Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Profiles in Chickenshit*

Burgess Everett et al., on
Republicans unleashed perhaps their most aggressive outcry of the Trump era after he abandoned the U.S.’ Kurdish allies and ceded northeastern Syria to Turkey. But now GOP lawmakers are dialing back their direct criticism of the president....
... while they’re still dissatisfied with the situation, they’ve shifted gears away from confrontation with the president.
“I do appreciate what the administration has done against Turkey through executive action, but more to follow,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters Tuesday afternoon, after joining Trump for a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday. “I appreciate the phone calls yesterday with Erdogan, I think [Trump] reached out in a good way to let Turkey know they needed a cease-fire right now.”
It's a good way, according now to Lindsey Graham.

*Indebted to Rick Wilson for the headline.

The Body Count -- Jon A. Sale

A Reoccuring Feature on Who's Jumping Off Luxury Liner Trump

Two weeks ago Rudy Guiliani hired high-powered attorney Jon Sale to head up his legal team. Sale insisted at the time that his new client "100 percent did not do anything illegal.” That odd locution was reported by Yesterday, Rudy Guiliani announced that he intended to defy all subpoenas -- "I ain't saying nuttin to nobody!" Jon Sale announced later on that same day that, by the way, he is no longer a part of Guiliani's legal team.

Did a few percentage points come off that claim of 100 percent innocence?

Sale himself came up with an implausible excuse, as relayed by BuzzFeed reporter Zoe Tillman: "He said he was brought on by Giuliani for the sole task of responding to Dems' subpoena, and that task is done so the representation is over. This was the plan from the start, he said. He doesn't know if Giuliani has other counsel."


High-priced white-collar-crime specialist is hired for just two weeks to respond "No!" for Guiliani to the impeachment inquiry?  I don't buy it.

Who is Jon A. Sale
He's a leading criminal defense attorney, specializing in white collar crime. He's "of counsel" at the large Nelson Mullins firm in Miami. He is touted on the Nelson Mullins website: 
"He is experienced in representing corporations and individuals in grand jury investigations and diverse and complex criminal litigation, including large scale document reviews and productions. He also is experienced in representing defendants at sentencing hearings. He has represented clients in almost every substantive area of concentration, including health care fraud, securities fraud, financial institution fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, money laundering, criminal anti-trust violations, tax fraud, mortgage fraud, and various fraudulent investment schemes."
He seems made in heaven for the Rudy Guiliani we've all come to know.

Sale is more widely recognized for his past well known role as an assistant special Watergate prosecutor under special prosecutors Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski, so you might say he has experience with White House appendages that defy subpoenas.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lawsuit Is Filed To Stop New Valle Crucis Elementary School

Henri Deschamps, owner of the Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, has filed for an injunction to stop the Watauga County School Board from buying the Hodges property adjacent to his business for a new elementary school. The proposed new school was the subject of a large joint public hearing before the school board and the Watauga County Commission on September 3 and has generated both heated opposition and support in the community.

Deschamps is represented by Robert N. (Bob) Hunter of the Higgins Benjamin law firm in Greensboro and by "Four" Eggers (Stacy Eggers IV) of Boone. Bob Hunter was appointed to the NC Supreme Court by Gov. Pat McCrory but was defeated by Sam Ervin IV in the election of 2014.

The Watauga County Commission will meet this evening at 5:30 and will take public comment on a proposal to change the Valle Crucis Historic District Ordinance to allow the building of the school on the Hodges property.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Have No Fear -- Jared Is Here!

With son-in-law Kushner in charge of protecting Twitterman from impeachment, Trumpists can sleep soundly, no?

The little known role of Jared Kushner in the smooth-as-silk defense of his father-in-law gets revealed in the final paragraph of Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni's behind-the-scenes write-up, "Inside Trump's Botched Attempt to Hire Trey Gowdy":
"Mr. Kushner, who aides said had been spending many hours on impeachment as part of his broader portfolio of defending the president, has told some people he is running the inquiry response and played down that idea with others."
Sometimes Jared is just sooo modest!

Sunday, October 13, 2019

What Democrat Will Step Forward To Run for NC Senate District 31?

Democrat John Motsinger challenged incumbent Republican state Senator Joyce Krawiec in 2018 for the NC Senate District 31 seat, which includes part of Forsyth and all of Davie counties. Krawiec buried Motsinger in that election, beating him by 20,000 votes. But the district has been redrawn under court order. It still includes all of Davie County -- one of the most dependably Republican counties in North Carolina -- but its portion of Forsyth has been seriously realigned, eliminating all of the western Winston-Salem suburbs but including more of the Winston-Salem urban core. This new map has yet to receive judicial approval.

I noticed on Facebook that John Motsinger announced on September 25 that he would not be running for that Senate seat again -- he is incidentally the son of Forsyth County School Board member Elisabeth Motsinger, she who also ran against Virginia Foxx for Congress in 2012 -- but that he knows of "a few people who have expressed an interest" in running next year. With the opening of candidate filing approaching rapidly -- the first week in December -- we're mightily interested in seeing a strong Democrat step into that race.

Michael Bitzer recently listed the new map as "Competitive, Republican Favored," perhaps because Republicans lost some 8.4% of its predicted vote share in the remapping. And Real Facts NC also recently named the 31st Senate District as a 2020 race to watch.

I'm watching, avidly, to see what characters may enter, stage left. The flipping of the entire NC Senate to Democrat has always seemed like a bridge too far, but with the volatility of impeachment drama and the breeding bughouse in Mugstomp-on-the-Potomac, just about anything can happen. And if other more informed commentators say the 31st Senate District is flippable, who am I to suggest otherwise?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

The Body Count -- Kevin McAleenan

A Reoccurring Feature on Who's Jumping Off Luxury Liner Trump

Kevin K. McAleenan, who was until yesterday the acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security. He had only been in the job for six months. Trump naturally announced the resignation via Twitter and actually wrote that McAleenan "wants to spend more time with his family" (not making that up). 

The lack of self-awareness in this president would be much funnier if it were not such a staggering self-parody.

Mr. McAleenan’s departure from the White House came after he tried to embrace the president's increasingly aggressive assault on legal and illegal immigration publicly even as he privately resisted some of Mr. Trump’s most extreme ideas.
A former deputy commissioner for the nation’s border security agency under President Barack Obama, Mr. McAleenan watched in recent months as the White House surrounded him with Fox News contributors to key positions in the agency....

One of the Good Guys -- Marie Yovanovitch

Photo Mikhail Palinchak--AP
A career State Department diplomat with 30+ years of experience under six different presidents. She was ambassador to Ukraine whose term was supposed to end this past August, but she was asked in May by Trump's State Department to extend her ambassadorship through August of 2020. That request was suddenly reversed less than two months later in July when Trump recalled her and exiled her to a desk in the Department of State.


Trump was about to call new Ukrainian President Zelensky about a little "favor" he wanted, and Yovanovitch might get in the way.

She had become inconvenient to the scheme that Trump and Guiliani had hatched to make dirt in Ukraine. Her personal honesty and integrity apparently did not mesh well with the business and political ambitions of not only Trump and Guiliani but of other guys like these two below, Parnas and Fruman, two Guiliani henchmen whose previous prospecting in Ukraine did not meet with Yovanovitch's approbation. (Why Parnas and Fruman had it in for her is outlined here. It was all about gas.)

“Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the president, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,” she wrote in a statement she prepared for the impeachment joint committees.

She chose to testify despite Mike Pompeo's directive, at the direction of the president, that no State Department officials should cooperate with the impeachment inquiry because the Congressional Democrats wisely subpoenaed her early yesterday morning. Yovanovitch's welfare had already been implicitly threatened by Trump himself in his famous phone call with Zelensky: “She’s going to go through some things.” How chilling is that? Yet Yovanovitch is a model for bravery at a time when hundreds of otherwise powerful men have become cowards.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Body Count -- Michael McKinley

A Reoccurring Feature on Who's Jumping Off Luxury Liner Trump

Thanks to Karen DeYoung:
Michael McKinley, a career diplomat and senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has resigned his position amid rising dissatisfaction and plummeting morale inside the State Department over what is seen as Pompeo’s failure to support personnel ensnared in the Ukraine controversy.
A senior officer who has held a range of diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Afghanistan, Colombia and Peru, McKinley was serving as ambassador to Brazil last year when Pompeo recruited him as a policy adviser and a conduit between his office and the career service....

Thursday, October 10, 2019

What Was Mark Meadows Thinking?

Maybe he was thinking: "I wish I was not standing directly behind this man and in full view of the cameras, while he condemns thousands of our loyal Kurdish allies to a Turkish genocide because they weren't at the Normandy invasion in 1944."

Naw. He wasn't thinking that. He was thinking: "How much farther up this great man's ass can I crawl?"

A great man who says these things, out loud, and in public:

Trump downplayed the alliance with the Kurds, 11,000 of whom died fighting to help the US mission against ISIS. "They didn't help us in the second World War, they didn't help us with Normandy for example," Trump said. "They're there to help us with their land, and that's a different thing." Normandy is an area of France, not the US.

He shrugged off the likely escape of ISIS fighters from Kurdish prisons, essentially saying it is Europe's problem, not his. "Well, they're going to be escaping to Europe, that's where they want to go," Trump said. He added that "we have no soldiers in the area."

Some Fox News Headlines Are More Divinely Inspired Than Others

This is Fox News' own headline:
Fox News Poll: Record support for Trump impeachment
The details are stark:
Just over half of voters want President Trump impeached and removed from office, according to a Fox News Poll released Wednesday.
And this is what Twitterman tweets:

Only 25 percent want the President Impeached, which is pretty low considering the volume of Fake News coverage, but pretty high considering the fact that I did NOTHING wrong. It is all just a continuation of the greatest Scam and Witch Hunt in the history of our Country!

12:27 PM · Oct 9, 2019Twitter for iPhone

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Render Unto Caesar, Good Christians, Or Else Go Straight to Hell

Ralph Reed, evergreen
Oh, Ralph Reed, you make spiritual people want to ralph.*

*ralph, verb: to puke, throw up, pray at the porcelain throne

Trump's Betrayal Is Our Shame

As terrible a moment as we've experienced under this Twitterman in the White House:
ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Wednesday that Turkey’s military has launched a long-expected offensive into northeastern Syria targeting U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish fighters who have played a central role in battling the Islamic State militant group. [WashPost]
This is on Trump's head. But the shame is on all of us Americans.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Democrats: Compromising Voter Access to the Polls Is Unacceptable

"Good Lord Almighty!" as my grandfather might have said. What were they thinking?

"What the hell!" as any voter today might say, seeing how "compromise" on the Forsyth County Board of Elections is never good news for the voters.

They just want to get along in Forsyth County, so the Democratic majority gave up Sunday voting in exchange for an early voting site on the campus of Winston-Salem State University -- the first such poll on campus since 2010.

Gave up Sunday voting. Got an EV site at WSSU.

Should have insisted on both, and they could have had both if they had been willing to make their case for greater ballot access to the State Board of Elections. The Forsyth Democrats could have dealt with a split vote -- Early Voting plans have to be unanimous on local boards, otherwise the State Board of Elections adopts the plan after hearing from both sides. If BOTH Sunday voting and the EV site at WSSU are good for voters, then both should have been fought for. And right now the current State Board of Elections seems to favor greater ballot access. I would think the Forsyth Democratic majority's plan would get a fair hearing in Raleigh. Do the math.

Why the Democrats on the Forsyth Board are so prone to compromising away more access to voting for some elusive (and illusory) bi-partisan consensus -- I don't get the weakness of that. I don't understand it. When Democrats finally have a majority on boards of election, they continue to act like underdogs, and complacent underdogs at that.

From the Winston-Salem Journal: "Although Democrats also wanted early voting at the Miller Park Community Center, in the end they dropped that plea." Miller Park Community Ctr. is smack in Ardmore, south of Business I-40, in a neighborhood of very small house lots originally platted for workforce housing from 1910 into the 1920s. Guess who votes there now.

The Forsyth Dems gave up too much. They didn't have to give up anything.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Joe, You Gotta Fight Back

I was always a fan of Joe Biden. When he was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Sandra Day O'Connor came up for confirmation, I happened to be living in DeeCee and stood in line for hours to get into that huge hearing room and watch Joe Biden in action. He was engaging, warm, incisive, often funny, self-deprecating, and very entertaining. I liked his easy manner, his intelligence, his good-guy-Joe persona.

He was a good man and still is. You can't say that about his smearing and sneering tormentor in the White House.

I also won't forget the speech Joe made in accepting the DNC's nomination to be Barack Obama's vice president. That was Denver in 2008. When he got to talking about his father and his mother (his mother was there that night), and the lessons he learned from them about forthrightness and honesty, bravery and fair-dealing -- "A man is defined by his sense of honor" -- that was at the heart of who Joe Biden was and is and has always been as an elected official. He's never been known as a mud wrestler, and he eschews negative campaigning as dishonorable. He was taught to be a man in the best American tradition.

Below, Joe's 2008 DNC speech. At 4:55 he begins to talk about his parents and the way he grew up:

The way Twitterman has sought to destroy Joe Biden by smearing his problem-child son Hunter is at least two nasty rungs below despicable. And we can see father Joe flummoxed by the brazenness of the attack and struggling to know exactly how to respond. Hunter has evidently been a troubled human being, and maybe it was politically unwise for him to take a high-dollar international job while his father was VP, but corrupt and dishonest? There's no evidence of that, except the innuendo of Trump and Guiliani, who wouldn't know the truth.

Joe took a long time to respond to the attacks. He finally did this past week, on Thursday, October 3, in a Reno, Nev. speech that got little notice outside the chattering classes. The "I'm Not Going Anywhere" speech addressed directly the character and the sayings of Donald J. Trump, but -- watch it -- the opening delivery is so lacking in energy, conviction, that fighting spirit, it comes across like a dirge, not a counter-attack:

When Biden characterizes Trump like this -- "Like every bully in history, Trump's afraid" -- he's on a tactical threshold, and he needs to step on through. Paint a new portrait of the president as bully who deserves to have his block knocked off. Take the "virtue" the MAGA people worship -- the strength myth of the "You're-Fired" guy from TeeVee -- and reveal it for what it actually is: The cruelty of a self-pitying and insecure little rich brat.

I probably won't vote for Joe in March (but I'll work like hell for him next November, if he's the nominee). But I can't stand to watch him pummeled and deflated, besmirched without cause, dishonored by a dishonorable homunculus who snuck into power and wields it without morals, ethics, or -- yes-- honor. I read this about Joe's team this morning in the NYTimes: "There is no final consensus, in Mr. Biden’s camp, about how consistently he should confront Mr. Trump." I throw up my hands. I may be witnessing the final act of a great public servant as a mere whimper. I hope not. The American tradition of dealing with a bully is to put blood in his mouth.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Gordon Sondland -- A Key Player in the Attempted Extortion of Ukraine.

The nine-hour deposition given by former special envoy Kurt Volker yesterday, combined with the trove of text messages Volker turned over to the three House committees heading up the impeachment inquiry, throw harsh light on a particular Trump henchman.

Gordon Sondland of Portland, Oregon, Trump's ambassador to the European Union, bought his ambassadorship by contributing $1 million to Trump's inauguration. Sondland is a wealthy hotel owner (primarily expensive establishments on the West Coast) and -- commendably -- a successful promoter of TV and film production in Oregon -- with no discernible expertise on Ukraine or its neighbors, yet he was in the thick of manipulating the new president Zelensky to do as Trump wanted. Trump's phone call with Zelensky on July 25 was actually far from the first time Zelensky had heard "Do us a favor."

(FWIW Wikipedia includes this interesting nugget: "Sondland initially supported Donald Trump, but cancelled a fundraiser and repudiated Trump for his attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan," in April 2017. Apparently, Sondland got over it, and Trump obviously forgave him. Trump nominated Sondland to his ambassadorship in March 2018.)

Sondland Named in Whistleblower Report
The whistleblower report mentions Sondland by name and claims he met twice with Ukrainian officials along with Kurt Volker, the State Department’s special envoy to the Ukraine, to help them “understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.” The report also mentioned Volker and Sondland advised Ukrainian officials “how to ‘navigate’ the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy.” (Jeff Manning, The Oregonian)
Kurt Volker, yes, as special ambassador to Ukraine, but Rudy Giuliani? Private citizen Giuliani? Who was also Donald Trump's personal lawyer? He was leaning on Zelensky's government hard, and Volker (however reluctantly) was trying to help talk Zelensky into doing what Giuliani demanded. Why was Sondland involved? He's Ambassador to the European Union ... and Ukraine is not a member of the EU. What else could Sondland be doing in this other than giving State Department cover for Giuliani the Muscle Man to get the goods?

Giuliani and Sondland didn't just want a Ukrainian investigation into the Bidens; they were also pushing an investigation into "a completely unfounded attempt" to link Ukraine to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee network in 2016. Sondland was insisting that Trump would only be happy (happy enough to invite Zelensky to the White House and release the frozen military aid) when Zelensky publicly announced he was launching a probe that would presumably bury Joe Biden. Volker even drafted possible language for that announcement and shared it with Sondland.

Zelensky Appears To Cave to Trump

Sondland referred to the Zelensky capitulation -- a public announcement of investigations launched -- in almost comic gangster style: “I think potus really wants the deliverable.” For those of you who don't know, that's POTUS with the MOSTEST, who always wants more and more. Does that look like quid pro quo DNA to you?

Kurt Volker leaving closed-door hearing yesterday,
after turning over text messages between himself
Gordon Sondland, and Bill Taylor.
Photo Jose Luis Magana/AP
A little over a month ago -- my! how a month evaporates -- by August 9, following the July 25th Trump-Zelensky smoking gun phone call and assiduous field work by Giuliani, Sondland, and Volker, Ukraine seems to have agreed to Trump's conditions, but Zelensky balked about issuing a public statement first, before the White House had set a date to invite Zelensky to Washington, because (obviously!) the Ukrainians didn't trust Trump (those wickedly worldly Europeans!).

Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak delivered the balking message on August 10 to Sondland and Volker: “Once we have a date [for visit to White House] [Zelensky] will call for a press briefing, announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of US-UKRAINE relationship, including among other things Burisma [the company Hunter Biden worked for] and election meddling in investigations” [the Trump myth that really it was Ukraine that meddled in our election in 2016, not Russia].

That Zelensky announcement never happened, incidentally, nor did the invitation to the White House ever land in Zelensky's mailbox. Somewhere, somehow, everything went ker-blooey.

Sondland Wakes Up To His Criminal Exposure

It was career diplomat Bill Taylor, technically the interim chargĂ© d'affaires in Ukraine which currently makes him the top U.S. diplomat there until Trump nominates someone to take the place of the recalled Marie Yovanovitch -- it was stand-up guy Bill Taylor who made Sondland gulp twice about what they were involved in -- the extortion of a sovereign nation for the benefit of Trump. Sondland's effort to cover his ass is fairly pathetic.

September 1: Bill Taylor, Ambassador to Ukraine: "Are we now saying that security assistance and WH meeting are conditioned on investigations?" Translation: Are we seriously talking quid pro quo?

Sondland replied: "Call me."

September 9: After that call, Taylor: "As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign."

Sondland, in one of the great moments in post-Nixon get-this-on-the-record as a non-denial denial: "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind." Sondland continued, "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."

Oh yes, Trump had been crystal clear, but it wasn't the way Sondland now claimed. And indeed, Sondland's fear that all this shit would inevitably come into public view has indeed come into public view.

The Body Count -- Rick Perry

A Reoccurring Feature on Who's Jumping Off Luxury Liner Trump

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, a contender along with Trump in 2016 for the presidency and one of Trump's longest serving cabinet members, will be leaving his post as Energy Secretary by the end of November.

Not known as a rocket scientist, Perry has been implicated in the Ukraine extortion scheme because he attended last May President Zelensky's inauguration (in place of VP Pence). So far no evidence has emerged of his joining the pressure campaign on Zelensky to dig up dirt on the Bidens, but "Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Perry on Tuesday asking him what instructions Trump gave him when the Cabinet official flew to Ukraine in May, as well as who asked Perry to go there in the first place. And three House committees on Monday issued a sweeping subpoena to Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, in part seeking documents related to Perry" (Dino Grandoni).

Perry will not be missed at the Energy Department. He's been a great promoter of fossil fuels (particularly coal).

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Vice President Pence: Out of the Loop, But in the Soup

The piety of a willing tool
The blindness that comes from piety!

Even as evidence mounts that Vice President Pence has been fully involved in Twitterman's pressure campaign on Ukraine to squeeze out some juicy dirt on Joe Biden, Mike Pence has begun channeling Sergeant Schultz. "I never knew..., I never read..., I never heard.... In short, I know nothing!" It's now become his badge of Christian honor to declare that he was out of the loop (a place where a lot of other officials in the Trump administration wish they resided).

Trump had been planning to send Pence to Ukrainian President Zelensky's inauguration in May, then abruptly instructed him not to go, denying the new president the symbolic blessing of the highest echelons of the Trump administration. The pressure campaign was underway.

On July 25th, Trump delivered his "I need a favor" demand to Zelensky when the latter mentioned his desire for anti-tank missles. Trump withheld the military aid, waiting for the favor, then sent Pence to meet Zelensky on September 1 in Warsaw to pound in that spike a little deeper. With great rueful piety (we feel sure), Pence informed Zelensky that hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine was not going to be released "amid concerns about the country’s lagging efforts to combat corruption" (Greg Miller, Greg Jaffe, and Ashley Parker).

Do you think Zelensky didn't know what "corruption" referred to in that context, especially given Trump's spelling it out in the July 25th phone call?

Do you think Pence didn't understand the message he was delivering?

Pence wants you to think he's a pious idiot, in which event you should also think him totally unworthy to hold any public office, let alone the office of Vice President in charge of delivering Trump messages.

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Sarah Crawford Is Running in the Redrawn 18th NC Senate District

Catawba College political scientist Michael Bitzer lists the remapped 18th Senate District (northern Wake and Franklin County) as "Competitive, Democratic Favored." His analysis found the predicted Democratic vote share in 2020 at 51% against the predicted Republican vote share of 49%.

This is the district that incumbent Republican John Alexander still represents, but he said after the most recent remapping made it clear that his district was becoming more Democratic, he wouldn't be running again.

Sarah Crawford
Democrat Mack Paul came perilously close to ousting Alexander in the elections of 2018, but Mack Paul -- who could have run again as the odds-on contender -- deferred to Christine Kushner, a Wake School Board member, who announced she would be running way back in April of this year. When the newest remapping threw Kushner out of the district, Democrat Sarah Crawford stepped forward.

Sarah Crawford is now the odds-on Democratic frontrunner for the 18th Senate District.

Crawford is not a political neophyte. She ran against Republican incumbent Chad Barefoot in 2014 in what was then Senate District 18, and she carried 47.1% of the vote -- a very respectable showing -- finishing 3,785 votes behind Barefoot out of 65,507 votes cast. (In 2018, Barefoot voluntarily stepped down and allowed his "double-bunkee" John Alexander to take the seat. Alexander had been serving in the Senate since 2014, representing Senate District 15. He got remapped out of 15 and into 18. Redrawing maps to screw with people seems to happen a lot to this North Raleigh and Franklin County district. Don't you think?)

Crawford was well known in those Raleigh and Franklin County neighborhoods in 2014 and may still be a familiar name. But "political time" is like dog years, and six years off the field is a whole generation of new voters. She only just announced via Twitter on Monday of this week, so her campaign infrastructure (a website, a Twitter feed, a Facebook page) seems like political khaki -- standard issue and colorless. I've seen her campaign video from 2014. I hope she'll rethink static "talking-head" presentations (soooo 2006!). We're in a new age of innovative ways to tell a candidate's story. I imagine the introductory video for "Sarah Crawford 2020" that is right now, even as I write this, a magnificant gleam in some video developer's eye. (See "A Modest Proposal" below)  Hint: Crawford has a resume of "super-volunteerism" and the chops of an effective community organizer with clear eleemosynary instincts and energies. That's a story worth telling about a would-be public servant.

While the 18th Senate District was still the old map, and Christine Kushner was gearing up to run (before getting mapped out), another Democrat, Matt Cox, a veteran of the US Navy and a businessman, had also announced he would run a primary for the seat against Kushner. Since the remapping, Matt Cox has gone dark. He hasn't posted anything on Twitter since Sept. 13. Same silence on his Facebook page. Suggests  he also got drawn out of the district or has otherwise changed his mind.

The North Carolina Democratic Party needs to budget the resources to put Putnam Partners (with the great Frank Eaton) on retainer to do candidate videos and other advertising chores for Democratic candidates for NC House and Senate, particularly.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Look Who Won't Be Holding Any Town Halls During the Congressional Recess

Virginia Foxx
She doesn't like questions. She's afraid of confrontation. She's as brittle as desiccated balsa. She's terrified of having to defend the indefensible. She's in hiding.

The Master Chef in the White House

Indebted to Toluse Olorunnipa and Ashley Parker for this gem:
Behind the scenes, the president is sounding out a range of advisers for different options, speaking to friends, outside confidants and Republican lawmakers to get advice about how to proceed, according to a senior administration official.
“There are different ways to bake the cake, depending on what sort of cake you want,” the official said. “Different flavoring, different temperatures, different ingredients yield different types of cake, and the president as the master baker is testing recipes and deciding what type of cake he wants.”