White Supremacists Sabotaging George Floyd Protests With Violence And Arson


Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison called for an investigation into the “real legitimate evidence” that the crimes committed during Minneapolis’ George Floyd protests have been committed by outsiders who are part of “a very serious operation.”
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By NewsHound Ellen

During this morning’s press conference, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey all said that the criminal actors in this week’s protests seem to be from outside the community. Walz is now consulting with the Department of Homeland Security about the possibility of foreign intervention.

MSNBC host Joy Reid broke away from the presser to discuss the issue with Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison. In addition to the fact that Carter said that every person arrested last night was from outside the state, Ellison said there is video evidence of outside infiltration, too.

ELLISON: My reaction is that just a few days ago, on like the second day of protests, there was a man who was dressed in all black, he was a Caucasian person. He had a gas mask, black gloves, an umbrella. It was not raining, and he was smashing windows and apparently throwing incendiary devices into businesses that had nothing to do with the tragedy around Mr. Floyd. And so people, protesters photographed this.

The video is existing and you can see it. And they confronted him, who are you and he just walked away. That led me to believe that there is real legitimate evidence that this is a very serious operation being done to tarnish the legitimate protest that is going on. We need an investigation on who these people are and their identity and I will just say as I close, that when Jamar Clark protest was going on, a group of white supremacists went on Facebook announcing they were going to attack the protests, did so, but — and then shot people. They were caught and then they were prosecuted. So, we know that this kind of thing happens, it’s planned. We have no good reason to believe that it’s not happening now. It needs to be a separate and independent investigation.

REID: Do you believe this is an organized operation against the protesters and against the city of Minneapolis and against the state?

ELLISON: I have every — and against civil society. I have every reason to believe that the facts exist to launch that investigation and I will say this. The people who would go out on the street to protest for justice for Mr. Floyd are not going to burn down the historic social justice advocacy groups that are for the Native American community. The Bengali vegan restaurant, they’re not gonna do that. That’s not what these kind of folks do. They’re not gonna leave the south side of Minneapolis, come all the way to the north side and attack the only grocery store that low-income African Americans use all the time to get foods and as well as the Walgreens. It doesn’t make sense at all.

This violence is widespread. The people appear very well organized. There are pictures of these folks. We need to identify them and hold them accountable and prosecute them and we need to remember the Jamar Clark case where organized white supremacists were caught, committed assault, attempted murder and criminally prosecuted for attacking the protest. I think that there’s ample reason for us to investigate that and I absolutely urge that we do and I think that that is a critical factor of what’s going on here.

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The Latest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama’s Third Term


The Latest Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory: Obama’s Third Term

Our Kenyan-born, secret Muslim president has apparently cooked up a sneaky plot to subvert the 22nd Amendment.

—By Asawin Suebsaeng

Probably not. benson./Flickr

Barack Hussein Obama is hatching a secret plot to pull off the ultimate power grab: securing himself a third term in the White House.

At least that’s the narrative being spun by right-wing conspiracy theorists, who seem to believe Obama is modeling his presidency after fictional Nixon in Watchmen.

Among the main proponents of this theory—which comes in several different flavors—is Stansberry & Associates Investment Research, a publishing firm that hawks financial advice—and has a history of promoting dubious claims. Even before the president won reelection, the company began blasting out emails to subscribers of various conservative newsletters, warning of the coming third term of Obama. The emails went out as paid advertisements through the right-leaning Townhall.com, Newsmax, Human Events, and Gingrich Marketplace (a spokesman for Newt Gingrich and the vice president of Human Events both claimed this email blast was a mistake).

The emails alerted readers to a vague—and somewhat counterintuitive—theory: Some unspecified but major event will lead to an epoch of American economic prosperity. Because it will happen under Obama’s watch, he’ll claim full credit and receive an unprecedented boost in approval ratings, giving him a mandate to demand and subsequently obtain a third term. If you’re confused, below are screenshots of two of the emails:


These messages are accompanied by a slideshow titled “The Third Term — INSIDE: The Secret Plan to Retain Power Through 2020” and narrated by Stansberry & Associates founder Frank Porter Stansberry. It discusses how Obama will become American history’s greatest tyrant, responsible for implementing “the most terrifying socialist policies” the country has ever seen. “The Third Term” also highlights the company’s supposed track record of correctly predicting the future, and invites readers to check out their trading and investing services and other pricey products.

Stansberry has something of a checkered past when it comes the claims appearing in his newsletters and online videos. In 2010, he released a similar slideshow called “End of America” (77 minutes long), in which he predicted waves of violence and tumult across the United States and the impending implosion of the American economy—an argument that contradicts the premise of “The Third Term.” In 2003, the SEC filed a complaint against him for pushing false information via his financial newsletter. In 2007, Stansberry (and his investment firm, then called Pirate Investor) was ordered by a federal court to pay $1.5 million in civil penalties and restitution. Stansberry Research did not respond to a request for comment.

Other conspiracymongers who have recently jumped on the Obama-third-term-prophecy bandwagon are radio host Alex Jones—who has featured Stansberry on his show—and birtherism promoter and WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah. Over at the conservative forum Free Republic, commenters have ruminated on a related theory. In this scenarioMichelle Obama runs for president in 2016 and wins, thus allowing Barack to run the government as a shadow president. Among the first to prognosticate an Obama power grab was Rush Limbaugh, who was way ahead of the curve: He predicted a third Obama term in the summer of 2009, when the 44th president had just barely moved into the White House:

The third-term theory isn’t limited to the far right: Technorati writer Sreedhar Pillai has also mused about a possible third term, and Faheem Younus at the Washington Post‘s faith blog posted on why war with Iran could grant Obama a Roosevelt-like run.

It’s unlikely that this theory will gain much traction nationally (though the third-termers have achieved enough publicity to earn their theory derisive words from Chris Matthews on MSNBC). From a purely legal perspective, there are solid obstacles to the president achieving this alleged goal, mainly the 22nd Amendment. It plainly states:

No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the office of the President more than once.

President Obama—who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for more than a decade—likely knows this already.

“There is no  evidence to suggest Obama or his supporters are planning on staging a  coup. It’s a  right-wing fantasy cooked up to try to frighten Americans.”

But, just to double check, we asked a few experts about the Obama-third-term theory. “There is nothing in his tenure as president, nothing that we know of him, that indicates that Barack Obama is going to seek a third term,” David Adler, director of the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University, told Mother Jones. “Short of a military coup, the 22nd Amendment stands as an  insurmountable obstacle to a third-term president today, and there is no  evidence to suggest Obama or his supporters are planning on staging a coup. It’s a  right-wing fantasy cooked up to try to frighten Americans.”

As a thought experiment, if Obama and his political allies did want to take a stab at repealing the amendment (in a time of economic boom, or whenever), they’d be in for a political fight that would make passing the Affordable Care Act look like a stroll in the park. “As a practical matter, no constitutional amendment can occur without being supported by both major parties,” said Akhil Reed Amar, a professor of law and political science at Yale University. “Constitutional amendments require two-thirds of the House and Senate, and three-quarters of  the states to ratify. No party controls that much. That’s all you need to  understand. So, no, Barack Obama will  not be serving a third term.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and Bush-era FEC commissioner (and one of the nation’s foremost voter fraud crusaders), agrees: “I’m going to attempt to not laugh at this,” Von Spakovsky told Mother Jones. “I don’t like Obama’s policies, but even I don’t believe he would try to get a third term  in direct contravention of the 22nd Amendment. Particularly because he couldn’t. There is a constitutional prohibition as well as a practical one: When you submit an application in every state and in Washington, DC, to the state  election official to qualify to get on the ballot, they simply won’t accept an application from someone who violates the 22nd Amendment.”

Technically, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for an American politician to launch an effort to lengthen a term, or  seek an extra four years. Early in President Reagan’s second term, congressional allies attempted to find support for amending the Constitution to give him a  chance to potentially serve a third term. And when Nixon was in office, there was a proposal to expand presidential terms to six  years. Both initiatives were quickly abandoned.

As Von Spakovsky said, “This is not a realistic fear that anyone should have.”

Rise of Far Right Extremism In America


Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin raise an American flag before a service commemorating the victims of a mass shooting. A gunman who identified himself as a white supremacist went on a rampage during a Sikh service at Oak Creek, killing six people.

Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin raise an American flag before a service commemorating the victims of a mass shooting. A gunman who identified himself as a white supremacist went on a rampage during a Sikh service at Oak Creek, killing six people.

AP

Rise of far right in US aided by ‘perfect storm’

WASHINGTON // Heated political rhetoric, economic hardships, changing demographics, anti-Islamic fervour and the first African-American president have all contributed to a “perfect storm” for the proliferation of extremist groups in America that some civil-rights groups are warning could become more violent.

The past two months have seen at least a dozen violent incidents involving religious establishments across America, including the massacre of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Most of the other incidents involved mosques and Islamic institutions. A mosque in Missouri was burnt to the ground, shots were fired at an Islamic school in Illinois and six other Islamic institutions were targeted in apparent acts of vandalism.

An Arab Christian church in Dearborn, Michigan, a Jewish holocaust memorial in New York and a synagogue in Florida were also vandalised.

If those acts suggest actions of the extreme political right, violence has also gone the other way. Last Wednesday, a man opened fire inside the Washington, DC, headquarters of a Christian conservative group, reportedly upset at its opposition to same-sex unions. A security guard was wounded.

Some fear more violence. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil-rights group that tracks extremists in America, said the Milwaukee killings did not surprise observers, who had been expecting some kind of copy-cat attempt after the shootings and bombings in Norway last July when Anders Breivik killed 77 people.

“I think we are at a very dangerous moment. There’s a kind of perfect storm of factors favouring the development of [extremist] groups and accompanying domestic terrorism.”

The SPLC has documented a nearly 70 per cent increase in the number of American extremist groups since 2000 and an “extraordinary” expansion – from 149 in late 2008 to 1,274 in 2011 – of so-called patriot movements, often loosely aligned anti-government groups that sometimes form armed militias.

Patriot militants were behind a string of domestic terrorism plots in the 1990s, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.

The expansion coincides with the term of Barack Obama, the first African-American in the White House, but it is not necessarily a classic racist reaction, Mr Potok said. Rather, America’s First Family is visceral evidence of the fact that the country’s demographics are changing – 2011 was the first year in the United States in which non-white birth rates exceeded white birth rates, according to the US Census Bureau.

“Every white supremacist in America knows the census bureau has predicted that non-Hispanic whites will lose their majority in America by the year 2050.”

America’s slow recovery from its worst economic downturn since the depression of the 1930s and rhetoric that previously belonged on the fringe gaining more traction have also provided fertile ground for extremists, Frank Meeink, a former neo-Nazi and author of a memoir, The Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, said in a recent interview.

Mr Meeink joined skinhead gangs in the late 1980s. He said he sees many parallels between now and when Bill Clinton, another socially progressive Dempcratic president on civil-rights issues, took office in 1993 during an economic slump.

The difference, he said, is that rhetoric that used to belong to neo-Nazi groups has become more mainstream and is particularly evident in the language of the Christian Right and the Tea Party, where, he said, some of his former associates had ended up.

“The new lingo is calling everything ‘socialist’.And it’s almost the same as how neo-Nazis used to talk about Jews taking over the government.”

Adding fuel to the situation is the fact that unrestrained political rhetoric is seemingly becoming increasingly common in public places.

In New York City, for instance, posters citing “19,250 deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11/01. It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism” went up last Friday and will be visible for another three weeks.

Buses in San Francisco bear posters proclaiming: “In a war between the civilised man and the savage, support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad”.

Both are paid for by the American Freedom Defence Initiative, run by Pamela Geller, best known for her role in the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy in 2010 and part of a coterie of what Mr Potok described as “professional Islamophobes and the politicians willing to shill for them”.

The controversy over plans for an Islamic centre near the site of the World Trade Center in 2010 ushered in a year when anti-Sharia legislation began to appear in state legislatures across the country and congressional hearings into the “radicalisation” of America’s Muslims – which took place in early 2011 – were announced.

The same year also saw a 50 per cent spike in anti-Muslim hate crimes, according to FBI statistics, bucking a steady decline since 2002 when passions had settled after the attacks of September 11.

Robert Sellers, a professor at the Logsdon school of theology in Texas, warned of a “culture of Islamophobia” at the annual Baptist World Congress in late July.

“I trust that none of us wishes to sin against our neighbours by spreading fear and stereotypes,” Mr Sellers said, according to the Baptist Center’s Ethics Daily website.

Extreme rhetoric has an effect, Mr Potok said.

“When people make completely unsubstantiated and incredibly demonising statements about entire groups of people, they can’t be surprised when those people are subjected to criminal attacks