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Weaverbird : democracy   33

My TED talk: how I took on the tech titans in their lair | Carole Cadwalladr | UK news | The Guardian
For more than a year, the Observer writer has been probing a darkness at the heart of Silicon Valley. Last week, at a TED talk that became a global viral sensation, she told the tech billionaires they had broken democracy. What happened next?
2019-04  tech  facebook  google  twitter  democracy  socialmedia 
yesterday by Weaverbird
Mitch McConnell is destroying the Senate – and American government | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian
But McConnell’s long game is destroying what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body.

He is longest-serving leader of Senate Republicans in history but Mitch McConnell is no leader. He is the epitome of unprincipled power. History will not treat him kindly.
2019-04  congress  politics  corruption  democracy  hypocrisy 
16 days ago by Weaverbird
Senate Republicans’ Ugly Nominations Agenda - POLITICO Magazine
Over the last 40 years, as the Republican Party has been driven farther and farther toward the extreme right by ultra-conservative activists, Republicans began to realize that their policy agenda was too unpopular with mainstream voters to be enacted in the light of day, through the legislative process. The hard right understood that they would never persuade enough Americans to support ending women’s reproductive freedom, taking away health-care coverage, rolling back civil rights, abolishing safeguards for clean air and clean water or other extreme ideas.

Instead, they decided there was another route to achieving their policy goals, one that doesn’t require public support or legislation: the courts. So Republicans, pressured by the hard right and wealthy conservative donors, launched a sustained effort to pack the courts with very conservative judges — preferably young ones who could sit on the bench for decades.
2019-04  politics  gop  hypocrisy  corruption  justice  law  democracy  congress 
19 days ago by Weaverbird
What 46 Populist Leaders Did to Democracy - The Atlantic
Since populists often thrive on anger about all-too-real shortcomings—elites who really are too remote, political systems that really are shockingly corrupt—it is tempting to hope that they can help rejuvenate imperfect democracies around the world. Alas, the best evidence available suggests that, so far at least, they have done the opposite. On average, populist governments have deepened corruption, eroded individual rights, and inflicted serious damage on democratic institutions.
2018-12  politics  society  democracy  law  corruption 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked | Technology | The Guardian
A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?
2018-12  #Brexit  money  power  data  democracy  politics 
december 2018 by Weaverbird
'Gerrymandering On Steroids': How Republicans Stacked The Nation's Statehouses | Here & Now
It was never a secret. In 2010, the conservative political strategist Karl Rove took to the Wall Street Journal and laid out a plan to win majorities in state legislatures across the country.

"He who controls redistricting can control Congress," read the subhead to Rove's column.
gop  politics  shenanigans  congress  voting-rights  gerrymander  democracy 
july 2018 by Weaverbird
Supreme Court is now Trump’s, and so we grieve for America.
The country I believed in, which aspired to true equality of opportunity, and welcomed immigrants, and strove to make the American dream available to everyone, failed often. The ideal was never the reality, but at least there was an agreed-upon goal, one worth working toward in common. Even that is gone. The most vital trust that our government, as a whole, will protect the interests of the people has been violated.
2018-06  SCOTUS  government  corruption  democracy  politics 
july 2018 by Weaverbird
How America's Largest Local TV Owner Turned Its News Anchors Into Soldiers In Trump's War On The Media
Earlier this month, CNN’s Brian Stelter broke the news that Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner or operator of nearly 200 television stations in the U.S., would be forcing its news anchors to record a promo about “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one sided news stories plaguing our country.” The script, which parrots Donald Trump’s oft-declarations of developments negative to his presidency as “fake news,” brought upheaval to newsrooms already dismayed with Sinclair’s consistent interference to bring right-wing propaganda to local television broadcasts.
2018-03  money  power  democracy  rightwingnutjobs  media  politics 
april 2018 by Weaverbird
Nursing Clio What Lies Beneath: The Handmaid’s Tale in Trump’s America
Many people have written on the book’s chilling message in relation to our current political times. But if we look carefully, the novel demonstrates that today’s march towards authoritarianism is not an anomaly but rather the surfacing of latent traits in the DNA of our democracy. This idea is reinforced when we consider that the upcoming television series was written and in production before November’s election.
2017-07  dystopia  democracy  womens_rights  feminism 
july 2017 by Weaverbird
North Carolina Republicans’ shocking power grab, explained - Vox
A prominent Republican got fewer votes than his opponent, but his party is rushing to enact sweeping changes that would limit the power of Democrats, potentially locking them out of policy-making for cycles to come.

No, this isn’t Donald Trump, and it isn’t Republicans in Congress.

In North Carolina, during late night session on Wednesday, the Republican-controlled state legislature introduced a series of bills deliberately meant to cut the powers of the governor’s office and the state’s election oversight board.
post-election_2016  gop  voting-rights  shenanigans  democracy  racism 
december 2016 by Weaverbird
North Carolina legislative coup: an attack on democracy.
Republicans in the North Carolina General Assembly staged a shocking legislative coup on Wednesday night, calling a second special session and proposing a raft of measures designed to strip power from the newly progressive state Supreme Court and governorship. This last-minute power grab marks an alarming departure from basic democratic norms—a blatant attempt to overturn the results of an election by curtailing judicial independence and restructuring the government to seize authority lawfully delegated to the incoming Democratic governor.
post-election_2016  gop  voting-rights  shenanigans  democracy  racism 
december 2016 by Weaverbird
North Carolina’s GOP is suppressing votes and appealing to white tribalism.
Why worry? Because the last time a party used white tribalism to take over the South, its hold lasted for decades.
post-election_2016  gop  voting-rights  shenanigans  democracy  racism 
december 2016 by Weaverbird
Donald Trump's Candidacy Is a Threat to American Democracy
Here is the truth. Nobody called for a moment of silence for Micah Johnson. Eleven U.S. cities are not on the brink of racial violence. He, Trump just made that shit up so his followers can stay afraid and angry at the people he wants them to fear and hate. This lie was a marching order and the Party of Lincoln is right in step with him, straight into the burning Reichstag of this man's mind.

Welcome to the 2016 Republican convention: a four-day celebration of the ritual suicide of American democracy.

With balloons.
campaign2016  trump  democracy 
july 2016 by Weaverbird
Here's How You Buy Out A Democracy
This is not a simple black-and-white story — there are several shades of gray, revealing serious shortcomings in our systems for investigating suspected wrongdoing and for the exercise of judicial power.

This is how democracies die: not with a bang, but through the quiet election of officials who put ideology ahead of principle, and invalidate rules designed to make sure our government is not for sale to the biggest donors.

The people who bought Wisconsin’s democracy – namely the libertarian Koch Brothers – can now use this decision to put unlimited money behind their favorite pols in Badger State contests.
democracy  politics  money  power  corruption  koch  election 
august 2015 by Weaverbird
Ferguson and Protests in the Age of the Security State | Rolling Stone
Watching the citizen protests in Ferguson, Missouri and the massive police overreaction, I couldn't help but think of the old 1960s revolutionary phrase about "heightening the contradictions," the idea that a little subtle and acceptable instigation could prompt the state to expose its own brutality.
#Ferguson_MO  security  democracy  history  culture  human-rights  constitution  police_state 
september 2014 by Weaverbird
Thomas Piketty's Capital: everything you need to know about the surprise bestseller | Books | The Guardian
The radical economist's book Capital in the Twenty-first Century has angered the right with its powerful argument about wealth, democracy and why capitalism will always create inequality. Not read it yet? Here's what it means
economics  politics  democracy  money  power  inequality 
april 2014 by Weaverbird
Obama CIA John Brennan - Obama, The CIA, And The Limits Of Conciliation - Esquire
The Senate investigation is really the last chance for even the ghost of a full accounting. (The CIA already destroyed videotapes of the torture sessions ) The apparent interference with the Senate investigation is a constitutional crime of the first order. The president set himself to bring people together. That's a noble goal, and one with which few people would disagree. But it is not the CIA's goal. It never has been. Its long history of crimes and bungling have created a climate within the intelligence community that is anathema to intelligent self-government. The president is the only one who can change that. It's time that he start the job.
constitution  government  democracy  law  CIA  congress 
march 2014 by Weaverbird
Robert Reich (The Year of the Great Redistribution)
Among the biggest winners are top executives and Wall Street traders whose year-end bonuses are tied to the stock market, and hedge-fund and private-equity managers whose special “carried interest” tax loophole allows their income to be treated as capital gains. The wild bull market of 2013 has given them all fabulous after-tax windfalls.

America has been redistributing upward for some time – after all, “trickle-down” economics turned out to be trickle up — but we outdid ourselves in 2013. At a time of record inequality and decreasing mobility, America conducted a Great Redistribution upward.
inequality  money  poverty  politics  democracy 
january 2014 by Weaverbird
Robert Reich (David Brooks' Utter Ignorance About Inequality)
Unequal political power is the endgame of widening inequality — its most noxious and nefarious consequence, and the most fundamental threat to our democracy. Big money has now all but engulfed Washington and many state capitals — drowning out the voices of average Americans, filling the campaign chests of candidates who will do their bidding, financing attacks on organized labor, and bankrolling a vast empire of right-wing think-tanks and publicists that fill the airwaves with half-truths and distortions.
inequality  money  poverty  politics  democracy 
january 2014 by Weaverbird
The World's 85 Richest People Own as Much as the 3.5 Billion Poorest |
Working for the Few examines economic inequality’s potential to undercut democracy in developed countries and exacerbate corruption in underdeveloped nations.
inequality  money  privilege  poverty  economics  politics  democracy 
january 2014 by Weaverbird
Snowden Effect New York Times - The Snowden Effect, Continued - Esquire
By this time, all defenses based on the principle of "They'd never do that," are moot. The NSA pretty clearly will do whatever it wants to do, whenever it wants to do it, and, if it gets caught later on, it will stand the gaff and move along to do whatever it wants to do next. This is not a rogue thing. This is what the NSA believes its mandate to be. This is what it has decided that its job is. If the country agrees with that, or decides to get distracted by what Edward Snowden says, or what is said in return about him, then the country has decided that it agrees. Ignorance is no longer an acceptable alibi. We know what's going on.
NSA  surveillance  law  politics  government  democracy 
january 2014 by Weaverbird
FBI Burglers - The Snowden Effect, Continued - Esquire
But the real point is a simpler one -- left to their own devices, spy agencies will spy, and they will shred the Constitution and the laws if they have to, and the very secrecy they demand acts as a accelerant to delusions of messianic grandeur. The threat is always existential and the spies always the last line of defense, and the people always delicate flowers who need not know what is being done in their name to protect them from harm. Democracy is infantilized.
FBI  surveillance  shenanigans  law  democracy  leaks 
january 2014 by Weaverbird
Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished - The Washington Post
“For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” he said. “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself.”

“All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed,” he said. “That is a milestone we left a long time ago. Right now, all we are looking at are stretch goals.”
NSA  interview  surveillance  privacy  democracy 
december 2013 by Weaverbird
The Rutherford Institute :: Who Will Protect You from the Police? The Rise of Government-Sanctioned Home Invasions
Indeed, if Winston Churchill is correct that “democracy means that if the doorbell rings in the early hours, it is likely to be the milkman,” then it’s safe to say that we no longer live in a democracy. Certainly not in a day and age when the Fourth Amendment, which was intended to protect us against the police state, especially home invasions by government agents, has been reduced to little more than words on paper.
police_state  constitution  law  democracy 
december 2013 by Weaverbird
Editors on the NSA files: 'What the Guardian is doing is important for democracy' | World news | The Guardian
On Thursday the Daily Mail described the Guardian as 'The paper that helps Britain's enemies'. We showed that article to many of the world's leading editors. This is what they said
NSA  democracy  journalism  media  leaks 
october 2013 by Weaverbird
Greenwald Partner falsely detained as Terrorist: How to Create a Dictatorship | Informed Comment
How to turn a democracy into a STASI authoritarian state in 10 easy steps:

1. Misuse the concept of a Top Secret government document (say, the date of D-Day) and extend classification to trillions of mundane documents a year.

2. Classify all government crimes and violations of the Constitution as secret
NSA  surveillance  government  democracy  law  constitution 
august 2013 by Weaverbird
Bradley Manning and the Two Americas — Medium, Long — Medium
To one side, Manning’s release of classified material into the public purview is a declaration of the people’s right to know, and an angry comment on how the world is run behind closed doors. To the other, it represents a force threatening to undermine the system that holds America together.
leaks  society  culture  NSA  law  philosophy  democracy  politics  wikileaks 
august 2013 by Weaverbird
A Guide To Thinking About NSA Surveillance And Democracy | ThinkProgress
a basic link in the democratic accountability chain is broken, calling any claim the NSA surveillance regime had on democratic legitimacy into serious question
NSA  government  transparency  surveillance  democracy 
august 2013 by Weaverbird
Robert Reich (An Impertinent Question)
Suppose a small group of extremely wealthy people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. government
politics  money  corruption  democracy 
july 2013 by Weaverbird

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