The “Most Secure” Election in US History? Despite Mounting Evidence of Brazen Fraud in Key Swing States

In cahoots with forces running the US, establishment media feed Americans a daily diet of managed news misinformation and disinformation rubbish.

The only way to be informed about major issues affecting our lives, welfare, and futures is by following independent sources, free from state and corporate control, mainly online.

According to the NYT (and other establishment media), Election 2020 “was the most secure in (US) history” — citing a dubious statement by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Despite mounting evidence of brazen fraud in key swing states, below is the DHS statement in full, dated November 12:

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history (sic).”

Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”

“When states have close elections, many will recount ballots.”

“All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary (sic).”

“This is an added benefit for security and resilience (sic).”

“This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors (sic).”

“There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised (sic).”

“Other security measures like pre-election testing, state certification of voting equipment, and the US Election Assistance Commission’s (EAC) certification of voting equipment help to build additional confidence in the voting systems used in 2020 (sic).”

“While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too (sic).”

“When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections (sic).”

The above statement is one of many examples of state-sponsored mass deception.

It shows Trump’s DHS abandoned him as well as truth-telling about Election 2020.

Almost daily, new information surfaces about election fraud in key swing states.

The only unknowns are precisely how much, in what ways, in which states, and to what extent it shifted the true vote count to Biden/Harris over Trump.

Based on what’s already known, it appears that brazen fraud decided the US presidential election.

While it’s not over until Electoral College electors vote (on Dec. 14), it’s certified by House, Senate, and National Archives representatives (on Dec. 23), and Congress declares the results (on Jan. 6 — the Supreme Court perhaps to have final say — it appears almost certain that Biden/Harris will succeed Trump on January 20.

Though the judicial process, including at the highest level, may side with Trump’s legitimate lawsuits — claiming fraud in designated swing states — it’s highly unlikely as things now stand.

Election 2020 is clear testimony to how fantasy US democracy works — ordinary Americans with no say over how the nation is run and by whom.

It’s also more evidence of dominant media mass deception, supporting election fraud over a free, fair and open process.

Since last weekend, a Great Lakes Justice Center lawsuit filed in Michigan claims that Detroit election officials allowed “tens of thousands” of fraudulent ballots to be added to Biden/Harris’ vote count, along with other Wayne County irregularities.

Based on the lawsuit, they included “eyewitness accounts and direct evidence” that “approximately 40,000” unsecured, irregular ballots arrived in vehicles with out-of-state license plates in Detroit.

The vote tally went entirely for Biden/Harris and other Dems on the ballot.

The lawsuit also alleges that after GOP challengers discovered evidence of fraud, they were locked out of the counting room — after which tens of thousands more ballots were counted.

County election officials also “allowed ballots to be duplicated by hand without allowing poll challengers to check if the duplication was accurate,” according to the lawsuit.

There’s more about dubious practices in Detroit that smacks of election fraud.

On Wednesday, GOP attorney generals in 10 states filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court — challenging the illegality of counting late mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, ignoring state laws banning the practice.

According to Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter “actions taken by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (on this issue) are one of the most breathtaking abuses of judicial authority that I’ve seen in my four-plus years as attorney general.”

On Monday, US Attorney General William Barr authorized DOJ officials to investigate alleged election irregularities.

At this time, results of Election 2020 are undecided. Joe Biden is NOT president-elect until these issues are settled and the election process is officially completed.

According to Trump campaign attorney Sidney Powell, significant statistical evidence of improper ballot counting hasn’t yet been revealed, adding:

Many states breached their own elections laws, including “pallets of ballots” entering through “the back door” of counting centers in the middle of the night.

“There is tons of evidence that hundreds of thousands of ballots are going to have to be discarded and they’re all for Biden.”

Dominion Voting Systems software used in various states swapped, padded, and in other ways altered vote tallies, said Powell.

“There is a substantial problem with the Dominion system,” Powell stressed. “We are reviewing all of that and connecting the dots.”

“There are stacks of evidence and testimony from any number of witnesses – I’ve lost count of how many they have (because) more pour in every day.”

According to Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, “(i)t’s important to understand first and foremost how insecure this system is,” adding:

“We have over 600,000 mail-in ballots that have been counted.”

“Those are votes that are official in our system.”

“We also know that we have unclean rolls – ballots that have been mailed to dead people, to people who have moved out of state, and people that got a dozen ballots in their homes, etc.”

At most, signature verification of mail-in ballots was 40%, he said. Most Nevada mail-in ballots are unverified.

Trump may lead Biden/Harris in the state instead of the other way around as reported by major media.

According to Project Veritas, “an anonymous (Pennsylvania) USPS whistleblower…claims that higher-ups ordered postal workers to discard pro-Trump and pro-Republican mail, and only deliver pro-Biden mail from now on,” adding:

“This is the third Pennsylvania USPS insider to blow the whistle on election malfeasance in the last week.”

“There is something going on with USPS and we must get to the bottom of it immediately,” Project Veritas head James O’Keefe said, stressing:

“It’s very concerning that every USPS whistleblower coming forward is telling stories that put our election integrity in serious doubt.”

Election fraud occurred many times throughout US history at the federal, state and local levels.

Election 2020 may one day be remembered as one of the most brazen examples.

Election 2020 the “most secure” in US history? Make your own judgment.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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US Election 2020: The Shame of the Nation. Duopoly and Electoral Fraud. “Democracy in America is Pure Fiction”

The US has been a fantasy democracy from inception, never the real thing, designed this way by the founders.

Of all US presidential elections in my memory since Franklin Roosevelt’s 1944 last hurrah and Harry Truman’s 1948 surprise triumph over Tom Dewey — our neighbor telling my dad “I told you so” — Election 2020 stands out as the most brazen of manipulated outcomes.

When losers are declared winners and legitimate winners mocked for crying foul, cracks in the system are beyond repair.

When establishment media across the board cheerlead the ruse — suppressing the truth — US hypocrisy, a fantasy democracy, tops the list of banana republics for its outlandish pretense.

When self-styled American exceptionalism, the indispensable state, a bastion of fundamental freedoms and moral superiority is exposed to be rotten to the core, banana republic designation isn’t strong enough to describe its total/irreversible fall from grace.

America never was beautiful. It’s always been a government of duplicitous/self-serving politicians, not laws.

They  lie, connive, misinterpret and pretty much operate ad libitum in discharging their duties as they see fit for themselves and cronies.

The same goes for duplicitous media. Serving powerful interests and themselves over truth and full-disclosure, they long ago lost credibility.

From inception to now, “we the people” exclusively means its ruling class — ordinary people exploited, not served.

America’s 1776 revolution left things intact under new management.

Throughout US history, names and faces alone changed, dirty business as usual remaining as always before.

Today’s America is pockmarked by endless wars on humanity at home and abroad, criminality in the halls of Congress and corporate suites, rampant injustice for ordinary people, festering social problems left unaddressed, and fantasy democracy — duopoly rule and electoral fraud two of its defining features.

The nation’s supreme law of the land, its Constitution, is however deceitful politicians and judicial authorities define it — the rights and interests of ordinary Americans ignored.

Government of, by, and for everyone was never the law of the land.

US governance from inception was always about privileged interests exclusively, most others exploited to serve them.

Falsely called the father of the Constitution, James Madison later said the following:

“I am not of the number if there be any such, who think the Constitution…was a faultless work.”

It’s “the best that could be obtained from the jarring interests of the states.”

“Something, anything, was better than nothing.”

Other so-called founding fathers shared his view. Serving as envoy to France at the time, Jefferson didn’t think the nation’s supreme law of the land would stand the test of time.

He called for a new constitutional convention every 20 years to update it and correct flaws.

The nation’s framers were members of its privileged class, including bankers, merchants, slave-owners, and various other profiteers — what today we’d call a self-serving Wall Street/corporate predator crowd.

They created a system, similar to what existed under the British crown, monarchal wrappings removed.

Everything changed but stayed the same, colonial era lawyer Daniel Leonard saying:

“Never in history had there been so much rebellion with so little real cause.”

America was and continues to be run by self-serving monied interests that own it.

The nation’s first president, George Washington, had no party affiliation, ran unopposed twice, and was unanimously selected, not elected — a process resembling coronations.

From then to now, ordinary Americans have had no say over who’s chosen to serve in high places, no say over how the nation is run.

Outcomes of farcical elections when held pretend to reflect the popular will.

Reality is worlds apart from a process amounting to mass deception.

Biden/Harris were anointed Dem standard bearers — selected to prevent a second Trump term the old-fashioned way, by well-planned in advance election fraud.

It’s not the first time a US election was stolen. It’s perhaps the most brazen, establishment media supporting the anointment of losers Biden/Harris over winner Trump.

Even if he’s got hard evidence for multiple lawsuits that began in earnest on Monday, if deep state dark forces want Biden/Harris installed as president, Trump will leave office in January after one term.

While nothing is certain until things play out in the coming days or weeks, that outcome seems most likely.

What’s gone on already proves beyond a reasonable doubt that democracy in America is pure fiction, not fact.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from Infowars

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US Hypocrisy, Not Democracy. Governance of, by and for “The Rich, Well-Born and Able”

When farcical US elections are held, we the people have no say over who serves in high office or how the nation is run.

The nation’s founders designed things this way, creating governance of, by, and for “the rich, well-born and able,” as John Adams explained.

Behind the scenes dark forces decide things. It’s been this way from inception.

The nation’s founders created a system to serve their interests — and the nation’s privileged class overall — at the expense of the general welfare.

The Constitution was the creation of duplicitous framers and close allies, scheming to cut the best deals for themselves.

Government of, by and for the people is doublespeak. The general welfare is for the privileged few alone.

From inception to now, democracy has always been pure illusion, the real thing deemed unacceptable by the nation’s ruling class.

It was never considered as a form of government by the framers.

The same goes for so-called elections. If able to create rule of, by, and for everyone equitably, they’d be banned.

The supreme law of the land is how powerful interests define it, including all three branches of government — equity and justice never a consideration.

US one-party rule today with two right wings is totalitarian, plutocratic, and kleptocratic.

While each wing takes turns running things, on issues relating to war and peace, corporate empowerment, monied interests served over the general welfare, and increasing police state rule for unchallenged control, they’re on the same page.

The main differences between Trump and Biden/Harris are party label, style, and one more thing.

Although in his mid-70s, Trump appears in good health. His energy level appears high, and he’s never at a loss for words.

Biden appears physically and cognitively in decline with symptoms resembling early stage Parkinson’s disease.

James Fetzer believes a double debated Trump, not Joe Biden, citing the following evidence.

The real Joe Biden has ear lobes. His “double” doesn’t.

According to Fetzer, “ears cannot be surgically altered and are just as distinctive as fingerprints.”

Joe Biden “has a smoother chin. His double(’s) (chin is) strongly dimpled.”

“Biden has a wider cranium, his double a narrower (one).”

“His double appears to be a more diminutive version” of JB.

They have different color eyes. Biden’s are blue, his “double’s” brown.

Joe Biden has diminished speech fluency. He stutters and stammers, time and again making misstatements.

Calling Super Tuesday “Super Thursday” was one of many examples.

He once said the following:

My name’s Joe Biden. I’m a (Dem) candidate for the United States Senate.”

He claimed to have worked with China’s Deng Xiaoping on the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. Deng died in 1997.

He confused former UK prime minister Theresa May with Margaret Thatcher.

Most everyone makes occasional misstatements. Biden does it repeatedly, a sign of cognitive decline.

Is this a man to be trusted as president and commander-in-chief of the nation’s armed forces with his finger on the nuclear trigger?

At the same time, it’s true that US heads of state are figureheads for the system run by behind-the-scenes dark forces.

Domestic and geopolitical policies are what they want them to be — presidents, key congressional members, and High Court justices chosen to serve their interests.

Still, it’s fair to ask if Biden is physically and cognitively unable to carry out the duties of president, including interactions with foreign leaders, how can he  be trusted as the nation’s nominal leader?

On November 20, he’ll be age-78. Midway through his term if succeeds Trump, he’ll be the first US octogenarian president.

If unable to handle the job’s rigors now on the public stage and behind the scenes, how much further in decline will he be in two more years?

A previous day’s article discussed evidence presented by Federalist political editor John Daniel Davidson.

It appears to show that Dems “are trying to steal the election in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (through) vote counting irregularities.”

Further information from  Davidson said the following:

Overnight Tuesday vote dumps in Michigan and Wisconsin — with zero votes for Trump, erasing his lead over Biden in both states — included this anomaly:

Results “in Antrim County, Michigan, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 30 points in 2016…showed Biden ahead of Trump by 29 points, a result that can’t possibly be accurate…”

Another Michigan anomaly was that overnight Tuesday “votes for Biden (reflected) a ‘data error’…an alleged typo, an extra zero that had been tacked onto Biden’s vote total in Shiawassee County, Michigan.”

A video posted on Twitter by Michigan State Senator Aric Nesbitt showed Detroit mail-in ballot counting “workers cheering every time an official election observer with the Michigan GOP is ejected from the counting room.”

“Apparently this has been happening frequently, in violation of state law.”

(Dem) observers, says Nesbitt, now outnumber Republicans observers at the convention center 3 to 1.”

Former Kansas attorney general Phil Kline “filed a lawsuit Wednesday alleging that tens of thousands of ballots in Detroit have been illegally filled out by election officials and Democratic election observers.”

Kline: “We have confirmed evidence that (Dem) election officials have violated state law, and have opened the door for fraud involving tens of thousands of ballots.”

After ejecting numbers of Republican poll challengers from counting area in Detroit, Michigan “election officials began covering up the windows of the counting rooms with cardboard to block the view of Republican observers.”

On Thursday, the Detroit Free Press quoted attorney/GOP poll challenger Jessica Connarn saying workers in Detroit are “changing the dates the ballots were received” to make invalid ones valid, adding:

“When I approached (a) poll worker, she stated to me that she was being told to change the date on ballots to reflect that the ballots were received on an earlier date.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, when Connarn tried getting information from a poll worker, she was “yelled at by the other poll workers working at her table, who told (her) to go away and…was not allowed to talk to the poll worker.”

The Detroit News reported that  “legally incapacitated nursing home residents were being coaxed to vote and Detroit’s voting rolls were inflated with more than 300,000 names of people who had died or moved out of the city.”

Similar shenanigans happened in Wisconsin, the Trump team demanding a full recount in the state, citing “reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results.”

In Pennsylvania, “the (Dem) Secretary of State’s plan to count indisputably late mail-in ballots as though they were received on Election Day—even if they have no postmark,” adding:

The tabulation procedure was approved by Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices.

The above information — with perhaps more of the same to come out ahead — appears to show that “the only possible conclusion one can come to right now is that (Dems) are trying to steal the election in the midwest.”

Perhaps the same thing is going on in Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada.

The above information and similar shenanigans in earlier US federal, state and local elections proved time and again that democracy in America is pure fantasy.

When the dust settles on Election 2020, results for president — and perhaps in some House and Senate races — are highly likely to reflect the will of US dark forces, not voters who cast ballots.

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Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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The 2019 Bolivian Elections Fraud “Precedent” vs. The 2020 US Elections Fraud

The precedent established by the Organization of American States’ claims that fraud was committed in the 2019 Bolivian presidential election after a suspicious delay in releasing the tally resulted in then-President Morales emerging the victor without a second round being necessary like would have otherwise been the case had the pre-delay trend held solid justifies Trump’s accusations that fraud was also committed during the US’ very similar electoral crisis concerning the equally suspicious and ultimately game-changing delay in reporting on mail-in ballots.

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Two Countries, Two Years, Two Elections, Two Suspicious Outcomes

The Anti-Trump Regime Change Sequence Is Worthwhile Studying”, as I remarked earlier on Thursday, yet what’s just as worthwhile to consider is the way in which the 2019 Bolivian precedent justifies Trump’s accusations of fraud during the US’ very similar electoral crisis. To explain, the suspicious delay in releasing the tally during the Bolivian election resulted in then-President Morales emerging the victor without a second round being necessary like would have otherwise been the case had the pre-delay trend held solid. This is almost the exact same scenario as what recently unfolded in the the several battleground states where an equally suspicious and ultimately game-changing delay resulted in Biden suddenly obtaining literally hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots.

The Bolivian Precedent

Just a little over a year ago, the Organization of American States (which includes the US) claimed that the irregularity in Bolivia’s voting process raised serious suspicions of fraud, after which the government agreed to hold new elections and announced that it will overhaul the Supreme Electoral Tribunal as well as investigate its members. Regrettably, however, that contentious incident catalyzed a preplanned Color Revolution which ended in a military coup that was surprisingly reversed through democratic means last month. Nevertheless, the precedent of regarding it as suspicious whenever an unexpected delay in tallying votes results in a game-changing outcome should also be applied in the American case.

It’s hypocritical to hold the US to a different standard just because the Democrats are doing the same thing at a much larger scale and with potentially global consequences. In addition, it should also be pointed out that the Biden campaign was strangely silent after the military coup overthrew then-President Morales in reaction to the electoral fraud that was allegedly committed, with even left-wing Salon opining how odd it was at the time. It’s therefore doubly hypocritical to not only refuse to hold the US to the same standard as Bolivia after the precedent that the American government itself partially established, but for the Democrats to be against it too.

Every Democrat Is A Wannbe Dictator

I wrote earlier this week that “Every Democrat Is A Wannabe Dictator” that will bend every rule and violate all of their prior principles in their pursuit of power for “the cause”. Even worse, they’re now trying to gaslight everyone who claims that America’s repeat of the Bolivian precedent should at the very least raise legitimate suspicions of fraud by claiming that they’re “conspiracy theorists” or have “ulterior motives” for expressing their constitutionally enshrined freedom of speech by publicly saying as much. This isn’t due to ignorance, but is an intent to manipulate the public’s perceptions for the purpose of legitimizing their ongoing coup attempt.

Applying The Bolivian Precedent To The American Case

If the Bolivian precedent was applied to the American case like it arguably should be, then there shouldn’t be any opposition to an investigation into the clear irregularities which occurred in several battleground states whose outcome will decide the presidency, especially since this standard was applied by the US government itself just a year ago against that South American nation. To then-President Morales’ credit, he acknowledged the democratic shortcoming that took place, agreed to hold new elections, decided to investigate the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and initiated an investigation into its members prior to unfortunately being overthrown.

The Democrats, however, would never follow in his footsteps since doing so would be rightly interpreted as acknowledgement that they or their surrogates did indeed commit electoral fraud as suspected. Instead, they’re doing all that they can to obfuscate Trump’s efforts to get to the bottom of what really happened. They would never agree to hold a rerun of the elections in those states since they know that they’d lose if it was held over a several-day period for example and conducted entirely in person with a bipartisan team of observers monitoring the entire process from start to finish like should theoretically happen in the best-case scenario.

The Argument For A Partial Rerun Without Mail-In Ballots

After all, it was only through their mail-in ballot scheme that the Democrats were able to push through their fraud, but there was never any real reason to resort to such measures in the first place. Democrat governors applied obvious double standards towards the lockdown by restricting most folks to their homes while turning a blind eye whenever their de-facto street militias of Antifa and “Black Lives Matter” wantonly burned, looted, rioted, and even murdered in rare instances throughout those states’ main cities with impunity. If COVID was as deadly for most folks as they claimed, they wouldn’t have risked getting their voters infected even the election.

For this very reason alone, to say nothing of the other arguments that were mentioned in this analysis pertaining to the Bolivian precedent, there should be an in-person rerun in each of the battleground states where mail-in ballot are suspected of resulting in large-scale fraud. This could occur over a several-day period out of convenience for those who fear catching COVID if they’re around large crowds, but the entire process would have to be monitored from start to finish by a bipartisan team of observers. Of course, this will probably never happen, but it’s being suggested for the sake of contributing a constructive solution to this crisis.

Concluding Thoughts

Knowledge of the Bolivian precedent provides useful insight into the best-case scenario that the US’ very similar electoral crisis could take even though it’s extremely unrealistic to achieve. The value therefore rests more in proving that Trump’s argument of fraud isn’t “illegitimate” like the Democrats claim, but actually grounded in a recent precedent that the US itself participated in setting, which was silently approved by none other than Biden at the time as well. In the battle for hearts and minds, every rhetorical point grounded in facts could make a powerful difference in shaping perceptions, hence why the Bolivian precedent must be widely reported upon by all concerned citizens.

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This article was originally published on OneWorld.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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Trump, Blue Mirages and False Polls

The great bard remarks in Henry VI: Part II that all the lawyers ought to be killed.  In entertaining this homicidal formula, William Shakespeare had yet to encounter that barnacle breed known as the pollster.  There is much to suggest that those practising this dark and futile art ought to be done away with, with their special ability to suggest realities buried in the entrails of malleable opinions.  Their failings have been regular and profound: the Brexit referendum in 2016; the US presidential victory that same year for Donald J. Trump.

Cue to 2020.  The scene set before the November 3 vote: the wooden, barely breathing Joe Biden, whose only claim to fame in this presidential race has been not being Trump.  A vote for Biden; a vote for a return to amnesia, self-denial and the fiction of “decency”.  Trump, campaigning manically across several swing states in the last days; Biden, doing his little bit in Pennsylvania, strumming his Scranton, working class tune to voters.  

Democrats were again counting on the weakness of their opponent, misreading him.  Strategists could only see a monster, an apparition that would pass. Left unseen was a campaigner who never left the rally; a person whose four years in office has been one long pitch to retain power.  In the meantime, despite the president’s predations and the personalisation of high office, Trump’s supporters have noted the hum of the economy (prior to the coronavirus), delighted in his hard stance on treaties, his pugilism towards Washington’s allies and foes. 

The death rate of COVID-19 might have seen him off; indeed, Trump might himself have become a viral casualty were it not for the highly priced medical treatment he received.  But even here, this mendacious wonder managed to suggest that he contracted it for the American people, did it for them; the foolish minimiser of disease turned brave warrior, albeit it one with a large medical bill attached. 

In this mess were the pollsters – again.  Data from Real Clear Politics suggested that Biden would sail into the White House on a sea of blue, ahead with 51 percent compared to Trump’s 44 percent in the seven-day rolling average.   The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll reported a 10 point lead favouring Biden (52 percent to 42 percent).

Emblematic in all of this was the result in Florida.   Victory was secured by Trump by a margin three times that of 2016.   The polling suggested that Biden would be breathing easy with a margin of 2.5 points.  Another glaring error for the books. 

Looking at Florida, John Podhoretz raged, wondering why “we fell for their crap again.”  Such polling could only be seen as “a fraud.  It claims to measure something that, it is now unmistakably clear, cannot be accurately measured.  Polling’s seductive promise is that it will take the guesswork out of understanding a complex and changing set of circumstances and replace that uncertainty with something that looks like science.”

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson was similarly livid. Suggesting that the polling industry was “dead”, he advocated mass firings.  “I could name some of the people who should be fired immediately.” 

One figure in the firing line of vituperation was Nate Silver, editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism blog described by Aaron Timms in The New Republic as having “no politics – or rather, no politics beyond a mute approval of the status quo.”  Silver has turned into a shape changer over the years, moving beyond the astrology of polling into strident pontifications, some of which are suitably dotty.  But elections are meant to be his ham and eggs, and in November 2020, he was nodding the way of a convincing Biden victory.

This prompted Erik Engquist, senior managing editor of The Real Deal, to release a volley of indignation.  “How many elections can Nate Silver’s model do this before people stop taking him seriously?  It gave Biden a 95% chance to win MI, 94% chance to WI, 69% to win FL etc.”  Reuters investigative reporter Joel Schectman suggested that Silver had “a lot of mansplaining to do” though took the barb off his remarks by claiming irony; Ashlee Vance of Businessweek wondered how many poles it would take “for Nate Silver to get a forecast right.”

Away from the convenient, readymade fictions of the polling industry, the US political ground is looking ugly, fractured and desperate.  This has not stopped Democrats remaining wrapped up in an entitlement narrative that continues to repel voters with its own form of snobbery.  Biden’s promise on Election Day that “there will be no red states or blue states just the United States of America” is supremely fanciful when looking at a country distinctly divided between them.  What is abysmal for the Donkey Party this time around is not that Trump just might win (again), but that his record on pandemic mismanagement, politicisation of US institutions and science, to name but a few, did not guarantee a blue stampede.  Across the country, the revolted remain in revolt.

Instead, Trump has managed to turn the political fabric of the US inside out, sowing seeds of chaos and now, with a promise of litigation, to reap them in the various courts of the country.  His overt turn to hucksterism – the claim that an electoral fraud has been committed – is very fitting.  “This is an embarrassment to our country.  We were getting ready to win this election.  Frankly, we did win this election.”  The pollsters have now been replaced by the vote counters.  The lawyers, far from being done away with, are being hired by the platoon.

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research. Email: [email protected]

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The Day After: US 2020 Election and Political Predictions

In my article last week, ‘Why the Record Vote Turnout May Not Matter’, I predicted the election via electoral college would look very much like 2016: the 3 swing states (PA, MI, WI) would determine the outcome again, and maybe one other state could flip (either Arizona or, less likely, North Carolina). I predicted, as of a week ago, the electoral college vote was very close, with 244 votes for Biden and 248 for Trump.

As of last night, Nov. 3 late, it was exactly that, according to CNN. 44 to 248. This morning, Nov. 4, it’s come down to NV, AZ, WI, MI likely ending up for Biden once final votes are counted; and GA, NC likely for Trump. With Pennsylvania undetermined for days yet. And maybe weeks should Trump take legal action to stop the mail in vote count, which is likely.

As I also predicted last week, Trump came before the TV cameras late last night Nov. 3 and declared the election was a fraud, that the vote counting of mail in ballots should halt in all the swing states only, and that he was going to the US Supreme Court.

Democrats’ naive prediction during the election that they would carry several of the big red states: Texas, Florida, Ohio turned out, as I predicted in my article last week, to be ‘wishful thinking’. As I argued then, these states were long time notorious voter suppression states and would remain Trump’s. Georgia and Florida each already prevented the right to vote, or have impounded, hundreds of thousands of eligible voters in each of those two states, as reported by investigative journalist, Greg Palast.

As of noon today, Nov. 4, should Biden win MI, WI, NV, AZ, where he now leads, and also carry the one special district in Nebraska, he will then have 269 electoral college votes. He won’t win GA or NC. And Pennsylvania is undetermined.

So where could Biden get votes to put him over the required 270? Only one state left: Maine with its 4 votes.

If this scenario holds, the US election will be therefore determined by less than five votes. The country remains fundamentally split and divided.

The policy gridlock concerning economic stimulus will likely continue as a result, as the Senate appears will remain in Republican hands and Senate votes will be driven by the Republican right wing led by Rand Paul who wants no more stimulus but wants more austerity cuts to government spending.

Republicans in Senate will continue their stacking of the Federal courts, and will rely on the ideological partner of the US Supreme Court, with its 6-3 Trump majority, from time to time, to help them block and undermine legislation already passed.

In many ways the election map now looks very much like 2016, with one or so states flipping Democrat but not much change except two ‘blue wall’ swing states going Biden by very thin margins.

In terms of government policy to follow, however, the country will look more like 2012–with McConnell’s Republican Senate thwarting initiatives on economics (stimulus, health, jobs, taxes, etc.) by the US House of Representatives and President (presuming Biden wins).

Consequences for the US economy are not good. The chances are less than 50-50 that a stimulus bill of necessary proportions will be passed before January 2021, just as Covid worsens and dampens household spending and business investment. But big corporations will be happy with this continued gridlock, since it means it is unlikely their massive 2018 tax cut of $4 trillion plus will be reversed for another four years, as the McConnell Senate now prevents all efforts to raise revenues for stimulus spending.

Another important outcome of the election is that the Democrats have actually lost seats in the US House, but not yet control. They expected a ‘blue wave’ that did not occur. The Democrats also failed to take back the US Senate. And Biden as president has no clear mandate. They are in a very weak position to make changes but in a position to be blamed for the failure to make changes which will have negative impact on them in 2022 midterm elections.

The Democrats failure in general, apart from maybe squeaking out a presidential win, shows their election strategy was wrong. As I argued back in November 2018 after the midterms, their strategy of focusing on the suburbs and upper middle class professionals and independents, would not succeed in a general election. It hasn’t.

So where does the country go politically from here?

First, Trump will not go away. That means not just leave office quietly–but also Trump as a social-movement will remain and likely grow stronger as his base believes the election was ‘stolen’ from him as he so often warned. Trump is an unstable, reactionary social movement, not just an unstable individual.

Second, both political parties may split before 2024 (and certainly before 2028) causing a basic party realignment in the US.

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Dr. Jack Rasmus writes on his blog site where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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US Election Result Could Spark ‘End of Brexit’, Claims Peer

Labour peer and political commentator Andrew Adonis has claimed that the US election result next week could spark the “end of Brexit”.

Lord Adonis, a TNE contributor, provoked a debate after pointing out that if Donald Trump fails to make it back into the White House it could cause a domino effect with populist politicians – including Boris Johnson and his aide Dominic Cummings.

Adonis wrote: “The most important thing that will happen in British politics this year is next Tuesday’s American election.

“The end of Trump is the beginning of the end of Johnson and Cummings and Brexit.”

It comes after leading Brexit voices – including Piers Morgan – acknowledged that only a Trump win would be best for ensuring a Brexit deal with America.

Numerous reports have hinted Johnson will resign in six months, along with his political aide Cummings.

Voices in Johnson’s government have already started to row back on their comments about America, as they “frantically” reposition themselves for a change of administration.

Paul Duncan tweeted in agreement of Adonis’ comments. He wrote:

“My sentiments exactly. Expect a softer Brexit trade agreement if Biden wins, disguised of course as a massive victory for the UK”.

Laura Harrison McBride replied:

“I’ve been saying that for months. Fascists need company, because they are so mentally and emotionally weak. I’m praying like mad for Trump to lose in a landslide, so it will be over.”

Brexiteer John Scotting also found himself in agreement, but was not celebrating the suggestion.

“This is why a transition period taking us until AFTER the US election was a horrendous error. If/when the anti-UK Democrats get in, I expect Boris to cave and we’ll be back on the road to Rejoin.”

Although others were more sceptical.

Chris Painter wrote:

“I really hope that’s true, although you can’t end brexit – it’s already happened.”

Aidan McQuade commented:

“I fear the U.K. has many more years of abject humiliation ahead of itself irrespective of what happens next Tuesday”.

Another commented:

“Let’s not count our chickens, I have everything crossed, but then who’d have thought the Conservatives would get an 80 seat majority?”

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US Elections 2020: Why the Record Vote Turnout May Not Matter

Mainstream media is pounding out an incessant drumbeat: ‘Get Out and Vote! Mail in Your Ballot! Do It Now! Vote Early!’

But what may well determine the outcome of the election on November 3 may not be the current record voter turnout now underway. That is, not how many actually vote. But rather how many votes get actually counted.

While Democrats are pushing voter turnout, Trump and Republicans are planning to prevent the counting of the votes that do turnout—at least in the three, or at most four, key swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin that will in the end determine the results of the 2020 election in the Electoral College.

If the Electoral College were to cast its votes today Trump and Biden would be virtually tied!

Contrary to the mainstream media and the popular vote trend, Biden does not have a comfortable lead in Electoral College votes. By this writer’s estimate, Trump has 248 Electoral College votes, while Biden has 244! Barely 40-50 potential Electoral College are therefore actually ‘in play’ as they say. These 40-50 are in the true swing states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that together account for a total of 46 votes. The three are also the states in which Trump’s legion of hundreds of lawyers have been preparing for weeks to demand from pro-Trump recently appointed judges that they halt the counting of mail in ballots.

That 248 to 244 close tie in the Electoral College today all but ensures that Trump moves forward on November 3 to implement his plans to stop the mail in ballot vote count in the key swing states. Further encouraging that plan is the fact that those same three swing states don’t start counting mail in ballots until midnight on November 3. Trump could potentially stop the count of virtually all the mail in ballots in those key swing states.

The Electoral College As Bulwark Against Democracy

The Electoral College is an abomination on Democracy. Nevertheless, it will determine the outcome of the 2020 election less than a week from now.

Most election polls, according to mainstream media, show Biden has a commanding lead in the popular vote of 8% to 10%. But the popular vote is irrelevant in America’s 21st century truncated Democracy. All that matters is the total Electoral College vote and which candidate wins a total of 270 Electoral College votes across all the 50 states wins the November 3 election.

Wait. Check that. All that matters is the Electoral College count in the three swing states this time around.  Well, let me correct that further: All that matters is the mail-in ballot vote count in those three states.

Trump plans to declare himself the winner late evening November 3, or at latest early morning November 4—i.e. well before the mail in ballots are counted in those 3 states. Before the sun comes up on November 4 he’ll launch his hundreds of lawyers already ensconced in those states—and McConnell’s handpicked judges there—to stop the mail in ballot counting with preliminary injunctions and other legal legerdemain! That will be done before most folks wake up for breakfast on the 4th.  The injunctions and legal motions filed in federal district courts will then be quickly kicked upstairs to the Appeals Courts, both dominated by McConnell’s rushed appointees in recent years. The Appeals Courts will pass it on eventually to Trump’s now 6-3 majority US Supreme Court to rule!

That’s what American electoral Democracy has come down to: the next president will be determined by mail in ballots in just three states; more correctly, whether those mail in ballots in those three states are counted or not.

CNN’s Election Myopia

Both the pro-Trump right wing media like Fox news, as well as the more mainstream CNN, like to play the ‘who’s winning the electoral college’ vote game every day. But their guesstimates are no better than yours nor mine.

CNN has its daily color-coded ‘Electoral Map’ showing which states are firmly for Trump or Biden (red or blue), which states are leaning toward Trump or Biden (light blue or pink), and in which ‘battleground’ state (yellow color coded) is neither candidate leading.

Amazingly CNN has Biden leading with 290 solid or strongly leaning ‘blue’ states. To get to 290 CNN assumes that Biden will eventually win the light blue ‘leaning’ states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, and even New Hampshire. Apart from these ‘leaning blue’, Biden has 204 other electoral college votes solid blue and thus wrapped up for Biden.

The eight states ‘light blue’ and leaning Biden total 86 electoral votes which, when added to the solid 204, result in CNN’s assumed 290 for Biden. So it looks like Biden’s a strong lead in the Electoral College, per CNN analysis. Of course, CNN also assumes all votes for Biden will be actually counted, including mail in ballots.

But will all the ballots get counted? Or will the SCOTUS suspend and stop the counting of mail in ballots—just as it did ballot recounting in 2000 in Florida?

All Trump has to do is succeed in stopping the mail in ballot vote counting in just Pennsylvania (20), Wisconsin (10) and Michigan (16) and Trump wipes out 46 of Biden’s 290 total, leaving Biden with just 244 electoral college votes and well short of the required 270 to win!

CNN assumes further the remaining 5 states’ leaning blue’ actually go blue: That means Colorado (9), Arizona (11), Minnesota (10), Nevada (6), and New Hampshire (4). It also assumes all (4) votes from Maine go for Biden—i.e. are not ‘split’ between Biden and Trump which is possible in only that state (and Nebraska which also can split its 5  votes).

This is a list off some big assumptions! That is, Trump won’t succeed in stopping the mail ballot count in the 3 states; the 3 states will all go Trump on November 3; and the other 5 ‘leaning blue’ states will all go Biden.

Doing the Electoral College math still further, Trump only needs to stop the mail ballot count in two of the three states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania in order to deprive Biden of 270. And should no halt to mail ballot counting occur in any of the three, Biden still needs to win two of the three fairly nevertheless.

In other words, halting the vote count in just two states is all it will take to give Trump another four years. If you think Trump, McConnell & friends haven’t done this calculation, you’re mistaken!

CNN’s analysis of Trump’s solid and ‘leaning’ red states is no less naïve than its analysis of Biden’s.

It has Trump with only 163 solid red state electoral votes, with Texas’s 38 votes indicated as only ‘leaning red’ toward Trump. So Trump only has 201 electoral college votes.

CNN then describes Florida (29), Georgia (16), Ohio (18), and North Carolina (15) as neutral ‘battleground’ states that are up for grabs. Really? Who believes that? These 5 states are the notorious five (when including Texas) states that have a long history of voter suppression by various means.  With no limits put on their vote suppression activities for years, including the last four in particular, these five states will almost certainly go for Trump again. Their legislatures are all solid rabid Republican! And if anything they’ve intensified their voter suppression activity since 2016.

The notorious five are ‘battlegrounds’ only in CNN and the Democrat Party’s wildest dreams.  Hundreds of thousands of eligible, potential Democrat voters have been purged from their voting rolls in recent years and months. Maybe millions. These five are where voters cannot register by mail, nor at the poll on voting day. Where mail in ballots must be received by election day, not merely post marked before. Where drop boxes for ballots are limited one to a county sometimes covering hundreds of square miles. Where witnesses must accompany a voter to get registered. Where a de facto poll tax must be paid in many cases. Where Trump supporters are allowed to ‘stand guard’ at polling sites with their guns if they want, in order to intimidate voters. Where votes in pro-Democrat precincts are often ‘lost’. Where voting machines supposedly break down when voters are kept waiting in line for six and more hours to vote. The list is long and disgusting. No. These five notorious voter suppressor states are not battlegrounds. They’re Trump’s. They are not ‘yellow code’ battleground states; they are Trump states kept in his camp by suppression and voter intimidation.

Voter suppression in these five allowed Trump to win in 2016, just as much as Hillary’s terrible campaign permitted Trump to grab Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin by smaller margins. Eight states turned the election in 2016. The five voter suppressor states will repeat. And instead of Hillary giving away the three upper Midwest swing states, this time around Trump’s plan is to deny them to Biden by stopping the mail in ballot vote count there.

When the notorious ‘vote suppressor big five’ states’ 116 electoral college votes are added to Trump’s solid 132 small red states’ votes, Trump has 248 potential votes—to Biden’s 244!

That means the election in the Electoral College today is a virtual tie at 248 to 244! It’s not CNN’s 290 to 163!

Both Biden’s and Trump’s campaign strategists know the election will be close, very close. The virtual tie with less than one week to go explains in large part why both Trump and Biden are paying attention to Maine and Nebraska, both making stops there despite their minimal 4 and 5 electoral votes, given that both states are the only ones allowing a split in their electoral college votes across candidates.  Picking up one or more votes from either may play a role in this election before it’s over as well. Trump knows it. So does Biden.

In summary, what the election appears coming down to is two things:

First, will Trump prove successful in halting the mail in vote count in at least two of the three key states leaning blue: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania? If so, he wins.

Second, will the notorious five voter suppression states—Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas—pull off enough suppression in order to deliver their states’ electors to Trump yet again? If they don’t, Biden wins.

In other words, it’s not getting more voter turnout that will determine the election. It is voter suppression plus vote count prevention that together will determine the fate of the USA for another four years! That’s what Democracy in America has come down to.

Let’s Fundamentally Restructure the College & the Supreme Court

None of the above abomination of Democracy would be possible were there no Electoral College; and if the US Supreme Court had not have become in recent decades a handmaiden of the right and business interests.

Trump’s strategy to pull off an electoral coup d’etat would not be possible without both institutions working ‘hand in glove’, as they say, to thwart the will of the majority of the American people.

The two institutions, captured by a president like Trump, now make Trump’s planned legal coup a possibility.

So how do we change these two great anti-Democracy enabler institutions—i.e. the Electoral College and the Supreme Court?

Growing popular today is the movement to amend the US Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. But that requires the vote of three fourths of state legislatures and therefore many of the small ‘red’ states in Trump’s camp who enjoy a preferential advantage and influence beyond their population numbers due to the Electoral College. They are not about to vote to eliminate their advantage by voting for a Constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

But the Electoral College doesn’t need to be abolished in order to break the stranglehold of the small red states! There is another way to radically restructure it to re-balance it to reflect the population changes and popular vote.

The Electoral College is composed of 535 members, one each for the number of US House of Representatives plus 2 Senators from each state.  That’s 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. The 435 representatives is based on the population of the country. The US Constitution calls for adding representatives as the population rises. The last time Congress did that was in 1913. It is long overdue to add representatives and House districts to reflect that increase in representatives. That would result in more representatives in the more populous blue states, and therefore more blue state Electors. That would effectively break the back of the small, red state lock on the Electoral College and in turn end Trump-Republican red state total electors advantage in presidential elections—an advantage that consistently now is out of line with the popular vote for the presidency.

Another, less effective way perhaps is just to add more states, which would add more electors by adding more representatives and Senators alike. Proposals are already floating around to add Washington DC as a state and perhaps even Puerto Rico if its citizens so voted to do so.

Either or both of these alternatives to change the current Electoral College could result in a less lopsided and imbalance favoring smaller, less populous, Trump dominated red states. Just doing what the Constitution calls for, which Congress has avoided since 1913, is the better restructuring solution.

And what about the growing imbalance favoring the radical right in the US Supreme Court?  Public discourse is already raising the possibility of adding 2-3 or more SCOTUS judges, from the current 9 to 11 or 12. Congress has the Constitutional authority to do that since it created the Supreme Court, not the US Constitution. But reform should go well beyond just adding numbers. The terms of the judges should be reduced from lifetime to no more than 10 years. And SCOTUS judges should be elected not appointed. 12 or 15 districts could be created across the USA and a judge elected from each. And what gets elected can get recalled. The founders of the country and framers of the US Constitution feared that lifetime appointments of what amounts to nine never elected lawyers could thwart the will and sovereignty of the American people.  And that’s what’s been happening in recent decades and is now happening today.

Without a basic restructuring—if not outright abolition—of the Electoral College, American Democracy will continue to result increasingly to produce abominations like the 2000 election and its likely repeat in the upcoming November 3 election. Instead of one person one vote—i.e. true Democracy—we keep getting presidents elected without the support of the majority of the American people. At some point that will explode.

And the same may be said for the rightward and pro-corporate drift of the US Supreme Court. It has already lost serious legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of the American people. And it’s about to exacerbate that loss in the wake of next week’s election when it likely comes to the aid of Donald Trump to halt the mail ballot vote counting.

The Court’s myths about being a co-equal branch of government created by the US Constitution, with the authority to overturn the laws passed by the Congress, and with the usurped power to interfere with elections and ‘select’ a president will eventually blow up in the face of the US elite, as Americans come to understand the Supreme Court’s true origins and its truer functions—i.e. origins and functions that have little to do with ensuring Democracy and, increasingly in recent years, far more to do with ensuring its decline.

It is worth concluding one more time: next week’s election is not about ‘getting everyone out to vote’. It’s going to be about preventing the full counting of that record vote turnout!

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Jack Rasmus writes on his blog site where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

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The 2020 Election: Nothing Will Change

With the first of three scheduled presidential debates (aka brawl) between President Donald Trump and his opponent, former vice-president Joe Biden, now history, the pundits will fall all over themselves to determine what it all means. Who won? Did either candidate deliver a fatal blow to the election chances of the other? Did Biden disprove the Trump-encouraged rumors about his senility? Did Trump manage to sway any undecided voters?

We will not dwell here on the fact that many other, highly-qualified candidates are running for president (this writer, a U.S. citizen who moved to Canada fifteen years ago, will vote for Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation for president).

No, with all the discussion about Trump and Biden, it is beneficial, this writer thinks, to consider what continues to happen in the world, that has lost the attention of the press, and therefore, the public. We will present a short, albeit incomplete, list.

Internationally:

  • Millions of people in Yemen, many of them children, risk starvation due to the U.S.-supported Saudi Arabian assault on that nation.
  • Palestinians still live under the harshest and most brutal conditions in the world, all financed and supported by the United States.
  • The U.S. war against the people of Afghanistan continues in it’s nineteenth year. A large segment of the Afghan population now has never known anything but war.
  • The people of Iran continue to struggle in many ways – economically and medically – against U.S. sanctions, imposed when the U.S., against the wishes of the other participants of the agreement and most of the world community, violated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • The people of Venezuela struggle against sanctions, also imposed by the United States, because they had the temerity to re-elect a president displeasing to the U.S. Trump and his cohorts say that Nicholas Maduro is not the legitimate president, forgetting or ignoring the fact that Trump himself did not win the majority vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. His odious opponent in that election, Hillary Clinton, did.
  • Migrant children continue to be caged at theS. – Mexico border.
  • The U.S. continues to maintain the most cordial relations with some of the world’s major violators of human rights, including Israel and Saudi Arabia. This should not be surprising, since the U.S. itself made the list of ’10 Global Hotspots for Major Human Rights Violations in 2017’, and things have only worsened since then.
  • As India heads towards genocide in Kashmir, the U.S. government, not wanting to annoy the Indian government, ignores it, as it ignores the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians.

Domestically

It is, perhaps, whimsical for this writer to hope that the public will concern itself with these issues, and ponder carefully the upcoming election. Yes, another Supreme Court appointment by Trump could turn back the U.S. clock to a time of very limited consumer protections, a further reduction of environmental regulations, and greater racial inequality (even worse than it is today), and a host of other hard-won victories. Black lives will not matter; international law will continue to be held in contempt (although that is business-as-usual for the U.S.), and U.S. warmongering and war-making will continue, with all the destruction and slaughter of innocent men, women and children that that always brings.

There are some people who believe a Biden presidency will usher in change. Has hell frozen over? He has a long record in government of ‘business as usual’, so looking for change from him and the Democratic Party is an exercise in futility.

Others praise Trump as an effective leader, one who has done much to help the people of the nation.  This narrative deserves a prominent place with ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Jack and the Bean Stalk’ and other fairy tales. It, like them, has no basis in reality and is simply a figment of the collective right-wing imagination.

The United States, from its earliest years, has a been a force for violence, destruction and death on the global stage. As its wealth and power have increased, so have its violent tendencies. It overthrows foreign governments, invades sovereign nations, issues crippling sanctions against governments and individuals that displease it, and threaten its allies if they don’t follow along.

The 2020 election will change none of this.

It is said that a sign of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Unless and until the public stops looking to the Democratic and Republican Parties for solutions to problems, leadership in troubled times and assistance in creating and maintaining a peaceful world, no election will alter the tragic and violent trajectory of the United States. The longer that recognition is delayed, the more people will suffer, in the U.S. and around the globe.

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Electoral Interference, Are ‘The Proud Boys” Attempting to Scare Voters’?

Iran, Russia and electoral interference.  It is all part of the delicious mess that any observer of US politics has come to expect.  Were the US body politic capable of being examined on the clinician’s couch, historical fears, psychic disturbances, and a range of unsettling syndromes would be identified.  The issue of electoral interference would certainly be at the fore; it would also be fitting that a state so indifferent to the electoral sovereignty of others would now find itself constantly fearing large return servings. 

On some level, this standards to reason.  In 1948, the United States, still flushed with victory, made a punchy bid to interfere with the outcome of the Italian elections.  It was the Central Intelligence Agency’s first covert operation, and it was ignominiously undemocratic.  As Walter Dowling, Italian desk officer at the US State Department urged in a memorandum in November 1946, the US had to become increasingly involved with Italian affairs, making itself “so pro-damned Italian that even the dumbest wop would sense the drift.” Being so damnably pro-Italian naturally meant being anti-communist.  US intelligence officials got to work ensuring that the Italian Communist Party (PCI), allied with the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) were kept out of office in favour of Alcide De Gasperi.  Contingency plans were laid for the prospect of US military intervention in the event of civil strife.  After De Gasperi’s victory, covert US aid to Italy’s centrist parties continued into the 1960s.  

Hair splitting in these sorts of things is the order of the day.  Chat in the land of political inference, especially when appraising the US role, focuses on how considerably different the meddling tends to be.  “Unlike Russian electoral interference,” suggests Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “US democracy promotion does not … favour particular candidates, or undercut the technical integrity of elections.  On the whole, it seeks to help citizens exercise their basic political and civil rights.”  Carothers had obviously forgotten Chile in all of this, along with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s infamous remarks about correcting the democratic choice of Chile’s voters.

Post-Cold War history has not been freed from the meddling hand of Washington.  In 1996, President Bill Clinton had to admit to efforts assisting Shimon Peres as the preferred candidate in Israel’s general elections.  Benjamin Netanyahu prevailed, and Clinton conceded on Israel’s Channel 10 news that he “tried to do it in a way that didn’t overtly involve me.”  When Netanyahu visited the White House as Israel’s prime minister, he “wanted me to know that he knew I wasn’t for him and he beat us anyway.”

Such behaviour shows that allies are not exempt from the practice.  The CIA did its bit in the lead-up to the French elections in 2012, though the effort was modest.  Available in the WikiLeaks CIA Vault 7 Series, a number of “tasking orders” were executed in an effort to infiltrate French political parties and conduct surveillance.  As WikiLeaks describes it, “All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human (‘HUMINT’) and electronic (‘SIGINT’) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election.”  Despite being seen as pro-American, President Nicolas Sarkozy was not exempt from Washington’s prying eyes.

With such a glorious record, it is little wonder that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, when asked about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, had little time for the fuss.  In an interview with CNN’s Jack Tapper, Paul suggested that the electoral interference game was a buffet of reciprocal options: “they’re going to interfere in our elections. We also do the same … We all do it.   What we need to do is make sure our electoral process is protected.”   The investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into the Trump campaign and Russian interference was a needless “witch hunt”.

With only a brief interval now to the presidential elections next month, it would have been odd not to have another set of allegations of interference.  This latest round of claims has even been a bit neurotic.  It began as accusations of interference from a domestic source: the far-right Proud Boys group.  Emails, supposedly sent from “[email protected],” warned registered Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, and Alaska to “vote for Trump on Election Day or we will come after you.” 

Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the Proud Boys and Florida state director of Latinos for Trump, denied that the group had a hand in the effort.  “We don’t do mass emails,” he told Fresh Take Florida, a news service of the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.  “This is definitely, definitely not us.” 

With little care for caution and corroboration, a good stable of mainstream media outlets jumped on the narrative, accepting the premise that the Proud Boys had orchestrated a domestic campaign of electoral intimidation.  It seemed to tally with image and reputation.  Some group members have promised to keep an eye on polling stations across the country in a show of political heft.  The Lincoln Project was furious, claiming that “the Proud Boys are attempting to scare voters away from the polls.”  Such an act was “punishable by up to a year in jail and a blatant attempt to prevent people from voting.  Let’s find them and make them famous.” 

Then came the press conference of October 21, convened by the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  FBI director Christopher Wray and the Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe were present.  According to Ratcliffe, Iran and Russia “have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.”  Voter registration information had been obtained by both countries. 

“This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.” 

Reference was made to the intimidating emails, which would not have comforted the anti-Trump camp. 

“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump,” stated Ratcliffe. 

“You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you have been one of the recipients.”  Iran was also “distributing other content,” including a video implying “that individuals could cast fraudulent votes, even from overseas.  This video – and any claims about such allegedly fraudulent ballots – are not true.”  

Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, never one to be entirely balanced when viewing material on the White House Ogre, questioned the assertions made during the press conference.  Interference in US elections over the last four years had always been taken to be against the Democrats and favourable to Trump.  Could it actually be designed to sabotage the US president?  Good of Ratcliffe, claimed Maddow, to be having the gathering (there was “drama” in holding a “short-notice press conference on election security”). “But when it comes to what he actually communicated, frankly nobody actually knows what he was talking about.” 

It should have been clear from the context, but clarity was not dawning on Maddow.  “We assume what he’s talking about here is these intimidating ‘vote Trump or else’ emails that were sent to Democratic registered voters in Florida and in numerous other states, but maybe that’s not what he’s talking about.” 

For the devotees of Russia gate, any reverse angle was hard to stomach.  Ideology must shape reality.  Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, in an effort to move the focus away from any specific targeting of Trump, claimed to have a different account of the security briefing he had been given.  “From the briefing, I had the strong impression it was much rather to undermine confidence in elections and not aimed at any particular figure”. 

A passable knowledge of recent Iran-US relations would surely make Ratcliffe’s assertions credible, not least Trump’s effort to sink the Iran nuclear deal and the ordered killing of Quds leader Major General Qasem Soleimani.  But partisanship has been the order of the day for four years.  Even in matters of electoral inference, trusted demonologies cannot be disturbed.

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Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research and Asia-Pacific Research.  Email: [email protected]

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