Newsletter - Beyond Russia: The Work Ahead

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Above Trump protesters marching toward Trump Tower in New York City on November 8, 2016, by Dustin Kirkpatrick.

As the day that the Electoral College casts its vote for President draws near, so does the frenzy of accusations that Russians hacked the election to benefit Donald Trump and are spreading ‘fake news’ full of Russian propaganda. It seems like everyone is jumping on the anti-Russia bandwagon, including past Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and most of the organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party. Many are calling for the Electors to switch their votes to Hillary Clinton.

Russian spying image from the Intercept

Russian spying image from the Intercept

The absurdity of the 2016 Presidential election doesn’t seem to have an end. We urge readers not to get drawn into the manufactured distractions of the day. We have real work to do, no matter who is elected, to organize across multiple fronts of struggle.

Let’s Be Clear: There is Not Enough Evidence

With the CIA, FBI, New York Times, President Obama and members of Congress stirring up fears of Russian hacking to influence the Presidential election, we want to make one thing clear: There is insufficient evidence to support the allegations of Russian hacking. Our trusted allies at the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity state:

The various ways in which usually anonymous spokespeople for U.S. intelligence agencies are equivocating – saying things like ‘our best guess’ or ‘our opinion’ or ‘our estimate’ etc. – shows that the emails alleged to have been ‘hacked’ cannot be traced across the network. Given NSA’s extensive trace capability, we conclude that DNC and HRC servers alleged to have been hacked were, in fact, not hacked.”

Whistleblower protest in Harrisburg, PA July 2013

Whistleblower protest in Harrisburg, PA July 2013

Sam Biddle in the Intercept describes what we know about the evidence that Russia did it. After reviewing all the evidence he concludes the public evidence is insufficient: “The U.S. intelligence community must make its evidence against Russia public if they want us to believe their claims. The integrity of our presidential elections is vital to the country’s survival; blind trust in the CIA is not.” He concludes: “The stakes are simply too high to take anyone’s word for it.”

In fact, an entirely different story than the corporate media narrative comes from former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, an ally of Wikileaks, who describes how the DNC and Clinton emails were leaked by a whistleblower  upset about the unfair Democratic Party primary. He describes how he was given the information in a park in Washington, DC by someone working with that whistleblower. Julian Assange has also said that the documents did not come from Russia or any other government.

Rather than face up to the corruption and the reasons why Clinton lost, largely due to the failures of the Democratic Party to represent the needs or interests of its voters and Clinton’s ties to Wall Street, war and Walmart, the Democrats are creating a scapegoat and placing the blame on Russia.

Hillary Clinton and Putin meet outside of Moscow on March 19, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky

Hillary Clinton and Putin meet outside of Moscow on March 19, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Pool/Alexei Nikolsky

This is a dangerous game to play. The United States has been stoking conflict with Russia for years in order to maintain global hegemony. While war with Russia may serve the interests of the military-industrial complex and its investors, the impacts will mostly be felt by the military members who are placed in harm’s way, their families, the civilians who are displaced, injured or killed, those in need of safety net programs that are cut, the planet… and we must remember that the US and Russia have most of the nuclear weapons in the world. When people propagate unsubstantiated claims about Russia, they are feeding the lies and hysteria that comprise drum beats to war. The US has been developing tactical nuclear weapons that can be used in battle; nuclear weapons are a real threat.

propaganda the media controls mindsNauman Sadiq writes that the actual ‘fake news’ comes from the mainstream media: “Monopoly capitalism and the global neocolonial political and economic order are the real issues, while Islamic radicalism and terrorism are the secondary issues which are itself an adverse reaction to the former. This is how the mainstream media constructs artificial narratives and dupes its audience into believing the absurd….” When we take a step back to look at the situation, it is hypocritical of the United States to point fingers at other countries. The US has been a world leader in regime change for centuries. Robert Parry explains the hypocrisy of the situation on many levels.

The Work Ahead

Democracy I want real democracy not two Wall St partiesNo matter who is elected, we must remember that it is the system that is the problem. The current mirage democracy only allows candidates approved by the political elites, with rare exceptions, to make it into the debates and onto the ballot. The current political system at all levels works for the wealthy at the expense of the many. The reality of US oligarchy is more obvious with Trump as his cabinet has more wealth than one-third US households combined.

Our work continues as it has before to educate, organize and mobilize to prevent harmful policies and put in place new systems that address the crises we face. To that end, there is a lot of work being done right now to prepare for harmful policies that are anticipated in the new year.

Muslim activists and allies are pressuring President Obama to get rid of a program, the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), that was used to target Muslims and Arabs after 9/11. They are concerned that it will be used by President-Elect Trump to create a discriminatory Muslim database. Jewish activists protested a Hanukkah party held at the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC over concerns that major Jewish organizations are trying to build favor with an administration that will maintain the culture of white supremacy and bigotry.

Immigrant rights are human rightsImmigrant-rights activists are organizing in their communities to resist raids, threats of deportation and a growing culture of fear that will empower employers to further exploit workers. They are pressuring local law enforcement and schools to refuse to cooperate with ICE even if it means that their cities lose some federal funding. The Alliance for Global Justice is planning a trip to Mexico in March to investigate the impacts of the militarized border and drug war.

Women are planning a march in Washington, DC the day after the Inauguration to say, “We will not rest until women have parity and equity at all levels of leadership in society.” The march has been somewhat controversial in the way that it was being organized and its focus on permits. Local DC organizer, Cayce D. Utley, describes some of the concerns and provides organizing resources in “A Note to My Fellow White Women…“.

haul-no-fb-headerIndigenous rights will be under further assault by the Trump administration. President-elect Trump and Texas Governor Rick Perry, the pick for Department of Energy, are both invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline project. There are reasonable concerns that they may act to allow the pipeline to be completed. Ragina Johnson describes some of the difficulties involved in doing that. She also writes about other efforts led by First Nations to fight fossil fuel infrastructure. Another campaign is focused on stopping Uranium mining near the Grand Canyon, which will mean transportation of 1.5 million tons of radioactive ore everyday through and near tribal lands for milling in White Mesa, which is close to a Ute community. You can learn more and support it at HaulNo.org.

The planet faces a greater threat under the Trump administration. Efforts to stop fossil fuel infrastructure and create clean renewable energy will need to escalate. Resistance is showing up in unusual spaces. When the Trump transition team asked for the names of employees at the Department of Energy who work on climate change, the DOE refused. Recently in San Francisco, climate scientists heeded the call of “Out of the lab and into the streets” with a large rally.

Stefan Hard for the Barre Montpelier Times-Argus

Stefan Hard for the Barre Montpelier Times-Argus

One reason that Donald Trump won the election was because voters rejected the Democratic Party for its failures to address the stagnant economy and growing wealth divide. The Affordable Care Act has left almost thirty million people still without coverage and those who have health insurance are forced to pay high premiums and high out-of-pocket costs. The so-called recovery has left workers scrambling to survive in a largely service sector economy rife with part-time hours, low pay and wage theft. While some on the Left are calling for efforts to prevent Trump from entering the White House, we know that a President Clinton would continue the neo-liberal and militaristic policies of the Obama administration. Here is a new guide from former Congressional staffers on tactics for opposing the White House’s agenda.  It’s up to us to demand the changes we require.

Putting Forth a Positive Agenda

People-before-profits1-e1388526460622While the work to stop harmful policies is critical, we must also organize around a positive agenda that promotes the transformational changes we require. This is why Popular Resistance is promoting the People’s Agenda, developed over years of resistance movements. We will launch the first tool in this campaign on December 20 – look for an email from us on that day. We are also holding regular national conference calls. Learn more about those here.

The Trump administration is planning to repeal the Affordable Care Act immediately with a three-year period to come up with an alternative. Tom Price, the choice for the Department of Health and Human Services, is a proponent of privatizing the healthcare system further and dismantling public insurances, like Medicare and Medicaid. An important task for the movement will be to make the demand for the best solution, a single payer healthcare system, the only politically-feasible answer.

Healthcare is a human right

Healthcare is a human right

Our healthcare system needs to be based on health care for everyone, not profits for a few, Nichoas Conley explains that an improved Medicare for All should be a bi-partisan issue because healthcare is a human right and it is the only approach that makes economic sense. Of course the only thing preventing the obvious solution is corrupt politics dominated by corporate interests including health insurance, pharmaceuticals and for-profit hospitals designed for investors.

Recently, Congress and the White House passed the Twenty-First Century Cures Act, which sounds great on the surface, but actually weakens the regulatory power of the Food and Drug Administration and enhances the profits of the pharmaceutical industry. A single payer health care system would allow greater control over the Big Pharma and would also take health benefits off the table for workers so they could focus more on safer working conditions and higher wages. In New York, workers are currently on strike at Momentive because of proposed cuts to healthcare coverage.

Money for peopleAnother positive solution is to push for new economic institutions that are democratized – give greater decision-making power and benefit to people. For example, a new project in Croatia is taking the concept of a credit union even further by not only being cooperatively-run non-profit but also making sure that the projects it funds have a positive social or ecological benefit and ending debt. In the US, there is a growing movement for public banks, such as the state bank in North Dakota. Public banks hold public dollars (taxes, fees, etc) and the public has input into their mission. Rather than paying millions of dollars in fees to Wall Street banks,  those dollars are kept in the public bank.

Santa Fe is close to creating the first municipal public bank in the US. Matt Stannard and Marc Armstrong explain why public banks are important and how they protect cities. For example, Santa Fe has made a commitment to being a sanctuary city for immigrants. A public bank will help to stave off the impact of lost federal funding for not cooperating with the administration.

These are some of the tasks and opportunities ahead. Overall, to achieve the changes we need, we must continue to build the culture of resistance. It is great to see more people having the courage to take action. Together, we can prevail.

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  • unger

    I fully concur with your position regarding the election that, “There is insufficient evidence to support the allegations of Russian hacking.”

    Another part of the same post condemns the deportation of illegal immigrants. Here, I believe you are making a big mistake. There are over 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, and about a million people admitted annually as legal immigrants. This is in addition to temporary workers, and additional illegals. There are two very serious problems with this open border policy.

    The presence of millions of people willing to work hard for very little pay, under onerous conditions, while very profitable for employers, is having a devastating effect on poor Americans, many of them Black. It is a major factor in the un- and under- employment of millions of Americans. The villains are not the immigrants, but rather those those exploiting them. The victims are poor Americans (many who are recent legal immigrants). There are in this world several billion people, any one of whom would be better off if they could move to the US. There are also people who specialize in helping such people cross our borders. The consequences of admitting people here at the rate of a million annually is leading us into a serious overpopulation problem, even apart from the harm being done to so many American workers.

    There is a computerized system called E-verify that is designed to indicate if an individual is legally eligible to work in this country. Applying this in a large scale manner would, in a relatively short time cause a large outflow of illegals unable to find work. Without the illegals, US employers would have to increase pay to get enough workers. This would require price increases for many products. In order to protect American businesses against unfair competition from companies in countries that grossly underpay workers, we would need to impose carefully designed tariffs on products from such countries to eliminate the advantage.

  • jemcgloin

    This is how its going to go down:
    In 2017 Donald Trump will become president and continue doing and saying crazy things. He will try to cut billionaire taxes to zero. He will talk about invading some country. Who knows what he might do or say?
    The media will be completely distracted as they follow his every tweet.
    The People, already weary from an insane election cycle and tired of hearing Trump constantly contradict himself, will turn off politics and pretend it doesn’t exist. (One commenter in the NY Times said today, she was just going to listen to old Obama speeches for the next four years.)
    While Trump is spreading chaos, fear and apathy, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell will introduce legislation that cuts capital gains to 5%, (as opposed to the Trump plan which cuts them and commercial real estate taxes to zero) and more legislation that privatizes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, National Parks and the minerals that they contain, toll roads and bridges and the income they produce, education, the rest of the military, homeland security, and NSA, etc.
    The media will say that Ryan is “the grown up in the room,” and that “entitlements” have to be “saved” because “there is no money” after the Trump tax cuts, and “government is inefficient” anyway, so leaving any function in the hands of government [i.e. democracy] is a “danger to democracy and the free market system.”
    Even so, many Republicans will refuse to vote for this, because they know it might hurt them in the next election. But, never fear, just enough Democrats will vote for it, just as they did the Bush Tax Cuts, the Iraq War, the Bailout, etc.
    They will pass this bill as Trump screams and yells about how evil it is. Then he will sign it, Trump and the Republicans having successfully negotiating with themselves, and the Democrats some how unable to stop it, even after “8 years of constant obstruction by the Republicans!” And they will not block his Supreme Court nominees either. And soon after Trump will “fix” the TPP and sign it, just like Clinton would have done.
    Some time soon they will also pop the stock market bubble, which is now growing in the classic, impossible, exponential hyper growth curve, just before all of the billionaires and hedge funds sell everything in the same week, leaving all of the pension funds and small investors holding the bag.
    Then the panicked will sell, and the mega rich get to buy at the bottom of a panicked market, while the FED takes any worthless crap they accumulated off their hands with QE 3, adding zeros to their bank accounts as “stimulus.”
    Trump and his loyal “bad apples” in law enforcement and the military will be on the look out for anyone that says something bad about Trump, and since Obama, Bush, and every other president has expanded our hyper scary surveillance state to post Orwellian proportions, it will not be difficult for them to mess with people. (An assistant DA in the Brooklyn Prosecutor’s office just got charged with tapping the phone of a colleague she was in love with, for months. If she was concerned about a “potential threat to POTUS it could have gone on for years.)
    And of course Trump has put the final nail in the coffin of the concept that words have definitions, which means laws, including the Bill of Rights, are now completely malleable. Not to mention that the Democrats made aiming propaganda at the American people legal in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
    If you haven’t read Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein recently, do so. She lays out how it will be done, in many well researched case studies, including how Bush Senior and Bill Clinton sent the Chicago School of Economics to help their buddy Yeltsin hand over all of Soviet state industry to a handful of people now known as the Russian Oligarchs, supported Yeltsin while he used tanks to shell the Russian Parliament, and how Yeltsin handed over power to his deputy, Putin, while Clinton was still president.
    They say Americans need a disaster to spur them to action. If the next few months doesn’t wake the sleeping People, all will be lost.
    I hope I am wrong about all this, but hope is a slave emotion, that paralyzes more than activates.

  • jemcgloin

    Yes the debate between the Democrats and the Republicans is fake, designed to go on forever without solving the problem. You can tell this is true because the only solution they have come up with is supply side.
    We need to shrink demand.
    The solution to illegal immigration is to prosecute CEOs for hiring illegal immigrants. (‘Illegal’ is better than the Democrat euphemism “undocumented” because that is how the system puts pressure on them, through law enforcement.) If CEOs had to risk jail time to hire undocumented workers, they would stop. The immigrants would have no work and would have to go somewhere else. This drying up of the indentured labor supply would cause a shortage in low skill labor driving up its price. Legal immigration would suddenly be expedited, which would make the borders more secure, protect immigrants from much of the abuse they endure, and make it much harder to threaten locals with losing their job to illegals.
    The Democrats and Republicans would rather argue about walls and amnesty than actually solve this problem because illegally employing undocumented workers make rich people richer, divides the workers against each other, and keep citizens cowering in their crappy jobs.

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  • Margaret Flowers

    First – we need to recognize that there is an intentional effort to distract people in the US from the real issues of economic insecurity which were created through policies that allowed fraudulent bankers to crash the economy without consequences, that allow employers to exploit workers, that did little to stop foreclosures and evictions, that make education unaffordable and put a whole generation into major debt, that created a health law that keeps health care unaffordable and lines the pockets of the medical-industrial complex, etc. Immigrants are blamed but they actually subsidize the federal budget by paying into programs that they cannot receive.
    And second – let’s go to the root of the problem and stop creating conditions that drive immigration in the first place – militarism, debt and trade agreements that crash economies.
    I know its easier to blame immigrants, but really, I hope that you recognize this is meant to divide and keep us at each other’s throats while the political elites laugh all the way to the bank.

  • Aquifer

    Sorry – when you take whacks at Jill Stein – who, frankly is the only reason i got re-involved with the GP after being quite disillusioned by it, and who, IMO has done more for the Party than anyone I can think of in quite some time – i am oughta here …

    I contributed consistently to your campaign, but not any more …

  • Margaret Flowers

    We do not view telling the truth as “taking a whack.” It would be disingenuous to call out the Democrats for blaming the Russians without including the fact that Jill Stein did the same thing. She used hacking as the basis of her arguments to the states and in the courts for the recount and applauded Obama for investigating hacking. We view this line of thinking as dangerous. We recognize that she did much for the Grern Party and worked very hard, but that does not make her immune from criticism. None of us should be immune from it.

  • Aquifer

    From what i have read, there were considerable other arguments for asking for a recount – all of which were, essentially, allegations of one sort or another … The recount effort clearly demonstrated a number of problems with the system, which demonstration hopefully will spur folks to clean up the process – paper ballots all over. Perhaps you might realize that until that process IS cleaned up, the GP will remain the most vulnerable to its depredations …. I don’t really care why she did it – it was a service well performed, and we all stand to benefit if we pursue what WAS found …

    Frankly my complaint here is that you chose to rehash a “critique” that you had already advanced in that letter .. with no apparent avenue for defense other than these little boxes – why not have an open debate, instead of sniping from the sidelines …

    As you say – none of us should be immune from critique, which is what i am doing here – including a critique of how you are handling this issue …

  • lcotler

    Very sorry to hear good people like Jill Stein are being swept up into the Dump Trump camp. There are better options.

    One of the worst, however, is to advocate for Hillary Clinton. Not because Trump would make a better President; they both are terrible prospects.

    But were Clinton installed, the People of this country would go back to sleep and the Corporatocracy would have another four years to solidify the Empire and continue to destroy democracy and the planet. With Trump, the People are at least sitting on the edge of their chairs, focused on the processes, curious to see what the Donald does, and a little more primed to act.

    This is the most to be wished for: an active, curious, somewhat engaged populace. I know this is difficult to wrap one’s head around, but the only way out of this global, planetary, unsustainable mess is for the People to awaken more and more and see the processes of power clearer and clearer.

  • DHFabian

    First, no one “hacked the elections.” As far as I can tell from the myriad of accusations, this is all about someone who — and it isn’t known who — hacked into Clinton’s unsecured (underline that word) email server. Not voting machines, but the email server. This happened back in 2010. Some sort of negative (but truthful) information about Clinton was leaked to the media/public. This was twisted into claims that Putin “hacked the election” to make Trump president because…? Where did that come from? As far as I can determine, the Clinton camp held a seance, bringing up the ghost of old Joe McCarthy to wail: “The Russians did it! The Russians did it!”

    Secondly, it’s interesting that the issue of poverty is noted here. It was Hillary Clinton who played the lead role in formulating the agenda that ended actual welfare aid, while creating a huge pool of super-cheap replacement labor. Over the 20 years since, as severe poverty has slowly grown, liberals have steadfastly called on us to Stand in Solidarity — with the middle class. The poor, and those who get why it matters, voted for Obama on the chance that he could launch a legitimate discussion about our poverty crisis. He raised the issue a few times. Liberal media continued to implicitly preach that our deregulated corporate state is so successful, everyone is able to work and there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief. They are wrong.

  • lcotler

    The key phrase here is “If the next few months doesn’t wake the sleeping People, all will be lost.”

    Were Clinton President the People would go to sleep faster and deeper.

  • lcotler

    If Stein is in any way supporting Clinton, she is not helping.

  • DHFabian

    Well, if there’s apathy, there won’t be chaos. As far as I can guess, the rich will essentially do to the middle class what the middle class already did to the poor, and I’ve no idea what anyone can do about it. What the middle class failed to notice is that we remain on a course that was set back in the 1980s by the “Reagan Revolution.” Since then, we’ve been deeply divided, split apart and pitted against each other by class and race. Divided and conquered.

    As a Wisconsinite who has followed Paul Ryan’s career since the late 1990s, I can assure you that he a fascist (by definition), and his schtick remains that of — like the classic used car salesman — selling a junk heap of an ideology, with an oh-so-sincere smile. He is a proud Ayn Rand devotee, a devout sycophant.

  • DHFabian

    “…people willing to work hard for very little pay, under onerous conditions,” lacking fundamental workers rights and protections — a description that currently fits a huge number of Americans. There are no options. Work or die. The US shut down/shipped out a huge number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 jobless people who still have the means to pursue one (home address, phone, etc.). What do you think happens to those who are left out? The rent comes due. Once you no longer have a home address, etc. — you’re out. You can’t get a job, and there’s no way back up.

    That’s what throws this old theory off. The US created an abundant pool of job-ready Americans who are absolutely desperate for any job a6t any wage. Since Clinton, the share of the population that can be paid less than minimum wage was expanded. It at least appears to be fairly common for low-wage Americans to be cheated out of wages.

    There is simply no need to deal with the potential risks of hiring illegal immigrants. Legal immigrants, on the other hand, tend to be those with college degrees — something fewer and fewer Americans can afford.

  • DHFabian

    Except that everything has changed over the past 20 years. What would be the incentive to hire illegal immigrants today? We have a huge pool of Americans who are desperate for ANY job, willing to work for absolute bottom wages, under any conditions.

    Sometimes I think our middle class are completely unaware of how severe poverty is today. The overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1 among all nations when Reagan was first elected (far from perfect, but much better). This had already fallen to #48 by the time Obama was elected. During the years in between, we ended actual welfare aid while shipping out jobs, increasing the number of people in deep poverty. The more people in poverty, the fewer the consumer purchases, the fewer workers are needed to make and sell those products, the more people in poverty — and we remained locked onto those downhill slide.

  • DHFabian

    Yes, and liberal media have played a big role in maintaining the illusion that our deregulated capitalism is so successful, that everyone is able to work and there are jobs for all, therefore no need for poverty relief.

    “Economic insecurity” is a middle class concern, and the middle class are now under half the population. The rest of the country is busy struggling with our poverty crisis.

  • Aquifer

    And how is she supporting Clinton? If she were a Clinton supporter she would have run a “safe states” campaign …..

    I remember it he earlier stages of the campaign she was oft accused of being a Trump shill for whacking Clinton so much …

  • Aquifer

    What has that got to do with Flowers reply?

  • DHFabian

    Agree with much, but not on objections to anything called “divisive.” Years of work went into splitting the proverbial masses apart, pitting people (former allies) against each other by class and race. Without addressing this, it’s not possible to pull people back together.

    Lessons learned from the past: This isn’t the first time the US has been in this mess, when the richest few took control, to the harm of the people and the nation. Each time in the past, the masses — poor and middle class, etc. — came together to push back, for the common good. The US is now 20 years into our war on the poor, the poor have been pitted against each other by race. Divide, subdivide, conquer. Ignoring this reality won’t make it go away.

  • DHFabian

    That’s where I’m confused. This all began with reports that Clinton’s unsecured email server was hacked into. Critically important point: It was Clinton’s email server, NOT voting machines, that was hacked into. It is reported that the hack was an inside job, done by someone in the Clinton camp, and who grew to oppose their tactics. How does this translate into claims that Putin somehow stole the election for Trump?

    In fact, Clinton won 48.3% of the popular vote to Trump’s 46.2%. What matters from there is the Electoral College vote. The last I saw, Clinton has 232 EC votes to Trump’s 306. Note that the electors are not required by law to cast their votes according to the popular vote. Note, too, that this is not the first time an election went to the one who did not get the majority of the popular vote. This is just how our system works.

  • DHFabian

    When was the last presidential election that wasn’t followed with calls for recounts? The system itself is problematic.

  • bobthecat

    You may have become re-involved, but she turned a lot of people off. In fact she turned off everyone I know, except the few GP friends I have. Like you they ran to her the defense and simply refused to listen to any criticism. I was a GP member at one point, but have absolutely no interest in them now. They are just like the Dems in defending their tribe and refusing to change, allow descent or take criticism.

  • Aquifer

    Sorry – to lump Stein into the same camp as Dems is a gross injustice, as far as i am concerned -. Stein pursued what is supposed to be a main GP goal, fair elections, and now is getting tarred for it …

    There was a better option to both Clinton and Trump – and that was Stein – too bad more folks didn’t choose her – the GP chose her as its candidate by an overwhelming majority – and now are tossing her by the wayside … the GP folks do themselves no favors in doing this ….

    So you are glad Trump won?

  • Aquifer

    Agree with your scenario – except the bit about hope – hope is the thing that keeps folks going in their endeavors to fight back – where there is no hope, there is no action ….

  • kevinzeese

    I don’t understand why you are upset. All we did was report the truth. Jill Stein brought the “Russia did it” argument up in every state where she had a recount. Should we only report that when Democrats and Republicans do it? Should we hide it when someone we like does it?

    If it is not true, show us and we will retract it.

  • Margaret Flowers

    The reality was that there was no justification for the recount except that voting machines can be hacked and that there was an allegation that Russians hacked the DNC. The recount effort was presented as a complete package by Democratic lawyers who tried to get the Clinton campaign to do it. When Clinton refused, they brought it to Jill. It included a Democratic PR company and help with fundraising. Jill took it as a package. As far as we know, she had not made any effort to look into the election results prior to that to see if there were states that ought to be challenged that would help Greens with ballot access or whatnot. Democratic Party lawyers were hired to oversee the recount and Democratic Party organizers were hired to get volunteers. Everything else was back peddling to justify the effort which was originally designed to swing the election to Clinton. This caused a significant reaction within the party because there have been issues before of Greens helping the Democrats. There is a faction within the party that believes the Green Party needs to be clearly independent from the duopoly parties and build power to challenge them. Hence, came the need for a statement making that clear, and I agreed to host it on my site. It was a collaborative effort. Since then, a new statement was posted based on follow up conversations and conference calls to put forth an agenda for action. There will be follow up calls to discuss the action items and make plans to work on them. This is hardly sniping around the edges. If you want to join the conversation, then you can sign onto the statement. I find it interesting that you trust Jill Stein unequivocally when she has been less than straight forward and criticize me for telling the truth.

  • kevinzeese

    Whether there were other arguments or not is not the issue. Did she push the argument that the Russians did it or not? If so, all we did was report the truth. We’ve published many positive things about Jill Stein as well, can we only report positives? No doubt there are people who believe the Russian hacking story and do not take offense at our reporting the truth, evidently, you do — but either way, it is the truth being reported.

    On the value of the recount and other Green Party issues we have signed a statement with hundreds of other Greens criticizing the recount. We encourage debate on the issue in state and local Green Parties across the country. That is where a debate on the issues should take place.

    In the end the debate that has begun will be a constructive one. The Green Party needs to get clear on who it is and where it stands in relationship to the Democrats for the next election cycle. When Trump runs in 2020 there will be a lot of pressure on Greens either not to run or run weakly in order to help the Democrats. We made that mistake in 2004 when George W. Bush ran for re-election. It almost killed the party. My view is the Greens should run and run hard. Our job is not to help the Democrats but to put forward our best candidates and say what we stand for.

    The recount has become a beginning of that debate because Stein’s recount was prepared by Democratic activists for the Clinton campaign and when Clinton rejected it, Stein was asked. Stein took it out without changing anything so it was a recount actually designed to elect Clinton. In my view the Greens need to be clear we are an independent party, especially from the Democrats. Again, that is a debate, not for these pages, but for state and local parties as well as the national party. All we did on Popular Resistance was report the truth. Again, if you show us we were wrong we will gladly issue a retraction.

  • Margaret Flowers

    The effort was designed for Clinton by choosing the three states where she lost by the smallest margin and that could swing the election if she won them.

  • Aquifer

    So when did she “turn you off”? Before she was chosen by an overwhelming majority by GP members as its candidate, or after ….

    Do not misunderstand – I have had my own critiques of the campaign and have “voiced” them to it … some of which echo your complaint about not listening to critiques – but my complaint re critiques is not listening to those from the “peanut gallery” … that is what turned me off before Stein came along ..

    That initial letter that was put out on the recount issue lacked some rather prominent Green names ….

    My objection is primarily to the way this “critique” was/is handled …

    Interesting that you make a similar critique to mine – in terms of the “party over principle” concept –

    I have gathered over the years that there is considerable dissension in the GP, and this is simply another example – the fact that members of the party have apparently decided to handle this on “non-political” sites – with no invitation to the “other side” is what I find “unhelpful” to the party …

    So your attitude toward Stein is what is turning you off to the party?

    Interesting – the concern voiced by the Greens who wrote that letter disavowing Stein’s recount efforts seemed to echo your concerns – about appearing to be a DP appendage – and yet this controversy seems to have turned you off to the party as a whole …

    I think you rather make my point …. :)

  • Aquifer

    As I recall, there were 3 criteria for choosing which states to contest – what other states met them? In NH, for example, state law made it impossible for her to contest there …

  • Margaret Flowers

    If the effort had been purely focused on fair elections, that would have been a different thing, but it wasn’t. Greens do work on electoral reform. We already know there are significant problems and Greens work to break down the barriers every year. Rather than picking up a project designed for the Democrats, many Greens would have preferred to pursue an effort that strengthened Green Party ballot status, focused on voter disenfranchisement and suppression and helped to build Green Party infrastructure. I think the Greens do need to consider building the party first. If the Greens are to challenge the duopoly, considering the significant obstacles in place and the lack of resources, then it will require thinking about how to pursue the work in a way that builds power. The values of the party are in line with the movement, so the work is synergistic, unlike that in the Democratic Party, which is designed to maintain the status quo even when that means destroying the planet and exploiting communities.

    The topic at hand though is the problem with blaming the Russians. We see a real problem with that.

  • Aquifer

    Well of course, folks always want recounts – but this effort demonstrated quite clearly that we don’t even have a system that allows for them let alone one that starts out with any semblance of fairness from the get-go …

  • kevinzeese

    It is public knowledge that the three states were chosen by Democratic activists in order to convince Clinton to do a recount. They picked the three states because they had enough electoral votes to reverse the outcome of the election. Here is the NY Magazine article that describes their approach: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/activists-urge-hillary-clinton-to-challenge-election-results.html.z

    When Clinton rejected it and it was brought to Stein she just followed their playbook and made their arguments. This included blaming Russia for hacking the election. All we did was report that truth — she is on the side of those who claim Russia did it.

    Again, please show us she did not make those claims and we will retract it and state we were in error. This article was about those claiming Russia did it, it was not a pro-con debate about the recount.

  • Margaret Flowers

    That’s the first I heard of that.

    Here is where it came from and the justification:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/activists-urge-hillary-clinton-to-challenge-election-results.html

    “While it’s important to note the group has not found proof of hacking or manipulation, they are arguing to the campaign that the suspicious pattern merits an independent review — especially in light of the fact that the Obama White House has accused the Russian government of hacking the Democratic National Committee.”

    The complaints filed with the states and the cases argued in court all focused on hacking, not any irregularities.

    Sure, irregularities were found in the recount. That would likely happen anywhere, because there are a lot of problems with the system.

    Other states to consider would be Maine where there was concern about Green Party votes being lost and Texas where the hope was to get enough Green votes to maintain ballot access.

  • Aquifer

    I don’t believe the Russians hacked the election, and i don’t know that she did either – but there were/are multiple allegations about the election – and how best to lay them to rest than an honest recount, including forensic examination of the machines themselves – which i suspect, and so do many others, might well have revealed some monkey business by somebody – and that was the point – the hysterical reaction of the state gov’t involved only give credence to that assessment ..
    I think Stein made it very clear where she stands in relation to the DP – she ran anything but a “safe states” campaign and was accused on line multiple times of being a Trump stooge for her critiques of Clinton … that is also a “truth” that i haven’t seen widely commented on ..
    Your are correct, that is a debate for state and local GP chapters – not for these pages – so why did you raise it here? If you are “reporting the truth”, then where is the debate?
    Do you think that what was revealed about the election process was better left hidden?

  • kevinzeese

    Having a disagreement about how Jill pursued the recount is not “tossing her to the wayside”, it is a legitimate dispute that is worthy of discussion in the Green Party. We favor recounts, when there is a good reason. There was not good reason in these three states. In fact, courts that reviewed them became increasingly angry at Stein for failing to give a good reason. I’ve worked on election integrity for years. I helped to found a group in Maryland, TrueVoteMD, that formed in 2003 to remove the paperless Diebold machines. We succeeded in getting them out of the state. The recount is not the issue, the issue is how Democratic Party activists picked the states in order to change the outcome so Clinton won the election. Stein followed through on their recount when Clinton rejected it.

    Further, and most importantly since we are not debating the recount here, this article was about people blaming Russia for the election result. All we did was report the truth, that Stein argued Russia hacked the election. In every state where there was a recount she made that argument. Further she put out a press release applauding Obama on his call for an investigation. That is what she did and all we did was report it to show how widespread the “blame Russia” view is.

    As I have said several times in these comments — show us she did not claim Russia did it and we will retract the statement. The reason you have not responded to this specific point is because what we reported was accurate. If you do not like Jill taking that position, take it up with Jill, not with us.

    We were showing how widely the position of blaming Russia for Trump has become despite the lack of evidence. Stein is part of spreading that story. It is a very dangerous story because it is part of the rationale that will be used to increase conflict between the US and Russia. Trump has urged detente with Russia but the bi-partisans in DC want conflict with Russia. These are dangerous times.

  • Aquifer

    “The reality was that there was no justification for the recount except that voting machines can be hacked and that there was an allegation that Russians hacked the DNC.”

    “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

    How else to examine even those allegations than by a recount? So how do you document an intermittent cardiac arrythmia with other than a Holter monitor?

    I don’t “trust Stein unequivocally” – I have had my critiques of her campaign, and have “voiced” them to the campaign, including regarding this recount … but to imply that the way it was handled indicates Stein has gone over to the “dark side”, which is the impression you are leaving, as evidenced by at least one comment here, is entirely unwarranted – there are enough indications, IMO, that such is simply not “the truth” ….

    As far as your “new statement” I received no e-mail notification of such, when I was getting regular updates on your campaign – I sent e-mails protesting your exclusion from the debates to the appropriate parties during your campaign, and donations to it, as I did to Stein’s, if you would care to provide a link …
    It seems to me the GP could have written a simple letter on its site stating that the recount was a Stein and not a GP effort – that would have sufficed quite well it seems to me … and left the accusations to be dealt with internally …

    As for being straightforward – how about being straightforward on what that recount has revealed about the election process instead of focusing on what you think it “revealed” about Stein …

    I am quite prepared to be “disillusioned” about candidates and their parties – i have been before, I used to be a Dem, some years ago, and now have no use for the party, or its candidates at all – became a Green and got a rather rude awakening there as well – Stein’s entrance brought me back on board with it, as an indy – but the way this was handled has soured me again, and i don’t think it has helped the GP – but hey, it’s your party … do with it as you like, it is not likely to be mine again …. And i would think it might make potentially good candidates think twice about signing on and busting their buns when they see they could be publically dumped over what amounts to a disagreement on tactics …

    Good luck …

  • Aquifer

    So what? Does that belie the value of a recount and what it revealed? In focusing on an individual tree and not the forest, you are, IMO, making a mountain out of a molehill … IMO, to the GP’s detriment ….

  • kevinzeese

    What do you think the recount showed? Here is what I see:
    - Recounts are in name only, not real, they just look at the surface, often just re-run the machine count which is meaningless. They do no forensic investigation of the machines. Voting officials do not want problems exposed, so they do very little looking for problems, prefer to hide them.
    - The recount in Wisconsin unfortunately undermined doubts about voting machines by finding only nominal difference between hand counts and machine counts (hand counts were done in most counties but not all).
    - Pennsylvania election laws are terrible for lots of reasons including recounts, but we already knew that; and we also knew for most of the state you cannot recount because machines produce no paper record to compare the machine count to.
    - Democratic strongholds in Michigan have vote counting problems. This is not a new problem. They had both under-votes: where the presidential ballot line was left blank (we do not know why since the ballots were not examine); and over-votes where there were more votes than voters. The Republicans are doing an audit of the latter since it supports their claim of voter fraud; nothing is being done about the former because of bizarre election law in Michigan.
    - The recount changed none of the outcomes, thereby re-enforcing Trump’s win (which is not helpful since Trump needs to be seen as illegitimate – I’d say the same if Hillary won.)

    Let me know if you see something else.

  • jemcgloin

    The high skilled immigrants that come under the H1-b visa program are bad for a two reasons. One is that many times the employers are breaking the rules completely. They hire companies that replace the workers that they already have at lower wages. The program is only supposed to bring in peopl to fill jobs that no one can do.
    The long term problem is that it drives down the pay for high skill stem jobs. Young people looking for careers see long years of difficult math or engineering courses rewarded by mediocre pay, and figure they’re better off with an MBA. This results in a decrease in American citizens training for stem jobs. I tried to apply for the Mathematics Masters at Brooklyn College, only to learn that the program was canceled for lack of students. Scary.

  • jemcgloin

    I don’t think anyone is blaming the immigrants on this thread. I know I am blaming a system that purposely keeps legal immigrants on line for over a decade, but then creates a demand for illegal immigrants that of course will be filled. I blame the CEOs and shareholders that create this situation, and the politicians they pay to let it continue. Both the Wall and Amnesty (no matter what you call it) are non-solutions designed to be non-solutions, so that this issue can continue to be a smoke screen forever. Letting the Dreamers stay does nothing for their parents, and divides families.
    I completely agree that our foreign policy creates immigrants, like in Honduras, where Hillary tacitly supported the coup that put a right wing junta in power that has fostered criminal gangs and assassinations of indigenous activists. This was one of the sources of all of those children sent by their parents who could think of no other way to save their lives.
    And this is only one example among dozens.

  • jemcgloin

    I don’t think Stein used the email hacks as a reason to audit the vote. That would make zero sense, because the effects of the leaks would take place in the mind of the voter before they got to the polls.I thought her argument was that in some places votes were “lost,” and that she wanted to verify data coming out of electronic voting machines, which can be easily hacked. I think that is necessary and I’m glad she did it.
    I’m not syre what her motivation was. Maybe to make sure the Green Party votes were not overlooked by Democratic and Republican vote counters, which makes sense to me. I;d like to know if the Green Party count went up in counties where the vote was recounted.

  • Aquifer

    What the effort showed was that honest recounts are battled all the way – from refusing to do hand recounts to refusing forensic examinations of the machines where paper ballots were unavailable – that, it seems to me, is something valuable to be demonstrated … Yeah, folks “know” the process is rigged and rickety, yawn, yawn – but folks “know” lots of things they do nothing about until it is openly demonstrated, shoved in their face if you will – literally, in their backyard ….

    The fact that the recount changed nothing is not the point – nor did it “reinforce” Trump’s win, rather it demonstrated that any “win” in this system is highly suspect and needs to be corroborated, and if it can’t be – then we have to reform it lickety split – otherwise what is the point in folks like Dr. Flowers or any Green at any level running at all?

    The process needs to be revealed over and over – sunshine is the best disinfectant … And we need to be hit over the head with it until we fix it – as Nader said, to know and not to do is not to know – and apparently we not enough of us “know” it yet – so do you think this overt rather detailed demonstration had no value? No one knew how it would turn out, but a bunch of rocks were overturned and that is worth a great deal ..

    Your focus on the fact that DP resources were used is a red herring, IMO – do you not remember how at least one of Nader’s campaigns was attempted to be undermined by charges that Reps were funding it? I saw that …

  • Aquifer

    So Bonifaz and Halderman are DP operatives? Of course they approached the DP first – who else was likely to have the most interest or the money to fund a recount that they thought was well warranted based on their observations? That, to me is a no-brainer ….

    So their approaching the DP first made a recount effort illegitimate? – And after they were rebuffed, why didn’t the GP step up to the plate? If it had, the procedure may well have been different – Apparently from what i am reading here and elsewhere, the GP had no interest in doing it – apparently because it was “afraid” that such an effort would look like it was “helping” the DP, regardless of the fact that no matter who it may or may not have helped, it was something that needed to be done for precisely the reasons proffered …

  • Aquifer

    Your link doesn’t “link” – but Dr. Flowers’ did – see my response to her above …

  • jemcgloin

    The left needs to stop bickering and pull together.
    The big picture is that we are facing the imminent looting of our national wealth. Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine is a manual to how it will be accomplished. Trump is not actually the big danger. He is the shock. While all eyes are on him the establishment will be finishing the privatization they began in the 1990′s.
    I wish the Green Party was a bigger force, but unfortunately, many young people have no interest. Internal arguments over a party that got almost no votes is only detrimental.
    How do we create a bigger force that can hold back the tide when the Democrats fail to block the Ryan agenda?
    They will soon pop the stock market bubble and Trump will create more distractions, and while no one is paying attention to congress, they will steal everything. It will happen fast.
    Yeltsin was fully supported by the Clinton’s while he gave away Soviet industry to the people we now call the Russian Oligarchs. Putin was Yeltsin’s deputy and took power before Bill was out of office. He has made himself fabulously wealthy and powerful as he moves back and forth between prime minister and president. If the Russian government is on anyone’s side in this, its probably the global billionaire side, which of course is both Trump and Clinton’s side.
    So yes the whole Russia stole the election thing is a scam. I believe it is the Democrats refusing to take responsibility for losing the election.
    I think it is interesting that Jill Stein took up the recount plans and cash from the Democrats, but it got the Green Party more press than they got in the whole election, and put slight pressure on the system to reform. Unless you can show that Jill Stein’s motives were to help the Democrats rather than the Greens, I’m not sure what the issue is.

  • jemcgloin

    Your probably right. I’m just jaded after eight years of “hope” with out “change.”

  • jemcgloin

    Well some of us have noticed, but unfortunately many loyal Democrats still believe their party is opposed to this looting.
    You should try to fight. Constantly repeating that the poor and middle class can never work together, and that we have already lost, and should just put our heads between our legs and kiss freedom goodbye is not helpful.
    Maybe I have watched to many movies where they save the world at the last possible second, but maybe Trump’s election is a good thing. Maybe moving up the time-table from the more subtle Jeb!-Clinton slow motion corporate revolution will jar the People into action.
    Unless Trump is actually going to shock everyone and do the right thing, our only hope to avoid corporate serfdom is to unite the People to create a better democracy. Start saying that it can be done. Evolution is the art of making the impossible happen.

  • jemcgloin

    Very true. Trump may be what the American People to wake up and smell the global corporate coup.

  • Aquifer

    So you think there is no possibility that the Russians had any influence? Why, because they had no interest, or because they were incapable … the US hacks stuff all over the planet, for Pete’s sake, but the Russians wouldn’t do it? The point is to investigate, to see if there is any foundation for it, not just discount it because it is something that Dems claim .. that seems to be your problem – if the Dems say it, ergo it can’t possibly be so ….

    No, Stein is part of the attempt to investigate it. Just like the claim that she was “anti-science” or “anti-vax”, because she argued for investigating claims about whether they were a problem – and in fact, even our rickety FDA has come down on them for the use of thimerosal, a mercury containing adjuvant, shown to have neurotoxic effects ..

    As to the story – that is out there already, and will be used as a rationale – the only way to deal with it is to investigate … confirm or put it to rest – absence of evidence is not evidence of absence – so turn over the rocks for Pete’s sake … what are you afraid of?
    As for conflict with Russia – don’t worry, Trump is filling his cabinet with folks with Russian business ties – or is that something you will not discuss either … Clinton’s ties with SA and others were/are OK, but not Trump’s business ties?

    Look, folks, it seems to me that to have any credibility you have to investigate – wherever that takes one, even if it may be an “inconvenient truth” – turn over all the rocks … I think you need to stop worrying about which party will “look bad or good” by some revelation or other – and that worry is what i see here … Is this about Stein, or about the GP – and ironically, as i said, I don’t think it burnishes the GP image any …

  • Aquifer

    Please see my response to Mr. Zeese above ….
    You may know there are “significant problems” but the voting public, as a whole, doesn’t appear to know – it needs to have them repeatedly shoved in its face …

    Of course you need to work in those other areas as well, but not ignore the elephant (or the donkey) in the room …

  • Aquifer

    Yeah, i know – but methinks perhaps we are just not paying enough attention as to what we should invest our “hope” in …

  • Aquifer

    I think the only way to uncover a “scam” is to investigate – which is what I saw Stein’s effort as … you never know until you look …

  • unger

    I fully agree with the part of your statement dealing with illegal immigrants. Your proposed remedy is right on target.

    But then you indicate support for legal immigration. Here I disagree. The effect on American workers of legal immigrants is about the same as the effect of illegals. In the case of legals, the harm is a bit less because they get paid somewhat more. But, all immigrants have the effect of depressing pay for Americans over the entire range of skills, and depriving them of jobs. Pay levels for engineers have been virtually frozen for many years due, in part, to the influx of such people from Asia, who are willing to work for much less pay.

    Note that the fault is not with the immigrants themselves, but rather with those who use them to depress pay scales.

  • Margaret Flowers

    My apologies. I misread your comment. Yes, I agree that is a problem.

  • Margaret Flowers

    Sadly, the justification used in the complaints that were filed was that the machines are hackable and since the DNC was hacked, the voting machines could have been also. And then Alex Halderman’s argument that the Russians did it, plus a number of other similar sources were provided as supporting documents. The court cases used the same argument. You can read the complaint here: http://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/news/wisconsin_recount_petition_of_jill_stein_00268242_12391.pdf

  • Margaret Flowers

    The key point in the newsletter is that the accusations aimed at Russia are based less in fact and more in fueling drum beats for war. We could not accuse the Democrats of fueling that falsehood without also recognizing that Jill Stein did the same thing. That’s the truth, not meant to denigrate her She was the one who made the allegations.

    As far as fair elections, we are in support of them and recognize their importance to alternative parties. There are a lot of obstacles that need to be addressed, including media coverage, debates, and ballot access in addition to voting issues. Kevin helped to co-found TrueVoteMD in 2003 which pushed for paper ballots. Now we have them in Maryland.

    We know there are problems with the elections. We know that electronic machines are not reliable and that there at least needs to be a paper receipt so that there can be a recount. We support doing regular recounts in every state to check accuracy. We didn’t need a recount to show that there are problems.

    That said, it it leads to some positive change that would be a good thing but it came at a big price for the party.

    The way that the recount was done caused division within the party. We are working with people within the party to address that. I’m doing that because I am dedicated to building a real political alternative that challenges the system and I know that the work to do that is not and will not be easy. But I’m not giving up.

    It is my hope that the party will be stronger as a result, but that will only happen if people step up and do the work to make it so. And if good candidates think that another party currently exists outside the duopoly that has the capacity to run national campaigns, then more power to them. I don’t think it does. I believe that we have to work to make what we have the best it can be.

  • kevinzeese

    Just responding to your final paragraph on Nader and Republican funding. Yes, Dems tried to make that claim. Thankfully, OpenSecrets.org looked into the claim and found that Nader only got 5% of his funding from Republicans. At the same time he was getting much higher percentages of Republicans voting for him. The facts showed that he had more Republican voting support than financial support. So, the Democratic story was a lie.

    In the Stein recount, MoveOn and Democracy for America, both Democratic Party aligned groups urged their members to support the recount. MoveOn pushed and pushed. The hope of these Democrats that the recount could result in Clinton becoming president was the key to the fundraising. You know that Greens did not fund this as this was more than double what Stein raised during the campaign. So, this was a Democratic funded recount. We have not seen the list of larger donors who gave to the recount. It was a small percentage of donors, but seeing those large donors and what they gave would likely be very telling. I guess it will come out in a future campaign report.

    So, in the Nader case the claim of Republican donors was false, in the Stein case the claim of Democratic donors for the recount is true.

  • Aquifer

    i do not question your dedication to growing the GP, nor do i questions Stein’s …
    Actually i think you could well have separated the D’s motivation from Stein’s in any allegations of Russian influence …. as i said, i do not think lumping her with the D’s in this respect was justified, nor was it useful from the perspective of building the party …
    No doubt it has caused divisions within the party, but I have gotten the distinct impression that there are/were considerable divisions even before this episode …
    The GP doesn’t have a very large number of members at this point, fewer than the Ds or the Rs, (though those numbers have been decreasing) – as noted elsewhere the largest number of registered voters identify as “independent” or non aligned – it seems to me that the GP ought to be just as concerned about how “indies” see this, because it is from those ranks that the party has the greatest chance to grow ….. and there are, methinks, a considerable number who applaud Stein’s efforts to “look behind the curtain” literally and figuratively – in an effort to “insure free and fair elections” – so for the GP to now lump its recent candidate with an opposition party is a big “whoa!” ….
    You may have not needed a recount, but lots of folks felt they did – and Stein stepped up to the plate – The fact that the DP did not is a black eye for them – the message being that they didn’t give a damn about the process, but Stein did – and she got a lot of positive recognition – for the Party. But the Party appears to want nothing to do with it – why, because it is “afraid” that it will look like they are doing the Dems bidding – never mind that many felt recount was indicated, something easily demonstrated has been demonstrated by examining the process even in this limited fashion – it has been in just about every election we have had for some time. …
    Stein never, to my knowledge, alleged that this was a GP effort, but a faction of the GP, apparently motivated by appearances, felt it necessary to jump in and state, as you have reaffirmed here, that, in spite of what many, including some experts, felt, not only was it not indicated, but that anyone who thought it was must be “carrying water for the DP” … That is the message conveyed – at least to this one, and i suspect other, member(s) of the “peanut gallery” …. All i am saying is that it is a turn-off, again to one, if not others, of the same, says more. IMO. about the Party than about Stein … if such “feedback” is unwelcome, i would have to say, from my own experience, that it would not be the first time ….

  • Aquifer

    I think you are missing the point – IMO, it didn’t really matter who was funding him – would Nader have dropped out if it was found that a lot of Reps were funding him for their own reasons? Would he have been less worthy as a candidate? Would that have indicated he was a Rep “stooge”? Would you have disavowed him? The question is, or should have been, was he a good candidate – the question is, under the current “system” that “functions” to carry out our elections, are recounts not indicated, regardless of who “funds” them – as you admitted, most of the donors were “little guys”, do you know their party affiliation – were all of Stein’s Pres. campaign donors Greens? This one wasn’t …

  • Margaret Flowers

    Stein used the theory of Russian hacking to justify a recount in states that could swing the election to Clinton even though there was zero evidence of Russian hacking in those states. If she believed it was true, then she was using the D’s argument. If she didn’t believe it was true and was just using that as an excuse to do a recount, does that make it any better? Not in my book.

    I understand that there are people who wanted a recount both within the Green Party and outside of it. There are also people who were very upset at the recount. With some thought, the recount could have been done in a way that did not create such controversy.

    The issue of independence is a fundamental one for the Greens, not a matter of appearances. We are likely going to be facing another situation like 2004 in 2020. We need to be prepared for that.

  • kevinzeese

    You are forcing me to fight you on this issue. I did not want to to do, I gave you an opportunity (multiple times) to show we were wrong and I would retract the statement. All we did was report the truth, you wanted it hidden. Well, now you are forcing me to prove the truth.

    More on the recount and Russia issue:

    The Wisconsin petition is all based on Russia:
    http://elections.wi.gov/sites/default/files/news/wisconsin_recount_petition_of_jill_stein_00268242_12391.pdf

    Here is what they filed in federal court​ in Michigan
    ​https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/jillstein/pages/27479/attachments/original/1480793280/Complaint_for_Declaratory_and_Injunctive_Relief_-_Filed.pdf?1480793280) (See paragraph 17 on page 4
    and look at the attachments — all about foreign hacking by Russia,
    http://imaginatron.com/HaldermanAffidavit.pdf.

    (This was the same thing filed in Wisconsin.) They continued to rely on it, just ​not in the petitions ​which makes no specific claims of fraud or recount problems, just general comments about machines being untrustworthy. ​She got a lot of complaints about the Wisconsin petition’s reliance on the Russia claims so she buried it but continued making the argument.

    ​In stopping the Michigan recount the federal judge responded to the foreign hacker argument:

    ​​Goldsmith’s ruling also bolstered some arguments that were repeatedly made by the Michigan Republican Party: that there was never any evidence that hacking or fraud occurred at the polls, and that Michigan’s voting system is so secure that not even the “Gremlins, Martians or Russian hackers” could tamper with it. That argument appeared to carry some weight with the judge.
    http://ijr.com/wildfire/2016/12/751505-after-raising-millions-on-recount-jill-stein-finally-gets-the-intervention-michigans-election-needs/​

    They also use it in Pennsylvania, the same experts, the same affidavits.
    See ​http://www.jill2016.com/parecountfilings, and see Halderman’s affidavit

    ​The Pennsylvania judge stopping the recount was very critical of Stein, painting her as presenting no evidence to justify the recount. He said ​”​I have found, suspicion of a ‘hacked’ Pennsylvania election borders on the irrational.”​​​ The recount became an embarrassment if you looked at the details. Here is how the hearing in Pennsylvania was reported:

    “the computer science expert whose opinions catapulted presidential election recounts into the national spotlight admitted in a Philly courtroom there’s no evidence the state’s voting systems were hacked. Meanwhile, an expert witness testifying on behalf of the GOP — which is working to protect electors for President-elect Donald Trump — said the likelihood that Pennsylvania’s voting system was hacked is about as likely as aliens living among us: It’s possible, but there’s no evidence to show it’s happening.​​”​

    http://billypenn.com/2016/12/12/u-s-judge-dismisses-jill-steins-pennsylvania-recount-lawsuit/

    If you have a problem with the truth, the person to complain to is the one who said what you disagree with, not those who reported what was said.

  • Aquifer

    A coupla things -

    It seems to me that independence from the Dems, for you, seems to mean categorically rejecting anything and everything that comes from the DP’s mouth … the Rs did this with O when, if they had listened, they could have had a lot of what they wanted – it was the Rs, in fact, that saved SS and Med from O’s Grand Bargain – i don’t hold with blanket rejection of the “enemy’s” terms – often one can get what one wants by using his/her terms against them ..

    i agree that the recount, given time and opportunity in theory could have been done better – but, as is said in medicine, it is often best not to make the better the enemy of the good .. and there were significant time, as well as money, constraints – would the GP have come up so quickly, if at all, with anywhere near the bucks it took to even try ..

    As for creating controversy, indeed it has apparently done so in the GP (as, I suspect, the outreach to Sanders did – i had some reservations myself) …. but i suspect the frustrated folks in PA and Detroit, those folks in disenfranchised areas whose rights the GP champions, e.g., were glad she did what she did – she stood up for them when the DP didn’t – you don’t think that made an impression?

    As is consistent with my position in other areas, I think one has to do more than sing to the choir – no movement, whether religious or political grows without speaking to those outside the fold, using their own language … As i have said, i have had reservations about some of Steins decisions, but the more i watch what happens, the more my respect for her acumen grows …

    As for ’04 – Cobb’s campaign – i get that, i voted for Nader then, that GP “safe-state” BS turned me off big time – the party was saying to any and all “Don’t worry about us, we don’t intend to do anything that would upset the DP applecart” – what the hell kind of an opposition party is that? But Stein ran anything but a safe-state campaign – she was the first GP candidate i can remember who actually refused to back down to the question “You don’t really think you can win, do you, c’mon, get real!” Every other GP candidate I knew, when faced with that question, not wishing to “appear” less than reasonable, said “Well no, but we can raise the issues, give folks a choice, etc. etc.” Stein said, “Yeah, we CAN win!”. THAT is my kind of candidate .. why should i, or anyone for that matter, believe in, spend time, money or effort on a candidate who doesn’t believe in him/herself?

    So i think I know what you are talking about … :) but unless you think that despite all the evidence I have seen so far to the contrary, that Stein has now become a “safe-stater” – it seems to me claiming she is “soft”, at the very least, on the DP, does not help you – i can say for sure that if she were to run in ’20, i would enthusiastically support her – as to whom else you might run – well i would have to see, i might vote for him/her as a protest vote, but expend any effort? who knows ….

    -

  • kevinzeese

    This would be a discussion better offline.

    No, independence does not mean reject everything Dems propose. It means standing for what we believe in no matter what the Dems propose or do. It means challenging the Dems electorally wherever we can to put forward our candidates and our issues.

    It does not mean taking a recount designed by the Dems to elect Clinton, and with their lawyers, arguments, PR firms and funding pushing it forward under a Green campaign.

    If you want to continue this discussion, my email is KBZeese@gmail.com.

    In the end you will see this dialogue will be constructive and make the Green Party stronger. We are at the beginning of a process of defining ourselves and the Democratic-oriented recount has helped to start an important discussion.

  • Aquifer

    I never said she didn’t use that argument – so your proof that she did is rather unnecessary … but do you believe there was NO justification for a recount, aside from a claim of “Russian hacking” – if you believe in the need for re-countable, accessible paper ballots all over, then don’t you think that this effort opened a lot of other folks, the “little folks”, eyes to that need, folks who might have suspected there was monkey business, but had no obvious clear demonstration of the need, until now?

    I think the GP would have served itself much better by backing the recount, however flawed it may have been in execution, perhaps noting how you might have desired to tweak it … it would have demonstrated the GP commitment to fair elections – a commitment that, quite demonstrably neither D/Rs shared … points for the GP –

    I am being double teamed here … :), so i suggest you read my response to Dr. Flowers reply that deals in more detail, or “nuance” perhaps, with much of the same, below …

  • Bob M

    “There was a better option to both Clinton and Trump – and that was Stein – too bad more folks didn’t choose her” ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Did you really expect anyone to chose her after she pulled the stunt of offering up the top spot on the Green Party Ticket to Sanders in such a shameless fashion ? Sanders stated clearly and emphatically that he would honor and support the Democrat Party Ticket in the General Election at the outset of the Democrat Primary. Stein’s shameless public grovelling demonstrated to all that she really didn’t want to run for the Green Party. Stein thought of her nomination as a chit to be bargained away rather than the bestowed trust of the Green Party. These very silly and very public exhibitions lead to the public perception that the Greens are a bunch of goofs. Something to be laughed at rather than voted for.

  • kevinzeese

    Glad we cleared that up – she did argue Russia did it, so our report was accurate. So, you want us only to criticize Dems and Repubs who make inflammatory claims? Sorry, we report what is happening in a nonpartisan way. If you do not like what Jill said, tell her. We reported positive things about Jill when she did good, bit we will report the truth even if it is critical of her. We are not interested in partisan deception on behalf of anyone.

    There was nothing special in these three states except they were close and if they were reversed, Clinton would be president.

    We should be working for routine audits of the vote count before election results are announced. The audits should be large enough so that they ensure the machines are accurate. There should be no paperless electronic voting machines as there must be a verifiable paper record to compare the machine count to. My preference is paper ballots, counted by hand in public so all can see the results.

  • Aquifer

    She offered to collaborate with Sanders – she knew he wouldn’t accept, but Sanders failure to even reply demonstrated quite clearly to his supporters that he wasn’t really serious about his “revolution” – when he turned down a chance to pursue it outside the DP, though he had to know from the outset that the cards were stacked against him (as he said, he “knew the rules”) and showed them they did have somewhere else to go … If he had responded, she also made it clear that it would be up to the GP, not to her as to whether they chose him or not, and under what conditions – she picked up disgruntled Sanders supporters …. I was following Sanders supporters on other sites – they were pissed that he didn’t take her up – so, more disenchanted Dems – who knew they did have somewhere else to go and she picked some up … no groveling there, just good politics. Stein, IMO has done more for the GP than any candidate in my 15+ years experience with them … but she seems to be routinely underestimated … :)

    “The public perception”? Which public? Yours, not mine …

  • Aquifer

    It appears that the Greens had no interest in doing a recount – if they had, they might well have been able to tailor it more to their liking .. I think there should be a credible threat of a recount for every election – otherwise there is no incentive for the duopoly to clean up its act at the polls …

    Sometimes ya gotta go with what ya got – I think the GP missed a real opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to fair elections, Stein did not. It rather looks to me that the GP chose party over principle – but we seem to disagree on what principles are worth pursuing …

    As i said, it’s your party – do with it what you like …

  • jemcgloin

    Thanks for the primary source.
    My reading is that the DNC email hack was included to back up the argument for checking electronic voting machines, by saying that sophisticated hackers, probably Russia, was seeking to influence the election.
    Personally I believe that the governments of China, Russia, and the US have all been hijacked by global billionaires, and much of what they do is in service of these billionaires, who compete but have overlapping interests, the most important of which is to neuter democracy at every level.
    The DNC hack seems more likely the work of an insider, but that wouldn’t fit the DNC narrative of the election being stolen by the Russians. Podesta just fell for a common fishing trick, helped along the story goes by a typo in the message from his IT guy. Anyone could have been behind that.
    I appreciate the nice press that RT has given activists in the US, but I don’t trust the Russians even as much as I trust the Clintons, which is about as far as I can throw Russia. The Clintons helped create the Russian Oligarchs as well as Putin, so I doubt they are as far apart as they like to pretend.

  • jemcgloin

    Thanks. Not many people make actual apologies anymore. I understand your sensitivity on the subject. It has been used and abused for a hundred years.

  • jemcgloin

    Low skill legal immigrants are not nearly as problematic, because they are subject to minimum wage laws and must receive the same benefits, etc. An employer can’t really say “I’m going to fire you and hire someone else at the same wage!”
    Programs like “guest worker” programs, etc, are more problematic, because they make exceptions to the standard labor laws.
    And I still think the mass importation of high skilled techs under the abused H1-b visa program drives down the pay of US college grads in stem fields, discouraging US students from pursuing those critical skills.

  • Aquifer

    It is not so much the critique as the rather clear suggestion that she was/is a Dem shill – that, IMO, was/is unwarranted – as i said on a number of occasions, I think this disagreement could have been handled in a much better way …. but it was done such that one was basically forced to choose between Stein and the Greens – you made your choice, i have made mine ….

  • jemcgloin

    Chaos will probably come in the form of a stock market crash. I’m going out on limb with this one, but the billionaires would probably want to crash the stock market as soon as it is far enough from Trump’s inauguration, and close enough to the massive austerity measures they want to implement.
    It has been climbing for years, and now its accelerating. I’m sure they’re “research” all says Buy Buy Buy!
    But one week soon they will be blaming Obama for a crashed economy while they transfer more wealth from us to them. As bad as it is for poor people, it could get a whole lot worse.

  • Jon

    II support you in the line of argument you are presenting, Aquifer. I don’t think Jill accused the Russians, just raised it as an “if” . I do concur that it is now shown to be the proverbial “fake news,” and that 3 credible sources, Assange, Murray, and VIPS have debunked that story.

  • Jon

    “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” Touche! LOL at the appropriateness. Please Aquifer, don’t leave GPUS. We need you, and of course Kevin and Margaret. I respect you all, and this is but a disagreement over tactics. Play it out, but remain solid Green! Did people see the great interview with Greg Palast on Real News Network regarding the huge gaps in methods used, and in particular, the cross-check routine. This is now REAL news,not fake.

  • Aquifer

    Thank you!
    I just think the GP has handled this quite badly – to impugn Stein’s motivation after all she has done to advance the party’s interests does not speak well for the party, IMO …

  • Jon

    That’s how I feel exactly. In the open letter signed by so many, there was no mention that I recall praising her for all the heart, soul, time and money she has invested on our behalf. Now the criticism was somewhat muted, but still it was all criticism. I concur that we as a party need to be independent of Dems, but there are times when it is useful to have a tactical temporary alliance with specific people. If one understands dialectics, a vastly underutilized concept in most of thinking on the left, we can see too much black and white in assessing issues. When do we see analysis like which is the principal contradiction and what is the principle aspect of that contradiction? I’d be glad to have direct dialogue with you via joliyoka@gmail.com

  • Jon

    Hi, Kevin. I can agree that tactical errors were made, but since she had given her word that evidence of election rigging would be pursued, I think she was keeping her promise–all to the good. What you just said above is news to me, that it was a Dem effort from the get-go rather than just being supported by Dems.

    I concur too that this is part of line-struggle within GPUS, and I am part of it here in Maine. I like the eco-socialist concept and support it, but not everyone does at this point, partly due to lack of clarification of the term “socialist, which many incorrectly think refers only to a top-heavy top-down bureaucratic state apparatus, rather than “empowerment of the working class.”

  • Jon

    False dichotomy. Jill is totally Green, and Greens supported her strongly in the campaign, but indeed there are differences in tactics, and I think she did make errors in that regard, but not in motivation. I do wish she would have included a state in which Hillary won a close one as well to avoid the appearance of Dem-lite. But let us be clear on who the class enemy is here.

  • Aquifer

    Actually, Jon, the GP demonstrated to me quite clearly some time ago that it didn’t “need” me at all – at which point i switched to being an “indy” which is what I am now ….

    Party politics leaves me cold – what brought me back in to being involved was, quite simply, Jill Stein’s campaign – met her a couple of times in ’04, liked what i saw and heard on a number of levels, for lack of a better term, she “resonated”, have been following her since and, quite frankly, she is the only GP candidate I was ever really enthused about (did work on a coupla Nader campaigns, but I much prefer Stein for a number of reasons) …Haven’t always agreed with some actions her campaign took, and voiced my critiques to her campaign – but the more i see how things turned out, the more respect i have for her political acumen …

    Politics, for me, is about both principle AND people, including the ones who run for office – “People, Peace and Planet over Profit and Party” … :)

    If Stein ran again, I would support her in a heartbeat – but if the GP shoots itself in the foot, or somewhere else, as i think it is doing here, and dumps her, unless it comes up with someone I think equally good or better, and I think it would be hard pressed to do so (even then, it would be hard to rid my mouth of that sour taste) – whatever choice it makes may well get no more from me than the “5 minutes” it takes to pull his/her lever … But who cares, the party doesn’t need me anyway … However the Party may need other indies, like me, for whom party considerations are secondary to principle and people concerns – and, considering that “indies” now seem to be a good 50% of the registered electorate, that might be a sizeable number …. :)

    Good luck with the GP – it looks like it will need it, I really do hope it gets its act together, i think it has the potential to do really good stuff – but cutting off its nose to spite someone else’s face doesn’t seem like a good strategy to me, but what do I know, i am just one of the “little people” speaking from the peanut gallery box …

    Not to worry, though, I will always be green, if not Green …. :)

  • Aquifer

    I agree – I also think there were errors made – but it is precisely because i see this piece and that initial letter as questioning her motivation – “buying DP arguments, associating with DP lawyers, etc. etc.” that I voice my complaint – the argument essentially being, you can believe us or you can back Stein, but apparently not both …. a choice was clearly implied. IMO …

    If the Party had shown any interest in any kind of recount for any reason – it might well have contributed in a manner that would have made the effort more appealing to more people …

    Indeed errors were made, and one of them I think was made by the GP itself …

  • Aquifer

    The implication that because the experts first approached the DP, ergo, makes it “a Dem effort from the get-go” is unwarranted, IMO – they got nowhere with the DP and so approached Stein, and given that apparently the GP itself had no interest in backing a recount, what other legal, financial and expert sources were available to help her “keep her promise” … just because some Dem s wanted a recount doesn’t mean a recount was a bad idea …

  • Aquifer

    “If one understands dialectics, a vastly underutilized concept in most of thinking on the left, we can see too much black and white in assessing issues.”

    Bingo – an argument the likes of which I have made in other replies here – only with more simplistic vocabulary :)

    In short, not being able to see the forest for the trees, which, I suppose is understandable for tree huggers :), but can be a real problem if you don’t hug enough of the trees ….

  • kevinzeese

    It is much more than that, Aquifer. Amazing you cannot put this down — it is not even the topic of the article!

    It is that Stein not only took the recount designed to help, but she did not look for alternative states or what would be best for the Green Party. She also took the stupid Democratic Party argument that blamed the Russians and when criticized she dug in and made the argument in every state as well as put out a press release applauding Obama for his comments on the Russians. This argument is being used by Dems and Repubs to increase conflict between the US and Russia — we do not need that. And, she used Democratic lawyers, the worst was in Michigan where the legal team was headed by a lawyer who had been the Democratic Party leader for Michigan for decades, was the head of an association of state Democratic Party chairs and is a member of the DNC. She also used a PR firm the Dems use – one that works only for Dem candidates and Dem interest groups. And, the funding came from the Democratic Party PAC MoveOn and Democracy for America, also a Dem group. We do not know who the larger donors are yet. The people who worked to monitor the recount were recruited from the Democratic Party. It is hard to think what else the Dems could have done with this recount. Stein just stepped in the middle of it and was their spokesperson.

    If you want to continue to discuss this, my email is KBZeese@gmail.com. This was not the topic of this article so please stop repeating the same arguments or we will start blocking them. You have said your piece, repeated it multiple times — ENOUGH! I don’t want to keep criticizing Stein’s recount but you are forcing a response to your incomplete statements. The recount is over, move on.

  • Aquifer

    True – not the topic of the article – but you raised it, as they say, you opened the door – and my reply was to another poster ….

    Indeed, as this is your site, as it is your party – you can do with it and with my replies whatever you like ….

    No need for me to make my points again – i think you have rather made them yourself …

  • Aquifer

    Jon, apparently I can’t discuss it, but here is the best take i have seen – paints the picture in a different light and is how it should have been done, IMO …

    http://blackagendareport.com/US-elections-recount-proof-audit-proof

  • Bob M

    I know what I read, I saw and I heard and that is Bernie Sanders saying he would support the nominee of the Democrat Party unconditionally no matter who it was. Why should Sanders have replied to Stein’s plea he made his point. If you are not listening what point is there in Sanders repeating himself. If Sanders’ followers are “pissed” whose problem is that ? The fact of the matter is Sanders had 13 Million People vote for him in the Primaries, Stein received 1.4 million votes in the General Election. In 1996 Nader pulled down almost 700,000 votes and didn’t even spend 5000 Bucks. So what percentage of Stein’s 1.4 million votes were Sanders’ crossover voters ? The Greens needed 7 Million Votes to get 5% and Federal Matching Funds. The grim reality is Stein’s Campaign was a colossal flop. She received only 20% of what the party needed. “Routinely underestimated” You’re not serious with that blurb, now are you ? You can play your head games over Stein’s hijinx by manipulating words but all that shows is your level of denial. As to whose public perception of the Greens is correct I would say mine is more representative of the public at large. And I find it instructive the when you are confronted with a harsh reality you choose to recede into your own insular world.

  • Aquifer

    It wasn’t a plea, it was an offer to collaborate with a party that was serious about a “political revolution” instead of burying it in the DP, but he clearly was not serious and folded like a house of cards when his party told him to shut up …

  • Bob M

    You can pound the table all you like but their is no refuting the fact that Stein made a public overture to Sanders offer him the top of the Green Party ticket. If Stein had done her homework she would have come to the realization that Sanders would never have agreed to run on any ticket other than the Democrat Party. Sanders has made a political career misrepresenting himself as a “Democratic Socialist”. Sanders has never been a member of any organized Socialist Party, his politics has been strictly Capitalist-Reformist in nature. To buy into to his “political-revolution” bilge to begin with is to reflect ignorance and naivete. The fact that the Greens allowed Stein to blindly chase after Sanders showed poor judgement. Stein made the Green Party look like a bunch of fools so she could pursue her flight of fancy.

  • Margaret Flowers

    Stein knew all along that Sanders would turn her down, but a lot of new politically aware people did not know that. It was a strategic move designed to expose his revolution as a fake.

  • Bob M

    So you are saying the whole thing was a dog and pony show ? You know the the supposed “Socialist Convergence” in Philadelphia, resolution 835 to give the illusion the Greens were going Socialist. It all was a stunt ?

  • Aquifer

    You don’t get it Bob, you just don’t get it …. Many of his followers didn’t know he wasn’t serious, they needed a demonstration ….

  • Bob M

    You’re are the one that doesn’t get it. Both you and Jill Stein don’t get it. What you don’t get is votes with these hair brained strategies. You and the Greens showed Sanders Followers he wasn’t serious and look at the Green Party’s vote count. 1% of the vote. Stein was clobbered by 5 of the 8 Green Party Senatorial Candidates at the polls. Stein’s numbers were pathetic. And with each and every debacle the Green Party marginalizes itself further.

  • Aquifer

    You still don’t get it – and you are confusing vote % with seriousness of the candidate …

    “Stein was clobbered by 5 of the 8 Green Party Senatorial Candidates at the polls.”

    – ?