Saturday, October 3, 2020

Last Call For Just As Corrupt As Trump

Republicans are just as corrupt as Trump, never forget that. The major takeaway from a Justice Department run by Bill Barr is that Republicans are assured they'll never be caught. Well, short of being turned in, that is.

Top aides of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have asked federal law enforcement authorities to investigate allegations of improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential crimes against the state’s top lawyer.

In a one-page letter to the state agency’s director of human resources, obtained Saturday by the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, seven executives in the upper tiers of the office said that they are seeking the investigation into Paxton “in his official capacity as the current Attorney General of Texas.”

The Thursday letter said that each “has knowledge of facts relevant to these potential offenses and has provided statements concerning those facts to the appropriate law enforcement.”

Paxton, a 57-year-old Republican, was elected in 2014. His office said in a statement Saturday evening: “The complaint filed against Attorney General Paxton was done to impede an ongoing investigation into criminal wrongdoing by public officials including employees of this office. Making false claims is a very serious matter and we plan to investigate this to the fullest extent of the law.”

The statement did not elaborate.

The letter to human resources was signed by Paxton’s first assistant, Jeff Mateer, who resigned Friday, as well as Mateer’s deputy and deputy attorneys general overseeing divisions that include criminal investigations, civil litigation, administration and policy.

“We have a good faith belief that the attorney general is violating federal and/or state law including prohibitions related to improper influence, abuse of office, bribery and other potential criminal offenses,” the letter states.
Also, let's not pretend anyone who voluntarily works for someone like Ken Paxton is a good person, either. The main whistleblower, Jeff Mateer, may have resigned, but he's just as terrible.

Their decisions to report possible illegal activity involving their employer represents a stunning development in an agency that prizes loyalty, particularly from within Paxton’s inner circle. It places a renewed spotlight on Paxton, who is already under indictment for alleged securities fraud.

The complaint concluded by saying that they notified Paxton in a text message Thursday that they had reported the alleged violations to law enforcement.

The whistle blowers, who notified human resources to protect their jobs, offered no other details about the allegations and do not describe what they believe Paxton did that was illegal. Efforts to reach them were unsuccessful Saturday.

Mateer’s inclusion in the complaint letter, and his departure as Paxton’s second in command, was particularly significant, coming from a political ally who shared a conservative Christian perspective on many social and legal issues.

When President Donald Trump tapped Mateer to become a federal judge in 2017, Paxton lauded him as “a principled leader — a man of character — who has done an outstanding job for the State of Texas.”

Mateer’s nomination was later withdrawn after revelations of anti-LGBT remarks, including calling transgender children part of “Satan’s plan.”
Ken Paxton is leading the charge to destroy the ACA and take health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans away. He is a monster. And he's so corrupt, not only is he facing securities fraud charges, he got ratted out by his own office for taking bribes

Never forget that Donald Trump is just the orange face on a nationally corrupt and evil political party of racist psychopathic assholes.

Trump Literally Goes Viral

Donald Trump has COVID-19, he's been hospitalized at Walter Reed, he's 74 years old, obese, and most likely has a number of health issues.  His odds are not great. Republicans are getting very, very worried
President Trump’s vital signs were concerning over the last day and he was not out of danger, a person close to the situation said on Saturday, even as doctors mounted an aggressive effort to treat him and the coronavirus infected an ever widening swath of the president’s aides and allies.

While doctors maintained during a televised briefing that Mr. Trump was “doing very well” after a night at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, they refused to provide critical details and left open the impression that the president was known to be sick a day earlier than previously reported.

Shortly after the upbeat briefing by the doctors, a person familiar with the president’s health gave a more sober assessment to reporters at Walter Reed on the condition of anonymity. “The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care,” this person said. “We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.”

Two people close to the White House said in separate interviews with The New York Times that the president had trouble breathing on Friday and that his oxygen level dropped, prompting his doctors to give him supplemental oxygen while at the White House and decide to transfer him to Walter Reed where he could be monitored with better equipment and treated more rapidly in case of trouble.

Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, told reporters outside Walter Reed that the president was not currently on supplemental oxygen on Saturday but repeatedly declined to say definitively whether he had ever been on oxygen. “None at this moment and yesterday with the team, while we were all here, he was not on oxygen,” he said, seeming to suggest that there was a period on Friday when he was.

Dr. Conley likewise seemed to suggest that the president was first diagnosed with the virus on Wednesday rather than Thursday night when Mr. Trump disclosed that he had tested positive on Twitter. While describing what he said was the president’s progress, he said Mr. Trump was “just 72 hours into the diagnosis now,” which would mean midday on Wednesday
The bigger problem is that Trump basically spent a week infecting people. Three GOP senators and multiple White House staffers are now ill.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin has tested positive for coronavirus after being exposed to someone with the virus earlier this week, according to his spokesman, making him the third GOP senator to test positive in 24 hours and threatening the quick confirmation prospects of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who sit on the Judiciary Committee, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday -- just days after attending a White House event where President Donald Trump nominated Barrett. Multiple attendees of that event, including Trump, have tested positive in the week since the ceremony, which featured many people not wearing masks and not observing social distancing protocols.

Johnson did not attend the Barrett nomination ceremony — where several people appeared to have been exposed to the virus — because he was quarantining from a prior exposure, during which he twice tested negative for the virus, according to the spokesman.
Unlike Democratic senators, Senate Republicans meet three times a week for lunch. And while they sit in a large room, they remove their masks to eat and to speak. Johnson, Lee and Tillis all attended Senate GOP lunches this week.

If the three senators remain out this month, it would effectively prevent Barrett from being confirmed to the Supreme Court until they return, which could be after Election Day during a lame-duck session. A lame-duck confirmation is a situation that GOP leaders are eager to avoid in case they lose control of the chamber next month.

This is where things get very chaotic.  I don't know where Trump is going to be in 24, 48, 72 hours health-wise. I don't know how many more Republican members of Congress and executive agency heads are sick and may still test positive in a few days. I don't know if Joe Biden is 100% okay, although it looks like he is.
And this week's Vice Presidential debate suddenly became exponentially more important.

Some Unfortunate Cal On California Action

Wouldn't be an election cycle without at least one Democratic candidate blowing an important and winnable race, in 2018 it was Claire McCaskill, and in 2020 it's apparently going to be NC Senate candidate Cal Cunningham.

North Carolina U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham, a married father of two, sent text messages of a sexual nature to a woman who is not his wife, his campaign confirmed Friday night.

The text messages between Cunningham and Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations strategist from California, were first reported Thursday night by

The report included pictures of the text messages, in which Cunningham and Guzman, who is also married according to the report, talked about kissing each other and more.

“Would make my day to roll over and kiss you about now,” said one text message from Cunningham.

In one text from Guzman, she says: “I have flexibility this month — done with school, training, big RFPs, etc. So the only thing I want on my to do list is you.”

The Cunningham campaign confirmed the authenticity of the text messages.

Cunningham, who has been leading in polling in his pivotal U.S. Senate race against Republican incumbent Thom Tillis, said Friday night that he is not dropping out of the race.

“I have hurt my family, disappointed my friends, and am deeply sorry. The first step in repairing those relationships is taking complete responsibility, which I do. I ask that my family’s privacy be respected in this personal matter,” Cunningham said in a statement sent to The News & Observer.

“I remain grateful and humbled by the ongoing support that North Carolinians have extended in this campaign, and in the remaining weeks before this election I will continue to work to earn the opportunity to fight for the people of our state.”

National File is a dirtbag right-wing nutjob site, but somebody handed them the goods and Cunningham is most likely going to lose now in a race he was ahead by 5-10 points.

If this ends up costing Democrats control of the Senate, well, now that's the point, isn't it

Pretty mild stuff frankly, but Dems get held to standards and Republicans don't, and that's all that it will take to put this race into a tailspin and maybe keep Mitch McConnell in charge of the Senate down the road.

Thom Tillis, the Republican senator that Cunningham is trying to beat, just tested positive for COVID thanks to Trump's superspreader event for Amy Coney Barrett at the White House last Saturday, so that may keep the Tillis campaign from being able to take full advantage of the huge opening they've just been given, but short of something really bad happening to Tillis as a result (or Trump!) this is going to be on every TV for the next 30 days in NC.

The other thing Cunningham has going for him is that NC's early voting has already taken off like a rocket and hundreds of thousands of votes have already been cast.

We'll see if it's enough to beat Tillis, but the larger problem is somebody sure as hell got a hold of Cunningham's phone messages and gave them to a right-wing tabloid political site, knowing full well the consequences.

The even larger problem remains though that Cal Cunningham showed very poor judgment, hurt his wife, and it could become a serious issue down the line for all of America escaping from the GOP.
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