Congressman Tom Reed, A Brick, And A Flag: Why Won't Reed Denounce Donald Trump's Stochiastic Terrorism?

Submitted by Robin Messing on Fri, 10/30/2020 - 1:35pm

Congressman Tom Reed posted the following statement on his official government Facebook page on October 23.

 

STATEMENT: Today, my family and I were threatened at our home in Corning.


The cowards used a dead animal and a brick with a family member’s name on it to try to intimidate us. We assure everyone such threats only energize us to stand stronger.


We thank the local police and federal authorities, who are already investigating this disgusting attack against my family. 


Across the country, politics has taken a disturbing turn. 


We have to overcome this. I know that we can. We are all Americans first. What unites us is far greater than our political differences

Congressman Tom Reed, Donald Trump, and the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Submitted by Robin Messing on Fri, 10/23/2020 - 3:48pm

Congressman Tom Reed, like nearly all Republicans, used to distrust Russia and Vladimir Putin. He slammed his opponent, John Plumb, and President Obama during the 2016 election campaign for being soft on Russia. I managed to get snapshots of five of his Facebook posts before they disappeared.

 

Tom Reed's March 20, 2016 Facebook postTom Reed's April 12 Facebook Post

Donald Trump's Attacks On Our Democracy: Pt. 5--Trump's Refusal To Commit To A Peaceful Transfer Of Power If He Loses

Submitted by Robin Messing on Wed, 10/21/2020 - 8:31pm

 

Donald Trump's Attacks On Our Democracy: Pt. 4--Donald Trump Is A Stochiastic Terrorist

Submitted by Robin Messing on Wed, 10/21/2020 - 2:11pm

 

Dictionary.com provides an unusually detailed definition and description of "stochiastic terrorism." Here is part of their article on the subject.

Stochastic terrorism is “the public demonization of a person or group resulting in the incitement of a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose specifics cannot be predicted.”

The word stochastic, in everyday language, means “random.” Terrorism, here, refers to “violence motivated by ideology.”

Here’s the idea behind stochastic terrorism:

  1. A leader or organization uses rhetoric in the mass media against a group of people.
  2. This rhetoric, while hostile or hateful, doesn’t explicitly tell someone to carry out an act of violence against that group, but a person, feeling threatened, is motivated to do so as a result.
  3. That individual act of political violence can’t be predicted as such, but that violence will happen is much more probable thanks to the rhetoric.
  4. This rhetoric is thus called stochastic terrorism because of the way it incites random violence.

Donald Trump's Attacks On Our Democracy: Pt. 1--Trump And Bill Barr's Department of Injustice

Submitted by Robin Messing on Wed, 10/21/2020 - 2:06pm

I wrote a column two weeks before the 2016 electon entitled "Donald Trump Is An Existential Threat To American Democracy."  I not only stand by that claim; I will double down on it. We are well on our way towards autocracy. Donald Trump has launched an unrelenting assault on the institutions that support our democracy, and his fellow Republicans are either looking the other way or they are rooting for democracy's demise. Mike Lee, a Republican Senator from Utah, let the cat out of the bag. He, at least, would not mind seeing our democracy die.

 

 

The Justice Department is part of the Executive Branch of government and is under the control of the President--to an extent. The President can set broad policy for the Department and can pick, with the consent of Congress, the person he wants to lead the Department. But it was never intended for him to be able to use the Justice Department as tool to help his political allies escape punishment for their crimes or as a hammer to wield against his political adversaries. President Trump tried to use his influence via the Justice Department to try to reduce the sentencing guidelines for Roger Stone after Stone was convicted of obstruction of justice and witness tampering. This set off alarm bells, prompting Joyce White Vance, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, to write:

 

Among the Founding Fathers’ chief goals was to do away with a government where the king was above the law and had absolute power over the lives of his subjects. In our system, the President, like every other citizen, is meant to be subject to the law. The Founding Fathers were explicit about that intention when they debated the shape the new government they were creating would take. And that quintessentially American view that no man is above the law has been the case up until the presidency of Donald Trump.

This Election, Our Democracy Is On The Line

Submitted by Robin Messing on Wed, 10/21/2020 - 2:00pm

I wrote a column two weeks before the 2016 electon entitled "Donald Trump Is An Existential Threat To American Democracy."  I not only stand by that claim; I will double down on it. We are well on our way towards autocracy. Donald Trump has launched an unrelenting assault on the institutions that support our democracy, and his fellow Republicans are either looking the other way or they are rooting for democracy's demise. Mike Lee, a Republican Senator from Utah, let the cat out of the bag. He, at least, would not mind seeing our democracy die.

 

 

 

Donald Trump has launched an assault on our democracy on multiple fronts.

  1. He has politicized the Justice Department to help his friends and attack his enemies.
  2. He has attacked our courts and judicial system.
  3. He has attacked the free press and made it more dangerous for reporters to cover him.
  4. He is a stochiastic terrorist who has endangered the life of Michigan's Governor, Gretchen Whitmer, and others
  5. He has refused to commit himself to the peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election

 

 

Donald Trump's Attacks On Our Democracy: Pt. 3-- Trump's Attacks On The Free Press

Submitted by Robin Messing on Wed, 10/14/2020 - 5:31pm

 

 

The Importance of a Free Press

 

A free and vigorous press is essential to good government and the functioning of our democracy. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."  George Mason wrote in Virginia's 1776 Declaration of Rights that, “the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments." And in an April 1961 speech John F. Kennedy said

 

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. . . .  that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution . . .to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

Supreme Court Packing--Or Let's Make A Deal

Submitted by Robin Messing on Sun, 10/11/2020 - 4:59pm

The Republicans are hammering Joe Biden hard on his refusal to state whether he will increase the number of Justices on the Supreme Court. The Constitution says nothing about how many Justices should be on the Court, and the number has been as few as 6 and as many as 10 in the past. However, the number of Justices has stood at 9 since 1869. Democrats have threatened to increase that number should Biden become President and they take the Senate in order to compensate for the GOP's bad faith refusal to even give Merrick Garland a hearing when Obama nominated him more than 8 months before the 2016 election while rushing to confirm Amy Coney Barrett's nomination even though it was made less than 2 months before the current election. Biden's refusal to say whether he will, in the GOP's phrasing, "pack the court", is likely to cost him a fair number of votes. At least, that's what the Republicans are counting on.

 

 

Reframing The Debate

 

I suggest we reframe the debate and make an offer that will force the Republicans to play defense on this issue.  First, let's remind the Republicans that they ruthlessly blocked over a hundred judicial nominations during the last TWO YEARS of the Obama Administration, leaving the seats open to be filled by a future Republican President. Watch Mitch McConnell laugh at how he threw a monkey wrench into the judicial nomination process. It is a laugh worthy of a James Bond villain.

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