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This Week in Schadenfreude: Project 500

We may have set a record this week for the number of people who sent in a specific schadenfreude item. Thanks to all of you! The item in question involves Republican "operatives" Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman, who are among the scummiest people in the Party. They attempt to ruin high-profile "enemies" of the Republican Party by revealing various skeletons they claim to have found in those individuals' closets. For example, they tried to smear Robert Mueller, Anthony Fauci and Pete Buttigieg, at various times, with claims they committed sexual assault. They presented "evidence" that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) was hiring gigolos for BDSM play. And they said they had "proof" that Kamala Harris was involved in an extramarital affair. All of this was completely made up, of course.

We describe the pair as "operatives" rather than as operatives because their efforts are so stupid and ham-fisted that they are a very poor imitation of a real dirty trickster. It takes a special level of incompetence to make Roger Stone look like the Einstein of ratfu**ers (there's a phrase you don't hear every day). The latest, and dumbest, from Wohl and Burkman involved hiring a service to make robocalls to predominantly Black neighborhoods prior to Election Day. Here's the script of the calls:

Hi, this is Tamika Taylor from Project 1599, the civil rights organization founded by Jack Burkman and Jacob Wohl. Mail-in voting sounds great, but did you know that if you vote by mail, your personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts? The CDC is even pushing to use records for mail-in voting to track people for mandatory vaccines. Don't be finessed into giving your private information to the man, stay safe and beware of vote by mail.

Needless to say, it's illegal to spread misinformation like this. And it's very easy to trace a robocall back to its source. Were Wohl and Burkman so stupid they didn't realize this? Are they so cavalier they just didn't care? Who knows?

Whatever the case may be, they have now been sentenced in Ohio for their activities. They have to pay a $2,500 fine, wear an ankle monitor for 6 months, spend a couple of years on probation and, best of all, have to spend 500 hours registering voters in Black communities. If that's not a cause for some schadenfreude, we don't know what is.

Note also that these two fine citizens ran their scam in five different states (including New York and Illinois, showing an apparent unawareness of what "deep blue" means). And so, they might still receive punishment in the four states that are not Ohio. For example, there is the possibility of a $5 million fine still on the table. One hopes they get hit with that, and with everything else they've got coming to them. (Z)

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