Just note the phrases of submission, of deliberate non-threatening language in the opening statement of ACB. The play here is: Look, this is a soft-spoken, non-threatening, non-intellectual mom, home, apple pie person. How could you be afraid of this? But, make no mistake about it, this woman is the handmaiden of oppression.
“I thank the President” “my family” “I thank” “I am especially grateful” “it has been a privilege” “my family” “my husband” “have been married” “he has been a selfless” “marriage” Marriage “is easy.” “far luckier in love than I deserve.” “parents” “wonderful children.” “parents” “her parents’ “love” “liberal arts” “brought him home” “happy-go-lucky” “kind” “our delight” “loves watching movies” “mom” “siblings” “dearest friends” “happy” “so grateful” “my parents” “my parents” “life of service, principle, faith and love.” “grade-school spelling bee” “Dad sang” “devoted teachers” “high school” “literature class” “my first presentation” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” “feared I had failed” “my professor” “filled me with confidence” “mentor” “degree in English” “passion for words” “legal mentors” “my first job” “continues to teach me” “he is cheering me on” “from his livingroom” “taught me” “devoted to his family” never let the law define my identity” “discussed the issues with my colleagues” “remain mindful” “I read every word from the perspective of the loosing party” “one of my children was the party””I would understand” “fairly reasoned” “deeply honored” “sacrifice, particularly from my family” “believe deeply” “humility” “with appreciation” “I was nine years old” “grace and dignity” “When I was 21 years old” “just beginning my career” “forever grateful” “honor of a lifetime” “valued colleague” “I might bring a few new perspectives” “first mother of school age children” “only sitting justice who didn’t attend law school at Harvard or Yale.” “Maybe I could even teach them a thing or two about football.” “I would like to thank” “reached out with messages of support” “I believe in the power of prayer” “so many people are praying for me.” “I pledge faithfully”
The Supreme Court is a nightmare.
Women, just think about where we are. This statement was not an exposition of brilliant legal reasoning. Instead, it was a woman displaying stories about her children, her husband and how wonderful he is, how she might teach men on the Supreme court something ABOUT FOOTBALL. What a f…ing embarrassment. Disgraceful.
It has become obvious to me that the Republican Party is stealing the 2020 election.
They are stealing it behind our backs and they are stealing it in front of our faces. All you have to do to come to this conclusion is spend some time researching targeted voter sabotage as practiced by the Republicans since at least 2000.
But, instead of looking at the evidence and making a plan for what to do when the Republicans pull off yet another theft of a major election, the Democratic Party, the corporate media and regular citizens are busily waltzing off a cliff in a haze of self-congratulatory delusion. If, they tell us, we just go out and vote, Trump will be defeated, and all will be well.
I do not believe this to be true. I do not believe it to be true because I cannot look at the evidence that is available and come to that conclusion.
One of the first things you learn as a researcher is to question most what you want to believe. People in this country WANT to believe that the voting process is fair, that all they have to do is vote. There is an almost pig-headed refusal to look at the evidence that the voting system is not fair, has been rigged in the past, is being rigged now, and that rigging will likely determine the outcome of the 2020 election.
The Democratic Party leadership and party strategists desperately want to believe that all they have to do is put out ads, analyze polls, make campaign appearances (sometimes) and get out the vote. This is all they know – conventional campaign tactics. And, they simply refuse to accept the fact that we have entered a world in which conventional campaign strategies are meaningless. I don’t care how many polls you analyze, or how well you analyze them, if the vote count is manipulated, your effort will be irrelevant.
But, on the corporate news programs I listen to hour after hour of discussion of the polls and demographics, and likely voter turn-out. Corporate news pundits giddily and endlessly talk to other corporate news pundits, none of them willing to acknowledge the fact that if the Republicans do in this election what they have been doing in other elections for two decades, none of the polls and none of the analysis, is relevant. This means, of course, that the pollsters and strategists themselves are not relevant, and that is one thing they will never admit. So, they lie to themselves and they lie to us.
With this lie, they make us believe that a corrupted voting system is fair because THEY WANT TO BELIEVE THAT IT IS FAIR. If it is not fair, if all the traditional campaign strategies are useless, they might have to DO SOMETHING. They might have to stop rabbiting on endlessly on cable news, stop comparing each other’s living rooms, stop telling jokes and selling a “return to civic grace” as the answer to all our problems. They might have to do something. And, that’s the problem.
The demographics of the voting population, the polls, getting out the vote, promoting mail-in ballots, won’t make a damn bit of difference if the Republicans at the state and county level manipulate the vote count to win as they have done in the past.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that they will not manipulate the vote count and a great deal of evidence that they will. But, by ignoring this fact, the DNC, the strategists and the pollsters and the corporate news pundits keep themselves at the center of a rat wheel of influence, money, talk and activity.
The result, I fear, is that once again on November 4, we will be sitting in our homes looking at stunned corporate media pundits, strategists and pollsters disoriented and wondering how Donald Trump managed to win the electoral college yet again. They will babble about how amazing it is that the exit polls (if we even have them) could be so wrong. They will make the excuse that Trump voters don’t show up in the polling because they are ashamed to say they are voting for Trump. But, they will never, never question the integrity of the voting process itself.
When Trump has apparently secured enough electoral college votes to win, there will be nothing the Democrats and the corporate media and the strategists and the pollsters will be prepared to do. They will wring their hands and lament. They will talk about writing strongly worded letters. But, they will not question the validity of the results of the election and they will not fight to ensure that there is a fair election vote count. They have never effectively done so in the past and they will not do so in 2020.
Between now and November 3, (in order to try not to go bat-shit crazy) I intend to examine and share the information that is available to demonstrate what is almost certain to happen on November 3.
I am painfully aware that this is a process that makes people feel uncomfortable. People do not want to examine or talk about the corruption of the voting system. It’s inconvenient, it’s frightening, it’s paradigm changing and it means that they might have to DO SOMETHING.
People struggle to hold on to what makes them feel safe, and if this election is stolen like others before it, it will mean that we will be living in a different world. People are understandably afraid of that. But, putting our heads in the sand will not save us. On the contrary, I believe putting our heads in the sand will leave us disoriented, disorganized, demoralized and even more vulnerable to the onslaught of authoritarianism that will follow if Trump manages to remain in power.
The rights we think we have, the rights that we rely on to conduct daily life, will no longer exist for us, and that is a frightening prospect. But, no matter how much we want to believe that all we have to do is get out and vote, that desire doesn’t make it a reality.
Even among the community of people who study election sabotage and who have been warning about hackable modems in voting machines, voting systems that cannot be audited, the purging of voter lists, outrageously biased voting rules and a hundred other things that can and will be used to alter the vote count, there is still the tendency to want to argue that “overwhelming turnout” can overcome any voter system sabotage that may occur.
I simply cannot understand how this makes logical sense.
If Republicans sabotage the vote count, turnout, “overwhelming” or otherwise will not make that vote count accurate. If you can change vote tallies you can change thousands of votes or hundreds of votes. I have asked this question over and over to various experts in the field. The best answer I get is a rather weak statement about how “overwhelming voter turnout” will make it harder to alter the vote.
But, I don’t even understand the logic of this. Why will it make it harder? And how?
I can cast a vote for one candidate, but I cannot in any way determine how other people in my country cast their votes. If the county says that I was the only person voting for Biden in the entire county, how am I supposed to contest that? I have no access to the actual votes. I have no idea how other people voted. And, evidently in Georgia, there is not even an auditable vote count. So even if people in authority demanded a “recount,” it wouldn’t make vote sabotage any clearer.
In the state of Georgia, a recount of the votes involves nothing more than putting computer generated ballots through the same scanners a second time. A human being cannot determine by looking at these ballots who the voter voted for. The actual vote is recorded in a bar code that is unreadable by a human. So, a recount is just recounting the same ballots (which might be manipulated) all over again. That is useless.
I don’t know what to do but try to put together for myself the evidence leading to the conclusion that the Republican Party will successfully steal this election. It’s there now. There’s no need to wait until the election to see the outlines of the methods Republicans are using to manipulate the vote. They are doing it before our eyes.
If you have information, please let me know. If you have information refuting the supposition, please let me know also. If you find an argument weak, suggest another one. I’m open to all reputable information and welcome all critique. But, I cannot stand silent behaving as if I believe that voting is going to oust Trump and the Republicans. They have too much to lose to allow this vote to go against them. And, delusion is dangerous. In this case will only leave us totally unprepared for dealing with the outcome of another stolen election.
I hope I’m wrong about this. I truly hope I am wrong, but I do not think I am.
Lori Loughlin was sentenced to two months for paying bribes to get her daughters into USC. Loughlin not only paid a bribe, she cheated some other deserving student out of a college education.
There are two justice systems in this country. Race and class intersect to create sentence disparities.
While some studies report that arrest and prison admission rates are “dropping” for black people it’s because that rate dropped from black people going to state prison eight times the rate of whites, to five times.
There are three important stories in the news within the past week relating to Latin America.
First, the Trump administration has appointed Elliott Abrams U.S. Special Representative for Iran. For those of us who have been interested in Latin America for decades, Elliott Abrams is a criminal who is widely despised. He should be in jail. If there was anything like a justice system for high level corporate, political and white collar criminals, he would be.
As Common Dreams (8/6/20 ) has noted, “Abrams is one of the architects of right-wing “regime change.” He “has made a career of lying and committing criminal acts that have led to the death and suffering of innocent people from Guatemala to Iraq.” “He embraces militarism, covers up for gross human rights abuses, and has a history of supporting authoritarian regimes.”
As if this wasn’t enough, Abrams pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 1991 as part of the Iran-Contra affair. He was later pardoned by George H.W. Bush. Abrams admitted that he had willfully withheld information from congress in 1986 when he testified about the “secret Contra supply network and his role in soliciting a $10 million contribution for anti-Sandinista rebels in Nicaragua” (the Contras).
See “CODEPINK Denounces Elliott Abrams’…” common Dreams. August 6, 2020
The second story is about the release of a report detailing a State Department plan for regime change in Nicaragua intended to oust popularly elected members of the Sandinistas.
Ben Norton reports in The Grayzone that:
This newly released document outlines plans for USAID to oversee a regime-change plan to oust Nicaragua’s elected leftist government.
USAID (also widely despised in Latin America), is planning to establish a “market economy” in Nicaragua and purge the Sandinistas.
The socialist government in Nicaragua is democratically elected.
USAID, as always, functions here as a “regime-change” vehicle that “uses the pretense of humanitarian aid to advance Washington’s aggressive foreign-policy interests.”
The document presents this as a plan for “Nicaragua’s transition to democracy.” This is a euphemism for removing the leftist Sandinistas.
The report doesn’t even pretend to be anything but a hardline neoconservative document. It refers to the “Ortega regime” and makes it clear that the intent is to install a “neoliberal administration that will privatize the economy and…purge all institutions of any trace of the leftist Sandinista movement.”
The third, and related story, is that Joe Biden has recruited Anna Navarro to help him mobilize the Hispanic vote. The Democrats are opening positions of power within the party to a variety of never-Trump Republicans who have no goals or interests in common with publicly stated Democratic positions.
As Ban Norton (3/1/20) points out in his article published on The Gray Zone, Navarro has become “something of a celebrity among the anti-Trump republicans…” She has also become a welcome anti-Trump Republican voice among the corporate media. She is, for example, a frequent commentator on CNN and “The View.”
As Norton points out, “corporate media networks give Navarro a massive platform to attack progressives like Bernie Sanders and rebrand her neoconservative politics before impressionable liberal viewers who despise Trump, Navarro’s professional background has faced little scrutiny.”
Navarro, however, “lobbied for El Salvador’s corruption-drenched right-wing government.” “Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) documents reviewed by The Grayzone reveal that Ana Navarro and her Republican lobbyist husband, Al Cárdenas, have worked with some of the most corrupt right-wing governments in recent Latin American history, including leaders who have overseen egregious human rights abuses and been convicted for serious criminal offenses.”
“Navarro hails from a wealthy family in Nicaragua, and still today she remains a staunch supporter of the Contras, far-right death squads that the CIA armed and trained in the 1980s in a regime-change war targeting the country’s socialist Sandinista government. The Contras waged a relentless terrorist campaign, massacring and torturing civilians in hopes of destabilizing the country. And Navarro has celebrated them as freedom fighters.
Navarro, now calls herself a “strategist” has branded herself a “moderate.”
None of this bodes well for Nicaragua or Latin America. And, it only reinforces the argument that Joe Biden, the corporate Democrats and the corporate media are turning the Democratic Party into Republican-light. It gives us even less reason to stay with the party.
This is a good summary of some of the reasons Elliott Abrams should be in prison: Common Dreams, August 6, 2020
Abrams’ resume includes:
In the 1980s, he defended the infamous Guatemalan General Efraín Ríos Montt, whose violent crackdown on the indigenous Ixil Mayan people of Guatemala was so brutal that it was classified as genocide by the United Nations.
He denied that the Salvadoran military was responsible for the devastating El Mozote massacre where, in 1981, a U.S.-trained battalion murdered more than 500 civilians, slitting the throats of children along the way. Not only did Abrams deny the massacre and push for continued US support for the notoriously brutal Salvadoran government, but he even claimed in a 1994 interview that “the U.S. administration’s record in El Salvador is one of fabulous achievement.”
He is vehemently anti-Palestinian and shamelessly supports Israel. As George Bush’s aide on the National Security Council, Abrams did everything he could to thwart peace negotiations. He repeatedly undercut any U.S. pressure on Israel to stop the building of settlements and cited the Holocaust as justification for Israel’s killings of Palestinians (Jews are “a people who had learned from history what happens to Jews without security”). In 2015, he applauded then-Speaker John Boehner’s decision to invite Netanyahu to address Congress without the approval of President Obama. He lauds Evangelical descriptions of Israel such as the belief that “Israel is connected to the idea that God favors and protects Americans.”
In 1991, Abrams pled guilty to withholding information from Congress related to his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal, the secret and illegal scam in the 1980s to siphon profits from Iranian weapons sales to support the right-wing Contra rebels trying to overthrow the Sandinista government.
Abrams was a key supporter of the disastrous invasion of Iraq. In 1998, he submitted a letter to President Clinton encouraging him to depose Saddam Hussein. As Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy during George W. Bush’s second term, Abrams was in charge of promoting Bush’s strategy of “advancing democracy abroad.”
Abrams championed the U.S. overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, echoing the tactics used by the neocons for intervention in Iraq.
Abrams’ opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal is epitomized by his attempts to encourage Israel to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites before negotiations became too serious. He expressed concern that Israel’s capacity to impede the deal was “already being narrowed considerably by the diplomatic thaw, because it is one thing to bomb Iran when it appears hopelessly recalcitrant and isolated and quite another to bomb it when much of the world — especially the United States — is optimistic about the prospect of talks.”
In January 2019, Abrams was appointed to be the U.S. Special Representative for Venezuela, and used his position to support an attempted coup, quash diplomatic talks, and increase brutal sanctions, even during the pandemic.
Abrams has now been appointed as the U.S. envoy for Iran, managing a situation that is already a tinderbox, with the Iranian people suffering immensely from U.S. sanctions. Rather than receiving this new position, Elliott Abrams should be barred for life from government positions and recognized as the war criminal that he is.
Armed federal agents, dressed in combat gear, have been sent into the streets of Portland, Oregon against the wishes of local authorities. These agents display no identifying information and are taking citizens off the streets in unmarked cars to undisclosed locations. The agents are reporting to the Department of Homeland Security.
In a strong stand against such unbridled intervention, the House Appropriations Committee just approved a new Homeland Security Funding Bill.
The Oregon Attorney General has sued over the deployment of the federal agents and asked for a restraining order. The Trump administration is expressing disdain over the objections of local officials and publicity threatened to send more anonymous police into other Demcratic-led cities.
According to an interview on MSNBC (7/20/20) with Ryan Haas, Oregon Public Broadcasting:
Protestors are sometimes not even near federal property.
People are being taken in for questioning inside the federal courthouse.
Charges range from pointing something at federal officers, assault of federal officer, and defacing property.
The administration dismissed warnings of local officials that the actions of the federal agents is making the situation worse. In fact, that is likely exactly what they want. They are being sent into Democratic-run cities, generating conflict and confrontation with protestors, in order to scare the suburbs into thinking that violence is widespread and escalating.
DHS, therefore, has been transformed into a political arm for the Republican candidate.
The use of secret police is common in authoritarian governments, but again, as with all the moves toward authoritarian control in this country, the corporate media fails to sound the alarm and normalizes the activities. While they spend hours and hours talking about Trump’s psychology and dysfunctional family history, they have no commentators talking about the implications of using the federal government as instruments of political power. In addition, CNN, is blurring out the faces of the federal agents so that they can’t be recognized.
In another move common, indeed essential, to authoritarian leaders, Trump is installing loyalists to senior roles at the Pentagon. These toadies are being put in place as “acting” officials, thus skirting a Senate confirmation process. The administration just announced that they are assigning a 33-year-old White House chief technology officer to be the head of the research and engineering for the entire Department of Defense.
The man has a bachelor’s degree in political science and is replacing a man with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering.
The Trump administration is discussing installing a “Fox News regular” to be the Pentagon’s top policy official.
The assurance of loyalty and the elimination of expertise is essential to establishing authoritarian rule. We have seen this play out during the Trump administration in the State Department, the CDC, and now the Pentagon.
This is a fascinating and heartbreaking podcast about two of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s victims. The choice of these two victims in particular illustrates the class nature of the exploitation.
The stories also illustrate another crucial point about the media coverage of the Epstein case. Journalists are presenting the Epstein/Maxwell story as if it exists outside of the context of the international political blackmail scheme of which it was a part. The host of the podcast even talks about Epstein’s “pathology” as if this is a story about mental illness.
The Epstein/Maxwell story is not only about sexual exploitation, it is about political power. It seems to me to be perfectly obvious that Bill Barr’s father, himself with a history of clandestine activity, saw early on the potential Epstein had to advance the goals of compromising political enemies.
What Epstein and Maxwell ran was a ruthless systematic, methodical recruiting, grooming, and utilizing business. They recruited, groomed, educated and placed the right young women in strategic places to compromise and secure the complicity of important people for political purposes.
To discuss this operation as the raging mental illness of one man, or a man and a woman is to completely distort the nature and purpose of this operation.
The stories of two victims are talked about in this podcast – Melissa, a talented cellist and Michelle, a high school student in Palm Beach. Michelle fits the profile of the hundreds of girls the pair lured into Epstein’s property, abused and then discarded. Melissa is an example of a young woman who was recruited, groomed over a period of years and then discarded partly due to her own lack of willingness to comply. Even though a substantial amount of time and money was spent on the long-term grooming of Melissa, she was never sexually assaulted.
The host of the podcast explains the long-term investment in Melissa as an example of Epstein’s “pathology” of power. She argues that Melissa illustrates Epstein’s obsession, indeed “addiction” to power games.
The host, however, completely ignores what is the more obvious explanation for Melissa’s experience. Epstein and Maxwell were not just sexually exploiting young women for their own sexual gratification. They were methodically grooming young women and placing them in strategic positions to compromise political targets. You don’t just send a lower class little girl into a high society environment and expect her to seduce Prince Andrew. You groom, make beholden, and place a Julliard cellist in the room with Prince Andrew and then use that young woman to compromise the target.
That is exactly what they tried to do with Melissa. They spent years supporting her financially, working her into a pseudo-family situation with them and then even demanding that she attend the higher status school, Julliard, to make her a more attractive lure. Epstein’s “pathology” didn’t prevent him from spending years cultivating this girl. But, the journalist here, doesn’t even discuss this. Instead she launches off on a discussion of Epstein’s supposed power mad psychology.
The issue here is not psychology. That’s not even what’s interesting or significant about the case. But, the corporate media will turn the story into a lurid tabloid narrative to avoid talking about this massive, international kompromat ring. That is not only a shame. It is yet another example of the corporate media distorting reality, maintaining a delusion which protects powerful people who are aggressively pursuing an authoritarian agenda.
“…the facts make you wish they were fiction, but that is all the more reason we need to hear them.”
Greitens, governor of Missouri
“Whereas once mere publicity about his scandals would have prompted resignation, Greitens proved that hanging on to executive power to dodge or manipulate prosecution remains a viable option in an era of unfettered corruption—a lesson the Trump administration knows well. One of the most awful things about the Greitens case is that Missourians felt lucky he left, like peasants relieved at the passing of an evil king. There was never accountability, there was never transparency—there was just luck, otherwise known as dead expectations.
“When asked to vote on a specific issue, Missourians chose the most progressive options. But when asked to vote for a politician, over half of Missourians chose Republicans who sought to strike down the very ballot initiatives for which they had voted.”
The 1980s: Roy Cohn’s Orwellian America
“In 1984, one year after the tower’s completion, Soviet army veteran David Bogatin purchased five luxury condos for six million dollars—a purchase so substantial that Trump made sure to personally oversee the closing.”
“In 1987, Bogatin admitted he had purchased the Trump Tower condos “to launder money, to shelter and hide assets…”
“…a Senate investigation revealed him to be a leading figure in the Russian mafia. The Russian mafia had been growing in New York City due to a wave of Soviet émigrés and a crackdown on the Italian mob…”
“…Comey, who replaced Mueller as FBI head in 2013, the FBI removed Mogilevich—the dangerous Russian mafia head who had been ancillary to Trump since the 1980s—from the Ten Most Wanted list in December 2015 and replaced him with a bank robber. “
“When the press works against its own financial interest—as it did by rejecting the harrowing truth of Trump—there is a deeper problem.”
“…documents to claim that, beginning in 1977, Trump would remain “completely tax-exempt for the next 30 years” thanks to a mysterious arrangement between his company and the American government; that he was contractually bound to have three children with Ivana (which he did); and that he was being groomed to run for president in 1988 (which he nearly did).”:
“February 20, 2017, one month after Trump’s inauguration, Churkin died suddenly at the age of sixty-four….Churkin had been the fifth Russian diplomat to die unexpectedly and in an unexplained fashion since Trump won the election.”
“…1987, he (Trump) told journalist Ron Rosenbaum that he sought to partner with Russia on nuclear weapons with the aim of threatening other countries into compliance.”
“Stone was involved in every Trump presidential run thereafter as well as in Trump’s near-run for New York governor in 2014.
“Trump had one condition for entering a race: his win needed to be preordained.”
“…crime committed brazenly is over time redefined as something other than crime. It is entertainment, and then it is autocracy, and then it is too late.”
“That a significant number of today’s high-profile journalists did know the Trump family personally is cause for concern.”
“These powerful sectors of society have been overtaken by connections rather than merit, and dynasties rather than unbiased workforces.”
“The deep secret of all Trump coverage is that it is cost-effective news—”
“David Cay Johnston, author of multiple bestsellers about Trump, noted that in addition to refusing to cover the rape of Ivana, the 2016 press would not report on Trump’s documented ties to organized crime.”
“..confessed drug trafficker. [The trafficker is Joseph Weichselbaum,”
“This is called “normalcy bias”: the idea that if a situation is truly dangerous, if massive crimes are being committed in plain sight, someone will intervene and stop them.”
“Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past,” Orwell wrote in 1984. “Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.”
The Brunswick News is reporting this morning that the Glynn County Commissioners (the county where Ahmaud Arbery was killed) “deferred” to create a job for the Police Chief who has been indicted. Just let this sink in. The Glynn County Commissioners were creating a job out of reserve county funds (at a time of a pandemic) for a police chief who has been indicted.
Powell was the Police Chief when Ahmaud Arbery was killed and his officers failed to make an arrest of the killers. They also phoned Arbery’s mother and told her that Arbery had been killed during a break-in. One of the men who killed Arbery is a former police officer.
John Powell and the County Commissioners presided over the Glynn County Police at a time when the agency was involved in repeated scandals including a now disbanded narcotics unit, a police officer who was allowed to stalk and finally kill his ex-girlfriend, and a woman shot inside her car.
One of the County Commissioners narrowly escaped being prosecuted for insurance fraud recently because he got his wife to plead guilty to the charges and argue that he didn’t pay any attention to what was going on in his own insurance company.
These men must be removed from office, never allowed to hold office again and shunned.
A discussion of politics, law, justice, and crime.