“You can make anything a crime. I don’t care…he’s doing a good job.”

The party of law and order, limited government, and the constitution now taking the position that the laws don’t matter so long as they believe their guy is doing a good job.

I won’t even bother to pull his quotes from the Clinton impeachment. You can guess.

Remember this. Remember this the next time they make pious arguments from the minority. This is who they are, and this is part of what they believe. It isn’t an abberation. Remember this.

— Read on www.vox.com/platform/amp/policy-and-politics/2018/12/12/18137479/trump-cohen-payments-crimes-republican-response

Election Fraud in NC

Vote fraud, a.k.a. individual voters engaging in fraudulent voting behavior, is extraordinarily rare. Voter disenfranchisement and worse, attempts to defraud voters, is sadly much more common, especially in the deep South.

It once was whites in the Democratic Party engaging in it; now it’s their children in the Republican Party doing it. But even by their usual standards, what happened here in NC was bad. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that members of the state party organization knew.

North Carolina: Why the case for election fraud is strong – CNNPolitics
— Read on amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/12/05/politics/north-carolina-election-fraud/index.html

On Parties

Parties exist to mobilize voters in order to win elections. In pursuit of that goal, they are supposed to identify and advance the candidates that they believe are most likely to win election and advance the party’s policy goals, and they are supposed to identify and undermine the candidates they believe won’t. In pursuit of those objectives, they are supposed to attempt to shape coverage of those candidates and those goals in the media. They wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t do these things, and in a nation of 315+ million, it’s not likely that democracy would work if they didn’t. That’s part of what you see in the leaked DNC emails.
Unfortunately for all of us, what you also see in those emails – and what you would see in similar ones from the RNC if those were ever leaked – is that most (but not all!) of the people who choose to become party professionals haven’t gotten over the fact that they didn’t get to sit with the cool kids in the High School cafeteria. And because of that, they spend much of their time creating cliques and settling scores and righting imagined wrongs. But on both sides of the aisle it’s almost always a sign of immaturity, not malfeasance. That doesn’t make what they do right or good, but if you think on it a bit an pay close attention, it might make a lot of it make more sense.

Not A President But A King

He doesn’t want to run the Executive Branch. He doesn’t want to have to deal with either domestic or foreign policy. All he wants to do is focus on “making America great again.” 

Policy? Well…that’s for the Vice President, which means that it’s actually Pence-Trump and not Trump-Pence. And even by contemporary standards, Pence is a hard-core right-wing ideologue. So all of the “Trump will shake things up and shatter the establishment” isn’t even true. Even that is a ridiculous lie.

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Or maybe both?

But seriously: get to know Mike Pence. He’s among the most hard-core of the hard-core drug warriors. He’s among the most hard-core of the hard-core “the culture of life begins at conception and ends at birth” activists. He’s among the most hard-core of the hard-core anti-LGBT theocrats. And he’s dumb as a box of rocks to boot.

It Wasn’t Plagarism…Oh Well, Never Mind, It Was. And While We’re At It….It Was an Illeagal In-Kind Donation Too!

This is the most incompetent campaign in the history of campaigns.

So first Melania’s speech plagarised multiple sentences from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech. 

Then the campaign denied it was plagiarism and spent 36 hours arguing the definition of plagiarism with journalists, citing among other things: My Little Pony, Akon, John Legend, and Kid Rock.

Then the speechwriters leaked the final draft of their version of the speech to clear their names, something every speechwriter in America will tell you violates the norms ofs their profession.

Then the Trump organization released a letter from the staff writer responsible for the whole mess. In it, she tells a story that involves Melania reading Michelle’s speech to her over the phone BECAUSE SHE ADMIRED MICHELLE, and this staffer then somehow transcribing the parts of the speech Melania liked into the text of the speech. But let me repeat that: she liked Michelle Obama, the woman the right loves to despise, that she wanted to use her words about honesty and integrity and hard work in her speech!

While that was happening, the Chief Strategist for the Republican Party was on CNN arguing the old party line that it wasn’t plagiarism.

And if that wasn’t all enough – her letter was released on Trump Orgnaiztion letterhead, which means that she was doing this while working for his firm. Under federal election law, that’s an illegal in-kind donation! And not in a way that’s in the usual gray zone of campaign finance law. This is as black and white as you can possibly get.

Is this real life?

So we’ve gone from “Trump hires only the best of the best, and those who disappoint him will be fired” to “Trump is so loyal to his employees that he won’t even fire them when they humiliate his wife” in under 48 hours.

RNC Convention – Day Two Live Blog

I’m late to this, as I actually had to do some work today, but better late than never?

11:17p No wait…the highlight of the night had to be Ben Carson going off script to discuss Hillary’s connection to Lucifer.

11:10p Chris Matthews is right: the people who hate Hillary are already Republican voters, and this entire convention is devoted to hating Hillary. But Ron Fournier is totally wrong: this approach has nothing to do with scaring undecideds, because there aren’t any of those. There are unaffiliated voters, but that isn’t the same thing as undecided. Fournier must long for the days of the Cold War, when bipartisanship was achieved through the exclusion of huge numbers of Americans and as a result of the threat of nuclear annihilation. Oh god do I hate Fournier….

11:00p The highlight of the night for me has to be Donald Trump, Jr., a man so thoroughly born to entitlement that he doesn’t even have his own name, ranting against “self-satisfied people at the top, our new aristocrats.” That’s fantastic.

10:54p The self-proclaimed avocado enthusiast is closing the night. Why do they keep doing this, having speakers speak after the big names? It makes no sense.

10:47p This night isn’t nearly as fun as last night. I’m bored. Oh and for the record? Read Alinsky’s Rules For Radicals, both because it’s brilliant, and because it’s hilarious how closely the conservative movement has adhered to its principles for the past half century. They might not know it, but they’ve much more closely followed his blueprint than have Democrats.

10:41p “The prepared remarks did not include references to Lucifer.” Up next: an actor and avocado grower!

10:37p Beware of Hillary! She will cultivate the children for their votes!

10:34p And now Dr. Ben Crason and his brains. The media has an agenda! And they don’t know what they are talking about! And be “weary” of Republican elites! Use your brain people!

10:28p Judging from the reactions on MSNBC and CNN, the Trump Jr. speech must’ve played very differently in that room than it did in this one.

10:23p Wow did Tiffany Trump make a horrible awful synth-pop record. Wow. You’ve got to check this out.

10:16p The son of a billionaire continues ranting against the wealthy….do they have any idea how absurd that sounds? 

10:14p Another Benghazi rant. These people are insane. This is like a series of disconnected rants from Rush and Hannity combined comments from a 4Chan thread. And wow is the dude a capital-D Douchebag.

10:12p A rant against lawyers and accountants and the people at the top from a Trump. Are you kidding me? And wait…now a rant against risk? This makes no sense whatsoever.

10:07p This speech from Jr. Seems to be premised on the idea that people don’t already know who Donald Trump is. Also, did he just take a shot at guys from Wharton? He did, but that makes no sense. Or rather, it makes as much sense as Donald Trump and his sons being men of the people.
10:00p The party that is the party of the constitution and of respect for the rule of law is demanding that their political opponent be locked up despite the fact that all of the investigations conducted under the constitution and the rule of law found that no charges could be brought. But please proceed with the screaming and the ranting. Please proceed, governor.

9:51p OK this isn’t nice, but wow….Tiffany Trump is very strange looking. Oh wait, this party is opposed to political correctness, so I’m encouraged to say this yes? Also what the hell is the point of this speech? She loves dad, which is nice, but what about this has anything to do with an election?

9:49p It’s just endlessly over the top nonsense from Christie, interspersed with unhinged anger from the floor. Oh, and for the record: Christie deleted Bridgegate texts from his phone, sent emails from private accounts and private servers, and ultimately “lost” one of the phones he used to do it all. But yeah, right, Hillary is uniquely evil.

9:44p More angry white people waving their arms around and screaming “lock her up.” I get it. If you’re a member of the base you love this, but do they have any idea how this actually looks to the rest of us? There’s a really solid case to be made against her, but this is most definitely NOT how you do it. This is so over the top, so blood thirsty, so obviously unhinged that it’s hard to watch…As a partisan I’m thrilled, but as an American I long for a day when we have reasonable and responsible Republican Party.

9:42p The incoherence of this foreign policy critique is amazing. It essentially comes down to the idea that whatever happened, it was Hillary’s fault. Does it matter that some of these policies were continuations of Bush Administration policies? Of course not. Does it matter that many of these issues were and are entirely outside of the control of the President of the United States? No. Clinton is personally to blame for Assad and Boko Haram? Just stop, you are embarrassing yourselves.

9:40p Libya’s economy is in ruins? THAT is Hillary’s fault? Are you kidding? Abductions in Nigeria are Hillary’s fault? Is Trump running for President or Emperor?

9:38p “Lock her up,” screams the crowd. Can you imagine the reaction if Democrats had chanted that about Colin Powell or Condi Rice? Do these people understand how dangerous it is to criminalize the opposition in this manner? 

9:35p Oh dear….here comes Chris Christie. He’s Donald Trump’s friend! And Trump is strong and genuine and decent….but let’s not talk about him, let’s talk about Hillary! Do these people realize how silly they sound? 

9:31p It’s worth noting that Drudge appears to be so obsessed with the implosion of Fox News that he’s paying almost no attention to the conventions tonight.

9:21p Good god Paul Ryan is boring. He’s overly earnest in an Opie-esque way, but maybe that appeals to Boomers? And geez…does he realize that the President’s approval rating has been over 50% for more than 6 months now? Does anyone at this convention recognize the problem that presents for their campaign?

9:18p This from one of the premiere Hillary-haters in the land, Andrew Sullivan, is priceless: “And, yes, he’s right about her lies. She cannot help herself. But her lies are trivial and pathetic, rather than massive, shameless and endless. She is a mediocre politician in our liberal democratic system. Trump is a direct, grave and imminent threat to the very system itself.”

9:15p Wait…does Mitch McConnell realize that the issues people care about in 2016 aren’t the ones that people cared about in 2012? Also, did anyone else notice that he only barely mentioned this party’s nominee? 

9:08p The man-turtle hybrid speaks! Boy is he a stereotypical establishment politician. And boy has the establishment become indistinguishable from Fox News. But look….this whole idea that Hillary is a flip-flopping liar might’ve made for a good line of attack but for the fact that they’ve nominated someone who is even worse. And while I’m ranting, can I note for the record that we’re now half way through the second night of the convention and they’ve still not addressed the fact that Bush’s time in office led to several historic disasters? It’s like they think if they don’t mention him we’ll forget that he existed. 

RNC Convention – Day One Addendum

Good lord….Melania Trump and/or her speechwriters plagiarized a major chunk of her speech tonight from Micehlle Obama’s convention speech in 2008. 

The story apparently broke immediately on Twitter as Melania was giving the speech, and it’s all over everywhere now. Here’s a quick summary, but you really need to see it for yourself to get just how awful it is. You do this in my college class and you are failing the semester. I mean it’s not even close.

Now earlier in the night, Melania claimed to have written the speech almost entirely on her own, but that’s probably not true. And early word from the campaign is that they are going to circle the wagons and blame the media. That’s Trump’s style, but good lord is that insane. He claims to be a genius leader who only produces great things, and THIS is what he gives us? 

Is this real life? Are you kidding me? It’s not just plagiarized. It’s plagiarized from MICHELLE FREAKING OBAMA?!?! And ask yourself: if Michelle Obama had been found to have plagiarized this much of Laura Bush’s speech, and if the part she plagiarized was all about honesty and hard work, would anyone have given her or the Obama campaign a pass? OF COURSE NOT.

UPDATE: And the speech included a Rick Roll too? I jokingly noticed this earlier, but…I now ask this in all seriousness: was this sabotage? What else are we going to find was in there?