1st of 3 Doom-Defying Deadlines
This is not a transcript. These are my notes for the talk. I post them here in the hope that they might be useful to you for your own clarity and in your efforts to engage other voters.
- 2022: U.S. Mid-Term Elections
- 2024: U.S. Presidential Elections
- 2031: Climate Apocalypse?
The Facts on the Ground
- Planetary Emergencies
- Climate Collapse
- Shahmir Sanni (@shahmiruk): Imagine ALL of England & Wales under 2-10 feet of water, and more than half of the UK’s population without ANY livelihood or shelter. That’s the scale of the Pakistan floods. Please, continue to raise awareness.
- TIME (@TIME): Today's Daily Spotlight: They say long COVID is "the greatest mass-disabling event in human history"
- The Big Lie, 1/6 & Beyond
- Igor Sushko (@igorsushko): Putin's #mobilization virtually guarantees the elimination of the worst possible outcome for #Ukraine: a never-ending frozen conflict which the world will forget and move on from. Human civilization is committed in ensuring a Ukrainian victory against this evil.
- Guns & Abortion
$1.6 Billion in Dark Money
- This is the largest known single donation made to a political influence organization. The money came from Barre Seid, a 90-year-old electronics company executive, and the new organization, Marble Freedom Trust, is controlled by Leonard A. Leo, the co-chair of the Federalist Society, who has been behind the right-wing takeover of the Supreme Court. Leo has also been prominent in challenges to abortion rights, voting rights, climate change action, and so on. He announced in early 2020 that he was stepping back from the Federalist Society to remake politics at every level ... - Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from An American, 8/22/22
- A new conservative nonprofit group scored a $1.6 billion windfall last year via a little-known donor — an extraordinary sum that could give Republicans and their causes a huge financial boost ahead of the midterms, and for years to come. The source of the money was Barre Seid, an electronics manufacturing mogul, and the donation is among the largest — if not the largest — single contributions ever made to a politically focused nonprofit. The beneficiary is a new political group controlled by Leonard A. Leo, an activist who has used his connections to Republican donors and politicians to help engineer the conservative dominance of the Supreme Court and to finance battles over abortion rights, voting rules and climate change policy. This windfall will help cement Mr. Leo’s status as a kingmaker in conservative big money politics. It could also give conservatives an advantage in a type of difficult-to-trace spending that shapes elections and political fights. - "An Unusual $1.6 Billion Donation Bolsters Conservatives," New York Times, 8/22/22
- An elderly, ultra-secretive Chicago businessman has given the largest known donation to a political advocacy group in U.S. history — worth $1.6 billion — and the recipient is one of the prime architects of conservatives’ efforts to reshape the American judicial system, including the Supreme Court. Through a series of opaque transactions over the past two years, Barre Seid, a 90-year-old manufacturing magnate, gave the massive sum to a nonprofit run by Leonard Leo, who co-chairs the conservative legal group the Federalist Society ... As President Donald Trump’s adviser on judicial nominations, Leo helped build the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority, which recently eliminated Constitutional protections for abortion rights and has made a series of sweeping pro-business decisions. Leo, a conservative Catholic, has both helped select judges to nominate to the Supreme Court and directed multimillion dollar media campaigns to confirm them. Leo derives immense political power through his ability to raise huge sums of money and distribute those funds throughout the conservative movement to influence elections, judicial appointments and policy battles. - "How a Secretive Billionaire Handed His Fortune to the Architect of the Right-Wing Takeover of the Courts," Pro Publica, 8/22/22
- Lindy Li (@lindyli): Billionaire John Malone donated $250,000 to Trump’s inauguration He also donated to Trump’s Save America PAC whose purpose was to overturn the election Now Malone controls CNN Another Republican oligarch who wants Trump back in power so he can keep his tax cuts. Another selfish robber baron who’s willing to undermine our hard-won, blood-purchased republic for more yacht money What’s a republic in the face of super-yachts and mega-mansions? Greedy MFers
- Harwood, the network's White House correspondent, announced on Friday that he was leaving the network, one day after calling Donald Trump a "dishonest demagogue" on the air. In a televised prime-time intervention on Thursday night, Harwood talked positively of Biden's speech in Philadelphia, during which the president warned of an assault against democracy led by former President Trump and his supporters."The core point [Biden] made in that political speech about a threat to democracy is true. Now that is something that is not easy for us as journalists to say," Harwood said."We're brought up to believe there's two different political parties with different points of view, and we don't take sides in honest disagreements between them. But that's not what we are talking about. These are honest disagreements. The Republican party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue" ...
- Harwood's exit follows that of former CNN anchor [Brian] Stelter, who walked out of the news network in August after new chief executive Chris Licht canceled his media show Reliable Sources, the network's longest-running program, having launched in 1992. Stelter, who led the show for the past nine years, was known as a harsh critic of Trump and those conservative news channels, such as Fox News, backing the former president.
- However, the new CNN leadership, which took over in April after the Discovery-Warner Bros merger, has reportedly said it wants the network to adopt a more neutral voice for its news coverage, featuring less opinionated takes from its hosts, including Stelter. CNN chief executive David Zaslav has said that he wants a network for both Republicans and Democrats, while John Malone, a Warner Bros. Discovery shareholder, told CNBC in November 2021 that he wanted the network to "evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with." Licht reportedly told staff that they were not to call Trump's debunked stolen election claim the "big lie" as the words sounded like a Democrats' slogan. - Newsweek, 9/5/22
- Months after his company bought Politico, Mathias Döpfner stood atop Axel Springer’s 19-story headquarters, gazing out at the double row of cobblestones that mark the outline of the demolished Berlin Wall, and explained his global ambitions. “We want to be the leading digital publisher in democracies around the world,” he said. A newcomer to the community of billionaire media moguls, Döpfner is given to bold pronouncements and visionary prescriptions. He’s concerned that the American press has become too polarized — legacy brands like the New York Times and The Washington Post drifting to the left, in his view, while conservative media falls under the sway of Trumpian “alternative facts.” So in Politico, the fast-growing Beltway political journal, he sees a grand opportunity. “We want to prove that being nonpartisan is actually the more successful positioning,” he said in an interview with The Washington Post. He called it his “biggest and most contrarian bet." How exactly Döpfner, Axel Springer’s CEO, hopes to define nonpartisan journalism at an especially fragmented time for American politics is a question of intense interest as he aims to leave his mark on American media. His own politics have remained something of a mystery, too. But weeks before the 2020 U.S. presidential election, he sent a surprising message to his closest executives, obtained by The Washington Post: “Do we all want to get together for an hour in the morning on November 3 and pray that Donald Trump will again become President of the United States of America?” - Washington Post, 9/6/22
- Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli): Right-wing take over of Politico and CNN, plus mainstream outlets like CBS News and others actively courting Trumpers and pulling their punches for sake of GOP "access" reveals everything terrible about mainstream media and its normalization of fascism. It's going to get worse.
There are at least two federal grand juries investigating Trump, OR is it that there are at least THREE federal grand juries investigating Trump?
- "Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and former deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin were subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. The move to subpoena the two men has signaled an even more dramatic escalation in the Justice Department's investigation into the Jan. 6 attack than previously known. Members of former Vice President Mike Pence's staff have also appeared before a grand jury." - ABC News, 9/1/22
- Dozens of subpoenas issued last week show that the Justice Department is seeking vast amounts of information, and communications with more than 100 people, as part of its sprawling inquiry into the origins, fundraising and motives of the effort to block Joe Biden from being certified as president in early 2021. The subpoenas ... are far-reaching, covering 18 separate categories of information, including any communications the recipients had with scores of people in six states where supporters of then-President Donald Trump sought to promote “alternate” electors to replace electors in those states won by Biden. - Washington Post, 9/15/22
- Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote), 9/10/22: The former president of the United States and head of the GOP is under criminal investigation for espionage and sedition.
- Duty To Warn (@duty2warn), 9/9/22: We predict when the damage assessment is complete, Trump’s espionage will prove to be THE most catastrophic breach of national security in US history. It won't be about mere pilferage or possession. He's passed secrets to Russians from Day 1, and to the Saudis shortly thereafter.
- Raw Story, 9/7/22: Former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen says he agrees Donald Trump a “clear and present threat to democracy,” and adds his possession of classified documents including one revealing the nuclear capabilities of a foreign government is “offense enough” for him to be “subject to criminal prosecution.” Cohen, a Republican and former U.S. Congressman and U.S. Senator from Maine, served as President Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary. He noted that if he had the same documents in his house where he left office as Donald Trump did, “I would be in handcuffs.”
- "It was intentional," said Brennan. "He knew he shouldn't have those documents. This absurd claim he declassified things is just absurd. There's no way. The fact that he brought them down there — it does seem as though there was a fair amount of obstruction of justice as they were moved around. The National Archives and Department of Justice were told untruths." The whole situation, argued Brennan, is similar to the behavior Trump exhibited during the Russia investigation — and in that case, as well, seasoned prosecutors who investigated the matter concluded that the former president and his allies had likely committed obstruction. "You are talking about the investigation into Russian interference in the election and Bill Barr's blatant mischaracterization what the Mueller Report found, the Mueller Report found although there was collusion, there wasn't the evidence that he was able to uncover for criminal conspiracy," said Brenna. "I would think criminal conspiracy here in terms of trying to avoid any type of understanding that these documents were in Mar-a-Lago is something that I think Donald Trump and others are vulnerable to potential future indictment." - Raw Story, 9/15/22
Dark Brandon Goes Prime Time
- Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic ... They refuse to accept the results of a free election. And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself. MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love. They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country. They look at the mob that stormed the United States Capitol on January 6th — brutally attacking law enforcement — not as insurrectionists who placed a dagger to the throat of our democracy, but they look at them as patriots ... We can’t allow violence to be normalized in this country. It’s wrong ... We can’t let the integrity of our elections be undermined, for that is a path to chaos. - Remarks by President Biden on the Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation, Philadelphia, PA, 9//1/22
- Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker):cThe fact that ABC, NBC, and CBS are all airing King Charles’ first speech, but none of them aired President Biden’s primetime speech about the ongoing threats to American democracy shows exactly what is terribly wrong with today’s political mainstream media.
- David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf): The MAGA GOP will no doubt call Biden's speech divisive but it was the opposite. He sought to unify the vast American majority to stand up to the ugly, loud minority that is a threat to all we stand for. It's the kind of stand against fascism that FDR & Churchill once called for.
- David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf): Commentators portraying the coming elections campaign(s) as politics as usual are failing as journalists. One side is trying to destroy democracy & strip away Americans' rights. The other is trying to defend the country & its ideals. Both-sidesing it is doing MAGA-fascist's work.
- David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf): Biden has boiled 2022 down to it's essence. Are you pro-democracy or against it? Are you pro-Constitution or against it? Do you want to preserve our vital rights and freedoms or carve them away? The MAGA GOP is a threat to each of us & what's best about America. Vote vote vote
- Jared Holt (@jaredlholt): Great work: FiveThirtyEight found 195 of 529 GOP nominees running for office in midterms "fully denied" the 2020 election. Another 61 "raised questions" about its legitimacy. No answer for 115 candidates. 71 accept results fully. 87 accept w reservations.
- FiveThirtyEight: 60 Percent Of Americans Will Have An Election Denier On The Ballot This Fall, 9/18/22
- Reuters/Ipsos poll: “Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the two-day poll - including one in four Republicans - said Trump's ‘Make America Great Again’ movement is threatening America's democratic foundations.”
- Democracy Docket (@DemocracyDocket): "Since the Jan. 6 insurrection, Republicans have launched a massive election subversion effort aimed at undermining the accurate counting of ballots and certification of election results."
- Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw), 9/5/22: Tom Bonier — a Democratic strategist & CEO of TargetSmart, a data and polling firm — says a "Roe wave of new women voters, fired up by the S.Ct’s abortion decision, could swamp GOP hopes in the midterms ... In his 28 yrs analyzing elections, he’s never seen anything like this."
- Terri Pickens Manweiler For Idaho (@TerriForIdaho): We’re not letting anyone take away our freedoms without a fight . Almost 60% of the new voters registered in Idaho since the Supreme Court decision are women. Time to reclaim our rights at the polls. #roevember #idpol
A Survey of Critical Races
- Ruth Ben-Ghiat (@ruthbenghiat): Michigan is ground zero for election fraud tactics. They are training them to be part of a vast GOP corruption scheme to wreck democracy one stolen election at a time.
- Nora Neus (@noraneus): Shocking new video obtained by @DrewGriffinCNN shows Republican leaders in Michigan training poll workers to **break the rules** so they can act as "undercover agents" during mid-term elections in November.
- No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@NoLieWithBTC): Unearthed audio shows Dr. Oz saying incest is “not a big problem” as long as “you’re more than a first cousin away.” He added his daughters don’t want to have sex with him because “my daughters hate my smell... Girls don’t like their fathers’ smell.”
- Doug Mastriano] Republican candidate for Pennsylvania’s governor spoke during a video call hosted by a Christian nationalist group member ... "I pray that ... we’ll seize the power ... I pray for the leaders and also in the federal government, God, on the 6th of January that they will rise up with boldness." - Guardian, "Doug Mastriano prayed for Trump to ‘seize the power’ before Capitol attack" 9/10/22
Wisconsin"OXFORD LANGUAGES DEFINITION: Fifth Column: a group within a country at war who are sympathetic to or working for its enemies." Example: "Senator Ron Johnson, R-WI, is a Fifth Columnist"
- Duty To Warn (@duty2warn): J.D. Vance suggested that Trump should fire all civil servants and replace them with “our people.” “He should do what Viktor Orban has done.”
- “J.D. is kissing my ass. Of course he wants my support,” Trump told the crowd. “The entire MAGA movement is for J.D. Vance,” he added.
- Former President Trump drew more than 6,000 fans for a rally Saturday evening in this industrial northeast Ohio city — and mocked venture capitalist J.D. Vance, his pick in the state’s surprisingly tight U.S. Senate race, in the process. - "In Ohio, Trump mocks Senate candidate J.D. Vance as he rallies for him," Los Angeles Times, 9/17/22
- The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln), 91/4/22: A recent poll from @NARAL in Georgia:
- 62% of mail ballot requests are for likely Dems
- 60%+ of ballot requests are from women
- 37% of ballot requests are from black voters (up 11% from 2018)
- 44,000 black Georgians have requested ballots (4x more than from 2018)
- Rachel Bitecofer (@RachelBitecofer): The only way to protect Arizona women from the Republican Party's cruel & inhumane abortion regime is to beat Kari Lake.
- The outgoing Republican speaker of the Arizona House says Trump-backed GOP candidates might send the country "back into the dark ages" if they win key midterm races and help enact laws to make it easier to overturn elections -- which he said was tantamount to "fascism" ... Last month, Bowers lost a Republican primary for an Arizona state Senate seat. His opponent: former state Sen. David Farnsworth, who said that he had "no doubt" that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and that there was a "conspiracy headed up by the devil himself." This helped earn him an endorsement from Trump, who posted online that "Bowers must be defeated." Enough Arizona voters agreed, and Bowers lost by 30 points. Bowers admitted to CNN that he "lost big," adding that the outcome doesn't bode well for democracy in the Grand Canyon State. Marshall Cohen - 'Welcome to fascism': Top Arizona Republican blasts Trump-backed candidates who might try to overturn future elections, CNN, 9/18/22
- Republicans against Trumpism (@RpsAgainstTrump), 9/13/22: A group of Republicans in TX announced their support for Mike Collier, the Dem nominee for Lieutenant Governor running against Republican Dan Patrick: "Our leadership needs to adapt to that diversity and try to represent all of the people...Dan Patrick is an extremist."
- Val Demings (@valdemings), 9/14/22: Marco Rubio just cosponsored the bill to ban abortions and criminalize doctors. He’ll stop at nothing to strip women of our constitutional rights. We have to hold him accountable in November.
- Tom Bonier (@tbonier), 8/30/22: New voter registrants in Florida since Jan 1 of this year:
- Jan 1 until Dobbs leak: +1.7% men
- Dobbs leak until Dobbs release: +0.4% men
- Since Dobbs release: +5.5% women
- Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote), 9/4/22: Here’s the really hard math for you MAGAs. There are about 240M eligible voters in the US. 71M voted for Donald. That’s about 29%. “Half” would be 50%. 29 does not equal 50. I hope that clears it up for you. I know numbers can be scary.
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