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Trump’s New ‘Election Integrity’ Commission to Be Headed by Anti-Immigrant Republican Tied to White Nationalists

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Potential Tool to Disenfranchise Democratic Voters

Later today President Donald Trump will sign an executive order to combat what he has claimed is massive voter fraud across the country. Trump will create the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity in response to statements he made in November after the election, including his false claim that he “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

Nationwide outrage ensued and the Trump camp was unable to credibly support the President-elect’s claims. Trump officials instead pointed to a report that noted voter rolls include large numbers of people no longer living because local governments have not funded agencies responsible for their upkeep. 

The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity will be co-chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Kanas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is also the attorney for an organization that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of active anti-immigrant hate groups.

Kobach also has long-standing ties to white nationalists, and is responsible for anti-immigrant legislation in at least six states, including Arizona’s infamous SB70.

Secretary Kobach is “of counsel,” the on-record attorney for the Immigration Law Reform Institute, which serves as the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), an anti-immigrant hate group.

Study after study after study has shown that actual voter fraud is minuscule.

New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice’s found rates of voter fraud to be “between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent.”

The Brennan Center also cites a “comprehensive 2014 study published in The Washington Post [which] found 31 credible instances of impersonation fraud from 2000 to 2014, out of more than 1 billion ballots cast. Even this tiny number is likely inflated, as the study’s author counted not just prosecutions or convictions, but any and all credible claims.”

ABC News reports Trump’s “commission, which will include Republicans and Democrats, will be tasked with studying ‘vulnerabilities’ in U.S. voting systems and potential effects on ‘improper voting, fraudulent voter registrations and fraudulent voting,’ according to one official with knowledge of the announcement.”

While that is absolutely important, given that Kris Kobach will be in charge there is every reason to believe it will be used as a voter suppression tool, possibly disenfranchising millions, and enabling Republicans to increase their takeover of statehouses and add to their current House and Senate majorities. It could even be used to help Trump win re-election.

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Image by AndrewRosenthal via Flickr and a CC license

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Georgia Republicans Push Bill Banning All Government Mandates of ‘Any Vaccination’ Including in Public Schools

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Georgia Senate Republicans are pushing a bill that would end any requirements for any vaccinations by any state or local government agency or office in the Peach State, including vaccines for children entering public school.

The bill also bans any government agency from requiring private companies or entities from requiring any proof of any vaccination.

The bill, SB 345, was filed on January 14 with five original co-sponsors. It now has 17, including state Senator Jeff Mullis, whose campaign website prominently features photos of him with former Vice President Mike Pence, and former President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump, Jr.

“No agency shall require proof of any vaccination of any person as a condition of providing any service or access to any facility, issuing any license, permit, or other type of authorization, or performing any duty of such agency,” the bill’s text reads in part.

Georgia State Law law professor Anthony Michael Kreis posted Georgia’s school vaccine requirements, suggesting those would be optional were the bill to become law.

The CDC recommends a list of about 17 different vaccines children should have before entering school. The list includes inoculations against diseases, often deadly, including Hepatitis B, Rotavirus, Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b, Pneumococcal conjugate, Inactivated poliovirus, Influenza, Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Varicella, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis, Human papillomavirus, Meningococcal, Meningococcal B, and Pneumococcal polysaccharide.

 

 

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Watch: Hot Mic Catches Biden Blowing Off Steam With Profane Remark Directed Towards Fox News’ Peter Doocy

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It was not a good day for Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy. First, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was clearly irked by his line of questioning as he tried to make news by framing a rise in crime as something the Biden administration has ignored, despite Fox News promoting Second Amendment “activists” and doing its best to oppose efforts to reduce poverty and efforts to counter societal ills.

Later, after the close of President Biden’s Competitiveness Council meeting, reporters continued to shout questions at the President. Among them Peter Doocy, who carelessly asked the President if rising inflation was a “liability” for the midterm elections.

“It’s a great asset – more inflation. What a stupid son of a bitch,” President Biden appeared to say sarcastically.

Watch:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Democratic Congressman Says Tucker Carlson’s Viewers ‘Upset We’re Not Siding With Russia’

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As tensions heat up between the United States and Russia over Vladimir Putin’s unlawful attacks on Ukraine one Democratic Congressman says he’s getting calls from Fox News viewers who think the U.S. should side with Russia.

“My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson and are upset that we’re not siding with Russia in its threats to invade Ukraine, and who want me to support Russia’s ‘reasonable’ positions,” writes Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).

For nearly three years during the Obama administration, Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. He now sits on the House’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Committee on Homeland Security, and Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism.

For years Tucker Carlson has been advancing Russian propaganda, as he did here in November of 2019, only to be forced to walk back his comments later that same evening.

U.S. Naval War College professor Tom Nichols weighed in on Rep. Malinowski’s remarks, observing “Republicans are the Russia Party now.”

“For years,” adds political commentator Jared Yates Sexton, “the American Right has been drawing together with Putinist illiberalism’s antidemocratic, Christian theocratic, white supremacist construction. The divide we have in this country breaks down along these lines. None of this is a surprise or accidental.”

“We’ve been trying to tell you for years now this was happening. The Republican Party and its growing authoritarianism sides with Putin, Orbán, and illiberalism everywhere,” he continues. “It’s an international movement and this Ukraine situation only makes that more clear.”

Propaganda and political warfare historian  and former NATO civilian official Mark R. Jacobson adds: “This is exactly how Russian disinformation/subversion works – they put out a talking point to advance their foreign policy goals & a set of perfidious pundits parrot the point.”

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