Today’s News Bits, Mother’s Day Edition

For today’s readings, check out How to Raise $89 Million in Small Donations — And Make It Disappear at the New York Times. No paywall. The intro blurb:

A group of conservative operatives using sophisticated robocalls raised millions of dollars from donors using pro-police and pro-veteran messages. But instead of using the money to promote issues and candidates, an analysis by The New York Times shows, nearly all the money went to pay the firms making the calls and the operatives themselves, highlighting a flaw in the regulation of political nonprofits.

Here’s another bit:

About 90 percent of the money the groups raised was simply sent back to their fund-raising contractors, to feed a self-consuming loop where donations went to find more donors to give money to find more donors. They had no significant operations other than fund-raising, and along the way became one of America’s biggest sources of robocalls.

It is not clear why the groups plowed so much of what they raised back into more fund-raising calls; compared with other political nonprofits, their fund-raising expenditures were extraordinarily high.

But one other set of expenditures was especially notable: The groups also paid $2.8 million, or 3 percent of the money raised, to three Republican political consultants from Wisconsin who were the hidden force behind all five nonprofits, according to people who worked for the groups and who in some cases were kept in the dark by the consultants about the finances of the operations.

It’s all about the grift, folks. But those three guys may be feeling a tad exposed right now.

Rolling Stone has a story about Diane Feinstein’s apparent dementia.

Multiple sources tell Rolling Stone that in recent years Feinstein’s office had an on-call system — unbeknownst to Feinstein herself — to prevent the senator from ever walking around the Capitol on her own. At any given moment there was a staff member ready to jump up and stroll alongside the senator if she left her office, worried about what she’d say to reporters if left unsupervised. The system has been in place for years.

“They will not let her leave by herself, but she doesn’t even know it,” says Jamarcus Purley, a former staffer. …

… Purley described office meetings where an issue would be discussed for several minutes, only for Feinstein to bring up the same topic later in the same meeting. Senior staff would then run through the whole conversation again as if they were saying it for the first time, to the discomfort of everyone in the room except for Feinstein. Another witness corroborated this account. 

That last symptom is classic Alzheimer’s. Until it’s very advanced patients retain knowledge they’ve had for a long time, but they can’t remember what they were just told, or even if they were told something. It’s like the brain erases itself in reverse chronological order, most recent stuff first. Repeating the information doesn’t help. Seriously, I can’t believe she’s been allowed to go on like this.

In other news: Rep. James Comer (R-KY), chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee and tireless investigator of Hunter Biden’s laptop, admits he has lost an informant.

During an interview on Fox News, host Maria Bartiromo asked Comer about evidence he had of [President] Biden’s alleged corruption.

“You have spoken with whistleblowers,” she noted. “You also spoke with an informant who gave you all of this information. Where is that informant today? Where are these whistleblowers?”

“Well, unfortunately, we can’t track down the informant,” Comer replied. “We’re hopeful that the informant is still there. The whistleblower knows the informant. The whistleblower is very credible.”

“Hold on a second, Congressman,” Bartiromo said. “Did you just say that the whistleblower or the informant is now missing?”

“Well, we we’re hopeful that we can find the informant,” Comer said, explaining the informant was in the “spy business” and “they don’t make a habit of being seen a lot.”

“The nine of the ten people that we’ve identified that have very good knowledge with respect to the Bidens,” he added, “they’re one of three things, Maria, they’re either currently in court, they’re currently in jail, or they’re currently missing.”

Well, that certainly sounds credible.