Morning Reads – Wednesday August 22, 2018

Hey. I’m not Ed. Maybe you remember me. Maybe you don’t. Don’t everyone welcome me back all at once.

Around the State this morning:

A lawsuit has been filed alleging a Buford school superintendent made racially charged threats. There appears to be some dispute about whether the recording is real.

Over a dozen stores and homes in central Georgia were searched yesterday for alleged illegal gambling. Arrests are pending. Also pending (but not in the article) is the seizure of every penny associated with the owners.

Meanwhile, 27 people have been killed in Macon this year. Including the second store-clerk in eight days.

U.S. Army Cyber Command reportedly concerned about how quickly social media can be co-opted by an adversary.

Fallout continues for Randolph County election officials who wish to close polling places. Lost somewhere in this story is the cost for a small county of maintaining multiple election places to begin with.

And in case you missed it — Self-defense may not be a valid defense to shooting a naked man.

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John Vestal
John Vestal

Welcome back.

(In before the now-daily middle school MySpace slap-fight that the comment section of the MRs has become, rendering it unreadable)

Benevolus
Benevolus

OK, let’s get things started! . Trump didn’t expect to win until the very end. It was all just an ego trip for him and a grift for all those around him. But, the Russians had more influence than anyone expected and here we are. . Most everyone recognized his con game early on; all the other GOP candidates, the press, the intelligence community, and all the actual professional campaign consultants- who wouldn’t go to work for him. So he ends up dragging along all the same mafioso-type grifters that he had always worked with and anyone else willing to… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Yesterday afternoon was a cavalcade of news. I just want to highlight my two favorite parts of the Duncan Hunter indictment for posterity: . First On or about March 20, 2015, when Duncan Hunter told Margaret Hunter that he was planning “to buy my Hawaii shorts” but had run out of money, she counseled him to buy the shorts at the golf pro shop so that they could falsely describe the purchase later as “some [golf] balls for the wounded warriors.” . Second On or about November 23, 2015, in an attempt to justify the use of campaign funds to… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

I understand Duncan was Trump’s second supporter in Congress. His indictment for grifting places him in the company of Chris Collins, Trump’s first supporter in Congress, who was indicted for insider trading.
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Takes a grifter to know a grifter?

O_O
O_O

Seems like Hunter has a long relationship with the Navy. Representing San Diego county his basic function is to keep bases open and grease VA claims through the bureaucracy, and as a USMC veteran he was DoN personnel. I think he’s probably earned the right to say what he said, probably most Sailors and Marines have said the exact same thing. I think it’s extra-scummy to try and make Sailors waste a whole bunch of time on VIP protocol (like the Navy is just sitting around with nothing to do?) so he can have cover to misuse his campaign funds.

Ellynn
Ellynn

You missed the $600 to fly the family bunny cross country.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

What about spending thousands of dollars on video games and then blaming it on your kid? That’s pretty rough, too.

NoParty4Me
NoParty4Me

Gotta earn those reward points !

Noway2016
Noway2016

This just in… Former FEC Chairman Bradley Smith (that be the BOSS…) told radio host Mark Levin that the hush money payment President Trump instructed Michael Cohen to send to Stormy Daniels did not violate campaign finance laws. Smith told Levin that the payments were not directly campaign related and therefore not a violation of the law. When the FEC wrote the regulation that says what constitutes campaign expenditures and what constitutes personal use, it rejected specifically the idea that a campaign expenditure was anything related to a campaign, and instead says it has to be something that exists only… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Earnest response:
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Cohen has now affirmatively stated, under oath, that the purpose of the hush money payments was to benefit the campaign by quashing the stories. In other words, this isn’t an incidental benefit, it’s a payment that existed – to quote Smith – “only because of the campaign and solely for that reason.” So while Smith may be right (note: I don’t think he is, but that’s a whole different debate) his position is undercut by Cohen’s own admission.
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aw. naw.

Noway2016
Noway2016

He said it in that context to keep his bony ass out of jail. LOLOLOL! An admitted liar. Gotta luvvvvv that credibility! And pardon me, Sniv. I’ll take the former head of the FEC’s legal opinion over yours…in this instance.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

You’re more than justified in taking Smith’s opinion over mine. There are a number of election law scholars who side with me, but it’s a debatable aspect of our campaign finance system. . If Cohen went out and dropped $500,000 on stationary and pens because Trump told him the campaign needed them, no one would be debating whether or not it was an expenditure. Cohen has stated the hush money payments were made at the direction of the candidate for the express purpose of benefiting the campaign. That’s the textbook definition of a campaign contribution. That the money went to… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Additional note:
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Had Trump made the payments out of his own bank account, there wouldn’t have been a campaign finance violation. There’s a tremendous amount of joy to the fact Trump is now implicated in felonies because he’s both a pervert and a cheapskate.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I guess it could have been because he was a cheapskate. But this guy has been co-mingling money from his personal finances, the Trump Org., the Trump Foundation, and then the campaign, for as long as they’ve existed. His M.O. is to hide money, conceal transfers, maybe even keep money (laundered cash?) off the books. He is the embodiment of what the pure capitalists like— lie, cheat, and steal your way to enrich yourself at the expense of others, and avoid taxes. And if he had just been straight up and honest with his dealings, he could have avoided the… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Balance, if you read the transcript from yesterday’s plea, the government lays out what evidence it had: . “Records obtained from an April 9, 2018 series of search warrants on Mr. Cohen’s premises, including hard copy documents, seized electronic devices, and audio recordings made by Mr. Cohen. We would also offer text messages, messages sent over encrypted applications, phone records, and emails. We would also submit various records produced to us via subpoena, including records from the corporation referenced in the information as Corporation One and records from the media company also referenced in the information.” . So it isn’t… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

So, Cohen’s lawyer made a statement that it wouldn’t have mattered if payment was from his personal account. But I think it does change the charge. Because to my memory, candidates can essentially give as much as their own money to their own campaigns (self-finance). So the charge wouldn’t be about a corporate contribution or an excessive contribution, but it would be a violation of failure to disclose. I don’t know if that changes the prosecutorial posture, but I imagine if there was an intent to hide the payment, that’s not too different.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Glad we agree it was hush money.
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Bradley’s taking it upon himself to opine on the matter on a pro-Trump radio show without proper process and presentation of all the facts before the FEC as whole indicates bias that may require Bradley either recuse himself or be removed from any deliberations on the matter by the FEC.

Noway2016
Noway2016

He’s not in the process, David. He’s a former FEC guy. An “expert witness” if you will. And sure it was hush money. Never been a question about that, at least in my mind.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

My response, except for the hush money remark, was a waste of my time, your time, and likely others’ time.
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My bad on overlooking the first word of your comment, former.

Benevolus
Benevolus

Nevertheless, Bradley has made a career out of promoting the idea that campaign finances should not be regulated at all. So really, he’s just hawking his books at this point.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Trump is sad that Manafort has been convicted. He hardly knew who Manafort was. Said so himself. What compassion!
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Or is Trump sad because of his affinity for tax and bank fraud?

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Those responsible for toppling the “Silent Sam” statue at UNC ought to be prosecuted for destruction of public property.
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The monument was erected concurrent with the beginning of the second rising of the Klan. Its dedication included by praise of Confederate veterans terrorizing former slaves and making sure “the purest strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States.”
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Monuments remaining or being removed as symbols of honor is about context, among other things. Good riddance to this one.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The US Army Cyber Command. Isn’t that a US intelligence agency? Fake news.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

I think the Randolph County precinct closures an overblown story. There are good reasons to consider polling place changes. The County is very poor and very small.
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The process and timing were wrong—alternatives weren’t properly developed and evaluated, and the possibility of any action should not have occurred until after the November election.
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Indeed the November election itself could have been an opportunity to engage voters and collect voluntarily provided data on transportation, thoughts and opinions on polling places, etc. that would inform alternative development and decision-making.

bethebalance
bethebalance

If the Voting Rights Act pre-clearance regulations were still in effect, it would have helped this County figure it out. Regulations aren’t designed willy-nilly, or just to make things tough and expensive for people. As in this case, it would have given the County the time to think, develop a fair plan, and avoid public backlash and embarassment.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

#MAGA = My Attorney Got Arrested — Erick Allen, Georgia General Assembly candidate.

Ellynn
Ellynn
armanidog
armanidog

An interesting article: “Striking New Data Shines Light on Statewide Affordable Housing Crisis No matter where you live in Georgia, the cost of housing stretches the paychecks of more and more families. From 2012-2016, roughly 1.3 million Georgia households were renters, representing 37 percent of Georgia’s population during that time… A new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition offers stark new data on the problem. Their report Out of Reach found that there isn’t a single state, metropolitan area or county in the entire nation where a worker can earn the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, or the… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Noway, do y’all get some kind of massive email with daily talking points? Limbaugh currently touting Brad Smith like its some kind of winning hand.
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Limbaugh is also claiming that Cohen is a secret Democrat and that’s why he’s doing all this. Must be quadruple dosing Fentanyl this morning.

bethebalance
bethebalance

I watched Hannity and a bit of other Fox segments since yesterday afternoon, to see the defenses being offered. The Smith interview must not have been out yet, but the alignment of defenses from there and some posts here is pretty clear. The first thing to note about Fox’s coverage is that they treated it as a minor story, downplaying it as expected. Then the defenses: 1) Not serious crimes (All you gotta do is pay your taxes); 2) Not related to purpose of Russia investigation (See how far the prosecution has to stretch to dig up these petty crimes);… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

I forgot- there was also: The prosecutors made Michael Cohen implicate Trump, and the whatabout of Hillary paying for the Steele memo. One of the commenters, talking about the “real” collusion that has happened, said there was “collusion between the FBI and DoJ”.
Um…. Is the “Deep State” just the “Government”, and Trump’s persecution complex is just that he doesn’t know how government works? (Note: Even if you want to change how government works- especially if you want to change how government works- you actually need to know how government works.)

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Trump doesn’t need to know how anything works since only he can fix it.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Or as I presume you’ve long suspected: Noway thought of this first. Look at the time stamps. Mine was this morning. Rush is just talking about it now. Maybe he got it from me? Hmmmm? Face it: Noway is his own One-Man Think Tank. Trust me. It never gets old being right. To summarize: Trump will NEVER be removed through impeachment or be convicted of anything related to The Dipshit’s Investigation. Lemming like voting from the Dems may cost The Repubs The House but Trump will continue to govern through Executive Order. Remember the old “Uhhhhhh, I’ve gotta, uhhhhhhhh, a… Read more »

jbgotcha
jbgotcha

Fuck you Noway, you petulant little shit. Such a little fuckboy sucking off Trump at every given turn. I’ve seen similar behavior from fans of musicians or celebrities that have been accused of domestic violence. You are like a Chris Brown fan justifying his assault against Rihanna.

Noway2016
Noway2016

LMAO!!! Oh, Lord!! Somebody’s wrapped tighter than Dick’s Hat Band!!!! LMAO!! I know you ain’t Andrew now, BJ!
Sorry, Drew. 1000 apologies! I’m sliding you over an ice-cold Falstaff beer as a peace offering.
Now, I’m a wife-beater sympathizer!!! My side is literally hurting!!

jbgotcha
jbgotcha

You obviously don’t know what a simile is. No surprise you little shit ass motherfucker.

Noway2016
Noway2016

Matter of fact, no more nick names for Andrew from me. None. It’s gonna be Andrew or Drew from now on. We will obviously disagree but it will be respectful and serious from now on!!!! This new guy is so bad that I’m mending my ways!! Except with him, of course!!! LOL!

Noway2016
Noway2016

Looking forward to seeing more of your postings, BJ! LMAO!

bethebalance
bethebalance

C’mon man. I’m OK with “petulant” and similies for Noway’s blind devotion to Trump, but let’s please keep it without the cursing. That lowers the bar for everybody, even if Noway already set the standard on the lowest bar on the ladder already. ;! Plus, you gotta realize he loves these reactions (trolls gonna troll, u know). OTOH, it’s also good to hear Noway that you’ll also be mending your ways. Among the names you use that should be eliminated is “Hag”, “Dipsh**t”, etc. We can talk about the human failings of politicians- and each other- with more detail and… Read more »

jbgotcha
jbgotcha

My work here is done.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Dude. Get lost.
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Noway may be annoying and deserving of derision for a multitude of reasons, but him acting like a clown in a comment section doesn’t warrant that kind of reaction.

downthemiddle
downthemiddle

Hey BJ. Nice vocabulary. Uh, I tried to help you with some humor suggestions, but it doesn’t look like they helped very much.

I thought some liberals used rough language like racist, Nazi (which Caroline used again today) and pedophile which I think was used again today as well, but your rant is pretty pitiful.

Can I suggest some anger management classes?

Benevolus
Benevolus

jb, others have tried what you are doing. But it doesn’t work. Think of it this way: You are trying to tell someone who is being conned that they are being conned. But they have already handed over all their money. They can’t back out now and nothing you can say will change that. No matter what happens they will rationalize it, claim victory, and learn nothing. Ripe for picking again.

Caroline
Caroline

Most of the time it is just the same word salad rant over and over not even worth reading much less responding to.

Will Durant
Will Durant

Please don’t feed the troll.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

jbgotcha, it didn’t take long at all for you to get got. Nearly everyone has their moments. I know I’ve had mine—not that level of cursing—but inappropriate thoughts or language. Will’s request is good advice.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Trump is sorry for Manafort, because he didnt “crack” like others
As said by the Crime Boss in the WH

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

Actual quote
Trump Touts ‘Respect’ For ‘Brave Man’ Paul Manafort: Unlike Michael Cohen, He Refused to Break
Said like a mafia boss

Noway2016
Noway2016

Actually, Manafort’s convictions have absolutely nothing to do with Trump in any manner. Period. However, Trump may pardon him just for fun. To see y’all’s heads explode. Symbolically/Metaphorically, of course. I know I’m getting the Jiffy Pop ready.

Caroline
Caroline

A pardon is not going to do Manafort any good. You know he violated state crimes too which Trump cannot pardon him for. And he has yet another trial coming up in DC with more serious charges like witness tampering. And your statement is the crux of what is wrong with conservatives. So what if Manafort did all this stuff is what you’re saying. It’s all about “making liberals” mad. Well, that’s how you got a pedophile nominated in Alabama because pedophilia makes liberals mad.

bethebalance
bethebalance

But you gotta love how so many think Trump has absolute power!
(Absolute power, which not only corrupts absolutely, but is the definition of a monarch. Only true lemmings cede all their power.)

Ellynn
Ellynn

It’s called leverage. Currently he is looking at 8-10 in federal prison, and the next trial that is even stronger then the tax case. He was in the Tower meeting and he had a hand in rewriting the GOP platform on Ukraine to make it Russian friendly. He told his Russian friends (who are Putin’s friends) on what ever Trump did or was told in national briefings.

Caroline
Caroline

Personally I don’t think he’s going to flip because sitting 8 to 10 years in prison probably looks better than being forced to drink polonium tea.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Keep in mind federal sentencing rules require you to serve at least 85% of your sentence before parole. So a 10 year sentence means 8.5 in prison. Manafort is a man in his late-60s, there’s a very real possibility he could die there. I would say that’s incredibly significant leverage, especially when there’s the possibility of additional prison time coming from his other case in DC and the potential re-trial of the 10 hung charges in EDVA.

Caroline
Caroline

Well, his age and his previous lifestyle. It’s not he’s going to be waltzing around in Ostrich skin coats or eating good food in prison.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Manafort’s convictions technically don’t have anything to do with Trump. I’ll grant you that. But they do raise a huge red flag as to why someone with Manafort’s debts and need for cash would volunteer to work for Trump and forego a paycheck. To me, it warrants a look into how compromised Manafort was by his Russian backers and what sort of steps he took in his role as campaign manager to assuage them. Even if Trump didn’t know what was going on, how did his campaign not do a better job vetting this guy before making him campaign manager?

Caroline
Caroline

Why on earth was he contacting a Russian ogliarch in violation of his parole is what I would like to know. Maybe that will be answered in the next trial.

Ellynn
Ellynn
armanidog
armanidog

Two newlyweds stuck in a hotel room while it’s raining? Sounds like heaven to me.

Ellynn
Ellynn

Stuck in the second floor enclosed ballroom (reinforced shelter technically) with 112 other folks.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Some people are into that sort of thing.

Caroline
Caroline
Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

A second front with respect to investigation of tax fraud perhaps?

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

The efforts of posters are appreciated, Mr. Daniels.