republican corruption

Evidence shows Burr coordinated with NRA in 2016 Election

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The only time he actually does something always involves campaign money:

Back in 2016, when North Carolina Republican Richard Burr prevailed against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, Burr employed National Media outright, while the NRA used Red Eagle. As in the other races, Ferrell signed off on purchases for both sides. FCC paperwork filed by WECT, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, shows Ferrell signing off on purchases for the Burr campaign on October 12, 24, and 27 and November 2 as an “agent for Richard Burr Committee.” At the same time, he authorized Red Eagle purchases on behalf of the NRA on September 19 and October 21.

The campaign coordination alone is a serious issue, and one of the few safeguards left in place after Citizens United. But even more concerning is the likelihood that Russian money was used to get Richard Burr re-elected:

Congressional Democrats vow to intervene if court tries to force certification of Harris

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And it appears they have the authority to do just that:

The House Democratic investigations could pave the way for a new election in the district, even if the court orders the board of elections to certify Harris as the winner instead of the board ordering a re-vote itself. The House Administration Committee, now controlled by Democrats, has the authority to call for another election after investigating the 2018 results.

Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who is slated to chair an election-focused subcommittee of the House Administration Committee, told POLITICO that the House will intervene if the North Carolina court ordered the election certified for Harris before the state investigation has concluded. Any House member could object to seating Harris and block him, triggering an investigation by Fudge's committee.

It might seem like a trivial detail, but you'll notice from the headline above I didn't say, "...court tries to certify Harris." Because it does not have that authority. It does, however, have the authority to "direct" the NC BoE to certify Harris, via Writ of Mandamus. But Congress itself has the final say, apparently:

The AOC effect: 70% marginal tax rate dissected

A high level of energy can spur growth or destroy:

Progressive House Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called for a sharp tax hike on the highest incomes in order to fund a massive “Green New Deal” plan that would phase out fossil fuels by 2030, as she tries to push the political debate to the left.

“It’s ambitious,” the New York Representative told 60 Minutes in an interview scheduled to air Sunday. “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now.”

Several of my more intelligent (than me) friends have been explaining why this is a good idea, using frequent references back to when the tax rate for the wealthy was even higher than she's proposing. And those arguments are intellectually sound. But here's the thing: After some of the nasty battles we've fought within the party over the last several years, it's become apparent that many Democrats simply do not understand the ideological makeup of American voters. We haven't had a "landslide" Presidential election in numerous cycles, and for all practical purposes, our country is split 50-50. To say that's a "delicate balance" is a vast understatement. I'll continue below the fold, for brevity's sake:

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:

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:

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:

$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:

Subpoenas issued in Trump emoluments case

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Having to deal with that pesky Constitution again:

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia on Tuesday formally demanded financial records from U.S. President Donald Trump's businesses as part of their lawsuit alleging his dealings with foreign governments violate anti-corruption clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The attorneys general issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization Inc, the president's privately owned real estate company, and related corporate entities.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which is defending the president in the litigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

That last sentence reflects just how damaged our Republic has become under this twisted President. The United States Department of Justice should be the one investigating and bringing the charges against Trump, not being his personal defense team. It boggles the mind. Shortly after Trump was elected, Brookings looked into the issue:

Robeson County also under scrutiny in NC-09 race

And a pattern of fraud is emerging dealing with absentee ballots:

Steve Stone, chairman of the Robeson County Board of Elections, said state investigators have requested information the county board kept on an unusual number of absentee ballot requests. Stone said county elections officials began keeping logs of who dropped off large numbers of registration forms and absentee ballot requests, and they later reported their concerns to the state board in August.

Stone said county residents had reported that people were going door-to-door, telling voters that their registrations had been dropped and they needed to re-register. They were also asked to sign an absentee ballot request form, Stone said. At least five affidavits submitted to the state board described various instances of fraud, including multiple occasions when people came to voters’ doors to collect ballots and offered to fill them out for them.

I can't help but make the connection between an evangelical pastor and his devout followers breaking the law to get him elected. We usually associate these things with straight-up corruption, and blame money as the root cause. But I'm not so sure that's the case, here. As we've seen with the Word of Faith cult, breaking the law can be easily justified when religious beliefs are abused. Here are some serious irregularities as described by Gerry Cohen:

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