Friday, February 21, 2020

Last Call For Russian To Judgment, Con't

In news that shouldn't surprise any of you, dear readers, the Russians are trying to screw with the Democratic primary by promoting Bernie Sanders.

U.S. officials have told Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest, according to people familiar with the matter.

President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken. U.S. prosecutors found a Russian effort in 2016 to use social media to boost Sanders’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, part of a broader effort to hurt Clinton, sow dissension in the American electorate and ultimately help elect Donald Trump.

“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement to The Washington Post. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.

“In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020. Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters.”

A spokesperson for the Sanders campaign declined to comment on the briefing by U.S. officials on Russia’s attempts to help the Sanders campaign.

Sanders’s opponents have blamed some of his most vocal online supporters for injecting toxic rhetoric into the primaries. At a Democratic candidates debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Sanders indirectly blamed Russia, saying it was possible malign actors were trying to manipulate social media to inflame divisions among Democrats.

“All of us remember 2016, and what we remember is efforts by Russians and others to try to interfere in our elections and divide us up,” Sanders said. “I’m not saying that’s happening, but it would not shock me.”

Bernie Sanders would get pummeled by Trump.  Hell, even the Trump people are freely admitting they want to run against Bernie at this point.  What bothers me the most is that the Sanders campaign was told about these efforts last month and made no effort to share that info or to denounce it until somebody leaked it to the Washington Post today.  The Sanders campaign's defense is that the briefing was classified, but that means then that Bernie lied openly in the debates earlier this month when asked about Russian interference.

The bigger issue is of course that Russia continues to openly interfere in US elections, and that the Trump regime keeps actively blocking efforts to beef up defenses against them, saying they are "partisan" machinations to in fact help Democrats win (by stopping Republican cheating!)

Nothing will be done about that while Trump is in charge and Mitch is running blocks for him in the Senate though.  There's a reason they keep leaving the front door unlocked and the lights on.

We're only now finding out about the depth of Russian operations in the 2016 election in places like Florida.

A ransomware attack apparently corrupted some of the data at the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office in 2016, but state and federal officials were not told about the attack for years.

The cyberattack — which became public this week after current Palm Beach County elections supervisor Wendy Sartory Link discussed it in a Palm Beach Post editorial board meeting — raises questions not only about what could happen if other elections offices across the state are hit with ransomware attacks, but also about whether the public would know if they were.

Then-Gov. Rick Scott, who is now a U.S. senator, was not notified of the reported ransomware attack in 2016, his Senate office said. The Florida Department of State also said it was not told about the attack in 2016.

The previously unreported incursion occurred in September 2016, Link told the Tampa Bay Times, under the watch of her predecessor, Susan Bucher. Link said she found out about the attack in November 2019 from one of her IT specialists after her former IT director had been fired. Link said she then reported the cyber incident to the state, the FBI and Homeland Security.

Link said she has since been told the office had been infected with a type of ransomware known as a zepto virus. She said she did not believe the attack was tied to Russian interference efforts in the 2016 election.

The Times was not able to reach Bucher on Thursday. In a Thursday interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Bucher, who was suspended in 2019 by Gov. Ron DeSantis after he said she failed to properly conduct recounts in the 2018 election, said she can “swear on a stack of Bibles” that the cyberattack described by her successor did not happen.

Link, who was appointed by DeSantis to replace Bucher, said she has spoken with the fired IT director as well as employees in her office regarding the attack, saying they described seeing files that suddenly couldn’t be accessed or whose names had changed, and pop-up text boxes demanding payments in order to get the files back. She said employees described moving frantically to contain the infection, saying the IT director at the time screamed for employees to shut down the servers.

She lied about the attack happening, so if you believe it wasn't the Russian, despite the overwhelming evidence of voter registration bamboozling in Florida over the last several years, then there's not much I can do.

Under Trump, America has done nothing to stop another round of Russian interference.  At this point the Trump regime is actively gaslighting the world and screaming that the entire thing was a hoax.

There's no way anyone should believe 2020 elections will be fair, free, or accurate.

A Brief History Of The Disunited Regime

As Jamelle Bouie reminds us in this NY Times piece, we don't have to image an all new dystopian future or foreign country to see where Trump's America is headed.  We know exactly where it's going, and it's going back to the pre-civil-rights era of the Jim Crow south and America's darkest chapters of authoritarian history.

Jim Crow did not emerge immediately after the Compromise of 1877 — in which Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South in return for the presidency — and the end of Reconstruction. It arose, instead, as a response to a unique set of political and economic conditions in the 1890s.

By the start of the decade, the historian C. Vann Woodward argued in his influential 1955 book “The Strange Career of Jim Crow,” opposition to “extreme racism” had relaxed to the point of permissiveness. External restraining forces — “Northern liberal opinion in the press, the courts, and the government” — were more concerned with reconciling the nation than securing Southern democracy. And within the South, conservative political and business elites had abandoned restraint in the face of a radical challenge from an agrarian mass movement.

Mickey notes how the Farmers’ Alliance and Populist Party “clashed with state and national Democratic parties on major economic issues, including debt relief for farmers and the regulation of business.” What’s more, “A Colored Farmers’ Alliance grew rapidly as well, and held out the possibility of biracial coalition-building.” This possibility became a reality in states like Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, where Populists joined with a majority-black southern Republican Party to support common lists of candidates in “fusion” agreements against an explicitly elitist and white supremacist Democratic Party. Populists and Republicans won their greatest victories in that era in North Carolina, where they captured the state legislature and governor’s mansion, as well as local and county offices.

Democrats, among them large landowners and “New South” industrialists, responded with violence. Democratic paramilitary organizations — called “Red Shirts” — attacked populist and Republican voters, suppressing the vote throughout the state. In Republican-controlled Wilmington, N.C., writes Mickey, “Democratic notables launched a wave of violence and killings of Republicans and their supporters, black and white, to take back the state’s largest city; hundreds fled for good.”

This basic pattern repeated itself throughout the South for the next decade. Working through the Democratic Party, conservative elites “repressed Populists, seized control of the state apparatus, and effectively ended credible partisan competition.” They rewrote state constitutions to end the vote for blacks as well as substantially restrict it for most whites. They gerrymandered states to secure the political power of large landowners, converted local elective offices into appointed positions controlled at the state level, “and further insulated state judiciaries from popular input.” This could have been stopped, but the North was tired of sectional conflict, and the courts had no interest in the rights of blacks or anyone else under the boot of the Democracy.

The southern Democratic Party didn’t just control all offices and effectively staff the state bureaucracy. It was gatekeeper to all political participation. An aspiring politician could not run for office, much less win and participate in government, without having it behind him.
“What is the state?” asked one prominent lawyer during Louisiana’s 1898 Jim Crow constitutional convention, aptly capturing the dynamic at work, “It is the Democratic Party.” Statehood was conflated with party, writes Mickey, “and party disloyalty with state treason.”

Southern conservatives beat back Populism and biracial democracy to build a one-party state and ensure cheap labor, low taxes, white supremacy and a starkly unequal distribution of wealth. It took two decades of disruption — the Great Depression, the Great Migration and the Second World War — to even make change possible, and then another decade of fierce struggle to bring democracy back to the South.

It’s not that we can’t learn from the experiences of other countries, but that our past offers an especially powerful point of comparison. Many of the same elements are in play, from the potent influence of a reactionary business elite to a major political party convinced of its singular legitimacy. A party that has already weakened our democracy to protect its power, and which shows every sign of going further should the need arise. A party that stands beside a lawless president, shielding him from accountability while he makes the government an extension of his personal will.

The comparisons are apt.  From the 1890's through the 1960's, America was a sham democracy where the veneer of polite systemic racism was the shiny cover that bound the country together, a country where anyone who wasn't white was a second-class citizen at best.  We're rocketing backwards to that era again.

Civil rights in this country is a relatively recent development in US history, and a very fragile one.

Germany's Race To The Bottom

Donald Trump is just the symptom of the cancer of white supremacy across the globe, and that includes a country that had a major issue with it 75 years ago and again now, and the world paid the price.
A man suspected of shooting dead nine people in shisha bars in a German town before killing himself and his mother had posted a manifesto online including conspiracy theories and deeply racist views, prosecutors said on Thursday.

The presumed attacker - a 43-year-old German man identified as Tobias R. - was found dead close to a gun soon after the shootings late on Wednesday in Hanau, near Frankfurt, authorities said.

At least five of the victims were Turkish nationals, Ankara’s ambassador to Berlin told state broadcaster TRT Haber as his government demanded robust action.

Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the “poison” of racism. Her deputy, Olaf Scholz, took to Twitter to say: “Politically, nobody can deny that 75 years after the Nazi dictatorship there is real terror again”.
The gunman burst into in a bar in downtown Hanau then drove to a second bar in town and opened fire again, police and witnesses said.

“First we heard five or six rounds of gunfire,” a German-Turkish survivor who gave his name as Muhammed told Reuters from his hospital bed in Hanau.

“Then I saw the man entering. I was eating my meal at that time. We were all eating. We gave orders. The man entered,” he said, sobbing.

“We were 10 to 12 people. Two, three or four people managed to survive. I am one of them.”

Officers chased a car leaving the scene of the last shooting to another address, where they found the bodies of the suspect and his 72-year-old mother, both with gunshot wounds, police said.

“On the suspected perpetrator’s home page, he had put up video messages and a kind of manifesto that, in addition to obscure thoughts and absurd conspiracy theories, pointed to deeply racist views,” said Prosecutor General Peter Frank.

The suspect gunned down people in two separate locations.  This wasn't a spur of the moment attack against an individual, he was trying to kill as many people as he could, and in this case they were Turks.

If even the Germans are admitting that there's a white supremacist problem in the Western world, then it's gotten pretty universally bad.


Related Posts with Thumbnails