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TomCADem

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Member since: Thu May 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
Number of posts: 16,058

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Salon - Forget Jill Steins recount! Its yet another distraction...

I agree that Jill Stein's recount crusade is not only hypocritical, since the Green party has attacked Democrats as being no different from Republicans, but it ignores and distracts from the voter suppression and hacking that is clearly provable. Why chase after ghosts when you have monsters staring at you right in the open?

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/28/forget-jill-steins-recount-its-yet-another-distraction-from-the-deep-structural-problems-that-led-to-president-donald-trump/

Then there’s the demonstrable problem of state-run voter fraud, that is, the various states that have passed onerous paperwork laws that make it difficult or impossible for certain voters to cast ballots. You get one guess which party such laws tend to favor. On top of it all, there is compelling evidence that the Russian government was behind efforts to hack the email accounts of prominent Democrats, maybe in an effort to help Trump and perhaps to just stoke confusion and paranoia.

So yes, it’s safe to say that Trump, with a big assist from the outdated institution of the Electoral College and the brand-new phenomenon of foreign hackers, did not win this election by means that most people would consider fair and square. But the way he did it is right out in the open, not lurking in the data of some Wisconsin voting machine.

It’s unwise for Democrats to be put their time and energy and hopes into a recount effort that’s almost certainly not going to reveal any evidence of secret, widespread fraud, much less flip the election to Hillary Clinton.

There’s a real danger that voting machine paranoia will distract liberals from looking at the real reasons that Republicans have been able to grab a stranglehold on power in Washington, even though their agenda on economic issues, foreign policy and human rights is broadly unpopular. This has been going on for decades now, and Trump is just coasting into the White House on years of Republican efforts to undermine our democratic systems.

Martin Luther King Speech - The Drum Major Instinct - MLK Speaks The Truth Re Poor Whites

At 21:20 of this video, Martin Luther King gets to the heart of how the rich elite often use racism and prejudice to oppress not only minorities, but poor white people. Trump did not win because he was a populist. He won by appealing to drum major instinct of poor whites and giving them an easy scapegoat for their struggles: Muslims, minorities and successful, educated women.

The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I'm in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, "Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us.([laughter) You're just as poor as Negroes." And I said, "You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you're so poor you can't send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march."

Now that's a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can't hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out. (Amen)


Martin Luther King On How Racism Is Used to Oppress Poor Whites - Still True Today

Much of the discussion in the MSM poses the presents the question of racial and gender equality as being mutually exclusive of reaching out to the white working class. Indeed, in an effort to avoid discussions of race, Trump's victory is portrayed as a triumph of populism even though his policies are extremely anti-poor and anti-working class. Tax cuts for the rich? School vouchers? Privatizing medicare?

So, do Democrats need a new paradigm? Do we need to walk away from fighting racism and sexism in an effort to reach out to the white working class? The answer is no. Democrats do not need a new paradigm. They just need to return to an old one.

Here is Martin Luther King's sermon explaining how racism and prejudice are used not only to oppress minorities, but to oppress and distract working class whites by giving them a scapegoat as the focus of their problems. To fight the racism and oppression being pushed by the right, we need to reach out and bear witness to the Republican base that notwithstanding the election of Donald Trump, their lot has not improved, but with huge tax cuts to the rich and cuts in benefits, their lives will suffer, and all Trump has given them is a scapegoat.

http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/documentsentry/doc_the_drum_major_instinct/

Now the other thing is, that it leads to tragic—and we've seen it happen so often—tragic race prejudice. Many who have written about this problem—Lillian Smith used to say it beautifully in some of her books. And she would say it to the point of getting men and women to see the source of the problem. Do you know that a lot of the race problem grows out of the drum major instinct? A need that some people have to feel superior. A need that some people have to feel that they are first, and to feel that their white skin ordained them to be first. (Make it plain, today, ‘cause I’m against it, so help me God) And they have said over and over again in ways that we see with our own eyes. In fact, not too long ago, a man down in Mississippi said that God was a charter member of the White Citizens Council. And so God being the charter member means that everybody who's in that has a kind of divinity, a kind of superiority. And think of what has happened in history as a result of this perverted use of the drum major instinct. It has led to the most tragic prejudice, the most tragic expressions of man's inhumanity to man.

The other day I was saying, I always try to do a little converting when I'm in jail. And when we were in jail in Birmingham the other day, the white wardens and all enjoyed coming around the cell to talk about the race problem. And they were showing us where we were so wrong demonstrating. And they were showing us where segregation was so right. And they were showing us where intermarriage was so wrong. So I would get to preaching, and we would get to talking—calmly, because they wanted to talk about it. And then we got down one day to the point—that was the second or third day—to talk about where they lived, and how much they were earning. And when those brothers told me what they were earning, I said, "Now, you know what? You ought to be marching with us. (laughter) You're just as poor as Negroes." And I said, "You are put in the position of supporting your oppressor, because through prejudice and blindness, you fail to see that the same forces that oppress Negroes in American society oppress poor white people. (Yes) And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. And you're so poor you can't send your children to school. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march."

Now that's a fact. That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, (Make it plain) he is forced to support his oppressors. And the only thing he has going for him is the false feeling that he’s superior because his skin is white—and can't hardly eat and make his ends meet week in and week out. (Amen)

Two More: Josh Putnam and Desart

Given the wide disparity among the various quants, it will be interesting who among them is closest to the final electoral vote count. Nate Silver has been very cautious about Hillary Clinton's chances, which may be an over correction to his insistence during the summer that there was no way Trump would win the RNC primary.

Josh Putnam (Frontloading HQ) - http://frontloading.blogspot.com/
Hillary Clinton: 340
Donald Trump: 198

Desart (Utah Valley) - http://research.uvu.edu/DeSart/forecasting/november.html
Hillary Clinton: 347
Donald Trump: 191

Judge Kozinski on prosecutorial misconduct - Helps Explain Late Election FBI Leakfest

Here are excerpts of an article by Judge Alex Kozinski discussing examples of prosecutorial misconduct. Perhaps not surprisingly, several of his examples involve the pursuit of political leaders in the midst of an election. The fact that it happens among prosecuting attorneys is bad enough. However, investigating agents may have even less checks on their ambitions to bring down a big fish. At least prosecuting attorneys are constrained by the fact that they will ultimately need to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

In contrast, an investigator has more leeway to investigate before clear evidence of wrong doing has been discovered. Of course, the prospect of bringing down a big target can lead to abuses similar to those described below, which is becoming increasingly apparent in the FBI with the desperate last minute leaks of damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

http://georgetownlawjournal.org/files/2015/06/Kozinski_Preface.pdf

Prosecutors hold tremendous power, more than anyone other than jurors, and often much more than jurors because most cases don’t go to trial. Prosecutors and their investigators have unparalleled access to the evidence, both inculpatory and exculpatory, and while they are required to provide exculpatory evidence to the defense under Brady, Giglio, and Kyles v. Whitley, it is very difficult for the defense to find out whether the prosecution is complying with this obligation.

Prosecutors also have tremendous control over witnesses: They can offer incentives — often highly compelling incentives — for suspects to testify. This includes providing sweetheart plea deals to alleged co-conspirators and engineering jail-house encounters between the defendant and known informants.

Sometimes they feed snitches non-public information about the crime so that the statements they attribute to the defendant will sound authentic. And, of course, prosecutors can pile on charges so as to make it exceedingly risky for a defendant to go to trial. There are countless ways in which prosecutors can prejudice the fact-finding process and undermine a defendant’s right to a fair trial.

This, of course, is not their job. Rather, as the Supreme Court has held, “A prosecutor is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor — indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones.

All prosecutors purport to operate just this way and I believe that most do. My direct experience is largely with federal prosecutors and, with a few exceptions, I have found them to be fair-minded, forthright and highly conscientious.

But there are disturbing indications that a non-trivial number of prosecutors — and sometimes entire prosecutorial offices — engage in misconduct that seriously undermines the fairness of criminal trials. The misconduct ranges from misleading the jury, to outright lying in court and tacitly acquiescing or actively participating in the presentation of false evidence by police.

Prosecutorial misconduct is a particularly difficult problem to deal with because so much of what prosecutors do is secret. If a prosecutor fails to disclose exculpatory evidence to the defense, who is to know? Or if a prosecutor delays disclosure of evidence helpful to the defense until the defendant has accepted an unfavorable plea bargain, no one will be the wiser. Or if prosecutors rely on the testimony of cops they know to be liars, or if they acquiesce in a police scheme to create inculpatory evidence, it will take an extraordinary degree of luck and persistence to discover it — and in most cases it will never be discovered.

There are distressingly many cases where such misconduct has been documented, but I will mention just three to illustrate the point. The first is United States v. Stevens, the prosecution of Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican Senator in history.

Senator Stevens was charged with corruption for accepting the services of a building contractor and paying him far below market price — essentially a bribe. The government’s case hinged on the testimony of the contractor, but the government failed to disclose the initial statement the contractor made to the FBI that he was probably overpaid for the services. The government also failed to disclose that the contractor was under investigation for unrelated crimes and thus had good reason to curry favor with the authorities.

Stevens was convicted just a week before he stood for re-election and in the wake of the conviction, he was narrowly defeated, changing the balance of power in the Senate. The government’s perfidy came to light when a brave FBI agent by the name of Chad Joy blew the whistle on the government’s knowing concealment of exculpatory evidence.


Did the government react in horror at having been caught with its hands in the cookie jar? Did Justice Department lawyers rend their garments and place ashes on their head to mourn this violation of their most fundamental duty of candor and fairness? No way, no how. Instead, the government argued strenuously that its ill-gotten conviction should stand because boys will be boys and the evidence wasn’t material to the case anyway.

It was only the extraordinary persistence and the courageous intervention of District Judge Emmet Sullivan, who made it clear that he was going to dismiss the Stevens case and then ordered an investigation of the government’s misconduct that forced the Justice Department to admit its malfeasance — what else could it do? — and move to vacate the former senator’s conviction. Instead of contrition, what we have seen is Justice Department officials of the highest rank suffering torn glenoid labrums from furiously patting themselves on the back for having “done the right thing.”

* * *

While most prosecutors are fair and honest, a legal environment that tolerates sharp prosecutorial practices gives important and undeserved career advantages to prosecutors who are willing to step over the line, tempting others to do the same. Having strict rules that prosecutors must follow will thus not merely avoid the risk of letting a guilty man free to commit other crimes while an innocent one languishes his life away, it will also preserve the integrity of the prosecutorial process by shielding principled prosecutors from unfair competition from their less principled colleagues.

WaPo Editorial - Donald Trump "Represents a Danger to the Republic."

Nice editorial that reviews some of the biggest Donald Trump whoppers. Of course, WaPo itself jumped on the bandwagon with the Comey letter announcing a whole lot of innuendo, but this is still a good article.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-only-way-trump-can-win/2016/11/02/1512d15c-a07c-11e6-a44d-cc2898cfab06_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.580bdffe99ca

“If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely.”

This lie is emblematic, for two reasons. First, Mr. Trump’s refusal to release his returns is an unprecedented sign of contempt for voters; every major-party nominee of the modern era has respected this basic norm of transparency.

Second, this early lie presaged a campaign built on lies. Mr. Trump went on to deceive about almost everything else: whether American Muslims celebrated the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, whether he opposed the invasion of Iraq, whether he mocked a disabled reporter, whether his tax plan would benefit him, whether accusations from women he groped have been debunked, and so on and on and endlessly on.

Most politicians are caught in falsehoods from time to time. Mr. Trump revels in them, and when caught simply repeats the lie, more loudly. Similarly, he trades in conspiracy theories that he must know to be false, the more lurid the better: that President Obama was born in Kenya, that Vincent Foster and Antonin Scalia were murdered, that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. The campaign even lies about his initial lie, denying that Mr. Trump ever promised to release his returns.

With Hillary, the Fear Is She Is Not Telling The Truth; With Trump, The Danger is That He Is...

The narrative that you hear from both the left and the right is that while Hillary says one thing, she may really mean it notwithstanding the fact that most fact checkers generally rate the bulk of her statements as true. Nonetheless, critics speculate that maybe she secretly wants to start a war with Iran, maybe she actually is racist, maybe she will cut taxes for the rich, rather than raise them, maybe she will accept TPP. Yet, as Ezra Klein noted, most Presidential candidates do try to fulfill their campaign promises for better or worse.

That being said, with Trump, we have pundits and his supporters repeatedly dismissing his most outrageous statements as not being serious or being sarcastic. It is impossible to list them all, but the statements include:

* His calls for Russia to hack his opponent.
* His proposal to threaten default on the U.S. debt.
* His suggestion that the spread of nuclear weapons is okay.
* His endorsement of torture much worse than water boarding.
* His statements that he might not live up to the U.S.'s NATO treaty obligations.
* His dismissal of grabbing women by the genitals as locker room talk.
* His claims that judges are biased against him because of their race.
* His claims that the election is rigged and insistence that he would not accept the results of the election.
* His claim that climate change is a Chinese hoax.
* His insistence that Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals.
* His calls to reintroduce racial profiling.
* His insistence that the election is rigged, and that his supporters should take active steps to prevent rampant voter fraud.

Every time that Trump has said these statements, even after he has doubled down with a follow-up tweet, pundits and his campaign dismiss his statements as sarcasm or hyperbole.

What is scary is how the media and even his own supporters seem to take it as a matter of faith that Trump is bullshitting us, and that is okay, because we hope that he is more reasonable than he sounds. We are counting on him lying to us on some very key, fundamental issues. I think this is crazy.

This is what I would raise with Trump supporters. While they complain that Hillary might be lying, the danger with Trump is that he might be telling the truth regarding the nature of the policies he believes in and wishes to adopt. If so, heaven help us that he might be telling the truth on his most outrageous claims and promises.
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