Today’s Reads: December 23, 2016
Paul Krugmaan shared this post today on Twitter and it is scary. The article discusses the results of the Republican gerrymandering and voter suppression in North Carolina. They have successfully destroyed democracy in their state. And if we don’t do something to stop them your state may be next!! As it is when, a minority party leader loses the popular vote by close to 3 million votes, but threy still control all three branches of our government. Something is wrong! And when they are hell bent on destroying programs that benefit most Americans, something is terribly wrong!
From The News & Observer:North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy
By Andrew Reynolds
In 2005, in the midst of a career of traveling around the world to help set up elections in some of the most challenging places on earth – Afghanistan, Burma, Egypt, Lebanon, South Africa, Sudan and Yemen, among others – my Danish colleague, Jorgen Elklit, and I designed the first comprehensive method for evaluating the quality of elections around the world. Our system measured 50 moving parts of an election process and covered everything from the legal framework to the polling day and counting of ballots.
In 2012 Elklit and I worked with Pippa Norris of Harvard University, who used the system as the cornerstone of the Electoral Integrity Project. Since then the EIP has measured 213 elections in 153 countries and is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating how free and fair and democratic elections are across time and place.
When we evolved the project I could never imagine that as we enter 2017, my state, North Carolina, would perform so badly on this, and other, measures that we are no longer considered to be a fully functioning democracy.
In the just released EIP report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world. Read More
Andrew Reynolds has consulted in over 25 nations on issues of democratic design since 1991. His most recent book is The Arab Spring: Pathways of Repression and Reform (Oxford). He is a Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As if there are not enough ties between the Trump administration and Russia! The scarier thing is, Trump picked Flynn to be his National Security Advisor…..
From Bloomberg: Trump Aide Partnered With Firm Run by Man With Alleged KGB Tie
Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, partnered this year with a controversial technology company co-run by a man once convicted of trying to sell stolen biotech material to the Russian KGB espionage agency.
Subu Kota, who pleaded guilty in 1996 to selling the material to an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy, is one of two board directors at the company, Boston-based Brainwave Science. During years of federal court proceedings, prosecutors presented evidence they said showed that between 1985 and 1990 Kota met repeatedly with a KGB agent and was part of a spy ring that made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling U.S. missile defense technology to Russian spies. Kota denied being part of a spy ring, reached a plea agreement in the biotech case and admitted to selling a sketch of a military helicopter to his co-defendant, who was later convicted of being a KGB operative. Read More
Here’s some more scary stuff about Michael Flynn…..
From Salon: Lock him up? Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, mishandled classified information
While Donald Trump’s supporters really wanted Hillary Clinton arrested for her email server, the president-elect’s pick for national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, “inappropriately shared” classified information with foreign military officials in Afghanistan, military documents show.
Army records recently obtained by The Washington Post allege that Flynn informed allies about the activities of the CIA in Afghanistan, even though Flynn lacked authorization to do so.
In August, Flynn told The Post he had permission to share the classified intel, but documents show that an investigation of the incident determined that Flynn did not have approval to share the secrets he exposed. The Defense Department and the Central Command both concluded Flynn mishandled the classified intel. Read More.
I don’t know! Just when I think I’m getting over the on-coming nightmare that the Trump administration is going to be, I read articles like the agita starts up again!!