on unproven allegations that are favorites of the president.
Trump called impeachment a ‘new hoax,’ as aides insisted he isn’t watching.
Taylor revealed he was told that Trump was more concerned about investigations of Biden than Ukraine.
Mr. Taylor offered a new detail in his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday about how Mr. Trump’s preoccupation with investigating the former vice president and his family had affected his actions toward Ukraine.
Mr. Taylor said that a member of his staff overheard a telephone conversation in which the president mentioned “the investigations” to Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, who told him “that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward.” After the call, the aide asked Mr. Sondland what the president thought of Ukraine, in Mr. Taylor’s telling. The ambassador “responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.
He was referring to Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, whom Mr. Taylor described as the leader of an “highly irregular” policymaking channel on Ukraine that ran counter to goals of longstanding American policy. The episode was not included in Mr. Taylor’s interview with impeachment investigators last month because, he said, he was not aware of it at the time. Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, quickly seized on it to put the president’s concern with the investigations into context.
“I take it the import of that is he cares more about that than he does about Ukraine?” Mr. Schiff asked.
“Yes, sir,” Mr. Taylor responded.
Much of the rest of Mr. Taylor’s testimony was consistent with what he told the panel previously, an account that included vivid details of how he discovered that Mr. Trump was conditioning “everything” about the United States relationship with Ukraine — including needed military aid and a White House meeting for Ukraine’s president — on the country’s willingness to commit publicly to investigations of his political rivals. His testimony made it clear that the Ukrainians were well aware of the prerequisite at the time.
 The revelation came as Democrats opened the first public impeachment hearing in more than two decades, moving into the public’s direct glare a historic clash between President Trump and Democrats that has so far unfolded in private.
Mr. Taylor and George P. Kent, a senior State Department official who is also testifying, were seated next to each other at the witness table. Both men received subpoenas Wednesday morning to appear.
Sign up here for the Impeachment Briefing newsletter, which explains the latest developments every weeknight.
Kent said efforts to ‘gin up politically motivated investigations’ were ‘infecting’ U.S. policy on Ukraine.
Mr. Kent testified that Mr. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, conducted a smear campaign against the United States ambassador to Ukraine and led an effort to “gin up politically motivated investigations,” according to a copy of his opening statement
In his opening statement, Mr. Kent said that he concluded by mid-August that Mr. Giuliani’s efforts to pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to open investigations into Mr. Trump’s rivals “were now infecting U.S. engagement with Ukraine, leveraging President Zelensky’s desire for a White House meeting.”
Mr. Kent also assailed what he called a “campaign to smear” American officials serving in Ukraine, which succeeded with the ouster of Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former United States ambassador to Ukraine.
“It was unexpected, and most unfortunate however, to watch some Americans — including those who allied themselves with corrupt Ukrainians in pursuit of private agendas — launch attacks on dedicated public servants advancing U.S. interests in Ukraine,” Mr. Kent said in his opening statement. “In my opinion, those attacks undermined U.S. and Ukrainian national interests and damaged our critical bilateral relationship.”
Republicans called the testimony unreliable hearsay.
When it was their turn to ask questions, Republicans on the Intelligence panel peppered the witnesses with rapid-fire questions, working to undercut their accounts as hearsay and supposition, and noting that neither had interacted directly with Mr. Trump.
Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a fiery inquisitor who was temporarily moved to the Intelligence Committee to play that role in the impeachment hearings, repeatedly challenged Mr. Taylor’s version of events, which he dismissed as secondhand at best.
After Mr. Taylor testified that military aid for Ukraine was withheld and conditioned on Ukraine launching the investigations that Mr. Trump wanted, Mr. Jordan jumped on him, noting that the military aid eventually was delivered.
“What you heard did not happen,” Mr. Jordan said. “It’s not just could it have been wrong, the fact is it was wrong, because it did not happen.”
The aid was released in September, after the White House had become aware that an intelligence whistle-blower had filed a complaint alleging that the freezing of the money had been part of a scheme by Mr. Trump to enlist Ukraine to help him in the 2020 election.
Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas demanded that Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent weigh in on whether the president should be impeached for what he said on the July 25 call with Mr. Zelensky.
“Are either of you here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call?” Mr. Ratcliffe demanded. “Shout it out — anyone?”
Mr. Taylor reiterated a statement he had made earlier, saying he was not there to take sides, but to share what he knew.
“I’m not here to do anything having to do with to decide about impeachment,” the ambassador said. “That is not what either of us are here to do. This is your job.”
Adam Schiff invoked Mick Mulvaney’s ‘Get over it’ admission as he opened the hearing.
Mr. Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, opened the hearing by summarizing the damning facts about President Trump’s conduct that have been laid out privately by witnesses thus far, asking, “If this is not impeachable conduct, what is?” He zeroed in on the public admission by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, that Mr. Trump tied aid for the Ukrainians to their willingness to announce investigations into his political rivals.
“I have news for everybody: Get over it,” Mr. Mulvaney said during a White House briefing last month, before later recanting. “There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy. That is going to happen.”
Mr. Schiff described the statement as breathtaking, and cast the hearings now underway as a referendum on Mr. Mulvaney’s assertion that Americans should accept Mr. Trump’s actions as proper and befitting a president.
“If he sought to condition, coerce, extort or bribe an ally into conducting investigations to aid his re-election campaign, and did so by withholding official acts — a White House meeting or hundreds of millions of dollars of needed military aid — must we simply ‘get over it?’” Mr. Schiff asked. “Is this what Americans should now expect from their president?”
Mr. Schiff said the questions at issue in the hearing on Wednesday are about whether Mr. Trump’s abuses of power are compatible with the office of the presidency.
“The matter is as simple, and as terrible as that,” he said.
Nunes accused administration witnesses of working against Trump as part of a ‘politicized bureaucracy.’
The top Republican on the Intelligence panel accused the witnesses of working against Mr. Trump, casting previous testimony by diplomats and national security officials about the president’s actions toward Ukraine as nothing more than unfounded, second- or thirdhand allegations from members of a “politicized bureaucracy.”
Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, opened his party’s defense of the president by charging that the allegations were coming from a group of civil servants who “have decided that they, not the president, are really in charge.”
Facing the two veteran diplomats at the witness table, Mr. Nunes said they had been convinced, “wittingly or unwittingly,” to be part of a corrupt investigation that he called a “televised theatrical performance, staged by the Democrats.”
“The main performance, the Russia hoax, has ended, and you’ve been cast in the low-rent Ukrainian sequel,” Mr. Nunes said. He said diplomats in the State Department had worked to undercut the president, and in the process had “lost the confidence of millions of Americans who believe that their vote should count for something.”
Republicans leaned on unproven allegations that are favorites of the president.
Republicans sought to defend Mr. Trump at Wednesday’s impeachment hearings by repeatedly raising unproven theories about Mr. Biden’s son and allegations that Ukraine conspired with Democrats to interfere in the 2016 election on behalf of the president’s rival.
“They accuse President Trump of malfeasance in Ukraine when they, themselves, are culpable,” Mr. Nunes, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, said of Democrats in his opening statement. “The Democrats cooperated in Ukrainian election meddling and they defend Hunter Biden’s securing of a lavishly paid position with a corrupt Ukrainian company.”
His allegations were part of the Republican strategy to defend Mr. Trump by attempting to shift the conversation away from the mountain of evidence that Democrats have assembled about the president’s conduct, and instead focus on his grudges.
Democrats have so far refused requests for witnesses who Republicans claim would bolster their theories, including Hunter Biden, but Republican lawmakers did not let that stop them from pressing Mr. Taylor and Mr. Kent to back them up. Both of them largely declined, saying they knew little about any allegation of corruption involving Hunter Biden’s service on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company.
Asked by a Republican lawyer about Mr. Biden’s qualifications to serve on the company’s board, Mr. Kent demurred.
“I have no idea what Hunter Biden studied at university or what his C.V. says,” Mr. Kent responded. “I have no awareness or knowledge of what his background was.”

Trump called impeachment a ‘new hoax,’ as aides insisted he isn’t watching.
Mr. Trump fired off several tweets about the impeachment hearing as it got underway Wednesday even as his press secretary said Mr. Trump was not watching the drama play out on Capitol Hill.
“He’s in the Oval in meetings,” Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, told reporters about an hour after the hearing was gaveled open. “Not watching. He’s working.”
Moments after Ms. Grisham said that, Mr. Trump retweeted several posts from House Republicans attacking the hearings. Earlier, the president tweeted: “New Hoax. Same swamp” shortly before the hearings opened.
As the hearings unfolded, Mr. Trump was scheduled to host President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the White House for a daylong visit. Mr. Trump is scheduled to hold a joint news conference with Mr. Erdogan at about 3 p.m.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly shown his willingness to use such appearances with foreign leaders to engage directly with reporters, especially at moments when his administration is engulfed in controversy. The news conference with Mr. Erdogan could provide him with an opportunity to rail against the impeachment hearings, setting up the possibility of a compelling split-screen moment from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.

Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent. He previously worked at The Washington Post and was a member of their Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. @shearm  

Trump, Bush square off over casinos in Florida
CNN
Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Chris Christie, Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ted Cruz, Gov. Mike Huckabee and Gov. Scott Walker square off in the 8 p.m. ET Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN.


Mick Mulvaney speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, Oct. 17, 2019.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP, File

Graph: It is hardly incidental that as wealth has been concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, its power to affect political outcomes has been codified through official determinations like Citizens United. While the domination of politics by concentrated wealth may seem new, it ties to the conception of the U.S. as a capitalist oligarchy where rich, white, slavers determined political outcomes. The Senate, the U.S. ‘House of Lords,’ wasn’t popularly elected until the twentieth century. Source: inequality.org.

 Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the United Nations General Assembly in September. (Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

'Dominoes Beginning To Fall': Trump Turns On Giuliani After Impeachment Arrests | MSNBC- MSNBC
Trump suggests Rudy Giuliani may not be his personal lawyer after Giuliani’s Ukranian-linked allies and impeachment probe witnesses were indicted. It comes as Democrats begin to crack the impeachment investigation stonewalling, with more aides testifying and NBC reporting Trump allies "fear" an upcoming key impeachment witness. Aired on 10/11/19. » Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc MSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more. Connect with MSNBC Online Visit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/Readmsnbc Subscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: http://MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTube Find MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/Likemsnbc Follow MSNBC on Twitter: http://on.msnbc.com/Followmsnbc Follow MSNBC on Instagram: http://on.msnbc.com/Instamsnbc

1980s: How Donald Trump Created Donald Trump | NBC News
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George P. Kent, left, and William B. Taylor were sworn in to testify.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

White House Infighting Ahead Of Public Testimony | Deadline | MSNBC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na9xcLT-MxM  
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Politico’s Jake Sherman, Wash Post’s Phil Rucker, former U.S. attorneys Joyce Vance and Chuck Rosenberg, and Real Clear Politics’ A. B. Stoddard on the battle between two of Trump’s top advisors over the handling of the impeachment proceedings ahead of the inquiry’s first public hearing. Aired on 11/12/19.» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbcMSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more.Connect with MSNBC OnlineVisit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/ReadmsnbcSubscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: http://MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTubeFind MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/LikemsnbcFollow MSNBC on Twitter: http://on.msnbc.com/FollowmsnbcFollow MSNBC on Instagram: http://on.msnbc.com/Instamsnbc‘I Barely Knew The Guy’: President Donald Trump Brings Back Familiar Refrain | Deadline | MSNBC

Donald Trump: 'I Will Win The Latino Vote' (Full Interview) | NBC News
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1990s: After Bankruptcies, Donald Trump Goes From Building To Branding | NBC News
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The call for the Bidens to testify stands in contrast to the White House’s refusal to allow Trump administration officials to comply with subpoenas in the ongoing hearings

Trump impeachment inquiry 
'Five Eyes' in the dark: Will Trump and Barr destroy trust in U.S. intelligence?


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James Kitfield - Contributor - Yahoo News•October 15, 2019


In her congressional testimony on Friday, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch detailed how a conspiracy-minded president and his freelancing personal attorney undercut and severely compromised the institution of American diplomacy. By removing her as ambassador based on false claims and a desire to pursue dubious conspiracy theories, she said, President Trump and his enablers had broken a “sacred trust” — namely, that the U.S. government will have the backs of its diplomats serving overseas and protect them from attacks by foreign interests.
“That basic understanding no longer holds true. Today we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within,” Yovanovitch said in her prepared statement. The great harm, she noted, will come when “private interests circumvent professional diplomats for their own gain,” and when bad actors in countries around the world “see how easy it is to use fiction and innuendo to manipulate our system. In such circumstances, the only interests that will be served are those of our strategic adversaries, like Russia, that spread chaos and attack [our] institutions.”
Yovanovitch’s outrage is understandable, and the damage to American diplomacy may last for years. But it may be easier to repair than the disruption in relations between U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies and their counterparts in allied countries. Ambassadors serve at the president’s pleasure, and relations with other states are subject to any administration’s foreign policy priorities and political needs. But at the professional, bureaucratic level, the sharing of information among law enforcement and intelligence agencies, founded on mutual trust built up over decades, is meant to be permanent and above politics. And the Trump administration seems indifferent to that pact of nonpartisanship among professionals, if not actively hostile. 
In the phone call at the center of the House impeachment inquiry, Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and advanced several conspiracy theories that cast doubt on former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president also directly implicated Attorney General William Barr in the campaign.
“I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine,” Trump said, referencing a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was actually behind the hacking of the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2016, and that Clinton’s private server has been hidden in Ukraine. “I would like to have the attorney general call you or your people, and I would like you to get to the bottom of it. As you saw yesterday, that whole nonsense ended with a very poor performance by a man named Robert Mueller, an incompetent performance, but they say a lot of it started with Ukraine.”
While the House’s impeachment inquiry to date has focused largely on the overseas activities of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and State Department officials, it is the close involvement of Barr that many intelligence experts find far more troubling. The attorney general has traveled overseas and reached out to several closely allied countries seeking help in the Justice Department’s investigation of another conspiracy theory favored by Trump, this one positing that the Russia probe had corrupt origins and was a setup job perpetrated by a cabal of “deep state” intelligence operatives to deny Trump the presidency.
Those advancing this theory have failed to explain why, if that was the plan dating back to long before the election, most of the findings of Russian interference became public only after Trump had won.
The very fact that the top law enforcement official in the nation is personally involved in an outside-normal-channels outreach to allied nations in order to substantiate a largely debunked conspiracy theory could potentially damage critical U.S. intelligence relationships worldwide.
“Getting ensnared in another country’s domestic political dispute is heresy for an intelligence agency, especially when that country is the United States and the most important intelligence partner for all our allies,” said Paul Pillar, who spent 28 years at the CIA, including stints as executive assistant to the director of central intelligence and deputy director of the agency’s counterterrorism center. “Now along comes Attorney General Barr as America’s senior law enforcement official, trying to dig up dirt overseas to serve the president’s domestic political purposes. That’s not only highly objectionable, it’s outrageous.”
Zelensky’s likely resentment over pressure to intercede in a domestic political controversy in the United States, Pillar noted, is probably shared to varying degrees by officials in Great Britain, Italy and Australia after Barr requested help from those countries. “Intelligence liaison relationships are by nature delicate, because they involve sharing sensitive information and national secrets that can put lives in danger,” Pillar told Yahoo News. “Barr’s efforts to advance right-wing conspiracy theories in order to throw up smoke and protect Trump risk damaging the essential trust at the core of these intelligence relationships. The result is likely to be greater reticence to share intelligence with us. That’s a threat to our national security.”
Certainly Trump has made clear to foreign counterparts that he views the efforts of both Barr and Giuliani as complementary in the administration’s globe-spanning campaign to substantiate conspiracy theories that are widely dismissed in intelligence circles in the United States and abroad. In his telephone conversation with Zelensky, Trump announced, “I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call, and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call, and we will get to the bottom of it.”
Despite reports that he is angry at having his investigation lumped in with Giuliani’s efforts, Barr has made no secret of his own conspiratorial view of the FBI’s Russia investigation. Even before becoming attorney general, and not coincidental to his appointment, Barr called the probe “fatally misconceived.” In testimony before the Senate in April, he shared his belief that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign, a characterization rejected by his own FBI director, Christopher Wray. Barr told CBS News that the facts he learned about the Russia probe “don’t hang together with the official explanation of what happened.”
Besides pressing Ukraine to “get to the bottom” of the origins of the Russia probe, Trump asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help Barr’s investigation. Barr’s review has also taken him to the United Kingdom and twice to Italy to speak with senior officials there. The Justice Department has confirmed that U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr has named to lead the investigation, has accompanied him on some of these trips, which are provoking consternation bordering on alarm in several foreign capitals because they are taking place outside normal and carefully established intelligence-sharing channels. Australia and Great Britain are two of the so-called “Five Eyes” (along with the United States, Canada and New Zealand), an intelligence-sharing partnership dating back to the earliest days of the Cold War.
“We’re in a very surreal situation now where the attorney general of the United States is on this world tour seeming to promote the counter-narrative that the Russians really didn’t interfere in the 2016 election, and it was all a conspiracy to frame Trump, which, quite frankly, strikes British intelligence officials and many others as disturbing and kind of delusional,” Dana Allin, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy and transatlantic affairs at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, told Yahoo News. “All aspects of U.S. national security policy seem subordinated to American domestic politics at the moment, and an erratic President Trump continues to spout provably false conspiracy theories even as he retains the power to declassify and release top secret intelligence on a whim. That puts allied intelligence services in a very delicate position, and under those circumstances they might well hesitate to share sensitive intelligence on, say, Russia.”
In fact, Trump’s behavior and the House impeachment inquiry it has provoked raise numerous yellow flags for allied intelligence services. Their governments are desperate to avoid Ukraine’s predicament, being dragged into the middle of a hyperpartisan domestic political dispute. Norms and protocols for the sharing of classified information have also been routinely ignored by the Trump administration, as evidenced by Barr’s unprecedented end run around his own intelligence services. Allied intelligence services are also undoubtedly concerned that sensitive information they share will be caught up in the political tug of war between the White House and the House during the impeachment inquiry, risking its exposure, as happened with the summary of Trump’s phone call with Zelensky.
Robert Baer is a former long-serving CIA case officer. “If President Trump doesn’t trust his own intelligence community, then he should fire his FBI and CIA directors, but to send the attorney general overseas to help dig up dirt on his own intelligence services based on a totally implausible conspiracy theory without evidence is flat out nuts,” Baer told Yahoo News. “If I were head of Britain’s MI5 or MI6 [intelligence services] and the president and attorney general of the United States said they don’t believe it was actually Russia behind the election interference, despite all the forensic evidence and human intelligence pointing towards Moscow, I would never share sensitive intelligence about Russia with the Americans. Trump is likely to blurt it out as juicy gossip in his next private conversation with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”
There has already been significant pushback in overseas capitals against the Barr and Giuliani narrative mixing politics, conspiracies and intelligence sharing, and it suggests the damage being done to close intelligence relationships. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has even been summoned by a parliamentary oversight committee to explain his role in the discussions with the U.S. attorney general.
Barr’s inquiries are centered on Joseph Mifsud, a Rome-based university professor with Russian ties, who initially shared the news that Russia had hacked damaging emails from the Clinton campaign with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos in turn confided that information to an Australian diplomat in London, and the tip eventually reached the FBI by way of Sydney, kicking off the investigation. Barr reportedly is seeking evidence to show that Mifsud was working on behalf of Western intelligence agencies as part of the “deep state” conspiracy to undermine Trump. In a recent letter to Australian officials personally asking them to cooperate with Barr’s investigation, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a key Trump ally, wrote that the Australian diplomat had been “directed to contact” Papadopoulos. That characterization feeds into the conspiracy theory favored by Trump’s defenders that Papadopoulos was actively set up by Western intelligence officials.
“In your letter you made mention of the role of an Australian diplomat,” Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, wrote back to Graham in a blunt letter dated Oct. 2. “We reject your characterization of his role.”
Trump’s continued obsession with undermining the Mueller report and its findings of Russian interference in the 2016 election on his behalf has only heightened concerns in intelligence circles over the president’s peculiar affinity for Putin. Western intelligence officials have not forgotten Trump’s performance at the July 2018 Helsinki summit, when he held a no-notes private meeting with the Russian leader, and later at a press conference accepted Putin’s “extremely strong and powerful” denial of interference in the 2016 election, over the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies.
Before the Helsinki summit was the infamous Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak in May 2017, the day after the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Trump told the Russians that getting rid of Comey had relieved “great pressure” on him over the 2016 election investigation. He also reportedly disclosed classified intelligence about an Israeli operation to penetrate the senior ranks of the Islamic State group, an enormous breach of security involving a close ally. The Washington Post recently reported that Trump told Lavrov and Kislyak he was not bothered by Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election “because the United States did the same in other countries.”
“U.S. intelligence officials remain concerned and suspicious over President Trump’s inexplicable relationship with Putin and the Russians, because they don’t understand what’s behind it,” said a former very senior U.S. intelligence official with decades of experience inside the intelligence community, speaking on background. “Meanwhile, the intelligence services of our closest allies are on terra incognita, because they have carefully structured arrangements and protocols established over many years for sharing sensitive information with our intelligence professionals, and Attorney General Barr comes along and tells them the U.S. Justice Department doesn’t trust our own intelligence agencies. That’s about as close to an unnatural act as you can imagine in the intelligence business. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Meanwhile, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee released a report just last week once again reaffirming the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community and Mueller that Russia prosecuted a broad campaign to interfere in the 2016 election to advantage Trump. Similar Russian interference continues to this day.
“Russia is waging an information warfare campaign against the U.S. that didn’t start and didn’t end with the 2016 election. Their goal is broader: to sow societal discord and erode public confidence in the machinery of government,” Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, the chairman of the committee, said at the report’s release. “By flooding social media with false reports, conspiracy theories and trolls, and by exploiting existing divisions, Russia is trying to breed distrust of our democratic institutions and our fellow Americans.”
By all indications, Russia’s disinformation campaign targeting the United States and attempting to undermine U.S. governmental institutions continues to bear bitter fruit.
James Kitfield is senior fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency & Congress, and author of “Twilight Warriors: The Soldiers, Spies and Special Agents Who Are Revolutionizing the American Way of War.”

Ukrainian soldiers in Popasna, a town in eastern Ukraine, last month. Credit...Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Fiona Hill, former senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council, arrives to testify in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Capitol Hill, Nov. 4, 2019.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gavels as the House votes 232-196 to pass resolution on impeachment procedure [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

President Trump: 30 Hours l Interview with George Stephanopoulos l Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nf_CATbYilQ 
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WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW SPECIAL: https://bit.ly/31D36PBAlso available on Hulu: https://hulu.tv/2MQDBqATrump on Mueller, immigration and putting his personal touch on Oval OfficeDuring an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos at the White House, Trump offers his thoughts on The Mueller Report's findings, tweeting and poll numbers.
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The Growing Body Of Evidence Against The President | Deadline | MSNBC- MSNBC
Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim Messina, MSNBC’s Heather McGhee, The Bulwark’s Tim Miller, former assistant director at the FBI Frank Figliuzzi, and WaPo’s Greg Miller discuss the increasing number of witnesses from inside the Trump Administration, with eerily similar stories, speaking out on Trump’s diplomatic and national security processes. Aired on 10/16/19. 
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"BE QUIET" President Trump DEMANDS That a Reporter Show Respect To Him and The Office - FOX 10 Phoenix

Trump impeachment inquiry enters new phase l ABC News
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All but two House Democrats voted to formally approve the impeachment inquiry of President Trump while House Republicans called the process unfair. ABCNews #Impeachment #Trump #Politics #Ukraine


Trump Serves Notice to Quit Climate Accord, as Diplomats Plot to Save It
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/climate/trump-paris-agreement-climate.html?campaign_id=60&instance_id=0&segment_id=18506&user_id=eeeb41ac0b2b0fd3a56a87fed573283b®i_id=100892575ing-news
Nov. 4, 2019

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration formally notified the United Nations on Monday that it would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, leaving global climate diplomats to plot a way forward without the cooperation of the world’s largest economy.
The action, which came on the first day possible under the accord’s complex rules on withdrawal, begins a yearlong countdown to the United States exit and a concerted effort to preserve the Paris Agreement, under which nearly 200 nations have pledged to cut greenhouse emissions and to help poor countries cope with the worst effects of an already warming planet.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the notification on Twitter and issued a statement saying the accord would have imposed intolerable burdens on the American economy. Mr. Trump has long held that the accord would cripple growth and intrude on American sovereignty.
“The U.S. approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy,” Mr. Pompeo said. He added that the United States will still maintain a voice in international discussions on global warming.
“We will continue to work with our global partners to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and prepare for and respond to natural disasters. Just as we have in the past, the United States will continue to research, innovate, and grow our economy while reducing emissions and extending a helping hand to our friends and partners around the globe,” he said
Secretary Pompeo✔@SecPompeo

Today we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens. Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model.
9,548- 8:41 PM - Nov 4, 2019

Though American participation in the Paris Agreement will ultimately be determined by the outcome of the 2020 election, supporters of the pact say they have to plan for a future without American cooperation. And diplomats fear that Mr. Trump, who has mocked climate science as a hoax, will begin actively working against global efforts to move away from planet-warming fossil fuels, like coal, oil and natural gas.
Keeping up the pressure for the kinds of economic change necessary to stave off the worse effects of planetary warming will be much harder without the world’s superpower.
“Yes, there are conversations. It would be crazy not to have them,” Laurence Tubiana, who served as France’s climate change ambassador during the Paris negotiations, said in New York recently, adding, “We are preparing for Plan B.”
Negotiators spent the early months of the Trump presidency debating strategies for salvaging American support for the accord. Mr. Trump proved immovable.
A shift in diplomatic strategy has already begun. Making the accord work without the United States will require other major polluters like China and India to step up. China, now the largest emitter of planet-warming pollutants, has made significant promises but Beijing’s ability to deliver is still in question.
Under United Nations rules, China and India are considered developing countries and are not obligated to curb emissions. They agreed to do so as part of the Paris Agreement in large part because the United States was taking action. With the United States out, other industrialized nations will have to press those emerging powers.
The European Union held high-level meetings last year in Beijing to confirm the Paris commitment of both the European bloc and China. It also has provided millions of dollars to aid Chinese emissions-control efforts and worked with Canada and other countries to coordinate standards for trillions of dollars of private and public financial investment in clean energy technologies.
But so far China has resisted pledging to speed up its initial emissions-control targets, which foresee greenhouse gas emissions rising until 2030. Europe, which is divided itself over how far to scale back coal power, may not have the clout to win new concessions.
“The E.U. is the front line out here. That’s very obvious,” the president of Finland, Sauli Niinisto, said in a recent interview. “The question is, will others listen to Europe?”
“Because the community was caught flat-footed by 2016, we want to be in a position to be prepared this time,” said Elan Strait, a former climate negotiator in the Obama administration who worked on the Paris Agreement and who now works at the World Wildlife Fund.
In the United States, environmentalists are pressing states, cities and businesses to cut emissions and move to renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. Hundreds of local governments and businesses have made emissions pledges under a movement called We Are Still In, which hopes to show the world that Americans are behind the Paris Agreement even if the administration is not.
Those so-called sub-national government pledges are voluntary, and there is no agreed-upon way to calculate how far their efforts are collectively getting toward President Barack Obama’s pledge to cut emissions about 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.
Paul Bodnar, managing director for the clean energy think tank Rocky Mountain Institute, said his organization was finishing a model to analyze progress toward Mr. Obama’s Paris pledge. He said the preliminary results offered an “encouraging picture” that he hoped would buoy a worried international community.

“Cities, states, and businesses haven’t had a formal place at the negotiating table, but the Paris Agreement succeeded in large part because their voices were heard, and they will keep us moving forward until we have a president who will confront the climate crisis and put the public’s health and safety first,” Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire philanthropist and former mayor of New York City, said in a statement.
Mr. Bloomberg has started America’s Pledge, an initiative to track efforts by United States cities, states, and businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On Monday he also announced that mayors, governors, chief executive officers and environmental leaders will host a “U.S. Climate Action Center” at the next round of climate negotiations to assume the role the American delegation would have played.

Such efforts are expanding internationally. While the Paris Agreement focused on national governments, Ms. Tubiana said the actions of states, provinces, businesses and others were driving some of the most concrete changes. The challenge, she said, would be devising ways to turn all of those pledges into a system that can chip away at global emissions.

“Whatever happens on the United States side, even if a Democratic candidate would be elected, we have to prepare to have a structure,” she said.

The letter to the United Nations on Monday would allow Mr. Trump to officially pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement the day after the presidential election. The United States would still be allowed to attend negotiations and weigh in on proceedings but would be downgraded to observer status.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday said in a tweet that Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from Paris is “shameful” and an abandonment of America’s international leadership. He along with nearly every Democratic presidential candidate has promised that if elected, re-entering the Paris accord will be a top priority. The notification of withdrawal all but ensured that climate change would be a major issue in the coming campaign, at least for some voters.
But analysts cautioned that even if the United States elects a Democrat in 2020, re-entry will not necessarily go smoothly. The Paris Agreement is the second global climate change pact that the United States joined under a Democrat and abandoned under a Republican. George W. Bush withdrew the United States from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Jonathan Pershing, who served during the Obama administration as the State Department’s special envoy for climate change, said a Democrat rejoining the Paris Agreement would likely be expected to deliver a specific suite of policies showing how the United States intended to move away from fossil fuels. Even then, he said, other countries would be rightly wary that the pendulum of support for climate action could swing back in another election cycle. The United States will have to live with that lingering mistrust, Mr. Pershing said.
“The United States has been written off in many cases as a partner,” he said. “You just can’t count on them.”

Some nations are considering more punitive measures. France and Germany this year proposed a European carbon tax to impose on countries with less stringent climate protection policies.
“The fact is that we may find the first conflict could come with the United States, and I think that should not be something desirable for anyone,” said Teresa Ribera, minister for the ecological transition of Spain, which is hosting United Nations climate talks in December.
A European tax on goods imported from the United States would be certain to exacerbate trade tensions with the Trump administration. But European companies are concerned that they will face unfair competition from countries with less rigid climate protection when the United States withdraws from the Paris Agreement.
But Europe has been threatening such a tax for years and, so far, has not followed through.
Meantime, the Trump administration has rolled back Obama-era regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse gases from power plants, oil and gas wells and automobile tailpipes. It also has issued rules making it easier for old coal-fired power plants to operate longer and for new plants to come online.
Those actions come amid warnings from United Nations scientists that, unless countries drastically reduce their emissions over the next decade, the world will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by midcentury, leading to food shortages, worsening wildfires and other threats to civilization.
While no other nation has followed Mr. Trump’s lead and left the Paris Agreement — indeed, more countries have joined — few are toughening their emissions-reduction targets. Analysts attributed that to the absence of pressure from the United States and they warned that the Trump administration’s antagonism toward climate action could dampen future ambitions.
Efforts to strategize for the possibility of a second Trump administration are occurring at home and abroad.

Gordon Sondland, a key impeachment inquiry witness, acknowledged delivering a quid pro quo message to Ukraine in a major revision to his testimony.
Tuesday, November 5, 2019
A critical witness in the impeachment inquiry offered Congress substantial new testimony this week, revealing that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country likely would not receive American military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted
Sondland Updates Impeachment Testimony, Describing Ukraine Quid Pro Quo


In a substantial update to his initial account, Gordon D. Sondland recounted how he told Ukrainian officials military aid was tied to their commitment to investigations President Trump wanted.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/us/politics/impeachment-trump.html


The new testimony from Gordon D. Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, confirmed his involvement in essentially laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that he had not acknowledged.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
By Michael S. Schmidt
Nov. 5, 2019


WASHINGTON — A critical witness in the impeachment inquiry offered Congress substantial new testimony this week, revealing that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country likely would not receive American military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted.

The disclosure from Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, in four new pages of sworn testimony released on Tuesday, confirmed his involvement in laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that he had previously not acknowledged. The issue is at the heart of the impeachment investigation into Mr. Trump, which turns on the allegation the president abused his power to extract political favors from a foreign power.
Mr. Trump has consistently maintained that he did nothing wrong and that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine.
Mr. Sondland’s testimony offered several major new details beyond the account he gave the inquiry in a 10-hour interview last month. He provided a more robust description of his own role in alerting the Ukrainians that they needed to go along with investigative requests being demanded by the president’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. By early September, Mr. Sondland said, he had become convinced that military aid and a White House meeting were conditioned on Ukraine committing to those investigations.
The additions Mr. Sondland made to his testimony were significant because they were the first admission by a senior figure who had direct contact with Mr. Trump that the military aid for Ukraine was being held hostage to the president’s demands for investigations into his political rivals. A wealthy Oregon hotelier who donated to the president’s campaign and was rewarded with the plum diplomatic post, Mr. Sondland can hardly be dismissed as a “Never Trumper,” a charge that Mr. Trump has leveled against many other officials who have offered damaging testimony about his conduct with regard to Ukraine.
As such, Mr. Sondland’s new, fuller account is likely to complicate Republicans’ task in defending the president against the impeachment push, effectively leaving them with no argument other than that demanding a political quid pro quo from a foreign leader may be concerning, but — in the words of Mr. Trump himself — is not “an impeachable event.”
Mr. Sondland had said in a text message exchange in early September with William B. Taylor Jr., the top American diplomat in Ukraine, that the president had been clear there was no quid pro quo between the aid and investigations of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his son and other Democrats. But Mr. Sondland testified last month that he was only repeating what Mr. Trump had told him, leaving open the question of whether he believed the president. His addendum suggested that Mr. Sondland was not completely forthcoming with Mr. Taylor, and that he was, in fact, aware that the aid was contingent upon the investigations.

In his updated testimony, Mr. Sondland recounted how he had discussed the link with Andriy Yermak, a top adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, on the sidelines of a Sept. 1 meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Mr. Zelensky in Warsaw. Mr. Zelensky had discussed the suspension of aid with Mr. Pence, Mr. Sondland said.

“I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Mr. Sondland said in the document, which was released by the House committees leading the inquiry, along with the transcript of his original testimony from last month.

The new information surfaced as the House committees also released a transcript of their interview last month with Kurt D. Volker, the former special envoy to Ukraine. Rushing to complete their final round of requests for key witnesses before they commence public impeachment hearings, the panels also scheduled testimony on Friday by Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff. And two more administration witnesses who had been scheduled to testify on Tuesday — Michael Duffey, a top official at the White House budget office, and Wells Griffith, a senior aide to the energy secretary, Rick Perry — failed to appear.

In his new testimony, Mr. Sondland said he believed that withholding the aid — a package of $391 million in security assistance that had been approved by Congress — was “ill-advised,” although he did not know “when, why or by whom the aid was suspended.” But he said he came to believe that the aid was tied to the investigations.

“I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anticorruption statement,” Mr. Sondland said.

In his closed-door interview last month, Mr. Sondland portrayed himself as a well-meaning and at times unwitting player who was trying to conduct American foreign policy with Ukraine with the full backing of the State Department while Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, repeatedly inserted himself at the behest of the president. He also said repeatedly that he could not recall the events under scrutiny, including details about the Sept. 1 meeting, according to the 375-page transcript of his testimony.

But some Democrats painted him as a lackey of Mr. Trump’s who had been an agent of the shadow foreign policy on Ukraine, eager to go along with what the president wanted. They contended that Mr. Sondland had deliberately evaded crucial questions during his testimony.
And other witnesses have pointed to him as a central player in the irregular channel of Ukraine policymaking being run by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani, and the instigator of the quid pro quo strategy.

What’s New in the Impeachment Case
 Nov. 4, 2019

Impeachment investigators released the transcripts of closed-door interviews with Marie Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a top diplomat who advised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The campaign to oust Ms. Yovanovitch from her post has been key to the investigation.
Investigators are expected to release two more transcripts tomorrow that are central to their case, including one for Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union.
Four Trump administration witnesses refused to sit for interviews today with investigators, including John Eisenberg, the top lawyer on the National Security Council, and Robert Blair, an aide to Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff.
The White House informed Mr. Eisenberg’s lawyer on Sunday that President Trump was directing him not to testify. The White House is claiming “absolute immunity” — a form of executive privilege that contends the president’s closest advisers are not obligated to cooperate with Congress.

 
A Guide to Impeachment
What Impeachment Is: Impeachment is charging a holder of public office with misconduct. Here are answers to seven key questions about the process.
What the Accusation Is: President Trump is accused of breaking the law by pressuring the president of Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election. A second person, this one with “firsthand knowledge” of Mr. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, came forward and is now protected as a whistle-blower.
What Was Said: The White House released a reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine

A Visual Timeline: Here are the key figures and dates as Mr. Trump and his allies pressured Ukraine to investigate his political opponents.

Why Now: A whistle-blower complaint filed in August said that White House officials believed they had witnessed Mr. Trump abuse his power for political gain. Here are 8 takeaways from the complaint.
How Trump Responds: The president said the impeachment battle would be “a positive” for his re-election campaign. Mr. Trump has repeatedly referred to the whistle-blower as “crooked” and condemned the news media reporting on the complaint. At the beginning of October, Mr. Trump publicly called on China to examine Mr. Biden as well.​​


Welcome to the Impeachment Briefing. We spent the day poring over 300 pages of testimony by America’s top diplomat in Ukraine.
The New York Times- November 7, 2019
By Noah Weiland

 What happened today

· Impeachment investigators released the deposition transcript of Bill Taylor, the top American diplomat in Ukraine, expanding on the opening statement that was published after his closed-door testimony last month. Mr. Taylor said he repeatedly warned other officials of the perils of tying a military assistance package to investigations of President Trump’s political rivals.
· Mr. Taylor, who has served in every administration of both parties since 1985, is an esteemed figure in the world of diplomacy. In his testimony, he said that America’s traditional foreign policy was being subverted by people outside the normal chain of command — particularly Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.
· House Democrats announced that they would hold public impeachment hearings next week. The first session, on Wednesday, will involve Mr. Taylor and George Kent, a senior State Department official in charge of Ukraine policy. Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, will testify on Friday.

A ‘second channel’ of American diplomacy
Bill Taylor on Capitol Hill in October, when he gave his closed-door testimony.Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times
Mr. Taylor’s testimony gave us what might be the most detailed account yet of how and why Mr. Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine, a move that went against what he called the “unanimous opinion of every level of interagency discussion.” Here are six key moments from the transcript.

1. Mr. 
Taylor pinned the origins of the Ukraine plan on Mr. Giuliani, who Mr. Taylor said was acting in Mr. Trump’s interests.
Mr. Taylor: I think the origin of the idea to get President Zelensky to say out loud he’s going to investigate Burisma and 2016 election, I think the originator, the person who came up with that was Mr. Giuliani.
Representative Tom Malinowski: And he was representing whose interests in...
Mr. Taylor: President Trump.


2. Mr. Taylor repeatedly described a “second channel” in American foreign policy, which he said operated beneath the official diplomatic channel and involved the efforts by Mr. Giuliani and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, to secure the investigations.
“The regular channel is all of our interactions with Ukraine, and one of the very important components of that interaction with Ukraine is the security assistance. And the security assistance got blocked by this second channel.
My concern about the whole second track was that, apparently at the instigation of Mr. Giuliani, Ambassador Sondland and Ambassador Volker were conditioning an important component of our assistance on what would ultimately be a political action.”


3. Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump have said those investigations were intended to root out “corruption” in Ukraine. But Mr. Taylor’s testimony undermined those claims.
“The irregular channel seemed to focus on specific issues, specific cases, rather than the regular channel’s focus on institution building. So the irregular channel, I think under the influence of Mr. Giuliani, wanted to focus on one or two specific cases, irrespective of whether it helped solve the corruption problem, fight the corruption problem.”


4. Mr. Taylor said that he directed other diplomats to steer clear of Mr. Giuliani.
“What the embassy tries to do, as a general rule, is stay out of either our domestic or Ukraine internal politics. So we have not — we have tried to avoid dealing certainly with Mr. Giuliani and the kind of efforts that he was interested in.”


5. Mr. Taylor described one day in June when Mr. Sondland crowded the usual suspects out of a phone call with Ukraine’s president.


“Ambassador Sondland told me that the timing was going to change, that the time of the phone call was going to change. And I asked him something like, shouldn’t we let everybody else know who’s supposed to be on this call? And the answer was, don’t worry about it. Even his staff, I think, were not aware that the time had changed.


6. Mr. Taylor said that John Bolton, the former national security adviser, fought behind the scenes to stop Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Sondland from establishing a quid pro quo, including at a meeting with top Ukrainian officials.


“When Ambassador Sondland raised investigations in the meeting, that triggered Ambassador Bolton’s antenna, political antenna, and he said, ‘we don’t do politics here.’”
You can read the full transcript of Mr. Taylor’s testimony here, and more excerpts here.
What else we’re following
· David Hale, the under secretary for political affairs at the State Department, became the first administration official this week to comply with investigators’ requests to appear. Democrats planned to ask him about the ouster of Ms. Yovanovitch, and why he and others did not defend her against political attacks.
· Pam Bondi, the former Florida attorney general, and Tony Sayegh, a former Treasury Department spokesman, are expected to join the White House communications team to work on impeachment messaging.
· House Democrats pulled their subpoena for testimony from Charles Kupperman, a former deputy national security adviser who asked federal courts to rule on whether he could testify. They believed the litigation could slow down the impeachment investigation.


 

Donald Trump's Business Success: Making of a President Part 2
Full Episode Link: https://goo.gl/vLVAuH
Part 3: Trump's Family and Children - https://goo.gl/Uq19q5 Part 4: Trump Announces Presidential Bid - https://goo.gl/AY5KZH Part 5: Trump's Road to the White House: https://goo.gl/S5djbj Part 6: Trump's Future - https://goo.gl/KwLzQI In 1987, Donald Trump was a real estate king, developing and owning many properties across Manhattan. Donald Trump stunned the world and won the presidential election. After the historic election, Trump's opponents and supporters are all asking: how did we get here? ABC News' 20/20 special broadcast "The Making of a President."

Donald Trump's Childhood | Making of a President Part 1
ABC News
Full Episode Link: https://goo.gl/vLVAuH Donald Trump grew up in Queens, New York, and his father Fred was a millionaire real estate developer. Donald Trump stunned the world and won the presidential election. After the historic election, Trump's opponents and supporters are all asking: how did we get here? ABC News' 20/20 special broadcast "The Making of a President."

 President Trump and Attorney General William Barr in the White House in May. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 

Ivanka Trump rejects notion family profits from presidency
Ivanka Trump says a big difference between her family and Democrat Joe Biden's is that President Donald Trump amassed his fortune before he entered politics while Biden's wealth is a "derivative" of his lengthy public service career.
By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press  - 8 November 2019, 19:59
https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ivanka-trump-ap-impeachment-aimed-undoing-2016-vote-66844455

Ivanka Trump brushed off criticism that her family has profited off the presidency and said Friday a big difference between her family and Democrat Joe Biden's is that President Donald Trump amassed his fortune before he entered politics while Biden's wealth is "derivative" of his time in office.

In an interview with The Associated Press, she said the two situations were "completely inverse."
In New Hampshire, Biden responded that the president's daughter should look at his tax returns for evidence he didn't cash in as vice president or a legislator.
Ivanka Trump, a White House adviser, pushed back against nearly three years of ethics complaints and lawsuits accusing the Trumps of trying to turn the presidency to their financial advantage. The president and his allies have tried to tarnish Biden by making similar but unfounded claims about Biden's tenure as vice president and his son Hunter's activities in Ukraine during that time.
Biden's son, Hunter, served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company as his father led the Obama administration's diplomatic dealings with Kyiv. Although anti-corruption advocates expressed concern about the timing, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by the former vice president or his son.
Biden spent more than 30 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate before serving eight years as vice president and Ivanka Trump said he "created wealth as a derivative of that."
Her father entered politics after making a fortune in real estate.
"His wealth, and our wealth, collectively and independently, was created prior to government service and prior to anyone in our lives having run for elected office," Ivanka Trump said.
"Most people do create their wealth post service. We created ours prior," she added.
Members of Congress must follow strict rules while in office to avoid financial and other conflicts of interest. Many pursue higher-paying opportunities after they leave office.
Biden was consistently among the poorest members of Congress, relying largely on his lawmaker's salary, according to his annual financial disclosure forms.
But he has seen his income grow since leaving the White House in 2017. A financial disclosure form Biden released this year shows he and his wife, Jill, took in more than $15 million since leaving the Obama White House, including a lucrative book deal.
"Tell her to look at my tax returns," Biden responded from New Hampshire, where he filed paperwork to appear on the ballot next year. "I've laid it all out — everything," he added before calling on Trump to release his own income tax returns.
Government watchdogs have criticized Trump for unethically mixing official business with promotion of his own interests.
Trump is the first president in modern history who has not walled himself off from his business holdings. He makes frequent trips to his for-profit golf clubs, collects dues at his members-only properties and hosts fundraisers and foreign delegations at hotels that bear his family's name.
Ivanka Trump spoke in a wide-ranging AP interview as she wrapped up a three-day visit to Morocco, where she promoted U.S. efforts to help empower women in developing countries.
Speaking about the House impeachment inquiry from half a world away, she echoed her father's view that the investigation is aimed at overturning the 2016 election that put him in the White House.
But she parted ways with him by saying the identity of the whistleblower whose complaint helped spark the investigation is "not particularly relevant."
President Trump and some of his allies lately have been pressing mainstream journalists to publicize the whistleblower's name. The president has also sent tweets calling on the individual to come forward.
But Ivanka Trump said the person's motives were more important than knowing their identity. She declined to speculate about what led the individual to lodge a formal complaint.
"The whistleblower shouldn't be a substantive part of the conversation," she told AP, saying the person "did not have firsthand information."
She said the individual's identity is not "particularly relevant" to her, "aside from what the motivation behind all of this was."
She noted that the whistleblower was not among administration officials who heard the president ask Ukraine's leader during a July 25 telephone conversation to investigate Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump.
Ivanka Trump said her family has faced constant criticism since her father became president and that impeachment is part of that pattern. House Democrats counter that the inquiry is about whether Trump abused his office by putting his political interests first.
"Rather than wait, under a year, until the people can decide for themselves based on his record and based on his accomplishments, this new effort has, has commenced," she said. "But to us, it's really been like this from the beginning."
She said she has not been reading transcripts of the depositions that current and former administration officials have given impeachment investigators.
As for the future, Ivanka Trump said she had yet to decide on what role she will play in her father's re-election campaign.
And on the question of whether she also wants four more years at the White House, the mother of three said the answer would largely depend on the needs of her children.

Associated Press writer Holly Ramer in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.
Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Ivanka Trump: impeachment aimed at undoing 2016 vote The Associated Press DARLENE SUPERVILLE Nov 8th 2019

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Ivanka Trump on Friday weighed in on the House impeachment inquiry of her father from half a world away in Morocco.
President Donald Trump's daughter and White House adviser told The Associated Press in an interview that she shares his oft-repeated view that the impeachment investigation is about "overturning the results of the 2016 election."
But she seemed to part ways with the president and allies who have been pressuring the news media to publicly identify the whistleblower whose complaint helped launch the investigation.
"Basically since the election, this has been the experience that our administration and our family has been having," Ivanka Trump said of persistent criticism of the president.
"Rather than wait, under a year, until the people can decide for themselves based on his record and based on his accomplishments, this new effort has commenced."
Ivanka Trump told AP that the whistleblower's identity is "not particularly relevant" to the impeachment inquiry and declined to speculate on the motives behind the whistleblower's complaint.

The whistleblower should no longer be a "substantive part" of the conversation, she said, noting that the individual was not among administration officials who heard President Trump ask Ukraine's leader during a July 25 telephone conversation to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, currently a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to challenge Trump.
"This is a third party who was not privy to the call and did not have firsthand information," Ivanka Trump said. "That is what was the catalyst for all of this discussion. But to me, it's not particularly relevant aside from what the motivation behind all of this was."
She rejected any suggestion that her own family has been profiting off the presidency even as President Trump and his allies have criticized the involvement of Biden's son, Hunter, with a Ukrainian oil venture when his father was vice president.
Ivanka Trump said the Bidens had "created wealth as a derivative" of public service while her family had made its money in business before her father became president.
Good government groups, however, have criticized the president for unethically mixing official business with promotion of his own interests.
Trump is the first president in modern history who has failed to divest from his business holdings. He makes frequent trips to his for-profit golf clubs, continues to collect dues at his members-only properties, and hosts fundraisers and foreign delegations at hotels that bear his family's name.
The president's daughter is wrapping up a three-day visit to Morocco, where she has been promoting a U.S. program aimed at helping empower women in developing countries.

Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak at the White House in May 2017. (Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP) 


Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, President Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Russia, told senators at his confirmation hearing that he did not know of any attempt by the president or others to press Ukraine to open a corruption probe into Joe Biden's son, Hunter. He said he knew that Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had spearheaded a campaign to remove Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post, but said he did not know details, including what motivated it.

President Trump: 30 Hours l Interview with George Stephanopoulos l Part 1
ABC News
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW SPECIAL: https://bit.ly/31D36PBAlso available on Hulu: https://hulu.tv/2MQDBqATrump on polls showing Biden ahead: 'I don't believe those polls'During the first day of ABC News' 30-hour embed, Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that "there's no way [Joe Biden] beats me in Texas... my polls show that I'm winning everywhere."#Trump30Hours #ABCNews #Trump #Interview

Trump apparently believes that he could not only shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and win Kansas, but that he could kill off half the farmers in the state and their relatives would still vote for him…and he may be right.

THIS IS A SHAM" Jim Jordan UNLEASHED - DEMANDS Hunter Biden to TESTIFY
FOX 10 Phoenix

The Century of the Self (Part 1: “Happiness Machines”) - JustAdamCurtis
The story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays invented the public relations profession in the 1920s and was the first person to take Freud's ideas to manipulate the masses. He showed American corporations how they could make people want things they didn't need by systematically linking mass-produced goods to their unconscious desires. Bernays was one of the main architects of the modern techniques of mass-consumer persuasion, using every trick in the book, from celebrity endorsement and outrageous PR stunts, to eroticising the motorcar. His most notorious coup was breaking the taboo on women smoking by persuading them that cigarettes were a symbol of independence and freedom. But Bernays was convinced that this was more than just a way of selling consumer goods. It was a new political idea of how to control the masses. By satisfying the inner irrational desires that his uncle had identified, people could be made happy and thus docile. It was the start of the all-consuming self which has come to dominate today's world. Originally broadcast on 29th April 2002

Impeachment Briefing, New York Times, November 15, 2019
By Noah Weiland
Welcome back to the Impeachment Briefing. With no public hearings today, we’re looking at how the politics of impeachment are complicating races around the nation.
What happened today
· Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the testimony in Wednesday’s public hearing “corroborated evidence of bribery” by President Trump in his dealings with Ukraine. Her use of “bribery” — one of the crimes the Constitution cites as an impeachable offense — suggests that Democrats are moving toward a more specific set of charges that could be codified in articles of impeachment.
· A new witness emerged — a State Department official in Kiev named Suriya Jayanti — who will be able to describe the overheard phone call that Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified about on Wednesday. On the call, the president and Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, discussed the political investigations Mr. Trump sought from Ukraine. Mr. Sondland is set to testify publicly next week.
· Mark Sandy, a high-ranking career official from the Office of Management and Budget, will appear for a closed-door deposition on Saturday if subpoenaed, his lawyer said. O.M.B. played a key role in holding up the delivery of $391 million in security assistance at the center of the inquiry

Mr. Trump’s congressional warrior
Yesterday was the public impeachment debut of Representative Jim Jordan, a conservative favorite who has become one of Mr. Trump’s loudest advocates on cable news and in congressional hearings. I asked my colleague Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who is working on a profile of Mr. Jordan, about him.
Sheryl, why is Jim Jordan effective in the eyes of Republicans?
He defends Mr. Trump at all costs. It’s very simple. He did what Republicans needed him to do yesterday, which was raise doubts about the witnesses by saying they were hearing things secondhand. He tried to poke a few holes in their testimony.
And he did that when he elicited an admission out of Mr. Taylor, when he said that in three face-to-face meetings with Ukraine’s president, the topic of military aid hadn’t come up. That’s something that Republicans have been seizing on since.
He talks so quickly. In a five-minute video he posted of himself defending Mr. Trump at the hearing, he asked no questions.
It’s very rat-a-tat-tat, auctioneer, no-nonsense, aggressive. That’s a way to knock witnesses off their stride. He was a championship wrestler, so he brings a wrestling ethos to everything he does. Wrestlers are scrappy. Jim Jordan is scrappy.

Does it work?
By acting as the proverbial attack dog, he makes witnesses look like they’re on the defensive. You can also see his value in the way that other members of the committee are ceding parts of their assigned time and handing their questioning to him. He was brought on to the Intelligence Committee for these hearings.
Who’s paying attention to impeachment?
I called my colleague Jonathan Martin, who’s in Bossier City, La., covering the governor’s race and tonight’s Trump rally, to ask him about how the investigation is playing on the campaign trail.
Jonathan, how effective are these hearings at reaching voters?
The country is so polarized that the impact is mostly with that slice of undecided voters in the middle, and that’s a pretty small slice at this point. There aren’t a lot of people who haven’t made up their minds about Mr. Trump. But it’s an important cadre, since it could be crucial in next year’s election.
How much is impeachment actually influencing races across the country?
It’s the overlay of every race at the moment, this question of where you stand on Mr. Trump. It was crucial in Kentucky last week, where the unpopular governor made a big part of his race about the question of impeachment.
Here in Louisiana, the Republican candidate for governor, Eddie Rispone, based his entire campaign on Mr. Trump endorsing him, and the fact that he’s in Mr. Trump’s party. He’d love for this to be a referendum on the state’s view of Mr. Trump and impeachment.

What about for the Democratic candidate?
John Bel Edwards, the incumbent, wants to talk about what he’s done for the state budget. Red-state Democrats want to localize the races. They want to talk about local issues that pop better for them, like health care. And the blue-state Republicans, like those in Virginia, don’t want to talk about Mr. Trump.
Tonight on ‘The Latest’
The Times debuted a new podcast yesterday all about impeachment. It’s called “The Latest,” and episodes will come out every weeknight.
On tonight’s episode, our congressional editor, Julie Davis, dives into Ms. Pelosi’s news conference, and explains why it matters that she used the word “bribery” instead of “quid pro quo.” You can listen to it here.
What else we’re reading
· Senate Republicans are conflicted about how quickly to move on an impeachment trial. Some are arguing for a speedy vote, while others see an opportunity to drag it out and tie down some Democratic senators who are running for president.
· To better understand how the first impeachment hearing played across the nation, we listened to callers and hosts on talk radio shows on both ends of the political spectrum. Not surprisingly, the airwaves offered little consensus.
· Facebook and YouTube said they would block attempts to name the whistle-blower who set in motion the impeachment inquiry. But the tech companies’ human moderators and artificial intelligence tools are struggling to keep up.
· In an interview with The Guardian, Rudy Giuliani was asked whether he was worried Mr. Trump might “throw him under a bus.” Mr. Giuliani replied, “I’m not, but I
do have very, very good insurance, so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid.” His lawyer jumped in to add, “He’s joking.”

Rudy Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, led a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine. Credit...Erin Schaff for The New York Times

President Donald Trump

The House is set to have first vote in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine [File:Alex Brandon/The Associated Press]  

Trump denies report that he wanted Barr to publicly clear him on Ukraine
The president tweeted that the story, first reported by The Washington Post, "is totally untrue..."

Nov. 7, 2019, 
By Associated Press
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/trump-denies-report-he-wanted-barr-publicly-clear-him-n1078056


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is denying he wanted Attorney General William Barr to hold a press conference to declare he broke no laws during a phone call in which he pressed Ukraine's president to investigate Democrats.
Trump tweeted early Thursday that the story, first reported by The Washington Post, "is totally untrue and just another FAKE NEWS story with anonymous sources that don't exist."
The Post said Barr rebuffed the request, which came in September around the time the White House released a rough transcript of Trump's July 25 call at the center of the House impeachment probe. The paper cited unidentified people familiar with the effort.
Marty Baron, The Post's executive editor, said in response to Trump's attacks, "The Post fully stands behind its story and its reporters, who are among the finest journalists anywhere. The president continues to make false accusations against news organizations and individual journalists. Despite his repugnant attempt to intimidate and harass The Post and its staff, we will continue to do the work that democracy demands of a free and independent press."
House Democrats are investigating Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rivals as aid money was being withheld.
Trump insists he did nothing wrong.

National Security Council Director for European Affairs Alexander Vindman arrives for a closed-door deposition at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., Oct. 29, 2019
Leah Millis/Reuters

Donald Trump's Wife, Children Talk About His Campaign, Home Life
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Melania Trump, and four of Donald's kids, Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany Trump, sat down with Barbara Walters.

Ivanka Trump Defends Father Donald Trump, Says 'He Speaks From the Heart'
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U.S. Attorney General William Barr at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, on May 9, 2019.Leah Millis / Reuters file

Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here
President Trump fixated on Ukraine as a solution to his political problems. In five months, his obsession upended American foreign policy and threatened his presidency. Here is how it happened.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/11/us/ukraine-trump.html?te=1&nl=morning-briefing&emc=edit_NN_p_20191112§ion=topNews?campaign_id=9&instance_id=13794&segment_id=18715&user_id=eeeb41ac0b2b0fd3a56a87fed573283b®i_id=100892575tion=topNews

By Sharon LaFraniere, Andrew E. Kramer and Danny Hakim
Published Nov. 12, 2019, 

WASHINGTON — Like every presidential conversation with a foreign leader, this one had scripted talking points and a predigested news release recounting an exchange yet to take place. Aides in the White House Situation Room clustered around a speaker phone, pens and pads in hand to document what they heard.
At 9:03 a.m. on Thursday, July 25, they listened as President Trump picked up the phone in the White House residence and was connected to Volodymyr Zelensky, the newly elected president of Ukraine. Within minutes, two note-takers exchanged troubled looks.

Mr. Trump had not merely veered off his talking points. By the conversation’s end, he had asked Mr. Zelensky — a leader in dire need of American military aid to fight the Russian-led invasion on his eastern border — to “do us a favor” by investigating one of his political rivals and an unfounded conspiracy theory about the 2016 election.
That 30-minute conversation has now emerged as a mortal threat to Mr. Trump’s presidency. This week, the House of Representatives begins public hearings that could lead to the impeachment of a president for only the third time in American history. More than a half dozen Trump administration officials have called the phone conversation and the events surrounding it insidious and shocking. Five officials who dealt with Ukraine have resigned since September.
The unfolding story is in many ways a sequel to the events that led to Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Once again, the plot involves foreign influence in an election and is centered in the post-Soviet sphere.

Only one day before Mr. Trump spoke to Mr. Zelensky, Mr. Mueller had testified to Congress about how the Russians had tried to help elect Mr. Trump by organizing the theft and release of emails damaging to his opponent. In that case, the Russians were the pursuers who sought contacts with Mr. Trump’s campaign.
Now the president and his minions were the aggressors, seeking help with the 2020 re-election effort. They asked the Ukrainians to investigate unfounded allegations about former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., one of Mr. Trump’s leading Democratic rivals, as well as to chase a conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, had intervened in 2016.
The story is also another chapter in Mr. Trump’s war on the wheels of American governance, from the intelligence community to the diplomatic corps to Congress itself. In his zeal to win Mr. Zelensky’s compliance, the president ousted the American ambassador to Ukraine, froze congressionally approved military aid, shut out foreign-policy experts in the National Security Council and sidestepped the State Department to set up a back-channel to Kiev with his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The Ukraine saga is yet another episode in which Russia is the potential beneficiary of White House decisions. Mr. Trump not only sought to muddy the picture of Russia’s role in the 2016 election, but also withheld nearly $400 million in military aid, a tenth of Ukraine’s defense budget, for its war with Russian-backed forces.
The Russians “would love the humiliation of Zelensky at the hands of the Americans,” William B. Taylor Jr., the top diplomat in Kiev who nearly quit in protest, testified to Congress.

This account of the effort to muscle the Ukrainians for Mr. Trump’s political gain is based on interviews with more than a dozen American and Ukrainian principals as well as thousands of pages of witnesses’ testimony in the House impeachment inquiry. More details and revelations are likely to surface in the hearings that begin Wednesday in the historic House Ways and Means Committee room on Capitol Hill.
But what is already striking is the intense pressure the Trump White House exerted on one of the weakest nations in Europe. Mr. Zelensky dodged the White House’s demands for months, but with one or more Ukrainians a week dying under Russian fire in the east, he finally ran out of options. In a CNN interview scheduled for Sept. 13, Mr. Zelensky aimed to satisfy Mr. Trump with an announcement about investigations.
Only at the last minute, after key members of Congress erupted in protest over Mr. Trump’s actions, did the White House release the aid. Mr. Zelensky canceled his appearance, and — for the moment, at least — Ukraine’s perils abated.
Mr. Trump’s, however, were only beginning.
Giuliani, a human ‘hand grenade’
Mr. Zelensky’s election in April garnered limited attention in the United States. But it thrilled American foreign policy experts who had watched Ukraine struggle for decades in the shadow of Russian economic and military threats, seesawing between democracy and authoritarianism.

Mr. Zelensky, a former comedian with no political experience, had campaigned against corruption and won a landslide victory. He quickly opened a special court to hear corruption cases and stripped legislators of immunity from criminal prosecution, two long-awaited reforms.

“There was much excitement in Kiev that this time things could be different — a new Ukraine might finally be breaking from its corrupt, post-Soviet past,” Mr. Taylor testified.
Mr. Zelensky hoped to cement a relationship with the American president. But even before he took office, his aides suspected that the route to Mr. Trump ran through Mr. Giuliani rather than the State Department or the National Security Council. The former New York mayor’s influence over administration policy toward Ukraine “was almost unmissable,” George P. Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified.
Mr. Giuliani and his allies had worked for months to force out Marie L. Yovanovitch, the American ambassador in Kiev, claiming, with no evidence, that she was disloyal to Mr. Trump.
Gordon D. Sondland, a Republican donor with no diplomatic experience whom Mr. Trump had appointed ambassador to the European Union, offered Ms. Yovanovitch some unwanted advice: She might save her job, he counseled, if she extolled Mr. Trump in Twitter messages.

“You know the president,” he told her, according to Ms. Yovanovitch’s testimony to Congress.

Ms. Yovanovitch’s superiors insisted that she was an exemplary public servant who had been falsely accused. She nonetheless was abruptly recalled to Washington in May, a decision Mr. Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, called dispiriting.

Ms. Yovanovitch testified that she did not know exactly why, but she believed that Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Trump saw her as an obstacle to their strategy for Ukraine.

Even before she was ousted, Mr. Giuliani and the president were leveling charges on Fox News against one of Mr. Trump’s main Democratic rivals, Joseph R. Biden Jr. As vice president, they claimed, Mr. Biden had forced Mr. Zelensky’s predecessor to fire a state prosecutor to quash an investigation of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, that had hired Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

No evidence has emerged to support that charge or that points to any crime by Hunter Biden. As vice president, Mr. Biden was among many Western officials who considered the prosecutor corrupt and urged that he be fired.
Mr. Trump had also embraced a fringe theory, debunked by extensive evidence, that a central event in the 2016 campaign — the theft of private emails from Democratic computers and their release on the rogue website WikiLeaks — had not been carried out by Russia, as both American intelligence experts and a criminal inquiry had proven, but by Ukraine.
Mr. Giuliani saw the Ukraine intrigues as a perfect riposte to the criminal investigation by the special counsel, Mr. Mueller, that had cast such a shadow over Mr. Trump’s presidency. So did Mr. Trump, who told reporters that Ukrainians were behind the “hoax that was perpetrated on our country” — one of his favorite terms for the Mueller inquiry. If Mr. Trump could promote the Ukraine theory, he might be able to undercut the evidence that the Russians had tried to get him elected, and put to rest questions about his legitimacy.

Soon after Mr. Zelensky’s election, Mr. Giuliani’s allies relayed a message that the president’s lawyer wanted to meet with him. It was the beginning of a five-month high-wire act in which Mr. Zelensky tried to mollify Mr. Trump and his messengers, yet hang on to the support of members of Congress and diplomats who told him not to get mired in American politics.
Initially, the Ukrainian leader put Mr. Giuliani off, a move that went over badly. In a subsequent appearance on Fox News, Mr. Giuliani suggested that Mr. Zelensky had surrounded himself with “enemies of the president and in some cases enemies of the United States.


What’s New in the Impeachment Case
 Nov. 11, 2019

Investigators released the deposition transcript of Laura Cooper, the Pentagon’s top Russia and Ukraine official. She said the decision to delay almost $400 million in military aid to Ukraine left officials across the government questioning how President Trump could legally block aid that had already been appropriated by Congress.
Ms. Cooper said the White House had asked about Ukraine’s security aid in mid-June, nearly a month before the funding was frozen. She also said that the Defense Department had certified that Ukraine was making “significant forward progress” toward fighting corruption, undercutting the White House’s rationale for the hold.
On Friday, Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, asked to join a lawsuit filed for John Bolton, the former national security adviser, seeking a court ruling on whether he should defy the White House and testify. Then, Mr. Bolton’s lawyer tried to block Mr. Mulvaney from entering the suit, saying the men had significantly different interests. And tonight, Mr. Mulvaney withdrew his effort.
In what some saw as a sign of Mr. Trump’s personal displeasure, a White House aide later said, Mr. Trump’s team also downgraded the American delegation to Mr. Zelensky’s May 20 inauguration, replacing Vice President Mike Pence as the group’s senior official with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
Three days later, fresh from Mr. Zelensky’s swearing-in, Mr. Sondland, the European Union ambassador, and Kurt D. Volker, an American special envoy to Ukraine, went to an Oval Office meeting. There they praised Mr. Zelensky as a reformer who deserved American support.
The president would have none of it. “They are all corrupt, they are all terrible people,” Mr. Trump retorted, according to Mr. Volker. He added, “They tried to take me down.”
Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Ukraine’s disclosure in 2016 of tens of millions of dollars in secret payments to Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, who had worked as a consultant to one of Mr. Zelensky’s predecessors. Mr. Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign and is now in prison for crimes related to those payments.
In the Oval Office, the president told both men to coordinate future Ukraine-related initiatives with Mr. Giuliani. “He just kept saying: ‘Talk to Rudy, talk to Rudy,’” Mr. Sondland testified.
And they did, creating a foreign policy back channel that bewildered both Ukrainians and high-ranking administration officials.
Among those officials was John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s third national security adviser. Just days earlier, he had warned Fiona Hill, one of his top deputies: “Giuliani is a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.”

Public Investigations
Mr. Sondland, a blustery hotelier who had parlayed a $1 million donation to Mr. Trump’s inaugural into his ambassadorship, assumed the role as principal go-between with the Ukrainians. He did not like taking instructions from Mr. Giuliani, he testified, but Mr. Giuliani made it clear he spoke for the president.

What Mr. Trump wanted, Mr. Giuliani told him, was a public declaration that Ukraine was investigating two matters: Burisma, the firm that had hired Hunter Biden, and whether Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election.
Mr. Bolton and State Department officials were largely cut out of discussions about how to achieve that. But that changed on July 10.

More than a half dozen American and Ukrainian officials gathered that day in Mr. Bolton’s West Wing office, including Mr. Sondland, Mr. Volker, Mr. Bolton, Ms. Hill and Alexander S. Vindman, Mr. Bolton’s chief Ukraine specialist. The Ukrainians included Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Mr. Zelensky, and Alexander Danyliuk, Mr. Bolton’s counterpart in Kiev.
All went well until the Ukrainians raised one of Mr. Zelensky’s most important issues: An invitation to the White House that Mr. Trump had promised in a letter after Mr. Zelensky was elected.
Mr. Sondland blurted out that Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, had guaranteed the invitation as long as Ukraine announced the investigations. By then, Ms. Hill testified, she and others recognized “investigations” as code for Burisma, the Bidens and the 2016 election.
Mr. Bolton stiffened, witnesses said, and abruptly ended the meeting. He pulled Ms. Hill aside and told her to report what had transpired to John A. Eisenberg, the chief legal adviser to the National Security Council.
“Tell Eisenberg that I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” he said, according to Ms. Hill’s testimony.
He dispatched her to catch up to the others in the White House basement, where Mr. Sondland had reconvened discussions with the Ukrainians. Ms. Hill listened long enough to hear the word “Burisma,” then declared the meeting over.
But if Mr. Bolton had hoped to blow up the back channel for Ukraine policy that day, he failed.
At 9:15 that morning, over coffee at the nearby Trump International Hotel, Mr. Yermak had asked Mr. Volker to connect him to Mr. Giuliani. “I feel the key for many things is Rudy,” Mr. Yermak texted the envoy. He later met the president’s lawyer in Madrid.

Death on the Battlefield
By mid-July, it became evident that there was more than an Oval Office meeting at stake for Ukraine. The military assistance was in play, too.
Eight days after the debacle with the Ukrainians at the White House came another bombshell. A secure video conference call with national security officials was interrupted by the disembodied voice of an Office of Management and Budget staffer. At Mr. Mulvaney’s direction, the staffer said, the office had placed a hold on $391 million in military aid for Ukraine.
Mr. Taylor, the top American envoy to Ukraine, said he listened “in astonishment.”

For four years, Russia had fought to expand its grip on Ukrainian territory. About 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers had died. Every morning, Ukrainian soldiers stood in formation in front of the Defense Ministry to commemorate their dead.
Mr. Taylor traveled later that month to the front lines, where Ukrainian soldiers faced hostile Russian forces across a damaged bridge. He listened uncomfortably as a Ukrainian military commander, unaware that the White House had held up military aid, thanked him for America’s support.
It was against this backdrop that Mr. Trump’s July 25 conversation with Mr. Zelensky unfolded. The president told Mr. Zelensky that the United States had done much for his nation and raised the “favor” he wanted: the inquiries into the 2016 election and the Bidens.

What the Bidens had done “sounds horrible to me,” he said, according to a White House reconstructed transcript of the call. Mr. Trump added that Mr. Giuliani would be in touch. Mr. Zelensky assured Mr. Trump that a new prosecutor would investigate Burisma and noted that his aide, Mr. Yermak, had already talked to Mr. Giuliani. Apparently pleased, Mr. Trump later told reporters that the new Ukrainian leader was “a very reasonable guy.”
But Colonel Vindman, the national security expert on Ukraine who was taking notes on the conversation in the Situation Room, was staggered by the implications of Mr. Trump’s remarks. He headed for the office of Mr. Eisenberg, the National Security Council’s chief legal adviser, to question the propriety of the demand for investigations.
Mr. Eisenberg quickly shunted the official summary of the conversation to an electronic storage system normally used for the most sensitive classified information. Later, he instructed Colonel Vindman not to discuss the phone call with others.
Nonetheless, a Central Intelligence Agency officer detailed to the White House got wind of it. On Aug. 12, he filed a whistle-blower complaint, which slowly made its way to Congress.

Resistance Crumbles
After the July 25 phone call, Mr. Sondland, Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Volker worked to draft an announcement for Mr. Zelensky that would satisfy Mr. Trump’s demands. Mr. Giuliani rejected one draft because it failed to mention the targets of the investigations. “If it doesn’t say Burisma and it doesn’t say 2016 what does it mean?” he asked Mr. Volker in a text.
But the Ukrainians were hesitating. Mr. Yermak, Mr. Zelensky’s aide, said the White House should set a date for Mr. Zelensky’s meeting with Mr. Trump before the Ukrainians released a statement.

Only after an American official explicitly told the Ukrainians that the military aid depended on that announcement did their resistance finally crumble.
Colonel Vindman, the national security aide, had drafted a memo for Mr. Bolton to give Mr. Trump in a meeting on Aug. 16. It said that the National Security Council, the Defense Department and the State Department all agreed that the aid should be released to Ukraine. But Mr. Trump rejected it, Colonel Vindman testified.

Timothy Morrison, a National Security Council regional expert, told Mr. Taylor: “The president doesn’t want to provide any assistance at all.”
Mr. Taylor protested in phone calls, text messages and in person. He complained to Mr. Bolton when the national security adviser came to Kiev to meet Mr. Zelensky in late August. On Mr. Bolton’s advice, he sent a rare first-person cable to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Aug. 29 describing the hold on the funds as “folly.”

On Sept. 1, an anxious Mr. Zelensky asked Vice President Mike Pence about the money during an event in Warsaw to commemorate the outbreak of World War II. Mr. Pence said only that he would raise it with Mr. Trump.
But Mr. Sondland, who also was at the event, took Mr. Yermak aside to deliver an explicit message: The Ukrainians should not expect the money if Mr. Zelensky did not publicly announce the investigations.
“It kept getting more insidious,” Mr. Sondland testified. Mr. Taylor, who took notes of his conversations, said the ambassador told him that “everything was on the line,” unless Mr. Zelensky put himself “in a public box.”

In Kiev, all but one of Mr. Zelenksy’s senior advisers argued that he had no choice but to give in. If left frozen, the military aid would expire at the end of the American government’s fiscal year on Sept 30. Mr. Zelensky scheduled a Sept. 13 interview on CNN to deliver an announcement designed to satisfy Mr. Trump.
But the ground was suddenly shifting in Washington. The hold on the aid, first reported by Politico on Aug. 28, had surprised and angered members of Congress.

Word of the whistle-blower complaint had also reached the top echelons of the National Security Council. As soon as Congress learned of it in early September, three House committees opened investigations.
In the meantime, Mr. Taylor was still pushing Mr. Sondland to lobby Mr. Trump to change his mind. “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” he texted the ambassador. Mr. Sondland called Mr. Trump on Sept. 7 to see if there was any wiggle room.
“What do you want from Ukraine?” Mr. Sondland testified that he asked Mr. Trump.
“‘I want nothing,’” he quoted Mr. Trump as replying. “‘I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing.’”
“I recall that the president was really in a bad mood,” Mr. Sondland testified.

The White House reversed course and released the $391 million just two days before Mr. Zelensky’s CNN interview. Two weeks later, it also released a rough transcript of the July 25 call, hoping to defuse the formal impeachment inquiry now underway.

Instead, it accelerated it.
Mr. Volker called the transcript “explosive” and resigned just before he testified.
Mr. Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state, told investigators that Mr. Trump had stood United States policy on its head. For decades, he said, the United States had demanded that leaders in Ukraine and other countries stop instigating politically motivated prosecutions of their opponents and uphold the rule of law.

For Mr. Trump to ask Ukraine to investigate his political rival for his political gain, he said, was “wrong.”
Ms. Hill testified that she was “shocked” and “very saddened” by the transcript of the calls and documents. Together, she said, they confirmed “my worst fears and nightmares” that private interests had subverted America’s national security concerns.

Her former boss, Mr. Bolton, who resigned in September, has said he would not testify unless a federal court rules that he can legally do so.

But in a letter to the court last week, his lawyer suggested more is to come. Mr. Bolton, he said, knows of many other White House meetings and discussions about Ukraine that have yet to become public.
Sharon LaFraniere reported from Washington, Andrew E. Kramer from Kiev, Ukraine, and Danny Hakim from New York. Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting from Washington. Susan Beachy and Kitty Bennett contributed research.
Sharon LaFraniere is an investigative reporter. She was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for national reporting on Donald Trump’s connections with Russia. @SharonLNYT
Andrew E. Kramer is a reporter based in the Moscow bureau. He was part of a team that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for a series on Russia’s covert projection of power. @AndrewKramerNYT
Danny Hakim is an investigative reporter for the business section. He has been a European economics correspondent and bureau chief in Albany and Detroit. He was also a lead reporter on the team awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. @dannyhakim • Facebook

Common Questions About Impeachment
What is impeachment? Impeachment is charging a holder of public office with misconduct.
Why is the impeachment process happening now? A whistle-blower complaint filed in August said that White House officials believed they had witnessed Mr. Trump abuse his power for political gain.
Can you explain what President Trump is accused of doing? President Trump is accused of breaking the law by pressuring the president of Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., a potential Democratic opponent in the 2020 election.
What did the President say to the president of Ukraine? Here is a reconstructed transcript of Mr. Trump’s call to President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, released by The White House.
What is the impeachment process like? Here are answers to seven key questions about the process.

Full Interview: Donald Trump, Melania & Family with George Stephanopoulos -ABC News
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The Century of the Self - Part 4: "Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering"

What Happened to Donald Trump's Second Wife Marla Maples 

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Adam Schiff impeachment hearing full opening remarks
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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) formally opens the impeachment hearing into President Donald Trump


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The House impeachment inquiry focuses on whether President Trump pressured a foreign ally for his own political gain

.Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times

Donald Trump, 1998 - BBC HARDtalk
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BBC HARDtalk
One from the HARDtalk archives: Tim Sebastian interviews Donald Trump on location at the Trump Tower, of course, in 1998. 


20/20 Donald Trump: Making of a President [Full Links]

Representative Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, Wednesday ahead of the hearing.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined the House Intelligence Committee in 2008. Now he's leading the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. CNN's Gloria Borger reports on Schiff's political timeline. #CNN #News

Trump's Ukraine request: 'Investigations, Biden and Clinton'
David Knowles Nov 7th 2019 - Yahoo News
In testimony released Thursday by House Democrats, a high-ranking State Department official said he understood President Trump’s bottom-line demand of Ukraine was for a statement that included three key words: “investigations, Biden and Clinton.”
“Clinton” was a reference to the conspiracy theory promoted by Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani about foreign efforts to sway the 2016 election.
The official, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, was relaying what he was told by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. The ambassador said the president “wanted nothing less than President Zelensky to go to microphone and say ‘investigations, Biden, and Clinton.’”
House Democrats made Kent’s testimony public on Thursday. In the transcript, Kent expanded about the messaging that Trump sought Sondland to convey to Ukrainian officials.
“This was the Gordon Sondland messaging of what the Ukrainians need to say in shorthand, 2016. And in shorthand it was suggested that the Ukrainians needed — Zelensky needed to go to a microphone and basically there needed to be three words in the message, and that was the shorthand.”
Kent was the asked, “Clinton was shorthand for 2016?”
“2016, yes,” Kent answered.
Kent testified that he created memos of the conversations he had witnessed relating to a quid pro quo sought by the White House — the restoration of military aid and better U.S. relations in exchange for an investigation, or the public announcement of an investigation, that Trump believed would help his reelection campaign.
“I wrote a note to the file saying that I had concerns that there was an effort to initiate politically motivated prosecutions that were injurious to the rule of law, both in Ukraine and the U.S.,” Kent told House members.
Kent also described the role that Giuliani played in attempting to secure an investigation in Kiev into Biden and Clinton, which entailed a campaign to oust U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who Giuliani considered an impediment.
Giuliani “had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies,” Kent testified, adding that the president’s lawyer’s “assertions and allegations against former Ambassador Yovanovitch were without basis, untrue, period.”
As an example, Kent recounted an assertion that Yovanovitch was connected to liberal philanthropist George Soros, a claim he called “fake news.’
Other lies, according to Kent, stemmed from an untruthful news article published in The Hill and written by John Solomon that was critical of Yovanovitch, which Kent descried as “entirely made up in full cloth." 
While the bulk of Kent’s testimony was damaging to Trump, who faces the prospect of impeachment over his attempts to procure a foreign investigation of his political rivals, Kent also was critical of Joe Biden’s son Hunter, whose business dealings in Ukraine was one of the predicates of the investigation Trump sought.
“I raised my concerns” about Hunter Biden being “on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest,” Kent testified.
Trump tweeted a quote, attributed to Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asking how Hunter Biden was qualified to sit on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while his father was carrying out U.S. policy against corruption in Ukraine.
“A very good question,” Trump tweeted. “He and Sleepy Joe must testify!”
The impeachment hearings were triggered by allegations that the White House pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, a leading candidate to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.

 Is it a surprise to anyone that Trump’s “criminal justice” reforms are turning out to be just as hollow as his “withdrawals” from Syria and Afghanistan?

Donald Trump -Photo illustration: Yahoo News; photos: AP, J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Trump’s repeated calls for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens are at the center of a whistleblower’s complaint

In this Oct. 17, 2019, file photo U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland arrives for an interview with the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Intelligence Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington,

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Trump impeachment inquiry
Trump impeachment: whistleblower will not testify in public, Democrats say
Battle for national opinion begins ahead of Wednesday hearings
Ex-national security adviser John Bolton signs book deal
How Trump’s hardball tactics put the constitution in peril

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/10/trump-impeachment-whistleblower-public-hearings-schiff-democrats-republicans
Martin Pengelly in New York
@MartinPengelly

Sun 10 Nov 2019 

The whistleblower who sparked the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump will not testify in public, House intelligence chair Adam Schiff said.
“The committee ... will not facilitate efforts by President Trump and his allies in Congress to threaten, intimidate and retaliate against the whistleblower who courageously raised the initial alarm,” Schiff said in a letter to ranking Republican Devin Nunes released on Saturday night.
The impeachment inquiry concerns Trump’s attempts to have Ukraine investigate his political rivals, in return for nearly $400m in military aid and a White House visit for President Vlodymyr Zelinskiy.
The whistleblower, an unidentified intelligence official, raised concern about a 25 July phone call between Trump and Zelinskiy in which the US president raised the notion of his counterpart doing the US “a favour”. The incomplete White House memo about the 25 July call remains a key point of contention. Trump said on Saturday he would soon release details of another call with the Ukrainian leader.
House committees led by Schiff have so far heard testimony in private. Transcripts released this week were mostly damaging to the White House, bringing acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney firmly into the spotlight over his apparent role in offering the quid pro quo.
Mulvaney and other key aides have refused to testify, defying congressional subpoenas and raising fears of a constitutional crisis. On Friday night, Mulvaney asked to join a lawsuit filed by a more junior aide which asks a judge to decide whether he should testify. The move that could put the chief of staff at odds with the president he serves.

Public hearings are scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

In his own letter on Saturday, Nunes criticised Schiff’s handling of the impeachment inquiry and set out the witnesses Republicans would like to question.
Among them were the whistleblower, whom the president and his allies have demanded be identified contrary to federal law; Hunter Biden, the son of former vice-president Joe Biden who is accused without evidence of corruption in Ukraine; Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-American former Democratic National Committee staffer; and Nellie Ohr, a former contractor for the political intelligence firm Fusion GPS, which commissioned the famous Steele dossier on Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow.
The move indicated a key Republican tactic: to steer argument towards supposed wrongdoing regarding Ukraine involving Trump’s enemies, not the president.

Schiff countered, saying the inquiry and his committee would “not serve as vehicles” for “sham investigations into the Bidens or debunked conspiracies about 2016 US election interference that President Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct for his personal political benefit”.

On Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures With Maria Bartiromo, Trump ally and South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham trafficked in one such conspiracy theory, saying: “When you find out who the whistleblower is you will find out it’s somebody from the Deep State and had interactions with the Schiff and this thing’s going to stink to high heaven.”

The Deep State conspiracy theory holds that a permanent and unelected government of bureaucrats and security officials is determined to thwart Trump’s presidency. In a recent book by the New York Times reporter James B Stewart, former White House adviser Steve Bannon, a key propagator of the theory, said it was “for nut cases”.
Public hearings will bring the inquiry on to the national stage, opening a vital front in the battle for public opinion as an election year looms. Successive polls have shown slim majorities backing Trump’s impeachment and removal.
As Democrats hold the House, it seems likely it will vote for impeachment. As Republicans hold the Senate, it seems very unlikely Trump will be convicted and removed.

On Sunday members of key House committees set out the parties’ positions on why Trump is being impeached, cases they must now take to the American people.
On CBS’s Face the Nation, Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat on the intelligence committee, said: “We have evidence of an extortion scheme using taxpayer dollars to ask a foreign government to investigate the president’s opponent.”
On ABC’s This Week, Jackie Speier, also a California Democrat and a member of the intelligence panel, boiled it down further: “This is a very simple, straightforward act: the president broke the law.”
For the Republicans, House armed services committee ranking member Mac Thornberry told ABC of Trump’s behaviour: “I believe it was inappropriate, I do not believe it was impeachable.”
Thornberry also repeated a common charge from Republicans, that Democrats running the impeachment inquiry are doing so on a partisan basis.
“There has to be a fair way to arbitrate,” he said, “to decide who the witnesses are. We have had none of that so far.”
Democrats have countered that they are following rules laid down by Republicans when they investigated Hillary Clinton over the Benghazi attack of September 2012.

Two Republican senators insisted Trump had done nothing wrong.
On CNN’s State of the Union, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said Trump had not sought the quid pro quo.
“I’ve never heard the president say, ‘I want to dig up dirt on a potential 2020 opponent,’” Johnson said. “What I’ve always heard the president consistently concerned about is ‘what happened in 2016. How did this false narrative with Russian collusion with my campaign occur? Why was I strapped with the special counsel?’ It’s a very human desire.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press, the libertarian Kentucky senator Rand Paul indicated that Trump did seek a quid pro quo, and said doing so was not wrong.
“I think it’s a big mistake for anybody to argue ‘Quid pro quo, he didn’t have quid pro quo,’” Paul said. “And I know that’s what the administration’s arguing. I wouldn’t make that argument.
“I would make the argument that every politician in Washington, other than me, virtually, is trying to manipulate Ukraine to their purposes.”

If Trump tries to turn impeachment into reality TV, who can stop him?
https://www.yahoo.com/news/if-trump-tries-to-turn-impeachment-into-reality-tv-who-can-stop-him-181128121.html 
Jon Ward-,Senior Political Correspondent- Yahoo News•October 23, 2019
The last time a U.S. president was impeached by the House of Representatives, in 1998, a “mournful hush” fell over the Senate chamber when the upper body of Congress began its trial of President Bill Clinton, as the chief justice of the Supreme Court was sworn in to preside over the proceedings.
If President Trump is indeed impeached by the House in the coming weeks, as seems all but certain, he will become only the third president in American history to face removal proceedings in the Senate.
But the Senate trial for a Trump impeachment is a major wild card. And speculation is heating up about what kind of circuslike spectacle could ensue once a reality TV star president, whose power has come from his ability to capture attention by any means necessary, is the subject of deliberations over whether to remove him from office.
What stunts might he pull, similar to the second debate of the 2016 presidential election with Democrat Hillary Clinton, when Trump invited three women who had accused Bill Clinton, the former president and Hillary’s husband, of sexual misconduct, and tried to seat them near the stage? (They were eventually seated in the debate hall but farther back in the audience.)
What if Trump’s lawyers tried to call former Vice President Joe Biden as a witness in a Senate trial, as some political insiders told Yahoo News might happen? That would throw one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates into the Senate, where he was a member for four decades and where five current senators are running against him for the Democratic nomination, just a few weeks before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses kick off the voting in the primary.
That would be a major curveball for Democrats, and it’s the kind of thing that most everyone knows Trump is unafraid of, and even eager to seize on.
In such a scenario, or any like it, the big question is who will decide these questions, like whether someone like Biden could be summoned to appear in the Senate trial.
It could very well be someone like Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, along with a handful of other Republican senators. Romney — the 2012 Republican nominee for president — and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, are two of the more independent-minded members of the Senate, and Romney has been engaged in an increasingly high-profile war of words with Trump.
Then there are the Republican senators who are up for reelection in swing states, who will face serious challenges from Democratic candidates and cannot drift too far right with Trump in the impeachment matter: Cory Gardner of Colorado, Martha McSally of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Joni Ernst of Iowa. 
In addition to these seven Republicans, there are another seven GOP senators who have shown some independence from the president at various times in the past and will be watched for signs of defection: Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mike Lee of Utah, Marco Rubio of Florida, Todd Young of Indiana, Rob Portman of Ohio, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

In most matters during an impeachment trial, such as a vote over a potential witness, a simple majority would be needed. So, if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — who is also up for reelection in 2020 — were pushing to unite the 53-member Republican majority behind any such motion to approve a witness, he would need the support of at least four of these 14 lawmakers who are most likely to split from Trump.
“How willing are the Mitt Romneys of the Senate to say, ‘We want this to be a serious hearing of the case’?” said Molly Reynolds, a senior fellow of governance studies at the Brookings Institution.
As to the details of how long a Senate trial might take, all of that is up in the air until McConnell — perhaps in collaboration with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — comes up with a package of rules for the proceedings that could pass the Senate with a simple majority.
These guidelines dictate many details of how a trial would work: how much time each side gets to make its case and to offer rebuttal, whether or not witnesses will be called, and many other timing issues, including when the trial should be wrapped up.
If witnesses are to be called, the Senate’s adopted rules for the trial might include an approved list or might dictate that every witness called be subjected to a vote. “So much of this remains an open question,” Reynolds told Yahoo News.
In 1999, during the last impeachment of a sitting U.S. president, the Senate had still not agreed to a rules package on the first day of the trial, Jan. 7. A group of House Republicans who acted as managers, or prosecutors of the case against President Clinton, entered the Senate chamber in the morning and read out the two articles of impeachment. In the afternoon, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was sworn in as the presiding officer over the proceedings, as designated by the Constitution.
The day was filled with partisan recriminations between Republicans, who held 55 seats, and Democrats, who had a 45-seat minority. But the Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate, Trent Lott of Mississippi and Tom Daschle of South Dakota, corralled their members and held a dramatic meeting in the Old Senate Chamber on the trial’s second day, where they implored senators to strive for some semblance of unity.
Later that day, the Senate voted 100-0 for a resolution laying out the ground rules that punted on the most contentious issue: whether to call witnesses. It was another three weeks before the Senate approved, by a party-line 54-44 vote, a resolution approving the videotaped deposition of three witnesses: former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Sidney Blumenthal and Vernon Jordan. A Republican-led attempt to call Lewinsky to testify in person in the Senate chamber was defeated soundly, with 24 Republicans voting against it.
That 1999 process lasted just over a month in the Senate and resulted in the acquittal of Clinton. A two-thirds supermajority is required to remove a president from office, and Republicans fell well short in 1999, with only 45 “guilty” votes and 55 “not guilty” votes.
Now, partisan rncor, political polarization and incentives for anti-institutional behavior are considerably worse than even in that divided moment. Still, both Republicans and Democrats are likely to be motivated to agree to a Senate process that gives both sides a full airing but that doesn’t prolong the matter.
Republicans don’t want Trump’s apparent attempts to pressure the Ukrainian government into investigating Biden and his son Hunter to hang over their heads for any longer than needed. Democrats, meanwhile, are unlikely to want impeachment to coincide with their presidential primary.
That makes the passage of some kind of rules agreement likely, said Marty Paone, a 32-year veteran of Capitol Hill who is now a senior adviser at the Prime Policy Group.
“You have to set up the parameters, or else it’ll go on forever,” Paone said. “I think they could do it in two weeks easily.”
The question preceding that, however, is when the House will be done with its process, and whether articles of impeachment will actually be passed. The answer to the latter question is almost certainly yes, but the answer to the former is hazy.
After Wednesday, the House will adjourn its work early this week to mourn the death of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. Since lawmakers will be out from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8, that leaves only 12 days of legislative business until the House leaves for Thanksgiving recess.
That makes it seem highly unlikely that any articles will be reported out of committee before Thanksgiving, much less voted on by the full House. That would push a full House vote into sometime in December. Congress is scheduled to head home for the holidays after the second week of December. Maybe the House could send the Senate articles in that time frame, but increasingly, the prospect of a trial after the New Year looks more likely.
And the high degree of unknowability — of the timetable, of what the rules will be that govern any Senate trial, and many other things — is why the New York Times’s Linda Greenhouse wrote in 1999 that impeachment is “a realm of uncertainty verging on chaos, where even the broad outlines of what happens next are glaringly unclear.”

Protesters call to impeach President Donald Trump in Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House. [File: Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press]

Witness reveals what President Trump said on Ukraine phone call - CNN #News
 CNN - David Holmes, the aide to Bill Taylor who overheard President Trump's conversation with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that President Zelensky would do "anything you ask him to," and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to "do the investigation." CNN's Manu Raju has the details. #CNN #News

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's eldest daughter, is scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention on Thursday.  
First lady Melania Trump on immigration, family separation and 'the jacket' (NIGHTLINE)
ABC News

​The first lady told ABC News' Tom Llamas that she disagreed with the policy of separating families and told her husband. "I said to him that I feel that's unacceptable. And he felt the same."

The Collapse of the American Empire?
The Agenda with Steve Paikin
The Agenda welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who over the past decade and a half has made his name as a columnist, activist and author. He's been a vociferous public critic of presidents on both sides of the American political spectrum, and his latest book, 'America, the Farewell Tour,' is nothing short of a full-throated throttling of the political, social, and cultural state of his country.

Representative Devin Nunes, left, the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, Steve Castor, the lawyer for the minority, and Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio speaking during a break in testimony.Credit...Doug Mills/The New York Times

Black Hole Of Corruption': Bush Staffer Warns President Donald Trump Aides Going 'Down With Him
MSNBC
The Ukraine scandal is engulfing Trump’s closest aides, from Vice President Pence to Attorney General Barr, to Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Aired on 10/3/19.Peter Wehner, Former Advisor to President George W. Bush says there is a “corrupt gravitational pull” with Trump and most aides have been “pulled into it” and getting close to him means “there’s a huge amount of collateral damage.”» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbcMSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more.

Trump says Joe and Hunter Biden 'must testify' in impeachment probe - DYLAN STABLEFORD - Nov 7th 2019
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/11/07/trump-says-joe-and-hunter-biden-must-testify-in-impeachment-probe/23855585/

The call for the Bidens to testify stands in contrast to the White House’s refusal to allow Trump administration officials to comply with subpoenas in the ongoing hearings. - In the latest iteration of his increasingly frantic pushback against the impeachment inquiry in the House, President Trump on Thursday said investigators should call former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter to testify in the probe.
Trump tweeted a quote, attributed to Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asking how Hunter Biden was qualified to sit on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company while his father was carrying out U.S. policy against corruption in Ukraine.
“A very good question,” Trump tweeted. “He and Sleepy Joe must testify!”
The impeachment hearings were triggered by allegations that the White House pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden, a leading candidate to challenge Trump in the 2020 election.
The call for the Bidens to testify stands in contrast to the White House’s refusal to allow Trump administration officials to comply with subpoenas in the ongoing hearings. Just this week, four administration officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, defied congressional subpoenas for closed-door hearings. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told reporters their failure to appear despite subpoenas would be considered “further evidence” of obstruction. The first public hearings in the impeachment probe will be held next week.
“It was just explained to me that for next weeks Fake Hearing (trial) in the House, as they interview Never Trumpers and others, I get NO LAWYER & NO DUE PROCESS,” Trump tweeted. “This Witch Hunt should not be allowed to proceed!”
If the House ultimately votes to impeach Trump, he will have a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, under rules established by majority vote — as a practical matter, largely in the purview of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If the Republican caucus approves, Trump’s lawyers can call their own witnesses, including the Bidens if they wish. It isn’t clear what testimony TruTrump’s repeated calls for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens are at the center of a whistleblower’s complaint that set off the impeachment inquiry into the president. Trump had ordered the withholding of U.S. military aide to Ukraine unless Zelensky agreed to launch a public investigation into the Bidens as well as a debunked conspiracy theory advanced by the president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani about the 2016 election. There is no evidence the Bidens were involved in any corrupt dealings in Ukraine, although Hunter Biden’s acceptance of a lucrative position on the board of the Ukrainian company, Burisma, has been criticized as an example of how the families of prominent political figures take advantage of their connections. In an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” in October, Hunter Biden said there was nothing “improper” in his business dealings, but admitted he may have showed “poor judgment.”
“Was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is ... a swamp in — in — in many ways? Yeah,” Hunter Biden said.
“My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong,” Joe Biden said at the October Democratic debate in Ohio. “The fact of the matter is this is about Trump’s corruption. That is what we should be focusing on.”

Fox News hosts attack impeachment witnesses
CNN News

 CNN
The prime time hosts of Fox News are showing their support for President Donald Trump during the impeachment process by calling the hearings "boring," "stupid," and "hearsay." CNN's Brian Stelter reports.

The House is set to have first vote in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's dealings with Ukraine [File:Alex Brandon/The Associated Press]  

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gavels as the House votes 232-196 to pass resolution on impeachment procedure [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Protesters call to impeach President Donald Trump in Lafayette Square Park in front of the White House. [File: Carolyn Kaster/The Associated Press]

Trump impeachment inquiry: All the latest updates
In landmark vote, US House approves rules on impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
1 Nov 2019

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/trump-impeachment-inquiry-latest-updates-191031130112567.html  

The Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives on Thursday held its first vote in the impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump. 
In a 232-196 vote, the House approved a measure establishing rules for public hearings and the release of transcripts from closed-door proceedings. The measure also outlined what rights Republican politicians and Trump himself would have to participate as the process moves ahead.

The impeachment inquiry focuses on a July 25 telephone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden, a former US vice president, and his son Hunter, who had served as a director for Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the inquiry a sham. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. 
The investigation examines whether Trump misused the power of his office for personal political gain and, if so, whether that rises to the level of "high crimes and misdemeanors" that merit impeachment and removal from office under the Constitution.

Here are all the latest updates.
Friday, November 1:
Pelosi says public hearings will likely begin in November

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday she expected public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump to begin this month.

"I would assume there would be public hearing in November," the top House Democrat said in an interview with Bloomberg. Any case that is made to impeach the president, she said, "has to be ironclad."

On Thursday, the House, voting largely along party lines, passed a resolution formalising the impeachment inquiry and setting parameters for the public hearings.

Trump says he may read memo of Ukraine call on live television

President Donald Trump has said he would not cooperate with congressional impeachment proceedings and might read out loud a transcript of a July 25 call in which Trump asked President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a domestic political rival, according to an interview with the Washington Examiner. 
"This is over a phone call that is a good call," Trump told the Examiner. "At some point, I’m going to sit down, perhaps as a fireside chat on live television, and I will read the transcript of the call, because people have to hear it. When you read it, it's a straight call."
Trump was referring to the informal evening radio addresses former US President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to reassure Americans facing hardships during the Great Depression and World War II in the 1930s and 1940s. 

Poll: More Americans approve of impeachment investigation 

More Americans approve of the impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump than disapprove of it, though only about a third say the inquiry should be a top priority for Congress, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Overall, 47 percent said they support the impeachment inquiry, while 38 percent disapprove.

That solid, if measured, support serves as a warning sign for Trump's White House and reelection campaign, which have insisted that pursuing impeachment will end up being a vulnerability for Democrats heading into 2020.

But the findings present some red flags for Democrats, too. More people say House members are motivated mainly by politics rather than by duty as they investigate the Republican president's dealings with Ukraine and whether he abused his office or compromised national security when he tried to pressure the country to dig up dirt on a political rival.

House probe zeroes in on White House Lawyers

The House impeachment inquiry is zeroing in on two White House lawyers privy to a discussion about moving a memo recounting President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine into a highly restricted computer system normally reserved for documents about covert action.
Deepening their reach into the West Wing, impeachment investigators are seeking testimony of two political appointees - John Eisenberg, the lead lawyer for the National Security Council (NSC), and Michael Ellis, a senior associate counsel to the president.

The lawyers' role is critical because two witnesses have suggested the NSC legal counsel - when told that Trump asked a foreign leader for domestic political help - took the extraordinary step of shielding access to the transcript not because of its covert nature but rated its potential damage to the Republican president.

Thursday, October 31:
Report: Trump adviser on Russia and Europe corroborates, contradicts

Tim Morrison, who stepped down from the National Security Council a day before testifying in the House impeachment probe, confirmed some aspects of earlier witnesses testimonies while contradicted others during his appearance on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. 
Morrison largely confirmed much of what a top diplomat, William Taylor, said in earlier testimony, that the two had multiple phone conversations raising concerns about the Trump administration's approach towards Ukraine, the Associated Press cited a person familiar with the closed-door testimony as saying. 

Meanwhile, some Republicans said Morrison's opening statement contradicted another key witness, Army officer Alexander Vindman, who handled Ukraine issues at the National Security Council. Vindman testified Tuesday that he twice sounded the alarm over the Trump administration actions.

However, the specific contradictions were not immediately made clear. 

"Mr Morrison's testimony is very damaging to the Democrat narrative," Republican Representative Mark Meadows said. "They've all of a sudden gotten quiet today because this particular witness is very credible and has given evidence that suggests some of the other witnesses have been less than candid."

Giuliani responds to House vote formalising probe

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, condemned the passage of a resolution formalising the House impeachment inquiry on Thursday. 

Giuliani has loomed large over the probe, with several witnesses testifying before Congress that his role as an unofficial emissary to Ukraine often blurred what was considered official statecraft. 

"This is Speaker Pelosi weaponizing the House against the president and Schiff trampling over our Democracy," he wrote on Twitter, referencing leading Democrats in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. 

Today's vote was designed to deceive the American people.

This was NOT an impeachment vote.
This is Speaker Pelosi weaponizing the House against the president and Schiff trampling over our Democracy.
The American people won't be fooled!
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) October 31, 2019

Earlier in the month, Giuliani defied a subpoena from House panels leading the investigation. 
Analyst: House vote may help upcoming court cases
Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent at Yahoo News, told Al Jazeera that the House vote formalising the impeachment inquiry may help in the upcoming court case of a Trump administration official who has defied a subpoena to testify in the inquiry. 
Charles Kupperman, a former deputy to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, had filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday asking a judge to resolve the question of whether he can be forced to testify before the House panel since he was a close and frequent adviser to the president, who has invoked executive privilege.

"Having the house formally vote, gives the democrats more ammunition to argue that Kupperman's testimony is needed in the impeachment inquiry. He was deputy national security adviser, and if the judge who hears the case … approves that it almost certainly gives the greenlight to John Bolton to testify as well," Isikoff said. 

"If the Democrats get Bolton's testimony, it could be political dynamite," he added. 

A hearing for Kupperman's case was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. 
Trump, White House denounce House vote
President Trump has condemned a House vote that formalised the impeachment investigation on Thursday. 
Trump took to Twitter just moments after the resolution, which sets the parameters for the inquiry and public hearings going forward, passed by a 232-196 vote mostly along party lines. 
"The greatest witch hunt in American history!" Trump wrote. 
The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that the vote enshrined "unacceptable violations of due process into House rules".
She further described the inquiry as "unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American".
Her statement was echoed by Trump's re-election campaign which accused Democrats of trying to legitimise the investigation, which they have already been conducting for more than two weeks, after the fact.
The US Constitution does not require a vote for the House to launch an impeachment investigation. 
"Voters will punish Democrats who support this farce and President Trump will be easily re-elected," campaign manager Brad Parscale said. 

House passes resolution formalising impeachment inquiry


The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted to approve a resolution on Thursday that sets rules for public hearings in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.
The resolution, approved by a 232-196 vote, authorises House committees to move forward with formal, public hearings.
The move has largely been seen as an attempt to nullify the Trump administration and Republican claims that the inquiry is not official without a vote. 
Legislators voted mostly along party lines, with all Republicans voting against the resolution and two Democrats breaking from colleagues and voting "no", as well. One Independent voted in favour.


Trump, White House say 'read the transcript'
In a tweet on Thursday, President Trump stood by his claims that the July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, which is at the heart of the House impeachment inquiry, contained no wrongdoing. 
"Read the transcript!" Trump tweeted as the House prepared to vote on a resolution that would formalise the impeachment inquiry as well as lay out the parameters for the inquiry going forward. 

Trump was referring to a memo of the phone call, which the White House released after a whistle-blower's complaint about the call. The White House, quoting Trump's tweet, later tweeted a copy of the memo, which is a recreation from notes, and not a direct transcript of the call. 
READ THE TRANSCRIPT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2019
On Tuesday, an army officer and top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council told a closed-door House panel that the memo left out crucial words and phrases, the New York Times reported. 


Democratic, Republican House leaders give speeches before vote
Elected officials in the House of Representatives gave arguments on the House floor before Thursday's vote to approve ground rules for their impeachment inquiry of Trump.
Standing next to a large US flag on the floor of the House, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the impeachment inquiry was necessary to defend the Constitution and prevent an abuse of power by Trump.
"The times have found each and every one of us in this room," Pelosi said. She urged legislators to vote in favour of the impeachment rules "to protect the Constitution of the United States. What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy."

Today is about more than the fairness of the impeachment process. It is about the integrity of our electoral process.
Democrats are trying to impeach the President because they are scared they can't defeat him at the ballot box.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 31, 2019

Republicans largely portrayed the inquiry as a partisan attempt to undo the results of the 2016 presidential election, with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in Congress, saying Democrats have tried to unjustly portray Trump's "legitimate actions" with Ukraine as an impeachable offence. 

"For 37 days and counting they [democrats] have run and unprecedented undemocratic and unfair investigation, this resolution today only makes it worse," he said. 

Trump's top adviser for Russian and European affairs scheduled to testify

Tim Morrison arrived on Capitol Hill on Thursday to appear before House impeachment investigators. Morrison plans to leave his job at the White House, a senior administration official who was not authorised to discuss Morrison's job told the Associated Press news agency. 
Morrison is expected to corroborate the testimony of Ambassador William Taylor, who said last week that Morrison had notified him of a push by the president and his allies to withhold military aid and a White House meeting from Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the gas company linked to Hunter Biden, the Washington Post reported.
Former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump, Tim Morrison, arrived for a closed-door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump [Andrew Harnik/The Associated Press]

Wednesday, October 30
Democrats summon Bolton
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton will not agree to a voluntary interview in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, his lawyer said on Wednesday, shortly after the former official was summoned by Democrats. 
The House committees leading the impeachment investigation had asked Bolton to appear behind closed doors next week. But Bolton's lawyer, Charles Cooper, says Bolton will not appear without a subpoena.
Democrats have issued subpoenas to several other witnesses who ended up testifying.
Politicians want to hear from Bolton after other witnesses told them of his concerns with Trump's dealings in Ukraine and the backchannel activities of Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer.

State Dept officials offer further evidence of outside pressure to overthrow Ukraine envoy
Further evidence of private interests seeking the removal of former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch emerged on Wednesday in testimony to the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry. 
Catherine Croft, a Ukraine specialist at the State Department, said Robert Livingston, a former Republican congressman-turned-lobbyist, repeatedly urged that Yovanovitch be fired.

It was unclear why, she said in her opening statement to legislators, posted online by the Washington Post.

Trump pick for Russia envoy grilled by senators on Ukraine

State Department official says he knew Trump lawyer, Giuliani, was involved in campaign against ambassador to Ukraine.
30 Oct 2019
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/10/trump-pick-russia-envoy-grilled-senators-ukraine-191030173317557.html 

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan was grilled about his knowledge of Ukraine during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday [J Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press]  The number-two official at the United States State Department faced off Wednesday with senators demanding to know why he did not know more about the Trump administration's backchannel diplomacy with Ukraine and the dismissal of the former US ambassador to Kyiv, issues now at the heart of the impeachment inquiry into the president.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, President Donald Trump's nominee to be ambassador to Russia, told senators at his confirmation hearing that he did not know of any attempt by the president or others to press Ukraine to open a corruption probe into Joe Biden's son, Hunter. He said he knew that Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had spearheaded a campaign to remove Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her post, but said he did not know details, including what motivated it.

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Sullivan said he had been told that Trump had lost confidence in Yovanovitch, but was given no further explanation.
"I was told that he had lost confidence in her. Period," he said.
"When the president loses confidence in the ambassador, right or wrong, the ambassador goes," Sullivan added. 
Democratic legislators have previously demanded an explanation from the State Department on why Yovanovitch was removed.
Giuliani has previously said he had gone to Trump and the State Department as part of his effort to have the career diplomat removed at a time when he was seeking to persuade Ukraine to open an investigation into Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential frontrunner. There has been no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens. 


Shadow foreign policy
Witnesses have testified during the House impeachment investigation that Giuliani conducted a shadow foreign policy in dealings with Ukraine. His unofficial role often rankled Trump administration officials, including former National Security Council Adviser John Bolton, and blurred the lines on what was considered official government business. 

Yovanovitch, during her testimony earlier this month in front of a House panel leading the impeachment probe, warned against "private interests" circumventing "professional diplomats for their own gain, not the public good".
She also said she was "incredulous that the US government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives".

The impeachment probe specifically seeks to answer if Trump sought the help of a foreign government for his political campaign, and if he withheld $400m in Congress-approved military aid to pressure Ukraine to comply. 

Separately on Wednesday, two more State Department employees, Ukraine specialists Catherine Croft and Christopher Anderson, testified as part of the House probe. 

Croft told legislators that Robert Livingston, a Republican former congressman turned lobbyist, had pushed for Yovanovitch's removal, calling the ambassador a "holdover" of former US President Barack Obama, according to her prepared opening statement. 
Croft said she did not know on whose behalf Livingston was working. Lobbying disclosure filings, however, show a connection between Livingston's firm and Giuliani, according to the Reuters news agency.
According to one filing, Republican former congressman Bob McEwen of Ohio, working as a consultant to Livingston's firm, the Livingston Group, introduced former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to Giuliani last December.

House to vote on probe
Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would vote on a resolution to affirm the impeachment investigation, set rules for public hearings and outline the potential process for writing articles of impeachment against Trump. The vote is expected on Thursday.
The move aims to nullify complaints from Trump and his allies that the impeachment inquiry is illegitimate, unfair and lacking due process. The White House had cited a lack of a vote on the inquiry, among other reasons, as justification for the administration not complying with the investigation. 
.....the call with the Ukrainian President was a totally appropriate one. As he said, "No Pressure." This Impeachment nonsense is just a continuation of the Witch Hunt Hoax, which has been going on since before I even got elected. Rupublicans, go with Substance and close it out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2019
Trump has repeatedly denied wrong wrongdoing. He and his Republican supporters dismiss the impeachment probe as a Democratic effort to overturn the Republican president's 2016 election victory.
"This Impeachment nonsense is just a continuation of the Witch Hunt Hoax," he tweeted on Wednesday, calling on Republicans to "go with Substance and close it out!"

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Photograph Source: Soman – CC BY-SA 2.5
The American obsession with electoral politics is odd in that ‘the people’ have so little say in electoral outcomes and that the outcomes only dance around the edges of most people’s lives. It isn’t so much that the actions of elected leaders are inconsequential as that other factors— economic, historical, structural and institutional, do more to determine ‘politics.’ 

Abandoned shoes, Old Town, Portland. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

Judge tosses Trump suit over New York tax returns, rejects conspiracy claim
 NBC News- ALLAN SMITH - Nov 11th 2019
https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/11/11/judge-tosses-trump-suit-over-new-york-tax-returns-rejects-conspiracy-claim/23858539/ 

A federal judge on Monday dismissed President Donald Trump's lawsuit to prevent the House Ways and Means Committee from utilizing a recently passed New York law providing the panel an avenue to pursue his state tax returns.
Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that his court was not the proper jurisdiction to sue the New York officials named in the lawsuit, leaving open the option that Trump do so in New York.
In his lawsuit, Trump sued to preemptively block the House Ways and Means Committee from requesting the returns, New York Attorney General Letitia James from enforcing the law, and to stop the New York Department of Taxation from furnishing the documents. Trump argued his lawsuit was necessary to prevent his state returns from being disclosed to Congress before a court could hear his opposition.
The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., has not requested Trump's state returns through the new New York law.
"Based on the current allegations, Mr. Trump has not met his burden of establishing personal jurisdiction over either of the New York Defendants," Nichols, a Trump appointee, wrote. "The Court therefore need not reach the question of proper venue. Accordingly, the New York Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is granted, and Mr. Trump’s Amended Complaint is dismissed without prejudice as to them."
Nichols also ruled that Trump did not sufficiently establish a conspiracy between the House Ways and Means Committee and the New York defendants, which would have strengthened his case for the lawsuit to be heard in Washington. Trump had argued that New York officials were "co-conspirators" with Democrats in Washington, and thus the Washington court had jurisdiction.
"But nowhere in his Amended Complaint does Mr. Trump allege the existence of a conspiracy; in fact, the word 'conspiracy' does not even appear in his pleadings," Nichols wrote.
Soon after, Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow said the president's lawyers "are reviewing the opinion."
"The case against the Ways and Means Committee proceeds in federal court," he added in a statement.
James said in a statement that her office is "pleased with the court's conclusion."
"We have never doubted that this law was legal, which is why we vigorously defended it from the start and will continue to do so," she said.
In his lawsuit, Trump's attorneys argued that the state law was simply an effort to get information about his personal finances to embarrass him politically. It asked the court to provide a declaratory judgment that the House Ways and Means Committee "lacks a legitimate legislative purpose for obtaining the President's state tax information."
The New York law, called the TRUST Act, was signed into law in July and allows the chairmen of three congressional tax-related committees — the House Ways and Means Committee, Senate Finance Committee and Joint Committee on Taxation — to request the state returns of public officials only after efforts to gain access to federal tax filings through the Treasury Department have failed. Neal is the only Democrat who can use the law, which was written broadly and makes it easier for New York to turn over the state tax returns of certain public officials to Congress.
"The dismissal of the President’s frivolous lawsuit against the New York TRUST Act moves us closer to finding what it is he has fought so hard to hide from the public," Democratic New York Assemblyman David Buchwald, who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement.
The legislation states that any "legitimate task" of Congress is a valid reason to make the request, should efforts to obtain the returns at the federal level be stonewalled by the Treasury Department. New York state tax filings are not identical to the federal returns, but contain much of the same information.
Neal's committee is tied up in separate legislation over Trump's tax returns with the Treasury Department, which has refused to provide Trump's federal returns to the panel. Neal sued the IRS and the Treasury Department over the returns citing a section of tax law that states the Treasury secretary "shall furnish" to congressional tax committees "any return or return information" request by its chairman.
The stated purpose of Neal's request is to review the IRS process for auditing presidential returns.
When asked about the New York law in June, Neal said utilizing it could harm his case involving Trump's federal returns. In July, Neal said House counsel was "reviewing" the New York law and had "some legitimate concerns" regarding it.
Trump is engaged in several legal battles across the country to keep his tax returns private. Last week, a federal appeals court ruled in a separate case that his returns must be turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, who had subpoenaed the documents from Trump's accounting firm as part of an investigation into the pre-election payoffs to two women who alleged affairs with Trump. Trump is appealing that decision to the Supreme Court.
Trump broke with four decades of tradition when he refused to release his returns during his presidential bid, citing an IRS audit — one he now undergoes annually as president. However, such an audit would not preclude him from releasing the returns, which he did pledge to make public during his 2016 run.

More from NBC News:
Former Trump adviser who testified to Ukraine pressure campaign said she was victim of harassment
Anonymous author writes Trump's decision-making is eroding over time
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 If Don Jr and Eduardo Bolsonaro are any indication, the next generation of despots looks like they will prove to be even worse than their fathers…

Ivanka Trump rejects notion family profits from presidency

Ivanka Trump, the daughter and senior adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, is interviewed by the Associated Press, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, in Rabat, Morocco. Trump is in Morocco promoting a global economic program for women. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Trump

If the Democratic majority in the House approves articles of impeachment, President Trump would face a trial in the Senate in January.Credit...Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)  

John R. Bolton, the former national security adviser, was initially cut out of discussions about the pressure campaign and later directed an aide to report it.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Donald Trump Teases a President Bid During a 1988 Oprah Show | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

Jun 25, 2015
Donald Trump is perhaps best known for the money he's made (and lost) in real estate, his less-than-humble demeanor and his hit reality TV show, 'The Apprentice'. In recent years, the business tycoon has also been chasing the dream of holding the highest office in the land. Although many people know he has been eyeing the Oval Office for a couple of election cycles, you may be surprised to learn just how far back his presidential aspirations reach. Watch as Donald, in a 1988 appearance on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show', shares his thoughts on running for office. For more on #oprahwinfreyshow, visit http://WatchOWN.tv/TOWS Find OWN on TV at http://www.oprah.com/FindOWN #OWNTV #oprahwinfreyshow #Oprahwinfrey SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/1vqD1PN Download the Watch OWN App: http://bit.ly/2hr1nX2 About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand -- and the magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities.

Former Trump adviser testifies to Ukraine pressure campaign, ties Mulvaney to quid pro quo
"There seemed to be an awful lot of people involved in, you know, basically turning a White House meeting into some kind of asset," Fiona Hill told Congress.
Nov. 8, 2019, -By Jane C. Timm
https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry/former-trump-adviser-who-testified-ukraine-pressure-campaign-said-she-n1078726

Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, told House impeachment investigators that she was alarmed by efforts she witnessed to pressure Ukraine to launch politically motivated probes as allies of the president pursued a shadow foreign policy in the country at odds with U.S. national security interests.
The full transcript of her 10 hours of testimony on Capitol Hill, taken in October and released by Democrats leading the inquiry Friday, reveals a frustrated intelligence expert whose time in the White House was marred by death threats and conspiracy theories. Her deposition also a corroborates key piece of testimony from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, whose transcript was also released Friday. Both testified that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney coordinated a unambiguous quid pro quo effort that involving dangling a White House meeting in exchange for investigations desired by Trump. She also gave a fuller picture of previously reported events and contentious White House meetings.
Hill detailed to lawmakers the harassment she and other career officials faced as part what appeared to be part of a campaign to "deflect away" from the facts of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to the transcript. In its most egregious instances, that abuse made way for unorthodox diplomatic channels involving Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney, she said.
"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbors reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," she told investigators in closed-door testimony. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."
Hill, who transitioned out of her role in July before officially leaving her job in early September, testified that the ousting of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was a turning point for her. Yovanovitch, she said, was subject to a smear campaign of harassment and "defamation," which she credited to Giuliani.
The transcript confirmed NBC News’ reporting that Hill told Congress that Giuliani worked with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, to sidestep the National Security Council and typical White House process to advocate for a shadow policy on Ukraine that appeared to prioritize investigations pushed by Trump and Giuliani.

'Worst fears and nightmares'
In her deposition, Hill repeatedly stressed that she was not a partisan individual without a dog in the fight. "I am not writing a book. I am basically trying to keep my head down," she said, according to the transcript, later adding: "I did not leak, and I was not Anonymous. I am not the whistleblower. And I'm not the second whistleblower. Just get this all for the record so we can have it all out there and you don't have to ask me any more questions about that."
But her testimony revealed the tense and often furious clashes between the president's allies who sought side-deals with the Ukrainians and career diplomats who were trying to do their jobs. In one instance, Hill said she discussed Yovanovitch with then-national security adviser John Bolton, whose "reaction was pained."
"And he basically said, in fact he directly said: Rudy Giuliani is a hand grenade that is going to blow everyone up," she told congressional investigators. "He made it clear that he didn't feel that there was anything that he could personally do about this."
Hill left her role before Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which Trump pressed his counterpart for investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden as well as a unproven conspiracy about the 2016 U.S. election.
She told impeachment investigators last month that reading the record of that conversation released by the White House, along with the text messages former U.S. envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker provided to Congress, were her “worst fears and nightmares" realized.
The texts, released by Congress, showed Giuliani, Sondland and former U.S. envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker working to facilitate Trump's goal of getting Zelenskiy to commit to investigations and making a White House visit for Zelenskiy contingent on such a commitment. The White House notes of Trump’s July call with Zelenskiy showed Trump asking the Ukrainians to work directly with Giuliani. NBC News has reported that Sondland was also in direct contact with Trump about Ukraine.
“There seemed to be an awful lot of people involved in, you know, basically turning a White House meeting into some kind of asset,” Hill said, according to the transcript. “Something that was being, you know, dangled out to the Ukrainian government. They wanted the White house meeting very much."
"Gordon, you're in over your head"
Sondland and Hill butted heads repeatedly, according to her testimony. While Hill said the working relationship began as a good one, Hill said they clashed over Sondland's involvement in Ukraine negotiations.
Sondland openly spoke about a meeting between the U.S. and Ukrainian presidents being conditioned on Ukrainians moving forward with investigations, and resisted her attempts to ensure that presidential meetings were set up through diplomatic channels, she testified.

Bolton even ended a meeting aburptly when Sondland began discussing a deal he'd struck with Mulvaney for a presidential meeting conditioned on investigations. When Hill spoke with Bolton about the meeting afterwards, he angrily told Hill to tell a National Security Council attorney about it.

LIVE NOW | Day 2 of public Trump impeachment hearings: Marie Yovanovitch testifies - Washington Post
827K subscribersWatch live coverage and analysis from the Washington Post as the public hearings of the Trump impeachment inquiry continue in the House. Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch will testify. Washington Post reporter Libby Casey will host, joined by Post reporters Elise Viebeck, Amber Phillips, Aaron Blake and more.
Democrats are trying to build a case that Trump sought to withhold military assistance and an Oval Office meeting until Ukraine announced investigations into former vice president Joe Biden and his son. On Wednesday, William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state responsible for Ukraine, testified. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday their testimony “corroborated evidence of bribery” by President Trump. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), will lead this week’s public hearings, a decision many Republicans have denounced. Public hearings will continue next week. Read more: https://wapo.st/33Q3Stl. Subscribe to The Washington Post on YouTube: https://wapo.st/2QOdcqKFollow us:Twitter: https://twitter.com/washingtonpostInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/washingtonp...Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/washingtonpost/

Mr. Zelensky asked Vice President Mike Pence about the military aid during a meeting in Warsaw in September.

Credit...Petr David Josek/Associated Press

Donald Trump predicted his presidency in 2000 on MSNBC - Atomic TV
1.06K subscribersDonald Trump predicted his presidency in 2000. He also discussed his germaphobic fear of shaking hands. Clip from MSNBC's Charles Grodin show and Decision 2000. Found and duped from old VHS in EP mode.

Karen McDougal to Melania Trump: I’m sorry
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo2ISWrQAsU 
CNN
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Former Playboy model Karen McDougal defends her decision to tell her story of her alleged relationship with Donald Trump, and said she doesn’t want to damage him. 

Roaming Charges: Enter Sondland
by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR  
NOVEMBER 8, 2019

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/08/roaming-charges-enter-sondland/  
Roaming Charges: Enter Sondlan
by JEFFREY ST. CLAIR  
NOVEMBER 8, 2019

+ One of the useful life-lessons Roy Cohn taught the young Donald Trump was always to have a fall guy, a patsy on retainer to take the blame when a deal goes sour. In the Ukraine extortion scheme, the patsy was supposed to be Gordon Sondland. Sondland was a guy who, though not exactly an intellectual, understood how quid pro quos work. After all, he sank $1 million into Trump’s coffers with the expectation of landing an ambassadorship in the administration. He got the gig he wanted, ambassador to the EU, but perhaps not the assignment he expected: shake down the new Ukrainian regime to provide political favors to Trump. Sondland was meant to be Trump’s stooge, one of the three amigos (along with Rick Perry and Kurt Volker), who would blindly do Trump and Rudy’s bidding even if he didn’t have a clue about the consequences or precarious legality of his mission. After all, Sondland wasn’t a real diplomat. Like Trump, he was in the hospitality business (Provenance Hotels). He aimed to please. His were the fingerprints meant to be left on the extortion scheme, if it was ever exposed.  So imagine Trump’s surprise, when even the ass-lickers like Sondland started to cover their own asses, at his expense.

+ This is what happens, Trump, when you hire someone richer than you who only wanted the gig to attend ambassadorial parties across Europe with his investment banker wife, Katherine Durant. The Sondland’s have a cushy life they want to go back to in Seattle. No loyalty. Better call, Rudy, Trump, and sleep with one eye open, before you enter Sondland…
+ Trump on Schiff: “He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!” Adam Schiff is many things and probably a liar and leaker but the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers assure me that he is not a member of their seditious tribe…
+ According to a story in the Washington Post, several GOP senators are ready to acknowledge that Trump did demand a quid pro quo deal with Ukraine. They were left with no choice after Giuliani was captured making incriminating statements on his own Quid goPro Quo camera…

+ Finally a “win-win solution” we can all get behind! Ukrainegate takes down Trump and Biden, whose son Hunter was named-dropped by the Blue Sky influence-peddling outfit to try to gain access to the Obama State Department…
+ Maybe Trump can put Scooter Libby in charge of the new White House Office of Whistleblower Identification. That pardon’s gotta be good for something.
+ Unity is a one-way street for the Dems. One must never criticize the candidate of the party elites or risk being tarred as an outsider or malcontent. The elites are under no similar stricture to remain mute about progressives. In fact, it’s their job to tear them apart live on CNN.
+ Here comes Hillary to denounce Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare-for-All Plan as dead on arrival. She would know, of course, having been a single-payer assassin since 1993.
She’s as cold as ice
She’s willing to sacrifice (your loved ones)
She’ll never take advice
She’ll make the sick pay the price
She’s done it before
It happens all the time
She closes the hospital door
And leaves the Bill behind…

+ The more trouble Trump gets in, the more visible HRC becomes, which makes it more likely Trump will get reelected, just like the first time. There must be some kind of secret quid pro quo, right?
+ With the Republican Michael Bloomberg now entering the Democratic Party primary race will the DNC finally stop blathering about Bernie not being a member of the party? Don’t count on it. Neoliberals can move seamlessly between the two parties without even a visa. It’s the Henry Wallace liberals they feel compelled to watch out for…
+ Here’s Mayor Stop-and-Frisk speaking at the 2004 RNC Convention in NYC, during the height of the Iraq war, while the NYPD was arresting and roughing up protesters across the city: “The president deserves our support. We are here to support him.” (Thanks to Tom Robbins, the journalist not the novelist.)
+ With Kamala Harris failing, the police lobby needed someone else to step up to the plate
+ Trump apparently believes that he could not only shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and win Kansas, but that he could kill off half the farmers in the state and their relatives would still vote for him…and he may be right.
+ Socialism in Trump country…in 2019 40% of all farm income will derive from federal aid and crop insurance.
+ William Roebuck, the US envoy to Syria, wrote a blistering memo complaining that the Trump Administration didn’t do enough militarily to counter the Turkish invasion of Kurdish held territory in Syria. Of course, short of using tactical nukes, no amount of military force would be enough to satisfy of these guys…
+ Will abandoning the Kurds to the Turks, Syrians and Russians, Trump ordered expanded military operations to seize oil fields in northern Syria. Last time I checked, looting was still a war crime.

+ Trump ignored Native American Heritage Month and instead, pandering to his 7th Cavalry base, proclaimed November “National American History and Founders Month…”

+ How Caroline Winne, the wife of a US Army doctor, reported the assassination of Crazy Horse…
+ These day’s a lot of controversy in Indian Country about the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota and I feel partly culpable for its construction. When I was 10, I saved up money from cutting lawns and sent 20 hard-earned bucks, all ones as I recall, off to South Dakota to Korczak Ziolkowski, who I’d read about in National Geographic. A few weeks later, his office sent back a plaster of Paris model of the monument. It’s been on my desk for the last 50 years, a little battered from many moves, but still one of my favorite possessions, guilty as I may now feel about it.
+ From Pekka Hamalainen’s compelling new book, Lakota America: a New History of Indigenous Power: “Lakotas were fighting for survival but they were also fighting to keep alive a broader vision, where coexistence through right thoughts and acts might be possible.”

+ Trump blew up the Iran nuclear deal and Iranians got the message. Now 70 percent of Iranians think the main lesson of the JCPOA is that “it is not worthwhile for Iran to make concessions, because Iran cannot have confidence that if it makes a concession world powers will honor their side of an agreement.”

+ A federal judge slammed the Trump administration again, blocking its vicious plan to bar immigrants who can’t pay for health care. One should be able to make an argument that repeatedly enacting policies that violate the Constitution is an impeachable offense. But the Democrats refuse to go there, perhaps because they fear it blowing back on their own savage policies.
+ Yet nothing seems to deter them in their drive to harass migrants. According to documents unearthed by Pro Publica, the Trump administration is creating a center that will give immigration agents access to information from U.S. intelligence agencies. Migrants and others denied entry will be unable to see the evidence against them because it is classified.
+ Let’s check the scoreboard for the Neoliberals vs. the Rest of Us: The wealthiest 10% of adults own 82% of the world’s wealth. The bottom 50% account for less than 1%.

+ Despite having to endure 8 years of a  Peace Prize president and three of an “anti-war” president, the war industry is doing just fine: “Defense shares have returned 130% since 2014—based on a constructed index of 25 firms—compared with 89% for the S&P 500.”

+ Looks like they finally found some spies on Twitter. Turns out they were working fo the Saudis not the Russians. Whoops.

+ This week Joe Biden attacked Warren and Sanders for “elitism.” The venue for this assertion of populist sentiment? A big donor fundraiser featuring the “president of Pittsburgh-based developer Castlebrook Development” and “chairman of Millcraft Investments.”

+ According to the latest Morning Consult poll there are only two candidates (Williamson & Gabbard) whose unfavorable ratings surpass their favorable ratings and neither is named Joe Biden or Kamala Harris. What’s wrong with you people? What’s Marianne ever done to any of you?

+ Politics in the age of billionaires…an aide to Tom Steyer reportedly offer cash to Iowa politicians who would endorse Steyer’s doomed presidential bid. And this guy was supposed to be an apex investor?

+ Phony Betomania has bitten the dust…
+ This week Georgia began purging 300,000 voters from its rolls. Who needs a Poll Tax to suppress the black vote, when you’ve got a Poll Axe?
+ The Constitution basically locks the US into a two-party system. Yet we’re rapidly (though not rapidly enough) approaching the point where the combined support for both parties is less than 50% of eligible voters. What then?
+ Israel killed 222 Palestinian protesters in Gaza since 2018. Only one solider has been indicted….
+ Former IDF Navy commander and chief of Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon, called for strong Jewish opposition to Israel’s savage war against Palestinians, which he says is fueling anti-Semitism all over the world. This was the thrust of argument of book The Politics of Antisemitism.
+ Spreading democracy Israeli-style, one expulsion at a time. The latest target: Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch for Israel and Palestine.
+ Meanwhile, an Israeli firm funded by Microsoft has been identified as using facial recognition software to spy on Palestinian activists in the West Bank.
+ In the 1920s, one in three “eligible” men living in Dallas were members of the KKK. Eligible for what you might ask, appearing on the Dating Game? Behind the white hood, bachelor Number Two…Apparently, it refers to being eligible to join the Klan: white, Protestant, over 21.
+ According to a new poll, 70% of Americans want peace with North Korea. Will someone please inform the Democrats?
+ The New York Times is calling for a US intervention in Haiti: “Decades of misrule have kept Haiti poor and on the verge of collapse. Its neighbors — including the United States — need to step in to help.” In fact, Haiti’s history has been blighted by one instance of the US “stepping in to help” after another, leaving it in the ruinous state it’s now in…
+ Remember when the Clinton administration offered “medical assistance” to Haiti’s women by offering them Norplant birth control implants in exchange for food?

+ As Jim Kavanugh remarked, “When Cuba sends medical help, they send doctors, not Marines.”
+ According to David Cay Johnston, “adopting French or German universal care is statistical savings equivalent of exempting from income tax everyone making less than $500,000.”

+ He’s got the magic touch…Trump vowed to eliminate the trade deficit. It’s expanded to $500 billion over the last nine months.
+ The  “Cockburn” who writes for the Spectator using the third person, is not one of our Cockburns; yet his story about Kushner and MBS is explosive, if even remotely true: “According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”
+ Darth Vader on the utility of ISIS…Henry Kissinger rose from his crypt this week to warn that the destruction of ISIS might fuel the rise of an “Iranian radical empire!”
+ A second person (a wrestling referee) has now come forward to say that he informed Jim Jordan, one of the chief inquisitors in the House, about sexual assaults on Ohio State wrestlers by a team doctor. Jordan’s response? “Yeah, yeah, we know.” Is the country really filled with creeps or is the creep demographic disproportionately represented in Congress?
+ Retiring  Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who led the department after the murder of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white officer, and was recently discovered asleep in a parked care: “I’ve actually never encountered police misconduct.”
+ Trump in Atlanta on Friday afternoon:  “What do you prefer: Blacks for Trump or African-Americans for Trump?” Really…
+ Is it a surprise to anyone that Trump’s “criminal justice” reforms are turning out to be just as hollow as his “withdrawals” from Syria and Afghanistan?
+ The Bush-Obama-Trump Economy (oh, hell, just call it neoliberalism) at work…the incomes of America’s poorest have fallen by 7 percent since 2004.
+ Many people are starting to get it. A Financial Times poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t feel like their economic situation has improved under Trump. And it hasn’t.
+ In the San Francisco Bay Area, 676,000 jobs have been added over the past eight years, compared with 176,000 new housing units. Corporate contributions, like that recently made by Apple, won’t do much of anything to stem the crisis.

+ Trump’s new spiritual advisor, the prosperity pastor Paula White, has been leading prayers against Trump’s opponents, who she says are practicing “witchcraft and sorcery” against the president. “Sorcery and witchcraft” probably have a better chance of defeating Trump than what the DNC has tried for the last four years…
+ White, who has been married three times, currently to Jonathan Cain the keyboardist Journey, described her relationship to Trump this way: “God used Donald Trump in my life as much as I was used in his life…”
+ How’s that Roger Stone trial going? Here’s one of the email exchanges between Stone and radio host Randy Credico, who Stone tried to throw under the bus. Credico writes to Stone via email on 4/07/2018: “You had nothing to do on any level with Assange as much as you [threw] Hail Marys to Guccifer and WikiLeaks and you know it…” Credico urges Stone to tell the truth. Stone replies: “Why does your breath smell of Ari Melber’s cock?”

+ According o the “humanitarian” bombers at Freedom House, the Internet is “less free” than it was a decade ago. But it was never free. The Internet started as a virtual Panopticon developed, as Yasha Levine documents in his book Surveillance Valley, by the defense and intelligence agencies that most people willingly entered and locked themselves up inside. The walls have been closing ever since…

+ In his new book, Don Jr describes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery before his father’s inauguration and compares the sacrifice of the slain soldiers to “all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed….Frankly, it was a big sacrifice, costing us millions and millions of dollars annually.” Thanks Don, that pretty much sums up Trumpism for me.

+ In 1989, Trump used his now defunct foundation to pay Don Jr.’s $7 enrollment fee for the Boy Scouts.
+ Where is the love? Where is the love, you said you’d give to me?
+ If Don Jr and Eduardo Bolsonaro are any indication, the next generation of despots looks like they will prove to be even worse than their fathers…
+ I skimmed through the recently released Mueller memos and didn’t see much of interest except for the amusing escapade of the two real estate tycoons from Kyrgyzstan pitching dirt on Clinton to Team Trump. You just can hear Trump’s response, “Kyrgywhatever, a place nobody’s heard of, but with a lot of potential.”
+ We’re constantly being told about the new Texas. Perhaps. But the state still seems to be incredibly eager to execute an innocent man, just like the good old days under Bush and Perry…
+ For years at Florida’s largest women’s prison, guard Keith Turner was accused of countless abuses of inmates. He wasn’t fired. “Instead, he was promoted to lieutenant.” Then he almost beat an inmate to death…
+ What members of the G7 will miss out on now that the meeting won’t be held at Trump’s Doral golf resort:

+ Views of 2 different garbage dumps.
+ Mold on an A/C vent in the lobby and “on nearly every chaise-lounge by the pools.”
+ Lingering fumes from jets on approach to MIA
+ Bed bugs

+ E. Jean Carroll on why she’s suing Trump for defamation: “I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled…No person in this country should be above the law – including the president.
+ Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle (word is he and his wife are members of the DSA) on why he refused an invitation to the White House: “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘shithole countries,”
+ A new study suggests that regular exercise might improve memory and stave off dementia. Which begs the question: do we really want to remember the era we’re living in? Hell, I still remember the Reagan administration, which, I suppose, is the definition of dementia…
+ Rep. Matt Gaetz to FoxNews’ Mark Levin: “It’s a worldview [those who advocate impeachment] where you eat nothing but kale and quinoa, where those of us who cling to our Bibles and our guns and our fried foods and real America are looked down upon.”  I wonder where he learned to pronounce “guinoa”?
+ The rise of the Pew Brothers, who not only brought us the modern GOP, but also managed, through the Pew Charitable Trusts, the leveraged buyout of the environmental movement along the way….
+  Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project. “This is what pipelines do: They spill.” The latest “spill” for the Keystone XL pipeline occurred last week in Walsh County, North Dakota, with 383,040 gallons of oil seeping out on the prairie.
+ Gina McCarthy, the woman who as head of Obama’s EPA turned her back on Flint is the new CEO and board president of the neoliberal “eco” group NRDC…
+ The CEO of NRDC was making well over $100K 20 years ago, when I profiled them for CounterPunch. One of NRDC’s founders, John Bryson, went on to become the CEO of So Cal Edison and spearheaded the energy deregulation bill that has now turned PG&E into nation’s most notorious arsonist.
+ Meanwhile, the kids of Flint still doesn’t have safe water…
+ In a report published in Nature, scientists using NASA imagery estimated that 10% of the places in California releasing methane — including landfills, natural gas facilities and dairy farms — are responsible for more than half of the state’s total emissions. And a fraction of the 272,000 sources surveyed — just 0.2%, so-called super-emitters — account for as much as 46%.
+ The always engaging John Bellamy Foster in Monthly Review: “Solving climate change will require huge shifts in the economy, moving away from fossil fuels & restructuring whole energy systems.… [raising] fundamental questions about production & consumption & along with it the rule of capital.”
+ Trump officially pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accords. Good riddance. The Paris Climate Accords aren’t worth saving. The more enlightened nation’s on the planet (like, well, let’s see… Bhutan, maybe?) should use Trump’s petulant pullout as an excuse to trash that deal and forge a global policy strong enough that it might actually work.
+ Sea levels will continue to rise for CENTURIES even if emissions targets are met. As Suetonius quoted Caesar, “Iacta alea est”…
+ 248 locations recorded one of their top 10 warmest Octobers on record. Of those, 30 locations had (or tied) their warmest October EVER, including-

Vero Beach
Tampa
Sarasota/Bradenton
West Palm Beach
Miami
Orlando
Fort Myers
Daytona Beach

+ Nome, Alaska’s 5-year running average temperatures are now 5F above the 20th century average and are much higher than any time in the past century.
+ The air in the West has been this toxic since 2009: “Between 2016 and 2018, the levels of fine particulate matter — inhalable specks of liquids and solids that make up air pollution — increased by 11.5%.”
+ Roxanne Amico: “Making America Gag Again.”
+ Toxic smog is choking Delhi. What a fine job we’ve done with this place we live on…
+ I think all trapping should be illegal, but this interactive map published by the Albuquerque Journal is a useful reminder that traps don’t discriminate between rare species, protected species your dog or your kid…
+ $20 billion: the amount of deferred maintenance that has accrued in federal land management agencies.
+ One more lane will fix it!
Urban Planning & Mobility@urbanthoughts11

1970: One more lane will fix it.
1980: One more lane will fix it.
1990: One more lane will fix it.
2000: One more lane will fix it.
2010: One more lane will fix it.
2020: ?pic.twitter.com/NjS1IPORG2
via @avelezig
+ One of the useful life-lessons Roy Cohn taught the young Donald Trump was always to have a fall guy, a patsy on retainer to take the blame when a deal goes sour. In the Ukraine extortion scheme, the patsy was supposed to be Gordon Sondland. Sondland was a guy who, though not exactly an intellectual, understood how quid pro quos work. After all, he sank $1 million into Trump’s coffers with the expectation of landing an ambassadorship in the administration. He got the gig he wanted, ambassador to the EU, but perhaps not the assignment he expected: shake down the new Ukrainian regime to provide political favors to Trump. Sondland was meant to be Trump’s stooge, one of the three amigos (along with Rick Perry and Kurt Volker), who would blindly do Trump and Rudy’s bidding even if he didn’t have a clue about the consequences or precarious legality of his mission. After all, Sondland wasn’t a real diplomat. Like Trump, he was in the hospitality business (Provenance Hotels). He aimed to please. His were the fingerprints meant to be left on the extortion scheme, if it was ever exposed.  So imagine Trump’s surprise, when even the ass-lickers like Sondland started to cover their own asses, at his expense.

+ This is what happens, Trump, when you hire someone richer than you who only wanted the gig to attend ambassadorial parties across Europe with his investment banker wife, Katherine Durant. The Sondland’s have a cushy life they want to go back to in Seattle. No loyalty. Better call, Rudy, Trump, and sleep with one eye open, before you enter Sondland…

+ Trump on Schiff: “He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!” Adam Schiff is many things and probably a liar and leaker but the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers assure me that he is not a member of their seditious tribe…
+ According to a story in the Washington Post, several GOP senators are ready to acknowledge that Trump did demand a quid pro quo deal with Ukraine. They were left with no choice after Giuliani was captured making incriminating statements on his own Quid goPro Quo camera…
+ Finally a “win-win solution” we can all get behind! Ukrainegate takes down Trump and Biden, whose son Hunter was named-dropped by the Blue Sky influence-peddling outfit to try to gain access to the Obama State Department…
+ Maybe Trump can put Scooter Libby in charge of the new White House Office of Whistleblower Identification. That pardon’s gotta be good for something.
+ Unity is a one-way street for the Dems. One must never criticize the candidate of the party elites or risk being tarred as an outsider or malcontent. The elites are under no similar stricture to remain mute about progressives. In fact, it’s their job to tear them apart live on CNN.

+ Here comes Hillary to denounce Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare-for-All Plan as dead on arrival. She would know, of course, having been a single-payer assassin since 1993.
She’s as cold as ice
She’s willing to sacrifice (your loved ones)
She’ll never take advice
She’ll make the sick pay the price
She’s done it before
It happens all the time
She closes the hospital door
And leaves the Bill behind…

+ The more trouble Trump gets in, the more visible HRC becomes, which makes it more likely Trump will get reelected, just like the first time. There must be some kind of secret quid pro quo, right?
+ With the Republican Michael Bloomberg now entering the Democratic Party primary race will the DNC finally stop blathering about Bernie not being a member of the party? Don’t count on it. Neoliberals can move seamlessly between the two parties without even a visa. It’s the Henry Wallace liberals they feel compelled to watch out for…
+ Here’s Mayor Stop-and-Frisk speaking at the 2004 RNC Convention in NYC, during the height of the Iraq war, while the NYPD was arresting and roughing up protesters across the city: “The president deserves our support. We are here to support him.” (Thanks to Tom Robbins, the journalist not the novelist.)
+ With Kamala Harris failing, the police lobby needed someone else to step up to the plate…

+ Trump apparently believes that he could not only shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and win Kansas, but that he could kill off half the farmers in the state and their relatives would still vote for him…and he may be right.


+ Socialism in Trump country…in 2019 40% of all farm income will derive from federal aid and crop insurance.


+ William Roebuck, the US envoy to Syria, wrote a blistering memo complaining that the Trump Administration didn’t do enough militarily to counter the Turkish invasion of Kurdish held territory in Syria. Of course, short of using tactical nukes, no amount of military force would be enough to satisfy of these guys…
+ Will abandoning the Kurds to the Turks, Syrians and Russians, Trump ordered expanded military operations to seize oil fields in northern Syria. Last time I checked, looting was still a war crime.
+ Trump ignored Native American Heritage Month and instead, pandering to his 7th Cavalry base, proclaimed November “National American History and Founders Month…”
+ How Caroline Winne, the wife of a US Army doctor, reported the assassination of Crazy Horse…
+ These day’s a lot of controversy in Indian Country about the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota and I feel partly culpable for its construction. When I was 10, I saved up money from cutting lawns and sent 20 hard-earned bucks, all ones as I recall, off to South Dakota to Korczak Ziolkowski, who I’d read about in National Geographic. A few weeks later, his office sent back a plaster of Paris model of the monument. It’s been on my desk for the last 50 years, a little battered from many moves, but still one of my favorite possessions, guilty as I may now feel about it.
+ From Pekka Hamalainen’s compelling new book, Lakota America: a New History of Indigenous Power: “Lakotas were fighting for survival but they were also fighting to keep alive a broader vision, where coexistence through right thoughts and acts might be possible.”
+ Trump blew up the Iran nuclear deal and Iranians got the message. Now 70 percent of Iranians think the main lesson of the JCPOA is that “it is not worthwhile for Iran to make concessions, because Iran cannot have confidence that if it makes a concession world powers will honor their side of an agreement.”
+ A federal judge slammed the Trump administration again, blocking its vicious plan to bar immigrants who can’t pay for health care. One should be able to make an argument that repeatedly enacting policies that violate the Constitution is an impeachable offense. But the Democrats refuse to go there, perhaps because they fear it blowing back on their own savage policies.
+ Yet nothing seems to deter them in their drive to harass migrants. According to documents unearthed by Pro Publica, the Trump administration is creating a center that will give immigration agents access to information from U.S. intelligence agencies. Migrants and others denied entry will be unable to see the evidence against them because it is classified.
+ Let’s check the scoreboard for the Neoliberals vs. the Rest of Us: The wealthiest 10% of adults own 82% of the world’s wealth. The bottom 50% account for less than 1%.

+ Despite having to endure 8 years of a  Peace Prize president and three of an “anti-war” president, the war industry is doing just fine: “Defense shares have returned 130% since 2014—based on a constructed index of 25 firms—compared with 89% for the S&P 500.”

+ Looks like they finally found some spies on Twitter. Turns out they were working fo the Saudis not the Russians. Whoops.
+ This week Joe Biden attacked Warren and Sanders for “elitism.” The venue for this assertion of populist sentiment? A big donor fundraiser featuring the “president of Pittsburgh-based developer Castlebrook Development” and “chairman of Millcraft Investments.”
+ According to the latest Morning Consult poll there are only two candidates (Williamson & Gabbard) whose unfavorable ratings surpass their favorable ratings and neither is named Joe Biden or Kamala Harris. What’s wrong with you people? What’s Marianne ever done to any of you?

+ Politics in the age of billionaires…an aide to Tom Steyer reportedly offer cash to Iowa politicians who would endorse Steyer’s doomed presidential bid. And this guy was supposed to be an apex investor?
+ Phony Betomania has bitten the dust…
+ This week Georgia began purging 300,000 voters from its rolls. Who needs a Poll Tax to suppress the black vote, when you’ve got a Poll Axe?
+ The Constitution basically locks the US into a two-party system. Yet we’re rapidly (though not rapidly enough) approaching the point where the combined support for both parties is less than 50% of eligible voters. What then?

+ Israel killed 222 Palestinian protesters in Gaza since 2018. Only one solider has been indicted….


+ Former IDF Navy commander and chief of Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon, called for strong Jewish opposition to Israel’s savage war against Palestinians, which he says is fueling anti-Semitism all over the world. This was the thrust of argument of book The Politics of Antisemitism.
+ Spreading democracy Israeli-style, one expulsion at a time. The latest target: Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch for Israel and Palestine.
+ Meanwhile, an Israeli firm funded by Microsoft has been identified as using facial recognition software to spy on Palestinian activists in the West Bank.

+ In the 1920s, one in three “eligible” men living in Dallas were members of the KKK. Eligible for what you might ask, appearing on the Dating Game? Behind the white hood, bachelor Number Two…Apparently, it refers to being eligible to join the Klan: white, Protestant, over 21.

+ According to a new poll, 70% of Americans want peace with North Korea. Will someone please inform the Democrats?

+ The New York Times is calling for a US intervention in Haiti: “Decades of misrule have kept Haiti poor and on the verge of collapse. Its neighbors — including the United States — need to step in to help.” In fact, Haiti’s history has been blighted by one instance of the US “stepping in to help” after another, leaving it in the ruinous state it’s now in…
+ Remember when the Clinton administration offered “medical assistance” to Haiti’s women by offering them Norplant birth control implants in exchange for food?

+ As Jim Kavanaugh remarked, “When Cuba sends medical help, they send doctors, not Marines.”
+ According to David Cay Johnston, “adopting French or German universal care is statistical savings equivalent of exempting from income tax everyone making less than $500,000.”


+ He’s got the magic touch…Trump vowed to eliminate the trade deficit. It’s expanded to $500 billion over the last nine months.


+ The  “Cockburn” who writes for the Spectator using the third person, is not one of our Cockburns; yet his story about Kushner and MBS is explosive, if even remotely true: “According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”
+ Darth Vader on the utility of ISIS…Henry Kissinger rose from his crypt this week to warn that the destruction of ISIS might fuel the rise of an “Iranian radical empire!”
+ A second person (a wrestling referee) has now come forward to say that he informed Jim Jordan, one of the chief inquisitors in the House, about sexual assaults on Ohio State wrestlers by a team doctor. Jordan’s response? “Yeah, yeah, we know.” Is the country really filled with creeps or is the creep demographic disproportionately represented in Congress?
+ Retiring  Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who led the department after the murder of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white officer, and was recently discovered asleep in a parked care: “I’ve actually never encountered police misconduct.”
+ Trump in Atlanta on Friday afternoon:  “What do you prefer: Blacks for Trump or African-Americans for Trump?” Really…

+ Is it a surprise to anyone that Trump’s “criminal justice” reforms are turning out to be just as hollow as his “withdrawals” from Syria and Afghanistan?
+ The Bush-Obama-Trump Economy (oh, hell, just call it neoliberalism) at work…the incomes of America’s poorest have fallen by 7 percent since 2004.

+ Many people are starting to get it. A Financial Times poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t feel like their economic situation has improved under Trump. And it hasn’t.
+ In the San Francisco Bay Area, 676,000 jobs have been added over the past eight years, compared with 176,000 new housing units. Corporate contributions, like that recently made by Apple, won’t do much of anything to stem the crisis..


+ Trump’s new spiritual advisor, the prosperity pastor Paula White, has been leading prayers against Trump’s opponents, who she says are practicing “witchcraft and sorcery” against the president. “Sorcery and witchcraft” probably have a better chance of defeating Trump than what the DNC has tried for the last four years…


+ White, who has been married three times, currently to Jonathan Cain the keyboardist Journey, described her relationship to Trump this way: “God used Donald Trump in my life as much as I was used in his life…”

+ How’s that Roger Stone trial going? Here’s one of the email exchanges between Stone and radio host Randy Credico, who Stone tried to throw under the bus. Credico writes to Stone via email on 4/07/2018: “You had nothing to do on any level with Assange as much as you [threw] Hail Marys to Guccifer and WikiLeaks and you know it…” Credico urges Stone to tell the truth. Stone replies: “Why does your breath smell of Ari Melber’s cock?”

+ According to the “humanitarian” bombers at Freedom House, the Internet is “less free” than it was a decade ago. But it was never free. The Internet started as a virtual Panopticon developed, as Yasha Levine documents in his book Surveillance Valley, by the defense and intelligence agencies that most people willingly entered and locked themselves up inside. The walls have been closing ever since…

+ In his new book, Don Jr describes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery before his father’s inauguration and compares the sacrifice of the slain soldiers to “all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed….Frankly, it was a big sacrifice, costing us millions and millions of dollars annually.” Thanks Don, that pretty much sums up Trumpism for me.
+ In 1989, Trump used his now defunct foundation to pay Don Jr.’s $7 enrollment fee for the Boy Scouts.

+ Where is the love? Where is the love, you said you’d give to me?

+ If Don Jr and Eduardo Bolsonaro are any indication, the next generation of despots looks like they will prove to be even worse than their fathers…
+ I skimmed through the recently released Mueller memos and didn’t see much of interest except for the amusing escapade of the two real estate tycoons from Kyrgyzstan pitching dirt on Clinton to Team Trump. You just can hear Trump’s response, “Kyrgywhatever, a place nobody’s heard of, but with a lot of potential.”
+ We’re constantly being told about the new Texas. Perhaps. But the state still seems to be incredibly eager to execute an innocent man, just like the good old days under Bush and Perry…

+ For years at Florida’s largest women’s prison, guard Keith Turner was accused of countless abuses of inmates. He wasn’t fired. “Instead, he was promoted to lieutenant.” Then he almost beat an inmate to death…

+ What members of the G7 will miss out on now that the meeting won’t be held at Trump’s Doral golf resort:

+ Views of 2 different garbage dumps.
+ Mold on an A/C vent in the lobby and “on nearly every chaise-lounge by the pools.”
+ Lingering fumes from jets on approach to MIA
+ Bed bugs

+ E. Jean Carroll on why she’s suing Trump for defamation: “I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled…No person in this country should be above the law – including the president.
+ Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle (word is he and his wife are members of the DSA) on why he refused an invitation to the White House: “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘shithole countries,”
+ A new study suggests that regular exercise might improve memory and stave off dementia. Which begs the question: do we really want to remember the era we’re living in? Hell, I still remember the Reagan administration, which, I suppose, is the definition of dementia…
+ Rep. Matt Gaetz to FoxNews’ Mark Levin: “It’s a worldview [those who advocate impeachment] where you eat nothing but kale and quinoa, where those of us who cling to our Bibles and our guns and our fried foods and real America are looked down upon.”  I wonder where he learned to pronounce “guinoa”?
+ The rise of the Pew Brothers, who not only brought us the modern GOP, but also managed, through the Pew Charitable Trusts, the leveraged buyout of the environmental movement along the way….
+  Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project. “This is what pipelines do: They spill.” The latest “spill” for the Keystone XL pipeline occurred last week in Walsh County, North Dakota, with 383,040 gallons of oil seeping out on the prairie.
+ Gina McCarthy, the woman who as head of Obama’s EPA turned her back on Flint is the new CEO and board president of the neoliberal “eco” group NRDC…
+ The CEO of NRDC was making well over $100K 20 years ago, when I profiled them for CounterPunch. One of NRDC’s founders, John Bryson, went on to become the CEO of So Cal Edison and spearheaded the energy deregulation bill that has now turned PG&E into nation’s most notorious arsonist.
+ Meanwhile, the kids of Flint still doesn’t have safe water…
+ In a report published in Nature, scientists using NASA imagery estimated that 10% of the places in California releasing methane — including landfills, natural gas facilities and dairy farms — are responsible for more than half of the state’s total emissions. And a fraction of the 272,000 sources surveyed — just 0.2%, so-called super-emitters — account for as much as 46%.

+ The always engaging John Bellamy Foster in Monthly Review: “Solving climate change will require huge shifts in the economy, moving away from fossil fuels & restructuring whole energy systems.… [raising] fundamental questions about production & consumption & along with it the rule of capital.”
+ Trump officially pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accords. Good riddance. The Paris Climate Accords aren’t worth saving. The more enlightened nation’s on the planet (like, well, let’s see… Bhutan, maybe?) should use Trump’s petulant pullout as an excuse to trash that deal and forge a global policy strong enough that it might actually work.
+ Sea levels will continue to rise for CENTURIES even if emissions targets are met. As Suetonius quoted Caesar, “Iacta alea est”…
+ 248 locations recorded one of their top 10 warmest Octobers on record. Of those, 30 locations had (or tied) their warmest October EVER, including-
Vero Beach
Tampa
Sarasota/Bradenton
West Palm Beach
Miami
Orlando
Fort Myers
Daytona Beach

+ Nome, Alaska’s 5-year running average temperatures are now 5F above the 20th century average and are much higher than any time in the past century.
+ The air in the West has been this toxic since 2009: “Between 2016 and 2018, the levels of fine particulate matter — inhalable specks of liquids and solids that make up air pollution — increased by 11.5%.”

+ Roxanne Amico: “Making America Gag Again.”
+ Toxic smog is choking Delhi. What a fine job we’ve done with this place we live on…
+ I think all trapping should be illegal, but this interactive map published by the Albuquerque Journal is a useful reminder that traps don’t discriminate between rare species, protected species your dog or your kid…
+ $20 billion: the amount of deferred maintenance that has accrued in federal land management agencies.
+ One more lane will fix it!
Urban Planning & Mobility@urbanthoughts11

1970: One more lane will fix it.
1980: One more lane will fix it.
1990: One more lane will fix it.
2000: One more lane will fix it.
2010: One more lane will fix it.
2020: ?pic.twitter.com/NjS1IPORG2
via @avelezig

+ One of the useful life-lessons Roy Cohn taught the young Donald Trump was always to have a fall guy, a patsy on retainer to take the blame when a deal goes sour.


In the Ukraine extortion scheme, the patsy was supposed to be Gordon Sondland. Sondland was a guy who, though not exactly an intellectual, understood how quid pro quos work. After all, he sank $1 million into Trump’s coffers with the expectation of landing an ambassadorship in the administration. He got the gig he wanted, ambassador to the EU, but perhaps not the assignment he expected: shake down the new Ukrainian regime to provide political favors to Trump. Sondland was meant to be Trump’s stooge, one of the three amigos (along with Rick Perry and Kurt Volker), who would blindly do Trump and Rudy’s bidding even if he didn’t have a clue about the consequences or precarious legality of his mission. After all, Sondland wasn’t a real diplomat. Like Trump, he was in the hospitality business (Provenance Hotels). He aimed to please. His were the fingerprints meant to be left on the extortion scheme, if it was ever exposed.  So imagine Trump’s surprise, when even the ass-lickers like Sondland started to cover their own asses, at his expense.

+ This is what happens, Trump, when you hire someone richer than you who only wanted the gig to attend ambassadorial parties across Europe with his investment banker wife, Katherine Durant. The Sondland’s have a cushy life they want to go back to in Seattle. No loyalty. Better call, Rudy, Trump, and sleep with one eye open, before you enter Sondland…


+ Trump on Schiff: “He is a proven liar, leaker & freak who is really the one who should be impeached!” Adam Schiff is many things and probably a liar and leaker but the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers assure me that he is not a member of their seditious tribe…


+ According to a story in the Washington Post, several GOP senators are ready to acknowledge that Trump did demand a quid pro quo deal with Ukraine. They were left with no choice after Giuliani was captured making incriminating statements on his own Quid goPro Quo camera…
+ Finally a “win-win solution” we can all get behind! Ukrainegate takes down Trump and Biden, whose son Hunter was named-dropped by the Blue Sky influence-peddling outfit to try to gain access to the Obama State Department…
+ Maybe Trump can put Scooter Libby in charge of the new White House Office of Whistleblower Identification. That pardon’s gotta be good for something.
+ Unity is a one-way street for the Dems. One must never criticize the candidate of the party elites or risk being tarred as an outsider or malcontent. The elites are under no similar stricture to remain mute about progressives. In fact, it’s their job to tear them apart live on CNN.
+ Here comes Hillary to denounce Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare-for-All Plan as dead on arrival. She would know, of course, having been a single-payer assassin since 1993.

She’s as cold as ice
She’s willing to sacrifice (your loved ones)
She’ll never take advice
She’ll make the sick pay the price
She’s done it before
It happens all the time
She closes the hospital door
And leaves the Bill behind…

+ The more trouble Trump gets in, the more visible HRC becomes, which makes it more likely Trump will get reelected, just like the first time. There must be some kind of secret quid pro quo, right?
+ With the Republican Michael Bloomberg now entering the Democratic Party primary race will the DNC finally stop blathering about Bernie not being a member of the party? Don’t count on it. Neoliberals can move seamlessly between the two parties without even a visa. It’s the Henry Wallace liberals they feel compelled to watch out for…
+ Here’s Mayor Stop-and-Frisk speaking at the 2004 RNC Convention in NYC, during the height of the Iraq war, while the NYPD was arresting and roughing up protesters across the city: “The president deserves our support. We are here to support him.” (Thanks to Tom Robbins, the journalist not the novelist.)
+ With Kamala Harris failing, the police lobby needed someone else to step up to the plate…

+ Trump apparently believes that he could not only shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and win Kansas, but that he could kill off half the farmers in the state and their relatives would still vote for him…and he may be right.


+ Socialism in Trump country…in 2019 40% of all farm income will derive from federal aid and crop insurance.
+ William Roebuck, the US envoy to Syria, wrote a blistering memo complaining that the Trump Administration didn’t do enough militarily to counter the Turkish invasion of Kurdish held territory in Syria. Of course, short of using tactical nukes, no amount of military force would be enough to satisfy of these guys…
+ Will abandoning the Kurds to the Turks, Syrians and Russians, Trump ordered expanded military operations to seize oil fields in northern Syria. Last time I checked, looting was still a war crime.
+ Trump ignored Native American Heritage Month and instead, pandering to his 7th Cavalry base, proclaimed November “National American History and Founders Month…”
+ How Caroline Winne, the wife of a US Army doctor, reported the assassination of Crazy Horse…
+ These day’s a lot of controversy in Indian Country about the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota and I feel partly culpable for its construction. When I was 10, I saved up money from cutting lawns and sent 20 hard-earned bucks, all ones as I recall, off to South Dakota to Korczak Ziolkowski, who I’d read about in National Geographic. A few weeks later, his office sent back a plaster of Paris model of the monument. It’s been on my desk for the last 50 years, a little battered from many moves, but still one of my favorite possessions, guilty as I may now feel about it.

+ From Pekka Hamalainen’s compelling new book, Lakota America: a New History of Indigenous Power: “Lakotas were fighting for survival but they were also fighting to keep alive a broader vision, where coexistence through right thoughts and acts might be possible.”
+ Trump blew up the Iran nuclear deal and Iranians got the message. Now 70 percent of Iranians think the main lesson of the JCPOA is that “it is not worthwhile for Iran to make concessions, because Iran cannot have confidence that if it makes a concession world powers will honor their side of an agreement.”
+ A federal judge slammed the Trump administration again, blocking its vicious plan to bar immigrants who can’t pay for health care. One should be able to make an argument that repeatedly enacting policies that violate the Constitution is an impeachable offense. But the Democrats refuse to go there, perhaps because they fear it blowing back on their own savage policies.
+ Yet nothing seems to deter them in their drive to harass migrants. According to documents unearthed by Pro Publica, the Trump administration is creating a center that will give immigration agents access to information from U.S. intelligence agencies. Migrants and others denied entry will be unable to see the evidence against them because it is classified.
+ Let’s check the scoreboard for the Neoliberals vs. the Rest of Us: The wealthiest 10% of adults own 82% of the world’s wealth. The bottom 50% account for less than 1%.
+ Despite having to endure 8 years of a  Peace Prize president and three of an “anti-war” president, the war industry is doing just fine: “Defense shares have returned 130% since 2014—based on a constructed index of 25 firms—compared with 89% for the S&P 500.”
+ Looks like they finally found some spies on Twitter. Turns out they were working fo the Saudis not the Russians. Whoops.
+ This week Joe Biden attacked Warren and Sanders for “elitism.” The venue for this assertion of populist sentiment? A big donor fundraiser featuring the “president of Pittsburgh-based developer Castlebrook Development” and “chairman of Millcraft Investments.”
+ According to the latest Morning Consult poll there are only two candidates (Williamson & Gabbard) whose unfavorable ratings surpass their favorable ratings and neither is named Joe Biden or Kamala Harris. What’s wrong with you people? What’s Marianne ever done to any of you?
+ Politics in the age of billionaires…an aide to Tom Steyer reportedly offer cash to Iowa politicians who would endorse Steyer’s doomed presidential bid. And this guy was supposed to be an apex investor?
+ Phony Betomania has bitten the dust…
+ This week Georgia began purging 300,000 voters from its rolls. Who needs a Poll Tax to suppress the black vote, when you’ve got a Poll Axe?
+ The Constitution basically locks the US into a two-party system. Yet we’re rapidly (though not rapidly enough) approaching the point where the combined support for both parties is less than 50% of eligible voters. What then?
+ Israel killed 222 Palestinian protesters in Gaza since 2018. Only one solider has been indicted….
+ Former IDF Navy commander and chief of Shin Bet, Ami Ayalon, called for strong Jewish opposition to Israel’s savage war against Palestinians, which he says is fueling anti-Semitism all over the world. This was the thrust of argument of book The Politics of Antisemitism.
+ Spreading democracy Israeli-style, one expulsion at a time. The latest target: Omar Shakir, director of Human Rights Watch for Israel and Palestine.
+ Meanwhile, an Israeli firm funded by Microsoft has been identified as using facial recognition software to spy on Palestinian activists in the West Bank.
+ In the 1920s, one in three “eligible” men living in Dallas were members of the KKK. Eligible for what you might ask, appearing on the Dating Game? Behind the white hood, bachelor Number Two…Apparently, it refers to being eligible to join the Klan: white, Protestant, over 21.
+ According to a new poll, 70% of Americans want peace with North Korea. Will someone please inform the Democrats?
+ The New York Times is calling for a US intervention in Haiti: “Decades of misrule have kept Haiti poor and on the verge of collapse. Its neighbors — including the United States — need to step in to help.” In fact, Haiti’s history has been blighted by one instance of the US “stepping in to help” after another, leaving it in the ruinous state it’s now in…
+ Remember when the Clinton administration offered “medical assistance” to Haiti’s women by offering them Norplant birth control implants in exchange for food?
+ As Jim Kavanaugh remarked, “When Cuba sends medical help, they send doctors, not Marines.”
+ According to David Cay Johnston, “adopting French or German universal care is statistical savings equivalent of exempting from income tax everyone making less than $500,000.”
+ He’s got the magic touch…Trump vowed to eliminate the trade deficit. It’s expanded to $500 billion over the last nine months.
+ The  “Cockburn” who writes for the Spectator using the third person, is not one of our Cockburns; yet his story about Kushner and MBS is explosive, if even remotely true: “According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”
+ Darth Vader on the utility of ISIS…Henry Kissinger rose from his crypt this week to warn that the destruction of ISIS might fuel the rise of an “Iranian radical empire!”
+ A second person (a wrestling referee) has now come forward to say that he informed Jim Jordan, one of the chief inquisitors in the House, about sexual assaults on Ohio State wrestlers by a team doctor. Jordan’s response? “Yeah, yeah, we know.” Is the country really filled with creeps or is the creep demographic disproportionately represented in Congress?
+ Retiring  Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who led the department after the murder of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager who was shot 16 times by a white officer, and was recently discovered asleep in a parked care: “I’ve actually never encountered police misconduct.”
+ Trump in Atlanta on Friday afternoon:  “What do you prefer: Blacks for Trump or African-Americans for Trump?” Really…
+ Is it a surprise to anyone that Trump’s “criminal justice” reforms are turning out to be just as hollow as his “withdrawals” from Syria and Afghanistan?
+ The Bush-Obama-Trump Economy (oh, hell, just call it neoliberalism) at work…the incomes of America’s poorest have fallen by 7 percent since 2004.
+ Many people are starting to get it. A Financial Times poll showed that nearly two-thirds of Americans don’t feel like their economic situation has improved under Trump. And it hasn’t.
+ In the San Francisco Bay Area, 676,000 jobs have been added over the past eight years, compared with 176,000 new housing units. Corporate contributions, like that recently made by Apple, won’t do much of anything to stem the crisis.
+ Trump’s new spiritual advisor, the prosperity pastor Paula White, has been leading prayers against Trump’s opponents, who she says are practicing “witchcraft and sorcery” against the president. “Sorcery and witchcraft” probably have a better chance of defeating Trump than what the DNC has tried for the last four years…
+ White, who has been married three times, currently to Jonathan Cain the keyboardist Journey, described her relationship to Trump this way: “God used Donald Trump in my life as much as I was used in his life…”
+ How’s that Roger Stone trial going? Here’s one of the email exchanges between Stone and radio host Randy Credico, who Stone tried to throw under the bus. Credico writes to Stone via email on 4/07/2018: “You had nothing to do on any level with Assange as much as you [threw] Hail Marys to Guccifer and WikiLeaks and you know it…” Credico urges Stone to tell the truth. Stone replies: “Why does your breath smell of Ari Melber’s cock?”
+ According to the “humanitarian” bombers at Freedom House, the Internet is “less free” than it was a decade ago. But it was never free. The Internet started as a virtual Panopticon developed, as Yasha Levine documents in his book Surveillance Valley, by the defense and intelligence agencies that most people willingly entered and locked themselves up inside. The walls have been closing ever since…
+ In his new book, Don Jr describes a visit to Arlington National Cemetery before his father’s inauguration and compares the sacrifice of the slain soldiers to “all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed….Frankly, it was a big sacrifice, costing us millions and millions of dollars annually.” Thanks Don, that pretty much sums up Trumpism for me.
+ In 1989, Trump used his now defunct foundation to pay Don Jr.’s $7 enrollment fee for the Boy Scouts.

+ Where is the love? Where is the love, you said you’d give to me?

+ If Don Jr and Eduardo Bolsonaro are any indication, the next generation of despots looks like they will prove to be even worse than their fathers…
+ I skimmed through the recently released Mueller memos and didn’t see much of interest except for the amusing escapade of the two real estate tycoons from Kyrgyzstan pitching dirt on Clinton to Team Trump. You just can hear Trump’s response,

“Kyrgywhatever, a place nobody’s heard of, but with a lot of potential.”
+ We’re constantly being told about the new Texas. Perhaps. But the state still seems to be incredibly eager to execute an innocent man, just like the good old days under Bush and Perry…
+ For years at Florida’s largest women’s prison, guard Keith Turner was accused of countless abuses of inmates. He wasn’t fired. “Instead, he was promoted to lieutenant.” Then he almost beat an inmate to death…
+ What members of the G7 will miss out on now that the meeting won’t be held at Trump’s Doral golf resort:
+ Views of 2 different garbage dumps.
+ Mold on an A/C vent in the lobby and “on nearly every chaise-lounge by the pools.”
+ Lingering fumes from jets on approach to MIA
+ Bed bugs
+ E. Jean Carroll on why she’s suing Trump for defamation: “I am filing this on behalf of every woman who has ever been harassed, assaulted, silenced, or spoken up only to be shamed, fired, ridiculed and belittled…No person in this country should be above the law – including the president.
+ Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle (word is he and his wife are members of the DSA) on why he refused an invitation to the White House: “My wife and I stand for inclusion and acceptance, and we’ve done work with refugees, people that come from, you know, the ‘shithole countries,”
+ A new study suggests that regular exercise might improve memory and stave off dementia. Which begs the question: do we really want to remember the era we’re living in? Hell, I still remember the Reagan administration, which, I suppose, is the definition of dementia…
+ Rep. Matt Gaetz to FoxNews’ Mark Levin: “It’s a worldview [those who advocate impeachment] where you eat nothing but kale and quinoa, where those of us who cling to our Bibles and our guns and our fried foods and real America are looked down upon.”  I wonder where he learned to pronounce “guinoa”?
+ The rise of the Pew Brothers, who not only brought us the modern GOP, but also managed, through the Pew Charitable Trusts, the leveraged buyout of the environmental movement along the way….
+  Chase Iron Eyes, lead counsel for the Lakota People’s Law Project. “This is what pipelines do: They spill.” The latest “spill” for the Keystone XL pipeline occurred last week in Walsh County, North Dakota, with 383,040 gallons of oil seeping out on the prairie.
+ Gina McCarthy, the woman who as head of Obama’s EPA turned her back on Flint is the new CEO and board president of the neoliberal “eco” group NRDC…
+ The CEO of NRDC was making well over $100K 20 years ago, when I profiled them for CounterPunch. One of NRDC’s founders, John Bryson, went on to become the CEO of So Cal Edison and spearheaded the energy deregulation bill that has now turned PG&E into nation’s most notorious arsonist.
+ Meanwhile, the kids of Flint still doesn’t have safe water…
+ In a report published in Nature, scientists using NASA imagery estimated that 10% of the places in California releasing methane — including landfills, natural gas facilities and dairy farms — are responsible for more than half of the state’s total emissions. And a fraction of the 272,000 sources surveyed — just 0.2%, so-called super-emitters — account for as much as 46%
+ The always engaging John Bellamy Foster in Monthly Review: “Solving climate change will require huge shifts in the economy, moving away from fossil fuels & restructuring whole energy systems.… [raising] fundamental questions about production & consumption & along with it the rule of capital.”
+ Trump officially pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accords. Good riddance. The Paris Climate Accords aren’t worth saving. The more enlightened nation’s on the planet (like, well, let’s see… Bhutan, maybe?) should use Trump’s petulant pullout as an excuse to trash that deal and forge a global policy strong enough that it might actually work.
+ Sea levels will continue to rise for CENTURIES even if emissions targets are met. As Suetonius quoted Caesar, “Iacta alea est”…
+ 248 locations recorded one of their top 10 warmest Octobers on record. Of those, 30 locations had (or tied) their warmest October EVER, including-

Vero Beach
Tampa
Sarasota/Bradenton
West Palm Beach
Miami
Orlando
Fort Myers
Daytona Beach

+ Nome, Alaska’s 5-year running average temperatures are now 5F above the 20th century average and are much higher than any time in the past century.
+ The air in the West has been this toxic since 2009: “Between 2016 and 2018, the levels of fine particulate matter — inhalable specks of liquids and solids that make up air pollution — increased by 11.5%.”
+ Roxanne Amico: “Making America Gag Again.”
+ Toxic smog is choking Delhi. What a fine job we’ve done with this place we live on…
+ I think all trapping should be illegal, but this interactive map published by the Albuquerque Journal is a useful reminder that traps don’t discriminate between rare species, protected species your dog or your kid…
+ $20 billion: the amount of deferred maintenance that has accrued in federal land management agencies.
+ One more lane will fix it!

Maddow: President Donald Trump Openly Admits To Collusion, No Impeachment Probe Needed | MSNBC
MSNBC
Trump publicly asks China to investigate Joe Biden and admits to hoping Ukraine would “start an investigation into the Bidens.” Rachel Maddow thinks Trump’s “theory” is “you get caught” and “doing it in public makes it less of a scandal?” Maddow adds, democrats “don't really need” an impeachment inquiry because he “announced it” on camera. Aired on 10/3/19.» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc

Vladimir Putin's Long Shadow - the fifth estate 
CBC News
He casts a long shadow over the globe. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has outlasted three American presidents and is on track to stay in power until 2024. His incursions in Georgia, the Crimea and Ukraine have rattled the West, while his crackdowns inside Russia have riled his democratic opponents.But a joint investigation by the fifth estate and PBS’ Frontline reveals an even darker side to one of the most powerful leaders in the world: Allegations of criminal activity dating as far back as his early days as a top official in St. Petersburg; ties to organized crime and money-laundering activities; and a secret personal fortune said to be in the billions.“Putin’s Long Shadow” also raises disturbing questions about the role the Russian security services played in four apartment building bombings in Moscow and other cities in 1999 that killed nearly 300 people – a tragedy Putin blamed on terrorists and used to cement his power.Host Gillian Findlay talks to a senior police officer who tried to arrest Putin on corruption charges; an investigator who was jailed for asking too many questions about the apartment bombings; and Russian businessmen who detail the levels of corruption and collusion.For more on the fifth estate : http://www.cbc.ca/fifthFollow us on Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/cbcfifth
Like us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thefifthestate

Donald Trump offers woman job at press conference
CBSN
Donald Trump offered a woman a job after she asked if he would hire veterans to help develop Washington, D.C.'s Old Post Office into a luxury hotel. CBSN's Elaine Quijano has the details.

GOP senator: Trump remains consistent on Ukraine call
CNN
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, discusses President Trump and the Ukraine controversy.

#CNN #News 

Hear from the reporter who had tense exchange with Trump
 CNN
CNN's Erin Burnett speaks with Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason about his questioning of President Donald Trump during a press conference.

Trump/Russia: Secrets, spies and useful idiots (2/3) | Four Corners

2000s: 'Apprentice' Helps Donald Trump Finally Launch A White House Bid | NBC News
NBC News
After a comeback decade, Trump rode the success of his hit show all the way to campaign trail. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNews  
NBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and our original series Debunker, Flashback, Nerdwatch, and Show Me. Subscribe to our channel for news stories, technology, politics, health, entertainment, science, business, and exclusive NBC investigations. 

Voters at a polling station in Kiev in April. Mr. Zelensky won the presidency in a landslide victory.Credit...Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Melania speaks at event after ex-playmate apologizes 
CNN :First lady Melania Trump made public remarks at the State Department's International Women of Courage award ceremony Friday, defining courage as "what sets apart the heroes from the rest."

Trump/Russia: Moscow rules (3/3) ABC News In-depth

Four CornersTrump/Russia: Moscow rules (3/3) | Four Corners
SIt's the story of the century: The US President and his connections to Russia.In part one of this three-part series, Four Corners follows the money trail from New York to Moscow, tracking the ties between Donald Trump, his business empire and Russia.

One more lane will fix it!
Urban Planning & Mobility@urbanthoughts11

1970: One more lane will fix it.
1980: One more lane will fix it.
1990: One more lane will fix it.
2000: One more lane will fix it.
2010: One more lane will fix it.
2020: ?pic.twitter.com/NjS1IPORG2
via @avelezig

Attorney General William Barr (Photo: Leah Millis/Reuters) 

Donald Trump: "I don't want to be president" - entire 1987 CNN interview (Larry King Live)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8wJc7vHcTs 
CNN
In a September 2, 1987, interview with CNN's Larry King, Donald Trump says he has no interest in being president and explains why he took out an ad ripping the George H.W. Bush administration. 

Vladimir Putin's Long Shadow - the fifth estate - CBC News
He casts a long shadow over the globe. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has outlasted three American presidents and is on track to stay in power until 2024. His incursions in Georgia, the Crimea and Ukraine have rattled the West, while his crackdowns inside Russia have riled his democratic opponents.But a joint investigation by the fifth estate and PBS’ Frontline reveals an even darker side to one of the most powerful leaders in the world: Allegations of criminal activity dating as far back as his early days as a top official in St. Petersburg; ties to organized crime and money-laundering activities; and a secret personal fortune said to be in the billions.“Putin’s Long Shadow” also raises disturbing questions about the role the Russian security services played in four apartment building bombings in Moscow and other cities in 1999 that killed nearly 300 people – a tragedy Putin blamed on terrorists and used to cement his power.Host Gillian Findlay talks to a senior police officer who tried to arrest Putin on corruption charges; an investigator who was jailed for asking too many questions about the apartment bombings; and Russian businessmen who detail the levels of corruption and collusion.For more on the fifth estate : http://www.cbc.ca/fifthFollow us on Twitter : http://www.twitter.com/cbcfifth
Like us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thefifthestate

Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent. He previously worked at The Washington Post and was a member of their Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007. @shearm  

Trump’s America: Great again or big failure? | Head to Head
Al Jazeera English
In this episode of Head to Head, Mehdi Hasan asks Donald Trump's senior economic adviser Stephen Moore about "Trumponomics", the US president’s leadership style, and racism. Trump has made promises to more than double previous economic growth, revive industries like coal, and slash the debt and the deficit. But has he delivered? The national debt is now skyrocketing to levels not seen since World War II and the trade war with China has experts fearing a global recession. "Trump makes grandiose promises," Moore told Hasan. "He exaggerates and sometimes I wish he wouldn’t do that. But if you compare where the economy is today versus where it was when he entered office, it’s substantially stronger." Moore, a conservative commentator and economist at the Heritage Foundation, is also an adviser to the Trump 2020 re-election campaign. He told Hasan he helped write immigration legislation, referring to a bill supported by President Trump and introduced by Republican senators. Moore, however, said he does not agree with some of the government’s positions on immigration. When challenged on policies limiting legal immigration and the dire situation in migrant detention centres at the US-Mexico border, Moore said conditions in every centre he visited had been humane. "But I do believe that until we get the border secure and we get that wall built, once we do that, we can increase our legal immigration." When pressed further on the numerous false statements Trump has made, like needing an ID to buy a box of cereal and suggesting that wind turbines cause cancer, Moore said, "Donald Trump would be better off to stop talking so much and let his record speak for itself". "What I'm saying is, what Americans care about is his performance, his results, not what he says and how he acts," he added. This is the first Head to Head episode with an audience recorded in the United States and marks the beginning of a new series. It takes place in front of an audience at the George Washington University in Washington DC. We are joined by a panel of three experts: - Tiffany Cross - liberal commentator, co-founder and managing editor of the US news outlet, The Beat DC - Rick Wilson - former political strategist for the Republican Party, conservative critic of President Trump, and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies - Jenna Ellis Rives - constitutional lawyer, member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board, and author of The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution This episode will be broadcast on October 4 at 20:00 GMT and will be repeated on October 5 at 12:00 GMT, October 6 at 01:00 GMT, and October 7 at 06:00 GMT. (Watch live: https://www.aljazeera.com/live/) Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @AJHeadtoHead. Watch previous Head to Head episodes here. Head to Head is Al Jazeera's forum for ideas, a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues, such as faith, nationalism, democracy and foreign intervention. - Subscribe to our channel: http://aje.io/AJSubscribe - Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AJEnglish - Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aljazeera - Check our website: https://www.aljazeera.com/  
#AlJazeeraEnglish #News 


How Ukraine Propaganda Backfired On Trump In Impeachment Probe | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC
MSNBC
SMSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber debunks a paradox at the center of Trump’s impeachment probe – the conspiracy theory that Trump allies launched to help him has actually brought him closer to impeachment than any other development in the Trump era. Melber reports and fact-checks John Solomon, a writer and Fox News analyst, who emerged as the most prominent advocate of the unfounded allegations about Ukraine. Aired on 11/12/19.» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbcMSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more.Connect with MSNBC OnlineVisit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/ReadmsnbcSubscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: http://MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTubeFind MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/LikemsnbcFollow MSNBC on Twitter: http://on.msnbc.com/FollowmsnbcFollow MSNBC on Instagram: http://on.msnbc.com/InstamsnbcHow Ukraine Propaganda Backfired On Trump In Impeachment Probe | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Bush to Trump: You can't insult your way to presidency
CNN
Speaking at the CNN GOP debate, candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush spar over what it takes to keep America safe.

Graph: as illustrated above, in recent decades the greatest gains in the relative wealth of the rich came during the terms of liberal Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Lest this seem— or be framed as, incidental, the liberal Democrat’s support for the mechanism of this enrichment, Wall Street, explains the relationship. In economic terms, Democrats have been the party of the radical right— financialized, neoliberal capitalism, since the inception of neoliberalism in the 1970s. Source: inequality.org.

Brian Stelter: Donald Trump will try to convince you of this
CNN
CNN's Brian Stelter lays out three things we know and three things we don't know about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump as public hearings are set to begin. 

Gordon D. Sondland told the Ukrainians that they should not expect the money unless Mr. Zelensky publicly announced investigations into the Biden family. Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Anonymous book describes volatile, incompetent Trump
A forthcoming book by an anonymous author describes President Donald Trump as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander in chief
By The Associated Press 8 November 20
https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/white-house-calls-anonymous-trump-critic-coward-66838077?cid=referral_taboola_feed  

A forthcoming book by an anonymous author identified only as “a senior official in the Trump administration" makes unflattering, behind-the-scenes claims about the president.  
A forthcoming book by an anonymous author identified only as "a senior official in the Trump administration" describes President Donald Trump as volatile, incompetent and unfit to be commander in chief, according to excerpts published Thursday by The Washington Post.
The book describes racist and misogynist behind-the-scenes statements by Trump and says he "stumbles, slurs, gets confused, is easily irritated, and has trouble synthesizing information."

The Post acquired a copy of the book, "A Warning," and first reported on its contents Thursday.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a statement late Thursday saying, "The coward who wrote this book didn't put their name on it because it is nothing but lies."
She said reporters should "cover the book as what it is — a work of fiction."
In the book, due out Nov. 19, the writer claims senior administration officials considered resigning as a group last year in a "midnight self-massacre," but ultimately decided such an act would do more harm than good.

On Monday, the Justice Department sent a letter to the book's publisher and the writer's literary agency, raising questions over whether any confidentiality agreement had been violated and asking for information that could help reveal the author's identity.
The publisher, Hachette Book Group, responded by saying it would provide no additional information beyond calling the author a "current or former senior official
"A Warning" was written by the official who wrote an essay, published last year in The New York Times, alleging that numerous people in the government were resisting the "misguided impulses" of Trump.
According to the Post, the author now writes, "Unelected bureaucrats and cabinet appointees were never going to steer Donald Trump the right direction in the long run, or refine his malignant management style. He is who he is."

GOP Debate: Best One-Liners | MSNBC
CNN
Speaking at the CNN GOP debate, candidates Donald Trump and Jeb Bush spar over what it takes to keep America safe


Donald and Melania Trump as newlyweds (2005 CNN Larry King Live full interview)
CNN: Donald and Melania Trump talk to CNN's Larry King Live just months after their extravagant wedding about the couple's relationship and what the future has in store. (From May 17, 2005) 

Trump/Russia: Follow the money (1/3) | Four Corners - ABC News In-depth

Devin Nunes begins Republican questioning of Taylor and Kent - CBS News
Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, and counsel Steve Castor spent 45 minutes questioning the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, William Taylor, and State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent in the first day of public impeachment hearings. Watch this full portion of the hearing.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, left, and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott in 1999 after a bipartisan agreement was reached that covered ground rules for President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. (Photo: Reuters)  

Special Report: Acting DNI Testifies Before Congress On Trump Ukraine Phone Call | NBC News
2,872,958 views
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPs_lU01KoI  
NBC News
Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on the controversial phone conversation between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.» Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC» Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNewsNBC News is a leading source of global news and information. Here you will find clips from NBC Nightly News, Meet The Press, and original digital videos. Subscribe to our channel for news stories, technology, politics, health, entertainment, science, business, and exclusive NBC investigations.

Donald Trump's Wife Melania on Their Marriage, His Campaign: Part 2 | ABC News=
ABC News
Melania Trump tells Barbara Walters she encouraged him to run and talks about what kind of First Lady she would be.https://www.youtube.com/ABCNews/Watch More on http://abcnews.go.com/LIKE ABC News on FACEBOOKhttps://www.facebook.com/abcnewsFOLLOW ABC News on TWITTER:https://twitter.com/abcGOOD MORNING AMERICA'S HOMEPAGE: 
https://gma.yahoo.com/

Breaking: Chairman Schiff Says Dems Can Impeach Trump For Bribery | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC
 MSNBC
2.12M subscribersOn the eve of the historic impeachment hearing, the top impeachment investigator, Rep. Adam Schiff tells NPR there is enough evidence to impeach Trump for bribery, for abusing “official” powers of the presidency and because Trump was “offering official acts for some personal or political reason.” Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman says the bribery case is a major part of “their opening statement.” Demos’ Heather McGhee says “history will be made” but it’s more than “television optics” but making the “very plain case” against Trump. Ari Melber wrote about why bribery makes a strong impeachment case on October 20th and has reported on it for weeks leading up to the public testimony. Aired on 11/12/19.» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbcMSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more.

WATCH: Amb. Yovanovitch’s full opening statement | Trump impeachment hearings -PBS NewsHour
Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, told House lawmakers on Nov. 15, that she appears before the House committee as an "American citizen who has devoted the majority of my life -- 33 years -- to service the country that all of us love." Speaking during the second day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Yovanovitch said that she had "no agenda" other than to pursue U.S. stated foreign policy goals. The impeachment probe centers around a July phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Yovanovitch has testified that she was forced out of her position after Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, engineered a smear campaign against her. For more on who’s who in the Trump impeachment inquiry, read: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics...

The Real Constitutional Crisis: The Constitution
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
The Real Constitutional Crisis: The Constitution
by PAUL STREET

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/08/the-real-constitutional-crisis-the-constitution/

It has been amusing to hear liberal commentators say over and over that the malignant racist rogue president Donald “I am the World’s Greatest Person” Trump is precisely the sort of terrible tyrant the United States Founding Fathers had in mind when they devised their “genius” Constitutional system of “checks and balances.” The Tiny-fingered, Tangerine-Tinted, Twitter-Tantruming Tyrant Trump (hereafter “T7”) owes his ascendancy to the White House and his continued presence there largely to the U.S. Constitution.

Ballot-marked by roughly a quarter of eligible U.S. voters in 2016, the venal aspiring fascist strongman T7 remains too transparently terrible a human being to win support from most U.S.-American voters. But so what? The hallowed 1787 parchment’s Electoral College system permits someone to ascend to the White House without winning a majority in the national popular presidential vote. Majority support is not required under the constitutionally prescribed U.S. electoral system. A President Elect does not have to win most of the votes from the very modest majority (just 55% in 2016) of the U.S. electorate that bothers to participate in the nation’s money- marinated presidential elections. The Constitution’s absurd, democracy-flunking Electoral College significantly inflates the “democratic” electoral voice of the nation’s most reactionary, white, racist, rural, and “red” (Republican) states by rendering popular vote totals irrelevant in more urban, racially diverse, high population, and reliably “blue” (Democratic) states. It grants slightly populated “red” states a disproportionately high number of collegiate Electors.

It is openly ridiculous, from a democratic, one-person-one vote perspective.


(Incidentally, Puerto Rico is a preponderantly Latinx U.S. territory that is home to more than three million people who pay U.S. [payroll, business, and estate] taxes but have no Electoral College votes even as they help fund the U.S. government [The same is true for other U.S. territories]. It has a bigger population than do seventeen U.S. states, all of whom have at least three presidential Electors and four of which [Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, and Nevada] have six Electors. The combined total population of the nation’s four least populous states [Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, and North Dakota] is less than that of Puerto Rico alone. Those very predominantly white four states together have twelve presidential Electors.)

A different way in which T7 (the tiny-fingered, tangerine-tinted, Twitter-tantruming tyrant Trump) owes his 2016 victory to the Constitution is less obvious. As has been documented at length, T7 was elected largely because the neoliberal-corporate-globalist Obama-Clinton Democrats demobilized the nation’s all-too silent progressive majority. The dismal-dollar-drenched Democratic Party – the nation’s perennial Inauthentic Opposition and Fake Resistance – is vote-depressingly awful thanks in great part to the distorting role big-money campaign contributions play in determining the outcomes of the nation’s ever more preposterously expensive elections. And that role is attributable in no small measure to the holy Constitution. The Founders created the Supreme Court as a critical, presidentially appointed-for-life check on the popular will. And in two landmark decisions, Buckley v. Valeo (1976) and Citizens United (2010), the high court has ruled (in total violation of majority public opinion) that private campaign contributions are “free speech” and that there are no limits to be legally set on how much the rich and powerful can invest in the giant organized bribery project that is U.S. campaign finance. With full Supreme Court approval, the American money-politics system subjects U.S. candidates to what current US Congressman Jamin Raskin (D-MD) once accurately described as “the wealth primary” – the requirement that one either possess vast personal wealth or access to others’ vast personal wealth in order to make viable runs for elective office. T7 rode the money-politics “wealth primary” to power indirectly, through election investors’ demobilizing impact on the Democratic vote, and directly, through Trump’s self-financing (decisive in the primaries along with massive free media promotion) and campaign backing from right-wing moguls like Robert Mercer and Sheldon Adelson (critical to T7’s success in the general election).

Equally if not more horrendous is the Constitution’s role in preventing T7’s properly rapid removal. T7 announced its wretched unsuitability for the office to which it had arisen on its very first day in power. That’s when it gave a mind-bogglingly moronic, delusional, and disjointed “speech” at the CIA’s headquarters. It blustered that “we should have kept [Iraq’s] oil” and that “maybe you’ll have another chance” (to get “the oil”).   The dementia-addled low-lights included passages like these:

“I know a lot about West Point…Every time I say I had an uncle who was a great math professor at MIT…who did a fantastic job …and then they say, Is Donald Trump an intellectual? Trust me, I’m like a smart person…You know, when I was young. Of course I feel young – I feel like I was 30, 35….39…Somebody said are you young? I said I think I’m young…I remember hearing from one of my instructors, the United States has never lost a war. And then, after that, it’s like we haven’t won anything. You know the old expression, to the victory belongs the spoils? You remember I always say keep the oil….we should have kept the oil….But okay, maybe you’ll have another chance ….as you know I have a running war with the media, they are among the most dishonest human beings on earth…”

“In the seconds after [T7’s CIA monologue] finished,” Michael Wolff has recounted, “you could hear a pin drop.” The rest, as the saying goes, is history: think Charlottesville, “shithole nations,” concentration camps, the fake national emergency, the Nativist Wall, the criminal diversion of taxpayer funds, “go back to the crime-ridden countries you came from,” Kavanaugh, reckless environmental deregulation, the abrogation of asylum rights, record-setting drone war, “fire and fury,” “I might end birthright citizenship,” threats of “tough guy” violence if Congress or voters try to remove him from office, disfigured weather maps, the torture of Puerto Rico, covering for Saudi Arabia’s dismemberment of a dissident journalist, the torture of Yemen, 10,000 false statements, Alabama Hurricane threat, “no obstruction,” “the Blacks love me,” “my perfect phone call,” “the Kurds are very happy,” “this phony emoluments clause”….the maddening list of T7’s offenses goes on and on and on. An activist Website gives the following daunting list of offenses for which the aspiring fascist strongman deserves impeachment: Violation of Constitution on Domestic Emoluments; Violation of Constitution on Foreign Emoluments; Incitement of Violence; Interference With Voting Rights; Discrimination Based On Religion; Illegal War; Illegal Threat of Nuclear War; Abuse of Pardon Power; Obstruction of Justice; Politicizing Prosecutions; Failure to Reasonably Prepare for or Respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Maria; Separating Children and Infants from Families; Illegally Attempting to Influence an Election Tax Fraud and Public Misrepresentation; Assaulting Freedom of the Press; Supporting a Coup in Venezuela; Unconstitutional Declaration of Emergency; Instructing Border Patrol to Violate the Law; Refusal to Comply With Subpoenas; Declaration of Emergency Without Basis In Order to Violate the Will of Congress; Illegal Proliferation of Nuclear Technology; Illegally Removing the United States from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. I would add one: the criminal acceleration of Ecocide, the biggest issue of our or any time. Trump has brazenly violated his oath to serve the General Welfare by doing everything he can to turn the world into a giant Greenhouse Gas Chamber as soon as possible. (Where Burisma-Biden-Gate ranks on this list is a matter of ideologically mediated interpretation.) Meanwhile, T7’s dreadful and Huxwellian womanchild adviser Kellyanne Conway tells us that it “needs to tweet like the rest of us need to eat.”

But right on Day One, with T7’s insane, rambling CIA oration, it should have been clear as day that Malignant Orange was mentally (as well as morally) unfit for the demanding position to which it had been so absurdly yet constitutionally elevated. The “Stable Genius” is, among other terrible things, an abject dotard. An immediate Vote of No Confidence should have been immediately held in Congress, mandating the calling of a new national presidential election as soon as possible.

But, of course, no such commonsensical parliamentary procedure is permitted under the U.S. Constitution, which mandates absurdly time-staggered and strictly scheduled presidential elections just once every four years. That’s the ridiculously brief and spaced-out window when the corporate-managed citizenry gets it absurdly filtered (Electorally Collegialized) “input” on who sits in the nation’s most powerful job (the world’s most powerful job after 1945): two minutes once every 1460 days.

There is, it is true, a Constitutional procedure for the removal of a president on the grounds of incapacity – the 25th Amendment. But nobody takes this remedy seriously, short of a finally crippling presidential stroke or some other White House calamity/Godsend that renders T7 unable to tweet. Even if T7 could be Twenty-Fifthed out of the Oval Office, the process would only give the White House (under our “genius” Constitution) to demented evangelical fascist, Mike Pence. Who wants his apocalyptic fingers on the nuclear codes even for one day?

There is of course the impeachment path. Impeachment is now very likely thanks to the Democrats’ electoral takeover of the House of Representatives and to T7 getting its venal little red hands caught in the “deep state” Ukraine-Biden-Burisma cookie jar (Burisma-Biden Gate). But actual removal is unlikely under the nation’s sacred parchment because the U.S. Senate is majority Republican and therefore likely to hand T7 an “exoneration” he could use as an electoral asset next November. It requires just a simple majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach but two-thirds of the U.S. Senate to remove a president under “our” beloved Constitution. We’ve had two presidential impeachments (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton) in U.S. history but no removals, though the evil nut-job Richard Nixon (who Trump thinks was “framed”) would have been both impeached and removed had he not resigned first

It might seem absurd that the U.S. Senate is majority-Republican given the fact the Trumpified Republican Party is widely hated and deeply unpopular in the United States. But this irrationality (from a democratic perspective, at least) is fully constitutional, for the nation’s unjustly hallowed charter grossly exaggerates the Senate voice of the nation’s whitest, most reactionary, Republican, gun-addicted, racist, and proto-fascistic regions. The Constitution assigns two Senators to each U.S. state regardless of (steep) differences in state population.

Like the Electoral College, it’s totally ludicrous from a democratic standpoint. “Red” (Republican) Wyoming, home to 573,720 Americans, holds U.S. Senatorial parity with “blue” (Democratic) California, where more than 39 million Americans reside. That’s one U.S. Senator for every 19.5 million Californians versus one U.S. Senator for every 287,000 Wyoming residents.

Just one of New York City’s 5 boroughs, bright-blue Brooklyn, has 2.6 million people. If Brooklyn were a state and US Senators were apportioned there with the same populace-to-Senator ratio as red Wyoming, Brooklyn would have 9 U.S. Senators, al Democrats.

The following 13 states together have a combined population of roughly 34. 4 million: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.  Together these 13 “red states” send 26 Republicans to the U.S. Senate. The single “blue state” of California, with a population more than 5 million higher than these 13 states combined, sends 2 Democrats to the upper chamber of Congress.

Due to “a growing population shift from the agricultural interior to crowded corridors along the coast,” Daniel Lazare noted two years ago, it is mathematically possible now to “cobble together a Senate majority with states that account for just 17.6 percent of the popular vote.”

(And by the way, the bright blue District of Columbia is home to 693,972 people, more than all of Wyoming and just roughly 46,000 less than that of Alaska.  It is absurdly denied voting representation in either the House or the Senate.)

This preposterous (from a pro-democracy perspective) apportionment system means that the Republican Senate majority answers to a very disproportionately white, rural, and reactionary section of the electorate.

How idiotic (from a democracy standpoint) is that?

And what, by the way, would the impeachment and removal of Herr Donald give the nation under the “genius” Constitution but the presidency of the arch-right-wing Christian Fascist Mike Pence? There’s a case to be made for impeaching and removing Trump anyway, but Pence’s constitutionally ordained ascendancy is no small negative incentive.

Look at the following passage from Nancy Pelosi’s recent House floor speech in support of open impeachment hearings on the orange malignancy’s abuse of power in the Biden-Burisma Gate case:

“And, what is at stake?  What is at stake, in all of this, is nothing less than our democracy…I proudly stand next to the flag…which stands for our democracy. When Benjamin Franklin came out of Independence Hall –  you heard this over and over – on September 17, 1787, the day our Constitution was adopted, he came out of Independence Hall, people said to him, ‘Dr. Franklin, what do we have a monarchy or a republic?’  And, he said, as you know, he said, ‘A republic, if we can keep it.’  If we can keep it.”

“And this Constitution is the blueprint for our republic and not a monarchy.  But, when we have a President who says, ‘Article II says I can do whatever I want,’ that is in defiance of the separation of powers.  That’s not what our Constitution says. So, what is at stake is our democracy.  What are we fighting for?  Defending our democracy for the people.”

You know in the early days of our revolution, Thomas Paine said, ‘The times have found us.’  The times found our Founders to declare independence from a monarchy, to fight a war of independence, write our founding documents and thank God they made them amendable so we can always be expanding freedom.  And, the genius, again that genius of that Constitution was the separation of power.  Any usurping of that power is a violation of our oath of office.  So, proudly, you all, we all raised our hands to protect and defend and support the Constitution of the United States.  That’s what this vote is about.”

“Today – we think the time found our Founders, the times found others in the course of our history to protect our democracy, to keep our country united.  The times have found each and every one of us in this room and in our country to pay attention to how we protect and defend the Constitution of the United States – honoring the vision of our Founders who declared independence from a monarch and established a country contrary to that principle, honoring men and women in uniform who fight for our freedom and for our democracy and honoring the aspirations of our children so that no President, whoever he or she may be in the future, could decide that Article II says they can do whatever they want… let us honor our oath of office.  Let us defend our democracy” (emphasis added).

Notice anything wrong here? Pelosi accurately described the nature of the government blueprinted by the ruling-class Founders just one time: a republic. She got it wrong six times when she called it “our democracy.” As I have shown (with no special claim of originality) here and elsewhere on numerous occasions, democracy – the rule of the popular majority – was the last thing the Founding Fathers of the United States ever wanted to see break out in their newly created white male property-holders’ republic, which later developed into a corporate state-capitalist oligarchy. Their charter was brilliantly crafted precisely to keep democracy at bay in numerous ways that cripple our efforts to practice serious popular sovereignty 232 years later.

At the same time, even the explicitly non-democratic “small-r” republican promise of intra-elite checks and balances is undermined today by hyper-partisan politics so extreme that 9 in 10 Republicans oppose the House impeachment inquiry while 9 in 10 Democrats support it. The Founders’ “genius” scheme was always flawed by the possibility, indeed likelihood, of party politics overriding the Constitution’s heralded checks and balances. What does Congress’ and/or the Supreme Court’s supposedly grand institutional power to check the tyranny of the imperial presidency really mean when Congress’s powerful upper body (the Senate) and the high court (whose presidential for-life appointees are approved only by the Senate) is controlled by the same party that controls the White House?

Candidate Trump was not that far off when he said that his Red State party base would still back him even if he “st[ood] in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shot somebody.” None of T7’s long list of sickening outrages (of which the Ukraine-Biden scandal is just one example and arguably not the worst one) have shaken the dedicated support T7’s white-Amerikaner “heartland” fans give their Dear “Make America Hate Again” Leader. At this point, one has to wonder if real-time video of the orange malignancy dismembering and eating live children could dent their faith in the Great God Trump. T7 taps his neofascist base’s lust for an authoritarian master who smites liberal and left elites and puts brown-skinned people back in “their place.” The herrenvolk are sticking by their Manimal president come Hell or high water. Many among the nation’s heavily armed white male militia cohort are ready to go “full animal” themselves, proclaiming their readiness to act on the Great God’s not-so veiled call for “Civil War” if Congress acts seriously on its constitutional duty to check the current tyrannical POTUS. Even Major League Baseball umpire Rob Blake has tweeted that he will buy an assault rifle to use in “CIVAL WAR” if Trump is impeached.

It’s depressing that a third or so of the electorate clings so tenaciously to the noxious neofascist sociopath in the White House. But it is equally demoralizing that T7’s “deplorable” (something horrible Hillary got right) base enjoys such absurdly outsized political voice in the fake-democracy granted to us by our slave-owning “founders,” for whom popular sovereignty (democracy) was a dreadful specter much to be checkmated in advance.

To no small degree, “our” (their) archaic Constitution is the constitutional crisis. It helped hatched the Trumpenstein and it is helping keep it in office perhaps for five or, God help us, more years. The way to get rid of this terrible tyrant is through a mass and prolonged popular rebellion that includes among its demands the call for a new national charter, one that includes among its provisions (just for starters) the abolition of anti-democratic absurdities like the Electoral College, the disenfranchisements of Puerto Rico and Washington DC, the provision of two Senators to each state regardless of its population size, the lifetime appointment of Supreme Court Justices, and the eviction of private money from public elections. The whole damn system that spat up/shat out Malignant Orange is guilty as Hell. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote not long before his death, “the real issue to be faced” beyond superficial matters is “the radical reconstruction of society itself.”Join the debate on Facebook
More articles by:PAUL STREET

Paul Street’s latest book is They Rule: The 1% v. Democracy (Paradigm, 2014)

 From Pekka Hamalainen’s compelling new book, Lakota America: a New History of Indigenous Power: “Lakotas were fighting for survival but they were also fighting to keep alive a broader vision, where coexistence through right thoughts and acts might be possible.”

Vladimir Putin: the full interview
Financial Times
The Financial Times is the first major international newspaper to be granted an interview with the Russian leader for 16 years. Here is the exclusive interview with editor Lionel Barber and Moscow bureau chief Henry Foy in full

0:00:08 How has the world changed over the last 20 years?

0:01:49 Has the world become more fragmented?

0:02:27 What do you want to achieve in Osaka?

0:04:31 OPEC oil production agreements

0:07:27 How does Trump compare to other US presidents?

0:10:54 Trump’s criticisms of European alliances

0:15:10 Globalisation vs ‘America First’ 0:16:25 Russia and China’s relationship 0:21:02 Danger of tensions between Russia America and China

0:24:05 Arms control

0:26:45 Potential for nuclear agreements

0:28:08 China’s maritime strength

0:30:45 North Korea

0:33:06 North Asia security situation

0:34:42 Has your appetite for risk increased? 0:36:51 Intervening in Syria

0:42:13 Venezuela

0:50:15 Anglo-Russian relations post Skripal

0:55:32 Did what happened in Salisbury send an unambiguous message to anyone who is thinking of betraying the Russian state that it is fair game?

0:57:04 Russia’s economy and foreign exchange reserves

1:04:18 Russia’s macro economic stability - oligarchs

1:06:05 Breakup of the Soviet Union vs China’s anticorruption campaign

1:09:30 Can Russian remain immune to backlashes against the establishment?

1:14:30 Did Angela Merkel make a mistake?

1:18:32 The end of the liberal idea

1:21:15 Religion is not the opium of the masses?

1:21:49 Is now the time for illiberals?

1:24:33 Who do you most admire? 1:26:10 How will your successor be chosen?

► Try the Financial Times for 4 weeks for just £1. Start your trial now - http://bit.ly/2ry7Tkz 

► Subscribe to the Financial Times on YouTube: http://bit.ly/FTimeSubs

President Trump's Awkward Moments With Ivanka

Nicki Swift

All about Donald Trump’s early years, from troubled teen to military academy and business school
PBS NewsHour
SGwen Ifill launches the NewsHour”s series on Donald Trump’s life and times, from a decision to shun alcohol, to military academy and eventually business school. Trump’s developer dad Fred was his biggest influence, and his work with his dad laid the groundwork for his executive career.


Life as Donald Trump's Wife: Ivana Trump Speaks Out! | Good Morning Britain

Chairman Schiff Says Dems Can Impeach Trump For Bribery | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvrAADaTn_A  
MSNBC
SUBOn the eve of the historic impeachment hearing, the top impeachment investigator, Rep. Adam Schiff tells NPR there is enough evidence to impeach Trump for bribery, for abusing “official” powers of the presidency and because Trump was “offering official acts for some personal or political reason.” Former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman says the bribery case is a major part of “their opening statement.” Demos’ Heather McGhee says “history will be made” but it’s more than “television optics” but making the “very plain case” against Trump. Ari Melber wrote about why bribery makes a strong impeachment case on October 20th and has reported on it for weeks leading up to the public testimony. Aired on 11/12/19.» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbcMSNBC delivers breaking news, in-depth analysis of politics headlines, as well as commentary and informed perspectives. Find video clips and segments from The Rachel Maddow Show, Morning Joe, Meet the Press Daily, The Beat with Ari Melber, Deadline: White House with Nicolle Wallace, Hardball, All In, Last Word, 11th Hour, and more.Connect with MSNBC OnlineVisit msnbc.com: http://on.msnbc.com/ReadmsnbcSubscribe to MSNBC Newsletter: http://MSNBC.com/NewslettersYouTubeFind MSNBC on Facebook: http://on.msnbc.com/Likemsnbc

How to Control What People Do | Propaganda - EDWARD BERNAYS | Animated Book Summary

Donald Trump on Letterman, 1986-87 - Don Giller
Trump's first appearance was in a remote that aired October 1, 1986: Dave paid a quick visit to his office at Trump Tower. (This was referenced in the next clip.)Trump's first guest appearance on Late Night was taped fourteen months later on December 2, 1987, and aired on December 22. He came on to promote his book he didn't write, _Art of the Deal_. It being the run-up to the 1988 campaign, Dave asked if he were interested in running for the presidency. The story behind his feud with NYC mayor Ed Koch was uploaded here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tych7...Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder then guested on December 18 and discussed the prospects of a possible Trump campaign. (Snyder would be fired from CBS a month later.)

Watch Live: The Final Presidential Debate
CBS News
WATCH NOW: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump go head to head in the final presidential debate. With the recent controversy over Trump's lewd comments and Clinton's leaked emails, anything can happen. Be there when it does, with CBSN. Always on. 


Extended Interview: John Dickerson interviews President Donald Trump, April 30 - Face the Nation
To mark his 100th day in office "Face the Nation" moderator John Dickerson sat down at the White House and traveled with the president to Harrisburg, PA Subscribe to the"Face the Nation" Channel HERE: http://bit.ly/1SUQc68 Watch Full Episodes of "Face the Nation" HERE: http://cbsn.ws/20pbkSF Follow "Face the Nation" on Instagram HERE: http://bit.ly/23Xuhk4 Like "Face the Nation" on Facebook HERE: http://on.fb.me/23Xmz9E Follow "Face the Nation" on Twitter HERE: http://bit.ly/1o3QDQo Follow "Face the Nation" on Google+ HERE: http://bit.ly/23XuaoG Get the latest news and best in original reporting from CBS News delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to newsletters HERE: http://cbsn.ws/1RqHw7T

Anonymous author writes Trump's decision-making is eroding over time
Many top administration figures have pre-written resignation letters ready to submit, according to excerpts of the soon-to-be-published book
.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/anonymous-author-writes-trump-s-decision-making-eroding-over-time-n1078586

Nov. 8, 2019, - By Alex Johnson

President Donald Trump's behavior can be so erratic that most top administration officials have pre-written resignation letters ready to submit, an anonymous author claiming to be a senior official in the Trump administration says in a book scheduled to be published this month.

To complicate matters, the president's decision-making abilities are getting worse with time, according to excerpts of "A Warning" that were obtained and read Thursday night on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show."

The author, described only as "a senior Trump administration official," is the same person who wrote an op-ed in The New York Times last year headlined, "I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration." The column said "many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations."
The information is coming from an anonymous source, and NBC News does not know who the writer is nor whether they were in a position to have witnessed what they say transpired.
In the book excerpts, the author describes near-daily "five-alarm fire drill" that leads senior officials to cancel plans and race to the White House to intercept Trump before he can enact his latest "wacky or destructive idea."

"Staff throw up the Bat-Signal, calling a snap meeting or a teleconference. 'He's about to do something,' one warns the group, explaining what the president is about to announce.
"'He can't do this. We'll all look like idiots, and he'll get murdered for it in the press,' another exclaims.
"'Yeah, well, I'm telling you he's going to do it unless someone gets to him fast,' the first warns. 'Can you cancel your afternoon?'"
As Trump's presidency has progressed, his officials have been given increasingly less notice of the president's decisions, says the author, who writes: "He's less inclined to preview his decisions today."
The National Security Council, in particular, found the Trump process to be a difficult adjustment, the author writes.
"If the aim was to educate this new commander in chief, they couldn't submit a fifty-page report entitled something like 'Integrated National Strategy for Indo-Pacific Partnership and Defense,' expect him to read it, and then discuss it,' according to the excerpts.
"That would be like speaking Aramaic to Trump through a pillow; even if he tried very hard to pay attention, which he didn't, he wouldn't be able to understand what the hell he was hearing."