Skip to toolbar
 
HomeOpen ThreadFree At Last—-most likely

171
Leave a Reply

avatar
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
63 Comment threads
108 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
14 Comment authors
polarbear4TorabsAint Supposed to Die A Natural Deathphatkhatmagsview Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Benny

Thank you, NYCVG. Here’s the Guardian’s reporting:

Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage and of hacking government computers, a British judge has decided.

Lawyer for US authorities are to appeal against the ruling, which was delivered at the central criminal court by the district judge, Vanessa Baraitser.

Delivering her ruling the judge said said the WikiLeaks founder was likely to be held in conditions of isolation in a so-called supermax prison in the US and procedures described by US authorities would not prevent him from potentially finding a way to take his own life.

“I find that the mental condition of Mr Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” she said.

Assange has been taken back to Belmarsh prison ahead of an application on Wednesday for his release on bail, which will refer to conditions at the high-security prison in south London against the backdrop of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.

The judge’s decision, focusing on Assange’s health, came after she knocked down one argument after another made last year by Assange’s lawyers. Sending him to the US would not breach a bar on extradition for “political offences” she said, and she had no reason to doubt that “the usual constitutional and procedural protections” would be applied to a trial he might face in the US.

But she accepted the evidence of prominent medical experts, including details of how Assange had suffered from depression while in prison in London. “The overall impression is of a depressed and sometimes despairing man who is genuinely depressed about his future,” said Baraitser.

The case against the 49-year-old relates to WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, as well as diplomatic cables, in 2010 and 2011.

Prosecutors say Assange helped the US defence analyst Chelsea Manning breach the US Espionage Act, was complicit in hacking by others and published classified information that endangered informants.

Assange denies plotting with Manning to crack an encrypted password on US computers and says there is no evidence anyone’s safety was compromised. His lawyers argue the prosecution is politically motivated and that he is being pursued because WikiLeaks published US government documents that revealed evidence of war crimes and human rights abuses.

At the weekend, Assange’s partner had said a decision to extradite the WikiLeaks co-founder to the US would be “politically and legally disastrous for the UK”.

Stella Moris, who has two children with Assange, said a decision to allow extradition would be an “unthinkable travesty”, adding in an article published by the Mail on Sunday that it would rewrite the rules of what it was permissible to publish in Britain.

“Overnight, it would chill free and open debate about abuses by our own government and by many foreign ones, too.”

Benny

U.K. Judge Blocks Assange’s Extradition to U.S., Citing Mental Health Concerns

Rights groups also applauded the denial of the extradition request, but some expressed concerns about the substance of the ruling. Among them was Rebecca Vincent, the director of international campaigns for Reporters Without Borders.

“We disagree with the judge’s assessment that this case is not politically motivated, that it is not about free speech,” Ms. Vincent said outside the courthouse. “We continue to believe that Mr. Assange was targeted for his contributions to journalism, and until the underlying issues here are addressed, other journalists, sources and publishers remain at risk.”

Stella Moris, Mr. Assange’s partner, echoed the sentiment, saying that while she was pleased that the extradition request had been rejected, the charges had not been dropped. She called on President Trump to “end this now.”

In a statement, the Justice Department said it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision but “gratified that the United States prevailed on every point of law raised,” and noted that it would still seek to extradite Mr. Assange.

Mr. Assange, who is Australian, rose to prominence in 2010 by publishing documents provided by the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. He then took refuge at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to escape extradition to Sweden, where he faced an inquiry into rape allegations that was later dropped. In the meantime, he kept running WikiLeaks as a self-proclaimed political refugee. He spent seven years there before his arrest by the British police in 2019.

During the extradition hearing, which began in February but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, lawyers representing the United States argued that Mr. Assange had unlawfully obtained secret documents and put lives at risk by revealing the names of people who had provided information to the United States in war zones.

“Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a license to break ordinary criminal laws,” James Lewis, a lawyer representing the U.S. government, told the court last year.

Mr. Assange’s lawyers framed the prosecution as a politically driven attack on press freedom.

“The greatest risk for him in the U.S. is that he won’t face a fair trial,” said Greg Barns, an Australian lawyer and adviser to Mr. Assange. “Then he could spend the rest of his life in prison, in solitary confinement, treated in a cruel and arbitrary fashion.”

The hearing was stymied by multiple technical glitches and restricted access for observers, which rights groups and legal experts said hurt the court’s credibility and hampered their ability to monitor the proceedings.

Mr. Assange has been held at Belmarsh, a high-security prison in London, since his detention in 2019. Mr. Assange remained in custody after the ruling was announced on Monday, but his defense team said they planned to file an application for bail on Wednesday as the appeals process continues. Many have hailed Mr. Assange as a hero for transparency who helped expose U.S. wrongdoings in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But he has also been criticized as a publicity seeker with an erratic personality. The publication by WikiLeaks of emails associated with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which U.S. officials have said were hacked by Russian intelligence to damage her candidacy, also undermined his reputation with many previous supporters.

I would imagine this story would not play well at TOP.

orlbucfan

Who cares what those yahoos and their “fearless” leader think? Haven’t wandered over there in ages, and have no urge to.

wi62

I only go their when someone here provides a link, dont wanna give then the clicks but when some here does provide a link its usually worth the read

Torabs
Torabs

Right decision ultimately, though pretty scary they were ok with the free-speech implications of sending him to the US.

jcitybone

However, not on press freedom grounds

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/01/04/huge-relief-british-judge-rejects-trump-administration-attempt-extradite-julian

A British judge early Monday rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to extradite Julian Assange to the United States, citing the risk such a move would pose to the WikiLeaks founder and publisher’s life.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court warned that extradition “would be oppressive by reason of Assange’s mental health” and said the risk of the publisher committing suicide in a U.S. prison would be “substantial.”

“Wow. The decision was based on the U.S. prison system being so awful and repressive that Assange would be at significant suicide risk,” tweeted Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF).

The U.S. is expected to appeal the ruling. Pending U.S. appeal, Assange’s lawyers are asking that he be released on bail from London’s notorious Belmarsh prison, where the WikiLeaks founder has been detained since 2019.

While the judge did not reject the U.S. request due to the threat extradition would pose to press freedoms, advocates nevertheless celebrated the judge’s decision as “a huge relief to anyone who cares about the rights of journalists.”

If extradited to the U.S., Assange would face a sentence of up to 175 years in prison for publishing classified documents—something journalists do all the time.

“The case against Julian Assange is the most dangerous threat to U.S. press freedom in decades,” noted FPF. “The extradition request was not decided on press freedom grounds; rather, the judge essentially ruled the U.S. prison system was too repressive to extradite. However, the result will protect journalists everywhere.”

In response to Baraitser’s decision, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted simply, “Let this be the end of it.”

jcitybone

Duplicate from NY Times above

Benny

Assange Wins. The Cost: The Crushing of Press Freedom

The unexpected decision by Judge Vanessa Baraitser to deny a US demand to extradite Julian Assange, foiling efforts to send him to a US super-max jail for the rest of his life, is a welcome legal victory, but one swamped by larger lessons that should disturb us deeply.

Those who campaigned so vigorously to keep Assange’s case in the spotlight, even as the US and UK corporate media worked so strenuously to keep it in darkness, are the heroes of the day. They made the price too steep for Baraitser or the British establishment to agree to lock Assange away indefinitely in the US for exposing its war crimes and its crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But we must not downplay the price being demanded of us for this victory.

A moment of celebration

We have contributed collectively in our various small ways to win back for Assange some degree of freedom, and hopefully a reprieve from what could be a death sentence as his health continues to deteriorate in an overcrowded Belmarsh high-security prison in London that has become a breeding ground for Covid-19.

For this we should allow ourselves a moment of celebration. But Assange is not out of the woods yet. The US has said it will appeal the decision. And it is not yet clear whether Assange will remain jailed in the UK – possibly in Belmarsh – while many months of further legal argument about his future take place.

The US and British establishments do not care where Assange is imprisoned – be it Sweden, the UK or the US. What has been most important to them is that he continues to be locked out of sight in a cell somewhere, where his physical and mental fortitude can be destroyed and where he is effectively silenced, encouraging others to draw the lesson that there is too high a price to pay for dissent.

The personal battle for Assange won’t be over till he is properly free. And even then he will be lucky if the last decade of various forms of incarceration and torture he has been subjected to do not leave him permanently traumatised, emotionally and mentally damaged, a pale shadow of the unapologetic, vigorous transparency champion he was before his ordeal began.

That alone will be a victory for the British and US establishments who were so embarrassed by, and fearful of, Wikileaks’ revelations of their crimes.

Rejected on a technicality

But aside from what is a potential personal victory for Assange, assuming he doesn’t lose on appeal, we should be deeply worried by the legal arguments Baraitser advanced in denying extradition.

The US demand for extradition was rejected on what was effectively a technicality. The US mass incarceration system is so obviously barbaric and depraved that, it was shown conclusively by experts at the hearings back in September, Assange would be at grave risk of committing suicide should he become another victim of its super-max jails.

One should not also discard another of the British establishment’s likely considerations: that in a few days Donald Trump will be gone from the White House and a new US administration will take his place.

There is no reason to be sentimental about president-elect Joe Biden. He is a big fan of mass incarceration too, and he will be no more of a friend to dissident media, whistleblowers and journalism that challenges the national security state than was his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. Which is no friend at all.

But Biden probably doesn’t need the Assange case hanging over his head, becoming a rallying cry against him, an uncomfortable residue of the Trump administration’s authoritarian instincts that his own officials would be forced to defend.

It would be nice to imagine that the British legal, judicial and political establishments grew a backbone in ruling against extradition. The far more likely truth is that they sounded out the incoming Biden team and received permission to forgo an immediate ruling in favour of extradition – on a technicality.

Keep an eye on whether the new Biden administration decides to drop the appeal case. More likely his officials will let it rumble on, largely below the media’s radar, for many months more.

Journalism as espionage

Significantly, Judge Baraitser backed all the Trump administration’s main legal arguments for extradition, even though they were comprehensively demolished by Assange’s lawyers.

Baraitser accepted the US government’s dangerous new definition of investigative journalism as “espionage”, and implied that Assange had also broken Britain’s draconian Official Secrets Act in exposing government war crimes.

She agreed that the 2007 Extradition Treaty applies in Assange’s case, ignoring the treaty’s actual words that exempt political cases like his. She thereby opened the door for other journalists to be seized in their home countries and renditioned to the US.

Baraitser accepted that protecting sources in the digital age – as Assange did for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, an essential obligation on journalists in a free society – now amounts to criminal “hacking”. She trashed free speech and press freedom rights, saying they did not provide “unfettered discretion by Mr Assange to decide what he’s going to publish”.

She appeared to approve of the ample evidence showing that the US spied on Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy, both in violation of international law and his client-lawyer privilege – a breach of his most fundamental legal rights that alone should have halted proceedings.

Baraitser argued that Assange would receive a fair trial in the US, even though it was almost certain to take place in the eastern district of Virginia, where the major US security and intelligence services are headquartered. Any jury there would be dominated by US security personnel and their families, who would have no sympathy for Assange.

So as we celebrate this ruling for Assange, we must also loudly denounce it as an attack on press freedom, as an attack on our hard-won collective freedoms, and as an attack on our efforts to hold the US and UK establishments accountable for riding roughshod over the values, principles and laws they themselves profess to uphold.

Even as we are offered with one hand a small prize in Assange’s current legal victory, the establishment’s other hand seizes much more from us.

Vilification continues

There is a final lesson from the Assange ruling. The last decade has been about discrediting, disgracing and demonising Assange. This ruling should very much be seen as a continuation of that process.

Baraitser has denied extradition only on the grounds of Assange’s mental health and his autism, and the fact that he is a suicide risk. In other words, the principled arguments for freeing Assange have been decisively rejected.

If he regains his freedom, it will be solely because he has been characterised as mentally unsound. That will be used to discredit not just Assange, but the cause for which he fought, the Wikileaks organisation he helped to found, and all wider dissidence from establishment narratives. This idea will settle into popular public discourse unless we challenge such a presentation at every turn.

Assange’s battle to defend our freedoms, to defend those in far-off lands whom we bomb at will in the promotion of the selfish interests of a western elite, was not autistic or evidence of mental illness. His struggle to make our societies fairer, to hold the powerful to account for their actions, was not evidence of dysfunction. It is a duty we all share to make our politics less corrupt, our legal systems more transparent, our media less dishonest.

Unless far more of us fight for these values – for real sanity, not the perverse, unsustainable, suicidal interests of our leaders – we are doomed. Assange showed us how we can free ourselves and our societies. It is incumbent on the rest of us to continue his fight.

orlbucfan

This stupid sad tune has been sung for many decades. When, if ever, will it end?

Torabs
Torabs

If he goes free, I’ll be worried about an Israeli-style illegal extradition.

Benny

Related to the lead of this thread..

How the Pandemic Exposed the Failures of Capital Punishment

days of December, as the president played golf while ignoring both the coronavirus pandemic and the bombing of a U.S. city on Christmas morning, federal prosecutors were working overtime to grant him a parting gift in the name of law and order. After 10 executions in five months, the Department of Justice was planning one last round of killings in the federal death chamber. The executions would bring Donald Trump’s tally to 13, more than any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Never mind that the last two men slated to die, Corey Johnson and Dustin Higgs, had recently been diagnosed with Covid-19. Both had symptoms of the virus for days before they tested positive at the U.S. penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. Higgs has a long history of asthma, heart problems, and hypertension. Johnson has exhibited evidence of lung damage, according to his attorneys. But this has not deterred the Justice Department from pushing forward. On December 27, federal prosecutors informed a U.S. district judge that, although neither man had been retested and both still had symptoms, they had been “medically cleared from isolation status.” In other words, they had recovered for the purpose of execution.

Higgs and Johnson were not the only ones to get sick. The virus aggressively spread on federal death row after the back-to-back executions of Brandon Bernard and Alfred Bourgeois on December 10 and 11. At least 14 men had tested positive as of December 21, according to the New York Times, though the figure has grown much higher. One source with close ties to death row told The Intercept last week that the real number is “at least 30” — 60 percent of the total condemned population in Terre Haute.

There’s good reason to believe that Trump’s execution spree is responsible for the outbreak. Although cases were climbing at the penitentiary before the first killings in July, many warned that the federal executions could become superspreader events. The local newspaper called for a delay in light of the pandemic. Victims’ families protested that traveling to Terre Haute could put them at risk. On the eve of the first execution, news broke that a Bureau of Prisons staffer involved in preparations had tested positive. Nevertheless, the killings moved forward.

As autumn brought a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, more people connected to the executions began to test positive. In November, lawyers for Lisa Montgomery, the only woman under a federal death sentence, became sick after visiting their client at FMC Carswell, a Texas medical facility for women in BOP custody. A few weeks later, Yusuf Ahmed Nur, the spiritual adviser to Orlando Hall, the eighth man to be executed, tested positive after accompanying him in the death chamber. Shortly afterward, in response to a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Bureau of Prisons revealed that eight of approximately 40 members of the execution team had tested positive too. More recently the BOP admitted that it has failed to conduct contact tracing for fear of revealing the identities of those carrying out executions.

phatkhat
phatkhat

Poetic justice if the whole execution team died of Covid.

LieparDestin

In light of the ForceTheVote issue that has caused a lot of twitter trolls to come out of the woodworks to sow division while helping neither cause, I point to this handy image create by gov. contractors and leaked by Snowden on how to infiltrate and sow division…

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/

deception_p48.png
polarbear4

Thank you! seems like they’ve pulled in some actual activists, too.

Benny

I don’t understand Dore’s motivations, other than it’s easier to criticize from the cheap seats.

polarbear4

ego gratification: jv degraz saying he’s threatened the Dems more than anyone (ok jv). and $$$$

and jv again: now it’s masks off. this is a favorite of the Dore fans. now even those of us who pointed out his bad behavior have exposed ourselves as soulless creatures who care for no one.

so sad. i guess i’ll quit following some people that were really favorites. i am actually baffled.

i read an article that Trump may have been addicted to having grievances–that constant complaining, i guess (should’ve saved and reread lol) results in a high.

if people didn’t reflect after the whole Bernie thing, that might have played into their wanting to relive the days of the campaign on twitter.

i’m sure Bernie and a lot of us would do things at least somewhat differently if we had it to do over.

or i may be becoming a little more liberal eeek! lol

orlbucfan

pb4: you and I have always been liberal. It’s the deliberate FRightwing (successful) misuse of that word that has changed.

oldtown61
oldtown61
oldtown61
oldtown61

oldtown61
oldtown61
LieparDestin

I was not against ForceTheVote just think it would ultimately just tell us what we know,and dont agree with Dems leading the charge on a #FraudSquad campaign.. seems GOPish, or as I mentioned above.. an opportunity for non vested third parties to cause division.

With Republicans ina civil war over Trump, and leftists now divided over tactics and attacking personalities, centrist Dems are the only ones going into the new year as a coordinated group.

Torabs
Torabs

I disagree – what we know is very different from what the public at large knows (see: large percentage of voters thinking Biden supports m4A). The appearance of unity is overrated.

humphrey

A reasonable interpretation of the situation.

The last few minutes are a good summation and worth viewing.

Actually the whole video is pretty good.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

I listened to the first 2 minutes of this video. Had to tune it out when it appeared that he was going to explain why/how the progressive caucus was wrong for voting for Nancy. We all know Nancy is garbage. Today I listened to Cenk’s discussion of this issue which included an analysis of what the PLAN should be to achieve what we want like M4A and GND, etc. I don’t want to listen to any more discussion of why the progressive caucus is a “sell out.” If anyone has listened to the entire video and think I’m missing useful info, let me know. Thx.

phatkhat
phatkhat

You definitely should watch the whole thing. He doesn’t say what you think.

Don midwest
Don midwest

I probably read the Intercept article back in 2014 but it is important in many ways.

I have some comments as I go along, but first how I looked it up.

I use the Chrome browser almost all the time so I typed in the UK group name JTRIG for a search and it came up with Guardian article and other sources. I switched to the Edge browser and brought up the search engine duckgogo which I seldom use although it is on my android cell phone. It had much different results, three videos right at the start. If one wanted to find out more suggest you go there.

***
I copied the diagram above which I will now comment on.

The language of Science is used to persuade. And the intermingling of nature and culture.

Title “fracture” points. Crystals fracture. Glass fractures. Thus the collective is a substance, a thing, that can be broken.

One can view the diagram as a chemical reaction. Various ingredients that can react on the left and ways that the chemicals and partial products can be pulled apart on the right. The term “tension” could be the chemical reactions.

I am not claiming that these comments are correct science, but ways of scientific actions in a stable nature are used in arguments.

The term “tension” in the middle could be mechanical, a spring. How to apply forces to stir things up. Or, in tensile strength, how to pull apart (pull a bar of metal until it breaks) or force to crush a piece of plastic.

On the left is a Force diagram of pushing a group together. Not a group arising from issues, but various forces. Notice that the key term is “shared” the commons. Hence this could be viewed as an assault on the commons. Suprise that a police attack on a protest also brings the group together. A shared experience. Note experience not in the diagram.

On the right hand side a theme is uncertainty and personality.

***
Enough of this wandering around.

As I type this I am reminded of Alistair McIntyre the political philosopher.

In his book After Virtue he makes the claim that the dominant ethical theory is emotivism. Which in a short form says that humans are either thumbs up or thumbs down. If one accepts this theory, one can manipulate anyone. The diagram is about manipulation.

MacIntyre believes that politics should be a practice with internal goods, but as it is now it only leads to external goods. ….

One important way to understand the community surrounding a genuine practice is as a community of teachers and learners, with each individual community member filling each of these roles at different times. “It belongs to the concept of a practice as I have outlined it…that its goods can only be achieved by subordinating ourselves within the practice in our relationship to other practitioners ” (After Virtue 191). Throughout my time as a participant in a practice, but especially at the beginning, I must put myself under the authority of others. ….

So the marketing manipulation theme of the diagram is OK since humans are there to be manipulated.

The quotations above are from

Political Philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre

Don midwest
Don midwest

The comments above can be summarized as the destruction of politics.

Bruno Latour asked years ago, “is politics possible”?

Language is powerful and like sex can be good and bad

There is an argument against Rhetoric going back to Plato where he puts down the Sophists and their Rhetoric and instead points truth – the forms, math.

in Environmental Humanities and other places, they are about giving voice to non human entities like Water Protectors giving voice to water.

Here is a video by a Turkish scholar who got a PhD in the US on the importance of narrative and giving voice to non humans. What we are trying to do with Bernie is to restore politics by giving voice to humans in order to have democracy, and both humans and non humans to save some semblance of civilization

“Sites of Narrativity”

this shows the importance of language in facing Gaia

LieparDestin

Posting some of the other slides here so I have them hosted where I can find them..

Screenshot2.png
deception_p24-1.png
Screenshot3.png
LieparDestin

Exhibit A:

Screenshot_20210104-173420_Twitter.jpg
jcitybone

Some positivity on GA

jcitybone

jcitybone

https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-01-04/senate-races-runoffs-georgia-turnout-republicans

In the weeks since then, Democrats have focused on preventing a turnout drop, especially among Black voters. A raft of voter mobilization groups, including the New Georgia Project, Black Voters Matter, the Asian American Advocacy Fund and Mijente, have fanned out across Georgia to persuade nonwhite voters to cast ballots.

In the last two months, workers and volunteers with the New Georgia Project have knocked on more than 1.6 million doors, made nearly 5 million calls and sent out more than 3 million text messages. It increased its budget sixfold to advertise its “rides to the polls” program on radio stations geared to Black listeners.

Ossoff’s closing ads were clearly directed at Black voters, one featuring former President Obama and another focusing on the struggles of Black Georgians. Obama has also appeared in multiple ads for Warnock, who would be the state’s first Black senator. Harris, the first Black woman to be elected vice president, campaigned with Ossoff and Warnock on Sunday in the majority-Black city of Savannah.

Early voting data show those efforts may be working. Of the 3 million who have cast early ballots — already setting a record for a Georgia runoff election — nearly 31% are Black, according to Georgia Votes, a nonpartisan data website. That’s up from just over 27% in the general election.

Another hopeful sign for Democrats: Early voters include more than 117,000 who did not vote in November — more than half of whom are Black, Latino and Asian. An analysis by TargetSmart, a Democratic data firm, also finds that those new voters skew younger, which plays to Democrats’ strength.

“There’s been a lot of hand wringing about ‘Will Black voters show up? Will young voters show up?’” Nsé Ufot, chief executive of the New Georgia Project, said last week in a media call. “November was not a fluke.”

Democrat-dominated DeKalb and Clayton counties in the Atlanta metro area have already surpassed 82% of the general election vote total. But here in Whitfield County, a GOP-heavy region about 90 miles north of Atlanta, fewer than 17,000 residents have voted early — 68% of the general election total turnout, according to the Georgia Votes website. In neighboring Walker County, turnout is only 64%.

“This tells us we have a real opportunity to take control of the Senate,” said Ben Tyson, co-founder of Vote From Home 2020, a progressive group promoting mail-in balloting. “The question is: What are Republicans going to do on election day? We are all waiting with bated breath to see.”

Republicans are also nervous about election day. They wonder if turnout is being depressed by Trump’s post-election allegations of voting fraud across the country and in Georgia, where he says that GOP leaders did not try hard enough to overturn Biden’s 12,000-vote victory. Some Republicans worry that the controversy stirred by Trump’s attacks — including his eleventh-hour call to Raffensperger — makes it harder for Loeffler and Perdue to close with an upbeat message.

Trump’s fraud allegations may be having an impact here in this corner of northwest Georgia. Carpenter, the restaurant owner and state representative, attributed the local voting lag to a mix of election fatigue and concern about voting machines and election fraud.

Although he said he believed there was fraud in the November election, trying to navigate the skepticism about voting was a challenge.

orlbucfan

tRump’s latest fruitcake rant threatening the GA election officials will only piss off/scare more people into coming out and voting against the GOPuke incumbents. Watch.

wi62

Hope so, R’s have an annoying habit of turning out even if its an election for an dog catcher

jcitybone

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/04/politics/georgia-hancock-county-right-to-vote-senate/index.html

Johnny Thornton stood on his sprawling catfish farm, once a symbol of empowerment in this majority Black county, and explained how the local election board once tried to strip him of his right to vote.

In 2015, after a failed attempt to shutter almost every polling location in a county three times the area of Atlanta, the Hancock County Board of Elections and Registration tried to remove 174 voters, almost all of them African American, ahead of a Sparta city election. The board even sent deputies to homes, summonsing voters to prove eligibility.

The city’s roll at the time included only 988 voters, so it meant about one in five potential ballots. The majority-White board ultimately clipped 53 residents from the rolls.

Had Thornton and others not fought back, suing the BOER in federal court — which in 2016 restored most voters to the rolls — many county residents could have been disenfranchised, he said last month.

“A lot of the individuals that they were targeting, they either worked out of town or did not have the means or resources to push back,” said Thornton, a retired special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Voter suppression through administrative chaos is my term for it.”

With Georgia voters set to decide control of the US Senate in Tuesday’s runoffs, the challenges to the voting rolls in Hancock County, whose residents have long fought for their right to vote, remain under the supervision of a court-appointed examiner. Legal experts say the US Supreme Court pulling teeth from the Voting Rights Act is to blame.

jcitybone

GA Republican civil war right before the election. Perdue is backing Trump in his attacks. This will likely turn off some Republicans who back Raffensperger and Kemp. Not everyone is a Trump cultist. And with Trump not on the ballot, some of them won’t even bother to vote.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/532504-perdue-defends-trump-over-call-pressuring-georgia-secretary-of-state

Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) on Monday defended President Trump’s call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) during which the president pressured the state official to find votes to overturn his election loss.

“I didn’t hear anything in that tape that the president hasn’t already said for weeks now since the November election calling for some sort of investigation, some sort of resolution to the improprieties and the irregularities that we now see happened in November here in Georgia,” Perdue, one of two Republican senators facing runoff elections on Tuesday, said on Fox News when asked about the call.

When pressed about other Republican pushback to the call, a recording of which was published by The Washington Post on Sunday, Perdue suggested the president was rightly raising concerns about the state’s election.

“What he is saying, a lot of people in Georgia and 75 million Americans, I think, align with him right now that something untoward happened here in Georgia and we have not gotten to the bottom of it,” Perdue said.

He also called the leak of the call “disgusting.”

Georgia officials have said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the state’s election. President-elect Joe Biden’s win has been affirmed by three state audits and certified twice.

Republicans view Trump’s presence in Georgia as necessary to turn out the base, but many worry that his unproven accusations about widespread election fraud and his attacks on Georgia Republicans will ultimately hurt the party in the runoffs. Trump has targeted Raffensperger as well as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) over their refusal to back his fraud claims.

jcitybone

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/01/04/2021-best-way-fight-neofascist-republicans-fight-neoliberal-democrats?cd-origin=rss

The threat of fascism will hardly disappear when Donald Trump moves out of the White House in two weeks. On Capitol Hill, the Republicans who’ve made clear their utter contempt for democracy will retain powerful leverage over the U.S. government. And they’re securely entrenched because Trumpism continues to thrive in much of the country.

Yet, in 2021, progressives should mostly concentrate on challenging the neoliberalism of Democratic Party leaders. Why? Because the neoliberal governing model runs directly counter to the overarching responsibilities of the left—to defeat right-wing forces and to effectively fight for a decent, life-affirming society.

Neoliberalism can be defined as a political approach that “seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector”—and strives to “place limits on government spending, government regulation, and public ownership.” Neoliberalism can be described more candidly as vast, systemic, nonstop plunder.

The plunder is enmeshed in politics. In the real world, economic power is political power. And privatizing political power amounts to undermining democracy.

After four decades of neoliberal momentum, we can see the wreckage all around us: the cumulative effects, destroying uncounted human lives deprived of adequate healthcare, education, housing, economic security and existence free of predatory monetizing. While Republican politicians usually led the wrecking crews, their Democratic counterparts often served as enablers or initiated their own razing projects.

As its policies gradually degrade the standard of living and quality of life for most people, neoliberalism provides a poisonous fuel for right-wing propaganda and demagoguery. Although corporate media outlets routinely assert that “moderate” Democrats are best positioned to block the right’s advances, the corporate-oriented policies of those Democrats—including trade deals, deregulation, and privatization—have aided rather than impeded far-right faux populism.

In the long run, the realities of rampant income inequalities cannot be papered over—and neither can the despair and rage they engender. Phony and unhinged as it is, Trumpist extremism offers such rage a populist avenue, paved with a range of vile bigotries and cruelties. When Democrats fail to offer a competing populist avenue, their party is seen as aligned with the status quo. And in this era, the status quo is a political loser.

A myth of U.S. mainstream politics and corporate media is that the most effective way to counteract the political right is to compromise by ideologically moving rightward. When progressives internalize this myth, they defer to the kind of Democratic Party leadership that frequently ends up assisting instead of undermining the Republican Party.

jcitybone

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alphabet-google-union/google-employees-form-workers-union-in-united-states-idUSKBN29918A

More than 200 Google employees in the United States have formed a workers’ union, the elected leaders of the union wrote in a New York Times opinion piece on Monday.

The “Alphabet Workers Union” aims to ensure that employees work at a fair wage, without fear of abuse, retaliation or discrimination, the union heads wrote here.

Google has been under fire here from the U.S. labor regulator, which has accused the company of unlawfully questioning several workers who were then terminated for protesting against company policies and trying to organize a union. Google has said it was confident it acted legally.

“We’re building on years of organizing efforts at Google to create a formal structure for workers,” the union leaders wrote, adding that so far 226 employees had signed union cards with the Communications Workers of America.

“Our employees have protected labor rights that we support. But as we’ve always done, we’ll continue engaging directly with all our employees,” Kara Silverstein, director of people operations at Google, said on Monday.

Benny

I have more on this down thread.

jcitybone

https://indiancountrytoday.com/opinion/in-leading-indian-country-s-pandemic-recovery-secretary-haaland-has-an-opportunity-to-shape-a-new-era-of-federal-indian-policy-u39xqtp2sUmQQea4fsrzBw

Secretary Haaland will inherit Indian Country’s painful historical legacy and its sticky residue of racism and stubborn economic disparities. But within her grasp are considerable tools to ensure its extraordinary future.

Before the pandemic, Indian Country’s economy was on the rise – tribal nations collectively were the 13th largest employer in the United States, powered by steady growth of tribal government gaming revenue. In the past three decades, overall per capita income of Native people on reservations had increased 48%, from tragically low poverty rates.

Over time, tribal governments invested those resources into jobs for tribal citizens, which in turn enhanced overall individual and community well-being. Indeed, growing body of evidence proves the long-term benefits of investing in Native communities and tribal institutions, such as family stability, a swell in high school diplomas and college degrees, and more meaningful civic engagement.

So what will it take to make sure Indian Country doesn’t backslide? On the national level, Secretary Haaland would serve Indian Country well by focusing on three “big picture” challenges: effectively advance tribal self-governance; significantly invest in education; and substantively support business and economic diversification.

jcitybone

“Sellout” AOC and other progressives managed to get this through the House.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/04/opinion/public-housing-faircloth-amendment-repeal.html

Joe Biden will enter office facing a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any in modern times. Covid-19 is still ravaging the country and the economic fallout remains severe: On top of the lost jobs and closed businesses, an eviction crisis is looming.

An eviction moratorium has staved off the crisis, but it will eventually expire. When it does, a crushing housing emergency could descend on America — as many as 40 million Americans will be in danger of eviction.

While the government will need to employ short-term measures to avoid a wave of displaced households, one major step toward resolving the underlying problems in the housing market would be repealing an obscure 22-year-old addition to the Housing Act of 1937, the Faircloth Amendment. Passed in an era when the reputation of housing projects was at a low, the amendment prohibits any net increase in public-housing units.

More recently, repeal of Faircloth has been a staple of progressive proposals, including the Green New Deal and the Homes for All Act, Representative Ilhan Omar’s far-reaching housing bill. Last summer, House Democrats passed a repeal, buoyed by the efforts of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the party’s left flank.

With Donald Trump in the White House and Republicans in control of the Senate, there was no chance of striking Faircloth from the books. But a Biden presidency with a Democratic Senate — or even a bare Republican majority that hinges on a few persuadable moderates, like Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — could offer an opportunity for a legacy-defining initiative.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was able to engineer the repeal by attaching it as an amendment to a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan that passed the House in July. If Republicans retain control of the Senate, this is probably the most realistic path to repeal. Infrastructure spending has drawn bipartisan support and killing Faircloth in an amendment is easier politically, since it won’t force an up-down vote from conservative Republicans. Still, its easy to imagine conservatives turning the expansion of public housing as a culture war issue, casting it as a giveaway to cities.

Striking down Faircloth, though, is worth a fight.

polarbear4

i’m on your side this time, jcb. hoping dore and his fans fade away, and the authentic ones reflect and return. they may be right about the “masks off.” their own.

jcitybone

Varshini Prakash

https://www.thenation.com/article/environment/climate-biden-green-energy/

As a cofounder of the sunrise movement, i am committed to making the Biden-Harris administration the turning point in our fight to stop climate change and rebuild a just economy. Joe Biden ran on the most aggressive climate plan in history, but since control of the Senate remains uncertain as we go to press, how can his administration stop climate change in the first 100 days without a Democratic majority in Congress?

Let’s be very clear: Biden had the largest popular-vote percentage for a presidential challenger since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. This victory happened because young voters—especially young Black, Latino, Asian, and Native voters—turned out at the highest rates in history. Biden won over these voters because he listened to our concerns, invited young people like me to help form his policy on such key issues as climate change, and championed his bold new plans on the campaign trail. Biden said in the final weeks of the campaign that climate change is “the No. 1 issue facing humanity, and it’s the No. 1 issue for me.” And now, millions of voters are pressing him to bring that urgency into his presidency, as the window for saving our civilization closes by the day. Democrats need to deliver for the millions of young people and every other voter who felt this urgency and took a chance on Joe. That means Biden must use every tool in his toolbox to address the crisis, starting on Day 1.

Biden should immediately establish an Office of Climate Mobilization, similar to the Office of War Mobilization created by Roosevelt during World War II. The director of this office should report to Biden personally and have the authority to coordinate across executive agencies and offices to drive climate efforts, as well as to use the power of the federal government to engage industry and civil society. This office should possess authority in cabinet-level decision-making, budget-setting, and program implementation, and it should have formalized engagement with state and local governments in order to advance environmental justice, good jobs, labor rights, and economic development for underserved communities as a part of climate action.

Executive authority also gives Biden significant power to tackle the climate emergency. He shouldn’t hesitate for a moment to use that power against our collective foe, starting on Day 1. One of the biggest mistakes of the Obama administration was in failing to use the full scope of the executive office until after his policies languished and eventually died in the Senate. What’s even more astonishing is that President Obama didn’t introduce a national Climate Action Plan until his second term, in 2013.

phatkhat
phatkhat

Not holding my breath. Joe’s a liar, corrupt to the core, and will have the evil Obama telling him what to do. And it will be a lot closer to “Nothing will fundamentally change.”

jcitybone

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/01/mcconnell-trump-senate-election/617539/

Mitch mcconnell begins the new year with his hold on the Senate, and on his own party, loosening by the hour.

A pair of runoff elections in Georgia tomorrow could end the Kentucky Republican’s six-year reign as majority leader, and on Wednesday, he’ll have to watch as nearly a quarter of his members challenge the clear results of the presidential election in defiance of McConnell’s explicit wishes. Democrats and Republicans alike have warned that the effort, led by Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, while doomed to fail, is a worrisome sign of a fraying commitment to democracy among a significant portion of the GOP. More troubling still is the realization that these Republican senators are not acting simply out of personal loyalty to President Donald Trump, but as representatives of a sizable constituency of Americans who are unwilling to accept an electoral defeat. Regardless of the outcome of their effort, the stunt will make subverting the will of voters easier for the next would-be authoritarian.

That may be true in the long term, but the more immediate challenge is to McConnell and the considerable sway he’s held over Senate Republicans. McConnell’s influence during the Biden administration will depend on his ability to keep Republicans unified—whether to block a progressive agenda in the majority or to stifle the new president using the Senate filibuster in the minority. But three weeks before Biden’s inauguration, McConnell’s conference is splintering over the outgoing president, with a growing faction of Trump loyalists willing to ignore the majority leader’s pleas.

jcitybone

Right now in the Senate, it stands 12 contesting, 19 not contesting, and 20 uncommitted.

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/mcconnell-s-plan-unravels-gop-splinters-over-anti-election-scheme-n1252722

As several dozen far-right House Republicans lined up to contest Joe Biden’s victory, after having already asked the Supreme Court to help overturn the election results, Senate Republican leaders tried to keep a level head.

Looking ahead to Wednesday’s Capitol Hill proceedings, when lawmakers will meet to confirm Biden’s win, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has explicitly told GOP senators that there’s no point in playing games with this. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) recently added that such an effort would “go down like a shot dog.”

By all accounts, GOP leaders, cognizant of congressional arithmetic, were desperate to avoid dividing Republicans against each other as the post-Trump era got underway.

So much for that idea.

jcitybone

Popcorn time. Cotton came out against contesting

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1346110956078817280?s=20

phatkhat
phatkhat

Cotton just won another 6 years. He’s counting on people’s memories not being that long.

polarbear4

ohmygod!!!!! i haven’t read anything yet, but thank you for this so much!

jcitybone

Ryan Grim amplifies the point Ro Khanna made in his tweet that PB shared yesterday