The hearings are going live in one week, and all Hell is already breaking loose!

Impeachment Corner!

Today’s big news is that Representative Adam Schiff has announced that the first of the public hearings will begin next week:

A week from today, Ambassador to Ukraine, William “Bill” Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent will testify before the House Intelligence Committee. Then on Friday, the 15th, former Ukraine ambassador and Giuliani’s favorite target, Marie Yovanovitch will testify. I assume both hearings will be on all of the teevees.

A quick reminder of who these folks are: 

Bill Taylor is a career diplomat (and Bronze Star-winning veteran of the Vietnam War) who had been the ambassador to Ukraine under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He replaced Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch when she was removed from the position for the offense of getting in Rudy Giuliani’s way when he was busily scheming against Joe Biden and Ukraine in general. Taylor is still currently the Ambassador to Ukraine.

Taylor was included in some of the text messages that Special Envoy Kurt Volker gave to Congress in which he expressed his alarm that the United States was withholding military aid to Ukraine to Ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland. In response, Sondland urged Taylor to call him (because CRIMES that Sondland did not want in writing!). Later, Sondland texted Taylor to say that President Quid Pro Quo was definitely not committing a quid pro quo. Taylor was definitely NOT BUYING IT.

In related news: Taylor’s deposition has been released today and considering he’s the Democrats’ top witness, it should be goooooood.

As for George Kent, he’s the State Department guy who was one of the experts on Ukraine who was basically told by acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to not worry his pretty little head about Ukraine, that the “Three Amigos,” Sondland, Kurt Volker and Rick Perry, were now in charge of Ukraine policy.

He’ll have plenty to say about Giuliani’s “shadow policy” methinks.

Then there is Marie Yovanovitch who was attacked by the likes of Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson before she was removed from her position because she told Rudy Giuliani that he had to work through official channels. She was then mentioned in The Phone Call when the President of the United States intimated to the President of Ukraine that “she’s going to go through some things” which IS FUCKING. CREEPY.

Anyway, these hearings are going to make for some good TV, so clear your DVRs if political intrigue is your jam.

Today’s other big story is that Dummy Jr., he’s tweeted out the Whistleblower’s name.

Apparently, this name has been floating around in the right-wing media for some time now, but make no mistake, this is witness tampering and intimidation. Now the name — whether it is or isn’t the whistleblower — is all over Twitter, and the lies and propaganda are already everywhere. I genuinely fear for this person’s safety and for their family’s safety. This is genuinely disgusting and disturbing and not for hte least of which that IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO THE WHISTLEBLOWER IS — HIS REPORT HAS BEEN CORROBORATED AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. LITERALLY.

Meanwhile, the Committee is still interviewing other witnesses in closed depositions. Today David Hale, the number 3 at the State Department, is testifying. According to Yovanovitch, she personally asked him to speak to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on her behalf … and then never heard back.

Three other witnesses — Russell T. Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget; T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a counselor at the State Department who was among the officials listening in on Mr. Trump’s July 25 call with the president of Ukraine; and Rick Perry, the energy secretary — were asked to appear today but are not expected to show their faces. Mick Mulvaney is not expected to show up on Friday. Cowards.

Yesterday, the Intelligence Committee released two depositions: that of Gordon “Call Me” Sondland and Kurt Volker. The big news was that Sondland, once he saw what other people had testified to, was like, “OH WAIT! THAT QUID PRO QUO? When I said there was no quid pro quo, I thought you meant some OTHER quid pro quo. Yeah, I take that back, there was DEFINITELY quid pro quo.”

Some other important takeaways from their depositions which from what I can tell was mostly a whole truckload of Cover Our Asses:

Speaking of the Bidens, the Senate Republicans looking for something ANYTHING, are considering trying to make the Senate impeachment trial about them. Yes, impeach Hunter Biden. By all means, idiots.

And Lindsey Graham, that little chipmunk who happens to be the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, he’s saying he’s not even going to read Sondland’s testimony.

Finally, yesterday was a Very Bad Day for Donald Jingles Trump: Kentucky elected a Democratic governor (although, the Republican Kentucky Senate is threatening to overturn the results because the only thing Republicans love more than blatant hypocrisy is disenfranchising folks).

And Virginia turned both their House and their Senate blue for the first time in, like, FUCKING FOREVER. The suburbs, they hate President Everything Wrong with this Country, and it’s now evident the 2018 Blue Wave wasn’t a fluke.

In Other TV News

Phoebe Waller-Bridge told Vogue that she cut some abortion jokes from her Saturday Night Live monologue, and I have very mixed feelings about that: on the one hand, it’s a shame she didn’t feel like she could get away with it because women shouldn’t be silenced on political issues but on the other hand, it would have been red meat for the Right.

ATX Festival is setting reunions for Parenthood, Oz and Justified. June 4-7, kids.

There’s been some shakeup at HBO Max’s Dune: Sisterhood series as the showrunner has been removed.

Disney+ debuts in less than a week. Here’s some information about what will be available on the 12th. For me, the most important piece of information that is not included here is that you can pre-order Disney+, but if you want the Hulu/Disney+/ESPN+ bundle, you can’t order that until the launch day. That said if last night’s Little Mermaid Live! is any indication of what we might expect from the streamer …

Early numbers suggest that y’all are lukewarm on Apple TV+. Did the free episodes not convince you?

Get well soon, Catherine Deneuve.

Renewals

  • MacGyver has been given more episodes for season 4 at CBS.
  • Superstore has been given additional episodes for season 5 at NBC.

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendars

  • Servant will debut on Apple TV+ on November 28 and is the series that might convince me to subscribe.
  • Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings will premiere on Netflix on November 22.
  • Reprisal will debut on Hulu on December 6.
  • Hala will debut on Apple TV+ on December 6.

R.I.P.

William B. Branch, Playwright

WATCH THIS

Stumptown: Dex has to protect her ex from a stalker. 9 p.m., ABC

The Real Housewives of New Jersey: These goombahs are back. Season premiere. 7 p.m., Bravo

The Apollo: A look at the classic Harlem theater’s storied history. 8 p.m., HBO

The Masked Singer: Back-to-back episodes. 7 p.m., Fox

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Henry Golding, Noomi Rapace, Dan White
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Jim Gaffigan, Jenny Slate, Muna, Brendan Buckley
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, “MasterChef Junior” contestants
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Wiz Khalifa, Zach Woods, Sara Bareilles
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Shia LaBeouf, Lil Rel Howery, Grace Potter
  • The Daily Show: Julián Castro
  • Conan: Willem Dafoe, Emily Catalano
  • Lights Out with David Spade: Jen Kirkman, Jessica Kirson, Greg Fitzsimmons
  • Watch What Happens Live: Michael Rapaport, Margaret Josephs
  • A Little Late with Lily Singh: Ashley Graham

 

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CW Riverdale
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Nancy Drew
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FOX The Masked Singer
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The Masked Singer
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NBC Chicago Med
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Chicago Fire
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