NC GOP

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:

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:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Not fake news:

Russian spy Mariia Butina is singing like an opera star, and the lyrics are all about the NRA rolling in Russian cash and buying politicians for both of them. And it takes a survivor of the Parkland shooting (David Hogg) to remind us of this fact, which is sad on so many levels I don't know where to begin.

NC GOP's school safety plan fails to mention firearms

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The first rule of Gun Club: You don't talk about Gun Club:

It is a stark reality when your General Assembly feels it necessary for all public school students to learn how to control bleeding in order to keep schools safe. It is even more stark when, even though it isn’t explicitly said, that bleeding is likely to come from a gunshot wound. But here we are.

The House Select Committee on School Safety approved its report to the full General Assembly, along with draft legislation, Thursday, and without talking about guns, it ends up being all about them.

The really sad (and disgusting) thing is, the main reason NC Republicans refuse to discuss guns, even when it comes to school shootings, is because they're afraid of gun nuts like Paul Valone of GRNC. They're afraid they will be a target in the GOP Primary, which for many of these gerrymandered empty suits is the only electoral danger they face. They would rather do nothing of substance than risk popping up on the radar of these groups, which makes them complicit in whatever future school shootings occur. And it's doubtful if the gun debate will even happen in the near future:

Absentee ballot fraud in NC09 may do more damage than we thought

We might just win this race, but still lose the war on voters:

At this point, it is easy to take a victory lap and point out the hypocrisy of the voter fraud outrage machine, the members of the fraudulent fraud squad who proclaim voter fraud at every turn but ignore what’s going on in Bladen. Follow-up investigations have revealed many of the unsavory details of a history of potential problems in Bladen, history which Republican Party officials apparently ignored for at least a few elections.

There’s likely going to be a new election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, and Harris might even win again if there’s no way of connecting him directly to the election crimes. But the facts of Bladen will be elided into a general sense that elections can be “stolen” and that “voter fraud” remains a major problem.

Republicans have long since embraced the idea that Crisis = Opportunity (fun fact: The Chinese symbol for weiji does *not* actually translate to that, but the philosophical cat is out of the bag, so just roll with it). The GOP views any new development, even embarrassingly negative ones, as a chance to grab more power for themselves. And usually at the expense of others. It is also no comfort that North Carolina is not alone in these GOP voter suppression efforts:

$34,310 debt owed by Harris campaign for fraudulent ballots

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Buying a Congressional seat can be costly:

In a filing with the Federal Election Commission, Mr. Harris’s campaign listed an obligation of $34,310 for “reimbursement payment for Bladen absentee, early voting poll workers; reimbursement door to door.” The disclosure form said the campaign owed the money to Red Dome Group, the Charlotte-area consulting firm that Mr. Harris hired for his campaign.

Red Dome, in turn, contracted with L. McCrae Dowless Jr., a Bladen County political operative who has been accused of collecting absentee ballots from voters in a potentially illegal effort to tip the election toward the Republican nominee.

Which exposes an exceptionally nasty side to this story: A lot of those small donors, squeezing fifty bucks out of their family's budget in support of an evangelical pastor, only to have their money used to steal or stifle the votes of their fellow citizens. Of course they can't see that side, because there's a bible waving in their face. But I see it. And so does Nancy Pelosi:

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