Link Roundup, 11/30/2018

From The New York Times: Text of the Cohen perjury indictment.

From Yahoo News: Ivanka is implicated in the Trump Tower Moscow project.

From CNN: Trump Tower Moscow project included plans to give Putin a $50m penthouse.

From Vox: Office of Chicago Alderman, Ed Burke, raided in Trump property tax investigation.

From Time: Matthew Whitaker lied to the FTC about his involvement in fraud at previous company, World Patent Marketing.

From The Hill: Six Trump staffers found to have violated the Hatch Act.

19 Comments

  1. Chris,
    I know you’ve been dismissive of Dinsdale and others who allege widespread voter suppression. I agree with you specifically about tampering with electronic voting machines: it’s highly unlikely a covert attempt to alter the software would stay covert for very long.

    But I believe voter suppression by the usual means is alive and well. What do you make of what’s going on in North Carolina:
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/11/30/18119546/north-carolina-9th-district-election-board-bladen-county

    Now voter suppression at best probably swings a vote by 1-2%, so it’s really only useful in close races. But we’ve had a ton of close races this year. I don’t know exactly how widespread it is, but, IMHO, it’s something to at least investigate seriously.

    1. That’s the dirty little secret of voter fraud – absentee ballots. There’s an entire business model in Texas Rio Grande Valley built around this, and even Texas hasn’t been able to shut it down. In Texas these vendors even have a formal title, Politiqueras. Formally, they are locally prominent community figures who offer GOTV services to campaigns for a fee. What the campaigns are really buying is a mass of absentee ballots, along with ballots cast by nursing home residents, etc with the “assistance” (all legal) of the politiquera. They are powerful enough that they dominate the Valley. The Democratic Party’s hostility to their little scam helps explain why statewide Democrats like Beto have not performed as well as expected in the Valley.

      https://riograndeguardian.com/diaz-how-i-would-handle-politiqueras/

      https://www.npr.org/2015/07/07/413463879/in-rio-grande-valley-some-campaign-workers-are-paid-to-harvest-votes

      Ironically, Chicago has had more success limiting this avenue for fraud than Texas.
      https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1998-03-17-9803170159-story.html

      1. I am troubled by the concept of “vote harvesting”. On the one hand, I feel that encouraging voting is very important. But, collecting votes and absentee votes in particular could be problematical and lead to voter fraud. For people in nursing homes of other situations, actually dropping the ballot in the mailbox could be difficult. I personally helped my mother to vote prior to her passing years ago. In my partner’s family the siblings frequently helped their mother to vote, prior to her passing late last year. Nothing is wrong with that type of assistance.

        In my county, King of WA State, the county actually sends election workers to nursing homes and other similar institutions to help the residents vote, upon request. Again, that is all proper and reasonable. On the other hand allowing people paid by political parties to do that can easily lead to abuses.

      2. Apparently, what has happened in NC is not legal. It is extraordinary that twice now the bipartisan Elections board had refused to verify the race in question.

        How does this absentee ballot process differ from that in south Texas?

      3. Republicans have totally lost their minds and all decency. Their blatant efforts to strip power from winning democratic candidates in WI, MI, and NC are outrageous. It’s no wonder they are rushing hard right judicial nominees into appellate positions. Our judiciary has been the “thin red line “ keeping our democracy functioning – barely.

        Trump has opened this cancer in the Republican Party for all to see. Nothing is too offensive to attempt if it preserves power. Even with appeals, democracy ultimately lands at a conservative majority in the US Supreme Court which fate is not assured of a fair outcome on the merits.

        Anyone who calls themselves Republican is complicit in every despicable action their party takes. Full stop.

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/04/republicans-democrats-michigan-wisconsin-voting-midterms

  2. You want more evidence the puppet tyrant is a clear and present danger to the country and planet?

    Watch this video clip. More hardcore evidence he suffers from dementia.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-greets-argentinian-president-mauricio-macri-promptly-walks-off-stage_us_5c02f200e4b0606a15b5d9b5

    I love when the Argentinian president turns around and starts laughing/shaking his head in wonder. But is also terrifying. The planet cannot wait for 2 more years, at the very least, to remove the madman.

  3. I would feel a LOT happier about all this except that when you had the LAST – worst president in history – who committed war crimes and skunked the economy it only took TWO YEARS for the GOP to come back and take the House

    Now you have a new – worst president in history – how long will it take the electorate to forget?

    1. Not going there, Dins. The largest public mid-term voter turnout ever for Dem Party means something. Incredible candidates came forward, and even though some standouts lost, their campaigns were inspiring and hard-fought. We can build on that. As long as we have people who are fighting, Democracy wins. Yes, SCOTUS has 5 conservative justices but Chief Justice Roberts may surprise us yet. The road is harder in the Senate but we’re in the run up now to 2020 and Republicans have a larger number of seats to defend. I don’t see the American people rolling over for trump or republicans – I see people who care, who are fully involved and are totally “woke”. I see world leaders speaking up to and about trump’s wrong-headed policies. This hot economy is predicted to turn into a bear market and if it does, the business community will be looking for scalps. They can start by taking their own.

    1. It is the bestest run on sentence Mary. Stacy Abrams is amazing as is Beto they constantly challenge my cynical heart and nature and of course compel me to send money. I don’t worry that the US has too few good people. My concern is how we restore confidence in our institutions and norms after this all out assault. How much of that infrastructure will be left when this administration ends?

  4. Some commentary from The Nation about the massive con job going on with Amazon’s HQ2.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/amazon-deblasio-cuomo-hq2-subsidies/

    Also on boingboing:

    https://boingboing.net/2018/11/17/amazons-nyc-digs-being-built.html

    Seamus lays it out quite well: “Greed is nothing, if not consistent.”

    And finally, a piece from The Outline about how tech companies aren’t the miracle workers people think they are:

    https://theoutline.com/post/6672/tech-companies-dont-help-the-economy-but-they-may-very-well-sink-it

  5. Someone here stated that the Democrats in the House should start writing anti-corruption bills in preparation for 2018. Well,

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/11/30/18118158/house-democrats-anti-corruption-bill-hr-1-pelosi

    From the GOP’s POV, however, whadabout Nancy Pelosi? Nancy Pelosi is a Nancy Pelosi stooge of Nancy Pelosi. You know who likes Nancy Pelosi? Nancy Pelosi.

    Saved you time watching the 2020 Presidential debates.

    1. Good Article. I have a few comments:
      1. In the age of Trump, the GOP is toxic in the urban, suburban and to a lesser extent, the exurban areas.
      2. The problems are not solely due to Trump, but to a larger extent with the GOP message.
      3. The GOP may conduct a post-mortem, but the same was done following the 2012 & 2014 elections. The results were that they needed to start appealing to the middle class more, quit emphasizing the racism and xenophobia, and become more inclusive of the minorities. The response was to ignore the post-mortem response and to double down on the the fear mongering. That enabled them to wing the 2016 election and so the gut reaction was confirmed. Trump has just made it very obvious. I expect the GOP to have the same reaction as in the past.

      1. What made this analysis so interesting to me was who offered it…from a GOP analyst – it was direct, honest and, I believe, directly on point.

        Yes, the Repubs had things going so well for themselves after 2010 that they decided to “keep on keeping on” with the same agenda, activities and message. To your list of things people don’t like about the Republicans – add this: those who are paying attention – and I believe there has been heightened awareness during this president’s tenure of: the blatant choice Republicans have made to adopt T’s agenda full-stop, without argument and, in many cases, full public support of actions and policies that people clearly see are destructive to America’s sense of decency and moral values. This leads to loss of respect and votes. That the GOP could be so nauseatingly obsequious to trump’s behavior while totally silent on critical actions such as his willingness to “play” with global economics, the environment and social values, is not being lost on “awoke” voters. People are seeing the damage being done in real time. World leaders have had enough and are standing up to T. Our Republican MoC? Not so much. McConnell’s place in history will look different than he may be imagining and Ryan will go down as ineffective for different reasons. In sum, they are a gutless group and I am deeply ashamed of them for what they have done to our country.

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