Deep Politics Forum

Full Version: USA under presidency of a know-nothing, neo-fascist, racist, sexist, mobbed-up narcissist!!
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
There are many bizarre aspects to the Comey firing, but I just 'loved' Trumpf saying he [Comey] was a 'showboater' and 'grandstanding'.....surely things not characteristic of Trumpf himself.:Laugh:

Personally, I had not considered there was much fire behind the smoke of the Trumpf-Russia stories until the Comey firing. A very bizarre move on SO many levels. First, apparently Trumpf thought the Democraps and everyone else would simply accept it - it has created a firestorm that I think will not die down; he apparently thought it would terminate some investigations - but it has only made them larger than life and the focus of everyone's attention; he and those around him have lied and lied about the timing, reasons, and finger-pointing - seemingly indicating a cover-up and not a 'disagreement' with his style.

If Trumpf appoints a new FBI director who is a sycophant of Trumpf he will be putting his own head in a noose. Anyone else would have to complete the investigation started by Comey and follow the evidence. I still think that Trump is trying to hide the fact that Russian Oligarchs and bankers have kept him afloat the last decades. I begin to think he now may not finish out his four year term...but Pence is another horror of a different kind.

While there is a very slow movement to start a new 'third' party that could actually win over the Republifascists & Democraps, it is going too slow to be ready IMHO by three years from now. The USA is sinking into the ashes that all Empires before have been consumed in. It is not going to be a pretty picture, as dying Empires usually go out in wars that are bloody and also at home......

Any who think after Trumpf, the USA will go back to 'business as usual', i think is naive. The false-flag events of 2001 are very much with us still; the deep political class very much have things under control - and have since 1963 if not from the 'end' of WWII...and have only tightened their grip. Trumpf is only an anomaly in his personality and style - not so far in his policies and actions. A Democrat will always be kinder and gentler on domestic issues; but the two parties are the same on 'Wall Street', the growing divide between rich and poor and most importantly on foreign intervention and wars... It is time for something new or an end to America [very, very soon]. I for one will not cry at its demise, but fear for what horrors could come out of the ashes - as well as hope for something better. The problem is that about one third of the persons in the USA are so ill informed of history, brainwashed by propaganda, and devoid of empathy toward others I can't see them allowing something better than the current system. Perhaps what will follow will be several smaller states - a direction I'd like to see worldwide...the smaller the better; the more the merrier and the more brother/sister-hood between the new mini-states the better.
Now THAT may be a story Peter. But the Russian interference in the election is pure hogwash. Putin did not send the emails to Assange. The firing of Comey sure looks bad. And I agree that it will only become worse. Trump is really such an idiot. He may have fired the man over something simple like a negative comment about Trump who is so thin skinned he can't take even light criticism. I think the beginning of the end may be near.
Trumpf has now publicly THREATENED Comey:

[URL=""][Image: DJT_Headshot_V2_normal.jpg]Donald J. Trump

James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!
2:26 PM - 12 May 2017
  • [URL=""]
  • [URL=""]
    14,76214,762 Retweets[/URL]
  • [URL=""]
    39,78339,783 likes[/URL]

Trump threatens Comey with provocative reference to tapes'

05/12/17 10:12 AM

By Steve Benen
Donald Trump had the latest in a series of Twitter tantrums this morning, which wouldn't ordinarily be especially notable, except this one included what appeared to be a provocative threat:
"James Comey better hope that there are no tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
As 19-word presidential missives go, this may be prove to be quite consequential.

On the surface, Trump's tweet appears to be a not-so-veiled threat against the former FBI director, whom the president fired this week because of Trump's opposition to Comey's investigation into the Russia scandal. This, in and of itself, is outrageously inappropriate and of dubious legality.

Indeed, the fact that the president is publicly warning a potential witness to remain quiet only adds to concerns about Trump possibly obstructing justice. Norm Eisen, the chief ethics lawyer in the Obama White House, characterized the president's tweet this morning as a possible crime.

But then there's that reference to "tapes."

The word admittedly appears in quotes and we know that the president hasn't the foggiest idea how quotation marks work so it's possible that Trump wasn't being literal. It's also possible that Trump just revealed the existence of recordings he has of private conversations.

If such tapes exist, of course, they can be subpoenaed, either by Congress or by federal investigators. It was the revelations about Richard Nixon's recordings at the height of the Watergate scandal that marked the beginning of the end of his presidency.

I'm looking for an adjective that captures the madness that's unfolding in our White House, but I'm afraid words fail me.

Quote:I still think that Trump is trying to hide the fact that Russian Oligarchs and bankers have kept him afloat the last decades.

Lauren Johnson Wrote:
Quote:I still think that Trump is trying to hide the fact that Russian Oligarchs and bankers have kept him afloat the last decades.


....and he knows that if it were known [along with his business dealings, generally] he'd be seen as a fake/fraud/dishonest businessman and not be electable...and now not unimpeachable for conflicts of interest and other dodgy dealings past and present. That said, his recent behavior, to me, seems very close if not exactly: witness tampering, obstruction of justice, making threats, conduct unbecoming a President, and just bizarre - even more bizarre than the past 108 days. I think some of the viruses left by Nixon are now taking hold in Trumpf...and it will end very much the same.
Quote:Former FBI Director James Comey has declined an invitation to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee next week.

I hope they will subpoena him!...and others.
Trump picks Al Capone of Vote Rigging
To investigate Federal Voter Fraud

by Greg Palast for Alternet

Kris Kobach is the GOP mastermind behind a secretive system that purged 1.1 million Americans from the voter rolls.
[Image: ca34419d-abec-4e48-af9c-22f56b318eaf.png]Kobach screams at Greg Palast while eating ice cream

Kris Kobach was spooning down vanilla ice cream when I showed him the thick pages of evidence documenting his detailed plan to rig the presidential election of 2016.The Secretary of State of Kansas, sucking up carbs at a Republican Party Fundraiser, recognized the documents and yelled at me, "YOU'RE A LIAR!" and ran for it while still trying to wolf down the last spoonful.

But documents don't lie.
That was 2015 (yes, the ballot heist started way back). Today this same man on the run, Kris Kobach, is now Donald Trump's choice to head the new "Voter Integrity Commission."
It's like appointing Al Capone to investigate The Mob.
How did Kobach mess with the 2016 vote? Let me count the waysas I have in three years of hunting down Kobach's ballot-box gaming for Rolling Stone and Al Jazeera.
Just two of Kobach's vote-bending tricks undoubtedly won Michigan for Trump and contributed to his "wins" in Ohio, North Carolina and Arizona.
First, Interstate Crosscheck.
Kobach is the GOP mastermind behind this secretive system which purged 1.1 million Americans from the voter rolls.
When Trump said, "This election's rigged," the press ignored the second part of his statement: "People are voting many, many times." Trump cited three million votes illegally cast.
The White House said Trump got this information from Kobach. Indeed, it specifically comes from a list of 7 million namesor, as Kobach describes it, a list of 3.5 million "potential double voters." How did Kobach find these three million double voters?
He matched their names, first and last. And that's it.
Here's an unedited screen-shot of a segment of his list:
[Image: 2dd73a7a-4686-4711-8ba9-9ae190f556e1.jpg]
James Edward Harris Jr. of Richmond, Virginia, is supposed to be the same voters as James R. Harris (no Jr.) of Indianapolis, Indiana. Really? Note that not one middle name matches.

And here's the ugly part. Both James Harris (in fact, hundreds of them) are subject to getting scrubbed off the voter rolls.

And these are Kobach's lists, tens of thousands of names I showed Kobach, falsely accused of the crime of double voting.

And that's why Kobach was stunned and almost dropped his vanilla, because he and his GOP colleagues kept the lists of the accused strictly confidential. (The first of the confidential lists was obtained by our investigative photojournalist, Zach D. Roberts, through legal methodsthough howling voting officials want them back.)

In all, about 1.1 million voters on that list have been scrubbed alreadyand they don't know it. They show up to vote and they're name has simply vanished. Or, the voter is marked "inactive." "Crosscheck" is not marked on the victim voter's record. It's a stealth hit.

And it's deadly. Doubtless, Crosscheck delivered Michigan to Trump who supposedly "won" the state by 10,700 votes. The Secretary of State's office proudly told me that they were "very aggressive" in removing listed voters before the 2016 election. Kobach, who created the lists for his fellow GOP officials, tagged a whopping 417,147 in Michigan as potential double voters.

And not just any voters. Mark Swedlund, a database expert who advises companies such as Amazon and eBay on how not to mis-match customers was "flabbergasted" to discover in his team's technical analysis, that the list was so racially biased that fully one in six registered African-Americans were tagged in the Crosscheck states that include the swing states of Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Arizona and more.

The effect goes way beyond the Trump v. Clinton count. I spoke to several of the targeted voters on the list in Georgia's Sixth Congressional district where the Democratic candidate fell just short of the margin to win a special election. Especially hard hit in the northern Atlanta suburbs were Korean-Americans, like Mr. Sung Park, who found he was tagged as voting in two states in 2012 simply because he had a name that is as common in Korea as James Brown.

And Kobach, in fact, tagged 288 men in Georgia named James Brown on his Crosscheck blacklist.

As Crosscheck spreadsand it was just signed into law in New Hampshire in the last days of a lame-duck Republican governorshipit will undoubtedly poison the count in the fight for Congress in 2018.

And that's why Trump needs Kobach on his "Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity": To spread Crosscheck with an official federal endorsement and, likely, Congressional legislation.

And if Crosscheck isn't enough to scare you, Kobach is also pushing Trump to require voters to prove their citizenship.

At first blush, it seems right to demand people prove they are US citizens to vote. But here's the rub: We are not Red China and don't carry citizenship cards. Resident Aliens holding Green Cards have, indeed are required to have, Social security cards and drivers' licenses, if they drive or work.

The readiest proof of citizenship is a passport. And what is the color of the typical passport holder, their incomeand the color of their vote?

The other form of proof, besides naturalization papers, is your original birth certificate.

And there's the rub: the poor, minorities and especially new young voters do not have easy access to a passport or their birth certificates. Kobach took his citizenship proof requirement out for a test drive in Kansas. The result: 36,000 young voters were barred from voting… that is, until a federal judge, citing the National Voter Registration Act, told Kobach that unless he could produce even one alien among those 36,000, she was ordering him to let them vote.

Kobach's response: a private meeting with Trump at Trump Tower where he proposed changing the Act.

All of this to eliminate a crime which does not occur. Besides Trump's claims of alien voters swimming the Rio Grande to vote for Hillary, I have found only two verified cases of votes cast by aliens in the US in the last decade. (One, an Austrian who confessed to voting for Jeb Bush in Florida.)

Don't laugh. The threat of "alien voters" long a staple claim by Kobach on his appearances on Fox TV will be the Kobach Commission's hammer to smash the National Voter Registration Act's protections. Based on the numbers from Kansas, and its overwhelming effect on young read "Democratic" voters, this shift alone could swing the election of 2018.

Indeed, Kobach's Crosscheck con together with his "alien" voter attack, could mean the choice of the electorate in 2020 may already be trumped.

Comey Reportedly Willing to Testify, but Wants It to Be in Public'

Posted on May 13, 2017
[Image: ComeyWillingtoTestify_590.jpg]
James Comey speaking in 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

Numerous questions remain unanswered after President Trumpunexpectedly fired FBI chief James Comey this week, and, several days later, warned Comey via Twitter that he'd "better hope that there are no tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press."
The ensuing backlash from Comey's dismissal, apparently unanticipated by White House officials, stems from concern that Trump fired Comey due to the FBI's investigation into potential Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. The public eagerly awaits answers, especially after an unhelpful Friday press briefing held by Sean Spicer.
There is a chance, however, that Comey could testify before Congress. The New York Times reports:
[Comey] declined a request to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. According to a close associate of Mr. Comey, he is willing to testify, but wants it to be in public.
Earlier this week, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe publicly testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and made it clear that his bureau will not bend to any pressure from the White House.
The news of Comey's willingness to testify comes one day after Trump's former business acquaintances shared information regarding Trump's possible "tapes." According to the Washington Post:
Throughout Donald Trump's business career, some executives who came to work for him were taken aside by colleagues and warned to assume that their discussions with the boss were being recorded.
"There was never any sense with Donald of the phone being used for private conversation," said John O'Donnell, who was president of the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino in the 1980s. ...
Trump's fascination with recording his conversations reaches back to the early years of his real estate career, when he installed in his 26th-story office in Trump Tower a "system for surreptitiously tape recording business meetings," according to an eyewitness account in Harry Hurt's 1993 biography, "Lost Tycoon." And BuzzFeed News reported last year that Trump listened in on calls made by staff at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
Trump sometimes informed reporters who were interviewing him by phone that he was recording their conversation.
As Ken Hughes, a presidential historian with the University of Virginia's Miller Center, noted in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, any potential recordings of conversation with Comey would become "evidence in any investigation of whether his firing of Comey amount to obstruction of justice."
"If so," Hughes explained, "they are evidence related to a criminal investigation and therefore they can be subpoenaed, either by Congress, or by a prosecutor, or special prosecutor if one is appointed, and Trump has to turn them over, as the Supreme Court ruled way back in 1974."

Trump Is the Symptom, Not the Disease

Posted on May 14, 2017
By Chris Hedges
[Image: Disease_590.jpg]
Mr. Fish / Truthdig
Forget the firing of James Comey. Forget the paralysis in Congress. Forget the idiocy of a press that covers our descent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal president and the idiots that surround him. Forget the noise. The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. This crisis has spawned a corrupt electoral system of legalized bribery and empowered those public figures that master the arts of entertainment and artifice. And if we do not overthrow the neoliberal, corporate forces that have destroyed our democracy we will continue to vomit up more monstrosities as dangerous as Donald Trump. Trump is the symptom, not the disease.
Our descent into despotism began with the pardoning of Richard Nixon, all of whose impeachable crimes are now legal, and the extrajudicial assault, including targeted assassinations and imprisonment, carried out on dissidents and radicals, especially black radicals. It began with the creation of corporate-funded foundations and organizations that took control of the press, the courts, the universities, scientific research and the two major political parties. It began with empowering militarized police to kill unarmed citizens and the spread of our horrendous system of mass incarceration and the death penalty. It began with the stripping away of our most basic constitutional rightsprivacy, due process, habeas corpus, fair elections and dissent. It began when big money was employed by political operatives such as Roger Stone, a close Trump adviser, to create negative political advertisements and false narratives to deceive the public, turning political debate into burlesque. On all these fronts we have lost. We are trapped like rats in a cage. A narcissist and imbecile may be turning the electric shocks on and off, but the problem is the corporate state, and unless we dismantle that, we are doomed.
"What's necessary for the state is the illusion of normality, of regularity," America's best-known political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, told me last week by phone from the prison where he is incarcerated in Frackville, Pa. "… In Rome, what the emperors needed was bread and circuses. In America, what we need is Housewives of Atlanta.' We need sports. The moral stories of good cops and evil people. Because you have that …. there is no critical thinking in America during this period. You have emotion [only]. When I look at someone who is demonized, I can do anything [to him or her]. I can do anything. That's how the state works, by demonizing people and putting them in places where they're virtually invisible."
"Here's the reality," he went on. "America has never come to grips with what a lot of scholars and thinkers call the Original Sin. That's because it never stopped happening. This country brags about being founded on freedom. It was founded on slavery. It was founded on holocaust. It was founded on genocide. After slavery ended, after the Constitution was rewritten and amended, we have the Reconstruction amendments, the 13th, 14th and 15thamendments. But what did the South do? They ignored it for a century."
"It isn't until the '60s that you see this deep, rich emergence of people fighting for rights that were enshrined in the Constitution a century before [between 1865 and 1870]," he said. "That's because every state in the South and many states in the North were allowed to make exceptions to the Constitution when it came to black people. We learned that's not just a Southern reality. You can't talk about AEDPA, the so-called Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty [Act of 1996] unless you have the same mindset that makes the Constitution an exceptional document."Racist, violent and despotic forces have always been part of the American landscape and have often been tolerated and empowered by the state to persecute poor people of color and dissidents. These forces are denied absolute power as long as a majority of citizens have a say in their own governance. The corporate elites, however, frightened by what the political scientist Samuel Huntington called an "excess of democracy" that originated in the 1960s, methodically destroyed the democratic edifice. They locked the citizens out of government. And by doing so they made sure that power shifted into the hands of the enemies of the open society. When democratic institutions cease to function, when the consent of the governed becomes a joke, despots, cranks, conspiracy theorists, con artists, generals, billionaires and proto-fascists fill the political void. They give vent to popular anger and frustration while arming the state to do to the majority what it has long done to the minority. This tale is as old as civilization. It was played out in ancient Greece and Rome, the Soviet Union, fascist Germany, fascist Italy and the former Yugoslavia.
Trump, an acute embarrassment to the corporate state and the organs of internal security, may be removed from the presidency, but such a palace coup would only further consolidate the power of the deep state and intensify internal measures of repression. Millions of people, including the undocumented, those who have felony convictions, those locked in cages and poor people of color, have already been stripped of their rights, and some have been indiscriminately murdered by police. These minorities' reality of daily state terror, unless this process of corporate pillage is halted, will spread and become normative with or without Trump.
In Abu-Jamal's book "Live From Death Row," he recounts his protest at a 1968 rally in Philadelphia held by the segregationist George Wallace in one of the Alabama governor's runs for the Democratic presidential nomination. It is a reminder that Trump's racism and lust for violence have long been part of the American character.
Abu-Jamal writes of attending the rally with three other black teenagers:
We must've been insane. We strolled into the stadium, four lanky dark string beans in a pot of white, steaming limas. The bank played "Dixie." We shouted, "Black Power, Ungowa, black power!" They shouted, "Wallace for president! White power!" and "Send those niggers back to Africa! We shouted, "Black power, Ungowa!" (Don't ask what "Ungowa" means. We didn't know. All we knew was that it had a helluva ring to it.) "Black power!" They hissed and booed. We stood up in our seats and proudly gave the black power salute. In answer, we received dubious gifts of spittle from those seated above. Patriots tore American flags from their standards and hurled the bare sticks at us. Wallace, wrapped in roars of approval, waxed eloquent. "When I become president, these dirty, unwashed radicals will have to move to the Sov-ee-yet Union! You know, all throughout this campaign these radicals have been demonstrating against George Corley Wallace. Well, I hope they have the guts to lay down in front of my car. I'll drive right over 'em!" The crowd went wild.
"Some police and other security came," Abu-Jamal told me about the incident. "They escorted us out. We thought hey, we had a little fun. Our voices were heard. We went to the bus stop. And two or three of us were on the bus. A young guy named Alvin and a young guy named Eddie. I was usually the slowest, so I was behind them. A guy walked up and hit me with a blackjack. Knocked me down. Pulled Eddie and Alvin off the bus. We were getting our asses kicked. It never dawned on us these were cops. They can't just walk up to us and beat us up [I thought].""I remember seeing a cop's leg walk by," he said. "I shouted help! Help, police! The guy looked at me. Looked down at me. He walked over and kicked me right in the face. Then it dawned on me all of these guys were cops. That was a little taste of [what would happen later in] Philadelphia. An introduction to trauma. We see it today. I can hear Trump saying, Beat the hell out of them.' It's like the old days. Those weren't good days. Those were ugly days. And the ugly day is today."
"I have been thankful to that faceless cop ever since," Abu-Jamal writes of the assault, "for he kicked me straight into the Black Panther Party."
Abu-Jamal's experience embodies the endemic racism and collapse of the American court system that railroad young black men and women into prison and onto death row. The Federal Bureau of Investigation placed him under surveillance when he was 15 years old. His FBI file swelled to 700 pages. His crime was to be a dissident. He was followed, hauled in for questioning at random and threatened.
"While walking to work one day," he writes, "I passed in front of an idling cop car. I glanced at the driverwhite, with brown hair, and wearing dark shades. He smiled,' put his hand out the car window, and pointed a finger at me, his thumb cocked back like the hammer of a gun: bangbangbangthe finger jerked, as if from the recoil, and the cop gave it a cowboyish blast of breath before returning it to an imaginary holster. He and his pal laugh. Car rolls."
The 1960s and 1970s saw a war on black radicals, which included FBI assassinations of leaders such as Fred Hampton. This war against radicals, President Nixon's so-called battle for "law and order," put the police, the FBI and other organs of internal security beyond the reach of the law. This power has only expanded since. We are all under state surveillance. And we can all become victims if the state deems us to be a threat. The loss of civilian oversight, along with the lack of transparency, is ominous.

Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Daniel Faulkner, a white Philadelphia police officer. His trial was a sham. It included tainted evidence, suppressed defense witnesses, prosecution witnesses that contradicted their earlier testimony, a court-appointed lawyer, like most within the system, who was allotted few resources and had little inclination to defend his client, and a series of unconstitutional legal rulings by a judge out to convict the defendant. Terri Maurer-Carter, the stenographer at the trial, later signed an affidavit stating that during the trial she overheard the judge, Albert F. Sabo, say of Abu-Jamal, "Yeah and I'm gonna help 'em fry the nigger." Sabo during his time on the bench sent 31 people to death row, more than any other judge in Pennsylvania. Abu-Jamal, who grew up in the housing projects of north Philadelphia, is imprisoned for our sins.
By 1977, Abu-Jamal, distressed by the internal feuding that tore apart the Black Panthers, had developed a close relationship with members of the Philadelphia MOVE organization. MOVE members lived communally, preached Third World radicalism, ate natural foods and denounced the established black leaders as puppets of the white, capitalist ruling elites.
The Philadelphia police, who constantly harassed the group, besieged the MOVE compound in late 1977. On Aug. 7, 1978, a gun battle erupted between people in the compound and police outside. A police officer was killed. Delbert Africa, a MOVE member, was savagely beaten in front of television cameras. Nine MOVE members would be charged with murder. The trial, like the one held four years later for Abu-Jamal, was a farce. It was clear, Abu-Jamal wrote of the legal lynching of the MOVE members, that "the law did not matter." Two of the nine, Merle and Phil Africa, have died in prison. The other seven MOVE members remain, like Abu-Jamal, locked away and denied freedom by parole boards. Abu-Jamal was given life without parole after being taken off death row by the courts.
The Philadelphia police and the FBI were determined to root what remained of MOVE out of the city and do so with enough brutality to discourage any other black radicals from organizing.
"On May 12 [the date the two-day-long attack began], Sunday, Mother's Day of 1985, our home was surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of cops who came out there to kill not because of any complaints from neighbors but because of our unrelenting fight for our MOVE sisters and brothers known as the MOVE 9," Ramona Africa told me in an interview last week. (Authorities, as one of their supposed justifications for acting against MOVE, cited neighborhood complaints about activities and conditions at the compound.) "We had been attacked and arrested in 1978. Thirty-nine years later, this August, they are still in prison. They became eligible for parole in 2008. The parole board just refuses to parole them." [Chris Hedges' interview with Ramona Africa begins at the 11-minute markclick here for the video.]
"What people really need to understand is they did come out there [in 1985] to kill, not to arrest," she said. "They could have arrested at any time. They did not come out there for any complaint from neighbors. Those running this country, this entire worldwide system, have never cared about black people complaining about their neighbors. It's never been an issue. Obviously, it was something other than that. Which was our unrelenting fight for our family members who are still in prison. They shot over 10,000 rounds of bullets in on us within 90 minutes. They dropped a bomb."
The bomb ignited a fire that burned down a city block containing 61 homes.

"The fire department, who was out there from the very beginning, was immediately aware that there was a fire on our roof," she said. "A conscious decision was made to not fight the fire. To let it burn. When we realized our home was on fire, we immediately tried to get our children, our animals, and ourselves out of that blazing inferno. The instant we were visible to cops we were met with a barrage of police gunfire aimed at us so that we couldn't escape that fire. After several attempts to get out, I got out first. I was able to get one of our children, a little boy named Birdie, out. We were immediately snatched into custody. I'm looking for the rest of my family. Trying to see if I could see anyone else. It was a little later after they had taken us into custody that I found out nobody else [in the MOVE group] survived."
Eleven members of MOVE, including the founder of the group, John Africa, and five children, were killed in the police assault.
"The people who killed my family were never charged, never prosecuted, never imprisoned for anything," she said. "Meanwhile, my nine MOVE sisters and brothers [convicted in the 1978 shootout], Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier [a Native American activist imprisoned in a South Dakota murder case], all the way down to line, are in prison with the accusation of murder."
Abu-Jamal wrote, "May 13th, 1985, is more than a day of infamy, when a city waged war on its own alleged citizens, but also when the city committed massacre and did so with perfect impunity, when babies were shot and burned alive with their mothers and fathers, and the killers rewarded with honors and pensions, while politicians talked and the media mediated mass murder. On that day, the city, armed and assisted by the US government, dropped a bomb on a house and called it law. The fire department watched buildings ignite like matches in the desert and cut off water. The courts of the land turned a blind eye, daubed mud in their socket, and prosecuted Ramona Africa for having the nerve to survive an urban holocaust, jailing her for the crime of not burning to death. Eleven men, women and children died, and not one killer was even charged with a misdemeanor."
Ramona Africa, charged with "rioting," spent seven years in prison.[For a 69-second video showing the bomb exploding on the Philadelphia compound roof in 1985, click here. For a 56-minute documentary on the assault on the compound and the circumstances surrounding it, click here.]
Our failure to defend those who are demonized and persecuted leaves us all demonized and persecuted. Our failure to demand justice for everyone leaves us all without justice. Our failure to halt the crushing of popular movements that stand unequivocally with the oppressed leaves us all oppressed. Our failure to protect our democracy leaves us without a democracy. The persecution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, MOVE members and all the radicals of four decades ago is not ancient history. It is the genesis of the present. It spawned the corporate coup and the machinery of state terror. We will pay for our complacency.

May 14, 2017 | DonkeyHotey and Klaus Marre

Want to Improve Election Integrity? Lock Up Vote Suppressors

[Image: image2-6-700x470.jpg] Protecting our precious franchise. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey / WhoWhatWhy (CC BY-SA 2.0) See complete attribution below.
Republicans often deride government as ineffective. There is one way, however, in which they have gotten it to work just as they intended: The GOP's voter suppression effort is a well-oiled machine and it will likely be cranked up in even more states before the next election.
If it hadn't been for President Donald Trump's FBI debacle, it is very likely that election fraud and voter integrity would have been featured prominently in the news this week because the commander-in-chief signed an Executive Order creating an "Advisory Commission on Election Integrity."
On its face, that sounds like a good idea. The problem is that this commission will likely not look into the many, very real, election integrity problems that plague the US and have been documented extensively by WhoWhatWhy.
"We already know that millions of people did not vote illegally in the last election. Period. The real problem is that too few eligible people are registered to vote and turning out on Election Day not too many."
Instead, it is probably going to spend a good bit of time trying to find evidence for Trump's completely unsubstantiated claim that millions of illegal votes were cast last November every single one for his rival Hillary Clinton.
A major red flag to the purpose of the commission is that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has been appointed as its co-chair. WhoWhatWhy readers will recognize the name. Kobach is a main architect of voter suppression efforts throughout the country. (For the horrifying details, please go here, here, and here.)
Election integrity advocates are worried that the commission will be used to justify further laws designed to keep minorities and other Democratic constituencies away from the ballot box.
"This commission begins with zero credibility and should be recognized for what it is: a highly partisan and deeply cynical diversion premised on justifying the President's past lies about illegal voting," said Brenda Wright, Vice President for Policy and Legal Strategies at the public policy organization Demos.
"We already know that millions of people did not vote illegally in the last election. Period. The real problem is that too few eligible people are registered to vote and turning out on Election Day not too many."
The ACLU called Kobach "Public Enemy #1" with regard to voter suppression.
Unfortunately, a new study by Civis Analytics and Priorities USA shows that voter suppression works. Turnout increased in states in which no new Voter ID laws were passed, while it shrank in states that instituted strict legislation on that front. This effect was particularly pronounced in districts with a large African American population.
After all, if somebody commits a felony and gets five years in the slammer for trying to cast an illegal vote, shouldn't the penalty for preventing a legal vote be just as harsh?
So, instead of having a commission, chaired by a known vote suppressor trying to validate something Trump made up out of thin air what should actually be done?
First of all, there should be a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing the right to vote as explicitly as, for example, the Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms. Hopefully, that would prevent GOP-led states from passing laws that restrict access to the ballot box. It is unlikely that Congress will do this, so corresponding language should be placed on the ballot in all 50 states.
In addition, a second set of laws should be passed. There is no dispute that in-person voter fraud (or other types of voter fraud) should be punished severely. And the penalties in these rare cases are quite harsh. Voter fraud in a federal election carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a $10,000 fine.
But the exact same penalty should apply to anybody denying an eligible voter the opportunity to cast a ballot in any way, shape or form.
After all, if somebody commits a felony and gets five years in the slammer for trying to cast an illegal vote, shouldn't the penalty for preventing a legal vote be just as harsh?
So, if you intimidate a voter, or give him/her misleading information on when and where to vote, you get up to five years. And let's go further. If you lobby for a law that would disenfranchise voters and is later deemed illegal, you should also face five years in jail.
And finally, the same penalty should apply to state and federal lawmakers or other officials if there is evidence that they passed a law or instituted a measure that knowingly denied a certain group of people the right to vote.
We think that would put a quick stop to all of these voter suppression laws. And people like Kris Kobach should only be rigging votes on the selection of cell block spokesmen.