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    1. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 21

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      10 votes
    2. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 20

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      23 votes
    3. Podcast: The rise and fall of Roe v. Wade

      Part 1 (55 minutes): The hosts take on one of the Supreme Court’s most famous decisions, Roe v. Wade. In this first episode of a two-part series, they look at the legal and factual origins of Roe...

      Part 1 (55 minutes):

      The hosts take on one of the Supreme Court’s most famous decisions, Roe v. Wade. In this first episode of a two-part series, they look at the legal and factual origins of Roe v. Wade. They also discuss how Roe was weaponized by the conservative legal movement to rally against an interpretation of the Constitution that allows for flexibility in favor of a far more rigid approach.

      Part 2 (61 minutes):

      In the second part of a two-episode series on abortion rights, the hosts discuss Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a 1992 case in which the Supreme Court made it easier for states to restrict abortion access so long as abortion regulations don’t create an “undue burden.” The vague standard set lawmakers on a new path of attacking abortion access and fueled anti-abortion groups’ efforts to spread stigma and misinformation, setting up Roe v. Wade for a death by a thousand cuts.

      (it's impossible to link to podcasts in a simple or easy way...if anyone has a better way of doing this I'm all ears...)

      5-4 (pronounced "five to four", as in the vote total of a closely-divided court case from 9 justices) is one of my favorite podcasts. It's lawyers dissecting Supreme Court cases in a way that is very understandable to non-lawyers, from an explicitly and unabashedly left-wing perspective.

      This is an extremely informative primer on the entire arc of abortion rights in the US, from the actual case everyone has heard of (Roe v Wade in the 1970s) to the case in the 1990s that actually superseded Roe and a case from last year that was seen as a victory because it upheld a previous case but it also contained a poison pill that significantly weakened that precedent.

      7 votes
    4. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 19

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      15 votes
    5. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 18

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      18 votes
    6. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 17

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      17 votes
    7. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 16

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      13 votes
    8. An article of impeachment has been passed. Donald Trump is the first President of the United States to be impeached twice.

      The House has passed an article of impeachment accusing Trump of "incitement of insurrection", making him the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice. Here is a...

      The House has passed an article of impeachment accusing Trump of "incitement of insurrection", making him the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice.

      Here is a table breaking down the votes:

      Party Yea Nay Present NV
      Democrat 222
      Republican 10 197 4
      Total 232 197 4

      Link to the C-SPAN livestream, if you want to go back and watch:

      57 votes
    9. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 15

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      19 votes
    10. Daily thread - United States 2021 transition of power - January 14

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic,...

      This thread is posted daily - please try to post all relevant US political content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Extremely significant events may warrant a separate topic, but almost all should be posted in here.

      This is an inherently political thread; please try to avoid antagonistic arguments and bickering matches. Comment threads that devolve into unproductive arguments may be removed so that the overall topic is able to continue.

      13 votes
    11. The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns

      A common current narrative is that tech monopolists are suddenly acting of their own initiative and inconcert to deplatform the burgeoning fascist insurgent movement within the US. I approve the...

      A common current narrative is that tech monopolists are suddenly acting of their own initiative and inconcert to deplatform the burgeoning fascist insurgent movement within the US. I approve the deplatforming strongly, though I suspect an alternative significant motivating and coordfinating factor.

      An example of the "tech monopoly abuse" narrative is Glenn Greenwald's more than slightly unhinged "How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler"

      Greenwald's argument hinges on emotion, insinuation, invective, a completely unfounded premise, an absolute absence of evidence, and no consideration of alternative explanations: an overwhelmingly plausible ongoing law enforcement and national security operation, likely under sealed or classified indictments or warrants, in the face of ongoing deadly sedition lead by the President of the United States himself, including against the person of his own vice president and credible threats against the President-Elect and Inauguration.

      Such an legal action is, of course, extraordinarily difficult to prove, and I cannot prove it. A critical clue for me, however, is the defection not just of Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Stripe, and other tech firms, but of Parler's legal counsel, who would have to be an exceptionally stealth-mode startup to fit Greenwald's, or other's, "it's the tech monopolists" narrative. I've tempered my degree of assurance and language ("plausible" rather than "probable"). Time will tell. But a keen and critical mind such as Grenwald's should at least be weighing the possibility. He instead seems bent only on piking old sworn enemies, with less evidence or coherence than I offer.

      This is the crux of Greenwald's argument. It's all he's got:

      On Thursday, Parler was the most popular app in the United States. By Monday, three of the four Silicon Valley monopolies united to destroy it.

      I'm no friend of the tech monopolists myself. The power demonstrated here does concern me, greatly. I've long railed against Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, among other tech monopolists. Largely because as monopolies they are power loci acting through their occupation of a common resource, outside common control, and not serving the common weal. Hell: Facebook, Google (YouTube), Reddit, and Twitter played a massive role in creating the current fascist insurrection in the US, along with even more enthusiastic aid and comfort from traditional media, across the spectrum. Damage that will take decades to repair, if ever.

      But, if my hypothesis is correct, the alternative explanation would bet he opposite of this: the state asserting power over and through monopolies in the common interest, in support of democratic principles, for the common weal. And that I can support.

      I don't know that this is the case. I find it curious that I seem to be the only voice suggesting it. Time should tell.

      And after this is over, yes, Silicon Valley, in its metonymic sense standing for the US and global tech industry, has to face its monopoly problem, its free speech problem (in both sincere and insincere senses), its surveillance problem (capitalist, state, criminal, rogue actor), its censorship problem, its propaganda problem (mass and computational), its targeted manipulation adtech problem, its trust problem, its identity problem, its truth and disinformation problems, its tax avoidance problem, its political influence problem.

      Virtually all of which are inherent aspects of monopoly: "Propaganda, censorship, and surveillance are all attributes of monopoly" https://joindiaspora.com/posts/7bfcf170eefc013863fa002590d8e506
      HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24771470

      But, speaking as a space alien cat myself, Greenwald is so far off base here he's exited the Galaxy.


      Update: 2h30m after posting, NPR have mentioned sealed indictments and speculated on whether the President might be charged, in special coverage.

      19 votes