For a guy producing the ultimate made-for-TV presidency, it’s a little shocking that Donald Trump just spoiled the season’s most intriguing cliffhanger. After he and his defenders spent the week deflecting and denying charges that he made an impeachably-inappropriate request of the Ukrainian president, Trump made the same request publicly, in front of TV cameras. (And he didn’t even say, “spoiler alert” before doing so.”) To hammer home the point, Trump also asked China to get in on the fun. AP: Not just Ukraine, Trump now calls for China to probe Bidens. It’ll be difficult to blame the whistleblower when the latest leak came right from the president’s own pie-hole. Normalize that.

+ David Graham: The president’s new strategy for fighting impeachment? Raise the cost of the proceedings higher than Democrats are willing to pay. (To paraphrase Mastercard, some things are priceless.)

+ Will the committing of an impeachable offense on camera cause Trump’s supporters to lose their enthusiasm? It’s unlikely. Why? Because they’ve gotten so used to not listening to him. Adam Serwer on The Mad King’s Enablers. “American democracy rests on the willingness of bureaucrats to ignore the commands of their democratically elected chief executive.”

+ “Mitt Romney has some explaining to do — answering for ties to the Ukrainian gas company that put Joe Biden’s son on its board, and accounting for conversations with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about Republican support for impeaching President Trump.
In reality, neither claim is true” WaPo: How Republicans who speak out against Trump become targets of viral disinformation. (If this were a college course, it would be called Putin 101.)

+ Trump finally offended Twitter to the point that they were forced to act. He posted a Nickleback video.