But also, buckle your seat belt because it’s only getting worse.
Impeachment Corner is Crowded Today!
— Anthony Atamanuik (@TonyAtamanuik) October 16, 2019
There has been TOO MUCH NEWS in the past 24 hours, so much news, we’re going to break this down into sections: Emoluments; Ukraine; Syria; and Nancy Pelosi is a BAD BITCH.
First up: Emoluments
In breaking news, Mick Mulvaney just announced this morning that the G7 will, in fact, be held at the Trump hotel at the Miami airport. Mulvaney is claiming — WITH A STRAIGHT FACE, NO LESS — that it is not an emoluments violation because President Scam isn’t profiting from it.
MULVANEY: "Again, anticipating your questions, how is this this is not emolument violation? Will the president profit from this? The president pretty much made it very clear since he got here, he doesn't profit from being here. He has no interest in profiting from being here." pic.twitter.com/wLY55ZHA5V
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 17, 2019
Of course, since President Totally Transparent won’t release his tax returns, we have no way to confirm this, BUT SURE, MICK, WE’LL JUST TAKE YOUR GODDAMNED WORD FOR IT.
Listen. President Art of the Deal has clearly been profiting from the presidency from the word “go,” including the almost-laughable instance when he forced Mike Pence to stay at his Ireland resort even though it was on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY from his meetings. And the fact that his company owns a hotel in Washington D.C. is so, so, so, so very gross. It’s an obvious emoluments trap. But the president’s defenders would argue that foreign governments stay in the Trump Hotel not because they are trying to curry favor with the president but because it’s SO NICE. No one is forcing them to stay there, don’t be ridiculous!
But hosting the G7 at the Trump hotel at the Miami airport, there’s no way to see this but as emoluments — President Cash Grab is LITERALLY FORCING FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS TO PAY HIM.
Just a reminder what the Constitution has to say about this:
“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
In case it's not clear from my freaking out, this G-7 thing is an escalation. It may look from the outside like it's been corruption all along—because it has been—but participating in a contract award to yourself is different by orders of magnitude. This is a red line crossed.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 17, 2019
Add it to the articles, Adam.
In that same press conference above, Mulvaney admitted to a quid pro quo with Ukraine in what I can only assume is the very Trumpian theory of “if we do it out in the open, it’s not illegal.”
NARRATOR VOICE: It is still illegal.
Breaking News: Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, said the U.S. froze aid partly to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democrats. He undercut President Trump's denials of a quid pro quo. https://t.co/MqfMB2GwHB
— The New York Times (@nytimes) October 17, 2019
As for all the depositions that are happening: I mentioned yesterday that Michael McKinley, the deputy to Mike Pompeo at the State Department who resigned last week, testified that he quit because he asked Pompeo to stand up for Marie Yavonivitch and Pompeo did fuckall. Well, he also said that he quit because he “was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents … I was convinced that this would also have a serious impact on Foreign Service morale and the integrity of our work overseas.”
As for today, it’s Gordon “Call Me” Sondland’s (the ambassador to the European Union and one of the “three amigos”) time in the barrel, and he’s throwing Giuliani and President Only I Can Do It directly under the impeachment bus. In his opening statement, Sondland wrote that he and other diplomats tried to tell the Colluder-in-Chief that he should just meet with the President of Ukraine with no preconditions, but he just wouldn’t listen, y’all. Also, too, Sondland and others were so disappointed, VERY disappointed that President Dumbass kept insisting that Giuliani be involved in everything.
Which, OK, but no. Sondland, according to testimony from literally everyone else, was up to his eyebrows in all of this; he, along with Rick Perry and Kurt Volker, was one of the “three amigos” who were put in charge of Ukrainian foreign policy when Mulvaney and the White House removed all the actual experts. This is a classic Cover Your Ass statement; Sondland who donated $1 million to the inauguration fund basically bought himself an ambassadorship is no resistance hero. But then, at the end of the day, he is saying that President Toddler was definitely up to something inappropriate with how he was handling Ukraine (while also trying to distance himself from it).
Even as Mr. Sondland was answering questions, lawmakers and their aides were preparing for a crush of additional closed-door witness depositions in the coming days that will reach further into the diplomatic corps and the White House. They have sessions scheduled with two Pentagon officials, Laura Cooper and Kathryn Wheelbarger, and two top White House budget officials, Russell Vought and Michael Duffey, who could help address lingering questions about whether Mr. Trump’s decision this summer to freeze $391 million in security aid for Ukraine was tied to the pressure campaign.
Questions about the aid will also likely be put to William B. Taylor Jr., a career diplomat in Ukraine who raised concerns with Mr. Sondland about the aid freeze, and two National Security Council officials, Alexander Vindman and Timothy Morrison. And investigators also plan to interview Philip Reeker, a top European affairs official at the State Department and Suriya Jayant, a foreign service officer in Kiev.
Oh! And I keep forgetting to mention the part where Sondland ordered a $1 million renovation of his government-provided home in Brussels. The renovations include: “more than $400,000 in kitchen renovations, nearly $30,000 for a new sound system and $95,000 for an outdoor “living pod” with a pergola and electric heating.” Again, this guy is a pig.
Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani is under a counterintelligence investigation (as well as one by the SDNY) into “whether a foreign influence operation was trying to take advantage of Giuliani’s business ties in Ukraine and with wealthy foreigners to make inroads with the White House.”
Mitch McConnell gave the Senate a heads-up that an impeachment trial could begin as soon as Thanksgiving, but Nancy Pelosi was all, “Bitch, that’s news to me. Calm yo shit.”
Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell has reportedly told GOP senators that they should get ready for an impeachment trial taking place as soon as Thanksgiving, with the Senate meeting 6 days a week. https://t.co/evd9obv30M
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) October 17, 2019
Could impeachment wrap up by Thanksgiving/the end of the year as McConnell says? "I have no idea. … The timeline will depend on the truthline," says Pelosi.
— Francesca Chambers (@fran_chambers) October 17, 2019
And Now: Syria
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this because it’s SUCH A HUGE SHITSHOW AND I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME, but basically: we abandoned our allies, the Kurds, and gave over our positions in Syria to Turkey (so much so that we had TO BOMB OUR OWN FORMER MILITARY BASES) (And also, Trump announced that we have nukes in Turkey, which he’s not supposed to say out loud and if anyone else did it, they would be fucking arrested so that’s great ).
The Turks have been working with former Al Qaeda and ISIS fighters to sweep through Syria to murder and sweep out the Kurds. The Kurds, now without allies, have turned to the Syrians, led by Assad, and Russia for help.
So that’s where we were when Pence and Pompeo went to Turkey and negotiated a five-day cease-fire to give time for the Kurds to get out of the area they had claimed for their homeland. (A cease-fire that the Kurds have rejected, by the way.)
COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL COOL
(1) turkey wants to push the kurds out of that part of syria.
(2) trump gives ‘em the OK to invade.
(3) pence brokers a “deal” in which the kurds… must get out of that part of syria.
(4) the US agrees to un-sanction turkey.
that’s a “deal” like being mugged is a deal.
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) October 17, 2019
Oh, and here’s our president admitting to siding with ethnic cleansing:
Referring to Kurds living along Turkish border in Syria, Trump says of Turkey, "they had to have it cleaned out." pic.twitter.com/W8J7IFctO3
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 17, 2019
Finally: Nancy Pelosi 100% THAT BITCH
In the best story of the day, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and other Democrats met with President Bad Brain yesterday to discuss the dumpster fire that is Syria and things … well, they fell apart, and fell apart spectacularly.
President Titty Baby started the meeting by literally announcing he didn’t want to be there, before bragging about and sharing a “nasty letter” he sent President Erdogan of Turkey, which I’m sure you’ve read by now, but in case you want to read it again:
Felt the need to ask WH if this is actually real and it is. pic.twitter.com/bHyIFw6cvO
— Katie Rogers (@katierogers) October 16, 2019
— Pres. Supervillain (@PresVillain) October 17, 2019
Just a couple of notes before we move on: first of all, this is clearly written by a semi-literate third grader. But second of all, this was written on October 9. Meaning, Turkey took one look at this letter and literally — AND I MEAN LITERALLY — threw it in the trash and did what they wanted.
— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) October 17, 2019
So why is President Very Stable Genius so fucking proud of this embarrassment?
President Can’t Read then went on to shit on General Mattis, calling him “the world’s most overrated general,” and adding, “You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take two years. I captured them in one month.”
He then claimed that he cared about capturing ISIS more than Pelosi, and called her “just a politician.
“’Sometimes I wish you were,’ Ms. Pelosi shot back.”
Mr. Schumer interjected, telling Mr. Trump that name-calling was not necessary.
‘Is that a bad name, Chuck?’ Mr. Trump asked, then turned to Ms. Pelosi. ‘You’re not a politician, you’re a third-grade politician.’ (Or ‘third-rate,’ depending on which politician was doing the retelling.)
Pelosi noted, correctly, that Russia has always wanted a stronghold in the Middle East and President Kompromat just gave him one, before pointing at his bloated head and adding that “all roads with you lead to Putin.”
Representative Steny Hoyer of Maryland then stood up and said meeting over because President Asshole was being SUCH AN ASSHOLE. After leaving the meeting, Pelosi told reporters that President Temper Tantrum was having a meltdown.
Nervous Nancy's unhinged meltdown! pic.twitter.com/RDeUI7sfe7
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2019
LOLOLOL HE THINKS THIS MAKES HER LOOK BAD. OH, MAN.
Nancy Pelosi, troll level: MASTER.
AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE TIME FOR THE WHOLE BRITISH PARENT FUCKUP, OR THE PART WHERE HE HAS COMMITTED ALL THE FINANCIAL CRIMES, just trust me, it’s bad. It’s all bad.
Anyway. Brace yourselves, all of this just seems to be speeding up.
Onto TV News
Some 64 million households watched Stranger Things season three in the first four weeks, which is pretty amazing. But equally amazing, according to Netflix, the rape drama, Unbelievable, was watched by 32 million households. !!! I mean, Stranger Things, sure, it’s great fun. Unbelievable, however, while brilliant is HARD. So good job, everyone. Genuinely. I want to give everyone a gold star sticker for doing their homework on this one.
South Park’s war on China continues afoot. (And. genuinely, LeBron, I’m so disappointed.)
Community is being removed from streaming services as Sony looks for a deal for exclusive rights to all six seasons. And speaking of streaming services, a rant that I wish I had written, and have certainly hinted at here several times. IT SHOULDN’T BE SO DAMN HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHERE SOMETHING IS STREAMING. Why isn’t there an app or why isn’t IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes automatically updated with this information? And don’t tell me to Google it — I do, ALL THE TIME, but that information is not the most reliable, frankly.
Timothy Omundson, the This is Us actor who plays the new character Gregory, Kate and Toby’s neighbor who is recovering from a stroke is recovering from a stroke in real life, a fact that I did not know until now.
Chrissy Teigen is correct: Jim and Pam are DEFINITELY divorced by now, and you know why? Because Jim is a shitty shitty shitty husband.
Pam is unhappy but content with their income and children so she’s like whatever and draws things for Etsy like cozy home signs (wait is this me)
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) October 14, 2019
Actually you know what? Phyllis and Bob are def still together. Dwight and Angela still together. Michael and Holly definitely together. Mathematically (i got a C+) SOMEONE here has to be divorced. It’s Jim and Pam.
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) October 14, 2019
Sex Monster News
Well, well, well, look who’s back: Megyn Kelly went on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News last night to call out NBC News and demand that they release Lauer’s accusers from their confidentiality agreements so they can tell the whole truth about what happened. She also called for an independent investigation of the network. I’m 100% in agreement with her here, but I should also point out that her ass got fired from NBC for being a dumb racist, so.
Ronan Farrow himself will go on Fox News today for a bunch of interviews about his book, so that should be interesting.
Oh, and according to Catch and Kill, Matt Lauer exposed himself to one of his Today Show producers. Gross. What a gross man.
Here are the 11 biggest bombshells from Ronan Farrow’s book, most of which I’ve already mentioned in this space, but what’s this about Hillary Clinton and refusing to meet with Farrow as related to Weinstein? HMMMM … INTERESTING.
Meanwhile, UltraViolet, a women’s organization, is calling on the DNC to cancel a Democratic debate scheduled to air on MSNBC UNTIL NBC CLEANS UP ITS DAMN ACT. (The DNC is not going to pull this debate.)
Cuba Gooding is in trouble. He’s been accused by some 12 women of inappropriate touching and behavior, not just the one drunken incident.
- Pandora has been renewed at The CW.
- Dickinson; Home; See; and Little America have all been renewed at Apple TV+.
- All That has received more episodes at Nickelodeon.
- The Three of Us, a comedy, has been bought by CBS.
- The Service, a mystery drama, is in the works at Fox.
- Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber is being developed at Showtime.
- Bone, Jeff Smith’s comic book epic, is coming to Netflix.
- EQUAL has been picked up at HBO Max.
- Your Daily Horoscope and Late Night This Morning, both produced by Will Arnett, are coming to Quibi.
- Quibi has also added shows from Rotten Tomatoes and E!.
- Tournament of Champions, hosted by Guy Fieri, is coming to Food Network.
- Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer is being developed at Amazon.
- Unbelievable might be turned into an anthology series on Netflix. (see above)
- Jane Kaczmarek will join Carol’s Second Act on CBS.
- Ashley Greene, Andrew Walker, and Jackée Harry will star in Christmas on My Mind on Hallmark Channel.
- Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, and Johnny Flynn will star in Netflix’s The Dig.
- Kyle Howard, Julian Sands, Dustin Milligan, Angela Sarafyan, Molly Hagan, and Natalie Hall have been cast in the December installment of Into the Dark.
- Daisy May Cooper will star in the BBC comedy The Witchfinder. OH, I HOPE THIS IS ABOUT MATTHEW HOPKINS.
Mark Your Calendars
- The Man in the High Castle’s final season debuts on Amazon on November 15.
- Sesame Street will celebrate its 50th Anniversary on November 9, new episodes begin airing on November 16.
- The Apollo will debut on HBO on November 6.
- The Douglas Dynasty: Fame, Addiction, and Finding Home will air on ABC on October 22.
- Rock the Block will debut on HGTV on October 21.
- The Great Food Truck Race: Holiday Hustle will debut on Food Network on November 27. Santa’s Baking Blizzard will debut on November 28.
- Will & Grace‘s premiere has been pushed up to October 24 on NBC.
Elijah Cummings, Powerful Democrat, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. “When we’re dancing with the angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing?” Mr. Cummings made himself heard and he is already profoundly missed. Rest in Power, Congressman.
I'm begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on. Because if you want to have a democracy intact for your children, and your children's children, and generations yet unborn we've got to guard this moment…this is our watch. pic.twitter.com/ShTZwbQROP
— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) July 24, 2019
“Born a sharecropper’s son on Jan. 18, 1951, Cummings was told he was too slow to learn and spoke poorly, and he would never fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer. He died at 68 as one of the most powerful committee chairmen in the U.S. House.” https://t.co/YepSbfo1Yk
— Errin Haines (@emarvelous) October 17, 2019
Wow. From Rep. Elijah Cummings' first floor speech: "I only have a minute, only sixty seconds in it… Just a tiny little minute, But eternity is in it." 4/25/96 #RIPElijahCummings pic.twitter.com/SV85PV74c0
— Tommy X-TrumpIsARacist-opher (@tommyxtopher) October 17, 2019
Supernatural: The boys get an assist from Ketch. 7 p.m., The CW
ASTROS!: LET’S GO, BOYS! 7:08 p.m., FS1
BookTube: Like a book club! But on TV! And with 100% less Oprah! Series premiere. YouTube
Liberty: Mother of Exiles: A documentary about the Statue of Liberty in a year when this administration would very much like to undo everything she stands for. 7 p.m., HBO
- Jimmy Kimmel Live: Paul Rudd, Lizzy Caplan, Tyler Childers
- The Daily Show: Taika Waititi
- Lights Out with David Spade: Dusty Slay, Vanessa Bayer, Guy Branum
- Watch What Happens Live: Angela Kinsey, Jenna Fischer
- A Little Late with Lily Singh: Natalie Portman
|A Million Little Things
|How to Get Away With Murder
|Carol’s Second Act
|FOX||Thursday Night Football
|The Good Place
|Law & Order: SVU