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'Not credible': Judge smacks down Trump supporters in election case

November 13, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

A Michigan judge has just refused to grant the supporters of the President an injunction to halt certification of election results from Detroit, in a case based on pro-Trump conspiracy theories.

“The chief judge of Michigan’s Third Judicial Circuit rejected an injunction sought by President Donald Trump’s supporters on Friday, finding little substance in the hodgepodge of complaints and theories brought by two poll watchers alleging electoral improprieties in Detroit,” Law & Crime reports.

“Plaintiffs are unable to meet their burden for the relief sought,” Judge Timothy Kenny wrote in his decision.

“‘Plaintiffs’ interpretation of events’ at the TCF Center absentee counting board ‘is incorrect and not credible,’” Judge Kenny said, according to Bridge Michigan’s politics reporter Jonathan Oosting.

The attorney for the City of Detroit, David Fink, said Trump supporters “are searching everywhere they can for validation of the conspiracy theories that they have.”

“It’s starting to feel a little bit like ‘Groundhog Day,’” he said in a hearing on Wednesday. “But unlike ‘Groundhog Day,’ this isn’t funny at all.”

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Trump comes close to almost acknowledging Biden's win

November 13, 2020 in Blogs

By The New Civil Rights Movement

President Donald Trump held a last-minute news conference from the White House Rose Garden Friday afternoon, and for the first time came close to almost acknowledging President-elect Joe Biden will take office in January.

Almost.

Promising he would not support any lockdowns, despite coronavirus cases soaring almost exponentially and deaths increasing rapidly, Trump told reporters: “Ideally we won’t go to a lockdown – I will not go – this administration will not be going to a lockdown, hopefully the, the, ah, whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration will be, I guess time will tell, but I can tell you.”

Biden was declared president-elect last week on Saturday.

Watch:

Update:

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The far right is cracking up as fantasies of Trump's fascist takeover evaporate

November 13, 2020 in Blogs

By Amanda Marcotte

The far right had a dream: That one day, people who had been exiled to the unacceptable margins of American political life could play the role of Donald Trump’s brownshirts.

In the weeks leading up to the election, excitement was rising among those Americans who convinced themselves that Trump would be the glorious leader in a national purge of their perceived enemies. QAnon fans buzzed with excitement that “the storm” — their term for their belief that the entire Democratic establishment, as well as many popular celebrities, would be rounded up into prison camps — was coming soon. The Proud Boys, a neofascist group that claim to defend “Western civilization,” were also riled up after Trump told them to “stand by” during a presidential debate in September. The menagerie of white supremacists and militia groups were stepping up recruitment efforts, stoked about what they believed would soon be the eruption of a new civil war.

Then came the election. Trump lost. This has been very difficult for those people to accept.

People with fanatical and delusional beliefs famously don’t give them up just because they’ve been hit over the head with reality, of course. The various subcultures of crackpots that have sprung up under Trump are no exception.

Still, the election results have sent these groups reeling. All of them have spent the past four years growing their ranks and orbiting around Trump, convinced that he was a savior figure who would crush their perceived enemies.

For believers in QAnon, that belief manifested in a fantasy that Trump was going to round up all the members of the “deep state,” their imaginary shadowy conspiracy of Democrats, Hollywood celebrities and progressive activists that they believe both secretly runs the world and is also a network of Satan-worshipping cannibal pedophiles. Trump, they told themselves, was secretly organizing “the storm” to round up and destroy this sinister global conspiracy.

But since Trump’s election, Q — a user account that started on 8chan and drifted over to 8kun after 8chan was disbanded — has fallen silent. QAnon faithful believe the account is run by a current or former U.S. intelligence agent and Trump loyalist. In fact, it’s probably run by the father-and-son duo Jim and Ron Watkins, who are conspiracy theorists and definitely not U.S. intelligence agents. Without Q’s guidance, the QAnon …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The catastrophic failure of the Electoral College has brought us to the brink

November 13, 2020 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick

Prior to the end of the 2020 election, many conservatives started tossing around a provocative prediction: With Joe Biden’s imminent and likely resounding win, Democrats may abruptly drop their objections to the Electoral College and learn to love it again. Among those putting their chips behind such a forecast was former Republican George Will.

“Joe Biden’s victory, which will be decisive in the popular vote, will be even more so in electoral votes,” he wrote in his column for the Washington Post on Oct. 30. “So, on Wednesday, many Democrats might have kindlier thoughts about the electoral college. Because Democratic candidates lost two of this century’s first five presidential elections while winning the popular vote, many Democrats have called for abolishing the electoral-vote system and adopting election by direct popular vote. This year, the electoral-vote-inflation factor favoring Biden should have the wholesome effect of dampening Democrats’ enthusiasm for abolition.”

But while the predictions of Biden’s victory have been vindicated, the Electoral College’s reputation remains in tatters. In fact, it looks worse than ever before. It has brought us to the brink of catastrophe, and it urgently needs to be eradicated.

This point has become somewhat confused because of the order in which the media projected Trump and Biden as winners in each state and how the votes were tallied. Some have argued that, despite the disadvantage Biden faced because of the Electoral College’s bizarre structure, the Democrat nevertheless achieved a decisive win.

Unfortunately, this is not so.

Here’s how Josh Jordan put it, looking at the most recent margins in the key swing states (note: Biden’s margin in Pennsylvania is still expected to grow significantly as outstanding ballots are counted, while the others are likely to be relatively stable):

Despite his claim, this genuinely was a very close race. At this time, Wisconsin appears to be the “tipping point state” — essentially, the state which gave Biden a decisive lead by the smallest margin. Biden only won there by about 20,000 votes, or a margin 0.3 points.

It’s easy to imagine a scenario in which, for what ever reason, the shift of a several tens of thousands of votes — relatively few in the scale of the election and in terms of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Why Did the Pilgrims Come to America?

November 13, 2020 in History

By Christopher Klein

They were less religious refugees than economic migrants.

When the Pilgrims set sail from Europe in 1620, several powerful reasons propelled them across the Atlantic Ocean to make new lives in America—but religious liberty was not their most pressing concern.

While it’s popularly thought that the Pilgrims fled England in search of religious freedom, the separatists’ quest had ended more than a decade before they boarded the Mayflower. After departing England in 1608, the Pilgrims found sanctuary in the Dutch city of Leiden, where they were free to worship and enjoyed “much peace and liberty,” according to Pilgrim Edward Winslow.

“The Pilgrims actually had no reason to leave the Dutch Republic in order to go to America to seek religious toleration—because they already had it,” says Simon Targett, co-author of New World, Inc.: The Making of America by England’s Merchant Adventurers. “Therefore, you have to look for other reasons as to why they might have risked the dangers of going across to the New World—and one of the big reasons was commercial.”

READ MORE: What’s the DIfference Between Puritans and Pilgrims?

The Pilgrims’ Dutch Sojourn Left Them Poor and Disillusioned

Prayer of the Pilgrim Fathers leaving Delfshaven in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Like tens of millions of newcomers who would follow in their wake to America, the Pilgrims were economic migrants. After working for more than a decade in Leiden’s textile industry, the Pilgrims possessed little beyond their religious freedom. The former farmers lived in poverty, laboring long hours for low pay by weaving, spinning and making cloth. The Pilgrims’ economic hardship made it exceedingly difficult to convince their fellow separatists to join them in Leiden, no matter their religious rights. “Some preferred and chose the prisons in England rather than this liberty in Holland with these afflictions,” Pilgrim leader William Bradford recounted.

As the Pilgrims’ economic prospects further dimmed with the collapse of the wool market, the onset of the Thirty Years’ War in Europe and the imminent end of a 12-year truce between Spain and the Dutch Republic threatened the tranquility of their safe haven. While the Pilgrim population dwindled, their fears swelled that the secular Dutch society that tolerated their religious beliefs also corrupted the morals of their children, causing them to turn away from their church and English identity. Bradford complained that “many of their children” were succumbing to Leiden’s “manifold temptations” …read more

Source: HISTORY

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A Supreme Court justice just tore into Democrats and lit his claims to impartiality on fire

November 13, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

U.S. Supreme Court justices, in theory, are supposed to avoid being overtly partisan. Although they’re nominated and confirmed by partisan politicians their general goal is appear above the fray, deciding cases on the basis of the facts and the law, rather than political ideology.

But Justice Samuel Alito, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, is drawing vehement criticism for a Federalist Society speech that, critics say, was full of flat-out partisanship and Fox News-like fear-mongering.

On Thursday night, Alito gave the keynote address at the Federalist Society National Lawyers Convention, which was strictly an online event this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And according to Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, Alito “abandoned any pretense of impartiality in his speech, a grievance-laden tirade against Democrats, the progressive movement, and the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alito’s targets included COVID-related restrictions, same-sex marriage, abortion, Plan B, the contraceptive mandate, LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws, and five sitting Democratic senators.”

Stern notes that Alito started the speech by slamming the U.S. Judicial Conference’s effort to forbid federal judges from being members of the Federalist Society, an alliance of right-wing attorneys. Alito claimed that liberals are trying to “hobble the debate that the Federalist Society fosters” and claimed that law school students who join that organization are telling him that they “face harassment and retaliation if they say anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy.”

“Remarkably, Alito did not just grouse about the outcome of certain cases, but the political context of those decisions — and the broader cultural and political forces behind them,” Stern explains. “Although the justice accused several Democratic senators of being unprofessional, he himself defied the basic principles of judicial conduct.”

Stern points out that Alito, during his speech, was highly critical of governors who have issued stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements in their states because of the COVID-19 pandemic, attacking them as “previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty.” According to Stern, Alito painted President Barack Obama’s administration as hostile to freedom of religion.

It should be noted, however, that Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama are known for being churchgoing Christians. The former president is far from …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The IRA Assassination of Lord Mountbatten: Facts and Fallout

November 13, 2020 in History

By Lesley Kennedy

The murder of the British royal and World War II hero signaled a dark period ahead for relations between England and Northern Ireland.

The gruesome 1979 IRA assassination of a beloved British royal—which took place the same day as a deadly coordinated attack on British troops—led to outrage, heartbreak and a heightening of “.

The party of seven aboard the Shadow included Mountbatten, his daughter Patricia, her husband, Lord John Brabourne, their 14-year-old twins, Timothy and Nicholas, and Lord Brabourne’s mother, the dowager Lady Doreen Brabourne. Paul Maxwell, 15, a friend of the family who worked on the boat, was also on board. Mountbatten, Nicholas Brabourne and Maxwell were killed immediately. Lady Brabourne died the next day and the others survived serious injuries.

“Fifty pounds of gelignite exploded, sending showers of timber, metal, cushions, lifejackets and shoes into the air,” Andrew Lownie, author of The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves, wrote for the BBC. “Then, there was a deadly silence.”

But the explosion wasn’t the only carnage that day. Later that afternoon, 18 British soldiers were killed near the Irish border at Warrenpoint in an IRA bombing ambush. “It was the single heaviest death toll for the British Army in the 10 years since it was sent in to quell fighting between Roman Catholic and Protestant militants,” according to the Times.

Mountbatten, Mentor to Prince Charles, Was an Easy Target

Lord Louis Mountbatten reviews cadets at the Metropolitan Police College in London, April 2, 1969.

Mountbatten was both a sentimental and symbolic target. “He was one of the most respected members of the royal family and was serving as mentor to Prince Charles,” says Jeffrey Lewis, lecturer in the International Studies Program at Ohio State University.

Mountbatten was also an easy target. The bomb had been placed in his unguarded boat the night before his murder. He had been vacationing in the Irish town of Mullaghmore throughout the 1970s and had refused security detail, despite repeated threats from the Provisional IRA to assassinate him. Mountbatten had declared, “Who the hell would want to kill an old man anyway?”

Brendan O’Leary, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of A Treatise on Northern Ireland, notes that while Mountbatten could not have predicted the IRA would plant and trigger a bomb on his boat, he had been lax about his own security.

“He had been supreme …read more

Source: HISTORY