Time for the Democratic Party to play hardball

Batter up!!!!

A survey from Harvard’s Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll came out that should have received a lot more attention than it did. Voters said the obviously coronavirus was the most important issue in the election, followed by the economy and jobs. Most people, despite Trump’s claims, believe Joe Biden won the election fairly.

And then there is this bit of insanity: A majority of voters would prefer divided government. With Biden in the White House, they want to see a Republican Senate. WTF!! We blame the “both sides do it” media for this.

Control of the Senate rests on the outcome of two runoff elections in Georgia on Jan. 5. If the Democratic candidates — the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff — can win both, the Democrats will gain the Senate majority. If Republicans win just one, they remain in control.

This would be a very disastrous outcome!

It would most certainly result in a slower, more painful recovery from the pandemic-induced economic slowdown where the rich get richer and the rest of us get screwed. It would also make it all but certain that Biden would be forced to turn to executive orders to get almost any part of his agenda accomplished, which means broader, systemic changes — a public option for health care, free tuition for community college students or an increase in the national minimum wage, which is still set at the poverty-level sum of $7.25 an hour — will not happen.

Instead of firmly and repeatedly pointing this out, Biden has played to what’s called fantasy politics for Democratic moderates. He’s claimed, for instance, that Republicans would experience an “epiphany” and work with him once they voted Trump out of the picture. The result was a tacit endorsement of ticket-splitting — something that helped give Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) another term in the Senate, and likely cost Democrats a few seats in the House.

A Senate where Mitch McConnell (Ky.) remains majority leader promises a repeat performance. Republicans are not exactly hiding their intentions. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is attempting to move still-unspent money made available under the Cares Act to a fund that future Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen will need congressional assent to access. Senators who voted happily for Trump’s budget-busting tax-reform plan that showered goodies on the wealthy are suddenly remembering the deficit when discussing assistance for those whose financial lives are imploding because of covid-19 shutdowns. Republican operative Mike Davis recently proclaimed Biden’s immigration reform dead on arrival — destined for the “Senate graveyard” next to Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination.

But, again, most voters aren’t spending their days steeped in this sort of political detail. They just want to see Washington work. They fall for the bipartisan schtick and then blame Democrats — the one party that’s actually trying to do the right thing and maintain it — when it doesn’t. As a result, it’s up to Democrats to make the stakes clear. If they can’t or won’t impress upon voters that Republican cooperation is a thing of the far distant past, it’s quite possible we will once again learn that lesson the hard way.

Edited from the Washington Post

More treasonous criminal behavior by Trump

Donald Trump on Sunday formally exited the US from the very important Open Skies Treaty with Russia which is bad enough, but now he’s moving to destroy or sell off the planes used to enforce the treaty, ensuring President Joe Biden will not be able to re-enter the program easily.

The Open Skies Treaty is an 18-year old agreement designed to allow the U.S. to fly reconnaissance missions over Russia to ensure the Pentagon and the White House are informed of military deployments and movements. First proposed in 1992, the treaty was formalized in 2002. 34 nations are party to the agreement, and all are allowed to fly unarmed aircraft over any member nation. The goal is to ensure transparency and mutual understanding.

But Trump is working only to please his idol Vladimir Putin, which again puts the U.S. at a disadvantage and long outlives Trump’s horrible time in the White House.

“We’ve started liquidating the equipment,” a senior U.S. official said. “Other countries can come purchase or just take the airframes. They are really old and cost-prohibitive for us to maintain. We don’t have a use for them anymore.” This yet another capitulation to Putin and Russia

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, long-known to have presidential aspirations, falsely claimed Sunday that removing America’s ability to surveil Russia makes the U.S. “more secure.”

A year ago, experts on Russia warned against exiting the treaty.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) reportedly responded to the moves by saying: “Trump is attempting to burn down our critical institutions on his way out.”

This is just one more reason Trump’s Pro-Russia dealings need to be investigated and criminally prosecuted. He’s a traitor and a thief.

Edited from Raw Story

We have defeated Trump, but we haven’t defeated Trumpism, the con continues

Joe Biden has decisively won the presidency by six million votes. There is no way for Trump to overturn the results of the election, and his campaign’s post-election lawsuits have gotten rebuked and dismissed across the board.

That hasn’t stopped him from launching his bogus “Official Election Defense Fund” and bombarding his supporters with fundraising appeals to supposedly finance the campaign’s ongoing litigation.

Here’s how the scam works:
60 percent of a donation to Trump’s “Official Election Defense Fund” goes to Save America, Trump’s new leadership Political Action Committee that he set up less than a week after the election. The other 40 percent goes to the Republican National Committee. So if someone donates $500, Trump’s PAC gets $300, the RNC gets the other $200, and not a cent actually goes to the election defense fund. Donations only start going to that fund once Trump’s PAC reaches the legal contribution limit of $5,000 – and the RNC gets $3,000.

This means a supporter would have to donate over $8,000 before any money goes to the fund, they think they’re supporting!

Apparently enriching himself on the taxpayer dime for the past four years wasn’t enough for Trump. Now he’s lining his pockets by attacking our elections and undermining our democracy – and swindling his supporters every step of the way.
Is this just a final grift before Trump leaves office? Or is there more at stake?

Trump certainly wants to keep the money flowing, and a leadership PAC is an easy way to do it. Trump’s PAC can be used to fund a lavish post-presidency lifestyle, as leadership PACs can use donors’ funds for personal expenses, like personal travel and events at Trump properties, while campaign committees cannot.
But there’s more at stake than just Trump’s personal greed. Creating a PAC solidifies Trump’s grip on the GOP, as he can distribute the funds to GOP candidates. It helps keep his base whipped up ahead of the Georgia runoffs. And the PAC allows him to start preparing for a potential 2024 run, an idea he’s already floated to his inner circle.

In the grand scheme of things, Trump’s PAC also fuels the GOP’s cynical strategy to maintain power. The GOP has a permanent stake in stoking a cold civil war.

A deeply divided nation serves the party’s biggest patrons, giving them unfettered access to the economy’s gains while the bottom 90% of Americans fight each other for crumbs. That division will persist even with Trump out of the White House, thanks to his bonkers claim of a stolen election, and a base more riled up from racist appeals than ever.

We may have defeated Trump, but we haven’t defeated Trumpism. We must work to push the Biden administration to tackle the systemic conditions that allowed Trump to seize power in the first place.

edited from Raw Story

Even at the edge of death, Trump’s hold on his followers is strong

Jim Jones

We have made the comparison between Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple Cult and Trump’s MAGA cult before, it’s looking like even that comparison falls short of describing how totally lost these MAGA members are. Take the example of an emergency room nurse in South Dakota, Jodi Doering, who was overwhelmed Saturday night. Her patients were dying of covid-19, yet were still in denial about the pandemic’s existence.
“It’s like a “horror movie that never ends,” Doering said.

Her anxiety and despair are shared by many health-care workers who are facing a dramatic surge in covid-19 patients. But some front-line workers, like Doering, also face the emotional toll of treating patients who, despite being severely ill, are reluctant to acknowledge that they have been infected with a virus that dear leader Trump has said will simply disappear.

Doering said she has covid-19 patients who need 100-percent-oxygen breathing assistance and who will also swear they don’t have the illness that has ended the lives of nearly a quarter-million people in the United States since February.

“I think the hardest thing to watch is that people are still looking for something else and a magic answer and they do not want to believe COVID-19 is real,” Doering told CNN in an interview Monday.

“Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real,’” Doering said, adding that some patients prefer to believe that they have pneumonia or other diseases rather than covid-19, despite seeing their positive test results.

Also, just as tragic is the patients who expect to get the same level of treatment that their beloved leader got at the White House. They want the same antibody cocktail that Trump got. Sadly, even if it was available to them, they couldn’t afford it.

Trump Cult Dead-enders just can’t deal with it

The Trump cult “dead enders” will never accept that their beloved ruler lost his re-election bid because they are not psychologically capable of letting go of their deeply held beliefs.

Trump has spent the last four years distorting reality to serve his own ends and his rabid followers have lapped up his lies because they comport with their own beliefs and cognitive dissonance rules their world.

It seems to us that most human beings will do just about anything to resolve contradictions between thier deeply held beliefs about the world and the reality of the world itself. Cognitive dissonance is so unpleasant, so disordering and catastrophic for the ego, that no amount of absurd, tortured reasoning is worse than reality contradicting a deeply held belief.  All of us try to resolve cognitive dissonance, but the Trump Cult has been a years-long exercise in it. Election denial is its latest manifestation. But before that came COVID denial, science denial, climate denial, ‘alternative facts,’ the inability of Trump’s most devoted fans to see him for the obvious con man that he is, and, at the movement’s very core, denial of the social and demographic changes that are transforming America.

Supporters of Trump who have been buffeted by reality are increasingly reaching for even more far-fetched conspiracy theories which helped along groups like QAnon.

Cognitive dissonance is also a primary reason that people resort to conspiracy theories, which Trumpworld increasingly resembles, not only in fringe manifestations like QAnon but in the allegation of widespread fraud in the presidential election, which, of course, has no factual basis whatsoever and is, at this point, simply a conspiracy theory writ large,” he explained. “In this light, QAnon isn’t some weird, fringe phenomenon with no connection to populist politics. It’s a logical extension of the populist worldview. If ‘the people’ are actually the majority, then a sinister minority—Jews, ‘coastal elites’, the media, the Satanic pedophiles, whoever—is actually in control. It’s a short jump from that to full-blown conspiracy madness. And when the anointed messenger of ‘the people’ turns out to be a buffoon chiefly interested in his own enrichment, well, that must all be a ruse. Or a media conspiracy. Or whatever.”

Edited from Jay Michaelson column in the Daily Beast

The Trump death cult and the million-maggot march for mass death

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 On Friday, the COVID Tracking Project reported that the number of positive coronavirus infections in the last day had reached 170,000, the highest record ever and a number that was, just a few months ago, hard to imagine. It’s now our daily reality, and it’s likely to only get worse.

Other figures are just as frightening. Hospitalizations — one of the clearest signs of the seriousness of the outbreak —have reached a new high at 69,000, according to the project. Deaths are at a disturbing 1,300, though that rate is almost certain to spike in recent weeks following the more recent spike in cases. And as the newest and largest wave yet engulfs the country, reports have begun to appear of hospitals being overwhelmed with patients, which is almost certainly a precursor to a spike in the case fatality rate.

It’s our horrifying new status quo, and one that experts and observers have been warning would unfold this fall for months. But the mind-boggling truth is that for the Trump administration, everything is pretty much going as planned.

Ever since the first wave in the spring, Donald Trump has seemed increasingly drawn to the so-called (and, indeed, misleadingly named) “herd immunity” approach to the pandemic. On this approach, you reject government restrictions meant to stop people from getting the virus. What advocates of this strategy believe is that it’s best that more people get the virus, because eventually, enough people will have had it, they’ll immune, and life will return to normal.

Trump brought on Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist and Fox News guest, to the White House team, because he advocated this approach and opposed restrictions. His views were at odds with the approach favored by the bulk of the health experts in the administration, but Trump liked his ideas, so they have won the day.

The White House has occasionally denied or talked around the idea that it’s intentionally carrying out a “herd immunity” strategy, but reporting has made clear the plan the administration has adopted. Per the New York Times:

The White House has embraced a declaration by a group of scientists arguing that authorities should allow the coronavirus to spread among young healthy people while protecting the elderly and the vulnerable — an approach that would rely on arriving at “herd immunity” through infections rather than a vaccine.

On a call convened Monday by the White House, two senior administration officials, both speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to give their names, cited an October 4 petition titled The Great Barrington Declaration, which argues against lockdowns and calls for a reopening of businesses and schools.

“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” the declaration states, adding, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”

The problem with this approach — the reason it’s rejected by most of the public health community — is that it will lead to mass suffering and death. That’s what the increase in hospitalizations is telling us. Medical researcher Dr. Atul Gawande made the point in a recent tweet:

But there’s another important point. One crucial part of the “herd immunity strategy,” in theory, is protecting the vulnerable. Since COVID-19 poses the most significant mortality risk to the elderly and people with other health conditions, advocates argue, this population needs to be kept safe while the virus spreads and creates immunity among the rest of the people.

As people like Alex Tabarrok argued early on, though, this tactic has little hope of success. You can’t meaningfully isolate elderly people from the rest of society. What do you do with the grandmother living in a home with parents who are essential workers and kids who are back at school? What do you do with the workers a nursing homes, who have lives outside of work? Who will pay for people with chronic health conditions to stay home from their jobs for months on end?

It’s untenable. And at the same time, the White House hasn’t actually done anything to meaningfully protect vulnerable from the wave of the virus crashing over the country.

Trump has touted vaccines and therapeutics, including therapeutics that may have saved his own life when he was hospitalized with the infection. But there aren’t nearly enough therapeutics for all the patients in need — nor the top-notch care Trump received — and the vaccines won’t be ready for full distribution into well into 2021. On Friday, Trump announced that the vaccines will be available in April, though he had previously said it could be distributed last month, in October, which never happened. And right now, the administration has no plan to stop surging virus. Most Republicans are following his lead, and even Democratic governors who might prefer to take a more aggressive approach are hamstrung by a lack of federal resources.

There is no plan to stop the virus. The federal government just intends to let it spread through all of us. It’s a plan for mass death, because they don’t care enough to stop it.

Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Examiner note: Wear a f..ing mask!

Joe Biden is the winner and has been since Wednesday

This contest has not been a nail biting, back-and-forth affair with wild swings in tallies, and that the winner truly remains in doubt. It’s not, and the coverage reflects that as analysts go over the votes, the math, the projections and essentially tell voters that Trump can’t win. The race is stuck in neutral because the corporate media is terrified of the Trump Cult

The networks bowing to Trump bullying, as he and his cult fill the indecision vacuum with outrageous, fitful claims of the election being rigged! His television appearance from the White House this week where Trump lied nonstop about the U.S election process was a truly dangerous low point for his presidency, as his supporters feed off his lies and take to streets screaming about the election being “stolen.”

After four years, are major news organizations still tip toeing around Trump in hopes of not becoming the target of his wrath? It sure feels that way.

The Trump cult went ballistic when Fox News on Election Night called Arizona for Biden, waging an ugly smear campaign against the network. Fox has stood by the call and four days later, Biden has a lead of nearly 30,000 votes. Yet other networks still won’t call it for Biden.

In Nevada where virtually all the counting is done, Biden leads by nearly two percentage points. That’s an advantage far larger than what Decision Desks usually need to make a pronouncement, when so few votes remain uncounted. If that race had the exact same vote count but were a Nevada contest for the U.S. Senate, instead of a state race that could seal Trump’s defeat, that election call likely would’ve been made 24 hours ago.

Meanwhile, for Fox News to call Arizona early, to correctly stand by it, and today refuse to call Nevada makes no sense. If Fox were to call Nevada for Biden, they’d have to announce him the winner, with 270 electoral votes. At the same time, what does Fox News know about Arizona that the other networks don’t, as they refuse to award the state to Biden?

The process is creating confusion, and real appearance that the media’s bowing down to Trump. Again.

Today, the election coverage continues to walk itself around in a “Groundhog Day” circle, as TV pundits all point to the obvious: Biden’s going to win, but claim they’re just waiting for the announcement. All the while, ironic “BREAKING NEWS” announcements fill the TV screens.

It’s a final absurdist ending to bully Trump’s absurd and radical four years.

edited from Press Run

There’s mounting dread about wannabe dictator Trump, post-election

It’s rigged!

Tuesday’s election is looking good for Joe Biden while there’s mounting dread about how Wannabe Dictator Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with no emotional control and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He’s already made clear that he will refuse to concede, no matter what, and he’s grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.

No wonder people are afraid Trump will go completely apeshit if his efforts to steal this fail and he actually loses. Psychologists worry that the narcissistic injury to Trump will result in him lashing out in his vindictive rage to punish an America which he may believe has consigned him to ‘loser’ status.

Some two dozen officials and aides, several of whom are still serving in the Trump administration, are worried that Trump could use the power of the government to lash out at enemies, try to steal the election or otherwise wreak havoc on the nation.

Trump could do real damage to the country, his successor or presidential traditions, there’s reason to wonder if a Trump transition might actually be the start of the wildest chapter of an already controversial presidency. We May Need the Twenty-Fifth Amendment if Trump Loses,” blares a headline at the New Yorker.

Of course, we should be worried that Trump, a vindictive man whose only true pleasures come from sadism, will abuse his power to punish Americans if he loses.

But let’s be honest: He’s also going to do that even if he wins.

Win or lose — Trump is about to unleash hell

Edited from Salon story by Amanda Marcotte

Think Trump can’t sink even lower? Check out this evil shit

Transition for Tongass - American Forests
Tongass

Despicable Trump just opened up all 16.7 million acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging and other forms of development, according to a notice posted 10-28-2020, stripping protections that had safeguarded one of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforests for nearly two decades.

As of Thursday, it will be legal for logging companies to build roads and cut and remove timber throughout more than 9.3 million acres of forest — featuring old-growth stands of red and yellow cedar, Sitka spruce and Western hemlock. The relatively-pristine expanse is also home to plentiful salmon runs and imposing fjords. The decision, which will be published in the Federal Register, reverses protections President Bill Clinton put in place in 2001 and is one of the most sweeping public lands rollbacks Trump has enacted.

For years, federal and academic scientists have identified Tongass as an ecological oasis that serves as a massive carbon sink while providing key habitat for wild Pacific salmon and trout, Sitka black-tailed deer and myriad other species. It boasts the highest density of brown bears in North America, and its trees — some of which are between 300 and 1,000 years old — absorb at least 8 percent of all the carbon stored in the entire Lower 48′s forests combined.

While tropical rainforests are the lungs of the planet, the Tongass is the lungs of North America,” Dominick DellaSala, chief scientist with the Earth Island Institute’s Wild Heritage project, said in an interview. “It’s America’s last climate sanctuary.”

While Trump has repeatedly touted his commitment to planting trees through the One Trillion Tree initiative, invoking it as recently as last week, his administration has sought to expand logging in Alaska and in the Pacific Northwest throughout his presidency. Federal judges have blocked several of these plans as illegal: Last week, the administration abandoned its appeal of a ruling that struck down a 1.8 million-acre timber sale on the Tongass’s Prince of Wales Island.

Alaska Republicans — including Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Sen. Dan Sullivan, who is locked in a tight reelection race — lobbied Trump to exempt the state from the roadless rule on the grounds that it could help the economy in Alaska’s southeast. Fishing and tourism account for 26 percent of regional employment, according to the Southeast Conference, a regional business group, compared with timber’s 1 percent.

When Sullivan briefed Trump on the Tongass earlier this year, according to an individual familiar with the conversation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak frankly, Trump asked him, “How the [expletive] do you have an economy without roads?”

Asked about the exchange, the White House declined to comment.

Southeast Alaska’s economy has taken an enormous hit during the pandemic. Robert Venables, the executive director of the Southeast Conference, said in an interview that though 1.4 million cruise passengers typically visit the region each summer, that number dropped to just 48 this summer. The area’s fisheries also have suffered because of climate change, and the global economic crisis hurt seafood prices.

“The economy is collapsing,” he said, adding that the Trump administration’s action might allow loggers to extract timber from some relatively accessible old-growth stands. “There’s some common-sense, near-term relief.”

But even Venables criticized the administration as going too far and predicted that the decision probably would be reversed next year if Democrats won the White House.

“It seems like the ball’s being punted from one end to the other,” he said. “The real disappointment here is a compromise could not be found that could create a more lasting peace.”

Logging in Alaska costs U.S. taxpayers millions each year, because of a long-standing federal mandate that companies profit from any timber sale. This means the Forest Service often covers harvesters’ costs, including road building. According to a Taxpayer for Common Sense analysis of the Forest Service’s accounts, the Tongass timber program has lost roughly $1.7 billion over the last 40 years.

After Taxpayers for Common Sense commented during the federal environmental review that it would be more economically efficient to hold timber sales in parts of the forest that already have roads, the Forest Service acknowledged that that was true.

The agency said its plan “reflects a different policy perspective on the roadless management issue rather than a change in the underlying facts and circumstances,” adding that the Trump administration believes “that overall reduction in federal regulations is good for the American public due to reduced burden to the taxpayer and reduced burden to business.”

Ninety-six percent of the comments during the U.S. Forest Service’s environmental review opposed lifting the existing safeguards, while 1 percent supported it. In a sign of how unpopular the administration’s push to lift roadless restrictions has become, all five Alaska Native tribal nations withdrew as cooperating agencies in the process two weeks ago, after the Forest Service published its blueprint for opening up the entire Tongass to development.

“We refuse to allow legitimacy upon a process that has disregarded our input at every turn,” the tribal leaders wrote.

Some of these tribes had conducted clear cuts decades ago, when they gained legal control over their ancestral lands. Marina Anderson, the tribal administrator for the Organized Village of Kasaan on Prince of Wales Island, recalled in a phone interview that her late father was a logger and said that the entire village had suffered the consequences of felling so many trees. A landslide occurred Monday morning; while Anderson was speaking on the phone, a second landslide occurred.

“These landslides happen on clear-cut lands. This morning I said, ‘It’s landslide day,” she said, noting there had been heavy rain. “I’ve grown up seeing these mudslides my whole life. As a culture committed to balance, it’s my responsibility to bring back that balance from what [my father] had done.”

The roughly 60 residents in the village, which does not have a grocery store, rely heavily on salmon, berries and other staples they can harvest from the forest. “Climate change is hitting us pretty hard,” Anderson said, adding that tribal officials oppose extensive logging because old-growth trees help lower stream temperatures and provide key wildlife habitat.

Referring to the new plan, she said, “It will only devastate even more what is already in progress.”

Environmentalists, who have successfully blocked a slew of timber sales on the Tongass since the early 1970s, said they will challenge the repeal of protections in court.

“We’ve been protecting the Tongass for many years. We’ve done it through  Reagan’s Interior Secretary James Watt, we’ve done it through Republican administrations and we’ve done it through hostile Supreme Courts,” Sam Sankar, vice president for programs at Earthjustice, said in an interview. “There’s never been a strong economic argument for logging, and neither has there been a strong biological or cultural argument. And we’re confident we’ll continue to prevail in the courts.”

Still some experts said they worried the decision could greenlight timber sales that would release more carbon into the atmosphere. DellaSala, who estimated that clear cutting 160,000 acres of old growth would be equivalent to putting 10 million cars on Alaska’s roads, noted that last month he had to evacuate from his home near Talent, Ore., because of a massive blaze nearby.

“It’s personal for me,” he said, adding that his home survived but that many others nearby did not. “We don’t have a lot of time to get this right, and we are heading in the wrong direction.”

edited from Washington Post

Win or lose the Trump cult will remain a threat to the peace

If Trump wins his cult will feel emboldened to attack their opponents, if they lose the cult will lash out in anger at their opponents, so either way get ready for a rough ride!

The 2020 election will go down in history as one that was even more volatile than the 1968 election, and many Americans have been expressing fears that violence and voter intimidation will occur on Election Day. That fear is addressed in new articles by the Washington Post, Time, and USA Today.

Journalist Mark Berman, in the Post, reports that law enforcement are preparing for the worst.

“Tens of millions of Americans have cast ballots at early-voting sites, and tensions and accusations of voter intimidation have already flared up during this process,” Berman explains. “Many Americans still plan to turn out on Election Day; so, law enforcement officials have conducted drills involving multiple agencies to try to game out what could happen. Police officials in multiple cities stressed that they have no information about specific threats relating to the election, but are instead preparing to make sure they are ready.”

Andrew Walsh, a deputy chief for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, told the Post, “I don’t think we’ve seen anything like this in modern times…. When you look at previous elections, there’s always been the concern when you have large crowds…. We know (that) can be a target for someone who has an agenda.”

David Brown, a superintendent for the Chicago Police Department, told the Post, “We are all in conversations with our counterparts across the country about what we might expect. But everything is uncertain, and so, we’re trying as best we can to anticipate any hazard that might happen.” And Washington D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham noted, “It is widely believed that there will be civil unrest after the November election regardless of who wins.”

Reporter Melissa Chan, in Time, reports that police departments around the U.S. expect to be on high alert on Election Day.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Police Executive Research Forum, told Time, “It’s fair to say the police are preparing in ways they never would have had to for Election Day. This year is unlike any other year.”

According to Chan, “The presence of militia groups at polls could pose real safety concerns in light of a new Amnesty International report that said U.S. law enforcement failed to protect peaceful protesters from violent attacks by armed vigilante groups and counter protesters in nearly 200 cases from May to September. The report, released Friday, said law enforcement often neglected to deploy an adequate amount of trained officers, separate or deescalate tensions between opposing groups and often harmed peaceful protesters while dealing with violent ones.”

In USA Today, journalist Trevor Hughes addresses fears that far-right extremists will resort to acts of voter intimidation on Election Day — and that Black voters will be among their targets.

The NAACP’s Stephanie Owens told USA Today, “The symbolism of who you’re supporting is a very large component of our election tradition, but there is almost nothing traditional about this election. People are already being targeted based on the candidates they are supporting.”

The Rev. Carl Day, a Philadelphia-based pastor and liberal/progressive activist, has been warning the Black community that they could be targeted for voter intimidation. Day told USA Today, “When the president of the United States seems like he’s inciting a demographic of people to be on standby and he’s saying he might not leave office, it brings legitimate fears to people. It’s in a lot of conversations in a lot of rooms I’m in.”

Carolyn Gallaher, a professor at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, D.C., told USA Today, “Everyone I know is concerned both about voter intimidation at the polls and potential violence as we get results from the election — and sort of what that might look like not just around the election, but between the election and the inauguration.”

Gallagher fears that the far right will resort to violence whether Trump wins reelection or is defeated by former Vice President Joe Biden. The American University professor told USA Today, “The violence will occur either way. If Biden wins, it will be an excuse to try to delegitimize the results and to go after perceived enemies on the left — and of course, that means labeling pretty much anyone that you disagree with Antifa. But I worry, too, if Trump wins, this will be a signal to these far-right groups that have supported him — extremist groups like the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys, other groups like this — that they will see this is like an open season to go after people that have been opponents of Trump.”

Raw Story