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I am listening to the hearings....

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I listened to the ambassador who Trump smeared... she was so worth listening to.

Today I listened to Sondland. This requires attention to figure out what is going on....but one thing I noticed is that Sondland says that Trump wanted Ukraine to announce they were investigating the Bidens. He said that there really was no concern about actually doing the investigation. Just making a big show of announcing there would be an investigation.

Do you see the game? Trump does this all the time. He drops a lit match and watches social media and all the press blow wind on the fire. This reminds me of James Comey announcing, right before the election, that the investigation into Hillary’s emails which he had previously announced was closed. Same trick. Light a match and drop it to spread fire.


  1. agate's Avatar
    I've been trying to follow the hearings too.

    Now the Republicans are insisting that since Sondland didn't actually hear Trump say he wanted a quid pro quo or hear him say that he wanted some dirt on Biden's son from the Ukrainians in exchange for the aid he delayed giving them (for nearly 2 months), therefore Trump comes out innocent as the day is long. No bribery, no pressure.

    Are they really so naive, or do they think that the American people are so naive, that we don't realize that bribes are hardly ever transacted directly, for obvious reasons? They're done underhandedly--and going through a lawyer is one way to insure that your own hands don't get dirty.

    That's clearly what went on here. There was an attempted bribe, and for about 50 days one side of the agreement was being carried out: Trump was withholding the promised aid to Ukraine. Then he had to release the aid without getting the information he wanted--because the truth was about to come out.

    How was the aid promised? Not in so many words--except that the transcript of the Trump/Zelensky phone call makes it fairly clear. You can see that Trump is being indirect but he's referring to matters they've gone over before, with Biden's son being very much on Trump's mind.

    Years ago when I took driving lessons in Chicago and was preparing for the exam, the driving instructor was giving me some tips on passing the exam, and he mentioned this possibility: "The person who is testing you might say, 'I sure could use a steak dinner tonight.'" He went on to explain that at that remark the person being tested might put down some money on the seat of the car, next to the tester. Nothing more would be said but the person would be sure to pass the test.

    This didn't happen to me, and no such remarks were made, but what that instructor said was clear evidence to me that bribes work by little signals and cues, indirect actions--and that it has to be that way because nobody wants to get caught.

    It seems to be how things often get done. You don't go in and say, "I'd like to bribe you."

    How stupid do the Republicans think people are?

    Trump might have been more straightforward in some conversations with Giuliani, his personal lawyer, but even then he could have got the point across without using the word "bribe" or "quid pro quo." It was Giuliani who did his dirty work.

    Centuries ago, before lawyers were what they now are, they were hired thugs. You wanted to get revenge on someone, you paid one of these thugs to do something violent. These thugs did the dirty stuff you couldn't do or didn't want to do. They were supposed how to do things "right"--without leaving too many traces, without getting caught. That's been Giuliani's role here, I think. I trust that he's being well rewarded for his efforts.
    Updated 11-20-2019 at 03:37 PM by agate
  2. Virginia's Avatar
    I have listened every day they have been on so far. I am not usually a daytime TV watcher and I don't normally get up that early, but this week I have gotten nothing done other than clean linens put on my bed and two loads of wash, all yesterday. Yesterday afternoon got a little boring, but today things picked up quite a bit for me.

    Sondland definitely protected himself and didn't look out too much for DT. It is kind of interesting to see the Republicans spin this, and I have flipped over to Fox a few times after it has gone off and they are trying to spin it also. I caught Chris Wallace one time when he didn't. I can't watch that station much, but it is only one channel down from MSNBC and one up from CNN on my TV so that makes it so easy to witch the channels that I do occasionally try to catch what they are saying. I find it interesting to see how they are spinning it. I never flip over when Tucker Carlson or the nut who gives advice to DT. I think he comes on about 8 or 9PM.

    I am not sure of the schedule for tomorrow. I think they might be taking another deposition tonight. Devin Nunez has lied so much. Sometimes he gets wound up and other times he seems to almost run out of lies.

    I am brain dead. Maybe I will come back to life and be able to get back to the forum when this is over.
  3. agate's Avatar
    It's continuing today. I thought it was over but it isn't. Now it's Under Secretary Hale and Laura Cooper:
  4. Lazarus's Avatar
    David Holmes today in tandem with Sondland yesterday are big... Fiona Hill now is the third incredible witness with details. Details and more details.
  5. agate's Avatar
    Many of the witnesses are so impressive that I'm encouraged. And I feel as if, in a way, we are being given our country back. For 3 years now it's been as if the country has been hijacked by a brute of a guy who happened to have a Twitter account, and he ran with it.

    All the while, there have been these people --people like Laura Cooper and Marie Yovanovitch and many of those in Congress-- who've been part of our government, and they've been doing their jobs quietly and without fanfare, keeping the government ticking along in spite of him.
  6. Virginia's Avatar
    I am so proud of our career government employees. Their dedication to duty has been unquestionable. Dr. Hill is so honest, that it would be impossible not to believe her. Hale is also a very honest and straightforward person. These are the people of the real U.S. Government who serve us without ever being noticed.

    I am also very proud of all the women who have testified, Marie Yavonovich, Ms Williams from the Vice President's office, and Fiona Hill.
  7. tic chick's Avatar
    going back to lazarus' opening statement...oh, excuse me please, been watching too much tv lately , but...

    yes. it didn't matter to trump if the ukrainians investigated the bidens or burisma. all he wanted was a political ad for for his presidential run in 2020. he wanted president zelensky in a "public box", "at a mic" announcing that his administration was now beginning an investigation into hunter biden and/or joe biden and their involvement in burisma. i can hear the sinister music playing, a clip of zelensky at a microphone mentioning the words, "investigation, biden and burisma" and whatever else he might have said and then a deep voice saying, "vote for president trump in 2020". the truth doesn't matter.

    agate, what you said above about getting our country back is the same way i felt. i've felt that the last 3 years of gaslighting and lies by trump on even the most unimportant things, like the size of his inauguration crowd, has been wearing. plus, being an avid reader, i find trump's lack of ability to sound presidential to be jarring. these witnesses put together intelligent thought in complete sentences. this is what trump wrote when he was talking to reporters yesterday after the hearings:
    i want nothing. i want nothing. i want no quid pro quo. tell zellinsky to do the right thing. this is the final word from the pres of the u.s.
    seriously? i'm reminded of the movie, "the wizard of oz", the final scenes where dorothy and friends are talking to a huge, menacing face on a screen, billowing smoke and yelling and then toto runs over and pulls aside the curtain and reveals the great and powerful wizard to be just a human being who needs to keep his kingdom in line by using fear and has no magical powers at all.

    i also have been getting up at the crack of 830am to take care of the dog and make breakfast before the hearings begin, plus i had 2 medical tests done last week and a dental appointment yesterday. i have been recording and then watching. yesterday was brutal, with the hearings not ending until close to 9pm.

    i was impressed with all the ambassadors except sondland. seems to me like he is used to puffing himself up, like trump. fiona hill was amazing. i felt like i was in a university class lecture. her command of facts and way of speaking were riveting. volker, i was surprised. a very well respected and longtime diplomat was not being forthright and seemed to be protecting himself. i can imagine his embarrassment at being one of the "three amigos".

    and then the kind of interesting story that they put into the record today of devin nunes, house minority leader leading the inquiries for the repubs the last few days, being helped by lev parnas, one of giuliani's cohorts now on trial, in some kind of "investigations" that nunes was doing last year in europe:

    the last 3 years of trump have been frustrating and thinking that the senate probably won't impeach him and the mueller report wasn't even paid attention to makes me wonder what wrong this president has to commit before he faces consequences for his actions.

    thank you for reading and sharing,
    jeannie (tic chick)
    Updated 11-21-2019 at 07:50 PM by tic chick
  8. agate's Avatar
    I'm afraid we in the US have been over-entertained during the last few decades. We're very used to drama. We even expect it in our political life.

    Watergate had a certain appeal--gee, a break-in! And some cloak and dagger stuff, with "Deep Throat"! The next thing you knew, a movie was made of it.

    jeannie, you're far more diligent about keeping up with the hearings than I've been. I'm not up to TV before about 9:30 or 10 AM, and by then I missed the first 3 hours, but I did try to catch up with what I missed.

    This time around it's not so exciting or dramatic. It happens to be far more important because this time foreign policy is directly affected but no matter. We're not finding that it holds our attention. We as a people have a very short attention span. I have a neighbor who frankly stated she couldn't imagine finding these hearings worth watching.

    And did you hear one of the people at the hearing--Nunes, maybe?--saying sarcastically that the ratings were way down by now, that TV viewers were no longer bothering to watch the hearings, as if the whole thing is just a circus being put on for our entertainment?

    I keep hearing that there isn't much point in the hearings unless Trump, Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney and others who have declined to honor their subpoenas turn up, and they aren't likely to.

    But isn't their refusal to testify almost an indication that they have something to hide? If they didn't have anything to hide, wouldn't at least some of them be perfectly willing to show up at a hearing and be questioned?

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