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Bernie Sanders mocks claims alleging the 'Deep State' sabotaged his presidential campaign

December 5, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) fired back at President Donald Trump’s continued attempts to undermine the presidential election results with an inference about the previous claims of Russian interference into his own presidential campaign.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, Sanders tweeted his concerns about Trump’s ongoing actions as he criticized the president’s ploy to overturn the election.

“Trump’s rants about a “fraudulent election” are not a joke. They are the most significant attack against our democracy in history. If the election system’s “rigged,” if the media’s “fake,” if federal officials are part of a “deep state,” who can you trust? You got it. A dictator.”

Now, some have rehashed claims about the Democratic establishment and mainstream media outlets being controlled by the so-called “Deep State.” Writer Glenn Greenwald pushed the claim about the “Deep State” looming over the United States government despite President Donald Trump being the one in office with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

That a Deep State lurks within and over the U.S. Government is now treated in establishment liberal circles as if it is some new right-wing conspiratorial concoction rather than what it is: a long-standing reality recognized long before Trump by political science scholarship, left-wing foreign policy critiques, and mainstream journalism.

Greenwald also claimed the Trump era has led to the United States alternating “between vehemently denying the existence of this well-documented Deep State to celebrating the Deep State’s noble anti-Trump subversions.”

The writer appeared to project the Republicans’ shortcomings on to the Democratic Party claiming the political party has a tendency to “ridicule anyone who recognizes their undeniable reality.”

It is now standard Democratic Party agitprop to ridicule anyone who recognizes their undeniable reality and, for whatever reasons, Sanders continues to dutifully recite from that script even now that the transition to Biden/Harris is well underway.

However, its no secret that Trump has lambasted everyone, including members of his own political party, who disagree with his baseless claims about winning the presidential election.

The publication goes on to criticize President-elect Joe Biden and his incoming administration based on the cabinet members Biden is selecting.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Mike Pence jumps back on the Trump train falsely suggesting the presidential election is still undecided

December 5, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Georgia led to more false claims about the presidential election.

During the rally, Pence did urge votes to put aside their disapproval of the election outcome in Georgia and head to the polls for the upcoming Senate runoff election.

“We’re on ‘em this time,” Pence said. “We’re watching. We’re gonna secure our polls. We’re gonna secure our drop boxes. So get an absentee ballot and vote and vote today.”

But instead of focusing solely on the upcoming Georgia runoff Pence, at one point, offered a glint of false hope to his and President Donald Trump’s supporters by suggesting the presidential election is still undecided, according to USAToday. While he did not blatantly describe the election as rigged, he did claim that they will keep fighting until “all legal votes are counted.”

“As our election contests continue, here in Georgia and in courts across the country, I’ll make you a promise,” Pence said at a rally for the Senate races. “We’re going to keep fighting until every legal vote is counted. We’re going to keep fighting until every illegal vote is thrown out.”

However, Pence failed to acknowledge that vote counting has concluded in many of the critical swing states Trump needed to win the election. In fact, most of those states have already certified their vote count. To make matters worse, none of the Trump campaign legal battles have led to major developments that would have impacted the outcome of the election. But Trump continues to circulate baseless voter fraud claims, conspiracy theories, and questionable reports from conservatively-bias news outlets.

In fact, devout Trump supporters are even spewing misinformation and claims that could ultimately cost Republicans the Senate. As a response to the disapproval of Georgia’s handling of the presidential election, some Trump allies are encouraging Republican voters to skip casting their ballot for the Senate runoff as form of protest.

Pence’s trip to Georgia also comes as an overwhelming number of congressional Republicans still refuse to accept the election results and acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, as previously reported on AlterNet. However, the transition process for the incoming Biden administration has already begun. The …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Boeing 737 Max crashes were not isolated events — they're the result of deregulation

December 5, 2020 in Blogs

By Salon

The Federal Aviation Administration recently declared the Boeing 737 Max is safe to fly. Still, American consumers are nervous. And they should be. International regulators – from Canada, Europe, Brazil and China – have taken the unusual step of refusing to accept the Federal Aviation Administration’s approval, insisting instead on conducting their own reviews.

They don’t trust the FAA. And if they don’t, why should we? The two deadly 737 Max crashes – the first in 2018 from Indonesia’s Lion Air, and the second, several months later in 2019, from Ethiopian Airlines – reflected dangerous inadequacies with FAA oversight, and, more broadly, dysfunction across the American regulatory system.

In the aftermath of the crashes, the Joint Authorities, an FAA-commissioned investigatory body with experts from NASA and international aviation authorities, targeted faulty navigation systems and blamed them, in part, on the FAA’s abdication of regulation in favor of self-regulation. Nearly all aspects of certifying the 737 Max were in Boeing’s hands, not the FAA’s, the Joint Authorities found, and the company’s self-regulation program was shot through with “conflicting priorities and an environment that does not support FAA requirements.”

The 737 Max crashes were not isolated events, however. Corporate disasters connected to deregulation and undue reliance on self-regulation are depressingly frequent: Collapsed mines, pipeline spills, food and water contamination scares, consumer fraud, cancer clusters, fires, crashes, and explosions. The Deepwater Horizon disaster and Wall Street’s 2008 meltdown resulted in part from deregulation and failed self-regulation. Big tech monopolies and the climate crisis are both spiraling due in part to industries’ success in keeping regulators at bay.

Part of that success has been rooted in the surface appeal of self-regulation, which corporations leverage to fight for deregulation. Trotting out increasingly ambitious commitments to the environment and social responsibility, companies claim they should be trusted to respect social and environmental values rather than compelled by law to do so; that they should be left to self-regulate rather than be regulated. Which helps them push harder, and more successfully, to free themselves from regulatory oversight.

JP Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon and his Business Roundtable recently called upon major companies to broaden their mandates by serving the interests of workers, communities and the environment, not only shareholders. Yet the Roundtable and the companies that constitute it vociferously fight, without any sense of contradiction, or even irony, …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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More than 200 House Republicans still refuse to acknowledge Joe Biden's election victory

December 5, 2020 in Blogs

By Meaghan Ellis

It’s been nearly one whole month since the presidential election was called for President-elect Joe Biden but there is still an overwhelming number of congressional Republicans who still refuse to acknowledge the outcome of the election.

According to the Washington Post, approximately 222 Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate still refuse to acknowledge Biden’s win. The staggering number of lawmakers accounts for “nearly 90%” of all congressional Republicans, based on a survey conducted by the publication starting on Wednesday, Dec. 2, after President Donald Trump’s bizarre 46-minute rant falsely claiming he won the presidential election.

The survey comes as Trump continues to push baseless, dangerous claims about the outcome of the election. As his campaign legal team pushes for more legal challenges, their claims and court dockets appear more desperate as they are riddled with errors and lack of evidence to support widespread voter fraud. In fact, nearly all of the lawsuits have been dismissed in multiple states and most of the key swing states have already certified their vote.

But Republican lawmakers are still refusing to accept the election outcome. As previously reported on AlterNet, some Republican lawmakers are even considering challenging the results, under the Electoral Count Act, when electors vote on December 14.

“An obscure 1887 law called the Electoral Count Act, and several subsequent updates, spell out the process, setting Jan. 6 after a presidential election as the official certification date and outlining vague, complicated procedures.”

Despite the obvious outcome, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) even claimed, “Nothing is off the table.” However, Biden has already been declared the winner of the election with 360 electors. Trump has only received 232 electors and has no definitive path to 270.

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

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New 'Heaven's Gate' series looks to Christianity to explain the method to the cult's madness

December 5, 2020 in Blogs

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Many people first became aware of the Heaven’s Gate cult in 1997, when — after an anonymous tip was called into the San Diego Police Department — the bodies of 39 men and women were found in a rented seven bedroom mansion. Each of the bodies were dressed in androgynous outfits with matching haircuts and Nike sneakers. On their arms were “Star Trek”-inspired bands that read “Heaven’s Gate Away Team,” and in their pockets were $5.75.

The discovery caused an inevitable media frenzy, especially after law enforcement authorities reported it as the largest mass suicide on American soil ( The “Jonestown Massacre,” during which more than 900 Americans died, took place in Guyana in 1978). The group believed that once they shedded their physical “vehicles,” they would ascend to heaven in a spaceship where they would reach the “Next Level. There, they would be transformed from their human shell into an alien form.

According to group documents, members had taken phenobarbital mixed with applesauce or pudding, followed by vodka, then asphyxiated themselves with plastic bags. The suicides occurred in shifts over three days, with cult founder Marshall Applewhite — known as “Do” — being among the final shift.

The scene was horrifying, but had enough of an aura of oddity to eventually become fodder for late-night television shows and comedy sketches. For example, in its first live show following the discovery of the bodies, “Saturday Night Live” aired a sketch in which the Heaven’s Gate members actually make it to space, followed by a fake advertisement for Keds, with the tagline, “Worn by level-headed Christians.”

Inherent to all jokes was a question that tends to underlie many mainstream discussions of cults: “How could someone be so easily taken?” The more fringe the group, the more blunt the question — but one that HBO Max’s new docuseries “Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults,” spearheaded by documentarian Clay Tweel, carefully attempts to dismantle and subvert over four hour-long episodes. It’s a thoughtfully paced series, rich in original source material and striking watercolor animations in place of reenactments.

The first two episodes aren’t the most salacious (if that’s what you’re looking for, skip ahead to the last two episodes), but they are the most illuminating when it comes to identifying where the tenets of Heaven’s …read more

Source: ALTERNET