Constitution and Norms under Attack: Military, Judiciary, Administration, Congress, International 3

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Constitution and Norms under Attack: Military, Judiciary, Administration, Congress, International 3

set. 7, 2020, 2:48pm

Repairing the Rule of Law: An Agenda for Post-Trump Reform
Paul Rosenzweig, Vishnu Kannan | Monday, September 7, 2020

...herewith is an incomplete listing of some of the issues that seem worth addressing, along with some suggestions as to a possible way forward. In the interests of brevity, we’ve pared down the list from an earlier longer list, so this particular selection is by no means intended to be comprehensive:

Reform of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act to prevent perpetual “acting” appointments.

Mandatory disclosure of presidential candidate tax returns and strengthening of presidential financial disclosure.

Redefining “emergency” authority to limit such declarations generally.

Clearer prohibitions on reprogramming funds.

Enhanced inspectors general protection.

Statutory protection for special counsels to allow challenge to removal.

Overturn Franklin v. Massachusetts...the Supreme Court held that as a matter of statute the president was not an “agency” for purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Define emoluments violations and create a right of action.

Automatic Hatch Act penalties.

Minimum qualifications for White House staff.

Expediting judicial review of congressional demands for records in relation to oversight and impeachment.

Mandatory federal agent identification.

Enhanced whistleblower protection to prevent retaliation in the intelligence community.

Permit the intelligence community inspector general to report directly to Congress without going through the general counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Finally, we diverge a bit from our own rules and end with two possibilities for reform that are, in our view, highly unlikely to be enacted because they would require either constitutional action or a significant political sea-change. But these are, in our judgment, worthy of consideration in light of the president’s conduct:

D.C. statehood.

Pardon reform. T

Disqualification of family for POTUS.

set. 11, 2020, 5:00am

#141 on previous thread, contd.

3-judge federal court in NY rules that Trump's recent census memo excluding undocumented immigrants from congressional apportionment count is UNLAWFUL.
A major win for a lawful 2020 Census! And yet another big loss in court for Trump.

- Joshua A. Geltzer @jgeltzer | 5:14 PM · Sep 10, 2020

set. 12, 2020, 11:55pm

Roger Stone to Donald Trump: bring in martial law if you lose election (Guardian)

Trump meanwhile promises to ‘put down’ leftwing protests and says US Marshals killing Portland suspect was ‘retribution’...

set. 14, 2020, 11:47pm

This Guardian article is primarily about Britain, but it takes in Trump as well, and many of the points it makes could be applied to the USA as well as the UK.

'You don’t expect loose cannons to take over your own country'

“I want Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Tommy Robinson, Donald Trump and the geezer from North Korea to be put on a boat that gets sent around the world for the next 25 years,” Neville Southall says as he sinks back into his chair. “That would do me”...

“We need a government for all of the people, not just the wealthy, and I’d love to see a proper debate about racism, immigration, gender and sex workers. We’re far too immature in this country to put our fingers on anything without having a massive argument. A government should be able to discuss a wide range of subjects, like we’re talking now, and it shouldn’t be about point-scoring. It should be about what’s best for everybody”...

“I’m scared for this country,” he says. “We’ve got two of the most dangerous leaders in the world causing havoc. Johnson and Trump are loose cannons. In the past we used to think the loose cannons belonged to North Korea or fellas like Saddam Hussein. You don’t expect loose cannons to take over your own country”...

“Boris Johnson is a chancer... "This fella thinks he can say whatever he wants. What does it say about our society to have the leader of the country being a liar, a racist, a sexist and homophobic? Surely people will eventually say: ‘We can’t have this fella in charge because he’s ruining our country’”...

set. 15, 2020, 9:54am

Trump’s Shredding of Civil Liberties Won’t Stop With Antifa
Michelle Goldberg | Sept. 14, 2020

(Michael Forest Reinoehl), a self-described antifa supporter, was a suspect in the shooting of Aaron J. Danielson, a backer of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, during an August street confrontation in Portland, Ore. Prosecutors charged him with murder. Reinoehl, speaking to Vice News, said he acted in self-defense. There will be no trial to sort out what happened, because the federal marshals sent to arrest him gunned him down.

...Even if Reinoehl’s killing was justified, in a country where the rule of law held, the government would have treated it as regrettable. For Donald Trump’s administration, Reinoehl’s death was cause for celebration.

Calling Reinoehl a “dangerous fugitive, admitted antifa member, and suspected murderer,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement, “The streets of our cities are safer with this violent agitator removed.” Trump, in a Fox News interview on Saturday, said of the killing, “That’s the way it has to be. There has to be retribution when you have crime like this.” (Perhaps needless to say, law enforcement is not permitted to kill suspects in “retribution.”) Trump continued the theme at his Nevada rally Sunday night, saying to cheers, “We sent in the U.S. marshals, it was taken care of in 15 minutes.”...

...Trump, of course, defended Kyle Rittenhouse, a supporter of his charged with killing two people at a protest last month, and who, like Reinoehl, claimed self-defense. For the president, it’s not Reinoehl’s alleged actions that justify extrajudicial killing. It’s his politics, and those of his victim. Trump and Barr are all but declaring certain Americans beyond the law’s protections.

...You don’t have to like antifa, however, to believe its adherents deserve basic civil liberties, or to see how egregiously those civil liberties are being violated.

set. 17, 2020, 4:56am

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I think it is worth noting. I find it horrifying.

Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust (Guardian)

Almost two-thirds of young American adults do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust, a new survey has found, revealing shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century.

According to the study of millennial and Gen Z adults aged between 18 and 39, almost half (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during the second world war.

Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) said they believed the Holocaust was a myth, or had been exaggerated, or they weren’t sure. One in eight (12%) said they had definitely not heard, or didn’t think they had heard, about the Holocaust...

Editat: set. 19, 2020, 6:51am


An impeached president who lost the popular vote
naming a justice
who will be confirmed by senators representing 40% of the population
is both constitutionally permissible and a legitimacy nightmare.

- Seth Masket (Poli Sci U Denver) @smotus | 12:57 AM · Sep 19, 2020

set. 20, 2020, 11:51pm

Leak reveals $2tn of possibly corrupt US financial activity (Guardian)

Thousands of documents detailing $2 trillion (£1.55tn) of potentially corrupt transactions that were washed through the US financial system have been leaked to an international group of investigative journalists.

The leak focuses on more than 2,000 suspicious activity reports (SARs) filed with the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Banks and other financial institutions file SARs when they believe a client is using their services for potential criminal activity...

set. 23, 2020, 2:55pm

>7 margd: contd.

Andrew L. Seidel (attorney) @AndrewLSeidel | 4:16 PM · Sep 22, 2020:

Sitting justices:
Roberts - Catholic
Thomas - Catholic
Alito - Catholic
Kavanaugh - Catholic
Gorsuch - Catholic/Episcopal
Breyer - Jewish
Kagan - Jewish
Sotomayor - Catholic

Top nominees:
Barrett - Catholic
Lagoa - Catholic

Up to 78% of the high court would be Catholic.

Pie graph: US religious demographics 2019 ( )

set. 26, 2020, 12:02am

‘They cover my shrapnel wounds’: Veteran Senate candidate responds to critics using photo of her tattoos (Independent)

After a Republican super PAC in Texas posted a photo of Senate candidate MJ Hegar featuring her tattoos and calling her a “radical,” Hegar had a quick response on Twitter: the tattoos covered shrapnel wounds she received as an Air Force helicopter pilot in Afghanistan.

"A pro-Cornyn Super PAC is using a photo of my tattoos to make me seem ‘radical.’ That's pretty funny to me,” Hegar tweeted on Thursday, referring to her opponent in the race, longtime GOP Senator John Cornyn. “You think I'm ashamed of them? They cover my shrapnel wounds from when my helicopter was shot down. They're a mark of my service to our country. I'm damn proud of them”...

Editat: set. 27, 2020, 2:22pm

“Over half the country lives in 9 states, meaning that less than half of the population controls 82% of the Senate.”
- Vox

Now add on filibuster...

oct. 1, 2020, 6:23pm

Is Prosecuting a Former President Worth It?
President Trump has upended the norms governing the presidency. Jack Goldsmith and Bob Bauer have a plan to restore normalcy. But when do the costs of reform outweigh the benefits?
ZACK STANTON | 10/01/2020

President Donald Trump has spent much of the past four years bulldozing through the informal norms that have long guided the presidency. He has refused to release his tax returns, declined to comply with congressional subpoenas, politicized the traditionally independent Department of Justice and used pardons to advance his personal legal interests, to name a few.

The norm-breaking won’t necessarily stop once Trump leaves office. Indeed, the long-term stability of the rule of law may depend on upending one more contested norm: that former presidents shouldn’t be prosecuted by their successors for crimes they committed in office.

“The Office of Legal Counsel opinions allow prosecution after the president leaves office for crimes committed in office, but there really isn’t a lot of guidance, and it’s going to be up for grabs,” says Jack Goldsmith, who led the OLC under President George W. Bush. “What happens after Trump is going to be hugely consequential for establishing these norms.”...

oct. 4, 2020, 3:39am

How the Republican party threatens the US republic (Guardian)

When I was a child growing up in Gary, Indiana, we learned about the virtues of the US constitution – from the independent judiciary and the separation of powers to the importance of properly functioning checks and balances. Our forefathers appeared to have created a set of great institutions (though they were also guilty of hypocrisy in declaring that all people are created equal so long as they are not women or people of colour). When I served as chief economist at the World Bank in the late 1990s, we would travel the world lecturing others about good governance and good institutions, and the US was often held up as the exemplar of these concepts.

Not anymore. Trump and his fellow Republicans have cast a shadow on the American project, reminding us just how fragile – some might say flawed – our institutions and constitutional order are. We are a country of laws, but it is the political norms that make the system work. Norms are flexible, but they are also fragile...

Over the past four years, Trump and his fellow Republicans have taken norm-shattering to a new level, disgracing themselves and undermining the institutions they are supposed to defend. As a candidate in 2016, Trump refused to release his tax returns. And while in office, he has fired inspectors general for doing their jobs, repeatedly ignored conflicts of interest and profited from his office, undermined independent scientists and critical agencies, attempted outright voter suppression, and extorted foreign governments in an effort to defame his political opponents.

For good reason, we Americans are now wondering if our democracy can survive...

when one side no longer plays by the rules, stronger guardrails must be introduced. The good news is that we already have a roadmap. The For the People Act of 2019, which was adopted by the US House of Representatives early last year, set out an agenda to expand voting rights, limit partisan gerrymandering, strengthen ethics rules, and limit the influence of private donor money in politics. The bad news is that Republicans know they are increasingly in the minority on most of the critical issues in today’s politics. Americans want stronger gun control, a higher minimum wage, sensible environmental and financial regulations, affordable health insurance, expanded funding for preschool education, improved access to college, and greater limitations on money in politics.

The clearly expressed will of the majority puts the GOP in an impossible position: The party cannot simultaneously pursue its unpopular agenda and also endorse honest, transparent, democratic governance. That is why it is now openly waging war on American democracy, doubling down on efforts to disenfranchise voters, politicise the judiciary and the federal bureaucracy, and lock in minority rule permanently through tactics such as gerrymandering...

oct. 9, 2020, 12:00am

Republican senator says 'democracy isn't the objective' of US system (Guardian)

A top Republican senator has said that “democracy isn’t the objective” of America’s political system, sparking widespread outrage at a time when his party has been accused by Democrats of plotting voter suppression and questioning a peaceful transition of power in November’s election...

“Democracy isn’t the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that,” he wrote, misspelling prosperity...

‘The word “democracy” appears nowhere in the Constitution, perhaps because our form of government is not a democracy. It’s a constitutional republic. To me it matters. It should matter to anyone who worries about the excessive accumulation of power in the hands of the few.’

He added: “Government is the official use of coercive force–nothing more and nothing less. The Constitution protects us by limiting the use of government force.”

His democracy tweet immediately prompted alarm...

It would alarm me, too, especially as I have lived for many years under undemocratic regimes and experienced whether or not they bring "liberty, peace, and prospefity".

oct. 9, 2020, 11:03am

State Legislatures Cannot Act Alone In Assigning Electors
Grace Brosofsky, Michael C. Dorf, and Laurence H. Tribe | Friday, September 25, 2020

The Constitution’s Presidential Electors Clause of Article II, Section I empowers each state, through its legislature, to direct the “Manner” by which its representatives in the Electoral College are appointed. Since relatively early in the nineteenth century, the near-universal practice of states has been to enact legislation designating popular election as the appropriate manner. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, which apportion their Electors to the winners of the Presidential election in each Congressional district, every state assigns its Electors to the winner of the statewide Presidential election.

Given President Trump’s unprecedented suggestions that he would not accept the result of an election that he loses, the question has arisen whether he might attempt to subvert that result by exploiting an apparent loophole. Suppose that more ballots in a state are cast for Democratic nominee Joseph Biden’s slate of electors than for President Trump’s slate but that Trump, perhaps making unsubstantiated claims of fraud, prevails upon the state’s legislature to change the rules and directly appoint his Electors to the Electoral College. Such a course of action would raise two questions: First, can a state legislature change its method for selecting Electors after it has conducted a popular Presidential election? Second, if so, can it disregard the state constitutional requirements for legislation, including presentment for and the possibility of a veto by the governor where state constitutional law so requires?...

oct. 13, 2020, 4:16pm

REPORTERS--When you cover long-lines, note that the 2014 Presidential Commission on Election Administration
"concluded that, as a general rule, no voter should have to wait more than half an hour in order to have an opportunity to vote."
Image ( )

- Marc E. Elias @marceelias | 9:06 PM · Oct 12, 2020

oct. 13, 2020, 6:47pm

...Race is one of the strongest predictors of how long a person waits in line to vote, research shows.
Dareh Gregorian, Matteo Moschella and Jane C. Timm | Oct. 12, 2020, 4:06 PM EDT

...Studies show that race is one of the strongest predictors of how long a person waits in line to vote.

In 2019, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago used smartphone data to quantify the racial disparity in waiting times at polls across the country. Residents of entirely-black neighborhoods waited 29 percent longer to vote and were 74 percent more likely to spend more than 30 minutes voting.

Similarly, nonwhite voters are seven times more likely than white voters to wait in line for more than an hour to vote, according to a 2017 study by the University of Pennsylvania’s Stephen Pettigrew, who is a senior analyst for the NBC News Decision Desk. The reason, the study concluded, is because election officials send more resources to white polling precincts.

That can affect the electorate for years to come.

“Waiting in a line makes you less likely to turn out in subsequent elections,” Pettigrew said earlier this year, citing his research on that issue.

And mail voting, trusted less by voters of colors, has its own challenges: Black voters’ ballots are more likely to be rejected than ballots cast by white voters.

oct. 13, 2020, 6:54pm

Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration To End Census Early
Hansi Lo Wang | October 13, 2020

The Trump administration can end counting for the 2020 census after the Supreme Court approved a request for now to suspend a lower court order that extended the count's schedule.

...following an emergency request the Justice Department made last week...

Last-minute changes by the Census Bureau and its skirting of an earlier court order for the count have left local communities and the bureau's workers across the U.S. unsure of how much longer they can take part in a national head count already upended by the coronavirus pandemic.

Lower courts previously ordered the administration to keep counting through Oct. 31, reverting to an extended schedule that Trump officials had first proposed in April in response to delays caused by the pandemic and then abruptly decided to abandon in July.

More time, judges have ruled, would give the bureau a better chance of getting an accurate and complete count of the country's residents, which is used to determine how political representation and federal funding are distributed among the states over the next decade.

Justice Department attorneys say the Census Bureau is under pressure to meet a legal deadline of Dec. 31 for reporting to the president the first set of census results — the latest state population counts that determine each state's share of the 435 seats in the House of Representatives. The numbers, in turn, also determine how many Electoral College votes each state has to determine who becomes the U.S. president in 2024 and 2028.

Since May, however, career officials at the bureau have warned that the agency can no longer meet the Dec. 31 reporting deadline because of the pandemic. Judges in lower courts have also noted that the national counts from the years 1810 through 1840 were delivered late and Congress later stepped in to approve deadline extensions.

Still, if the commerce secretary, who oversees the bureau, were to present the new state counts to the White House by Dec. 31, that would ensure that even if President Trump did not win reelection, he could attempt to carry out the unprecedented change he wants to make to who is counted when determining the reallocation of House seats...

oct. 13, 2020, 11:34pm

Mitt Romney decries US politics: ‘The world is watching with abject horror’ (Guardian)

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released an extraordinary statement on Tuesday, decrying a political scene he said “has moved away from spirited debate to a vile, vituperative, hate-filled morass, that is unbecoming of any free nation”.

“The world is watching America with abject horror,” he added...

He's right. The world is.

oct. 14, 2020, 3:29am

What if Donald Trump wins again?
First-term Trump was lazy, gullible, ignorant, vain and crooked. Second-term Trump would be worse.
David Frum | October 7, 2020

What if Donald Trump claims a second term despite another rejection by the majority of American voters?
What if Donald Trump tries to force his agenda after a second popular-vote loss?
What if Trump’s scandals and crimes catch up with him in a second term?
What if Trump tries to lead U.S. alliances and partnerships around the world despite his illegitimacy at home?
What if there are more and worse crises ahead?
What if Trump remakes the Republican Party as a Trump party for years to come?

...Over the long term, it is conservative Americans who have the most to gain if Trump loses. The discrediting of Trump offers their only path back to democratic viability. Republicans will not self-correct on their own—we have seen that over the past three-plus years. Too many have staked too much on him to turn away, unless painful defeat compels them to turn away. If Trump preserves a hold on power after November 2020, he will preserve his hold on his party—and continue his corruption of that party. Redeemed from Trump, they can renew themselves as a democratically competitive party of the centre-right. But only via defeat can they be redeemed.

The “what if” of a Trump win is a turn away from democratic competition to rule by the most ruthless, the most shameless, the most willing to prevail by any means necessary. That’s a turn to a very dark and dangerous future indeed. On Nov. 3, Americans will decide upon one direction or another—not only by how they vote, but by whether those votes are allowed to decide.

Ronald Reagan liked to call the United States a “shining city on a hill.” He was borrowing from the biblical Book of Matthew: “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” In the Bible, that verse was not a boast. It was a warning. A city that is set on a hill cannot conceal its faults. Everybody can see. So it is with the United States. Their affairs matter to everyone. If their system succeeds, all free people everywhere are freer and safer. If their system fails, all free people everywhere suffer alongside them.

So what happens if Trump wins? The democratic idea loses. The world trade system loses. Collective security against authoritarian threats from Russia and China—that loses, too. Anybody of a mind to chuckle, point or condescend—after your first few moments of feeling superior—you lose, too. The whole world thrives or falters according to whether the United States thrives or falters. If Trump wins, that experiment falters—maybe not forever, because nothing is forever, but for a dangerously long time....

oct. 14, 2020, 9:01am

John W. Dean @JohnWDean | 11:23 PM · Oct 13, 2020:
Today Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse established the Republican corruption of the US Supreme Court with overwhelming evidence.
They have not only packed the Court but they corrupted it.
It only cost them $250 million, off which they have surely made billions.

Quote Tweet
Molly Jong-Fast @MollyJongFast · 5:17 PM · Oct 13, 2020:
This from @SenWhitehouse is a must watch
7:24 ( )

oct. 14, 2020, 1:12pm

WATCH: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse speaks during hearing for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett (28:40)
PBS • Oct 13, 2020

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., did not pose any questions to Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Using poster board displays, Whitehouse argued that Barrett's nomination reflects a pattern by conservative special interest groups of using "dark money" to influence who sits on the court. It's the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing. The Oct. 13 hearing comes three weeks before Election Day. The second of four days of scheduled testimony gave senators an opportunity to ask Barrett about her record and approach to the law.

oct. 17, 2020, 8:28am

Deployed soldiers face punishment for their ‘message to liberals’ video (Army Times)

Two deployed Michigan Army National Guard soldiers who in September posted an obscenity-laced TikTok video of themselves, armed and in uniform, chiding “liberals and Democrats” for being "crybabies and snowflakes” now face disciplinary action following an investigation... “the reprehensible comments made in the video are unacceptable and inconsistent with professional military values”...

oct. 27, 2020, 3:57pm

The Daily 202: Voting wars flare up as Justice Barrett joins Supreme Court
James Hohmann | Oct. 27, 2020

...Republican presidents have appointed 15 of the most recent 19 justices, including six of the current nine. That is all the more remarkable when you consider that the Republican candidate for president has only won the national popular vote once since 1988: George W. Bush’s 2004 reelection. And Republican senators have only represented a majority of the American population for one Congress in the last three decades. With Barrett joining Justices Brett Kavanaugh and John Roberts, three of the nine justices worked for Bush on Bush v. Gore. A fourth, Neil Gorsuch, volunteered as a lawyer for Bush’s reelection campaign. A fifth, Sam Alito, was appointed by Bush to the high court. A sixth, Thomas, was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

McConnell’s decision to change the rules of the Senate in 2017 to be able to confirm Gorsuch with 51 votes, instead of 60, has removed any moderating influence for presidents when their party also controls the chamber. The majority leader invoked what was known as “the nuclear option” after refusing to schedule a hearing or a vote for President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. McConnell justified changing the rules for the Supreme Court by noting that his predecessor, former senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), had lowered the threshold to confirm lower-court nominees in 2013. Reid answered that this was because McConnell was abusing the filibuster to block Obama’s nominees....

Editat: nov. 2, 2020, 9:09am

I’m a Democracy Expert. I Never Thought We’d Be So Close to a Breakdown.
Our election systems were not built for the modern era. Looking abroad might help.
Larry Diamond author of Ill Winds: Saving Democracy From Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency | Nov. 1, 2020

...The good news is that two of the three pillars of American democracy — liberty and the rule of law — endure, even if they have been battered. But the third pillar — free and fair elections — is under far more direct threat than my fellow democracy experts predicted....

As a result, Mr. Trump has not (yet) become a true autocrat....

But the third pillar of our democracy — the one we have most taken for granted — is most at risk: free and fair elections...

The very age of American democracy is part of the problem.

...newer democracies, from South Africa to Taiwan, have strong national systems of election administration staffed and led by nonpartisan professionals.

The American system is a mishmash of state and local authorities. Most are staffed by dedicated professionals, but state legislatures and elected secretaries of state can introduce partisanship, casting doubt on its impartiality. No other advanced democracy falls so short of contemporary democratic standards of fairness, neutrality and rationality in its system of administering national elections.

...More recent democratic countries have adopted constitutional provisions to strengthen checks and balances...strong independent anti-corruption bureau...independent Office of the Public Protector...

The United States has no comparable standing authority to investigate national-level corruption, and Congress largely investigates and punishes itself....

Newer democracies also take measures to depoliticize the constitutional court. No other democracy gives life tenure to such a powerful position as constitutional court justice....

Many of these ideas simply didn’t occur to America’s founders, who were framing a modern democracy for the first time, for a largely rural society with more limited levels of education, communication and life expectancy. The result is that American democracy lacks national checks on executive corruption and national guarantees of electoral integrity that have become routine in other democracies around the world. And nominations to our Supreme Court have become far more politicized than in many peer democracies.

Throughout most of our history, America’s democratic norms have been strong enough and the outcomes have been clear enough to avoid catastrophic conflict over a national election. But several times...we approached the precipice — and only avoided falling off through luck and painful compromises. is long past time to renew the mechanisms of our democracy, learn from other democracies around the world and again make our republic a shining city on a hill.

nov. 2, 2020, 11:27pm

America is a failing state. And establishment politics can’t solve the crisis (Guardian)

Our country is breaking down, we have no effective leadership, and we’re lagging behind other rich countries. The left needs to provide an answer...

In 2020, America has shown itself to be exceptional in the worst possible ways. No other rich country has such a poor public health infrastructure or such a tattered social safety net. America’s levels of both police violence and violent crime find their closest peers in countries like Venezuela and South Africa, not Canada and Germany. And even Cuba and Bosnia and Herzegovina beat the world’s only superpower in infant mortality and other key social indicators. In the most powerful country on Earth, 29.3 million people say that they “sometimes” or “often” do not have enough to eat. Forty million Americans are impoverished, according to the UN. Half a million are homeless. And all this was true before the full brunt of the pandemic’s economic recession hit...

Editat: nov. 8, 2020, 12:57am

Trump will be a former president, whether he concedes or not (CNN)

If Donald Trump refuses to give a concession speech, it will be one of the last norms that he breaks as President...

The good thing is that it doesn't ultimately matter. A formal concession after an election is not embedded in our Constitution -- it is a norm. Historians tend to date the first public concession back to 1896, when Democrat William Jennings Bryan sent Republican William McKinley a telegram that said: "I hasten to extend my congratulations. We have submitted the issue to the American people and their will is law"...

Refusing to deliver a concession speech might just be yet another example in a long list of aberrations. It's unlikely that a President who has made baseless claims of voter fraud and refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power would finally come around and try to bring the country together in the face of defeat. It's a shame, given the deep divisions in this country.

While the concession is merely a courtesy, the Constitution does make one thing clear. On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden will officially start his presidency. Whatever Trump says, or refuses to say, simply doesn't matter. When the clock strikes noon, Trump will return to being a civilian just like the rest of us.

With his days in office numbered, here's what Trump may try to do (CNN)

President Donald Trump is on his way out of the White House, but he's not done just yet. After nearly four years of relentless law-bending and norm-smashing, Trump now enters his final two-plus months in office entirely unrestrained. He won't have to face the voters again, so he can indulge his basest instincts for payback and self-preservation. Get ready for a Constitutional stress test like we've never seen before. Here are three main areas where Trump could still wreak havoc with the law before he leaves office:

Pardons... Firings... Executive Orders...

nov. 8, 2020, 7:59am

2020 Is An Election Security Success Story (So Far)
Scott R. Anderson, Susan Hennessey, Rohini Kurup, David Priess, Jacob Schulz | Saturday, November 7, 2020, 11:33 AM

...there’s a lot to be proud of here. The country pulled off a free and fair election without significant cyber disruptions, foreign influence or unchecked disinformation—all during a pandemic and in the face of active efforts by the president to undermine both the administration of and confidence in the election. But the final chapter of the story of the 2020 election has yet to be written. The president will do, as T.S. Eliot wrote of the Rum Tum Tugger, as he do, and there’s no doing anything about that. The question is whether other actors will stand firm behind the integrity of an electoral process that has performed better than many Americans believed it could perform under the extraordinarily trying circumstances the country faced this year.

nov. 8, 2020, 8:05am

S'ha suprimit aquest usuari en ser considerat brossa.

nov. 9, 2020, 7:05am

California Sun @mmcphate · Nov 6
“The USA split into sections that have the same population as California.”
Image ( )

Steve Chiotakis @RadioChio | 2:18 AM · Nov 6, 2020
I added some numbers (# US senators):
Image ( )

Editat: nov. 16, 2020, 6:48am

Gen. Milley reportedly repents his role in Trump's clearing-out-protesters-for-Bible-stunt.
New Secretary of Defense was standing beside him when he made remarks below, so I'm sure message was for him, also.

Rex Chapman @RexChapman | 10:15 AM · Nov 13, 2020:
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — speaking directly to Donald Trump.
Shots fired...

0:37 ( )
From Icculus The Brave

Barry R McCaffrey @mccaffreyr3 | 12:01 PM · Nov 15, 2020:
JCS Chairman Gen Mark Milley is a superb combat leader.
An example of the Armed Forces apolitical devotion to the Constitution.
Our military will play ZERO role in the peaceful and lawful transfer of power to the Biden Administration on 20 Jan 2021.

nov. 17, 2020, 8:35am

Militias challenge gun laws in Virginia: "It's about shooting tyrants in the face"
Grace Baek CBS News | November 12, 2020

...the Campbell County Militia is part of a larger movement organized by gun rights activists pushing back against gun laws Virginia enacted in 2020. They claim the new regulations, which include a "red flag" law and universal background checks for gun purchases, infringe on their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Virginia lawmakers shelved more controversial proposals that would have banned semi-automatic guns and high capacity magazines. Still, gun rights activists are bracing for a possible future ban.

...All 50 states prohibit paramilitary organizations...

...Lori Haas, senior advocacy directory for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, says the militias' stance is "the very definition of insurrectionism: 'I don't like the law, so I'm going to ignore it, and I'm going to use my gun to intimidate you.'"

"The Second Amendment can be regulated. Regulations have been recognized as being constitutional," Haas said. She got involved in gun violence prevention efforts after her daughter, Emily, was wounded in the Virginia Tech mass shooting in 2007, where 32 people were killed.

McCord said, "Supporters of gun rights can express their opposition to gun safety legislation through speech and the right to petition their government. … They don't have any constitutional right or authority to organize themselves as armed private paramilitary organizations, to oppose the government by using coercive and intimidating tactics."

She cited the situation in Michigan last spring when heavily armed protesters and militia members converged on the statehouse to oppose the governor's pandemic restrictions. (Several men who took part were later charged in an alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.)

"They have no authority to deploy publicly, while armed, organizing themselves together and asserting authority over the public to protect property or statues, that we saw throughout the summer during the racial justice protests."...

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | 11:22 AM · Apr 17, 2020

Scott W. Atlas @ScottWAtlas | 6:41 PM · Nov 15, 2020
The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp

nov. 20, 2020, 4:53am

Trump uses power of presidency to try to overturn the election and stay in office
Philip Rucker, Amy Gardner and Josh Dawsey
November 19, 2020

President Trump is using the power of his office to try to reverse the results of the election, orchestrating a far-reaching pressure campaign to persuade Republican officials in Michigan, Georgia and elsewhere to overturn the will of voters in what critics decried Thursday as an unprecedented subversion of democracy.

After courts rejected the Trump campaign’s baseless allegations of widespread voter fraud, the president is now trying to remain in power with a wholesale assault on the integrity of the vote by spreading misinformation and trying to persuade loyal Republicans to manipulate the electoral system on his behalf.

In an extraordinary news conference Thursday at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Trump’s attorneys claimed without evidence there was a centralized conspiracy with roots in Venezuela to rig the U.S. presidential election. They alleged voter fraud in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and other cities whose municipal governments are controlled by Democrats and where President-elect Joe Biden won by large margins.

...These are the words and actions of an attempted coup, according to historians and other experts.

“We have never seen anything like this before,” historian and author Michael Beschloss said. “This is a president abusing his very great powers to try to stay in office, even though it is obvious to everyone that he has been defeated in the polls. That is a prospect that terrified most of the founders.”

Beschloss added, “I don’t want to be alarmist, but I do think it’s our job as citizens to keep watch on every one of these things with an eye to that ultimate dread of the founders, which is that a president rejected by the voters would use his powers to try to stay in office anyway.”...

Editat: nov. 20, 2020, 5:24am

Sarah Cooper (comedian) @sarahcpr · 12h:
I don't have a good feeling about what will happen on December 14th with the electors.
Please use the comments to convince me it will be okay
5:41 PM · Nov 19, 2020

Elie Honig (legal analyst CNN) @eliehonig | 5:41 PM · Nov 19, 2020:
Alright @sarahcpr -- a lot of people definitely feel your distress here. Some things to know:

1- While the Constitution gives state legislatures power on how to choose electors, every state has had a law since the 1800s requiring that electors be appointed based on popular vote.

2- State legislatures theoretically could change those laws, but not now, not retroactively for 2020 election. If they want to change the laws now for 2024, go for it (they'd need both state houses and governor's signature), and pay the consequences in their own next elections.

3- Even if this insane idea gains momentum, GOP legislators and those close to them already have said they won't go along with it in at least MI and PA

4- They don't have nearly enough evidence, if any at all, of significant vote fraud. Tweets and screaming and viral videos do not cut it as proof in court, as we are seeing with dismissal after dismissal.

5- The "faithless electors" thing won't go anywhere. Electors are chosen by political parties and tend to be among the party faithful. Good luck getting any Dem elector to vote for Trump -- never mind 37 of them it would take to change the result.

6- Even if they do succeed in changing the outcome in one major state -- say MI or PA -- it will be a historic disgrace, and a miracle. And it still won't be nearly enough. They'd need to do this for at least 3 close swing states.

7- I totally get the concern. Insane, unhinged, disinformation pressers like Rudy's "Elite Strike Force" s**-show only make it worse. They're doing real and lasting harm. But ultimately they will not succeed.

(You keep people laughing and relaxed; I'll try to help on law stuff)


Josh Douglas (UK College of Law) @JoshuaADouglas · 6h
This is not 100% accurate. 33 states and DC have faithless elector laws, not all states.
MI and AZ do, but PA and GA do not. See here:
Faithless Elector State Laws - FairVote

Elie Honig @eliehonig · 7h
Faithless elector laws are different than laws stating that the electors themselves will be appointed by the state’s popular vote. Different sets of laws. All 50 have the latter.

Josh Douglas @JoshuaADouglas
Ah, I misread, though the two are obviously quite related.

Elie Honig @eliehonig
No worries yes there’s a fine distinction thanks for your input.


Norman Ornstein (Am Enterprise Institute, Atlantic) @NormOrnstein · 10h:
Here is a giant area of reassurance:
Michigan and Arizona have laws that cancel the votes of faithless electors and replace them with faithful ones.

nov. 23, 2020, 10:58pm

Trump has tested the limits of the US constitution – but it's still holding (Guardian)

The fact that the president cannot hold on to power shows the checks and balances are working...

nov. 24, 2020, 11:27am

Highly recommend the recent book on the current administration’s tactics against a shared reality:

Surviving Autocracy

des. 3, 2020, 6:50am

On not conceding election--"this is not normal":

The Lincoln Project @ProjectLincoln | 7:40 PM · Dec 2, 2020:
Donald Trump lost by 7 Million votes.

des. 7, 2020, 6:18am

Why should the US be afforded the ‘power of assassination’? (Al Jazeera)

The US government’s argument that it has every right to assassinate anyone, anywhere that it deems a national security risk – even its own citizens – heralds its descent into despotism...

des. 8, 2020, 12:10pm

FBI: Communist China Spy Infiltrated California Politicians, Including Russia Hoaxer Eric Swalwell

A Chinese spy cultivated deep connections with U.S. Democratic politicians for years, including with Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, to send political intelligence and personal information back to communist China, according to reporting by Axios.

Axios reporters spoke to U.S. intelligence officials and former acquaintances of the spy, Fang Fang or Christine Fang, to outline how under the direction of China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), one of the country’s primary spying agencies, she collected private information on U.S. bureaucrats, especially those in California’s Bay Area.

des. 9, 2020, 2:49am

>39 Earthling1: Stop hijacking the thread.

des. 9, 2020, 8:11am

You think it's not related to "norms under attack"?

Duh dumb duh...

des. 9, 2020, 8:12am

Stop imitating me. Think for yourself.

des. 14, 2020, 5:07pm

The Constitution has an answer for seditious members of Congress
Ryan Cooper | December 12, 2020

...All members of Congress swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, which establishes a republican form of government. The whole point of a republic is that contests for power are conducted through a framework of rules and democratic elections, where all parties agree to respect the result whether they lose or win. Moreover, the premise of this (Paxton) lawsuit was completely preposterous — arguing in effect that states should not be allowed to set their own election rules if that means more Democrats can vote — and provides no evidence whatsoever for false allegations of tens of thousands of instances of voter fraud. Indeed, several of the representatives who support the lawsuit were themselves just elected by the very votes they now say are fraudulent. The proposed remedy — having Republican-dominated legislatures in only the four states that gave Biden his margin of victory select Trump electors — would be straight-up election theft.

In other words, this lawsuit, even though it didn't succeed, is a flagrant attempt to overturn the constitutional system and impose through authoritarian means the rule of a corrupt criminal whose doltish incompetence has gotten hundreds of thousands of Americans killed. It is a "seditious abuse of the judicial process," as the states of Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin jointly wrote in their response to Texas trying to steal their elections.

...'The Constitution, as goofy and jerry-rigged as it is, stipulates that insurrectionists who violate their oath are not allowed to serve in Congress. Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, written to exclude Confederate Civil War traitors, says that "No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress … who … having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same." How the Supreme Court ruled, or whether Republicans actually believe their lunatic claims, is irrelevant. It's still insurrection even if it doesn't work out.

Democrats would have every right, both under the Constitution and under the principle of popular sovereignty outlined in the Declaration of Independence, to convene a traitor-free Congress (also including similar acts committed by Republican senators like Lindsey Graham, David Perdue, Kelly Loeffler, and others), and pass such laws as would be necessary to preserve the American republic. That might include a national popular vote to decide the presidency, ironclad voting rights protections, a ban on gerrymandering either national or state district boundaries, full representation for the citizens of D.C. and Puerto Rico, regulations on internet platforms that are inflaming violent political extremism, a clear legal framework for the transfer of power that ends the lame duck period, and so on. States would be forced to agree to these measures before they can replace their traitorous representatives and senators. If the Supreme Court objects, more pro-democracy justices can be added.

des. 15, 2020, 12:34am

ICC prosecutor slams ‘wholly unacceptable’ US sanctions (Al Jazeera)

The US has slapped a travel ban on Fatou Bensouda, who had been investigating Americans and their allies for possible war crimes...

des. 15, 2020, 10:09am

Trump unleashes an army of sore losers
DAVID SIDERS | 12/13/2020

GOP candidates for House, legislative and gubernatorial races in more than half a dozen states are claiming voter fraud and still refusing to acknowledge defeat.

...The down-ballot parroting of Trump’s baseless claims of widespread voter fraud began right after the election. But in the weeks since, it has evolved into a self-sustaining phenomenon of its own. Republican candidates for House, legislative and gubernatorial races in more than half a dozen states are still refusing to concede.

...“Right now, it’s mostly kooks and crackpots,” said Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist and one of the founders of The Lincoln Project, a Republican group opposing Trump. “But it’s pretty rapidly becoming mainstream Republican thought.”

Likening refusals to concede with anti-mask rallies and militia marches on state capitols, Madrid said, “There’s a very wide segment of the Republican electorate that is demonstrating self- and socially-destructive behavior … Democracy requires a willing winner and a willing loser. You can’t just say this was stolen because you lost when there was no evidence of it.”...

des. 17, 2020, 3:29am

‘The country is in a dangerous hour’: Lincoln Project founder warns second Trump coup is coming
Namita Singh | 12/16/2020

Steve Schmidt claims pro-democracy side of the political debate can no longer afford to lose a presidential election to a pro-autocracy side because there may not be an election after that

...president Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the election result “was a failed coup” that would result in him attempting another.
“It was a failed coup...The way you get to the second coup in most countries is by having your first unsuccessful one”

...Slamming the attorney generals of the 18 red states who joined Texas in the lawsuit before the Supreme Court, Mr Schmidt said: “What happened in the month of November premeditatedly, deliberately, faith and belief in American democracy was poisoned by President Trump, culminating with 126 members of the House of Representatives and 18 Republicans attorney generals signing an amicus brief to a garbage lawsuit that is, in essence, a declaration of repudiation of American democracy...Do not look at their signing onto that amicus brief as some type of legal action. It was not. It was a political declaration...And the political declaration was one in where they turn their backs on the tradition of American democracy. We should understand what we’re looking at.”

...the violence in Washington DC during the weekend as “fascistic, political, right-wing extremist” in which eight police officers were injured and four others stabbed. The violence erupted in several locations in DC following a “Stop the Steal” rally in support of Mr Trump's repeated and baseless allegations of electoral fraud.

“The pro-democracy side of the political debate can never again lose a presidential election to a pro-autocracy side because there may not be an election after that,” the former Republican (then an Independent, now a Democrat) cautioned.

Editat: des. 17, 2020, 11:08am

The fight against Trumpism is only beginning
Reed Galen (Lincoln Project co-founder) | Dec. 16, 2020

...Those of us who voted for Biden and Harris must remember that our coalition is our best offense and defense. Though we will not agree on everything, we must march forward together against the forces of authoritarianism. We must fight for the foundations of a democratic society: A new voting rights act. A new civil rights act. Increased election security and a commitment to keep foreign actors out of our elections.

Lastly, we must identify, call out, and repudiate any and all false information, lies and fiction with which the Republican Party and its allies infect the American political bloodstream. We must remind people that open sewer pipes such as Facebook and Parler are the propagators of authoritarian belief, racism and white-nationalist terror.

If we do all this, we will win this fight, and we will enjoy the quiet pride knowing that we stood up when our country and our fellow citizens needed it most.


The Lincoln Project @ProjectLincoln | 3:29 PM · Dec 16, 2020:
Americans have always said, "It can't happen here."
But it can, and it will, unless we stand united and fight for our #democracy.

1:42 ( )

des. 23, 2020, 10:44am

Jennifer Rubin (WaPo) @JRubinBlogger | 10:50 PM · Dec 22, 2020
If I had 3 constitutional amendments:

1. Get rid of electoral college

2. No self-pardons, pardons for family members or those convicted of criminal contempt of court;
clarify obstruction and bribery statutes apply to pardon power

3. 18 yr. terms for S Ct.

Editat: des. 23, 2020, 1:56pm

I'm tempted to just get rid of the pardon power altogether, unless some way could be devised to disallow it in cases where it helps the president in some way such as those who might testify against the president.

des. 24, 2020, 6:15am

He should be called back to active duty and court-martialed.

gen. 4, 4:12am

Intended to recognize people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors", Trump plans to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan. Rush Limbaugh got his Feb 4, 2020.

Trump to award Medal of Freedom to GOP Reps. Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan
Kaitlan Collins | January 3, 2021

Before he leaves office, President Donald Trump will award the nation's highest civilian honor to two of his most vocal political allies who defended him throughout his impeachment, Rep. Devin Nunes of California and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, as the White House has been inundated with requests for others, multiple sources told CNN...

gen. 6, 4:21am

A Simple Way to End Questionable Stock Trading by Lawmakers
Andrew Ross Sorkin | Jan. 5, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission has broad powers that could be used to regulate trades by members of Congress, avoiding the need for legislation.

Here is how it would work: The next head of the S.E.C., expected to be named in the coming weeks, could seek to put in place a new rule for broker-dealers, the financial intermediaries that all trades go through and that the agency oversees. The rule would require the broker-dealers to set up a special compliance program for clients known as “politically exposed persons,” a term that financial institutions know well as part of anti-money-laundering and bribery laws.

...require the broker-dealers to ask those clients — which could be defined as members of Congress, their spouses and senior members of staff — to personally answer a questionnaire every time a trade is executed, irrespective of whether the trade is instigated by them or a financial adviser. That would eliminate the frequent excuse that Congress members give about not being involved in trades, even when they are...questions like: “Have you attended any meetings in the past 28 days that could be perceived as being related to or possibly influencing your decision to make this trade?”

The broker-dealer would be required to submit details about each trade and the questionnaires within 24 hours to the S.E.C., and, crucially, both the trade information and the questionnaire would be published on the S.E.C.’s website, where they could be viewed by investors and the public.

Of course, members of Congress could still buy and sell broad-based mutual funds. But timely disclosures of the trades, along with a questionnaire that would create liability for officials if they didn’t tell the truth, are likely to stop the trading of individual stocks.

The compliance program suggested in this column is a variation on the way the S.E.C. itself polices staff at the agency...

An effort by the S.E.C. to introduce such a plan for members of Congress would require a vote of its five commissioners; three will be Democrats, two Republicans...

And there is no expectation of privacy by Congress members about trading because the STOCK Act already requires that they publish their trades within 45 days...

If you’re asking why the S.E.C. hasn’t already tried a stricter approach, there is an answer: Congress approves the S.E.C.’s budget...

That’s why it will take a bold leader of the S.E.C. to make new rules, and follow through by creating a task force charged with enforcing them. Unlike criminal prosecutors, however, the S.E.C. can only bring lawsuits to enforce the law. But there is power in that: A criminal case requires that guilt is “beyond a reasonable doubt,” but the threshold for a civil case is lower, simply requiring a “a preponderance of the evidence,” which should allow the S.E.C. to pursue cases aggressively.

Of course, if the idea works, there hopefully won’t be any cases to pursue.

Editat: gen. 6, 4:15pm

Neal Katyal @neal_katyal | 3:42 PM · Jan 6, 2021:
It's a crime that DC is not a State. We had to wait for this joker and evil Admin & President to call the National Guard, instead of a Governor.

Day 1: DC Statehood. Never forget.

In the end the Governor of VIRGINIA called in the National Guard!

Ralph Northam @GovernorVA | 3:29 PM · Jan 6, 2021:
My team and I are working closely with @MayorBowser, @SpeakerPelosi, and @SenSchumer to respond to the situation in Washington, D.C.

Per the Mayor's request, I am sending members of the Virginia National Guard along with 200 Virginia State Troopers.

Dan Lamothe @DanLamothe | 3:47 PM · Jan 6, 2021:

To questions about why it will take hours to get all D.C. guardsmen into the city: Remember, most have day jobs. Some live hours away in Virginia, Maryland and beyond. Am told they have four hours to respond.

Erin Banco @ErinBanco | 3:50 PM · Jan 6, 2021:
Hoffman, Chief Pentagon Spokesman:
“The D.C. Guard has been mobilized to provide support to federal law enforcement in the District. The law enforcement response will be led by the Department of Justice.”

gen. 16, 11:14pm

Historians having to tape together records that Trump tore up (Guardian)

Implications for public record and legal proceedings after administration seized or destroyed papers, notes and other information...

gen. 18, 4:42am

A former president Trump won’t ‘need to know.’ Cut off his intelligence.
Susan M. Gordon (principal deputy director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019) | Jan. 15, 2021

Every former president in the modern era has benefited from a unique national security perk after leaving the White House: routine intelligence briefings and access to classified information to support his continued involvement in advancing America’s interests. These briefings have been a matter of respectful convention and were granted by the new president to the old.

But convention left the premises a long time ago with President Trump, and his demonstrated approach to national security and intelligence suggest that a more purposeful decision must be made about providing intelligence to this soon-to-be former president.

My recommendation, as a 30-plus-year veteran of the intelligence community, is not to provide him any briefings after Jan. 20. With this simple act — which is solely the new president’s prerogative — Joe Biden can mitigate one aspect of the potential national security risk posed by Donald Trump, private citizen.

...a former president Trump, even before the events of last week, might be unusually vulnerable to bad actors with ill intent. He leaves, unlike his predecessors who embraced the muted responsibilities of being a “former,” with a stated agenda to stay engaged in politics and policy. No departing president in the modern era has hinted at or planned on becoming a political actor immediately after leaving office.

In addition, Trump has significant business entanglements that involve foreign entities....

Either way, before Trump departs, the intelligence officials should have the conversation — as they do with all outgoing presidents — about the risks every president faces simply because of what he has already seen or told. He leaves office with knowledge of some of our most precious intelligence assets in his head. They need to stay there...

There is good news here. No new policy needs to be established to make this decision. Neither past position nor past clearance is the basis for access to classified information — the “need to know” is. Trump will not warrant access simply because he was the president, and he cannot assert need to know for himself. He has to be granted it.

And there is the beauty of the system. If sharing classified information with him serves the nation’s purpose at some point in the future, he will get exactly the information the new president decides. Just like everyone else...


House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said: “There's no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now, not in the future.”
SARAH CAMMARATA | 01/17/2021

...“There's no circumstance in which this president should get another intelligence briefing, not now, not in the future,” said Schiff (D-Calif.) on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” "I don't think he can be trusted with it now and in the future, he certainly can't be trusted...”

...Schiff added that he thinks U.S. allies withheld information from the Trump administration because “they didn’t trust the president” to protect intelligence, which, in turn, “makes us less safe.”

However, Ron Klain, Biden’s incoming chief of staff, said that the new administration will first hear from “our intelligence professionals” and their recommendations on intelligence-sharing before making a decision on the issue...“We’ll certainly look for a recommendation from the intelligence professionals in the Biden administration”...

gen. 18, 6:01am

As with smoking, social pushback, being banned from restaurants--'er Twitter--is what will finally quell this deluded unrest?
Even smoking seemed to have passed some irreversible threshold...

Pushed to the edge by the Capitol riot, people are reporting their family and friends to the FBI
Hannah Knowles and Paulina Villegas | Jan. 16, 2021

...Increasingly estranged friends and relatives told The Washington Post they were driven to law enforcement by their own politics, a sense of moral obligation and a fear of what their loved ones could do next.

...Hundreds could eventually face charges, and people around the country are volunteering information.

Reddit forums and Twitter threads urge users to turn in even those closest to them — and comfort those who say they did. Some of these online spaces have become safe havens where people share their struggles with the radicalization of a loved one.

...Some family members have stuck by those arrested, defending them to the media. And for others, contacting the FBI feels drastic...

Misinformation dropped dramatically the week after Twitter banned Trump and some allies
Elizabeth Dwoskin and Craig Timberg | Jan. 16, 2021

Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively.

The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter (Jan 8, 2021).

Election disinformation had for months been a major subject of online misinformation, beginning even before the Nov. 3 election and pushed heavily by Trump and his allies...

Editat: gen. 21, 10:51am

14 Reasons that Democracy Survived
As Biden takes power, let's recall the institutions and individuals who resisted Trump's violations
Soren Dayton (self-decribed "dissident Republican") | Jan 20, 2021

...Authoritarian populists tend to win re-election...American institutions did hold up under attack, but this was not guaranteed. People took action—those within institutions to ensure that these functioned as they should, and those outside institutions who demanded appropriate behavior....I offer a partial list of some whom I witnessed fighting for our democracy, and whose efforts we should acknowledge:

1. The American people.
2. Progressive groups.
3. Principled conservatives.
4. Some Republican officials.
5. Political appointees who held firm.
6. Career civil servants who held firm.
7. Political and career officials who resigned.
8. The press.
9. Inspectors general and whistleblowers.
10. The uniformed military.
11. Principled conservative and libertarian legal thinkers.
12. Civil-society litigators.
13. The Center for Tech and Civic Life and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
14. Congress (when it was forced).

...deep wounds remain after the Trump years. They must be addressed, and our institutions must be rendered sturdier still, before they are tested again...

Editat: gen. 21, 12:02pm

>57 margd:

Just wondering why you specifically name "The Center for Tech and Civic Life and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative" (neither of which I have ever heard of) but you don't name any other organisations or institutions? There must have been a lot of civil society groups which played a role, not just two.

gen. 21, 4:13pm

>58 John5918: "The Center for Tech and Civic Life and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The 2020 election could have been much more problematic because the federal government did not supply adequate funding. But the Center for Tech and Civic Life provided expertise and training to run elections around the country, while Chan Zuckerberg provided funding."

Editat: gen. 22, 12:59am

Nonviolent Activists Laid the Groundwork to Oppose a Coup. They May Have Saved the Republic (Yes Magazine)

Activists prepared for months, expecting Trump to steal the election. They were right, and he failed...

Much attention has focused on how the institutions of government held in the face of such unprecedented threats and how a number of prominent Republicans under enormous pressure from Trump and his supporters chose to adhere to their moral and legal responsibilities. Even if things had gone differently, however, it is unlikely Trump would have been able to successfully steal the election. The reason was that millions of Americans would have engaged in massive nonviolent resistance to defend democracy. And this was likely the determining factor...

In the Philippines in 1985, Serbia in 2000, Ukraine in 2004, and Gambia in 2016, when incumbent regimes attempted to steal their elections, large-scale nonviolent action succeeded in forcing the election results to be honored. More conventional coup attempts in Germany (1920), France (1961), Bolivia (1978), Argentina (1987), the Soviet Union (1991), and Burkina Faso (2015) were similarly reversed as a result of popular civil resistance through rapid popular mobilization, massive noncooperation, building broad alliances of democratic forces, and maintaining nonviolent discipline. As a result, starting this past summer, a number of groups began organizing and training for the possibility of massive nonviolent resistance to a stolen election in the United States...

As was with the previous cases of successfully reversed coup attempts in other countries, leftists with experience in nonviolent direct action and grassroots organizing had to be willing to work with decidedly mainstream political figures and institutions. This created a valuable opportunity to create connections between that activist base, established institutions, and journalists... “For many veteran activists, learning to align with people in the political center was a new skill.” While there had long been great disappointment among nonviolent activists at Joe Biden’s militaristic foreign policy agenda and neo-liberal economic policies, there was an understanding that the struggle was ultimately not about supporting the Democratic Party nominee, but defending democracy...

Scores of other already existing local and national groups launched their own efforts of raising awareness of the threat, mobilizing potential responses, and engaging in nonviolence training. Extensive mainstream media coverage of these efforts brought the idea of nonviolent revolution in the United States to millions of Americans for the first time...

"the struggle was ultimately not about supporting the Democratic Party nominee, but defending democracy"

I think that's a statement worth highlighting.

gen. 22, 5:22am

Lawmakers who objected to election results have been cut off from 20 of their 30 biggest corporate PAC donors
Douglas MacMillan and Jena McGregor | Jan. 19, 2021

U.S. executives continue to grapple with political bloodshed and its ripple effects on the corporate landscape...(see infographic)

WAGator @gatormateo78 | 9:52 PM · Jan 21, 2021

Here are the 10 (listed in WaPo article) that are still donating:
Home Depot
American Crystal Sugar
General Dynamics
Exxon Mobil
Railway Charter Communications
Cox Enterprise

gen. 29, 7:45am @MeidasTouch | 1:32 AM · Jan 29, 2021
Shouldn’t we hold our public servants to a higher standard? Shouldn’t we hold them to *A* standard??! ...

1:32 ( )
U.S. Government: We’ll Take Anyone! | PoliticsGirl...

feb. 22, 7:49am

60 Minutes @60Minutes | 7:13 PM · Feb 21, 2021:
After Judge James Robart temporarily blocked President Trump’s first travel ban,
his home address was posted online and he was bombarded with 40,000 messages.
1,100 were serious enough to be investigated.
U.S. Marshals set up camp outside his house. (2:02)
Threats against judge that temporarily blocked first Trump travel ban

feb. 22, 1:26pm

>63 margd: I saw that segment and it turned my stomach. (Not quite as much as the scenes from Syria, however.)