Posts tagged politics

mediamatters.org
"Fast forward five years and journalists and commentators are still talking about imminent pivots and praising him for always-temporary changes in his tone."
Tiring Trump trope.
oregonlive.com
"Critics say the government’s slow response to requests for transparency and the national media’s focus on the most salacious moments of the city’s demonstrations prove both federal officials and national reporters care more about property damage than the physical injuries protesters sustain on the streets."
What life in Portland is really like right now.

Federal Response to Portland Protests

If you haven't been following the story of anonymous federal border patrol agents harassing protesters in Portland, Oregon, here's a quick rundown:

OPB: Federal Law Enforcement Use Unmarked Vehicles To Grab Protesters Off Portland Streets
"Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkely said if Wolf is coming to inflame the situation in Portland so the President can “look tough,” the acting DHS leader should leave. “Federal forces shot an unarmed protester in the face,” Merkely said in a tweet. “These shadowy forces have been escalating, not preventing, violence.”"

Willamette Week: Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Says President Trump Is Invading Portland as an Election Stunt
"This political theater from President Trump has nothing to do with public safety," Brown said. "The president is failing to lead this nation. Now he is deploying federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government."

New York Times: Federal Agents Unleash Militarized Crackdown on Portland
"The aggressive federal posture has complicated the mission of the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that has spent much of its history focused on foreign terrorism threats and is supposed to build collaborative relationships with local law enforcement partners. And it raises questions of whether it is appropriate for federal authorities to take up the policing of an American city against the wishes of local leaders."

Lawfare: What the Heck Are Federal Law Enforcement Officers Doing in Portland?
"As noted above, the Oregon statute that authorizes federal law enforcement officers to enforce Oregon law requires the officer to identify their authority and their reason for making the arrest. It does not seem like a stretch to interpret that provision to require an officer to at least identify themselves (1) as a federal law enforcement officer; if not (2) as an employee of a specific federal agency with law enforcement authority."

ACLU: Organization Seeks to Block Federal Law Enforcement Attacks on Journalists, Legal Observers in Portland
"The lawsuit was filed on behalf of legal observers and local journalists. Named plaintiffs include The Portland Mercury; Matthew Lewis-Rolland, a freelance photographer who federal agents shot 10 times in the back on Sunday; Justin Yau, a freelance journalist who federal agents attacked with tear gas; and Doug Brown, a legal observer who federal agents threatened to shoot. All individuals were wearing high-visibility shirts that said “PRESS” or “legal observer.”"

New York Times: 50 Nights of Unrest in Portland
"Portland is being used as a bellwether to see what this administration can get away with. And also what works to quell protest. The police tactics don’t work. We’re on night 50. There’s this knowledge, I believe, in the more lucid chunks of the administration, that this problem will get worse in the next month. August is shaping up to be one of the hardest months in our nation’s modern history. September may be worse. And it will have to come to a head."

NPR: DHS Official On Reports Of Federal Officers Detaining Protesters In Portland, Ore.
"...this is a posture we intend to continue not just in Portland but in any of the facilities that we're responsible for around the country."

The Fed seems to be equating light property damage with violence to justify anonymous border patrol military in the streets of Portland and beyond.

Ride the EPM Podcast Waves

Tonight I'm making a very special non-automated link post to let you know that the Election Profit Makers podcast is the only island of sanity left in this ocean of troubled times. I know I've said it before, but this time I mean it.

RIYL: debates about skylines, obscure gen-x cultural references, and commiserating about politics.
The Verge
"New students matriculating at schools offering fully online programs will not receive visas, per ICE. Students who are already enrolled at such schools will be required to transfer or leave the country."
The cruelty is the point.
washingtonpost.com
"Facebook has constrained its efforts against false and misleading news, adopted a policy explicitly allowing politicians to lie, and even altered its news feed algorithm to neutralize claims that it was biased against conservative publishers, according to more than a dozen former and current employees and previously unreported documents obtained by The Washington Post."
This article is a good summary of how Facebook rewrote its policies to accommodate hate speech and misinformation so they could stay in favor with the current administration. Related, so far more than 100 advertisers have agreed to stop advertising on Facebook in July: Facebook’s reckoning arrives.

Facebook is on the Wrong Side of History

So much Facebook in the news:

NYT: What’s Facebook’s Deal With Donald Trump?
"While executives across Facebook insist that Mr. Zuckerberg’s position on free speech on the platform is a matter of long-term planning and principle, not political expediency, his political team also recognizes that they are badly out of position for a Democratic administration."
Mashable: Facebook faces boycott push from NAACP, ADL, and other civil rights groups
"They allowed incitement to violence against protestors fighting for racial justice in America in the wake of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and so many others. They amplified white nationalists by including news sources with known extremist ties into their 'fact checking' program. They turned a blind eye to blatant voter suppression in their platform."
And I think this older article from April gives important context about why exactly Facebook's alliance with the administration is dangerous:

The Atlantic: How Facebook Works for Trump
"Instead of paying to put particular media in front of a specific audience, an advertiser now pays Facebook to deliver a selected outcome from a certain stripe of people. For example, a clothing manufacturer might pay Facebook for webpage visits from women in their 30s who live in Los Angeles, or for likes by parents with college degrees whose online behavior is similar to that of users who had previously made purchases."
The combination of microtargeting, proprietary machine learning, increasing radicalization through recommended groups, and an unwillingness to prevent voter supression or misinformation is hurting our ability to have a healthy democracy.
The Atlantic
"The election is in 160 days. That's usually not enough time to pass new laws, let alone build new voting infrastructure, and it’s certainly not enough time to test any of these systems before they are implemented. And most state legislatures are now working remotely, slowing them down even more."
Throw another log on the anxiety fire.
the economist
"What matters is not only how many votes candidates get, but where they get them. Because electoral-college votes are assigned by state rather than by the country as a whole, and because smaller states receive a disproportionately high number of votes, it is possible for smaller states to overrule the majority of voters."
Time to get rid of the electoral college.
npr.org
"On top of that, experts said antifa isn't even a group; it's more of a diffuse movement of leftists who share a similar ideology in opposition to fascism."
How do you demonize an authentic public movement that a majority of people support? Make up an imaginary terrorist organization and say they are behind it.
abcnews.go.com
"Nearly three-fourths of Americans view the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer as a sign of an underlying racial injustice problem, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds, a significant shift from a similar question asked just six years ago."
The country isn't divided on this.
The Verge
By continuing to provide him with a platform, Facebook and Twitter have become a key mechanism in the president’s effort to silence his critics and violate their civil rights — not in their news feeds or timelines, but where they worship, where they gather, and even where they live.
I know I'm a broken record on this, but Facebook is a key piece of infrastructure for our lives and it's doing real harm in the world.
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