He had arrived, H I D E
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Bolsonaro’s Ban on Removing Social Media Posts Is Overturned in Brazil
President Jair Bolsonaro had issued rules forbidding social networks from removing many posts that the sites considered misinformation. On Tuesday, Brazil’s Senate and top court killed the policy.
The Brazil Senate and Supreme Court have nullified rules that President Jair Bolsonaro issued last week banning social networks from removing what they judge to be disinformation about the coming presidential election.
The dual moves by the court and by Congress late Tuesday quickly killed one of the most restrictive and intrusive internet laws imposed in a democratic country. It was a sharp rebuke to a president already struggling with a series of political crises.
When Mr. Bolsonaro issued the policy, it was the first time a national government had moved to stop social media companies from taking down content that violates their rules.
The move alarmed technology companies and Mr. Bolsonaro’s political opponents because it appeared intended to enable the president and his allies to undermine confidence in next year’s presidential election.
In recent months, Mr. Bolsonaro has used social media to spread claims that the only way he will lose the election is if the vote is rigged. Such claims would have been protected under the emergency measure Mr. Bolsonaro issued last week, which gave social media companies 30 days to comply.
In posts and videos across the internet, Mr. Bolsonaro has attacked the Supreme Court, touted unproven cures for the coronavirus and called for nationwide protests against his political enemies. The social media companies removed some of his posts about the coronavirus.
But in quick succession on Tuesday, the Supreme Court suspended the rules from going into effect, while the president of the Brazil Senate effectively shelved them.
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the collapse of an empire
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In case you were wondering what Republicans have been up to since losing the 2020 election, it’s doubling down on voter suppression - a blatant attempt to lock in minority rule and ensure that they never lose again, even though their party and positions are getting less and less popular.
Experts predict that Republicans could take back the House in 2022 through gerrymandering alone. That has dire implications - with the House, they could unjustly impeach Joe Biden and prevent any progressive legislation from passing, among other things. In the nightmare scenario where they win back both the House and Senate, our democracy is effectively over. Not being dramatic. Republicans are openly opposed to majority rule and fair elections. They will not make the mistake of allowing everyone a free and fair election ever again if they regain power.
So what do we do?
First, support HR.1, the For the People Act, a bill that has already passed the House.
- Fight like hell to keep the House and Senate in 2022,
- Support abolishing the filibuster so Democrats can pass bills to protect voting rights, and
- Organize and volunteer.
I’m all in on our current fights - passing the $15 minimum wage and ending the filibuster - but don’t lose sight of the fact that we can’t even have those fights if Republicans get their way.
Voting rights must be our top priority in 2022 and beyond.
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A Trump Bombshell Quietly Dropped Last Week. And It Should Shock Us All.
We’ve become so inured to Donald Trump’s proto-fascism that we barely blink an eye when we learn that he tried to manipulate the 2020 election. Yet the most recent revelation should frighten every American to their core.
On Friday, the House oversight committee released notes of a 27 December telephone call from Trump to then acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen, in which Trump told Rosen: “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R congressmen.” The notes were taken by Richard Donoghue, Rosen’s deputy, who was also on the call.
The release of these notes has barely made a stir. The weekend news was filled with more immediate things – infrastructure! The Delta strain! Inflation! Wildfires! In light of everything else going on, Trump’s bizarre efforts in the last weeks of his presidency seem wearily irrelevant. Didn’t we already know how desperate he was?
In a word, no. This revelation is hugely important.
Rosen obviously rejected Trump’s request. But what if Rosen had obeyed Trump and said to the American public that the election was corrupt – and then “left the rest” to Trump and the Republican congressmen? What would Trump’s and the Republicans’ next moves have been? And which Republican congressmen were in cahoots with Trump in this attempted coup d’état?
Make no mistake: this was an attempted coup.
Trump knew it. Just weeks earlier, then attorney general William Barr said the justice department had found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have overturned the results.
And a few days after Trump’s call to Rosen – on 2 January – Trump told Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, to “find” votes to change the election outcome. He berated Raffensperger for not doing more to overturn the election.
Emails released last month also show that Trump and his allies in the last weeks of his presidency pressured the justice department to investigate totally unsubstantiated claims of widespread election fraud – forwarding them conspiracy theories and even a draft legal brief they hoped would be filed with the supreme court.
Some people, especially Republican officeholders, believe we should simply forget these sordid details. We must not.
For the first time in the history of the United States we did not have a peaceful transition of power. For the first time in American history, a president refused – still refuses – to concede, and continues to claim, with no basis in fact, that the election was “stolen” from him. For the first time in history, a president actively plotted a coup.
It would have been bad enough were Trump a mere crackpot acting on his own pathetic stage – a would-be dictator who accidentally became president and then, when he lost re-election, went bonkers – after which he was swept into the dustbin of history.
We might then merely regret this temporary lapse in American presidential history. At best, Trump would be seen as a fool and the whole affair an embarrassment to the country.
But Trump was no accident and he’s not in any dustbin. He has turned one of America’s two major parties into his own cult. He has cast the major political division in the US as a clash between those who believe him about the 2020 election and those who do not. He has emboldened state Republicans to execute the most brazen attack on voting rights since Jim Crow. Most Republican senators and representatives dare not cross him. Some of his followers continue to threaten violence against the government. By all accounts, he is running for president again in 2024.
Donald Trump’s proto-fascism poses the largest internal threat to American democracy since the civil war.
What to do about it? Fight it, and the sooner the better.
This final revelation – Trump’s 27 December call to the acting attorney general in which he pleads “Just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” – should trigger section 3 of the 14th amendment, which bars anyone from holding office who “engaged in insurrection” against the US. The current attorney general of the United States, Merrick Garland, should issue an advisory opinion clearly stating this. If Trump wants to take it to the supreme court, fine.
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I hate it here. When we were protesting in June against police brutality and systematic racism we get teargassed for Trump's photoshoot, but his minions can go storm the US Capitol because they lost the election. Republicans don't ever use the 'We don't burn buildings' excuse again.
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No healthcare and housing in the United States but Jeff Bezos is on the moon
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The Taliban has retaken control of Afghanistan!
As Taliban fighters took Kabul on Sunday evening, roaming through the halls of the abandoned presidential palace, the group issued a statement: It would soon revive Afghanistan’s former name.
The country that was built in the wake of the 2001 U.S. invasion at a cost of over $2 trillion would revert to the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” (That’s the name the country bore between 1996 and 2001).
The Taliban, which means "students" in the Pashto language, have been waging an insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since they were ousted from power in 2001.
The group was formed by "mujahideen" fighters who fought Soviet forces in the 1980s with the backing of the CIA.
Emerging in 1994 as one of several factions fighting a civil war, the Taliban gained control of much of the country by 1996 and imposed its own strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law.
Men were forced to grow beards. Women were forced to wear burqas, flowing garments that cover the entire face and body. Schools for girls were shuttered. Women who were unaccompanied in public places could be beaten. Soccer was banned. So was music, aside from religious chants. The Taliban government held public executions in Kabul’s Ghazi Stadium.
There were photos of children dying of preventable illnesses in a dilapidated pediatric hospital. Images of the ancient Buddhist statues pulverized by the Taliban because its leaders considered the stone images to be idolatrous. The sea of refugees and displaced people living in makeshift tents across the region.
The group is infamous for its use of suicide bombers and has been accused of assassinating top Afghan officials and holding kidnapped Western citizens for ransom.
Only four countries recognised the Taliban when it was last in power: neighbouring Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkemnistan.
After sheltering Osama bin Laden and key al Qaeda figures in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Taliban would fall after a US-led military coalition launched an offensive on 7 October 2001.
Despite being ousted from power, the Taliban would continue a guerrilla war against the Western-backed governments and US-led forces in the country.
Around 150,000 British military personnel have served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, and 457 have been killed.
Also, 2,448 American service members have died in the conflict.
The Taliban entered into talks with the US in 2018 and struck a ‘peace’ deal in February 2020 which committed the US to withdraw its troops while preventing the Taliban from attacking US forces.
However, the Taliban have continued to kill Afghan security forces and civilians...
If there is 1 image that symbolized the brutality of the Taliban regime in 90s, it was that of a woman in a blue burqa being executed in public in KBL’s stadium.
An Afghan judge hits a woman with a whip in front of a crowd in Ghor province, Afghanistan August 31, 2015. REUTERS/Pajhwok News Agency.
A member of the Taliban's religious police beating an Afghan woman in Kabul on August 26, 2001. The footage, filmed by the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan, can be seen at pz.rawa.org/rawasongs/movie/beating.mpg
The cover of the Aug. 9 issue of Time magazine features a photo of Aisha, an 18-year-old Afghan woman with a mutilated nose. Time Inc./AP
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Rest in Power Our Fallen Little Hero : Attributes to Kyal Sin.
( Named Angel in English)
Fallen in 3.3.2021 Protest of Fighting for Democracy.
She was in front line of Defense group among Boys.
She was Shot in Her Neck by Police /Soldiers With Real Bullet When Everyone Move a Retreat.
May the World Hear The Truth.
Credit: Thailand Artists Alex Face 's Facebook (Thz Alex)
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On one hand, these photos of Trump supporters breaching the Speaker of the House’s office and stealing the podium might be funny.
On another, they represent an absolutely terrifying reality that fascists can literally walk into the US Capitol Building, fully derail a joint session of Congress, and march around smiling like it’s a joke because it was all too easy.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter activists were met with armed police/military, chemical weapons, bullets, etc. for protesting in the streets. Some protestors were injured and killed. But today, cops take pictures with the Trump coup.
Take a look at this white privilege and never again tell me it doesn’t exist. Utterly embarrassing.
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Hey American voters! 🇺🇸
🚨 It’s time to start worrying about the 2022 and 2024 elections. 🚨
(Yeah. We really gotta do this. It's... not looking great.)
Long story short:
Republicans have been working hard since the 2020 election to enact voter suppression laws, overturn election results, and set themselves up to steal the 2024 presidential election if necessary.
You’ve probably heard about the Georgia voter suppression law. But did you know that “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theorist Republicans are running to be election officials like Secretary of State in several swing states, setting themselves up to overturn future elections? They are dismantling democracy before our eyes.
So what’s the worst case scenario?
...Well, let’s start with the realistic scenario.
Republicans are likely to take back the House in 2022. They are possibly capable of doing it through gerrymandering alone. Is it possible for Democrats to keep the House? Yes, but it will take a huge effort.
Republicans could also win back the Senate since it's currently 50-50 and Democrats only have a narrow majority because we won the presidency.
Even if Republicans only win back the House, the Biden administration would legislatively accomplish very little from 2022-2024. Republicans would have the power to impeach Biden for no reason and cause another constitutional crisis, enable gerrymandering and voter suppression laws, and block any Democratic priorities from becoming law (gun control, climate change, and healthcare are just a few things that would be off the table entirely).
Then comes 2024.
Donald Trump is the most likely Republican candidate to run and win in 2024. In a recent poll (May 2021), 66% of Republicans indicated that they would vote for Trump again.
Yes, Trump can run even if he’s indicted on criminal charges. He can run even if he’s in prison!
Remember, although Biden won by 7 million votes, it was really a difference of about 44,000 votes in three swing states that prevented Trump from winning the Electoral College and becoming president again. That is a frighteningly small margin.
Even if the candidate isn’t Trump, this is still going to be a close election. 85% of Republicans say they would vote for a Trump-aligned candidate (same poll as above).
If Republicans win back or maintain control of Congress in 2024, this could set up an even more dangerous scenario:
The House has the power to choose the president if Congress does not award 270 electoral votes to either candidate.
How could that happen? Well, those "Stop the Steal" Republican election officials in swing states could refuse to certify the election, claiming fraud, and a close election could end up with neither candidate getting enough electoral votes. House Republicans could literally choose the next president without any input from voters and effectively end American democracy as we know it.
Because you know that Republicans will never let go of that power once they have it.
This is not far-fetched.
This is a realistic, highly likely scenario that will happen if we don’t do something to prevent it. Journalists and election experts are trying to sound the alarm, and we should listen:
New York Times - How Republicans Could Steal the 2024 Election
Washington Post - American democracy is in even worse shape than you think
Pod Save America - Stop the 2024 Steal (Discussion at 29:00)
LA Times - Trump’s allies are prepping to steal 2024 election
The only way to prevent this from becoming reality is to fight like hell against it. And I know we just did that in 2018 and 2020. But this fight isn't over until we restore and protect our democracy.
This isn’t about how much you like Biden & Harris, or even if you’re a Democrat in general. It’s about saving democracy in America.
What can we do about it?
Unfortunately, it’s going to be an uphill battle. But if we all engage in this fight, then we can make a difference.
TLDR, we need to raise awareness about the threat to democracy, encourage Democrats to end the filibuster and pass H.R.1 immediately, and organize, organize, organize to get voters back out there in 2022 and 2024.
Specific ways to help & additional resources below the cut.
How to help:
*High priority: Call your Democratic Senator(s) right now and tell them to pass H.R.1, the For the People Act, with urgency.
*High priority: Call your Democratic Senator(s) right now and tell them that you are strongly in favor of ending the filibuster (Especially if your Senator is Manchin or Sinema.)
Call your Democratic Senator(s) and tell them to vote for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Call your Republican Senator(s) and tell them you are in favor of all of the above, especially if you live in a swing state.
*High priority: Find out who is running for state legislature and other positions that have control over elections, such as Secretary of State. Donate or volunteer for their campaigns. Spread the word amongst your family and friends and make sure they know who to vote for and the date of the election.
If no one is running against the Republican, consider running! I’m not joking. Or if you know someone who is qualified and/or interested in running, encourage them to do so.
*High priority: Same as on the state level: Find out who is running and support the person who is supporting democracy. Local election officials can have a huge impact, especially in swing states and counties. Spread the word about this candidate, the election date, registering to vote, where to vote, etc.
Again, if no one is running, consider running! Incumbents often stay in power because they are unchallenged. And a local position is a great way to get involved in politics and help your community.
Additional ways to help:
Make sure you are registered to vote.
Check in with 3 friends/family members and help them register to vote if they are not already.
Send reminders to friends/family to vote on Election Day - not just in November, but for special elections, local elections, etc.
Volunteer with a group specifically working to help progressives win elections: SwingLeft, EMILY’s List, etc.
Donate to the candidates you support early and often! One of the reasons Democratic House candidates struggled in 2020 was that a lot of money came in at the last minute. Donating early and/or on a monthly basis ensures that they have the funds to run a long, successful campaign.
More Info & Resources:
Read: Washington Post - American democracy is in even worse shape than you think
Excerpt/TLDR: "The radicalization of the Republican Party has outpaced what even most critical observers imagined,” Georgetown University historian Thomas Zimmer told me. “We need to grapple with what that should mean for our expectations going forward and start thinking about real worst-case scenarios." - Perry Bacon Jr.
Read: New York Times - How Republicans Could Steal the 2024 Election
“It occurred to me,” [Erica Newland, counsel for Protect Democracy] told her colleagues then, “as I dug into the rules and watched what happened, that if the current Republican Party controls both Houses of Congress on Jan. 6, 2025, there’s no way if a Democrat is legitimately elected they will get certified as the president-elect.”
Listen: Pod Save America - Stop the 2024 Steal (29:00-36:27 covers the bulk of it, and they go on for about another 10 minutes after that)
Excerpt: "If you just watch what's happening... it is a very clear indication of a minority party that knows it has no path to majority status rigging elections at every level to set the stage for minority rule in this country. (...) People are not alarmed enough about [this]. The great asymmetry in American politics is that Republicans view power as an end in itself, and Democrats view power as a means to an end. Republicans are using the power they have to put in place laws that allow them to hold onto political power. (...) We need to raise the alarm. There are disturbing signs of complacency in our party." - Dan Pfeiffer
Register or check voter registration: Vote.org
Support H.R.1: VoteSaveAmerica.com/ForThePeople
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According to the Polity IV method, the United States during the time of slavery scored 9 out of 10 on the democracy scale. During the era of Jim Crow, when most blacks and women of all races couldn’t vote, it scored a perfect 10 out of 10—or “full democracy.”
The metric makes many equally dubious assertions. Today’s Israel—which occupies the lands of 4.5 million Palestinians, who cannot vote in Israeli elections, do not have freedom of movement and are restricted in dozens of ways—receives a score of “full democracy,” or 10 out of 10. Since the nation of Palestine is not included in Polity IV’s list of countries, one can only assume it must fall under the purview of Israel, which renders the score even more risible. How can a country with 35 percent of its population disenfranchised be a “full democracy”? The same way, presumably, that the antebellum United States—with 3.5 million slaves—can be 90 percent democratic.
Similarly, countries that suffered colonialism at the hands of European and US “democracy,” like most of Africa, South Asia and the Middle East prior to 1960, are simply listed as “no data.”
Assumptions are also made about what constitutes a meaningful relationship between citizen and state. Countries that limit free speech are naturally docked democracy points, but those that leave 22 percent of children in poverty, like the US, can still be “full democracies.” How robust can a democracy be, though, when so many lack the resources, or the security, to push back against the system? How robust can a democracy be that routinely, and predictably, serves the interests of the super-wealthy?
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Fun with graffiti on the TTC
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Biden's first ten minutes in office and he's already condemned white supremacy. I know it's not the highest bar but it's a lot better than Trump.
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2020 vice presidential debate: no context:
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So there was a Trump Boat parade today on Lake Travis on the side of Austin, I’ve lived here 6 years and never heard of a boat sinking. Ever.
There was also one that caught on fire.
Posiedon, welcome to the Rebellion.
(For everyone asking, no one was hurt or injured)
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