Advertisements

Why Entertainment Network Fox “News” Is Literally And Legally Fake.

Fox News is nothing more than lies and slander and conservative propaganda.

The entity known as the far-right conservative entertainment show Fox News Network has become a big problem for America. Under the reign of Donald Trump, which never would have been possible without them, a new Dark Ages era of falsehood and deception has begun. Their talking heads have become a sort of private-sector State TV, and by the day they become more brazen.

They are one of the main reasons why the World Freedom Index no longer rates America as a full democracy and haven’t in two years- since Trump took over. It is why last year’s Blue Wave was so globally critical.

Something has to stop them eventually, and the American people still can if they decide to rise up righteous. We’ve got to raise awareness about Fox “News”.  They are not a real news station legally as well as in fact. They are not subject to airwave regulation by the FCC because they are just a cable show.

They can lie whenever they want without any penalty. And they do!

Judging from current events, it’s hard to pick a winner as to which recent event inspired us to write this story now; any other day would have done as well. The now-infamous Pelosi hit video on “Lou Dobbs Tonight” seems a reasonable place to begin.

Facebook, which has resolved on being dishonest and Russian infested itself, refused to take it down, which got a lot of justified heat slung at them, but they weren’t the real culprits this time. Liar Fox hosts were, but that didn’t raise many eyebrows. The whole world has known for years they’re just right-wing talking heads. Most of us have long since gotten used to being lied to by Fox, and we know on whose behalf.

The Republican Party, and the monopoly capitalists worldwide who are footing the bill for them.

The Republican Party, or more accurately its extremist wing known as the Tea Party and Fox “News” have a lot in common. They have the same ostensible values, but more importantly, they share the same financiers. The New York Times did a piece in 2010 titled “The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party.”

Libertarian Rupert Murdoch, the creator of Fox “News”, is a billionaire and was numbered in stone among their ranks before he retired. His fellow libertarians and allies Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries were the other chief culprits, unsurprisingly. Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial — a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries’ vast fossil fuel business.

Which “news network” has been pushing that line the loudest? We don’t even have to tell you.

As we have discussed many times on this blog, “libertarian” is the new word for monopoly capitalist, or fascist. Whenever you think of Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries, that’s who we’re talking about. A total media monopoly has been a Koch agenda item for years. Hawaiian representative Tulsi Gabbard, of all people, plays a strange role in their world. The arch-villains of Occupy Wall St, a dark money private political empire designed to promote far-right causes.

The Murdoch family is one of the biggest players. The amount of money they have formally given to the Republican Party is vast. Who knows what they’ve been up to since Citizens United? One can only speculate, and look at what we know for sure in the meantime.

Kathleen Ronayne at OpenSecrets.org put together the following statistics, leaving no doubt who Fox and the Republicans are getting their bread buttered by.

Since the 1990 election cycle, Murdoch has contributed about $750,000 to federal candidates and political committees, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Of that sum, 80 percent — or $600,200 — has benefited Republican candidates and committees, including a $250,000 contribution to the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the 1990s, when the committee could still accept unlimited “soft money” donations.

These days it’s the son of Rupert, Lachlan Murdoch, who has run the place since 2017, and he is no better than his father.

When he took over, he promptly sold nearly every anti-Trump asset they had to Disney, including the Simpsons, their one contribution to humanity. King of the Hill too, I suppose, but on the other hand, we lost Beavis and Butthead out of the deal.

Speaking as a private citizen, I don’t think it was worth it. Every day, like boll weevils, they eat away at the strands of what Americans believe is going on.

Earlier today, when Robert Mueller made his first public statement regarding the report that bears his name regarding the Russian interference in our election, they swung into action right away. Headlines bearing such trivial names as “Laura Ingraham says Mueller ‘attempting to resuscitate the corpse’ of his report'” and “Mueller statement made for ‘bad day’ for Pelosi, 2020 Dems, Trump campaign manager says” proliferated all over the Internet within an afternoon.

The people claiming that the contents of the Mueller Report are anything but a disaster of the highest scale for America are part of the problem, and as usual, Fox hosts are leading the charge. The wrigglings of Sean Hannity were as loathsome as those of Glenn Greenwald (almost; at least the former will admit what team he’s on). We’re not going to get into that in this article, however. We’re going to stick with Fox and hope that Mr. Mueller won’t mind too much our lack of focus in his work today.

Fox “News”, for never again will we write the very words without using quotation marks, a practice I am hoping will catch on, is not really a news station at all. It’s part of 21st Century Fox, a cable entertainment network, and this is of the utmost importance because it explains why they can lie to us this way so systematically.

MediaBiasFactCheck provides the background.

Founded in 1996 by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News Channel, also known as Fox News, (FNC) is an American basic cable and satellite news television channel that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Catch that? Entertainment! This will set the standard for our entire evaluation of this clumsy version of State TV we derisively call “Faux News”. Cable networks are not real news networks, at least not in the sense that the Big Three stations (NBC, ABC, CBS) are, because they do not go out over the airwaves. They are therefore not subject to Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, airwave regulation.

The FCC controls the airwaves. That’s their task. It’s their job. Their only job! And who among us has not asked before, with all the constant misinformation, the innumerable floods of lawsuits over wrong stories, the countless times they have been sued, why doesn’t the FCC do something?
Well, actually, for the same reason Robert Mueller didn’t charge Trump with a crime! They don’t have the legal right! The FCC has no jurisdiction over cable. Neither does CNN, of course, but they adhere to journalistic standards more than three-fourths of the time. Fox can’t even make halfway.
They only tell the truth on the air 42% of the time.
They’ve been using it as State TV, like in Russia, you know; the dictator’s mouthpiece, his most accessible way to lie directly to the people. But actually, it’s just like him, sham to the core and nowhere near the inner circle. We should be telling people this every time it comes up. Fox is NOT a news network because it doesn’t get to use the airwaves. It’s got to crawl through the ground like slithering worms in cables.

Cable television is far less regulated and held to standards far less rigorous than a real television station. They alone are the supreme arbiters of what they can say or not say during their slots of television, and cannot get in trouble for lying, which they do constantly. They are in no way the same as a Big Three airwave station.

To get our neighbors to see how worthless Fox really is, we need one simple equation and to raise awareness about it.

News is “fake news” if it has no journalistic standards, be they chosen or enforced by airwave laws and the FCC.

Those standards are defined by the journalistic tradition, and by national airwave laws.
Fox does not go out over airwaves, nor do they value journalistic standards.
Therefore, Fox = fake news.

Fox will lose all its power to mislead our people with lies if we raise enough awareness about this fact, which is, of course, the goal of this article. Fox But we’ll get back to that. In the meantime, let’s look at how much faith 21st Century Fox, of which Fox “News” Network is just a part, has in the truthfulness of the talking heads it’s hired.

The blockquote underneath is a waiver you’ll be forced to sign if you’d like to buy time on a Fox “News” slot, as provided by the Fox “News” Network LLC Terms of Use Agreement. 

Company makes no representation or warranty whatsoever regarding the completeness, accuracy, currency or adequacy of any information, facts, views, opinions, statements or recommendations contained on the Company Services and/or the Content.

Unbelievable!

A little background about the channel itself seems in order. Fox “News” was created by Australian-born American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who launched it on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. It has gained in power and reach since that time tremendously, and its brazenness has grown beside it twice as fast, a mutated golem made of mis- and dis- information.

The word “disinformation” comes from the Russian “dezinformatsiya”, meaning ” false information given to deliberately deceive”, and so we mostly think of it as something Russian. Certainly, to say the least, disinformation strategies of the type Russia used to interfere in our 2016 presidential election cycle have become a problem in today’s world. But the Russians are hardly the true masters.

Here in the United States of America, we also know a thing or two about getting lied to by our president. We know too that his primary way of doing it has become his own personal, privatized version of State TV- Fox “News”.

What Fox has done over the years, or even just during the election, dwarfs what the Russians did to the point of demonstrating their accomplishment as puny. The Kremlin got a few ads through to people on Facebook and held a few rallies; definitely creepy, but absolutely nothing compared to what domestic mouthpieces are capable of. Russia was able to goad an enormous bull, not become one.

Compared to what Fox is capable of, they’re nothing. Small-time pikers, and no mistake. You don’t have to take our word for it, either. Consider rather the words of Ralph Peters, a former Fox News strategic analyst and a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who left the network last year in March, disgusted with its sycophantic coverage of Trump and the vicious rhetoric of its talking prime time heads.

Peters said specifically that he could not “in good conscience” remain with an organization that, he argued, “is now wittingly harming our system of government for profit.”

He went on letting them have it, too.

“In my view, Fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration,” Colonel Peters wrote in his message, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.

As a people, we’ve gotten so used to being lied to by Fox that even the most acutely aware of the problem tends to have to shrug their shoulders at this point. But 99% of the slander thrown at Hillary Clinton in 2016 came from that direction. Varying aspects of what we know as the conservative media machine cooked it up over a quarter of a century, which illustrates and highlights the crux of the problem. Here in the land of the free, one of the most double-edged swords there is free speech.

Free speech is why I can write these words without having to fear death or the concentration camp. But it is also why we must tolerate Fox “News”, the Republican mouthpiece, lacking in all credulity- and yet, something I would still fight for their right to do just as hard as I would my own. In a democratic society such as ours, we have no choice but to grin and bear it. . Nothing true or useful comes to the people by way of it. It’s actually the polar opposite of news, which is daily information given by professionals, intending to inform the people about current events. Fox’s intent is to waylay and confuse.

What we, as a nation, have gotten used to accepting as a valid source is really one of the most wicked and egregious disinformation campaigns to take place in all of human history! It has not been by any foreign power that this disinformation has been unleashed on our people, but on our very own television sets, playing twenty-four hours a day nationwide. People are used to it, so they accept it as credible.

Nothing could be more inaccurate.

Fox "News" is NOT a news channel. It's an entertainment channel, like everything else on cable. Cable news is never news at all.
Fox “News” is NOT a news channel. It’s an entertainment channel, like everything else on cable. Cable news is never news at all.

When world leaders, be they figure of states or high-profile figures from civil society, deliberately employ untruth against their own people, they are without a doubt using a method of repression, and a very costly one at that. In the Donald Trump era, weaponized lying has become easier and more common than ever before. Fox News has become his primary mouthpiece.

This is a disaster for America because such a state of affairs cannot help the inflicting of large-scale corrosion of democracy, regardless of the state it’s taking place in. If a country values its democratic system, its citizens will have to find ways to ward off this threat from time to time.

Otherwise, it will not survive.

I can hear someone asking, off in a parallel universe perhaps, what’s the harm in it? Let them have their pleasant delusions if it helps to keep them at work. Is this really something we have to fear will badly wound America?

That is why James Madison wrote the Federalist Paper 10th.

A stupid and incompetent citizenry is something no nation will long survive, so you better believe it will badly wound America. It already has. Fox News disinformation ends breaking up families, making people permanently angry, and seeing to it they’re uneducated on as many subjects as possible.

Rolling Stone Magazine provides the following sad anecdote to illustrate the tendency’s nature.

Jen Senko believes that her father was brainwashed. As Senko, a New York filmmaker, tells it, her father was a “nonpolitical Democrat.” But then he transferred to a new job that required a long commute and began listening to conservative radio host Bob Grant during the drive. Eventually, he was holing himself up for three hours every day in the family kitchen, mainlining Rush Limbaugh and, during commercials, Fox News.

“It reminded me of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” Senko says. “He used to love talking to different people to try to learn their language, but then he became angry about illegal immigrants coming to the country, that they were taking jobs from Americans, and that English was becoming the secondary language.”

Studies have proven an actual physical effect of this by studying the brains of Fox News viewers. Author Daniel Goleman has coined the term “amygdala hijacking” to describe what inflammatory rhetoric and imagery are designed to do: trigger the emotional brain before the logical brain has a chance to stop it. The anger centers of their brains are literally more physically developed than those of healthy people. It’s like benchpresses for a bad temper.

In the year 2000, hosts like Hannity and the now-disgraced and silent Bill O’ Reilly made themselves the champions of the second Bush regime. This made them some friends. They learned a big lesson from it, too, one they’ve been revving up the engine off of ever since.

Misleading your viewers and using base anger to fight with is a quick and easy way to gain support from embittered people-whose numbers grow larger with every war and crisis. Divide and conquer is the oldest trick in the book used by the rich by preying on their fellows, in or out of America.

After 9/11 took place, while all the world was mourning and gearing up for war, Fox was making bigger and bigger bank as a result of their conservative alliance. They experienced a 440% increase in viewers, blowing the doors off comparable news organizations like CNN who don’t use wild speculations and click-bait headlines.

They got so big so fast, in fact, that when now-disgraced former CEO Roger Ailes came right out and said they are not a news organization in 2007, nobody much really heard him. They were too busy listening to Bill O’ Reilly and Sean Hannity instead. Hannity is a particular problem these days, as Trump’s good buddy, people give a lot of undue credibility to the lies told by him- a cable network entertainer, not a journalist.

Why are Big Three news networks like CBS or NBC or CNN so constrained by the truth while Fox is not? Surely the mighty Federal Communications Commission should be able to call Fox News to command, so why doesn’t it?

Actually, though, the FCC has no power over Fox or CNN, because both are cable shows and ultimately designed for entertainment! This is key. The difference between Fox and CNN is ideological. One chooses willingly to use journalistic standards. The other does not. Neither one is forced to! Fox is not legally obliged to tell the truth on the air.

Fox isn’t subject to FCC airwave regulation because it isn’t on the airwaves! Clever, right? Now they can spout all the hideousness they want and still dare to label it the truth. CNN is truthful by choice, but people think it’s because they have to be. That is not true, and it is almost certainly why the FCC doesn’t chop Hannity’s head off.

They nearly destroyed Howard Stern just for being annoying.

Make sure to catch that last part. Fox, the so-called “News” Network is in no way legally obligated to tell the truth about anything! They are a feature offered by the entertainment company 21st Century Fox. Entertainment is allowed to lie! It’s all just part of the show.

Making them tell the truth would spoil the effect, and our system doesn’t force them to. Not any more than USA’s client the World Wrestling Entertainment has to come right out and say pro wrestling is fake. People know it in their hearts, but they want to believe in the wrestlers, so they do. They like a good show. It’s exactly the same with Fox.

Although it should have been, it is not true that Fox has been made to start using a disclaimer saying “For Entertainment Purposes Only”. That was an April Fool’s joke in 2017 circulated by reporters, designed to make readers laugh- and to make them think. But it’s definitely true that entertainment is how they think of themselves. Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 that he does not consider the other basic cable news channels — CNN and MSNBC — to be Fox’s competitors.

“We’re competing with TNT and USA and ESPN,” he said.

Discussion about American political issues today-meaning every single facet of life in southern North America- means a debate, unless you’re in a room where everyone agrees with you. Those debates will see a Fox-trained cadre putting forth the opinions of trolls like Hannity as a valid counterpoint to anything, even proven scientific facts. People take him seriously and believe the things he says.

Recently he said the immigration deal we nearly came to with Trump a “Garbage Compromise”. But actually, Hannity himself is an absolute, complete, and total trash can. He didn’t even go to school for this, he was working as a housing contractor when he randomly volunteered for radio and offered himself out as a mouthpiece for rightist nonsense.

If you’re willing to lie without repentance, there’s always some monopoly capitalist hoping to bring down America with your help.

Hannity has paid off for them with some real whoppers over the years. The anti-Obama movement of birtherism, 2016 voter fraud, “deep state opposition” of a “Shadow Government” – a network of government officials that are working to hinder the Trump administration. Conspiracy theories about the Seth Rich murder, and so on, leading up to the biggest lie of all- that Debauched Donald was fit to run this country.

It’s all a big show, not truthful news, but then again it was not meant to be. As the Fox “News” Network’s own CEO Roger Ailes said, they’re really competing with football and pro wrestling. It’s all for ratings and money- money that comes from billionaire libertarians like the Koch Brothers and their founder Rupert Murdoch.

Hannity will say whatever the Murdochs want him to.

That’s a big problem when most of it is not true; a third at most of Hannity’s public statements were rated fully true by Politifact. A recent Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll revealed that most Americans get their political knowledge from Sunday morning political shows on television. These “do the most to help people learn about current events.” That would seem to confirm their opinion.

However, listen to the rest of the story.

“[S]ome outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

Likewise, a University of Maryland study done in 2003 showed that Fox News viewers are more likely than consumers of any other news source to believe demonstrably false statements.

Again, this is because Fox is not a news channel. It’s entertainment packaged as news to mislead and stultify the American people. Great misunderstanding and bitterness come from believing things that just aren’t true. Real consequences arise from surrendering our objectivity.

Fox viewers have been getting angrier and angrier for decades, their bitterness manufactured and exploited. And who do their Friends at Fox lead them into feeling bitter towards? Liberals, progressives, anyone who wants to help the people. Anyone who isn’t just like them.

A full 60% of Fox News viewers describe themselves as conservative according to a 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center. According to John Ray at Data for Progress, “Across a variety of political and cultural attitudes, Republicans who report getting their news from Fox are significantly to the right of Republicans who don’t.”

Studies galore have been done to measure these tendencies, which should be well-documented and understood. Every one of the organizations reaching these conclusions is similar to MediaFactChect, a neutral nonprofit organization that exists to classify and track partisan bias levels among political media entities. They do this according to a rated standard political spectrum, going as always from extreme-left to extreme-right.

A related group, PunditFact, measures their commentators’ honesty. These standards are both logical and apolitical, and can reasonably trusted as far as anything else in the written world can.

Fox News is given by MediaFactCheck a Bias Rating very near the extreme end of the pole as Strongly Right, for reasons that are really rather damning. We’ve included them in blockquote below.

These media sources are moderately to strongly biased toward conservative causes through story selection and/or political affiliation. They may utilize strong loaded words (wording that attempts to influence an audience by using appeal to emotion or stereotypes), publish misleading reports and omit reporting of information that may damage conservative causes. Some sources in this category may be untrustworthy. See all Right Bias sources.

  • Overall, we rate Fox News strongly Right-Biased due to wording and story selection that favors the right and Mixed factually based on poor sourcing and the spreading of conspiracy theories that later must be retracted after being widely shared.

They also score badly by the standards of PunditFact, a second and related organization’s tool for measuring the percentage of truthful reporting done by political analysts on the stories they discuss and the terms they use to describe them. We decided to include the numerical figures below, as a stark quality comparison between the center and far-right journalists is to be found there.

Currently, at Fox and Fox News Channel, 58 percent of fact claims made by pundits and on-air personalities have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. NBC and MSNBC were not great either, but their work still represents a significant improvement versus Fox at 45%.

CNN scored best with only 22 percent of their fact claims not making it through the filters and most of those coming from guests rather than commentators, which is interesting because CNN also is a cable network. They chose to use journalistic standards of their own volition, not because they were forced to by any mean laws or regulations.

Conversely, Don Irvine over at Accuracy in Media showed what Fox thinks of truth as a value.

Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes told The Hollywood Reporter that Fox News has become so big, the network is really competing with cable sports and entertainment networks like TNT, USA and ESPN, not the ratings-challenged CNN and MSNBC.

They laugh because it doesn’t get the ratings that come from anger and savage lying. It also doesn’t get big bucks from the likes of Charles and David Koch.
We have to keep hitting this point until it sinks in. Fox cannot be trusted, and we should immediately go on the attack whenever someone cites them as a source rather than arguing on the merits or flaws of their absurd claims. Fox is not a news network at all. It’s just an entertainment cable network, like TNT or USA. They do not have a record of journalistic integrity, and they do not have to have one. We must attack Fox credibility on these grounds.
On a cable network, or elsewhere, journalistic standards are a choice. Citizens have to know there is a big difference between the quality of the work of those who adhere to them and those who do not. Fox has made its choice long ago, and so we must make ours. We have to start hammering this home immediately. As fast as we can. Fox is LITERALLY-and legally- fake news. They have systematically and for decades mangled truth in the pursuit of power and money.
We are done listening.
All the filth and lies the Bernie supporters were slinging around in 2016 came through their pipeline.  They laid the groundwork in the minds of the American people that made them accept the Russian disinformation that convinced Bernie supporters to riot in the Philadelphia streets.
Most of all, they convinced the American people that Donald Trump, a known con man, racist, and bully, was worth entrusting the greatest responsibility in the world. They have put our entire American system at risk. The last pillar in the world holding democracy up
The nonsense the Russians were using was the same old anti-Clinton stuff Rush Limbaugh and his pals have been spouting. The record is clear and the facts are too.

In Trump’s words during the first 2016 presidential debates, somebody better call Sean Hannity.

Advertisements

Far-Right Resignations in Austria & Elsewhere- Rats Jump Off Putin’s Sinking Ship.

Far-right Austrian minister caught conspiring with Russia resigns.

The Austrian government has purged itself of would-be far-right Nazis, who were diligent enough to resign en masse. Every far-right Freedom Party minister in the Austrian government has resigned. Austria’s Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache was the first to go. He resigned on May 18 over a scandal he caused while colluding with Russia to subvert his nation’s government. They caught him on a sting tape.

Unfortunately for Mr. Strache, his transgression appeared over the weekend in a video from 2017. He probably wasn’t very happy to be watching it. It showed him on the Spanish island of Ibiza, offering government contracts to a woman who claimed to be the niece of a Russian oligarch. Strache’s party has a cooperation agreement with Russian president Vladimir Putin, just like Marine Le Pen of France did.

These countries, in our opinion, should not just let the Russians do whatever they want in their electoral system, which I have always disliked, but it does seem to help them not get taken off guard by this kind of thing. They’re used to it, and it’s not unexpected.

Strache is gone, which is both positive and sadly ironic. It’s sad he was allowed in that position in the first place. Austria is where Adolf Hitler was actually from, not Germany. It’s positive because, well, anytime there are fewer Nazis someplace, that’s positive. This, we can accept on faith as an axiomatic statement. But it’s sad at the same time, because, well, how quickly we forget! In Germany proper, you’re not allowed to go around spouting Nazi filth anymore. They’ll stick you in a cell for that, although it’ll be in a prison, not a death camp. Why not in Austria? In fact, why not everyplace? A prison is a great place for Nazis in any country.

They should be very grateful that not all of the rest of us are just like them. If we were they’d all be dead.

Getting back on topic, my guess is that what we saw Strache doing on that tape is something he knew full well was illegal, not just something “dumb”, like he tried to say on his way out the door. It was for the same reason I think Paul Manafort never left America, although of course, that is speculative.

He didn’t think his alt-right team was going to lose.

Keep in mind, this was 2017. The alt-right had it all back then. Trump was in office over here, having just begun his term. German chancellor, the interim head of the free world Angela Merkel was being severely attacked by that nation’s alt-right primarily by the Free Democratic Party(FDP). These were the chief culprits, of course. But Merkel was also besieged from a different angle, through Martin Schulz, a far-left, Putin-backed and financed candidate who was called the “Bernie Sanders of Russia“.

The list goes on. Marine Le Pen was still giving Macron a hard time in France. and Austrian far-right leader Norbert Hofer came closer to winning a major election than any far-right candidate has since the end of World War II. All over Europe and elsewhere, far-right militarists who were friends of Putin began taking power. Jinping Xi of China, whose state capitalist system is a more efficient version of the Russians, back then called Putin his “most closest, most dearest friend”.

Certainly, the momentum was there, and they were, for a day, riding the crest of a swastika’s black, white, and red wave. The colors were to replace those of America. They wanted this and dreamed about it, and they thought Putin would be able to get it for them. They even manipulated unwitting dupes of the far left on board with ripping up Democrats

Viewed in this context, of course members of Austria’s far-right would be open to cooperating with Russia. Why wouldn’t they be? They thought he was going to build them a new world, one they’d be on top of. Le Pen summed up their viewpoint very well, hailing him as the herald of what she said was a “stone in the building of a new world destined to replace the old one.” She flicked her wrist around the room with the utmost contempt, as if to indicate what Trump would soon be washing away.

Not long after, one of their guys, a nameless trash can killed a girl named Heather Heyer at a now-infamous rally in Charlottesville, Virginia by running her down with a van, and they all cheered about it, and marched around afterward harassing those who prepared a quiet candle vigil for her. It made them feel strong, to murder a woman. Trump told them they were “very good people” and said not a word about what he had done.

How strong do you chumps feel now?

That was all before the FBI arrested George Papadopoulos and kicked in Michael Cohen‘s door, though. Once they arrested Paul Manafort, and still Trump used his pardoning power on no one but Joe Arpaio, the sadistic Arizona sheriff who built concentration camps in the desert for the prisoners of Phoenix, they must have gotten to thinking.

Every time a member of the alt-right has second thoughts about putting their ideology higher in their value system than their behinds and bails, they inspire a few more of their buddies to join them. One by one, and finally in droves, their “brothers” and them all disappeared. Every one of them was a crack in the reservoir for Putin. Now that guys like Strache are actually resigning because of things he made them do, we can look for that crack to widen rapidly.

Sooner or later, that levee’s going to break.

As soon as the incels and other alt-rightists all see that he can’t protect them, they’ll realize they only have three choices, like in the Choose Your Own Adventure books we millennials read as little kids. There are all kinds of different ways to go at first, but sooner or later they all run together, and then there’s only a few, leading to the same three options every time.

Failure, success, or death.

These guys have seen now that Putin is not going to usher in the new world order. He can’t even keep Russia’s roads up, and even Hitler did that. He’s got a lot of money and Russia’s military is not completely worthless, but compared to the titanic might of the United States he’s just a paper tiger. Our guys can rip him up any time they feel like it, and now all these pretenders are starting to know it.
Given that, there are only three adventures to choose from. And we know how they end.
They can be George Papadopoulos, a young guy with six months in the can and his life back together already, mistake learned from and in the past. Or they can be Paul Manafort, nearly seventy years old and sentenced to seventeen years in prison with two other cases pending, undoubtedly with massive penalties to follow as well
As judges and juries tend to love their countries as much as others do, it’s not unreasonable for a guy like that to be frightened about what they’re going to do to them. Even if you’re a fair-minded professional, it’s hard not to hate a traitor. As famed Roman orator Cicero said, “A murderer is less to be feared”. We refrain from harboring that hatred for our own sakes, not for theirs, and they know it. 
These are all the reasons why, by 2018, the alt-right was dead worldwide. Over. Remember the American ones, the guys who ran r/the_donald on Reddit? Their leaders took their money and were gone like the wind.
Richard Spencer, for example. We all remember him. I’ve got an anecdote about this one. A former alt-right individual whose name I promised not to reveal had had some second thoughts and wrote into us one day on Facebook in a message that was then sent over to me. He spent a lot of time with me one afternoon, ripping up his former pals. Spencer was brought up specifically, by him. He said, and I quote with permission, “Here’s what I have to say to anybody following Spencer. That guy is a predator known for seducing the wives of all his comrades. He beats his own wife, according to her. You think he cares about you?”
Needless to say, Spencer joined known pedophile and NAMBLA advocate Michael Cernovich in being among notable alt-right figures who did not show back up in Virginia for the trial.
In the immortal words of 50 Cent, “Damn, homey! In high school you was the man, homey!
What the f*** happened to you??”
Those guys really thought they were something, all right, as if they were going to be an army of stormtroopers. Back then they thought they were about to see the whole lousy discard called American democracy go down in flames, lit up by Trump as Hitler did before him. As a private citizen, I did think they might try for some lousy publicity stunt as they did back then, coming to mock the family of the victim, and to stand without permission on the white race’s behalf to embrace a murderer, the nameless trash can who killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville.  I try not to dwell on that day.
I remembered his name long enough to glance up when I saw he was up for sentencing a while ago. I read the article, but even before, I didn’t have to wonder if his “brothers” in the movement would show up to show support for him, guys like that never do. The only one there was his mother, God bless her undoubtedly tortured soul. I read that alt-right hero “Baked Alaska” was called, reminded of the upcoming sentencing date, and asked if he was going to show up to support that little psychopath.
Mr. Alaska’s comments on the subject were nothing less than classic. They involved profanity, the word “murderer”, and “I’m out by the pool.”
Finally comes Adventure Three, which ends a bit sooner than the other two. If Manafort and Papadopoulos won’t do, they can stay out on the streets, and end up being Jimmy Hoffa (notorious Teamster union boss who’s been missing for decades. Experts believe the mob disappeared him for becoming a liability. He knew too much, and the bosses probably didn’t feel like they could chance it. What he knew could have buried them- so they buried him instead.
A stubborn old man may not have much to fear in prison. If you’re an alt-right slimebag like Roger Stone who is playing at having honor among thieves and refused to snitch like Cohen and Georgie P., then by this time you know full well that you’ve decided to be Manafort.
At that point, you had better stop and think: How much do they trust me?
If the answer is Not enough, I’m going to be Hoffa long before I can get to Papadopoulos.

All those guys are thinking about this and weighing the equation in their minds. The jig is up, and they know it. Putin was a long shot from the first, but for a while all his rubles made them forget what they now are remembering in earnest- that it’s not going to happen for them and they know it. Now they’re remembering something else, too, something that people in mobs tend to forget.

When I get home tonight, I’ll still be just one man.

Sooner or later, this is going to backfire horribly on Putin, who has been a disaster for Russia. The country is in poverty while he and his pals fly around on private jets holding rallies on American soil. He got them sanctioned heftily, they can’t do business in America, and there’s only so much borscht you can eat.

If you’re a Nazi who’s looking for a job in politics, your prospects are looking pretty thin. All is not lost, though. We’re feeling generous today. So out of a sense of general human charity, a thing no Nazi can understand or legally display in their type of political system, we got something lined up for you, at least in the way of advice. Get out now, before it’s too late. Because if you don’t, it will be too late. And when this is all over, you are going to be cast out.
If you really want to hurt Democrats and help Putin and Trump, we can tell you how to do it in three words.

Scared Of A Beating- Why The Bern Isn’t Feeling Beto.

We'll take Beto over Bernie any day!

The followers of Bernie Sanders have declared an increasing and unproductive war on Beto O’Rourke, up and coming Democrat who has many of the same values- and strategies- that they do. This is coming at a time when both men are deciding whether they will run for the United States presidency. It’s unfortunate that they’re going this route, but it isn’t that surprising.

We have seen in the past how ugly Bernie can get when he is scared of a beating. He’s afraid of Beto, and he should be. O’Rourke is young, progressive, and levelheaded.  He also has Bernie’s feared Revolution Messaging working for him. He has the support of both wings of the party and has been careful to maintain relations with both-not that it’s doing him much good with them at the moment.

During the 2016 presidential election, O’Rourke endorsed Clinton, but he waited until the race was close enough to over so as not to weigh in for one side heavily over the other. He also praised Sanders. “We are fortunate to have had such a vigorously contested nomination. Secretary Clinton will be a better general election candidate and president because of the principled, passionate campaign run by Bernie Sanders,” he told the El Paso Times. “I am deeply grateful that he made campaign finance, military intervention and growing income inequality central to the Democratic nomination debate.”

That was generous, in our view. That’s the kind of guy Beto is.

If Sanders and his followers do end up tearing into him in earnest, it would not be the first time they have done tremendous damage to the causes they espouse, not to mention to America. They voted for Trump just to spite Hillary Clinton and her supporters, and now look where we are. Trump is doing all he can to rip America up at the roots at Putin’s behest.

In terms of a military payoff, look what Putin got this week alone. Trump yanked us out of Syria so unexpectedly that even the guy who talked him into it, the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, is said to have been shocked. He almost turned around and asked Trump to stay. Vladimir Putin was undoubtedly thrilled, though. Then Trump decided to start making noise about Afghanistan. Then he removed General James Mattis from his post as Secretary of Defense two months early. And finally, he shut down the government over a wall that no one except a bunch of insane people among the alt-right really wants or thinks they’re getting.

Every bit of this was predictable to anyone with common sense. One did not need a political science major to know that if Trump won, we would all be living in a world of total chaos. But to the members of #BernieOrBust, all of this was a small price to pay for hamstringing Hillary Clinton. Their rabid hatred of her is how they got involved with the Russians. When Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel appointed to investigate Trump’s involvement with the Russian interference of our 2016 election, brought his case against Paul Manafort this fall to trial, Bernie’s manager Tad Devine was the first witness called.

Earlier this year, when Mueller indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian entities for helping the Kremlin interfere in the last presidential election, a February 2016 memo was circulated to Internet Research Agency staff showing instructions given to post political content on US social media sites and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them).”
No wonder Bernie’s people don’t want him to touch “the Russia thing”, not that that stops them from accusing anyone who disagrees with Bernie as being under Russian influence themselves.

Earlier today, in fact, our Facebook webmaster informed me that three Bernie trolls had been removed from our page, as they were going on there spouting about how Millennial Democrats has been hacked and are all Russians. Wrong! Think again. Actually, all that type of baseless accusation does is to cloud the issue even further. More help for Putin.

It’s important to point out that not all Bernie supporters are Bots or Bernie Bros. 9 out of 10 Bernie supporters did go on to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election. But among the ones who did not, there is a subset of them who are known for being racist, sexist, and mean. 

Their shabby treatment of Joy Reid in particular stands out. This picture, a shameful disgrace to America, says it all.

Image result for Racist Bernie Bros and Joy Reid

Don’t take it to heart, Beto. Nothing you do will ever be good enough for them. Moderation is a virtue. There’s no doubt you fully realize that fending off slanderous attacks from the right and far left alike are part of the job of being a Democrat. Their reviles and hatred are a sure sign that you are doing an excellent job, and should be interpreted as a sign of success. You came out of the blue all but completely and nearly beat one of the most well-recognized and entrenched Republicans in the nation, Tea Party Ted Cruz, and turned Texas purple in the process. You’re a winner.  If you run, no one will touch Bernie. That’s why his supporters are after you.

Bernie Sanders has two renamed post offices to show for his nearly three decades in the Congress. His accomplishments really are that limited. Nor is he alone among his set in being a progressive with no record of making progress. Radical left darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, has yet even to begin her own career, and is currently spending all her days disrupting her own people. Why not go protest the Republicans about climate change? Who knows, but it’s certainly convenient for them that she doesn’t, and that she rather chooses to spend her time harassing Nancy Pelosi who is genuinely great. We have spoken highly of her in the past and done our best to be fair and give her a chance, but those hopes become more distant by the day- and by the tweet.

Going forward, we’re going to reaffirm something that we were partially founded to address. All millennials are not for Bernie! We’re just not. We’re not, and we never will be. We are a very large generation, and most of us are sane. But Bernie supporters have a way of being extremely loud and visible, and it creates a false impression and a narrative the mainstream media that we are here to dispel.

In the beginning and at the end of the day, Millennial Democrats are Democrats. We love our country, we love our party, and we love the world order that our grandparents fought and died to build for us. When it comes time to say where we stand with the socialists, who say it is broken and should be entirely discarded, we must draw a line in the sand completely.

In 2016, that line became a trench.

There has been healing since then, and lines of communication have been gradually opened. The left is no longer as divided, and the demonic frenzy that possessed the Bernie people who rioted in the streets of Philadelphia back in July of 2016 seems to have dissipated somewhat. That’s good because we fervently hope the radicals do not put us to the test again. Our voices are united and strong, and we are ready for anything, come what may. We have come to believe in ourselves, and in each other. If the Bernie Bros come for Beto O’Rourke or any other Democrat, they will find readiness in waiting for them.

The 2018 Midterms- A Globally Critical Blue Wave.

The 2018 Midterms- A Globally Critical Blue Wave.

     The 2018 midterm elections were among the most anticipated races in history, and they did not fail to deliver dramatic results. Throughout the election cycle, word of a Democratic Blue Wave gained momentum, and a watershed voter turnout was the satisfying result. It was the highest for any election held in the United States since Watergate, which seemed suitable for such a high stakes contest. In many cases, the primary considerations of the voters seemed to counterbalance one another. These were the strong economy and the personal repugnance of Trump himself. The president has managed to snatch credit for the strength of the economy, but his low approval ratings pointed to Democratic gains (Washington Post). History has favored the minority party at the time of the president’s first midterm. This tendency, combined with American disgust for Trump himself as a man, to give Democrats control of the half of the Congress known as the House of Representatives by a wide margin.

     The achievement of the Democrats can hardly be overstated. Reporter Dan Balz of the Washington Post gave us a few statistics with which to illustrate this point. Democrats flipped about two-thirds of the competitive districts won by both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012 or by Clinton in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012. They also picked up one-third of districts won by Trump in 2016 and Obama in 2012. In districts where both Trump and Romney had won in the previous two elections, Democrats gained about a quarter of the competitive seats (Washington Post). Democrats even managed to break even in net seats in the Senate, though they had faced crushing electoral odds in that chamber. Twenty-five Democratic senators were up for reelection as opposed to only eight Republicans, and many were in states that went solidly red in 2016. Managing to hold the line places Democrats in a fantastic position to retake the Senate in 2020, when the shoe will be on the other foot. While immediate domestic concerns are likely to be given precedence, the effects of the Blue Wave in 2018 are sure to reverberate worldwide.

     This tremendous level of electoral enthusiasm was all the more remarkable in that midterm elections in general are not captivating to most voters. In a normal year, only the most ideologically driven and committed members of the electorate tend to turn out for them, and certainly overseas interest is not typically overwhelming. But in recent years, a radical polarization has gripped the global society’s political atmosphere. The specter of World War Two has risen and people are getting scared. A great acrimony and division has spread through America and the rest of the world. Some are calling it a civil cold war, and its battlefields can be found on many fronts. Trenches are being dug under national borders, in some cases, and along gerrymandered district lines in others. People in all corners of the globe had good reason to pay attention, as the struggles highlighted the dramatic and worldwide trouble the human race is having in getting along with itself.

     The quality of the candidates selected by the two parties speaks in volumes to the quality of those who did the selecting. Democrats elected eight new scientists. Republicans elected three felons and a dead pimp (Post-Tribune). Something has got to give here. Somebody is going to hold power in America, the world’s sole superpower. We have to look closely at whom. The moderate wing of the Republican Party used to have some allies in it. There were men like John McCain, who in spite of their party affiliation was sound and unselfish Americans. Some of them could be counted on for bipartisan dialogue concerning issues of paramount importance. McCain is now gone, however, and with him the moderate wing of the Republican Party. This type of candidate took serious damage in the midterm primaries. They were discarded in favor of candidates more in line with the views of Donald Trump. Many of these came from the ranks of the alt-right, though the elections also played an important role in illustrating a trend of worsening extremity taking root in the far left. Only center Democrats have reliably proven they can put themselves to the side enough to do what is best for the country.

     The 2018 election was in many ways a referendum on the 2016 election, and the events immediately surrounding it. The victory of Donald Trump combined with Brexit constituted significant blows to the American-led, liberal world order, and empowered the radical right. It also empowered Russian president Vladimir Putin, who had spent millions of dollars to defeat Hillary Clinton and get a guy in office he found more pliable. “Putin likes Trump because he supports this view of the world, that the big guys can carve it up,” explained former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in an interview for Gentlemen’s Quarterly. After Trump won, Kasparov, who is Putin’s former opponent in a Russian presidential election, wrote some predictions down in his new book on the future of the Western world order, Winter is Coming. He believed we had eighteen months in which to turn around the sequence of events that had been started, two years at the most. If we didn’t find a way by then, he felt, it would probably be too late. I thought of those words many times on the way to the voting booths this year. They perfectly summarized the reason it was so important for the Democrats to win the midterms in 2018. Only the full force of American conviction can activate its might enough to keep the world safe for democracy.

     Today’s world, like today’s Republican Party, is busy coping with an uptick in reactionary far-right movements, movements that in many cases and nations border on fascism. Alt-right candidates were present in greater number than ever before in the 2018 midterms, and this too is part of a worldwide trend. From Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil to Norbert Hofer in Austria, adherents of racist nationalism have been growing increasingly violent and brazen. A man screams “Hail Trump!” in a movie theater; another during a performance of the Fiddler on the Roof. “Middle America is rallying to the flag of the alt-right,” said Kyle Bristow, a self-described member of the “alt-right” and the attorney of infamous white nationalist Richard Spencer. These candidates mostly lost, but their sheer proliferation is a terrible sign. It goes without saying that all of them were Republicans. The race was representative of the political atmosphere worldwide in that it was ideologically polarized. It saw its fair share of triumphs for liberals and progressives, but it also saw a rise of far-right, white nationalist candidates. Some of these were victorious. The low quality of the Republican candidates has negative consequences for every level of government.

     A Democratic retaking of the House of Representatives was a critical first step in containing and reversing this virulent problem. It is why the Resistance showed up in such numbers at the polls. For two years, liberals and progressives have been helpless to do anything but sit idle, as one travesty after another has rocked the global community. We have not had the power to protect our people, or even to get many others to listen or to understand our plight. But with the power to form committees of Congressional inquiry, we can finally start to put the bad guys under a microscope. The power of the House is, in this case, the power of defense.

     The elections were not completely without problems for the Democrats. It showed us that ideological faultline is still existent not only in the Republican Party but in the Democratic as well. The rift between the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton has healed to an extent, and there have been improvements made in this area. Our shared victory in the midterms demonstrated that the progressive wing of the party is beginning to learn from the tremendous mistakes they made in 2016, where undercurrents of far left hard feelings allowed the Russians an easy way to turn the 2016 Democratic primaries into a zoo. The radical left’s extreme love for the Bern reached the levels of a cult by the end of the primary. From the day the Bernie or Bust petition began circulating, it was obvious we were in for trouble. If they couldn’t have Bernie, they said, they would rather have Trump. This attitude was allowed to get highly pervasive, and it killed us in the end.

     This time around, Democrats did a far better job of managing conflicts between the two wings of the party. They simmered at a low boil all the way through the midterm primaries but managed to keep from becoming a fight instead of a contest and ruining the Blue Wave. This is a positive sign, suggesting the far left might have learned from 2016, which is good. Most mainstream Democrats have been pushed to the left as far as we will go, and are starting to get ready to push back. Centrist groups like Third Way have been pushing candidates to read up on history and polling. “The party is not going to go in the direction of Sanders-style socialism, because it’s not winning on the issues and it doesn’t win politically except in a very, very limited number of places,” Third Way president Jonathan Cowan tells TIME. “It’s going to go in the direction that won it two presidencies” (Elliott). The last two two-term Democratic Presidents were mainstream Democrats. [That’s] what’s going to get the House back.” It’s important to emphasize here that mainstream Democrats do not seek reorientation of the party. We’ve been doing an excellent job under the worst possible conditions.

     Progressive Democrats from the Sanders wing were not without a few reasons to cheer in November’s elections. The upset primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over twenty year veteran Joe Crowley for New York’s 14th District stood out on a number of levels. Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest Representative ever elected, and her zealot’s love for socialism has given the Sanders wing a new face and voice to cheer for. My thoughts are that this is not the worst thing in the world, because we need them, and it appears that some healing has taken place. Clinton supporters and Sanders supporters used to very nearly hate each other, and that no longer feels as acutely so. It appears that the left has achieved a degree of unity for now, but it remains to be seen whether this newly placid status quo can survive another presidential primary.

     The immediate battles to be faced come January in the House of Representatives are only one part of a much larger problem. Democracy is under attack worldwide. It is being replaced one plank at a time like the proverbial Ship of Theseus. At what point in all this replacing does it become a different ship? Only one thing is certain, at least in the gut level instinct of this writer. Since Trump got elected, this country does not feel the same at all. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, America has been rated as being less than a full democracy for the last two years. The EIU produces an annual review ranking countries on their adherence to 60 distinct democratic values, including electoral processes and press freedom (“America Has Been Classified as a Flawed Democracy”). According to their standards, we’re not a free country anymore. America is now more like Viktor Orban’s Hungary, or Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The rich want to get into power and stay there, and quote the ideals of freedom as the reason they ought to be able to use any means to do so. The only way we can hope to turn this all around is to get the Democrats back into power and keep them there.

     The biggest net effect of the midterms is the Democratic retaking of the House because it gives the sane center of the country back the power of defense. Democrats can now protect our country from anymore disastrous Trump ideas. This also sets back Putin’s plan of attaching more of his tendrils and creepers to the grand old castle walls that hold up our country. Proactive measures are more limited. Democrats can form investigative committees, and hold hearings for the purposes of questioning and gathering information. Resources are certain to focus on raising awareness about the Russiagate scandal and other serious challenges facing our democracy. The conduct of Trump and his allies can be highlighted and brought to the forefront of public consciousness everywhere. It should be understood that even with a legislative chamber in blue hands, Republicans still hold the White House and the Senate, and the cooperation of all three is needed to pass a law. Nothing in recent history suggests hope for bipartisan cooperation on any issue, regardless of the issue’s importance. People will see once again how obstructionist and unfair the opposition is, and afterward, it will be easier to help people understand the truth- everything we hold sacred is in danger. If things keep on as they are, the days of American supremacy will be numbered.

     A close look at the playing field this election has left us with will prove useful as we step into the future. Blue Wave 2018 hit home for the midterms, and it gave us a great start. But the world remains beneath the dark shadow of a large-scale hatefulness and mayhem. The potential for danger and disorder is so great that it seems almost redundant to say so. As someone who has lived through all this, and read not just eight articles about it but hundreds, I feel that this narrative is being neglected and understated. This is due to responsible journalists not wanting to sound alarmist, in some cases, and it’s comforting to tell ourselves we’re in less trouble than we are. But the country’s divisions have been highlighted and exacerbated by hostile foreign powers such as Russia, who also targeted the 2018 midterms. This has added urgency to the issue and made them even more difficult to ignore. Going forward, it will be incumbent on the Democratic leadership, under the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, to use their regained power dexterously. To show the people of the country that there is a reasonable alternative to the bedlam created by the current administration, resources must be channeled wisely and well. Good thing we’ve got a professional headed for the Speaker’s Chair. We’re really going to need her.

     In studying the political history of America, the scholar will note along with Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who wrote in his Age of Roosevelt that foreign radicalism has never taken deep root here. From the visceral horror felt by the Founding Fathers toward the bloodbath going on in France to the resolute pursuance of seeing an end to the Nazis, America has always managed to resist being taken in by extremism from left or right. The source of our strength as a nation’s people has always lain in our ability to value compromise and moderation, which are necessary if we wish in times of crisis to be able to pull together with the full force of American conviction behind us, like when we fought World War Two. When these values are abandoned, democratic nations start to fall. If we lose our ability to communicate, we clearly can’t coordinate strategy. Only the full force of America’s people can activate its might enough to keep the world safe for democracy.  Our ability to hold the center is why we have become and remained so strong. 

       After looking at all this, a simple question remains. Has America ever faced a midterm election like 2018? In considering its potential impact of it on the country and its global standing, many would argue that the answer lies in the negative. The Trump administration has been a disaster of colossal proportion. Every day that America is represented in its highest office by a man who many would argue is both corrupt and deeply incompetent is a day in which we are vulnerable in the eyes of the world. Resisting his demented policies has taken everything we have, but we managed it even though we held so little power. After two years of that, holding the House of Representatives feels like a tremendous luxury of strength. We can assure the Trump presidency will be a lame duck from this point on. We can’t start setting things to rights just yet, but we can stop the current Oval Office occupant when he tries to do further damage. We can block his cruel new policies, and removing his ability to hamstring our future with corrupt appointees like the Supreme Court’s Brett Kavanaugh. This is why it was so crucial for the Democratic “Blue Wave” to sweep America.

Works Cited

Agerholm, Harriet, 2018. “America falls short of being a full democracy for second year running, report finds.”

/www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/america-democracy-rated-donald- trump-not-fully-democratic-us- president-report-the-economist- a8195121.html

Balz, Dan, and Scherer, Michael, 2018. Washington Post, Washington Post. “For Democrats, A Midterm Election That Keeps On Giving.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/for-democrats-a-midterm-election-that-keeps-on- giving/2018/11/09/b4075ef2-e456-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html? utm_term=.754bc43973ad

Beauchamp, Zack, 2018. “The midterm elections revealed that America is in a cold civil war.”

https://www.vox.com/midterm-elections/2018/11/7/18068486/midterm-election- 2018-results-race-surburb Campbell, Alaistair, 2018. “Garry Kasparov on Putin, Trump, and their deal to carve up Europe.” https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/garry-kasparov-alastair-campbell-interview

Elliott, Philip. Time, Time, 2018. “The Middle Road.”

time.com/5428157/democrats-centrist-midterms/.

Frier, Nancy, 2018. Time, Time, 2018. Facebook Discovers an Ongoing Effort to Influence the 2018 Midterm Elections.

Grand Magazine, 2018. “Urgent: The United States Has Been Classed As A Flawed Democracy.”

www.grandmagazine.com/2018/09/urgent-the-united-states-has-been-classed-as-a-flawed-democracy/.




	

Julian Assange Indicted! Cyber-Terrorist To Face American Justice.

Assange Indicted!

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been indicted by the United States! It’s a beautiful day for a neighbor.

This story’s release was not destined for the front page- at least, not right away. It was found in an unsealed court filing in an unrelated case. The document contained the phrase “Assange has already been charged”. What is thought to be a simple copy/paste error has got the entire world talking.

Assange is and has been a criminal and a digital terrorist worldwide. He also is a suspected rapist. Assange has now been hiding out in his Ecuadorian embassy home for two years. He is said to live in slovenly conditions and recently had to be ordered by the courts of Ecuador to feed his cat. Animal abuse, no less! It’s time to bring this man to justice.
Wikileaks, under his direction, has attempted to cut the throat of American intelligence time and time again. He has disrupted the functioning of our country in every way he’s been able to think up.
He was involved in helping Edward Snowden. He leaked Chelsea Manning’s documents. He leaked the DNC emails in 2016 that led to the rioting of Bernie Sanders supporters, an event that is said to have astounded the Russians with glee.
He is an enemy of America, and he made himself that way, for no real reason. He did this to himself for fame and glory. Still, American law has been hesitant to condemn him, for fear of setting a precedent of discouraging investigative journalism. It’s important to be decent, even when the guy you’re up against is not.
Assange claims to be neutral, both in general and in regard to our 2016 election, but every single leak ever released by his outlet was designed to hurt Hillary Clinton and no one else. He claimed that was because no data was ever sent to WikiLeaks, about the Sanders or Trump campaigns.
However, the decidedly non-neutral Roger Stone had what he called a “Perfectly Legal” back channel to Assange, who got the electronic documents from the entity known as Guccifer 2.0, who was later proven to be a Russian intelligence officer working for the GRU.
He “gave excuse after excuse” for refusing to publish a trove of documents related to corruption within the Russian government, according to chat logs obtained by Foreign Policy.
Assange has been in this position before, when he was younger, and he failed to learn from the experiences he had. He was a member of the Chaos Computer Club, a European collective infamous for stealing secrets from governments and selling them to the KGB for drugs and money.
Around this same time, in the 1980’s, Vladimir Putin was a young(and according to his old boss, extremely mediocre) lieutenant in the KGB. It is likely these two have known each other for a while.
Wikileaks, underneath the strategic command of Julian Assange, is an important part of a consistent and growing sequence of aggressive Russian attempts to rebuild at the expense of NATO and the United States.
His involvement in Brexit, and in the French elections between Macron and Le Pen parallel his efforts in our election. He has also been active in attempting to undermine and hamstring Angela Merkel. He is a willing and active participant in the worldwide far-right conspiracy being headed by Putin.
 Lawfare’s Nicholas Weaver calls this whole process the weaponization of Wikileaks.
“Wikileaks doesn’t seem to care that they are being used as a weapon by unknown parties, instead calling themselves a ‘library of mass education’. But the rest of us should,” Weaver writes.

The evidence so far suggests it’s a weapon that Putin has used to great effect.

There is nothing more important than a free press, an independent press like the one Putin destroyed in Russia. That is not in question. But there is a big difference between journalism and doxing, and the difference is that one is edifying and one is malicious. One seeks to educate and enlighten, and the other seeks only to destroy. In the last analysis, intent speaks for itself, and you get what’s coming to you.

Humanitarian concerns keep us from wishing physical harm on the man. The death penalty is wrong, and torture is wrong, regardless of the circumstances, no matter how egregious the criminal. We don’t feel he should be waterboarded at Guantanamo- the hole at United States Penitentiary-Leavenworth is hard enough. And even though the slipup was actually revealed in a pedophilia case, it is important to note that Assange has only allegedly raped two women in Sweden. Those are two more of the reasons why he needs to be taken somewhere and tried.

When Ecuador first gave asylum to Assange, he was still a hero to many on the left, and to many opponents of “US imperialism”. This sentiment runs deep in South America, and not unjustly so. So he was given asylum; a very decent act on the part of Ecuador.

But that was before he started using their place to hack our elections and do harm to everyone who’s breathing. What a guy. If I were Assange, I would start a GoFundMe for commissary.

And I would feed my cat.

Cold War 2.0- Sonic Attacks Spread from Cuba to China, Russia Suspected.

American diplomats in China have been getting brain injuries from mysterious sonic-based “health attacks“. They appear to be the same devices used to give brain injuries to our diplomats in Cuba. The chief suspect is Russia because that’s who’s got the most to lose from America and her old Cold War era enemies making peace.

It reads like something out of the history books from fifty years ago, doesn’t it? Communist bullies and thugs all over the world stage, and the United States upholding its values in spite of them. We all stood together, and we supported all the world.

Now look at us.

The Russians are treating us like a monkey does when it sees visitors at the zoo peering in at them, and slings its feces at their faces in impotent rage. They laugh and don’t bother even to move. The monkey can’t hit us, because the glass is there.

But what if the zookeeper came along and busted out the window? Would they still be safe from the monkey poop?

Stepping out of analogy land just in time, we’re pretty sure the answer is no.

Worse, the Trump administration is minimizing it and trying to cover it up. In Cuba, they’re telling us we’re all hypochondriacs, and in Russia, they are openly boasting.

Meanwhile, Putin says he’s preparing for war against us since Trump yanked us out of the nuclear treaty without warning-not that America has any choice but to defend herself since Putin’s been developing blatantly for years. Our missiles were getting old. What are we supposed to do? Some believe this also is about China.

It is the gut feeling of this Millennial Democrats contributor that the whole entire bromance between Putin and Trump can be viewed as the Russo-German Non-Aggression Pact 2.0.

Stalin and Hitler never meant to play nice forever. It was a marriage of expedience. They wanted to spook the liberal powers of the West into backing off and leaving Poland to her miserable fate, which they did. But soon, they got into a pissing contest, and nearly finished off the human race in the process of resolving it.

That’s what Trump and Putin are doing now, except instead of just Poland, it’s the whole entire world.

The webmaster of this site has seen it attacked by the most diverse locations. Hackers from everywhere on earth that people live have tried to take our website down or smear or smash it. They have come from Lviv, Ukraine, they have come from Shanghai, China.

They have come from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which just had its own far-right lunatic candidate Jair Bolsonaro take power in one of the most violent election cycles in that country’s whole entire history. The guy got stabbed in the stomach last month by the Brazilian equivalent of a Bernie Bro, but that’s a whole different article.

The point to consider right this second is the map they’ve tried to hack us from. It’s like a grid of the entire right-wing worldwide network. You can see how they work together. In early 2017, it was always Russians and Eastern Europeans who were trying to hack us. But these days it’s all the Chinese.

The Chinese have tried to hack into Millennial Democrats more than a hundred times; our Sucuri plugin keeps automatic records.

One time these Chinese guys tried to hack us from a strange IP address that appears as a link. I took an old computer and clicked on it from there, and it took me to a strange website where nothing existed save a blank page with the obscure phrase, “Silence is the Gold” written on it.

It’s a saying from Taiwan meant to reproach regular people who speak out on world events, as they believe it’s only those of “noble” birth, e.g. rich kids, who have the right to their opinions.

Silence is the Gold. It was clear they’d put it up there just so we would find it. It was just for us. How eerie. If you’re such a rich big shot, why is the silence of us “little” people required? What is so threatening, if we’re all so itty bitty? All we want is a decent world to live in, to heal up from Hiroshima and Dresden and the Holocaust.

Why don’t you guys want that too?

I’ve been thinking about that phrase ever since that incident happened, and I’d like to thank the man who sent me there to find it. Having read it, I finally understand what it is they are working together for. It really is the Non-Aggression Pact a second time.

All of the monsters everywhere are getting together and making common cause, just long enough to restore the status quo of a hundred years ago.

They all want to return to the days of graft, corruption, and big bosses, in which if you are little people, you’ll only get any Gold if you employ your right to be Silent; that’s what the blacklist was for. Just shut up and go to work and let the professionals handle it, they seem to be saying, all the while greedily eyeing one another’s possessions.

Last time we tried leaving it all to them, they nearly killed us all in World War Two. The next World War will employ nuclear weapons. People won’t survive that very long.

As the old saying goes, war is too important to be left to the generals, and politics are too important to be left to politicians. It follows naturally that all of human life is too important to be left to them as well. Regardless of our bank accounts, we have got to take personal responsibility and do all we can to fend this off. Together, we are strong.

Interestingly enough, as these words were being written, our webmaster received an alert which was then sent to me, that hackers operating out of China, from an IP address in the Hangzhou Alibaba Advertising Co.,Ltd. system tried to bruteforce attack our site.

If they ever make a computer virus that can use that sonic device on us, I’ll be one of the ones it’s aimed at.

What a thought.

The vast, worldwide right wing conspiracy Hillary Clinton spoke of takes a swing and a miss at Millennial Democrats.
The vast, worldwide right wing conspiracy Hillary Clinton spoke of takes a swing and a miss at Millennial Democrats.
A look at his location.
A look at his location.

 

Bombs Sent to Democratic Leaders- Fascism Rising in America.

Fascism is on the rise in the Trump era.

Despicable cowards tried to murder all our greatest Democratic leaders today.

Having typed that sentence, I could finish the article here. Sometimes the facts argue themselves; that sentence and a headline tell you all you need to know about this whole situation, something the whole nation ought to be outraged about.

Pipe bombs were sent to Hillary Clinton in New York and Barack Obama in Washington.

A similar device was sent to philanthropist and lifelong enemy of fascism George Soros, according to the pair of law officers who gave the statement. How rotten, to do a thing like this to that old man, a man who lost his parents to the Holocaust.

Way to pay back a guy for his lifetime of good works by making him the center of a million nutty theories(for example, we do not write for Soros, no matter how many times we are reviled for it) and then sending him a bomb. We are living in a country full of real sickos. That much has become all too clear.

More bombs were sent to CNN, forcing the evacuation of its NYC offices. CNN journalists courageously kept the cameras rolling from the Manhattan sidewalk below.

Bombs were also sent to Eric Holder, former Obama administration Attorney General, former CIA director James Brennan, former DNC chairman and Floridian Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida, and Representative Maxine Waters all received bombs as well. If the guy who did it would not have been such a slob, we’d have lost all our leaders today.

This newest violence is the response to Trump’s big “I’m a (white) nationalist” crap the other day. He’s been doing this all along.

Donald Trump has been inciting his followers to violence for years. He smirked during the debates as he made reference to the Second Amendment, and how “maybe there is something you can do,” a clear incitement to political assassination!

The GOP statement deploring violence is just another sickening deplorable lie. It makes no sense to believe them. The right wing wants us dead. They’ve been out for physical, literal blood for years, at least since Barack Obama’s election.

They will never, ever forgive the people who dared to put a black man in a White House.

Recently the founder of a right-wing gang with a name that does not merit mention came out with a video inciting Trump supporters to violence. “We will kill you,” he says in the video segment, which went viral. Murdering swine.

The first article this blog ever published was called Chaos in Charlottesville, written in response to the sickening lowlife who murdered Heather Heyer, a disgusting footnote to the modern era- like these bombs. Or James T. Hodgkinson, the wingnut Bernie Sanders supporter who shot up the Congress last year.

Here we could care less if you’re wearing a red shirt or a black one. We are against all those who hide behind masks to go smash things up. It’s not the American way to bash brains in on the streets instead of voting. Foreign radicalism has never taken deep root here, which means socialism, communism, and most of all fascism- until now.

Make no mistake. These days, fascism is rearing its head. “We will kill you…”

It is our opinion that people should stop taking the survival of American democracy for granted.

We are not invincible. It can happen here, “it” meaning a fascist takeover. Trump, to all appearances, is actively signaling “it”, and his followers are preparing for it. And they are making progress like no right-wing nationalist has since Adolf Hitler.

We have got to get people to realize that we have got to wake up now, or we could end up flat on our backs for the rest of our lives- or worse.

If Nazi Germany was reborn today on American soil, it would be us all to suffer.

Some as members of unwanted groups, some as political prisoners. Some of us would go to American style Dachau type camps, while others will be forced into silence or shot. They would take all our data off of Facebook and use it to round us up. These things have happened elsewhere. It is time to ask ourselves the question, What if?

The Republicans have been gradually going down this road for more than a hundred years. Why should we assume it’s impossible for them to succeed? The Founding Fathers feared this above all else- the evils of faction, shredding a nation’s fiber.

Here at Millennial Democrats, we’ve been covering all this since the start. We have seen this develop, we have spoken out at every turn. We will be here as long as we can, spreading the word and raising awareness.

This is our country, which we value and love. We will not abandon her.

Cyber-Defense For Democrats! Security Measures For Midterms.

#CyberDefenseForDemocrats

Hello, world!

We have received numerous requests for a focus piece regarding cyber-defense for Democrats, especially right now as we are going into the midterms. In it is an introduction to a number of the techniques we can use to defend ourselves going forward. Knowledge is power. Pass it on.

Regular readers of Millennial Democrats will not require a lot of explanation as to how and why the threat of Russian hacking is real. We have been up against it for years. The time has come to soberly and objectively assess Russia’s cyberwarfare capabilities, and examine how we plan to fight back.

In 2016, America was caught off guard and we got a bloody nose. Guys like Roger Stone’s buddy Guccifer 2.0, or the guys in Fancy Bear pulled a fast one, to be sure.

But it’s important not to overstate the case. It is not accurate to attribute cybernetic omniscience to the Russians and their zany bots and fake news.

They had the element of surprise back then. Most people had no idea what they were doing(and rolled their eyes at those who were trying to warn them, but that’s another subject). These days things are very different.

Regardless of the lies of the great orange malignance, America knows the Russians are out to get us. Trump is sticking his head in the sand on this and will do nothing to help us, so we’re going to have to learn to help ourselves, and each other.

It’s too bad we’ve got no national leadership on this, but it is what it is. We’ll get by on our own.

In starting out, the most important thing to keep in mind is this: Hackers rely on our mistakes, and mistakes are most often made when we don’t know we are making them. They need to catch us off guard, and their job is to find creative ways to use their tools to get us to slip up.

The first place a smart hacker will look is outside the box, so to speak. They’re always looking for ways to burrow in that you wouldn’t think to look for.

Employing a given system, be it a human being or a PC, for a purpose it wasn’t designed for is what hacking means. However, if you’re careful, neither you nor your computer will end up thus employed. It’s all about being careful.

Hackers are clever, be they Russian or from elsewhere, but they are far from invincible. We’ve already stopped a number of Russian cyber-assaults directed at Democrats this year, such as the ones aimed at our Claire McCaskill.

Without the element of surprise, hackers have many limitations. It’s not that easy to brute-force open a website. Just ask these guys:

This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.
This is the IP address of a hacker, purportedly from Beijing, who is always doing his best to get in here. Have at it, pal.

Basic cyber-hygiene techniques would cut down on more than 80 percent of cyber attacks and cyber thefts, according to Herbert Lin, senior research scholar for cyber policy and security at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. It will benefit us to learn a few.

There is a great deal of white-hat(ethical hacking) work that can be done to defend America in this realm, and most of it has to do with how careful we are.

We repeat- It’s all about being careful. This cannot be repeated too often.

Every technique that hackers use, be they DNS attacks against home routers, phishing emails, malware, botnets, or what have you, is ultimately something we can avoid.

In this piece, we’re going to talk about a few common mistakes made by end-users(that means us, the consumer) and how they are exploited by criminals. We’re also going to talk about some of these cyber-hygiene measures and assign them three rules of thumb.

  1. Don’t open strange emails.
  2. Don’t click on strange links.
  3. Don’t accept chat messages from people you don’t know, particularly on Facebook.

Before we get started, think for a second about all your other social media accounts. Are they just as secure as your Facebook or Twitter? Make sure they are! That’s the first place a hacker will go to collect more data about you. You’re particularly vulnerable to having your account on the ones you don’t often use pried open.

As an aside, this is also why you don’t want to use the same passwords for everything. Passwords are obviously critical, as somebody who’s got them has got all your information at his fingertips. Be careful!!

A great deal of a hacker’s job revolves around getting the passwords of their victims. Their most popular tools are all various ways to apply “spear-phishing” hacks, designed to steal passwords and personal data. The unlucky “phish” who opens one has become a victim and is now open to all kinds of trouble.

There are all kinds of ways to go spear-phishing. A brand new one showed up not long ago when U.S. government agencies recently received letters via snail mail.

They came with CDs inside, and they contained malware, according to cybersecurity researcher Krebs on Security. The infected discs were accompanied by a Chinese-postmarked envelope and a “confusingly-worded” letter.

That is just like what they do on Facebook. Hackers make links that look like YouTube videos and various other innocuous things, and they write you some goofy little messages. They look like some cute little harmless thing. Actually, they’re viruses. And you’re hit.

One example that all readers of this blog will vividly recall took place on March 10, 2016, when the first volley of malicious e-mail messages hit the inboxes of thirty people who were closely associated with the Hillary Clinton campaign. Inside them were links that were actually viruses, like worms on a hook.

Nearly all of them were failures. All but one, actually. But one was enough.

Within nine days, a horrendous amount of critical data had been stolen and passed along to Wikileaks, to be strategically released in a way they figured would hurt us. It did.

Those leaked e-mails, in which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was seen to be fussing over Bernie’s lack of ability to fill out campaign finance forms correctly, were spun up into a narrative that Bernie(who lost by four million popular votes) had been cheated.

Bernie or Bust bought it, there were riots in the streets of Philadelphia, and a rift was torn in the Democratic Party that still has yet to heal.

All of that was made possible, with just a few phished passwords.

To combat phishing is to make sure everyone knows how common and damaging these attacks can be. Everyone should keep their guard up when checking emails, and they should report any email they find suspicious.

It’s necessary to point out here that Facebook phishing in particular is horrendously easy. They can hack you right through your chat box. We recommend in the strongest possible terms that you put as little of your personal information as possible on Facebook.

They save everything. They’re like a gigantic data collection firm, and they’ll sell your personal information to companies like Cambridge Analytica who will use it to hurt us all.

Why risk it?

Facebook presents about a million added vulnerabilities to all of us that use it. When Edward Snowden was asked what to do to keep your data safe on that platform, his response was, “Delete your account.”

We can’t recommend that, as Facebook gives us access to 2 billion people, but we can recommend this much. If people you don’t know send you strange messages on Facebook, don’t accept them.

Facebook was made to brief congressional aides just last week Tuesday about the newest outbreak of anti-Democratic disinformation, which is already said to be evolving into something more sophisticated. Excerpts from that briefing are shown below.

“We are looking at just some of the malicious material that already may be circulating or will be released before the midterms. It also bears repeating that we know the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) was targeted.”

Cyber-intelligence experts see this as being major, and with clear reason.

Moving on, it isn’t only Facebook and social media you’ve got to be careful with. Websites too are vulnerable.

Anecdotally, the webmaster of this site has seen hackers from all over the world try to take us down, from Beijing, China to Lviv, Ukraine, from Adelaide, Australia to Beauharnois, Quebec. They use all kinds of tricks, but they’ve never gotten in and they never will.

This is not because I’m a cyber-genius who speaks binary code, but because WordPress is awesome. Sucuri, the plugin that keeps safe all of us Millennial Democrats, is likewise excellent. They care about their clients and they hold the same liberal values sacred that we do.

WordPress users should strongly consider using Sucuri, not least for the reverse IP trace it automatically performs. This has the benefit of letting you know a lot more about who’s trying to hack you. Sometimes it will tell you everything.

Once a flower store owner from Adelaide, Australia tried to hack us. By using a reverse IP trace, Sucuri let us know who she was as soon as she had done so. Then we went to a site called WhatismyIPaddress.com, put it in, and voila.

We were able to get the name of her business by looking at the name of her domain. We then used that to look her up, and jackpot. We found the store’s address, website, and owner. We also found far-right garbage smeared all over her life.

I could put her on blast right here with a screenshot like this one:

My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!
My (possibly) Chinese friend, saying hello to me again. Hi, buddy. Change your ways!

Then the hunter would rapidly become the hunted.

Luckily for her, I’m not that mean. But the next guy might be. It’s a dangerous game for newbies (noobs- learn your hacker-ese) to play. It’s easy to run into trouble.

Change your life, would-be hacker flower store owner! Mend your wicked ways, before it’s too late.

Speaking of WordPress, using the two-factor authentication feature they offer as part of their platform is another good idea. This is a highly effective security measure and is available for Facebook, Gmail, WordPress, and many other major platforms.

Using this feature means a second device’s input will be required to access email accounts or websites on new computers, usually by prompting you and sending an SMS code to your phone or whatever. This can prevent scammers from accessing compromised accounts.

In addition to good cyber-hygiene, which amounts to common sense, caution, and our three rules of thumb, there are some tools we can use to make our online experience safer still. You may find this necessary, from time to time.

A VPN, or virtual proxy network service, will allow you to register as being somewhere that you’re nowhere physically near. It allows you to safeguard your IP address. You do not want hackers to have your IP address, as it can be used to hurt you in a bewildering multitude of ways. This is probably the biggest reason to use a VPN.

Guccifer 2.0 recently made a mistake and forgot to turn his VPN on, and we connected him to an IP address connected to Russian intelligence. Now his whole identity is blown because he didn’t use his VPN.

We strongly recommend getting one of these, specifically IVPN. They take protecting their customers super seriously and they are located on the Rock of Gibraltar. That fortress strikes me as a good place to keep anything valuable.

HotspotShield is another good one, and also NordVPN. There’s a lot of them; shop around and find one that’s right for you. We feel it’s worth repeating that they are a very good investment.

Additional tools include TOR(The Onion Router), which offers a former naval encryption system that we can now all use. Tor takes all your internet traffic and routes it through its own network, providing total anonymity.

The DuckDuckGo browser, which Tor employs, is good to know about also. It has a number of different features that keep you safe, including a “Flame” feature that burns up all your cookies in a second. Pretty cool.

We suggest you learn Linux, because it is more secure, and 99% of viruses are designed to attack Microsoft products. 

Russian hackers have been targeting home routers of individual people en masse, using what is called a DNS attack. We suggest you check your home router often, using the website Secure Router.

Secure Router is a great free feature that allows you to check if your router has been compromised with the click of a button. Doing this regularly cannot hurt and takes less than a second.

In closing, it’s important to emphasize that this is an introductory piece, and not meant to be totally comprehensive. These techniques will do a lot to keep you safe, but nothing is a substitute for doing your own research.

So far, this has not been the kind of cyber war imagined in the past, with nations taking out each other’s power grids before a mass invasion, although Russian malware continues to turn up in our power stations.

It’s more like a new type of proxy war. Like it or not, against our will, we have begun a new phase of the Cold War, on digital battlefields where you meet the enemy directly, but behind a screen.

Now, just as then, there is a need for deterrence, to defend the nation and hopefully prevent a further escalation of tensions. There is more at stake than we can even put into words. We need to be ready.

There are bigger dangers here than the usual America vs. Russia, liberal world order vs the new world order that the extremist crazies keep screaming that they want kind of thing. This is different completely.

One superpower actively destroying the democratic process of another is new and very dangerous, especially since Russian destability tactics rely heavily on disinformation and a systematic devaluing of the truth.

If nothing is true, everything is permissible. And then our entire species starts down the road to guns and roving mobs.

Disinformation and a post-truth reality are unacceptable, and so is Russian interference into our election, regardless of how many Fox News devotees will slobberingly say otherwise.

We have only got one party ready to defend our democracy from the foreign agitators’ who are trying to destroy it, and that is the Democratic Party. Accept no substitutes.

Due diligence is the key. Hackers will look for things you might be neglecting. Get in some good habits and keep yourself alert, because it all comes down to one thing.

If you are politically active as a Democrat, you are not paranoid. You are a target. Defend yourself.

The Constitutional Convention Concept Is A Republican Con Job.

The GOP's Con Con.

American democracy is headed for peril. A quiet campaign to legally overwrite the Constitution of the United States of America, with the ostensible purpose of proposing a balanced-budget amendment, has been silently building steam.

The process is known as a Constitutional Convention, a legal apparatus by which the contents of our Constitution can be altered.

Prominent extremist Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee have supported it, and the Koch brothers‘ libertarian network has long placed its financial power behind their push.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to amend the Constitution by a two-thirds vote. It gives the states the power to call for a convention to amend the Constitution if two-thirds of the states can muster support for the measure.

Having the radical right wing rewrite our Constitution would be an unparalleled disaster for the American people, not to mention the rest of the world.  The Center on Budget and Priority Policies understates the case beautifully by telling us that it’s got “serious risks”. That’s a soothing way of telling us our entire global economy will be wrenched.

David Super of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “It would also drastically reduce America’s standing in world affairs,. far more than handing the presidency to an incoherent, shop-worn reality TV star.”

Conservatives have been after what is best called the “Con Con” for years. The Constitution is a nuisance to them because it stops them from completely disenfranchising everyone who’s not in the good ol’ boys club.

Although the same people who brought you “Medicare for All” and the Free College plan are able somehow to convince themselves otherwise, it is virtually certain that conservatives would dominate a convention held today.

They have control of the White House, Congress, and 32 state legislatures. They’ve also got all the money. They would clearly have marked influence over every provision in the project.

The right has also retained control of the Supreme Court, thanks to Republican refusal to vote in the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s candidate Merrick Garland. This too would obviously give conservatives the upper hand in any litigation arising out of the convention.
Whether the delegates run for election in heavily gerrymandered districts or are appointed by state leaders, the result would be the same. A convention with a heavily right-wing bent.
If the Tea Party or the alt-right of Richard Spencer and Sebastian Gorka, were to write us a new Constitution, it hardly requires speculation to imagine a lack of improvement.

The things on their agenda read like a grocery list of bad ideas, but then again, that’s the Republican way.

They will make English the official language of the US.

They intend to “define life at conception“, which is a polite euphemism for criminalizing abortion and perhaps even contraception.

They will also include corporations as people with every constitutional right, clarifying the matter legally in favor and confirmation of the horrendous Citizens’ United ruling.

They will reverse gay marriage, as former Alabama judge and alleged molester Roy Moore proposed by way of a Con Con in 2014.

They will codify in the 1st Amendment their right to impose Christian faith and values on everybody in the whole country.

They will change the 2nd Amendment to forbid regulation. All hope of reasonable gun control would thus disappear.

The big thing they’re emphasizing now, the balanced budget amendment, might even involve the doing away of the income tax and the Federal Reserve altogether. This would leave the American poor to scrabble for a living like beggars in the sewers of Calcutta- in the richest country in the world.

Once a constitutional convention is called, all bets are off. “Regardless of why a convention is called, there is nothing to stop it from becoming a runaway convention that could ultimately overhaul the U.S. Constitution completely,” said Scott Swenson, the vice president of communications for Common Cause, to Salon Magazine.

The Constitution and the foresight of the Founding Fathers in making it so hard to alter are all that has saved us from Donald Trump and the other Republicans, who have been trying to get around it for years. Overhauling it would be an atrocity.

The only thing that has prevented it from happening already is the Democratic Party, which is now doing its best to stave off completely unnecessary threats from the far, radical left. Unbelievably, they are for this too.

Organizations such as Justice Democrats founder Cenk Uygur’s Wolf-PAC have been fighting for this as hard as the Tea Party has.

“It’s got to be an amendment,” said Wolf-PAC’s Texas state director, Todd Jagger.

That someone on the left could actually believe this defies the limits of human understanding.

Concluding, the big takeaway from this article, is that an Article V convention call is a terrible danger to American democracy.

If the Republicans manage to pull this off, we will all be rendered helpless. They could do anything they wanted. The states would lose all control.

We’ll be flat on our backs for the rest of our lives.

We have to get the word out about this, and we’ve got to do it now, or we may very well see the very foundations of the United States – the rights we hold so dearly as Americans – shake or disappear.

The best way to stop them is by electing Democrats to state legislatures, and everywhere else. Our professionals are tough. They will shut this thing down across the board. The Blue Wave is the first step. We must all make sure we vote.

Too Far Right- Why It’s Best When The GOP Nominates Their Worst.

Millennial Democrats

For the last several decades, Republican politicians have moved steadily further right, and never has this been so true as now. Candidates of heightening extremity dominate the GOP playing field. They are nominating the wrong candidates all over the country, such as ex-convict Don Blankenship in West Virginia.

After the election of our 45th President, the strategy of many Republican politicians has depended a great deal on how deeply they can demonstrate their adherence to his destructive policies. This has backfired badly. 

The strategy of embracing Trump has torn a rift among Republicans. Radical candidates selected from the far-right have not endeared themselves to moderates, who are largely either voting Democratic or staying home on election day.
A historic example of the effect that this is having was illustrated recently in Alabama, where Doug Jones became the first Democratic candidate to hold that office in decades.  Nominating alleged sexual predator Roy Moore cost the GOP that Senate seat.

In Tennessee, Bob Corker is retiring, and current GOP frontrunner Rep. Marsha Blackburn has made it a point to emphasize her far-right extremism.  “I’m politically incorrect and proud of it,” she says in her announcement video. That is why former Gov. Phil Bredesen has a 10-point lead in the polls.

And in Arizona, the notorious anti-immigrant former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Kelli Ward may well defeat the mainstream Republican candidate, Martha McSally. This will give better odds to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema in the general election, to be held November 6th.

In West Virginia, local Republicans are well down the road to hamstringing their own chances. They have only to vote for Don Blankenship as the Republican candidate for Senate in the 2018 Republican primary– and he’s polling stronger all the time.

The aforementioned race is a terrible tangle, in which three leading figures-all of whom hate each other- are engaged in an ugly and intensifying contest, to see who will be the one to challenge the Democratic incumbent, our guy Joe Manchin.
The three of them are 3rd District Congressman Evan Jenkins, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and former Massey Energy CEO, Don Blankenship.

Jenkins and Morrisey are a couple of highly typical Republican candidates who have characterized their running of the race by attacking each other’s records and competing to see who is the most in line with Trump.

Because the area they’re in swings so far to the right, both will be likely to give Manchin a hard race.

But Blankenship should be different. He has very little chance to win a general election due to the particulars of his situation, i.e. he is the only candidate to have recently been in a federal prison.

He served a year on charges stemming from the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 men in Southern West Virginia. It was the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades.

The point to hammer home is this- Nominating Blankenship will hamstring the GOP’s chances to control that seat.

These are all examples of a Republican race to the bottom, where the candidates are engaged in a contest, to see who can be the most extreme in emulating the Republican President.

Blankenship, having been out of prison less than a year, is particularly a no-brainer, but these sorts of candidates and scandals are popping up everywhere. They make the Republicans look awful and cripple their chances.

The clearest evidence for this is the Blue Wave sweeping the country. Politifact says that as of February 39 seats have been recaptured by the Democrats.

All of this can only help the Democratic Party, as we fight to win back control of the Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

%d bloggers like this:
Skip to toolbar