This morning I finally read the 12.29 N.Y. Times story (reported by Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman and Mark Mazzetti) about Trump’s demand to halt military assistance to Ukraine, and particularly the 8.16 Oval office meeting in which National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper pleaded with Trump to lift the military funding freeze, to no avail.

Moscow Mitch’s intention to blow off any pretense of a fair and thorough Senate impeachment trial is locked down, of course. He will continue to coordinate with the White House in order to facilitate a whitewash, etc.

Washington Post‘s Jennifer Rubin to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (posted on 12.31): “In objecting to a fixed trial with rules dictated by President Trump, you have distinguished yourself as someone willing to place country and Constitution above party.

“You alone cannot stop a grievous injury to our Constitution, but with several Republican colleagues (might I suggest Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, retiring senators and those senators whose constituents will run them out of town on a rail for going along with a rigged trial), you have the ability to stop a travesty that would bring dishonor on the Senate, prevent a full accounting of the president’s conduct and result in a verdict lacking credibility with the American people

This may sound cruel, but images matter. President Trump could easily afford breast reduction surgery. If I were in his golf shoes I wouldn’t hesitate.