PEG 12th Congressional District Newsletter 281
Is President Biden substantively, politically, and morally right to call out the dangers of MAGA extremism?
Dan Pfeiffer, Former White House Communications Director, certainly thinks so. He quotes Federico Finchelstein, a scholar on fascism, who wrote in the Washington Post:
“Donald Trump represents a new type of global autocratic ruler who is legally elected, but also embraces elements that fascist figures like Perón felt were too controversial: totalitarian lies, racism and illegal means such as coups to destroy democracy from within. Trump might best be considered a “wannabe fascist.” By that I mean he is a populist who aspires to return to a form of fascism. His rule was not full-fledged fascism because it did not descend into dictatorship. But it could have been, if his attempts to retain power after the 2020 election had been successful.”
Read Dan Pfeiffer’s full article here.
Ugh!! Trump vows pardons, government apology to Capitol rioters if elected
Former President Donald Trump announced on the Wendy Bell Radio show last week that if he decides to run and wins that “We’ll be looking very, very seriously at full pardons because we can’t let that happen. And I mean full pardons with an apology to many.” He went on to claim that he’s also “financially supporting” some Capitol rioters. Trump said. ‘What they’ve done to these people is disgraceful.”
Let’s remember that the insurrection left four people dead, and an officer who had been sprayed with a powerful chemical irritant suffered a stroke and died the next day. About 140 members of law enforcement were injured as rioters attacked them with flagpoles, baseball bats, stun guns, bear spray and pepper spray. Read the Washington Post article for details of other offenses.
If Trump becomes president again on January 20, 2025, he will have the power to issue pardons for federal offenses although he cannot pardon those charged with state-level crimes. However, while he was still in office in January, 2021, he suggested he could grant pardons to those involved in the riot but did not issue pardons to any of those held during the last 14 days of his administration.
Asked if he was going to run again, Trump responded, “I will be doing something and I think you’re going to be happy.”
We cannot let his re-election happen again! Please participate in upcoming elections.
Events and Classifieds
Sunday, September 11. Patriot’s Day
Since 2009, every President has proclaimed some iteration of Patriot’s Day in remembrance of the 3000 people who died after four planes were hijacked by terrorists. We remember the lives of the victims, and the American democracy we are working to preserve, on this day.
Wednesday, September 14. DemCast Michigan: Mobilize For Michigan Kickoff
Join DemCast as they kick off their Mobilize for Michigan campaign. They’ll introduce you to DemCast and its Michigan-based team, then talk about how they use social media as a megaphone to share fact-based, positive news about Michigan Democratic candidates and the state issues we all care about. DemCast is spectacularly effective. This year to date they have earned over 29,000,000,000 social media impressions. Click here to register and you will be sent a link to the event.
Learn about their Twitter and Facebook groups, toolkits they offer with easy-to-use pre-made messages you can post, and how they unite with other grassroots organizations in Michigan to shout out candidate news, events, fundraising opportunities, and more. 8 pm
Thursday, September 15. Reproductive Freedom Event with special guest Cecile Richards
Join us for a fundraising event to support Reproductive Freedom for All; the ballot initiative formed by ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Michigan Voices working to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom in the Michigan constitution. The speaker, Cecile Richards, is the former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Downtown Ann Arbor address available upon RSVP. 5:30 –7 pm
Thursday, September 15 – Friday, October 14. Re:Claiming Justice
The RE:CLAIM project is a collective of artists, advocates, and movements builders in the community as a collaborative effort by the Youth Arts Alliance, Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice, Washtenaw My Brother’s Keeper, Amplify Project, and Title Track. Its goal is to re-envision or reclaim a society ruled by equal justice for all. Audio and visual artists and community advocates have created an immersive experience through an installation at the Washtenaw County Courthouse at 101 E. Huron St. Links to register for the three community conversations will be available soon. For more information, see https://www.facebook.com/ReclaimWashtenaw. Evening conversations are 6–8 pm.
- Thursday, September 15. Opening Night
- Thursday, September 22. “What If We Were All Free”
- Friday, September 30. TBA
- Friday, October 14. Closing Session in the afternoon
Tuesday, September 20. Voter Registration DaySAVE the DATE as PEG is a Michigan partner with this digital movement put together by National Voter Registration Day.
Wednesday, September 21. Free Symposium for emerging activists and advocatesThe Annual CEW+ Advocacy Symposium returns in person this fall to bring together staff, faculty, students, and community members to create change through introspection, dialogue, and action. (CEW is Center for the Education of Women). This Symposium is free and open to all activists, advocates, and allies in the local community. Michigan League, 911 N University Ave 48109. Click HERE to RSVP. Noon–6 pm
The Washtenaw County Clerk’s webpage enumerates in detail the elections, proposals and candidates to date. A few of the important dates are listed below:
What are the election dates in 2022?
· November 8 – State General Election
What are the voter registration deadlines? Visit MichiganGov/Vote to register
- September 20, 2022. National Voter Registration Day
- October 24, 2022. Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the November general election. (168.497)
- October 25 through 8:00 pm November 8, 2022. In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)
PARTICIPATE IN THE ELECTIONS
Volunteers are needed for the November elections. Review the jobs here and sign up!! Examples of positions include Early voting observers, Election Day Poll Challenger, Cure Team and Poll Worker
Paid jobs for the Michigan Democratic Party can be found here. Examples of positions include Field Organizers, Campus Organizers and Digital Field Organizers
Visit the PEG website for the full list and details of Upcoming Events
More ACTION items and things to read, watch, and listen to
It’s super easy to vote absentee. Here’s how:
1. First, you must be registered to vote – Find out your status
2. There are two parts to absentee voting.
A. The APPLICATION
B. The BALLOT
If you apply for an absentee ballot, you will receive an APPLICATION for the upcoming election. Some applications cover more than one election. For example, this summer, the application covered both the August primary and the November general election.
3. To get your APPLICATION
A. Go to the application webpage. OR
B. Go to your Clerk’s office or call your Clerk’s office and ask that an application be mailed to you.
4. To get your BALLOT, complete the APPLICATION for every election and return it to your Clerk. You can hand deliver it or send it through the mail. It is always better to hand deliver to avoid postal delays.
5. A certain number of weeks before the election, you will receive the BALLOT in the mail. Mark the BALLOT, then return the BALLOT to your Clerk. You can hand deliver it or send it through the mail. Again, it’s always better to t’s always better to hand deliver to avoid postal delays.
6. When applying, ask to be added to the permanent absentee ballot list. You should then get the APPLICATIONS automatically.
What is Both side-ism?
Disinformation Week 4 of 5: Learn how to spot and counter manipulation.
While whataboutism comes with an element of diversion—look at what the guy over there did—bothsidesing tries to minimize what would often be deemed objectionable by heightening actions of other groups so that they will be deemed comparably objectionable.
- Trump responded to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, saying that there were “very fine people on both sides” at the rally, language that was viewed by many as a deliberate attempt to avoid singling out white supremacist activity. – Merriam Webster
- Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered up a different baseless conspiracy theory about federal malfeasance, saying on Fox on Tuesday that he didn’t think they were looking for documents at all but were probably using that as an “excuse” to root around Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence for “whatever they could find.” – CNN
Countering Both Side-ism
“To wiggle out of a suit over a false accusation on Tucker Carlson’s show, for instance, the network’s lawyers had to argue that the program wasn’t actually conveying sober, factual news. And now Fox News is arguing that the Trump-Powell-Giuliani lies about the election constitute a “side.” “There are two sides to every story,” reads the network’s motion. “Introducing groundless doubts about the validity of a free and fair election is among the most serious forms of demagoguery there can be in a representative democracy,” notes New York University professor Jay Rosen in an email. “Assisting in the circulation of those doubts is not what a real news organization does.” – Washington Post
- Don’t want to feel bad about being in a coalition with white nationalists who helped elect Trump? Make up a violent “alt-left.” Both sides, you see!
- Don’t want to own up to how a birther conspiracy theorist like Trump fans the flames of racism? Call Obama divisive. Both sides! Nailed it!
- Don’t want to deal with the vile racism that’s found a welcoming home in today’s Republican Party? Call civil rights activists racists too! Both sides! Whee!
- Want to ram through healthcare legislation with no hearings? Just lie and say the Democrats did the same thing, too!
- Want to steal a Supreme Court seat from the Democrats? Just make up a “rule” that both sides have purportedly followed. Free pass!
- Want to gerrymander Congressional districts so badly that some states don’t even have competitive races? Just point out that Democrats have gerrymandered, too!
- Want to make it harder for black people to vote? Just yell about how the Democrats used to harbor racists, too. – Extra News Feed
Bottom Line: Refuse to debate those whose views are motivated not by a concern for the truth, but intended to manipulate people. Giving such views equal consideration simply because they are contrarian is harmful. – Prindle Institute
Report: Dixon, DePerno and Karamo are ‘threats to democracy’
The Washington, DC-based Defend Democracy Project describes itself as having the singular objective “that American voters determine the outcome of elections.” They work in Michigan as well as seven other states. According to Michigan Advance, they have issued a new report that sites the top of the Republican ticket as the “top threats to democracy statewide.”
Their analysis of the statements and actions of GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon, Secretary of State nominee Kristina Karamo and Attorney General nominee Matt DePernon demonstrates that the three have worked not only to overturn the will of the electorate, but also to lead a “scorched earth campaign to consolidate power over elections for decades to come.”. The article elucidates actions of these three MAGA Republican nominees. Reinforcing this report, the Detroit News reported last month that DePerno said he had labs where he could “show off how to stuff ballots.”
Rebecca Parks, the research director for Defend Democracy, states that “by our count, there are 11 people on the ballot for either statewide elected office or for the House in Michigan this fall, who are some flavor of election conspiracy theorists, and that doesn’t even include getting into state legislative races where we know that Trump had a pretty heavy hand in the primary in terms of endorsing really extremist candidates, or county sheriffs (who) are also surprisingly a big source of election conspiracy theories. So, this goes all the way down the ticket. It’s not just the top.”
Biden’s Recent Triumphs
After struggling to get his agenda passed in the last eighteen months, Biden has amassed one legislative victory after another in recent weeks. According to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, because of his legislation, “businesses do indeed seem to be coming home” to America, rather than operating overseas. She cites Honda, LG Energy Solution, Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Sellantis as companies moving major operations to the US, all part of the retooling necessary to build electric vehicles.
Technology is another segment of our economy which is revving up its operations in the US: Corning is planning a new operation to build fiber optic cables, and AT&T is building a new fiber internet network. And Qualcomm, Micron and Intel are also planning to locate their chip-manufacturing operations in the US.
In his speech to the nation a few days ago, Biden took on the MAGA Republicans, decrying their use of violence and intimidation. In contrast to the victory lap the president can make, the Republican party is in disarray, having to defend the former president’s illegal appropriation of boxes and boxes of highly classified documents.
Trump recently added the former solicitor general of Florida, Chris Kise, to his legal team, a lawyer NBC News has called “a political knife fighter.” Trump will need every bit of Kise’s expertise and aggression in lawyering in addressing his ample legal problems.
Election Season At a Glance:
The Washtenaw County Clerk’s webpage enumerates in detail the elections, proposals and candidates to date. A few of the important remaining dates are listed below.
What are the remaining election dates in 2022?
To vote absentee, a request must be received no later than 5 pm the Friday before the election. The ballot must then be returned by 8 pm on Election Day.
- November 8 – State General Election
What are the voter registration deadlines?
Visit MichiganGov/Vote to register
- October 24: Last day to register in any manner other than in-person with the local clerk for the November general election. (168.497)
- October 25 through 8 pm on November 8: In-person registration with local clerk with proof of residency. (168.497)
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