Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Friday, March 25, 2016

Nixon Aide Reportedly Admitted Drug War Was Meant To Target Black People

An eye-opening remark from a former aide to President Richard Nixon pulls back the curtain on the true motivation of the United States’ war on drugs.

John Ehrlichman, who served 18 months in prison for his central role in the Watergate scandal, was Nixon’s chief domestic advisor when the president announced the “war on drugs” in 1971. The administration cited a high death toll and the negative social impacts of drugs to justify expanding federal drug control agencies. Doing so set the scene for decades of socially and economically disastrous policies.

Meet The Jews Who Protested Trump’s AIPAC Speech

When businessman and Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump took the stage for his controversial speech to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference on Monday evening, the largely Jewish crowd at the Verizon Center stadium erupted into raucous applause. Trump grinned as he waved and shook hands with attendees of the massive gathering convened by the influential Israel lobbying group, beaming in the spotlight as he waited several seconds to allow the cheering to subside.

A Force Unto Itself

In the decades since the draft ended in 1973, a strange new military has emerged in the United States. Think of it, if you will, as a post-democratic force that prides itself on its warrior ethos rather than the old-fashioned citizen-soldier ideal.   As such, it’s a military increasingly divorced from the people, with a way of life ever more foreign to most Americans (adulatory as they may feel toward its troops).  Abroad, it’s now regularly put to purposes foreign to any traditional idea of national defense.  In Washington, it has become a force unto itself, following its own priorities, pursuing its own agendas, increasingly unaccountable to either the president or Congress.

Trump Says He Will Delegate Supreme Court Appointments To The Heritage Foundation

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, in an apparent bid to placate conservatives who fear that he could appoint an insufficiently ideological justice if elected president, plans to release a list of 5-10 names sometime in the next week. He says that, if given the opportunity to name a Supreme Court justice, he will limit his selection to the names on that list.

At a press conference on Monday, Trump also revealed an unusual detail about how he is determining which names should be on the list. “Heritage Foundation and others are working on” the list,” according to Trump.

Why did the bombers target Belgium?

Belgium seems an unlikely location for a hub of European extremist violence. But there are good reasons for the concentration of radical activity in the small state. Many of the problems that lead to militancy are common across the world, developing and developed, and though they may differ in severity, have the same consequences.

These include a sizeable and poorly integrated Muslim minority, high levels of youth unemployment in that community, the availability of arms, a highly developed communications and transport network passing through the country, authorities that have been often complacent and always under-resourced, and domestic political instability.

Why a centrist NDP is not an option

Prominent CBC commentator Chantal Hebert thinks dumping Tom Mulcair for being too centrist would be a mistake.

When the NDP did win elections provincially, it won running from the centre, and the federal NDP would be no different, she wrote in a recent Toronto Star column. She advised that in a succession race, a centrist would win out over someone who wanted the party to go hard left.

Apple's Fight With the FBI Is the Corporate Personhood Case of 2016

Apple's legal battle with the FBI is shaping up to be the corporate personhood case of the year. Like 2010's Citizens United or 2014's Hobby Lobby, the case raises deep questions about how far we want to travel in granting more and more constitutional rights to corporations.

Most people following the case -- in which a federal judge ordered Apple to give the FBI technical assistance to help it access an encrypted iPhone used by one of the alleged San Bernardino shooters -- are primarily interested in who wins, not how they win. But the legal issues go beyond the particular facts, or even broader concerns about public safety, privacy and encryption. That's because Apple and its allies have raised some fairly weird questions. If a law requires a company to write software code over its objection, does the law compel "speech"? Do corporations have "liberty"? Can a corporation be enslaved?

How Bush-Cheneyism Made Mideast in Its Image: Wars, WOT, With Us or Against Us

Thirteen years after the illegal US invasion of Iraq, it is worth considering its full impact on this country and on the region.  Bush-Cheneyism had a number of key pillars, among which these were prominent:

1.  Aggressive unilateral warfare, with the domestic advantage of making the public rally around the flag.

2.  Conspiracy-theory amalgamation of various threats into one (‘Saddam supports al-Qaeda’)

Hillary Clinton Goes Full Neocon at AIPAC, Demonizes Iran, Palestinians

I once heard Hillary Clinton give her AIPAC speech at a university.  It doesn’t change much, just as US policy toward the Mideast doesn’t change much.  She was still a senator then.  Much of the audience was Middle East experts, who could barely keep themselves from gagging.

Clinton used her speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee meeting, the gathering of some of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, to lambaste Donald Trump for saying he’d try to be neutral in heading up negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.  Donald Trump should be lambasted. He is wrong on everything most of every day.  But, like a clock, he is right twice a day and this a point on which he is correct. The US cannot be an honest broker in the Mideast conflict if it is more Israeli than the Israelis, which it typically is.  Palestinian negotiators over the years complained that they’d get an Israeli proposal, then go to the US to tweak it, and get back the same proposal from Dennis Ross or some other American partisan of Israel who had been put in a position to shape negotiations on the American side.

WestJet Fired or Investigated Four Union Activists in Last Year

WestJet has fired three leaders of a campaign to unionize flight attendants since last March, The Tyee has learned. The dismissed union activists include Mandalena Lewis, who accused the company of failing to investigate her complaint of sexual assault.

A fourth leader in the union campaign, president Tara Mowat, was summoned to a disciplinary hearing based on anonymous reports of drug use, but was cleared.

Ontario lagging on paid sick days, leaving low-wage workers stranded

What began as a scrape quickly festered into a hand infection, a wound that would have easily healed if the low-wage Toronto dishwasher didn’t have to keep dunking it in dirty water. But without access to a paid sick day, Dr. Kate Hayman says her patient had no option but to keep working.

There are at least 145 countries, including 23 jurisdictions in the United States alone, which give workers the right to be compensated when they’re ill. Meanwhile, under Ontario law, the majority of employees are only entitled to unpaid leave — and an estimated 1.6 million workers in the province aren’t entitled to a single, job-protected, paid sick day. Critics say that reality is costing patients and the health-care system alike.

Joe Mihevc and Toronto councillors -- not transit riders -- are the ones 'ripping off' the TTC

Toronto City Councillor Joe Mihevc thinks the TTC has a problem -- and that problem is all those dastardly fare evaders who are allegedly ripping the fine city of Toronto off!

Mihevc went on TV to state:

    'I take the streetcar virtually every day on St. Clair. I notice the number of people boarding on the back door and I do wonder whether some of them are getting a free ride,' Mihevc told CP24 on Friday afternoon. 'I have never been asked by a fare checker and I have never seen them checking other people either. The honour system is present in many cities around the world but those cities don't rely as much on the fare box as we do. We can't just turn a blind eye to it.'

FBI may have found way to unlock San Bernardino iPhone without Apple

A court hearing designed to force Apple into compromising its security systems for the iPhone was cancelled Monday at the request of federal authorities, who said they potentially had another way into the San Bernardino shooter’s phone.

The astonishing reversal kicks the can down the road in what had become the climax of a two year battle over digital privacy between the US government and Silicon Valley. At the same time, the standoff between Apple and the Justice Department drew so much attention that policymakers or another court may weigh in soon regardless.

GOP Senator Gets Honest: ‘Trust Me, We Will Not Allow The Supreme Court To Flip’

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Senate Republicans are obstructing President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee for purely political reasons to make sure the high court’s ideological balance favors them.

“No, trust me, we will not allow the Supreme Court to flip,” Johnson told a Wisconsin radio station on Friday. “It’s not going to happen.”

“We may elect Hillary Clinton, we may elect the Democrats to the Senate, and then we’re going to get an even more liberal justice. So we’re saying let the American people decide and we’ll accept their verdict.”

Should Employers Be Allowed to Use Their Faith to Discriminate Against Women?

When Congress passed the Women’s Health Amendment as part of the Affordable Care Act in 2009, it was seeking to combat discrimination against women in the U.S. healthcare system. The amendment was a long overdue step to make sure that women are not left without insurance for such basic services as mammograms or contraception.

The Blind Leading the Dumb

Following his impressive primary wins on Tuesday, Donald Trump is well on his way to securing the Republican nomination for president. His xenophobia, misogyny and deceitfulness have all been manifest, but have done little to stem the excitement of many among the Republican electorate in his campaign. His lack of understanding of key foreign policy matters was on display in the last Republican debate and caused some momentary qualms, but clearly not enough to affect the recent round of primary voting.

Feds Ask To Postpone iPhone Encryption Hearing

(Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Monday asked a federal judge to cancel a Tuesday hearing in their legal battle to force Apple Inc to break into an encrypted iPhone, stating that they may have found another way to access the device, according to a court filing.

The judge in the case, being handled in federal court in Riverside, California, scheduled a hearing for late afternoon on Monday to consider the request.

Government can help people and still balance books, Ambrose says on budget eve

The Conservatives say it is possible to protect Canada’s most vulnerable while still balancing the federal government’s books.

But interim leader Rona Ambrose told a business gathering in Ottawa today she expects neither from the maiden Liberal budget.

Ambrose says the fiscal plan, to be unveiled Tuesday, will only serve to harm the economy by sinking the country further into debt.

And she predicts that will ultimately result in fewer jobs and harm to vulnerable Canadians.

Speaking to an audience that included Assembly of First Nations chief Perry Bellegarde, Ambrose says the job prospects of indigenous Canadians will suffer.

She also says new taxes on stock options, which some expect to see in Tuesday’s budget, would stifle economic growth and innovation.

Original Article
Author: CP

Eating Less Meat And More Fruit Could Save Lives — And The Planet

• Report says eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
• Global mortality could decline by as much as 10 percent.
• Over a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions arise from food production.

Millions of lives and trillions of dollars could be saved if people the world over ate more fruits and vegetables and less red meat, according to a new study. Such a shift in global eating patterns would also reduce the planetary burden of greenhouse gas emissions and help halt the worst effects of climate change.

Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Has Ties to Brutal Lebanese Militia

Donald Trump has finally announced the names of five of his foreign policy advisers, and at least one members of his new team is sure to raise eyebrows.

Walid Phares, a Lebanese academic who advised Mitt Romney's campaign in 2012, is one of the five names Trump gave to the Washington Post during a meeting with the paper's editorial board on Monday. As Mother Jones reported in 2011, Phares was a major player in the Lebanese Forces, one of the Christian militias that fought in Lebanon's brutal 15-year civil war. According to Toni Nissi, a colleague of Phares' at the time, Phares helped the group's leader, Samir Geagea, steep its fighters in religious ideology.

"[Samir Geagea] wanted to change them from a normal militia to a Christian army," Nissi said. "Walid Phares was responsible for training the lead officers in the ideology of the Lebanese Forces."

The Lebanese Forces are now just one of Lebanon's many political parties, but the group was responsible for one of the war's most notorious incidents, the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in Lebanon's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982.

Phares is also well known as an anti-Muslim campaigner. He's appeared on the radio show of Frank Gaffney, the conspiracy theorist who's a foreign policy adviser to Ted Cruz.

Original Article
Author: Max J. Rosenthal 

Human Rights Activists Arrested Hours Before Obama’s Visit To Cuba

Just before Obama landed in Havana on Sunday to begin a historic visit to Cuba — the first presidential visit in nearly a century — Cuban authorities arrested more than 50 members of the Ladies in White, a Cuban human rights organization comprised of the wives of political dissidents jailed by the Castro regime.

An organization that has been overtly critical of the Castro regime’s suppression of dissent, the Ladies in White take to the streets in protest after attending mass on Sundays. They’re used to being arrested and detained for hours or days as a consequence.

Why Israel Loves Donald Trump

TEL AVIV — This might be the most surprising poll from a wild, unpredictable 2016 campaign: One in four Israeli Jews would vote for Donald Trump.

The real estate mogul does not have a coherent position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, except to break with decades of Republican orthodoxy and announce that he would be “neutral.” His GOP rivals repeated that line endlessly, hoping it would blunt Trump’s rise in the polls. It didn’t.

Trump puts GOP House majority in jeopardy

Donald Trump is on the verge of two things once thought to be impossible: winning the Republican presidential nomination, and putting Republicans’ historically large House majority in danger.

Democrats have for the past year discussed the GOP’s 30-seat majority as a long-term problem, solvable only by shrinking it over several successive elections. But Trump’s remarkable rise in the GOP presidential race, and the backlash he has already provoked among the broader electorate, has suddenly raised the prospect of a large November wave against Trump and the Republicans who would share the ballot with him.

Illinois College Students Say They Were Threatened With Arrest And Turned Away From The Polls

Students at Wheaton College outside Chicago, Illinois were looking forward to voting — many for the first time — in last Tuesday’s presidential primary. But instead of exercising their constitutional right, many students were threatened, intimidated, and turned away from the polls without a reasonable explanation.

One polling location near the college campus did not allow hundreds of students to register to vote on Tuesday, despite the state’s new same-day registration law, because one election judge claimed it would take too much time to register all of them. Others were turned away because they did not have Illinois identification, or because of confusion about polling locations. One poll worker threatened to arrest students who were waiting in a long line to be registered toward the end of the day.

Los Angeles’ Homeless Poised For A Key Victory Against The City

Judy Coleman has to do a lot to survive day-to-day. She lives on the streets of Los Angeles, which means she doesn’t have stable shelter from cold nights. She also suffers from multiple health conditions, including diabetes, severe arthritis, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems, all of which require taking medications and using medical equipment such as a walker and a monitor to check her blood sugar levels.

Saudi Arabia Continues Hiring Spree of Lobbyists, Retains Former Washington Post Reporter

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is adding more American lobbyists to its payroll by hiring BGR Government Affairs, a company founded by former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour, according to filings disclosed last week.

The contract provides BGR with $500,000 annually to assist with U.S. media outreach for the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, a government entity. The retainer includes the services of Jeffrey Birnbaum, a former Washington Post reporter who once covered the lobbying industry and now works as a lobbyist, as well as Ed Rogers, a former Reagan administration official who now lobbies and writes a column for the Post called PostPartisan.

Women Hate Donald Trump Even More Than Men Hate Hillary ClintonU

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the 2016 presidential candidates, gender will be part of the campaign in an unprecedented way. It goes beyond the fact that Clinton would be the first woman nominated by one of the two major parties as its presidential candidate: Polls consistently show that women really, really don’t like Trump, and men — to a lesser but still significant degree — really don’t like Clinton.

The Violence Is Just Beginning

For years, we’ve heard politicians and elected officials bloviate exhaustively about how “America is the greatest nation the world has ever known.” We’ve heard soaring rhetoric championing our freedoms of speech, association and press. We’ve been praised as a beacon of civility and tolerance; of temperance and diversity. Turn on the TV or visit your favorite online news site and this portrait of America is completely unrecognizable. The sad reality of today is that optimism has been replaced by hate. Ideas have been sidelined for soundbites. Rallies have turned into riots.

Drones, Drugs and Death

In April 2015, USA TODAY broke a story with the headline: "US secretly tracked billions of calls for decades." At first glance, it appeared to be yet another Edward Snowden revelation implicating the National Security Agency (NSA), mass surveillance and the 'war on terror.' But it actually concerned a mass surveillance operation that had taken place a decade earlier, not by the NSA, but by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). It was not aimed at identifying terrorists, but rather the detection of drug traffickers.

Obama’s New Education Secretary Declined to Help Victims of Student Loan Fraud

Last week, the U.S. Senate confirmed John B. King Jr., a man who has refused to use his authority to provide justice and relief to Americans defrauded by for-profit colleges, as secretary of education.

Sam Sacks reports at The District Sentinel via Truthout:

    King has thus far declined to act, despite having served as the acting Secretary of Education since January. He has subsequently become the subject of ire of thousands of debt-saddled college students who have appealed to the department to forgive their obligations to for-profit schools that fraudulently lured them into traps.

The Oilman Who Loved Dictators, or How Texaco Supported Fascism

“Merchants have no country,” wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1814. “The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.” The former president was ruing the way New England traders and shipowners, fearing the loss of lucrative transatlantic commerce, failed to rally to their country in the War of 1812.

Today, with the places from which “merchants” draw their gains spread across the planet, corporations are even less likely to feel loyalty to any country in particular. Some of them have found it profitable to reincorporate in tax havens overseas. Giant multinationals, sometimes with annual earnings greater than the combined total gross national products of several dozen of the world’s poorer countries, are often more powerful than national governments, while their CEOs wield the kind of political clout many prime ministers and presidents only dream of.

Politicians Push Nuclear ‘Poison Pill’

LONDON—The deeply troubled European nuclear industry, dominated by the huge French state-owned company EDF, home is now surviving only because of massive public subsidies from the French, British and Chinese governments.

The depth of the financial problems that EDF is facing was underlined last week by the resignation of its finance director, Thomas Piquemal.

Federal lobbying activity heats up, reflects Liberals’ friendlier stance with consultant lobbyists

Federal lobbying activity exploded in February, with the federal lobbyists’ registry showing there were 112 per cent more communications reports filed than the same month a year earlier.

As well, when comparing February’s activity with one month earlier, the 2,927 communications reports marked a 185 per cent gain from January.

“You’ve got a combination of things happening here,” said Joe Jordan, a lobbyist with J.L. Jordan Group and former Liberal MP. “You’ve got a government that has signalled, through what it’s said and what it’s done, that it values consultation. And then you’ve got the front end of a four-year mandate and a budget.”

Morneau goes corporate with his new advisory council

If you want some insight into what makes the Justin Trudeau government tick have a look at some of its most recent important appointments.

No -- not those much ballyhooed Senate appointments.

Look rather at who Trudeau's finance minister, Bill Morneau, named to his new Advisory Council on Economic Growth.

In Hartley Bay, a Four-Decade Fight to Dump Diesel Continues

Cameron Hill will never forget the cold October night in 1975 when a diesel generating plant breakdown cut all power to Hartley Bay's homes and water treatment. Completely isolated 140 kilometres south of Prince Rupert on British Columbia's north coast, the village and home community of the Gitga'at First Nation (pronounced "Git-Gat") was completely on its own.

"Six weeks later, the power was still out," says Hill, 47, now the school principal and a 20-year Gitga'at band councillor. More than anything else, he remembers watching his family's winter supply of salmon, halibut, moose and berries defrost and spoil in their multiple freezers.

Why Trump's Ugly Campaign Could Be Good for His Country

Hindu mythology celebrates the fearsome god Shiva, the purifying destroyer. An embodiment of all wisdom and knowledge, Lord Shiva lays waste to the world in an act of sacred renewal.

Donald Trump is not Shiva (spoiler alert). But the destruction he is wrecking on the U.S. political establishment may one day be seen as a purifying moment in American politics.

Will Canada Become The Austria Of The 1930s?

The Donald Trump phenomenon is fascinating to many of us Canadians. We marvel at his chutzpah and outrageous statements and give daily thanks that we do not have to face the possibility of him being our new leader. Some of us even wonder why the rest of us get so exercised about Trump since he's basically America's problem and not ours.

The Donald: A Gathering Storm

On the pedestals of two sculptures fronting the National Archives, plainly visible while driving down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, are the words “What is Past is Prologue. Study the Past.”

In presidential aspirant Donald Trump, there are whiffs of the powerful Lousiana demagogue Huey Long, who called himself the “Kingfish.” His shrewd, unscrupulous, political touch, his flamboyance, braggadocian talents and persona, overall they remind one, irresistibly, of Donald Trump. Huey Long’s autobiography, Every Man A King, came out in 1933, bound in a resplendent gold jacket bearing five pictures of the Senator. He ordered 50,000 copies and sold 20,000 for a dollar each. And then ordered the remainder given away. Trump’s books have a similar ring.

Trudeau stuns environmentalists with dubious LNG plant approval

There is a phase in political popularity when a leader is above criticism.

That is where Justin Trudeau sits right now — a man astride a mountain of ice cream.

His sometimes critics, including yours truly, are dismissed by his supporters the way Trudeau himself disposed of Stephen Harper, who, despite fawning attempts by media enablers to airbrush the dark decade, remains an anchor dragging down the Conservative party’s attempt to reinvent itself.

Marine Le Pen Blasts Canada's Immigration Policy During Quebec City Visit

QUEBEC — The head of France's right-wing Front national party says Canada is on the wrong path with its immigration policy.

Marine Le Pen says the federal Liberal's decisions on immigration, particularly its welcoming of Syrian refugees, are "erroneous."

She made the comments on Sunday during a news conference in Quebec City.

America in Crisis: What Happens When Neither Political Party Answers to the Bottom 90 Percent?

As Donald Trump leads a full-scale war against the Republican establishment and elites, particularly through his attack on both their military (Iraq) and their trade (NAFTA) policies, the Democratic Party is also in a predicament that Bernie Sanders’ candidacy is exposing. Both parties right now face a great crisis of leadership/ideology as well as a great opportunity for reinvention, and whichever party first reinvents itself successfully will begin winning elections the way the Democrats did in the 1932-1968 era.

Bernie Sanders Raised More Money Than Hillary Clinton In February

WASHINGTON, March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders outraised rival Hillary Clinton in February but spent at a faster pace, leaving him with less money, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

Sanders raised $43.5 million in the month, compared with Clinton, who raised $30.1 million.

The U.S. senator from Vermont has amassed much of his fundraising haul from online donations driven by supporters contributing small amounts of money.

While Sanders raised more than Clinton, he also spent more than the former secretary of state. At the end of February, Sanders had $17.2 million in cash remaining, the Post said. Clinton had $31 million, according to her campaign.

Original Article
Author: Ginger Gibson

Trump Praises The ‘Spirit’ Of Campaign Manager Who Became Physical At A Rally

Donald Trump praised his campaign manager’s “spirit” for grabbing a protester at his rally in Tucson on Saturday.

“I give him credit for having spirit. He wanted to take down those horrible, profanity-laced signs,” Trump told ABC News.

In video footage of the incident captured by a CBS reporter, the Trump campaign’s Corey Lewandowski apparently yanked a protester by the collar. Another man who was behind the protester appears to have grabbed him in that same moment, since he spins around to confront him, but realizes he’s held back by Lewandowski.

Police In Maryland Routinely Used Tasers When Suspects Posed No Threat To Their Safety

Police officers in Maryland frequently did not follow safety guidelines when using Tasers, and often discharged the weapon before their safety was actually at risk, according to a six-month investigation by The Baltimore Sun.

In the first-ever analysis of Taser use in Maryland, the Sun studied three years of Taser incidents in the state. The study found that nearly 60 percent of the people that police hit with Tasers were described as “non compliant and non-threatening.”

Furthermore, according to police reports, only 20 percent of suspects who were Tased were armed with a weapon, and only two percent were armed with guns.

The Supreme Court and the Republican Coup D’état

In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts to succeed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. At this time, Justice O’Connor was the Court’s pivotal “swing” Justice. In many of the Court’s most important cases, she cast the deciding vote. Moreover, she generally leaned left on such controversial issues as abortion, the rights of gays and lesbians, affirmative action and campaign finance reform. There was thus little doubt that, if confirmed, John Roberts, who was well-known for his conservative views, would move the Court significantly to the right.

The Man the Founders Feared

“I THINK you’d have riots.” So said Donald J. Trump last week, when he was asked by CNN what he thought would happen if he arrived at the Republican Convention this summer a few delegates short of the 1,237 needed to win outright and didn’t set forth from Cleveland as the party’s nominee.

It is stunning to contemplate, particularly for those of us who are lifelong Republicans, but we now live in a time when the organizing principle that runs through the campaign of the Republican Party’s likely nominee isn’t adherence to a political philosophy — Mr. Trump has no discernible political philosophy — but an encouragement to political violence.

Man who pulled protester revealed as Trump security

Donald Trump’s campaign blamed an unidentified man for manhandling a protester at a Saturday afternoon rally in Tucson, but POLITICO has learned that the man was in fact part of Trump’s own security detail.

During the rally, the man introduced himself to Tucson police officers as a member of Trump’s security team during a discussion about the large contingent of protesters at the rally, according to a source who witnessed the exchange in the upper level of the Tucson Convention Center. The source said the man, dressed in a dark pullover embroidered with the logo for “Trump National Doral” resort, also could be seen directing uniformed security personnel inside the convention center, which hosted the rally.

Donald Trump Says He’ll Tell Supporters Not To Riot, ‘But’ ...

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump will tell his supporters not to riot if he’s denied the Republican presidential nomination, but he suggested it could happen anyway.

ABC News host George Stephanopoulos had to ask three times to get Trump to say he’d tell his supporters not to riot if he’s denied the nomination at the Republican National Convention this summer.

Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won’t Even Say Who It’s Lobbying For

The Commercial Energy Working Group (CEWG) is one of the many lobbying organizations in Washington. They make recommendations to federal agencies and try to sway lawmakers on policies. They engage in the basic political work of making the government friendlier to business.

There’s only one problem: who the Commercial Energy Working Group actually represents is a secret.

McConnell: No New Supreme Court Justice Until The NRA Approves Of The Nominee

Supreme Court justices are nominated by the president and appointed with the advice and consent of the National Rifle Association, according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

McConnell offered this unusual view of the confirmation process during an interview with Fox News Sunday. In response to a question from host Chris Wallace, who asked if Senate Republicans would consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the election if Hillary Clinton prevails, McConnell responded that he “can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association [and] the National Federation of Independent Businesses.”