What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White
What To Do When You're Stopped By Police - The ACLU & Elon James White
Know Anyone Who Thinks Racial Profiling Is Exaggerated? Watch This, And Tell Me When Your Jaw Drops.
This video clearly demonstrates how racist America is as a country and how far we have to go to become a country that is civilized and actually values equal justice. We must not rest until this goal is achieved. I do not want my great grandchildren to live in a country like we have today. I wish for them to live in a country where differences of race and culture are not ignored but valued as a part of what makes America great.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, a man as evil as Trump, with a diabolical mind and the lives of a cat.
"Why Was Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist Killed?
The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh isn’t about stopping a bomb — it’s about preventing diplomacy. Joe Biden doesn’t have to let it work.
By Barbara Slavin
When Israel engineered the assassinations of a half-dozen Iranian nuclear scientists from 2010 to 2012, supporters of these killings argued that they would help slow a nuclear program at a time when multilateral diplomacy was showing little progress.
The killing on Friday of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, comes in a very different context.
Iran is again producing a large amount of uranium, but it is not close to the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon. Its actions are largely driven by the Trump administration’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which was intended to put a lid on Iran’s ability to amass enough highly enriched uranium for a single weapon until January 2031.
Iran has said repeatedly that it will go back into full compliance with the nuclear agreement if the Biden administration agrees to do the same, and lifts the onerous sanctions piled on by President Trump.
So why kill Mr. Fakhrizadeh now?
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, with the support of President Trump, seems intent on scorching the earth to make it harder for any return to diplomacy under President-elect Joe Biden.
Israel and the Trump administration apparently fear that a Biden administration would seek a quick return to the nuclear agreement, which could revive Iran’s struggling economy and make it harder to contain its influence in the Middle East. Killing Mr. Fakhrizadeh makes that all the more difficult.
The Israeli government, as is its wont, has not taken responsibility for the assassination, but numerous published reports — and the audacious manner in which Mr. Fakhrizadeh was killed — strongly point toward agents of the Mossad. For its part, the Trump administration may or may not have known about the plot in advance, but Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, was recently in Israel, and the administration has not condemned the killing so far.
The killing of Mr. Fakhrizadeh, the reputed mastermind of Iran’s past weaponization efforts, will not dent Iran’s nuclear expertise, which is considerable. According to American intelligence, Iran did have a program aimed at producing nuclear warheads that ended 17 years ago, after it was detected by the C.I.A. and revealed by an Iranian opposition group.
The latest killing may not provoke Iran to build nuclear weapons, but it will likely feed the animosity between the United States and Iran, making diplomacy that much harder. It could strengthen hard-line factions in Iran arguing against a return to diplomacy — factions seeking to complete their control of Iranian politics in presidential elections scheduled for June.
Iran’s leadership reacted angrily but cautiously to the assassination. President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran will respond in a manner and at a time of its own choosing. He blamed Israel, adding, “This brutal assassination shows that our enemies are passing through anxious weeks, weeks that they feel their pressure era is coming to an end and the global conditions are changing.”
That statement suggests that Iran will seek revenge against Israel in some other form. Iran may increase its support for Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. It will ensure that Israel remains “the lesser Satan” in Iranian propaganda for the foreseeable future, and Israeli soft targets — such as tourists and students — could be at risk, along with Israeli officials overseas. Americans, too, may be vulnerable for their association with Israel — on top of the Trump administration’s assassination of the Iranian senior general Qassim Suleimani in January.
With temperatures running so high, the incoming Biden administration now faces a serious challenge. Mr. Biden has vowed to return to negotiations with Iran, but he and his team cannot do much more than message through the media to Iran to stay patient until the inauguration on Jan. 20 — and to the Israelis to stop their campaign of sabotage.
Meanwhile, European countries that have diplomatic relations with Iran and are still parties to the nuclear agreement can help bridge the gap until the Biden inauguration. Britain, France and Germany should seek a swift convening of the commission that monitors implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement. Their foreign ministers should act even sooner and issue a statement condemning the assassination as illegal under international law and damaging to the cause of nonproliferation. A spokesperson for the European Union’s high representative for foreign and security policy has already described the killing as a “criminal act.”
For a variety of reasons, Iran’s nuclear program has been slow moving. It began in the 1950s with the gift of knowledge from the Eisenhower administration under the “Atoms for Peace” initiative. The Johnson administration gave Iran its first small nuclear research reactor a decade later.
In the more than 60 years since Iran’s nuclear efforts began, Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea have all developed bombs. Iran has not. It still has only one functioning nuclear power plant.
It would be the ultimate tragedy if Israel’s aggression now led Iran to change its calculus and go for weapons. This could spark a nuclear arms race throughout the region and ensure that the Middle East remains dysfunctional, riven by sectarian and other conflicts, its peoples’ potential for productive work stymied and its youth vulnerable to recruitment by terrorists who have struck innocent people around the world."
Opinion | Why Was Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist Killed?
"Supreme Court Takes Up Trump Plan to Exclude Unauthorized Immigrants in Redistricting
The administration’s efforts, which are subject to practical hurdles, would upset a constitutional consensus and could shift political power from Democratic states to Republican ones.
By Adam LiptakNov. 30, 2020Updated 10:05 a.m. ET
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will hear arguments on Monday on President Trump’s efforts, in the final days of his presidency, to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the calculations used to allocate seats in the House.
If the court rules for the administration, it would upend the agreement that the census must count all residents, whatever their immigration status, and could shift political power from Democratic states to Republican ones.
But the case is riddled with practical complications. Census Bureau officials have said they cannot produce the required data until after Mr. Trump leaves office in January. Even if they do, it is not clear that congressional officials would accept what they may view as flawed calculations, and President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. may try to reverse course once he takes office, prompting further litigation.
The core question in the case — who counts for purposes of congressional reapportionment — is fundamental and largely untested.
The Constitution requires congressional districts to be apportioned “counting the whole number of persons in each state,” using information from the census. To that end, a federal law requires the president to send Congress a statement setting out the number of representatives to which each state is entitled after each decennial census. In the past, those statements have been based on a count of all residents.
In July, Mr. Trump issued a memorandum taking a new approach. “For the purpose of the reapportionment of representatives following the 2020 census,” the memo said, “it is the policy of the United States to exclude from the apportionment base aliens who are not in a lawful immigration status.”
“Current estimates suggest that one state is home to more than 2.2 million illegal aliens, constituting more than 6 percent of the state’s entire population,” the memo said, apparently referring to California. “Including these illegal aliens in the population of the state for the purpose of apportionment could result in the allocation of two or three more congressional seats than would otherwise be allocated.”
Removing undocumented immigrants from the count would most likely have the effect of shifting seats to states that are older, whiter and typically more Republican.
Mr. Trump ordered Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, to provide him with two sets of numbers, one including unauthorized immigrants and the other not. It was not clear how Mr. Ross would derive the second set of numbers, as last year the Supreme Court rejected his efforts to add a question on citizenship to the census.
The case before the court, Trump v. New York, No. 20-366, was brought by two sets of plaintiffs, one a group of state and local governments and the United States Conference of Mayors, and the second a coalition of advocacy groups and other nongovernmental organizations.
A three-judge panel of the Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that the new policy violated federal law. Two other courts have issued similar rulings, while one said the dispute was not ripe for consideration.
In an unsigned opinion in the case from Manhattan, the panel said the question before it was “not particularly close or complicated.”
“The secretary is required to report a single set of figures to the president — namely, ‘the tabulation of total population by states’ under the ‘decennial census’ — and the president is then required to use those same figures to determine apportionment using the method of equal proportions,” the panel wrote, quoting the relevant statutes.
Much of the panel’s opinion concerned whether the plaintiffs had suffered the sort of injury that gave them standing to sue. It concluded that the new policy made it less likely that undocumented immigrants and others would participate in the census, harming its accuracy.
But the counting is over, and that theory of standing is now open to question. In the Supreme Court, the plaintiffs argued that they also had standing because they would be hurt by the revised apportionment. Jeffrey B. Wall, the acting solicitor general, responded that this second theory was speculative and premature, as Mr. Trump has not acted.
On the core question in the case, the administration told the justices that the term “persons in each state” can be understood to require “a sovereign’s permission to remain within the jurisdiction.”
In response, Barbara D. Underwood, New York’s solicitor general, representing state and local governments, said the administration was asking the court to endorse a stunning departure from the nation’s traditions. “Since the founding,” she wrote, “the population base used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives has never excluded any resident based on immigration status.”
In a separate response, groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union said the administration’s new policy violated the federal statute and the Constitution.
“The president does not have ‘discretion’ to pencil out persons included in the actual enumeration to create a separate apportionment base of his own liking,” the brief said."
Supreme Court Takes Up Trump Plan to Exclude Unauthorized Immigrants in Redistricting
Sunday, November 29, 2020
"President Donald Trump is threatening to veto the annual defense spending bill, which would change the names of U.S. military bases that honor Confederate military leaders. For someone who came into office on a wave of racism and who in one of his first official acts made racism an official policy of the U.S. government, it only makes sense that one of Trump's last would be just as deeply racist.
The president has skillfully stoked the racism inherent in his base.
The president has skillfully stoked the racism inherent in his base. He has consistently helped translate this into official actions since his first days in office, starting with the so-called Muslim ban, in a trend that continues to place white people's grievances over national security.
Back in December 2015, Trump declared that if elected, he would call "for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on." One week after Trump took office, he signed Executive Order 13769, implementing the "Muslim ban" that he'd promised, which among other provisions barred people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for three months.
The hastily written order was attacked, correctly, as being racially motivated, which appeared to be backed up by Trump's own statements. A new, expanded order in March 2017 was meant to act as a fig leaf, showing that the restrictions were about more than just religion. The Supreme Court eventually upheld the third version of the order, which remains in effect today.
The court's imprimatur doesn't change the thinking behind the original ban. The logic that gave birth to the order is the same as the logic that had Trump screaming about the threat of migrant caravans ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, and it's the same as the logic behind Trump's current veto threat.
There are serious national security considerations — and a lot of money — on the line for what's essentially a bid to keep racists happy.
He knows who his base is and what they care about. In 2017, Trump nursed his supporters' fears about Muslim terrorists lurking among refugees. In 2018, he warned them about the invasion of immigrants from Latin America. In his waning days in office, he's going all in on protecting "Southern heritage" from liberals and minorities. In all of these cases, Trump has positioned himself as the champion of a white America under siege.
Currently at stake is the National Defense Authorization Act, the biggest and normally one of the most bipartisan annual spending bills to pass in Congress. This year's is likely to dole out about $740.5 billion in defense spending over the current fiscal year to fund the country's major defense priorities. It will also include, according to NBC News, "a pay raise for troops and funding for female-specific uniforms and body armor, which doesn't yet exist."
Versions of the measure that passed both houses of Congress included amendments to redesignate "any Department of Defense property currently named after a person who served in the political or military leadership of any armed rebellion against the United States" (which is a formal way of referring to the Confederacy and its leadership), according to the House's version.
The Army bases in question are strewn throughout the American South and were named, in part, to help win support for the new installations in former Confederate territory. "It should be noted that the naming occurred in the spirit of reconciliation, not division," Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost said in 2015 when pushing back against a name change at Fort Rucker, an Alabama site named for Confederate officer Edmund Rucker.
The Pentagon's hesitance transformed into acceptance over the summer, with Mark Esper, then the defense secretary, agreeing that the bases' names needed changing. Trump very much disagreed, having latched onto the fight over Confederate monuments and flying a Confederate battle flag as an easy way to earn points with his core voting bloc.
In June, Trump summed up his stance when he tweeted out his undying support for brave Confederate soldiers like Gen. Braxton Bragg, considered by historians to have been one of the most incompetent Southern generals, and Gen. Henry Benning, who argued that abolition of slavery would lead to the destruction of the white race, declaring, "Give me pestilence and famine sooner than that."
The House and the Senate have already set up the conference committee needed to iron out the differences between their versions of the bill. But House Armed Services Committee ranking member Mac Thornberry of Texas told Defense News that he's concerned that the veto threat will push the bill's passage into next year.
"I worry that people will say, 'Oh, we can just do it later' — flippant — 'because it's just too politically volatile right now' because of all the good in the bill and nearly insurmountable obstacles to resurrecting it," Thornberry said.
There are serious national security considerations — and a lot of money — on the line for what's essentially a bid to keep racists happy. It's worth wondering how much of this pettiness is based on Trump's own racist beliefs. How much of it is his angling for a 2024 presidential bid and wanting to ensure he doesn't alienate his base in the meantime? That's unclear, but the effect is the same either way: On his way out the door, Trump remains committed to tying his own legacy to that of the Confederacy, keeping the racist through line that's been present his entire time in office."
Trump crams one last racist policy into his final days as president
"The Democrats are a big-tent party. The GOP isn’t. That explains everything.
By E.J. Dionne Jr. washingtonpost.com
Democrats can drive you crazy. Joe Biden won the presidency by a decisive majority, ousting a dangerous incumbent loathed across his party. In the streets of Democratic cities, there was jubilation. Yet just two days after the election, House Democrats fell into angry recriminations. Moderates blamed lefties for ideas and slogans that Republicans deployed against them. “We need to not ever use the word ‘socialist’ or ‘socialism’ ever again,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.) told her colleagues during an angry conference call. “We lost good members because of that.” Lefties, meanwhile, criticized moderates for running bad campaigns and failing to appreciate the energy the left generates. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told the New York Times that “not a single one of these [moderate] campaigns were firing on all cylinders.”
Compare that with the Republican Party, which was almost entirely complicit with President Trump's insane and democracy-wrecking claim that he won the election.
After a masterful presidential campaign that brought together every wing of Biden's party, our politics seemed to snap back instantly to old habits and an old rule: Republicans fight Democrats while Democrats battle each other. These contrasting behaviors reflect a simple fact: Democrats are a big-tent party, while Republicans are a closed circle. For more than a half-century, Republicans have purged dissenters and turned themselves into a rigid, radical, unified bloc — ideologically, racially, religiously. As the Republicans cast off free-thinkers, Democrats took them in.
This makes Democrats the larger party with better long-term prospects. But it also means that Biden's party is at risk of either pushing away the middle-of-the-road voters it needs to hold its majority or disillusioning the progressives who often power its apparatus, especially in urban centers. And Democrats must also struggle in a political system that — especially through the Senate and the electoral college — artificially tilts the playing field toward the GOP. Although Democrats ruefully invoke the old Will Rogers joke ("I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat"), their struggles are not a product of some psychological peculiarity. History has made them what they are, and they have to learn to live with it if they want to win and govern.
Barry Goldwater, who captured the GOP presidential nomination in 1964, led a movement that helped homogenize the Republican Party.
Barry Goldwater, who captured the GOP presidential nomination in 1964, led a movement that helped homogenize the Republican Party.
The conundrum goes back to the 1960s, and not just the '60s of the counterculture, civil rights and antiwar protests. The movements for Black, women's and LGBTQ rights had a decisive impact on our country socially, and they continue to play an important role in the Democratic Party. But there was another 1960s, embodied in the rise of the conservative intellectual movement, Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign, the backlash against civil rights and a New Right. The revolt on the right had a decisive impact on our party system.
The long-term effect of Goldwater's takeover of the GOP was a series of purges. They started with the liberals (senators such as Jacob Javits, Clifford Case and Tom Kuchel). The party then drove out moderates and eventually moved to cast away even genuine conservatives (Sen. Bob Bennett and then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor among them) whom activists charged with the unforgivable sin of squishiness. As Republicans became ideologically pure, they also became racially and religiously homogeneous.
This churn had overlapping effects. Many voters who would once have been moderate Republicans have been moving steadily Democratic since the 1990s — culminating, for example, in Biden's sweep of suburbs outside places like Philadelphia and Boston, which were once moderate Republican heartlands, and even in the more conservative-leaning suburbs around Atlanta and Phoenix.
After the passage of the Civil Rights Act (which Lyndon Johnson pushed through and Goldwater opposed), African Americans, who had been shifting toward the Democrats since the New Deal, consolidated as the party's most reliable constituency. The counter movement of conservative Southern Democrats toward the Republicans, in turn, strengthened the GOP's right wing. And Trump's success in winning over Whites without college degrees in 2016 sharpened the Democrats' internal debates over the relative priority of mobilizing base voters or persuading defectors. Biden did enough of both to win significant popular-vote and Electoral College majorities, but the margins in swing states were close, and Trump's 2020 mobilization of his own voters tipped more than a half-dozen House races in red territory his party's way.
Far from stopping the rightward radicalization of the GOP, what happened this year may only reinforce the trend. This means many debates that once took place between the parties — about, say, the appropriate size of the welfare state, the proper role of economic regulation or the right way to protect the environment — are being held almost entirely within the Democratic Party.
Imagine that the United States had a multiparty system with proportional representation, as many European democracies do. A government led by Democrats would amount to a coalition involving a left party, a broad center-left party with roots in a once-thriving labor movement, a socially liberal middle-class party, a Green party and perhaps a civil rights party. Coalitions of this sort are not unknown — progressive parties in Scandinavia, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal have governed successfully with such alliances — but holding all the pieces together requires the patience of Job and the canniness of Machiavelli.
Although a proportional system might fracture the right to some degree — one could imagine the formation of separate pro-business, socially conservative and right-wing nationalist parties — the Republicans are, basically, one big conservative party. Its constituencies give each other what they need. Economic conservatives live with appeals to religious conservatives, nationalists and even the fringe right in exchange for tax cuts and deregulation. All sides want conservative judges to foil possible future progressive advances. With the moderates in their ranks purged, they are united in fearing the liberal (or "socialist") enemy far more than they worry about each other. This approach was not enough to re-elect Trump, but it allowed the GOP to hold its own in Senate races and (often gerrymandered) House districts.
The 2020 election perfectly captured the distinction between Democratic diversity and Republican homogeneity. Biden's coalition was a little bit of everybody — self-described liberals (they constituted 42 percent of his voters), moderates (48 percent) and conservatives (10 percent), according to the network exit poll conducted by Edison Research. In other words, contrary to Trump's claim that Biden is a tool for raging leftists, a majority of his electorate was non-liberal. By contrast, Trump voters were 68 percent conservative, 27 percent moderate and 5 percent liberal.
Racially, 53 percent of Biden's voters were White, but 82 percent of Trump's were; 21 percent of Biden's were Black, but only 3 percent of Trump's were. And for all the focus on Trump's gains among Latinos in South Florida and South Texas, the Hispanic vote is still crucial for Democrats: 16 percent of Biden's voters were Latino, compared with 9 percent of Trump's. The contrast is especially striking when race and religion are looked at in tandem: 67 percent of Trump's voters were White Christians; only 30 percent of Biden's were.
In the short term, Democrats clearly have a coalition-management challenge: Big-tent politics requires a lot of work and leads to inevitable bickering. But over the long run, Republicans are confronting decline, not only because the Democrats' diversity better reflects the country, both now and in the future, but also because the GOP's coalition is aging. Among Trump's voters, 65 percent were 45 or older; only 56 percent of Biden's were — and Biden captured voters under 30 by a better than 3-to-2 margin. In fact, the only thing that has saved Republicans in presidential elections over the past three decades is an electoral college that privileges White and conservative voters. The GOP has won the popular vote in only one of the past eight elections. Republicans took heart in their gains among Latinos, but the Hispanic vote was nonetheless key to Biden's success in Arizona and Nevada — and to the Democrats' ongoing advantage in California, New Mexico and elsewhere.
The Democratic Party is a coalition of many different elements; the GOP is much more unified.
The Democratic Party is a coalition of many different elements; the GOP is much more unified.
Still, 2020 did not bring about the larger-scale realignment that the Democrats hoped for (and that was mistakenly forecast by many polls). To nurture that possibility, Biden and the Democrats must find their inner Job, with a little help from Machiavelli.
For starters, each camp within the party can acknowledge the truth of what their internal rivals say. The left is right that it provides a lot of energy, especially among young voters and in the urban areas that turned out big for Biden. But the moderates are right that, to win power, the party needs middle-of-the-road voters, particularly from swing districts. This may produce more cautious officeholders, but they are essential to building a congressional majority.
Progressives are right that the quest for racial justice should not be compromised — and is, in fact, an electoral asset. (After all, 85 percent of Biden voters told the exit pollsters that the criminal justice system treats Blacks unfairly.) But moderates are right that slogans like "Defund the police" can bring down moderate lawmakers, such as Staten Island's defeated Rep. Max Rose. Here's a rule for the future: Any slogan that requires five minutes to explain what it really means is not a good slogan.
And while the word "socialist" appeals to younger progressives who associate it with the social and economic successes of Sweden, Norway or Denmark, it carries a lot of baggage for older voters who remember the Soviet Union, and for those whose families fled repressive Communist regimes, including Cuban- and Vietnamese-Americans.
The Democratic coalition can hang together only if its members accept this ground-level truth: that for all their quarrels, they want to move the country in the same direction (as I argued earlier this year in my book "Code Red"), and they want to defeat the radicalized GOP. Biden convinced both sides that they wanted the same thing by crafting a platform that appealed to moderates and the left alike: decent, affordable health insurance for every American (79 percent of his voters supported the Affordable Care Act); ambitious programs to combat climate change (which 90 percent of Biden voters saw as a serious problem); and a promise to dial back economic inequality through large investments in infrastructure, child care and education.
Oh yes, and they all support big steps to contain the pandemic (a priority for 80 percent of his voters) and to get the economy moving. They'll be judged collectively on whether they succeed at these core missions.
Georgia’s impending Senate runoffs will provide the ultimate test of strength between the mobilizing power of the Democrats’ big tent and the solidarity of the Republicans’ closed circle. The politics of diversity and a whole lot of voter registration helped Democrats convert Georgia from a Republican bastion into a battleground. So did Biden’s carefully calibrated appeal to all wings of the party’s coalition. Control of the Senate and Biden’s ability to enact his larger program depend on his party’s ability to hang together and make Will Rogers’s quip a quaintly amusing piece of history."
Why Democrats are always in disarray - The Washington Post
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Asian Americans helped Biden win Georgia. Can they do the same for Warnock and Ossoff? - The Washington Post
"When Long Tran, a liberal organizer of Vietnamese descent, hosted a meet-and-greet for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff in early 2017, he was hoping in part to engage more Asian Americans like himself in politics.Asian Americans helped Biden win Georgia. Can they do the same for Warnock and Ossoff? - The Washington Post