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Mario Batali deftly fends off Twitter morons after raising money for Texas pro-choice charity

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- Commentary

Chef Mario Batali announced yesterday afternoon on his Twitter account (540K followers) that for the next 30 minutes he was going to match donations from his followers up to $5,000 as, in New York, Sarah Silverman and Lizz Winstead were holding a fundraiser for Lady Parts Justice, a pro-choice effort to support women in Texas struggling under new restrictive laws…

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Of course, even the genial TV chef had to know that no good deed goes unpunished on Twitter.

First, he had to fend off complaints that offering to match what others gave would limit his own donation…

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Then came another classic complaint: How could Batali give to cause X when cause Y needs his help?

 

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But inevitably, things turned political.

 

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As things got meaner, Mario only got more charming…

 

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Finally, this morning, he’d had enough of the nuttiness and pushed the keyboard away. But not before one final note of defiance…

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Batali. That guy can cook.

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Trump’s quid pro quo isn’t Mitch McConnell’s only headache

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William Taylor is the US senior diplomat to Ukraine. He gave testimony to Congress Wednesday confirming what we already know: the president held up aid in exchange for Ukraine’s president to announce publicly that he was investigating Joe Biden.

That, my friend, is a quid pro quo.

This article was originally published at The Editorial Board

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Ukraine ambassador didn’t just blow the lid off Trump’s conspiracy — he hinted at a whole lot more

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I hear a lot of pundits and analysts insisting that the Democrats have finally decided to move on impeachment because the Ukraine scandal is so easy to understand. They also insist that all the earlier evidence of Donald Trump's lawbreaking, such as the 10 obstruction of justice charges in the Mueller report and the ongoing violations of the emoluments clause, should be set aside as articles of impeachment because they are simply too confusing. That is nonsense. It's the same story.

It's true that the notorious phone call and the testimony of the parties in the Ukraine scandal show a simple quid pro quo. But all the Rudy Giuliani shenanigans with people whose names most of us can't easily pronounce and Russian mobsters and secret meetings in exotic world capitals is just as crazy as the Russia investigation. It even features some of the same players, such as former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

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Republicans are clearly spooked as the most dangerous witness in Trump’s impeachment speaks to Congress

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Ever since texts from the behind-the-scenes State Department efforts to induce Ukraine into investigating President Donald Trump’s political opponents were released, it’s been clear that the House’s impeachment inquiry desperately needed to hear from acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor.

While much of what is publicly known about the Trump administration’s machinations with Ukraine is already impeachable, texts sent by Taylor, first provided to the House by U.S. envoy Kurt Volker, showed an even darker scheme at work. And they also suggested that Taylor, of all the people involved in the efforts, was most alarmed about and willing to speak out with regard to Trump’s wrongdoing. In one particularly memorable text, Taylor told another official of Trump’s Ukraine plot: “I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” This implicated the president directly in criminal, and undoubtedly impeachable, activity.

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