Republican liars

Trump campaign is really worried about North Carolina

Because huge voter turnout is frightening, apparently:

Internally, the Trump campaign is increasingly worried that the president's chances of winning North Carolina, a state the team has heavily invested in and views as essential for Trump's path to victory, has all but evaporated. The campaign had viewed the state as "super safe" as recently as just a few weeks ago, sources told ABC News.

Advisers now fear that, because the state counts and reports both day-of and mail-in votes together on election night, losing North Carolina could be a clear white flag.

In other words, counting all the votes is a bad sign for them. As the stink of desperation settles over the Trump family, they are showing up in NC daily. Donald Jr today, Ivanka tomorrow, and the Orange Satan himself on Wednesday:

Dan Forest and the post-truth coalition

Orwell would be impressed:

Truth and Prosperity is now Dogwood Coalition, and at least one ad attacking Gov. Roy Cooper is running in North Carolina with the new disclaimer: Paid for by Dogwood Coalition.

William Gupton, Truth and Prosperity's treasurer as of its last required state filing in July, said in an email Wednesday that this will be "a new organization with new individuals involved and with a different mission." Dogwood Coalition won't simply be an independent expenditure committee, but "will be involved in activities that do not involve express advocacy to support or oppose candidates." Gupton did not elaborate.

Bolding mine, because lying through your teeth seems to be a (really) popular activity by Republicans these days. At least they took the word "Truth" out of their name, but they didn't do it as an admission of a prevaricative nature, they did it to distance themselves (and Dandy) from convicted felon Greg Lindberg. But that connection runs too deep for a simple name-change to wash him clean:

The erosion and mischaracterization of the term "Antifa"

The truth of the term has been lost in ad hominem hysteria:

Lindsay Ayling, a 32-year-old doctoral student at the University of North Carolina's flagship Chapel Hill campus, is a fixture at counterprotests against neo-Confederates and other far-right group members. They often call her "antifa," a label she accepts "in the sense that I oppose fascism and I am willing to go and confront fascists on the streets."

"The thing that's so dangerous about labeling anyone who is antifascist as a terrorist is that it's criminalizing thought," she said. "Not just thought, but it's criminalizing active resistance to fascism."

Before we get into the details of this transformation, let's talk about "branding." About fashioning catchy terms that roll off the tongue nicely, are easy to remember, short enough they can be written in bold letters on a protest sign, etc. Works good in advertising products, but not always so good in social messaging. In this case, we left the negative (anti) completely intact, but shortened the villain (fascist) to only the first two letters. Derrida would not be impressed, nor would he be surprised the term is so misunderstood by many. And by chopping the word "fascist" into a nice little two-letter bite, we've also lost an opportunity to educate those who don't understand what fascism means, those who would be forced to Google the term:

Exploring the impact of misinformation on the general public

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It is everywhere, but is it working?

Professors at Duke University gathered for a panel on digital disinformation and so called "fake news," addressing the various challenges it poses to society and how it might be addressed. Bill Adair, a professor of journalism at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, said that digital misinformation has begun to spread throughout every facet of the world.

"We just see in every corner of the world, in every corner of our lives ... there is just so much misinformation," he said. "It pops up in such insidious ways. It’s really scary.”

It is scary. But possibly the scariest aspect of this issue is the inevitable trend for people to (eventually) disbelieve everything they read, regardless of the bonafides of the source. Sowing distrust is a major goal of many of the players (Russia in particular), and it will be hard as hell to track the responsibility for that back to the original sources of misinformation. But at least one Duke researcher doesn't believe it's having much impact on opinions:

Mark Meadows definitely knew about Russian bounties on U.S. troops

Even if Trump didn't know (unlikely), his Chief of Staff most assuredly did:

A former American official said the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, would have been involved in any decision to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s activities, as would have the intelligence analyst who briefs the president. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, might have also weighed in, the former official said.

Ms. McEnany cited those three senior officials in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

The most likely scenario is that Trump was (verbally) briefed on the issue, as well as having it included in his daily intelligence packets (which he probably didn't read). But whether Trump knew or not, his current position of, "I don't believe it, it's not credible," is a direct assault on the integrity of our intelligence community and Special Operations who put themselves in harm's way to uncover this deadly plot:

The Trust deficit that is plaguing America

I recently posted in a Facebook group dedicated to politics about the judge's decision to open up the churches, and one of the commenters asked where all the attacks on Governor Cooper's pandemic restrictions were coming from. I explained about the upcoming election, including Dan Forest's dismal poll numbers, and that has definitely played a role in the visible pushback. Forest is connected to both the ReopenNC people and the Return America group that filed the lawsuit.

But in order to really understand why these (and many other) people are primed to defy common-sense government actions, we need to delve into the trust deficit that has been building for decades. Follow me below the fold if you can trust me to not mislead you:

Thanks to Trump, election meddling is now acceptable behavior

Republican voters are being encouraged to skew SC's Democratic Primary:

South Carolina has open primaries where voters can choose which party’s primary, if there is more than one to choose from, to vote in. But the Republicans pushing their members to vote for Sanders want to change that, saying on Facebook they want to ”point out the consequences of not closing the primaries in SC to just those voters who participate in each party” — a goal they can accomplish if enough Republicans turn out at the polls on Feb. 29.

They also see another benefit in helping Sanders win. “We want to be able to have a say in giving Donald Trump that opportunity in November to face Bernie in the debate, give a clear look to American voters, here’s your capitalist success story and here’s your socialist,” said Karen Martin, who is the organizer of the Spartanburg Tea Party.

They're not the sharpest tools in the shed, to say the least. Supposedly worried about SC's open Primary, and how (imaginary) Democrats abuse it, so they're going to abuse the hell out of it just to make a point. Isn't that like shooting up a school full of children just to expose how vulnerable they are? Yes, it is. It's also a common development with people who have held a paranoid delusion too long without uncovering evidence to back it up; they create their own evidence. Operation Chaos was originally dreamed up by Rush Limbaugh back in 2008, to sew discord in the Clinton Obama Primary. And it's very likely this new effort isn't just SC Tea Party nonsense, it's part of a broader effort by Republicans to meddle in Democratic affairs. Like flooding the Iowa Caucus Hotline with prank calls to clog the line:

GOP propaganda about tuition cuts for children of veterans way off-base

The blame lies solely on their shoulders:

The DMVA received $9.19 million annually to fund the program, Hall said in a statement Thursday. But last year, he said, the General Assembly allocated an extra $2.4 million to increase the room and board allowance. Hall asked for the same level of funding from legislators for the 2019-20 academic year, according to the statement.

“Despite passing multiple priority funding bills throughout the summer and fall, legislators adjourned without providing additional funds for this program,” he said in the statement. “Recipient institutions were notified of the impact to room and board awards on November 25.”

What was in the Budget hardly matters considering it was Vetoed. But it's that second part that people need to pay attention to. Republicans in the General Assembly passed several "mini-budgets" before throwing in the towel for the year, but the (needed) additional funding for these students didn't make it. You know what did make it? A reduction in the Franchise Tax for businesses (subsequently Vetoed), and an IT funding bill which included $10 million for Montreat College to host a cybersecurity research center it isn't qualified to host:

The myth of the "do-nothing" Democratic Congress

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It's not only a lie, the irony is overwhelming:

For months, President Donald Trump has fired off tweet missives accusing House Democrats of “getting nothing done in Congress,” and being consumed with impeachment.

Trump may want to look to the Republican-controlled Senate instead. Democrats in the House have been passing bills at a rapid clip; as of November 15, the House has passed nearly 400 bills, not including resolutions. But the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee estimates 80 percent of those bill have hit a snag in the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prioritizing confirming judges over passing bills.

This has been bothering me for some time now, but it's starting to creep into conversations between Democrats, which is a bad sign the propaganda is working. Paraphrased from a recent Facebook comment: "They need to go ahead and take the Impeachment vote now, so they can get back to doing what they're supposed to, or voters will punish Dems for not getting things accomplished." I didn't feel like correcting that person (I should have), and the only push-back I saw was, "Impeachment is important!" And for you anti-establishment progressive purists out there, pay close attention to this (please):

Virginia Foxx has been a no-show at Impeachment hearings

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Because you don't need to learn anything when your mind's made up:

Two North Carolina lawmakers sit on the committees with access. However, one of them has so far not attended any of the secure testimony: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District.

“Several depositions have been scheduled when Congress is not in session and other events have been scheduled in North Carolina. Others have had their time changed, conflicting with other responsibilities in Washington, including my work as Republican Leader on the Education and Labor Committee,” she wrote.

I won't say she is dumber than a box of rocks, but she's pretty damn close. She just admitted that depositions have been held when Congress was in session and not in session, meaning she had ample opportunity to attend at least one of these hearings. By trying to cover her ass with this catch-all statement, she accomplished the opposite. And this Tweet from late September shows she is nothing more than a hypocrite:

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