Monday, December 5, 2016

Why Does Donald Trump Lie About Voter Fraud?

The long-running Republican war against the right to vote has now gone national at the instigation of President-elect Donald Trump, who has promoted the lie that millions of illegal votes were cast in the presidential election.
There is not a scintilla of evidence for this claim, and Mr. Trump’s own lawyers have admitted as much, stating in a court filing opposing a recount in Michigan that “all available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.” Yet one after the next, leading Republicans are spreading this slander of American democracy, smoothing the way to restrict voting rights across the country.
On Sunday, Vice President-elect Mike Pence told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that it was Mr. Trump’s “right to express his opinion as president-elect.” When pushed to admit that the illegal-voting claim was not true, Mr. Pence shifted the burden of proof away from Mr. Trump, even though Mr. Trump has accused millions of Americans of committing a crime. “Look,” Mr. Pence said, “I don’t know that that’s a false statement, George, and neither do you.”
Paul Ryan, speaker of the House, told CBS’s “60 Minutes,” “I have no knowledge of such things,” before defending Mr. Trump’s claims as “giving voice to a lot of people who have felt that they were voiceless.” (As recently as October, Mr. Ryan’s spokeswoman noted that “our democracy relies on confidence in election results” and that Mr. Ryan was “fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.”) Reince Priebus, currently the chairman of the Republican National Committee and Mr. Trump’s pick for chief of staff, told CBS’s John Dickerson that “no one really knows” if millions of people voted illegally. “It’s possible.” It’s equally true that no one really knows for sure that Reince Priebus wasn’t snatched away and replaced with a doppelgänger hatched by aliens — it’s possible, isn’t it?
This is how voter suppression efforts start. First come the unverified tales of fraud; then come the urgent calls to tighten voter registration rules and increase “ballot security,” which translate into laws that disenfranchise tens or hundreds of thousands of qualified voters.
That’s already happened in Wisconsin and North Carolina, in Ohio and Texas, where Republican lawmakers pushed through bills requiring voter IDs or proof of citizenship; eliminating early-voting days and same-day registration; and imposing other measures. Virtually all these laws aimed at making voting harder for citizens who happen to be members of groups that tend to support Democrats. While federal courts have struck down some of these laws, more keep popping up. In Michigan, lawmakers are pushing to fast-track a voter-ID requirement even though there was no evidence of voter impersonation there. In New Hampshire, the incoming governor, Chris Sununu, wants to do away with same-day registration, also despite the lack of any evidence that it resulted in fraud.
Reality is beside the point. Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, recently told The New Republic, “Whether there’s widespread voter fraud or not, the people believe there is.” It doesn’t seem to matter to G.O.P. leaders that election officials around the country of both parties have confirmed that there was no fraud on Election Day. What matters to them, as strategists have long known, is that Republicans do better when fewer people vote. Under a Trump administration, anti-voter efforts could become national in scope — through congressional legislation, a hostile Justice Department or a Supreme Court nominee with little regard for voting rights. Undermining the integrity of the electoral process and making it harder to vote is threatening to all Americans, regardless of party. The cynical Republicans now in power figure that all they have to do is fool the public long enough to win the next election. It’s outrageous, but it’s hard to see why they would stop when lying has gotten them this far.

EU pushes Italy to continue economic reforms after Renzi resignation

China urges US to uphold One-China policy

Video -China says humanitarian issue in Syria should not be politicized

Video - Russia, China veto UNSC resolution on Aleppo ceasefire

Pakistan's Punjabi Taliban - Trouble in Jhang


THE victory of Masroor Haq Nawaz Jhangvi in last Thursday’s by-election is cause for considerable concern. A few observers disagree with this alarmism, and suggest the success of the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz, or any of its related incarnations, is based on their responsiveness to local service delivery concerns. We are told they are able to deliver mundane public goods such as access to policing, justice, sanitation, and paved streets better than other local elites. Hence, the time-tested axiom of ‘all politics is local’ explains why urban voters in Jhang have been consistently voting for Sunni extremists since the mid-1980s.
While patronage politics may be part of the story, it fails to account for the entire picture, especially in instances where opposing candidates are also capable of delivering patronage.
In many parts of the world, and through much of history, the appeal of hard-right or extremist parties is based precisely on fusing ideological messaging with material gains. The closest example of this is the Sangh Parivar in India, which has used the private provision of social services and local charity efforts as part of its Hindutva proselytising mission. Further back in history, we see this happening with the Nazi party in Germany, which was using local community service organisations and voluntary associations to popularise itself before it took over the state. To reduce the Jhangvis and Ludhianvis to thana-kutcheri politics is exactly what they would want, and exactly what would blind us to the real danger their political presence poses.
Others counter the alarmism by suggesting that Thursday’s result is just another political blight in a uniquely sectarian city. They argue, and perhaps not unfairly, that the success of a rabid extremist in Jhang is unlikely to be replicated in the rest of the country. There is some historical truth to this assertion. Anti-Shia rhetoric has failed to capture voters’ imagination in other parts of the country as it has in Jhang. While casual, everyday anti-Shia bigotry is frequently seen amongst many urban and rural citizens, it has failed to manifest itself in direct political behaviour.

Quite a few people seem willing to shrug off Jhangvi’s victory as the fair outcome of our democratic process.

Nonetheless, the electoral failure of hard-line Sunni supremacists in other parts of the country should not mask the real gains made over the past couple of decades.
During the peak period of anti-Shia violence in Punjab, the Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) won one MNA and two MPA seats in the 1993 election. One of its MPAs was also made an adviser to the then chief minister, Mian Manzoor Wattoo.
Going into the 2018 election, the latest incarnation of the SSP is close to matching its performance from 23 years ago. It now has one MPA elected, and another strong MNA candidate — Ludhianvi — already cleared for participation in mainstream politics by the Lahore High Court.
The 2013 election and subsequent local council polls also point to small pockets of electoral support for sectarian forces outside Jhang. In the last general election, 120 MNA candidates on the Muttahida Deeni Mahaz (MDM) ticket secured approximately 350,000 votes countrywide. This is undoubtedly a small number both overall and per candidate, especially compared to the millions raked in by the mainstream parties.
However, there were 20-odd seats where MDM candidates secured more than 10,000 votes, and amongst those, five where they were within touching distance of the winner. Subsequently, in the 2015 local government elections, these very forces captured a few local council seats in rural Punjab and Karachi, and had an improved showing in different parts of urban Sindh.
None of this signifies an imminent apocalypse, but it does highlight organisational depth and geographic reach. Putting up 120 candidates and contesting polls means the existence of some political infrastructure and the ability to generate some contact with voters.
In the run-up to the Jhang by-election, videos of the candidate and his supporters engaging in anti-Shia speeches could be easily found on the internet. Such speeches will likely be replicated (and this is already happening) by their other candidates elsewhere in the country. It may not be enough to deliver a critical amount of votes, but it is enough to further sow sectarian bigotry and hatred amongst the population.
Lastly, quite a few people seem willing to shrug off Jhangvi’s victory as the fair outcome of our democratic process. This is only true if one buys into the crass conception of majoritarian rule that many in this country equate with democracy. The final aim of a political system should not be a no-holds barred popularity contest, but a system where social democratic norms limit majoritarian excesses. This should take the shape of safeguards for smaller communities, and zero tolerance for hate speech and violence.

The PML-N, which has a history of using local alliances with extremists for its own gain, and all other mainstream parties currently in charge face a clear option. Either they ignore the sectarian problem till its expanding presence shifts the entire edifice of electoral politics even further to the right, or they work harder to prosecute hate-mongering candidates to cleanse the political system of their presence. Given how violent this past decade has been, it is high time that political elites agree that even one rabid extremist in any legislative assembly is one too many.

Pakistan - Castro’s death, a loss for the entire world: Rabbani

Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said that the death of Fidel Castro was the death of a great leader and a loss to all the oppressed people around the world.
The senate chairman expressed these views during his visit to the Republic of Cuba’s embassy on Monday to condole the death of the revolutionary leader Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz.
Accompanied by senators Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Afrasyab Khattak, he said that with the death of the great Castro, this bread of leadership no longer exists and this was a loss not only for Cubans but also for the whole world.

چوہدری نثار نے نیشنل ایکشن پلان کا سیاسی فائدہ اٹھایا، بلاول بھٹو زرداری

bilawalدہشت گردوں سےغریب عوام ،پولیس ،پیپلز پارٹی لڑ رہی ہے، باقی سیاست کررہے ہیں جب کہ (ن) لیگ ناکام لیگ ہے

گلگت: چیرمین پیپلزپارٹی بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا ہے کہ نیشنل ایکشن پلان اب (ن) لیگ ایکشن پلان ہو چکا ہے اور وزیر داخلہ چوہدری نثار نے اس کا سیاسی فائدہ اٹھایا ہے۔
پیپلزپارٹی کے یوم تاسیس کی تقریب کے موقع پر گلگت بلتستان میں کارکنان سے خطاب کرتے ہوئے پیپلزپارٹی کے چیرمین بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا تھا کہ دہشت گردوں سےغریب عوام ،پولیس ،پیپلز پارٹی لڑ رہی ہے، باقی سیاست کررہے ہیں جب کہ (ن) لیگ ناکام لیگ ہے، اس کا دہشت گردوں کے ساتھ این آراو ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ہمارے ووٹ کاٹنے کے لیے دہشت گردوں کو کھڑا کیا گیا لیکن 2018 میں پورے پاکستان میں پیپلزپارٹی کی حکومت ہوگی اور آصف علی زرداری پھرسے ہمارے صدر ہوں گے جب کہ وزیراعظم اور وزیراعلیٰ بھی ہمارے ہوں گے۔
بلاول بھٹو زرداری کا کہنا تھا کہ سی پیک پیپلزپارٹی کےمنشور کا حصہ ہے اور یہ آصف زرداری کا ویژن تھا، آصف زرداری نے گوادرپورٹ چین کے حوالے کرکے سی پیک کی بنیاد رکھی لیکن حکمران سی پیک کو متنازع بنا رہے ہیں، گلگت بلتستان والےسوال کرتے ہیں ان کا سی پیک میں کیا حصہ ہے۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ ہمارا نیشنل ایکشن پلان اب (ن) لیگ ایکشن پلان ہوچکا ہے اور وزارت داخلہ ناکام ہو چکی ہے، وزیر داخلہ نے نیشنل ایکشن پلان کا سیاسی فائدہ اٹھایا جب کہ وہ ڈاکٹر عاصم اور ایان علی کےپیچھے لگے ہوئے ہیں۔ انہوں نے کہا کہ میں لاہور پنجاب کی سیاست میں حصہ لینے نہیں بلکہ 
پنجابی سیاست میں جمہوریت پر قبضہ کرنے آیا ہوں۔



bilawalPML-N and its Interior Minister were applying and exploiting NAP for political targets and victimization instead targeting terrorists. Chaudhry Nisar wept over the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud and started abusing NAP against Dr Asim and Ayyan Ali,”: Chairman PPP
LAHORE, December 5: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that PML-N had been winning elections under an NRO with terrorists and the recent nexus between them has been exposed again recently in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
PPP Chairman was addressing the PPP workers from Gilgit-Baltistan at Party’s 49th Foundation Day celebrations being held at Bilawal House, Lahore. Today was reserved for PPP workers from GB.
“PML-N and its Interior Minister were applying and exploiting NAP for political targets and victimization instead targeting terrorists. Chaudhry Nisar wept over the killing of Hakeemullah Mehsud and started abusing NAP against Dr Asim and Ayyan Ali,” he stated.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that it was only his family, Party and the Jawans who were fighting the terrorists and embracing martyrdoms while all others are doing politics only over NAP and terrorism policy.
He pointed out that PML-N fielded terrorists against his Party in Gilgit-Baltistan elections and blamed PML-N of hiding its extremism behind the clean-shaven faces. “We have Bhutto power and they have Zia power. We had defeated Zia. We defeated Musharraf. PPP have defeated Nawaz Sharif several times and will defeat him again in 2018 general elections,” he added.
PPP, he said, has again jumped into the fielding riding the change and Shaheed Bibi’s son wants to introduce in the Party and Bilawal Bhutto is here in Lahore to grab back the democratic space in the Punjab.
PPP Chairman said that CPEC was an idea of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto while President Asif Ali Zardari transformed into a vision by handing over Gwadar Port to China.
Speaking on the occasion, former Governor of GB Qamaruz Zaman Kaira said that elections in AJK and GB were stolen by the PML-N government through massive rigging and demanded that elections in all the four provinces, AJK and GB should be held simultaneously.
He further said that it was Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who abolished Sardari system in GB and empowered the common man but Nawaz Sharif has restored Sardars and pushed back the poor masses.
Former Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Mehdi Shah said that people of his area got their legitimate rights only while PPP in power and pledged that PPP would also give provincial status to GB region. He pointed out that President Asif Ali Zardari silently laid foundation of CPEC and warned PML-N government that masses of Gilgit-Baltistan won’t allow CPEC to pass from their area if their rights in the project were not ensured.
Earlier, PPP GB President Amjad Hussain adorned Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari with traditional Gilgit cap and Choga.
Former Prime Ministers Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshed Shah, former Sindh CM Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Senator Sherry Rehman and others were also present on the occasion where traditional music tunes and songs from GB were also played.