News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
A veteran Republican operative and opposition researcher solicited and raised at least $100,000 from donors as part of an effort to obtain what he believed to be emails stolen from Hillary Clinton, activities that remain of intense interest to federal investigators working for special counsel Robert Mueller’s office and on Capitol Hill.
Peter W. Smith, an Illinois businessman with a long history of involvement in GOP politics, sought and collected the funds from at least four wealthy donors as part of the plan to obtain Mrs. Clinton’s stolen emails from hackers just weeks before election day in 2016, according to people familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Smith’s effort to find what he believed were some 33,000 deleted emails Mrs. Clinton said were personal was first reported by the Journal in a 2017 story, but the extent of his planning went far beyond what was previously known. Mr. Smith died 10 days after describing his efforts to a reporter for the Journal.
The documents and people familiar with the matter depict a veteran political operative with access to wealthy donors and deep connections in Republican politics on a single-minded quest to find incriminating information about Mrs. Clinton even after government officials warned of Russian involvement in U.S. politics. People familiar with the investigations described Mr. Smith’s activities as an area of expanding interest.Wall Street Journal
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) said “the roles were reversed” in Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation process and that Kavanaugh turned out to be the “slut whore drunk” as he faced public scrutiny following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.
NBC News reported shortly after the Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday that Graham was pressed about whether sexual assault victims would be more reluctant to speak out because Kavanaugh was confirmed despite the gripping testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, the college professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were in high school.
Graham said in response: “I think the roles were reversed: The slut whore drunk was Kavanaugh.”The Hill
If Democrats capture at least the House, they’ll owe the good fortune to Republican voters like Anna Smith.
The 40-year-old, college-educated mother of two young children is married to a Navy submariner and describes her politics as fiscally conservative, socially libertarian, and predisposed toward the Second Amendment. She’s a registered Republican who always voted Republican. But Smith couldn’t stomach President Trump, and his provocative conduct in office since the tumultuous 2016 election has compounded her disgust and hardened her opposition.
So, Smith is doing something unprecedented for her: volunteering on a major political campaign. With critical midterm elections four weeks out, she’s knocking on doors for Democrat Phil Bredesen, the former governor who is running for an open Senate seat in Tennessee against Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn.Washington Examiner
Smith isn’t complaining about Blackburn’s support for the $1.3 trillion tax overhaul, or GOP plans to dismantle what’s left of Obamacare. She didn’t seem all that concerned about the conservative makeover of the federal judiciary, or all that motivated by the row over Brett Kavanaugh, whose Supreme Court nomination was roiled by sexual misconduct allegations. For Smith, voting Democrat is about stopping Trump.
A Texas woman is speaking out after local police removed a yard sign she made in protest of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court after multiple sexual assault allegations were brought against him.
Marion Stanford told The Washington Post in an interview released on Saturday she was forced by police to have a sign she made depicting an elephant, the Republican mascot, with its trunk up a girl’s skirt removed from her yard last week, otherwise she would face arrest.
“It is pornography, and you can’t display it,” Stanford recalled a police officer telling her on Tuesday. Stanford said she was told to either remove the sign, allow police to confiscate it or refuse and get arrested.
City officials denied to the Post that the officer threatened arrest.The Hill
Stanford said she made the sign last week after watching drama in the Senate surrounding Kavanaugh’s testimony and that of Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault while they were in high school.
Interpol says a Chinese official who was reported missing has resigned as head of the international police agency. The update came after Beijing announced Meng Hongwei was under investigation in China.
Interpol said Sunday night that Meng had resigned as president of the agency’s executive committee, effectively immediately. It did not say why.
Meng is China’s vice minister of public security. His whereabouts and status have been mysteries since his wife reported Friday that she had not heard from him since he went to China at the end of September.
The disciplinary organ of China’s ruling Communist Party said Sunday night that Meng is “currently under the monitoring and investigation” of China’s new anti-corruption body, for unspecified legal violations.
Interpol, based in Lyon, France, said the senior vice president of its executive committee, Kim Jong Yang of South Korea, would become acting president.AP
From The “I’m Out” File
Unlike Senator Susan Collins, who took pages upon pages of text on national television to tell us something we already knew, I will cut right to the chase: I am out of the Republican Party.
I will also acknowledge right away what I assume will be the reaction of most of the remaining members of the GOP, ranging from “Good riddance” to “You were never a real Republican,” along with a smattering of “Who are you, anyway?”
Those Republicans will have a point. I am not a prominent Republican nor do I play a major role in Republican politics. What I write here are my views alone. I joined the party in the twilight of Jimmy Carter’s administration, cut my teeth in politics as an aide to a working class, Catholic Democrat in the Massachusetts House, and later served for a year on the personal staff of a senior Republican U.S. senator. Not exactly the profile of a conservative warrior.
I even quit the party once before, briefly, during what I thought was the bottom for the GOP: the 2012 primaries. I didn’t want to be associated with a party that took Newt Gingrich seriously as presidential timber, or with people whose callousness managed to shock even Ron Paul. It was an estrangement, not a break, and I came back when the danger of a Trump victory loomed. I was too late, but as a moderate conservative (among the few left), the pre-2016 GOP was the only party I could call home.Tom Nichols via The Atlantic