Image for post
Image for post

One out of three adult Americans have no trust in our mass media, according to a September 2020 Gallup poll. Sharyl Attkisson attempts to explain why in her new book, “Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism.”

Attkisson argues that we live in an Orwellian news environment: The major media outlets carefully filter information to make sure that journalists only present the “correct” view to their audience. Attkisson says reporters are so aware of this condition that they name it The Narrative.

I wanted to see who Attkisson reveals as the formulator of The Narrative, since she asserts there is a “Big Brother constantly revising ‘facts’ to fit the government’s ever-changing story.” In this book from Attkisson, a five-time Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist and New York Times bestselling author, I was expecting a deep dive into the corporate world to find the culprits. It turns out, Attkisson says, it’s the liberals — not the billionaires. …


Image for post
Image for post
Madison Square Garden in New York on Nov. 29, 1954, Joe McCarthy rally for his cause. (AP)

The big lie shaking this nation for the past seven weeks is that Trump won the election by a landslide. It is a lie. President Donald Trump and his many lawyers have not produced even a shred of evidence to support that claim before our judicial system.

No court has found substantial fraud or miscounts in any of the 60 lawsuits Trump and his allies have brought before them. Eighty-eight state and federal judges, appointed by members of both parties, came to those decisions. Chris Krebs, who was appointed by Trump to head up Homeland Security’s Security Agency, tweeted that “59 election security experts all agree, ‘in every case of which we are aware, these claims have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent.” …


Image for post
Image for post
Proud Boys march during a rally for President Trump on Saturday in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein for The Washington Post)

Since the media declared that former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential election, the nation has witnessed a proliferation of right-wing Trump rallies. Their message: the election was a fraud and Trump’s win was stolen from him.

Is this the beginning of a domestic fascist movement to discredit our democratic institutions? Historian Timothy Snyder in his book “On Tyranny” argues that institutions preserve our decency. They do not protect themselves. They fall if citizens do not protect them.

The Trump-appointed Director of Cybersecurity, Chris Krebs, was fired because he announced the vote across the nation “was the most secure in American history.” Krebs has since filed a lawsuit charging that Trump has initiated a campaign of intimidation, retaliation and threats against Republicans. …


Image for post
Image for post
President Trump Speaking at a Rally

Forty-eight hours after the AP projected Joe Biden as president-elect, Donald Trump established a Save America PAC to secure his takeover of the Republican Party.

Two developments that will occur before Biden is sworn-in as our 46th president will shape our country for the next four years. First, Trump will fail to stop any of Biden’s electoral votes from being overturned when Congress counts them on Jan. 6, 2021. Second, Trump will move to dominate the future of the Republican Party more than any other person.

January 6 will mark Trump’s Waterloo

The final step in certifying that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election occurs on Jan. 6. On the date, the new Congress’s two chambers meet in a joint session to count the electoral votes. It is usually a mere formality, which occurs in every presidential election. However, the Electoral Count Act of 1877 requires only one representative and one senator to object to a state’s slate of electors, temporaily stopping the count. …


Image for post
Image for post
EVAN VUCCI / AP

Conservative journalist Geraldo Rivera told Fox News on Sunday, Nov. 22, that he had talked to President Donald Trump the previous week. He described Trump as a realist and a proud person who will finally concede once all the avenues to reversing the results of the election have been closed.

The catch, however, is that his vice president, Mike Pence, could keep one last avenue open for a Trump win. It would seemingly be legal and playing by the rules. …


Image for post
Image for post
AP photo

Trump’s firing of Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, two months before leaving the White House, may mean Trump is keeping a domestic military intervention in his playbook.

Esper publicly rebuffed President Trump’s invocation of the Insurrection Act in June. Trump wanted to use that act to justify Esper sending active-duty military troops into cities experiencing violence associated with protests. Esper’s statement, “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,” was counter to the president’s wish. Trump told Fox News,”Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send them in, and we do it very easy.”

At that time, Trump was referring to the massive urban unrest that was occurring over the police killings of several Black citizens, many of whom were unarmed. Those protests and the ancillary lootings have largely disappeared. …


Image for post
Image for post

Two recent Citizenship Politics columns dealt with the slowdown of mail-in ballots by USPS (past the deadline for them to be counted) and President Donald Trump’s strategies for capturing the electors.

The Trump Campaign will try to disqualify as many mail-in ballots as possible. Trump has personally implied through his public statements that armed civilians should monitor polling stations. Armed militias have already made statements that they will not allow the Democrats to steal the election from Trump. The public has no way of knowing the full scale of these efforts. …


Image for post
Image for post

Donald Trump plays politics as a game to win. And he never, never admits defeat. He is always victorious. He whips his mask off on the White House balcony to show that he has conquered the coronavirus pandemic. His supporters love it. Trump is the ultimate showman.

Nevertheless, the Republican party realizes that Trump may lose his re-election. Consequently, the R’s are doing some really hard work. They are registering more new voters than the Democrats are in key swing states. They also have a massive door-belling campaign to get their supporters out. Meanwhile, the Democrats are eschewing that practice so as to not spread the pandemic. Instead they are relying on personal phone calls and social media . …


Image for post
Image for post

photo by Rachel Cooper, “The “Authority of Law” marble statue by sculptor James Earle Fraser on the steps of the Supreme Court Building.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings Mon., Oct. 12, on the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Her seat on the court will solidify its already very conservative majority.

National polls have shown that most citizens do not wish her, or anyone, to be appointed until after the presidential election. A few Democrats have argued that if Barrett is appointed, seats should be added to the Supreme Court to balance its philosophical views.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both asked their Democratic opponents in the recent debates whether they would pack the court, presumably with liberals. Both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris danced around the issue, never answering the question. …


The push for the Senate’s confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett may be impacted by the pandemic.

Image for post
Image for post
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) meets with Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett (Source: Sen. Lee)

Sen. Mitch McConnell has delayed the convening of the full Senate until Oct. 19 because three Republican Senators have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. But he is pushing ahead with Barrett’s confirmation hearing scheduled for Oct. 12. Is it now possible that the Covid-19 virus could do what the Democrats can’t do — fatally delay the nomination of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett?

It depends. Let’s see what it would take.

Scenario One

For the Republicans to confirm Barrett as scheduled, she would have to test negative on the Covid-19 virus up to and during Senate Judicial Committee hearings. If she tested positive, she could still be interviewed remotely. However, the optics of her not being present in the Senate committee room and just appearing on a screen is not good for the Republicans. It would provide ammunition to the Democrats’ charge that this is an unnecessarily rushed endeavor to bypass public input. …

About

Nick Licata

Author of Becoming a Citizen Activist, 18 year Seattle Councilmember, named progressive municipal official of the year by The Nation.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store