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VIDEO: Coke Gets a Kick in the Can from Consumers

A week into the fiasco over Georgia’s election law, most Americans want to know: just who are these woke CEOs listening to? Not to their shareholders, who can’t make a profit when their companies alienate half of the country. Not to lawyers or legislators, who could set them straight on what the policy actually does. And certainly not to U.S. consumers, who are sending a resounding message that they’re done with businesses who can’t check their radicalism at the door long enough to read a 98-page piece of legislation.

“It’s insanity,” Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) agreed on “Washington Watch.” Like most people, he can’t believe that Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta, and so many others would put the solvency of their companies on the line to make a political point that — it turns out — isn’t even true! When even MSNBC is telling Joe Biden he “needs to keep it honest,” the Democratic Party has reached a low even the liberal media can’t believe. And yet the White House and its field marshals in Hollywood and Atlanta created such a ridiculous narrative about this law that people like Willie Geist are going on the most radical news outlet in the country and insisting it’s impossible to “square the president’s argument.”

“[D]oesn’t it seem that a lot of people jumped the gun?” Joe Scarborough asked in follow-up. They moved the MLB All-Star Game “before actually either reading the bill or understanding how the bill lined up with New Jersey laws, with New York laws, with laws all across the nation,” he said. Then, astounding even more viewers, he took aim at the lynchpin of the Left’s whole argument. “…When you line this bill up with what the laws were before the pandemic and what the laws are in states like New York, it is not Jim Crow 2.0.”

And what’s happened in the meantime? Countless shoppers are walking away from major U.S. brands because the Left’s dishonesty “whipped up a controversy that left millions of people grossly misinformed, frightened voters, mired major corporations in high-stakes public relations frenzies, distracted the political discourse, and furthered the country’s divisions,” the Federalist’s Emily Jashinsky argues. A new survey just released today found that three-quarters of Americans think corporations should stay out of politics. Another 64 percent of them said they’d be less likely to support those who don’t. And this is a poll, incidentally, that talked to more Democrats (34 percent) than Republicans (31 percent)!

Americans of all stripes are fed up. Once they understand what the Georgia law really does, NRO’s Alexandra Desanctis points out, “a majority — again including a majority of Democrats and non-white Americans — also supported the law’s regulations as applied to ballot dropboxes. Almost 80 percent of those surveyed — including a majority of Democrats and non-white Americans — said they support the law’s ID requirement for absentee voting.” The same was true, she explains, about MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred’s unilateral decision to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. “A slim majority said they supported MLB’s decision to move the game at first, but after learning more about the specifics of Georgia’s law, a majority said they were ‘less supportive’ of MLB’s decision.”

As for this loud minority deterring other states from following Georgia’s lead — well, the Left was wrong about that too. An astounding 361 election integrity bills have been introduced in 47 states across the nation this year — and that includes a 43 percent increase since February. If Joe Biden and his party were hoping to scare off other states, they might want to try a different strategy.

“I lay the blame [for this uproar] clearly on these corporations who do not have a backbone. They don’t have the guts to stand up and just accept the truth. They are so afraid of what this Left-wing mob could do to them that they’re alienating their very own customers,” Loudermilk fumed. When Major League Baseball pulled out of Georgia, who do you think they’re going to hurt, he asked? “Well, they’re not going to hurt the other big corporations based there. They’re going to hurt the guy who sells hot dogs at the stadium. They’re going to hurt the server at the restaurant who’s not going to get this business.”

A handful of days ago, he talked with some of those business owners who were trying to come back from the brink after the pandemic. “These are businesses that thrive on having these conventions and sporting events. They were all excited about the All-Star Game.” They wondered if this was the one thing — the catalyst — that could bring their businesses back from poverty. “We met last week,” Loudermilk remembered, “and they were concerned about Major League Baseball. But around the table, everyone said, ‘You know, we don’t [think] that baseball would go to that extreme, because none of this is true.’ And here they go. They’re going off the deep end. It’s unbelievable.”

And of course, these same corporations — whether we’re talking about Delta or others — repeatedly come to these same state leaders looking for special subsidies or tax breaks. Major League Baseball has anti-trust immunity that they’ve enjoyed since 1922. They all look to government — and specifically free-market Republicans — to protect them but now bite the hand that feeds them.

“The last day of the legislative session was the day that Coca-Cola came out and made their announcement [against the election reforms],” Barry explained. “Obviously, the CEO never did read the bill. He just took Stacey Abrams and Nancy Pelosi and the extreme Left’s talking points and came out with this asinine statement that had no truth to it whatsoever.” And the irony, he says, is that when Delta publicly opposed it, the legislature was considering — that day — whether to renew the special tax breaks the airline gets for being based in Atlanta. “How brazen it was for the CEO [to do that], knowing that this [could] cost them millions and millions of dollars… They have totally lost all sense of morality to start with. And I think they’ve totally lost their minds as well.”

Liberals may be brazen now, but Republicans from the Senate on down are sending a message that if corporations want to fuel the crazy policies of the Left, then they need to rely on someone else to protect them from the high taxes and regulations Democrats want to force on them. “You can’t placate to the far-Left mob — especially when they come out and they lie,” Loudermilk shook his head, “and then expect us to… support you the way that we have in the past when you’re just going to turn around and stab Americans — not Republican politicians — but stab Americans in the back.”

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

NY Primary ‘Mess’ Seen as Omen for Big Problems With Mail-In Voting in November

The more than 84,000 mail-in ballots that were disqualified in the June 23 primary in New York—where two congressional nominations were just decided this week—underscore prospective problems posed by the universal mail-in voting being called for by liberal politicians for the November elections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The massive problems with the primary in New York’s 12th Congressional District raise alarms over the prospects for a debacle on a multistate level, not only in the presidential election, but in Senate and House races, governorships, and other elected offices as well.

“If ballots aren’t promptly processed, it could lead to a legal showdown in November,” Jason Snead, executive director of the Honest Elections Project, told The Daily Signal. “It could certainly set things up for a contested election in November. This is going to be a big problem, especially for whichever party loses.”

The New York primary on June 23 had more than 10 times as many absentee ballots cast as in a normal primary, The New York Times reported. That came after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order directing the state to send out absentee ballots with prepaid postage (covered by state funds) on the envelopes to make it easier to vote by mail.


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


On Wednesday, longtime Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., declared victory in her primary contest in New York’s 12th Congressional District against progressive insurgent challenger Suraj Patel, who hasn’t conceded the race and is litigating to get the votes counted.

Maloney outpolled Patel by 648 votes—16,473 to 15,825—out of 39,635 votes that were counted in the four-way race.

In the neighboring 15th Congressional District, New York City Councilman Ritchie Torres was certified the winner in a 15-candidate Democratic primary to fill the seat of retiring Rep. Jose Serrano.

The New York City Board of Elections received 403,103 mail-in ballots for the primary, but counted only 318,995, leaving 84,108—or 21% of those votes—uncounted, The New York Post reported Wednesday. The Post described the election as a “mess.”

Some of those votes were not counted because the prepaid ballot envelopes were not postmarked. In other cases, people didn’t add their signatures. Patel complained that ballots were disqualified if the envelopes were taped shut.

New York City officials said in federal court they were still mailing ballots the day before the election.

Even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said the city’s Board of Elections “can do better and must do better,” adding: “I am certain they can learn from this and be prepared for the general election.”

Meanwhile, in neighboring Connecticut, CNN reported, town and city election officials are mailing out some 20,000 absentee ballots just one week before the state’s Aug. 11 primary election. That’s a “major problem,” said Anna Posniak, the president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association.

This comes on the heels of another problem, also in the Northeast, where 1 in 5 votes in May 12 municipal elections in Paterson, New Jersey, were disqualified amid allegations of voter fraud and voter intimidation—also tied to the all-mail balloting.

“There was a massive increase in mailed ballots, but not the proper resources to prepare for it,” Snead said of the New York primary on June 23. “There is a general lack of capacity in states dealing with so many absentee ballots, and an inability of many states to build the capacity for mail-in voting.”

In 2000, the presidential vote was so close in Florida between candidates George W. Bush, then governor of Texas, and then-Vice President Al Gore that it led to 36 days of recounts and court battles before Bush won the state’s electoral votes and the presidency.

Snead is concerned about the prospects for a repeat of that—and not just in the presidential race. That, he said, would be even more damaging for the country today.

“One thing distinct about 2020 from 2000 is that things are more contentious and more divided now,” he said. “There is far more partisan animosity.”

Given the sheer volume of voters in a presidential election, what happened in two New York congressional districts doesn’t bode well for November, said Hans von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission and a former member of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in 2017.

“It took six weeks to count ballots in a primary” in one congressional district, von Spakovsky, now a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “So, imagine what could happen in November. This could be the largest voter disenfranchisement and longest wait for a presidential election outcome in history. This could dwarf what happened in Florida in 2000.”

Election officials should encourage in-person voting and conduct the same sanitation procedures at polling places that occur at retail stores and other public locations, von Spakovsky said, adding:

The New York election demonstrates all the vulnerabilities that could occur if we switch to an all-mail-in election in November, or if there is a huge increase in absentee voting.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.


A Note for our Readers:

Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…

For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW »


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Conservatives Cheer as Trump Celebrates Achievements Under Fire [+Video]

President Trump’s full remarks at CPAC 2020:


Speaking before a celebratory crowd of conservative activists Saturday, President Donald Trump gave thanks to God for being able to accomplish so much in three years despite incoming fire from the left.

Trump referred to both the lengthy Russia investigation and House Democrats’ hasty impeachment move during remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference just weeks after the Senate found him not guilty in a historic impeachment trial.

“Can you imagine with all of that—going through all of that with a cloud over your head like nobody has ever had—for us to have seriously done more than any other administration?” Trump said to the cheering crowd.

Trump, in a freewheeling speech delivered without a script in just under an hour and a half, pondered other options before settling on divine help.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


“It’s sort of a miracle when you think about it,” Trump said. “It’s sort of a miracle, or a toughness or something.”

Then, pointing up, Trump said: “Maybe it’s right there. Thank you. Thank you, God. How did we do that? How did we do it?”

In mentioning the impeachment trial, the president referred to Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, the lone Senate Republican who voted to convict him for abuse of power.

“You know the Republicans stuck together, except Romney, of course,” Trump said, provoking boos from the crowd at the mention of Romney’s name. “Low-life, low-life. Except Romney, they stuck together.”

Earlier Saturday, the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement for Afghanistan that could mean U.S. troops finally depart that country after 19 years.

The historic deal, Trump said, may end “the longest war in U.S. history, not even close.”

“I’ll say this for the Taliban, they’re great fighters,” he said. “You can ask the Soviet Union. But they’re tired also.”

The U.S. and allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 because the Taliban was providing shelter and resources there for the al-Qaeda terrorist group that planned the 9/11 attacks on America that killed nearly 3,000.

The United States can’t get caught up in building democracies, Trump said.

“American forces cannot be the policemen for the world,” he said. “We’re all over the world and a lot of times, we’re not appreciated. It’s taken for granted.”

“After years of rebuilding foreign nations,” he added to huge applause, “we are finally rebuilding our nation and taking care of our own American citizens.”

Trump, echoing his State of the Union address Feb. 4, cited record low unemployment amid what he called the “great American comeback.”

Trump said 10 million people are off welfare roles and 7 million are off food stamps.

The president then made a reference to his predecessor, Barack Obama, whose 2008 campaign slogan was “hope and change.”

“We are actually achieving the progress, ‘hope and change,’ that liberals have been falsely promising for decades, but utterly failed to deliver or produce—and it’s really driving them crazy,” Trump said.

Trump acknowledged he wasn’t a typical politician or nice guy.

“You’ve had a lot of really nice people running the country,” he said. “Maybe I’m not nice, but I’m doing a great job for you.”

Trump took only a few jabs at the media and “fake news.”

“It would be so much easier for our country if we had a press that told the truth,” he said.

After holding a White House press conference earlier in the day on the spread of the coronavirus, Trump brought up his administration’s response at CPAC, saying:

Border security is also health security. In our efforts to keep America safe, my administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to control our borders and protect Americans from the coronavirus.

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs Thursday through Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.”  Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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RELATED VIDEO: Stronger!


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Exit Signs: Poll Warns Dems to Back off Social Issues

In the last 48 hours, there’s been a lot of speculation about what motivated voters to give back control of the House to Democrats. But based on exit polling, we can tell you one thing: it isn’t their radical social policy. Some Americans may be frustrated by GOP leaders or at odds with Donald Trump, but their positions on life, religious liberty, and sexuality are still light years more conservative than the party they just handed half of Congress to.

In a new FRC-commissioned McLaughlin & Associates survey, 1,000 Americans were asked their thoughts on a wide variety of issues — including some that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has already promised the House will address. The answers we got (which, interestingly, included more people who voted for Democrats on Tuesday than Republicans) might surprise you. When heartland Democrats tried to explain that Hillary Clinton lost because it seemed like she cared “more about bathrooms than jobs,” the party should have listened. Today, those same people are sending the same message – and it’ll be interesting to see if the extremists under Pelosi’s control pay attention.

When they were asked if they approved or disapproved of “government forcing schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations opening showers, changing facilities, locker rooms, and bathrooms designated for women and girls to biological males and vice versa,” the answer couldn’t be clearer. Sixty percent said they opposed the bathroom policies of Barack Obama and other liberals, compared to just 24 percent who approved. That’s a 36-point gap on an issue that Pelosi has already promised to force on Americans in the new Congress. The Equality Act, the most radical piece of LGBT legislation ever introduced, is about to become a top 10 priority of the Democratic House.

As recently as this year, the Democrats’ own base pleaded with them to stop pushing their transgender agenda and get back to the work of real governing. “You’re killing us” was the headline. “The Democratic brand,” Illinois State Rep. Jerry Costello told Politico, “is hugely damaged, and it’s going to take a while to bring it back. Democrats in southern Illinois have been more identified by [transgender] bathrooms than by putting people back to work.” That seems destined to continue, based on the agenda of House Democrats.

Along those same lines, the majority of people don’t want the federal government to redefine sex to include “gender identity.” That’s especially significant now, as President Trump considers rolling back Obama’s overreach on that very issue. Asked if they wanted to “allow individuals who identify as transgender to get a special legal status related to employment law, federally-funded health care benefits, and the use of bathrooms and showers of the opposite sex,” 54 percent said no. Only 27 percent agree with radical positions of Pelosi and Obama.

On abortion, where Democrats have boxed themselves into one of the most militant positions of all — even going so far as to demand taxpayer-funded abortions in their platform — 56 percent don’t agree. As other polls have shown, the majority of Americans appreciate the Hyde Amendment that Democrats want to abolish – the 41-year-old wall between taxpayers and elective abortion. That’s double the 28 percent in Pelosi’s camp.

But perhaps the most powerful support came on an issue where President Trump stands tallest: religious liberty. A whopping 70 percent of respondents agreed that the government “should leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage between one man and one woman” — not just in how they live their lives but in how they run their businesses. They’ve seen people like Jack Phillips, Aaron and Melissa Klein, and Barronelle Stuzman personally destroyed for daring to hold a view on marriage that Barack Obama did five years ago. (And, as our poll shows, a plurality still do!) That’s an astounding majority, especially when you see the minuscule number (18 percent) who think like Obama and Pelosi do – that government should be used as a club to beat people into submission on LGBT issues.

The bottom line of the survey is this: if Democrats think they have a mandate to push their fanatical social agenda, they’re wrong. And trust me. In two years, Americans will remind them — like they did in 2010 and 2016 — if they try.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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French Presidential Campaign: Partie 5

Part 1 can be found here – click.

Part 2 can be found here – click.

Part 3 can be found here – click.

Part 4 can be found here – click.

10:44 AM: I feel like my country, the country I’ve lived in for over 44 years, is a patient in intensive care. Tubes and catheters, control panels, IT graphs, pulsing images, flashing lights. We’re waiting with sinking hearts for the specialist to come in and interpret the lab results. Something ineluctable is about to be revealed. But what?

I’m going to the outdoor market. When I get back, maybe I’ll run the vacuum cleaner. To keep my mind fresh. Plans for my visit to Israel in May are shaping up. Then 2 weeks in June in the US. A week in the South of France after that. Life goes on. I’ll walk around and take a look at the polling places. All the candidate posters have been defaced by anarchists and other heavy metal destroy protestors.

3 PM: The hawk is out, a merciless cold wind is slamming our hopes for springtime. The sun is hot and bright. It’s not enough. Anarchists and other looking-for-a-fight protesters at yesterday’s Social 1st Round left their filthy messages all up and down boulevard Beaumarchais. Last night they threw bottles and other hard edged objects at the police. Their graffiti looks like blood, talk about broad brush, they obscure whatever they touch. WAR ON THE RICH here POLICE ASSASSINS there. Can’t someone get them out of our face, out of our hair, out of the national conversation? Their causes are rotten. They grab at anything as an excuse for slopping signs and breaking windows, attacking the police and whatever else they get their hands on.

I’m on edge. Up to now, everything was possible, you grasped it with your rational mind. Now it is happening. People are voting. The verdict will soon fall.

I’m sharply impatient and here they come again with Marine Le Pen. A friend tells me about an article in the Jerusalem Post, CNN is in her stomping grounds at Bénin-Haumont and President Trump thinks she’s the best on frontiers and all that sovereignty, and the only one that’s dealing with that pesky problem. C’mon guys, either find out what’s really happening here or comment on another poker game.  You want Marine le Pen for president? Help yourself. But leave us out of it

Oh they’re so sure she’ll get to the 2nd round. I just hope they’re wrong. I’m so tired of her misrepresentation.

I have to leave for the concert.

8:17 PM: The concert lasted longer than I expected. My friend Isaac Bensimhon brought to life Jean Ferhat and it brought tears to my eyes, the beauty of song, the commitment to social justice, the innocence (he was a Communist fellow traveler) and the reality of the Soviet Union. Tears for the idealism of our youth, with nothing but hollow bushel barrels to harvest their hopes.

Authorities fear an outbreak of violence after the election results are announced.

A helicopter turns in the cold skies.

I meant to write hour by hour but I kept bumping into friends and neighbors, heard fantastic theories of what was about to happen.

I sensed it, didn’t I? The smug pollsters. Oh my friend, our pollsters are not like your pollsters. Ours are French sharpshooters. Haven’t they been telling us for weeks and months that it would be Le Pen and Macron? Didn’t they make fun of us for seeking other sources that would comfort are vain hopes.

la pen macron

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron

OK, it’s Macron and le Pen. A few minutes ago Fillon squeezed a few centimeter ahead of Mélenchon. Merci, c’est gentil.

Le Pen and Macron. Are you happy, foreign media and friends from everywhere that have been promising Marine would make it to the 2nd round? And win.  Forgive me, I had a higher evaluation of French citizens.

Excuse me, for the moment I’ve lost interest in this story.

Now I have to go and endure their victory speeches.

Merci, François Hollande, you realized the dream of the Left: run against the Front National instead of the parliamentary Right. And win.

What a loss!

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French ex-Muslim lunges at Paris mayor: “There is no more French, there is nothing anymore!” “I was a Muslim, I’m not anymore. I’m ashamed.”

French Presidential Campaign: Why It Matters

Why should you be interested in the French presidential campaign? Because it might as well be going on next door to you. We are facing the same major challenges in a similar state of confusion. The differences are circumstantial, the stakes are the same. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Liberté, égalité, fraternité. Our freedom is on the line.

Besides, this cliffhanging French campaign is a fascinating mixture of Shakespear, Greek tragedy, soap opera, and courtly intrigues.

First, a brief summary of the overall situation:

The incumbent Socialist president, François Hollande, didn’t dare run for reelection. His 5 year-term has been a disaster, the Socialist party is in a shambles, the winner of the (Belle Alliance Populaire) primary, Benoît Hamon, is a Kinder Surprise with goodies for all the small people paid for by the Big Bad Rich. He has no chance of getting to the 2nd round. ID: Socialist

The callow 38 year-old Emmanuel Macron, generally assumed to make it past the first round (April 23) to confront and defeat Marine Le Pen in the second round (May 7), is running on a vacuous Somewhat Right Somewhat Left platform. How did the fabulously unpopular François Hollande manage to place his alter ego in pole position while standing aside in studied absence as the cream of the Socialist party boards Macron’s cruise ship? ID: En Marche

François Fillon, who served for five years as Nicolas Sarkozy’s prime minister, came out of the Primaries (Right and Center-Right) with a strong mandate, upsetting the media’s favorite Alain Juppé, and polling above Macron and Le Pen. Then, out of the blue, Fillon was hit with a sensational smear campaign and a judicial ton of bricks that would have crushed a weaker constitution. The character assassination putsch against Fillon is the centerpiece of an extraordinarily dramatic campaign. It will be treated briefly below and more amply in Part 2 of this ongoing series. Fillon’s platform is built on a Thatcherite revolution aimed at releasing France from decades of stagnation and double digit unemployment, and a resolute combat against Islamic Totalitarianism at home and abroad. ID: Les Républicains.

And then there is Marine Le Pen. ID: Front National

The top issue on the list of voter preoccupations in February, whether expressed directly or indirectly, was Islam. They wanted to know where candidates stood on the question. Would it be sweet submission or tough resistance? Instead of the issue-based campaign they clearly wanted, voters have been dragged into the quicksand of moralizing purification-aimed at eliminating François Fillon-and thrown a lifesaver attached to the gossamer rope of the Little Prince Emmanuel Macron.

The Polls

The one thing we cannot know before the 7th of May is the name of the winner. We don’t even know which of the current frontrunners-Le Pen, Macron, Fillon- will make it to the second round. Despite constant reminders of recent prediction flops, commentators are hooked on the fortune-teller syndrome. They watch Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron peddle uphill and careen around hairpin curves as if it were the Tour de France. Last week the media thought they had pushed François Fillon over a cliff and into the abyss, but he held firm. He’s only a few points behind the other two…in the polls, that is. Big Data Analysis gives a different picture, substantially more favorable to Fillon. But that’s not the media’s storyline…

So what about Marine Le Pen? Isn’t she the fourth act of the Trump/Brexit/Wilders divine surprises?

Marine Le Pen’s reputation as The Anti-Islamization Candidate goes back to the early 2000s, when she forcefully expressed the exasperation of the lower classes that were bearing the brunt of Islamic encroachment on French society. Immediately branded as xenophobe, Islamophobe, and racist she turned the disapproval into an advantage, gathered steam, and racked up a series of impressive electoral results. The Front National went from pariah to legitimate party. And Le Pen was handed ownership of anything that could be deemed hostile to Islam. Whenever a politician takes a stand on issues of immigration, Islam, law and order, or homegrown jihadis, he is accused of leaning to the far right, picking issues off the National Front’s plate, disgracing himself…

Foreign media have generally relayed this caricature, fueling widespread ignorance of other aspects of Marie Le Pen’s program and her embryonic party’s structural weaknesses.

Desperate to burnish her foreign policy credentials, Le Pen found no better destination than Lebanon. She opted out of an audience with the Mufti, by refusing to wear a veil. This put her head and shoulders above the Swedish ladies wrapped in hijab that had paraded in front of Iranian president Rohani as if they were merchandise at a slave market. She did not, however, veil her defense of Bashir al Assad, “the only solution for Syria,” or dissimulate her good relations with Michel Aoun, the Christian outsider that became an insider by making an alliance with Hezbullah. Madame Le Pen graciously suggested she might exempt French-Lebanese from her promised ban on extra-European dual nationality. How about French-Israelis? Hardly! Marine Le Pen wants French Jews to sacrifice the kippa in support of an across the board prohibition of religious garb in public. Her envoy, Nicholas Bay, was snubbed during a recent foray into Israel. The presidential candidate herself did not get any further than the Trump Tower coffee shop on a “recreational” weekend in New York.

The Assad connection is longstanding. Marine Le Pen’s friend and associate Frédéric Chatillon, handles PR for both the National Front and Assad.  Her father Jean-Marie badmouthed Muslims domestically while entertaining a close friendship with Saddam Hussein. I reported extensively in 2014 on the dubious alliances of the National Front.

The European Union accuses National Front eurodeputies of fraudulent use of EU parliamentary assistant salaries for a total of close to a million euros. Frédéric Chatillon is under investigation for tricky: campaign financing, Marine Le Pen is accused of faulty financial declarations, her cabinet chief is also under investigation and that’s just the tip of an iceberg that has virtually no effect on her faithful supporters. Nevertheless, the sudden flurry of activity on cases that have dragged on for years is questionable. As is the absence of coverage of the party’s unsavory dealings with neo-Nazis and Islamic Jew haters.

Under Marine Le Pen’s leadership, emphasis has been subtly shifting the from Islam to the economy, with a French brand of  national socialism: restored sovereignty, protected borders, increased welfare benefits and jobs for the French-French, zero immigration, law & order at home, no foreign entanglements abroad. Her rhetoric is anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-globalization and, of course anti-EU. She promises a referendum to get France out of the EU and the Eurozone; if voters choose to remain, she will resign.

Sloppy comparisons with the unexpected victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. ignore the fact that Trump was able to hitch the Republican Party to his runaway wagon; Marine Le Pen rules over a heteroclite skeleton party that can’t be fleshed out by alliances-all the other parties are devils in FN theology. If she does make it to the second round, she has virtually no chance of winning and no hopes of forming an operational government. The idea that hordes of politicians from the Parliamentary right would pour into her administration is far-fetched.

Emmanuel Macron is a former banker (Banque Rothschild) who served as François Hollande’s Minister of the Economy while freelancing as the founder of En Marche [On the go], a movement that wears his initials like a signet ring. Never before elected to public office, Macron teased his movement into a presidential election machine. He is now jockeying with François Fillon for 2nd position… the polls again. In a cheap version of Richard the Something, Macron made an end run around Manuel Valls, who remained the faithful Prime Minister while Hollande delayed announcing he wouldn’t run for reelection. Subsequently defeated in the primaries, Valls stands back while Socialists big and small go over to Macron. I expect François Hollande will join them at the opportune moment.

Macron is the feel good candidate. Just enough labor reform to look modern, a heavy dose of welfare to reassure the weak and make the strong feel generous. He talks high tech, floats a few inches above the ground, throws out ideas like flowers to lovely maidens, does Black is Beautiful photo-ops and makes affirmative action commitments in the banlieue, visits a police station to show he knows people want security, and declares, in Algeria, that the French colonization was a “crime against humanity.” That was followed by a rally in a Front National stronghold with a large population of “pieds noirs,” former French residents of Algeria, where he unashamedly declared “Because I want to be president, I hear you, I love you.” (borrowed from Général de Gaulle). Macron ruffled feathers with a hymn to multiculturalism: “There is no French culture, there is a culture in France.” That was followed by a long-winded exposé of his “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” project for France.

On his way back from Algeria, the startup candidate stopped in London where he addressed an enthusiastic crowd of expats. In a shocking feat of erroneous reporting, The Guardian turned Macron’s Algerian bomb into a modest statement that “human rights abuses” were committed during the colonization of Algeria. No, my friends, he said “crime against humanity.”  We heard elsewhere that the British government was not pleased by Macron’s invitation-extended in front of 10 Downing Street-to bankers, engineers, scientists, and other desirables fleeing the Brexited UK to settle in France.

Melodrama

February 22: 4-time defeated presidential candidate François Bayrou solemnly declared: “l’heure est grave” [the situation is serious]. The long-winded, pedantic, moralizing politician-professor performed a public act of abnegation-he wouldn’t be running for president-and heroically offered an alliance with Emmanuel Macron. Who immediately accepted. Bayrou maintains his hallmark pose of disinterested superiority: He never seeks fame, fortune, power or prerogatives. His mission is to save the nation from electing someone other than himself or a candidate he has sanctioned. Will he be an addition or a subtraction to Macron’s campaign? I wouldn’t be surprised to see him pull out before mid-April. But I might be wrong.

François Fillon

We can safely assume that François Fillon has not been accused of corruption at any point in his 36-year political career; if he had been, we would be hearing about it from morning to night. Tragically, Fillon stood straight and tall on his clean reputation in the primary campaign, going so far as to ask, rhetorically, “Could we imagine Général de Gaulle mise en examen (under investigation)? This was an obvious poke at his rival Nicolas Sarkozy, who has been repeatedly mise en examen since François Hollande took office. No matter that all the cases ended in acquittal, mise en examen has come to mean “presumed guilty.” When the scandal, maliciously labeled “Penelopegate,” broke in February, Fillon was so certain of his innocence that he said he would drop out of the race if he were mise en examen.

The opening shot was sensational: “Penelope Fillon earned 500,000 euros for doing nothing.” Zionists are familiar with this type of operation. Nothing that is said or done afterward will erase the initial shock effect. François Fillon’s lawyer, Antonin Levy (the son of the famous philosopher and activist Bernard Henri Levy), says he has filed more than 600 pages of evidence of madame Fillon’s effective assistance to her husband, why should anyone believe him? The story gets the post-modern treatment of verification by repetition.

Fillon’s platform and the relentless effort to keep him from reaching the second round, where he might defeat Le Pen or Macron, will be explored in depth in Part 2.

The outgoing Prime Minister and Interior Minister made a brief statement to the press shortly after the thwarted attack at Orly airport this morning. The assailant, they said, tried to grab the Famas assault rifle from a (female) aviator on patrol. But she held onto it. This was repeated several times. He couldn’t get the gun, but he was a danger to her and the passengers. He was shot dead by a fellow Air Force man in the patrol. A few hours later a photo of the dead assailant was published. The gun is lying across his chest.

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Eastern European countries join forces! Refuse to take refugees Brussels is pushing on them

France’s Hollande says his final mission is to ensure that “populism, nationalism and extremism cannot win”

RELATED INFOGRAPHIC: 61% of French say Islam is incompatible with their secular society.

french islam poll

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Family Security Matters. Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

It’s Naive to Think Not One of the Millions of Aliens in the U.S. is Voting

It’s now officially an issue: illegal aliens are voting. President Donald Trump has announced a major investigation into the charges and counter charges surrounding this phenomenon. At Judicial Watch, however, it’s nothing new. We’ve had our eye on this for years, and our Election Integrity Project  was active in monitoring polling places in the most recent election.

I was interviewed some time ago (when the issue was first raised around the November election) by Breitbart Daily News about illegal voting, and I want to share that with you. Here is a report at Breitbart on the interview:

On…Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton about a study from the Center for Immigration Studies that revealed that “there could be as many as 43 million non-citizens in the United States right now.” Fitton had previously spotlighted this study on Twitter as evidence of potential voter fraud issues.

“There’s 43 million people who are not citizens and are ineligible to vote, but a good percentage of them do register to vote. And of those that do, some vote,” Fitton explained.

“Most tend to vote Democrat. It’s a fact,” he continued. “There’s been a study out of Old Dominion University that shows it is enough of a vote to sway elections, one way or another. It may have resulted in election, specifically, of Al Franken to the United States Senate, and all the bad things politically or public policy-wise that happened as a result, like Obamacare and things like that.”

“Are we supposed to be so naive as to think that tens of millions of people are here, present in the United States, and none of them are illegally voting?” Fitton asked. “In states where you don’t have voter ID, in states where most voter registration, you’re not required to certify citizenship, other than signing and saying you’re a citizen?”

“It happens repeatedly where you have these voter registrations signed by aliens because they shouldn’t be voting, so they’re registered to vote – and the irony is, once they’re registered to vote, voter ID ain’t gonna protect you,” he noted, “because they have the ID necessary to vote, once they’re registered. So you have many non-citizens voting in elections, and they vote in large numbers in a way to sway elections.”

“The number of non-citizens in the United States are at record proportions – about as big as it’s been in 105 years, according, I think, to CIS, the Center for Immigration Studies,” he observed. “It is looking at U.S. Census data, and there’s just been this massive uptick, just even the last few years.”

“And it’s not just illegal aliens. We’re talking about aliens who are here legallywho are also voting illegally,  potentially,” he added. “That’s why we’re gonna be in Virginia, trying to monitor elections, because we know this is an issue. This is one of the issues that can lead to voter fraud and a stolen election.”

The Washington Times published a big story today following up on this issue and featuring JW:

But conservative activists say the liberal media are ignoring evidence – that noncitizen voting is illegal and, thus, fraud. They say the Justice Department in the Obama administration was more concerned with preventing states from cleansing rosters of dead and inactive voters than in mounting any investigation into fraud.

“Most voters are never asked for voter ID, so it is dishonest to suggest that with the tens of millions of illegal and legal aliens here, there is no voter fraud,” said Tom Fitton, who heads the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch. “If the key Old Dominion study results on the 2008 election are applied to 2016 – 1.41 million aliens may have voted illegally, with 1.13 million voting for Democrats.”

“A federal voter fraud investigation is long overdue,” Mr. Fitton said. “It would be a simple matter of analyzing voter registration databases against federal databases of aliens and deceased individuals. Why is the left afraid to even ask the questions? The jig is up.”

President Trump is right.  A full-scale, non-partisan federal voter fraud investigation is long overdue.  I’m not aware of any systematic federal investigation of voter fraud – ever.  Initially, such an investigation would be a simple matter of analyzing voter registration databases against federal databases of aliens and deceased individuals.

Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity team, headed up by Robert Popper, former deputy chief of the Voting Section in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, would be more than happy to help.

In the meantime, you can sample our comprehensive efforts on election integrity here.

Turning Red States Blue, one Migrant at a Time

There is nothing surprising in this story at Breitbart about Dallas, Texas “progressive” mayor Mike Rawlings.

mike Rawlings

Democrat Mayor of Dallas Mike Rawlings

But, please take note of the the big global bank—JP Morgan Chase—underwriting this series of discussions called ‘City Makers Summit’ where they are attempting to sell the idea that only migrants can revitalize cities.

I’ve been begging for years for some think tank with economic know-how to do a study of long-established resettlement cities like Utica, NY  (or Amarillo, TX!) because I believe such a study would quickly kill this notion that importing poverty was good for a city.

Lana Shadwick at Breitbart:

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said during a recent summit on the city’s economy, its workforce, and its future, that he believes welcoming refugees is crucial to Dallas becoming a “global city.” The Democratic mayor made the statement after being asked about “hosting refugees” and “bringing people inside” as “one of the building blocks of a revitalized town.”

Rawlings made these statements during a recent “City Makers Summit” hosted by The Atlantic and JP Morgan Chase. The summit was held on March 10th and was the third of such events by the publication. Other events have been held in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco.

[….]

The Democrat mayor in the democratic/”Blue” city called himself “a pretty progressive guy” and appeared to be quite proud of it.

Continue reading here.

Then be sure to visit my three part series on Texas from early last summer.  Begin reading here.  There are some good links to excellent data on who is being “welcomed” to Dallas county. Arabic is the top language spoken by refugees going to Dallas.

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U.S. Senate Investigating Administration Funding of anti-Netanyahu V15 Campaign

As the Israeli Knesset election looms on March 17th Fox News reported that the bi-partisan U.S. Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs  may be engaged in investigating Administration funding of  OneVoice. It is an NGO linked to the Israel-based V15 anti-Netanyahu field effort headed by veteran Obama Campaign official Jeremy Bird.  The Fox report noted:

A powerful U.S. Senate investigatory committee has launched a bipartisan probe into an American nonprofit’s funding of efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Obama administration’s State Department gave the nonprofit taxpayer-funded grants, a source with knowledge of the panel’s activities told FoxNews.com.

The fact that both Democratic and Republican sides of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have signed off on the probe could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who has had a well-documented adversarial relationship with the Israeli leader.

The development comes as Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television station this week that there were “governments” that wanted to help with the “Just Not Bibi” campaigning — Bibi being the Israeli leader’s nickname.

It also follows a FoxNews.com report on claims the Obama administration has been meddling in the Israeli election on behalf of groups hostile to Netanyahu. A spokesperson for Sen. Rob Portman, Ohio Republican and chairman of the committee, declined comment, and aides to ranking Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, did not immediately return calls.

The Senate subcommittee, which has subpoena power, is the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ chief investigative body with jurisdiction over all branches of government operations and compliance with laws.

[…]

 “It’s confirmed that there is a bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee inquiry into OneVoice’s funding of V15,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity about the American group, which bills itself as working for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

According to the [Fox]source, the probe is looking into “funding” by OneVoice Movement – a Washington-based group that has received $350,000 in recent State Department grants and until last November was headed by a veteran diplomat from the Clinton administrations, [former Carter Administration Advisor on Middle East Policy and Clinton Ambassador to Morocco, Marc Ginsburg].

Ginsberg, who has described the administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “window of opportunity,” is now serving OneVoice as “special advisor” after resigning as CEO at a time that turned out to be just ahead of the early December announcement of the Israeli election.

“I resigned on November 11, 2014, because I had only committed to serve as CEO for one year and my resignation was effective December 19, 2014,” he wrote in an email to FoxNews.com. “I agreed to be available after that as a Senior Adviser on an occasional basis to the organization…along with many others, but have had ZERO decision-making authority over personnel, budgets, programs, etc. That responsibility was transferred to the Executive Director of the OneVoice Europe organization after I resigned.”

Frank Curtis, a New English Review contributing editor and colleague  had  more about OneVoice and Bird’s connections with the Israel based V15 (“Victory”) “anyone but Bibi” support group  in a Feb 2, 2015, The Commentator article “Netanyahu should be shown respect by the White House”:

Bird has begun advising V15 on its Tel Aviv campaign, with the intent to recruit thousands of volunteers to go door to door canvassing for anti-Netanyahu parties. V15’s collaborator OneVoice is a group that describes itself as an international grassroots movement that amplifies the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians. OneVoice claims to have 600,000 Palestinian, Israeli, and international signatories. Its president is Daniel Lubetzky, son of a Holocaust survivor, who was born in Mexico City in 1968, and is now a wealthy businessman based in the U.S. He apparently has funded the activity of Israeli peace groups, and is actually the founder of one of them, PeaceWorks. V15 and OneVoice are active in the attempt to defeat Netanyahu.”

Aaron Klein, veteran Israel-based investigative reporter has interviewed the head of the OneVoice offices in Tel Aviv and filed several reports on both Klein On-line and the WorldNetDaily.  He reported the February 1st, 2015 injunctions claims by Likud officials raised by Prime Minister Netanyahu and filed with the Israel Election Commission:

“Accus[ing] V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S., the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.”

The Likud further called for Israel’s Central Elections Committee to outlaw V15′s activities to “ensure the integrity of the election.” The party today will be filing an official complaint with the Committee seeking an injunction against V15.”

Klein reported OneVoice spokesman in Israel saying:

Uri Wollman, V15′s spokesman, said  his organization will not stop its campaign to ensure a center-left coalition forms the next government in Israel.

Wollman accused Netanyahu and the Likud of “fabricating” a relationship between V15 and the Obama administration.

“We have no relation to any U.S. political party, the White House or the State Department,” Wollman told [Klein].

However, Wollman revealed to Klein that in addition to OneVoice Movement  founder Lubetzky, the grass roots efforts  were being funded by two other philanthropists: “S. Daniel Abraham, the Palm Beach based billionaire founder of the Slim Fast food line. Abraham is a major donor to the Democratic Party and the Clinton Foundation and [Israeli ]Alon Kastiel, a Tel Aviv-based businessman and owner of multiple local venues, including bars, clubs and hotels.”

 Klein’s  further investigations uncovered another  possible get out the Anti-Netanyahu vote effort directed at Israeli Arab voters by The Abraham Fund. Like OneVoice, The Abraham Fund had been given a three year grant  by the  U.S. State Department of nearly $1 million to improve Jewish Arab relations in Israel. Klein noted an Abraham Fund news release on January 21, 2015 announcing the launch of a non-partisan turnout the vote campaign to increase participation in the upcoming Knesset elections with a focus on conferences at colleges and in media and advertising to enhance Arab integration in the election process.

Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon reported on January 27th, Christina Taler, State Department Grant officer for OneVoice saying:

“ We’ve formed a partnership with [V15], but it’s important to know we’re absolutely nonpartisan,” “Our biggest emphasis and focus right now is just getting people out to vote.”

When Klein asked Nimrod Dweck,  Founder  of V-15 in OneVoice’s Tel Aviv office about why Bird and the 270 Strategies team of Obama Campaign operatives were hired to ‘get out the vote’, Dweck responded:

Israelis don’t know how to run field (operations) as Americans [do], and that was the major contribution of Jeremy’s team. Bird provided very professional help about how to organize, manage people, how to go door-to-door, how to talk to people on the street. It’s a matter of finding the right professionals. And if I need to pick the best professional in the world for the job, [Bird] knows what he is doing. 270 [Strategies] is a great company.

State Department funding of both the OneVoice/V-15 and the Abraham Fund  is potentially  aiding  the anti-Netanyahu Arab and leftist Jewish vote in the “anyone but Bibi” campaign.   V-15 has hired the Jeremy Byrd of 270 Strategies, former Obama campaign field organizer coupled with funding by wealthy U.S. Democratic contributors and Israeli Zionist Union supporters fueling the tight race for control of the 33rd Israeli government on March 17th.  Given today’s Fox News report it has also led the U.S. Senate Permanent Investigations Subcommittee to address  complaints by  Senate colleagues and Prime Minister Netanyahu of U.S. Administration interference in these critical elections, the results of  which will be the basis of coalition negotiations to  form the next government.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Zionist Union Head Herzog ‘has abandoned the Jewish state to barbarians in their midst’?

Herzog and Tibi

MK Yitzhak Herzog of Zionist Union on left and MK Ahmed Tibi of United Arab List on right. Source: Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Zionist Union Head Herzog Wants Joint Arab Party MK Tibi to Join Sensitive Israel Defense Committee.

When we posted yesterday on “Yellow Journalism Roils Final Week of Israeli Knesset Elections”, we drew attention to the Zionist Union endeavoring to form an alliance with the Unified Arab List. We wrote:

A suggested change in the proportion for party representation under Israel’s basic law of 5.00 was compromised at 3.25 percent in a March 2014 Knesset vote. This was a marginal increase from the previous threshold of 2 Percent.  That led the Arab list of parties, harboring seditious MKs, to announce a unified list that enabled them to pick up 11 mandates in the new Knesset. That led the Zionist Union to consider a possible alliance with Arab MKs to join the government and possibly fill Ministerial posts.

Today came evidence of the collusion between Zionist Union head and Joint Arab List head Ahmed Tibi in an Arutz Sheva/INN report, ‘Buji has lost his Mind’.  The INN headline was:

Nationalist MKs pounce on Labor head who won’t rule out letting MK Ahmed Tibi into Knesset’s sensitive Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

This may be enough to swing many of Israel’s estimated 20 percent undecided back to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Likud vaporizing the temporary lead of the Zionist Union.  Benny Moshe and Gil Ronen, authors of the INN report, wrote:

Nationalist MKs reacted with derision Wednesday after MK Yitzhak “Buji” Herzog (Labor) said in a televised interview that he does “not rule out” allowing MK Ahmed Tibi of the United Arab List to the Knesset’s highly sensitive Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

“Buji has gone crazy, appointing Ahmed Tibi to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee,” said MK Miri Regev (Likud). “Seriously? It is Buji who endangers the security of Israel, despite attempts by some officers to scare the Israeli public against (Binyamin) Netanyahu. Only Netanyahu will safeguard the nation’s security and the public knows this well, in its heart of hearts.”

MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) called on Herzog to recant. “MK Buji Herzog’s agreement to Ahmed Tibi’s membership in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which stems from his desire to receive the support of the Arabs, expresses irresponsibility and abandon.

“This position of his makes it clear to the entire Israeli public that we must not place trust in him or see him, God forbid, as prime minister. The discussions in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, certainly in the subcommittees, are ones with heavy import and it is not possible to let the MKs who support Israel’s enemies into them. Buji – return! Return to the Israeli mainstream, which typified the Labor party in the past, when it was Zionist and pro-defense, and not like today, when you have espoused the radical Left’s positions.”

How dangerous is MK Tibi?  The INN report notes:

Tibi is a former adviser to Yasser Arafat, who headed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for decades and launched countless terror attacks against Jews. He has spoken out in favor of “martyrdom” by Arab terrorists, has a long history of inciting violence by Arabs, has a penchant for hurling coarse insults against nationalist MKs, and is perceived by many as the most clever and dangerous of the Arab MKs.

Ted Belman, publisher of the Israpundit blog, gave historical evidence of Tibi’s sedition, in a January 25, 2008 post, “Time to say goodbye” to Arab Israelis:

By examining the Israeli Arab protests at Gaza’s Erez crossing we can understand that Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi, as well as Ra’ed Salah and his comrades in the northern branch of the Islamic Movement [what we have called Hamas inside Israel], a body holding anti-Jewish positions, do not think that the Jewish people deserves its own state; at least not in this part of the world, which in their view was always meant to be the home of the Palestinian people.

[..]

Those who wish to stay and be part of the Jewish state should know that their loyalty lies only with this country. They cannot protest on behalf of those who wish to destroy it. All the others, such as Ra’ed Salah and Ahmed Tibi, must decide where they want to live. If they think that another “Palestinian state” should be established here, instead of the State of Israel, they should get up and leave. They can fight us – but from the outside. Not from within us, and not at our expense.

Looks to this writer that Yitzhak Herzog by his interview remarks has confirmed the views of Belman, many Israelis and Zionist supporters about the misnamed leftist Zionist Union. The left is seeking to destroy the “Zionist Enterprise” from within with the Knesset election next Tuesday. With Herzog’s offer to Tibi, Labor has abandoned the Jewish state to barbarians in their midst.  Israelis with any sense should vote for Likud and PM Netanyahu if they want to sleep at night.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is from Palestine.com. Photo: Reuters.

Politics Is Violence: Force is a means specific to the state

These are selected passages from a series of lectures given by Max Weber at the end of 1918 to the Free Students Union of Munich University and published the following year. The passages are from the essay “Politics as a Vocation.”

The State

“Every state is founded on force,” said Trotsky at Brest-Litovsk. That is indeed right. If no social institutions existed which knew the use of violence, then the concept of “state” would be eliminated, and a condition would emerge that could be designated as “anarchy,” in the specific sense of this word. Of course, force is certainly not the normal or the only means of the state — nobody says that — but force is a means specific to the state.

Today the relation between the state and violence is an especially intimate one. In the past, the most varied institutions — beginning with the Sippe [clan, kindred, extended family] — have known the use of physical force as quite normal. Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.

Note that “territory” is one of the characteristics of the state. Specifically, at the present time, the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or to individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it. The state is considered the sole source of the “right” to use violence.

Politics as Power

Hence, “politics” for us means striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution of power, either among states or among groups within a state.

This corresponds essentially to ordinary usage. When a question is said to be a “political” question, when a cabinet minister or an official is said to be a “political” official, or when a decision is said to be “politically” determined, what is always meant is that interests in the distribution, maintenance, or transfer of power are decisive for answering the questions and determining the decision or the official’s sphere of activity. He who is active in politics strives for power either as a means in serving other aims, ideal or egoistic, or as “power for power’s sake,” that is, in order to enjoy the prestige-feeling that power gives.

Like the political institutions historically preceding it, the state is a relation of men dominating men, a relation supported by means of legitimate (i.e., considered to be legitimate) violence. If the state is to exist, the dominated must obey the authority claimed by the powers that be.

Professional Politicians

Today we do not take a stand on this question. I state only the purely conceptual aspect for our consideration: the modern state is a compulsory association, which organizes domination. It has been successful in seeking to monopolize the legitimate use of physical force as a means of domination within a territory.

To this end the state has combined the material means of organization in the hands of its leaders, and it has expropriated all autonomous functionaries of estates who formerly controlled these means in their own right. The state has taken their positions and now stands in the top place.

During this process of political expropriation, which has occurred with varying success in all countries on earth, “professional politicians” in another sense have emerged. They arose first in the service of a prince. They have been men who, unlike the charismatic leader, have not wished to be lords themselves, but who have entered the service of political lords. In the struggle of expropriation, they placed themselves at the princes’ disposal and by managing the princes’ politics they earned, on the one hand, a living and, on the other hand, an ideal content of life.

Again it is only in the Occident that we find this kind of professional politician in the service of powers other than the princes. In the past, they have been the most important power instrument of the prince and his instrument of political expropriation.

Politics as Violence

The decisive means for politics is violence.

Whoever wants to engage in politics at all, and especially in politics as a vocation, has to realize these ethical paradoxes. He must know that he is responsible for what may become of himself under the impact of these paradoxes. I repeat, he lets himself in for the diabolic forces lurking in all violence. The great virtuosi of acosmic love of humanity and goodness, whether stemming from Nazareth or Assisi or from Indian royal castles, have not operated with the political means of violence. Their kingdom was “not of this world” and yet they worked and still work in this world. The figures of Platon Karataev and the saints of Dostoyevski still remain their most adequate reconstructions. He who seeks the salvation of the soul, of his own and of others, should not seek it along the avenue of politics, for the quite different tasks of politics can only be solved by violence.

The genius or demon of politics lives in an inner tension with the god of love, as well as with the Christian God as expressed by the church. This tension can at any time lead to an irreconcilable conflict. Men knew this even in the times of church rule. Time and again the papal interdict was placed upon Florence and at the time it meant a far more robust power for men and their salvation of soul than (to speak with Fichte) the “cool approbation” of the Kantian ethical judgment. The burghers, however, fought the church-state. And it is with reference to such situations that Machiavelli in a beautiful passage, if I am not mistaken, of the History of Florence, has one of his heroes praise those citizens who deemed the greatness of their native city higher than the salvation of their souls. If one says “the future of socialism” or “international peace,” instead of native city or “fatherland” (which at present may be a dubious value to some), then you face the problem as it stands now. Everything that is striven for through political action operating with violent means and following an ethic of responsibility endangers the “salvation of the soul.”

ABOUT MAX WEBER

Max Weber (1864–1920) was a German sociologist, philosopher, and political economist. He is often cited, with Émile Durkheim and Karl Marx, as one of the three founders of sociology.

Residents of Ferguson Need to Make a Change

I’m Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It’s Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference Gonna Make It Right…
I’m Starting With The Man
In The Mirror
I’m Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
(from Michael Jackson’s hit song “Man in the Mirror”)

This song is very appropriate for the situation going on in Ferguson, Mo. Regardless of what happens during all the legal wrangling, one thing is certain: the residents of Ferguson have had all the power they ever needed to make the change they have been seeking. And they haven’t used it.

Some have argued that Ferguson is symbolic of “inner city America.” They argue that Ferguson is about racism, hopelessness, structural and systemic discrimination, and Blacks who feel helpless.

Well, it’s kind of hard to make these arguments when Blacks are almost 70 percent of Ferguson’s population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 14,297 Blacks and 6,206 Whites; 22 percent live in poverty; the mayor is White; there is only one Black on a 6-member city council (.096 percent); three Blacks out of 53 policemen (5.6 percent); and the St. Louis suburb is the sixth most segregated city in the U.S.

As a native of St. Louis, I worked closely with my friend, Freeman R. Bosley, Jr. in his successful efforts to become the first Black Circuit Clerk for the 22nd Judicial Circuit in 1983 and the first Black mayor in 1993 (with 66 percent of the vote). Blacks were a majority of the city; so I thoroughly understand the power of the vote.

Juxtapose this with the voting history of Ferguson. In this year’s elections, only 12.3 percent of eligible voters actually voted (17 percent White, 6 percent Black); 11.7 percent in 2013; and 8.9 percent in 2012.

How can one argue that Blacks have no power?

A more accurate statement is that Blacks have refused to exercise their power. You can’t blame that on the “White man” or “racism” or the “system.” In the Wizard of Oz, the Lion already had courage; the Tin man already had a heart, and the Scarecrow already had a brain; but they had all been so psychologically abused that they couldn’t see the power they already had. The Wizard just simply reminded them of what they already had. Upon the prompting from the Wizard, they then began to actually believe again in themselves and the power lying dormant inside of them.

Many across the country are asking: What do the residents of Ferguson want? Thus far, their response has been “justice;” meaning they want the White policeman who killed Michael Brown, Darren Wilson, indicted, convicted, and sent to jail. Well, that is out the control of any one person. The facts of what happened must be established and then let the justice system function.

The fact that Blacks have the power of the vote is undeniable. They have the power to control the political climate in Ferguson – that is no fairytale. The question is do they have the courage to look at the man in the mirror and make that change? Do they have the heart to change their apathetic approach to voting as a perpetual tribute to Michael Brown? Do they have the brains to understand the power dynamics of voting?

Just like the Wizard did nothing to change the conditions of Dorothy and her friends, there is nothing America needs to do for Ferguson that they can’t do for themselves. They have everything they need. Maybe the death of Brown will be the reminder of what has been lying dormant in the residents of Ferguson all along.

Maybe after all of the marches are over, they will be, as Fannie Lou Hamer put it, “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Ferguson has non-partisan elections, meaning no votes are cast based on party affiliation, but vote for the individual. The residents of Ferguson need to begin to run – and vote for – candidates who can best represent their interests. The government can provide tax credits and other tax incentives for businesses to locate to Ferguson. Social service agencies can provide job training programs. And the federal government will even help provide much needed training of their police force.

But in the end, Ferguson will have to look at the man – and the woman – in the mirror and make that change.