A new historic marker has joined the Confederate monument at the DeKalb County, Georgia, historic courthouse. This additional history about the erecting of Confederate monuments provides valuable context.
Hattip: The Progressive Pulse.
First Scene: John Bolton's Office
Yermak and Danyliuk were ushered into a meeting in Bolton’s office in the West Wing along with Gordon Sondland, Kurt Volker, Fiona Hill, Col. Vindman et al. "The American team was working through standard U.S.-Ukraine talking points, including the United States’ desire to see Kyiv crack down on corruption, when officials familiar with the meeting say Sondland went off script." "Sondland turned the conversation away from ongoing corruption probes to reviving specific investigations that were important to Trump, according to testimony from Hill and Vindman."
Bolton "abruptly ended the meeting." He "ordered" people out of his office (as only an angry John Bolton might do it).
As the group filed out, Sondland pulled the Ukrainians aside and instructed them to follow him to the...
Second Scene: Ward Room
The Ward Room is in the basement of the West Wing and is regularly used for meetings by national security staff.
Col. Vindman tagged along with the Ukrainians, following Sondland to the Ward Room. Vindman in his testimony yesterday said that Sondland immediately pressed for “investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens and Burisma.” Vindman said he then confronted Sondland in front of the Ukrainians (or later, not in front of the Ukrainians -- it's unclear), saying that “his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the [National Security Council] was going to get involved in or push.”
Meanwhile, upstairs John Bolton knows about the Ward Room end-run and he sends Fiona Hill, his immediate deputy, down there to take charge of the meeting. Hill enters the room late, hears the word "Burisma," knows what's up, and immediately closes the meeting.
Upstairs, John Bolton is already steaming mad. Hill comes back up to tell him what happened, and Bolton explodes with his now famous line: “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up.” Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, had met with Sondland on several occasions to discuss Ukraine.
Bolton directed Hill to report what she had witnessed to John Eisenberg, the top lawyer for the National Security Council. Hill spoke briefly with Eisenberg on that very day, but because the attorney was pressed for time they did not finish their discussion until the next day. Hill was accompanied by Wells Griffith, an NSC official responsible for energy policy who is also being sought as a witness by House investigators.
"His bureaucratic skills served him very well in that there is now a paper trail, which essentially exonerates Ambassador Bolton and, in some ways, almost paints him as the hero in this. I mean, I recall the first day I joined the State Department — it was Oct. 15, 2001. And the only sort of fatherly advice Ambassador Bolton gave me at the time was, he said, 'Always get the process right. That way those who oppose you are forced to engage you on substance.' And I think Ambassador Bolton, in his capacity as [national security adviser], was doing the same thing."
|Judge Bob Orr|
1. I am a registered Republican, and/or generally support GOP policies and candidates.
2. I believe that Republican presidential primaries and caucuses that have been closed should be re-opened, and stay open.
3. I support the Republican Platform as adopted at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, minus the abortion and same-sex marriage planks, on which we take no positions.Number 2 responds to the cancelling of some state Republican primaries in South Carolina, Arizona, and a few other states, presumably to clear Trump's path of any (even weak) Republican opposition.
|Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer|
|From "Brazil," 1985|
"The [Russian] network appeared still to be in an audience-building phase when it was removed by Facebook: 246,000 accounts followed one or more of the inauthentic Russian accounts, which had collectively made just fewer than 75,000 posts."
“I thought I was doing something very good for our country by using Trump National Doral, in Miami, for hosting the G-7 leaders .... But, as usual, the hostile media & Democrat partners went CRAZY!”
“Therefore, based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020.”Our first reaction was "way to go, crazed and irrational Democrats!" But the real source of Trump's ignominious retreat was members of his own party in Congress. Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announced the decision to use the Trump golf resort on Thursday. By Friday, WashPost reporters had interviewed more than 20 GOP lawmakers and congressional aides. "Many said they were repulsed by Trump’s decision to host an international summit at his own resort."
Republicans unleashed perhaps their most aggressive outcry of the Trump era after he abandoned the U.S.’ Kurdish allies and ceded northeastern Syria to Turkey. But now GOP lawmakers are dialing back their direct criticism of the president....
... while they’re still dissatisfied with the situation, they’ve shifted gears away from confrontation with the president.
“I do appreciate what the administration has done against Turkey through executive action, but more to follow,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters Tuesday afternoon, after joining Trump for a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday. “I appreciate the phone calls yesterday with Erdogan, I think [Trump] reached out in a good way to let Turkey know they needed a cease-fire right now.”It's a good way, according now to Lindsey Graham.
"He is experienced in representing corporations and individuals in grand jury investigations and diverse and complex criminal litigation, including large scale document reviews and productions. He also is experienced in representing defendants at sentencing hearings. He has represented clients in almost every substantive area of concentration, including health care fraud, securities fraud, financial institution fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, money laundering, criminal anti-trust violations, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and various fraudulent investment schemes."He seems made in heaven for the Rudy Guiliani we've all come to know.
"Mr. Kushner, who aides said had been spending many hours on impeachment as part of his broader portfolio of defending the president, has told some people he is running the inquiry response and played down that idea with others."Sometimes Jared is just sooo modest!
Mr. McAleenan’s departure from the White House came after he tried to embrace the president's increasingly aggressive assault on legal and illegal immigration publicly even as he privately resisted some of Mr. Trump’s most extreme ideas.
A former deputy commissioner for the nation’s border security agency under President Barack Obama, Mr. McAleenan watched in recent months as the White House surrounded him with Fox News contributors to key positions in the agency....
|Photo Mikhail Palinchak--AP|
Michael McKinley, a career diplomat and senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has resigned his position amid rising dissatisfaction and plummeting morale inside the State Department over what is seen as Pompeo’s failure to support personnel ensnared in the Ukraine controversy.
A senior officer who has held a range of diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia and Peru, McKinley was serving as ambassador to Brazil last year when Pompeo recruited him as a policy adviser and a conduit between his office and the career service....
Trump downplayed the alliance with the Kurds, 11,000 of whom died fighting to help the US mission against ISIS. "They didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy for example," Trump said. "They're there to help us with their land, and that's a different thing." Normandy is an area of France, not the US.
He shrugged off the likely escape of ISIS fighters from Kurdish prisons, essentially saying it is Europe's problem, not his. "Well, they're going to be escaping to Europe, that's where they want to go," Trump said. He added that "we have no soldiers in the area."
Fox News Poll: Record support for Trump impeachmentThe details are stark:
Just over half of voters want President Trump impeached and removed from office, according to a Fox News Poll released Wednesday.And this is what Twitterman tweets:
|Ralph Reed, evergreen|
ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday that Turkey’s military has launched a long-expected offensive into northeastern Syria targeting U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters who have played a central role in battling the Islamic State militant group. [WashPost]This is on Trump's head. But the shame is on all of us Americans.