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Jewish Republicans 'offended and appalled' by anti-Semitic QAnon congresswoman

January 29, 2021 in Blogs

By Raw Story

The Republican Jewish Coalition issued a statement on Friday condemning Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

The statement came one day after Greene was exposed for pushing an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that the California wildfires were started by a giant laser in space.

In their statement, the Republican Jewish Coalition noted the group broke with tradition to support Greene’s primary opponent, “because we found Greene’s past behavior deeply offensive. She repeatedly used offensive language in long online video diatribes, promoted bizarre political conspiracy theories, and refused to admit a mistake after posing for photos with a long-time white supremacist leader. It is unfortunate that she prevailed in her election despite this terrible record.”

“The RJC has never supported or endorsed Marjorie Taylor Greene. We are offended and appalled by her comments and her actions. We opposed her as a candidate and we continue to oppose her now. She is far outside the mainstream of the Republican Party, and the RJC is working closely with the House Republican leadership regarding next steps in this matter,” the group wrote.

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Source: ALTERNET

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How the American craving for fascism persists

January 29, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Jason Stanley, a Yale University professor and author of the 2018 book, “How Fascism Works: the Politics of Us and Them,” had a lot to say about fascism during Donald Trump’s four years in office — offering extensive analysis of Trump’s authoritarian leanings and divisive us-versus-them politics. Stanley looks back on the Trump era during an interview with Vox’s Sean Illing and stresses that although Trump is gone from the White House, a craving for fascism hasn’t disappeared from U.S. politics.

Different political science experts have had different views on what constitutes fascism, but in general, fascism is understood to be far-right authoritarianism — whereas communism is far-left authoritarianism. Past dictators who are typically cited as examples of fascists include Germany’s Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini or Spain’s Francisco Franco in Europe and Chile’s Gen. Augusto Pinochet or Paraguay’s Alfredo Stroessner in Latin America. And a fascist, as Stanley has pointed out, doesn’t have to be an actual dictator.

Stanley, during his post-Trump era interview with Vox, explained, “It’s not helpful to think of fascism as a regime type, and it’s not helpful to think of it as a set of coherent beliefs. Fascism is usually a cult of the leader who promises national restoration in the face of supposed humiliation by immigrants, minorities and leftists. Fascism takes many different forms in different countries, however. The Ku Klux Klan in the United States has long been regarded as the first functionally fascist organization by scholars like Robert O. Paxton.”

Although Trump is gone from the White House, Stanley stressed that his movement is still very much alive. According to Stanley, Trump is still “creating a fascist social and political movement with himself as the leader.”

“I don’t care if, in his heart, he’s just doing it for power — that is what fascists will often do,” Stanley told Vox. “When you see what’s happening as the creation of a fascist social and political movement, then you expect certain things to happen. You expect political violence, you would expect naked attempts to steal an election. So, we must take Trump literally.”

Stanley added that as long as Americans feel they are being abused financially, fascists will try to make inroads in the United States.

“As long as we have this catastrophic banking and finance system and somebody can come along and say, ‘Look at how badly the elites are ruling you, look at …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Democratic Rep. Cori Bush demands change after confrontation with Marjorie Taylor Greene

January 29, 2021 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene hasn’t been shy about expressing her total disdain for progressive Democrats serving in the U.S. House of Representatives, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Ilhan Omar. And according to Business Insider, another Democratic progressive, Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri, is changing offices after being “berated” by Greene in a hallway inside the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

Business Insider’s Grace Panetta reports, “In a statement to Insider, Bush said the incident in question occurred on January 13 when she was walking to the floor to vote — one week after the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. She said Greene ‘came up from behind’ her ‘ranting loudly into her phone while not wearing a mask.’ After Bush asked Greene to put on a mask, Bush said Greene ‘responded by berating her,’ with a member of Greene’s staff telling her to ‘stop inciting violence with Black Lives Matter.’”

Bush is not the first progressive in the House to express concerns about sharing the Capitol Building with some of the more far-right House Republicans. Ocasio-Cortez has said that when far-right extremists attacked the Capitol Building on January 6, she literally feared for her life — and feared that some of the QAnon sympathizers in Congress would tell the insurgents where she was taking shelter.

Greene has been a supporter of the QAnon movement. QAnon supporters were among the extremists who stormed the Capitol Building, along with members of the Proud Boys.

House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been speaking out against Greene this week in response to reports that she has a history of advocating violence against Democrats — including Pelosi herself. And a few conservative House Republicans have called Greene out as well, including Rep. Adam Kinzinger — who has described the Georgia congresswoman as “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

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Source: ALTERNET

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'How about a counter-argument based on fact?': Warren destroys CNBC host in wealth tax debate

January 29, 2021 in Blogs

By Common Dreams

“There is no evidence that anyone is going to leave this country because of a two-cent wealth tax.”

That’s the two cents Sen. Elizabeth Warren shared on Thursday in response to CNBC host Sara Eisen’s fear-mongering about the alleged consequences of requiring the super-rich to pay their fair share in taxes.

After Eisen asserted that a wealth tax “might… chase wealthy people out of this country as we’ve seen has happened with…other wealth taxes,” the Democratic senator from Massachusetts asked: “Can we just keep in mind, right now, in America, who’s paying taxes?”

“You know the bottom 99% last year paid about 7.5% of their total wealth in taxes,” said Warren. “The top 0.001%, you know how much they paid? They paid about 3.2%.”

“If they added a two-cent wealth tax,” Warren noted, “they’d still be paying less than most of the people in this entire nation… Someone has to pay to keep this nation going. And right now, what the 0.001%, the wealthiest people in this country, have said is: ‘Let’s let everyone else pay for it.’”

The reason for that, Warren explained, is because the mega-rich want to continue to increase their wealth as much and as quickly as possible.

“Can we have just a little fairness here?” the senator pleaded.

After Eisen chimed in to say she was simply playing devil’s advocate, Warren retorted: “How about a counter-argument… that’s based on fact?”

The fact is, Warren said, “The wealthiest in this country are paying less in taxes than everyone else.”

“You’re telling me that they would forfeit their American citizenship if they had to… step up and pay a little more?” the senator asked. “I’m just calling your bluff on that. That’s not going to happen.”

Warren’s defense of a wealth tax comes as the ongoing GameStop saga has provoked renewed scrutiny of Wall Street’s role in intensifying inequality, leading to calls for greater financial regulation and redistributive policies such as a financial transactions tax.

In her appearance on CNBC, Warren pointed out the stark disconnect between the stock market and the real economy. The apparent rigging of the rules to favor hedge funds over ordinary people has been exposed not only by trading app Robinhood’s heavy-handed and widely-condemned crackdown on Redditors who tried to out-maneuver the masters of casino capitalism, but …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A new sign suggests part of Mueller's investigation may have survived Bill Barr

January 29, 2021 in Blogs

By Roger Sollenberger

Florida man Douglass Mackey, a notorious white nationalist and right-wing social media troll, was arrested this week on charges of conspiring with others to deprive citizens of their right to vote ahead of the 2016 election, the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.

“According to the allegations in the complaint, the defendant exploited a social media platform to infringe one of the most basic and sacred rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to vote,” Nicholas McQuaid, acting Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, said in a press release. “This complaint underscores the department’s commitment to investigating and prosecuting those who would undermine citizens’ voting rights.”

It also suggests that the Russia investigation, at least in part, survived the tenure of former Attorney General Bill Barr.

According to the complaint, Mackey’s Twitter account had nearly 60,000 followers, and in February 2016 the MIT Media Lab ranked him 107th in its list of the most influential personalities ahead of the election, higher than NBC News and Stephen Colbert. Prosecutors say that in the months before the election, Mackey collaborated with unnamed co-conspirators to encourage Hillary Clinton supporters to cast votes via text messages or social media — which are not viable or legal voting methods in any state.

The conspiracy charge against Mackey, who was arrested in West Palm Beach, could indicate that the Justice Department has been probing a broader network. Three of his co-conspirators were identified by HuffPost reporter Luke O’Brien, who wrote an in-depth 2018 profile of Mackey: white nationalist financier Jeff Giesea; conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, who has ties to onetime national security adviser turned QAnon hero Michael Flynn; and Jack Posobiec, a far-right provocateur with ties to neo-Nazi groups and longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone. The pro-Trump group, who called themselves “MAGA3X,” fueled the Pizzagate social media campaign that smeared Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Notably, both Stone and Flynn came under the focus of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the weaponization of social media in 2016. Flynn had repeatedly shared content from the Russian-linked account @TEN_GOP, which shared disinformation to tens of thousands of followers under the auspices of the Tennessee Republican Party. Stone, a misinformation mastermind, also imprinted …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The 1969 Raid That Killed Black Panther Leader Fred Hampton

January 29, 2021 in History

By Dave Roos

Some details around the 1969 police shooting of Hampton and other Black Panther members took decades to come to light.

Early in the predawn hours of . “‘Off the pig!’ was one of their very provocative slogans, which to Panthers meant getting abusive police out of the community, but I’m not sure the police necessarily saw it that way.”

Chicago at the time was a hotbed of political protest and violent clashes with the police. When crowds took to the streets after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Chicago mayor ordered police to shoot suspected arsonists. Later that year, police and National Guard troops pummeled antiwar protestors outside of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

If the FBI wanted to squelch the Black Panther “extremists” operating in Chicago, it saw a clear threat in the meteoric rise of Fred Hampton.

The Covert COINTELPRO Program Behind the Killings

View of protestors, many with signs reading ‘Avenge Fred Hampton,’ a reference to the Black Panther member assassinated five days earlier by members of the Chicago Police Force, at an anti-Nixon demonstration in New York City, December 9, 1969.

When Haas and his legal partner Flint Taylor at the People’s Law Office first took on Hampton and Clark’s case, it quickly became clear that the state’s attorney’s version of the story was bunk. Ballistics experts found that all but one of the bullets fired in the apartment came from police weapons in contradiction to a false report from the Chicago Police’s own crime lab.

It was obvious that Hanrahan, the state’s attorney, was hiding the real reason for the violent raid, but no one at the time could have imagined how high up the conspiracy went to target Hampton and cover up his murder.

Then, in 1971, a group of antiwar activists broke into an FBI office in the suburbs of Philadelphia looking for evidence that the FBI was spying on leaders of the antiwar movement. What they accidentally uncovered was documented proof of the existence of a secret FBI scheme called COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) with orders to “disrupt, misdirect and otherwise neutralize” Black power movements.

It was under the auspices of COINTELPRO that the FBI spied on and harassed civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X. It was all part of Hoover’s efforts to prevent, in his words, the “rise …read more

Source: HISTORY

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How Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition Championed Diversity

January 29, 2021 in History

By Sarah Pruitt

In his 1984 presidential run, Jackson sought to unite a multiracial, multicultural group of Americans.

In November 1983, Rev. , Jackson’s National Rainbow Coalition, which grew out of his first presidential campaign, also drew inspiration from King’s efforts to unite diverse Americans in his Poor People’s Campaign.

Controversy & DNC Speech

Delegates Lendra Alexander & Gwen Patton for Jesse Jackson at the 1984 Democratic National Convention held at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

As the sharpest critic of incumbent Ronald Reagan in the Democratic field, Jackson didn’t attract widespread support from other Black leaders, many of whom chose to support Walter Mondale for the 1984 Democratic nomination. He also lost support for his controversial stance toward Jewish Americans, particularly after using the ethnic slurs in reference to Jews and New York City in an interview with the Post in January 1984. Amid protests, Jackson was forced to apologize for his remarks, but continued to draw criticism for his past support of the Palestinian cause and his refusal to disavow Louis Farrakhan, a Black Muslim leader who had also made anti-Semitic remarks

Still, Jackson achieved historic success in the 1984 presidential race, winning five primaries and caucuses for a total of more than 3 million votes. Given a key slot at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco that summer, he spoke memorably of the nation’s (and the party’s) diversities as a strength: “America is…like a quilt,” he said. “Many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.”

The Future of the Rainbow Coalition


Rev. Jesse Jackson poses in the Rainbow Push headquarters in Chicago, August 4, 2011.

After Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro (the first woman to be nominated for vice president by a major political party) lost big in the 1984 general election, Jackson’s vision helped shape a more progressive wing of the Democratic Party. He fared even better in his second presidential run in 1988, winning seven primaries and four caucuses and nearly 7 million votes, and finishing second to the eventual nominee, Michael Dukakis.

Jackson never mounted another presidential run, but kept up his work on behalf of racial and economic justice, merging his National Rainbow Coalition with PUSH to form the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in the 1990s. Meanwhile, his success in encouraging Black voter registration and political engagement in his two presidential campaigns paved the …read more

Source: HISTORY