â€œWe Canâ€™t Vote, But You Canâ€
Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and a survivor of the countryâ€™s latest mass shooting, has written a powerful op-ed via CNN Opinion blasting politicians for failing to keep guns out of schools.
Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the Parkland shooting, writes that he is demanding Americans take action and vote those in the back pockets of gun lobbyists out of office once and for all https://t.co/TPnglQzKEV via @CNNOpinion pic.twitter.com/020OZRMqeL
â€” CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2018
“I’m just a high school student, and I do not pretend to have all of the answers. However, even in my position, I can see that there is desperate need for change,” writes Cameron Kasky, 17, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, via @CNNOpinion https://t.co/Fh7F7V2hoJ
â€” CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2018
â€œI thought it was going to be a wonderful day. My high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, was full of cheerful students — many of whom were celebrating Valentine’s Day with one another,â€ Kasky began. â€œEven those who didn’t have a Valentine seemed like they could find reasons to smile. But then, of course, everything changed.â€
Kasky subsequently detailed how he went to pick up his little brother Holden from a special needs classroom, noting that as they exited the school, â€œthe fire alarm went off. And as we retreated to the parking lot, per fire drill procedure, we were told to run back inside.â€
It was very confusing, especially since I was surrounded by special needs students. But the truth is, nobody really knew what was going on. We huddled in a room, listening to terrifying noises we couldn’t quite identify, and spent an hour plagued by uncontrolled anxiety … waiting for answers. Waiting for somebody to either come in and shoot us or come in and tell us everything was going to be OK.
Kasky advised that the SWAT team eventually came in â€œand did an excellent job taking care of the students with disabilitiesâ€ before escorting them all to an evacuation location. â€œThough we made it home,â€ he noted, â€œ17 people didnâ€™t.â€
â€œWe can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I’m asking — no, demanding — we take action now,â€ Kasky continued. â€œWhy? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience — our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools.â€
â€œBut this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account,â€ he wrote. â€œThis time we are going to pressure them to take action. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses.â€
Kasky named Florida Senator Marco Rubio specifically in his criticism of Republicans. â€œWhile the alleged shooter may have had several issues, he also lived in a society where Sen. Marco Rubio refuses to take responsibility for the role gun culture may have played in this tragedy,â€ he wrote.
The 17 year-old student blamed â€œpoliticians on both sides of the aisle.â€ Republicans for â€œ[riling] up their base by making them think that â€˜liberalsâ€™ are going to take their guns away,â€ and taking â€œlarge donations from the NRAâ€ â€“ and Democrats for â€œ[lacking] the organization and the votes to do anything about it.â€
â€œI’m just a high school student, and I do not pretend to have all of the answers,â€ he advised. â€œHowever, even in my position, I can see that there is desperate need for change — change that starts by folks showing up to the polls and voting all those individuals who are in the back pockets of gun lobbyists out of office.â€
â€œPlease do it for me,â€ Kasky concluded. â€œDo it for my fellow classmates. We can’t vote, but you can, so make it count.â€
Kaskyâ€™s piece follows his commentary to Anderson Cooper on Friday, in which he criticized Republicans for their thoughts and prayers while they protest over â€œa rainbow wedding cake.â€ The very astute 17 year-oldâ€™s full piece can â€“ and should â€“ be read here.
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Extremist expert predicts political violence during the 2022 midterm elections
Andy Campbell, a senior editor at The Huffington Post who is the author of the book We Are Proud Boys: How a Right-Wing Street Gang Ushered in a New Era of American Extremism has said that The Proud Boys and other far-right vigilante groups will likely commit violence during the next two upcoming elections.
In a recent interview, Campell noted the Proud Boys were founded by right-wing commentator Gavin McInnes to fight in ways that other straight-laced Republicans wouldn’t.
Campbell also noted former President Donald Trump’s ominous command for the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” during his final September 2020 debate against now-President Joe Biden.
Several Proud Boys members are currently on trial for sedition for their involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
“I think we might learn some bombshells about their connection to Trump’s inner circle,” Campbell said. “And the fact that several top-level Proud Boys have already agreed to testify against their own means we may learn a lot.”
Trump also recently said that the nation would face “problems … the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen” if he is indicted for taking classified documents after leaving office. His comment was widely seen as a call for his followers to commit violence if he’s ever criminally charged.
“I think Trump knows that everybody is going to react violently to this,” Campbell said. “The pipeline between the rhetoric and the violence in the street is so short now. How many hours was it between the time he was complaining about the FBI going through Mar-a-Lago and somebody showing up with a gun to an FBI field office? He knows he has people waiting to mobilize.”
Campbell added, “There will absolutely be Proud Boys violence in 2024 and I think in the 2022 election, too,” noting that Arizona Republicans have called for vigilante justice around ballot boxes.
“I think they are absolutely going to show up in force for Trump’s election regardless of what happens. I think we have to realize that the violence has trickled out to everyday Americans. It’s not just extremist groups anymore. Trump pointing to the back and calling the press the enemy, Trump glorifying Jan. 6 rioters,… that has come full circle.”
He concluded, “I think the spirit of January 6 is still here. All of the groups involved are still here, and everyday Americans have joined them… It’s going to be scary.”
Mike Lindell discourages Republicans from early voting so they can “overrun the algorithms”
Mike Lindell, the far-right extremist and conspiracy theorist who is also CEO of My Pillow, is continuing his inexplicable battle against Democracy and voting machines by telling fellow Republicans not to vote early in the upcoming midterm elections.
Lindell made his comments while speaking to Steve Bannon, former advisor to ex-President Donald Trump, on Bannon’s broadcast on the right-wing media outlet Real America’s Voice. Bannon asked Lindell what Republicans could do to ensure that they win the midterm elections and that the elections aren’t “stolen” from them. Both Bannon and Lindell have repeatedly pushed Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was “stolen” through an unprecedented, nationwide voter fraud conspiracy that hasn’t been proved in any courts or publicly exposed in the media.
“Well, the number one thing that everyone should do is vote day of,” Lindell said, adding that voters can defy “lying” pollsters by voting only on Election Day. “We can overrun the algorithms. Everybody has to get out and vote — everybody you know — and same day. Don’t vote two days early, don’t vote one day early, vote same day.”
“It’s a lot harder for them when they don’t have days to pull names from the voter rolls with these machines and computers that are done the same day,” he continued. “And know, if we all get out and vote and overrun the algorithms, and even the ones we don’t, we are watching this time. We are watching everything.”
It’s not entirely clear what Lindell is talking about, though it seems he believes that computer algorithms use early voting counts to help decide which votes to throw out, even though voting machines don’t actually make such determinations.
Since the 2020 presidential elections, Lindell, a longtime supporter of Trump, has used his public platform to accuse various election officials of wrongdoing. He now faces a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems for his repeated claims that their machinery played a role in “stealing” the 2020 election from Trump. He also held a televised 3-day-long cyber symposium last year that he said would prove fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential elections — it didn’t.
Steve Bannon, Bannon co-founded the right-wing news site Breitbart and was chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as White House chief strategist and senior counselor to the president from January 2017 until August 18, 2017, when Trump fired him.
In August 2020, Bannon was indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering connected to the “We Build the Wall” campaign, a $25 million GoFundMe crowdfunding, which claimed to be raising money to help Trump construct a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Mike Lindell, who has continually called for abolishing voting machines, is now telling people to only vote on election day and claimed it’s possible to “overrun the algorithms.” pic.twitter.com/Mb55xf5X8b
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) September 29, 2022
‘Heist’: Ginni Thomas Tells J6 Committee Election Was Stolen, Says She Never Discussed Efforts to Overturn With Spouse
Appearing behind closed doors in person for four hours with investigators from the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, far right wing activist and lobbyist Ginni Thomas reiterated her false claims the 2020 presidential election was stolen, calling it a “heist.” Thomas also insisted she has never discussed her work to overturn the election results with her husband, the person she publicly refers to as her “best friend,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who has resisted calls to recuse himself from any cases surround the January 6 insurrection.
The 2020 president election was not stolen, there has never been any proof to support that false contention, more than 60 court cases claiming fraud brought by the Trump team or their supporters have been thrown out or lost, and even Donald Trump’s own Attorney General and Dept. of Homeland Security officials have said there was no significant fraud, with the later issuing a statement that reads: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.”
And yet, despite mountains of evidence President Joe Biden won the election, despite the election being certified with him winning 81,268,924 votes against Trump’s 74,216,154 votes – a margin of more than 7 million, and despite him winning the Electoral College 306 to 232, Ginni Thomas for hours on Thursday insisted Donald Trump was the rightful president.
“During her interview, Ms. Thomas, who goes by Ginni, repeated her assertion that the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald J. Trump,” The New York Times reports, citing remarks made by the Committee’s chairman, Bennie Thompson. The Times called it “a belief she insisted upon in late 2020 as she pressured state legislators and the White House chief of staff to do more to try to invalidate the results.”
And yet to reporters Thomas’ attorney called her actions merely “minimal and mainstream activity focused on ensuring that reports of fraud and irregularities were investigated.”
“Beyond that, she played no role in any events after the 2020 election results,” he added, despite press reports that Thomas held a months-long text message exchange with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, urging him to find a way to overture the election.
“As she wrote in a text to Mark Meadows at the time, she also condemned the violence on Jan. 6, as she abhors violence on any side of the aisle.”
“Ms. Thomas,” The Times adds, “exchanged text messages with Mr. Meadows, the White House chief of staff, in which she urged him to challenge Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory in the 2020 election, which she called a ‘heist,’ and indicated that she had reached out to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law, about Mr. Trump’s efforts to use the courts to keep himself in power. She even suggested the lawyer who should be put in charge of that effort.”
Despite earlier reports Thomas did appear in person, but refused to answer reporters’ questions.
NEW: Ginni Thomas met with Jan 6 committee IN PERSON. She did not answer my questions pic.twitter.com/5z6pypr0S9
— Annie Grayer (@AnnieGrayerCNN) September 29, 2022
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