HomeUncategorized10/12 News Roundup & Open Thread
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jcitybone

Kemp’s apparent attempt to rig the Georgia election shows in microcosm how democracy in America is failing. Part of the reason this country is sliding into minority rule is structural — the Senate and the Electoral College both give disproportionate power to white rural voters. But the right is also gaming the system to try to stop changing demographics from changing the country’s balance of political power.

In 2013, the Supreme Court voted by a 5-4 margin to gut the Voting Rights Act in a case called Shelby County v. Holder. Previously, jurisdictions with a history of voting discrimination had to get federal permission to change their voting procedures. By invalidating that rule, the Roberts court opened the door for Kemp and others like him to institute a new generation of Jim Crow-like restrictions on voting. And now, with the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is poised to bless even further limits on the franchise.

On Thursday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit against Kemp on behalf of a coalition of Georgia civil rights groups seeking an immediate end to the “exact match” program. Kristen Clarke, the group’s president and executive director, told me that were the Voting Rights Law still intact, the program would have never been adopted.

“None of these schemes or tactics or new policies would have passed the smell test,” she said, adding, “What we are seeing in Georgia is the clearest evidence that states in the South that were subject to the Voting Rights Act are moving quickly to turn the clock back in ways that harm minority voters.”

That will make it easier for Republicans to keep getting elected in these states. Once in office, they will help to put more conservative judges on the federal bench, who will make it harder still for Democrats to vote. The never-Trump conservative David Frum has written: “If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.” In Georgia, they already have.

orlbucfan

More linguistic horse manure from GOPuke Frum. Call the FRighties what they really are, and it sure ain’t conservative!!!!

jcitybone

https://www.theroot.com/is-that-all-you-got-georgia-organizations-were-ready-f-1829702677

“Our path to victory isn’t contingent on the registration of new voters,” said the Democratic staffer I spoke to. “Victory is on low propensity-existing voters. People who maybe voted for Obama or the mayor but not anybody else. They’re there, you just have to activate them. I say this all the time—people have always made the erroneous assumption that to win, you have to register all these new thousands of people. That is important but a lot of it is just getting out the people who are already registered.”

In other words, the Abrams campaign and African-American activists on the ground knew that Kemp’s voter suppression tricks were coming and were prepared. Their election success map assumes a certain percentage of votes being loss to suppression tactics. On top of that, there are teams of election lawyers in every single competitive county in Georgia ready to strike on behalf of voting rights. Over a million absentee-ballot applications were sent out weeks ago with the idea being that they can be sent in and counted before someone would know they’ve been purged and to avoid any Election Day shenanigans that Kemp is likely to pull.

Just to recap, the Abrams campaign expected voter suppression, had organizations in place to combat it and, at least mathematically, has a path to victory that assumes thousands of voters might be purged and not find out until Election Day. Does that mean that all of the breathless coverage of Brian Crow’s vote discrimination is unnecessary? Does that mean the Abrams campaign logo is a nice brown hand holding up voters with the phrase “We Got Ya’ll” emblazoned across the front? Of course not. There is still a ton of work to do, but it does mean even in the midst of structural racism, all is not lost.

orlbucfan

Good on Abrams!!! This ^^^ is precisely how you play hardball with the Fascist FRighties!!!

magsview

Very inspiring words.

jcitybone

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/411193-sanders-blasts-georgia-over-voter-registrations-cowardly-republicans-are

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday attacked Georgia Republicans, including gubernatorial candidate Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) over reports that tens of thousands of registrations, primarily for black voters, remain on hold ahead of the midterm elections.

In a tweet, the progressive senator accused Republicans of specifically targeting African-Americans due to their tendency to vote Democratic. Kemp’s opponent, former state lawmaker Stacey Abrams (D), is running to become the first black woman to serve as a U.S. governor.

The Georgia NAACP is reportedly planning to file a lawsuit against Kemp over the voter registration forms.

“In Georgia, in order to try to win the election there, cowardly Republicans are blatantly suppressing the vote and denying many African Americans the right to participate in the election,” Sanders wrote on Twitter on Friday.

jcitybone

http://theweek.com/articles/801138/saudius-alliance-must-end

The new Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman came to power in 2017, casting himself as a liberal reformer by stomping on the clerics, holding a few concerts, and doing a big lobbying blitz throughout the United States (including large bribes in the forms of staying at Trump-owned hotels).

Since then, it has become starkly obvious that bin Salman was just setting himself up as a ruthless absolute dictator. His domestic opponents have been reportedly kidnapped, extorted, and even tortured. A Twitter account closely associated with the government baldly threatened Toronto with a 9/11-style attack, after the Canadian government criticized the Saudis for arresting a women’s rights reformer with Canadian family. (Later, the Saudis lamely claimed it was all an honest mistake). Even more jarring, it later turned out Saudis have have been arming, paying, and recruiting al Qaeda as part of bin Salman’s quasi-genocidal war in Yemen. The Trump administration is aware of it and doing nothing.

And now the Saudis have reportedly straight-up butchered a high-profile U.S. resident and journalist, because he mildly criticized the brutal regime. Once again, Trump has barely mentioned the story at all. He has defended Vladimir Putin’s murder of journalists; he clearly is going to make a few concerned noises at most and move on.

As Bernie Sanders noted in a recent speech, it seems pretty clear that the Saudis feel empowered by Trump. Due to his knee-jerk support for and ideological affinity with a violent authoritarian, they are sheltering under American power to commit one atrocity after the next — even against journalists employed by U.S. publications and our largest trading partner. This has nothing to do with American “interests” writ large, no matter how you care to define them — on the contrary, the kingdom is objectively harmful to them. It’s nothing but corruption and right-wing political ideology.

And so should any sort of pro-democracy coalition ascend to power in the United States, it should very obviously ditch the alliance with Saudi Arabia immediately. That kind of despicable, murderous authoritarianism has no place in the community of nations.

magsview

That threat to Canada, which included a pic of an airliner headed towards Toronto’s CN Tower, was quite something.

We need to reduce our economy’s dependence on oil AND on the sale of weaponry, like yesterday.

orlbucfan

The media here should have never stopped calling out this kind of behavior. They had no problems criticizing it when I was a kid.

Benny

He’s got the moolah, let’s close the deal.

wi60

Wonder if LD has any local info about what Beto has for internal polling as some national polls have Cruz leading for the most part?

jcitybone

It’s going to depend on turnout. Beto has use his $ to get groups that support him, but have bad turnout records (e.g., Latinos and young voters), to the polls.

Benny

jcitybone

https://www.gq.com/story/billionaires-climate-change

This week, the United Nations released a damning report. The short version: We have about 12 years to actually do something to prevent the worst aspects of climate change. That is, not to prevent climate change—we’re well past that point—but to prevent the worst, most catastrophic elements of it from wreaking havoc on the world’s population. To do that, the governments of Earth need to look seriously at the forces driving it. And an honest assessment of how we got here lays the blame squarely at the feet of the 1 percent.

Contrary to a lot of guilt-tripping pleas for us all to take the bus more often to save the world, your individual choices are probably doing very little to the world’s climate. The real impact comes on the industrial level, as more than 70 percent of global emissions come from just 100 companies. So you, a random American consumer, exert very little pressure here. The people who are actively cranking up the global thermostat and threatening to drown 20 percent of the global population are the billionaires in the boardrooms of these companies.

There are probably no individuals who have had a more toxic impact on public and political attitudes about climate change than the Koch brothers, and it would take an absurd amount of space to document all the money and organizations they’ve scraped together for that purpose. (Investigative reporter Jane Mayer’s groundbreaking Dark Money does basically that.) And they have every reason to: In her book, Mayer notes that “Koch Industries alone routinely released some 24 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere a year.”

But the scope goes far beyond merely sowing dissent and skepticism. While billionaires and the companies they run have spent years insisting that climate change either doesn’t exist or is overblown, they’ve known the reality of the situation for a long time. PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel, for example, used to donate to the Seasteading Institute, which aimed to build floating cities in order to counteract rising sea levels. And Exxon Mobil allegedly knew about climate change in 1977, back when it was still just Exxon and about 11 years before climate change became widely talked about. Instead of acting on it, they started a decades-long misinformation campaign. According to Scientific American, Exxon helped create the Global Climate Coalition, which questioned the scientific basis for concern over climate change from the late ’80s until 2002, and successfully worked to keep the U.S. from signing the Kyoto Protocol, a move that helped cause India and China, two other massive sources of greenhouse gas, to avoid signing.

wi60

Since the corporate asshats seem to think that climate change is a hoax and refuse to do anything about it I.E. lobbing their congrescritters i’m beginning to think these asshats have a way off planet (Elysium) and simply will continue on their current course until its time to leave the rest of us holding the bag. The big joke is on the R voters that don’t realize that their not going to be invited along for the ride

wi60

I should add after “ride” except for labor and maintenance of the place!!!

TheLeftistheCenter

Its actually even more sad than that, for the R voters think this is all leading to the second coming where they will be rescued off the planet, so if anything they support making the planet even worse for the heathens.

Bringing the ignorant born agains into politics was the beginning of the end for reasoned discourse and sane policy.

wi60

From the song 2525
God’s gonna shake his mighty head
He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been
Or tear it down and start again

I’m kinda wondering if man’s gonna be alive
He’s taken everything this old earth can give
And he ain’t put back nothing in

polarbear4

Maybe a grassroots group will get a boycott of, say, the top 5 corpses, for starters.And then there’s the military!

jcitybone

https://www.salon.com/2018/10/12/susan-collins-reaps-the-rewards-for-supporting-brett-kavanaugh/

A so-called dark money group that spent millions promoting the Supreme Court candidacy of Brett Kavanaugh is now rewarding the Republican senator whose decision to support the judge, despite accusations of sexual misconduct, provided the pivotal vote that landed him on the bench.

“Judicial Crisis Network is launching a six-figure TV and digital ad campaign in Maine thanking Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for supporting Justice Kavanaugh,” writes the Judicial Crisis Network on its website. It goes on to include a quote from a press release by the group’s chief counsel and policy director, Carrie Severino.

“Thank you Susan Collins for thoughtfully reviewing Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record and weighing the evidence, and for being a reasonable voice during this incredibly divisive time,” Severino wrote. “You put Maine and our country first – thank you.”

jcitybone

At least he made it out alive unlike Khashoggi

https://theintercept.com/2018/10/11/egypt-american-citizen-torture-rape-khaled-hassan/

EGYPT’S SECURITY FORCES raped and tortured a U.S. citizen, detaining him in secret for four months, according to a detailed Human Rights Watch report published on October 11.

In interviews with Human Rights Watch researchers from prison, Khaled Hassan, an Egyptian-American limousine driver, said Egyptian officials from the country’s feared National Security Agency beat him, stripped him naked, hung him by his arms, and shocked him on his testicles. He also said Egyptian security forces anally raped him with a wooden stick and, on a separate occasion, ordered another security agent to anally rape him again. The human rights group published photos of what it said were Hassan’s wounds from the torture.

“It’s something out of a horror movie,” said Mohamed Soltan, a former political prisoner in Egypt and the head of the group Freedom Initiative, which advocates for Egyptian prisoners. “This is definitely an escalation. It’s sad to say, but had Khaled not had his American citizenship, this would have been just another case. This has happened to Egyptians in the past. But it’s become normalized.”

The Egyptian embassy in Washington did not return requests for comment. Egyptian authorities denied that they tortured Hassan in statements sent to Human Rights Watch.

The shocking allegations underscore how security forces under Egyptian strongman President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have waged a scorched-earth campaign of torture and enforced disappearances targeting their own citizens. The alleged torture of Hassan is yet another instance of U.S.-backed allies in the Middle East running roughshod over human rights — even when the victims are linked to the U.S.

jcitybone

More evidence that If the Kavanaugh fight is helping anyone it’s the Dems.

http://theweek.com/speedreads/801576/voters-competitive-states-prefer-candidates-who-opposed-kavanaugh-poll-finds

Voters are factoring Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh into their midterm election decisions.

An NBC News/Marist poll released Friday found that many voters in Nevada, Minnesota, and Wisconsin would prefer to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

In Nevada, where incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller is in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, 41 percent of voters said were more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh, and 38 percent said they would favor someone who supported him. Rosen’s campaign said she was “furious” over Kavanaugh’s confirmation, while Heller said the judge was a victim of “smears and attacks.”

Minnesotans are even more opposed to pro-Kavanaugh candidates. Incumbent Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison is facing a tougher challenge than anticipated in his bid to become the state’s attorney general, in the face of domestic abuse allegations. His opponent, Doug Wardlow, is capitalizing on the controversy to boost his numbers, but 48 percent of voters say they’d pick a candidate who opposed Kavanaugh. Wardlow was a vocal supporter of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but only 30 percent of voters said they preferred that tactic.

In Wisconsin, 42 percent said they preferred a Kavanaugh opposer, while 33 said they wanted someone who supported the Kavanaugh pick. Another 22 percent said the issue made no difference in their voting decisions. Though the poll was conducted shortly before Kavanaugh was confirmed, it came after Kavanaugh had already testified to refute sexual assault allegations against him.

polarbear4

Why Did China’s Biggest Movie Star and the Interpol Chief Vanish?

not to be outdone….

however, it looks like the movie star may have returned.

i have to wait until Nov to read it.

magsview

Perhaps with a much lighter pocketbook?

polarbear4

CensorshipEXCLUSIVE: Meet the Reporters Whose Pages Were Shut Down By Facebook

Just hours after its ban from Facebook, Twitter suspended Anti-Media from its platform, following a pattern of social media companies successively banning users that has been demonstrated in the past. For example, Facebook, YouTube and Apple all banned the far-right conspiracy theory site InfoWars around the same time. And after the CIA-funded cybersecurity firm FireEye contacted Facebook, Google and Twitter, each company banned a number of accounts allegedly linked to Iran

via Caitlin.

I have said it before and I will say it again: in a corporatist system, wherein there is no clear line between corporate power and government power, corporate censorship is government censorship. You can’t have a system wherein corporate lobbying and campaign finance amount to legalized bribery of elected officials, wherein massive Silicon Valley corporations form extensive ties with secretive government agencies in order to eclipse their competition, and then claim this is a matter of private corporations enforcing their own rules on their own private property. This is just what totalitarian government censorship looks like in a corporatist oligarchy.

magsview

There seem to be ‘purges’ going on in twitter as well. I lost over ten people that I was following on twitter just from yesterday. Not sure what to make of it.

TheLeftistheCenter

Yeah I heard 100s of alternative media were shut down on Twitter and FB.

polarbear4

And they can’t let you know now. scary stuff.

polarbear4

It’s ironic when Caitlin encourages us to, well, just be. Nonetheless, I want to honor this piece as a contribution to spreading even a moment of “ahhhh” throughout the world.

We’re in a clunky, awkward transition phase, like the evolutionary ancestors of whales probably were before they got that whole blowhole thing down, where we’re in a new safe world totally unlike the frantic runningstabbingbitingchewingejaculatingbirthing world of our ancestors, but we haven’t yet adapted to it. The clever humans are able to seize upon our confusion and manipulate us solely because we have not yet figured out that it’s safe to just be.

Well, check it out my friend. That safety you seek is right here, right now. Look around you. Do you see any man-eating sharks? Is there a truck bearing down on you right now? Is there anything in your immediate vicinity that you need to run away from?

No? Well then you are safe. Wahoo! You made it. You are free to just be. You have total permission. It’s okay, I promise. You can totally do this for the next few minutes and the world will not miss you.

Feel how you are gently secured to the planet’s surface by gravity. Feel how solid the ground is underneath you. Wriggle your bum deeper into your chair and take a big yawn in to your lungs. Move your body around and feel the delicious stretch in your muscles. Here we are, safe and sound. Think to yourself “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

The organism through whose eyes you are currently peering is already fully present. Being is happening currently. You have been searching for something you already possess, like a woman searching the entire house hunting for the hand bag she’s wearing over her shoulder. It is safe to settle into the amazing feat of evolutionary engineering that is your body and let being simply be

.

polarbear4

Oh, Nina! And Wala.

polarbear4

Except Gillum’s not a champion for M4A. Small argument with Nina, maybe.

polarbear4

image didn’t show.

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/10/12/wapo-picks-side-maryland-race-side-thats-offering-billions-amazon

Those who believe in the myth of the “liberal media” might assume that the Washington Post would support a progressive who backs policies such as Medicare for All, a $15 minimum wage and legalization of marijuana. In fact, the paper—the most influential news outlet in much of Maryland—seems to have an axe to grind with Jealous, and has instead chosen to support Hogan for the governor’s race. As Pete Tucker at CounterPunch (8/31/18, 9/18/18, 10/8/18) has explained, the Post has opposed Jealous at every turn.

Looming over the Post’s coverage of the governor’s race is Hogan’s ingratiating support for Amazon, the e-commerce giant owned by the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, who also happens to own the Washington Post. Amazon, and the paper’s relationship to it, hardly ever come up in articles about the governor’s race: In the past year, just three articles about Ben Jealous’s run for governor mentioned Amazon. This level of attention underplays just how much Amazon, and its owner, have at stake in Maryland.

Amazon has a vested interest in seeing Maryland remain “business-friendly,” something the Post considers Hogan to be. The former White Flint Mall in Montgomery County, just north of the wealthy DC commuter suburb of Bethesda, is a leading candidate in the company’s high-profile search for a second headquarters. Amazon is expected to settle on a location by the end of the year.

Perhaps the biggest red flag for the Post is Jealous’s alignment with Bernie Sanders, a longtime adversary of Bezos. Last week, Sanders pressured the billionaire into raising wages at Amazon with his proposal of the Stop BEZOS Act, which would tax companies on the amount their employees receive in public benefits.

The Post has a penchant for attacking Democrats who don’t toe the corporate line. They have gone out of their way to try to discredit Sanders on numerous occasions (FAIR.org, 10/1/15, 3/8/16, 5/11/16, 11/17/16, etc.), running 16 negative stories on Sanders in one 16-hour period during the 2016 primaries.

As it does with Sanders and Elrich, the Post’s coverage of Jealous combines skepticism towards his electoral chances and dismissal of his supposedly radical policies. Disparaging the political and practical viability of such people-friendly policies as universal healthcare and a livable minimum wage is in the obvious interests of the billionaire class—and, by extension, billionaire-owned news outlets like the Post.

Benny

Sucks. Big green ones.

orlbucfan

No surprise there. Bezos/Bozo owns it.

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