We pretty much already knew this, since we knew that he talked to Trump in between two of his text messages, but “Sondland’s testimony will raise the possibility that Trump wasn’t truthful.”

Trump might have lied? That’s not the Donald Trump I know! 

It’s only true that the president said it, not that it was the truth.

Gordon Sondland, US Ambassador to Europe, to a colleague

“The statement that Rudy was demanding was a quid pro quo for a White House visit, there was no doubt about that. By Sept. 9, Sondland had grown increasingly concerned, as military funding for Ukraine now appeared tied to the statement as well. “

But …

Sondland “somehow wants all of us to believe that he is ‘shocked, shocked’ that anything he was wrapped up in was aimed at the Bidens. That beggars belief.” 

Here’s a quick summary of what seems to be Sondland’s position.

  • I knew that the Burisma investigation was a quid pro quo for the White House visit
  • I began to suspect that the Burisma investigation was also a quid pro quo for military aid.
  • However, I was not aware that Burisma had anything to do with Biden.

This position may be true, but needless to say, it is raising some eyebrows.

Top 25 round-up

Texas/OU weekend was more chaotic and violent than usual, and this time it was not on the streets of Austin. Both teams were charged with unsportsmanlike conduct penalties before the game even began. Two of the officials were hit in the process. When the game finally got started, it was #6 Oklahoma all the way. The final score sounds close (34-27), but the Sooners never trailed in the process of amassing 500 yards from scrimmage and holding the Texas passing offense below 200. What was the name of the Oklahoma defensive co-ordinator who stole Christmas from the #11 Longhorns? Grinch.

Speaking of defense. #8 Wisconsin cruised to its fourth shutout of the year. They seem to be tuned up well for their big game in a couple of weeks against THE Ohio State University, with the winner very likely to make the playoff.

#3 Georgia found out just what a tough town the SEC is. They lost to a South Carolina team that came into the game 2-3.

#5 LSU broke free in the second half to hand #7 Florida its first loss.

My strongest memory of Robert Forster is specific to our common hometown. When I was in high school, and then a few years later when I returned briefly to Rochester (NY), the local newspapers inevitably attached a special prefix to his name until it became automatic for my friends and me to refer to him light-heartedly as “Rochester’s own Robert Forster” in our everyday speech.

I’m not sure why he qualified for this specialized sobriquet because other, more famous, people did not. The papers didn’t always refer to “Rochester’s own Mitch Miller” or Old Hoss Radbourn, Gorilla Monsoon, William Warfield, Cab Calloway, or Susan B Anthony, but every single mention of Forster came with his universal prefix, until it became part of his name.

Part of the reason, I guess, is that Forster was not just passing through. He was born and raised in Rochester and then graduated from the University of Rochester. But his deep roots are not the whole enchilada. Other celebrities had similar backgrounds, but only Forster was always “Rochester’s own.”

I have a theory about the real reason. I speak occasionally with another old Rochester friend who, like me, wandered far from the city, and we once discussed how we always enjoyed watching Forster, but not because of his performances. In fact, it’s kind of the opposite. Forster was not really one of those trained, cultured actors who can assume any personality, or hide his origins inside of perfect diction or a pitch-perfect impersonation of some obscure regional dialect. He didn’t play Hamlet or ancient kings or European counts. He was always just a regular schlub with a heavy Rochester accent. Maybe that’s why Forster earned that permanent “Rochester’s own.” Those other people I mentioned above could have been from anywhere, but when any Rochesterian hears Robert Forster’s voice, we hear our own uncles. When we are far away, we hear home.

He was one of ours.

We’ve lost a part of us.

That’s a huge win for the Nationals. They managed to win on the road, behind their fourth starter, despite giving him little offensive support.

Expecting the bats to come around and the big arms to deliver, they gotta be thinkin’ about the World Serious.

And the Cards have to be thinking about getting in some extra batting practice, because they somehow managed to make Anibal Sanchez look like the second coming of Walter Johnson.

Trump tells reporters he doesn’t know if Giuliani is still his attorney

Do you think Rudy has spotted the bus coming yet?

Probably not.

But he’s starting to think he might hear the horn. His response, ringing with confidence, was: “I spoke to him yesterday and I have no reason to believe I’m not.”

Celine Dion shows some flesh in some crappy French-language series.

She had a career as an melodramatic actress in the late 80s and early 90s while she was still trying to gain a foothold as a melodramatic singer. Here she is at 18, for example, in L’heure juste (1986).

The bathtub scene and the see-thru in Des fleurs sur la neige represented her only on-screen nudity. She was about 22 or 23 at the time it was lensed.

Here’s the bathtub scene with sound:

And here is the see-thru with sound:

This story is really getting complicated. These are the same two guys we read about Monday when they refused to testify or be deposed in the impeachment investigation. Shortly thereafter, they were fleeing the country.

Pictured in the photo: the two suspected criminals.

Also pictured: the two Ukrainian guys.

Allegedly, these are two unrelated cases. Congress wanted them to testify about the Ukrainian Bidengate scandal, while the feds arrested them for laundering money to make illegal campaign contributions. (Illegal because they were channeling money from foreign donors into American elections to support Trump and others.) I have a feeling things may tie together when all the curtains are pulled back. At the moment it is not clear whether they were fleeing the country to avoid the expected Congressional subpoenas, or because they knew the feds were closing in on the criminal charges.

But here’s a kicker. Get this. The two had one-way tickets to Vienna. Rudy Giuliani was also scheduled to travel to Vienna the following day. Rudy claims those two trips were unrelated, that he was going to Vienna for a completely different reason, and that he was not scheduled to meet with them until they returned to Washington – a pretty difficult trick considering they had one-way tickets!

I wonder if Rudy will still go ahead with his Vienna trip, just to pretend that he was telling the truth about that completely different reason. Probably not. One thing about Rudy – he doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to construct plausible lies. He just wings it.

Much like his main client.

Here’s another kicker, hot off the presses: Giuliani was not only using these two guys in his crusade to dig up dirt in Ukraine, but he also accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from them for consulting and legal services!

These guys are tight!