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Ukrainian Rashomon

Philip Bump at WaPo constructs a narrative about the Ukrainian Bribery Scandal from the transcripts of the depositions from key players that have already been released.

This exchange from the depositions is interesting. This occurred on July 10 when Sondlund dropped the bomb to the NSC staff that there was a deal going on that if Ukraine would open investigations, Zelensky would get a meeting with Trump at the White House. This was in the presence of Ukrainian envoys of Zelensky:

SONDLAND: “There was a difference of opinion between [Perry’s chief of staff] Brian McCormack, Secretary Perry, Volker, myself, Vindman, and Fiona. Everyone sort of had a different take on it. And it was sort of a, you know, typical discussion where not everyone is in 100 percent agreement. We were sort of going back and forth.”

HILL: “I said: Look, we cannot discuss this in front of our colleagues. You know, we have to talk about, you know, the details of this.”

“And he said: Okay, okay, I get it. And he asked the Ukrainians to basically leave the room. So they basically moved out into the corridor. …”

“When he pushed them also out of [the Ward Room], they were basically standing in a space between the Navy Mess and the White House [Situation] Room. So this was an awkward setup, to say the least. So I also expressed those concerns to John, that then foreign nationals, you know, are just standing around in the corridor outside the Ward Room by the doors into the Sit Room.”

SONDLAND: “It was a typical policy discussion where people disagree on policy.”

HILL: “I said: Look, I don’t know what’s going on here, but Ambassador Bolton wants to make it very clear that we have to talk about, you know, how are we going to set up this meeting. It has to go through proper procedures.”

SONDLAND: “I don’t remember anybody being upset, dismayed, alarmed, concerned at any point in this whole — in this whole process about — about the July 10th meeting.”

Just 5 minutes before this exchange, the NSC staff realized it had no idea what Trump, Mulvaney and Sondland were doing behind its backs.

I repeat, the NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL was completely blind sided by the what was going on between the US and Ukraine.

Who needs a book by Anonymous when you can read what chaos one clueless Trump donor turned Ambassador to the EU can cause to put national security at risk?

Bloomberg

Here are my general impressions of the current Democrats running for President in just a few words:

Biden- Safe.

Warren- The Referee

Harris- The stealth candidate because we haven’t seen her lately.

Buttigieg- Ex McKinsey consultant. Enuf said

Castro- Simpatico in many ways.

Booker – Virtue Signaller

Klobuchar- Centrism may not be enough

Sanders- Can’t deliver as president.

Gabbard – Pleeze. 🙄

Did I miss any newsworthy/leading candidates? Ok.

Now Bloomberg is jumping in. Did anyone order a billionaire? Anyone? Bueller?

Why is he getting in?

My best guess in no particular order:

  1. He’s not really a Democrat. He’s not a Republican either.
  2. He thinks he can beat Donald Trump.
  3. But first, he thinks he can beat Elizabeth Warren.

His business is Wall Street. I’m thinking that his cohort is very nervous about Lizzie Warren cleaning up the finance industry. Like REALLY cleaning it up and making everyone play by new rules that no one even thought of back in 1935 when there were no computers and fiber optic cables and collateralized debt obligations. She’s that kind of person who can think out of the box.

Warren isn’t an enabler like Obama was.

They’re very concerned. So, they’re sending in their star to be the adult in the room. There will be no Medicare for All or some reasonable facsimile talk. No more wealth tax. No more consumer financial services bureau crap.

They will make sure the markets work and that should be good enough for everyone.

Mike Bloomberg will make sure government runs like a well oiled machine. We’ll get a foreign policy that everyone can respect. No, he’s not a foreign policy expert but really, it’s all about the markets anyway, right?

We’ll let him take all the guns away (not a universally approved stand as far as Democrats go), and we’ll make sure that soda is prohibitively expensive so that your brats don’t get pudgy.

The one good thing about Mike Bloomberg is he’s a fan of mass transit. Soooo, there’s that.

For everything else, we already have a candidate like Mike. It’s Amy Klobuchar. She just doesn’t have billions.

What she does have that Bloomberg doesn’t is credibility as a Democrat and she doesn’t have a penis.

Or Buttigieg. In fact, I think Buttigieg is the billionaires’ candidate. He’s got friends in Silicon Valley. He has the scent of Obama on him. But Buttigieg isn’t catching on, for whatever reason. He’s the favorite of some former Obama fluffers and the media loves him but the voters are “meh”. His husband has nothing to do with this. He just feels artificial, popped up to get the votes of the male grad students that have appointed themselves as the deciders.

As far as beating Trump, I have no doubt that Bloomberg could beat him with both hands tied around his back. Bloomberg irritates Trump. I would pay good money to see Bloomberg debate Trump. Do we need Bloomberg to be a candidate for that?

But electing him would mean that the ultra wealthy have won. It would mean a continuation of bankruptcies triggered by medical bills and unaffordable healthcare. It would mean letting Wall Street do what it wants, eventually just running the treasury for us. It would mean stagnating wages and stupid stockholder decisions that wind up decimating careers.

Your bridges would be maintained. The environment would be protected. We would probably gladly rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

It would just be a country run by plantation owners who allow us to work in it in a gig economy.

Basically, we would be trading a incompetent, ignorant tyrant for an elegant, intelligent benevolent dictator.

Whelp, I guess we’ll all find out.