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am_Unition  ·  3 hours ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings





Yikes, what a trainwreck of a defense.

I do love even-slightly bipartisan memes. Sadly, the agreement ends with believing that Epstein was probably murdered, since I think it could involve anyone, not exclusively the Clintons. Trumpers seem to believe that Bill and Hillary slipped into Epstein's cell with, like, nine child sex slaves in their pockets, had one last pedo-orgy with Jeff, then broke his neck, ate the kids, and slithered back out into the night. Or something.

Please do investigate it, though. Two prison guards were charged with crimes today for being derelict in their Epstein-monitoring duties, so that's a start? Maybe they'll talk to clear their names, if there's any there there. But maybe he did manage to off himself. I'd love to know for sure, but not holding my breath.

am_Unition  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Of no surprise to anyone, Devin Nunes is a complete pillock.

Nunes also went through a line of questioning designed to narrow down the whistleblower's identity. Schiff stepped in and advised against it, and then Vindman cited his personal counsel's direction that he should not answer questions in that vein, and declined to address any questions about the identities of individuals working in the intelligence community.

am_Unition  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings

My counterargument is that the meat of all this (Trump's extortion/bribing of Zelensky for political dirt by withholding $390 of military aid designed to help Ukraine fight Russia) was clearly laid out in the late-September WSJ report on the whistleblower and phone call. The following week, Trump released the transcript, Pelosi announced a formalized impeachment, and public opinion on impeachment shifted by ~8% points. Since then, despite all of the corroborating evidence gathered in closed door depositions from ~20 witnesses, public opinion has only shifted by about the amount of uncertainty, i.e. it really hasn't. The public hearings mostly just confirm news reports about the closed door testimony, although of course I understand how necessary they are in the impeachment process. I'm worried that without more bombshells* unveiled during the public hearings, the lack of "new" information will undermine the significance of what the public already knows, when it should have already been utterly devastating to Trump's base.

I'm very suspicious of the quoted "21% changed their minds after the hearings" figure in the ABC news poll. I haven't seen that reflected in other polls.

*Bombshells like, oh, by the way, Sondland spoke with Trump on an unsecured personal cellphone inside a Ukrainian restaurant, allowing multiple other people around to hear Trump's fixation on having Zelensky open an investigation, and Sondland's assurance that Zelensky would comply. There's so much to unpackage here. Let's start by pointing out the simple fact that a recording of this call gives its owner leverage over POTUS. Then we can talk about how Sondland already lied for Trump in his closed deposition, and later revised his testimony after the fact. I dare Sondland to perjure himself again this Wednesday, on TV, but he'll probably plead the fifth, or obstruct the questioning somehow.

am_Unition  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 357th Weekly "Share Some Music You've Been Into Lately"

Listening to a brand new, regrettably obscure, synthwave track. Not lo-fi, and perhaps too drum-centric, mastered in the image of EDM:

am_Unition  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings

Here's a taste of what's to come: Gordon Sondland Stepped In ‘and Things Went Really Off the Rails’

    It’s been widely noted in testimonies by multiple House impeachment witnesses that Sondland interrupted the conversation between Bolton and the Ukrainians when he suggested that the Kyiv officials open investigations into Hunter Biden and the gas company he worked for if they wanted President Volodymyr Zelensky to land a White House meeting with Donald Trump.

    Bolton immediately cut the get-together short, witnesses said, in an attempt to save what had until then been a normal meeting. But what’s been less clear—until now—is what happened moments later, when Sondland guided the Ukrainians into the White House’s Ward Room. Three individuals familiar with the conversation described what happened next.

    Sondland continued to not just relay, but demanded ferociously, that the Ukrainians open the Biden investigations, saying it was the only chance for Washington and Kyiv to develop any further meaningful relationship, two individuals with knowledge of Sondland’s overtures said.

    Sondland raised his voice several times in his attempt to persuade the Ukrainian officials sitting across from him, including Andriy Yermak, a close aide to Zelensky, and Zelensky’s then-national security adviser Oleksandr Danylyuk. One individual told The Daily Beast that Sondland “got very emotional,” adding that “there was lots of yelling.” Another individual called the meeting “erratic” and said the Ukrainians began to ignore Sondland and instead turned to Fiona Hill, who ran the National Security Council’s Russia desk at the time, for clarification on Washington’s messaging.

The same Fiona Hill exposed to a smear campaign likely because of her lack of perceived loyalty to Trump.

Sondland's testimony on Wednesday is probably regarded as the most important, for both sides. Sondland is probably in hell right now, still contemplating whether to perjure himself or not. Hopefully he realizes that he's already implicated in the largest criminal scheme in modern U.S. presidential history, and although stonewalling or perjury will breathe some desperately needed life into the GOP, there is an onslaught of other witnesses connecting the dots for the rest of us, such that Sondland's performance will only affect public opinion. It's just unfortunate so much public opinion is rooted in GOP congressional reps. continuing to provide fodder for conservative media while derelict in their duty of oversight of the executive.

am_Unition  ·  2 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings

So true. I've posted a few links since the impeachment push began. It can get pretty dense, but not prohibitively technical, imho. Wittes in particular is a favorite.

For a lot of lawfare's more legally gray/controversial topics, there will be rebuttal pieces, and sometimes it goes back-and-forth a couple times, with four or more pieces giving both sides of an argument. The parent organization, The Brookings Institute, is generally considered nonpartisan. Since early October, there have been zero pieces (that I'm aware of) providing law-based arguments that bolsters Trump in any way. Or really, any piece defending Trump whatsoever. Increasingly, all existing defenses involve omission of facts, at best, but usually outright lying and willful, proud ignorance.

Surely I can trust my president to address this grotesque behavior through the proper diplomatic channels

am_Unition  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results

Just moved into a house. Got Google Fiber. All upload and download stats are limited by the WiFi protocol and/or network chip in the computer.

Here’s to hoping my Gbps speed isn’t packaged with censorship in the near future. If it’s in the far future, we’ll probably have mesh p2p networks that we all rely on for crucial grassroots intel. Or something.

am_Unition  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Roger Stone Is Found Guilty in Trial That Revived Trump-Russia Saga

You can't tell someone "be better!" and then start dissing on them three words later. Sounds like Darvish has been through hell off the pitch too.

Edit: To be specific, the getting chased out of LA thing. What do you know about that? Getting unbiased baseball intel is basically impossible. (how can I trust you?)

am_Unition  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings

We've traded perspectives, sounds like. I hadn't seen that particular graph, but I'd anticipated/pined for a gradual shift of more and more in favor of impeachment as the last six weeks went by, and thought we'd be somewhere around 60%+ by now. I'm jaded. Wayyyy jaded.

The Ukrainian affair is so obviously, so objectively, unmistakably, both impeachable and criminal. But the lines in the sand are drawn. There is nothing Trump could do to lose ~60% of his supporters, roughly 25% of the country. It's unclear how extreme of an action is required to lose the 40% of Trump supporters open to the possibility of changing their minds, 'cuz if the Ukraine stuff isn't enough, I shudder to think what is.

am_Unition  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings

I was raised southern Baptist, but just kinda gradually became a scientist. I've managed to somewhat liberalize my parents over the last decade. The more likely explanation is that they simply stayed "conservative", while Trump, the GOP, and Fox yanked the steering wheel towards fascistland.

I've tried to talk with Trump folks about why he is unfit to serve, or the crimes he has committed, etc., but there isn't anything constructive here to say, except: don't try to broach politics whatsoever, at this point. No good will come of it.

Amid the completely incoherent White House impeachment messaging strategy, you have to wonder how much longer the alt-right information megabubble can last. But then you have to ask yourself, "wait, how many times have I wondered this before?", and decide whether you want to keep believing public opinion of Trump will eventually shift below some threshold far enough that the GOP members of Congress finally agree to exercise even just one iota of oversight.

Anyway, here's a look at someone who almost assuredly still supports Trump (this is not a joke):


am_Unition  ·  4 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Roger Stone Is Found Guilty in Trial That Revived Trump-Russia Saga

The sign-stealing has ruined the only team I’ve cheered for in over a decade. Pathetic. There had better be consequences.

It's like Moses in Egypt/Exodus around here today

am_Unition  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pneumonic plague is worse than bubonic plague.

This plague alarms me more than facadism. Do you have a Google alert on "plague" or something, mk?

am_Unition  ·  5 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Open Thread: Impeachment Hearings

So far, the long-lasting government shutdown in late January of 2019 tanked Trump's approval rating lower than news of the recent Ukrainian bribery/extortion and impeachment proceedings.

We could see Trump acquitted in the Senate, unless public opinion changes. I don't think it will, anymore. The information infrastructure has become almost completely fractured along party lines, exacerbated by foreign agitators and social media echo chambers, and further inflamed by the least truthful president ever to serve.

How can we trust the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election? Trump has shown that he's willing to stop at nothing to stay in power, as his evading arrest likely depends on staying POTUS. The GOP have shown that they're willing to enable him beyond what anyone once thought possible only one or two presidencies ago. If Trump is not removed from office by impeachment, he will be further emboldened to ensure his re-election in creative new ways. If Trump is not removed from office by impeachment OR the 2020 election, and it takes until 2022 for Democrats to nab the Senate, we're in trouble. Or maybe the Dems never flip the Senate, SCOTUS rules that a president is not only un-indictable, but un-investigatable, and our little democratic republic experiment is donezo. We get Trump or Trump Jr. "winning" 2024, then they unironically quote Palpatine's I AM TEH SENATE line as they abolish the legislative branch or whatever.

Backing up to 2020, the scheme detailed in kleinbl00's WaPo link could very well play out. Joe Biden is unencumbered by a Senate position, but the GOP thinks he's already been thoroughly smeared by accusations inside their media spheres, so they'll probably focus on Booker, Harris, Sanders, Warren. They don't understand that only inside their disinfo bubble has Biden been tarnished, though it is admittedly quite a regrettably large "bubble". I agree that Joe's son, Hunter, should have never agreed to serve on Burisma's board of directors, but if we're investigating nepotism or violations of the emoluments clause, the Trump administration probably overshadows anything prior by roughly an order of magnitude, at least. I'm not a Biden fan, but I'm forced to support essentially any candidate opposing Trump. Regrettable.

I share your despair, bfx. If 40% of the country somehow still supports Trump, I think we have a serious crisis of culture, stemming primarily from a very entrenched and divided information distribution network.

EDIT: Basically anyone who participates in impeachment proceedings discussions get a circledot, because I have almost no one in my face-to-face, everyday, personal life paying close enough attention to this thing. I feel super shitty to in any way to entangle Hubski in some need for therapy that I may have(?), but I repeatedly arrive at the judgement that we are objectively at a type of low point in U.S. politics, driven overwhelmingly by the GOP and Trump. If anyone needs specifics, just pose a relevant question, I would be happy to respond, but it might take me a day or two, apologies. Very busy.