President Obama Must Immediately Dismantle The Surveillance State


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

President Obama must immediately dismantle the surveillance state. 

The federal government currently has more power than ever before to monitor Americans by collecting our emails, text messages, phone records, chats, locations, purchases and other private information in bulk.

CREDO has fought the expansion of the surveillance state under Presidents Bush and Obama because we believe that mass warrantless spying on Americans is an ineffective violation of civil liberties, regardless of who is in power. Letting a fascist like Donald Trump seize control of the surveillance state could have even more dangerous and profound consequences for Americans.

Pres. Obama expanded the surveillance state during his presidency, and it is now his responsibility to take all steps in his power to dismantle it before Trump takes office.1

From spying on activists2 to prosecuting whistleblowers, the surveillance state has repeatedly been abused under President Obama. But, we have every reason to believe these abuses will get much worse if a vindictive bully like Trump takes control of the secretive, unaccountable spying apparatus.

Throughout his campaign, Trump called for expanding the already bloated surveillance state. And, Trump has made how he intends to abuse expanded surveillance powers perfectly clear: Spying on mosques, targeting immigrants and other vulnerable communities and suppressing journalism and activism.3, 4

Trump has also shown his hand through nominations. His pick for CIA Director, tea party Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas, is a leading supporter of expanding domestic spying programs. Pompeo introduced Orwellian legislation last year called the Liberty Through Strength Act, which would give the National Security Agency more access to business records and the FBI more access to communications data. Pompeo wants the NSA to restart its bulk collection of metadata and combine those records with financial and “lifestyle” data in a massive, searchable database.5 Chillingly, he’s also referred to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden as a traitor who he believes should receive the death penalty.6

It’s clear that Trump intends to use the surveillance state to spy on hundreds of millions of Americans, target vulnerable communities and suppress journalism and political dissent. President Obama has a grave responsibility to do everything in his power before leaving office to hamper Trump’s ability to abuse the spying apparatus by disclosing all mass surveillance programs, deleting data currently stored on Americans and physically destroying the infrastructure needed to collect additional data.

If Trump wants to wage an assault on our civil liberties, President Obama should make him build the capacity to do so from scratch.

Tell President Obama he must immediately dismantle the surveillance state.

  •  Go to CREDO action to sign the Petition to President Obama:
    “Dismantle the surveillance state. Disclose all mass surveillance programs, delete the data stored on Americans and demolish the physical infrastructure needed to collect this data.”

Thanks for everything you do.

Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Asset

References:

Evan Greer, “President Obama Should Shut Down the NSA’s Mass Spying Before It’s Too Late,” Time, Nov. 9, 2016.
George Joseph, “Exclusive: Feds Regularly Monitored Black Lives Matter Since Ferguson,” The Intercept, July 24, 2016.
Emily Stephenson and Amanda Becker, “Trump Backs Surveillance of Mosques Despite Criticism of Rhetoric,” Reuters, June 15, 2016.
Michael Calderone, “A Donald Trump Presidency Presents A Grave Threat To The Press,” The Huffington Post, Nov. 7, 2016.
Curtis Tate and Lindsay Wise, “Rep. Mike Pompeo Wants to Revive Mass Surveillance Program,” McClatchyDC, Jan. 27, 2016.
Nadia Prupis, “Trump Picks Pro-Surveillance, Tea Party Hawk Mike Pompeo to Lead CIA,” Common Dreams, Nov. 18, 2016.

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

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The Real Reason To Worry About Gen. Michael Flynn


Excerpt from: The Nation

It’s not his alleged ties to Russia so much as his plan to wage global war for global peace.
By James Carden
NOVEMBER 18, 2016
Michael_Flynn_ap_img.jpg
Then–Defense Intelligence Agency Director Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 11, 2014. (AP Photo / Lauren Victoria Burke)

Reports surfaced yesterday that President-elect Donald J. Trump has offered the role of national-security adviser to retired three-star Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had been among a number of controversial advisers to the Trump campaign, including alt-right media mogul Steve Bannon, who will serve as chief strategist in the Trump White House. Nevertheless, the reaction inside the Beltway to Flynn’s appointment is revealing of the foreign-policy establishment’s preference to antagonize, contain, and demonize Russia, Syria, and Iran (for all intents and purposes the new and improved neocon Axis of Evil) rather than focus on the Salafist terror threat that has struck in as varied and far-off places as Baghdad, Beirut, Paris, Brussels, and San Bernardino.

Nevertheless, in Flynn, Trump has found someone who clearly shares his penchant for indulging in dog-whistle rhetoric. He once infamously tweeted “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” No surprise, he also boasts ties to some of the more unhinged elements of the neoconservative movement like the author Michael Leeden. A neoconservative polemicist who is currently “Freedom Scholar” at the rabidly neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Leeden was Flynn’s co-author on book Field of Flight, which was praised by none other than former Senator Joe Lieberman as a “strategic plan by General Flynn of how to win the global war against radical Islam and its big power supporters. The leaders of the next American administration would benefit from reading The Field of Fight.” In an op-ed in (where else?) the New York Post promoting the book, Flynn stated his belief that the United States is in “a global war, facing an enemy alliance that runs from Pyongyang, North Korea, to Havana, Cuba, and Caracas, Venezuela. Along the way, the alliance picks up radical Muslim countries and organizations such as Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State.”

In other words, we must wage global war for global peace. What could possibly go wrong?

In addition to Flynn’s manifest militarism and his controversial comments on Muslims, his alleged ties to Russia have also been the focus of much speculation. In July, Clinton campaign mouthpiece Vox explained, “There’s one other important thing to know about Flynn: He is weirdly, strangely friendly with Vladimir Putin’s regime.” The proof Vox trotted out for this assertion was a December 2015 dinner Flynn attended in Moscow to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the state-run media outlet RT. Still more damning, Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, “sat at the head table, with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and had delivered a talk on his view of foreign affairs today beforehand.” Fans of Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein may remember that so-called “liberal” media outlets like MSNBC made similar play over Dr. Stein’s attendance at the same dinner.

Flynn came under fire for his “pro-Russia” stance by Politico’s Michael Crowley, who sneered, “Flynn now makes semi-regular appearances on RT as an analyst, in which he often argues that the U.S. and Russia should be working more closely together on issues like fighting [ISIS] and ending Syria’s civil war.”

Yet despite the braying of the Beltway media class, Flynn’s Russian connections are likely nonexistent; yet there are other very real reasons to be concerned with his appointment. One often overlooked contradiction at the heart of the Flynn’s alleged pro-Russian bias is his repeated condemnation of the Iran nuclear deal, behind which Russia was a driving force. After the deal was signed, Flynn observed, “Russia is the big winner in this deal as they are backing an Iranian program knowing that they can also sell to the Iranian antagonists in the region and make double the money on arms and nuclear technology.” According to Flynn, with the Iranian nuclear deal, “The U.S. gets nothing but grief.” In his view, “the U.S. and others were too anxious to get any deal. We gave up all our leverage.” Sounding a lot like candidate Trump, Flynn continued, “We got beat by a nation of expert negotiators who got everything they wanted and needed from the deal for only making promises of allowing future observations.”

In the end, Flynn’s appointment is yet another worrying sign that the administration of Donald J. Trump will, like the Obama administration, be held captive to the reigning foreign-policy orthodoxy of interventionism and militarism that has done such damage to America and the world over the past 15 years.

Tell Chuck Schumer: No Compromise With Trump


Excerpt from: CREDO Action

While President Obama was engaged in tough diplomacy to avert a nuclear Iran, Chuck Schumer was beating the drum for war. While Democrats were demanding multinational corporations pay their fair share, Chuck Schumer was scheming with Republicans on a tax giveaway. While progressives were trying to reclaim our economy from Wall Street, Schumer was allying with big banks.

If Chuck Schumer does not change his ways under a bigoted, racist, anti-poor, misogynistic Trump presidency, millions will suffer.

Headlines are already blaring that “Trump May Tap Unlikely Ally in Congress: Chuck Schumer,” and reports note that Trump has in the past donated to Schumer more than any other Democrat.1,2 Schumer has just been officially chosen as the new leader of Senate Democrats – our only bulwark against Republican hate at the federal level. He must hear in no uncertain terms that he must drop any plans for compromise and commit to resisting hatred.

Mere days after the hate-speech candidate of white nationalists won a narrow electoral vote victory but lost the popular vote, there is already noise about Schumer teaming up with Trump, especially on infrastructure.3 In the past, Schumer has used infrastructure spending as an excuse to plot with Republicans to give multinational corporations a massive tax break on the nearly $2.2 trillion they have been hiding offshore.4

It is possible that Schumer simply forgot that past authoritarian leaders have used infrastructure spending to win support for racist policies.5 But it’s just as likely that a man who voted to give George W. Bush a blank check for war in Iraq, tried to sabotage his own president’s peacemaking, undercut Sen. Harry Reid in government shutdown negotiations, and has raked in millions from Wall Street simply does not have the backbone to stand up to hate.

As we noted earlier, here is what outgoing Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid had to say about Trump’s election:

“If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.”6

Chuck Schumer merely said, “It is time for the country to come together and heal the bitter wounds from the campaign.”7

This is no time for reconciliation from Democratic leaders. Trump does not have a mandate. He did not win the popular vote. Trump is our president because of the Electoral College and a little more than 100,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which tells us nothing about Trump’s popularity and everything about the success of the massive voter suppression program the right-wing has systematically built over the last few years.

During the campaign, stories emerged from all over the country of racist and bigoted bullying, harassment and violence against people of color, immigrants, people wearing the hijab, LGBTQ people and others. Since Tuesday night, violence against the communities Trump targeted during his campaign has only escalated – and it will only get worse if Democratic leaders like Chuck Schumer help to legitimize Trump’s presidency.

  • Petition to Sen. Chuck Schumer:
    “Drop any plans to compromise with or accommodate Donald Trump and congressional Republicans by undermining the progressive values of the Democratic party. You must fully commit to resisting Trump’s agenda.”
  • To sign the petition go to: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/schumer_fight_trump?t=7&akid=20536.7785905.-J9HM5

Thank you for speaking out,

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Steven Dennis, “At Times, Trump May Tap Unlikely Ally in Congress: Chuck Schumer,” Bloomberg, Nov. 9, 2016.
Rebecca Ballhaus, “Topping List of Senators Trump Has Supported: Chuck Schumer,” Wall Street Journa, Nov. 10, 2016.
Dennis, “At Times, Trump May Tap Unlikely Ally in Congress: Chuck Schumer.”
Dave Johnson, “Next Big One: Repatriation Tax Holiday Giveaway to Corporations,” Huffington Post, July 14, 2015.
Eric Jaffe, “How Highway Construction Helped Hitler Rise to Power,” CityLab, June 6, 2014.
Sen. Harry Reid, “Statement on the Election of Donald Trump,” Nov. 11, 2016.
Dennis, “At Times, Trump May Tap Unlikely Ally in Congress: Chuck Schumer.”

© 2016 CREDO. All rights reserved.

Christiane Amanpour Drops Truth Bomb On Trump Era Press: ‘I Believe In Being Truthful, Not Neutral’


Excerpt from: Daily Kos

By News Corpse  Saturday Nov 26, 2016 · 10:16 AM PST

This week CNN’s chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, received the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. It is awarded at the International Press Freedom Awards for “extraordinary and sustained achievement in the cause of press freedom. Her acceptance speech was an inspiring appeal to “recommit to robust, fact-based reporting” in the Age of Trump.

Right from the start Amanpour addressed the serious challenge posed by Donald Trump’s rancid rhetoric. She recognized the risks created by a candidate whose words literally incited violence toward reporters:

“I never thought in a million years that I’d be standing up here, after all the times I’ve participated in this ceremony, appealing, really, for the freedom and safety of American journalists at home.”

That is indeed a sobering realization on the current state of media relations as practiced by Trump and his campaign. Even so, Amanpour expressed optimism that after the election Trump would moderate his hostility toward the press. Unfortunately, he did no such thing:

“I was chilled when [Trump’s] first tweet after the election was about professional protesters incited by the media.” [Because as we all know] “First the media is accused of inciting, then sympathizing, then associating. And then suddenly they find themselves accused of being full-fledged terrorists and subversives. And then they end up in handcuffs, in cages, in kangaroo courts, in prisons, and then who knows what.

On this Amanpour may be a little behind the curve. The right-wing media has been denigrating the press for years with charges of being “in the tank” for Obama or Clinton or whoever the current object of their hatred is. And as for accusing them of being terrorists, that was already done on Fox News by their “strategic analyst,” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. In an unhinged rant he assaulted the media saying:

“Rejecting the god of their fathers, the neo-pagans who dominate the media serve as lackeys at the terrorists’ bloody altar. […] Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.”

Imagine that. Fox News actually pays that guy to advocate for military assassinations of American journalists. No wonder Amanpour is chilled. She goes on to explain why the media needs to stand firm in defense of facts and not fall into the trap of false equivalencies. What follows are some selected quotes:

“[It’s time to] recommit to robust, fact-based reporting, without fear or without favor, on the issues. Don’t stand for being labeled or called ‘lying,’ or ‘crooked,’ or ‘failing.'”

“Much of the media was tying itself in knots trying to differentiate between balance, between objectivity, neutrality, and crucially, the truth. We cannot continue the old paradigm. We cannot, for instance, keep saying, like it was over global warming. When 99% of the science, the empirical facts, the evidence, is given equal play with the tiny minority of deniers.”

“I learned a long, long time ago…never to equate victim and aggressor. Never to create a false moral or factual equivalence…So I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth. We have to be prepared to fight especially hard right now for the truth.”

“[Donald Trump] did a very savvy end run around us and used it to go straight to the people. Combined with the most incredible development ever, which is the tsunami of fake news, aka lies.”

“I feel that we face an existential crisis, a threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession. Now, more than ever, we need to recommit to real reporting across a real nation, a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril. Including by foreign powers like Russia who pay to churn out and place these false news articles, these lies, in many of our press. They hack into democratic systems.”

“I was shocked because very few ever imagined that so many Americans conducting their sacred duty in the secret ballot box, using their ballots, would be angry enough to ignore the wholesale denigration of these values. The vulgarity of language, the sexual predatory behavior, the deep misogyny, the bigoted and insulting views.”

Amanpour closed by declaring that “We must fight against the normalization of what is unacceptable.” By that she means the way the media has begun to treat neo-Nazis and racists and anti-Semites as if they were just another place-setting on the table of ideologies. They are not. And Trump’s “alt-right” Chief Strategist, Stephen Bannon, is a good example of what is unacceptable, but is getting a pass from the press.

This is not the first time that Trump has been rebuked for placing the First Amendment in Jeopardy. In October the Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement calling him “an unprecedented threat to press freedom.” And the National Press Club condemned his anti-press tactics as “unacceptable and dangerous to our democracy.” Hopefully these warnings, and Amanpour’s words, will be heeded and applied as the next administration prepares to execute its abhorrent agenda.

On Nationalism vs. Patriotism & Ignorance


Excerpt from statement: Jeanette Strong, columnist for LVN and CCDCC, Secy.

“Trump brags about his nationalism, and he brags about how much more he knows than anyone else does, so he doesn’t need to attend daily intelligence briefings. He even says he can run the country 100% perfectly and run his businesses 100% perfectly. This makes him a big Loser, and very dangerous. We are in uncharted waters, and it doesn’t look good.”

image003.jpgimage004.jpg
__Sydney J. Harris, (September 14, 1917 – December 7, 1986) was an American journalist for the Chicago Daily News and, later, the Chicago Sun-Times._________________________________________________

“Ignorance per se is not nearly as dangerous as ignorance of ignorance.” Jennette Strong

New Report Prompts Call for Democrats to Halt Transfer of Power to Trump Before Dec. 13 Deadline


Excerpt from: The Huffington Post

Dr. GS Potter

Educator, Advocate and founder of the Strategic Institute of Intersectional Policy
This post is hosted on the Huffington Post’s Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and post freely to our site.

The Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy (SIIP) has called for an immediate halt to all efforts related to the transfer of power between the Obama Administration and the Trump Campaign. This call came after a recent analysis revealed that there is strong evidence to suggest that Donald Trump and the members of his campaign intentionally engaged in voter suppression tactics in an attempt to alter the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. Further, the strategic deployment of voter suppression tactics was designed, refined and implemented over the course of a number of years by a network of organizations and individuals attempting to secure power for the alt-right.

This alt-right network has pushed the envelope of political legality since Watergate and the Reagan Administration. It is comprised of white nationalists that have worked strategically to infiltrate local and state governments, members of the Republican party, alt-right media strategists; conservative policy think tanks and generous donors.

All their activity, though, can be traced back to the efforts of five people: Bert Rein, Richard Wiley, the Koch Brothers, and Robert Mercer.

Ed Meese, John Bolton, Paul Manafort and Jeff Sessions are all key figures in the Trump campaign that originally made a name for themselves, whether for the good or the bad, during the Reagan Administration.

Ed Meese, an early critic of Trump who recently joined the transition team and was also part of the Reagan transition team with Bert Rein, joined the Heritage Foundation in 1988 as the organizations first Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow. Meese was, and is, an important liaison for the evangelical community, chaired the Just Say No program, and is staunchly anti-immigrant. Counseled Reagan during the Iran-Contra affair and would eventually have to resign his position in the Administration as a result of the Wedtech scandal.

John Bolton and Ed Meese worked together directly on what would come to be known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Then a “controversial UN ambassador,” Bolton has gone on to serve in a number of federal positions including Assistant Attorney General under Ronald Reagan. Bolton was a protégé of Jesse Helms, actively calls for military interference in Iran, supports the War on Drugs, is anti-UN, and was an active promoter of the false WMD narrative for Iraq and similar accusations made about Cuba. He was the Vice President of the American Enterprise Institute – the organization strongly influenced by Bert Rein, supported with funding from Charles and David Koch and that is responsible for the gutting of the Voting Right Act in 2013. He has been chosen to serve as the Secretary of State should Trump be allowed to assume the presidency.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, is another alumni of the Reagan Administration. Manafort is a campaign strategist that designs campaigns both nationally and internationally. In the US, he has worked on the Ford, Reagan and Bush campaigns. Internationally, he has been linked to the campaigns of Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, Jonas Savimbi of the Angolan rebel group UNITA, admitted to writing the strategy for the Karachi Affair and served as an advisor on the campaign of pro-Russian Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich. Manafort worked closely with the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute to support Savimbi and met Trump through his partnership at Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelley – where Trump was a client. Manafort also has an apartment in Trump Tower. He became Trump’s lead strategist in March 2016 after the departure of Americans for Prosperity’s (Koch) Corey Lewandowski. He is credited with helping Trump destroy decades of potentially damaging documents and emails and is currently under FBI investigation for his ties to foreign nations.

Newt Gingrich is also prominent figure from the Reagan Era with close ties to the Trump campaign. On the short list to be one of Trump’s running mates, the former Congressman from Georgia’s 6th District designed Reagan’s “Open Society” platform for Reagan’s 1984 Presidential Campaign. He would go on to write 1994’s Contract with America and praise Trump’s 2016 Contract with the American Voter, which was noticeably similar. During his time in Congress, Gingrich practiced and refined his strategies to remove his Democratic colleagues from office. He was able to successfully unseat the Democratic Speaker of the House, Jim Wright. He led the Republicans to the first house majority since before the Civil Rights era. Gingrich became Speaker of the House, led two government shut downs, initiated the efforts to impeach Bill Clinton and was named 1995 Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. He unsuccessfully launched a presidential campaign in 2012, but has continued to influence federal elections through the Trump campaign.

Finally, Jeff Sessions rounds out Trump’s team of Reagan Administration veterans. Sessions is the Senator for Alabama, the same state that launched the Shelby County vs Holder case that resulted in the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, and has been ranked as the US’s fifth most conservative senator. Sessions was originally nominated by the Reagan administration to serve on the United States District Court of Alabama; however, his nomination was not confirmed. Reagan then submitted his nomination for United States Attorney of Southern Alabama. Sessions was confirmed and held this position for twelve years. He earned the title of “amnesty’s worst enemy” by rejecting virtually every path to citizenship that has come across his desk. He has fought to restrict legal as well as illegal immigration as well. Sessions is a climate change skeptic, anti-marijuana, anti LGBTQ rights, and voted against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act. He has advised Trump on all his major policy platforms thus far and has been chosen to serve under his as the Attorney General should he be allowed to occupy the White House.

In addition to these strategists, two organizations associated with the Trump campaign would also emerge an assert their positions as far right political powerhouses. As described, the Heritage Foundation formed by Robert Mercer, Ed Meese and Richard Wiley functioned to influence policy from within the political system. Robert Mercer, Charles Koch and David Koch would also combine forces to form a grassroots education and advocacy group that could apply political pressure from the outside called Citizens United. Citizens United would also produce another strategist for the Trump Campaign – David Bossie.

The far-right continued testing the boundaries of political behavior through the 1990s as the election of Democrat Bill Clinton put the Republicans on the defensive. Attack campaigns increased in prevalence and pundits that engaged in political attacks also increased their value in both the public eye and within the Republican party. Legal attacks against Democrats such as the Clintons also because a widely-used tactic to advance the right-wing agenda. Among those that gained prominence for their methods of attack were Kellyanne Fitzpatrick (Conway), George T. Conway III, Matt Drudge and Andrew Breitbart.

KellyAnne Conway, formerly KellyAnne Fitzpatrick, began her political career working in polling for the GOP’s Wirthlin Group. She gained a name for herself as a far-right television pundit along with other right wing colleagues such as Anne Coulter and Laura Ingraham. While engaged in this work, she caught the eye of George T. Conway III. Conway was a lawyer that had been involved in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case against Bill Clinton. He was also part of the efforts to impeach him. It is said that the same month that George Conway fed Matt Drudge the information that allowed him to break the Monica Lewinski Story, he saw Fitzpatrick on the cover of a magazine and asked a mutual friend to set them up. They met a year later, married in 2001 and had four children.

Kellyanne went on to start her own polling group, The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend and boasts a list of clients that includes the NRA, Freedomworks, Americans for Prosperity, The Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich and Mike Pence. Kellyanne Conway also served as the spokesperson for Robert Mercer. In the 1990’s, though, Kellyanne was part of a nework of political organizations, people, pundits and news outlets that specialized in attacking the Clintons.

One of the most prominent members of this network was Matt Drudge, creator of the Drudge Report.He broke the Lewinski scandal and he is also credited with breaking a number of widely publicized, disparaging stories against leading Democrats. Drudge has consistently served as an important link between political insiders and their alt-right constituency. In the 1990’s, though, that he took on a protégé that would eventually join this network with his own alt-right media network – Andrew Breitbart.

Breitbart worked as an editor for Drudge until he left amicably to start Breitbart News Network with Larry Solov in 2007. Breitbart.com had just began making its presence known when Breitbart himself died of a massive heart attack in 2012. He would be replaced at the network by Trump’s current Chief Strategist, Stephen Bannon.

In the 1990s, Bannon was running a boutique investment bank that specialized in media production. Bannon and Co. would eventually be sold but Bannon would remain focused on the media. He moved to Hollywood and began producing films such as Occupy Unmasked, The Undefeated (a film about Sarah Palin), and a documentary about Ronald Reagan entitled In the Face of Evil. It was during the making of this film that he met Andrew Brietbart.

The two developed a strong working relationship and Bannon became a member of the board at Breitbart in 2007. When he became the executive chair, Bannon reshaped Breitbart and turned it to a media home and safe space for members of the alt-right. In 2016, the website Breitbart.com declared itself “the platform for the alt-right” and in August of that same year, Bannon brought that platform to the race for the White House when he became the chief executive for the Donald Trump campaign.

The alt-right political network, though, had been preparing for the 2016 election since long before Bannon joined the team. The Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and Citizen’s United all continued to gather influence in the political field. Charles and David Koch’s organization Citizens for a Sound Economy split into two groups in 2004. One group, the Americans for Prosperity, would become the protest and media arm of the alt-right’s political movement. The other arm, Freedomworks, would serve as the ground team for state and local elections and a political lifeline for the Tea Party.

The Koch Brothers teamed up again with Bert Rein and American Enterprise Institute’s Ed Blum to push their alt-right agenda in the courts through the Project on Fair Representation (founded in 2005). The mission of this organization is to “is to facilitate pro bono legal representation to political subdivisions and individuals that wish to challenge government distinctions and preferences made on the basis of race and ethnicity.” Their primary target was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Specifically, the Project on Fair Representation sought to remove the provision that required certain jurisdictions to gain approval of the federal government before making changes in their voting policies. The removal of this restriction would allow states to make adjustments to their voting policies that directly benefitted the Republican party and the alt-right agenda.

In 2011, the Charles and David Koch founded Freedom Partners in order to funnel grant money into activist organizations and ground level political actions. In 2013, the alt-right network was successful in their efforts to gut the Voting Rights Act when they won the case of Shelby County vs Holden (2013). In related practical efforts, Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity were taken to court for accusations of voter suppression efforts in states such as Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Michigan. Using characteristically aggressive tactics, including the strategic suppression of minority voters, the alt-right network was able to make dramatic waves in the 2010 and 2014 elections – and the Republican party was able to take control of Congress.

The Alt-right’s checklist to take control of the federal government without the use of military force was as follows:

– Infiltrate Congress – Achieved 2010

– Eliminate Funding Restrictions – Achieved 2010

– Take Control of the RNC – Achieved in 2011

– Kill Voting Protections – Achieved in 2013

– Take Control of Congress – Achieved in 2014

– Take Control of the Supreme Court – Achieved if 1) Obama administration doesn’t successfully counter efforts to delay appointment and 2) if the Republican candidate secures the Presidency

– Take Control of the Presidency – Goal:2016

By 2016, all that was left for the alt-right to achieve a full takeover of the government of the United States – without firing one shot – was gaining control of the Presidency.

In efforts to alter the course of the 2016 Presidential Election, the alt-right experimented with a number of candidates. The two most notable of these being Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. While the two candidates were competitors in the Republican presidential primaries, they were both being funded and directed by key players from the alt-right.

With full funding, a strategic team that spans from Nixon to Conway, a fully functioning alt-right media network, the social and tactical support of the Tea Party and the reluctant backing of the Republican party, the alt-right engaged in a full-scale attack for control of the White House. This attack included timely interference from the FBI director James Comey and Wikileaks, potential interference from Russian intelligence organizations, and widespread efforts to suppress the votes of target Democrats and people of color in key locations. These locations included states that Trump was able to turn from Red to Blue.

Without the suppression efforts that were reported in pivotal swing states, it is unlikely that Trump would have been able to secure the votes needed to win Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. Without these votes, he and the alt-right would not have been able to win the 2016 presidential election. Without suppressing people of color’s Constitutional right to vote, the alt-right would not have been able to execute their strategy to take full control of the federal government.

In light of the information tying the Trump campaign to voting suppression tactics nationally and specifically in key swing states, and with consideration for the Safe Harbor deadline of December 13th – the Strategic Institute of Intersectional Policy is calling for an immediate cessation to all activities related to the transfer of power to the Republican Party. This call includes firm requests for President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Lorretta Lynch, and the Democratic members of Congress to exercise their full authority to stop the transfer of power; investigate the states, organizations and people involved in the strategic design and implementation of voter suppression efforts, and postpone the electoral college accordingly.

The Strategic Institute of Intersectional Policy is also calling for a Suppression Extension to be mobilized in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arizona. This extension would be granted to those that were prevented from exercising their Constitutional right to vote as a result of voter suppression efforts engaged in by the government and by private organizations and individuals. These states would then be allowed to add these votes to those already counted in the election. In this way, the voices of all those that are Constitutionally granted the right to vote are able to do so to choose the next president of the United States.

This effort needs your support. Please go to the Strategic Institute for Intersectional Policy’s website for more information: http://strategycampsite.org/strategy-to-stop-trump.html

Rand Paul Will ‘Do Whatever It Takes’ To Block Donald Trump’s Hawkish Secretary of State Picks


Excerpt from: The Nation NOVEMBER 21, 2016

Senator Rand Paul emerges as a sharp critic of John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, and other “unrepentant” supporters of the Iraq War and new fights with Iran.

By John Nichols

Rand Paul addresses supporters in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (AP Photo / Ed Reinke)rand_paul_win_ap_img.jpg
The steadiest critique of President-elect Donald Trump’s most unsettling prospects for secretary of state is coming from a Republican: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

Paul is objecting—in interviews, statements, and opinion pieces—for the right reasons. The senator says he is afraid that several of the candidates for the position are “unrepentant” advocates for unthinking regime change and unnecessary war.

Asked about reports that Trump is considering John Bolton, who served as George W. Bush’s ambassador to the United Nations, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani for the secretary of state position, Paul says, “Giuliani and Bolton are out there on the extreme. I don’t think they’re very diplomatic. And I think you want the chief diplomat to be diplomatic.”

“Both Bolton and Giuliani have advocated for regime change in Iran…that sounds like war.” – Rand Paul

Appearing Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Paul argued that “Bolton might be better as a secretary of war, but he is certainly not a diplomat or someone who acts in a diplomatic way or thinks that diplomacy might be an alternative to war.”

As an example, the Kentuckian noted that “Both Bolton and Giuliani have advocated for regime change in Iran, and that doesn’t sound like diplomacy—that sounds like war.”

With the next Senate likely to include 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats and independents who caucus as Democrats, Republican skepticism about Trump Cabinet picks is a big deal. As Paul says: “It’s a very close vote.”

If just a few Republicans dissent, and if Democrats develop spines, some of the most troubling of the president-elect’s selections could be blocked.

Paul is prepared to dissent.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to stop someone like John Bolton being secretary of state,” the senator says. “He’s opposed to everything Donald Trump ran on: that the Iraq war was a mistake, regime change made us less safe in the Middle East, including in Iraq…I don’t know how a President Trump could appoint someone who’s diametrically opposed to everything Donald Trump ran on.”

Paul is just as sharp in his criticism of New York’s former mayor.

“If you look at Giuliani’s statements, you will find he has advocated bombing Iran, he has advocated for intervention, to my knowledge he’s never admitted the Iraq war was a mistake,” Paul told Politico last week. “To me, a big part of what Donald Trump said, in hundreds of speeches, was that the Iraq war was a mistake. I don’t know how you could appoint someone to be in charge of the Department of State who believes the Iraq war was a benefit.”

Paul does not think he will stand alone as a Republican dissenter.

“There are several potential Republican votes against someone like a Bolton, possibly Giuliani,” Paul said on Face the Nation. “The other thing Giuliani is going to stir up is: it is going to be a hornet’s nest on all the financial stuff.”

Paul, who used a 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination to object to regime change, bloated Pentagon budgets, and mass surveillance, suggested on Sunday that 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would be a more “even-keel” pick for Secretary of State. But the senator noted that Romney backed the Iraq War, and he said he would be asking sharp questions if Romney were to be nominated.

“I’m not sure I would call him unrepentant. I would say that he is somebody who has supported the Iraq war and I would want to hear more,” says Paul. “I think we should ask—no matter what the stature of the person, we should ask, ‘What are your beliefs? Was the Iraq war a mistake? Are you for regime change?’ ”

Romney might pass muster.

But if a Bolton or a Giuliani is nominated, Paul suggests that his opposition “would include all of the tools, would include the filibuster as well, but I hate to prematurely offer that up.”

What Rand Paul does offer up is the possibility of dialogue: “What I’d like to have is a public debate. People need to ask the question: ‘Have you learned the lessons of the Iraq war?’”