Trump Loyalists Preview Strategies To Upend 2024 Election

05-10-2024 ~ Not just challenging voters’ credentials in battleground states. But attacking every step in running elections.

As the 2020 presidential election entered its final stretch, Christina Bobb was not just covering it as a TV newswoman for the pro-Donald Trump One America News Network (OANN). The tall, dark-haired, clear-speaking ex-marine and lawyer was working to overturn it.

Bobb believed that Democrats and election officials colluded to fabricate thousands of voter registrations, illegal voters, forged ballots, and finessed the vote count until Joe Biden was the victor in 2020’s battleground states.

Yet it was Bobb and Trump loyalists who were feverishly plotting and pushing to alter the presidential election’s outcome, as she detailed in her 2023 book, Stealing Your Vote: The Inside Story of the 2020 Election and What it Means for 2024.

Publicly, Bobb kept reporting for OANN. Under the radar, she “joined” Rudy Giuliani and others in Trump’s orbit who pursued ways to nullify the results. She wrote that she was on the call with Trump when he urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find 11,780 votes.” Bobb said that she coordinated “the litigation efforts in Arizona, Michigan, and New Mexico,” including, apparently, a slate of fake Electoral College members who forged and sent paperwork to Congress certifying that Trump had won Arizona.

In April, Bobb and 17 others were indicted on multiple felonies in that electoral hijacking scheme by Arizona Attorney General Kristin Mayes, a Democrat. Only weeks before, on the same day Trump secured the 2024 Republican nomination, Bobb was named the Republican National Committee’s senior counsel for election integrity. Beyond the surreal twist that a politico indicted for attempting to overturn a swing state’s presidential vote will now lead a national party’s efforts to police elections, Bobb’s book previews the lawfare and conspiratorial mindset that is already shadowing 2024’s presidential election.

In her book, Bobb complained about “inflated” voter rolls, “ballot trafficking,” and “ballot harvesting,” which are conspiratorial pejoratives that imply fabricating voters, forging ballots, and stuffing ballot boxes. As States Newsroom reported in April 2024, the RNC and its allies have already sued in five states—including Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada—to challenge their voter rolls’ accuracy, and, in turn, voters’ credentials. In Georgia, a Republican bill empowering mass challenges of voter registrations was signed into law on May 7. (The American Civil Liberties Union has vowed to sue to block last-minute voter purges.)

Bobb’s book also targeted the way that elections are run. She disparaged “centralized” counting operations (“makes cheating easier”) and complained of local election officials “removing” Republican workers and restricting GOP’s observers (“so that they could cheat”). She said that Democrats will spread “misinformation” (“an information war against the American people”), run “out the clock” after Election Day, and collude with the media to change “the Narrative.”

“The media and the Left insist that there were no crimes committed, and they love to point to the courts, claiming that all charges of criminal activity have been proven wrong,” she wrote of 2020. “The real story, however, is quite different.”

The real story of 2020’s finale, contrary to Bobb’s assertions, was that Trump loyalists would not accept his defeat and were running blind. They presented their “evidence” to courts overseen by Democratic and Republican judges and lost every substantive legal challenge. Their evidence—sworn statements by individuals who claimed they had witnessed misdeeds and voter fraud—was not deemed credible and was rebutted by factual evidence provided by experienced and informed experts.

Nonetheless, Bobb’s belief that hidden hands are again plotting to steal votes is not just taken as an article of faith in Trump circles. It is emblematic of a new development in the GOP’s “election integrity” circles, which Mimi Marziani, a political science and election law professor at the University of Texas at Austin, recently characterized as “throwing the kitchen sink” at elections officials, the courts, and the public.

In recent years, these self-taught grassroots Trump activists—who distrust almost everyone who has run an election, including Republicans—have discovered the details of election administration. These are the often-repetitive steps, procedures, and technologies used in elections. The activists assume the worst will happen at any point. They distrust almost everything about every stage in the process.

As Marziani recently told Votebeat’s Texas reporter, “They’re not actually trying to have a different person elected… They’re trying to set some sort of precedent to destabilize free and fair elections.”

“If someone really wants to interfere with our elections, they will find a way to accomplish that,” wrote Erica in April, the curator of the Election Education channel on Telegram, a platform favored by Trumpers. “The security measures the election officials repeat over and over are a false sense of security when we can’t verify any of them for ourselves.” Read more

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Will the Golden Age For Corporate Shareholders Ever End?

John P. Ruehl – Source: Independent Media Institute

05-05-2024 ~ Shareholders have assumed enormous influence over U.S. corporations over the last few decades. Despite their firm hold, shifts are underway that could alter the domestic corporate landscape.

On April 3, 2024, Disney CEO Bob Iger officially fended off the attempt by institutional investor Nelson Peltz and his hedge fund Trian Partners to secure two board seats. During the affair, Disney faced pressure from proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services to support Peltz’s initiative. While Iger prevailed, the costliest board fight in history underscores the significant influence of shareholders in shaping the fates of corporations.

Historically, U.S. corporate power was concentrated among executives, though with varying degrees of influence held by workers and other stakeholders. However, over the last century, U.S. corporations increasingly oriented themselves around their stock price and the imperative to maximize shareholder value. This mindset has now firmly entrenched itself within U.S. corporate culture and continues to shape their decisions and priorities.

Until the early 20th century, shareholders wielded minimal influence over U.S. corporations, with notable changes instigated by industries such as railroad conglomerates. To sidestep antitrust accusations and manipulate competition, for example, railroad companies created “communities of interest” by buying shares in one another, frequently installing their financiers and bankers on targeted companies’ boards. However, increased antitrust enforcement from the Supreme Court discouraged these practices by 1912.

Investors remained undeterred. Throughout the 1920s Merger Wave, shareholders amassed large stakes in various companies, eroding the traditional influence of company founders, executives, families, as well as other stakeholders like employees, trade unions, suppliers, customers, and local communities. The momentum of the shareholder rights movement surged following the stock market crash in 1929, which prompted legislation aimed at increasing transparency granting shareholders increased authority and information access.

During World War II, U.S. industrial power was centralized under government control. This trend, however, waned after the conflict concluded, leading to a resurgence of privatization that benefited shareholders as control shifted away from government oversight. Despite initially dominating the post-WWII economic landscape, U.S. companies began encountering tougher competition from global rivals by the 1960s, hindering their growth.

During the 1970s, prioritizing stock price growth for shareholders gained traction. However, it was the 1980s when this mindset became institutionalized, with legal rulings such as Smith v. Van Gorkom, (1985) and Revlon, Inc. v. MacAndrews and Forbes Holding, Inc. (1986) affirming corporations’ duties to shareholders.

Amendments to corporate laws aimed to enhance shareholder rights, enabling actions like director nominations, and voting on executive pay. Executive stock rewards thus began to increase, incentivizing risk-taking for short-term gains. Additionally, the 1986 Tax Reform Law cut the individual top tax rate and fueled heightened interest in short-term stock trading.

The evolution of institutional investors also played a pivotal part in reshaping the financial landscape. The growing role of hedge funds, 401(k) pension plans managed through mutual funds, and the introduction of other major asset management firms like Vanguard and BlackRock began to herald a new era in the stock market and corporate governance.

In the decades up to the 1980s, corporate raiding had become increasingly common. However, regulatory changes during the 1980s lifted restrictions on mergers and acquisitions, leading to the peak of the U.S. corporate raiding era. During this time, riskier, higher-return bonds called “junk bonds” and leveraged buyouts involving a large amount of borrowed money to purchase a company evolved into crucial financial tools for funding corporate takeovers. Companies often targeted struggling companies or undervalued firms, acquiring them with the intention of privatizing operations, slashing costs, divesting assets, and eventually reintroducing them to the public market. Read more

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Seeing Red: Our Ancient Relationship With Ocher And The Color of Cognition

05-03-2024 ~ Extensive ocher use reflects the culture and cognitive abilities of early humans, who inherited an affinity for red from primate ancestors.

Twenty-three million years ago, our distant ancestors gained trichromatic color vision through means of a random genetic mutation. Trichromatic color vision and trichromacy refer to the ability to perceive color through three receptors in the eye, known as cones, which are sensitive to different wavelengths of visible light. It has been assumed that primates ancestral to humans had two cones at the start of their lineage; the duplication and modification of genes coding for one of the two created another distinct, separate cone. Gaining a third cone allowed for the perception of red and other colors with long wavelengths in addition to the two preexisting receptors for blues and greens with shorter wavelengths—red was entirely unknown to primate species before this mutation, and the ability to see red remains rare among other mammals. Exceptions to mammalian dichromacy, the state of having two cones, are uncommon. Some primates lost one of their cone receptors, becoming monochromats. Having a single cone, monochromats like the nocturnal owl monkeys (genus Aotus) perceive light intensity in shades of gray without the ability to differentiate color values. Others, including the ancestors of modern apes, monkeys, and humans, happened to gain a third cone.

Michael H. Rowe, professor emeritus of neuroscience at Ohio University, confirms that random processes were involved in the evolution of primate trichromacy in his study of the underlying neurophysiological mechanisms, and outlines the two dominant theories for the maintenance of a third cone among primates. One longstanding theory is that of enhanced fruit detection among diurnal primates, who are most active during the daytime. According to this theory, improved discernment of red fruits against green foliage led to a direct increase in efficiency when foraging for nutritious food. The second theory, however, suggests it was the consumption of leaves rather than fruit that more strongly influenced routine trichromacy. This alternate “young leaf” hypothesis emphasizes the importance of enhanced color vision when selecting nutritious leaves over their less beneficial counterparts, especially at times when fruit is scarce and surviving off of leaf consumption becomes critical. Rowe’s findings and the newer “young leaf” theory also align with the later evolution of trichromatic vision in the howler monkey, a New World primate.

New World primates like the howler monkey and Old World primates, which include humans and apes, are two major groups within the order Primates that differ in anatomical features and geographic distribution. Since their last common ancestor did not have trichromatic vision, the trait evolved in both Old and certain New World species through convergent evolution. This occurs when similar traits evolve among distantly related species, usually due to similar environmental pressures and advantages to the trait.

Further down the evolutionary timeline, rocks and minerals became the cornerstones of technological advancement among hominins. Within the range of widely accessible raw materials, one pigment stands out with its broad spectrum of color: ocher. Ocher varies in shade depending on its chemical and structural composition, appearing from light yellows and rusty browns to deep red-purple hues. Red ocher, for example, gains its color from an abundance of an iron oxide called hematite. Read more

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PVV Blog 7 ~ Remembrance Day 2024

05-03-2024 ~The Netherlands commemorates the victims of the Second World War annually on May 4th. This remembrance takes place through a ceremony held at the central square ‘de Dam’ in Amsterdam.

During the yearly Remembrance Day event, wreaths are laid at the monument by the chairpersons of the Senate and House of Representatives. This year, Martin Bosma, a member of the Party for Freedom, will lay the wreath on behalf of the House of Representatives. In 2023, Bosma was democratically elected as the chairman of the House of Representatives, representing the ideological stance of the Party for Freedom. Throughout this series, I heavily draw upon his book ‘De schijn-élite van de valse munters. Drees, extreem rechts, de sixties, nuttige idioten, Groep Wilders en ik’ published in 2010. Below, I provide an analysis of several quotes from Bosma’s book, followed by commentary on these quotes.

Quotes about Christianity
‘There are few things the Dutch can be happier with than the Christian background of their country. Almost all of our crucial achievements have a relationship with Christianity. Democracy, separation of church and state, tolerance, but also values such as diligence and efficiency’ (p. 94).

‘Monoculturalism, supplemented with Christian-Western values such as diligence, discipline, honesty and efficiency, created an unparalleled high point in human history’ (p. 188).

Quotes about Islam
‘Islam brings us mutual distrust, certainly not multicultural enrichment’ (p. 321).

‘Maybe individual Muslims adapt here and there, but Islam cannot do that’ (p. 304).

‘The dominant factor that determines whether Sharia is introduced in the Netherlands is not so much the ummah (the international Islamic community) but it is the powerful left-wing church with its crucial positions of power’ (p. 148).

‘The limits of what you say in the Netherlands are no longer determined by democratically established laws, but by the assessment of whether by saying it you run the risk of being ritually slaughtered on a public road’ (p. 130).

‘In the long term, there is a huge possibility of the introduction of Sharia in (parts of) the Netherlands. In the medium term, the subject of Islamization will have a paralyzing effect on the political system’ (p. 119)

Quotes about left-wing parties and multiculturalism
‘As a result of the Sixties revolution, multiculturalism has become our national state ideology’ (p. 320).

‘The multicultural society is the result of an erosion of democracy’ (p. 119).

‘Somewhere an immigration flow reaches a tipping point. Then it is not the immigrants who are adapted to the host country, but the host country is adapted to the immigrant (p. 141).

‘The war is a war about who is in charge on the left’ (p. 251), (i.e. Hitler’s National Socialists or Stalin’s Communists, JJdR).

‘Almost all multicultural states have disintegrated after a lot of misery’ (p. 188).

Bosma also quotes Adolf Hitler: ‘How can you be a socialist without being an anti-Semite?’ (p. 256).

‘Genocide as a policy instrument already appears at the origins of socialism’ (p. 258).

Quotes about Jews and Israel

‘Israel has become the symbol of our freedom and the desire to continue that freedom.’

‘The flag of Israel is therefore the flag of all free people.’

‘The country is a barometer of our future’ (p.275).

‘If the armies of Hamas and Hezbollah march through the streets of Tel Aviv, Amsterdam and Paris will be hopelessly lost’ (p. 275).

Other quotes
“Democracies rarely go to war, and certainly not with other democracies” (p. 188).

‘A hundred years from now, people will remember Geert Wilders (leader Party for Freedom) as someone who had the moral clarity to tell the truth that needed to be told’

Remembrance Day 2024
As a representative of the Dutch state, Martin Bosma stands on May 4th at Dam Square in Amsterdam, espousing the views expressed above. He contends that Christianity has played a significant role in shaping our democratic accomplishments.
He advocates for a monocultural society as a path to salvation, asserting that Islam only leads to suffering and distrust. He attributes the blame for the Second World War to leftist ideologies, associating them with anti-Semitism and genocide, while regarding Israel as a bastion of freedom.
However, Bosma’s perspective overlooks the contributions of the French Revolution to our democratic ideals, which emerged independently of Christianity. It also disregards the existence of successful multicultural societies that remain resilient.

Additionally, he fails to recognize that diversity can foster empathy and mutual support. Furthermore, Bosma neglects to acknowledge the persecution endured by social democrats in Nazi Germany.
Looking at the present moment, it’s evident that some of Bosma’s quotes have become outdated. The surge of anti-Islam rhetoric in the Netherlands and Western Europe, largely fueled by populist parties like the Party for Freedom, has effectively discredited the notion of ‘multiculturalism’ as a state-endorsed ideology, assuming it ever held such a status. Additionally, the once formidable left-wing influence has significantly waned.

In the context of international affairs, accusations abound regarding the current Israeli government’s alleged genocidal actions in Gaza. Prior to October 7th, attempts to stifle the Israeli Supreme Court added to the mounting concerns. The perception of the Israeli flag as a symbol of freedom has undergone a transformation, evident in the stark divide between perspectives within Israel itself and those in Gaza and the West Bank.

Furthermore, it’s worth pondering the assertion that democracies seldom engage in warfare. The historical trajectory of post-World War II America, marked by military interventions in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, challenges this notion.

Reflecting on the relevance of Martin Bosma’s statements from a book published thirteen years ago, one might question the validity of using them as a cudgel.
However, the absence of any retractions from Bosma over the intervening years raises concerns. Coupled with the recent impassioned rhetoric of his party leader, Geert Wilders, at the Hungarian CPAC event, it seems prudent to remind the public that the individual solemnly laying wreaths at Dam Square on May 4th represents an ideology with potential implications for inciting conflict.

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Singapore: Lawrence Wong To Lead Amid Economic And Political Challenges

Geography of Singapore –

05-03-2024 ~ Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong is set to become Singapore’s next leader on May 15, succeeding Lee Hsien Loong. His leadership will be closely watched as he takes the helm.

Singapore has announced that Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong will take over as the country’s next leader on May 15. Wong, 51, has garnered unanimous support from lawmakers within the People’s Action Party (PAP). He will succeed Lee Hsien Loong, who has held the top job for 20 years.

Wong, who earned praise for his management of the island’s pandemic response, has been regarded as Lee’s successor since April 2022. During this time, the ruling party selected him to lead the “4G” or fourth generation of leaders in Singapore’s political parlance—politicians the party aimed to have govern the country in the future.

Before that, Heng Swee Keat, a former central bank chief and education minister and choice for the post of Prime Minister, suddenly stepped aside in 2021, throwing the party’s succession plans into disarray.

The term “generation” suggests a significant transition rather than a complete overhaul of cabinets, as some ministers served under more than one prime minister. The first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, led the first generation of leadership from 1965 until 1990. He was succeeded by Goh Chok Tong, who held the premiership for the following 14 years until 2004 when Lee Hsien Loong assumed leadership.

Wong began his political career in 2011 and has since held various ministerial positions, including defense, education, finance, and national development. Following his successful leadership during Singapore’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wong was selected by his fellow cabinet ministers in early 2022 as a leader of the next generation through a selection process that excluded Lee and other senior ministers. Shortly thereafter, Lee appointed him as Deputy Prime Minister.

Singapore adheres to a parliamentary system, where general elections are conducted once every five years. Since gaining independence, Singapore has been characterized by a one-party dominant state led by the ruling PAP. Despite this, the opposition led by the Workers’ Party has made notable strides, securing seats and now overseeing two group representation constituencies, marking a substantial breakthrough in the electoral landscape.

Lawrence Wong confronts numerous challenges as he readies to assume office on May 15. Singapore is grappling with significant concerns regarding the escalating cost of living. The ruling party has also been shaken by a corruption scandal.

In February 2024, Singapore’s core inflation, which excludes private transport and accommodation costs to better reflect household expenses, surged to 3.6 percent year-on-year. This marked a significant uptick from January’s rate of 3.1 percent and surpassed market expectations of a 3.4 percent increase. It represented the highest reading for core inflation since July 2023.

The acceleration in inflation was primarily driven by elevated services and food inflation, partly attributed to seasonal effects linked to the Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, stands as one of the most significant and widely celebrated holidays in Singapore. During this period, there is typically an increase in consumer spending, leading to price hikes. Read more

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May Day May Have Been Obliterated From US History, But It’s Legacy Continues

05-01-2024 ~ Progressive economic ideas have been on the whole an anathema to the U.S. political establishment and violence against labor militancy has always been the norm for almost all of the country’s political history. Nonetheless, the U.S. labor movement has not yet been defeated.

May 1st is International Workers’ Day and was established as such in celebration of the struggle for the introduction of the eight-hour workday and in memory of Chicago’s Haymarket Affair, which took place in 1886. May 1st is celebrated in over 160 countries with large-scale marches and protests as workers across the globe continue to fight for better working conditions, fair wages, and other labor rights. International Workers’ Day, however, is not celebrated in the U.S. and has in fact been practically erased from historical memory. But this shouldn’t be surprising since U.S. capitalism operates on the basis of a brutal economy where maximization of profit takes priority over everything else, including the environment and even human lives.

Indeed, the U.S. has a notorious record when it comes to worker rights. The country has the most violent and bloody history of labor relations in the advanced industrialized world, according to labor historians. Subsequently, unionization has always faced an uphill battle as corporations are allowed to engage in widespread union-busting practices through manipulation or violation of federal labor law. The recent activities of Amazon and Starbucks speak volumes of the anti-union mentality that pervades most U.S. corporations. Accordingly, unionization in the U.S. has been on decline for decades even though the majority of Americans see this development as a bad thing.

The backlash against unionization and worker rights in general in the U.S. also takes place against the backdrop of an insidious ideological framework in which it has been regarded as a self-evident truth that individuals are responsible for their own fate and that government should not interfere with the free market out of concern for social and economic inequalities.

Social Darwinism first appeared in U.S. political and social thought in the mid-1860s, as historian Richard Hofstadter showed in his brilliant work Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860-1915, but it would be a gross mistake to think that it ever went away. The conservative counterrevolution launched by Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s and refined by Bill Clinton in the early 1990s aimed at bringing back the loathsome idea that the government should not interfere in the “survival of the fittest” by helping the weak and the poor. Progressive economic ideas have been on the whole an anathema to the U.S. political establishment and violence against labor militancy has always been the norm for almost all of the country’s political history.

Long before the movement for an eight-hour workday in the U.S., which can be largely attributed to the influx of European immigrants mainly from Italy and Germany, radicalism had set foot across a number of post-colonial states. Rhode Island, often referred to as the Rogue Island, had one of the most radical economic policies on revolutionary debt, which was wildly popular with farmers and common folks in general, and experimented with the idea of radical democracy. At approximately the same time, Shays’ rebellion in Massachusetts was also about money, debts, poverty, and democracy. Naturally, the elite in both states pulled out all stops to put an end to radicalism, and the pattern of suppressing popular demands has somehow survived in U.S. politics across time.

The pattern of suppressing social and political movements from below continued well into modern times. The Red Scare, climaxed in the late 1910s on account of the Russian revolution and the rise of labor strikes and then renewed with the anti-communist campaign of the 1940s, played a crucial role in the establishment’s fervent dedication to crushing radicalism in the U.S. and putting an end to challenges against capitalism.

In light of this, it is nothing short of a shame that May Day has been all but forgotten in U.S. political culture even though the day traces its origins to the fight of American laborers for a shorter workday.

Last year, after marching on May Day with thousands of other people in the streets of Dublin, one of the questions that was posed to me was how could it be that International Workers’ Day is not celebrated in the U.S. I am still struggling to come up with a convincing explanation, as may be evident from this essay, but Gore Vidal was not off the mark when he said, “we are the United States of Amnesia.”

Nonetheless, the U.S. labor movement has not yet been defeated and is surely not dead. In spite of the bloody suppression and the constant intimidation over many decades, the U.S. labor movement has made its presence felt on numerous historic occasions, from the Battle of Cripple Creek in 1894 and the 1892 Homestead Strike in Pennsylvania to being behind the historic 1963 march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and continues doing so down to this day. Scores of victories for the working class were achieved last year—and all against prevailing odds. Moreover, in 2023, labor strikes in the U.S. jumped to a 23-year high and some of the largest labor disputes in the history of the U.S. were also recorded last year.

So, while May Day may have been formally obliterated by the powers that be from U.S. public awareness, the labor movement is still alive and kicking. Even a small victory is still a victory, though time will tell of the historic significance of each step forward. Indeed, it is highly unlikely that the unionists, socialists, and anarchists that made Chicago in 1886 the center of the national movement for the eight-hour workday had foreseen what the impact of their actions would be in the struggle of the international labor movement for democracy, better wages, safer working conditions, and freedom of speech. All these social rights have been amplified over time, though much remains to be accomplished and the struggle continues.

But this is all the more reason why we must not forget—and indeed celebrate every year with marches and protests—May 1st.


C.J. Polychroniou is a political economist/political scientist who has taught and worked in numerous universities and research centers in Europe and the United States. His latest books are The Precipice: Neoliberalism, the Pandemic and the Urgent Need for Social Change (A collection of interviews with Noam Chomsky; Haymarket Books, 2021), and Economics and the Left: Interviews with Progressive Economists (Verso, 2021).

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