fresh voices from the front lines of change







ADL Warns Anti-Semitism Has 'Moved Into The Mainstream'

Anti-Semitism has moved 'into the mainstream,' ADL director says. Politico: "Anti-Semitism has 'moved from the margins into the mainstream,' Anti-Defamation League CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt said Sunday. His remarks on NBC’s 'Meet the Press' came a day after a gunman fatally shot 11 and injured seven others in Pittsburgh in the deadliest attack on a synagogue in U.S. history. The tragedy can be linked to concurrent political rhetoric, Greenblatt said. 'Political candidates and people in public life now literally repeat the rhetoric of white supremacists,' Greenblatt said. 'They think it’s normal and permissible to talk about Jewish conspiracies, manipulating events or Jewish financers somehow controlling activities. And that is awful.' Social media is accentuating the pattern, he continued, suggesting tech giants should aid in addressing the phenomenon. 'Not only is the political environment contributing to this, social media is amplifying and accelerating it in shocking ways,' Greenblatt said. 'Silicon Valley is a part of the problem and needs to be a part of the solution.'"

Jewish Leaders Call On Trump To Cut Ties With White Nationalism

‘He is not welcome here’: Thousands support Pittsburgh Jewish leaders calling on Trump to ‘denounce white nationalism’. WaPo: "More than 16,000 people have signed an open letter to President Trump from the leaders of a Pittsburgh-based Jewish group who say the president will not be welcome in the city unless he denounces white nationalism and stops 'targeting' minorities after a mass shooting Saturday at a local synagogue left 11 dead. The letter, which was published and shared on Sunday, was written by 11 members of the Pittsburgh affiliate of Bend the Arc, a national organization for progressive Jews focused on social justice, following what is being called the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. The shooting at Tree of Life synagogue also left several people injured, including law enforcement. As of early Monday morning, the letter had 16,533 signatures. 'For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement,' the Jewish leaders wrote. 'You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.'"

TX AG Ramps Up Voter Intimidation

Ahead f the 2018 election, Texas AG ramps up 'voter fraud' prosecutions. NPR: "Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been charging a record number of people with committing voter fraud, an effort his critics decry as an intimidation campaign designed to discourage minority voters from casting ballots. In 2018 alone, Paxton's office has prosecuted '33 defendants for a total of 97 election fraud violations' compared to a total of 97 prosecutions on similar charges for the 12 year period between 2005 to 2017, according a release this month from Paxton's office.

GA AG Illegally Purged 340k Voters

Greg Palast: Thanks to GOP voter suppression, 'Democrats may have effectively lost.' Salon: "Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state, purged 550,702 Georgians from the voter rolls in 2016 and 2017 — that is, canceled their registrations. I’m not guessing. After much resistance, Kemp turned over the names and addresses of each one of these purged voters in response to a threat of a federal lawsuit (which I filed in federal court in Atlanta and served on Kemp Friday). Of these, we are certain that 340,134 were wrongly removed, with no notice that they were purged. That still leaves hundreds of thousands disenfranchised. If they show up to vote on Nov. 6 -- though they won’t get notices of polling places, nor get absentee ballots if requested -- they can only receive "provisional ballots," with little or no chance they will be counted. How did Kemp pull off this mass purge? He moved voters from his state’s so-called 'inactive' list to 'canceled,' based on his assertion they had all moved out of the state or out of their county. But they hadn’t moved. According to a team of experts led by John Lenzer, CEO of CohereOne, 340,134 had never moved at all. Lenzer led a group of the nation’s top 'advanced address hygiene' professionals, who use dozens of databases (including deep post office files) to know exactly where every American lives. Our experts advise companies like American Express to make sure you get your bill (or find you if you don’t pay). As Lenzer told me of the 340,134 Georgians,' They hadn’t moved, and they should not have been removed from the voter rolls.' How could Kemp assert these voters had moved? Each one was 'guilty' of missing the 2014 and 2016 elections, and they failed to return a postcard. The postcard looks like junk mail; most people throw it away. Kemp argues, correctly, that the Supreme Court said states could use this procedure — but only so long as the state had a good-faith basis to believe voters have moved. Kemp sent the 'inactive-to-canceled' list to counties to check the accuracy of the list, knowing damn well the counties don’t have the experts and resources to do this. So I’ve now done it for them. I have every single name and address of every voter who has not moved. I would note this does not include the tens of thousands of voters who moved within their county who, under federal law, should not be removed either."

Larry Krasner's Bid To End Mass Incarceration

Philadelphia’s District Attorney reinvents the role of the modern prosecutor. New Yorker: "Krasner often talks about his ambition to make Philadelphia the best progressive D.A.’s office in the country, but he knows that he faces an almost insurmountable challenge. Resistance comes not only from the lawyers he now supervises but also from some judges, many of whom are former prosecutors. 'They are being forced to look back on their entire careers and say to themselves, Did I get it all wrong as a prosecutor? Have I gotten it all wrong as a judge? All these years coming down with twenty-five years when it should’ve been ten? And ten when it could’ve been two?' He went on, “It takes a pretty remarkable human being, who turned down big law firms, turned down big money, to do public service, to say, 'Damn, I screwed up, I’ve been doing it wrong all this time, I think I’ll just fall into line with what it is these progressive prosecutors want to do,' That’s hard.” A new class of prosecutors arrives every fall, and this year’s A.D.A.s could have been forgiven for thinking that they had mistakenly wandered into training for public defenders. 'Who here has read Michelle Alexander?' Krasner asked, referring to the author of 'The New Jim Crow,' an influential analysis of mass incarceration. 'Well, even if you haven’t read it,” he said, “open the flyleaf. Look at the stats. There are more people of color in jail, in prison, on probation and parole than there were in slavery at the beginning of the Civil War.' He reminded the trainees that they represent 'the commonwealth.' 'That means you represent people who are not victims of crime, people who are not defendants. You represent kids who are going to public schools, and they have too many kids in the class,” he said. 'You represent—because you are stewards of an enormous amount of social resources—what their lives can be in ten or fifteen years if resources are in those schools.'"

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China Grabs 3.4 Million American Jobs. Leo Gerard: "A new study by the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute (EPI) shows the growth in the U.S. trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2017 cost 3.4 million American workers their jobs. Trump’s tariff war hasn’t solved this problem. The August trade deficit with China was the highest on record, at $38.6 billion, and the deficit for 2018 is projected to be the largest ever. When China gained access to the benefits of the World Trade Organization in 2001, it agreed to abide by what are essentially free market rules. But it has not. Its prices are lower because the Chinese government subsidizes exports, providing its industries with perks like loans that don’t have to be repaid, free or cut-rate raw materials, and discounted utility bills. While it suppresses unions that would enable workers to bargain for decent wages, it keeps people employed by subsidizing overproduction of materials like steel and aluminum, then dumps the excess at below-production-cost prices on the international market. EPI figures that growing trade deficits with China and other countries altogether cost America 90,000 factories and 5 million jobs in the past two decades."

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