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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rigged

Rigged

By David Swanson
Washingtonsblog.com
October 20, 2016

The 2016 Republican presidential primary was rigged.

It wasn’t rigged by the Republicans, the Democrats, Russians,
space aliens, or voters.

It was rigged by the owners of television networks who believed
that giving one candidate far more coverage than others was
good for their ratings.

The CEO of CBS Leslie Moonves said of this decision: “It may
not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

Justifying that choice based on polling gets the chronology
backwards, ignores Moonves’ actual motivation, and avoids the
problem, which is that there ought to be fair coverage for all
qualified candidates (and a democratic way to determine who
is qualified).

The 2016 Democratic presidential primary was rigged.

It wasn’t rigged by bankers, misogynists, Russians, Republicans,
or computer hackers.

It was rigged by the Democratic National Committee and its co-
conspirators in the media, many of whom have helpfully confessed
(in case it wasn’t obvious) in emails leaked from the DNC and from
John Podesta.

The DNC chose Hillary Clinton and worked hard to make sure
that she “won.”

Nobody has produced a hint of evidence as to who leaked the
emails that added unnecessary confirmation of this rigging,
but they should be thanked for informing us, whoever they are.

The FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of email was
as rigged as the non-prosecution of the CEO of Wells Fargo.

The U.S. political system is bought and paid for.

Without millions of dollars to funnel to television networks for
advertising, any candidate is rigged right out of participating.

This rigging of the system is not fixed by someone like Donald
Trump pretending for a while that he won’t take bribes, that
he’ll spend only his own money, because most people don’t
have that kind of money to spend.

This rigging is not fixed by making someone like Hillary Clinton
take her bribes through her family foundation or requiring that her
political action committees remain theoretically separate from the
campaign they are collaborating hand-in-glove with, because money
buys power.

The debates are rigged by a private entity with no official status
that calls itself the Commission on Presidential Debates and
transforms open debates among multiple candidates into
exclusively bipartisan joint appearances with many large and
fine points negotiated beforehand.

Actual governance of the United States is rigged.

Congress plans to attempt to ram through a number of intensely
unpopular measures just after the election, including a
supplemental spending bill for more wars and including the
Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The hope is that most people will have tuned out after the
election circus, and that most of them will forget what
happened 2 or 4 years later.

The demonization of Vladimir Putin is rigged.

Nobody has seen evidence that he or his government did us
the favor of informing us of the DNC’s corruption.

He proposed a ban on cyber “war” that was rejected by the
United States, for goodness sake.

There’s no evidence that Russia shot down an airplane in Ukraine or
invaded Ukraine or seized Crimea or plotted attacks on the United
States.

The United States pulled out of the ABM treaty, expanded NATO to
Russia’s border, built missile bases, arranged military “exercises,”
facilitated a Ukrainian coup, and pushed a string of hostile lies.

Russia has shown even more restraint than your typical U.S. voter
(who usually sits home and does not vote, especially in primaries).

Military spending is rigged.

Nobody knows it amounts to over half of U.S. discretionary
spending.

Nobody knows it’s as much in the U.S. as in the rest of the world
(allies and otherwise) combined.

Nobody pays attention to the bribes from war profiteers, or to the
threats held over Congress members to pull weapons jobs out of
districts or states.

Supporters of both big candidates claim their candidate plans to
cut military spending.

Both candidates have said the exact opposite.

The debates and interviews steer clear of the whole topic.

The shapes of the districts are blatantly rigged by gerrymandering.

The existence of the Senate, in which Rhode Island and Wyoming
each have as much say as California is rigged against the popular
will.

The electoral college is rigged against the popular will and in favor
of concentrating national campaigns in a handful of “swing states.”

Voter registration is rigged.

A handful of states have now made it automatic, as most states
have long-since done for military draft registration.

In the rest of the country, thousands of young people run around
registering voters, imagining they are engaged in “activism.”

Meanwhile, the right to vote can be denied to anyone by claiming
they aren’t registered.

People’s names are stripped from voting rolls through a so-called
justice system that brands them as felons, and through the careful
rigging of those rolls by corrupt and partisan state governments
that intentionally strip out people likely to vote for a particular
party.

This includes racial profiling.

Bob Fitrakis, Harvey Wasserman, Greg Palast and others have
reported extensively on these practices.

Election day is rigged as well.

It’s not a holiday. Most people have to work.

Poor districts and racial minority districts tend to have fewer
machines and longer lines.

ID requirements are used to deny people the right to vote.

Intimidation and racial profiling by partisan activists serve
the same function of rigging the election.

The myths and lies about the virtually nonexistent phenomenon
of “voter fraud” also serve to rig the election.

The election machines are also rigged.

That is to say: instead of verifiable paper ballots publicly hand-
counted in front of observers from all interested parties in each
polling place, we have a faith-based system of voting on black-box
machines that can never, even in theory, be checked for accuracy.

These machines have been very easily hacked in demonstrations.

These machines have visibly flipped votes before the eyes (and
cameras) of countless voters.

These machines have almost certainly played a key role in flipping
the results of numerous elections.

Now, the wider the margin of victory, the less likely an electronic
flipping. And the fact that machines can easily be used to steal an
election does not mean that they always will be.

But it was very odd during the late summer of 2016 to watch the
U.S. media announce that these machines were totally unreliable
just what many of us had been saying for years.

But the media said this in order to accuse Russia of planning to
sabotage the coming U.S. election, or in order to accuse Russia
of exactly what these media reports themselves did: plant seeds
of doubt in U.S. minds.

Those doubts should be there. People should watch for visible
problems with machines and with partisan and racist intimidators,
and report all such to 1-866-OUR-VOTE, to county clerks, to
secretaries of state, and to corporate and independent media.

Then we should work for necessary reforms, including a respectful
cessation of the U.S. government’s routine practice of interfering in
elections and overthrowing governments in other people’s countries
— a practice that has clearly resulted in the U.S. media projecting
such behavior on others.

Ultimately, an unrigging of the U.S. system might take the form
of amending the U.S. Constitution to slip in words like these:

The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are
the rights of natural persons only.

Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies,
and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United
States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this
Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through
Federal, State, or local law. The privileges of artificial entities shall
be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence
elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

All elections for President and members of the United States House
of Representatives and the United States Senate shall be entirely
publicly financed.

No political contributions shall be permitted to any federal
candidate, from any other source, including the candidate.

No political expenditures shall be permitted in support of any
federal candidate, or in opposition to any federal candidate,
from any other source, including the candidate.

The Congress shall, by statute, provide limitations on the amounts
and timing of the expenditures of such public funds and provide
criminal penalties for any violation of this section.

State and local governments shall regulate, limit, or prohibit
contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own
contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in
any way the election of any candidate for state or local public
office or any state or local ballot measure.

The right of the individual U.S. citizen to vote and to directly elect
all candidates by popular vote in all pertinent local, state, and
federal elections shall not be violated.

Citizens will be automatically registered to vote upon reaching the
age of 18 or upon becoming citizens at an age above 18, and the
right to vote shall not be taken away from them. Votes shall be
recorded on paper ballots, which shall be publicly counted at the
polling place.

Election Day shall be a National Holiday.

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed
to abridge the freedom of the press.

During a designated campaign period of no longer than six months,
free air time shall be provided in equal measure to all candidates
for federal office on national, state, or district television and radio
stations, provided that each candidate has, during the previous
year, received the supporting signatures of at least five percent of
their potential voting-age constituents.

The same supporting signatures shall also place the candidate’s
name on the ballot and require their invitation to participate in
any public debate among the candidates for the same office.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2016/10/rigged.html

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