Category Archives: Elections

100 days of presidential threats

Jennifer Mercieca, Texas A&M University

President Donald Trump threatens people a lot. He menaces, he bullies and then he explains his words away. The Conversation

As a scholar of American political rhetoric, I have paid close attention to Trump’s use of words. In particular, I’ve focused on something called ad baculum – or threats. Ad baculum is Latin for “appeal to the stick.” Demagogues typically use threats to prevent their opponents from thinking critically. Threats are useful because they are difficult to question or argue against.

As a presidential candidate, Trump frequently used threats in combination with another rhetorical figure of speech – paralipsis. Paralipsis is Greek for “to leave to the side” or, more colloquially, “I’m not saying, I’m just saying.” This combination allowed Trump to threaten and also not threaten at the same time – a threat with a wink that meant that he maybe didn’t mean it and shouldn’t be held accountable.

Candidate Trump was certainly menacing, but it was sometimes difficult to judge whether to take his threats either literally or seriously.

Trump has stopped using the “wink” of paralipsis since he became president. His threats are now more explicit, but just as hard to interpret.

Candidate Trump, a threat with a wink

For an example of candidate Trump using ad baculum threats with the wink of paralipsis, consider the case of Trump’s comments during a campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky in March 2016. Numerous protesters interrupted Trump. In response, Trump menaced, “Get ‘em out of here.” He then looked on as members of the crowd forcibly removed protesters.

The protesters have filed a legal complaint against Trump alleging they were assaulted as a result of his speech. They argue, “Each time he said ‘Get them out,’ Trump intended for his supporters to use unwanted, harmful physical force to remove protesters.”

But, did he?

As the crowd began removing the protesters, Trump said: “And don’t hurt ‘em. If I say ‘Go get ’em,’ I get in trouble with the press, the most dishonest human beings in the world. If I say ‘Don’t hurt ’em,’ then the press says Trump isn’t as tough as he used to be, can you believe? So, you can’t win with these people.”

Trump’s lawyers attempted to take advantage of the plausible deniability of the paralipsis, arguing that “Mr. Trump explicitly said, ‘Don’t hurt them.’ Thus, even if some causal link could be inferred between Mr. Trump’s call to have the protesters removed and the actions of three people in the crowd, Mr. Trump’s directive not to harm anyone severed the connection.”

That’s the wink that made candidate Trump’s words difficult to judge.

A federal judge has ruled that it was “plausible” that Trump either intended to incite riot or did incite riot at the Louisville rally. The judge’s ruling means that the case can now go to trial. At issue, presumably, will be whether or not the rally crowd should have taken Trump’s threat seriously.

President Trump, just the threats

As president, Trump still holds rallies, but he seems to have lost much of the joy that he had as a candidate. His language is less ironic, as befits a president, perhaps, but it is also darker and even more menacing.

One thing that President Trump hasn’t moved away from is his use of ad baculum, or threats, to silence his opposition.

Consider these examples:

In January 2017, President-Elect Trump threatened Toyota with higher taxes:

In February 2017, President Trump threatened to withhold federal funds from U.C. Berkeley:

In March 2017, President Trump threatened the Republican Party Freedom Caucus with a 2018 election fight:

And, in April 2017, President Trump threatened North Korea:

Now that he has the power to carry out his threats, he uses their coercive power more directly. There’s still some ambiguity about whether he’ll follow through, but the threats themselves are more directly stated.

Understanding Trump’s threats

It’s noteworthy when a political leader uses ad baculum threats because they are themselves a form of violence and anti-democratic.

For example, Adolf Hitler used threats of force strategically to silence opposition. He described his technique in “Mein Kampf”: “It was simply stated that we were the masters of the meeting, that consequently we had the authority, and that everyone who would dare to make only so much as one interrupting shout, would mercilessly be thrown out by the same door by which he had come in. That further we had to reject all responsibility for [the safety of] such a fellow.”

Trump obviously isn’t Hitler, but threats – whether used by totalitarians or by presidents – are always coercion.

Threats are anti-democratic. As philosopher Hannah Arendt notes, they are force, not persuasion: “to command rather than persuade, were pre-political ways to deal with people.” Arendt wrote that such threats relied upon “uncontested, despotic powers.”

As Trump concludes his first 100 days in office, he struggles with public opinion that sees him as either ineffective or as untrustworthy. A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that only 41 percent of Americans think that Trump has the right judgment to serve effectively as president. Only 38 percent of Americans think that he has the right personality and temperament, and just 43 percent of Americans think that Trump can be trusted in a crisis.

Not only are Trump’s threats coercive and anti-democratic, but, as it turns out, they aren’t very effective in helping him to get his agenda passed. Perhaps President Trump might find that he can accomplish more in office if he begins to persuade, rather than threaten, his opposition.

Jennifer Mercieca, Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the Aggie Agora, Texas A&M University

ACLU Has Filed Lawsuit Challenging Executive Order on Refugees

President Trump’s executive order banning Muslims and refugees from terrorist prone Middle Eastern nations is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union

The National Legal Director of the ACLU, David Cole, tweeted this morning that the ACLU has filed a lawsuit challenging President Trump’s executive order barring refugees from middle eastern countries to enter the United States.

The move comes after a sweeping ban on all Muslims from countries known to have problems with Islamic extremists dubbed terrorists in the Middle East, including Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen among others, was issued by President Trump via executive order in the first few days on office. Other executive orders included backing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, removing funding from NGOs who offer abortions in foreign countries, and discontinuing Obama’s government employment program which helped to create tens of thousands of new jobs in the past few years. Trump also issue an executive order to start moving funding into building a wall on the southern border of the United States between itself and Mexico, issuing a 20% tariff Mexican imports which the American people would be liable for.

All but the cancellation of the U.S.’s role in the TPP have set off a firestorm of negative criticism from the Democratic party and liberal media outlets who viewed the TPP as bad for American workers and the rest of Trump’s executive orders as extensions of supposed Republican xenophobia and racism. Most liberals argue that immigration is the very fabric of Americanism and that Donald Trump’s actions set a poor standard of what actually makes America great.

Trump’s decision comes after a year and a half of focusing on immigration during his campaign for presidency and has been well received by the so-called “alt-right” branch of the Republican party. However, such measures were never fully explained throughout the his campaign and executive orders alone cannot fully get the job done, so many analysts have their doubts about whether or not anything will last beyond Trump’s first few months of presidency.


Federal Election Fraud Case Filed In Ohio to Halt Electronic Voting On Election Day

Election Justice USA reports that Ohio lawyer Cliff Arnebeck has filed a lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State and Election Systems & Software to halt electronic voting

Ohio election fraud lawyer Cliff Arnebeck (see our interview with him) filed a case against the Ohio Secretary of State in an effort to retain the voting rights of African Americans, who Arnebeck claims have been at repeated risk of election fraud by use of electronic voting equipment that has not been properly certified and tested, thereby rendering this equipment vulnerable to hacking, vote dilution based on race in the notorious swing state. The case is set to be heard tomorrow, November 8th, otherwise known as the day everyone in the United States can’t wait to get over with.

The case asks for a temporary restraining order from the use of electronic voting machines  in Ohio, which, if granted, will undoubtedly delay the election in Ohio. EJUSA states that, according to the filing, Ohio has again permitted “last minute third party or manufacturer changes to electronic voting equipment that has not been certified in accordance with state law.”

Arnebeck has said repeatedly that he plans to file a RICO (racketeering) case against Hillary Clinton, Karl Rove, and those associated with the electronic voting machines such as software developer Mikey Cunnyngham.  Arnebeck claimed in his interview with Cosmoso that Rove and his “operatives” have assassinated Arnebeck’s witnesses every time he gets close to filing this case every election year.  When asked how he plans to prove these assassinations took place, Arnebeck said, “I don’t have to prove that, what I have to prove is the election stealing, which I can do.”

The RICO case has yet to be filed, so it’s possible that Arnebeck and EJUSA do not have enough data to file yet and Arnebeck is using this restraining order as a last-ditch effort before the election to delay the polling in the name of restoring democracy.

EJUSA has broken the story, but with no references to verify the details of the case as of yet. A search of Ohio records currently does not show any record of the filing.

Donald Trump and Dakota Access Pipeline Have Close Financial Ties

Financial disclosure papers reveal Donald Trump invested in Energy Transfer Partners, operators of the controversial DAPL, while its CEO donated to Trump’s campaign

It just got harder to choose the lesser of two evils for most Americans on November 8th, and even worse for those in the progressive movement who were planning on voting Donald Trump to oust Hillary Clinton in the coming U.S. presidential election as Trump’s financial disclosure forms have revealed he has put his money where his mouth is on fossil fuels.

A growing movement against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has welcomed people from mostly progressive backgrounds to protest the construction site on the grounds that it violates the law governing the preservation of Native American land while also potentially damaging the local water supply and general environment in North Dakota. Despite the ongoing protest and a recommendation from the Department of Justice, the construction has continued as protesters are being rounded up, arrested or charged, amongst them actress Shaileen Woodley, journalist Amy Goodman, and none other than presidential candidate of the Green Party, Jill Stein.

But one thing many actors in the protest may not know is that they are also protesting against presidential candidate Donald Trump, who owns shares of Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the operating company behind the construction. To make matters even more compelling for those who may have thought about voting Trump in protest against Clinton, Trump’s campaign in return has received over $100,000 in campaign contributions from ETP’s top executive, Kelcy Warren, who also tossed another $66k to the Republican National Committee.

The Guardian reports,

Trump is therefore indirectly linked to Dakota Access, a $3.8bn pipeline development that will funnel oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Trump has signaled his opposition to any restrictions on the development of oil, coal or gas, telling a crowd in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, last week that he would “lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks to allow these vital energy infrastructure projects to go ahead. We have roadblocks like you’ve never, ever seen – environmental blocks, structural blocks,” he said. “We are going to allow the Keystone pipeline and so many other things to move forwards. Tremendous numbers of jobs and good for our country.”

WATCH: Melissa Dykes Explains What Really Happened At The Democratic Convention

From white noise machines to isolated black outs and more, reporter and activist Melissa Dykes reviews all the madness of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this summer

People have long suspected the Democratic Party of being corrupt and not really “of the people”, but reporter/activist Melissa Dykes didn’t expect to see the length to which the Democratic establishment would go to suppress supporters of Bernie Sanders. Of course, the DNC emails had been leaked by Wikileaks the Friday prior to the convention, but to see the suppression in action was something else altogether. As Dykes points out in her video, it’s almost surreal to see the extent to which the establishment insisted on shutting down democracy at their own convention.

Watch the video below from Dykes’ Youtube channel Truth Stream Media:

Common Confusion About Voter Fraud vs. Election Fraud Helps Rigged Elections To Continue

If you look up election fraud in any search engine, you’ll see numerous articles from mainstream media regarding voter fraud instead, making it difficult for the general public to understand the difference.

Election rigging, as I’ve stated in a previous article, is as old as democracy itself. Today, a major part of the problem with discussing the issue is the confusion the general public in the distinction between voter fraud and election fraud, and the mainstream media really doesn’t help.

From the New York Times to Politico to even PBS, the first results you see in Google for “election fraud” related queries are all from mainstream news sources referring primarily to “voter fraud” in the current 2016 presidential election and how it’s “rare” — and I’m inclined to agree. That’s because voter fraud isn’t primarily how the elections are being rigged. And the reason why it happens so rarely is because it’s easy to catch, so people don’t do it. But before we get into this in depth, let’s first go over the difference between voter fraud and election fraud.

The distinction is easily missed because voter fraud is a type of election fraud. Election fraud encompasses quite a few acts of election rigging. For example, voter suppression can be election fraud, such as the case of the 120,000 voters mysteriously purged from Brooklyn, NY this year, to which the New York Board of Elections said was “an accident”. Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Elections’ chief clerk, was suspended without pay for the supposed mishap, but the voters who couldn’t vote were not satisfied because it was such an obvious disenfranchisement stunt that it really should have been investigated as election fraud. Another form of voter suppression that caused disenfranchisement within the Democratic party this year was switching people’s party affiliation to independent or republican, some cases even involving forged signatures on the registration application. Again, this is a form of election fraud, but is not voter fraud, yet mainstream news continues to use the terms interchangeably.

Voter fraud is when votes are faked. An example would be, as Fox News’ Eric Shawn pointed out, absentee ballots being filled out by the same person on behalf of multiple people. In Shawn’s report, he actually spoke to people whose votes had been robbed and they explained on camera that it’s not their handwriting and that they did not fill out the ballots — this isn’t voter fraud, it’s . He also reported on vote bribery and unauthorized proxy voting. (see video below)

The most shocking form of election fraud also is not voter fraud: voting software that is rigged for a predetermined winner, otherwise known as electronic election fraud. And it’s become a major method of rigging both primaries and general elections.

In my interview with Ohio election fraud lawyer Cliff Arnebeck, he explained that there was a 25-33% difference between the exit polls and the machine totals. To make matters worse, the data that he and Bob Fitrakis, another lawyer from Ohio, had requested from the exit poll takers hasn’t yet been delivered. With only a couple months left before the general election, it’ll be surprising if their RICO lawsuit actually comes through in time.

What’s worse, however, is the latest anti-trump campaign that we’ve seen from Democrats all the way through the White House, with President Obama stating that election rigging is a conspiracy theory, an obvious attempt to discredit Trump as a kook. The fact that there’s a 100-page report proving all the forms of election fraud that happened this primary season shows that even the POTUS will lie to the press on behalf of his party, ultimately becoming a propagandist himself. This was in retaliation for Trump’s statements made recently that Democrats would exploit “weak identification laws” in order to rig the general election for Hillary Clinton. This may actually be true, considering all the evidence we have of a rigged primary, but it isn’t even the real issue we should be talking about, which is electronic election fraud.

I used to have a love/hate relationship with the mainstream media’s coverage of election fraud, but it’s recently turned to only hate. The Washington Post, for example, can give us an important piece about election fraud that is well written — that’s only 150 words long. Really, guys? A RICO lawsuit in the works regarding electronic election fraud and you can only come up with 150 words about it? They then bury it deep within the site, don’t promote the article, and focus more energy on writing articles about how voter fraud rarely happens and Trump needs to shut up about it. It also doesn’t promote an article like the one I’m writing here today to help readers understand the difference between the terms. I’m not even sure the outlet knows or cares, and what we’re left with is a fundamental lack of understanding that while voter fraud itself is rare, election fraud is running rampant and has been for quite some time. Our elections, based on the evidence we have since the 2000 Presidential Election, are getting increasingly worse in terms of election fraud.

Perhaps the worst aspect about this confusion is the fact that people keep saying election fraud doesn’t happen and then point to studies proving voter fraud is rare. This fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between election fraud and voter fraud is what continues the propaganda we hear from the Democratic party, who pushes for lax laws regarding voter identification at every turn. Lax laws, they argue, are to reduce racist voter suppression, but for some odd reason they never seem to want to talk about all the other forms of election fraud for which there is so much evidence of. At the end of the day, both the Republican and Democratic parties seem to engage in extremely dirty, dishonest politics in order to win, win, win, and all it does is allow criminals to become decision makers on behalf of the rest of us.

Zachary Paul
Zachary Paul is an independent investigative journalist living in New York City.

WATCH: Trump Tower Climber Video Reveals He Is Trump Supporter Seeking ‘Private Audience’

Over a million people tuned into mainstream media live on Facebook and Youtube today to see a young man climbing Trump Tower with suction cups who says he did it to get Trump’s attention because he has “an important matter” to talk to Trump about

The young man, known as “Steve from Virginia”, apparently posted a video explaining why he climbed Trump Tower today, a stunt which prompted first-responders to corner him by removing windows from the inside, eventually grabbing and pulling the man inside the building around the 21st floor.

Speculation was already abound regarding the purpose of this stunt, but a video surfaced from a youtube account posted yesterday, August 9th, which shows what appears to be the same young man saying he is trying to request a meeting with Donald Trump regarding an “important matter” and that this was the only way to get his attention.

Take a look at the video below:

100-Page Report Shows Staggering Evidence of Election Fraud in Democratic Primary

A recent report from Election Justice USA shows as many as 184 delegates were stolen from Bernie Sanders due to election fraud in the Democratic Primary

While it’s unclear whether the super delegates would have voted for Sanders, the EJUSA report does make one thing clear: Bernie Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic Primary at 2030 to Hillary Clinton’s 2021.

These numbers were arrived at by EJUSA’s intensive research and verification into claims of voter suppression, unintended party affiliation changes, heavy voter purging, and registrations never being honored by the Board of Elections in various counties throughout the U.S. during the Democratic Primary. In some cases, signatures were even forged on party affiliation documents and evidence of computer hacking being involved has come to light.

In the following excerpt from the executive summary of the report, EJUSA explains how as many as 184 delegates should have gone to Sanders:

Election Justice USA has established an upper estimate of 184 pledged delegates lost by Senator Bernie Sanders as a consequence of specific irregularities and instances of fraud. Adding these delegates to Senator Sanders’ pledged delegate total and subtracting the same number from Hillary Clinton’s total would more than erase the 359 pledged delegate gap between the two candidates. EJUSA established the upper estimate through exit polling data, statistical analysis by precinct size, and attention to the details of Democratic proportional awarding of national delegates. Even small changes in vote shares in critical states like Massachusetts and New York could have substantially changed the media narrative surrounding the primaries in ways that would likely have had far reaching consequences for Senator Sanders’ campaign.

For the executive summary and the full report, please visit Election Justice USA’s Facebook page regarding the issue. For posterity, we made a backup of the report as well. The original location of the report is on google drive.

Abby Martin Arrested At Democratic Convention

Progressive Journalist Abby Martin was arrest today at the Democratic National Convention today for apparently no reason at all

Member of the Ring of Fire network, and investigative journalist for teleSUR, Abby Martin, and her “Empire Files” producer Mike Prysner, were peacefully walking down a Philadelphia street when Martin was suddenly arrested for “disorderly conduct” during the Democratic convention, according to The Ring Of Fire’s website.

Prysner tweeted pics of the event, and a photo of Martin right after being released, seemingly in a taxi.

Accord to Ring of Fire,

“Martin and Prysner were attempting to comply with officers and leave the scene when Martin was forcibly grabbed by police, her dress ripped in in the process, handcuffed, and arrested.”

The story is still unfolding, so not much is currently known. reports that, according to legal advocates for the protesters, around 28 people have been arrested today and are being held in an undisclosed location.

WATCH: Bernie Sanders Officially Placed In Nomination For Roll Call Vote

The Sanders campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs confirmed today that Bernie will be placed in nomination for a roll-call vote

After a moment of unease during Bernie Sanders opening speech to delegates today urging support for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, a hot mic captured Jane Sanders words that rang music to Berners’ ears:

They don’t know that your name is being put in nomination, that’s the concern.

Campaign spokesperson Michael Briggs later confirmed that Bernie is indeed being placed in the roll-call vote for nomination.

Watch the video of Jane Sanders on the hot mic below: