Bill Taylor, the U.S.'s top diplomat in Ukraine, just blew shit up: Despite State Department orders not to testify, Taylor "sketched out in remarkable detail a quid-pro-quo pressure campaign on Ukraine that Mr. Trump and his allies have long denied," reports the New York Times. He implicated Trump personally: "The directive had come from the president." Is there a crack in the dam?
Bill Taylor does not respond to questions as he leaves Capitol Hill following a deposition that lasted 9+ hours pic.twitter.com/FtQYNrNpo4— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) October 22, 2019
Trump says: It's "triple hearsay"!
“Triple hearsay”? The man testified about events he witnessed. https://t.co/6jVUuTDOM1— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) October 22, 2019
Top Boeing exec is out: Kevin McAllister, the boss of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, is the first "head to roll" after the 737 Max Boeing disaster.
This season's flu deaths are upon us: LA County, Marion County (Indianapolis), and probably other counties I'm missing are reporting their first flu-related deaths of the season. Did you get a flu shot yet? Are you planning on it? Did you know it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to start working? I got my shot yesterday and am downing vitamins hoping all the sick people in our office don't infect me.
Best Headline Today: Certain American men are dying 'deaths of despair'
WeWork's co-founder will reportedly get $1.7 billion to exit WeWork: $1.7 BILLION! He also gets to maintain a stake in the company. Meanwhile, SoftBank is taking over the company, which is expected to layoff thousands of employees once it can find the cash to pay them severence. A documentary is in the works.
The author of the infamous "I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration" New York Times op-ed is writing a book: It will be out next month. The book will be titled A Warning, reports the Washington Post. Based on how things are going, the book will come out right as the House impeaches Trump. Maybe it'll have some sway on Senate Republicans. Probably not.
Speaking of Senate Republicans, some updates from McConnell: He very, very, very gently pushed back against a few things out of Trump's mouth today. First, this:
A couple weeks ago, @realDonaldTrump said that @senatemajldr told him that his call w/President Zelensky was “perfect” and “innocent”. But when I asked McConnell about that just now, he said he never spoke to the President about it. So was Trump lying? “You’d have to ask him.”
— Nancy Cordes (@nancycordes) October 22, 2019
And then: He described Trump's use of the word "lynching" today—used by Trump to describe the impeachment inquiry against him—as "unfortunate." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also pushed back against the president's use of the word "lynching."
Senate Majority Leader McConnell on President Trump's comparison of the impeachment effort against him to "a lynching":
“Given the history in our country, I would not compare this to a lynching. That was an unfortunate choice of words.” pic.twitter.com/3zEDZzwv9y
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 22, 2019
But, obviously, don't get excited: It's still a "sham impeachment inquiry."
Under Chairman Schiff and the Dem majority, the most basic responsibilities of the committee have been neglected.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) October 22, 2019
Instead, the House Intelligence Committee is using its time and resources to run a sham impeachment inquiry in secret.#StopTheSchiffShowhttps://t.co/Othy2TMJYn
Ballot return stats: As of noon today, Seattle's City Council District 3 is slightly beating out all the other districts in early ballot return totals. Some of you really, really wanted to vote right away:
District 1: 68,521 voters; 2,504 ballots returned
District 2: 59,257 voters; 1,411 ballots returned
District 3: 74,177 voters; 2,511 ballots returned
District 4: 61,040 voters; 1,904 ballots returned
District 5: 63,999 voters; 2,066 ballots returned
District 6: 74,618 voters; 1,911 ballots returned
District 7: 72,166 voters; 2,060 ballots returned
A humiliating day in Syria for the U.S.: CNN is reporting that Russian journalists are parading around abandoned U.S. bases and casting the U.S.'s exit as "a hasty helicopters-on-the-roof moment for American power." The Russian defense minister suggested it was time for the U.S. to leave Syria altogether. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Russia today to unveil "a 10-point memorandum of understanding." Here are the conditions, from CNN:
Under the deal, Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Syrian-Turkish border from noon tomorrow. Over the next 150 hours, they are to remove the [Kurdish YPG forces] and their weapons, back to 30 km (about 18 miles) from the border. From 6 p.m. local time next Tuesday, the Russian military police and Turkish military will begin patrols along that line to a depth of 32 km (about 20 miles).
Let's end with something lighter: Star Wars. This final trailer was released yesterday, on Carrie Fisher's birthday.