It appears that Republican Matt Bevin has gone down to defeat in the Kentucky governor’s race. Democrat Andy Beshear will be the state’s next governor. Republicans are having a solid night overall in the state. So it’s worth considering what this result means and what it doesn’t. Matt Bevin is many ways a toxic figure, even in a deep red state. He dismantled a very popular and successful implementation of the ACA. This is mainly about Bevin’s unpopularity, which was well earned.
Why it’s important is this: Bevin went all in on impeachment to get himself over the finish line. He brought in Trump for a caustic, aggressive rally last night to finish the sale. But it didn’t work. That’s a big deal.
This may be a relatively minor point and it’s a bit in the weeds. But it’s important to note. On CNN a couple days ago I saw David Chalian say that polling numbers are getting more complicated for Democrats on impeachment because independents are moving from significant support to more like evenly divided. But that’s actually not quite true. What has happened is that the question pollsters are asking, and especially the ones they and the press are focusing on, are changing.
I am going to work my way through the docs, which are pretty voluminous. But they show what we’ve been saying for months and really years. The Trump/Ukraine and Trump/Russia story are the same story. And the “the real collusion was Ukraine and the DNC” storyline goes back to Paul Manafort (and his Russian intelligence associates) who has continued to provide back channel and guidance from prison to Giuliani and Trump.
Wow. We just recorded a special episode of the podcast with Errol Morris about his new Steve Bannon documentary. It was actually pretty contentious. But I think a pretty interesting listen. At one point I thought Morris was going to walk out of the interview. But we chatted afterwards and now we’re like best buds.
Hopefully for your listening pleasure by this evening.
Our design team this week put together a really fantastic interactive that tracks who has testified/turned over documents in the impeachment probe and who is refusing to cooperate.
With so many closed door depositions and witnesses’ cooperating status changing constantly, this chart makes it easy to understand just how far along the probe is on any given day. And we’re able to update it in real time, so it will be a great resource through the duration of the inquiry.
Check it out here.
And there it is. I mentioned earlier today that as the first witness who was on the notorious July 25th Trump-Zelensky call, Alex Vindman could clear up whether there were any material omissions in the rough transcript of the call. It turns out there were. They don’t appear to be ones that dramatically change the content of the call. But according to the Times, Vindman testified that “the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases.”
Check out the copy of the prepared remarks, obtained by TPM, which Lt. Col Alexander Vindman will deliver tomorrow to the House Impeachment inquiry. They shed new light on many fronts in the story. But they appear to directly contradict the account of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland on key points.
As I mentioned last week, Sondland stands out here as neither ethical or moral enough to see that this plot was wrong and limit his involvement accordingly nor experienced enough at being evil to lie about it effectively.