2022 U.S. Elections Are At Grave Risk From Republican Extremists

We are arriving at a tipping point where fascists can overtake this nation and they’d have Fox News, evangelicals and the like supporting their efforts, apologizing for it and then even justifying it.

By John Amato

2022 U.S. Elections Are At Grave Risk From Republican Extremists
Image from: Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Whitmer was the target of a kidnapping plot planned by a paramilitary group called Wolverine Watchmen, a group whose goal was “civil war leading to societal collapse” before being thwarted on Oct 8th, 2020.

The Michigan governor most likely would have been murdered by these seditious, anti-American traitors.

Then we learned that Ohio Gov. Mike De Wine and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam were also targeted for kidnapping.

All three governors supported early state lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

If these kidnappings had been successful, these governors would have been put on trial for tyranny. And as we’ve seen with radical crazies, they would have been executed, most probably live-streamed.

The anti-United States cult of Trump and their support for an overthrow of a duly elected government played their best hand on January 6. Fueled by Traitor Trump and his despicable minions’ unconscionable behavior, thousands of MAGA cultists stormed the US Capitol, hunting for politicians to arrest.

Many chanted, “Hang Mike Pence!” as they built a gallows outside the Capitol walls and we can only imagine what would’ve happened if they were successful in capturing even a single congressperson, let alone Speaker Pelosi or VP Pence?

Now we see Americans buying guns a rapid rate and this is similarly alarming. The NY Times writes, “But beneath the timeworn political cycle on guns in the United States, the country’s appetite for firearms has only been increasing, with more being bought by more Americans than ever before.”

Conservatives have relentlessly fear-mongered the lie that millions of immigrants are coming into our country through our southern borders to steal our homes, and that Antifa will destroy your neighborhoods.

20 states have passed laws that do not require a permit for concealed carry.

Former Trump reprobates like Mike Flynn, a former General and pardoned felon are still hoping for a Myanmar-like overthrow of our government.

What is this leading up to?

Gun dealers have been marketing their wares to violent extremist groups like the Boogaloo Bois, Oath Keepers and Proud Boy groups. who haven’t gone away, just receded into the background to evade the FBI.

We know they are lurking, waiting.

Outside of targeting politicians that either refused to overturn a free and fair presidential election or supported instituting CDC guidelines to combat COVID, the new targets may be polling locations and voters around the country, including the swing states. Maybe especially in the swing states.

Right-wing state legislators are trying to undermine the integrity of our entire Constitution — A government of the people, by the people, for the people — by passing immoral and illegal voting restrictions targeted at the working class and minority populations. They are trying to pass legislation that puts the election results to be determined by a hand picked enclave of Republican activists, not the voters, even the people they deem eligible to be voters.

If a concerted effort is made by these right-wing militia groups beholden to Trump to intimidate voters, vote counters and to even shut down polling locations, how would local municipalities handle this? Trump won the 2016 election by three states only. There needs to be protections ready and waiting to thwart any effort to undermine the right to vote in every state.

As a precursor to the present, back in the highly contested 2000 election in Florida, the famed Brooks Brother riots were held to shut down the recounting of votes that eventually helped award George W. Bush the presidency.

Roger Stone was one who took credit for organizing Republican staffers to demonstrate, but it “turned violent and, according to The New York Times, “several people were trampled, punched or kicked when protesters tried to rush the doors outside the office of the Miami-Dade supervisor of elections. Sheriff’s deputies restored order.”

Within two hours the recount was stopped.

They got what they wanted.

These were GOP staffers wearing suits, not gun wielding psychopaths who would have no problem pulling the trigger against defenseless Americans. Many of those staffers ended up in key Trump administration positions.

We are arriving at a tipping point where fascists can overtake this nation and they’d have Fox News, evangelicals and the like supporting their efforts, apologizing for it and then even justifying it.

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Cut US Military Aid to Israel

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May 27, 2021 

Since the Israeli/Palestinian ceasefire began this week, the Biden administration’s refrain has been that Israelis and Palestinians should have “equal measures of security, peace, and dignity,” but not a word about equal rights.

The administration’s silence on Palestinian rights is an affirmation of the Israel’s apartheid policies, which deny Palestinians equal citizenship, restrict their movement, and dispossess them of their homes and land.

We demand that the U.S. cease all military aid to Israel until it respects the human rights of Palestinians. The cutoff of US military aid to Israel is the leading demand on the U.S. of the Palestinian National BDS Committee, which has broad support in Palestinian civil society.

Biden’s Unconditional Support for Israel

The cease fire came despite the Biden administration, not because of it. Biden’s UN Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, gave Israel the greenlight to continue bombing Gaza three times by repeatedly blocking UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire. 

Biden’s unconditional support for Israel’s expansionist colonial policies was underscored in the first weeks of his administration by his decision to affirm Trump’s move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli-occupied territory of Jerusalem prior to a negotiated solution to the Arab/Israeli conflict. 

Biden’s unconditional support for Israeli policies was reaffirmed when he approved the sale of $735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel in the middle of the recent Israeli/Gaza war.

Israeli Repression Continues Despite Ceasefire

The ceasefire came as we approached the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police, an event that sparked the global Black Lives Matter uprising against police brutality. Now the world is outraged by Israel’s militarized policing of Palestinians.

Even as the ceasefire between Israel and Gaza was beginning, militarized Israeli police continued to wage a campaign of fear and intimidation against Palestinians inside Israel’s own borders. 

Israeli authorities continue the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, one of the precipitating causes of the Israel/Gaza war. At Friday prayers last week, Israeli security forces again used stun grenades and rubber bullets against Palestinian worshippers outside the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem where earlier attacks on worshippers helped provoke the war.

Israeli security is now making mass arrests of Palestinians in Israel who took part in protests and defended their neighbourhoods from assaults by right-wing Israelis. Israeli Arabs face new police checkpoints and spying by plain clothes cops, while police stand by and allow racist anti-Arab gangs of Israelis to assault Palestinians. Israeli police have used violence and nighttime raids against Palestinians in mixed cities like Haifa, Jaffa, and Lod, where there has been unprecedented inter-ethnic violence between Israeli Jews and Arabs in recent weeks.

Solidarity

What is striking about Palestinian resistance in this recent conflict is the degree of solidarity among Palestinians across Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank. In protest against the Israeli campaign in Gaza, Palestinians staged a broadly-supported general strike on May 18 across Israel and the occupied territories. The Israel Builders Association said that only 150 of the 65,000 Palestinian construction workers showed up for work. 

In the United States we must demonstrate our solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for human rights by demanding an end to U.S. taxpayer-funded aid to the Israeli military. Since World War Two, Israel has been the largest overall recipient of US foreign aid. In 2016 President Obama signed a $38 billion 10-year military aid package. U.S. tax dollars are helping Israel to develop one of the most advanced militaries in the world and to purchase sophisticated military equipment from the United States.

We urge participation in the National March for Palestine in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 29, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. The march is called by a broad coalition of pro-Palestinian organizations who are have initiated a new campagin to #SanctionIsrael.

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Grand Jury Convened to Hear Evidence in Trump Criminal Probe

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By Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

NEW YORK — The district attorney in Manhattan has a convened a grand jury that is expected to decide whether former President Donald Trump, other executives at his company or the business should be indicted on criminal charges.

The Washington Post, quoting two anonymous sources “familiar with the development,” said the panel was recently convened and will sit for three days a week for six months.

A spokesman for Trump and an attorney for the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment, the Post and CNN reported. A spokesman for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. also declined to comment, the Post reported.

[Keep Reading]

OTHER SOURCES:

Trump investigation: NYC prosecutor convenes grand jury, signaling charges could be coming – report (msn.com)

Manhattan DA convenes grand jury to weigh criminal charges against Trump: report (msn.com)

Prosecutor in Trump criminal probe convenes grand jury to hear evidence, weigh potential charges (msn.com)

A grand jury has reportedly been convened in the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal investigation into Trump (yahoo.com)

Prosecutor in Trump probe convenes grand jury to hear evidence, consider charges – Portland Press Herald

Israel’s air strikes targeted entire families in Gaza — but U.S. media won’t pursue the story

BY JAMES NORTH

PALESTINIANS MOURN OVER BODIES OF SALHA FAMILY WHO WERE KILLED AFTER ISRAELI AIR STRIKE IN DEIR AL-BALAH IN THE CENTER OF GAZA STRIP, ON 19 MAY 2021. PHOTO BY ASHRAF AMRA. (C) APA IMAGES.

Amira Hass is one of the most impressive and experienced journalists in Israel/Palestine. She writes for the respected daily Haaretz, where on May 19 she made an extraordinary charge — that the Israeli military, as part of its air assault on Gaza, “is wiping out entire Palestinian families on purpose.” 

So far, no mainstream U.S. media outlet has followed up on her report. Their failure is journalistic malpractice.

Hass, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, actually lived in Gaza from 1993-97, and afterward published the valuable Drinking the Sea in Gaza (1999). She obviously still has excellent contacts there. This latest report starts by observing that 15 Palestinian families in Gaza lost multiple family members during the Israeli bombardment:

Parents and children, babies, grandparents, siblings and nephews and nieces died together when Israel bombed their homes which collapsed over them. Insofar as is known, no advance warning was given so they could evacuate the targeted houses.

Hass contrasted this lack of warning with Israel’s policy toward the high-rise towers in Gaza, where the military did phone residents an hour or so in advance, directing them to evacuate. She then reported an almost unbelievable fact: the Israeli army and the Shin Bet intelligence service actually “have current phone numbers for people in each structure slated for destruction.” Under the Oslo Accords, the Gazan authorities are required to give the Palestinian population registry to the Israeli Interior Ministry. In what must be an unprecedented (and sickening) new feature of war, Israel’s army “knows the number and names of children, women and elderly who live in any residential building it bombs for any reason.”

She speculated that the Israeli military targets residences that it alleges have some connection to Hamas, “even if all it had was a telephone, or just hosted a meeting.” She concluded that to the Israel military:

. . . once the “importance” of a Hamas member is considered high and its residence is defined as a legitimate target for bombing — the “allowable” collateral damage, in other words the number of uninvolved people killed, including women and children — is very broad.

Amira Hass’s article cries out for follow up reporting by U.S. journalists. Now that the ceasefire is in place, The New York Times, for instance, could ask Iyad Abuheweila, its courageous man in Gaza, to visit the ruins of the abu al Ouf family home, where the father, Ayman, an internal medicine doctor, died, along with 12 of his relatives. Hass named all 12 victims, who ranged in age from 9-year-old Mir to Amin, aged 90. (Abuheweila’s own harrowing first-hand account in today’s paper further undermines Israel’s assertion that it aimed only at military targets.) Times reporters in Israel could work their sources inside the military, to seek clarification and justification for knowingly destroying entire families. The paper could also interview professors and legal scholars who study the ethics of warfare, and ask them to opine on “allowable collateral damage.” 

So far, nothing. Instead, the lead story in today’s paper says that “the primary target” of “the Israeli aerial and artillery campaign” has been “Hamas’s extensive network of tunnels for moving fighters and munitions, and Israel has also sought to kill Hamas leaders and fighters.”

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The Biggest Threat to Israel Is the Occupation

by Michael Winship and Angela Godfrey-Goldstein

What have your days been like while all of this has been going on?

The mornings are the worst. I wake up groggy. Within an hour I have to decide what to focus on, when all hell is generally letting loose – armed militias on the streets, especially in Palestinian parts of East Jerusalem, and Gaza being pulped. Two nights ago, I slept only an hour, woken by incessant warplanes flying in formation – they’re using F-15s and F-16s. Then you start thinking of them dropping payloads, gifts of death. One guy on a Zoom call of about 70 Israeli and Palestinian peace organizations the other day just lost eight members of his family but kept working – only mentioning it at the end of the call.

There’s analysis to read, focusing on what to share as advocacy resources. Twitter jumping. Stats of the dead. Friends asking how I am. There’s a horrible feeling among peace activists and other Israelis that it’s all falling apart. Dark, dangerous spirits and genies deliberately have been let out of the bottle (real neo-fascists) and no confirmation it can ever go back.

Police violence is more brutal everywhere, giving the distinct impression that this “round of fighting” (a euphemism for genocide?) was deliberately provoked, with [Israeli prime minister] Bibi Netanyahu seen by so many analysts and even members of his party, Likud, as having a vested interest in declaring war on Gaza and the Palestinians of East Jerusalem. Why were the police so harsh? So damned undisciplined? So racist?

Huge damage has been done to prospects for co-existence. Palestinian Israelis are 20% of the population, they’re our fellow citizens and our policies are radicalizing them, while 340,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem live with almost no civil rights at all – including no one to vote for. The rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territories [OPT] also are without any statehood — 300,000, for example, live in Area C under Israeli military control in what for many, many years now we’ve been saying is an apartheid reality. Now Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem are saying it, too. So, in the early part of the day, it’s a question of trying to stay calm and not panic. Trying to find what’s essential, not get distracted or want to retreat into reading irrelevant stuff in the papers. Or spending time on Google Streetview somewhere in the Sussex countryside or searching for our old home in Mbabane, Swaziland, as an escape!

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Should Cops Get to Review the Video Before They Report?

Sorry, Mr. Bratton. Science says no.

By KATHY PEZDEK

The scenario is all too familiar. A police officer with a dash-cam or body camera stops an individual, the situation escalates, the individual is apprehended, a charge is made and the individual is arrested. The question is whether prior to being questioned or even prior to writing a report, should the officer be permitted to view the recorded footage?

Philip Eure, the Department of Investigation’s Inspector General for the NYPD, recently recommended that police officers be prevented from viewing recorded footage before giving a statement to investigators. Quick to respond, New York’s City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton called this “one of the recommendations of the I.G. that we strongly, strongly disagree with and will not support under any circumstance.” His concern was enhancing the integrity of police officers; “I am not intending to use the cameras to play a game of gotcha with the cops.”

This is a complex issue, but one for which cognitive science research provides a clear answer. If the purpose of any investigation is to get the most complete, accurate information possible, then it could be argued that the officer should view the footage, probably multiple times, prior to being questioned and prior to testifying. Human memory is notoriously flawed, but we can consider recorded footage to be “ground truth.” So according to this argument, bolstering the officer’s account by having him view the recorded footage effectively serves to enhance the accuracy of the officer’s report. And it does.

The problem is that in so doing, two independent lines of evidence – the officer’s eyewitness memory and the recorded footage – are no longer two independent lines of evidence. That is, the eyewitness memory of the officer has been tainted by viewing the recorded footage. If in the prosecution of the case the officer is to serve as an eyewitness, and his memory is to be preserved untainted, then it is critical that the officer not view the footage.

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The Enemy Within

Race and White Supremacy in American Policing

ghost skin cops white supremacy police racist enemy within

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

By STEVE VOLK

Anita Muldoon could sense that this might be her last chance to make it as a cop. She was riding shotgun in a Minneapolis squad car in the fall of 1993 when her training officer offered a blunt assessment of her standing. “You’re not trusted,” he told her. “And you won’t be until you’re in a physical fight.”

To rectify this, he said, she’d need to “leak” someone, as in make them bleed. Muldoon felt her stomach drop. She had known she would stick out from her peers — a liberal woman embarking on a law-enforcement career in her mid-thirties. She just hadn’t understood all the reasons why. Since coming to the 3rd Precinct, she’d often heard the n-word from her colleagues. Now her training officer motioned toward a black man walking in their direction on the sidewalk.

“He doesn’t even need to have done anything,” he said. “I’ll back you up.”

The training officer angled the car curbside and glanced at her to see if she accepted his invitation. In response, Muldoon says she remained quiet, her body rigid with panic. The officer drove on, the silence between them so tense that she figured her career was over.

Soon after, Muldoon was informed she had failed field training. She sent a letter of resignation to then-Police Chief John Laux, writing that she had been shuttled between more than a half-dozen training officers in the 3rd Precinct, who asked about her sexuality, the color of her fiancé, and casually lobbed racist statements into the conversation. Just weeks before she had been asked to “leak” someone, she tells Rolling Stone, a different training officer had leapt from their squad car, grabbed hold of a young black male crossing the street and beat him. He justified his assault by telling Muldoon that he’d arrested the young man in the past.

She ran through her experiences of racism inside the department in her letter, and closed with a warning: “Having experienced the system from the inside, I fear for the future of this city.”

After the entire nation was rocked by the killing of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man murdered by a white cop in the same precinct where Muldoon had trained, her words look prophetic. She is speaking publicly for the first time, 27 years later, because Floyd’s needless death surfaced the racism she’d seen firsthand. “It is past time for white people and police to speak up about the racism they’ve witnessed,” she says today.

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Court Rejects Challenge to Federal Anti-riot Law

A Black Lives Matter demonstrator’s claim that the “civil disorder” law is racist fails to scuttle a felony charge.

Black Lives Matter protest.

The University of Alabama football team displays signs as they and fellow athletes from other sports march on campus, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. | Vasha Hunt/AP Photo

By JOSH GERSTEIN

A federal judge in Alabama has upheld the constitutionality of a half-century-old federal anti-riot law in the face of claims that the law has racist roots and threatens protest activity protected by the First Amendment.

U.S. District Court Judge Terry Moorer’s decision Thursday afternoon in favor of prosecutors clears the way for Tia Pugh, 22, to face trial next week on a single felony charge: that she violated the “civil disorder” law by smashing a police car window with a bat during a protest in Mobile six days after a Black man, George Floyd, died in the custody of Minneapolis police.

TV news footage captured the raucous demonstration and the moment when the police car window was shattered.

Lawyers for Pugh challenged the statute on various legal grounds and noted that the provision under which Pugh was charged was termed the “Civil Obedience Act” in what appeared to be a dig at Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others advocating civil disobedience during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The motion to dismiss the case was part of what the government termed a coordinated effort by defense attorneys to take aim at the law in cases across the country where it is being wielded against people accused of violence during last year’s racial justice protests.

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How Congress Can Give Teeth to the Federal Law on Police Accountability

By updating federal criminal civil rights law, Congress can make criminal consequences more likely for police misconduct and brutality.

cops
Eric Baradat/Getty

When I teach civil rights law, I always start the semester with a misleadingly straightforward hypothetical scenario. Imagine a police officer pulls over an unarmed driver for a broken taillight and eventually shoots and kills the driver. Did the officer break any criminal or civil rights laws? This exercise never fails to set off a fiery debate: “Did the driver obey the officer?” “Why couldn’t the cop have used a taser?” “Don’t people have a right to not to be killed over a minor traffic infraction?” And sooner or later, one student typically reminds the class of a fundamental point about America: “But he’s a police officer.”

Think about that. “But he’s a police officer.”

When cops, unlike average civilians, deploy brute force under certain circumstances, we excuse the violence as law and order. But when law enforcement officers abuse their authority, violating our rights, we have federal criminal civil rights law to hold them accountable.

Except we pretty much don’t.

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Republicans Are ‘No Longer Americans’ Because They’ve Stopped Supporting Democracy: Howard Dean

Matthew Chapman

Republicans are 'no longer Americans' because they've stopped supporting democracy: Howard Dean

http://www.rawstory.com

On Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC’s “The Beat,” former Democratic Party chair Howard Dean outlined the existential threat Republicans pose to American democracy — and suggested that as long as the GOP is on this path, they cannot call themselves American at all.

“I think this is a more serious problem than what’s going on in the Republican Party,” said Dean. “This is a contest to see if our democracy and our country survives. And most Republicans have chosen their power and chosen not to have a democratic country. The lies that have been told, there was a Georgia congressman out there saying there was no insurrection and it was all peaceful and all this stuff. It is not just the lies that Trump won the election. It is the Republican Party that has embraced this lie.”

“I think Liz Cheney deserves a lot of credit,” continued Dean. “I’m sure there will be people that are horrified that I should say that. But what we need is not that we all agree on our vision of America. What we need is honesty and to stand up for core democratic principles. The Republicans have abandoned principles. McConnell has abandoned them. All the backbenchers are carrying on and people from all over the country. The vast majority do not have a spine. If you could find six spines in the Republican Party, I would say you are exaggerating.”

LINK – On the Raw Story Podcast: Marcus Flowers
Marjorie Taylor Green’s worst nightmare

“We need people to stand up like Liz Cheney did today,” Dean added. “I could have every disagreement you would imagine on policy with Liz Cheney. But what we agree on is loyalty to the country should trump disagreements on policy. Liz Cheney exhibited that today. She’s a true American, and I have to say that most politicians in the Republican Party are no longer Americans because they no longer believe in democracy.”

Watch below:

Former Democratic Party chairman says Republicans are unAmerican

www.youtube.com

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