Day: November 5, 2018

Background Briefing: November 5, 2018


Heavily Armed and Untrained Militias Head for the Border

We begin with armed militia groups heading for the Southern border which is already militarized with active-duty and National Guard troops along with Border Patrol and speak with Michelle Garcia, a journalist and former Texas correspondent for The Columbia Journalism Review and a former columnist for The Texas Observer. She joins us to discuss her new 3-part essay series on the border at The Baffler and concerns that heavily-armed untrained militia groups like the Texas Minutemen are responding to President Trump’s fear-mongering against destitute migrants he calls “invaders” with their website warning of a “large number of criminals” crossing the border and that “several U.S. law enforcement officers and civilians have been murdered by international bandits in these areas.” It also warns militia members that the mainstream media “are not your friends. They work for their globalist, open-border $$-sponsors-$$”. And already, according to planning documents from U.S. Army commanders leading the 5,200 troops Trump has dispatched to the border, 200 unregulated armed militia members are operating along the southwest border.


The GOP No Longer Believes in Democracy

Then on this day before an election, we begin with Andrew Gumbel, an award-winning investigative journalist and author of “Down for the Count: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America”. He joins us to discuss a recent poll which found 46% of the American electorate do not believe their votes will be counted fairly with a third thinking it’s likely a foreign county will tamper with the vote. Nevertheless with partisan enthusiasm and energy surging and an increased turnout expected on both sides, we will focus on the close and controversial race for governor in Georgia and since more and more races are decided by narrow margins, the need to have transparent and auditable voting systems is increasingly clear, along with undeniable evidence that the Republican Party no longer believes in democracy and the free and fair exercise of the vote.


Today’s Re-Imposition of Sanctions Against Iran

Then finally in the closing days before a watershed election we will get an analysis of whether the majority in this country will show up at the polls in sufficient numbers to overcome the vote rigging by the minority.Ian Samuel, a Professor of Law at Indiana University joins us to discuss his article at The Guardian “Rigging the vote: How the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule”and what strategies can be employed to reverse the formidable project of the Republican Right to install permanent minority rule to guarantee control of the government even though fewer and fewer Americans support their policies and programs. This growing tyranny of the minority should be clear since the last two Republican presidents entered office with fewer votes than their opponents got, and the last two justices to join the Supreme Court were confirmed with lifetime appointments to the court by senators who received 22 million fewer votes than the senators who voted against him in the case of Gorsuch. And in the case of Kavanaugh he was confirmed by senators who received 38 million fewer votes than the senators who voted no. So the challenge is not just to win on Tuesday but to wrestle back control from the entrenched minority with an overwhelming victory, then begin the work of leveling the playing field.