Trump’s end-of-campaign money bomb was “unfair, unethical and inappropriate”

Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign used pre-checked boxes and obscure design on fundraising emails to wring millions of dollars out of unwitting supporters, detonating a “money bomb”…The practice, pursued by the campaign and WinRed, a for-profit company, was detailed in an extensive report by the New York Times on Saturday. It is legal, but Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, told the paper it was “unfair, unethical and inappropriate”…

The “money bomb” did not bring victory, as Trump lost the electoral college by 306 votes to 232. He also lost the popular vote by more than 7 million ballots…

The Times reported that the practice was used for the Georgia Senate runoffs in January and continues to be used by the Republican party…It also detailed distressing experiences affecting Trump donors hit by surprise deductions and consequent trouble with banks and credit card companies.

I don’t know why the courts haven’t (yet) ruled this kind of activity as criminal fraud. Trump and his Republican bubbas had to refund over $64 million after the voting season ended. No one did any jail time.

Trump flunkies tell states their allotment of vaccine is being cut 25-40% next week


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Hospitals around the country have been thrown into confusion after the Trump administration informed state after state that they’ll be getting 25%-40% fewer COVID vaccine doses next week than they’d been expecting…

…A senior administration official told me [Mike Allen at AXIOS] that the states had been relying on planning numbers that were reduced because Pfizer committed to supplying fewer doses than originally forecast…

Pfizer said in their statement: “No shipments containing the vaccine are on hold or delayed. This week, we successfully shipped all 2.9 million doses that we were asked to ship by the U.S. Government to the locations specified by them.”

“We have millions more doses sitting in our warehouse but, as of now, we have not received any shipment instructions for additional doses.

As usual, there isn’t anyone in the administration who can tell his ass from his elbow when it comes to protecting American lives in this pandemic. You know which one ain’t the elbow.

Ohio Speaker of the House indicted in $60 million bribery scheme

Ohio Speaker of the House Larry Householder, a Republican, was arraigned in U.S. District Court on Tuesday along with four associates on racketeering and conspiracy charges in connection with the largest bribery scandal in state history.

“Make no mistake, these allegations are bribery, pure and simple,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman said at a press conference announcing the charges.

FBI agents had arrested Householder hours earlier at his rural Perry County farm as the alleged ringleader of what Hoffman described as “likely the largest bribery-money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio.”…

Four others were indicted: former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges; Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth; and two lobbyists, Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes…

The 81-page complaint describes a conspiracy connected to an Ohio law passed last year, which bailed out two nuclear power plants while simultaneously slashing subsidies for energy efficiency and renewables in the state. The law also pulled money from Ohio residents’ power bills, shuffling $150 million to the nuclear plants each year.

I imagine the procedure will be to get convictions for the slimeballs accepting the bribes. Then, to decide whether the “Captains of industry” running the power companies solicited these elected creeps…or the creeps solicited them…and word the charges accordingly.

Either way, I’d love to see them all sharing cells.

Covid-19 infection rate growing


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In early June, the infection rate of Covid-19 testing had fallen way below 5%. Thanks to the combination of social distancing, sheltering in place, mask usage, and contact tracing we had lowered the number of daily new cases to their lowest level since early in the pandemic. Looks like June 10 was the low, with a 7-day moving average of 17,123 new positive tests out of 419,896 administered tests.

As you can see, that average is turning up. What has changed has been the move out of our self-quarantines. We lost focus, got lazy, politically weaponized Covid. We ignored Fauci, dammit! Protesters were greeted with tear gas — a great way to spread infectious respiratory diseases. And we have re-opened states that have not been following CDC guidelines.

The data reveals this simple fact: The increase in Covid-19 cases in the USA is NOT caused by an increase in testing…

Guidelines from WHO suggests countries with extensive testing for COVID-19, should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days. Looks like we are coming up on that date. Don’t be surprised when the E.U. Bars American Travelers as It Reopens Borders, Citing Failures on Virus – because we suck at this.

Barry doesn’t mince words. Although I would add to his commentary on practices in general – Don’t forget our government is providing shit-for-brains leadership. It’s what can happen when you let anachronistic regulations take precedence over democracy in elections.

Court strikes down Wisconsin Republicans’ crooked redistricting – let’s do this nationwide!

❝ With the 2016 election, Donald Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate to win Wisconsin in nearly 30 years and Republicans took control of nearly two-thirds of the Legislature, including their largest majority in the Assembly since 1957, despite a roughly even split of votes between Democrats and Republicans in statewide races.

But now a federal court may undo the redistricting that aided Republican gains in recent years with one ruling.

On Monday, a federal court overturned Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn legislative maps as an “unconstitutional gerrymander” that likely played a major factor in the party’s disproportionate electoral success.

❝ A three-judge panel…ruled that the Republican plan was an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander…“We find that Act 43 was intended to burden the representational rights of Democratic voters throughout the decennial period by impeding their ability to translate their votes into legislative seats,” wrote federal appeals court senior judge Kenneth Ripple, in an 116-page decision. “Moreover, as demonstrated by the results of the 2012 and 2014 elections, among other evidence, we conclude that Act 43 has had its intended effect.”

Ripple, a Ronald Reagan appointee, continued: “Finally, we find that the discriminatory effect is not explained by the political geography of Wisconsin nor is it justified by a legitimate state interest. Consequently, Act 43 constitutes an unconstitutional political gerrymander.”

Sensible Western nations have taken away the opportunity for corrupt politicians to steer state elections into an undemocratic ambush. Not really as surprising as the James Gang showing up on payday to collect everyone’s money. Historically, both the two parties we’re generally allowed have been guilty of the same deceit one time or another; so, the Dems haven’t a boatload of motivation. Trouble is as economic inequality grows to a pointed failure of opportunity sectarian pressures grow. Populism drags its old lies on board the downbound train.

Civics-minded organizations like the ACLU fight to restore the spirit of democracy that still stands in constitutional law as One Person, One Vote. Perhaps they and their peers can win it all for all of us? I’d feel safer if folks construct a political movement that lives beyond a single issue and brings this nation back to principles over slogans, a broader economy over 1930’s-style exploitation.