Editors’ Blog

on January 11, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Just Say No … To Results You Don’t Like

Kentucky Republicans are already considering ways to install Matt Bevin as Governor or call a new election because he lost the first time.

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Bevin Goes Down Wrapped in Impeachment

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.

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Read Along With Me

My personal posting may be a bit lighter today or delayed until later in the day, as it was yesterday, because I’m going through the impeachment inquiry transcripts methodically. Here’s Sondland’s and here’s Volker’s testimony.

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NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2018 -- A voter walks to the booth to fill in her ballot at a polling station in Staten Island of New York Nov. 6, 2018. The U.S. Republican Party on Tuesday managed to maintain a Senate majority in the midterm elections, while the Democrats wrestled the House majority from the Republicans, according to projections of multiple news outlets. (Xinhua/Han Fang)
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The Most Trumpian Constitutional Crisis

Just a reminder that today’s decision on presidential immunity involves an investigation into hush money payments from Trump to a porn star and to a Playboy model.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, arriving to his arraignment in New York County Criminal Court, plead not guilty to state mortgage fraud charges on June 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
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What Are The Numbers Telling Us?

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.

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It Was Manafort All Along

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.

Kinetic Interview

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.

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Great Resource

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.

 

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Key Phrases Omitted

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.”

Podcast

Our latest podcast – and Vindman all the time, except for when we talk about al Baghdadi and Trump – is up and ready for a listen. You can listen to it here or, if you’ve subscribed on your podcast service, it should be on your smartphone.

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