Friday, November 8, 2019

Last Call For The Battle Of Bevinstan, Con't

Nervous Kentucky Republicans, cognizant of being put in the national spotlight (and not being as evil as NC Republicans apparently) are putting the onus on Matt Bevin to either prove those election irregularities he keeps complaining about or to concede the election to Andy Beshear.

A growing number of Republican lawmakers are urging Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a fellow Republican, to either provide evidence of the voting “irregularities” he has alleged or concede Tuesday’s election to Gov.-elect Andy Beshear, who defeated him by 5,189 votes.

“The best thing to do, the right thing to do, is for Governor Bevin to concede the election today so we can move on,” said Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, first raised the possibility of the tight election being decided by the Republican-led legislature Tuesday night when he explained the process that would occur if Bevin decided to challenge the results of the race. Bevin bolstered that speculation Wednesday by claiming that thousands of absentee ballots were counted illegally without presenting any proof to back up his claim.

Republicans in the legislature aren’t buying it.

Nemes said he has not seen much support for an election challenge among his Republican colleagues in the House, largely because the governor has not backed up his claims. None of the lawmakers the Herald-Leader spoke to Thursday said they had seen evidence to support Bevin’s claims.
Rep. John Blanton, R-Salyersville, is a former state police officer who said he has heard rumors of election problems but no hard evidence.

“The last thing anyone wants to do is overturn a constitutional election,” Blanton said. “We want the will of the people to be done.”

House Republicans have had a rocky relationship with Bevin since they gained control of the chamber in 2016. Often, it was the GOP-led House that blocked Bevin’s policy priorities, such as a funding mechanism for charter schools and more aggressive reforms to the pension system.

It's really something that Matt Bevin has managed to piss enough enough Republicans in the KY General Assembly that they're flat out not backing his play in the House. 

Even my own state House member, Republican Adam Koenig, told Bevin to suck it.

“There’s nothing wrong with checking the math,” said state Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger. “Unless there is a mountain of clear, unambiguous evidence, then he should let it go.”

State Senate leader Rob Stivers is now crawling back from the limb he went out on Tuesday night.

Republican Senate President Robert Stivers believes Gov. Matt Bevin should concede his loss to Democrat Andy Beshear if next week's recanvass doesn't significantly change the vote totals.

“It’s time to call it quits and go home, say he had a good four years and congratulate Gov.-elect Beshear,” Stivers said in a brief Friday interview at the Capitol.

Maybe the loads of bad press have something to do with it.  Also, and I can't stress this enough, Matt Bevin is an asshole.

But Bevin isn't giving up.  Robocalls seeking evidence of "voting irregularities" to be reported are going out now, funded by Bevin supporters who want this fight to go until Beshear's victory is overturned.

Conservative political activist Frank Simon, a longtime supporter of Gov. Matt Bevin, is sending robocalls asking Kentuckians to report suspicious activity or voter fraud to the State Board of Elections before Nov. 14 — the day of Bevin's requested recanvass.

Bevin finished 5,189 votes behind Democrat Andy Beshear in Tuesday's gubernatorial election but has refused to concede the race, requesting a recanvass of the vote, which is essentially a review of the vote totals in each county.

The governor has also made allegations of widespread voting irregularities and fraud on Election Day, but he hasn't provided any evidence to back up those claims.

According to a voicemail of the robocall sent to a Republican in Western Kentucky, Simon says, "If you or anyone you know has information regarding suspicious activity at polling locations, please report suspected voter fraud to the state department of elections by calling 502-573-7100."

He also asked that those calls to the State Board of Elections phone number take place by Nov. 13 — the day before each county board of elections conducts the recanvass.

There is no disclaimer on the call indicating who paid for it, nor is it explained that the call is not coming from the State Board of Elections.

Simon, of Louisville, did not return voicemails and an email asking who paid for the robocall and how many people it went to, or if any other group requested that he make the calls.

The president of the American Family Association of Kentucky, Simon has been known for decades as a socially conservative political activist, most notably for his opposition to Louisville's 1999 ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Battle for Bevinstan is just starting.

Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

The public release of transcripts of State department officials involved in the Trump/Giuliani Ukraine scandal shows came within one CNN interview of total success in destroying Joe Biden's campaign, as the whistleblower story breaking in September spooked CNN's Fareed Zakaria from giving Ukranian President Volodomyr Zelensky the interview necessary to announce the fabricated investigation into Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden.

It was early September, and Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, faced an agonizing choice: whether to capitulate to President Trump’s demands to publicly announce investigations against his political enemies or to refuse, and lose desperately needed military aid.

Only Mr. Trump could unlock the aid, he had been told by two United States senators, and time was running out. If the money, nearly $400 million, were not unblocked by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, it could be lost in its entirety.

In a flurry of WhatsApp messages and meetings in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, over several days, senior aides debated the point. Avoiding partisan politics in the United States had always been the first rule of Ukrainian foreign policy, but the military aid was vital to the war against Russian-backed separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has cost 13,000 lives since it began in 2014.

By then, however, Mr. Zelensky’s staffers were already conceding to what seemed to be the inevitable, and making plans for a public announcement about the investigations. It was a fateful decision for a fledgling president elected on an anticorruption platform that included putting an end to politically motivated investigations.

Elements of this internal Ukrainian debate have appeared in the Ukrainian news media and seeped into congressional testimony in the United States, as part of an impeachment inquiry undertaken after accusations surfaced of Mr. Trump’s demands.

But interviews in Kiev with government officials, lawmakers and others close to the Zelensky government have revealed new details of how high-level Ukrainian officials ultimately decided to acquiesce to President Trump’s request — and, by a stroke of luck, never had to follow through.

It wasn't luck, it was the whistleblower's story blowing up.

Finally bending to the White House request, Mr. Zelensky’s staff planned for him to make an announcement in an interview on Sept. 13 with Fareed Zakaria, the host of a weekly news show on CNN.
Though plans were in motion to give the White House the public statement it had sought, events in Washington saved the Ukrainian government from any final decision and eliminated the need to make the statement.

Word of the freeze in military aid had leaked out, and Congress was in an uproar. Two days before the scheduled interview, the Trump administration released the assistance and Mr. Zelensky’s office quickly canceled the interview.
Since then, Trump administration officials including the White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have tried to argue that the security assistance could not have been conditioned on the public statement, because the aid was released without it.

The NY Times first broke the story on August 21, but Adam Schiff's tangle with the Trump White House over the whistleblower complaint, specifically with Acting DNI Joseph Maguire,happened on September 13th.

The day before the interview.

And that was the difference.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

This should be the end of Donald Trump's regime, but of course America is Garbageville: Population Us so who cares, right?

A New York judge on Thursday ordered President Trump to pay $2 million in damages for misusing funds from a tax-exempt charity — taking the charity’s money to pay debts for his for-profit businesses, to boost his 2016 campaign and to buy himself art, according to court documents.

That order, from state judge Saliann Scarpulla, settled a lawsuit filed against Trump last year by the New York attorney general.

The lawsuit — based on information first uncovered by The Washington Post — alleged “persistently illegal conduct” at the Donald J. Trump Foundation, where Trump served as president for 32 years.

As part of the settlement, Trump also agreed to disburse the $1.8 million remaining in the foundation to a set of charities, and to shutter it for good. In a statement signed by Trump’s attorney, the president admitted to poor oversight of the charity and to seven specific instances where its money was misspent.

Again, that should be it.  His resignation from the Oval Office should be effective noon today. It should be a national moment of catharsis and epiphany.  We should be talking about a Pence administration and his involvement in Trump's wrongdoing.

But of course, we're not.

Because Donald Trump covers the world in impeachable offenses like the barn wall behind a horse's ass.

The president admitted, among other things, to improperly arranging for the charity to pay $10,000 for a 6-foot portrait of him. He also agreed to pay back $11,525 in foundation funds that he spent on sports memorabilia and champagne at a charity gala.

Trump also accepted restrictions on his involvement in other charitable organizations. His three eldest children, who were members of the foundation’s board, must undergo mandatory training on the duties of those who run charities.

Charities are barred from getting involved in political campaigns, but in weighing the Iowa fundraiser, Scarpulla gave Trump credit for making good on his pledge to give $2.8 million that his charity raised to veterans’ organizations.

Instead of fining him that amount, as the attorney general’s office wanted, the judge trimmed it to $2 million and rejected a demand for punitive damages and interest.

The Trump Foundation said it was pleased by those decisions, claiming that the judge “recognized that every penny ever raised by the Trump Foundation has gone to help those most in need.”

He lied of course, broke the law, and covered it up, and only the dogged reporting of Washington Post journalist David Farenthold has exposed this criminality.  Today we should be talking about how Farenthold took down the Trump regime.

If the Clinton Foundation had committed a fraction of these offenses and agreed to a settlement with New York state like this, Attorney General Bill Barr would be announcing a Justice Department federal investigation while Trump was screaming LOCK HER UP.

But of course, we're not.


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