Hearing on NC09 postponed until after new Congress is seated

Better to have no Representative than a fraudulently-elected one:

An evidentiary hearing on allegations of absentee ballot fraud in a North Carolina congressional district election has been rescheduled. The N.C. State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement announced Friday that the public hearing initially scheduled for Dec. 21 will now be held on Jan. 11, 2019.

In a letter Monday, board chairman Joshua Malcolm had suggested more time may be needed to decide whether a new election would be necessary for the 9th Congressional District. Malcolm said those subpoenaed in the case said they need more time to produce additional records.

I don't like the idea of the 9th District not having a Representative any more than the next person, but keep this in mind: Of the 435 district seats in the US House, there are always a handful that are unfilled. In 2018, 7 Representatives resigned and one died, and in 2017, 9 resigned, several of them to fill positions in the Trump administration. In other words, it's not a Constitutional crisis. But what *is* a Constitutional crisis is the distinct possibility that over 1,000 voters in the 9th District had their ballots destroyed:

Saturday News: Defending the disenfranchised

cooperfrown.jpg

GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES BURDENSOME VOTER ID BILL: In his veto message, Cooper said, “the proposed law puts up barriers to voting that will trap honest voters in confusion and discourage them with new rules, some of which haven’t even been written yet. Finally the fundamental flaw in the bill is its sinister and cynical origins: It was designed to suppress the rights of minority, poor and elderly voters. The cost of disenfranchising those voters or any citizens is too high, and the risk of taking away the fundamental right to vote is too great, for this law to take effect.” Several groups, including the ACLU, Common Cause NC, and Equality NC, encouraged Cooper to veto the voter ID bill. The Campus Vote Project of the Fair Elections Center, a voting rights group in Washington, D.C., asked Cooper this week to veto the bill because of the “absurd hurdles created” for colleges and universities that would want to provide students with IDs they could use at the polls.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article223103100.html

The King of Irony: Trump's attack of John Edwards comes back to haunt

Paying off mistresses with donor money is not what the doctor ordered:

To begin with, it is the John Edwards prosecution which itself strengthens the case against Trump. Everyone knew that Edwards was on trial for having donors make payments to his mistress to help fund his campaign. This put Trump and everyone else on fair notice that federal prosecutors were treating such payments as reportable campaign expenditures in certain circumstances. Trump even tweeted about the case at the time. At the very least, the Edwards precedent should have caused Trump to seek advice of counsel on whether payments made to hush up mistresses timed specifically to help his election campaign were illegal.

Not only is the legal theory against Trump stronger because of the Edwards precedent; the facts of the Trump case appear much stronger than the Edwards case as well. Here there appears to be both testimony of Cohen and people from AMI (the National Enquirer parent company) who have said that they coordinated with Trump to make the payments in order to help Trump’s election chances.

Bolding mine, because while I respect the hell out of Rick Hasen, he apparently hasn't yet grasped this fact about Trump: There is no precedent that applies to him, because he considers himself extraordinary. Things that are important to other people simply don't apply to him. When he said he could "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" and not lose voter support, he wasn't joking. He really believes that. That's why his Twitter feed from 3-5-7 years ago is littered with criticisms of people for doing things he now proudly does himself, because his ego has raised him above the rest of humanity. I also don't (completely) agree with Rick about this:

Friday News: Culpability

AFTER BEING WARNED ABOUT FRAUD, MARK HARRIS HIRED DOWLESS ANYWAY: North Carolina congressional candidate Mark Harris, a Republican from Charlotte, directed the hiring of a campaign aide now at the center of an election-fraud investigation, according to three individuals familiar with the campaign, despite warnings that the operative may have used questionable tactics to deliver votes. Harris sought out the operative, Leslie McCrae Dowless, after losing a 2016 election in which Dowless had helped one of Harris’s opponents win an overwhelming share of the mail-in vote in a key county. State and local investigators say that whether Harris knew that his campaign may have engaged in improper tactics has become a focus of the expanding probes into whether election irregularities affected the 9th District election, in which Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article223088305.html

Big Oil's stealth crusade against Obama's vehicle emissions standards

Let the world burn, as long as the profit margins increase:

When the Trump administration laid out a plan this year that would eventually allow cars to emit more pollution, automakers, the obvious winners from the proposal, balked. The changes, they said, went too far even for them. But it turns out that there was a hidden beneficiary of the plan that was pushing for the changes all along: the nation’s oil industry.

In Congress, on Facebook and in statehouses nationwide, Marathon Petroleum, the country’s largest refiner, worked with powerful oil-industry groups and a conservative policy network financed by the billionaire industrialist Charles G. Koch to run a stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards, a New York Times investigation has found.

After following these astro-turf organizations and pseudo-scientific industry stink-tanks for so long, this comes as zero surprise. But the sheer ignorance of the Trump administration acquiescing to this campaign, while climate change catastrophes are occurring on a seemingly monthly basis, is still hard to swallow. The irresponsibility is bad enough, but the industry's use of racism against Obama to drive public opinion is nothing less than infuriating:

Thursday News: Strike?

LETTERS TO PARENTS DETAIL REFUSAL TO GRADE PAPERS OVER SILENT SAM PLAN: More than 200 UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members have signed an open letter to students’ parents and guardians, asking them to support striking graduate student instructors and the permanent removal of the Silent Sam Confederate statue from campus. “Please contact university leaders, including Chancellor Carol Folt, Provost Bob Blouin, and Chairman of the Board Haywood Cochrane Jr. to make your views known and request that Silent Sam and other Confederate statues not be allowed on our campus,” said the letter, issued just days before the UNC system Board of Governors could decide the statue’s fate. As far as the proposed strike, the university so far has not “received any specific reports of grades not being submitted or observed any irregular activity,” UNC spokeswoman Joanne Peters Denny said Wednesday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article222954565.html

Red Dome Group has connections to Trump and Manafort

Along with a history of suppressing African-American voters:

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who ran the ’96 convention for Bob Dole’s campaign, has hired Bill Greener, who was the GOP’s convention manager that year, according to two sources familiar with the personnel move. Greener starts work in his new role Thursday in Cleveland. A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

For the 1996 convention, Manafort and Greener took cues from television infomercials to direct a fast-paced, entertaining program that reimagined the political convention format and irked many reporters, who felt the tight control eliminated any news value.

Not sure how Greener ended up working with (for?) Andy Yates at Red Dome, but no doubt with his buddy Manafort facing an extended jail term, he's probably low-profiling it for the time being:

The epitome of a brown-noser: MAGA Mark Meadows

If he had a tail it would wag like crazy when Trump approaches:

The North Carolina Republican has emerged as one of the most visible names to potentially take over in the role for General John Kelly, largely due to his proximity to the president and his relationship with the White House. And while he had not spoken to Trump as of Monday evening, that could change at a moment's notice.

Meadows is known to speak frequently with the president — almost daily — on a myriad of topics. Throughout Trump's first two years in office, Meadows has been among his top allies, particularly in multiple high-level negotiations in Congress and on the front lines on the president's behalf to push back against the FBI's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He, along with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have also led efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and declassify sensitive documents in the Russia investigation.

In other words, Meadows has engaged in obstruction of justice and endangered national security, all in an effort to protect the worst President our nation has ever been foolish enough to elect. And this is not surprising, either:

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