Senate Republican ‘jurors’ plot with defendant Trump to limit trial

The House should definitely not be in any hurry to wrap its impeachment inquiry. Not without delving into every dark, stinky corner of Donald Trump's plots to both obtain and keep political office. Not without racking up every possible instance of obstruction by his administration. Because they'll need to go to the Senate with such an overwhelming mountain of evidence that Republicans will have to expose themselves to the American people as the total unprincipled partisans they are. The kind of people who would plot with the White House to limit Trump's impeachment trial.

A group of Republican senators—Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), John Neely Kennedy (Louisiana), Lindsey O. Graham (South Carolina), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Arkansas)—met with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway. Just to be clear, these are the potential jurors in the forthcoming trial. They met on Thursday to "map out a strategy" or the impeachment, "including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks, according to multiple officials familiar with the talks." This is while Trump himself was wining and dining Mitt Romney and Susan Collins and other Republican soon-to-be jurors.

The Republicans have settled on a two-week trial because "they believe it would be long enough to have credence without dragging on too long." They'll pretend like they're doing their duty, but make absolutely no mistake: The fix is in. They've fixed it with Trump—right there in broad daylight. On the same day that testimony from former National Security Council Russia expert Dr. Fiona Hill and foreign service officer David Holmes in the House Intelligence Committee damns Trump's efforts to undermine U.S. foreign policy and national security.

This is something, by the way, that should be handled between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. They should be negotiating and determining the conduct and scope of the impeachment trial. Once again, McConnell has outsourced his job to Trump and team.

That's why the House has to send the strongest case possible to them. Not because it will convince them of Trump's guilt and bring enlightenment to them that they must remove him, but because it will expose them for what they are.

Please give $1 to our nominee fund to help Democrats and end McConnell's career as majority leader.

David Holmes: Giuliani’s ‘political agenda’ overshadowed support for Ukraine against Russia

Foreign service officer David Holmes testified in his opening statement in Thursday's impeachment hearing that Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani's efforts undermined the U.S. State Department's efforts to support Ukraine. "Beginning in March 2019, the situation at the Embassy and in Ukraine changed dramatically," he testified in his opening statement.

"Specifically, the three priorities of security, economy and justice and our support for Ukrainian democratic resistance to Russian aggression became overshadowed by a political agenda promoted by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a cadre of officials working with the White House." That change began, he said, "with the emergence of press reports critical of Ambassador Yovanovitch and others to discredit her" and a concerted effort on the part of Giuliani and team to suggest that "Yovanovitch improperly used the embassy to advance the political interests of the Democratic Party." He said that the "allegations directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch, a career Ambassador, is unlike anything I have seen in my professional career."

He said it became clear that the "Three Amigos," consisting of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and Ambassador Kurt Volker, would "take the lead on coordinating our policy and engagement" with the new administration of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. He said that Sondland "made clear that he had direct and frequent access to President Trump and Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and portrayed himself as the conduit to the President and Mr. Mulvaney for the group."

He goes on to relate how it became clear that the Trump political team, which included ambassadors, was pushing the Burisma/Biden investigation as a "precondition for an Oval Office meeting" and security assistance. He testified that he learned from an Office of Management and Budget official that the order to withhold military aid "had come from the President and had been conveyed to OMB by Mr. Mulvaney."

In this opening statement, which included the infamous overheard phone conversation between Sondland and Trump on July 26, Holmes lays out the entire impeachment case against Trump. Watch the video below.

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Nunes assisted by Giuliani pal Lev Parnas in European ‘investigation’ to undermine Mueller report

Ed MacMahon, the attorney for Lev Parnas—the indicted pal of Rudy Giuliani—says Parnas helped Rep. Devin Nunes in his "investigations" in 2018 intended to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election-meddling. Parnas helped Nunes, the ranking member on the Intelligence Committee now conducting impeachment hearings, arrange meetings and calls in Europe.

That includes a four-day trip Nunes and three of his aides—Derek Harvey, Scott Glabe, and George Pappas—took at the end of November 2018. A four-day trip that cost the American taxpayers just over $63,000. This trip, and Nunes’ work, has been focused on trying to kick up enough dirt to suggest that the Mueller investigation wasn't spurred by Russia's interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign, but by some nefarious global Deep State effort to make nude photos of Donald Trump public. Or something. MacMahon did not tell the Daily Beast, which broke the story, what precisely Nunes was after and what the "investigation" entailed.

Parnas has been a busy guy on behalf of Trump. You'll remember he's the one, along with colleague and other friend of Rudy Igor Fruman, who was given a secret "James Bond mission" from Trump at last year's White House Hanukkah party, designed to pressure Ukraine into an investigation of Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

If Nunes or his Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had a single shred of integrity, Nunes would be recused from the impeachment proceedings. Instead, he is there on behalf of Trump to try to derail the process.

Russia expert Fiona Hill warns Republicans they are acting as Russia’s stooges

Dr. Fiona Hill, former National Security Council Russia expert, has sharp words for Republicans in her opening statement, and a critical warning.

"Some of you on this committee," Hill says, "appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason Ukraine did." This, she says, "is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves." That Russia was behind the interference, she says, "is beyond dispute, even if some of the underlying details must remain classified." She adds that even now "Russia's security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them."

She asks of committee members that they "please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests. […] If the President, or anyone else, impedes or subverts the national security of the United States in order to further domestic political or personal interests, that is more than worthy of your attention. But we must not let domestic politics stop us from defending ourselves against the foreign powers who truly wish us harm."

Your blow-by-blow Twitter recap of the fifth Democratic debate

What does a two-hour primary debate look like after a lengthy day of public impeachment hearings? Buckle up, friends, and let’s find out.

Some might say that the November Democratic presidential debate—hosted by MSNBC and the Washington Post at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta—began before the candidates even took the stage, when MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid noted during the pre-debate discussion, that “diversity is the story of the party right now.”

She also noted a key absence among the ten candidates who qualified for this fifth round of primetime debate exposure.

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The debate’s all-woman moderation team featured Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC, Ashley Parker of WaPo, and NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker.

Maddow kicked things off with impeachment, of course, noting Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s bombshell revelations about the military aid-for-Biden investigation agreement Donald Trump sought from Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked if she would convict the president. Warren didn’t hesitate to agree, told people telling people to “Read the Mueller report.” Further she vowed to never take a big donation and give anyone an ambassadorship in exchange for it.

Minnesota Sen. Klobuchar called out Trump’s “impeachable conduct,” vowing to look at each count and make a decision. She asserted that the impeachment is about saving democracy, noting that “This is a pattern with this man.” Quoting Walter Mondale’s “We told the truth, we obeyed the law, we kept the peace,” she declared that the minimum standard that Donald Trump is failing to meet.

Next, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders almly called Trump “corrupt” before warning against becoming obsessed with him. He shifted to healthcare and wealth inequality, before demanding that legislators “walk and chew gum at the same time.”

South Bend Mayer Pete Buttigieg asserted that Trump’s conduct was appalling, before making a similar call for legislators to forward the impeachment inquiry while also legislating.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden was asked about his ability to break the deadlock between the Democrat-majority House and the Republican-controlled Senate. Biden promised that he could win in places like South Carolina, noting that the impeachment testimony has taught him that both Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump “don’t want me to be president.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris was asked her thoughts “about that,” essentially receiving an open question. Harris noted that there’s a “criminal living in the White House,” insisting that the hearings must continue. She vowed to fight for all people, including the people working “two to three jobs to get by.”

Warren was then asked about wealth inequality and her proposed wealth tax. She explained it with simple vernacular, explaining that the proposal isn’t about “punishing” billionaires. 

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was next, with his first chance to speak. All smiles, he explained that he didn’t agree with Warren’s wealth tax, though he endorsed estate taxes. He then shifted to the importance of teaching people to grow wealth, citing the importance of equality of opportunity. 

Warren replied by explaining the various programs that would be funded by her two-cent wealth tax, vowing it would allow the nation to “invest in a generation.”

Booker said Democrats agree on most of those programs, but called the wealth tax plan “cumbersome.” He shifted back to growing wealth, and supporting entrepreneurs, as well as fair taxation across the income spectrum. 

Warren jumped in, noting that she was “tired of freeloading billionaires.” Booker and Warren talked over each other for a few moments before Buttigieg was asked how he would get policy past Republicans; he shifted to healthcare.

Warren was then asked what happens if Medicare for All costs her votes? Warren launched into the benefits of her program, far quicker than this recapped could possibly keep up.

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Sanders was invited into the conversation and slipped in an “I wrote the damn bill,” before being asked if former President Barack Obama was wrong when he said, during a speech last week, that most Americans don’t want to “completely tear down the system and remake it.”

Sanders glided right past that question, instead listing the perils of the current American healthcare system, noting that people know that system doesn’t work.

Biden jumped in, fumbling through his version of a public option.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard entered the fray after she was asked about her Democratic “rot” statement about former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Gabbard didn’t hesitate to drop Clinton’s name into her signature rant against U.S. foreign policy and regime change wars.

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Harris was asked if she had thoughts, and Harris threw all the way down. You just need to watch it.

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Gabbard painted Harris as afraid of her policies, noting that this is “personal” to me because she served in the military. She vowed not to put party first before It was Harris’ turn.

Harris shifted away to talking about Gabbard and spoke to her record and the fight of her previous campaigns, vowing that she’s the right person to debate Trump in November.

Tom Steyer got his first opportunity to speak of the night, asked why people wouldn’t view him as a human special interest, considering how much of his own money he’s pumped into his campaign. Steyer listed his activism funding resume before vowing to take power away from D.C.

Buttigieg asked if he could stick up for Steyer but Klobuchar jumped in, vowing to overturn Citizens United, without which, she noted in a nod to the venue, Stacey Abrams—who spoke to the crowd before the debate—would likely be the governor of Georgia today.

Buttigieg attempted to jump in again on Steyer’s behalf but it was Andrew Yang’s first hot mic of the night. He spent most of his time defending Steyer.

Buttigieg was asked how, with such little experience in government, he should be trusted as president. He noted how different he was from other candidates, and vowed to govern like someone from the Heartland.

Klobuchar was asked about her assessment of Buttigieg’s viability as a candidate if he was a woman. After a salute to Buttigieg, she noted several examples of sexism and gender-based inequality, lightly pointing out that there have been no woman presidents.

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Biden stumbled again, noting that there’s no “on the job training” for the presidency, but noting that he will “keep his word.”

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Booker was next, and asked if he believes Trump’s Twitter habit will become a presidential norm. After a takedown of Trump, Booker vowed to heal the nation by brining “creativity to the office.”

Maddow asked about the shift from chanting “Lock her up” to “Lock him up,” and asked Sanders If Democrats should take a stance against that behavior. Sanders dodged the invitation to chastise his own supporters, and noted that Trump should be prosecuted and people are waking up to that. He then rejected the outlook that we are a divided nation, going through several issues that poll majority opinions. 

Biden stated that it’s not up to the president, it’s up to the Attorney General, to decide whether or not Trump is prosecuted for his crimes. He quickly circled back to previous questions, noting that the chants are no good and neither is presidential tweeting.

Sanders agreed that prosecution is a “function of the attorney general” before declaring that the American people writ large do believe that Trump violated the law.

Biden responded by explaining that there are two questions in play: Should Trump be impeached and removed from office, and then, should he be prosecuted?

Yang was asked his thoughts on the untenable costs of childcare, noting that in Georgia, daycare can cost as much as $8500 a year, which is more than a year of in-state college tuition. He noted that we’re on a “terrible” list with only two countries on it.

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He struggled but succeeded in a pivot to his Freedom Dividend. 

When asked about her call for just three months of paid family leave, Klobuchar then focused on the importance of knowing how to pay for everyone’s big plans. Excluding Harris by name, Klobuchar differentiated herself from other candidates, noting that she’s not going to “send rich kids to college.”

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Harris was next, noting a host of struggles working moms face, and how six months’ leave better addresses it. She then explored pay inequality based on gender.

Steyer was then asked about the housing crisis, specifically in California. Steyer noted that “where you lay your head” sets the tone to everyone’s life. He then declared that he knows how to fix it. He vowed to “force” communities who resist new units to build new units, and make sure they’re affordable.

Warren asserted the issues on the supply side of the housing market, before delivering her own housing plan, pointing out that it’s the fastest path to building wealth. After a quick explainer on redlining’s impact on the black community, extending inequality.

Booker dismissed such plans and pitched his tax credit for households paying more than 1/3 of their income in rent.

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Then, after 55 minutes, it was time for our first break, which brought us this astute observation.

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Maddow kicked off the next segment by asking Buttigieg if he’d continue Trump’s farm subsidies to offset his trade war. The Mayor pointed out that we shouldn’t be in a trade war in the first place, and pointing out that those checks aren’t even “making farmers whole.” Buttigieg did not answer the question, instead focusing on the need to support farmers above all, and shifting to climate change. Maddow interrupted his expansive answer and asked him to answer the question. He did, noting that they won’t be needed because he’d end the trade war.

Gabbard was next with her plan for climate change.

Steyer then differentiated himself as the only candidate who names climate change as his first priority, calling Biden and Warren by name.

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Steyer asserted over a decade of fighting climate change and vowed to keep it a top priority with regards to foreign policy and social justice. Finally he said that the climate change fight would unite the nation.

Biden took offense, saying he “didn’t need a lecture from my friend,” and listed several of his own accomplishments when it comes to the environment. He noted that he did believe climate change is “an existential threat.”

Steyer raged against the fossil fuel industry, saying that Congress has never passed a bill that addresses climate change. He promised “we can be the moral leaders of the world” again if climate change is prioritized.

Several candidates tried to jump in, but Sanders prevailed, noting that he’d introduced legislature addressing climate change. We don’t have decades, he said, and vowed to also go after fossil fuel companies, who he said might be criminally liable for their practices.

Harris was asked if she’d grant concessions to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, and said “Donald Trump got punked.”

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Harris then focused on the importance of building and earning a trustworthy  reputation around the world. When she was told to answer the question, she said she would not grant the concessions, because there’s no reason to.

Biden was next, and asked what he would do different than Obama when it comes to the “inherited problem” of North Korea. Noting how Trump has burned bridges across Asia, Biden called Jong-Un before cheerfully embracing one of the dictator’s previous insults lobbed at him, with the help of Sanders.

Sanders was asked if he’d make a deal with the Taliban in order to end the war in Afghanistan, even if it meant the government would collapse. After pointing out that he’d been against every war in his career, Sanders agreed to negotiate with the Taliban if it was “necessary” to bring the troops home. 

Yang was asked what he’d say on his first presidential phone call with Russian president Vladimir Putin. His amusement fed into a smart response—“I’d tell him that I’m sorry that I beat his guy.” Pointing out the additional threat of China, Yang proposed a world organization focused on data.

Booker was then asked about the threat of China. Booker proposed a much stronger approach “led by American values” instead of Trump’s “transactional” style. He noted numerous human rights violations occurring on Trump’s watch and vowed to protect democratic values around the world.

Biden was asked if he would punish the senior leadership of Saudi Arabia responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi. Biden noted that he would and has said so before. He listed several sanctions he would implement, and vehemently declared that the U.S, has to speak out and speak loudly against human rights.

Klobuchar was asked if she would go against the Saudis. She did not answer the question, instead noting that “we need a new foreign policy,” and using her turn to circle back to earlier questions in a trick from Biden’s playbook, touching on Russia and China.

Sanders said that he might have been the first person to call Saudi Arabia a dictatorship, noting that it’s time to admit that the nation is not a reliable ally. He vowed to put the Saudis in a room with Iran, and prescribed it as necessary in Gaza as well. 

Warren was asked if more women should serve in the military. Warren agreed that she did, noting the impact of military service on individual families, including her own. She then pivoted to a 10,000 jobs plan that would bring more people into public service, focusing on work in the national forests.

Buttigieg became the latest candidate to dodge a direct answer when asked Trump’s skyrocketing Pentagon costs.

And just like that, it was time for the second break.

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Time for part three!

Gabbard was asked about combating the fight against domestic terrorism. Instead, she vowed to overhaul the criminal justice system “in a bipartisan way,” citing an end to cash bail. She promised her signature “21st Century” White House, where people treat each other with respect.

Yang was also asked about combating the white supremacy scourge. He noted that it’s time to call their acts of violence “terrorism,” getting applause. 

Biden was asked about the realities of the #MeToo era. After demanding the Violence Against Women Act be reauthorized, he noted that everyone—including men—must be involved. In an odd word choice in a discussion about combating domestic violence, Biden said “we just gotta keep punching at it.”

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Harris was asked about her assessment of Buttigieg’s outreach to black voters. Harris noted that black women are the backbone of the party but people only show up for elections. She then noted that nobody shows up for black women, and the question has to be “Where ya been, and whatcha gonna do?” She noted that she intended to retreate the Obama Coalition of diverse communities.

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Buttigieg responded by simply saying that he agreed with Harris, yet stopped just before sharing his plan—to share what’s “in his heart.” He then noted several of his own experiences, but did not share his plan.

Harris again cited the Obama Coalition being key to a 2020 victory, and reiterated the value of people who have worked with those communities.

Warren was up next, pleading for all candidates to embrace student loan forgiveness, which she cited as a huge factor in black-white wealth inequality.

Warren was next asked about the border wall, and after noting Trump’s responsibility for the border crisis, Warren excoriated the concentration camps at the border and vowed to treat people with dignity

Booker quickly agreed with Warren before circling back to the earlier question about black voters, noting that he wasn’t asked but had “been one since I was 18.” He pushed back on Biden’s recent marijuana legalization statements.

Biden held his hand up until he was called upon, and said he supports decriminalization, expunging records, but called for a study on the effects of marijuana. He then nudged at Booker and Harris’s low polling, noting that he’s got the largest percentage of black support. 

Then this happened.

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Biden paused, off-track, and then continued speaking. (By “the first,” he meant Carol Moseley Braun, elected in 1992.)

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Woo hoo! It’s time for one last break!

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Maddow kicked off the final segment of the debate by asking Klobuchar if she’d reinstate Roe vs. Wade if it’s somehow overturned by the current administration. Klobuchar declared that abortion access should be codified as law, and that the nation agrees. She vowed that Trump would “hear from the women of America, and that’s how we win this election.”

Warren was then asked about Louisiana’s Gov. John Bel Edwards, and if there is room in the Democratic Party for pro-life politicians who win as Democrats in deeply red states. Warren refused to answer the question insisting that she’s not there to kick people out of the party, but she is here to fight for women.

Sanders was next, insisting that this is the time for men to stand up in the fight for reproductive rights.

Booker insisted that the Bel Edwards question is a voting and voter suppression issue, with a nod to the Georgia Gov. Stacey Abrams that should have been. 

It was then time for the first, and only, audience question: What would you do to protect voting rights?

Buttigieg was up, listing key but familiar voting rights protections, like a national Election Day holiday.

Klobuchar then went after Buttigieg’s lack of political experience, noting that she’s crafted legislation that included every proposal Buttigieg named, and pointing out that unlike the mayor, she ran for statewide office and won.

Buttigieg fired back that Washington experience is what got us here, and focused on his military service.

Gabbard noted the importance of protecting voter rights before telling Buttigieg that military service alone doesn’t make him qualified to be president, noting that he proposed to send troops to fight Mexican cartels.

Buttigieg said she took his comments out of context, and mocked Gabbard for implying he was talking about “invading Mexico.” He then questioned her judgment in meeting Syria’s Bashar Assad.

Gabbard defended her presentation of Buttigieg’s statement about fighting Mexican cartels. It quickly devolved into an insult fest between the two, each getting their own gasps and cheers from the crowd with their respective jabs.

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Sanders brought it back to voting rights, calling for the overturn of Citizens United, easy access to voting for anyone over 18, and federal funding for elections.

Steyer was next, and quickly pivoted to the importance of high turnout, citing 2018’s midterms and the work that his NextGen America did. He entreated every candidate to help organize the nation.

Then it was closing statement time.

Booker was first, noting that he needs help to qualify for the December debate. He said he tossed his prepared statement after chatting with Rep. John Lewis, present in the audience, on a break.

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He spoke of the housing rights attorney who helped his parents, who was inspired by watching Lewis cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge. Booker stuck to his typical upbeat promises before asking again for help to qualify for the sixth debate in December.

Steyer was next, insisting that anyone on the stage was better qualified to defeat Trump, but that his business acumen and wealth, as well as his focus on climate, made him “the person who could do it.”

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Gabbard focused on respect and “aloha.” 

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Yang focused on the “darker” future that today’s young people are being left behind. He then noted that he didn’t want to run for president, but he attempted to speak to the nation’s leaders in Washington, D.C., and was not heard. 

Klobuchar invoked Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s impeachment testimony the day before, noting that beyond policy, this election is also a “decency check.” She then gave a nod to the more diverse members of the Democratic Party before focusing on her ability to win in red states, purple states, and with independents. 

Harris stressed the importance of taking on Trump, as well as unifying both party and country, and to “speak to all people”—and explaining why she’s the candidate who can do that, and help reclaim and build the America she believes in.

Buttigieg shared the story of Atlanta’s Maynard Jackson to focus on the impact potential of “local leaders,” vowing to launch “the era after Donald Trump,” saying “everyone is welcome” in the “new era.”

Sanders kicked off with the story of his immigrant father, and vowed to stand with undocumented immigrants before noting his first fight for civil rights back in college. He then vowed to end the divisiveness before touting his historic four million-plus small dollar donations. 

Warren noted the topics discussed at the debate, noting that gun violence wasn’t one of them. She noted that corruption inhibits change on those issues which Americans agree on. She spoke of her anti-corruption proposals, and the fossil fuel industry’s hold on the nation, before dropping an emotional bit of gratitude for the opportunities afforded to her in life.

Biden followed Warren, with a weird jab about how he hoped she wasn’t “talking about Barack Obama” when speaking of “all that corruption.” Biden then repeated his refrain about Americans’ inability to fail, before ending with a shouty order to take the country back. 

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And then this wild day of president-adjacent politics was over at long last. Or so we thought…

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It never ends.

2020 Democrats debate amid impeachment hearings: Live coverage #3

It’s been just over a month since the 2020 Democratic candidates debated and if you had your money on “the next debate will happen during the middle of public impeachment hearings,” congratulations, you win!

The candidates in this debate are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. It’s being hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC, and moderated by Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker, all of NBC or MSNBC, and The Post’s Ashley Parker.

You can watch on MSNBC or streaming on MSNBC.com and washingtonpost.com.

2020 Democrats debate amid impeachment hearings: Live coverage #2

It’s been just over a month since the 2020 Democratic candidates debated and if you had your money on “the next debate will happen during the middle of public impeachment hearings,” congratulations, you win!

The candidates in this debate are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. It’s being hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC, and moderated by Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker, all of NBC or MSNBC, and The Post’s Ashley Parker.

You can watch on MSNBC or streaming on MSNBC.com and washingtonpost.com.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:29:38 AM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill

Coverage continues here.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:48:02 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

This: 

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:50:46 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Fantastic to have paid family leave as a serious discussion on the debate stage.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:51:30 AM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:57:00 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Another great discussion on an issue that’s been given short shrift, housing. (Yeah, Castro should be there.) We have smart candidates. 

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:59:27 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

While we’re having a break, here’s a thing to ponder. 

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:02:15 AM +00:00 · Laura Clawson

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:05:39 AM +00:00 · Gabe Ortiz

We’ve got an idea just who ...

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:05:45 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Being on top of that small refinery issue and talking about it is a big part of why Pete Buttigieg is ahead in Iowa. But also why his lead there isn't translating to something nationally, because that issue has limited scope on the national stage. Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:06:41 AM +00:00 · Meteor Blades

Steyer could do most to deal with climate change by dumping a hundred million into state legislative races.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:12:27 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Harris: "Donald Trump got punked."  That doesn't just apply to North Korea, it applies everywhere. Because Trump is an absolute sucker. Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 3:20:07 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Good answer from Booker on China, human rights, and applying our standards for human rights at home.

2020 Democrats debate amid impeachment hearings: Live coverage #1

It’s been just over a month since the 2020 Democratic candidates debated and if you had your money on “the next debate will happen during the middle of public impeachment hearings,” congratulations, you win! 

The candidates in this debate are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang. It’s being hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC, and moderated by Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, Kristen Welker, all of NBC or MSNBC, and The Post’s Ashley Parker.

You can watch on MSNBC or streaming on MSNBC.com and washingtonpost.com.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:48:27 AM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill

Coverage continues here.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:03:25 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Thanks, Rachel. We’re opening with impeachment.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:10:30 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar do a good job in addressing the inherent corruption that Trump has demonstrated. Warren does well in pointing out Sondland as not just a witness, but a symptom of that corruption.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:11:19 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Didn’t expect the “what are you thinking saying you can get Rs to work with you” to Biden from Andrea Mitchell. Biden uses it to say Trump and Putin hate him most.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:17:40 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Shout out to the all-women panel that didn’t make them fight with each other over health care right out of the box. I think that one has be flogged beyond anyone caring to hear about it more.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:20:45 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

And… that was a short reprieve. We’re on Medicare for All.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:23:20 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

A bit of fun there as Sanders finally gets a chance to comment on Medicare-for-all after being shut out of the initial discussion of his signature issue.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:25:31 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Oh, lordy. What we do not need to rehash Gabbard and Clinton. Or, frankly, Gabbard. At all.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:27:42 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

“Senator Harris, any response?”

“Oh, sure.”

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:32:04 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Sorry Steyer. Terms limits are bullshit. They are a facile and lazy answer. We have elections. That’s term limits. What we need is comprehensive campaign finance reform, like Amy Klobuchar just said.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:38:40 AM +00:00 · Mark Sumner

Klobuchar is getting a lot of opportunities, and doing well with them so far. Be interesting to see if there is a bump for her coming out of this, because she’s had a couple of very sharp responses.

Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:39:29 AM +00:00 · Laura Clawson

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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 · 2:45:30 AM +00:00 · Joan McCarter

Highlighting this from Klobuchar, because it was a very good moment. 

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Mike Pence all of a sudden can’t recall if he talked with Sondland about Ukraine aid being withheld

Ambassador Gordon Sondland lied, Vice President Mike Pence's office said in a statement released after Wednesday morning's impeachment hearing. Sondland testified that he had discussed the delay in aid to Ukraine with Pence, "that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. I recall mentioning that before the Zelensky meeting," in Warsaw on September 1.

Pence's chief of staff was unequivocal. "The Vice President never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens, Burisma, or the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations." And the statement went on at length to say that "Sondland was never alone with Vice President Pence on the September trip. […] The alleged discussion recalled by Ambassador Sondland never happened."

That might have been just a tad bit overstated, now that Pence himself has made time to weigh in. Now it's "I don’t recall any discussions with Ambassador Sondland before my meeting with President Zelensky that had to do with investigations."

"I don't recall" is a pretty far cry from "never happened."