PopMuse: US News http://popmu.se Musings of stuff en-us Copyright 2007-2019 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ GOP lawyer's confusing questioning during the Trump impeachment hearing sent the internet into a tizzy http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/4PaHK-2B52Q/gop-lawyer-steve-castor-impeachment-questioning-criticized-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/4PaHK-2B52Q/gop-lawyer-steve-castor-impeachment-questioning-criticized-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 19:29:27 UTC Kelly McLaughlin at Politics Steve Castor, Republican staff attorney for the House Oversight Committee, was widely mocked for his� confusing questioning during a hearing of�impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.� Castor on Wednesday questioned the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent, and became the butt of internet jokes for his unfocused line of inquiry. The GOP lawyer was panned by people who said he alluded to conspiracy theories, tried to get Taylor to say Trump thought Ukrainians were "out to get him", and blundered a question during the hearing,� Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A Republican staff attorney for the House Oversight Committee was the butt of internet jokes on Wednesday over confusing line of questioning during a hearing for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Attorney Steve Castor, the House Intelligence Committee Counsel for the minority, asked the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State�George Kent questions on behalf of the GOP as part of the hearing, but many people didn't understand his game plan. People on social media noticed the dizzying nature of Castor's questioning, saying it was unclear what he was ultimately trying to do.� They said that while Castor was questioning Taylor, he alluded to conspiracy theories, tried to get Taylor to say Trump thought Ukrainians were "out to get him" during the 2016 election, and blundered a questioned he didn't know the answer to. Many people made jokes about his struggles on Twitter: If you can track any sort of narrative or arc in this line of questioning from Castor, can you please let me know? Because I'm having some trouble. — Hayes Brown (@HayesBrown) November 13, 2019 Whatever the GOP counsel is doing, it's not working. I don't undertand where he's going. — Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) November 13, 2019 Yikes, this is going badly for the minority. Castor can't seem to establish a line of inquiry and Taylor is unwilling to take his bait. — Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) November 13, 2019 GOP counsel Castor just blundered into a question he didn’t know the answer to, asking why Taylor or Kent weren’t involved in prepping POTUS for 7/25 call. Kent says thats NSC’s job. Hard to see where this line of questioning is going... — Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) November 13, 2019 GOP counsel Castor does not seem to be familiar with basics of how US diplomacy in foreign nations works. He asks if Ukrainian readout of Trump call was 'cryptic' because it was in Ukrainian? — Susan Glasser (@sbg1) November 13, 2019 #ImpeachmentHearingsSteve Castor looks REAL comfortable sandwiched between these two idiots. pic.twitter.com/exEXqiqkzO — John Fritz (@WhatDeeFuq) November 13, 2019 Steve Castor is an off-brand Joseph Fiennes in The Handmaid's Tale. Discuss. #ImpeachmentHearings pic.twitter.com/KUILvFlxOE — Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) November 13, 2019 Steve Castor is not going to like the SNL version of himself. — Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) November 13, 2019 I'm not sure if Steve Castor is a bad lawyer or if he was just given a bad assignment, but Daniel Goldman has been running circles around this guy. #ImpeachmentHearings — Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) November 13, 2019 Steve Castor #ImpeachmentHearings pic.twitter.com/pNZRY036YR — Ryan Kalbfleisch (@ryan2985) November 13, 2019 Taylor has no idea how to respond to the conspiracy theories Republican Counsel Steve Castor is alluding to here. Yikes! pic.twitter.com/D8d0Yo0lhq — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 13, 2019 Taylor has no idea how to respond to the conspiracy theories Republican Counsel Steve Castor is alluding to here. Yikes! pic.twitter.com/D8d0Yo0lhq — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 13, 2019 Steve Castor is trying to make some point tbd about presidential head of state call prep without having any clue how the process normally works. — Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) November 13, 2019 Steve Castor: how much would you GUESS multigrain Cheerios now cost?William Taylor: ??? — David Pakman (@dpakman) November 13, 2019 Steve Castor, seen asking Very Serious Questions Definitely Based In Reality pic.twitter.com/6YsavRvbTQ — Sara B. (@sara_bee) November 13, 2019 Read more: Longtime diplomat Bill Taylor testifies that he has never seen a US president make foreign aid a condition of their personal or political interests People are comparing Ambassador Bill Taylor's voice to Walter Cronkite's as he testifies in the Trump impeachment hearing LIVE: Bill Taylor and George Kent's vivid testimony is blowing up Trump's defense in the Ukraine scandal. Follow our coverage here. Top US diplomat Bill Taylor revealed details of a previously unknown phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland in his bombshell impeachment hearing testimony SEE ALSO:�These are the key players you need to know to make sense of the Trump impeachment inquiry Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ LIVE: Bill Taylor and George Kent's vivid testimony is blowing up Trump's defense in the Ukraine scandal. Follow our coverage here. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/Cnfia1UBQks/trump-impeachment-hearings-schedule-how-to-watch-live-updates-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/Cnfia1UBQks/trump-impeachment-hearings-schedule-how-to-watch-live-updates-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 19:26:00 UTC Sonam Sheth at Politics Bill Taylor and George Kent, two of the most significant witnesses against�President Donald Trump, are testifying in the first public impeachment hearings on Wednesday. Taylor is Trump's chief envoy in Ukraine, and Kent is the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Both men gave vivid testimony that blew up Trump's main talking points and detailed his efforts to strong-arm Ukraine into delivering political dirt while holding up military aid and a White House meeting. We'll be covering the hearings live here. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The House of Representatives launched public hearings Wednesday into whether President Donald Trump should be impeached. At the center of the impeachment inquiry are Trump's communications with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his repeated efforts to pressure Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son for corruption ahead of the 2020 election. Trump also asked Zelensky to investigate a bogus conspiracy theory suggesting it was Ukraine, not Russia, that interfered in the 2016 election and that it did so to benefit Hillary Clinton's campaign. The first two witnesses testifying this week are Bill Taylor and George Kent. Taylor is Trump's chief envoy in Ukraine, and Kent is the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. You can watch the hearing below: �SEE ALSO:�Everything you need to know about Trump's impeachment process: what's happened, who the players are, and what comes next GOP Rep. Jim Jordan spars with Taylor: 'You're their star witness?' Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio was by far the most aggressive in his questioning. "Ambassador, you weren't on the call, were you? You didn't listen in on President Trump's call and President Zelensky's call?" he asked. "I did not," Taylor said. "You never talked with Chief of Staff Mulvaney?" Taylor replied that he had not. "You never met the president?" Jordan continued. "That's correct," Taylor said. "And President Zelensky never made an announcement" committing himself to the investigations Trump wanted, Jordan said, as Taylor began laughing. "And this is what I can't believe. And you're their star witness. You're their first witness. You're their guy. I mean, I've seen church prayer trains that are easier to understand than this." "I don't consider myself a star witness for anything," Taylor shot back. "I'm not here to take one side or the other, or advocate for any particular outcome." Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194693895977938944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Jim Jordan Taylor: "You're their star witness?"Taylor: "I don't consider myself a star witness for anything." pic.twitter.com/n9sU8OnHYa� Jordan's line of questioning lacked a clear factual basis; he seemed to suggest that because Taylor had never directly spoken to Trump, he wasn't a credible witness. Still, the Ohio congressman's performance likely won the approval of the president, who enjoys when GOP lawmakers go on the attack to defend him. Republicans fail to pick up traction with a confusing line of questioning Castor seemed to have some trouble establishing a clear line of questioning. Twitter noticed. Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194677007558283265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Whatever the GOP counsel is doing, it's not working. I don't undertand where he's going.Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194677017704378368?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw If you can track any sort of narrative or arc in this line of questioning from Castor, can you please let me know? Because I'm having some trouble.Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194676167107846144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Yikes, this is going badly for the minority. Castor can't seem to establish a line of inquiry and Taylor is unwilling to take his bait.Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194676925723283457?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw GOP counsel Castor just blundered into a question he didn't know the answer to, asking why Taylor or Kent weren't involved in prepping POTUS for 7/25 call. Kent says thats NSC's job. Hard to see where this line of questioning is going...Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194679553433767936?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw I don't believe Mr. Castor is a former prosecutor. Does it show?Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194677575974567937?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw GOP counsel Castor does not seem to be familiar with basics of how US diplomacy in foreign nations works. He asks if Ukrainian readout of Trump call was 'cryptic' because it was in Ukrainian?Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194677906758238208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Castor is a suitable counsel choice for Nunes. Doesn't know how to ask questions, has no discernible purpose, and makes very little sense. https://t.co/8UVsEHumSpTweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194677906733187072?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw I must confess I don't see where Steve Castor, the GOP lead counsel, is going with his line of questioning. Anyone else?� Nunes kicks off the GOP's questioning by trumpeting conspiracy theories, and Schiff warns Taylor to 'be cautious' about answering questions that have no factual basis After Democrats and Goldman questioned the witnesses for 45 minutes, Republicans took the stage to kick off another 45-minute round of questioning. Nunes used part of the time to trumpet conspiracy theories suggesting the FBI acted improperly when it investigated the Trump campaign for conspiring with Russia during the 2016 election. The US intelligence community has determined with high confidence that Moscow meddled in the race to propel Trump to the presidency. But Nunes tried to build a case that instead of Russia, Ukraine interfered and worked with Democrats during the election to undermine Trump's campaign. The GOP's counsel, Steve Castor, also tried to get Taylor to acknowledge that he "can appreciate President Trump's concerns" about Ukraine. "Mr. Castor, I don't know the exact nature of President Trump's concerns," Taylor said. At that point, Schiff jumped in to warn Taylor about what Republicans were alleging and to "be cautious" about answering questions that may not have a factual basis. George Kent blows a hole through Trump's main talking points Democrats zeroed in on Trump's allegations that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, as well as his accusations of corruption against the Bidens. In a telling exchange with Kent, Goldman asked the career State Department official about Trump's claims about Ukrainian election interference. "To your knowledge, is there any factual basis to support the allegation that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election?" Goldman asked. "To my knowledge, there is no factual basis, no," Kent said. "And in fact, who did interfere in the 2016 election?" Goldman said. "I think it's amply clear that Russian interference was at the heart of interference in the 2016 election cycle," Kent replied. Goldman then focused on Trump's claims about Biden. Specifically, the president and his allies have accused Biden of getting Ukraine's top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, fired in order to stop an investigation into Burisma, whose board employed Hunter Biden. "To your knowledge, is there any factual basis to support those allegations" against Biden, Goldman asked Kent. "None whatsoever," Kent said. "When Vice President Biden acted in Ukraine, did he act in accordance with official US policy?" Goldman pressed. "He did," Kent responded. This exchange between Kent and Goldman was critical because it blows a hole through Trump's claim that he was justified in wanting to look back at the 2016 election, and in asking Ukraine to probe the Bidens. Taylor: Withholding a White House meeting is one thing, but withholding security assistance puts 'lives at stake' Taylor emphasized at several points during the hearing why he thought it was "crazy" to freeze military aid to Ukraine. Specifically, he highlighted that there's a difference between leveraging a White House meeting to force the Ukrainians to publicly commit to investigating the Bidens, and using military aid for that same reason. "The White House meeting was one thing," Taylor said. "The security assistance was much more alarming" because withholding that money puts "lives at stake." Taylor says he's never seen anything like this in his decades of public service "When you referenced help with a political campaign in this text message, what did you mean?" Democratic staff lawyer Daniel Goldman asked Taylor. Goldman was referring to the message Taylor sent Sondland in which he discussed how Trump was withholding military aid in exchange for political dirt. "I meant that the investigation ... was clearly identified by Mr. Giuliani in public, for months, as a way to get information on the two Bidens," Taylor replied. "Ambassador Taylor, in your decades of military service and diplomatic service representing the United States around the world, have you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the United States?" Goldman asked. Taylor: "No, Mr. Goldman, I have not. " Goldman, a veteran former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, also highlighted Taylor's habit of taking meticulous notes of pertinent conversations and discussions. Goldman likely brought out that detail to show Taylor's credibility as a witness. Taylor: Withholding military aid was 'illogical, it could not be explained, it was crazy' Taylor pulled no punches when discussing his belief that withholding security assistance was crazy. "Because of the importance of security assistance … because that was so important for Ukraine, as well as our own national interest, to withhold that assistance for no good reason other than help with a political campaign made no sense," Taylor testified. He added: "It was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do. It was illogical, it could not be explained, it was crazy." Taylor revealed a previously unknown phone call between Trump and Sondland in bombshell new testimony Taylor revealed in his opening statement that he recently learned a member of his staff overheard a conversation between Trump and Sondland on July 26. During that conversation, Taylor said, his staff member heard Trump ask Sondland about the status of "the investigations" after Sondland met with a Ukrainian government official in Kiev. Taylor made it clear that he viewed mentions of "investigations" as being synonymous with investigating the Bidens and Burisma Holdings. Sondland replied that the Ukrainians were "ready to move forward," according to Taylor. After the call, Taylor's staff member asked Sondland what Trump thought of Ukraine. Sondland replied that Trump "cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for." Taylor said he was not aware of this conversation when he initially testified behind closed doors on October 22. Taylor highlighted his 'astonishment' at Giuliani's 'alarming' shadow campaign in Ukraine Taylor discussed his discovery that US policy in Ukraine seemed to consist of two channels, "one regular, and one highly irregular." The irregular channel, he said, included Giuliani, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and the US's former Special Representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker. He recounted his reaction when he found out that the White House meeting and security aid were conditioned on Zelensky delivering Trump the investigations he wanted. "By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelensky wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US elections. It was also clear that this condition was driven by the irregular policy channel I had come to understand was guided by Mr. Giuliani," Taylor said. "I and others sat in astonishment," Taylor said. "Ukrainians were fighting Russians and counted on not only the training and weapons, but also the assurance of US support." He added: "In an instant, I realized that one of the key pillars of our strong support for Ukraine was threatened. The irregular policy channel was running contrary to the goals of long-standing US policy." Taylor: Former US ambassador Masha Yovanovitch 'has been treated poorly' and was 'caught in a web of political machinations in Kiev and Washington' Taylor began his opening statement by underscoring that it is in the US's interest to stop Russia's aggression toward Ukraine. He also directly pointed to facts surrounding Trump's decision to withhold security assistance. He called the freeze "crazy" when he found out about it in September and said he believes the same now. Taylor also strongly defended Yovanovitch and her record. He said Yovanovitch "has been treated poorly" as the result of being "caught in a web of political machinations in Kiev and Washington." Kent slammed Rudy Giuliani for working with 'corrupt Ukrainians' and 'infecting' US policy in Ukraine Kent opened by emphasizing his long record as a nonpartisan foreign service officer who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations. He went on to say it was "unfortunate" to watch Americans, including those allied with "corrupt" interests in Ukraine, "launch attacks on public servants advancing US interests in Ukraine." This was a reference to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, who is accused of carrying out a smear campaign to engineer the removal of Marie Yovanovitch, the US's ambassador to Ukraine who was abruptly removed from her position in Ukraine. Kent and others have testified that Yovanovitch was recalled based on false allegations and conspiracy theories pushed by Giuliani, who was furious Yovanovitch would not help him pressure Ukraine for dirt on the Bidens. "In mid-August, it became clear to me that Giuliani's efforts to gin up politically motivated investigations were now infecting US engagement with Ukraine, leveraging President Zelensky's desire for a White House meeting," Kent said. He added: The US should not "push other countries to engage in selective politically motivated prosecutions against opponents of those in power, because that undermines the rule of law." GOP Rep. Devin Nunes: 'This is a carefully orchestrated media smear campaign' Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member on the committee, set the tone for the GOP by immediately calling Democrats corrupt and accusing the media of carrying out a "carefully orchestrated smear campaign" against the president. Nunes said the investigation is a "horrifically one-sided process," and that Democrats conducted secret depositions. He did not mention that Republicans on the committees conducting the inquiry were allowed to attend. He also lobbed attacks on the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the impeachment investigation. That individual, Nunes said, "is alleged to have had a bias against President Trump." He was referring to the intelligence community inspector general's finding that the whistleblower is a registered Democrat. Nunes did not touch on the fact that the majority of the whistleblower's complaint about Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president has been corroborated by a White House summary of call, Trump's own public statements, statements made by the acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and a cascade of witness testimony. "This spectacle is doing great damage to our country," Nunes said of the impeachment inquiry. "It is nothing more than an impeachment process in search of a crime." � Adam Schiff: 'The facts in the present inquiry are not seriously contested' Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and the Democrat leading the impeachment inquiry, made a lengthy opening statement laying out the timeline of Trump's pressure campaign in Ukraine. The goal of the investigation, Schiff said, is to determine whether Trump "sought to exploit" Ukraine's vulnerability and "sought to condition official acts," like military aid and a White House meeting, on Ukraine giving him political dirt on the Bidens. If Trump did either, Schiff added, Congress needs to investigate "whether such an abuse of his power is compatible with the office of the presidency." "The matter is as simple and as terrible as that," Schiff said. "Our answers to these questions will affect not only the future of this presidency, but the future of the presidency itself." The California Democrat also suggested that Trump's order for witnesses not to cooperate with the inquiry constitutes additional grounds for impeachment related to obstructing Congress. � What Taylor and Kent testified to behind closed doors Taylor and Kent are expected to vividly detail Trump's efforts to strong-arm Ukraine into delivering political dirt while holding up vital military aid and a White House meeting. Taylor and Kent will also attest to the shadow foreign policy campaign that Giuliani, Sondland, Volker, and others spearheaded. Kent has testified that Giuliani's efforts on Trump's behalf were not part of US foreign policy but instead a personal mission to get the president the dirt he wanted on Biden. Taylor, meanwhile, directly confirmed a quid pro quo and said he learned that Sondland conveyed to a top Ukrainian official that Zelensky would not get the military aid or a White House meeting until he announced the politically motivated investigations that Trump demanded. What's happened in the impeachment inquiry so far Several government officials, including Taylor and Kent, have already testified to Congress behind closed doors, and their revelations paint a damaging portrait of a concerted effort across the administration to leverage US foreign policy to pressure Ukraine into acceding to Trump's demands. They also outlined the lengths White House officials went to in order to conceal records of a July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Witnesses have testified that Trump's allies — particularly Giuliani, Sondland, Volker, Mulvaney, and Perry — were part of an effort to condition security assistance to Ukraine and a White House meeting on Zelensky publicly announcing the investigations Trump wanted. The president's defenders say he did nothing wrong and that this is a normal part of how diplomacy and foreign policy are conducted. But national security veterans, legal scholars, and at times Trump's own officials who have testified have suggested his actions open him up to a variety of potential charges including abuse of power, bribery, extortion, misappropriation of taxpayer funds, and soliciting foreign interference in the upcoming election. Read more of Insider's impeachment coverage: Think Trump will get impeached? Gambling sites say the odds are in your favor Trump could be impeached, removed from office, and still win re-election in 2020 Over half of the House of Representatives support the impeachment inquiry against Trump — see all of them here Everything you need to know about Trump's impeachment process: what's happened, who the players are, and what comes next http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ 7 ways America has changed since the last impeachment hearing http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/rhCwIhzyp2E/7-ways-america-has-changed-since-the-last-impeachment-hearing-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/rhCwIhzyp2E/7-ways-america-has-changed-since-the-last-impeachment-hearing-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 19:10:02 UTC Rebecca Aydin and Andy Kiersz at Politics The first public impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump kicked off on Wednesday. It has been 21 years since President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstructing justice in 1998. Since 1998, the US has seen population growth, US stock growth, and a return to the Clinton-era low unemployment rate. On the pop-culture front in 1998: The Titanic was the top grossing film, Lauryn Hill was at the top of the Billboard 100 in November, and iPhones were yet to come into existence. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Wednesday marked the first day of public impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump.� It has been 21 years since the last impeachment hearings for an American president. In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath and obstructing justice.� Since 1998, the US has seen population growth, US stock growth, and a return to the Clinton-era low unemployment rate. Here are seven ways America has changed since the last impeachment hearing.SEE ALSO:�The 12 Texas cities everyone in the country is moving to Total US population has increased by over 50 million people. In 1998, the total US population was 275 million people. As of September 2019, it was 330 million people. The labor market is about as strong now as it was during 1998. The employment rate in 1998 was 4.6%. after spiking around the 2008 recession, it's fallen back down to 3.6% as of October 2019. Stocks are up a grand total of 217% from the start of 1998. The S&P 500 index, which tracks against the 500 largest public US companies, hovered around 1,000 in 1998. As of November 2019, it's around 3,000. The top grossing film in the US in 1998 was "Titanic" —�in 2019, it's "Avengers: Endgame." "Titanic," distributed by Paramount Pictures, grossed over $488 million in 1998. "Avengers: Endgame" distributed by Walt Disney Studios has grossed over $858 million as of November 2019. The top six highest grossing films of 2019 were distributed by Disney. Some fashion trends have come full circle since 1998, while some beauty trends have been left behind. According to Ana Col�n and Adrianna Cicinelli at Glamour, the fashion trends that dominated 1998 — and which we're currently seeing resurrected — include minidresses, strappy sandals, logos, micro floral prints, tiny sunglasses, feathered trim, micro bags, mini skirt suits, and flowy white blouses. Britney Spears' music video for "Hit Me Baby One More Time" was released in 1998, and Spears' iconic miniskirt and knee socks influenced fashion, according to Caroline Grosso at W Magazine. What's out of vogue from 1998: thin eyebrows and mismatched lip liner. The Billboard top 100 song of the week of November 13, 1998 was "Doo Wop (That Thing) by Lauryn Hill — the same week in 2019, it's "Someone You Loved" by Lewis Capaldi. Finally, phones were still chunky landlines in 1998. Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1194613719516549120?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Here's what phones looked like during the 1998 Clinton impeachment hearings pic.twitter.com/mWPiWt7SHQThe first iPhone still would not be released for another nine years, in 2007. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ A top State Department official blew a hole through one of Trump’s main talking points in the impeachment hearing http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/6nZhncMJulg/trump-impeachment-hearing-george-kent-biden-ukraine-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/6nZhncMJulg/trump-impeachment-hearing-george-kent-biden-ukraine-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 19:09:41 UTC Michelle Mark at Politics One of the witnesses who testified during the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday blew a hole through President Donald Trump's main talking points. George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, testified that there was no evidence that Ukraine intervened in the 2016 US presidential election. Kent also said there was no evidence that former Vice President Joe Biden acted improperly in his dealings with Ukraine. In both instances, Kent told the House Intelligence Committee that neither the accusations against Biden nor the conspiracy theory about the 2016 election held any water. Follow along here for live updates on the Trump impeachment hearings.� Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A top State Department official effectively dismantled one of President Donald Trump's main talking points on Wednesday during the first public impeachment hearing. George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, testified on Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy theory on the 2016 election. On both topics, Kent blew a hole in Trump's allegations, telling the House Intelligence Committee that neither the accusations against Biden nor the conspiracy theory about the 2016 election held any water. In one exchange with Kent, the Democrats' staff lawyer Daniel Goldman brought up the bogus allegations that Ukraine interfered in the US election instead of Russia, and asked whether there was any evidence of Ukrainian interventions. "To my knowledge, there is no factual basis, no," Kent replied. He continued: "I think it's amply clear that Russian interference was at the heart of interference in the 2016 election cycle." Goldman then pivoted to the subject of the Bidens, addressing a common allegation from Trump's allies that Biden forced the ouster of Ukraine's top prosecutor in order to halt an investigation into an energy company for which his son was a board member. "To your knowledge, is there any factual basis to support those allegations?" Goldman asked. "None whatsoever," Kent replied. Goldman then asked whether Biden acted "in accordance with official US policy" in his dealings with Ukraine. "He did," Kent said. Read more: Longtime diplomat Bill Taylor testifies that he has never seen a US president make foreign aid a condition of their personal or political interests People are comparing Ambassador Bill Taylor's voice to Walter Cronkite's as he testifies in the Trump impeachment hearing Top US diplomat Bill Taylor revealed details of a previously unknown phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland in his bombshell impeachment hearing testimony State Department official George Kent accuses Rudy Giuliani of 'infecting' US-Ukraine relations with 'false information' and a 'smear campaign' in impeachment hearing testimony SEE ALSO:�2 of the most damaging witnesses against Trump testify in the impeachment inquiry Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics are taking on the world's biggest problems. We talked to them about the wealth tax, Medicare for All, and some huge misunderstandings about migration. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/OHJF9owqLR4/nobel-laureates-banerjee-and-duflo-take-on-worlds-biggest-problems-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/OHJF9owqLR4/nobel-laureates-banerjee-and-duflo-take-on-worlds-biggest-problems-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:44:54 UTC Richard Feloni at Politics Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo are winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Economics, awarded for their work in development economics.� They spoke with Business Insider about their new book, "Good Economics for Hard Times," in which they apply their evidence-based economist's lens to the most pressing issues in the world today, from immigration to climate change. This article is part of Business Insider's ongoing series on Better Capitalism. Visit BI Prime for more stories. MIT economists Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo have been at the forefront of rethinking the way we tackle extreme poverty. Their approach of using randomized control trials, typically used by clinical researchers, can sound deceptively simple, and was groundbreaking enough to win them the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which they shared with Harvard's Michael Kremer. Now they're taking the approach that's helped improve the lives of millions of people in poverty to the biggest political challenges in the world today. Their new book, "Good Economics for Hard Times," explores issues like the United States-China trade war and immigration, drawing conclusions from a wealth of research. It can seem like a strange project, given their expertise, but in a sense it's a natural extension of their work. They revolutionized their field by taking an evidence-based, rather than ideology-based, approach to studying poverty, and believe that we've entered an era where evidence doesn't seem to matter for any policy issue. And similarly, the driving force behind their book is addressing the needs of nations' most marginalized people, including in the US, with sympathy for their frustration and hardship. We sat down with Banerjee and Duflo, who are married, to discuss "Good Economics for Hard Times," and it was obvious they naturally play off each other. They said their years of collaboration has resulted in a shorthand between them when they tackle new topics ("She understands my cryptic messages better than anyone," Banerjee said). We started off by asking them why they decided to take their work in development economics and extend their approach to a way of understanding the world, and what exactly "good economics" means. The following transcript was edited for clarity. The lens of 'good economics' Duflo: I think what highly persuaded us to write this book is that the policy conversation has been hijacked by a very polarized conversation, in particular on misleading facts and almost no arguments, et cetera. It became very clear for us. Really what brought it home is Brexit and, of course, the run up to Trump's election. We decided to write this book even before the election of Donald Trump because we already saw the danger of having this type of conversation, letting nonsense dominate the political debate. One thing that was very striking in the lead up to both events is that nobody seemed to pay attention to economists quoting the book. We quote in the book a [British] poll from YouGov, it was taken in 2017, which said that economists are the least trusted people except for politicians. We replicated the question in the US in 2018 and we found the same thing. Feloni: And had your work in development economics created a process that you could apply to things that maybe were not typically in your wheelhouse? Was that able to translate? Banerjee: Part of what we had tried to do with the previous book, "Poor Economics" [published in 2011], was to try to say, "Look, there's actually a bunch of facts out there and we often breeze along very well without paying any attention to them." It seemed like the entire conversation can be independent of that. But there's actually a bunch of people now, turning to the new book, working on the kinds of issues that are at the forefront of the political debate in the US where there's really good, high quality work. Any reasonable reading of the evidence of the last 20, 25 years is economics has become more and more an evidence-driven field. I think that it's very clear that at some level that the facts are just not in line with what people are claiming often. Feloni: Go more to the evidence and less of the theory. Banerjee: Correct. Duflo: Since we took in "Poor Economics" and in fact, marginally, in all of our work, we do know that our intuitions are usually wrong, particularly when they are coming from decades of being unquestioned in a way. So, they have to be confronted by facts. And often the fact will surprise. That's the attitude that we are bringing now to issues like immigration and trade and polarization. What's surprising Feloni: When you were going through this and accumulating everything for each of these topics, was there something that actually surprised even you? Duflo: There's the fact that immigration of low skilled workers really seemed to have no impact on the wages of the low-skilled native people. That's a fact that kind of flies in the face of a lot of people's intuitions. It's only because we've heard it over and over and over again from our colleagues that for us it was not news, but for a lot of people I think it will be. One thing that did strike me as something that I had not fully realized the extent of, is how immobile people are geographically. And for the US, I don't think before writing this book I knew that only 3-something percent of people move from one county to the next in a year [down from 7% in the 1950s]. I think this will be very surprising to most people. In fact, it's so surprising that sometimes when we talk about it people don't really want to hear it. The reaction to inequality Feloni: You explore the global rise of right-wing populism and nativism, but how do you view the opposite side, especially when there is a resurgent left in the United States and the UK? If we want to just look at the US, for example, I've had some conversations about how it's a new Gilded Age for the US and that's why you're having a new progressive movement and nativist movement, and it almost seems like a repeat of history. Is that a little bit too narrow minded? Banerjee: I hadn't fully made that connection — it's as a very nice connection to make. I do think that there is a sense in which, like in the Gilded Age, there was a moment where media was very important and there was a sense in which exposing the gap between the myth and reality was very important. America was, after all, always built on a pedestal. There was this vision of America as this unique nation, entirely governed by principles of liberty and equality, and the fact that this was at odds with what was happening on the ground was something that came out. And I think that particular thing is coming back. You can give many, many arguments for what's going on and you can defend the status quo in one way or the other, but in the end it doesn't hang together. We just see the facts that are so glaring. The fact that the death rate among the white population is rising, these kinds of facts are so glaring. The Gilded Age has that same feel of being, "Cut the crap. We're really in a place where we could not imagine we would ever end up." Duflo: What we are referring to as the "hard times." Feloni: Yeah, exactly. There you go. Duflo: The hard times were [initially] referring to the UK, but there was some thing very much similar that was happening, apparently. There was a lot of disruption and a lot of wealth being built on the back of a lot of hardship for people. I think one thing that has happened slowly, slowly in the last several decades is that neither the right nor the traditional mainstream parties were interested in the economic fortune of the bottom 50% of the income distribution, if you want. The right because they've never really been interested in them — that's not what right-wing parties are for in general. The left because it became more the party of educated people who then started fighting for educated people's value, including, you know, identity fights, inclusiveness, liberal things — all sorts of good stuff, but giving up on being class-based. And what is happening now is that both of the right and the left realize that it's not tenable, and that you have to go back to offering something to the bottom 50%. And the right has taken a leaf from the playbook of the identity-based fight of the left, of thinking, "We are going to give them back an identity. They don't have money but we are going to give them back a status. They feel completely abandoned and we are going to say that they are a victim of a war." And now what the left is grappling with are reasons whether or not they can go back to a more traditional economic populism. Which it's like, rethink the left as a party economic distribution. It should be more than Medicare for All Banerjee: I mean, strikingly, you hear about the wealth tax, but you don't hear very much about what they're going to do with it. You hear Medicare for All, but that's it. Duflo: Medicare for All has hijacked the conversation. Feloni: Do you see that as a negative thing? Duflo: Yes. Banerjee: Yes, absolutely. Feloni: How come? Duflo: There is so much more to talk about. There's Medicare For All among [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren and [Sen. Bernie] Sanders and then UBI [universal basic income] for [presidential candidate Andrew] Yang. And there's so much more than those two things that should be discussed when we talk about wealth distribution. Banerjee: In particular, the point of a Medicare for All — I think in any civilized society, nobody should be without some amount of medical care. But the impact isn't biggest on people's health. It's more, they're frightened and worried. So, it's not a bad thing to do, but where the real sort of very clear crisis is there are pockets of people, where there's been a decline over 30 years and there's been no attempt to rescue them. I'm surprised that there isn't an attempt to say, "Look, we're going to target the people who have really, really done badly and we're going to find ways to get them out of where they are." And I think there's a sense in which the blandness of medical care for all is, politically, a mistake. You want to actually take a stand which says, especially for a certain set of people who are unwitting victims of all the economic changes we have imposed on them, let's do something very real and specific. And I think the lack of specifics is bothersome. Duflo: Justifying the whole increased 6% wealth tax to finance Medicare for All seems such a waste. There's such a crisis in the legitimacy of government that we document in the book that if you are going to do wealth tax, you should do something with that money that is of first order in people's life. Feloni: What's the main priority? Duflo: What Abhijit was talking about, which is helping the people who have been frontally hit, displaced workers. And that can take different forms, like for the people who are 30-something and can move. What we discuss in the book is a GI Bill-like program, which is a really generous, extended to employment insurance and to a high quality university, such that it helps with that transition. Any other ways to help that transition, like housing, help with childcare, et cetera. And then, there is a whole set of things of creating good jobs which can be done out of a government budget, if the government budgets were higher. You can think of clean green jobs being part of them, but also preschools and elderly care. And finally there are the people who are not going to be able to move, and we need to do something to try and catch them and help them before they lose dignity and self-respect, and maybe have subsidized funds to keep them in place. We are not even saying these are the the greatest ideas in the world, and someone needs to adopt them and run with them. We are just a bit surprised that that's not the core of the conversation. Feloni: Even when you're saying green jobs, another thing that you explore is the conversation around climate change. That seems to be discussed often in extremes as well, where it seems as if there's not going to be any real progress, and then the US has officially decided to come out of the Paris accord. Is there any chance that anything is actually going to be accomplished? Banerjee: It's a hard question. In some ways, right now, it's really outside the US political conversation. It's not there. So, what will bring it back? That's why I think is very important that the first investment in the US is in restoring some faith in government. I think there's a sense in which all of the people who really need the help think, "All of these things are frauds." And I think that deep skepticism of the government is a core problem. Whenever any policy is proposed, they think it is some piece of an elite fraud, and I think that reaction has to become better. I do think that the Democratic candidates are right in not getting into this, in the sense that I don't think it's a vote winner. They have to start by doing something immediate for the people who are suffering. Promise them something; deliver something. When people feel more confident, they're more generous. Rethinking capitalism Feloni: Do you see this as all part of a reaction against the neoliberal world order? Do you think that this is kind of a blip or is this actually a global movement where we are rethinking capitalism in a real way? Banerjee: I think we are rethinking it. Whether we can get anywhere with the rethinking, that's a different question. Feloni: Do you see signs that this is going to lead to an actual shift? Duflo: Politically, there has already been a movement to elect strongmen and to give up on democracy. That has the possibility of really changing, dramatically, everything about how we live, including the economic system, and much deeper than that. But if somehow we manage to avoid that, it seems that the conversation on economics may be over-dramatized, in a sense that somehow if you're in favor of higher taxes it's suddenly that you want communism. One thing we explain is that nothing bad would happen if taxes were quite a bit higher because people are just not very sensitive to tax rates when they decide how much to work. First off, the economy would still hum along, but then there would be government money to do things, including help people, victims of shocks, and creating jobs, education, and how to invest in energy transition. And likewise for climate change, it is not a choice between apocalypse and going back to living in a cave. It turns out that the way that we decide to consume, we are not so attached to them that they couldn't be changed at very quite low costs. We're creature of habits and if you nudge people a little bit in different habits, then after a while they wouldn't know the difference. The hope is that if we lower down the emotional debate and become pragmatic about talking about problems and solving them together, it would be much easier and much less of a commotion as we make it out to be.SEE ALSO:�This year's 3 winners of the economics Nobel Prize revolutionized how we think about poverty. Here's an intro to their most essential research. Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: A Nobel Prize-winning economist explains what Milton Friedman got wrong http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ The Microsoft-owned GitHub is under pressure for its work with ICE, as employees resign and activists protest its biggest event of the year (MSFT) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/G4laswvlkhA/github-employees-ice-contracts-protest-microsoft-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/G4laswvlkhA/github-employees-ice-contracts-protest-microsoft-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:34:37 UTC Rosalie Chan at Politics On Wednesday morning, the Tech Workers Coalition set up a giant cage outside GitHub's annual user conference in San Francisco to protest its $200,000 contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. GitHub CEO Nat Friedman had defended its decision to work with ICE, and in response, over 150 employees signed an open letter asking GitHub to drop the contract. At least five employees have quit GitHub, and at least four speakers scheduled to speak at the conference have dropped out, all because of the contract, VICE's Janus Rose and Lauren Kaori Gurley reported. Microsoft acquired GitHub last year for $7.5 billion. Read more on the Business Insider homepage. About a dozen protesters set up a giant cage outside GitHub's conference on Wednesday morning to protest its business with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. GitHub, which Microsoft acquired last year for $7.5 billion, is holding its annual GitHub Universe developer conference at San Francisco's Palace of the Fine Arts. The issue: GitHub has a contract worth about $200,000 with ICE. CEO Nat Friedman and the rest of GitHub's leadership team have defended the work, but employees published an open letter calling their company to drop the contract. "We've heard from some nonprofit groups that work directly with migrants that it's their belief that disrupting government agencies that work with migrants could negatively affect migrants," Friedman said at a press event. At least five employees have quit GitHub over the contract, and at least four speakers scheduled to speak at Universe have dropped out, Vice's Janus Rose and Lauren Kaori Gurley reported. On Wednesday morning, too, prominent software developer and speaker Alice Goldfuss tweeted that she herself has resigned from GitHub. The demonstration, which was organized by the Tech Workers Coalition, took place shortly before the conference began near the conference's entrance. Protesters handed out fliers and talked to attendees as they passed by. "We came out here to show support and show that there are other tech workers standing behind them," said a Tech Workers Coalition volunteer who spoke with Business Insider on the condition of anonymity. "We made sure to let GitHub know that as long as they're working with ICE, they're not going to get any peace. We hope GitHub cancels the contract, especially if the CEO doesn't consider it financially material." The volunteer said that the group is taking a stand to show solidarity with GitHub employees protesting the contract and hopes that other tech employees see the protest as a call to action to organize against contracts with ICE. "We are bringing a cage representing the cages that ICE puts children into as a symbol and public protest of GitHub's relationship with ICE," the Tech Workers Coalition said in a statement. "The demonstration will be shedding light on GitHub's contract with ICE and is intended to show support for the GitHub workers who are organizing internally to get the contract cancelled." In an email to employees, Friedman said that while GitHub and its parent company Microsoft oppose Trump administration policies like family separation and ending the DACA program, the company believes that it can't be held responsible for how its customers use its products and services – and that, as such, GitHub would not block the renewal of the contract. He also said that GitHub will donate $500,000 to immigration nonprofits.� "Just as Microsoft for more than three decades has licensed Microsoft Word without demanding to know what customers use it to write, we believe it would be wrong for GitHub to demand that software developers tell us what they are using our tools to do," Friedman wrote. In response, over 150 GitHub employees signed a letter asking GitHub to cancel its contract with ICE.� "We are not satisfied with GitHub's now-public stance on this issue," the letter said. "GitHub has held a 'seat at the table' for over 2 years, as these illegal and dehumanizing policies have escalated, with little to show for it. Continuing to hold this contract does not improve our bargaining power with ICE. All it does is make us complicit in their widespread human rights abuses." Other tech companies, including Palantir, Amazon Web Services, Salesforce, and Microsoft have also faced protests over work with ICE and Customs and Border Protection. Microsoft employees recently wrote an open letter to show their solidarity with GitHub employees protesting ICE. Business Insider has reached out to GitHub for comment. Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at rmchan@businessinsider.com, Signal at 646.376.6106,�Telegram at @rosaliechan, or�Twitter DM at @rosaliechan17. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request. You�can also�contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.�SEE ALSO:�GitHub is releasing its first-ever smartphone app, a year after Microsoft acquired it for $7.5 billion Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: How to find water when you're stuck in the desert http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Instagram reveals it took down millions of pieces of harmful content last quarter, including child abuse imagery and terrorist propaganda (FB) http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/lFtbMVf0-FY/facebook-publishes-transparency-report-includes-instagram-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/lFtbMVf0-FY/facebook-publishes-transparency-report-includes-instagram-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:09:35 UTC Rob Price at Politics Facebook has published its biannual Transparency Report, which discloses how much problematic content it took action against over the last six months. For the first time, Facebook is also publishing data relating to its photo-sharing app Instagram. Over the last three months, Instagram took down millions of pieces of content relating to child abuse, terrorist propaganda, drug sales, and self-harm. The data highlights the sheer scale of the content moderation challenge facing Facebook and other social networks. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Instagram took down millions of pieces of harmful or dangerous content last quarter, including hundreds of thousands of posts promoting terrorism and child exploitation imagery. On Wednesday, Facebook published its biannual Transparency Report that discloses metrics about how it polices itself — and for the first time, that report included data relating to Instagram, its photo-sharing app. The data gives an unprecedented glimpse into the sheer volume of problematic and illegal content Instagram is battling to keep off its social network. In the third quarter of 2019, Instagram took action against� 753,700 pieces of content relating to child nudity or sexual exploitation of children, and 133,300 pieces of content that promoted terrorist propaganda. Meanwhile, it took action against 1.5 million pieces of content relating to the sale or trade of drugs, and 58,600 on firearms. Instagram has been heavily criticised over its role in hosting posts that promote self-harm, and over the last six months it took action against more than 1.6 million pieces of content that contain depictions of suicide or self-imagery.� Instagram and Facebook are not unique in facing this wave of troublesome content: All major social networks and communication platforms, from Twitter to Snapchat, inevitably play host to problematic or illegal content. Such companies inevitably hire legions of content moderators in attempts to scrub their platforms of undesirable content (the treatment of these workers has become a controversial issue in its own right), and are also increasingly touting artificial intelligence as a way to more proactively police themselves. In Q3 2019, Facebook says its systems were able to detected 79.1% of suicide/self-injury content before it was reported by users, 94.6% of child nudity/child exploitation imagery, and 92.2% of terrorist propaganda. Facebook released significantly more data relating to its core social network Facebook. In Q3 2019, it took action against: 7 million pieces of content relating to hate speech, 3.2 million over bullying/harassment, 11.6 million over child nudity/exploitation, 5.2 million over terrorist propaganda, 25.2 million over graphic violence, and 2.5 million over suicide/self-injury, among other things. Do you work at Facebook?�Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at rprice@businessinsider.com, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at�@robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Read more: Instagram's lax privacy practices let a trusted partner track millions of users' physical locations, secretly save their stories, and flout its rules Mark Zuckerberg's personal security chief accused of sexual harassment and making racist remarks about Priscilla Chan by 2 former staffers Facebook says it 'unintentionally uploaded' 1.5 million people's email contacts without their consent Years of Mark Zuckerberg's old Facebook posts have vanished. The company says it 'mistakenly deleted' them. Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: Watch Google reveal the new Nest Mini, which is an updated Home Mini http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Historic photos show the differences between Nixon, Clinton, and Trump's impeachment hearings http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/vZ_oLMze_eo/trump-impeachment-compared-to-nixon-clinton-photos-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/vZ_oLMze_eo/trump-impeachment-compared-to-nixon-clinton-photos-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 18:01:23 UTC James Pasley at Politics President Donald Trump's impeachment hearing went public on Wednesday, and it's a foreign landscape compared to the two presidents who went before him. He's the fourth president to face impeachment proceedings, after Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Andrew Johnson. But Johnson's was hugely different since it took place in 1868. Media coverage makes a big difference. For Nixon, since coverage was mostly in television and print, it was communal, and the nation gathered together to watch his hearings unfold on primetime TV. For Clinton, television news was becoming more politicized, and the internet and talk radio were just beginning to flourish. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. A president facing impeachment might be America's greatest drama. President Donald Trump's impeachment hearing went public this week, and it's a foreign landscape compared to the two presidents who went before him. It won't be the communal experience of a nation watching, like it was with former President Richard Nixon. But it's still going to hold the nation's attention. In 1973, when the Watergate impeachment hearing was happening, America only had three television networks. It's estimated that 80% of Americans tuned in for at least part of the telecasts. Variety called it "the hottest daytime soap opera." When former President Bill Clinton's impeachment proceedings were broadcast in 1998, television news had become politicized and diversified, and the internet was in its infancy. It was the first proper ratings competition for CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. For Trump, there'll be no singular television audience. Instead there'll be a direct channel to the president through his Twitter account. There'll be live-streaming, blog updates, and 24/7 news. It's going to be a spectacle. These historic photos show what the last two impeachment proceedings looked like, and how they compare to Trump's.SEE ALSO:�What happened when US presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton faced impeachment, and how it compares to today DON'T MISS:�The public Trump impeachment hearings begin Wednesday. Here's who's testifying and how to watch. In the summer of 1973, millions of Americans gathered in their living rooms to watch former President Richard Nixon's impeachment hearings on television at 8 p.m. ET for weeks on end. Sources: Washington Post, Senate Almost 25 years later, in 1998, America still watched former President Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings, but they did it from a variety of places. No more popcorn on the couch — people could work out while watching the latest developments. Source: Forbes With Nixon, people become obsessed, watching the saga unfold day after day, seeing disclosures about the cover-up to get dirt on his political opponents come one after another that summer. They got to decide who was the villain and who was the hero. Source: Washington Post� Clinton's impeachment proceedings were less about villains and heroes. The special counsel Ken Starr's probe into Clinton's real estate investments morphed into an investigation into his affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Updates on Watergate came through the television, or in newspapers. Variety called the hearings the "hottest daytime soap opera." ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS televised the hearing. But while most networks rotated coverage to make space for soap operas and game shows, PBS televised all 250 hours. Source: CBC Since Fox News and MSNBC had only launched in 1996, Clinton's televised hearing became the first proper ratings competition between the three networks, including CNN, which launched in 1980. All three rose during the heights of the hearing, and all three networks' ratings dropped right after the trial. Source: Forbes PBS anchor Robert MacNeil said the televised broadcast of Nixon's impeachment was a Shakespearean drama. "The forces hostile to the king are rising on all sides," he said, as "messenger after messenger rushes in with bad news." Source: Washington Post Clinton's impeachment, by contrast, was a strange time for the media and the public. Some felt queasy about having a national debate over the president's sex life. Source: The New York Times But as the editor in chief of The American Spectator said, "If you have a tabloid president, you're going to be tabloid." Source: The New York Times The key piece of evidence of Nixon's wrongdoing was secret White House tapes, edited transcripts of which are seen here. He refused to release them, only acquiescing after the Supreme Court ruled he had to turn them over to Congress. Clinton's inquiry was summarized by the reveal of Lewinsky's semen-stained dress. The dress destroyed his claim that he'd never had sexual relations with her. Source: The Washington Post Dramatic testimonies were given about burglaries and lies, and Nixon struggled to communicate his own message to the public. In retrospect, some people thought Nixon was buried by the controversy because he talked about it so often. Sources: The Washington Post, The Washington Post, The New York Times Clinton and his staff didn't make that same mistake. They tried to do their jobs and never talk about it. The New York Times reported that Clinton's chief of staff John D. Podesta told staff he'd break their necks if they talked about Lewinsky. In Clinton's 1998 State of the Union address, he didn't mention his scandals at all. Source: The New York Times Television and print journalists flocked to the spectacle around Nixon. Sources: The Washington Post, Forbes And it was the same for journalists covering Clinton. Sources: Forbes, Politico, The Washington Post Except his impeachment trial happened during the boom of the internet. For the first time, people could find salacious details about a president's love life online. And news was unfolding in real time there. The Drudge Report, an online news site, broke the story about the Lewinsky affair before Newsweek. Sources: Forbes, Politico, The Washington Post The other big player was talk radio. In 1987, the FCC had abolished a rule requiring broadcasters to provide multiple perspectives on issues, allowing politically leaning radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh to rise to prominence. It changed the way news was delivered. Radio hosts like G. Gordon Liddy could joke crassly about Clinton sitting in the "Oral Office." Source: Forbes There were similarities between the hearings themselves, too. Those working on Nixon's hearing weren't extraordinarily diverse back in 1973. They weren't much more diverse in 1999. Lengthy petitions were hand delivered. This one, demanding Nixon's impeachment, was filled with 10,000 signatures and went for 80 yards. Here, a woman stacks boxes filled with letters and petitions urging Congress to stop impeaching Clinton and censure him instead. Transcripts of Nixon's Watergate conversations were so bulky the men appear to be struggling to carry them. Evidence for Clinton's hearing came in large boxes, just like with Nixon. As Nixon's inquiry progressed on television, the public wanted him to be impeached more and more, politics professor Arthur Sanders told the Washington Post. Source: The Washington Post Nixon did have his supporters. This group prayed and fasted while the House Judiciary Committee continued its impeachment inquiry. But they weren't the majority. In comparison, as Clinton's impeachment hearing progressed, he had most of America on his side. Source: Washington Post Although he didn't have everyone. Here, protesters demanded his impeachment, with one sign reading, "Impeach Butthead." Source: The Washington Post For Clinton, as the coverage of the trial continued, the nation's interest wavered. By the time the Senate voted on impeachment, more people were watching the NFL on CBS than the combined total of viewers watching the vote on all of the other networks. Source: Los Angeles Times Nixon didn't lose attention in the same way. When he resigned to avoid being impeached, there were more than 60 million copies of weekday newspapers in circulation. Here tourists read a historic headline: "Nixon Resigning." Source: Forbes When the Senate acquitted Clinton, it was also on every newspaper front page. On August 9, 1974, 110 million viewers tuned in to watch Nixon resign. At that time, it was the most-viewed show ever, except for the Apollo 11 moon landing. The population of the US that year was 214 million. Sources: Los Angeles Times, US Census After Clinton was acquitted, NBC's jumbotron in New York's Time Square declared the president was "Not Guilty." People on the streets took a moment to let it sink in. Now, it's Trump's turn. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives launched public hearings about whether he should be impeached. They're being televised, because the Democrats want to take control of the news cycle and garner as much support as they can get before formally impeaching him. Sources: Reuters, BuzzFeed News Differences are already noticeable. Journalists' notepads have been put aside for the recording functions of their phones. Viewers will be able to stream the hearings on their phones and laptops, from a variety of networks, including Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, and C-SPAN throughout the day, plus YouTube. Social media and news sites will deliver a constant flow of information. Follow along here for live updates on the Trump impeachment hearings � But some are worried about the coverage. Journalists Michael Winship and Bill Moyers, who worked for PBS during Nixon's reign, called on PBS to broadcast the hearings, like they did with Nixon, in a full-page New York Times ad. However, a spokeswoman for PBS said "we live in a vastly different media universe than we did 45-plus years ago." Source: Washington Post C-SPAN started in 1979, so it didn't exist during Nixon's impeachment hearings. It broadcast Clinton's, though, and is broadcasting Trump's. Source: C-SPAN Trump has already been harnessing social media to ensure he keeps his base locked down. His daily output on Twitter will add another dimension as the hearing goes public. Sources: Washington Post, Los Angeles Times Fox News' coverage could also change the public's perception. Since 2002 it's been America's most-watched cable network. And it's going to be providing two forms of coverage, one during the day of factual news, and one by night, from its opinion hosts like Tucker Carlson, which will likely spin things in Trump's favor. Sources: Adweek, The Guardian What happened to Nixon and Clinton is important for Trump's future. Sanders told the Washington Post that Democrats are hoping for a repeat of the Nixon model, while Trump's hoping for a repeat of the Clinton one. Source: The Washington Post Stay tuned. It's going to be a spectacle. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Longtime diplomat Bill Taylor testifies that he had never seen a US president make foreign aid conditional on their personal or political interests http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/19nbT_lhGEY/bill-taylor-impeachment-hearing-trump-foreign-aid-personal-gain-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/19nbT_lhGEY/bill-taylor-impeachment-hearing-trump-foreign-aid-personal-gain-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:57:01 UTC Michelle Mark at Politics A key witness who testified during Wednesday's public impeachment hearing said he had never before seen a US president use foreign aid as leverage for personal or political gain. Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, testified about allegations that the Trump administration dangled military aid to Ukraine and pressured its government to investigate Trump's 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden. In a powerful exchange with Daniel Goldman, the Democrats' staff lawyer, Taylor indicated that the move was unprecedented. Follow along here for live updates on the Trump impeachment hearings. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. One of the most important witnesses in President Donald Trump's impeachment hearings said on Wednesday that he had never before seen a US president use foreign aid as leverage for personal or political gain. The first public impeachment hearing opened Wednesday morning and featured testimony from Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. Daniel Goldman, the Democrats' investigations chief, questioned Taylor on his testimony that the Trump administration dangled US military aid and a potential White House visit in exchange for the Ukrainian government's promise to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. In a powerful exchange with Goldman, Taylor indicated that the move was unprecedented. Dan Goldman: "Have you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the United States?"Bill Taylor: "No, Mr. Goldman, I have not." https://t.co/O6ybmtHEg0 pic.twitter.com/PcVEimNdtP — CBS News (@CBSNews) November 13, 2019 "Ambassador Taylor, in your decades of military service and diplomatic service representing the United States around the world, have you ever seen another example of foreign aid conditioned on the personal or political interests of the president of the United States?" Goldman asked. "No, Mr. Goldman, I have not," Taylor replied. Taylor said he believed that Trump felt that the Ukrainians "owed" him these investigations into the Bidens. He also said that withholding military aid "for no good reason" was nonsensical. "It was counterproductive to all of what we had been trying to do," Taylor said. "It was illogical. It could not be explained." Read more: Top US diplomat Bill Taylor revealed details of a previously unknown phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland in bombshell impeachment hearing testimony State Department official George Kent accuses Rudy Giuliani of 'infecting' US-Ukraine relations with 'false information' and a 'smear campaign' in impeachment hearing testimony No, your eyes aren't deceiving you — there's a drag queen sitting in on the impeachment hearings Republican senators say they won't be watching the Trump impeachment hearings because they're too busy Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ People are comparing Ambassador Bill Taylor's voice to Walter Cronkite's as he testifies in the Trump impeachment hearing http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/H7KC8nd7UfE/bill-taylor-voice-walter-cronkite-trump-impeachment-hearing-2019-11 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/politics/~3/H7KC8nd7UfE/bill-taylor-voice-walter-cronkite-trump-impeachment-hearing-2019-11 Wed, 13 Nov 2019 17:54:41 UTC Kelly McLaughlin at Politics The top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, testified alongside Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday.� Taylor, who is a key witness in the impeachment inquiry, was praised for his clear testimony online. But social media users also noticed one of Taylor's great assets — his incredible voice.� People compared Taylor's voice to legendary broadcaster Walter Cronkite, and said he could find work in radio or audio book narrating.� Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, testified as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday, and viewers noticed that the ambassador has an incredible voice.� Taylor testified alongside Deputy Assistant Secretary of State�George Kent, at the hearing on Wednesday.� In his opening statement to House investigators, Taylor said Trump was holding back military aid from Ukraine unless the country agreed to investigate a company linked to Joe Biden's family, and directly�confirmed a quid pro quo that has become the center of the impeachment probe. He was praised on social media for giving clear and concise testimony, and while people discussed what Taylor said in his statements, they also were impressed with how he said it.� Many compared Taylor's voice to legendary broadcaster Walter Cronkite, suggested he could work in the voice-over industry, and simply said he had the "voice of a diplomat." So many people were comparing his voice to Cronkite that the late broadcaster was trending on Twitter.� Here are some of the great tweets about Taylor's voice:� Ambassador Taylor has a full-on Walter Cronkite voice and demeanor and I can't get enough of it. #ImpeachmentHearings — Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) November 13, 2019 Bill Taylor sounds so much like Walter Cronkite that I expect his testimony to conclude with, "And that's the way it is." — Matt Viser (@mviser) November 13, 2019 Ambassador Bill Taylor sounds like Walter Cronkite.Donald Trump sounds like he's screwed. — Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) November 13, 2019 Great voices have that rare combination of authoritativeness/believeability and comfort (see: Walter Cronkite on Vietnam, JFK assassination and Nixon impeachment). That's what we're hearing now in Amb Taylor — Chris Jansing (@ChrisJansing) November 13, 2019 The calm, straight-shooter, reassuring voice of Amb. William Taylor reminds me of the calm, trust, and security I felt as a young person listening to Walter Cronkite. God bless you, Sir, for stepping up to save our democracy. — Mary Chesney, PhD, APRN, CPNP, FAAN (@MChez_NP) November 13, 2019 Bill Taylor has a career in voice work if he wants it. Wow! — Zerlina Maxwell (@ZerlinaMaxwell) November 13, 2019 Taylor has the voice of a diplomat. — John P. Flannery (@JonFlan) November 13, 2019 Taylor's testimony is clear, concise, riveting... and the dude's got a voice like Walter Cronkite. #ImpeachmentHearings — Steve Frech (@stevefrech) November 13, 2019 Bill Taylor: I’m going to be serious, I’m going to be thorough, you’re going to love my voice AND I’m gonna drop a big fat bombshell. — Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 13, 2019 Read more: Top US diplomat Bill Taylor revealed details of a previously unknown phone call between Trump and Gordon Sondland in bombshell impeachment hearing testimony State Department official George Kent accuses Rudy Giuliani of 'infecting' US-Ukraine relations with 'false information' and a 'smear campaign' in impeachment hearing testimony No your eyes aren't deceiving you, there's a drag queen sitting in on the impeachment hearing Republican senators say they won't be watching the Trump impeachment hearings because they're too busy Join the conversation about this story � NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/