Notes from the Kakistocracy: Meadows oozing into Chief of Staff position

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Yes, the Trump administration can get more incompetent:

When it comes to filling the chief of staff role after the impeachment dust settles, Trump has suggested his first choice remains retiring Rep. Mark Meadows, sources familiar with the talks said. During Thursday's post-acquittal speech, Trump thanked Meadows at length for his support during the impeachment proceedings and called him "an extraordinary guy" and "very special."

Meadows, in turn, was the only other person who spoke during the President's address -- rising from his seat in the audience to praise Trump. "I just wanted to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country," Meadows said. "We've got your back."

And there goes my gag reflex. With the prospect of Meadows being in charge of pretty much everybody who works in the White House, now is as good a time as any to remind people of his lack of concern and leadership when his own office was a stalking ground for a serial sexual harasser:

Friday News: Shameful

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REPUBLICAN DONOR USED MENTALLY CHALLENGED SISTER TO FUNNEL CAMPAIGN CASH: Chad Price says Mako Medical, the fast-growing lab testing company he co-founded in Raleigh, started with frustrations he faced getting his younger sister the medical tests she regularly needed. His sister Jessica, 37, was born with a genetic condition that left her with the mental capacity of a young child. She lives with Price, who is her legal guardian, at his home in Apex. But in campaign filings, Jessica emerges as an administrative employee for Mako and a political donor, contributing $17,500 to five state or federal candidates in four states, including North Carolina. For three of those candidates, Chad Price had made the maximum contributions in his own name. Those contributions are among hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money flowing predominantly to Republican candidates from Chad Price and a small group of people and businesses connected to him over the past five years. During that time, Price developed deep connections with state elected and appointed officials, two of whom joined his businesses.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239289663.html

Shadowy Republican group behind massive ad buy for Erica Smith

Pay close attention folks, campaign meddling has already begun:

Faith and Power, a new political action committee with ties to Republicans, formally launched on January 29 and quickly placed a $1.56 million broadcast ad in the Democratic primary, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission and the Kantar Media's Campaign Media Analysis Group. The ad aims to boost Smith over Cal Cunningham, who has been endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has raised significantly more money.

"Who's the Democrat for US Senate endorsed by progressives and unions? Erica Smith," says the ad's narrator. "Who's got the courage to vote for 'Medicare for All'? Erica Smith. The number one supporter of the Green New Deal? Erica Smith again."

You don't even need Occam's Razor to figure this one out, Occam's Butterknife will do. Why would Republicans boost one Dem over another in a Primary? Because they believe she would be easier to beat come November. While this ad appears to be targeted directly at left-leaning Dems, it also includes triggers (Unions, Green New Deal) to stoke fear and revulsion in conservative and even some moderate voters. Here's a little more on the group running the ads:

Thursday News: Master of Innuendo

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TOM FETZER TRIES TO STYMIE ECU TRUSTEE INVESTIGATION: At Wednesday’s committee meeting, Board of Governors member Tom Fetzer opened up the questioning and initially asked Davenport to drop the complaint based on the fact that the student is not currently enrolled at ECU. Davenport denied that request, saying he has an obligation to ECU students and faculty to uphold the policies of the UNC System and state ethics. Fetzer asked Davenport about his knowledge of the meeting between the trustees and Hudson and about his potential role in orchestrating the recording of it. Davenport said he was told that Lewis had requested the meeting but did not know what it was about and did not help facilitate the recording. Fetzer also questioned why Hudson had the conversation with these trustees expressing her interest in the election when she had no intention of being a student this spring. Her attorney was not present to speak on her behalf.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239963778.html

Mark Johnson's staff engaged in illegal wiretapping of former employee

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And there needs to be a formal investigation of this by NC DOJ:

Allegations surfaced during a recent Department of Information Technology hearing that when retiring K-3 Literacy Director Carolyn Guthrie turned in her DPI-issued MacBook laptop in 2017, she neglected to log the device out of her iCloud account. As with any such organization, the Department of Public Instruction has a policy that devices of departing employees must be wiped clean. DPI reportedly did not follow that protocol with Guthrie’s laptop, and her personal iPhone text messages continued to sync to the MacBook’s iMessage app for more than a year after her departure. According to deposition testimony referenced at the hearing, Guthrie noticed her phone pairing with another device but did not realize it was her old laptop until she learned that DPI was in possession of her personal communications.

If the allegations are true, that would mean someone at Johnson’s department actively monitored Guthrie’s personal iPhone text message communications using her old laptop. It would mean someone working under Johnson’s supervision made a decision to read through private communications between Ms. Guthrie and her family and friends until finding something that was useful.

Unwritten rule #14: If you stumble across information you weren't supposed to have access to, you cannot use it until you find another source for said information that isn't so radioactive. It ain't rocket surgery, but apparently Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch are not very clever...

Wednesday News: The company you keep

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DAN FOREST IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO BRIBERY SCANDAL: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's chief of staff reached out to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey's office in early August 2017, seeking a meeting for two men who would later be indicted and accused of trying to bribe Causey. At the time, the state Department of Insurance was reviewing three insurance companies Lindberg owned. Within a month of the reach out, more than $50,000 flowed into Forest's campaign coffers from associates of Greg Lindberg and John Gray, at least in part because Lindberg hosted a fundraiser at his home. Lindberg himself donated $400,000 that month to a second political committee that the lieutenant governor controls and that accepts unlimited donations. By the end of that year, Lindberg had deposited $2.4 million in political committees backing Forest's current run for governor. Forest put out a press release at the time, trumpeting his ability to bring in such a haul.
https://www.wral.com/forest-aide-sought-meeting-between-insurance-chief-financier-later-indicted/189...

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