Politico is reporting that after reviewing the search warrant for Mar-A-Lago, Trump may have been in possession of documents marked with the high level classification of TS/SCI (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information, usually reserved for the highest level of government).
The warrant shows federal law enforcement was investigating Trump for removal or destruction of records, obstruction of justice, and violating the Espionage Act. Conviction under the statutes can result in imprisonment or fines.
There is no reason at all why any former president would be in possession of these types of top secret documents because it’s not legal for him to have them, let alone storing them in an unsecured location.
Jalen Randle was only 29 years old when he was murdered by Houston cops on April 27. His parents, Tiffany Rachal and Warren Randle, want answers. They want Shane Privette, the cop who killed their son, fired and prosecuted. They want justice.
And they are using every method they can come up with to get to the truth.
There’s been a demonstration outside the Harris County District Attorney’s office. There was a march from City Hall to the Houston Police Department headquarters. There was a press conference at the courthouse. There was a town hall meeting with the HPD chief and a representative from the DA’s office.
And the parents want it known who their son was. He was a son of Pleasantville, a working-class Black neighborhood in a thriving Black community. Pleasantville was the first Black deed-restricted neighborhood in the U.S., a place where homes are passed down through families. The neighborhood was annexed by Houston in 1949 and built during the 1950s. Randle and his friends were raising their children where they grew up.
The Houston Chronicle reported June 3: “When Houston police officer Shane Privette shot Randle in the neck, Pleasantville lost a son. It lost a father and a youth sports coach. It lost an amateur veterinarian, a man who loved dogs and would help his friends give them shots when their own pets got sick.”
Jalen Randle spent his last weekend in Pleasantville, doing what he so often did — volunteering at the Judson Robinson Sr. Community Center. He spent several days a week there coaching a youth football team with friends.
When asked about the town hall meeting, Tiffany Rachal told Workers World: “I felt like Chief [Troy] Finner told us what he thought we wanted to hear. But I need action. You can talk all day long, but we need action. My question to Finner is how many bad police in your time have you released? So, we are still searching for answers.”
The next event will be Friday, Aug. 19, at 9:30 a.m. at Houston City Hall. The demands: Get Shane Privette off the streets and stop recycling bad cops.
Banner made by Jalen Randle’s friends. Credit: Gloria Rubac
Just look at that. Look at all those people flooding in there. That is some truly awe-inspiring power. Imagine how terrifying it would be to find yourself on the receiving end of it.
I don’t know enough about what’s going on in Sri Lanka yet to comment with any authority on what powers might be at play in this uprising, but I do know that every ruler throughout history has spent time envisioning what would happen if a crowd that size decided to storm their base of operation. If their numbers became too great to suppress, or if your forces who would be doing the suppressing joined the ranks of the people instead, the best-case scenario for you is that you’d have already fled the building by that point, as Rajapaksa had the good sense to do shortly before the building was stormed. If enough angry people get their hands on you, it won’t matter if they’re armed with rockets or pistols or their own bare hands; you are in for a violent end.
If you’ve ever wondered why so much energy goes into keeping everyone propagandized in our society, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why our rulers work so hard to keep us divided against each other, this is why. If you’ve ever wondered why we’re always being instructed to take our grievances to the voting booth even though we learn in election after election that it never changes the things that most desperately need to change, this is why.
Our entire civilization is structured around preventing scenes like the one we’re seeing in Sri Lanka today. Our education systems, our political systems, our media, our online information. Religions that have been around for thousands of years because the powerful endorsed and promulgated them are full of passages extolling the virtues of obedience, poverty, meekness, and rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. From the moment we are born our heads are filled with stories about why it’s good and right to consent to the status quo and why it would be wrong to take back what has been stolen from us by a predatory ruling class.
There are a lot of hard and thankless gigs these days.
But one of the hardest must be “intern for Adam Kinzinger.” The congressman from Illinois, and Air Force vet who served in Iraq, is now flying a different combat mission: truth bombing. As a key member of the Jan. 6 Select Committee — the next must see hearing is Tuesday — Kinzinger sacrificed his political ambitions to be on the right side of history.
The man deserves a Nobel Prize for bravery and honesty.
It has come at a tremendous cost. For the mortal sin of condemning Donald Trump’s attempted coup, Kinzinger is persona non grata to the frothing MAGA cult. He’s seen as a traitor, a liberal secret agent, a heretic, a disgrace, a treasonous scumbag who deserves to rot in hell for all eternity.
Some of his own relatives have said as much.
On Tuesday, Kinzinger released a truly bone-chilling comp of voice mails that have turned his answering system into a rated R rage machine. He prefaced this with an important reminder to the uninitiated: “All voice mails and phone calls are received by my interns, high school or college level, attempting to learn about the legislative process.”
Sigh. What they are learning about is death threats.
On any given day, an enraged MAGA cultist vows to assassinate Kinzinger and his family. The callers say they know where he lives. They make disparaging remarks about his mother, his wife, his infant son. They pray he dies a painful death. They promise to “get” him and make that so.
CEOs at America’s biggest low-wage employers now take home, on average, 670 times what their typical workers make.
But we don’t just get unfairness when a boss can grab more in a year than a worker could make in over six centuries. We get bungling and inefficient businesses.
Management science has been clear on this point for generations, ever since the days of the late Peter Drucker.
Management theorists credit Drucker, a refugee from Nazism in the 1930s, for laying down “the foundations of management as a scientific discipline.” Drucker’s classic 1946 study of General Motors established him as the nation’s foremost authority on corporate effectiveness.
That effectiveness, Drucker believed, had to rest on fairness.
Corporations that compensate their CEOs at rates far outpacing worker pay create cultures where organizational excellence can never take root. These corporations create ever bigger bureaucracies, with endless layers of management that serve only to prop up huge paychecks at the top.
Drucker argued that no executive should make more than 25 times what their workers earn. And, in the two decades after World War II, America’s leading corporate chiefs by and large accepted Drucker’s perspective.
Their companies shared the wealth when they bargained with the strong unions of the postwar years. In fact, notes the Economic Policy Institute, major U.S. corporate CEOs in 1965 were only realizing 21 times the pay their workers were pocketing.
Drucker died in 2005 at age 95. He lived long enough to see Corporate America make a mockery of his 25-to-1 standard. But research since his death has consistently reaffirmed his take on the negative impact of wide CEO-worker pay differentials.
The just-released 28th annual edition of the Institute for Policy Studies Executive Excess report explores these wide differentials in eye-opening detail. The report zeroes in on the 300 major U.S. corporations that pay their median workers the least.
At these 300 firms, average CEO pay last year jumped to $10.6 million, some 670 times their $24,000 median worker pay.
At over 100 of these firms, worker pay didn’t even keep with inflation. And at most of those companies, executives wasted millions buying back their own stock instead of giving workers a raise.
Just as Drucker predicted, this unfairness has led directly to performance issues. Many of our nation’s most unequal companies, from Amazon to federal call center contractor Maximus, have seen repeated walkouts and protests from justifiably aggrieved workers.
Lawmakers in Congress, the Institute for Policy Studies points out, could be taking concrete steps to rein in extreme pay disparities. They could, for instance, raise taxes on corporations with outrageously wide pay gaps.
But with this Congress unlikely to act, the new Institute for Policy Studies report also highlights a promising move the Biden administration could take on its own. The administration could start using executive action “to give corporations with narrow pay ratios preferential treatment in government contracting.”
That would amount to a major step forward, since 40 percent of our largest low-wage employers hold federal contracts. If the Biden administration denied lucrative government contracts to companies with pay gaps over 100 to 1, those low-wage firms would have a powerful incentive to pay workers more fairly.
Various federal programs already offer a leg up in contracting to targeted groups, typically small businesses owned by women, disabled veterans, and minorities.
“Using public procurement to address extreme disparities within large corporations,” the IPS report adds, “would be a step towards the same general objective.”
And a step in that direction, as Peter Drucker told Wall Street Journal readers back in 1977, would honor the great achievement of American business in the middle of the 20th century: “the steady narrowing of the income gap between the ‘big boss’ and the ‘working man.’”
The need for affordable housing continues to grow in urban centers. The traditional form of affordable housing for suburban and rural areas, mobile homes, have become overrun with speculation, pricing people out through a new type of landlord – private equity.
Remember that famous scene from All the President’s Men, with Deep Throat in the shadows of a parking garage, telling Robert Redford’s Bob Woodward to “follow the money” in order to unlock the conspiracy? Well, the Jan. 6 committee is most definitely following the money, and in doing so potentially building a wire fraud case against Donald Trump and members of his White House staff and campaign, who raised $250 million for a defense fund that did not exist to “fight election fraud”—which also did not exist.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) led this portion of the hearing testimony Monday, which included video of Amanda Wick, a senior investigative counsel. She outlined how, for weeks following the election and up to Jan. 6, Trump and his allies raised that $250 million with dozens of email solicitations a day. They raised $100 million in the first week after the election alone, Wick said.
“The emails claimed the, quote, left-wing mob was undermining the election, implored supporters to ‘step up to protect the integrity of the election’ and encouraged them to ‘fight back,’ ” Wick said. “But as the select committee has demonstrated, the Trump campaign knew these claims of voter fraud were false. Yet they continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails encouraging them to donate to something called the ‘Official Election Defense Fund.’”
Newspaper headlines are warning of rising inflation and the possibility that voters will respond to it by punishing Democrats in the midterm elections this fall. But there are few, if any, headlines about the enormous numbers of Americans who are low-income and poor—a travesty in one of the world’s wealthiest nations.
The problem of poverty is marked by several factors, the first of which is a deeply flawed government indicator of who qualifies as poor. Measured by the federal poverty line, about 37 million Americans live below the poverty line—that’s about 11 percent of the population.
The second factor is mainstream media coverage that routinely skews in favor of wealthy elites by downplaying the extent of poverty. For example, when President Joe Biden cited the PPC’s estimate in an address in June 2019, the Washington Post engaged in a lengthy fact-checking investigation, interviewing numerous analysts who nitpicked over the difference between “poor” and “low-income” people, saying, “The two terms sound alike, but they describe different economic conditions.”
A third obstacle is corporate greed and how wealthy elites are vacuuming up every dollar they can into their own pockets, taking advantage of an economic system they helped to build in order to benefit themselves. For example, the investment giant Morgan Stanley released a report recently complaining about how rising wages were eating into corporate profits.
But of course, any wage increases are dampened by inflation rates rising much faster. This is a decades-long trend, not a new phenomenon, as any honest economist would explain.
Donald Trump promoted a modern Civil War in America this week on his social media platform. Civil War?
Further confounding things, Republican candidates like Pennsylvania’s Kathy Barnette are openly running as ultra-MAGA candidates, having hijacked Trumpism without Trump himself. It’s causing the media and political elites to have a “Huh? What?” moment.
Trumpism without Trump? Could it even be a thing?
Apparently so: candidates Trump has openly disavowed are claiming Trumpism as their standard, the flag they’ll carry into the election and into office if they win.
Trumpism, they proclaim, is a coherent political philosophy of its own that has replaced conservativism as the dominant system of political theory in the “new” Republican Party.
But is Trumpism really new?
Consider its main principles:
*Assert white supremacy
*Fetishize rule by a wealthy elite
*Brand the movement with its own flag and slogans separate from the country’s
*Put the “rights” of business above those of workers
*Marginalize and destroy trust in the media
*Maintain a strict racial and gender hierarchy
*Arm the movement’s foot soldiers
*Regulate school curriculum to promote a racist worldview
*Embrace authoritarian preachers to claim the appearance of Christianity
*Make alliances with foreign authoritarians
*Rig elections and prevent minorities from voting
*Embrace a police state for all but the richest
*Accuse political opponents of demonic or perverse behavior
*Heavily criminalize minor behaviors like drug use
*Normalize violence as a political tool
*Oppose worker organizing efforts
*Claim the mantle of “the average man” fighting against the tyranny of the “deep state”
*Make it hard for all but the wealthy to get a college education
*Minimize government regulation of working conditions and products
*Establish a mythology of victimhood and fear of “replacement”
This is not Barry Goldwater’s, Ronald Reagan’s, or even George W. Bush’s Republican Party.
Sure, those guys were happy to suck up to the wealthy and pass legislation favored by big business, but they didn’t go so far as to separate themselves from the mainstream of American governance.
They didn’t accuse Democrats of drinking the blood of tortured children, openly proclaim their racism, or encourage violence. Before Trumpism, Republicans had for generations opposed nations that suppressed democracy and called out murderous dictators like Hitler, Putin, and Kim.
This is something new.
Or is it? Is it possible Trumpism is simply a very old American invention making its return to the US political stage?
In the early 1800s the invention of the Cotton Gin, which could with one very expensive machine do the work of 50 enslaved people, transformed the American South. It was a technological revolution that made possible the traitorous Confederacy.
For the previous thirty or so years, the slave-holding South had been a democracy, albeit one where only white men had a say in things. But even poor white men could vote, and the region identified as “America” with the American flag and American songs and textbooks.
Wealth disparities weren’t as severe as some northern regions, particularly New York City whose bankers and traders had been made rich by the cotton export trade. (When the South seceded in 1861 the Mayor of New York City argued that the city should secede along with them, but back in 1820 there wasn’t even a whisper of what would tear the nation apart in a mere forty years.)
The Cotton Gin, invented in 1794 by Eli Whitney and widely sold in the South in the 1810s and 1820s, changed all that. Only the wealthiest plantation owners could afford to buy a Gin, and it enabled them to out-compete the hundreds of thousands of small cotton farms that dotted the South.
Large plantations, after driving smaller local farmers out of business, bought up their land and hired their former owners to work the land as sharecroppers.
Wealth inequality exploded across the South as a new, powerful aristocracy rose up and seized control of Jefferson’s Democratic Party. By the end of the 1830s, most of the land and nearly all the wealth and political power in the South was in the hands of a few thousand families.
But that wasn’t enough for the Lords of the New Plantations in the New South of the 1840s and 1850s. They wanted total control of the entire country and were chafing under the restrictions of the American brand and its two-party system of government.
As I wrote in detail in The Hidden History of American Oligarchy, by the late 1830s, with the rise of John C. Calhoun and the Nullification Crisis, the South was firmly in the economic, political, and social hands of a small number of morbidly rich plantation-based oligarchs.
It was no longer a democracy or a republic: the South had turned into a neofeudal state, what today we’d call a fascist state.
“A new generation of rulers reshaped the south around their new ruling principle…
“The development of Southern oligarchy portended the rupture of the union, regardless of the ties that bound them together, because no ties, physical, legal, or otherwise, can overcome the difference between fundamentally opposed types of political regimes.”
Nabors cites a speech to Congress by Senator Timothy Howe of Wisconsin, who argued that the oligarchy in the South had become so strong that they weren’t just trying to be left alone; they wanted to seize control of the North and end democracy in America altogether:
“Such, then, I find to be the cause and the purpose of the rebellion. It was not to secure the independence of slaveholders, but to subject you to abject dependence upon slaveholders. It was not to build a new capitol for a new government, but to place a new government in possession of your Capitol.
“It was not to frame a new constitution for a new republic, but it was to impose a new constitution upon the Republic of the United States. It was not to secure toleration for slavery within the seceding Slates, but to compel the adoption of slavery by the nation.”
Congressman John Farnsworth, representing the Chicago area of Illinois, laid it out clearly on Wednesday, June 15th, 1864 in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives:
“The slave-owner is cutting at the heart of the nation; yes, sir, he is cutting at the throats of your sons and brothers, of your neighbors and friends; he is with mad desperation seeking to destroy the beautiful fabric of this nation, and to quench in our blood the fires of republican liberty which have burned so long, a beacon of light to other nations, and the hope of the world. All this [he] is trying to do that he may erect a slave empire instead…”
By the time of the Civil War, the oligarchs of the South had rejected all pretense of belief in democracy, a republican form of government, or even the core idea of the peaceful transition of power in the United States of America.
*Asserted white supremacy
*Seized total control of the political systems of the South
*Branded their movement with its own flag and slogans separate from the country’s
*Passed laws putting the “rights” of plantation owners above those of workers, including poor whites
*First marginalized and, by 1861, completely destroyed any opposition media (often lynching or imprisoning publishers and editors)
*Established a strict racial and gender hierarchy, both in society and in law
*Armed the Confederacy’s foot soldiers
*Carefully regulated school curriculum to promote a racist worldview
*Incorporated authoritarian preachers into the political Confederacy to claim Christianity
*Tried unsuccessfully to make alliance with French emperor Napoleon
*Rigged elections to prevent all minorities from voting
*Embraced a police state for all but the richest plantation owners who could never be prosecuted
*Accused their political opponents in both the North and South of demonic or perverse behavior, particularly interracial or gay sex
*Enforced anti-abortion laws when white women became pregnant
*Heavily criminalized minor behaviors like loitering
*Normalized violence as a political tool
*Crushed a generation of Southern worker organizing efforts
*Claimed the mantle of “the average man” fighting against the “tyranny” of the North
*Made it impossible for all but the wealthy to get a college education
*Ended what few government regulations existed for working conditions and products
*Established a mythology of victimhood and fear of “replacement” later known as “The Lost Cause”
In other words, Trumpism is simply the politics of the American Confederacy reinvented for the 21st century. And even now Trumpists — whether affiliated with Donald or not — are openly talking about starting a second civil war.
They’re lionizing killers for the cause like Kyle Rittenhouse.
They’re embracing foreign authoritarians like Putin and Orbán.
They’re building and funding their own media empires while destroying American’s faith in mainstream media.
And they’re successfully using the filibuster to block the passage of any legislation that may strengthen democratic principles in our republic.
Today’s Republican Party, under the control of Trumpism, is every bit as real a threat to the survival of our republic as was the Confederacy in the 1860s.
It’s emerged from similar conditions and reflects a nearly identical worldview grounded in the fear of losing white supremacy. It’s based in the American South, as was the Confederacy.
The media needs to wake the hell up. The American government, the American people, and the Democratic Party must see the Trumpist Republican Party for the threat it is.
The FBI and intelligence agencies need to bring the seditionists within it to ground. Democrats must loudly call out its naked embrace of racism and fascism and make clear where this will lead if unchecked.
Every day that goes by without action brings us closer to the new Republican Party’s goal: tearing apart democracy in America and transforming this country into this generation’s version of the Confederacy, complete with its own Lost Cause mythology.
“Where in God’s name is our backbone?” Joe Biden asks.
It should be in congress and the Justice division of government
But Republican legislators sell their souls and lie as part of their jobs, to keep their jobs. And now it is almost a uniform truth that, all Republicans have enabled gun sellers to flood the nation with automatic weapons. Even the anti-Trump Republicans, who the Republican party now reviles, are guilty. They have blood on their hands.
Take Texas fascist idiot Greg Abbot, who has bragged about the number of gun owners in Texas. He says that this shooting was , incomprehensible. INCOMPREHENSIBLE? What a lying, despicable f*cking blood-on-his-hands idiot. His name should be mentioned as a guilty party at every funeral for the 21 victims.
Ted Cruz, one of the smartest idiots in congress, who, predictably offered his thoughts and prayers, suggested that people would take advantage of this and politicize this. Damn. I can’t even type these words without gritting my teeth in disgust. His very words are political. Even saying “thoughts and prayers,” has become a fraudulent shield for bloodstained hands politics.
Sadly, I’ve written those words before. Vote for Republicans and YOU have blood on your hands. YOU.
There are some Republicans with the most blame– elected legislators, the Supreme Court justices. Clarence Thomas, the senior justice, has perhaps the most blame. When he dies, and rots in hell and his gravestone needs routine urine removal maintenance, he should be remembered and reviled for his constant and predictable support for unrestricted gun sales, as well as his defecation on justice, the constitution and human rights.
Blame Fox News for fighting against reasonable gun regulations.
Blame the Billionaires with blood on their hands who fund the election of these enablers of mass murders of children
Blame the right wing think tanks who offer specious arguments and spokespeople attacking gun regulation.
Blame the small penis gun owners who put stickers on their pick-up trucks advocating for the Second Amendment.
And let’s be clear. These are mostly white Christian European males who keep enabling the murders of so many children, who support the media and messaging that unleashes deranged gunmen. These are the pathetic losers who embrace replacement theory.
Enough is enough.
If you are not feeling outrage now, you are a part of the problem. There is blood on. your hands. I realize that most of the readers of this article agree with me. But we need to confront the Republicans we know and make it clear to them that we know. They too have blood on their hands.
Even the Justice Department has blood on its hands. It should be much more aggressively going after child-killing enabling laws. And the goal should be to make the Supreme Court take a stand or show what lying, despicable shills the six Republican Justices for the murder enablers they are.
So you better believe I am pissed and disgusted. Heaven pity and Republicans who bring up this massacre to me. They don’t deserve any patience.
This issue of child massacre should be juxtaposed with the battle for abortion rights, highlighting the profound hypocrisy of the devil’s Christians who deludely use their religion to justify protection of fetuses while allowing living children to be killed. To take it further, voting for anti-abortion candidates is tantamount to voting for bloodstained hands anti-gun regulation legislators and governors. They are two sides of the same coin.