Mitch gushes, That’s my boy, Mitt. “A Liberal Court Is Not Written In the Stars.”

Consulting with the Stars Mitt Romney

Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s strategy has gone public. Astrology buff and some time Utah Senator Mitt Romney is making the most persuasive case for Trump’s Supreme Court makeover.

Daily Sound and Fury 9.22.2020

If you wondered why you didn’t hear from Mitt Romney right away about voting on Justice Ginsburg’s replacement, it’s because he was busy consulting his crystal ball and tea leaves.

He’s still Mittens and coming up with inane conclusions derived by incorrect facts and asinine reasoning. Here’s the latest.

That venture concluded Tuesday morning at which time he said, “

“I recognize that we may have a Court which has more of a conservative bent than it has had over the last few decades, but my liberal friends have over many decades gotten used to the idea of having a liberal court and that’s not written in the stars.”

And then he went on to declare that the “nation is center-right” which is his most clueless comment since he said 47% of the nation was on welfare. Here’s that entire quote, if you’ve forgotten it’s sheer idiocy.

“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what … who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims. … These are people who pay no income tax. … and so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said.

RBG Memorial Liz VI 9.20.2020

Artwork – Liz Heidhues

Just re-reading it, I reel. It was chosen as the year’s best quote, by the way. To my way of thinking, it’s in competition for the best quote of the millennium, but fortunately I won’t be around to see if it wins that one. Once again, I marvel that he thinks Democrats pay no income tax — or the inverse, that people who pay no income tax are Democrats per se. Does he have even a slight grasp of who the MAGAts are, socio-economically speaking?

And he has decided, apparently, that the complexion of the nation has changed in eight short years, since when he ran for president, from welfare state to center-right? So the welfare queens, who voted for libs, all became conservatives? Oh my God, I had forgotten how stupid the man was. Like everyone else, I was thinking that Mittens had turned over a new paw, when he voted to remove Trump and then appeared in a Black Lives Matter parade.

https://dailysoundandfury.com/mitt-romney-says-a-liberal-court-is-not-written-in-the-stars-hell-ram-scotus-nominee-through-now/

Progressives slam Biden’s foreign policy team of recycled Cold Warriors

There is no doubt that ousting Trump on November 3 is Priority One.

Still it is necessary to take a hard look at the foreign policy team Joe Biden has assembled. It is a concern to progressives who have long decried American foreign policy which promotes active American economic and military involvement,

This policy began at the end of World War II and continues to this day.

The people Joe Biden has surrounded himself with are old hands at promoting American interests.  The big difference between 1945 and 2020 is that a lot of women are now in the leadership roles of promoting American hegemony.

Excerpted from The Nation 9.21.2020

Sanders delegates and other progressive Dems, worried about his ties to the military, want less Pentagon spending and more focus on climate change.

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As Joe Biden kicks his presidential campaign against Donald Trump into high gear, concern is growing inside the progressive wing of the Democratic Party that the foreign policy and political outreach teams he has assembled don’t come close to reflecting the change—and reduced military spending—they hope to see after the November election.

The unrest is building as Senator Bernie Sanders, whom many of the dissidents supported, is privately expressing doubts about the direction of the Biden campaign and asking the former vice president to reach out more to the left. But Sanders has said little about foreign policy or national security since Biden secured the nomination, leaving the floor to rank-and-file Democratic activists.

Any chance that Biden might significantly decrease military spending was considerably dampened in an interview he gave to Stars and Stripes. “I don’t think [defense budget cuts] are inevitable, but we need priorities in the budget,” Biden told the military newspaper. “I’ve met with a number of my advisors and some have suggested in certain areas the budget is going to have to be increased.”

They are particularly concerned about the influence of people like Antony Blinken, the chief foreign policy adviser to the Biden campaign. He was Biden’s top aide when he voted in 2002 to authorize the use of force in Iraq as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“We don’t want the same people who took us to war in Iraq to be the stewards of our foreign policy,” says Marcy Winograd, a longtime anti-war activist in Santa Barbara, who was elected as a Sanders delegate to the Democratic National Convention in August, in an interview. “Why would Biden want these people advising him? You’d think he’d want to keep as much distance as possible between himself and people who steered him in the wrong direction in the past.”

Biden III 9.20.2020.jpg

Meanwhile, a group of Muslim Americans, many of them Sanders supporters, have been critical of Farooq Mitha, a former Pentagon official who is Biden’s senior adviser on Muslim American engagement. His high-profile presence in the campaign, along with other former defense officials, has split the Muslim community and detracts from the need to siphon the military budget into technologies needed to fight climate change, said Nadia Ahmad, a Sanders supporter from Florida. “That’s our top national security challenge,” Ahmad, an environmental law professor in Orlando, told The Nation. Mitha declined to comment.

In addition to Blinken, Democratic activists have focused on Michèle Flournoy, a former Pentagon official and military investor reportedly slated to become secretary of defense; and Avril Haines, the former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who will lead the foreign policy side of Biden’s transition team if he wins. She crafted President Obama’s policies on drone warfare as well as the administration’s tough approach to North Korea, which Biden has promised to revive.

But policies are not the only issue: Biden’s critics have also focused on the ties of his advisers to the military-industrial complex, which run deep.

After leaving government, Blinken and Flournoy created WestExec Advisors, a “strategic advisory firm” that works closely with military contractors and was modeled after the high-powered consultancy pioneered by Henry Kissinger during the Cold War, according to a recent profile in The American Prospect. Its influence within the Democratic Party is significant.

.

Winograd, a retired teacher who ran for Congress three times in Los Angeles, including twice against former Democratic representative Jane Harman, is leading the effort to pressure Biden not to appoint Flournoy. Her potential nomination to the Pentagon was endorsed earlier this month by conservative columnist George Will.

In communications with Democrats, Winograd has pointed in particular to Flournoy’s role as cofounder of the Center for a New American Security, which during the Obama years became a champion of the counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan. Under Flournoy, CNAS also became one of the most hawkish voices on confronting China. (In June, Flournoy suggested in Foreign Affairs that the United States should have “the capability to credibly threaten to sink all of China’s military vessels, submarines, and merchant ships in the South China Sea within 72 hours” as a way to deter Chinese leaders from aggressive military action.)

“This is a woman who is a war profiteer, is well-invested in militarism, and will expand the military rather than de-escalate on the world stage,” says Winograd. “Flournoy’s a dangerous person and should not be considered as a secretary of defense.”

The conservative tilt to Biden’s foreign policy team was also the driving force behind the Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition, a new group that “aims to ensure a broad consultation and coordination with the Muslim constituencies across the United States.” Several of its members have led the attacks on Mitha, the Biden adviser, whose role in the campaign has opened a schism within the Muslim community of Democratic voters.

 

“Ostrich Method.” German minister vetoes racism study of neo-nazi cops

The problem of racism in police departments is not limited to the United States. Germany has a serious issue to confront. German’s equivalent of an Attorney General takes the same position on police racism as his American counterpart, William Barr.  It doesn’t exist.

Deutsche Welle 9.20.2020

Germany’s interior minister has once again rejected calls for a study into police racism, despite several cases of far-right sympathy among officers. Horst Seehofer wants a wider probe on racism in society instead.

Germany’s conservative Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (pictured below) has once again drawn the anger of anti-racism campaigners by rejecting calls for a study into racism in the German police.

German police racism II 9.20.2020.jpg

Saskia Esken, leader of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), currently in coalition with Seehofer’s Christian Social Union (CSU), criticized what she called the minister’s “ostrich method,” which “damaged the image of the police.”

“There won’t be a study that deals exclusively with the police and the accusation of structural racism in the police,” Seehofer said in an interview with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“That wouldn’t even begin to do justice to the problem. What is needed is a significantly wider approach for the whole of society, and that’s what we’re working on.”

The interview did not include details of the study being proposed, though another study on racism and extremism in Germany’s security forces is due to be released at the end of September by the domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

BLM message not heard

Seehofer made a similar declaration in July during a wave of anti-racism protests that were staged throughout Germany after the police killing of George Floyd in the US.

The Justice and Interior Ministries had initially planned a study into racial profiling by police, only for Seehofer to veto the plan. Some state governments have pledged to go ahead with their own studies.

The German police has continually faced accusations of racism, politically over disproportionate spot checks of people of color.

There have also been a series of revelations about online chat groups among police officers that shared far-right content.

Far-right sympathizers in police

Last week, 29 officers were suspended in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia for sharing far-right images on WhatsApp.

German police racism I 9.20.2020.jpg

At least 5 private WhatsApp chat groups were discovered, containing 126 electronic images, including photos of Adolf Hitler and a fictional depiction of a refugee in a gas chamber.

Seehofer called the revelations a “punch in the gut” but insisted that the overwhelming majority of German police officers believed in the principles of the German constitution.

There have also been raids against networks of “preppers” in the northeastern state of Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania that included police officers who hoarded guns and ammunition.

https://www.dw.com/en/german-minister-adamant-over-police-racism-study/a-54995932

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Clinches It: We’re Living in a Dystopia

This piece from The Daily Beast is bleak and true

Excerpted from The Daily Beast.  Molly Jong-Fast 9.20.2020

We keep saying it can’t get worse. Now I just wonder, “What’s next?”

As if the world didn’t already look impossibly dark, then came Friday night, when Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at 87. While the loss of the feminist icon is incredibly sad, the mess she leaves is incalculably worse.

Growing up, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was one of my favorite books. Huxley wrote the novel in 1931, inspired in part by the economic depression in the U.K. But now confronted by an actual dystopia, it’s significantly less fun and more terrifying than I had hoped. America stands on the brink of the unimaginable. We have a president who toys with fascism on the regular, his allies continue to shop a low-key civil war, our planet is literally burning, and now our highest court hang in the balance. 

When the smoke from the fires on the West Coast started showing up 2,900 miles away outside my window in New York City, that was the moment I realized we are living in an actual dystopia. I’m 42. I have lived through some shit, but nothing like this. Every single element of a dystopia is upon us.

There are the fires, the hurricanes, the uncontrolled pandemic, the financial apocalypse, the looming eviction crisis, the increase in stillbirths. the epidemic of police brutality,  and the autocratic president who happens to be, for good measure, a moron.

And that was before RBG slipped this mortal coil, and thirsty Mitch McConnell started plotting before her body was even cold.

We’re in our ninth month of pandemic with 6.3 million cases. America is literally teeming with the insidious spread of the coronavirus. Instead of finally enacting a federal response (there still hasn’t been a single federal mandate), the president’s political appointees are fucking with the CDC testing guidelines in the middle of the night.

Dystopian IV 1.18.2020.jpg

Over the last three years and 242 days, the president has weaponized the federal government, and it’s harder and harder to tell the Trump campaign from the Trump administration. Almost daily, Trump’s press secretary Kayleigh McEnany delivers press conferences that would make Kim Jong Un’s press aides blush. The kind of double speak and fake news Kayleigh dishes out on a daily basis sounds like George Orwell on crack.

This week she told a journalist who confronted her with the actual facts that “the U.S. has 4 percent of the global population and 24 percent of the world’s COVID-19 death, how is that a success?” Kayleigh responded, “We use different numbers.” Yes, Americans are dying at about a thousand a day from the virus, and the president is calling it a success because he “uses different numbers.”

And then there’s the coming environmental catastrophe. We can feel the heat at our backs. Actually that’s not a metaphor. There’s actually heat on our backs from the fires in California and Oregon. And you know it’s bad when even Mitch McConnell, the man who’s done the most for oil and gas, says that climate change is man-made.

And let’s talk about police brutality—cops killing or shooting African Americans, sometimes when they’re asleep in bed (Breonna Taylor), sometimes when they’re getting their three kids in the car (Jacob Blake), and sometimes when they’re begging for their mothers (George Floyd). Police brutality has exploded, and the president has delighted in stoking it. It’s a cancer that makes murder hornets and aggressive rats look quaint.

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Numerous Republicans tweeted horrible shameful things Friday night, including Ted Cruz. But the worst had to be from Georgia Senate candidate Doug Collins, who tweeted, “RIP to the more than 30 million innocent babies that have been murdered during the decades that Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended pro-abortion laws.

Replacing RBG would mean tipping the scales. It will absolutely mean the overturning of Roe v. Wade. American women could lose control over their uteruses for the next three or possibly four generations. We throw around the idea that this is the most important fight of our life, but this time it really is.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ruth-bader-ginsburgs-death-clinches-it-were-living-in-a-dystopia?ref=scroll

 

Big Sky Montana. Hundreds gather at rainy Missoula Tribute for RBG

In Purple Montana a grieving, distraught and determined crowd turned out to pay Tribute to The Late Notorious RBG.

People are paying attention and will toss out Puppet Master Trump, Mitch the Malevolent and his Band of Trolls on November 3.

The Missoulian 9.19.2020

Hundreds of people gathered in the drizzling rain at the Missoula County Courthouse on Saturday for a vigil in honor of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at age 87.

“We want to take the opportunity for our community to gather and grieve and acknowledge Justice Ginsburg’s contributions to our country and just to honor her life,” said Erin Erickson, the founder and director of Missoula Rises and organizer of the vigil.

Ginsburg, also known affectionately as RBG, was renowned for her lifelong fight for women’s rights. Nearly 300 Missoulians gathered to both grieve her loss and honor her legacy, said Erickson, who started planning the vigil at 7 Friday evening when she heard of Ginsburg’s death.

While the first half of the vigil centered around grieving and honoring Ginsburg, the second was action-oriented. People were urged to contribute to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s campaign for U.S. Senate and to work to elect Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney as governor. Erickson said U.S. Rep Greg Gianforte, Cooney’s Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race, poses a risk to women’s reproductive rights in Montana.

Speakers included Erickson; Stacey Anderson of Planned Parenthood of Montana; former Montana Democratic Party Executive Director Nancy Keenan, who served several terms in Montana’s House of Representatives; Karen Wickersham, chair of Missoula County Democrats, and disability rights activist Marsha Katz.

“One of the things that we talked about as speakers was that it was actually nice to stand in the rain and just sort of allow that to flow over us and … sort of wash our grief away,” Erickson said.

RBG Missoula II 9.19.2020

https://missoulian.com/news/local/hundreds-gather-at-rainy-missoula-vigil-for-ruth-bader-ginsburg/article_753cee96-5e0f-51ce-9657-8e7a8ac8db67.html#utm_source=missoulian.com&utm_campaign=%2Fnewsletter-templates%2Fnews-alert&utm_medium=PostUp&utm_content=75e39b1c77e6ac5614d99dcbf7e64428d7faeb44

There will be Hell to pay as Republicans race to replace RBG

The Yom Kippur War 2020.

The wrath of the Notorious RBG is about to descend.

Daily Beast 9.19.2020

There’s a Jewish tradition that someone who dies on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, must have been a tzaddik, a righteous person.

After all, God waited all year to carry out the decree. Perhaps that offers some comfort to those mourning the loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Hebrew name, Yita Ruchel bat Tzirel Leah), who finally succumbed to cancer at the age of 87, after convincing many of us that she was immortal.

But the themes of Rosh Hashanah offer another lesson as well: a warning to those Republican senators pondering whether or not to support Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s unbelievable, shameful, cynical, immoral hypocrisy in pushing to replace Justice Ginsburg just hours after her passing and weeks before a presidential election.

It is a great irony that McConnell’s moral travesty is unfolding just as the Jewish season of reflection, introspection, and atonement gets underway. And from the party of the “moral majority” at that. 

RBG VII 9.18.2020

This will be a final power grab by a minority party that knows its grip on power is slackening.

Let’s reflect for a moment on the breathtaking hypocrisy that’s about to unfold on the national stage. Mitch McConnell, who singlehandedly invented the fake rule that Supreme Court nominees should not be considered in an election year, is now going to break that same rule, forcing a vote on whatever right-wing extremist Donald Trump nominates to replace RBG.

Back then, McConnell told ABC News on March 20, 2016, that, “The American people are in the middle of choosing who the next president is going to be. That next president ought to have this appointment.” Now? The opposite.

It gets worse. Justice Scalia died 268 days before the 2016 election. Justice Ginsburg died 46 days before the 2020 election.

Indeed, we’re so close to the election already, this whole sham of a process may have to happen in a lame-duck session, potentially one with both a president and a Senate majority that have been voted out of office.

And between now and then, Republican senators will be twisting themselves in more knots than a troupe of circus contortionists. Senators Lindsey Graham (the judiciary committee chair who has the power to end this circus, if he has the integrity to do so), Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins have all said they wouldn’t confirm an election-year Supreme Court justice. Will they keep their word? Or find a way to weasel out of it? And what about Susan “I’m sure Justice Kavanaugh Will Vote To Protect Abortion Rights” Collins?

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The whole spectacle is truly, deeply pathetic, even if “pro-life” voters (who, by the way, seem curiously silent about forced hysterectomies at ICE facilities and mass deaths from COVID-19 at prisons) love it.

But it’s not just pathetic—it’s also unwise.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/therell-be-hell-to-pay-as-republican-hypocrites-race-to-replace-ruth-bader-ginsburg?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

“My fervent wish is I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” RBG

Breaking News 4.15.2019

Heartbreaking news on the eve of Rosh ha-Shanah to bring in Jewish year Tishri 5781.

Daily Beast 9.18.2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court justice, trailblazing feminist, and the closest thing to a folk hero the high court has ever seen, has died at the age of 87. The Supreme Court announced that she died Friday due to complications from metastatic pancreas cancer.

In a statement dictated to her granddaughter just days before her death, Ginsburg said, “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

Tributes began pouring in instantly. The chief justice, John Roberts, said in a statement that the country had lost “a jurist of historic stature.”

“We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn, but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her—a tireless and resolute champion of justice.”

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https://www.thedailybeast.com/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-the-outsiders-champion-has-died-at-87?ref=home

Vanity Fair 9.18.2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the trailblazing Supreme Court justice who advocated passionately for women’s rights, died on Friday, according to NPR. She was 87, and had survived cancer multiple times; the cause of death, according to her family, was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

“She was an unlikely pioneer,“ NPR Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg wrote, “a diminutive and shy woman, whose soft voice and large glasses hid an intellect and attitude that, as one colleague put it, was ‘tough as nails.’”

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Ginsburg was appointed to the court by Bill Clinton in 1993; her death leaves an opening on the bench with less than 50 days before voters head to the polls as President Donald Trump seeks reelection, and will almost certainly cause a political battle.

According to NPR, days before her death the Justice dictated a statement to her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”

The leader of the court’s liberal wing, Ginsburg had become an icon for left-leaning Americans, subject of a splashy 2018 biopic, an Oscar-nominated documentary, and much fervent discussion. Her antipathy for Trump was evident, and her potential replacement would offer Trump the opportunity to place a third conservative justice on the Court.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, born Joan Ruth Bader in Brooklyn in 1933, was one of just nine women in her class at Harvard Law School, where she enrolled in 1956. As an attorney for the ACLU she argued six gender discrimination cases before the Supreme Court in the 1970s, including a case that extended the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution to include women. She was nominated to the United States Court of Appeals in 1980, and was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1993, becoming the second woman to serve on the Court. 

As a Justice she wrote majority opinions in cases including United States v. Virginia, which struck down the Virginia Military Institute’s male-only admissions policy, and Stenberg v. Carhart, which ended a restrictive Nebraska abortion law. 

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/09/ruth-bader-ginsburg-obituary

Politico 9.18.2020   One hour after the announcement of RBG’s death

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court will be put to the Senate floor for a vote — setting off a titanic political clash over the high court.

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement.

McConnell’s decision is certain to outrage Democrats, who have already called for McConnell to wait until after the Nov. 3 election — when the control of the White House and the Senate could shift — to put a nominee on the floor.

 

KC Chiefs fan tests Covid-19 positive. Everyone who sat nearby is in quarantine

This is great!!

No sooner does the news College football announce its return than karma backlash scores a Touchdown.

College football is on the way back after being harassed and browbeaten by the soon to be ex-President, bored Alumni and athletes who understandably want to be in the game. I can understand the players frustration.

We are in the midst of a Pandemic. Unfortunately there are few Adults minding the store.

What are the universities who listen to this ignorant clown going to do next?

CNN 9.17.2020

A fan who attended the Kansas City Chiefsopening night game at Arrowhead Stadium on September 10 has tested positive for Covid-19.

The Kansas City Health Department said the individual that tested positive watched the game from the group’s box in the lower level of the stadium and tested positive the following day. The positive test has prompted the Kansas City Health Department to direct 10 people there to quarantine after potential exposure to the coronavirus.
The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the few teams in the NFL that allowed fans into its stadium in Week 1.
All fans and personnel are required to wear a mask or face covering while in the stadium, and the team said that the stadium’s “COVID protocol plan limited potential exposure to a single seating zone within the stadium.”
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The team said that its contact tracing mechanisms allowed staff to identify the individual, the individual’s party, any service staff that came into contact with the individual and any other ticket holders that may have been near this person while entering the stadium.
“I want to remind everyone that COVID-19 is anywhere and everywhere. While we’re all tired of it, frustrated and even angry at how it has altered and stricken our lives and livelihoods, we must continue to think of those who have not and will not survive it,” said Dr. Rex Archer, Kansas City health director.
“We still don’t understand why it strikes some so viciously while others have only mild symptoms. If you have an existing or prior health condition such as cancer, diabetes, heart or lung disease, or if you’re older than 65, you should not be taking unnecessary risks like being in large crowds. We hope those around you aren’t taking those risks either and possibly bringing the virus home to you,” Dr. Archer said.
The Chiefs made no mention of whether or not spectators would be barred from attending any games in the future.

Neo Nazis in Germany. QAnon in America. Abhorrent nihilist groups.

The continuing presence of Neo Nazis in Germany is a threat to that nation’s democracy as the Deutsche Welle report shows.

The abhorrent Nazi philosophy did not disappear with the smashing of Hitler’s regime in 1945. It just went underground. Now, 75 years later its presence is felt throughout Germany.

QAnon is a parallel movement in America. The Trump Administration looks the other way and encourages QAnon by its indifference.

Neo Nazis in Germany and QAnon in America are a danger to democratic institutions.  The difference right now is that the German government is cracking down on  Neo Nazis.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QAnon

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 9.16.2020

Twenty-nine German police officers have been suspended and face investigation on suspicion they exchanged far-right propaganda in online chat groups. Police union representatives called the revelation “unbearable.”

Police squads raided 34 private homes and bureaus of colleagues across the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Wednesday, over what the state’s interior minister, Herbert Reul, described as “the worst and obnoxious” content.

At least 5 private WhatsApp chat groups — the oldest dating back to 2013, the latest to 2015 — contained 126 electronic images, including photos of Adolf Hitler and a fictional depiction of a refugee in a gas chamber, Reul said.

Frank Richter, Essen’s regional police chief, said he was shocked that none of the accused had reported the image distributions — all on private phones — to their superiors. None had exhibited suspicious behavior, Richter added.

All 29 suspects had been suspended pending investigation, said Michael Frücht, NRW’s head of police training.

Fourteen of them were likely to be sacked, said Reul, with 11 who actively distributed material facing criminal proceedings for alleged incitement.

Read more: How the German media failed the victims of far-right NSU terror

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The rest could also face disciplinary proceedings. Among the 29 suspected officers, 25 were based in Essen, a central 583,000 population hub in NRW’s Ruhr District.

At a Wednesday press conference, Reul described the alleged far-right behaviors by suspected officers as a “disgrace” that sullied the state’s 50,000-member police force.

“Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis have no place in the North Rhine-Westphalian police force, in our police force,” Reul said. “At first I did not want to believe that there really was such a thing.”

A special investigatory commissioner would be appointed, said Reul, who in recent weeks, prior to last Sunday’s NRW communal elections, had highlighted crackdowns on mafia-like gang structures in Germany’s most populous state and  child abusers.

Wednesday’s searches were carried out by some 200 officers in Essen as well as in the cities of Mülheim an der Ruhr, Oberhausen, Moers and Selm, according to prosecutors in Duisburg.

Private phones and “extensive” evidence on storage devices were seized.

Reul said he expected further disclosures as those phones were examined.

The initial chat-group phone belonged to a 32-year-old police officer in Essen, suspected of forwarding information to a journalist.

Regional representatives for Germany’s two major police officer trade unions distanced themselves from far-right inclinations within police ranks.

“The police must be neutral and always keep their feet on the ground of liberal democratic precepts,” said regional DPolG union Chairman Erich Rettinghaus.

“The battle against right-wing extremism belongs to the DNA of the police,” said regional GdP Deputy Chairman Michael Maatz in Düsseldorf.

“The fact that there are, nevertheless, officers, who share right-wing extremist xenophobic contents in chat groups is unbearable,” added Maatz.

Germany suspends cops II 9.16.2020.jpg

https://www.dw.com/en/german-state-suspends-29-police-officers-in-far-right-online-chat-group/a-54947253