Editor’s note: it’s been a little while since I’ve published an edition of The Skinny for reasons I’ve elaborated on a few times over this past winter. For the uninitiated, the essential idea here is to regularly collect up a number of shorter social media essays and commentary threads into a single, easy-to-read post here on my Patreon blog.
Additionally I should mention that while this edition of The Skinny contains a mix of Mastodon and Twitter threads, the ongoing corporate censorship of my account @NatSecReporter probably means that going forward you’re going to see a lot more Mastodon threads from @AnarchoNinaWrites and a lot less Twitter threads in these posts – sorry folks, Jack and his Saudi backers have decided they don’t want people to read my threads on Twitter.
Note: this (expanded) post originally appeared as a Twitter thread in March 2020; you can find the original here: https://twitter.com/NatSecReporter/status/1239652752525058049
Of Course the Democratic Party Primaries are rigged
Frankly at this point, after two crooked as f*ck nomination contests and five consecutive years of all out class warfare conducted against the labor class by elite capital and their bourgeoisie liberal minions, I am basically not tolerating folks who minimize the fact that the Democratic Party rigs their own primaries on behalf of center-right, corporatist candidates and against the left.
Naturally some of my moderate readers are heading for the exits as you read this because talking about rigged elections in America is a lot like admitting you don’t believe Jeff Epstein killed himself – no matter how much evidence you present, or how logical your conclusions may be, the entire subject generates “feel bads” among moderates because it has long-since been thoroughly buried under a mountainous pile of frothing right wing reactionary nutjobbery; and that was true even before Donald Trump started crying about a “rigged election” he hadn’t even lost yet (and would turn out to win) in 2016.
Despite this however, I can no longer in good conscience participate in this festering charade out of some largely selfish desire to avoid social pressuring; I know that the Democratic Party is rigging its primaries by a number of methods both open and concealed and I don't see who keeping quiet about that fact actually helps, except maybe the people who rig primaries. Please then; listen to me clearly when I tell you that I’m not exaggerating in the slightest here, the Democratic Party primaries are in fact rigged - in a truly astounding number of ways that are rarely if ever examined collectively in the mainstream media.
As for those of you scoffing and demanding proof, allow me to retort by asking if you’ve been living under a rock because the evidence is not only all around us during any given primary season but frequently reported on (although rarely extensively) by sources in the mainstream media. The Democratic Party doesn’t just rig their primaries my friend, they do it out in the open where any old idiot can see it happening, and while relying on shouts of “conspiracy theorists” and “you sound like Drumpf” to silence otherwise legitimate complaints about these rigging processes.
Let’s cut the crap shall we? We can pretend that there's a difference between "putting your thumb on the scale" and rigging an election, but there isn't. We can pretend there’s a difference between purposely re-allocating delegates within a given state to more heavily favor affluent suburban communities that vote centrists, and punishing impoverished communities and centers of student housing, but there isn’t. We can pretend there's a difference between targeted voter suppression of students, poor people, Latino and Muslim minorities (all blocs that went heavily for Sanders) and rigging an election, but there isn't. We can pretend that targeted voter purges on these same communities don’t rig these primaries in favor of wealthy establishment candidates, but they do. We can pretend it’s an accident that thousands of Sanders supporters randomly had their party affiliations switched before closed primaries in 2016 and 2020, but it wasn’t. We can pretend that it’s a sheer coincidence that signature challenges to reject mail in voters overwhelmingly affect Sanders (and other left wing candidates) time after time, but it’s not. We can if we so desire, continue to live in a fantasy world where it has no bearing on election results whatsoever that students at universities like Michigan State and UCLA are waiting in line for five to seven hours to cast a vote, while suburban Biden supporters can accomplish the same feat in a mere ten minutes on their way to brunch – hell, we can even pretend that it’s somehow an accident that the kids who were overwhelmingly supporting Sanders had to share one or two voting machines while all the wealthy districts had extras; but those are both fantasies and we both know it.
Furthermore, while we’re pretending, we can also pretend the discrepancy between the raw exit polls and the final results in virtually every primary since Nevada don't prove fraud, but they do. After all, the very same people screaming at you that exit polls are meaningless, use those same discrepancies over 4% in the exit polls of other countries to justify immediate Pig Empire intervention and call foreign elections fraudulent - just because you’re incapable of remembering anything before lunch, doesn’t mean the establishment isn’t talking out of both sides of its mouth on this issue. In Michigan alone, Sanders somehow managed to underperform his exit polling by 15.4%; if that kind of sh*t happened in an oil-rich MENA country with an anti-American government, Mike Pompeo would have already sent in the goddamn marines. At this point, castigating and ostracizing folks for making the completely rational observation that these primaries are rigged is pretty much helping the crooked ass Democratic Party hide the fact that they're fraudulent oligarchs rigging elections; social pressures be damned.
I mean sweet jeezus my friends; the entire establishment - from the Democratic Party, to the corporate sector, the “liberal” corporate media, to the rich donors, have all engaged in an open, multi-hundred million dollar quest to defame and destroy Bernie Sanders while actively lying on behalf of, or otherwise acting as Joe Biden's campaign organization. In any other country besides the United States, we would recognize that corporate media organizations openly lying on behalf of one candidate, and to poison the electoral prospects of another is in fact, attempting to rig an election – particularly if that media structure happened to be owned by an extremely limited number of mega-rich corporate oligarchs who stand to lose quite a bit of ill-gotten wealth if the pro-labor class candidate ever happened to get into power.
Additionally, while I find it repugnant that some of you are undoubtedly still prepared to cling to the fig leaf of electoral legitimacy provided by declaring (nonsensically) that “rigging a primary only means actually changing votes, not suppressing them,” – the simple truth is that neither you, nor I have any legitimate way of proving that they are not in fact just changing votes. Indeed, as the 2006 HBO documentary “Hacking Democracy” quite clearly demonstrates, it is pretty damn easy to straight up alter people’s votes using so called “black box” voting technology and because said technology is wholly proprietary information of the corporations that make voting machines, the public would have no way of knowing whatsoever whether or not their vote had been changed. You can find the full documentary here, at least until someone strikes a copyright claim on the original Youtube poster: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YldIdkjrqM
And to be clear folks – all of this is, even potentially changing actual votes is completely legal because officially a Democratic Party primary isn’t actually an election and as a private organization, the party itself is subject to no official oversight whatsoever. Indeed, that's been the kicker about this entire discussion throughout both the 2016 and 2020 Democratic Party primaries, and it’s why I don't understand people's disbelief in the evidence that's right in front of their faces. Don’t believe me? Check out the August 2017 ruling by federal judge William Zloch in which he acknowledge that a federal court had no jurisdiction over an internal Democratic Party nomination contest and dismissed a class action lawsuit against the DNC: https://observer.com/2017/08/court-admits-dnc-and-debbie-wasserman-schulz-rigged-primaries-against-sanders/.
In other words, the Democrats can't rig an election against the GOP; that's a felony but they *absolutely* CAN rig their primaries, a judge said so in federal court. So if they're technically capable of doing it, if they're legally allowed to do it, and if we’re all watching demonstrable evidence of them doing it in real time, doesn't your refusal to believe Democratic Party primaries are being rigged pretty much come down to a matter of faith? To quote one of my favorite movies of all time, “who’s being naïve Kay?”
In light of these realities I can say that honestly and without reservation that the entire discussion is absurd – the Democratic Party primaries are rigged in the open; it doesn't matter if you don't acknowledge it, they can do it, they're legally allowed to do it, they are in fact doing it.
Saying otherwise is Simon Says childish bullshit and serves only the corrupt and powerful in their quest to deny the rights of the labor class – and frankly, I’m tired of pretending two and two are five.
Note: this post originally appeared as a Mastodon thread in March 2020; you can find the original here: https://mastodon.social/web/statuses/103872065729213268
Remembering the Side Stories
At the risk of dating myself, I am a forty-three year old American woman who has actively lived through what many would call a "global crisis" on a least two occasions; the terror attacks on 9/11 (and the ensuing War on Terror) as well as the 2008 financial crisis and its less well remembered afterbirth, the foreclosure crisis.
Unfortunately, even as we're collectively facing down a massive social and economic disruption caused by increasingly more ominous outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the West, I can claim no special knowledge of how to survive a "global crisis" and even if I could - both the body count and the economic impact of the coronavirus chaos are likely to far exceed the baselines established by those previous moments of crisis. Things are not good and they're going to get worse.
As an analyst whose desire to expose the corrupt and speak truth to power was largely forged in those two crises however, I can however advocate for the vital importance of remembering, cataloguing and sharing evidence of open malfeasance towards the people by our ruling class.
In the carnage, chaos and crass commercialization of the crisis, our corporate overlords and their political class lackeys are repeatedly forced to "let the mask slip" in their haste to feast like hogs on public coffers.
The trick however is that these absolutely galling examples of blatant criminality of our aristocratic establishment and their corporate masters will typically only surface in the public consciousness briefly, before being subsumed into a larger, pro-corporate, pro-establishment narrative once the powers that be settle on a unified theory of history to sell the (largely) gullible "masses."
(For more information about how the media is able to simultaneously report the "truth" while still controlling the narrative even when that truth contradicts the desires of the ruling class, check out this essay: https://www.patreon.com/posts/lying-without-of-23271379
To better understand why there is little to no separation between the for-profit, corporate media and the ruling class, read out this article: https://www.patreon.com/posts/theory-debunking-27191696)
While much of America's attention has been (perhaps rightfully) turned towards the topic of financial relief for workers and a massive corporate bailout that might really just be a final takeover of Main Street, two such stories worth cataloging for later use have already emerged from the coronavirus crisis.
First up we have news that as many as five US Senators, as well as House members and staff aides, almost certainly used inside (and indeed, at the time classified) information to collectively trade millions of dollars worth of stock in the immediate run up to a coronavirus-caused market crash that shaved 30% off the top (and counting) - would it surprise you to learn the vast majority of that stock was in industries directly affected (positively or negatively) by the coronavirus crisis?
Of particular interest here are the exploits of GOP Intelligence Chair Richard Burr who sold up to $1.7 million worth of stock on February 13th, a mere week before the market cratered: https://www.propublica.org/article/senator-dumped-up-to-1-7-million-of-stock-after-reassuring-public-about-coronavirus-preparedness
And those of GA-R Senator, Kelly Loeffler who sold millions of dollars worth of stock before the crash, beginning on January 27th - the same day she participated in a classified coronavirus briefing: https://www.thedailybeast.com/sen-kelly-loeffler-dumped-millions-in-stock-after-coronavirus-briefing
Amusingly enough, the media has largely seemed happy to absolve Democrat (in name only) Senator Dianne Feinstein because it was her husband who traded millions of dollars in stock around the same time as Feinstein was receiving classified information about the coronavirus outbreak, and he had the good sense not to sell the stock at its peak value - personally, I find this gruel a little thin but your mileage may vary.
Setting Feinstein aside however, what is particularly monstrous and galling about the clearly criminal actions of Burr and Loeffler is that at literally the exact same time as they were dumping market assets to cashing out before a crash their access to classified information told them was coming, both Republicans were actively telling the Americans coronavirus was under control and not a crisis - Loeffler even accused the Democrats of scaremongering for political gain:
Our second story features a rare bit of quality investigative journalism by the corporate swine at Politico, who have revealed that the US Department of Justice (lead by minion Trump loyalist William Barr) has requested sweeping powers reminiscent of an overtly fascist police state, in response to the coronavirus crisis:
In particular, the DoJ has requested the power to suspend trials, detain prisoners without trial and extend the statute of limitations during a crisis.
Of course as numerous commentators have pointed out, Barr's request is highly unlikely to actually pass in a Democrat-controlled Congress, but it would be foolish to think that fact represents the end of our story because factually Trump's declaration of a national emergency has *already* given his administration terrifyingly broad powers to violate American civil liberties - Downmarket Mussolini just used them close both of America's borders and restrict who can seek asylum in the United States.
Additionally, it is instructive to examine the less commonly reported rational by which the Department of Justice requested these powers - in Barr's submission to Congress, the Attorney General is in fact arguing that the Trump administration and a federal judiciary stacked with reactionary whackjobs handpicked by the Federalist Society, already has these powers. In other words, the AG of the United States considers asking Congress to suspend Habeas Corpus because of COVID-19, a mere formality.
What happens when Trump and his own personal Officer McCluskey decide to enact powers the administration insists they already have, over the objections of a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party? Your guess is as good as mine, but after the colossal failure that was the House Democrats impeachment of Trump - I wouldn't waste a lot of energy praying for Nancy Pelosi and the cavalry to swoop in and save the day.
Obviously as the various links in these threads demonstrate, neither of these stories are any sort of secret and there has indeed been at least some mainstream media coverage involved here. Despite this however, the relentless churn of the coronavirus news cycle and the class antagonisms involved here have already begun to push these stories far from the spotlight - before most Americans even had time to register their existence in any fundamentally significant manner.
While it would certainly be unfair to suggest that either story has "flown under the radar" the fact that nobody is ever going to be held accountable for these acts of criminal malfeasance all but ensures they'll end up down the memory hole eventually - unless folks like you and I make the effort to remember them and share with those labor class comrades who come to the fight behind us.
Note: this post originally appeared on my Facebook journal; you can find the original here: https://www.facebook.com/NinaDotCom/posts/2504452369818051
March 17th, 2020 – Debate Fallout (Literally)
Despite my overwhelming reservations, I, like millions of other Americans locked inside their homes to wait out Captain Tripps, spent the better part of my Sunday evening watching the Democratic Party nomination contest debate between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.
The debate itself was pretty much like all of the previous debates, which is to say, in a word – infuriating. If anyone can really have been said to be the “winner” of this contest, it was unquestionably Sanders but if American democratic socialists were hoping he’d just come out and destroy a completely incoherent Biden, they were undoubtedly disappointed. Bernie fell far short of saying what everyone following this race already knows to be true – that Joe Biden’s brain doesn’t work and his best chance of actually beating Trump in the fall rests on some combination of mass deaths caused by coronavirus and cheap Russian oil crashing the U.S. petrodollar.
If anything, the debate was most memorable for the simple fact that Joe Biden spent the entire evening demonstrating that while he can’t tell his wife from his sister, he’s still capable of lying his ass off like a champ if the situation requires it. Please understand that I’m not talking about one lie here, or even Palooka Joe’s altogether routine habit of twisting the truth; Joe Biden went on CNN and bald-faced lied over and over while demonstrating the ability to falsify his publicly documented record in government on issues both large and small. Biden lied about his crusade to cut social security, his opposition to abortion rights, his opposition to the New Green Deal and the (late) timing of his conversion from an opponent of gay marriage, to a supporter. Palooka Joe also falsely accused Bernie of having 9 Super PACs (Sanders has zero), he once again lied about his support for the Iraq war; from the Hyde amendment to Medicare for All, Joe Biden falsified not only his current policy positions, but his entire voting record as a government official – at one point, Joe literally said he hated the Bankruptcy Bill he himself f*cking wrote.
While the naïve among us might have expected CNN’s (corporate media) moderators to step in and insist Biden stop selling whoppers like the debate stage is a Burger King take-out line, it will surprise no one who has followed the ongoing media machinations to destroy Bernie that this did not occur. Furthermore, the fact that Joe Biden objectively lied to the viewing audience, about verifiable matters of historical record, on at least twelve occasions during the debate didn’t seem to even rate a mention during the post-debate liberal media news roundtables that gleefully called the debate a win for Biden – a curious position considering the exact same “liberal” news organizations and in most cases the same pundits rated Mike Pence a loser against wooden ventriloquist’s dummy Tim Kaine in 2016, for adopting essentially the same strategy Biden did against Sanders – as soon as the cameras start rolling, Pence started to lie and simply don’t stop lying until the debate was over.
Yes my friends, for the astute observer the actual debate itself was merely a sideshow to the extremely revealing post-debate chatter of our in pocket, pro-elite, for profit media minions. As I sat back and watched what is ultimately just the latest act in corporate “liberal” media’s efforts to elect a center right establishment Democrat and destroy Bernie Sanders (as well as the democratic socialist movement as a whole), I found myself wondering if the Democratic Party and their elite media allies even understood that with each bald-faced lie, and open act of duplicity, they were moving inexorably closer to becoming the architects of their own demise. You cannot of course fool all of the people, all of the time and anyone who actually watched that debate and thought the big news in the morning was Biden’s flavorless promise to nominate an as of yet unnamed woman for Vice President, and not the fact that Joe lied all night at a rate that would make even Downmarket Mussolini himself blush, is probably already working for CAP anyway.
As shameful and alarming as the media’s performance on behalf of Biden was however, even *I* wasn’t really ready for the caronavirus subplot that played out after Bernie suggested that it was irresponsible to continue running the primary contests while the CDC is begging Americans to avoid groups larger than fifty people and the President himself is telling folks on TV that even gatherings of ten people aren’t safe. Sanders is of course right and that fact is becoming increasingly more obvious by the hour as the whole western world shifts towards a pandemic-induced lockdown; despite this however, the Democratic Party is going to run four primaries later today, even though doing so will undoubtedly help spread COVID-19 and indeed, cost lives. Perhaps more alarmingly however, the entire Democratic establishment including Joe Biden’s campaign itself, as well as noted liberal luminary influencers like CAP’s Neera Tanden and MSNBC’s Joy Ann Reid have responded as if delaying primaries Sanders isn’t going to win no matter when they are held, represents some kind of plot to steal the nomination from Joe Biden – a nomination that they feel belongs to the center-right establishment now, since they already stole it with rigged primaries and potentially a billion dollars worth of free media smears on Sanders. Grimly enough, the liberal establishment has actually gone so far as to declare wandering out in a pandemic to vote for Joe Biden a moral duty for Democrats in America; one woman even compared doing so to surviving the middle passage - a position that could objectively be described as “insane” if that term didn’t somehow fall to cover how crass all of this is.
As grim as it might be, I think it’s important that we face the facts here – we know how coronavirus spreads, we know that it’s disproportionately dangerous (and even potentially fatal) for people over sixty-five and we know that older voters are overwhelmingly going for Joe Biden in this primary fight. There is absolutely no f*cking way on earth you can tell me that Bernie and the left are trying to steal an already crooked as f*ck race by acting to… save the lives of Joe Biden voters in a nomination contest that Biden is going to win no matter *when* or *how* folks get to vote. Indeed it was initially impossible for me to understand what line of logic the shitlibs were pursuing in arguing that it was somehow wrong to ensure senior voters got to cast a ballot without potentially suffocating to death in agony for their troubles; it wasn’t until I waded deep into the comments section and noticed that most of the hired Dem Party online mercenaries couldn’t help but mention they wanted the primaries to end as fast as possible so Bernie would shut the f*ck up, that I was even able to grasp the horrifying endgame being played out here.
Look, I’m not a Harvard graduate but I don’t think it takes a genius to realize that “you should f*cking literally die so your corporate overlords can install Joe Biden and silence the left” isn’t exactly a message that endears you to the base – it’s one thing to lie to people on behalf of a desiccating mummy like Palooka Joe, but it’s entirely another to directly tell them you think grandma is an acceptable sacrifice on the altar of neoliberalism if it means maintaining corporate rule and the supremacy of elite capital.
In other words, expect rain.
Update: in the time since this post was written, Ohio has suspended its primary contest today (most likely until July 2nd) – as of yet, Democrats in Illinois, Arizona and Florida are still being encouraged to put their life on the line for Joe Biden’s nomination campaign.
*All analysis included in this article is written and published by Nina Illingworth unless otherwise indicated.
- nina illingworth
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