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the truth about mike pence, and evangelicals

  • Notes from Thom Hartman reading “The Truth about Mike Pence.”
  • Evangelicals like Pence considered themselves warriors
  • Pence’s allies included hugely wealthy donors who posed as victims
  • All of these evangelicals denied science behind climate change.
  • They denied their own power and wealth.
  • They advocated a form of predatory capitalism
  • They claim to be free marketers hero
  • Most of Pence’s life had been preparation for this.
  • He thinks that if he becomes President, it will be because God has chosen him.

Note: there is all too little discussion of the role of evangelical thinking and the Republican movement.

See: ” The Power Worshipers.”

THE DEVIL HIMSELF: ERIK PRINCE

While corporate media pundits spend time interviewing each other about interviews they have done ( Lemon interviewing Tapper about his interview with Biden, dogs sniffing assholes)  and touting their books (Maddow and Scarborough), Trump has dangerously upped the ante in the crime spree that has been the Trump/Republican administration.  They are stealing billions from the American people and neither the corporate media nor the Democratic Party is screaming bloody murder as they should be.

As just one minor example of a story that should have been hammered for days, Trump, after getting rid of a top level of Pentagon officials, has appointed stooges (Lewandowski) who will facilitate the massive grifting of the federal government.

With this top layer of sycophants in place, it is being widely reported that (the devil himself) Erik Prince has been awarded a “classified contract” to take over military operations in Africa.

This move would help facilitate a long-pursued project of Prince’s to take over military operations for the U.S. government (he proposed doing so in Afghanistan) and for the Republicans to privatize the enormous defense budget every more than it’s already been farmed out to giant defense contractors.

It was reported that Prince proposed a take-over of the Afghanistan war to the Trump administration earlier in the year.  It is not clear why he was turned down.  He has come back with his hand out for part of the spoils being awarded by Trump and the Republicans.

In case you don’t remember, Erik Prince is the brother of Betsy de Vos.  He was the founder of a mercenary contracting group that was unleashed in Iraq and wreaked so much uncontrolled, unfettered terror among the population, they finally had to prosecute Blackwater and some of his operatives.

Erik Prince is another of the multitude of people (Paul Manafort, Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump,Jr. Jared Kushner, Roger Stone, Rick Gates, Michael Flynn, etc.) who would already have been in prison in 2016 if we had a functioning Justice Department which prosecuted white collar, corporate and political crimes (See “The Chickenshit Club” by Jesse Eisinger).

Also see Jeremy Skahill’s book about Blackwater and (the Devil) Erik Prince.

ELECTION NOTEBOOK: REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN PLANNING THIS SINCE BEFORE 2016

Rutenberg, Jim and Nick Corasaniti (11/15/20) “Behind Trump’s…” NYT.

  • Trump was building this conspiracy theory about vote fraud before the 2016 election.
  • Observers in critical election sites were being told to contest every ballot on election night.
  • In Detroit, as the count went against Trump, poll watchers started chanting “stop the count.”
  • There were similar episodes in Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
  • The Republicans were using “the power of the executive branch, an army of lawyers, the echo chamber of conservative news media and the obedience of fellow Republicans” to bend reality.  To “turn losing into winning.”
  • Republicans did much of the work for this campaign of bending reality before the election.
  • They saw mail-in ballots as a threat.
  • They attempted to block moves to make absentee voting easier because of the pandemic.
  • They slowed the mail by sabotaging the postal service.
  • They had blocked Democratic efforts to et more money to the states for sorting equipment which would have helped with the count of mail in ballots.
  • In key states (Pennsylania, Michigan) legislatures controlled by Republicans blocked moves to count ballots before Election Day.
  • Trump has started claiming the election was rigged in the 2016 election with Clinton. 
  • Roger Stone created “Stop the Seal.” 
  • Purges of voters from the rolls were stopped by legal action in Texas and Wisconsin before the 2020 election.
  • In Pa. and Wis. Republicans control the legislatures but they have Democratic governors.
  • Republicans tried to do away with drop boxes, forcing all ballots to go through the compromised postal system.

stealing the election: voter suppression in texas

Republicans are conducting a concerted and organized effort to steal the 2020 election.  Part of that effort is voter suppression.  Republicans know that they cannot win an election where the population is allowed to freely vote, so they are trying to make it as difficult as possible to cast a vote.

The governor or Texas has just issued a proclamation closing (as of October 2) satellite offices where people can drop off main-in ballots.  He says that counties are only allowed to have one drop off point.  Some counties now have as many as 12 drop off points.  This move also requires early voting clerks to allow poll watchers to observe ballot delivery.  The drop off points were there to help voters, especially those who have questions about the postal service.

Abbott had previously extended early voting and allowed early drop-off. 

See Chuck Lindell (@chucklindell)

Texas Democratic Party Chair, Gilberto Hinojosa, issued a statement about the closings which said, courts all over the country, including the Fifth Circuit yesterday, held that it was too late to change election rules.  Hinojosa said that there was a “movement that will beat them (republicans) at the ballot box.”  “…there’s nothing these cheaters can do about it.”   

As Alejandro Villegas (@thecorpmex) points out, there are 254 counties in Texas.  Harris County has over 4.7 million residents.  Harris County has a population larger than 25 states.  There were over 1.2 million votes cast in 2016.  In Brewster county, it’s a 90 minute drive from the far end of the county to the county seat.

You can read about the lawsuits filed in Texas by Democracy Docket to help ensure that people can vote.  All of these are opposed by Republicans. 

In Texas, there are lawsuits currently in the system about

  1. allowing people to register to vote with motor vehicle transactions (like license renewals, etc.)
  2. a recent change in Texas law which limits the discretion of county election administrators in providing temporary early voting locations to help people who have limited access to transportation, like students.
  3. the elimination of straight ticket voting.  Texas will eliminate straight ticket voting for the first time in 2020.  It is widely used in Texas. Two-thirds of voters cast a straight ticket ballot in 2018.  This will lead to longer lines and wait times which will deter voting.
  4. a prohibition against accepting electronically signed voter registration applications.  
  5. Covid Election relief.  The lawsuit seeks to make Texas provide prepaid postage for absentee ballots, accepting all ballots postmarked on or before the Election Day, prohibit enforcement of signature matching, allow voters to correct a signature mismatch, and allows voters to designate any third party to collect their voted and sealed absentee ballot.

See democracydocket.com/state/Texas

WEDNESDAY MORNING NEWS

Donald Trump is not trying to win an election, he’s trying to steal one.

Florida conflict over felons

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/518845-battle-over-voting-rights-of-felons-intensifies-in-florida

The Attorney General of Florida, Ashley Moody is asking for an investigation of Bloomberg for paying the fines of felons that Florida voters (FLORIDA VOTERS) voted to give rights to vote.

In 2018, the people of Florida voted to restore voting rights to former felons who had completed their sentences.  Desperate to keep people form voting, Republicans passed a law in 2019 requiring felons to pay any fees, or fines go vote. 

Jacobin

“surveillance capitalism” is an existential threat to our societies.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/09/social-media-platform-capitalism-the-social-dilemma

don’t blame social media, blame capitalism.

“Are we to believe that social polarization is the product of Facebook, and not the fact that income inequality has returned to pre–Great Depression levels (and is likely much worse due to the pandemic)?”

Barrett – An Enemy of Workers

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/09/supreme-court-pick-trump-amy-coney-barrett-gig-economy-workers

GEORGIA VOTING RIGHTS CASES

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/court-cases/voting-rights-litigation-2020#Georgia

news notes:

  • Cory Booker – “I think Democrats are gonna continue to appeal to the sense of honor that when someone gives their word, as Lindsey Graham did, that they can’t just break it.”  (MSNBC)  As Mehdi Hasan said on Twitter: “Don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”
  • China is imprisoning Uighurs (The Guardian)
  • DeJoy has told a judge that the USPS cannot reassemble the hundreds of high speed mail-sorting machines they dismantled.  Surprise, surprise.   The judge noted that 72% of the decommissioned machines were located in counties where Clinton got the most votes in 2016.  (Bloomberg)
  • In 2000, Al Gore and the Democratic Party “handed George W. Bush the presidency by placing its faith in the Supreme Court – and by refusing to support mass mobilizations demanding that every vote be counted.” (Jacobin)